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Technomancy, Matrix stuff, and a few other things

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Jolly_Scottsman

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« on: (06:45:27/06-13-18) »
Hey everyone! I'm new to both Shadowrun, the forum, and DM'ing in general. I've been running a game for about.... three months or so now? I can't remember exactly, but it's gotten pretty wild. So far, things are going great, I'm having lots of fun with my group, but I've run into something I'm having issues with in regards to Matrix, the whole idea of Technomancy, and handling it with a little more finesse. I'm running Shadowrun 4e, and while the book is incredibly dense I'm able to reasonably wing most of it. The thing is, I've written into the story a group/cult of technomancers, and I've got no idea how to handle it now. So far I've been totally winging it, but it's becoming inconsistent and I'm having an issue wrangling my Technomancer because he usually does action after action back-to-back-to-back since there's no technical limit, at least in my mind. I think the issue I'm having is that I'm not able to properly visualize the Matrix in a consistent, describable way that I can translate to my players. As it sits, nodes are nothing more than sorta mediocre points to sit on, like a chair, mentally while in the Matrix.
The other thing I've got no clue on is how exactly to work a Technomancer or impose limitations on them that prevents them from just spamming Data Search until they get enough hits to find something worthwhile. After all, why can't you just keep searching with slightly changed parameters, just like you'd do in real life? It's gotten to a point where in my campaign it holds up the pacing so that the Tech can keep digging until they get something useful.
As a whole I'm pretty new to running the game instead of playing it(former Monk from 1st edition AD&D over 3 separate campaigns) so I'm trying to figure out ways to keep things interesting, make them work close to the rules without always necessarily following them rigidly, and creating a fun environment for my players. These guys are my closest friends and I don't think the game would be what it is to me without them, so I want to give them back an experience of Shadowrun that they'll remember.
This brings me to my final... problem. The story itself. From what I've seen Shadowrun is more designed for individual adventures than a branching story; runs that are full of intrigue but are like solo acts, or like episodes of Black Mirror. I've been lacing together individual adventures like this throughout the campaign but I'm weaving in a story I've written as an overarcing plot. The short of it, I've taken the age-old Light vs. Dark story and tried to give it a bit of a twist. Instead of these things being rigidly Light or Dark, I've just been referring ot them as "The Two", because so often in storytelling it comes down to "One vs. The Other". I did make them, as a base form, Light and Dark, because it's the simplest form of "The Two" and these Two are the reason magic exists on Earth. I'm working on ways to make this story come alive and be as memorable as some of the D&D campaigns we've played, without making it overly written, and more importantly, boring due to predictability. I don't want to go into too much detail on it right away, mostly because I'm more focused on the Technomancer issue at the moment, but I'd still like help and other perspectives from fellow DM's on where I could take this story, how I can flesh it out better, and how to keep things fun for my group without pulling too far off the course I'm trying to set.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and give a helping hand if you're able!

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #1 on: (19:08:06/06-13-18) »
Doesn't SR5 use 'pick the level of data you want to find, that sets both the Difficulty and the timespan of the roll' for Data Search? So easy data, sure, retry all you want, but high levels take ages per roll?

Redwulfe

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« Reply #2 on: (20:18:06/06-13-18) »
Yes the levels are 1, 3, and 6. these correspond to the threshold needed to acquire the info and the time taken to find it is 1 min, 30 minutes, and 12 hours respectfully. Also to note if the information is protected or secret you can not find it with a matrix search. for these you must break into the host that houses the info you wish to find and then the time becomes 1 minute regardless of the level of info.

It seems that many people still run it in the old fashion which was that of an extended roll to gain the levels of information.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #3 on: (03:29:36/06-14-18) »
Excessive successes decrease the actual time, iirc. And of course we have a Try Again penalty, I forget, did this one stack?_?

Xenon

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« Reply #4 on: (07:09:11/06-14-18) »
Is this thread related to SR4 or SR5?

Jolly_Scottsman

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« Reply #5 on: (03:44:52/06-15-18) »
SR4, I thought I specified but if not I apologize