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Formatting ideas for Season 4 writeups


Sidebars are your friend. They allow reference without interrupting the flow of the writeup.

I'd suggest listing the social modifiers in a table next to the Johnson's stats. That way in a 4 hour time slot is easier for a GM to quickly know the naga face with balance tail's modifiers to social tests. ;-)

Public Awareness has never once affected my team. We have a member of the Season 2-3 crew with Public Awareness 9. He openly jokes about Nascar sponsorship. The GM's are aware but have no time to consequence it.

Have it reduce payout from the Johnson. "Sorry, Chummer, I'd pay more but I'll need to save some nuyen to cover up you when you'rein the news after the run." Its not 100% RAW but should really matter. Maybe a sidebar chart with consequences of Public Awareness on THIS PARTICULAR RUN.

I also suggest a standardized "Script" for the spiders in a node. Modify it per mission but the work going into making it is mostly one-time. I imagine a grid with 5 columns:


Disclaimer: This is typical, if the runner does a different action or in a different order resolve it as performed and not in the order written.

Typically Step 1 -- Hack on the Fly -- Runner tries to get in rolling Hacking + Exploit + modifiers. This Node rolls 11 Dice (threshold: intruder's stealth rating) -- Ends once the intruder gets 5 hits -- SR4a p235

Typically Step 2 -- Matrix Observation -- Runner looks around so he can see whats inside -- Runner rolls Matrix Perception (Computer + Analyze + modifiers). If looking for icons the intruder will see those with stealth rating up to hits scored -- Ends when the runnerdoesntuse simple actions on it -- SR4a p228

Typically Step 3 -- Data Search for what the intruder specifies [with details like in steps1-2]

Typically Step 4 -- Decrypt the data found [with details like in steps1-2]


Then a separate Script for matrix combat. Not every GM knows Three Musketeers ice gets 3 actions per pass. Not every GM knows Nuke from a Tank Sprite uses Hacking to hit and not Cybercombat. Lay out the actions by the node and what they are resisted with and include inline values so the GM doesn't have to look up "Cybercombat+Blackhammer+hot Sim+optimized commlink" it just says "Attack with Blackhammer, 12 dice to hit."

I have had a couple of matrix writeups shared and even as someone who has played a hacker or TM since Denver started I have rarely had a GM comfortable with the matrix portion. Doing it sequentially serves as a way for a GM unfamiliar with hacking to quickly step through a typical set of actions in case the player is also new to the matrix and if there are deviations ("I put a data bomb on the fake data I put in place of the paydata I'm removing" then the player and/or GM can look it up.

Without the script its up to the player and GM unfamiliar with the nuances of the matrix to either adlib how it works ("roll hacking+your average program rating 3 times, ok you find a file...") or the GM asking the intruder how it works. Its just not common for GM's to know it since even in the cleaned up version in SR4a how it all fits together.

A page with a table-based walkthrough can speed it up a lot. It can also make the cleverness of the intruder be pitted against the module writer. Data Bombs KILL technomancers dead as hell, for example, and what if Lone Star has a Cryptesesia module on their node and spiders. Most GM's wont know how to handle it and will just skip it when "intruders takes -2 without Cryptesesia: Thermographic to all tests in this node" as an additional way to make it harder for a prime runner intruder to roll through the node.


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