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May I Suggest Cribbing From Pathfinder Society

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« on: (10:46:27/09-14-10) »
We all know that there are a few quirks with our current Missions guidelines that we'd like to see resolved in the upcoming season. I'd like to suggest looking at the Pathfinder Society (PS) Organized Play model to provide some of these solutions. In particular, buying gear seems to be a common source of tension for players and GMs so maybe we can look to their model for solutions.

1) Gear looted from the Mission. In PS modules, you can pick up and use anything you want during the adventure, but once the adventure has ended, you don't get to keep it. However, you do have the option to buy certain things that are listed on the certificate at the prices shown. For example, you run a Mission and successfully complete it. During the Mission, you encountered a top-tier bodyguard with a fully modded Ares Alpha using APDS rounds. During the Mission, you took him out, scooped up his gun, and used it as your very own. Once the Mission is over, you don't get to automatically keep the gun, but it's shown on the certification with a price of 2,500. At that point, or any point in the future, you can purchase that gun for that price since you've successfully completed the run. This solves the loot/fencing/Monty Haul issues that some organizers are worried about while still giving players a chance to pick up some cool stuff from the run at discounted prices.

2) Purchasing specialty gear. In PS modules, certain stuff is always available for purchase (+1 stuff, 1st level potions, etc.), and other stuff is available as your faction rating increases. This could work the same way in Missions. Some things at a certain price and availability are always available. As your karma rating increases, so does the availability of all gear, but as your rating increases with certain factions, certain gear becomes available more quickly. Once available, you pay for the gear and move on. No availability tests, no waiting weeks for it to come in. You been around enough to know the folks who can get you the gear. Done.

3) Sharing gear. In PS, you can share gear during an adventure, but you can never sell or give your stuff to another player. Period. Players need to be able to show how they bought the gear (i.e., it's listed on a cert for an adventure they played in or it's available due to their experience/faction rating).

They also use a system of "tiers" for their adventures (i.e., you must be a certain level to play in a certain tier of adventure), but I realize that they have a lot more adventure submissions and players than we do. I don't think it would be feasible for SR Missions. Table rating and retirement may be here to stay for us.

Anyway, I've been impressed by their system, and their guidelines are freely available so why not give them a look. I think they're practical, and could be put to good use for SR Missions.

Tenh

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« Reply #1 on: (20:54:06/09-14-10) »
While the PFS system (modeled on the LG system) works well for that game, I would really hate to see it used in SRM.

One of the reasons I (and my group) starting playing SRM and enjoying it so much is that it really feels like you accomplish something.  Need a gun?  Take out the bad guy and you just might get one.  Need to upgrade your ammo or your armor?  Well, hopefully you'll take out the right baddie and get something good!

We actually made a conscious decision to get away from the LG (and subsequent PFS) way of doing things.  It was always such a downer to find this great item, then not be able to afford it ever again and have to give it up.  If a player has something another one needs - I hated that I had to take it back at the end of the mod.  Why couldn't I just erase it from my sheet and give it to the other person???

Personally, I hope that this kind of thing doesn't get into the SRM rules.  It works well for a level-based game, and SR is definitely not that.

Just my $.01 (not even worth the extra penny!)

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« Reply #2 on: (22:04:56/09-14-10) »
Four samurai at your table (a very possible scenario) all want the modded Ares Alpha I just mentioned. In your version, only one gets it, in mine, everyone can. If not after this adventure, then maybe after a couple down the road. And they can have it without any of the bollocks "4 for 1, spend your lifestyle" rules nonsense. And really, I would expect the prices to be quite a bit less than book (50%) seeing as how they're used gear and all.

And in terms of any "great items" you mentioned, you just save your nuyen and buy it later. Certainly easier than trying to get it via legwork and contacts.

And I don't agree that the PFS rules are any more valid for a "level-based" game than they are for one that is not. They are rules for "organized play" which Missions most certainly is.

KarmaInferno

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« Reply #3 on: (23:04:27/09-14-10) »
I dunno who'd you have to bribe for the author rights, but having a Claudia Tyger cameo would make my day.

:)



-karma

Bull

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« Reply #4 on: (00:43:20/09-15-10) »
One of the goals of Missions is to keep the game as close to the normal "Home tabletop" as possible.  And one of my goals with Season 4 is to simplify some of the stuff that's crept into it over the previous 3 seasons.  PFS has some good ideas, and I'm always willing to steal borrow pay homage to good ideas, so you never know.  :)

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« Reply #5 on: (08:32:19/09-15-10) »
Bull, if your stated goal is to make Missions as close to a home game as possible, then I think you've got your work cut out for you.

Firstly, many of the missions GMs that I've encountered have been afraid to stray from the "script" of the Mission. You would need to re-iterate, very clearly, in each of the Mission introductions that the GM is allowed to adjudicate when needed, and that their changes are valid for the Mission, and for the Shadowrunners when they have a signed cert. These adjudications could include bonus payouts for cleverly negotiated solutions, additional NPC contacts when interactions call for it, extra Karma for unforeseen circumstances, etc.

Secondly, as you know, we have the current 4/1 downtime ruling which of course is the very opposite of a home game.

Additionally, there's the prohibition against "optional" rules in the book even when those rules serve to add balance to the game.

Please understand, I don't doubt your good intentions, but frankly, I don't think you can merge a "home tabletop" feel with a living campaign. I believe one embraces either one or the other and accepts the consequences of that decision.

Wasabi

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« Reply #6 on: (22:48:14/09-15-10) »
I dont see why SRM's can't become the standard FOR a home game.Sure, every GM has their own way of doing things but some things are just out of whack and need to be corrected for. If the SRM Coordinator has a line to Catalyst, give them a gamer/GM's perspective on what had tpo be changed for balance and why and then let Catalyst errata the game to make the SRM houserule implemented to balance SRM's become a standard rule.

If the standard rules are used for typical house games and become more balanced in this fashion then the game improves over time. Those GM's wanting modification can and would still be able to change things since all I'm suggesting is balancing RAW.

Its not the responsibility of missions to make the game better but its as close to a test condition environment as the CGL Demo Team will find.
Missions Characters:
[SR4] Jax - Merc Technomancer
[SR5] Reece - Journalist TM

TranKirsaKali

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« Reply #7 on: (13:06:53/09-21-10) »
I really like the loot and go that we have now.  But then again I have never run into a problem with people fighting over gear.  It has always gone to either the person that needed it most or the one that really wanted it.  Heck I have had gear foisted on me.  Here have more we don't want to bother selling it. 

Deacon

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« Reply #8 on: (16:58:27/09-21-10) »
I dunno who'd you have to bribe for the author rights, but having a Claudia Tyger cameo would make my day.

Claudia's dead and gone.  She got blown up in the very end of Virtual Seattle.

The problem with the way Pathfinder handles gear is, they're still on the concept that magic items are rare and special.  In Shadowrun, gear is easily obtainable.  Get a Face at your table, and watch the high-Availability gear fall out of the sky, like manna from heaven.  (I play a Face in our Missions tables.  I've acquired some rather 'rare' items fairly easily.)  All you have to do to obtain gear is, make that Availability threshold and pay the nuyen.

If you scoop up some gear during the mission, fine and dandy.  But if one person nabs the modded Ares Alpha, that doesn't mean someone else can't nab that bodyguard's custom cybereyes (what?  he can get new eyes).  It's realistic that way.  And Shadowrun is a game partially based in reality.

-Deacon
« Last Edit: (17:12:34/09-21-10) by Deacon »
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« Reply #9 on: (22:01:03/09-21-10) »
I dunno who'd you have to bribe for the author rights, but having a Claudia Tyger cameo would make my day.

Claudia's dead and gone.  She got blown up in the very end of Virtual Seattle.

The problem with the way Pathfinder handles gear is, they're still on the concept that magic items are rare and special.  In Shadowrun, gear is easily obtainable.  Get a Face at your table, and watch the high-Availability gear fall out of the sky, like manna from heaven.  (I play a Face in our Missions tables.  I've acquired some rather 'rare' items fairly easily.)  All you have to do to obtain gear is, make that Availability threshold and pay the nuyen.

If you scoop up some gear during the mission, fine and dandy.  But if one person nabs the modded Ares Alpha, that doesn't mean someone else can't nab that bodyguard's custom cybereyes (what?  he can get new eyes).  It's realistic that way.  And Shadowrun is a game partially based in reality.

-Deacon

I will point out that, per the FAQ, both of your paragraphs are illegal (buying gear at the table and looting cyberware from dead enemies). Logical, but illegal nonetheless. I was trying to post a suggestion that works within the rules we have now. If those rules were thrown out...well...that's a different story.

Bull

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« Reply #10 on: (22:38:31/09-21-10) »
Buying gear at the table is something that's generally done at the cons, usually, provided there is time for the GM to witness the rolls and sign off on it.  The Downtime Rules are designed for things that happen between adventures, when there is no GM available.  And you have no guarantee that at the end of the adventure, you'll have the time to do the dice rolls for the GM.  So players shouldn't discount those rules altogether, or they may end up stuck waiting several adventures before it's possible to get a GM to handle those things.  The rules are really all that clear about it, one way or another, but that's how we've done it the last few years.

That said, I will make it a point to clarify that for Season 4's FAQ.  But, I'll also make sure to point out that a GM is under no obligation to let you hunt for equipment either, if he doesn't have the time.  I will also make sure to note it has to be done at the end of an adventure, so you don't risk wasting actual game time hunting for gear. 

Also, for people worried about down time searching for gear and the rules for using contacts...  I suspect a lot of people aren't using Street Cred and Loyalty dice bonuses.  Those help out a LOT. :)

Bull


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« Reply #11 on: (08:20:21/09-22-10) »
Buying gear at the table is something that's generally done at the cons, usually, provided there is time for the GM to witness the rolls and sign off on it.  The Downtime Rules are designed for things that happen between adventures, when there is no GM available.  And you have no guarantee that at the end of the adventure, you'll have the time to do the dice rolls for the GM.  So players shouldn't discount those rules altogether, or they may end up stuck waiting several adventures before it's possible to get a GM to handle those things.  The rules are really all that clear about it, one way or another, but that's how we've done it the last few years.

That said, I will make it a point to clarify that for Season 4's FAQ.  But, I'll also make sure to point out that a GM is under no obligation to let you hunt for equipment either, if he doesn't have the time.  I will also make sure to note it has to be done at the end of an adventure, so you don't risk wasting actual game time hunting for gear. 

Also, for people worried about down time searching for gear and the rules for using contacts...  I suspect a lot of people aren't using Street Cred and Loyalty dice bonuses.  Those help out a LOT. :)

Bull

Well, your predecessor made it VERY clear that purchasing gear was to be done ONLY during down time as per the rules in the FAQ. That was a decision I don't think anyone agreed with so I thank you for this OFFICIAL lessening of the restriction for all the Missions players out there.

Also, I believe you mean Street Cred and Connection dice bonuses.

Bull

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« Reply #12 on: (14:54:08/09-22-10) »
Loyalty, SR4A, pp. 285-286

Quote
The Loyalty rating is usually applied as bonus dice whenever the character is negotiating with the contact.

Any time you're looking for gear, the Loyalty Rating applies, IMO.  It represents that the contact will look a little extra hard for an item for you, bug his contacts a little more often, etc. due to his loyalty and/or friendship with you.

Yes, this makes Faces even more annoying.  But, it also means that characters that don't have a face available to them (Or whose face is booked solid for the next 4 months) have a better chance at getting gear on their own.

Bull


KarmaInferno

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« Reply #13 on: (18:41:57/09-22-10) »
I always viewed it as:

Connection adds to the CONTACT's dice pool when he is negotiating with third parties.

Loyalty adds to the PLAYER CHARACTER's dice pool when negotiating with the contact.





-karma

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« Reply #14 on: (19:42:27/09-22-10) »
Right, but technically, you're negotiating with the contact to get you that item, even if he's going through third parties.  It doesn't really specify, so I'm ruling it that way for Season 4.  Like I said, it'll help out a little for folks that are trying to get items through their contacts, rather than always relying on a face to do all the work.

Bull