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Tighter Karma in SR5

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Ricochet

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« on: <07-12-13/1835:28> »
Our GM is prepping for our first season 5 mission session tomorrow and mentioned something interesting.  Individual Karma awards go away in SR5.  As a result, for each mission, a character gets 1-3 karma less, which makes a huge difference over time.

I thought there must be a mistake, or maybe something strange to sprawl wilds, so I went right to the SR5 core book to read the karma section.  Indeed, there are no individual rewards anymore in the book.  I completely missed this the first time through (it just didn't stick out.)    It is possible to make up for this by playing "feel good" missions for +2 karma and reduced cash, but standard rewards are definitely reduced.

One of the biggest things this made me think is that this is a big balance shift.  Street Sams and other money hungry players (deckers) may have a bigger advantage in advancement than what I'd have initially estimated.   It seems there is more cash per karma awarded, meaning you should be able to buy gear more often compared to doing things like initiating.  A 40% slowdown (estimated) in karma makes mages go much slower in particular.

I do have to say it has me rethinking my character slightly, perhaps looking at how to advance with money over karma in the early going.

Crunch

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« Reply #1 on: <07-12-13/1850:46> »
There's no reason your GM can't add discretionary rewards back in.

RHat

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« Reply #2 on: <07-12-13/1854:27> »
There's no reason your GM can't add discretionary rewards back in.

Not for Missions play, he can't.
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Crunch

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« Reply #3 on: <07-12-13/1912:03> »
There's no reason your GM can't add discretionary rewards back in.

Not for Missions play, he can't.

Point. How generous were the rewards for missions before? I think of 6 Karma (the current standard for completing a mission that includes an enemy with any die pool at 12 or higher) as pretty reasonable. Was Missions being a lot more generous than that?

StarManta

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« Reply #4 on: <07-12-13/1916:23> »
I've never seen extra Karma awarded to individuals in Missions play.

Lysanderz

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« Reply #5 on: <07-12-13/1919:48> »
This is another case of "Do what is best for your table."

Ricochet

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« Reply #6 on: <07-12-13/1927:30> »
I haven't read sprawl wilds, so I can't tell you exactly how it goes, but my GM says the adventures range from 3-5 karma, with an additional 1-3 in bonuses only if you are playing SR4.  That is what made it much more obvious.  It's as much as a 100% bonus.

Bull

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« Reply #7 on: <07-12-13/2007:13> »
When SR5 was being designed, one of the things we wanted to do was make Edge more dynamic. In many games, Edge got hoarded until the end of the session, because players weren't expecting it to refresh until the next game session.  This, to us, was boring, because edge is fun.

So one of the things we did was take the "personal rewards" from Karma and move them to edge...  So now clever strategy or humor or whatever should earn you an edge refresh instead of an extra point of karma.  It also means you can earn these awards multiple times in a game session, potentially.  This encourages players to be funny, spontaneous, and creative at the table, and encourages them to spend edge as well.

The downside is that this means that Missions awards were effected some as well, since we use the base rules for our award guidelines.  Most Missions should net between 6 and 8 Karma now (6 being for an easier-average Mission, 7-8 being for more difficult and challenging Missions).

That said, something we're considering implementing is a Nuyen <--> Karma exchange rate, and rules for using (and not abusing) it.  It's up in the air and may not happen if we can't find a spot we like, but if it goes through would alleviate some problems certain character types have. 

Bull

Bull

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« Reply #8 on: <07-12-13/2008:34> »
Also as a note, in Season 2 and 3, Missions generally capped out at 6 Karma, period. 

Ricochet

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« Reply #9 on: <07-12-13/2027:45> »
Didn't mean the karma change is a bad thing, mostly just an observation.  A lot of people looked at the new cyber costs and were comparing how many times mages will be intiating and raising magic while a Street Sam is saving for a single pieces of gear.  I mostly wanted to point out that there is yet another change to take into account.  Making a judgment in a vacuum about the balance of classes is likely to not give the best answer.  The overall game has a lot of subtle (and some not so subtle) changes that overall make the balance.

This just happened to be a change I hadn't seen mentioned, and it does have an affect on advancement. 

If season 5 missions are around 6 karma, I consider that a fairly standard amount.  I was surprised to hear one of the sprawl wild missions (not sure which one) caps at 3.

Bull

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« Reply #10 on: <07-12-13/2035:33> »
Just did a quick run through of Sprawl Wilds, and it's 6, 6, 8, and 6 max Karma.  I think I see the problem though. 

The adventures themselves were originally written for SR4 (and most were done during season 3 even), and as such have the "Characters earn 1-3 karma for Missions goals, and 1-3 for good roleplaying" stuff.  If taken at face value, this means that yes, under SR5 they would technically cap out at 3 rather than 6.  However, you need to factor in the difficulty of the Mission and a couple other factors, which should raise the value back up to 6.  It's worded a little ambiguously, I admit, but man, I like to keep a tight reign on my players karma and nuyen, but even I'm not that tight-fisted! :)

Have your GM refer to the SR5 Karma Awards.

Bull

Ricochet

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« Reply #11 on: <07-12-13/2102:19> »
Awesome.  I'll refer them to this post.  Comes straight from the top.


Ricochet

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« Reply #12 on: <07-12-13/2109:51> »
It's worded a little ambiguously, I admit, but man, I like to keep a tight reign on my players karma and nuyen, but even I'm not that tight-fisted! :)

Actually the GM jokingly asked if I wrote these, since I'm known for being pretty tight on rewards.

Veggiesama

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« Reply #13 on: <07-12-13/2205:06> »
I do wish a "Nuyen <--> Karma exchange rate" made it into the GM advice. In character creation, a sidebar for high/low-level play states that 1 Karma can be traded for 2000 nuyen, but that's not codified anywhere else. I punched some numbers into the GM advice tables for karma/nuyen rewards and got a ratio of anywhere from 1 karma : 1500 nuyen to 1 karma : 3000 nuyen, so 1 : 2000 seems like a fair trade.

I too think base rewards feel pretty tight, but knowing that ratio lets me easily adjust my home games for faster progression.

Also, I really like the idea that "good feeling" runs grant more karma and "cold-hearted bastard" runs are more about nuyen. That feels right. Though I might do it in a more exaggerated way if I wanted the players to know that (like 50% more karma for good feelings, or 50% nuyen for cold-hearted bastard).