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Micromanaging vs on the fly

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ragankrob

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« on: <02-11-14/0531:02> »
Hoi fellow GMs!

I was just wondering what you guys prefer to do when it comes to things like:

- pocket money: do you charge your players every time they have a beer or take a bus? do you include it in the lifestyle cost? just set a number for the session? do you check the books for the "appropriate prices" or just make it up?

- ammo: do you keep track of every bullet? do the players only run out of ammo when it "fits the story"? what about NPCs? how many extra clips are people carrying around with them?


Kanly

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« Reply #1 on: <02-11-14/0617:05> »
Beer, bus ticket, club entrance fee, ramen etc - all in lifestyle. It's meant to be in it.

What wouldn't be in it: survival rations in your car or bag.

Ammo: I keep count for my character. I figured players do too when I'm GMing. Let's hope it's true :D
On a more helpful note: it's up to you. If you find it exciting to keep count, do it. If you find it a nuisance, don't.

Number of clips, grenades etc: It's good to assume a sensible number. ~3 clips for every weapon and around 3 grenades are fine. For really combat oriented characters that could go up to 10-ish extra clips for their main weapons and numerous grenades if need be. Just keep it reasonable. You can keep about 8 clips on a tactical vest? More if you use every last pocket and crease for that but good luck drawing from there...

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #2 on: <02-11-14/0652:51> »
Unless they start eating in expensive places without the Johnson footing the bill, or go to a real expensive place, it's all included in the lifestyle. And a Middle Lifestyle will get that occasional expensive meal as Lifestyle benefit.

Players should keep track of their ammo. I assume they automatically reload inbetween fights, so no need bothering with that.

NPCS tend to have 0~3 spare clips in the Missions I read. Seems reasonable for everyone, if you want more you can keep it in your backpack/bag/etc.
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Namikaze

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« Reply #3 on: <02-11-14/0920:11> »
Lifestyle includes these categories in the Runners Companion (4th edition supplement): Comforts, Entertainment, Necessities, Neighborhood, Security.  Neighborhood and Security are more about where the lifestyle is located and don't directly play into the character's pocket money.  But food, drink, trideos, and furniture are all included.  Also, according to the expanded rules of Lifestyle presented in that book, andyone with a High lifestyle also includes a car lease as part of their lifestyle.  It's probably nothing too fancy (no S-K Bentley Concordats), and it's a lease so you can't go plugging it full of holes, but at least they don't have to ride the bus.

As far as ammo goes, I generally only worry about what's in their magazines at the moment.  If there's an issue about transporting their ammo, or something like that I'll worry about it.  Also, it can be a good story element when the runners need to go and buy 2000 APDS rounds and Knight Errant hears about this huge deal going down.  So sometimes I'll make them go and replenish their supplies just for that kind of situation.
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Grahm

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« Reply #4 on: <02-11-14/1733:56> »
Also ask yourself often:
Does it matter?

If the characters are poor, having to come up for the cash to blend into a luxury restaurant is interesting. The players will care about the money.

On the other hand, if its just a background location where they happen to be meeting someone and you selected it for high security, not to emphasize how unfair the world is, best to ignore it.

And yeah, lifestyle covers most of it.
And don't be afraid to abstract. If players hate buying ammo and clips, charge them whatever 1000 of those bullets cost and call it good. (Or 100 grenades).

Plus it sets the stage for good storytelling.
Player wants to do a backflip off the table during a gunfight and shoot while upside down.
You could look up the rules.
Or just say gymnastics 2, whateves. Counts as movement. But no defensive bonus.
I.e. rules wise player could just hop down. There's no effect except "looks cool". No reason not to let a player do it easily.

Don't get bogged down in rules.
Troll has a combat axe. Wants to kick in a door.
You know that there's no one in the room and he could easily break in with his axe.
Just set an arbitrary str plus unarmed 4 test, and let him do it.

Just make it clear at all times that if it was really important (oak door and he's being shot at) you might be a lot more technical. On the other hand, if you know that in the rules he could easily do it with the axe, no reason not to let him use his foot equally effectively on the door. Because ultimately it doesn't matter because he could easily have used the axe.


Heck, I'd let em drop 10k into misc electronics and pull stuff out at random (availability 4 or less). Yeah, you have as many rfids as you need for the job from your 10k electronics bag. Even a stealth tag or three and a bug zapper.

I love spreadsheets in character creation, but if a player hates it, I would try to work around it where you can.
I.e if a player could either (a) easily afford it or (b) just skip it without an issue, its not worth the effort.

Does it matter if the char eats dinner or has water? If not, let him order a big raw steak to prove his elf isn't a hipppy flower hugging elf.


All4BigGuns

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« Reply #5 on: <02-11-14/1752:10> »
Hoi fellow GMs!

I was just wondering what you guys prefer to do when it comes to things like:

- pocket money: do you charge your players every time they have a beer or take a bus? do you include it in the lifestyle cost? just set a number for the session? do you check the books for the "appropriate prices" or just make it up?

- ammo: do you keep track of every bullet? do the players only run out of ammo when it "fits the story"? what about NPCs? how many extra clips are people carrying around with them?

This is very much something that differs between tables. Some go into intense (and IMO annoying) detail with every bullet and single-nuyen being counted and others don't.

Personally, if I ever run again (still iffy on doing so, as I don't enjoy GMing all that much), I'll probably stick with just assuming the characters have whatever ammo they need at the moment and roll all those sundry costs like dinners, drinks and bus/cab fare into lifestyle (I mean come on, that IS what lifestyle is for after all). Anything to keep the game cool and fun without bogging down into micromanaging drudgery.
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JackVII

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« Reply #6 on: <02-11-14/1757:19> »
I'm in a PbP where we track them pretty closely. It's actually pretty fun (IMO, but I love spreadsheets) and gives some clear mechanical distinctions for lifestyles beyond grid access. We have one squatter, two low lifestyle, and one medium lifestyle characters. Different people get charged for different stuff, for others it is rolled into their lifestyle.

Haven't really dealt with ammo yet, but I imagine it will also be fairly exact.
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All4BigGuns

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« Reply #7 on: <02-11-14/1811:32> »
Let me clarify that position a bit. I'm more if a player wants to go that detailed with their ammo (still rolling everything else into lifestyle), fine, but I'm not going to force it for everyone. Basically just going with whatever a given player prefers for their character.


As to the vehicle that's gained at higher lifestyle ratings (I think it starts at Middle rather than High), it is stated that that vehicle can't be modified, so if they want one with modifications, they would still have to buy a separate one for that.
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ragankrob

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« Reply #8 on: <02-12-14/0903:45> »
Thanks for sharing your different approaches to this matter. I'm just generally curious when it comes to these things.

I personally hate bookkeeping. So I work with abstract values most of the time, specially when it comes to money. Very specific items cost money but I will also usually just use Lifestyles to cover general stuff.

WIth ammo I've done it both ways, but like some of you have mentioned it varies greatly depending on the players. If they are good/willing to keep track of their own ammo then it works perfectly and they will tell you when they need to reload and such. It's cool to have that level of detail, but I also try to keep things running smoothly.