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"Don't get attached to your character..."

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Kincaid

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« Reply #15 on: (09:45:10/05-13-14) »
I'm with farothel on this one.  The lethality of Shadowrun is nothing compared to the lethality of L5R.

Shadowrun is deadly-ish, and if you're coming from the decidedly undeadly world of D&D, it can be quite a transition.  Hand of God keeps allows you to keep a character to whom you've grown attached, but the frequency with which you find yourself down for the count drives home the stakes of the game.  I think 5e does a pretty good job of balancing fun and risk.
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Namikaze

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« Reply #16 on: (11:24:13/05-13-14) »
I think 5e does a pretty good job of balancing fun and risk.

I agree.  Out of my games in Shadowrun, only a few characters have died.  This is because there's that lovely overflow box, automatic stablization with patches and medkits, and of course the Hand of God.  If I'm going to kill someone in my games, I have to really work at it.  Beheading and immolation work well.
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prismite

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« Reply #17 on: (14:37:55/05-13-14) »
As a guy who started GMing back in the day for Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition (a real meat-grinder rpg imo) I often have trouble with rules that bail players out of trouble. For example, in my last group we played 4th edition SR. I banned any rule of edge that didnt directly deal with rolling dice. That meant that "Hand of God" and buying a critical success were off the table. That was because In that group it (hand of god) seemed to encourage people to plan poorly (if at all) then do something that would have normally lead to death. (Example: player leaped off the top of the Space Needle and splatted on the ground ... then activated hand of god. It was this action that made me ban it going forward).

I like to run my games with a gritty and lethal feel to the world. I enjoy the sessions more when the players are running and gunning with the knowledge that 1 bullet could make a difference. 5th edition is much more suited for that than 4th because all guns have increased damages. Despite that, my death count as GM is something like SR4: 4 vs SR5: 0 so far. Typically, my mindset is that you (as a character) must have been through the mud and blood before you can be considered seasoned.

However ... lately I've been trading the GM seat with another fellow at the table and he seems to have a "let the players have whatever they want" mentality. I both like and hate it. I like it because as a Player its more fun to stampede through things and be successfull with outrageous plans. I hate it because as co-GM it's like an 'easy-mode' for the players.

Dont get me wrong, I realize that its mostly my tyrannical sense of oppression that has caused my view of things so I dont fault him at all. I have tried to lean more towards his style so that when I GM for the same group, things are little more light-hearted. Its not going well but I'm trying  :P

Our game has been running for a while now and we have characters that are nearing the 200 karma mark, where a true "Prime Runner" is (again, IMO).

Characters of note:
     Meter Maid: Earned his nickname when he failed to hack  (glitched) a parking meter downtown and burned an R6 fake sin. His run-mates gave him the name and took to calling him Meter in front of other people when he was 'good'.
     Angry Smurf: a blue Oni with a bad temper whose love for his Krime Cannon and his uncouth nature became the stuff of nightmares (and legends).
     Cheshire: The man with a million dollar smile. He was a typical face but his team were all "murder-hobos" ... a term meaning characters designed around nothing more than combat and the willingness to blow people away in the broad daylight. He did NOT enjoy his job.
     The Bull: A minotaur Troll variant Ex Military type. One of the aforementioned team and a consumate source of entertainment as he created words on the fly for anything he didnt have a word for. Imagine the confusion.
     Friendly: another party face who earned the name "Friendly Fire" when she blasted her whole team with a ball lightning that nearly killed everyone to a man. Called 'Friendly' openly to avoid nasty looks :)


« Last Edit: (14:39:39/05-13-14) by prismite »
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MortimerBane

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« Reply #18 on: (14:57:00/05-13-14) »
I think SR is inherently because any guy on the street can kill your super champ if they get the jump on him.  Its the thing about only having 10 hps that make it so lethal IMHO.

firebug

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« Reply #19 on: (15:13:57/05-13-14) »
I think SR is inherently because any guy on the street can kill your super champ if they get the jump on him.  Its the thing about only having 10 hps that make it so lethal IMHO.

Even then, there's a lot of ways to be pretty safe.  The street samurai, for instance, can often end up more or less immune to small arms fire while naked, due to his augmentations.  Combined with the fact that a significant amount of "armor" is close enough to clothing for someone to sleep in (especially if that someone already has plates of armor inside their body), a PC is rarely going to be unarmored.

However, where the lethality comes in is that not everyone in the group can be that.  Deckers don't usually have that level of augmentation, though some is quite possible, and magicians could be caught off-guard, as no mage can really afford to constantly walk around with a glowing Armor spell.  Faces and TMs are often even worse off; a Social Adept won't have armor augments or spells, and Mystic Armor is extremely costly.  A mundane Face can offset much of penalty to Social Limit caused by low Essence with Tailored Pheremones, but still generally avoids heavy augmentation.  A TM has no supernatural way to increase their armor and avoids augmentation like a magician does--  In terms of physical damage, they're the most vulnerable archetype.

Still, the fact that you can sit around in your house wearing enough armor to make it so you couldn't die from a random ganger drive-by makes it better.
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Demon_Bob

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« Reply #20 on: (19:08:37/05-13-14) »
I think SR is inherently because any guy on the street can kill your super champ if they get the jump on him.  Its the thing about only having 10 hps that make it so lethal IMHO.
Still, the fact that you can sit around in your house wearing enough armor to make it so you couldn't die from a random ganger drive-by makes it better.
True enough.  I did play with a guy who would consistently bad mouth the local gangs, in character, and the GM out of character.
One night the gangs waited until he went to sleep at his low lifestyle in the barrens, blew out his bed room window, then lobbed incendiary and frag grenades inside.

A guy in a game I was running decided to split off from the group, then when two guards decided to question him, instead of playing innocent, or running, he mana bolted one of them.
Initiative was rolled he got less than both guards, the first guard opened up with two short bursts, and his character died on his first run.
I asked if he wanted to use hand of god, and add a rescue goal for the team, when he left the table.

Kincaid

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« Reply #21 on: (20:49:08/05-13-14) »
Death in Shadowrun may be rare, but it can be really funny.

For newer players, I give Karen's (in)famous CLUE files.  Lots of death, always well deserved.

http://www.highprogrammer.com/alan/gaming/shadowrun/clue-files.html

Seriously, give it 5 minutes of your time.  You'll be amazed.
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firebug

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« Reply #22 on: (20:49:46/05-13-14) »
Still, the fact that you can sit around in your house wearing enough armor to make it so you couldn't die from a random ganger drive-by makes it better.
True enough.  I did play with a guy who would consistently bad mouth the local gangs, in character, and the GM out of character.
One night the gangs waited until he went to sleep at his low lifestyle in the barrens, blew out his bed room window, then lobbed incendiary and frag grenades inside.

A guy in a game I was running decided to split off from the group, then when two guards decided to question him, instead of playing innocent, or running, he mana bolted one of them.
Initiative was rolled he got less than both guards, the first guard opened up with two short bursts, and his character died on his first run.
I asked if he wanted to use hand of god, and add a rescue goal for the team, when he left the table.

Well, there's no armor against stupidity.
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Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.

WellsIDidIt

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« Reply #23 on: (22:43:48/05-13-14) »
90% of player deaths in RPGs I've played can be attributed to stupidity. Usually it's player stupidity, but sometimes it's GM stupidity too. There are GMs out there that just cannot balance an encounter to save their lives.

That said, SR4/5 are some of the least lethal games I've played. SR3 was a much more lethal if you botched a job. D&D at lower levels is much more lethal. Deadlands (classic at least) is leaps and bounds more lethal.

Of course, I've seen more PvP character deaths in Shadowrun than the rest combined. It really seems to come down to player and GM style more than system.

Quote
Shadowrun has had the Hand of God as long as I can remember - which has made it one of the most survivable games on the market for pretty much its entire life.
In SR3, hand of god was an optional rule. If the GM did choose to use it, it was a once in a lifetime (character not player) option.

Reiper

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« Reply #24 on: (02:21:33/05-14-14) »
I tend to spend a lot of time on my character creation with adding fluff, so I do tend to get attached to my character, but if they die, that means I get to make a new character (which is something I love doing anyways).

But I've been playing off and on since 3rd Edition, and I've only had two die. One I was disarming a bomb and rolled 13 1's, and the other sacrificed himself for the team.

And as a GM, I've killed 3, and forced one into retirement (mage gone burnt out), and out of the 3 deaths, 2 were due to players doing really dumb things, and the 3rd was the team just had some really bad rolls, and tried pushing their luck too far anyways.
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Noble Drake

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« Reply #25 on: (06:02:54/05-14-14) »
In SR3, hand of god was an optional rule. If the GM did choose to use it, it was a once in a lifetime (character not player) option.
That is true.

At the same time, however, it was also a lot less likely that things would go so far south on you that you had to ask if you could invoke the Hand of God rule - primarily because of how quickly Karma Pool would grow to significantly high numbers, and it refreshed every gaming session (unless the GM decided otherwise - but lets be honest, if you have a GM trying to kill characters and changing the rules to make it easier for him to accomplish, then there are going to be a mighty sum of dead characters).

prismite

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« Reply #26 on: (09:00:12/05-14-14) »
lets be honest, if you have a GM trying to kill characters and changing the rules to make it easier for him to accomplish, then there are going to be a mighty sum of dead characters

Hmm. When I initially banned the use of "Hand of God" it was solely to make my players start thinking instead of relying on a "get-out-of-jail-free" type of mechanic.

I don't (nor have I ever) went after a player with the sole purpose of killing them. Thats just not fun. More often than not I find myself having to pull back the difficulty or trying to bail out a character (on the back end) because of a night of crappy dice rolls or another player being stupid.

Example: One mission I put a party on was to track and eliminate this "world-class" elven hitman. One of the party handed me a folded note saying that he was putting a bounty (and a large one at that) on one of his co-runners. It was an effort to draw out the assassin. It took all of  my being not to be a d-bag to the unsuspecting player.
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Noble Drake

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« Reply #27 on: (09:32:28/05-14-14) »
lets be honest, if you have a GM trying to kill characters and changing the rules to make it easier for him to accomplish, then there are going to be a mighty sum of dead characters

Hmm. When I initially banned the use of "Hand of God" it was solely to make my players start thinking instead of relying on a "get-out-of-jail-free" type of mechanic.

I don't (nor have I ever) went after a player with the sole purpose of killing them. Thats just not fun. More often than not I find myself having to pull back the difficulty or trying to bail out a character (on the back end) because of a night of crappy dice rolls or another player being stupid.

Example: One mission I put a party on was to track and eliminate this "world-class" elven hitman. One of the party handed me a folded note saying that he was putting a bounty (and a large one at that) on one of his co-runners. It was an effort to draw out the assassin. It took all of  my being not to be a d-bag to the unsuspecting player.

I apologize if something I said made you think I was talking about you - I never meant to imply that the only reason someone could possibly house-rule a character-life-saving rule out of the game was because they were making an effort to kill characters.

I mean, I've played entire campaigns of D&D were all spells and magic items that would bring a character back from the dead were house ruled out for reasons that weren't me trying to rack up a kill count.

Mithlas

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« Reply #28 on: (14:49:44/05-14-14) »
1) Do you have players who also believe that getting attached to a character is bad news? How do you feel about this?
I don't think it's possible to not be invested in your character. I had a longer write-up, but apparently the post disappeared so I'll just point to Firebug's post.

2) How do you handle character death when it occurs?
I created a new character and the game continued. As a GM I've never seen one of the PCs die, and as a player I've only had 1 character die (it wasn't in a Shadowrun game anyway), but I'm a writer and take my PC the same as I'd take one of my original stories' characters - they're not expendable, but if they have plot armour that means they will never die then they'll become boring. I detest plot armour and stories where Status Quo never changes. There has to be that possibility for the full range of exploration of humanity, existence, and life - that includes growth as well as death, because if only one of those exist then the other is soured by the absence.

3) Do you have a long term game going? Any long running characters? I'd love to hear about them.
Most of the games I've been in were long-running, all of them having the games die before the characters. Since I view characters in role-playing as an experimental opportunity I shrug and move on to the next set of data collection.

I think it's necessary for good roleplay; someone who doesn't care about their character isn't as invested in that character's story.  They won't care as much if bad things happen to that character.  Similarly, they likely won't empathize with other players if bad things happen to their characters.
Better put than I could think of.

prismite

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« Reply #29 on: (15:33:35/05-14-14) »
...because if only one of those exist then the other is soured by the absence.

Thats on the verge of dark poetry right there. Beautifully said, sir!
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