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No Looting?

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Vertigo916 "Patches"

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« on: (13:59:31/06-19-14) »
I had this mentioned to me a few times at origins and it puzzled me.


I understand that a hardware test "MUST" be made before you can use an item as you need to become the owner etc.. Most people forget this and just pick up a gun with a smart link etc and start blasting away..

But what if a player has the required hardware skill to buy the hits (as its a down time action) I think it comes out to like 15 dice in hardware..

Im asking for 2 reasons..

1. Im getting ready to start GM'ing
2. I have a character with 15 dice in hardware.. (took a good bit of karma to get there)

That aside i know we are not suposed to add outlandish items in to try and keep balance etc for mission play but if its listed on the sheet.. Or they shoot a spider in the head (and take his board) what then?
I trust the player, If I don't whats the point?

KarmaInferno

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« Reply #1 on: (17:32:53/06-19-14) »
I dunno, we looted tons of stuff so far in Season 5, same as we did in previous seasons.

Yes, it's not 'yours' until you spend the downtime, but nothing stopping your from fencing the stuff.




-k

Vertigo916 "Patches"

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« Reply #2 on: (18:55:09/06-19-14) »
I dunno, we looted tons of stuff so far in Season 5, same as we did in previous seasons.

Yes, it's not 'yours' until you spend the downtime, but nothing stopping your from fencing the stuff.




-k

Our tables we picked up most things as well. (and fenced 90% of it for a quick extra payday at the end), but i was just wondering where the logic behind not being able to keep stuff came from.

We did keep a handful of items (i picked up a deck for example) and took the time to transfer its ownership.

I'm not arguing about the hardware test in the slightest as it makes sense. Most people don't realize that almost every thing has a wireless function in shadowrun. Hell even your armor is technically wireless. (bio monitors etc).

I guess what im trying to say.. Other than the hardware test to "own it" to use it long term is there any reason to not let players pick up the stuff in the module. (a guideline for judges or what not thats established for the game or something?)

If you dont take the time to "own it" then the item reports to its previous owner its location etc. heck im not even sure you can swap it off line with out "owning" it.
I trust the player, If I don't whats the point?

Bull

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« Reply #3 on: (22:57:35/06-19-14) »
GMs are supposed to limit looting as much as possible, within reason.  Picking up a few guns or some ammo, no big deal.  Stealing every vehicle, drone, and stripping down multiple bodies for cyberware?  That starts to become an issue. 

One of the reasons is that we're attempting to maintain a certain balance among the characters.  Without levels or anything else to put a limitation on what characters play what games, certain things can start skewing the balance of a game really, really fast, even moreso than karma.  Especially if heavy duty weapons, gear, or cyberware are nabbed.

Another is time.  Some players have, in the past, gotten a bit...  loot happy.  To the point where it was actively detrimental to the rest of their group and to the game as a whole as they start running around trying to find ways to steal everything that's not nailed down, rather than focusing on completing the Mission (And in a convention setting, with under 4 hours when you might be playing with 5+ strangers, this can be a problem).

Looting is generally allowed within reason, but players shouldn't be steal-happy.  That's not really the point, and it forces the designers to start reconsidering how we present adventures and even the rules for Missions as a whole.  There's a reason we enforce some pretty strict fencing rules, for example.  We don't want "loot inflation" to destroy the Missions game balance.  We write and design based on X karma and Y money, with Z additional revenue picked up here and there.  GMs will tweak as needed, but the less they need to tweak, the better.  And the less a newer, starting character feels outclassed, also the better.

Pathfinder Society is something we've been watching carefully, and it's been suggested to us numerous times (by both GMs and players) to adopt something similar to their method, where straight-up you don't keep anything you loot.  Instead at the end of the adventure you get a set amount of bonus cash, and you can spend that on specific items that appeared in the adventure.  This allows for multiple characters to end up with that +3 sword of ogre slaying that one enemy had, for example.  It also prevents characters from managing to acquire the "Vorpal Sword of God Slaying and World Devouring" that was the McGuffin the boss monster had.  This is something I'm seriously debating instituting. 

I'm avoiding it for now, hoping that our players are willing to be reasonable and that our GMs can keep things moving and out of their hands... But frankly it really sucks that I have to seriously considering giving NPCs any expensive gear to help make them more of a realistic challenge, simply because I know PCs will go "Look!  Expensive Cyberdeck!  Attack Chopper!  Rocket Launchers!  Wired 3!  Steal it alll!!!!!!!!"

KarmaInferno

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« Reply #4 on: (00:04:08/06-20-14) »
Ooohhh... attack chopper... pretty...



-k

Vertigo916 "Patches"

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« Reply #5 on: (07:41:15/06-20-14) »
@Bull

Ok, so its for the reasons i suspected.

We have the same issue with loot creep in the Spark Force 7 Living game I play / Gm in. Honestly I think a lot of the loot craze comes from players wanting to do things they cant do in real life (steal every thing thats nailed down), A friend and I have talked at length about this topic, what causes it, and how to bring it in line.   

Personally speaking the numbers I'm talking about are generally around 1-2k a person (split evenly) to every one at the table. We did have someone try and parts out cyber on a corpse before but "no one was buying", I think it was handled pretty well by the judge at origins.

I assume those type of numbers are in line with what you expect from an average table as we don't go out of our way, but we do at least grab the "big" items. Generally speaking we are almost always on some type of time crunch which limits what we can do, and frankly carrying capacity becomes an issue once you cross a point as well. (^_^)

Though.. I did pack up a rating 3 host at origins that someone left in a certain cabin in the woods. We had plenty of time and we turned it into the Johnson for a small bonus. Think 5K total split 8 ways? The mission specially was a little light on gun toting enemies so we improvised a little lol. All the mundanes at the table had a good laugh about it, as the 2 adepts, 1 mystic adept and 1 mage were all busy stroking and whispering to their new foci.

I guess the point of this ramble (beyond story time) is to make sure i have a grasp of whats "ok" within the SRM play as a future judge.

In summation I'm assuming as a judge I should probably try to limit the max carry out of a mission to about 2k a person?. (excluding a deck or something "big" once in a while when the mission calls it out specifically)
I trust the player, If I don't whats the point?

JimmyCrisis

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« Reply #6 on: (08:31:41/06-20-14) »

I'm avoiding it for now, hoping that our players are willing to be reasonable and that our GMs can keep things moving and out of their hands... But frankly it really sucks that I have to seriously considering giving NPCs any expensive gear to help make them more of a realistic challenge, simply because I know PCs will go "Look!  Expensive Cyberdeck!  Attack Chopper!  Rocket Launchers!  Wired 3!  Steal it alll!!!!!!!!"

I would just give the gear serious drawbacks and contingency deterrents.  Also, is there a way to use a Data Bomb to prevent change of ownership?  Just a thought.

... Would anyone even buy used Wired 3?  Isn't that immediately essence fatal?

Vertigo916 "Patches"

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« Reply #7 on: (10:03:06/06-20-14) »
This is my opinion so please take it with a grain of salt.

As a player, It feels like you have been cheated when you put in "non standard" deterrents simply to keep you from picking up that shotgun.. Not to mention highly unnecessary.

To be honest it falls on both the judge and the player in a living game to play with in the realm of reason. You simply can not regulate someone who is willing to do nothing but try and work around the system. Even pathfinder (mentioned above) has some serious flaws and ends up with quite a bit of unbalance due to "Item sniping" / only playing the "optimal" modules at the "optimal" times. Hell some of the guys locally have what modules they are going to play in what order planned out as part of their character progression and i think thats just silly..

In short.. You can wright the best rules in the world.. but someone will always find a way to work around them to create imbalance. I liked the saying i heard several times at origins..

"I trust the player, If I don't whats the point?" 

I had never heard that until i played shadowrun for the first time at 2013 origins. I fully plan on adopting that as my new Gm motto no matter what system it happens to be.
« Last Edit: (10:05:48/06-20-14) by Vertigo916 "Patches" »
I trust the player, If I don't whats the point?

Timothy M. Patrick

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« Reply #8 on: (12:16:18/06-20-14) »
As a long time GM I fin the best way to keep extreme looting to a minimum is to introduce factors like sirens in the distance or locals coming out now that the gun fire has ended. I find the ones who go around full auto and tossing grenades are usually the ones to go looking to chop up the bodies.  Notoriety is also my friend and I love to give it out.
Co-Host of CriticalGlitch a Shadowrun podcast Criticalglitch.com

Vertigo916 "Patches"

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« Reply #9 on: (13:02:26/06-20-14) »
Heh, yea those are very effective as well as "most" people are more illegal than legal when it comes to gear lol.

Side note: Notoriety doesn't bother me if i deserve it.. Only received one so far and it was for shooting a dude in the head for having hit his wife. Forget what module it was in but the dude deserved it (^_^) still dont feel bad about that one lol.

IMO it was good story telling to make me actually hate a NPC to the point i would take a penalty just to end him lol.
I trust the player, If I don't whats the point?

Bull

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« Reply #10 on: (14:33:35/06-20-14) »
A few grand worth of "looting" per person (Which, with the fencing cap of 30%, can be quite a bit of loot) isn't an issue.  It's the high value, big ticket items (or the TRUCKLOADS of items) that end up being worth more than the run paid itself per person which is where it starts becoming an issue, especially if they start to become a hindrance to gameplay.  Especially if characters start trying to deliberately capitalize on it (I had a player during Season 4 email me to ask if he was allowed to spend his downtime stealing cars to fence, for example).

For the time being, we're not going to say "no looting", but GMs should keep it under control and keep it sane.  Looting should not be a shortcut to a major character upgrade, nor should it be a major source of extra income.  It should be a small bonus, at best, or a way to pick up an extra gun here or there.

DWC

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« Reply #11 on: (22:36:55/06-20-14) »
Ooohhh... attack chopper... pretty...



-k

I miss Manhattan.  So many stolen helicopters sold to the Neo-Anarchists.

MijRai

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« Reply #12 on: (17:24:26/07-10-14) »
I like the way my Shadowrun GM (and other games too) handles looting.  If we manage to identify, infiltrate and eliminate an entire place, no sirens, plenty of time on our hands?  We loot like it's a bard concert festival.  If we end up getting attacked in the middle of the street by some gangers, and some collateral damage ends up happening (RIP, last home-owned bakery in London...), then the sirens are screaming their way in, and we don't have a chance to even finish off the two or three bad guys left (out of a dozen, we had a very well placed grenade and a very fortuitous implementation of the car shock defense out of someone who used the wrong motorcycle as cover).  Or our first wetwork job, taking out the guy who sent the gangers (we were going to do it anyways, we just knew someone would pay us too), where after a Steel Lynx activated part-way through our infiltration and looting.  We had to high-tail it out quick with a head in a sack and a little bit of loot, while the building was collapsing on top of our rigger's 3 expensive combat drones (and the Steel Lynx, but damn we wanted to steal that).  Basically, he uses looting as a reward for doing the job right, especially since you'll need the money to replace losses when things go pear-shaped. 

Especially if characters start trying to deliberately capitalize on it (I had a player during Season 4 email me to ask if he was allowed to spend his downtime stealing cars to fence, for example).

My answer on that (and my GM, we came up with the name for it) is the Rule of Americar.  If you can get more money stealing Americars, Jackrabbits, what-have-you, then you get 'running, why are you 'running?  It's the risk-to-reward ratio.
Would you want to go into a place where the resident had a drum-fed shotgun and can see in the dark?

Emperors Grace

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« Reply #13 on: (17:33:30/07-11-14) »
Pathfinder Society is something we've been watching carefully, and it's been suggested to us numerous times (by both GMs and players) to adopt something similar to their method, where straight-up you don't keep anything you loot.  Instead at the end of the adventure you get a set amount of bonus cash, and you can spend that on specific items that appeared in the adventure.  This allows for multiple characters to end up with that +3 sword of ogre slaying that one enemy had, for example.  It also prevents characters from managing to acquire the "Vorpal Sword of God Slaying and World Devouring" that was the McGuffin the boss monster had.  This is something I'm seriously debating instituting.

This idea actually sounds quite interesting to me.  Seems to save time and increase equitable division.