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Grunts

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Critias

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« Reply #15 on: <09-01-11/1816:01> »
I know that for the adventures I've written, my design philosophy has been fairly simple:  it's easier for an experienced GM with tough, experienced, PCs to ramp up the difficulty, than it is for a noob GM with noob, softer, PCs to ramp difficulty down.  At the end of every scene in those adventures is a "pushing the envelope..." paragraph or two with some suggestions for how to make it tougher, ranging from adding more guys, to suggested new stats, to suggested new gear, to other complications that could still fit the scene.

So the default threat level in them is fairly low.  They're made to be easily runnable by any old random GM at a convention, who's running a table of 4-8 or so total strangers, who might have never played together before, might have never played Shadowrun before, and might even be running the archetype characters from the core book (hell, I ran Ancient Pawns for just two players, at one little local con).  I set the bar low, because to me that's easier than having a "default" power level that's too high, and seeing a new GM try to flail and struggle his way through gauging the power curve and trying to alter it.

Now, I had nothing to do with the NPCs from the core SR4 book, because when it came out I was just another fan (and a fairly disgruntled one, some Dumpshock alumni may recall).  But when I was putting my own NPCs together, ranging from go-gangers to Humanis thugs to Ork Underground door guards to a whole wiz gang, I went for smaller die pools instead of larger, and left it to the GM to ramp up the difficulty if he wanted.  Maybe they had the same design philosophy a couple of years back, when making the default guys in the core rules -- in addition to having less options, because they only had the core book to play with.

Frankie the Fomori

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« Reply #16 on: <09-01-11/1946:39> »
I see the question's intent, yet I Would suggest we the fans start a thread called grunts. In it we could add grunts from SR4a updated with equipment, also we could add teams of
Runners, company men, johnsons, etc.

CanRay

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« Reply #17 on: <09-01-11/1959:20> »
"Um, I don't remember police officers having Modified Armour Jackets and Ruger Thunderbolts in the main rulebook.  And getting shotguns and assault rifle from the squad car for a routine traffic stop!"  "I don't remember walking down the street and seeing a huge ass ork walk around with a Panther Assault Cannon strapped to his shoulder, and HE'S THE LIGHTLY ARMED HACKER!"  "OK, point."

BTW:  Tail light was broken.  The driver was a troll and it was a case of metahuman profiling.
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Bull

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« Reply #18 on: <09-01-11/2014:59> »
Basically, what Critias said.

First off, compare the Grunts to the SR4 (and 4A) Archetypes.  They're much better balanced, because that's the starting point for the game.  From there, you go upwards.

For Missions, I try and create competent NPCs, and if a scene is supposed to be a challenge, we'll even throw in challenging NPCs.  But I never uber-tweak and optimize.  Partly, because it's unfair to groups of PCs who aren't uber-optimized (I don't like to play that way myself, honestly, so my PCs are usually fairly balanced), and partly because you never know what mix of PCs you're going to run into in Missions.  <shrug>

But at the end of the day, what Critias said.  it's easier to "gear up" than it is to "gear down".

Neurosis

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« Reply #19 on: <09-01-11/2219:35> »
WAR had some additional grunts that were a bit closer to being on par with or at least a reasonable challenge to PCs than the core six from SR4/SRA. (And honestly, the grunts in SR4A are a big improvement from the grunts in SR4.)

Several grunts from published adventures are also highly reusable.
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Phylos Fett

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« Reply #20 on: <09-02-11/0246:24> »
The thing with "grunts" is that, primarily, they are supposed to stay the same, regardless of PC player level. LS or KE cops don't suddenly become more powerful because the PCs do. They don't get better gear because the players do. I don't know about how things work in the 2070's, but it takes ages here and now for cops to get issued-as-standard new guns and other gear. Corps have a budget. They can't go buying all the new toys that are released whenever they want to - they can't justify the expense, nor do they feel the need for it.

That said, the type of cops (yes, I'm going to use cops as an example) that the PCs encounter might get ramped up as the PCs become more powerful. HTR teams will be more likely than STR teams. The HTR guys are more likely to have better gear, and more cutting edge gear. There are probably even Runner Response teams out there, specifically designed to take out care of this kind of threat, and they'll be the ones to really make the PCs sweat.

Crash_00

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« Reply #21 on: <09-02-11/0440:39> »
Well the thing is "in game" its been ages since certain things hit the street. Form fit has been around for at least a dozen years now maybe longer (can't remember if it was in 2nd edition). Smartlink is likewise a staple of the game world.

I'm not saying all grunts should have them, but elite ones definitely should. I really can't see anyone not issuing smartlink glasses to units that see combat regularly. Remember, the SR universe is much more violent than ours, and with some of the places I've lived that says a lot.

On the topic of Grunts, I would love to see a pdf full of nothing but grunts, optimized and not.

Cantor

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« Reply #22 on: <09-02-11/1307:40> »
I see the question's intent, yet I Would suggest we the fans start a thread called grunts. In it we could add grunts from SR4a updated with equipment, also we could add teams of
Runners, company men, johnsons, etc.

Thank you! This is exactly what I was talking about. Just some new competently built NPCs to toss at more experienced runners. Gangers that have a shot at hitting someone, for example.

Frankie the Fomori

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« Reply #23 on: <09-02-11/1549:01> »
The big thing with grunts is not their power level (which is easy to adjust as a GM); it is the feel they offer to the game. Building badass NPC is not the point to grunts, but having them set the tone of the scene is massive. Having a list of different gangs of Seattle, with different gear and ware to represent the chaotic nature of the streets and how people come into their gear would lend amazing details to a game. I also like to add named NPC runner's that are among the better available among Seattle shadows. It gives the PC's something to gauge their own strengths and when they see one around (either as opponents or at Job that Johnson needs multiple teams) they know drek has hit the fan. This is one reason why I own every mission and adventure out there for 4E....I may never run a single one, but I love there maps, grunts, and (especially Seattle missions) contacts they offer.

In the end the best thing about this setting is driving around RL Seattle, and taking a second to visualize what a change 2072 would offer….Armed security guards in Fast food restaurants,  Different Meta species, massive amount of fire power just chilling in the open in the streets (of certain areas). This feel I love to try to convey to my runners, I do not run them through Sin checks when they go into Alki area because I want to catch them off guard, I want to set the scene that they are entering into a higher security zone, were they have to dress and behave accordingly. This is the same reason why I have a folder with about 50-100 NPC runners that I can draw on (each with a little back story), I copy and paste every grunt in every mission and adventure into a second folder, and I also copy a ton of PC’s you all create and throw them into the mix as well.

Mason

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« Reply #24 on: <09-22-11/1557:36> »
Oh, I just slotted the "Table Rating" idea of Missions and ran with it to my home games. Now I take the NPCs and add the Table Rating in dice to all tests they make. I don't bother to tell the players though, and I set the rating myself. >=D