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Additional uses for Plot Points

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milspec

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« on: (05:14:46/11-10-16) »
Looking for feedback on these, Apologies if they are too wordy, any simplifications are welcome.

Burst: Machine Pistols, SMGs and Assault Rifles can add 2 successes to an attack test by taking a -4 dice penalty. This is equivalent to buying 1 hit for 2 dice, which is better than the normal odds of 1 hit per 3 dice.

Full Auto: Machine Guns can add 3 successes to an attack test by taking a -6 dice penalty. Or they can add 4 successes by taking a -8 dice penalty. The penalty cannot exceed the number of dice in the test, i.e. you need a dice pool of 9 to buy 4 successes and roll the last 1 die to see if you get another success.

Drain: Add a number of successes up to your Essence (usually 1 to 6) to any combat spell or effect spell in exchange for taking an equivalent amount of Stun damage. For example, a Mage with Essence 6 can decide to add 4 successes to a Lightning Bolt spell (in addition to rolling the normal dice pool for the spell), and they take 4 boxes of stun damage immediately after the spell is resolved. If the spell test fails the caster still takes the damage. This is normal Stun damage healed in the normal way.

Full Cover: A character finds full cover to hide behind for a +4 defensive bonus against ranged attacks and spells. The cover lasts one round, until their next narration. The character can attack normally from behind cover. The cover does not help against melee attacks if the attacker can move to close range. The GM may rule it's not possible to find cover in the rare case of an open field, a long empty hallway, etc.

Swap Weapon: Change your ranged or melee weapon to bring something else more appropriate for the specific run. For example, if at character selection you took an Assault Rifle but now it's a stealth mission, spend a plot point to change it to a Machine Pistol. You can return to the original weapon on your character sheet at the end of any scene.

Ambush: An ambush is an out of combat narration that leads to a surprise combat narration. Spend one plot point during the narration to take an immediate combat action. If another player or the GM want to go before the ambusher they must also spend a plot point. Everyone that spends a plot point rolls Agility + Edge + a bonus from the level of Improved Reflexes or Wired Reflexes. The ambusher goes before anyone who ties or rolls less than their number of successes. If an opposing character gets more successes than the ambusher then they go first. The next round of narrations follow the normal rules for turn order.

Gingivitis

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« Reply #1 on: (11:51:13/11-10-16) »
I really like Swap Weapon; you might even extend that to gear too.

I like Ambush, though it seems maybe too dice intensive.

I don't like the Burst Fire and Full Auto.  There are already winners and losers among weapons and making the good ones better is unnecessary.  Maybe spending a Plot Point to hit more than one target like the shotgun? But still... It makes good guns better.  Maybe it empties the clip and the weapon goes on cooldown?

I like the idea of Drain: overcasting and taking Stun.  I think as with Burst and Auto, granting yourself auto successes is dangerous.  It makes it more likely to hit AND does more damage because of net hits.  Perhaps if it ramped the damage value up, by a max of 3, and then you take Stun, but it didn't add successes?

Take Cover should be a Narration not a Plot Point, I think.  Taking cover and having a modifier to hit you is fully within the GMs discretion to adjudicate during opposed tests already.

 
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #2 on: (14:20:05/11-10-16) »
I'm going to preface everything I say with the admission that I have not played Anarchy yet, so my suggestions are based on theory instead of practice.

In my opinion, many of these suggestions are too mechanical for plot points, which - by definition - are intended to advance the plot. These ideas seem to conflate plot points with Edge, which is intended to provide a mechanic benefit that allows the players to achieve the improbable.

Auto-successes are too powerful. With the possible exception of some of the armor shadow amps (mystic armor, dermal plating, bone lacing, cyberlimb armor, etc.) there aren't any amps which grant auto-successes. If plot points suddenly grant auto-successes then that makes the reflex-boosting amps too powerful. Extra attacks + automatically successful attacks = too good. Plus, the players probably wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of auto-successes. It robs them of agency and control over their fate.

That said, I agree with Gingivitis that Swap Weapon is a good use of a plot point.

Similarly, I once heard a house rule (that was originally for Edge) that could make a good plot point: the character can have one piece of gear that 1) fits in their pocket, and 2) isn't otherwise listed on their character sheet, and 3) that they wouldn't otherwise have but isn't impossible for them to have. This is for random things that would be helpful in specific situations (a child's toy, a miniwelder, a pack of the NPC's favorite cigarettes, etc.) that help to advance the plot rather than for something that negates the plot completely ("oh, I have the paydata right here without having to do anything!").

Gingivitis

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« Reply #3 on: (19:39:34/11-10-16) »
Also Plot Points are a narratively renewable resource so it has the potential to be used every turn.  Edge is finite but built into the character concept.

If anything I see Drain as an edge ability, though Anarchy is not mechanically built for edge effects other than dice manipulation.  I could go either way.
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milspec

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« Reply #4 on: (04:35:19/11-14-16) »
Thanks very much for the feedback. I took the suggestions and toned things down, changes below. There are other examples of Plot Points being used for tactical things in the rule book, from double movement to first aid to weapon malfunctions to free counter attacks. I am going to continue to experiment with these as Plot Points because to me Shadowrun is synonymous with burst fire and taking cover. :-)

Burst: Machine Pistols, SMGs and Assault Rifles can add +1 damage to an attack test by spending a Plot Point and taking a -2 dice penalty. These are not successes and the attack test needs to succeed for this extra damage to take effect.

Full Auto: Machine Guns can add +2 damage to an attack test by spending a Plot Point and taking a -4 dice penalty. These are not successes and the attack dice needs to succeed for this extra damage to take effect. (Note I am also using the change that Assault Rifles and Machine Guns are -2 Close.)

Drain: Add +1, +2, or +3 damage to any combat spell (or equivalent to an effect spell, if possible) by spending a Plot Point and taking twice the bonus in Stun damage. For example, a Mage can decide to add +3 damage to a Lightning Bolt spell and they take 6 boxes of stun damage immediately after the spell is resolved. These are not successes and the spell dice test needs to succeed for this extra damage to take effect. If the spell test fails the caster still takes the Stun damage. This is normal Stun damage healed in the normal way.

Full Cover: A character who spends a Plot Point can find full cover to hide behind for a +4 defensive bonus against ranged attacks and spells. The cover lasts one round, until their next narration. The character can attack normally from behind cover. The cover does not help against melee attacks if the attacker can move to close range. The GM may rule it's not possible to find cover in the rare case of an open field, a long empty hallway, etc. (Note I only plan to allow +2 cover without a Plot Point to avoid every narration from describing perfect cover.)

Ambush: An ambush is an out of combat narration that leads to a surprise combat narration. Spend one plot point during the narration to take an immediate combat action that cannot be interrupted. Combat will continue normally after the single ambush narration (and normal combat test) is finished.

Swap Equipment: Spent a Plot Point and change your weapon, vehicle or any piece of Gear to bring something else more appropriate for the specific run. For example, if at character selection you took an Assault Rifle but now it's a stealth mission, spend a plot point to change it to a Machine Pistol. Or change your Van to a Motorcycle. You can return to the original equipment on your character sheet at the end of any scene.

ve4grm

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« Reply #5 on: (10:56:10/11-14-16) »
Burst
- Make this Burst/Double Tap/Called Shot/Wild Swing/Whatever and allow any weapon to use it.

Full Auto
- Like others, not completely sold on letting these weapons get even better, but the penalty does offset things. Not bad? I'll defer to the others here.
Actually, I might have a better idea for this:
Full Auto/Suppressive Fire - Make an attack vs defender's Agility+Willpower. Reduce their next defense pool by the net hits. If there is a small group of enemies clustered together, you can target a reasonable number of them with this attack, as determined by the GM.


Drain
- I like this, though I'd probably call it Overcasting. Personally, I'd like to see this damage randomized in some way, so you don't know for sure if you're going to pass out, thus encouraging gambling on it.

Full Cover
- I'd like to see this as a reaction. "Oh shit, I'm being gunned down! But wait! I have a plot point! Dive for cover!!!"

Ambush
- I like it. I would specify that only characters who spent plot points get this surprise action. If someone doesn't or can't, they just join in on combat as normal.

Swap Equipment
- Definitely stealing this one.
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milspec

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« Reply #6 on: (04:22:27/11-16-16) »
Keep the suggestions coming! Version 3: I generalized increased damage, changed auto fire to suppression which uses an existing mechanic, and cleaned up the others but left them the same. I do not like random drain because it introduces another roll. I do not like reactive cover because it feels too powerful to me and no other mechanic allows for interruptions.

Increase Damage: Add +1 damage to a single ranged or melee attack by spending a Plot Point and taking a -2 dice penalty to the test. The attack test needs to succeed for the extra damage to take effect. Narratively this covers everything from a SMG's burst to a pistol's double tap to a knife's deep lunge.

Suppression Fire: An Assault Rifle or Heavy Weapon (Machine Gun, Cannon, etc) can spend a Plot Point and force the target of a successful attack test to act last in the combat round.

Overcasting: Add +1, +2, or +3 damage to any combat spell (or equivalent to an effect spell, if possible) by spending a Plot Point and taking twice the bonus in stun damage. For example, a Mage can decide to add +3 damage to a Lightning Bolt spell and take 6 boxes of stun damage immediately after the spell is resolved. This bonus is not successes and the spell test needs to succeed for the extra damage to take effect. If the spell test fails the caster still takes the stun damage. This is normal Stun damage healed in the normal way.

Full Cover: Spend a Plot Point and find full cover to hide behind for a +4 defensive bonus against ranged attacks and spells. The cover lasts one round until the character's next narration. The character can attack normally from behind cover. The cover does not help against melee attacks if the attacker can move to close range. The GM may rule it's not possible to find cover in the rare case of an open field, a long empty hallway, etc. (Note I only plan to allow +2 cover without a Plot Point to avoid every narration describing perfect cover.)

Ambush: An ambush is an out of combat narration that leads to a surprise combat narration. Spend one plot point during the narration to take an immediate combat action that cannot be interrupted. Other friendly characters that spend a Plot Point can join the ambush. Combat will continue normally after the ambush narration (and associated combat test) is finished.

Swap Equipment: Spent a Plot Point and change your weapon, vehicle or any piece of Gear to bring something else more appropriate for the run. For example, if at character selection you took an Assault Rifle but now it's a stealth mission, spend a plot point to change it to a Machine Pistol. Or change your Van to a Motorcycle. You can return to the original equipment on your character sheet at the end of any scene.