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Lethality

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Vaarsuvius

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« on: (12:42:05/01-19-18) »
What exactly was the reasoning behind making certain aspects of the game so immensely lethal?

An example of this is there are guns, not explosives, but guns that do 15P -8AP as a random example. Spend an edge and that can put the net damage at 20 or over combined with -8AP. That will one shot even a troll most of the time.

I guess I get that combat is not really meant to be the emphasis of the game, and players are sort of meant to work around certain kinds of combat, rather than through it, but still, this is so lethal as it's unfair to put this against players. What was the design decision behind this?

SpellBinder

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« Reply #1 on: (13:27:00/01-19-18) »
A bit of realism?

In D&D, a fighter can get stabbed by a knife and nearly guaranteed to survive the hit if at full health.  As characters get higher in level, their durability goes up as well.

A quick look through one of my resources puts that 15P -8AP weapon as the Ares Thunderstruck, a military grade, man portable, Gauss rifle that's intended use is similar to an RPG or missile launcher; you shoot tanks with this weapon, it's not really meant for shooting people.  When you get to the more common handguns (heavy and light pistols), the damage is not only potentially lethal but also potentially survivable, just like real life.

But you're also right in that combat is not really meant to be the emphasis of the game, unless Murder Hobo is the theme you're really trying for.

AJCarrington

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« Reply #2 on: (13:31:38/01-19-18) »
Personally, I like it. There is added tension when you know that if you screw things up, youre done. This edition seems a little more forgiving than previous ones, but Ive not got as much experience with them.

legionof1

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« Reply #3 on: (13:36:14/01-19-18) »
Big guns, like snipers and MGs generally speaking wont be used against the players outside of specific situations. Corp sec, gangs, and other groups usually dont have such hardware right to hand most of the time. Threat response or a big bad might have a few weapons like that, but the players will probably be forewarned and can chose to avoid a direct confrontation.

Off at the extreme end of things, like the thunderstruck gauss rifle, your talking about items generally only found in possession of the Big 10s elite forces, and even then in very small numbers as a squad or platoon weapon. If players are facing that sort of opponents they almost always have to chose to do so.

Also keep in mind the uses of edge, notably burning edge.

 

Beta

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« Reply #4 on: (16:55:19/01-19-18) »
And there is always the chance you get that character who has twent soak dice in their underwear and layers on as much armor as they can, and it is nice to have something besides magic that can hurt them :-)

PiXeL01

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« Reply #5 on: (18:53:28/01-19-18) »
In this game it is so easy to stack tons of armor, making a character neigh invulnerable or at least just faint instead of bleed out. Add the mountain of dodge on top of that and weapons become useless.

ShadowcatX

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« Reply #6 on: (23:28:16/01-19-18) »
Shadowrun has a different definition of fair than a game like D&D. In D&D fair means not throwing the PC's up against things they can't beat. In Shadowrun fair is if you piss off the dude with the gaus rifle you eat a gaus rifle.

PMrk

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« Reply #7 on: (23:48:51/01-19-18) »
This reminded me how people happen to complain about how skewed WoD combat is and who delivers the first significant hit usually wins.

...

I mean, yeah, things work like that IRL. :D Some games are meant to be heroic, when the characters are shrugging off punishment and keeps going, because they are fragging heroes. Other games, like SR, or WoD took a more "realistic" approach to combat, which means combat is deadly. For myself, I like both, depending on the game and setting.

farothel

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« Reply #8 on: (04:26:41/01-20-18) »
If you want really deadly, play L5R or even better, Alternity.  In Alternity, no matter how good you are, a lvl1 nobody with a lucky headshot can easily one-shot you, even with a 9mm pistol, just as in RL.  Shadowrun is not the most lethal game out there, at least not how we've been playing it.  The amount of armour you can get, especially if you're an Orc or Troll, sometimes borders on the ridiculous.
"Magic can turn a frog into a prince. Science can turn a frog into a Ph.D. and you still have the frog you started with." Terry Pratchett
"I will not yield to evil, unless she's cute"

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #9 on: (09:04:31/01-20-18) »
Lethality cuts both ways. The same lethality that makes it easy for you to be killed by high-grade corpsec hiding in machine gun nests makes it easy for you to take out a room full of unsuspecting streetscum with an assault rifle or a grenade.

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #10 on: (07:25:16/01-21-18) »
Actually, high lethality benefits the players and furthers their ability to survive:
Assuming a character is build for combat and has the necessary initiative, defense and attack pool to one shot lower level mooks, they should be able to take them out before they take damage. As long as they aren't fighting masses of opponents they will be able to stay in good shape instead of getting taken out in a war of attrition.
If the dice fall bad, Edge can be spend or burned to prevent death with relative ease. This has the overall effect that combat is tense and needs proper tactics instead of being a resource minigame with remaining hit points and a predestined end to the adventure day like D&D often has.
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Magnaric

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« Reply #11 on: (15:38:57/01-22-18) »
So, back in the day there was a guy named Blackjack who posted various thoughts on Shadowrun, GMing, etc. Really good resource, very insightful even now with 5E out (he GMed mostly for 2E I believe).

Anyhoo, he wrote a couple very good pieces I think are pertinent to the question at hand.

http://web.archive.org/web/20010816174416/http://archive.dumpshock.com:80/bjcorner/ShowBJ.php3?page=panther.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20010617122409/http://archive.dumpshock.com:80/bjcorner/ShowBJ.php3?page=hurt.htm

The first is about heavy weapons (since you mentioned that obscene damage code) and the second is about getting hurt, wounds, etc. But the TLDR is this: in the real world, it us EXTREMELY easy to injure someone, if not outright kill them. The gun doesn't need to be big, the knife doesn't need to be long. You take a tiny little .22 calibre handgun, press it to someone's skull and pull the trigger, they're dead. Or that little 3-inch Swiss Army knife doesn't seem too bad, but you jab it into someone's neck and good night.

And as people mentioned above, since Shadowrun tries to be more on the realistic side, that's a good thing. Because the best way to survive a bullet is to NOT GET SHOT. You ever see CCTV footage on YouTube of a police shootout? People run and duck for cover, or hide behind things, because the best kevlar in the world still won't help if that one lucky bullet goes up your nose.

The other side of that is, the (meta)human body is a remarkable machine, capable of surviving and recovering from all types of horrible injuries. That's reflected in the damage code of most guns not being bigger than the standard health pool of 8+body/2. The average human with 10 hp can survive a single 6P damage round. Even a grievous 8P-10P gunshot, they have a good chance to survive if they get immediate medical attention.

A lethal system means getting into a firefight has real danger and consequences. Ice personally seen too many games where the tanky character is facing down 3 guys with machine guns and their first instinct is to draw their own gun. In real life, that guy may fight back(say he's military or police, most regular people will just soil themselves), but he's sure as fuck going to seek cover before he does so.

Because trying to stay alive in a dangerous world is smart, and Shadowrun is all about rewarding smart play.
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Vaarsuvius

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« Reply #12 on: (18:39:23/01-29-18) »
Hey guys, I sort of forgot about this thread, and now coming back to it, I really appreciate the comments. I guess I'm more used to "heroic" games, and you guys are right the lethality is generally in their favor (that Gauss rifle is on a player's drone).

However grenades and shotguns are pretty common. In the current run my players are on someone threw a grenade past our mystic adept melee chick, and she decided to grab it, hoping that it wasn't a contact grenade. It was it blew up in her face, but of course she took no damage as she was in a suit of hardened armor (the run encouraged absolutely no subtlety). If She wasn't in said armor she would have taken one of those 15P+ damages to the face, and as I said grenades are common.

It's interesting that the game actively encourages these sort of situations.

ShadowcatX

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« Reply #13 on: (18:51:05/01-29-18) »
The game  actually actively encourages players to avoid violence.

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #14 on: (23:35:03/01-29-18) »
The game encourages players to avoid violence that isn't heavily tilted in their favor; it is a subtle but very important difference.