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Codes of Honor and SRM.

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Marcus

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« on: <06-06-18/2254:14> »

So for variety of reason I'm very big on Codes of Honor.

They help give behavioral structure to characters.
They Mitigate the Murder Hobo issue.
They Give GM's a handle on the character.
They are Nice background piece and say a lot about a character.

So the big issue as has be said they are often non-functional in Missions Play, meaning that they become 15 freebie points.

So for a general solution I would purpose this:
For those that are currently band from Mission play, put them back in but at considerably reduced point value 5 or lower, whatever is felt to be worth while for those odd occasion they do come up.

We will have Hooding released sometime, and that will of course increase interest in Codes. Doing this now will save having to the jump though the same hoops when the book is released.

Thoughts, Concerns? Agree, Disagree?
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <06-06-18/2308:40> »
Well being a negative quality that doesn't in practice negatively impact your character IS kind of a big deal.

For argument's sake, what's wrong with just saying your character acts in accordance with a given Code of Honor for purely roleplaying reasons as opposed to getting an adjusted X Karma points in the SRM format?  You'd still get the same benefits you listed without needing to try to codify any SRM specific rules for those qualities..
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Marcus

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« Reply #2 on: <06-06-18/2311:05> »
Well being a negative quality that doesn't in practice negatively impact your character IS kind of a big deal.

For argument's sake, what's wrong with just saying your character acts in accordance with a given Code of Honor for purely roleplaying reasons as opposed to getting an adjusted X Karma points in the SRM format?  You'd still get the same benefits you listed without needing to try to codify any SRM specific rules for those qualities..

Something that's on character sheet is more meaningful. At the 5 or lower point level, we have something effectively the same as Allergies, something we all know, regularly never see activation in most missions play, or prejudice, another 5 pointer that almost never sees activation in play. Better to have something like Code that can help a GM stear a PC with then another allergy to bees.
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #3 on: <06-06-18/2330:18> »
Well you have hit upon a point I think is kind of profound, even if it's not your intended point.  That being how easy it is to get away with free Karma on negative qualities that never trigger.  I'm not sure I'm prepared to agree that adding more is an improvement.. but that's not the discussion you're looking to have.

I'm going to sit and think on realizing that I've run oh about a dozen SRM tables now and I couldn't tell you a single one of any of all those characters' negative qualities. So clearly I haven't done my job of making sure the players get their Karma's worth of trouble from having them.

Nor do my negative qualities ever seem to come up either.  I'm thinking I need to seriously reconsider the importance of a pre-start "getting to know your PC" inspection of a character sheet.  Hell that's where a GM would be identifying "Hell no you can't play at my table with the Panzer your last GM signed off on for some reason" issues after all.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Marcus

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« Reply #4 on: <06-06-18/2342:37> »
We all know the Steve Long Quote.

I'm perfectly fine to have that conversation, it's really at the heart of this topic. I've also runs a good number of missions, and I other then bees one which was particularly memorable b/c the American Honey bee is extinct according the fluff. I don't really recall any flaws ether. So I'm just saying we need to find means to help address that. I think Codes are way to do it. I'm perfectly willing to admit I'm biased, but at the same time, that doesn't necessarily make me wrong.

What I'm trying to say is, Codes atlesat give a broader set of conditions then a binary reality of an allergy or Prejudice.

Code of Elven Chivalry- fights happen in public a lot, a ganger could easily grab beautiful passer by and trigger that code. Yes it does require action on the GM's part, but it's easier and flows more naturally then some magically escaped bees.
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Redwulfe

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« Reply #5 on: <06-07-18/0054:45> »
I agree with you Marcus on many accounts but I am not sure that every GM is created equal. To me the exclusion of many of the codes creates a consistent experience for all players. Maybe making the cost lower on some of the possible free negatives would be a middle ground and then, at least they would be worth the 5 points since they would only come up at some tables and if the GM has the time to add code triggers.
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Marcus

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« Reply #6 on: <06-07-18/0127:23> »
I agree with you Marcus on many accounts but I am not sure that every GM is created equal. To me the exclusion of many of the codes creates a consistent experience for all players. Maybe making the cost lower on some of the possible free negatives would be a middle ground and then, at least they would be worth the 5 points since they would only come up at some tables and if the GM has the time to add code triggers.

I could see the consistency of experience point if we had no codes, but we do have legal codes of Honor, so there is no consistent experience already. I certainly admit, what I'm pruposing wont' correct that really, but i think that's another strength of the argument, replay a mission using a different code of honor can help make runs very different, change up the experance.

I certainly agree every GM is different, and it's not question equality, like any skill running a game or telling a story take practice, and more then that, it require Player cooperation to really go.   Some GMs are naturals and some decades more experience and some have both. If you ever watch Matt Mercer run, he just makes it look so easy, endless voices, super smooth complex combats. I've been gaming and running for more then 20 years, and never even approached his level. I hope someday I'll get that good. But like anything we will all improve by doing.

We aren't going to make the dead freebie points to go away, but we have a chance now to add some that could be useful, and I think we should jump on it.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #7 on: <06-07-18/0345:05> »
Well you have hit upon a point I think is kind of profound, even if it's not your intended point.  That being how easy it is to get away with free Karma on negative qualities that never trigger.  I'm not sure I'm prepared to agree that adding more is an improvement.. but that's not the discussion you're looking to have.

I'm going to sit and think on realizing that I've run oh about a dozen SRM tables now and I couldn't tell you a single one of any of all those characters' negative qualities. So clearly I haven't done my job of making sure the players get their Karma's worth of trouble from having them.

Nor do my negative qualities ever seem to come up either.  I'm thinking I need to seriously reconsider the importance of a pre-start "getting to know your PC" inspection of a character sheet.  Hell that's where a GM would be identifying "Hell no you can't play at my table with the Panzer your last GM signed off on for some reason" issues after all.
Yeah, I went for Simsense Vertigo, which resulted in not using Smartlink, to avoid being horribly cheesy with Negs, and Insomnia which is a threat to Recover rolls. Of course I also took Distinctive Style, but that one can come up whenever your team is being tracked.
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Marcus

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« Reply #8 on: <06-08-18/0016:30> »
Yeah, I went for Simsense Vertigo, which resulted in not using Smartlink, to avoid being horribly cheesy with Negs, and Insomnia which is a threat to Recover rolls. Of course I also took Distinctive Style, but that one can come up whenever your team is being tracked.

Was that a yes or no on the liking Codes of Honor?
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prophet42

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« Reply #9 on: <06-12-18/1428:28> »
Yeah, I went for Simsense Vertigo, which resulted in not using Smartlink, to avoid being horribly cheesy with Negs, and Insomnia which is a threat to Recover rolls. Of course I also took Distinctive Style, but that one can come up whenever your team is being tracked.

Was that a yes or no on the liking Codes of Honor?

Looks to me more like those are examples of how Negative Qualities that rarely seem impactful can be impactful.
  (& less a Yea/Nay vis-a-vis Codes)

Personally, at least for Neo-Tokyo I'd like to see some method of codifying some of the CoHs that we're likely to see - Bushido & the like.
Not only for the runners, but also for the opposition.
Knowing that Red Samurai X is a firm believer in the ways of Bushido both lends flavor to the character & potentially gives the runners useful leverage in dealing with RedSammie X.
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Streetsam_Crunch

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« Reply #10 on: <06-12-18/1643:50> »
If you really want to make "Codes of Honor" have impact on Missions play, especially Neo-Tokyo, I don't see why not, but you may not like what I suggest.

Since they're writing with Japanese culture in mind, I'd say allow ones like Bushido and such. Since things like 'face' and 'honor' and all these other social mores are implied to have an impact, there could be 'code points' written into the Missions scenarios for any allowable codes. Failure to adhere to your code can have Karma docked from the player at the end of a run (because... bad karma cancelling out the good). Also, if one has a code, it's presumed a known character trait and is part of the reputation for that character in the Shadows.

Using Bushido as an example, some of it's most fundamental attributes (let's go with Honor, Loyalty, and Courage) could be written in.

A chance that if the runners are caught or have to negotiate with the Yakuza and forced to give up sensitive information/goods in order to escape, or even get permission for the run. This could be an example of both Loyalty and Courage depending on the situation. Decisions of the group can count against the character. No sneaking around "Well so and so made that agreement"- but they did it with your knowledge, and without argument- consent. (also, if they tell you to 'wait outside' to avoid this, then you're not stupid and know why they're asking that... same as the Paladin clause in fantasy gaming)

  • A chance at a "shortcut" if they do something "dishonorable"
  • A chance for greater gain like an "Honor Payment" to do something against their Tanaka-san for this run.
  • Refusing to enter somewhere that may put the character in a bad position for the sake of the run (avoiding high background or noise ratings in particular).

They can do any of these things (and many of them could be prudent to do so) but if they're espousing a set of beliefs, then others will know what a hypocrite the character is, even if they don't directly confront them about it.

Players shouldn't lose more than one or two Karma on any given run no matter how smarmy they are, but that'll definitely encourage them to try in earnest to play by their rules... It'll be worth the 15 points then.

Hm... I may incorporate that in my regular games for those that take it, though I haven't had anyone that has yet... Similar rules could be applied to things like the Pacifist quality (since that's really more-or-less a code of honor in its own right)

Thoughts?

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #11 on: <06-12-18/2015:27> »
Is it against Bushido to use a dishonorable weapon, like a firearm?  There's a compelling argument to be had either way on that. 

For a game that's being set in Japan and presumably well populated by neo-Samurai characters... I think Bushido is too big/important a concept to be codified one particular way.  It's a Philosophy... let your Sammie and mine argue about what is or is not a violation of "the code".  (Look for example to the Rokugan/Legend of the Five Rings setting to see how rival samurai have VERY different interpretations on what Bushido "says") Having a meta list that explicitly says this is or is not a violation takes away the fun of roleplaying a philosophical disagreement about what the Code means/permits/required from historical Samurai, much less how it evolved (or not) to accommodate the Sixth world.

RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Marcus

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« Reply #12 on: <06-13-18/0048:37> »
Is it against Bushido to use a dishonorable weapon, like a firearm?  There's a compelling argument to be had either way on that. 

For a game that's being set in Japan and presumably well populated by neo-Samurai characters... I think Bushido is too big/important a concept to be codified one particular way.  It's a Philosophy... let your Sammie and mine argue about what is or is not a violation of "the code".  (Look for example to the Rokugan/Legend of the Five Rings setting to see how rival samurai have VERY different interpretations on what Bushido "says") Having a meta list that explicitly says this is or is not a violation takes away the fun of roleplaying a philosophical disagreement about what the Code means/permits/required from historical Samurai, much less how it evolved (or not) to accommodate the Sixth world.

I spent to much time reading Shogun in my youth, which tragically makes Bushido one of my less favorite Codes. As you said anyone can put what ever limitations they wish concerning their personal honor, but as far general interpretation no, nothing in Bushido prohibits specific use of any type of weapon, Nukes arguably violate Compassion, but if a Samurai had possessed such a weapon and it would have won the war, I'm 100% they would have used it. One of the more popular examples/discussions of Neo-Bushido is a movie called "Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai". It's very Shadowrun and it's a fun watch so I would certainly recommend it should you want to see an example of it.
« Last Edit: <06-13-18/0051:35> by Marcus »
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Jayde Moon

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« Reply #13 on: <06-13-18/0202:57> »
Keep in mind that Code of Honor Bushido 2.0 has a very specific mechanical requirement in game terms and discussion about what Bushido really is or isn't doesn't have all that much bearing on the conversation at hand.

Does Bushido 2.0 as written in the source material work for SRM or doesn't it, not 'how can we change Bushido 2.0 in a way that could potentially work with SRMs if they are written to incorporate and accommodate it."
That's just like... your opinion, man.

Marcus

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« Reply #14 on: <06-13-18/0500:58> »
Well I guesss we should just run'em down

THE PATH OFTHE SAMURAI
Restriction: May not kill anyone from surprise or via
treachery. May not break his word once given.

This should work fine in missions, no surprise combat and must keep your word, seems missions applicable to me

OMERTA, THE CODE OF SILENCE
Restriction: Cannot kill police officers. Cannot oppose
a superior in the family. Must not give information to
legal authorities.

Cannot kill police holds, but you won't superior in the family, and I only ever recall one interview with a detective on a mission.
So not very applicable.

THUG LIFE, THE CODE OF THE STREETS
Restriction: Must always wear gang colors, must donate
half of all earnings beyond lifestyle to the gang,

Other then I'm sure no one will actually ever take it, this can work fine for missions, 50% donation is SUPER rough.

HARMONY WITH NATURE, THE SHAMAN’S CODE
Restriction: May only Bind spirits after agreeing to a
fair exchange of services (see below) Must always treat
spirits with respect. Must honor deals made with spirits.

Tragically this probably to out of scope for missions. Just don't think we can handle the fair exchange caluase at your average table.

WHITE HATS, THE CODE OF THE HACKER
Restriction: Cannot destroy/erase information. May
edit if, and only if, a copy is kept safe and easy to return.

In many ways this should work fine in missions, we generally don't see a lot will challenge this. So I doubt we can do it.



THE CODE OF WUXIA
Restriction: May not harm the innocent. May never
accept bribes or misuse authority. May not serve the
corrupt.

So Never harm the innocent holds fine for missions. may never accept bribes or misuses authority is kinda sticky. Character aren't really bribed, and they don't have authority so I have hard time on that one. May not Serve the Corrupt. So that becomes a question of is Tanaka-San Corrupt? I think this could work for missions, but that is only 2 of 3. I really like Wuxia, and I think the idea of Neo-Meji restoration can work well with a Wuja Concept, but I can see it going ether way. 

THE PALADIN’S CODE (A.K.A. ELVEN CHIVALRY)
Restriction: Cannot break one’s word. Cannot harm the
innocent. Must not allow art or beauty to come to harm.

Cannot break one's word, always applicable in the shadows, Cannot harm the innocent also relevant to missions. Which bring us to three.
Must not allow art or beauty to come to harm, this easily applicable but it does require some GM participation to trigger it. Odds are that any team will have at-least one person on it whom will fit Beauty (The Face), so it's not actually like you have to dig deep for possible target. I really think this should go in as is.

 
THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH
Restriction: Must provide medical aid if able. Must not
use lethal medicine. Must keep a patient’s confidence.

Tragically this is probably to table disruptive, in the sense that medical aid to the enemy is almost certainly gonna draw wraith. As much as I personally like the code.


THE SOLDIER’S CODE
Restriction: Must obey orders from superiors. Must not
loot the dead or allow them to be looted. Must not lie to
superiors. Must maintain honorable conduct and obey
the rules of war. May never torture or harm prisoners.

In generally I think is fairly applicable. Never torture/harm prisoners,  act Honerably, is a little vague, but i think it's doable. Must not lie to Superior I guess means no lieing to your Mr.Johnson, Must not loot that dead or allow them to be looted, is the problem child. While offically there is a no loot policy in place, strictly speaking it happens a lot and this would certain draw some interplay fire.
So I'm neutral on this guy.


THE AKICHITA CODE
Restriction: Never show fear. Challenge your strength
against worthy foes. Do not allow yourself or your
loved ones to fall into decadence or slothful behavior.
Never harm the weak or innocent.

Love the concept, but really not sure how to put it into missions practice. Never Show Fear? Do not allow yourself or your loved on to fall into decadence or slothful behavior? Does that mean your team? Does that mean no drugs?  It's to many question marks, I'm not sure how to make super applicable.

BUSHIDO 2.0
Restriction: Must always follow the commands of
one’s superiors, no matter the personal cost.

If we call one superior mr.Johnson this one really should work fine. It's one condition and it's always active.
I think this should work as written.


THE CODE OF THE WHITE HAT
Restriction: Must not take advantage of law-abiding
Matrix users. May not use lethal code against fellow
deckers

While Decking isn't super common, this is basicly always applicable. But i guess it's just a question of does decking happen enough to matter?
I think it's would work.


THE CODE OF THE GOOD COP
Restriction: To serve as an officer of the law, without
fear, favor, or discrimination. To protect those in need
and, if necessary, to lay down your life in the service of
duty. To hold your personal conduct beyond reproach
and bring no shame upon your organization.

Again love the concept, but really isn't applicable, characters aren't going to be active police.


THE HERMETIC CODE
Restriction: Never destroy information, especially
magical knowledge. Always speak the truth and denounce
falsehood. Capture rare things intact rather
than destroy the unknown.

This one is interesting, never destroy information is applicable. Always speak the truth and denounce lies, super trouble but applicable, (this maybe far to dangerous, where things like False ids are involved.) Capture rare things intact rather than destory the unknown, this is a little hard just b/c what constitutes a rare thing? I do think that's probubly dealable, but middle one maybe just too dangerous. So i'm not gonna rock that boat.

 Assassin’s Creed: A character never kills anyone
that they are not paid to kill. Being precise as an
assassin, not leaving collateral damage, and be-
ing invisible are important hallmarks of those
who believe in the Assassin’s Creed.

I think this one the legal ones, and for good reason, it's basicly always applicable and it's easy enough to trigger with listed consqunces.

Warrior’s Code:  character will not kill an unarmed person, take lethal action
against an opponent who is unaware or unprepared
for an attack (i.e., a guard who doesn’t
know the runner is there), or knowingly take an
action that could kill someone who is defenseless
(i.e., from a stray bullet or allow someone to
be killed from a sniper shot). The character loses
1 Karma per unarmed or defenseless person that
they kill or allow to be killed through their actions.

Not sure if this legal or not, it's easily applicable imo so I hope it is

Two more after this,

Like a Boss, which I think is legal it's always applicable and kinda serious pain.
Big negatives on  roll that is tough enough.

Then the other assassin one which i'm pretty is not legal it costs weird and it's pretty well already covered by the assassin's code.

So that's all the codes I'm aware of. What do ya'll think? Am I way off base? Super Rose tented glasses?
« Last Edit: <06-13-18/0504:09> by Marcus »
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