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[House Rule} Free spirits, free sprites, and AI as PCs

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Sphinx

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« on: (17:59:06/08-03-18) »
Free Spirits are long established in Shadowrun and were playable as PCs in SR3 and SR4. AIs are playable in SR4 and SR5, but frankly I find the rules in SR5 to be obtuse and unplayable. Free Sprites ought to be playable as well. As a practical matter, Free Sprites should be mechanically similar to Free Spirits, and AIs should be functionally equivalent to both. This is my attempt at making a consistent set of rules to govern all three. I'm about to start playtesting them in my home campaign; I'd love to hear what people think.

[Trying to attach a PDF document; let's see if this works.]

Reaver

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« Reply #1 on: (07:28:01/08-09-18) »
I might be a little late for you, and I am only going to comment on Free Spirits, as I have more interest in the magic side then i do the matrix side currently (way behind in my matrix readings as no one plays a matrix character in my games currently).

I find the rules for your Free Spirits interesting.

But i want to be clear here. from my understanding of the way you want things to work is the Spirit is essentially starting off as a Force 1 (C) or a Force 3 (b) or a Force 6 (a).
Spirit.

I understand that you have separated the attributes from Force, and must be chosen per a meta-human.


But doesn't the Free Spirit's Force still affect many of its spirit powers, including ITNW...


This could be problematic.... even with the cost of doing so. Worth keeping your eyes on at the very least!

And, if it works out well I would love to hear it as those house rules may solve an issue I have nicely..
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Sphinx

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« Reply #2 on: (10:33:50/08-09-18) »
Thanks for reading! Never too late for feedback. I expect to revise these rules continually as questions occur. For example, you can strike "Endowment" off the list of available spirit powers from Street Grimoire, it's way too overpowered for a PC. And "Magical Guard" is redundant, since free spirits already have access to the Counterspelling skill.

Mental (and therefore Physical) attributes are separated from Force, but a spirit's Force always equals its Magic attribute (or vice versa, depending how you look at it). For spirits, they might as well be the same thing (equivalent to Level = Resonance for sprites, or Rating = Depth for AI). So it depends which priority you assign to Magic: 2 at D, 3 at C, 4 at B, or 6 at A. You can also spend the special attribute points from the (Meta)Type column on either Magic or Edge, same as the special attribute points you'd get for any other metatype, so any starting Magic (Force) from 2 to 6 is possible. I tried to explain under "Creating a Free Spirit," step 3, but maybe I didn't do it well.
« Last Edit: (10:40:45/08-09-18) by Sphinx »

Marcus

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« Reply #3 on: (11:17:24/08-09-18) »
I don't have a problem with AI characters or Free Sprites (Though Depth makes me a little nervous).

Free Spirits on the other hand make me extremely nervous. Spirit power are way, way strong, putting them in the Hands of PCs is not something I'm super comfortable with, your rules on them are more limiting then the last go at this i will certainly agree, but they still have all advantages normal spirits have (IE being very difficult to actually kill). Sure you can banish it, instead but that just like a couple day nap, maybe an inforced vacation back home, I don't know how intend to run spirits and the metaplanes. I'm also not really comfortable with spirits earning karma directly. One of the limits on free spirits has always been they need to get karma from metahumans. 
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Sphinx

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« Reply #4 on: (13:08:53/08-09-18) »
...  I'm also not really comfortable with spirits earning karma directly. One of the limits on free spirits has always been they need to get karma from metahumans. 

Not much fun for the player if they can't accumulate experience and improve their character like everyone else.

Marcus

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« Reply #5 on: (15:26:11/08-09-18) »
...  I'm also not really comfortable with spirits earning karma directly. One of the limits on free spirits has always been they need to get karma from metahumans. 

Not much fun for the player if they can't accumulate experience and improve their character like everyone else.

I'm not saying your wrong, but that's always been how its worked. That was the social contract of you play an immortal amazingly powerful spirit and the cost is you are dependent on those poor fragile meta-humans to advance. To be fair force did a LOT for those version. So all they every did was buy up force.

« Last Edit: (15:27:50/08-09-18) by Marcus »
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Marcus

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« Reply #6 on: (18:43:12/08-09-18) »
Oh I just wanted add Your formatting on those rules is really amazing. As someone who enjoys a good layout yours is really very exceptional.
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fseperent

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« Reply #7 on: (02:36:02/08-12-18) »
It is a sweet set of rules.

I will offer this part up as a suggestion for AI homes:
Monthly rent= 3% of total cost of home X device rating.
Failure to pay the rent results in unresisted damage equal to the device rating.
Damage requires shop tools or better to be fixed.
Optional:
Failure to pay the rent results in (device rating-1) bugs until damage is fixed.
GM's are encouraged to make at least one bug serious enough to worry the PC.
Causing the device to take an action that increase OS every 2 hours or so spring to mind.
« Last Edit: (02:41:10/08-12-18) by fseperent »

Sphinx

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« Reply #8 on: (11:03:27/10-12-18) »
Minor updates from Kill Code and a little playtesting.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #9 on: (00:45:17/10-15-18) »
This kind of posts is why I need a bookmark-system in the forum. -.-
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Finstersang

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« Reply #10 on: (05:32:38/10-16-18) »
I love it for the AI rewrite alone, but the rules for Free Sprites and Spirits really take the cake ;D

A few humble proposals, though  ;)
  • In addition to the Potential of having Materialization and Possession at the hand of a PC, Free Spirit PCs have the added benefit that their Mental Attributes effectively double as Physical Attributes. I think that should be reflected that in regards to Karma Advancement. Maybe New Rating x 8 (or 10) instead of 5?
  • The true name part part of Spirits could be more fleshed out to be more of an existencial threat (and motivation!) for the PC, maybe by mandatory (GM/storyline-approved) Qualities. Three basic starting conditions come to mind:
    • You are in control of the existing copies of your true name. You have to take care of their safety, with intense security measures reflected by your lifestyle choice. You may also be pretty paranoid about it and on the verge of becoming a recluse.
    • Someone (f.i. a sinister Mr. Johnson? Or even another PC?) has hold of your true name, turning you into his/her slave.
    • Your true name is somewhere out there. You have to pursuit it, and live in constant fear that someone finds it before you do (or already has!)
  • Using the full Edge rating as a Substitute for Initiation/Submersion Grades seems very strong. Maybe go for for Edge/2 or even Edge/3?
« Last Edit: (05:35:32/10-16-18) by Finstersang »
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Sphinx

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« Reply #11 on: (10:51:09/10-16-18) »
Finstersang:

Your ideas about new Qualities involving a free spirit's true name are great; I may explore some of these in the next draft. Thanks for the suggestion!

You raise a good point about free spirits' mental attributes, but I think the karma cost for improving attributes should remain consistent with sprites and AI, and by extension technomancers and magicians. I.e., a metahuman magician's Astral attributes go up when she raises her mental stats; and a technomancer's Matrix attributes go up when she raises her mental stats (ditto free sprites and AI); but they don't pay extra karma for the added benefit. Simpler to leave this one alone.

Using full Edge as initiate grade for metamagic powers (or submersion grade for echoes) is consistent with the rules in Street Grimoire ("New Powers," p.203). And since free spirits don't initiate (nor free sprites submerge), using just a fraction of Edge feels too limiting.