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5e dnd vs 6e SR. Seeking simplicity and why edge failed,

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Hobbes

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« Reply #15 on: <06-03-20/2243:25> »
As one of the most Dyslexic human beings you're likely to meet, I sincerely loved replacing... ?3? big ass eye chart/tables on the DM screen with a grade school math problem.  I also was down with BAB, which, to me, was essentially THAC0 in a different order.  Which you, as usual, explain something basic I already understood intuitively, in a Cerebral/Articulated way.  'tis a rare gift to be able to explain, in detail, why people can grok one thing intuitively, and not another. 

Your insights are always appreciated.  Thanks again for sharing. 

Marcus

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« Reply #16 on: <06-04-20/0116:46> »
I'm not saying a cap on dice is bad. Just saying that context does matter.

For example  your 10 dice limit, that could work just fine in one ruleset, built around that max.... but you would have to build around that max from the ground up.
Having a 10 dice max for say melee combat, when the DP is STR+Skill  is a really shitty thing to do to trolls if they can max out their DP without a skill....("I don't care if your STR is 16 and you have 6 ranks in melee combat.... 10 is all you get!)...

Or  if you have so many modifiers as to push the skill to nothing. ("I buy this gun, add on a smartgun, laser site, led pimp lights, and gold plate for +12 dice! Now I don't need a skill  or attribute at all!!"


One house rule I played under, the GM allowed only a flat +4 max to any dice pool. No matter the source... took a little getting used to, but worked well enough.

Yeah for sure it needs to be effectively fixed slots in the die pool. put simply attribute will be 1-3 (1 below average, 2 average, 3 above average). Augment max will be 5. Race or exceptional attribute can give 1, and Tech or magic can give 1 but Tech/magic are mutually exclusive. Nothing takes you above 5 ever. Skills will be become skills groups, rating 1 to 3 (1 amateur, 2 trained, 3 Professional), specialization will be what are skills are now and give 1. The 10th possible die is the gear die.  Gear has a single die slot, and gear slots will come from magic or tech, my vision of it basically re-casts entering an archetype as acquiring a linked piece of gear, a Smart Weapons for Street Sam, a Casting Focus for spellslingers, a Weapon Focus for adept, a Controller for Rigger, a Deck for deckers, a Bio transmission Enhancer for TMs. etc. Now of course a character could buy and/or install as many of these as they can use. But pricing/priority/essence cost should limit those options fairly sharply, and tech and magic will be mutually exclusive.

System wise there are going to be two types of test Simple and Complex. All combat tests are Simple, your pool vs a static targets. ( 4+ on the die is a success ie 50% so the average on 10 dice is 5 hits, defense is stat target generated from (reaction+dodge+gear die)/2 if the character has gear that effect dodge (So max defense is 5)  so that's the bound curve. Now obviously the system doesn't always expect a full ten dice, odds are more tests wont, an option on that will relate to edge. Complex tests will be of the threshold variety. X number of success before exhausting Y number of rolls, in Z linked time units. I don't know that math look like yet, but it will be similarly bound as simple tests. 

So improvement your character will dual tracked, karma for skills and attributes, and for gear Augment slots for tech, also Called Rune for foci. Each piece of gear can take 3 augments/Runes. You can't start with them, they have to be acquired in play, and they will do things to enhance the linked piece of gear. For example An augment for smart gun would be ADPS ammo that would add penetrating feature to the weapon, or an elemental rune to you weapon focus, which would give you weapon a elemental damage effect. Now of course this works for all gear, armor, drones.

We will Keep wireless bonuses, Which will distinguish tech gear from magic gear. You can't enchant a piece of gear with a wireless bonus. So no more weapon focus mono-whips. Gear with 1 augment is Alpha Ware, 2 is Beta-ware, and 3 is delta ware. Runes will carry similar naming system. 

To solve an old issue no more attribute option on the priority tables. We are long past the day and age where that was anything other then a trap. All characters have the same base number of attribute points (Probably sliding based upon your game type, street vs runner vs Prime runner), what will modify attributes will by the races priority. Each race will give +1 to two attributes, (Agi/Cha for elf, Str/Reac for Orc, Str/Body for Troll, Int/Body for Dwarves. Doubtless more meta exists and will have their own attribute pairings.) Humans get +2 to edge.

Soak will exist, as the Sum of (Body+Armor)/2 and like defense will just eat the average, Weapons with Penetration tag will ignore 1/2 of that.  Hardened armor soak will give Body+Armor and penetration will ignore 1/4 of that.

Ok. So as attribute run 1 to 3. Essence now == 3. So ware essence cost will be re-balanced around that. Magic and Essence linked for the purposes of ware. But not in value. Further drain now effect Essence. Drain effect deal temporary essence damage. You can't get below .1 temporary essence damage. So 30 spells day, and that last .1 drops you out cold. Hand in hand with this will be magic threat will drain temporary essence. This should make magic threats dangerous.

Magic now also falls into Simple or Complex. Spellcasting is simple, and Ritual Magic is Complex. Summoning is now ritual magic. Spirits will be governed by the 1-3 limit as well. So no more super deadly spirits, Spirits will have rune slots, and will be more basically more fixed. IE when your hermetic summons up his fire elemental, he will always get the same fire elemental. So in effect you will have possible 1 spirit of each type you can summon. There will have to be governors to limit action economy on this, no more spirit armies. But regardless spirits will be more fixed and more personality based, they need to be decent in a fight but not the nightmares we have today, some strong utility elements to be added. 

Hacking will now also fall be Simple or Complex, Simple hacking will be called Wireless hacking, and Full sim will be Complex hacking. Wireless hacking will large allow you to brick tech, run certain types of data search/observation, and will be enabled or limited by LOS. Complex Hacking will be run as a complex test, and will basically be our virtual dungeon crawl, while accumulating success on the complex test.

Rigging, TM all will have simple and complex mechanic options. Simple directly relating to combat, and Complex relating to archetype systems.

Healing and death. So Healing effects will you guessed it fall into the two categories, Simple (aka Stun damage) and Complex (aka lethal damage). Simple Healing or first aid, will remove stun damage, pretty easily. (Like stun patches easy). Complex or medicine will cause damage roll back. Which will shift lethal damage boxes to the stun track.  Complex will of course have longer interval. Magic will have the fastest healing, and will roll back damage. But with most of the usual SR healing limitations. Over damage and death. So no more over damage boxes. When a characters fills their last lethal damage box. They start dying, this trigger the Fight for Life Test. This will be Body+Will vs (1/2 your lethal Damage boxes) on your initiative. Get 3 success before 3 failures and the character stabilizes. Medical gear/Healing magic will allow of course instant stabilization. Being hit while your down triggers another Fight for Life Test with a difficult increased by the damage done. Just meaning that getting hit while done kills.  3 failures before 3 success and of course your dead.

So after all that we hit edge. I'm 100% on this yet, but my current feeling is edge attribute == combat pool.  meaning that human will combat pool of 3, you can get a 4, with merits but nothing takes edge to 5. Each turn characters get Combat pool dice. Combat pool dice can be used to augment Simple Test Targets difficulties. (IE that static defense test can be raise in reaction to be hit by a combat pool success.) Combat pool is drawn from edge. If you have combat roll that is below 10 dice, you can spend combat pool to raise it up to 10. But nothing can raise it above 10 dice.

Glitches and Opportunities. So if you thought edge was messy, welcome to the jungle. So to add some spice to the whole thing, we will of course be keeping Glitches, but to help even it out, I'm adding Opportunities. Glitches are complication due to some number of 1 and opportunities their opposite being are an advantageous condition due to some number of 6s. I'm look at that math very carefully. Running numbers in my head at work said 3 6s or 3 1s is a something like 5% on 10 dice. I need to run down that math specifically but that's my place holder for now. Getting glitch of course still assumes you have a success, or can you get critical glitches. i'm interest in putting in Critical Opportunities, but I'm not sure what that would like, so I'm open to discussion. It's likely there is enough going on in that you could get, a Glitch, and opportunity on the same roll and that maybe just to much and wandering to far from the simplicity that is the goal of this. I know that math gets weird below 10 dice but I'm gonna leave that alone for now.

Penalties and Advantages  Ok so something just are impossible. You cannot hide in the all concealing shadows when there are no Shadows. That said, while the GM can just rule at various some skill uses are impossible under common sense circumstances. However much more likely things are just not in your favor. So when this circumstance arises, and would be at a "Penalty" your roll becomes more likely to Glitch or Critical Glitch. Should you have an advantages circumstance you would of course have an increase chance of an opportunity as well. So again I just did the math quickly in my heading the slide value goes to something like 30%. The idea is to have this not disrupt the bound curve, while still increasing the pressure on the PC. Exceptions: Wound Penalties these are a core concept of SR. I can't get myself to drop them. So yeah -1 increasing linked to X number of boxes filled.

Finally initiative and movement. So 50% turning back the clock and 50% modern. So half actions you start with three. Initiative increase give additional half actions. So Wired Reflexes gives a half action per level of it rating (Rating also of course go 1-3.) It's rating increases with Augment slots along with whatever the effect of augments are. So something like 6 half actions as a cap. Things like Bursts fire, Full Auto, weapon sweeping, two weapon fighting will allow you to attack more then one target. This will largely be governed by weapon modes, augments, and martial arts. Attacks will require two half actions to launch, Melee are intended to have better damage value then range b/c strength will be added to the melee weapon damage rating. (Excepting the mono-whip of course.) Moving is a half action, moving will be a set value depending on metatype, vehicle etc, and spending more half actions on movement will give you another agile in meters or something along those lines, a very small amount basicly.

So that's my initial thought concept. Sorry for the wall of text. It's basically just dream land but I like it.
« Last Edit: <06-04-20/0121:07> by Marcus »
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Reaver

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« Reply #17 on: <06-04-20/1136:52> »
@Marcus,

OK, one issue I am seeing with your revised rules (as limited as they are, I know its not a fleshed out idea yet), is advancement.

As you know, I still play my original character from 1e with the same group of people. (yes, 30 years with the same character, and mostly same group of players!). under your rules layout, I am not really seeing much room for advancement and thus growth. It seems with such a limited spread of options, characters would quickly advance out of the game and be left with a static character. Or be forced to spread out into things that are just not thematically interesting for that character.


I had the same issue with 4e back in the day. When I transferred my character from 3e to 4e, The skill cap of 6, even after the reduction edition change, meant I had wasted karma on Skills (after the change, many of my skills were a 7/8, and thus autodropped to 6.) And i was forced into 2 basic roads of advancement.  Take skills that thematically contrasted with the character as played for 18 years, Or initiate... yet again... (you know the reason my character has initiated 23 times.... I know why... NOTHING ELSE TO SPEND KARMA ON!!!).

Simply put.. 4e had a level cap on the game. A very low limit cap. So low in fact, Characters I made for other tables hit that level cap pretty quickly too... (again, in a thematic sense... as you could always take more skills. But I am unsure how good Basketweaving is in Shadowrun.. I have never been asked to produce a basket...) And quickly, you went from a team of specialists to a team of very well rounded generalists. After all, if EVERYONE can hack, why have a dedicated hacker? If EVERYONE can shoot effectively why have a dedicated attacker?

SR5e increased the "level cap" with the opening of skills back to 12, at an very progressing cost. So at least now players like me (And I do realize i am an exception) can continue to advance a favored character past the first year or so of play.






Something to consider, and see if you can work it in...
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #18 on: <06-04-20/1145:31> »
A small advancement-sidenote: In SR5, going from 6 to 12 meant 114 Karma, 121 if you included adding a Specialization. In SR6, going from 5 (only 1 skill at max rank in SR6, so 5 is highest for most) to 9, with Expertise + Specialization, would be 165 karma. So the condensing of skill-groups vs the decreased cap still means you can spend a lot of Karma there.

On the other hand, Initiations are cheaper so it's 506 Karma to Initiate 23 times. ;D
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Marcus

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« Reply #19 on: <06-04-20/1515:07> »
Your point is very True Reaver, tightening down does mean narrowing karma advancement, in a real way even at an exponential xp cost 3 isn’t going to be a big price tag.  So my choice instead was to advance via equipment primarily. So each run will give access augments/runes, and players will advance characters via those upgrades. Karma  rewards will allow them to broaden their characters width more then depth. They will also get more combat pool, and that will largely separate new characters from experienced characters. This won’t help with games that are thousands of karma in the format just won’t support that well. My expectations is magic will involve more karma cost but nothing like the possible costs as outlined in ether 5 or 6 as they exist now.
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Marcus

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« Reply #20 on: <06-04-20/1619:55> »
I don't think I made my point about advancing through equipment very clearly. So we all know, the most popular books are always, filled with gun porn, new magic stuff, and sweet ware. But for all our love of equipment, PC's fairly rarely upgrade their major gear pieces, this is a problem I want to address.  Gear will upgrade and it's rating with it. Now sure whatever that does won't effect the die pool max. But adding new options and powers will be fun and feel rewarding to players. Also it will make the effectiveness curve a much smooth slope. No more sudden major jumps. Character will get stronger with their gear and it will happen at a fairly steady predictable rate.

In hand with this is magic, I'm all for initiation and metamagic, I'm even fine the magic attribute eventually being raised to superhuman 5, something that should actually be even reachable in this version. Quickening isn't going to be a game imbalance monster when all it does is add 1 die. Sure they can add 1 die to nearly everything eventually, and while its good, it's not going throw the curve into a crazy spiral.  The other things it will be able to add will be in line with what augments give. 

When you think about how much gear you average character packs around, it's easy to see how having folks improve through gear is logical focus for advancement. Long running campaigns will get character that can cover multiple rolls effectively, and will have really cool gear and lots of 10 die pools.

You could do thing like slide around combat pool advancement to make it slower, for really long running games, but yeah no matter couple thousand karma is just going to waste in this game concept.
Magic and Tech will be in line with one another. New Books will include around new augments/runes, as standard thing, and have them relate to whatever they are written about. So we can have more cool cultural and setting focused releases that will still give characters cool advancement options.

Power games will start with a 10 in their primary and push their values as high as possible, non-power games will start with slightly lower pools, but will still be effective as curve is bound. Boths characters will improve, non-power game can put point into hit max, while power game broaden their skill set. They will both augments are same rate, and will presumably upgrade what they like to use. In many ways this is about diversifying advancement, away from just the cash/karma. What Faces and runners can get excited about is negotiating on getting access to the better upgrades, and not just another couple hundred new yen. 

« Last Edit: <06-04-20/1622:04> by Marcus »
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dezmont

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« Reply #21 on: <06-04-20/1825:11> »
A 10 dice max would make the system extremely swingy, even if you lowered defense pools to cap out at say... 5.

If you didn't adjust how many dice your average op-for had for defense and resistance, the game would become unplayable. Its important to contextualize the pools: 10 dice is 'good' for an unauged human, but in practice 10 dice fails to hit a corpsec target more often than it hits. That means in this system the 'peak' person shooting fails far more often than they succeed and it causes the game's combat to become a terrible grind where everything misses all the time.

Even with a 5 defense dice average your looking at a 34% fail chance for the absolute best out of gen. Imagine being in combat as a street sam, just missing, and because both sides have such low pools your just dead. That isn't what the street sam sells at all, and it would be a frustrating and frankly bad game.

SR... was just not designed for these low dicepools, it was really clearly designed to operate at you being in the 16-18 range. This is because the absolute difference between pools is both smaller at low numbers, and your way less consistent at low numbers. So even if you normalize these numbers by cutting everything in half you get weird unfun results, your 16 dice street sam shooting at a 8 dice corspec (they aren't full defending) goes from an 82% hit rate to a 69% hit rate. Meanwhile the corpsec firing back at a PC with 12 defense dice (again not full defending) sits at a 20% hit rate at 4 dice.... but if you flatten it like that then their chance to hit a PC who had only 10 or 8 defense dice jumps really hard and we get back to 4e where if you weren't a mega-optimized fighter you just got creamed in a fight.

SR dicepools are basically coinflips till you get to 6 dice, the difference between 4 and 5 isn't very large in outcome in an opposed test vs 4, 3, or 2. This means that by crunching down the numbers to that small a range you actually can't differentiate different types of characters that well. You want PCs who are good at something to at *least* get a 4 dice lead on the opposed rolls they are going to make to get a remotely comfortable success rate, which is, again, why 'powergamers' are taking the 'ware the game tells them to take. This becomes really obvious if you ever simulate a fight of corpsec between themselves: They constantly miss and not much happens and the fight takes foooooooreeeeeeeeever.

A small advancement-sidenote: In SR5, going from 6 to 12 meant 114 Karma, 121 if you included adding a Specialization. In SR6, going from 5 (only 1 skill at max rank in SR6, so 5 is highest for most) to 9, with Expertise + Specialization, would be 165 karma. So the condensing of skill-groups vs the decreased cap still means you can spend a lot of Karma there.

On the other hand, Initiations are cheaper so it's 506 Karma to Initiate 23 times. ;D

This, and the greater point about 'ware advancement, is way more interesting a problem, because it doesn't just look at the behavior and say 'this is bad, lets stop the behavior' but asks why the behavior is happening. 10 dice cap feels super arbitrary once you run the numbers, of what that would end up looking like, while player behavior is not, as an aggregate, arbitrary, and results from them trying to make logical decisions that you can infer things from. "Why do so many players push to really high dicepools?" shouldn't be answered by a surface level assumption of powergaming, because even if that was true, it means power-gamers noticed something about the system that indicates certain numbers (known to optimizers as breakpoints) mean a disproportionate amount. After all, most optimizers would agree someone with say... 50 soak is probably less optimal than a PC with 40, and that a PC with 16 automatics is significantly stronger than one with 20 pistols, it isn't just that the numbers are high and they want big numbers, something is happening in the system to cause decisions to be seen as important.

Put another way, people who enjoy playing powerful PCs for their own sake exist, and a design can't ever remove every pick that can be 'solved' without becoming so sanded over its boring, but that doesn't mean one should throw up their hands about it and nuke the system from orbit and tell GMs to stop said players (which is low key what 6e did). Firstly because that behavior isn't always (or even generally) unhealthy if the system doesn't let it go too crazy, and for another even though that behavior is inevitable as a designer you want to follow why they are making the choices they are to understand them and cause your system to accomplish the things you want it to do, rather than tell the Gm to basically finish the design for you (Coined by RPG fans as the Oberoni fallacy) or doing something dramatic that hurts the system just to stop this behavior without understanding it (which I feel an arbitrary pool cap would cause).

It may be the root issue for PCs getting the upper end dicepools the system allows sans skill advancement: Karma is not equally good for role archetypes, which seems interesting (some advance by nuyen instead) but its not, for many reasons. For one, initiation is just stronger, and for another, the way karma advancement works means you can incrementally pay to get to an end spot, where with nuyen not buying all at once is hugely disadvantaging.

This might be the actual reason it feels like people cheese their pools with 'ware so high at gen to the expense of everything else. Its less that you shouldn't aug the things your good at, it is more that you almost never will get to upgrade 'big' pieces of 'ware over the game and the best time to make titanic purchases is at gen.

So it seems like A: Initiation should be nerfed (Though that creates a huge problem with metamagics, which are interesting ways to customize your mage but which are so limited in slow advance games you can't do anything 'fun' with them. It seems clear to me that the power advancement of IG and metamagics should be separated out, or even that all metamagics should become mastery qualities and IG should scale really aggressively and be purely for IG grade benefits), and B: The way 'archetype' gear is priced may need to be looked over. A bandaid fix is to, of course, let 'ware upgrades come with a discount equal to the full price of the previous level (So getting wired 2 if you have wired 1 for example doesn't punish you at all, you didn't 'waste' that cash, reducing the need to go 'deep' on 'ware at gen). The greater issue though is that while 'ware advancements are big and powerful, to the point that at gen the best thing an adept can do to increase their power level is to aug out (Which is fine and somewhat intended, but not exactly part of the adept fantasy, so it should still exist but not feel mandatory), they come at such a huge up front cost that it is unrealistic to try to upgrade 'ware.

It seems to me that 'ware's price should come way down across the board and the primary cost should be viewed in essence, so that advancement comes not from fiiiiiinally being able to drop 500k on 'ware, but instead you incrementally upgrading 'ware grades and earning a few fractional essence at a time to squeeze more in: You can get a decent package at gen without having to go resources A because now wired 2 costs say... 26k, and not 200+, because the real cost you are paying is essence.

This, however, has a problem because it pushes mundanes into a space where they generally have to go to .01 to be competitive, which a lot of players don't like. So maybe nuyen based PC advancement is just a bad idea on the face of it? Maybe a page should be taken from Anarchy's book and just equalize the price of everything that is an augmentation, save nuyen for gadgets and bribes and tools (Which has the side benefit of not forcing you to drop a million nuyen in the player's lap to get players to advance, which can be thematically weird), and then equalize adept powers a bit better to 'ware so that you aren't being charged like a full 2.6 effective essence to get the equivalent of muscle toner.

Still, I think it is telling that adepts tend to be way more comfortable not being 'feature complete' than their mundane cousins due to how getting 1 PP is way more trivial in terms of time to advance than 1 ess of good 'ware, even though 1 PP is way weaker (again, a factor contributing to burnout adepts being extremely optimal for adept players before things like the elemental purity mastery quality).
« Last Edit: <06-04-20/1840:23> by dezmont »

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« Reply #22 on: <06-04-20/1847:34> »
It would be interesting to me if Karma could advance ware. You only had to buy the 1st level, you could buy additional levels but you only had to buy the first level. Basically have a idea that with experience you get more bang for your buck out of the same piece of gear. Also I think the costs need to return to SR4 levels, maybe even cheaper.

Marcus

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« Reply #23 on: <06-04-20/1917:23> »
Dezmont, a 10 die pool with success rate of 4,5 and 6 isn't going to be very swingy. It's going to average 5, sure yes you will see 4 and 6 lot but it's going to be way smoother then a d20 or 3d6 which are largely the industry standards. When defense value is maxed at 5, and for most NPCs it is going to be lower then that, success rate will be well above average. So I'm not sure if you missed what i said above but that's the math.

Next why folks have giant die pool isn't a mysterious question, it's very obvious. Opposed rolls exist. Yes that is self inflicted problem, but it's the system dynamic. We have to change that dynamic, and it's not simple to do and be "true" to SR.

So removing the primary cause (Opposed rolls) that drives die expansion and then re-doing the basic of the system so that players feel they are making character fit within idiom is the goal, and then helping those character be successful should i hope work out. Removing the Attribute pitfall from the generation table should help a lot as well.
« Last Edit: <06-04-20/1939:41> by Marcus »
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dezmont

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« Reply #24 on: <06-04-20/2041:48> »
Dezmont, a 10 die pool with success rate of 4,5 and 6 isn't going to be very swingy. It's going to average 5, sure yes you will see 4 and 6 lot but it's going to be way smoother then a d20 or 3d6 which are largely the industry standards. When defense value is maxed at 5, and for most NPCs it is going to be lower then that, success rate will be well above average. So I'm not sure if you missed what i said above but that's the math.

I did miss it. Is the defense value static or rolled? Both are still really not ideal, I highly recommend you actually look into coinflip probability because that system results in attacks essentially auto-hitting if your attack value is 3 higher than the defense value, and auto-missing in every other case, and if you really want to stick with it tuning things to not be a 1-5 vs 5-10 system.

If an NPC rolls 6 attack dice, they beat out anyone but the most artful dodger 50% of the time, and defense 3 people are almost always hit. But if you go lower to say 4as the starting value for your average NPC attacker, defense 3 people are missed 70% of the time. 1 point shifts create these massive swings if the defense number is static where you basically need an overwhelming advantage to have a shot. But if it isn't static, your defense pool is functionally worthless vs anyone with more coins than you.

It is neat to think of an edition of SR you could play with pocket change though. But, at the end of the day, there is a reason why almost every pool roll system (Genesys, WoD, SR) go for roughly a 1/3rd hit rate on dice: It makes it so that the difference between two numbers 1 off can be significant without overpowering, and flattens the curve of probability so even though roll and keep systems are far more consistent than percentile systems like d20 or 1d100, and even 3d6 systems like gurps, you still get a wider variance of outcomes than 50/50, which tends to spike super hard at the average result.

One thing to help avoid this very big swing factor would, ironically, be limits. Other potential options include bringing back TN modifications in a limited way, or auto-hits. How the edge system would be changed obviously would be big too. The big issue here though is this requires so many changes to support your basically designing a system from scratch.

Next why folks have giant die pool isn't a mysterious question, it's very obvious. Opposed rolls exist.

This is not actually the primary cause. Again, you should actually go down the rabbit hole rather than making a surface level assumption.

People optimize in roles where opposed rolls aren't common (For example, many magical skills) and even in the case of opposed rolls, they aren't actually that statistically different than regular threshold based rolls: Someone with 20 dice, for example, is merely an average threshold of 6.

In SR, the optimal move is to get enough dice to hit a consistent threshold, be it an actual threshold, or a threshold derived from opposed rolls. You don't assume your GM is going to endlessly pump grunts, you optimize to do certain things to a grunt.

Case in point? Automatics 16 is considered an important breakpoint because it lets you one hit kill a full defensing standard statline corpsec with a burst around 66% of the time without edge, and almost every time with post-edge, meaning you can force a critical kill regardless of what your opponent is trying to do and will one hit down them more often than not. Going to 18 dice doesn't increase your odds very much, it gets your kill rate to around 73%, which is an improvement of 7% in the most difficult shot you will generally expect to take, saving you an edge in maybe 2 out of 25 rolls vs your average target. 18 dice vs that corpsec killshots 85% of the time vs a 16 dice killshotting 81% of the time if they aren't full defensing, meaning it saves you 1 edge in maybe every 25 rolls if the killshot is critical and the corpsec doesn't want to give up a pass or can't. Even assuming they full defense 1/2 of all attack rolls you need to attack around 20 times to get a rebate of 1 edge.

Meanwhile, automatics 14 is a significant drop on automatics 16: Your kill rate is only around 55%, meaning on almost half your rolls vs that target you fail, and on 1/10 attacks in that scenario you lost an edge (and the edge is less likely to be a killshot, but not that much). On a non-full defense your killshot rate is still 70% as opposed to 81%, meaning, again, its around 1/10 attacks, meaning for 1 in every 10 attacks you will need to edge where you wouldn't before. So going from 16 to 18 means your gaining 1 edge every 25 attacks, while going from 16 to 14 means your losing 1 edge every 10. This means the jump from 14 to 16 is way stronger than the jump from 16 to 18, which is why 16 is such a big breakpoint, it is where you start getting really slammed by diminishing returns. This circumstance didn't come about because of the opposed roll, but because its clear that going below 16 starts to hurt you consistently if you make a lot of attacks on a run, while going above doesn't help you as much. If you assume a prime runner will roll a different defense set and wear certain armor, the value changes. As does your weapon (Pistols 20 isn't even sufficient to get the one hit down consistently on a non-full defensing corpsec, for example!). If you can get to 18 without paying a major cost, by all means do so, but going from 16 to 18 is where you start paying costs (Your cheap aug options of smartlink and a specialty aren't sufficient anymore) and it becomes something your building your PC around.

Coinflip balance doesn't at all change how you evaluate building pools (It is always a cost benefit analysis), it just changes the targets. In your example case, it basically means 'don't get shot at without being able to soak the entire attack or you die.' And depending on what your opponent's attack pools are it is either not worth investing in defending or ONLY worth defending based on your average opponent. This is kinda what happened with 6e: Soak got removed, and opponent's attack rolls got reduced to compensate, so suddenly full defense got radically overpowered because it was very easy to achieve a dodge rate of around 70% vs the PR 10-12 grunts.

Put another way: I can't think of an RPG where players don't gravitate towards good dicerolls and pools, saying it is a fundamental problem with the concept of opposed rolls is completely nonsense. Roll and keep mechanics have been around for some odd 30 years, and they work completely fine. Blaming a problem you percieve with a specific game line on something that is common in many games is... very strange to say the least. It isn't like D&D is looking at people pushing up their attack rolls to try to hit as often as they can and saying 'Oh this is a problem with you having to roll attacks vs different ACs depending on the enemy, lets remove AC' when the game got out of balance. They looked at why people were stacking BAB to the point they auto hit (Turns out that power attack being most of the damage you dealt combined with BAB being the cheapest combat stat to raise caused this) and made changes to the system to fix that (Mainly, 4e changed it so missed attacks weren't as punishing and made raising BAB a side benefit for strong magical weapons, while 5e just removed power attack all together).

This is common for a lot of optimization in SR: your trying to hit at least a specific number efficiently and then are free to either pump it for essentially vanity or to go out wider. This is why someone with 2 pools at 16 is considered significantly stronger than someone with one pool at 32, despite the 32 pool being stronger: Having two different skills that very consistently pass is way better than having one skill you can guarentee a pass on, because the 16 in most situations is already a guarantee. I highly recommend actually talking to some optimizers to understand their thought process, because it VERY much isn't "I want the highest pool I can get because my GM may throw a 20 dice opfor at me." Optimizers prefer shortcuts to climbing tall peaks, if that makes sense, there is a reason in SR's history you more have people analyzing the efficiency of different resources, priority table choices, and BP ratios, to get to a goal than playing oldschool pornomancers to max out their social dice in 4e. Both were famous forum posts, but one was frequently referenced as a useful tool and the other was more a goofy thought experiment along the lines of punpun.

Like your way more likely to see a face-sam able to hit an IP3 80% of the time with a 80% rate of success on weapon hiding vs corpsec with 14 dice in all social rolls and a one hit kill on average with APDS SMGs be gushed about than TOWER, the 60 soak troll who is at the system maximum for soak out of gen, just like how the real nerds cared way more about wand of cure light wound's GP/HP conversion ratio (For real its like .33 GP per Hp healed, its makin me blush just thinking about it. Wowza!) than Hulking Hurler cheese in 3.5.
« Last Edit: <06-04-20/2127:45> by dezmont »

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« Reply #25 on: <06-04-20/2230:54> »
Defense will be static, attacks will resolve in one roll (excepting the possible combat pool boost to DV, but it will be a small number of dice, and isn't like to happen all that often). Speeding up the whole combat process.

PC defense will probably be higher and the Combat pool defense option is there specifically to help deal with this.  But I do expect PCs will be hit as well, however there will be layered defense with soak back, and the revised death system will eliminate the PC one shot to Dead issue of the system's past.
 
I helped in the char gen section on this site for a long time, assisting in optimizing ever sort of character. Yes people do go for specific targets results. But don't think that is some how a deep more meaningful reality then surface cause. Opposed Rolls, are what drives PCs to keep pushing higher and higher.  Yes options vary widely, and yes some options are better bypassing defenses then others (See Mana spells, Poison etc.) But it's some coincidence everyone jumped to stick-n-shocks. 

One of the reasons for this thread is at this is develop a Bound Hit curve SR variant. We all want fun good results, and we all like rolling a handful of dice. But any time your at con table and folks start rolling 20+ pools, the action slows down. It just takes time to count out and roll and resolve 20+die rolls, and when you have to have 3 of them to resolve one combat action, it just would be better if could be handled more simply.

You can read my post about it above. I'd be interest to hear what you have to say on my Glitch/Opportunity concept.

Hulking hurler was as silly as the bag of rats trick, and just as easy to beat as the 60 Soak troll. One my more ridiculous DnD stories involved defeating a titan of time who had epic Vow poverty with an AC 140+ ranged. I was playing a very emo Hafling Paladin, Bone knight, Champion of Hexiter, who added epic Cha to everything he rolled twice. (Our GM ruled that 20 didn't auto hit Unless you could actually theoretic reach the AC. Hit math is kinda my jam.) After the duel, we won over that titan of time by having him make friends with sentient magic carpet artifact our mage crafted as companion for him, and my character gave him a pair of really nice woolen socks, and an amazing feast prepared by our nameless monk.
« Last Edit: <06-04-20/2234:15> by Marcus »
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« Reply #26 on: <06-05-20/1407:26> »
You want a system where your hit probability is well above 50% for most combats. On the list of lessons 4th ed DnD taught us, and what 5th edition used to great effect is systems or enemies that have 50% or low hit chance feel painful. (See Soldier type back 4e.) What everyone one loves to fight is brutes. It's no surprised that's what become default monster type in 5e is. So what do we do? We change how we make opfor. Give'em more health boxes and decent soak and keep defenses low, and use the curve to ensure the floor to ceiling is low. Essentially we need to be sure very bad choices don't exist in creation.  Getting rid of Attributes is good step in the direction, have 10 cap, will encourage some player to hit that cap, and it will encourage other players to avoid hitting it. The Anti-power gaming sentiment is tragically still strong in some parts of the community. 

Then we focus on making character creation swift and painless.  So a new player can sit down make a fairly limited number of choices and be able to play an SR character in 10-20 mins. Which means, pre-selected simplified priority choice lines. Pre-populated stat arrays, pre-made gear packages, and focused choices. For each Archetype. I know previous attempts were made at this concept this but this needs to actually result in solid playable characters, not just cleaver packages. We need to move away from example characters as have been done in the past. Their far to error prone, and all collected data often overwhelm new players. Character sheets need to list exactly what the player will roll right after the skill rating, weapon, vehicle, program etc. We also need keep the whole process cleaner, Fake ID sets should all be packaged, with clear statements of risk. No more built in screw the player options in core equipment guide. RFID Bullets and all the nonsense just needs to go.

Gear needs to be simple, and what they do mechanically clearly stated next to them, and where roll are involved exact pools listed. Story stuff is important, but should be written to support the mechanics changes. New Implants are complex systems designed to grow and upgrade with easy to install packages as the users becomes more experienced with them. Ware upgrade are done via nanites injected or something easy to explain that does not require extensive surgery and/or bed rest. Magic needs to be just as simply as adding a rune to an exist item, initiation should straight forward and accomplished with a quick to the magic day spa at the worst. Lodges need to be clarified more specifically. What is a lodge? Is it mobile? Can you set it up and break it down?
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« Reply #27 on: <06-05-20/1556:00> »
I am wondering if you might be barking down the wrong tree there.

What concerns me with this last bit is, its not feeling like a RPG from what you have said. And you seem to be following in the same general footsteps that CRPGs have... for what sounds like the same reasons... and possibly to the same effect (which was not good!)..

This is going to be hard to explain.. but you seem to be taking a fundamental choice out of the players hands... all in the name of helping the players. And that choice is Attribute selection. Character creation in ANY roleplaying game can get extremely complex! Or it can take 10 minutes with a beer. Shadowrun can be both right now.

An experienced player can throw a Street Sam together in about 10 minutes of effort (and I have. Several times!). Now, it's not a "fully optimized" character, nor as good a character as if i spent 2 hours making it.... and for some people, that IS the game! There are people who never, ever play an actual game, have no interest in playing the game, but  they love to build characters. They spend hours writing the back story before they allocate a single build point! Its strange, its bizarre, but they do exist.


The same things has happened in CRPGs over the last 20 years. (and because I watched a 3 hour YT video on this very subject) Look at the Fallout franchise. From fallout to Fallout4... You see a progressive simplification of the game, and the game mechanics. (For those of you who did not play the original Fallout.. think GURPS in compter form and you are not far wrong. Fallout originally was going to use GURPS... before creating the SPECIAL system)

In the original Fallout, you had your 7 attributes, 38 skills, 4 derived attributes, and a perk every 3 levels And while the game had a fixed narrative, you were free to build your character any way you choose... including making a totally nonviable build that died to the rats at the front door to the vault... 

Fallout 2, you had the 7 attributes, 30 skills, 3 derived attributes, and a perk every 3 levels. Basically they removed 8 skills.... and while some say that "tightened" the game, it also meant removing the player options tied to those 8 skills...  In short, player option was removed.

Fallout 3, you had the 7 attributes, 20 skills, 3 derived attributes, and a perk every 3 levels. Admittedly some of the changes came from the total change of the game. (from isometric to FPS) BUT some of those changes really did affect player agency. The simple act of combat was the biggest change! In fallout 2 combat was determined by your character skills.. if your character had a pistol skill of 85, you had an 85% chance to hit.. in Fallout 3, a pistol skill of 85 gave you... an 85% increase in damage for the pistol, and a 8.5% reduction in the spread... the PLAYERS skill in at shooting in FPS games became the CHARACTERS skill...

Fallout NV: Basically the same as FO3.... they didn't change anythign mechanics wise. Its the same game under the hood.

Fallout4: you no longer make a character. you play as Nate OR Nora. Yes you can change the way they look. But that is it. Attributes have almost 0 effect on the game. (for example 1 end and a 10 end... means 300 health at level 100.) skills are entirely gone. Perks are given every level to replace skills, but are so limited in application as to not matter. For example: In fallout 1-2 if you wanted to play a minigun expert... you could have be King of sKill Mountain by level 13 in miniguns (and SUCK at everything else)...
But in Fallout 4, you have to wait until 41 to unlock all heavy weapons skills... Doesn't matter that heavy weapons is only 4 ranks... you HAVE to be lvl 41 to get full effect....
And really, it is worth it by that point?
In fallout 1 and 2... Enemies health was based on a END/location/lvl system. which kept enemies from being bullet sponges. a raider a lvl 1 would have about 21 health in the chest area... while a lvl 20 raider (same stats otherwiese) had about 35 in the chest... which gave your character a feeling of accomplishment when you started one shotting raiders with your maxed out pistol skill......
In fallout 4, enemy health progresses with your level (to a point, as all enemy types a lvl cap)... but suddenly you find yourself going from 3 to 4 hits at level 1 to kill a raider, to 3 or 4 MAGAZINES to kill a raider by level 60.

Now, with 12 million units sold in 24 hours... Betheseda would probably say "look! every one wanted the simplification! It sold really well!" And yet... middling review scores after you cut out the initial hype reviews.... and the MOST popular game mods of fallout 4 in the gameplay effects and changes? (aside from ones that remove the minigames) are ones that remove enemy bullet sponginess, and put skills BACK INTO the game! (Frost and Horizion).

Do i even need to mention fallout 76... or can we just take that one out behind the woodshed yet?



In short.. I think you are moving the in the wrong direction there.... Player agency is what makes roleplaying games... remove the agency and you remove the role playing...

Why not just make 6 defined "characters" and say "This is it. end of list. play away" ?




 
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« Reply #28 on: <06-05-20/2007:01> »
So what I'm say about making things simpler is for first time players. As you are well aware, new players can't turn out a street sam in 10 mins, Because they don't know what sam is let alone the options needed to build one. We want a new player to sit down at a table for the first time, spend 10-20 mins making X choices, and then do a run with their character. This gives them ownership and hopefully they have a great time. We want them to feel challenged and rewarded (Something gear based advancement will aid with), we want them to see advancement on their character and the fantasy of that character to be real to them.  We want that initial experience to be engaging and stream lined, enough to ease them over complexity sticker shock. Once that have got over the initial buy in phase, sure let them can take advantage of the full generation system.

I'm saying structured choice. Yes I do favor eliminating those option that we have known are bad for a long time, The writers of 6e termed those options Sink holes in references to the 6e priority tables. (I think everyone in here is well aware of my extremely low opinion of 6e, so you can imagine my level of enthusiasm for quoting them). Lowest Priority attribute is dead man walking, it has been for many editions. Giving a new play a chance to make that is choice is just bad.  Once folks are in then sure give'em full choice when they some experience with playing the game that is reasonable. Then they can spend the time and make an informed choice. 

So as to why not just do premades? It's about ownership. In point of fact we basically are giving them a premade but we are giving them their premade, customized by X choices, that distinction is meaningful. SR core examples premades have reliably been bad for I don't even know many editions, and I don't just badly built, I mean they have regularly been in violation generation rules. I mean even the character from the intro box were wrong in 6e. Premades that are accurate can work and we have seen good example made in this forum, but getting buy in via generation from the player is better.

We know this works better b/c systems that use this method are increasing their player-base more rapidly then those that are not.

Sure a bunch of premades are cute and fuzzy, but save examples PCs for the Runners book(s).

« Last Edit: <06-05-20/2017:28> by Marcus »
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« Reply #29 on: <06-06-20/0827:40> »
I'd be interested in seeing a finished write up... even if it was unpolished. I'm not sure its a good idea, but its a worth while thought experiment, and who knows where it leads to in the "next draft" :P


There is no question there is a lot to clean up. Sadly over 6 editions, and 3 companies.. Shadowrun has a lot of broken and conflicting issues. Sadly I think a lot of them were caused by "simplifications" over the editions.

magic,
Armor,
Ammo/weapons,
initiative,

they have all been toyed with over the editions, and each time, I feel things have gotten further out of wack.... and its compiling.

magic and "Universal Magic Theory" crap of 4e really hurt the magic system.. they basically shoehorned 2 entirely different play styles of magic under 1 single branch of magic.. and ended breaking the entire thing.... And sadly I think they realized it 3 books in... Right when they went to write a magic book... and realized they shot a 75 page hole in their book! After all, if all magic is "fundamentally the same", It REALLY shoots Traditions in the foot. (which was the VERY POINT of UMT.. to place magic under a single system!!!) So we got a meally mouth "its all the same, but not really, but kinda is, but not... sorta" 3 page intro.

Spirits and Elementals were entirely different creations, summoned by different alignments of magic, and thus came with their own abilities and limitations. It was these abilites and limitations that kept Spirits from getting out of hand...

That Shaman Sicc'd a Hearth Spirit (AKA Spirit of man) on you??? Oh no!!! you're soooo screwed... until to step 1 inch out of the building... as Hearth Spirits are powerless outside of their building..

That Mage Attacking you with his Fire elemental? "attack of Will" (which they cut!), simple water (which they also removed), and don't forget the elemental's LITERAL following of the rules... with no Sapience behind its actions...

Remember when Armor had meaning? And a choice? Heck do you remember when AMMO had meaning??? Or actual MELEE combat beyond "MR. Troll smash goot!!" and an Adept?

They Simplified Armor, Removing the Impact armor from the equation... But it was this very division of Ballistic and impact that gave Ammo and melee weapons viability!!
Yes, you could armor you're self to the point that heavy machine gun fire was a light massage... but you got awfully nervous when they stopped shooting and pulled out knives... Or just loaded the Flilchette ammo...

But no... That was "too complex" Lets just dumb it down to a single stat... And who really cares about ammo and melee weapons anyway.. its just Trolls with combat axes and APDS all day, all the way anyway...   

WELLLLLL... when the APDS ammo costs 150x the cost of regular ammo, and does LESS damage per shot... you only used it on the hardened armor targets it was meant for!! for the high armored targets, you used EX-EX.. or Flilchette VS their impact...

And yea.. That Roid Raging Troll with a combat Axe isn't that scary if you know in advance and stack the impact armor.. Heck it might just tickle! until he pulls that hold out pistol 

But no... Single Armor stat... no need to change anything else... after all its just "Trolls with combat axes and ADPS all day all the way anyway"....


And initiative!!! OH GAWD!!!! INITIATIVE!!!!
I .. actually like the change there.. so.. I guess i can't complain.. too loudly. except they should have reduced the cost (cash and essence) of initiative enhancers for the fact that they are no longer front loaded to the initiative list... but being back loaded is still useful. (just LESS useful) 





Yea.. lots has been changed, borked, and confuzzled over the editions, companies and years.



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