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Warden Drake

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« on: <06-05-20/0942:46> »
  Hello, I'm a new player to Shadowrun, and I wanted to ask a few questions about character creation.  I haven't been able to get access to any of the books as of yet, mostly thanks to this virus outbreak, and since Reddit wouldn't work, I found myself turning to this forum.  I've got a basic knowledge of some of the races, but I'm still unsure about several things; if anyone's willing to help, I'd deeply appreciate it. 

(For Fun) 1. Which would be better for a D&D Dragonborn Character: Drake or Changeling?  Yes, I'm aware that both settings are completely different.  Yes, I'm aware of the social issues both races have; this isn't so much a serious question as it is a theoretical question.  I'm more interested using this character in writing a story than I am in min-maxing. 

(For Fun) 2. Related to the above, would either race be able to use the Shapecange spell?  I had a few ideas for a shapesifting dragon, but I couldn't find a definitive answer elsewhere. 

(Serious) 3. What race and class would you guys recommend for a beginner?  I ran a shapeshifting dragonborn in D&D, but I want to see how, precisely, I need to make a character in Shadowrun; in D&D, you could use whatever, but Shadowrun requires much more planning; what would be a starting point? 

(Serious) 4. What would be a good Champaign idea for a beginner?  I've got a vague idea how these work; meet a Mr. Johnson, get contract, make plans, execute plans, everything goes sideways because of random chance, etc.  However, I wanted an idea of a basic contract, to "test the waters," so to speak, so I can improve on contracts down the line. 

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #1 on: <06-05-20/1000:45> »
Since Dragonborn are still just a race, setting-wise I'd go with a lizard-style Changeling. Drakes are a big thing here, much bigger than a Dragonborn in D&D.

A Shapechange spell exists, but it only lets you turn into a non-paranormal critter. Dragons could learn that to turn into a metahuman shape, perhaps, but you can't turn into a Dragon. Great Dragons do have the ability to turn into Metahuman Shape.

Beginning Metatype I'd say start with just the 5 base options. Go Human if you want to play a lucky bastard who doesn't face much racism, Ork or Troll if you want to be a melee fighter, Elf for Street Samurai or Shaman, Dwarf for Decker, I guess? Archetype-wise, I'd say Covert Ops, Weapon Specialist, Street Samurai or B&E Expect is a good simple way to start, not using too many different rules.

Honestly, I think one of the easier campaign ideas would be doing jobs for gangs and Organized Crime, slowly turning into a massive underground war. The reason is that this gives more GM control to restrict Matrix and Magic defenses of your targets, unlike if you're constantly striking Corporate sites.

Run-type, there's quite a few. SR6 names 10 of them:
- Extraction, aka kidnap, which may or may not be voluntarily, to snatch someone from Corp A and bring them to Corp B
- Babysitting, aka guarding a place, item, or person for a specific duration
- Protection Detail, aka bodyguard duty where you got to actually respect your charge, unlike babysitting
- Diversion, distracting security so someone else can strike
- Thievery, aka steal items (cargo transport, stores, corpsites)
- Datasteal, get in, snatch up sensitive data, get out
- Wetwork, murder by a sweeter name (may require faking it's an accident, or framing others)
- Transportation, aka smuggling
- Bounty Hunting, capturing criminals or special creatures for a posted bounty
- White Hat, a B&E to test security
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: <06-05-20/1044:24> »
For fun:

I'll second the recommendation to look at changelings that happen to look like a half-person half-dragon.  Simon Andrews, a changeling recurring NPC in Shadowrun Organized play, probably has the look you're going for:



A problem with wanting to play a Drake is it's not a balanced power level with more conventionally appropriate picks like elf or dwarf.  It'd be like wanting to play a Vampire or a Medusa in a D&D game.  Sure, if the GM is willing to let you be massively more powerful than the elf ranger or the dwarf cleric.  But in a normal game... not very appropriate.  Plus in the case of Drakes, beyond the imbalance problem there's another substantial problem for player agency in being some Dragon's lackey ;)

Of course, even changelings can be problematic from a meta, logistical issue.  There's no rules for them yet in 6th edition, and if you're playing 5th edition, you'll need to buy a rules expansion book just to play them.  What might be best in an out-of-the-core-rulebook context for a new player:  Play a sixth world version of this guy:



Imagine how much more body modification is possible in a world with cyberware and bioware ;)


Another note on coming from D&D:  In Shadowrun, being able to use magic is a binary thing.  You can't start as a street samurai and later gain magic in the way you can start as a fighter at 1st level then multiclass into wizard or sorcerer in D&D.  If you want to sling spells in Shadowrun, you have to build for that from the onset.

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.

Reaver

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« Reply #3 on: <06-05-20/1455:28> »
  Hello, I'm a new player to Shadowrun, and I wanted to ask a few questions about character creation.  I haven't been able to get access to any of the books as of yet, mostly thanks to this virus outbreak, and since Reddit wouldn't work, I found myself turning to this forum.  I've got a basic knowledge of some of the races, but I'm still unsure about several things; if anyone's willing to help, I'd deeply appreciate it. 

(For Fun) 1. Which would be better for a D&D Dragonborn Character: Drake or Changeling?  Yes, I'm aware that both settings are completely different.  Yes, I'm aware of the social issues both races have; this isn't so much a serious question as it is a theoretical question.  I'm more interested using this character in writing a story than I am in min-maxing. 

(For Fun) 2. Related to the above, would either race be able to use the Shapecange spell?  I had a few ideas for a shapesifting dragon, but I couldn't find a definitive answer elsewhere. 

(Serious) 3. What race and class would you guys recommend for a beginner?  I ran a shapeshifting dragonborn in D&D, but I want to see how, precisely, I need to make a character in Shadowrun; in D&D, you could use whatever, but Shadowrun requires much more planning; what would be a starting point? 

(Serious) 4. What would be a good Champaign idea for a beginner?  I've got a vague idea how these work; meet a Mr. Johnson, get contract, make plans, execute plans, everything goes sideways because of random chance, etc.  However, I wanted an idea of a basic contract, to "test the waters," so to speak, so I can improve on contracts down the line.

Welcome to Shadowrun, not going to lie, its going to be a bumpy ride. But, if you can handle it, at the end is a very deep world of mystery, adventure, terror, and random acts of shenanigans!


First thing I am going to tell you is: Sadly your DnD experience is not going to serve you well :(  Other then teaching you the basics of table top, Shadowrun and DnD are two entirely different play styles and game objectives. I don't say this to disrespect you, or to trash DnD (I love DnD!). only to forewarn you, as Players who come to Shadowrun often have the hardest time with the game due to how thematically different both games, game world, and game cores are.

now to your questions...
1 (Fun): lets see... have no Free Will as you just a meat puppet for a dragon... Or be an outcast freak, reviled for my mutations that make me look like a lizard... Choices, choices!  I guess this will depend on the story you are writing... Do you really want to get the players involved with beings so powerful, that the military of a nation, using specialized weapons, and ambush tactics only managed to wound and piss ONE off? (as in they fought, and LOST to a SINGLE Great dragon!)... Or do you want to write a story about being a freak on the edge of society? Both have interesting plots...

2 (Fun): There is a spell called Shapechange. But its use is limited to 1: mundane animals of roughly the same mass. 2: to the awakened only... and while dragon are awakened, changelings are not by default. (you have to expend character resources at creation to awaken...And again on your changeling qualities... leading to a very thin character, or a very burdened character.)

3: for a starting character, I always recommend a Street Sammy. The reason for this is easy, it has the least rules to worry about, is the easiest to build an effective character, and gets most players right into the heart of the action. as for the other archtypes, I'll give you a break down here... but keep in mind, there is no "class" system in Shadowrun... A character in SR is fully defined by his skills....

Street Samurai (Gun Bunny, Street Sam, Razor Boi, Gillette, bullet shield, weapon Specialist): the Street Samurai is the archtype that is there for combat. Usually built around cyberware and weapons, the Street Sam is who you turn to when everything goes wrong, and  going "Loud and Proud" is the team's best option for survival.

Face (Hussler, Gabber, Smotthtalker, Con-artist, Seducer) More then just a pretty face, The Face relies on a web of contacts, charm, and etiquette to get what they need. After all, why risk death and injury when simply asking can open the same door? Need to know what is actually going down, as opposed to what the Johnson told you? The Face can probably suss out Truth from fiction. And the bonus pay they can usually negotiate doesn't hurt too :D

Faces are generally built with cyberware, but with a focus on the Social side of things... So they get things to look better, smell better, and be more charming... Skill wise they focus on Social skills and contacts (important for finding gear, clues, info, and paydata). 

Riggers. (Spiders. Dronemaster, Wheeler, Driver. Pilot.) If it has an engine and moves, its the preview of the Rigger! Be it a mircodrone, or a main battle tank, you want a rigger at the wheel. These flyboys and girls literally pug their brain directly into the vehicle they are piloting, thus react with the speed of thought! Able to drive better then any other person live, for the getaway, you need a rigger! And the swarms of armed drones they can deploy are pretty helpful in a fight too :D

Deckers. (Matrix junkies. Scriptkiddies, Matrixjocks, Hacker) Deckers are to the matrix (Shadowrun's internet) what Riggers are to drones. IF its hooked up the Matrix (and everything is!) Then the Decker can find it, hack it, and control it! using their skills, deck, and a direct neural connection, a Decker pugs his brian directly into the data stream of the matrix for the fastest hacking abilities.... be that to open a door, or hijack a turret, or to shutdown an Samurai's Cyber eyes.. But at the very real risk of having their grey matter cooked to "Well done"...

Mages/Shamans (spellslinger, Summoner, I Win Button) Mages and Shamans are part of that 5% of the population that has awakened. And as such have learned to bend Mana to their will. Through force of Will alone a Mage/Shaman can cause mana to form into fire to fling from his hands, or to close a wound, or to float into the air. Or even summon a Spirit from the metaplanes to do his bidding for a limited time. The good ones can end being VASTLY powerful, able to theoretically stand up to even great dragons! If only for a limited time. They do seem to suffer from lead poisoning at a frighteningly high level however.  Of course this could be because Law Enforcement SOP is "GEEK THE MAGE FIRST. Then ask questions/demand compliance"  (Recorded audio of a LoneStar police officer stopping a suspect Mage:  *BLAM!! BLAM!! BLAM!!... BLAM!!* "Freeze! you are under arrest")

Adepts: (ninja, powerhitter, Adonis, Athena) Adepts are again part of that 5% of awakened. However unlike the Shaman that channels their magic externally, Adepts focus their magic internally, providing them with powers and abilites far beyond that of mortal men. For some reason, less feared then mages, (probably because they are not as flashy) people underestimate an adept at their peril.... Being able to move faster then the eye can follow and hit someone barehanded so hard, their head pops off is no joke! Nor is being able to run several stories up a wall, or walk over snow and not leave a trace....

Mystic Adepts (snowflakes) able to do everything an adept can do, and some of the things a mage can do.. Mystic adepts are jack of all magical trades... But this comes at a cost. Their flashy displays draw the heat, just like mages... and they can not summon Spirits...
 

Technomancers (technofreak) Technomancers are new on scene... somehow able to tap into the matrix just like a Decker.. but without a deck! They are also able to compile helpful AI programs called Sprites from the Matrix itself to assist him... Are they magical? Are the next evolutionary step for the Matrix modern humanity? Or are they just freaks? Who knows...


****
And that's just the basic archtypes! From there, a change or two in skills and you have a totally new archtype, or flavor of archtype. But in order of learning curve..

Street Sams have to worry about combat mostly... everything else, from a Street Sam perspective, is secondary (and USEFUL!)... but combat mechanics are what the player really need to know...

Faces need to know about Social Limits, Social Skills (what they can, and can not do), how Contacts work in depth, and Combat...

Riggers need to know about Combat, and Rigging rules... Some knowledge of the matrix rules is also helpful....

Deckers need to know Combat, ALL the matrix rules, some of the Rigger rules... And that matrix chapter is big and daunting!

Mages need to know Combat, Spellcasting, Summoning rules.... And that is a lot to understand!

Adepts need to know combat and Adept power rules.... (Mystic adepts need to also know Spellcasting rules)

Technomancers need to know combat, Matrix, drone and technomancer rules...

Hence why I said Street Sam to start... its the smallest bite to take and leads to all other archtypes.


4:) If you are looking for something simple to start off on... A simple courier protection run might be the best/easiest to set up.


The runners are hired by a Fixer to pickup a package from a contact and bring it to the Johnson at a specified address. The package must remain closed and intact, they are to avoid suspicion and the police.
However, a rival wants the package and has hired a local gang to get the package from the runners.

The Distance between the pickup and drop off should be far enough to take a good amount of time, but still within the city limits. (modify by method of travel by the runners. If using public transport then a few dozen blocks. If they have a car, then an entirely different district.) the should be 2 to 3 encounters with the gang, in increasing numbers as they get desperate...  plan around the runners abilities.


If the runners get to the Johnson with the package unopened, and intact. He pays them...
If they show up with the gangers on their heels, the Johnson is NOT pleased...
If they show up and the package has been opened... Not only is the Johnson not pleased, he may actually hire a reprisal team! Obviously they are NOT getting paid.
« Last Edit: <06-05-20/1507:28> by Reaver »
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Warden Drake

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« Reply #4 on: <06-05-20/2027:15> »
Hi, sorry for being so late; thank you all for your replies, they've been quite helpful!  Bit disappointed about the Drake; why do they have to be so poorly written?  Thanks for the suggestions about the character classes and races; I'll keep them in mind when writing.  I do have a few more questions for right now; nothing major, but all three relate to the changeling. 

(Jeez, for an NPC, he sure is difficult to write for...)

1. Regarding the changeling lizardman; could someone explain the karma cost for making a Changeling Awakened?  Like, could you say the specific class I need for the Shapechange spell, along with the average amount of karma I would have left over?  I tried searching online myself, but I couldn't find anything about the karma limit, and I can't get the books anytime soon... (For the curious, the nearest store that sells tabletop game books is roughly an hour-and-a-half drive away, and the store had to close temporarily because of both the virus and the recent riots.)

2. Related to the above; what body size should I have for the changeling?  The Shapechange spell only works within a limited size, and the one specific morph I was really wanting (for story purposes) is a wolf morph.  Other than that, I was going to try and get a flying morph and an aquatic morph; any suggestions? 

3. What equipment should the changeling have?  Taking into account that he was going to be facing a lot of prejudice, and that mages tend to make for big targets, I was kind of imagining him as a drifter or sorts; constantly travelling, no real place to call home, using his transformative abilities for travel.  Story-wise, he encountered our group after a particularly bad run-in with a couple of punks; he got shot while traveling in wolf form, and now he's in need of both medical attention and wants revenge. 

Warden Drake

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« Reply #5 on: <06-05-20/2139:18> »
Sorry, another question I forgot to add to the above; would it be possible for the changeling to have wings?  Yes, I am fully aware that this guy is already a snowflake; that's actually a plot point.  He's not going to be a character we play as, anyway, just an NPC. 

Reaver

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« Reply #6 on: <06-06-20/0338:14> »
Hi, sorry for being so late; thank you all for your replies, they've been quite helpful!  Bit disappointed about the Drake; why do they have to be so poorly written?  Thanks for the suggestions about the character classes and races; I'll keep them in mind when writing.  I do have a few more questions for right now; nothing major, but all three relate to the changeling. 

(Jeez, for an NPC, he sure is difficult to write for...)

1. Regarding the changeling lizardman; could someone explain the karma cost for making a Changeling Awakened?  Like, could you say the specific class I need for the Shapechange spell, along with the average amount of karma I would have left over?  I tried searching online myself, but I couldn't find anything about the karma limit, and I can't get the books anytime soon... (For the curious, the nearest store that sells tabletop game books is roughly an hour-and-a-half drive away, and the store had to close temporarily because of both the virus and the recent riots.)

2. Related to the above; what body size should I have for the changeling?  The Shapechange spell only works within a limited size, and the one specific morph I was really wanting (for story purposes) is a wolf morph.  Other than that, I was going to try and get a flying morph and an aquatic morph; any suggestions? 

3. What equipment should the changeling have?  Taking into account that he was going to be facing a lot of prejudice, and that mages tend to make for big targets, I was kind of imagining him as a drifter or sorts; constantly travelling, no real place to call home, using his transformative abilities for travel.  Story-wise, he encountered our group after a particularly bad run-in with a couple of punks; he got shot while traveling in wolf form, and now he's in need of both medical attention and wants revenge.


Righto... This is going to be hard to explain without you having the books to read and follow along....

But first, some info for you.

Changelings are not a class or race of people unto themselves. They are indviduals that have SURGE'd (Sudden Unexplained Regressive Genomic Expression). WAAY back in Shadowrun History Haley's Comet passed the Earth in 2063/2064. During this time, the Mana levels on earth skyrocketed and a very small percentage of the population SURGE'd....  Basically parts of the junk DNA in their systems activated and expressed itself! For some, the change was benign ("hey! I got a 6th toe!") Some died screaming as their akin melted off and their bones grew spurs rupturing their flesh... Some simply drowned on dry land as their lungs stopped processing oxygen....

And some where beaten to death by the public for being "monsters"...

BUT, They are all just elves, humans, trolls, dwarves and Orks that have... changed. Hence the term "Changeling"

Its also important to point out that no two changelings are alike, nor does SURGE breed true... Meaning even if mommy and daddy are changelings, there is nothing to say little Suzy is going to express or change..

Changelings are covered in the Run Faster book (so you know where to look), and the rules for creating them cover like 4 pages... so a fast breakdown is not really possible.

Size is going to be a function of your Racal type... as they are all diiferent!

Dwarfs are obviously smaller then others.. but their mass is actually greater then the average human!! (They are dense, hairy bastards!) 
Humans are... well you should know what a human is :P
Elves are a little taller then humans averaging around 1.9 meters (6 foot 2 inches) but weigh in the 70kg range (150lbs)... they are nimble and light... very graceful... Fucking dandelion eaters...
Orks are a little larger then your typical Human... Stronger, Hardier... have tusks... and weight in the 100 to 120 kg range on average (220 to 260 lbs) Keep in mind, Tuskers are not green! (They have the pigmentation of their racial background... yes their are African Orks, or Japanses Orks.... Heck are even racial variants of Orks!!!)
Trolls are big.... VERY big... not to mention strong... you know Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson? (the Mountain from game of thrones)... yea.,.. to a troll... hes a baby. A little, weak baby. Troll stand 3 meters tall on average (10 to 12 feet tall) have a mass of 300 to 400kg..(that's 900 to 1200 lbs)... And well, there is no way to say this other than... "The Mountain is as strong as the WEAKEST troll"..... So do your best to NOT piss off the troll whose hobby is bench pressing CARS... your face will thank you.  Oh, Did I mention the horns? and the elongated arms?? (so they reach out and crunch every bone in your face even better!)

And if that's not enough for you..... there are all sorts of racial variant tied to geographical locations... (PRO TIP TIME: Do not make "where the Beef??" jokes around Minotaurs. They may look like a big dumb cow head on a human body.. But they are just as strong as troll!)

And ALL these can be victims of SURGE...

To cast a spell, one has to awakened... this is choice made at character creation and involves selecting being awakened, and allocating the required Priority assignment. (This will make more sense when you read the books)...
Keep in mind that being awakened comes at a hefty cost for Priority assignment....


From there, its just about picking the spells you want...

you mentioned Shapechange.. (located in the Street Grimoire.. yay another book for you to read and buy!)


And THIS is what it says....

Quote
SHAPECHANGE
(PHYSICAL)
Type: P Range: LOS
Duration: S Drain: F – 3
(CRITTER) FORM
(PHYSICAL)
Type: P Range: LOS
Duration: S Drain: F – 2
Shapechange transforms a voluntary subject into
a normal (non-paranormal) critter, though the subject
retains human consciousness. The subject can only assume
the form of a critter whose base Body Rating is 2
points greater or less than her own. Consult the Critters
section, (p. 392, SR5) for the subject’s Physical attributes
while in critter form. Add 1 to the critter’s Base attribute
Ratings for every hit the caster generates. Her Mental
attributes remain unchanged.
This spell does not transform clothing and equipment.
Magicians in critter form can still cast spells but
cannot perform tasks requiring speech. The subject may
not turn into a swarm.

So you are basically limited by your Body. Thus a Troll (which has a large body attribute) can never turn into a house cat.. or even a large dog breed! While a human probably couldn't turn into a Horse (it's technically within reach.. but...)

Keep in mind this is not DND.... Awakened spell casters do not have spell slots... or 'X' casting a day....

A powerful enough awakened caster could spend from sun up to sundown throwing fireballs every 3 seconds.... as long as he can handle the stress of casting (called Drain)...
OR, a single really bad roll can have him literally coughing out his own bloody guts... Taking PHYSICAL damage  from the drain.... Or it could just outright kill him. DED, D-E-D ded!


Not sure if changlings can have wings... let me look...

It does not appear in the list of positve metagenic qualities for Changlings so no wings....

Equipment is going to be a function of resources... Again, you need the books to follow along... but your starting capital is something you have to determined with a priority assignment and starting karma... Sadly Shadowrun is a game of trade-offs... Between being awakened, your attribute Priority,  skills Priority, and Resources.. something will be low balled.... So either your stating cash, skills, or attributes... your call..

« Last Edit: <06-06-20/0342:04> by Reaver »
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Reaver

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« Reply #7 on: <06-06-20/0518:48> »
So seeing as how you are new to shadowrun, I thought I would give you a very fast primer.. so you can understand the world you are stepping into....

Shadowrun and our REAL world follow the exact same lines of history (or so we think :P)... until you get to 1989 (so, possibly before you were born :P... I miss the 80s sooo much!) Then things go sideways in hurry!

The first big event was the teamster strike of New York City... The truckers.. for whatever reason (I forget) went on strike, and stopped shipping food into the city.. Naturally you can guess what happens when you have 10 million people and zero food. Sadly, some citizens mistook a medical waste truck belonging to Serentech as a food truck and attacked... Serentech security responded by killing dozens of people trying to break into their truck and facility...

During the trail that came about because of the dead, Serentech argued (successfully) that they had actually acted in the public's best interest in the shooting of rioters as they would have spread deadly infectous and biotoxic waste over the city if they had broken into the truck...

Score one to the Corps.... (and its not the last)

The 90s saw rapid technological growth, as well as rapid industrial pollution. And lots of environmental friction and activism.. and eco-terrorism...
One case of eco-terrorism changed the world... A bunch of eco brats, wanting to save the planet, got it into their melon eating heads that putting a FISSION REACTOR into overload would be a great way to save the earth! It didn't work. In fact they got soo splattered by Shaiwaise security it made front page news! And a lawsuit!

And once again, the Corps argued they had acted in the best interests of all by turning the Eco brats into a fine red mist... after all, a fission reactor overload could possibley take out the entire seaboard! (it can't... but hey).... The Supreme Court agreed.
And then the Corps took it to the next level. They argued that while they have been acting in the best interests of all, they had been hampered by not only citizens not respecting their property, but even city and state governments. people under the law had the right to protect life, limb and property, and where considered "king of their domain" for legal purposes... shouldn't Large, multi-national Corporations be afforded the same rights???
And once again, The Supreme court agreed.  That's right. The supreme court just said every international corporation was literally a country unto itself.. With all the rights, protections, and freedoms and responsibility of a nation state.

It was probably the worst move ever.

.
The early 2000 to 2010 again saw a rapid increase in technology... and more social strife... This time among the native Americans, as terrorist action increased across North america. And (now) UCAS government overreacted. It rounded up every native american it could find and threw them into concentration camps. Terrorist or not.

And then shit hit the fan on Dec 24, 2011.   

On December 24 2011, Magic came back. And the First great dragon awakened from his long slumber... 9 More would awaken in the next few years...

Sadly though 2010 to 2019 is a very dark time in Shadowrun... Chaos, pain, and suffering plague the world for the next decade. Entire countries fall into economic ruin. Some entirely devolve as nation states! The collapse of the Social system is nearly total.

It was VITAS..  Virally Induced Toxic Allergy Syndrome. A new plague for a new generation, and a new world. By the time of 2020, 3 VITAS epidemics had swept the globe killing an estimated 1/5th of the world population. The full number of dead will never be known as many governments lacked even the ability to track the dead and sick...

During this time, A hero would emerge among the Native Americans in the concentration camps. Daniel Howlingcoyote.... Daniel was a tribal medicine man, and he had kept to the old traditions of his people. And after dec 24 2011, those hokey traditions turned out to be real. And powerful.

Daniel walked his people out the front doors of the concentration camp under a hail of automatic weapons fire. Not a single bullet touched Daniel or his people. They simply disappeared into the night.
And a little while later, Daniel and the Native Americans brought the entire might of the UCAS miltiary and government to its knees in a single night:
They did the great Ghost Dance. Every. Single. Volcano. All along the ring of Fire erupted at the same time. This was the power of MAGIC. It wasn't something you can fight with a tank, or a plane... So the UCAS sued for peace.. And the NAN (Native American Nations) where formed...

early 2020s was a golden age for Compters. A whole new networking protocol was born... The Matrix! (basically at this time, its the Internet.... just 30 years later then us).
And things were looking up! Until the CRASH.
A computer virus was loose on the matrix, destroying everything it touched, and nothing could stop it. no Firewall to keep it out, no antivirus software could keep up with its changing code... it looked like the "information tool of the world" was about to go dark, and take every computerized system with it. 
But suddenly a new technology was invented... ASSIT which would allow a team of highly skilled computer programmers to interface their brains directly into the matrix to fight the virus in real time! this elite team was called Echo Mirage.

And it worked. Echo Mirage, at the cost of several of their lives stopped the Virus. Sadly, and mysteriously over the next 18 months, every surviving member of Echo Mirage died. So to the creator the ASSIT technology.

It wouldn't be until a few years later that 'Decks' using ASSIT technology would come to be release by Fuchi Technologies... Starting the true matrix that SR is known for... or at least the start of it.

from 2020 to 2050 there is a lot of stuff settling down, the formation of new countries, the destruction a few more. And the world got a small glimpse at the true power of a Great Dragon...
Aden a Great Western Dragon that makes his home in the Middle East. took offense to the Fatwa of Iran's Ayatollah on the Awakened.

"If you are to declare war on the Awakened, understand what you are declaring war on!" was heard throughout Iran.... And the Ayatollah's palace, and the surrounding city and country side for a radius of 20km was turned to ash in an instant...

2050 to 2064 saw more changes.. such as a great Dragon being elected Prez!! And being assassinated in his car outside of the water gate hotel, leaving an astral rift...

Aztlan goes to war, again..

And an internation terrorist organization known as Winternight brings about the Crash 2.0... Did I mention the attempted coup?? That happened too!


2070+ (4e!) saw the almost back to normal after the crash 2.0... And a Dragon again proved just how smart and power they are... TEchnocmancers arrived on the scene..and got their brains a good ol' probing by everyone with a electronic secret to hide (so, basically, every single corp).
Oh and the world was threatened with destruction by space junk from a very mad, and very bad AI...
Aztlan goes to war... AGAIN... And actually puts the smack down, if only lightly and at the cost of almost their entire military, on a Great Dragon!

And then the Dragons went to war!

Oh and the nanites!! Oh the nanites, first they were here! Then they were not! THEN, they could take over your body, and supplant your personality with their own! And they have a plan....

Did I mention the Bugs? The GIANT bugs from the metaspheres? What can I say... They are real. They turned the entire downtown core of a city into their own little feeding ground FOR YEARS...  oh yea... Bugs can only come in this world from being implanted and growing inside a human host...so you know exactly what they eat, right? (YOU!)

And now they have hives all over the place... And they are getting smarter! So smart, is rumored they have taken over a Mega corp!! (sleep tight! Don't let the 6 foot long bedbug bite!)   


And, that's the shit i can pull off the top of my 10 beers head with out looking into a book.. So naturally I have missed all the really GOOD stuff :D


Now as for the world... Well we can break that down into just 2 basic camps.
Those with SINs
Those without SINs

The System Identification Number is usually assigned at birth and is alpha numeric number that contains  your DOB, race, sex, bioinformatics (blood, finger, vein/iris pattern)
And gets added to as you go through life. Every school report card, every ticket, every fine, every accomplishment, your bank account, rental agreements, ownership agreements... they all link back to your SIN...

Without a SIN, you are legally speaking, not a person. You can not prove you even exist! (and all the legal ramifications that entails... "Its not murder if they don't actually exist" *wink, wink*)
So, if you have a SIN, you are a Person (yay!) and live in a country (or Corp).. and have a nice little 9 am to 11pm job you go to 6 days a week.. Which is fine because chances are you only have your ration of electricity for 2 hours a day anyways..and at least the Soy dispenser has 3 flavors you like!
If you are are REALLY productive wageslave, you might live in a nice part of town have full electricity rights... and even a car of your own! And real non soy food on the weekends!
But, its only the real fat cats, both legal and illegal, that live in the nice parts of town. giant Trideo channel selection, real food on demand, hot clothes, cool toys... But YOU are not getting there. (not legally at least :P) And they don't want you to visit. The Walls lined with monowire and the armed roving security strictly says FUCK OFF.
But they do say it with a smile.

If you don't have a SIN, then you are SINless... and that is not good. It means you can't rent a place, nor open a bank account, without a bank account, you can't buy shit (PAPER MONEY!?!? what is this?? the 1990s??). OR rent shit. nor do you have much in the way of legal protections.
but, as a nerdy math guy once said; "uh, um, life, uh, finds a way".... And people do live like this, on the edge of civilization..

And some even thrive!

Most Runners are SINless... and like it. Because on while a SIN does allow you to do things.. like live a normal life... its also a determent to a Runner. It can be used to track you down. So most runners have burned their SINs long ago, and rely on black market SINs to get around, and black market services to fill in the gaps that they need that a fake SIN can't (like a bank account)

Now, we have yet to get to the really fun stuff.. like what's on, in and under the streets.. why being homeless is a lot like smearing yourself in bacon grease then walking into a Grizzly preserve... Or what really controls the Shadows..... Or how to make friends and burn shopping malls...


But, I think I'll let you read some the lore yourself :D
« Last Edit: <06-06-20/0528:00> by Reaver »
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #8 on: <06-06-20/0533:36> »
To tackle a few misunderstandings:

Drakes are created by Dragons to serve them, and unaffiliated/disobedient Drakes are heavily frowned up by them.

A Changeling doesn't use a Shapechange spell to be what they are, they simply are a mutated freak. In SR5, you take Surge I/II/III: Random Positive+Negative, Chosen Positive + Random Negative, Chosen Positive + Negative.

If you want to use Shapechange, you need to be 1 of these 3: Magician, Aspected Magician (Spellcaster), Mystic Adept. A Mage can cast spells, summon spirits, etc, as long as they take the skills. An Aspected Spellcaster can only use Spellcasting-based skills. A Mystic Adept is a Mage who also can take Adept Powers with Power Points, which is magic powers to boost yourself. (They're a bit of a Jack of all Trades.)

To explain the difference between an Adept and spellcaster: A spellcaster that wants to sustain a buff, takes sustaining penalties. In return, they can easily learn different spells. An adept has limited Power Points, but the buffs from those do not suffer from sustaining them. Can't cast them on others though.

Wings aren't an existing metagenetic quality, but it IS possible to have Feathers as a negative Surge quality.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Reaver

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« Reply #9 on: <06-06-20/0555:55> »
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

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Reaver

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« Reply #10 on: <06-06-20/0709:52> »
Hi, sorry for being so late; thank you all for your replies, they've been quite helpful!  Bit disappointed about the Drake; why do they have to be so poorly written? 

it's not that they are poorly written.

They have a very important place in the relations between humanity and Draconic. A relationship that is not entirely clear, nor revealed to the general public.

Now to understand THIS, and really wrap your head around it is going to take some time and effort. (and sadly, a DnD background doesn't help.. as these mythologies conflict entirely)
****
Draconic kind breaks down into 2 fundimental camps.. Real dragons, and fake dragons.

Fake Dragons, a things like linnoms, hyrda, Naga, and other large reptiles. These creatures are all large reptiles, and some are even highly intelligent. But are not true dragons.

Real Dragons.. are Eastern Dragon, Western Dragon, Feather serpent, and Leviathan. 

no one sees a "young" or "hatchling" dragon... their care as been entrusted to the SeaQueen...  so we have no idea how many their are...

Only "Adult" dragons are allowed to intermix with humanity.. and boy do they intermix! Thanks to the Dragon war, we learned that there was WAY more dragons and drakes then we though there was... Frighteningly way more. And, thanks to the Dragon war, there are a lot less Drakes and dragons...

A dragon is vastly more powerful then an metahuman... even while in their human form! (All dragons can change between their dracoform and a humanoid form at well, and sustain it as long as they wish). But they are not invulnerable either. A well planned and executed  attack can kill a dragon....
Personality wise they run the full gamut.. There is even a well known assassin, wannabe singer, alcoholic dragon!!

But, "adult" dragons.... grow up... and the shit gets REAL, FAST

Great dragons, are what adult dragons grow up into.... and Great is an understatement!
These beings as far removed from humanity, as humanity is to mouse. They don't think like us, they don't function like us, they don't have the same scope or vision as humanity.

"You want to understand Lofwyr? Fine. Think of the smartest human who has existed in your history. That's man's lifetime of good ideas, was discarded by Lowfyr while he consumed his breakfast."

You cannot out think, out plan, out smart, nor out run a Great dragon. The very fact you are even involved, means that the Great Dragon has already considered 10,000 possible actions and decisions you could possibly make, and came up with 1000 counters. And thought of all 10,000 possible actions and decisions you could possibly make to his counters, and have laid a 1000 plans to counter that... and on and on and on... and it's lunchtime...

You can not physically out match a dragon either. In fact, the entire army of a militarized nation, with "anti-dragon" weapons, and using ambush, flanking, combined armed attack... only manage to really hurt... and really PISS OFF a single Great Western Dragon  Surrurg... at the cost of most of their troops.

You can not magic a dragon. Dragons have magic that is beyond the mana abilties of metahumans. Surrurg with a single spell killed 30,000 people.
 
Personality wise.. they seem to run in the Parental Figure type... Sadly.. that includes "drunken, child hitting, angry" Parental types in the case of Surrurg and a couple others.
oh, they expect to be obeyed. Not "listen to"... obeyed. And if not.. well they probably won't bite your head off... today... 

These beasts also seem to immortal. It was thought that Dragons were asleep all these years between cycles... Tehy even alluded to that. But when Prez. D kicked to the dragon hoard in the sky, his last Will and Testament made it pretty clear he was at least up and active for some periods of time..
And the wealth of a Great Dragon.... There are NATIONS with lower GDPs than what he GAVE AWAY! So, yea, they resources and money are not an issue... Big D kept a $2 million ROCK in his sock drawer!!!

And then there are Drakes...

Drakes are not a natural animal... Meaning they are the work of draco flesh magic. Apparently, Great dragons would take a part of their very own soul and sue that to create a seed. The seed would then be implanted in to a metahuman host, which would then merge with the seed and express as a drake.

Originally created during the 4th age  (and thus kinda of lost knowledge to any in shadowrun. This ties into another product of FASA that is now owned by a different company). to serve as a link between dragon and metahumanity.... the souls of these drakes have been passed down through the ages....

And the Great dragons that originally made them have near total control over them once they express as drakes. Its hard to explain.. They basically lose their agency as indviduals... they keep their personality, but are compelled to obey their creators commands. IF their creator says "hop" they hop.. and never stop... If its creator says "eat and cook your family" , the drake will do so.. probably crying all the way.

To the great dragon, the Drake is just a tool, A tool HE made. And a Tool he will use as he sees fit. The Drakes wishes be damned.


Now, over the years (centuries!) Great dragons have been know to die... And his drakes end up "free"... at least until they come to the attention of an other Great Dragon. Then they are simply "a Tool without an owner"... so they "simply" claim the Drake...

And naturally Free Drakes avoid dragons like Satan and church...


There is WAAAAAAAY more to all this.. but that the bare bone gist of it.



Sadly, as with anything that gets some lore behind it... people end up wanting to "play" one (usually without really thinking it through)... So rules for Drake play have been published...

And THOSE are a mess... Cripplingly so.. Making a drake is whole other step on top of making a character, and often leads to a Karma DEFICIT that has to be paid off with ALL earned karma before anything else... leading to Drakes feeling like they stagnate (often taking a dozen runs or more to pay off their Karma hole).. They are basically all the power up front... nothing in the middle. and late end growth.. provided a campaign lasts that long.. or the character does...  (attrition rates in shadowrun are high... the system is VERY lethal and unforgiving... its very Much "Orc Barbarian with a Great Axe" at lvl 1... to use a DnD expression :D )



Basically. in Shadowrun,  Great Dragons are Gods.

And Drakes their servants.
« Last Edit: <06-06-20/0742:00> by Reaver »
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Lormyr

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« Reply #11 on: <06-06-20/0834:18> »
As for wings, there is a cosmetic modification (the name of which escapes me) in Chrome Flesh I think. It allows pretty much any kind of mod for the cost, but they are purely cosmetic and non-functional. If you you plan to have captain snowflake man be a mage, using the cosmetic with the levitate spell might do the trick.
"TL:DR 6e's reduction of meaningful choices is akin to forcing everyone to wear training wheels. Now it's just becomes a bunch of toddlers riding around on tricycles they can't fall off of." - Adzling

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« Reply #12 on: <06-06-20/1156:29> »
Hey, thank you for all of your replies; I wasn't expecting this to generate so much traffic! 

First off, I would like to apologize for not having the books; I'm aware of how annoying it is, but like I said, circumstances are not good right now, and I really don't have any other options. 

When it comes to the drakes; I guess "poorly written" wasn't the right choice of words; I meant poorly balanced, like, when they shift, they pretty much become targets of pretty much everything within the same hemisphere as them, all for some rather high karma costs and combat abilities that are probably cheaper elsewhere. 

Concerning the Changelings: thank you guys for the critique; I'll see what I can do with his character to be less of a snowflake.  I wasn't aware that being homeless would have so many negative drawbacks...!  I was basically seeing if I could transplant my D&D character over to Shadowrun; it's been a fun little challenge, but I don't think I'm going to be able to run him as much as I want to. 

Concerning the wings; they aren't anything too major I suppose, I was just simply wanting to see if it would be possible to make what is essentially a dragon PC. 

Concerning Shapechange; the challenge wasn't for a human to become a lizardman or a drake tobecome a human; the challenge was to see if the dragon charater would be able to use the spell to turn into an animal, for stealth, more or less; it was something elseI got from D&D, using shapechange to assume different forms for a variety of situations; I had a dragonborn that made heavy usage of the spell. 

I'll be leaving the question open, if anyone wants to comment a bit more on the page. 

Lormyr

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« Reply #13 on: <06-06-20/1204:57> »
Well if the character is going to be an NPC, you could just make him an actual dragon. NPCs only have rules the GM imposes on them.

That said, my unsolicited but honest words of wisdom: be careful with "GM PC" NPCs. When handled well they are fine. When not handled well, they are usually problematic.
"TL:DR 6e's reduction of meaningful choices is akin to forcing everyone to wear training wheels. Now it's just becomes a bunch of toddlers riding around on tricycles they can't fall off of." - Adzling

Warden Drake

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« Reply #14 on: <06-06-20/1343:51> »
I'll keep the "GM PC" idea in mind, thanks.