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Metavariant Costs

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David Chart

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« on: <09-13-10/0119:44> »
I'm a bit puzzled by the BP costs for Metavariants. Take the Oni. It costs 5BP more than a baseline Ork, but the only difference between it and the baseline Ork is that the Oni has the +5BP Negative Metagenetic Quality Striking Skin Pigmentation. On the other hand, the Satyr, with the same BP cost, gets the 10BP Positive Metagenetic Quality Satyr Legs as its difference from the baseline.

Now, it's possible that these have been errata'd in the latest printing, as I see that the Karma Build System has, but if not, I'm a little confused.
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Doc Chaos

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« Reply #1 on: <09-13-10/0144:01> »
Metavariants costs are not really calculated by boni and mali (although it does seem to factor in rougly), but more like "How often do they appear in the world?". And yes, most people think that this is rather stupid.
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David Chart

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« Reply #2 on: <09-13-10/0210:15> »
So Changelings are as common as muck, then? (As their costs are calculated straight off the boni and mali.)  ;)

I'd wondered whether the costs were supposed to reflect frequency, but the existence of Changelings made me think it couldn't be. Looks like something for house rules, then. Thanks.
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Irian

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« Reply #3 on: <09-13-10/0241:51> »
And yes, most people think that this is rather stupid.

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anotherJack

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« Reply #4 on: <09-13-10/0252:13> »
Assumin it's a combination of the race advantages and frequency, I find it pretty clever, it's very effective ; in the 3rd Ed, finding an Ork character in the conventions I went was an exploit, on the other hand a table without at least one troll was somethin rare too. Now the races proportions among players fit more with wath the background says, and enforces its credibility. I appreciate it, though I don't say it's perfect : basic humans for example ain't interesting enough compared to orks (well, maybe orks are a little bit unbalanced : too much advantages, too few flaws), though there should be more humans among players than any other meta.
Me am french, me am not speaking good english, but me am trying to correct this.

Mara

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« Reply #5 on: <09-13-10/0255:43> »
So Changelings are as common as muck, then? (As their costs are calculated straight off the boni and mali.)  ;)

I'd wondered whether the costs were supposed to reflect frequency, but the existence of Changelings made me think it couldn't be. Looks like something for house rules, then. Thanks.

Well, Changelings are a special case...and ARE more common then Metavariants....(I mean...I read more mentions of
Changelings in the newer SR stuff then I do Metavariants...) It is also probably a thematic issue. Look, for instance, at
the reputation of the different Meta Variants, and figure that is going to show up in game. In fact, I can see the 5
point cost for Oni over standard Ork in Japan because: they are at least a Japanese Metatype, not one of those barbarian
ones(still scum...but they are, at least, culturally correct scum), and in other countries, it might be possible for an Oni
to play up the knowledge of Yomi to garner some sympathy, and, of course, Japanese Johnsons might be more inclined
to "like" the Oni then a regular Ork....

Changelings, though...what unstated boni do they have through fluff?

David Chart

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« Reply #6 on: <09-13-10/0310:50> »
Assumin it's a combination of the race advantages and frequency, I find it pretty clever, it's very effective ; in the 3rd Ed, finding an Ork character in the conventions I went was an exploit, on the other hand a table without at least one troll was somethin rare too. Now the races proportions among players fit more with wath the background says, and enforces its credibility. I appreciate it, though I don't say it's perfect : basic humans for example ain't interesting enough compared to orks (well, maybe orks are a little bit unbalanced : too much advantages, too few flaws), though there should be more humans among players than any other meta.
Among players, certainly.  ;) Personally, I don't think PCs should reflect the background proportions of the game-world population. Most of the world are not shadowrunners, but finding a non-shadowrunner PC is really, really hard. Obviously. In any case, no group of 4 to 6 characters can be representative of a population with several dozen racial variants, so ideally the costs of various character types should balance, so that you choose based on your concept. That's obviously difficult to pull off; picking a baseline human should not be a poor decision.

As for numbers, it looks like orks are about 13% of the population (about 40% are non-human metahumans, and orks are more common), so about 10% of the population of Japan are oni, compared to 1% of people being Changelings. In any case, Satyrs are cheaper than they "should" be based on what they get; are they supposed to be more common than baseline orks?
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Irian

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« Reply #7 on: <09-13-10/0313:30> »
Assumin it's a combination of the race advantages and frequency, I find it pretty clever, it's very effective ; in the 3rd Ed, finding an Ork character in the conventions I went was an exploit, on the other hand a table without at least one troll was somethin rare too. Now the races proportions among players fit more with wath the background says, and enforces its credibility.

Unfortunately, you are wrong, as credibility has NOTHING to do with it: A group of runners is never a representative cross section of the population, so your argument doesn't fit. The rules shouldn't be meant to enforce a certain "spreading" of species, as the rules are meant to create ONE GROUP of runners - and this group can be statistically totally inprobable. As all the other player groups out there DO NOT exists in the same universe there is no statistical problem. So the rules should not care about it.

The rules should base costs on the advantages and disadvantages of a template, to make them comparable. That's the point of BP. Including random values to enforce a certain amount of humans is not a good idea. A group consisting of four oni isn't llogicl - just unlikely. And as everyone who has every played in to lottery will tell you: Unlikely things can happen. Imagine EVER player group playing shadowrun consinsting ONLY of oni. Would that make the world illogical? Nope, because the groups don't exist in the same universe. In the universe of each of these groups, THEIR oni-only group is special, of course, because for each group their group is the ONLY one consisting of oni. The oni-only groups of all the other players exist in their own, similar universes (where they all are really special).
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anotherJack

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« Reply #8 on: <09-13-10/0358:56> »
Unfortunately, you are wrong, as credibility has NOTHING to do with it: A group of runners is never a representative cross section of the population, so your argument doesn't fit. The rules shouldn't be meant to enforce a certain "spreading" of species, as the rules are meant to create ONE GROUP of runners - and this group can be statistically totally inprobable. As all the other player groups out there DO NOT exists in the same universe there is no statistical problem. So the rules should not care about it.
True if you always play with the same group. Not if you play with a lot of different groups, with a lot of characters meeting each others from time to time, which I do. If you play in conventions, a too obviously oriented racial composition among runners breaks the background credibility, I felt it in 3rd edition, and I really appreciate the difference between 3rd and 4th edition

Quote
The rules should base costs on the advantages and disadvantages of a template, to make them comparable. That's the point of BP. Including random values to enforce a certain amount of humans is not a good idea. A group consisting of four oni isn't llogicl - just unlikely. And as everyone who has every played in to lottery will tell you: Unlikely things can happen. Imagine EVER player group playing shadowrun consinsting ONLY of oni. Would that make the world illogical? Nope, because the groups don't exist in the same universe. In the universe of each of these groups, THEIR oni-only group is special, of course, because for each group their group is the ONLY one consisting of oni. The oni-only groups of all the other players exist in their own, similar universes (where they all are really special).
But nothin in rules impeach the creation of such a group.
Me am french, me am not speaking good english, but me am trying to correct this.

Mäx

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« Reply #9 on: <09-13-10/0437:47> »
It's hilarious when people complain about the costs of metavariants aren't based on the bonus and negatives that variant gets, when the costs of the parent races arent based on anythink like that either.
BP costs of races in SR are completdly arbitrary and always has been. and really even at 25BP Oni is still a bargain as its an ork variant.
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Medicineman

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« Reply #10 on: <09-13-10/0824:54> »
And yes, most people think that this is rather stupid.

Signed.
+1

and because these Rules are stupid I decided if I want to play a Metavariant , I'll make it via the Surge Rules (allready done it with a male Dryad.It saved me 5 points compared to the variant and I got Astral Perception for free )
 

Hough !
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« Last Edit: <09-13-10/0830:10> by Medicineman »
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Usda Beph

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« Reply #11 on: <09-13-10/0900:42> »
I think as (a Newb) the points are to offset the perks of a race. I don't have the rules in front of me but can humans have a statrting strength of 10 (IIRC) without taking a quality, like a Troll can?

I remember in GammaWorld a Pure Strain Human was refered to a Poop Stain Herman. For the simple fact that... WE ARE HUMANS? Playing human is like going to Ben & Jerry's and ordering vanilla everytime you go! We as players choose the meta's because we are bored being human and want some variety. In D&D I kinda wanted to play a human character because for so long I have been anything BUT a human character & was bored with that. One of my favorite characters I have palyed was a human Thief. From Jamaca!

I kinda wish the points weren't required to have a metatype. Shouldn't the Ability score mods be enough to sway a player from being one meta over another. I mean my party has 2 Elves one Human & My Minotaur.
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Medicineman

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« Reply #12 on: <09-13-10/0936:59> »
I think as (a Newb) the points are to offset the perks of a race. ....

but they aren't and thats the whole point.
The Metavariants have been given the Points  baseless (right word for "for no reason" ? )
Yes I know that the other Metas are also imbalanced Pointwise, but they should've calculated the Cost to the base metavariant
And what good are the Rules if you can achieve the same Goal(creating a Metavariant) and 1 way is cheaper than the other ?
this enforces Min/Maxing (and in a bad case enforces Powergaming !)

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FastJack

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« Reply #13 on: <09-13-10/1011:22> »
The BP cost of the races has always been to reflect the rarity of those races within the world (hence why in earlier editions you have the More Metahumans rules).

Changelings, Drakes and Infected characters should be EXTREMELY rare. Changelings make up about 1% of the entire population of the Earth. Drakes and the Infected make up even less than that. People keep on with this idea that because it's listed in the game, everyone should be able to play it, no questions asked. Yes, you could build the Metahumans with the positive/negative qualities, at a much cheaper price. But, the way I see it, 1) you have to get the GM's permission to play Metavariants and other races and 2) there will be a lot of pointing and staring by 'ordinary folk' since you're NOT the norm. Which means that run you just pulled against Ares? Instead of "It was some wizzer with a halfer and two trogs." turns into "Dude! There was this really wierd looking THING with orange skin and intricate horns! Sure, I can give you a complete description, I'll never forget that face!"

Doc Chaos

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« Reply #14 on: <09-13-10/1026:20> »
The BP cost of the races has always been to reflect the rarity of those races within the world (hence why in earlier editions you have the More Metahumans rules).

Which basically noone cares about. We are the players. The heroes. We want to play the cool stuff!
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