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Street Legends

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Neurosis

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« Reply #150 on: <07-18-11/1547:38> »
(Excuse the weird ass spacing in this post. The forums are kind of bugging out on me.)

I think there's just sort of a fundamental disagreement here on what inclusion in 'Street Legends' means. For Rigger X, the bar I was aiming
for was a character who was slightly more competent all around than most PCs, and certainly more competent than any starting PC...but I
wasn't accounting for hardcore character optimization enough, clearly. The bar that was aimed for for say, Lugh Surehand, was very different.
(Even though Lugh has stats, I'm reasonably certain you can't kill him, short of tactical nuclear weapons and/or an extraordinarily lenient GM.)

I still don't think Rigger X 's stats are anywhere near as bad as they're being made out to be. But of course, that's only based on my own
years and years of experience playing and GMing Shadowrun, since I haven't put in the time on character optimization threads on
Dumpshock. I do think there was one crucial rules error I may have made which results in the character being underpowered in some fields. I'd like to
correct this with some unofficial errata, unless Jason has reasons for being opposed to that. I'm surprised no one else caught it during
proofreading, but ultimately it's my bad and I've got to take responsibility.

In any case, it would take a lot of retroactive calculation to arrive at how much karma Rigger X was built with. I (foolishly) erased the karma
and BP and nuyen numbers I was tracking when I finalized the character. I don't think, at a glance, that the 120/150 Karma figure being
tossed around is accurate. 

Quote
If gamemasters wish to apply these rules in a more systematic fashion, characters who have achieved 500 Karma can spend 100
Karma to obtain Legendary status, which means they roll successes on 4s, 5s, and 6s.

I read this as an optional clause..."If gamemasters wish...". Not as a hard and fast rule that all legends have earned at least 500 Karma (they haven't).

I know that my understanding of the 'Legendary' rule was that when a Legend was involved in a scene, EVERYONE would get successes on 4+, including most
importantly and especially the Player Characters.  This to me was the essence of the rule--that it makes PCs more awesome.

Additionally, let's not forget that the entire thing is a completely optional rule. I would use it in my game--you don't have to.
« Last Edit: <07-18-11/1549:33> by Neurosis »
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Makki

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« Reply #151 on: <07-18-11/1601:16> »
Legendary for PCs is described as 500 karma.  Legendary for NPCs isn't, it's just described as "being in this book," basically.  The movers and shakers in Shadowrun, the folks with the high rep?  Some of them are Lofwyr, or Lugh Surehand, or Martin DeVries.  Some of them are powerhouses, and their stats reflect that. 

well well, this contradicts the golden rule "same set of rules for PCs and PCs. What I throw at the GM, he can throw at me and vice versa"

Critias

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« Reply #152 on: <07-18-11/1615:50> »
Legendary for PCs is described as 500 karma.  Legendary for NPCs isn't, it's just described as "being in this book," basically.  The movers and shakers in Shadowrun, the folks with the high rep?  Some of them are Lofwyr, or Lugh Surehand, or Martin DeVries.  Some of them are powerhouses, and their stats reflect that. 

well well, this contradicts the golden rule "same set of rules for PCs and PCs. What I throw at the GM, he can throw at me and vice versa"
One of them (that is hung on NPCs) affects entire campaigns.  It is there, tied to the cinematic campaign rules (from the core book), as a suggestion of a way to temporarily make a campaign more over-the-top and action-packed, playing RED instead of The Bourne Identity, but suddenly cranking an entire campaign up to 11.  The rule exists in order to give the PCs a boost, because the PCs are the heart and soul of any campaign, and as such the entire game of Shadowrun.

The other version, which a PC can buy, affects just that one PC.  It is there to let a single PC suddenly turn himself into a too-cool-for-school powerhouse, who makes his way through life succeeding where others might fail.  He is no longer merely a 500-karma badass, he now has it.  He is Achilles, not Hector.  He does not merely accomplish the incredible, he does so while making it look easy.  This rule exists in order to give PCs a boost, because PCs are the heart and soul of any campaign, and as such the entire game of Shadowrun.

Do you see what the two rules have in common?  They are being introduced in the Big Fat Book of Awesome NPCs, but they are not only for those NPCs.  We wanted a way to show that some of these NPCs are tremendously badass, but to also have that tremendous badassery -- and the importance to the metaplot, and the glamour of fame or infamy -- rub off on PCs.  Rather than only give NPCs a power boost (letting them ignore core rules like skill caps or stat caps, letting them and only them hit on a 4+ instead of a 5+, giving them and only them permanent exploding 6's, and several other ideas that were initially bandied about), we decided on these sets of rules.  These sets of optional rules, that are clearly stated as being such.

On the one hand, the first rule lets some of these over-the-top NPCs come off as over-the-top.  But on the other -- and this is the important bit, to me -- it does the same for your PCs.  The second rule is a way for a PC to hit "epic level" or whatever you want to call it, as a means of standardizing a karmic requirement and offering a concrete way to make someone that's probably so badass they should be retired, but who is so badass he won't let retirement take him out of the game;  for GMs and players that are interested in that sort of top-tier, high powered, campaign, now they've got a rule that lets them do it.

So, in my opinion, this doesn't break that "golden" rule of yours.  It provides two separate rules;  one that affects entire campaigns (and as such NPCs and PCs alike), and one that's aimed primarily at PCs (but which an enterprising GM could purchase for an NPC, if he really wanted to, and if he was keeping track of karma, etc, while powering up and building that NPC).

Not everyone is going to be crazy about these rules, and that's totally fine.  That's why they're both optional.  But I like them -- I kind of have to, since they were largely my idea -- because it's a way to give these "legends" something (besides just high stats or lots of gear or whatever) that can explain how they do some of the difficult things they do, and it's a way to give the same benefit to PCs, because fuck NPCs anyways the PCs are the ones that make Shadowrun a game.
« Last Edit: <07-18-11/1631:18> by Critias »

Neurosis

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« Reply #153 on: <07-18-11/1638:57> »
Okay, I just did some work on Rigger X based on some of the criticism given here. Unfortunately, it is much too late for inclusion in the first printing and much too
soon for official errata so...really, really awkward timing.

Pertaining specifically to Rigger X, some valid points were made by the critics but I do wish they had not been quite so harsh.

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Sengir

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« Reply #154 on: <07-18-11/1642:50> »
Legendary for PCs is described as 500 karma.
Which means they have a Street Cred of 50, plus whatever bonuses they got for superior achievements. If an NPC wants to draw level with that, he needs the same Street Cred.

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the NPCs who chatter with one another about new gear
That requires knowledge skills.

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spread rumors about upcoming jobs
That requires connections.

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and upload data files to Jackpoint for the rest of them to pick at like vultures
That requires some skills to "liberate" that data.

The big catch of SL was supposed to be that everything has stats, even the dragons. Catalyst consciously made the decision to make the characters in Street Legends quantifiable in the context of Shadowrun's game rules, which includes the rules for fame, skill, luck, and influence. Rigger X has been measured in these areas and found wanting - and the reaction is "oh well, screw the rules. They are great because we say so".

Excuse me, but what the fuck is the point of printing the bloody stats then? You print the stats, and then tell us to ignore them once the inevitable happens?

Neurosis

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« Reply #155 on: <07-18-11/1650:34> »
Quote
The big catch of SL was supposed to be that everything has stats, even the dragons. Catalyst consciously made the decision to make the characters in Street Legends quantifiable in the context of Shadowrun's game rules, which includes the rules for fame, skill, luck, and influence. Rigger X has been measured in these areas and found wanting - and the reaction is "oh well, screw the rules. They are great because we say so".
Excuse me, but what the fuck is the point of printing the bloody stats then? You print the stats, and then tell us to ignore them once the inevitable happens?

Sengir I don't know if you're behind some kind of wall where you can't see my posts, but at least for this freelancer that's not what I'm saying at all.

What I'm saying is yes, I goofed (it was not that big of a deal, and the degree of ad hominem attacks in response was pretty damn unnecessary) in some ways
on Rigger X's stats. I immediately opened up my revised document and fixed the errors that I had made...although I can't do anything with the unofficial
'errata' I've just created in this awkward stage in the game.

FTR, I am definitely not saying that stats don't matter or to ignore stats. I don't actually think anyone else is saying that either.

Edit: Fuck this forum software right now at this very moment, fuck it right in its ear.
« Last Edit: <07-18-11/1652:35> by Neurosis »
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Critias

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« Reply #156 on: <07-18-11/1658:30> »
Two points: 
Quote
Which means they have a Street Cred of 50, plus whatever bonuses they got for superior achievements. If an NPC wants to draw level with that, he needs the same Street Cred.
1)  You continue to -- purposefully or otherwise -- get the PC and NPC rules mixed up.  Please don't.  They are two separate things.  I cannot fathom how better I can say this, how much more clearly I can say this, or how many different ways I can say this.

The "legends" in this book do not all, by default, have the "Legendary Quality" that lets them score hits on a 4+.  What they do have is an optional rule that, simply by virtue of being in the book, lets the entire campaign score hits on a 4+.  They are two different rules.  There is no direct correlation between the two.  The requirement that you have 500 karma in order to purchase the personal "Legendary Quality" does not apply to the general campaign suggestion that grants entire games a similar rule. 

"If an NPC wants to draw level with that," as such, is a moot point.  The NPCs in the book don't have to draw level with that, because you are discussing a different rule.

2)  You seem to have made up your mind about this book (and everyone who worked on it, regardless of what they worked on) based on the preview, and what's more upon a single page of the preview (Rigger X's stats in particular).  That's your prerogative, and you're welcome to your opinion, but I'm tired of sitting here bickering with you about it.  If you buy the book I hope it changes your mind, if you don't choose to buy the book, more power to you, that's a consumer's right.

But you make it very, very, hard to have a civil discussion.  We get it.  You don't like Rigger X's stats.  The guy that wrote Rigger X's stats is standing right here trying to have a discussion with you about those stats, and you're ignoring him in order to belabor the point and belittle his work while talking to me instead of him.  If you're out to be productive in your criticism, why not shoot him a PM and make a few polite suggestions?  If you're not out to be productive in your criticism, maybe you could still at least pay attention to repeated moderator requests here in this thread, and watch your tone?
« Last Edit: <07-18-11/1700:16> by Critias »

Frankie the Fomori

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« Reply #157 on: <07-18-11/1704:25> »
I would like to add a positive thought to this. Why not start a thread tittled: “Unofficial Street legends” Post your own take on PC's skill sets and stats. Add something to the game that you seem to say is lacking. Make your own street legends and write up a great back story so other GM's and players can draw on your talents. 

Why create an environment that adds nothing to this game. You must come here because you care for it, write for it, buy the products at some point. Yet not one person has thanked the writer for jumping on here and explaining his stance, working with people so they have a better feel for this product.

I see the pride and hard work the writers are putting into their work, on each project we get more and more response, so what we see as "wrong" they work to share an understanding.

Now I know I am not a brilliant spark in humanity, I am wounded retired soldier that has found this game and his group as a way to begin to socialize again. Before last October I spent two and half years running from being in public, spending time with my son, my wife and having four surgeries. What I lack in smarts i make up for in passion though, I love this game. I love the products they put out. Everything in this world has flaws; it is these flaws that allow me to enjoy life so much.
Please add to this game, try not to take away someone else’s passion for it!

Last note: Thank you Neurosis for your work, and thanks for trying to share an understanding of this work to us.

Neurosis

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« Reply #158 on: <07-18-11/1707:54> »
Thank you, Frankie, for everything. : )
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Stockbrokers ain't no heroes!"~

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Sengir

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« Reply #159 on: <07-18-11/1714:42> »
Okay, I just did some work on Rigger X based on some of the criticism given here. Unfortunately, it is much too late for inclusion in the first printing and much too
soon for official errata so...really, really awkward timing.

Pertaining specifically to Rigger X, some valid points were made by the critics but I do wish they had not been quite so harsh.
Just to be clear, it's the concept of the book I blame, not you personally. Call me prejudiced, but the second I read the announcement I knew SL would become an example of why you shouldn't stat plot devices. It's been tried over and over again, and the result has always been the same, no matter how much blood and sweat went into it.

So while I applaud your decision to make improvements, I fear it will still only make the character good in the concept of the book. Then again, a few ready-made NPCs are always useful :)

PS: Just saw I missed your initial post in this thread:
Now, I realize that according to this interpretation that I used, 'Remote Operation' is a very powerful specialization. But then again, that wouldn't be entirely inconsistent with SR4A...skill specializations that can be overpowered based on GM interpretation. An excellent example is the 'Automatics' specialization of Pistols, which covers something like 80% of Pistols (including all the best ones) which is clearly better than the more limited 'Revolvers' or 'Hold-Outs' specialization. Another good example is the 'Martial Arts' specialization of Unarmed Combat, which depending on how lenient your GM is, you could rule to apply ALL THE TIME.

So to summarize and repeat my point...we are using two different definitions of what the undefined 'Remote Operation' specialization means. You are assuming that 'Remote Operation' = 'Remote Control', and I am not.
Very broad specializations like Software (Threading) for TMs are fine with me. But I wouldn't allow a character to use the same specialization for two things which are as different as remote control and jumping in are, no matter how clever it's worded ;)

hobgoblin

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« Reply #160 on: <07-18-11/1730:08> »
this have gone into pissing match territory, have fun cleaning up...
Want to see my flash new jacket?

Neurosis

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« Reply #161 on: <07-18-11/1734:24> »
@Sengir:

But at least you have to agree it's open to interpretation! 'Remote Operation', I mean. Anyway, that is a perfect discussion for Dumpshock some rainy day. : )

Anyway, the thing is...Rigger X isn't meant to be a GD plot device in my mind. He's just a (highly competent runner). He shouldn't be an unkillable force of nature.  That's Lofwyr you're thinking of.  Assigning stats to Lofwyr is...no comment. At worse, though, I mean it's a fun exercise in number crunching.

That said, is this attached version of Rigger X  'better' in your opinion? I wanted to stay true to my initial build somewhat, so I did not add 'Gearhead' or '’More Than Metahuman' or load him up with overpowered delta grade cyberware (that money is pretty obviously tied up in vehicles) but I did fix the issue with  his pool for jumped in actions being poor because so many of his drones had Response and Sensor ratings of 2 and 3.  I also put some more points into general  purpose skills, especially knowledge skills. I wish I could just stick this into the layout of Street Legends as it goes to the printers, but alas it doesn't work that  way in the publishing business.  (I'm far too used to making home brew things that I am the sole controller of.) Oh, I've departed from the standard CGL style  guide with this so it may be slightly more readable. I don't think gear list formats will be a big problem for any other character in the book, since most other characters don't have eleventeen billion customized vehicles.

Oh, btw, on my latest revision I had actually capitalized Chameleon Coating so that must have gotten changed at the layout stage, after it was out of my hands (/me passes the buck).

After the quick revisions I did, Rigger X's piloting dice pools for ground and air craft would now be:

Jumped In Hot Sim Maneuvering: 17 (19)
Jumped In Hot Sim Shooting:  15
Jumped In Hot Sim Perception: 15

Remote Control Maneuvering: 12 (14)
Remote Control Shooting: 12
Remote Control Perception: 12

I don't think those dice pools are anything to sneeze at. Those maneuvering numbers are assuming a Handling 0 vehicle. 

If you were the GM, it'd be your call whether or not to apply the 'Remote Operation' bonus to Jumped In, so I've put it in parentheses in both lists.

Sorry for this long ass tangent about Rigger X's stats--I know that's not the *real* problem you have with the book. But I do take umbrage when people say I don't know anything about the Shadowrun rules. Shadowrun is kind of my life, and kind of has been for the past 15 years or so.
« Last Edit: <07-18-11/1736:47> by Neurosis »
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Sengir

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« Reply #162 on: <07-18-11/1736:59> »
"If an NPC wants to draw level with that," as such, is a moot point.  The NPCs in the book don't have to draw level with that, because you are discussing a different rule.
OK, once more:
1.) A character can become a Legend if he has achieved at least 500 Karma. I don't care about the bonuses this gives, just about the fact that a character is officially a "legend" at this point
2.) Based on the 500 Karma requirement, a character who is considered "legendary" has a Street Cred of at least 50.
3.) Therefore, an NPC who is considered legendary for any reason needs similar Street Cred to draw level. If player legends have at least 50 Cred, you can't define somebody with 10 Cred (NPC or not) to be equally legendary, just like you can't define somebody with Bod 1 to be just a tough as somebody with Bod 12. If two characters play in the same system, they are measured by the same yardstick.


@Frankie: So, what do you think about Plan 9 from Outer Space? I hope nothing bad, because you should rather direct a better movie than criticize it ;)

Critias

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« Reply #163 on: <07-18-11/1741:42> »
"If an NPC wants to draw level with that," as such, is a moot point.  The NPCs in the book don't have to draw level with that, because you are discussing a different rule.
OK, once more:
1.) A character can become a Legend if he has achieved at least 500 Karma. I don't care about the bonuses this gives, just about the fact that a character is officially a "legend" at this point
2.) Based on the 500 Karma requirement, a character who is considered "legendary" has a Street Cred of at least 50.
3.) Therefore, an NPC who is considered legendary for any reason needs similar Street Cred to draw level. If player legends have at least 50 Cred, you can't define somebody with 10 Cred (NPC or not) to be equally legendary, just like you can't define somebody with Bod 1 to be just a tough as somebody with Bod 12. If two characters play in the same system, they are measured by the same yardstick.
You're a bright guy, so I can only assume you're stubbornly ignoring what I'm actually saying, at this point, instead of still genuinely misunderstanding it.  The two rules you are mish-mashing together are two different rules.  They mean two different things.  They are only tangentially related to one another, and yet you are, flying in the face of repeated discussion, equating them.  You are incorrect to do so.  I can't say this any more clearly.  You are looking at two different optional rules, smashing them together into a single definition of a single rule, and then judging the entirety of a book based upon your completely imaginary definition of these two, separate, completely optional rules...and continuing to derail the thread in the process. 

Please stop.  Until you stop conflating these two rules (in order to use them as an inaccurate measuring stick, in order to further complain about the one character that's visible so far from Street Legends), you're really not worth talking with on this subject.  I can't think of any other way to describe these rules in order to clarify them further, but you seem unwilling to acknowledge that your understanding of them is lacking.
« Last Edit: <07-18-11/1752:29> by Critias »

Bull

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« Reply #164 on: <07-18-11/1751:48> »
As a note, I (re)built Bull the Ork Decker using the SR4A Build Point, and then Karma system.  He was a 700+ karma SR2/3 character, originally, and karma stretched a LOT further in those days.  But for the write ups, I left off a lot of his secondary and tertiary skills (A lot of his piloting skills, for example, as he'd branched into rigging at some point).  I also didn't include contacts (He's got a couple pages of contacts in my old Character notebook I ended up using for him).  I also toned down some of his non-key stats and secondary skills.  And he still ended up at 750ish Karma, give or take.