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TheSapient

Shadowrun Conversion Thoughts

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My hope is to create a Shadowrun  Genesys conversion following these principles:

  1. Keep a strong preference for retaining Genesys core mechanics
  2. Retain the feel and lore of Shadowrun

Here are some aspects of Shadowrun, and my thoughts on how to address them:

  • Magic:  Shadowrun has a Magic Attribute.  I believe the Genesys magic system may be used as is, without the use of a Magic Characteristic.  The mechanics of spellcasting changes, but the feel of Shadowrun can be maintained.  Magic in Genesys requires a fair amount of customizing anyway.
  • Essence:  Shadowrun uses Essence to limit the number of cybernetics a character has, as well as balance a character's ability to use magic with the advantages cybernetics provide.  I think this can be modeled by assigning cybernetcs points to any implanted equipment, setting a maximum value for these per character, and having setback and/or difficulty upgrades for magic use based on the total number of cybernetic points.  
  • Attributes:  Genesys Characteristics are sufficient.  Genesys Charicteristics would not vary as much as Shadowrun Attributes do.
  • Equpiment:  Can be ported easily enough, and people have already done a lot of work.
  • Species:  Some species in Shadowrun cost more during character creation.  I don't think that is necessary in the conversion, and Genesis species building rules are enough to allow differentiation.  Weaker species can simply come with extra abilities or XP, which in some ways mimics character creation in Shadowrun.
  • Careers:  Shadowrun allows for wide variation in investment in skills, attributes, magic, and money, largely independent of species.  Genesys careers only provide different career skills.  I think this is an aspect that would require significant modification.  Careers would need to provide a bonus to XP to spend on Characteristics, more XP to spend on Skills, or money.  I think this is an area that would require a good deal of thinking and balancing.  Perhaps XP at the Species level would be reduced, with certain careers getting all, some, or more of it back.  Careers may also define the limit of XP that can be spent on Characteristics.  
  • Cyberspace:  This can be modeled with Genesys.  The Computer skill in addition to a handful of specific knowledge skills should be enough to provide deckers with enough challanges.  It wll require a small number of rules regarding penalties a decker faces in the material plane while decking.
  • Astral Plane:  This too can be modeled with Genesys, and can mirror the approach used to deal with cyberspace.
  • Contacts:  Contacts are an important resource that are gained in game, but can also be purchased at Character creation.  Perhaps a series of talents to add more and better contacts?
  • Qualities:  These are Advantages and Disadvantages in Shadowrun.  This could be modeled with Star Wars Obligation and talents purchased outside of the pyramid?

Are their other aspects of Shadowun I'm not listing that need to be dealt with?  I don't want to start building any specific items/people/talents etc until I get the rule and balance issues hammered out.

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Dunno if you're looking for thoughts/discussion on your main points but here are some of mine...

RE: Magic

In general Shadowrun's magic provides a decent analogue to Genesys' through it's spell types (Combat, Detection, Health, Manipulation, Illusion). I would start reworking it from there ("Power" - as in bolt/ball - attack spells target Wounds, "Stun" of course Strain, various Elemental spells perhaps have base "Weapon Qualities" like Burn, Entangle, and so on), many of these could also be modeled off of Star Wars Force Powers even (Detection = Sense and Farsight, portions of Manipulation = Influence, Illusion = Misdirect, and of course Health)).

Something I feel you missed here though is that I think it would be warranted to add a Summoning Skill (linked to Presence). Spirits are a big, and separate thing from "Spellcasting" in SR. As are the Hermetic and Shamanic magical traditions. Which in Genesys could more or less be modeled by Arcana/Spellcasting being tied to Intellect, and as mentioned Summoning > Presence. Specific Talent progressions could further accentuate these two paths...

You also didn't specifically call out Adepts, but I think that could follow the "Primal" Genesys magic model, except maybe link it to Willpower. Maybe that was self-evident.

These separations (of Characteristics and Skills) will prevent SAD super-caster-summoner-buffers.

RE: Essence

This is where it starts to get tricky. In Shadowrun Essence (and monetary cost) of various 'ware and gear is a critical balance point. For Genesys, I don't think you'd want to have the "resolution" that Shadowrun does in Essence. i.e. You don't want 'ware that costs 0.2 Essence in Genesys. I think you leave it at whole numbers. Which - and sorry this gets into Equipment - means you will probably have to look more at "Cyberware Suite"-type packages, rather than the piecemeal, individual, micro-management, niggling selections approach that Shadowrun takes. Bring Cyberware closer to the nature and "level" of mechanical augmentations that magic makes.

RE: Careers

Apologies, but I think you're way off here. Shadowrun is a skill-based system, with a heavy wink and nod to what are actually pretty rigidly defined Archetypes/Classes/Careers (Street Samurai, Face, Decker, Magician, Adept, and so on, could go further w/ Rigger, B&E, Razorboy/girl, yada yada). Genesys is a skill-based system w/ a heavy wink and nod to what are potentially pretty rigid Classes/Careers too... I think you port over the Shadowrun Archetypes to Genesys Careers very directly, and just leave it at Skills. You make certain Skills useable "Trained Only". And then you address the things you're concerned about (Characteristics, Money, XP), via essentially xp and monetary costs of the various Careers' tools of the trade. No reason to reinvent the wheel here as far as I see it. My 2 cred, but obviously not me that's looking at doing the work.

RE: Cyberspace

This is a big enough "thing" in Shadowrun - one of the 3 "Worlds": Meatspace, Astral, Matrix - that I think you really need another Skill here too. Maybe split Computers into Computers and Security Systems, like the FFGs Star Wars series originally had, or Computers and Hacking, I dunno. Really there's 3 main areas of Shadowrun's decking; basic Computer stuff (Command, Edit, Browse, etc.), Hacking (Sleaze, Spoof, Stealth, etc.), and Cyber Combat, but I think adding 2 new Skills would be too much, instead you pretty much eliminate Cyber Combat as such a big thing, and cover it via flavor/Talents of the other two Skills... Anyway, sort that out and you can get into Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality/Hot/Cold-sim "paths" via Talents (and of course gear).

What about Rigging? i.e. Mechanics based Summoning :P?

RE: Contacts

Contacts are a big thing in Shadowrun, but I agree it'd be a little overboard to add a whole new element to Genesys for them. I think you handle Contacts through Skills (Streetwise, maybe Knowledge(s)) and yes, Talents.

RE: Qualities

Qualities are Talents, I wouldn't do anything crazy to try to replicate them as an element of chargen in Genesys like they are in Shadowrun. Port important Qualities over into Talents.

Lastly, this is something only half-baked in my brain at the moment, but you touched lightly on this when you mentioned porting "Obligation" into Genesys for the hack. I think you absolutely re-tool the "Motivations" of Genesys, into more Shadowrun appropriate flavor points. Maybe, you could even give them mechanical weight, something like Priorities in Shadowrun - which would enable you to address those concerns you were looking at in Careers, in a more appropriate place? I dunno...

Anyway, hope at least some of this helps to keep your gears turning. Would certainly look forward to Shadowrun hack.

Edited by emsquared

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As someone who loves both shadowrun and the FFG Narrative system, and someone who has toyed around with running shadowrun with it since EotE release. The best and biggest advice i can give would be to try to port the setting not the rules.

Remember that Genesys is a toolbox, so create new rules where needed, but don't try to port the mechanics from shadowrun, instead port the world. For example with Cyberware. Don't try to port essence costs, instead look at the cyber given within the setting ( i would look to the Genesys book's settings, as well as the Star Wars books. With specific interest in the Special Modifications book, as it has advanced rules that should work within the Genesys system. Then port specific and iconic peices of gear. Make sure things like cyberlimbs, wired reflexes, datajacks, skillsofts, and others are accounted for. Though that can largely be done on a "as needed" basis. Don't prioritize writing 5 pages of rules for skillsofts, activesofts, memorysofts, skillwires, and the jukebox if none of the players are interested in pursuing those options.

The same for the other systems, becuase the systems don't make SR fun, the setting and world make SR fun. After all if you wanted the SR mechanics instead of the SR world, you would be playing one of the editions of Shadowrun or Anarchy. Just make sure everytime you are writing a rule, ask "Does genesys already cover this?" and "how does this mechanic add to the narrative" instead of "Well ... shadowrun has *insert mechanic here* so i need to make sure that mechanic also exists."

That said here are my specific thoughts on the points you asked for.

5 hours ago, TheSapient said:
  • Magic:  Shadowrun has a Magic Attribute.  I believe the Genesys magic system may be used as is, without the use of a Magic Characteristic.  The mechanics of spellcasting changes, but the feel of Shadowrun can be maintained.  Magic in Genesys requires a fair amount of customizing anyway.
  • Essence:  Shadowrun uses Essence to limit the number of cybernetics a character has, as well as balance a character's ability to use magic with the advantages cybernetics provide.  I think this can be modeled by assigning cybernetcs points to any implanted equipment, setting a maximum value for these per character, and having setback and/or difficulty upgrades for magic use based on the total number of cybernetic points.  
  • Attributes:  Genesys Characteristics are sufficient.  Genesys Charicteristics would not vary as much as Shadowrun Attributes do.
  • Equpiment:  Can be ported easily enough, and people have already done a lot of work.
  • Species:  Some species in Shadowrun cost more during character creation.  I don't think that is necessary in the conversion, and Genesis species building rules are enough to allow differentiation.  Weaker species can simply come with extra abilities or XP, which in some ways mimics character creation in Shadowrun.
  • Careers:  Shadowrun allows for wide variation in investment in skills, attributes, magic, and money, largely independent of species.  Genesys careers only provide different career skills.  I think this is an aspect that would require significant modification.  Careers would need to provide a bonus to XP to spend on Characteristics, more XP to spend on Skills, or money.  I think this is an area that would require a good deal of thinking and balancing.  Perhaps XP at the Species level would be reduced, with certain careers getting all, some, or more of it back.  Careers may also define the limit of XP that can be spent on Characteristics.  
  • Cyberspace:  This can be modeled with Genesys.  The Computer skill in addition to a handful of specific knowledge skills should be enough to provide deckers with enough challanges.  It wll require a small number of rules regarding penalties a decker faces in the material plane while decking.
  • Astral Plane:  This too can be modeled with Genesys, and can mirror the approach used to deal with cyberspace.
  • Contacts:  Contacts are an important resource that are gained in game, but can also be purchased at Character creation.  Perhaps a series of talents to add more and better contacts?
  • Qualities:  These are Advantages and Disadvantages in Shadowrun.  This could be modeled with Star Wars Obligation and talents purchased outside of the pyramid?

Magic - Genesys has this covered, the strain mechanics work close enough to Drain to be equitable. Depending on the edition you might want to break things up. I.E. Shamanistic vs Hermetic

Essence - Already covered by limiting cyber to Brawn rating, i would leave it at that, with maybe a Essence Loss stat that is "Natural Brawn - Implants" then add 1 setback for each point of Essence loss to all magical tests involving that character. This is a very rough idea, but it is to follow the SR narrative that cyber interferes with magic. It's harder to use healing magic on the super cyber'd troll than the 100% pure dwarf shaman.

Attributes - they are fine as per genesys

Equipment - Port what is needed. But this is highly dependent on the group. Is the group fine with just having an "Assualt Rifle"? Or do they want the Ares Alpha, Yamaha Raiden, and FN HAR to all have distinct stats.

Species - Follow the Species/Archetypes rules in genesys

Careers - The basic genesys careers should work fine. Rename and tweak for Flavor as needed. Instead of Solider, it's Street Sam, instead of Hacker it's Decker, etc.

Cyberspace - Doesn't need it's own rules, make it narrative. Use the hacking rules, and/or the expanded slicing rules from Special Modifications. Tweak as needed. The big key here is not to fall into the SR1-3 trap of making these things so complicated and convoluted that they need to be their own sessions. Take not of SR5's wireless matrix, but get rid of the janky usless and bad mechanics. Let the Decker use their hacking to brick wireless-on guns, and be the defense against that tactic for their team. Their combat role isn't to shoot the mooks, but to be the electronic warfare and countermeasures guy.

Astral Pllane - Same basics as cyberspace. Write some mechanics to cover dual natured creatures, astral perception, and other things that are needed by the narrative.

Contact - RP material here, don't really need mechanics, but they can have them if you really want them. I would go with a simple Connection/Loyalty value then use that to form a dice pool (treating it as characteristic/skill) when the contact does something to keep it simple. However they could have full fledged character sheets if needed.

Qualities - Covered by the base system, maybe write some rules that interact with starting XP for negative qualities if people really want them. Though i would make them mostly narrative instead of mechanical personally.

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Thanks for the thoughts.  That is all where I've been landing as I try to put things together.  One place of significant disagreement:

We, my friend and I, are changing Essence to Corruption, and assigning a Corruption value to cybernetics.  Each full point of Corruption gives an automatic failure on magic and healing skill checks.  We feel that the dehumanization of cybernetics is an important enough aspect of the setting that it deserves a small addition to the game mechanics of Genesys.

We are also considering letting characters trade XP for money at character creation.  I am unsure whether archetypes in Shadowrun can exist in Genesys simply though spending XP on skills, characteristics, and talents.

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A buddy of my and I have been working on this as well. We are very near a full playtest draft that, for us at least, hits enough of the shadowrun stuff while staying true to genesys.

i totally agree with the above sentiment about retaining as much genesys as possible and layering the SR feel not SR rules. Also SR is a lot of things to a lot of people there’s no way to totally nail every edition/ video game/ novel etc. 

When it’s ready we will post our humble take on it here. From reading the ideas here I can see a lot of us are thinking along similar lines.

One bit that seems like it might help you with your gear xp puzzle.

we implemented a bonus package that you choose after archetype and career. Each package is “worth” 20xp. 

Example packages 

* decker - rank in computers, cyber deck

* cash out - 5k cash.

* skills - 20xp to spend on skills

We felt these bonus packages did a couple of things: 1) make the character feel more like an established runner. 2) allow for concepts like a street Sam with cyber or a rigger without really messing up starting cash. 3) keep a touch of the priority feel to creation and 4) allow for a street level game (by removing the bonus package and just playing normal creation rules.

 

Rather than flaws we opted for edge of the empire style obligations mechanics.

 

Hopefully that sounds cool to you too, we are excited to release this as soon as we can.

 

 

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On 2/2/2018 at 11:33 PM, WarrenH said:

we implemented a bonus package that you choose after archetype and career. Each package is “worth” 20xp. 

 

We've been playing with a similar idea, though within the ~100 XP at character creation, where players can trade XP for money.  Another idea was to give each Career a signature item, which is a worse version of what you are doing.

We did decide to use a more limited equipment list than the beautiful and extensive list put together here: https://www.reddit.com/r/genesysrpg/comments/7p3s60/shadowrun_equipment_conversion/ .  Characters differentiate though talents more than through the fine-tuning of equipment in Genesys, and the Genesys dice system is more easilty unbalanced by the addition of another die to the pool.

I anxiously await your conversion!  We are not very far along, and it sounds like you have put a lot of thought into this.

Edited by TheSapient

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On 02/02/2018 at 3:11 PM, TheSapient said:

Here are some aspects of Shadowrun, and my thoughts on how to address them:

  • Magic:  Shadowrun has a Magic Attribute.  I believe the Genesys magic system may be used as is, without the use of a Magic Characteristic.  The mechanics of spellcasting changes, but the feel of Shadowrun can be maintained.  Magic in Genesys requires a fair amount of customizing anyway.
  • Essence:  Shadowrun uses Essence to limit the number of cybernetics a character has, as well as balance a character's ability to use magic with the advantages cybernetics provide.  I think this can be modeled by assigning cybernetcs points to any implanted equipment, setting a maximum value for these per character, and having setback and/or difficulty upgrades for magic use based on the total number of cybernetic points.  
  • Attributes:  Genesys Characteristics are sufficient.  Genesys Charicteristics would not vary as much as Shadowrun Attributes do.
  • Equpiment:  Can be ported easily enough, and people have already done a lot of work.
  • Species:  Some species in Shadowrun cost more during character creation.  I don't think that is necessary in the conversion, and Genesis species building rules are enough to allow differentiation.  Weaker species can simply come with extra abilities or XP, which in some ways mimics character creation in Shadowrun.
  • Careers:  Shadowrun allows for wide variation in investment in skills, attributes, magic, and money, largely independent of species.  Genesys careers only provide different career skills.  I think this is an aspect that would require significant modification.  Careers would need to provide a bonus to XP to spend on Characteristics, more XP to spend on Skills, or money.  I think this is an area that would require a good deal of thinking and balancing.  Perhaps XP at the Species level would be reduced, with certain careers getting all, some, or more of it back.  Careers may also define the limit of XP that can be spent on Characteristics.  
  • Cyberspace:  This can be modeled with Genesys.  The Computer skill in addition to a handful of specific knowledge skills should be enough to provide deckers with enough challanges.  It wll require a small number of rules regarding penalties a decker faces in the material plane while decking.
  • Astral Plane:  This too can be modeled with Genesys, and can mirror the approach used to deal with cyberspace.
  • Contacts:  Contacts are an important resource that are gained in game, but can also be purchased at Character creation.  Perhaps a series of talents to add more and better contacts?
  • Qualities:  These are Advantages and Disadvantages in Shadowrun.  This could be modeled with Star Wars Obligation and talents purchased outside of the pyramid?

Are their other aspects of Shadowun I'm not listing that need to be dealt with?  I don't want to start building any specific items/people/talents etc until I get the rule and balance issues hammered out.

Magic: I'd use the Genesys system.

Essence: in SW characters could use cybernetics up to the Brawn stat. You could use this, but also use the Willpower. Up to Willpower has no problems. If the character have more cybernetics than the Willpower, he'll have 1 setback per difference to some tests. (character with 4 Brawn and 2 Willpower and 4 cybernetics = 2 setbacks).

Attributes: keep the Genesys.

Equipment: no problem with that.

Species: some species already have an initial small XP pool. It's enough to balance. I don't think unbalanced species would work well. Each one has it's own qualities.

Careers: try what we have in Star Wars. Easy to create (and to create new talents also). I don't think they need to provide any addicional bonus. They already provide some skills ranks. No stats or money (but some talents could do this as well).

Cyberspace: i don't think it needs much more than the regular Computer check.

Contacts: the Star Wars has a good system with the Obligations (Edge of the Empire) and it works very well to keep these contacts near and with possibilities to appear in the game.

Qualities: i don't know how it works in Shadow, but I don't think the Genesys couldn't deal with this. The Genesys already have that system with Flaw to each one.

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How do people feel about this idea:  Decking through "spells".  

Hacking is a huge part of the SR universe, and a "Computer" skill doesn't cover the flavor or detail needed to make it interesting.  But we also want to avoid skill bloat.  Perhaps the Genesys magic system provides the answer.  Create Decking "spells" that are covered under perhaps 2 skills, that allow Deckers to do their thing and give them choices to make during encounters.  

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41 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

How do people feel about this idea:  Decking through "spells".  

Hacking is a huge part of the SR universe, and a "Computer" skill doesn't cover the flavor or detail needed to make it interesting.  But we also want to avoid skill bloat.  Perhaps the Genesys magic system provides the answer.  Create Decking "spells" that are covered under perhaps 2 skills, that allow Deckers to do their thing and give them choices to make during encounters.  

I agree that a Shadowrun conversion would need more granularity then would normally be associated with Genesys for both hacking and cyberwear. Its not any real stretch to see Cyberdeck programs as being a form of "techno spell".  Use Computers instead of the standard magic skill for hacking and either make the hacking programs more narrow focused then the sample Genesys magic system or just reskin the sample magic system to get a close approximation of hacking programs.

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39 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

How do people feel about this idea:  Decking through "spells".  

Hacking is a huge part of the SR universe, and a "Computer" skill doesn't cover the flavor or detail needed to make it interesting.  But we also want to avoid skill bloat.  Perhaps the Genesys magic system provides the answer.  Create Decking "spells" that are covered under perhaps 2 skills, that allow Deckers to do their thing and give them choices to make during encounters.  

 

I think this is a good idea.. the idea I had around decking is to use to give your teammate blue and foes black dice (but only if they have their comlink on them.) to simulate wireless disabling cameras on stealth, or messing with someone smart-gun system, just scrambling coms,  or using coms to get info about where the foes are. (perhaps even upgrades) 

need to get into the building here some blue dice to help with your social check because I doctored you an id(but they are going to look more into it if you do anything odd).  I would steer away from deckers being able to attack. (this leads to less of I going to crash his gun.. o wait he is dead now).  attacking should really be decker vs decker thing.

back to the same issue with 4/5e how to make techno, deckers different while still be able to do the same thing.   perhaps both something like spells, but deckers have to prepare(based on their deck) what they will bring with them, techno have more flexibility can do whatever they want but add one to the difficulty like spellcasters? 

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After fiddling with this for a few minutes, I think it could work nicely.  Here is a VERY quick first pass at a couple ideas.  Please pardon the formatting.

EFFECTS DIFFICULTY MOD        
Insert: Input information or command into item (looped video into a camera) +1 D  
HARDWARE: When attempting to affect harware items, such as cameras, smart guns, or security scanners, after defeating encription and firewalls, use the Hardware "spell". Easy check disables harware for one turn.
Record: Copy digital information +1 D  
Damage: Add one level of damage to item +2 D  
Extend: Disable lasts one additional turn +1 D  

EFFECTS DIFFICULTY MOD        
Mask: Attempt does leave digital fingerprint. +1 D  
HACKING: Overcome encryption or firewall. Base difficulty is the level of the encryption or firewall. Success bypasses encryption or firewall without removing it.
Disable: Remove encryption or firewall +1 D  
Control: Remove access to authorized users for the rest of the encounter +1 D  
Stealth: Attempt does leave record of intrusion +2 D  
Backdoor: Create permanent workaround +3 D  

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Wow! This person has done a lot of work.  I like where they’re going but wish they’d done magic differently.

You choose a force level for spells and that becomes your “attribute for the check”? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use force as the difficulty?

I think I could tweek his system without too much effort.  They’re 10,000 miles further along than I got.  My conversion never made it past concept.

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3 hours ago, ESP77 said:

Wow! This person has done a lot of work.  I like where they’re going but wish they’d done magic differently.

You choose a force level for spells and that becomes your “attribute for the check”? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use force as the difficulty?

I think I could tweek his system without too much effort.  They’re 10,000 miles further along than I got.  My conversion never made it past concept.

I assume he is mimicking the Shadowrun magic system, where the magic user can increase the power of a spell by increasing the risk to him/herself.  

It really is an amazing piece of work, and likely what my gaming group would want/expect.  I personally would prefer something that is not so much Shadowrun with Genesys dice, but rather Genesys in the Shadowrun universe.  I'm not certain that a decent balance can be maintained with such a direct translation.  Shadowrun is very tolerant of increases or decreases to the dice pool, where in Genesys a couple more dice can drastically affect the odds of a given outcome. 

I think you can model Shadowrun magic very well with the Genesys system as is.  In this conversion, two new attributes are added (essence and magic), and a host of skills.  But combining the magic and cybernetics portions of the sample setting in the Genesys core book gives a perfectly good alternative (not by accident, I'm sure).  Magic keys off of Characteristics already in the game.  Essence is modeled by the Brawn cap on Cybernetics and by the penalties that come with them.  Each Cybernetic costs one strain, and the book suggests setbacks for anything that interferes with casting.  IMO, it is better to slightly tweak these ideas than to drastically alter characteristics and skills, especially when the balance between the value of those and talents is already carefully considered.  

I think, too, that the extensive (and really impressive) equipment list might make stacking of bonuses game breaking.  One could easily stack 4 or 5 (or more) boost dice on ranged attacks with autofire guns (which can have attachments that make autofire trigger more easily).  Low XP characters can have very large soak values.  Etc.  Does this really balance out with mages who are spreading XP across a half dozen magic skills?

Now I sound like I'm complaining about something that was a lot of work and offered up for free.  That's not my intent.  Rather, I'm thinking out loud about how I think  Genesys mods should be approached in general.  The base mechanics of a given system determine much about how everything around them is designed.  Changing the base mechanics probably necessitates a complete reworking of most everything else.  I think that converting Shadowrun to Genesys means a complete rebuild of the pricing of items, and a transfer of some aspects of equipment, attributes, and skills to talents.  

All that said, I don't know that I will ever get much past that blah-blah-blah stage to actually making something playable (much less trying to get my group to make the conceptual leap to a new framework).

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I agree 100%.   Cybernetics reduce strain which is a casters power source.  You could also use a variation of corruption/ sanity rules to model the loss of humanity.

I think with Terrinoth’s imminent release and Android the likely next setting we will have all we need to convert Shadowrun with a minimum of effort.

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For Cybernetics and Magic, I would adjust things so that Cybernetics could takes up fractions of a Brawn slot, where 0 to 0.9 is minus 1 Strain Threshold, 1 to 1.9 is minus 1 Strain Threshold and 1 Setback (or difficulty upgrade?), 2 to 2.9 is minus 2 Strain Threshold and 2 Setback, etc.  I think that is probably enough to allow a mage to have some minor upgrades, but avoid anything more serious.  Plus, the hard cap from Brawn really limits things.

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The issue I see with reducing strain as cybernetics increase is that a highly cybered individual may only have 4-6 strain (or less) available instead of 10+. Is this too low from a non-magic using perspective. This indicates that the highly cybered are easily "mentally exhausted" if they are a pure street samurai, rigger, etc. Perhaps increasing the strain cost of spells based on amount of cybernetics such as 1 extra strain per 1 Brawn (or fraction thereof) of implants.

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I haven't read all the material, but species is something I would change. Here my thoughts:

I think the Genesys shouldn't have used what they did in Star Wars as rule to every kind of game. In my opinion, species in Star Wars are much less impactant than in other fantasy scenarios, like Shadowrun, Warcraft, Starcraft, Dungeon and Dragons, etc.

I don't have the book yet, but as far as I'm reading what appears here in the forum, I think the standard is almost something like: +1 in one stat, -1 in one stat, +1 free skill rank and 1 free talent or -1 or -2 setbacks in somethig, maybe something different, sometimes using Story Points.

To me, like I've sair, Star Wars isn't the kind of scenario where the species made much difference. A lot of species are just humans with horns/mask/tentacles/etc.

I would call it something like a "bucket of similar alternatives without little mechanical difference, although visually they may have some appeal".

And in some scenarios we have a differencet concept, with "few alternatives with huge mechanical differences", like the scenarios I've mentioned. And I think Genesys should have covered this. Or I'm missing something? Like super species, species with more natural abilites.

In therms of game mechanic, if we provide more XP in power to a specie, we could (I preffer 2 and 3):

1) Compensate this reducing the initial XP;

2) Keep the average initial XP and offer more powerfull species and it's ok if all species are balanced;

3) Reduce the initial XP, but create a new mechanic to provide more bonus, like Backgrounds, providing skill ranks and/or talent ranks.

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18 minutes ago, lyinggod said:

The issue I see with reducing strain as cybernetics increase is that a highly cybered individual may only have 4-6 strain (or less) available instead of 10+. Is this too low from a non-magic using perspective. This indicates that the highly cybered are easily "mentally exhausted" if they are a pure street samurai, rigger, etc. Perhaps increasing the strain cost of spells based on amount of cybernetics such as 1 extra strain per 1 Brawn (or fraction thereof) of implants.

1 strain per one seems a bit Harsh(given that spells are normally 2, that's a 50% increase for a data jack).. what if its 1 per two rounded or a black for odds or fraction and extra strain for one.

slightly cybered up mages is something you see in Shadowrun every once and a while. 

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2 minutes ago, adairhammer said:

1 strain per one seems a bit Harsh(given that spells are normally 2, that's a 50% increase for a data jack).. what if its 1 per two rounded or a black for odds or fraction and extra strain for one.

slightly cybered up mages is something you see in Shadowrun every once and a while. 

I think you need to have Cyberware that does not count as a full point of Cybernetics, and have a smaller penalty for having one, so that a mage could have one or two items (like a data jack) and still be mostly OK.  Maybe having any Cyberware gives 1 setback, and increased strain starts at 1 full point of Cyberware?  I think that a Skulljack (+1 INT) is a good point of measurement, as it provides a real benefit to an Arcane caster.  A mage with a Skulljack should be a slightly worse caster than one without, I think.  Or, at least, there should be a significant trade off.  

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