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Character Creation Rules and Setting Info


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Please do not respond to this post in this thread. If you wish to discuss any of it, please meet me in chat or discuss it in the OOC thread. I want to keep this just for setting and rules information, so any new players can find what they need to know directly.

Some of these details are personal preference, some of them are because the game is set earlier than the books for 4th edition. I'm going to try to arrange things more clearly than I did before.

Some basic guidelines:

NO PVP. Too many people playing Shadowrun jump from, "I'm playing a criminal," to, "I should kill all of the other players and rob them the first chance I get." If another player is bothering you OOC, tell me, and I will ask them to change their behaviour or at least try to resolve the issue between the players. Tension between characters is good, and creates good story, but no going around killing the other players. I will veto a character that seems designed in such a way that PVP is virtually inevitable, instead of having you act out of character where the player characters are concerned.

NO COMMLINKS. The technology has not been developed yet. Anyone who wants to play a decker will be building their deck mostly on the commlink rules, but there are no internal decks. You need a datajack, which costs .02 essence, to use a cyberdeck or directly jack into a computer rigged for direct link up. You also need a datajack to be capable of using BTL's, so you can't take an addiction or vulnerability to them unless you have a datajack. Augmented Reality does not exist yet, either.

No free flaws. If a flaw has almost no chance of ever affecting you, you can't take it. There are some specific examples throughout the thread, such as taking an allergy to something that can only be found in Australia for a game set in Denver. For a flaw to give you points, I have to be able to use it to make your life miserable, at least occasionally :D

Karma can be spent to modify circumstances to a limited degree, basically having reality/fate arrange things a little in your favor to pay back what you have done in less direct ways than improved stats.

Players may be awarded negative karma for particularly heinous, stupid, or annoying actions. I will keep track of this myself. Just be aware that your actions may come back to bite you.

Focus addiction is enforced, as are the penalties for being a mage with any kind of addiction that harms your body. Anyone who takes an addiction of any kind will be facing rolls at appropriate time to see if your need for your fix overwhelms your self control, and mages who reach high addiction or continue to abuse their bodies for any length of time may start losing essence points, and with it magic.

The Game is currently set in Denver. This may change. I expect it to change, actually, thus the name of the game, but if you guys want to stay in Denver, I'm not going to force you to leave.


All basic metahumans are available. This mean Humans, Orcs, Elves, Trolls, and Dwarves.

Most metavariants are available. If you are interested in a metavariant, talk to me, as I have been discounting some of them after careful consideration. The book seems to punish you for taking a metavariant by charging you more points than its advantages are worth and giving you more disadvantages at the same time.

Nonhumans: available with careful consideration. Note that no government currently recognizes any sapient metacritters as citizens except for sasquatches in UCAS and dragons, because nobody is insane enough to tell a dragon that they can't get citizenship because they aren't people. No shifters. Their regeneration is just too overpowering.

AI characters: At the moment, I would have to say no. After the second Crash, i might allow it.

Free spirit characters: Generally, I would say no unless I know the player and know that they can handle it.


Magically active characters of any sort may not take Sensitive system unless they also take cyberware and/or bioware. Simsense Vertigo is available, though, as it affects even using Trode nets to access the Matrix, which is the method most mages use.

All forms of mage are acceptable, with consideration. The players of this game have turned out to be fairly magic heavy so far, which means the game will be dealing more with the magical side of things than I had originally planned.

You need to define both your tradition and how your character views your tradition. If you take a mentor spirit, tell me about its particular quirks, the things that set it apart from other spirits of the same type. Hermetic and Shamanic mages have effectively no rules difference anymore, but the stylistic differences are very important. The short version of what makes them different is which side of the brain they use to interact with magical energy. Hermetic mages see and experience magic in terms of mathematics, patterns, worlds and whirls shaped by word and thought and deed. Shamanic mages see magic in more artistic terms, music and color and emotion. Shamans are also a lot more willing to accept that spirits and such exist without the need of people to bring them into existence, something hermetic thought is still fighting.

Just as there are people who are both artistically and magically inclined, so there are mages who come out somewhere in between the two extremes. I want to know how your character interacts with magic.

Full mages represent less than 1% of the world's population. Worse, most shamans and many mages just can't function in a corporate environment. This means that mages are always in high demand, can get a pretty good job if they want one and have any competence, but often work on a contract basis. If you are a mage, why are you running the shadows?

The opposite problem exists for physical adepts. Most of them have skills that are completely useless outside of security and sports, and they have been banned from most sports except for a few augmented only sports such as Battle Bikes. This means that very few of them are employed in any position except security, though a few adepts have learned to focus their abilities in ways that make them just as ferocious negotiators and businessmen as their counterparts are athletes.

Metamagic initiation will be allowed, but I want a fic describing your initiation, not just an expenditure of some karma. It doesn't have to be about the actual act of initiation. For example, if you do an ordeal of a metaplanar quest for the discount on the cost, describe that. Make your character struggle, make the story interesting, and not only will you get your feat, you'll get bonus karma and possibly other rewards.

Technomancers are not allowed, yet. Unless we pick up the posting speed, or wind up doing a timeskip, I don't see them becoming available before next year.


Spirits are people, too. This means that you will develop a rep with them based on how you interact with them, how you negotiate with them, how well you hold to any bargains made, how you treat spirits you summon and especially how you treat spirits you bind and how often you bind spirits.

The biggest plus side of this is that you can negotiate with a spirit to convince it to let itself be bound or do more tasks for you. You could offer to fix a plumbing problem for a spirit of an apartment building, describe in loving detail the chase you want to take a spirit of the hunt on to catch your prey, offer to clean up a park, or, if all else fails, offer to trade it karma.


SURGE will happen during the course of this game. I will be rolling based on a chart I am maintaining to see if each player undergoes SURGE at certain points in the game. SURGE is so inherently random that I am leaving a lot of it to chance. If you are interested in having this happen to your character, tell me and I will adjust your number up a bit. If you are strongly opposed, tell me and I will adjust your number down. It will not reach no chance even if you don't want it to happen to your character, as roleplaying having to deal with something you didn't want could be interesting. The more unspent karma you have, the more likely you are to SURGE, and the more control you will have over the final results. Essentially, you will give me a number of karma points after I tell you that I have rolled a change for your character, and I will apply that to the total positive/negative quality balance in your favor. You do not have to give me any karma, though if you don't the you will likely come out balanced on pluses and minuses. If you want a particular mutation, I will give you a karma cost to guarantee it and you can then decide whether to pay that.

Caveats: I will not let the great gods of the dice make your character unplayable through a crappy roll. As such, even though you might not want to go through SURGE, I will work with you to make the end result something you can live with should it be rolled.

Later Starting Characters:

Right now, we aren't that far into the game. I'll let people who start in the third run or later have 5 karma to start, this amount to be amended as the game progresses.

This may be updated at a later point.

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Somethings I left out of the prior post:

1: I believe that as a GM, my job is to provide you and your characters with challenges as well as setting and story. If I were moderator of an Open World, this would be different, but I am going to put obstacles in your path and take advantage of you being careless because people in the game world would be doing the same. This is not a bright and happy future you people are entering.

2: I am here to have fun, as I hope you are. This means that I am willing to bend the rules and setting a bit for a good story or something that makes things fun for everyone. If you have a specific idea of what you want, you can either PM me or put it in the thread devoted to that purpose for group discussion. Final say of what is allowed will be mine, but it will be based largely on whether I feel that the proposition is fair and if I feel that it will add to the story.

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