Notes - ShadowRun

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Notes and Materials for ShadowRun, 4th Ed. (SR4)


House Firearms Rules

These rules are more realistic and also sharpen the divide between concealable/stealthy weapons (such as pistols and SMGs) and powerful weapons (such as Assault Rifles and Heavy Weapons). This forces players to choose between the risks associated with blowing their cover or being on the losing end of a firefight. Grenades are an option for those seeking concealability and lethality, but are highly illegal and can be detected by chem sniffers and olfactory boosters.

Note: Remember a negative AP means more armour penetration.

The stats for a typical weapon in each class should now be:

Holdout Pistol5P--2
Light Pistol5P-0
Machine Pistol5P-+2
Heavy Pistol6P-1+2
Submachine Gun6P-1+4
Assault Rifle7P-2+6, [1]
Sport Rifle8P-2+8, [1]
Sniper Rifle8P-3+8, [1][2]
Shotgun8P-+7, [1]
Light MG8P-3No
Medium MG8P-4No
Heavy MG9P-5No
Assault Cannon13P-8Hell no

[1]: These weapons are only concealable with special effort and long clothing. Note that SR Assault rifles are designed for shorter range urban combat and are somewhat shorter than their 20th century counterparts.
[2]: Note that some sniper rifles are designed to be disassembled to fit in a briefcase.

Armour Concealability

Like powerful weapons, powerful armour will help in a firefight but may draw unwanted attention outside of one. Note that although an observer may not positively identify someone wearing armour, unless they badly glitch on the test they may still be suspicious of bulky or expansive clothing (GM's call).

GMs should consider modifiers based on range and ultrasound visual enhancements (great for detecting hard surfaces under soft ones). Furthermore, if the observer gets a chance to touch the armoured character they should get a significant modifier (around +4 for a brief touch; grappling should identify it automatically).

Simplified Matrix Rules (Not finished yet)

I haven't finished writing these out OR playtesting them (I haven't had the chance to play ShadowRun for a while now, which is why this is taking so long). The cybercombat rules in particular ar nowhere near complete.

SR4 contains extensive rules for hacking, searching, cybercombat and manipulating other matrix entities, making the online world an exciting game setting in itself. However, keeping track of which of your 18 softs are loaded into your persona can be a pain, and it's even less fun for the other players back in the meat world. The following rules use only Attributes, Skills and commlink stats and are much simpler:


Hacking In

Hacking in this context refers to gaining access to a node above what is normally granted to you. Three types or accounts (or types of access) are available:

Some nodes may also have public areas (akin to websites) which you do not need an account to access.

Brute Force (on the fly)

Breaking in to a system quickly without any preparation usually requires a brute force approach. Roll an Extended Response+Hacking+Logic(target System+Firewall, 1 Initiative Pass) test (keep in mind that running in VR gives more initiative passes). However, each time the attacker takes a test the target gets a free System+Firewall(hacker's Hacking skill) test to detect the intrusion attempt.


If an attacker has days or weeks to break into a system, the attempt is more likely to be successful and unnoticed. Make an Extended Logic+Hacking(Firewall, 1 hour) test if the hacker is using VR. An attempt using AR extends the interval to 8 hours. Every test [TODO]




Cybercombat (Not finished yet)

Cybercombat can occur between deckers, nodes, IC and agents.

  1. Resolve intiative passes etc. as for normal combat.
  2. Attacker rolls Response+Cybercombat to hit, defender rolls Firewall+Cybercombat to avoid.
  3. If attacker scores more net hits, the difference is added to the response and this is taken as Matrix damage
  4. Damage resistance tests are made with System only.


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