We will be using the Shadowrun 4th Edition rules, specifically the 20th Anniversary Edition (errata to older versions of SR4 are available at http://shadowrun4.com/resources/sr4a/sr4a_changes.pdf) and all the various supplements (Arsenal, Augmentation, Street Magic, Runner’s Companion, Unwired). Each player should answer the 20 Questions for their character, and will receive 5 Karma for thoughtful and complete answers. In particular, I’m keen that characters have the various “hooks” provided by a social life – friends, family, confidantes, cellmates, romantic relationships, old school friends, that sort of thing. They do represent vulnerabilities and extra factors to consider and juggle, but they’re also where a lot of potential story and challenge could come from. Do you keep your job a secret from them, or do they think you’re in sales and travel a lot for work? Or are they the street gang you use to run with? Perhaps you’re tied into organised crime; what’s their interest in you, and yours in them?
Characters should be created using 400BP per the normal rules. However, each character starts with the following skills at rating 2 for free:
- Data Search
- One of Blades, Clubs, Pistols, Thrown Weapons, and Unarmed Combat
If you want to take a skill group containing one or more of the skills above, then you can “trade in” the free skills for BP to spend on the relevant skill group. Naturally, such skill groups must be at least level 2 and can be no higher than level 4, per the normal rules.
In addition to this, everyone gets their (Charisma + Intuition) x 3 in BP to spend on Contacts. Remember that a Contact with Loyalty 3+ is a friend, rather than just an acquaintance or resource.
Although they shouldn’t be seen as a strait-jacket, I would draw your attention to the eight team roles from Runner’s Companion and suggest that you design your character to fill no more than two of them. We will talk in more detail about this when we do character generation, but the idea is for people not to step on one another’s toes so that everyone gets the chance to shine.
Character Death and Retirement
If a character dies, or a player wishes to retire a character and start a new one, then their new character is created as normal. That character is then given (and may spend or save) 75% of the old character’s total Karma.
They also receive some money: 25% of the amount their old character earnt solely from Episode-long jobs. This money may be spent on gear up to Availability 20.