House Rules

There are times, sadly, where some of the rules-as-written need a bit of a tweak to make them work better. Here are the changes we’ll be using in this campaign.

House Rules

House Rule Reasoning
1 While you’re learning a new skill, you take no penalty for defaulting to it. That is, if you were learning Longarms, then while you’re learning you would be able to roll Agility, rather than Agility-1, to hit Makes sense as you know a little bit
2 Change DV of Stick’n’Shock ammo from 6S(e) to -S(e), meaning that it does the weapon’s normal base damage, changed to Stun and electrical. Makes them less “all win, all the time” on smaller-calibre guns, and makes Gel Rounds viable too.
3 Add your weapon’s recoil compensation value to the dice pool you roll when using Suppressive Fire. Otherwise it’s assumed that the recoil comp and wide burst modifiers cancel out, effectively making recoil compensation meaningless in suppressive fire situations.
4 You roll Cybertechnology skill, not Engineering skill, to reprogram hard nanites. Because Engineering skill doesn’t exist, whereas Cybertechnology has a Nanotechnology specialisation.
5 When you burn Edge, your racial maximum Edge score reduces by one – as well as your permanent Edge score. Everyone dies eventually.
6 Squeezing past a trip beam maze requires an Agility + Gymnastics Test; lining up proxy emitters to confuse the system needs Agility + Hardware Makes more sense than Agility + Reaction
7 Each character may select (half Willpower, round up) Beliefs, taking the form of a call to action. In any scene where your character acts towards one of their Beliefs, you refresh 1 Edge. If you wish to act against a Belief, you must either spend 1 Edge or make a Composure (2) Test, or else be unable to act against your Belief. If you fulfil/complete a Belief, you gain 1 Karma and must choose a new Belief
8 Each character may select (half Intuition, round up) Instincts, taking the form of an always statement, a never statement, or an if…then statement. They are assumed always to be active until/unless you say otherwise, and can save you a Free or Simple Action as you’ve done something on Instinct. You may change Instincts in play by spending 1 Edge. Surprise may supersede “if…then” Instincts.
9 Damage Resistance, Drain Resistance and Fading Resistance are unaffected by Wound and/or Sustaining modifiers. Makes things consistent with one another.
10 Max rating of Progams you can create is equal to your Software skill rating, inc. relevant specialisation Means that there are some limits to programming!

Optional Rules

Also, each core book (i.e. Arsenal, Augmentation, Runner’s Companion, SR4, Street Magic and Unwired) offers some tweaks or new options for the rules. I’ve collected below the ones that we’re actually using.


Page Rule Text
44 Maximum Armor Modifications Each piece of armor or clothing can only accept a total number
of modification rating points equal to 6 or the highest number of its armor ratings (Ballistic or Impact) x 1.5 (round up), whichever is higher. Unrated armor modifications (for example, the gel pack modification) take up 1 point.
44 Armor Suit Capacity Under this rule, every armor suit type has a Capacity rating (just like cyberlimbs) that indicates what accessories it can take. These Capacity ratings are noted in the appropriate armor tables. Each modification or add-on takes up Capacity (noted as a number in brackets), also noted in the appropriate tables. Note that these specifically represent gear that is built into the suit; additional worn or carried items are accounted for as normal.
73 Advanced Substance Abuse Almost any drug can be found with any vector. At each level of Addiction, you must consume one more dose than normal to get the effect. Spiking drinks or whatever leads to a Toxin Resistance Test. Speedballing drugs give a -1 dice pool modifier to Addiction Tests.
104 Severe Vehicle Damage It costs an additional 10% of vehicle cost to repair a glitch on a Damage Resistance or Build/Repair Test, or 25% for a critical glitch
161 Additional Ranged Combat Modifiers Rangedcombat
161 Holding Weapons Melee combat
161 Holding Weapons Heavy weapons are so large and potentially damaging to the user that they cannot be carried and fired without the help of a gyro stabilization unit. Trolls and other unusually large and strong metahumans may be an exception to this rule. Any character with a Body of 8 or higher and Strength of 8 or higher can carry and use a heavy weapon without benefit of a stabilizer. However, whenever a character fires a heavy weapon he is carrying, he must resist Stun damage equal to half the Power (round down) of the weapon, and may be knocked down (see p. 161, SR4A).
162 Indirect Fire Under most circumstances, a character trying to use a ranged weapon against a target she cannot see or sense must apply a –6 Target Hidden dice pool modifier to such attacks. In certain situations, however, a character, drone, or vehicle may acquire a target lock for a weapon that is in a different location. This enables the weapon to engage in indirect fire on a target even when it does not have line of sight or a sensor lock on the target. Indirect fire may only be used if a spotter acquires the target and guides the attack either with spotting information or with a target designator.
163 Recoil and Strength In addition to modifications to the weapons and various accessories, characters can reduce a weapon’s recoil penalty simply by having extraordinary Strength. A character with Strength of 6–9 has 1 point of recoil compensation, Strength 10–13 has 2 points, Strength 14–17 has 3 points, and Strength 18+ has 4 points.
163 Throwing Back Grenades A character who has an action before a grenade explodes may attempt to retrieve the grenade and throw it (either back at the attacker or somewhere else) with a single Complex Action. It cannot be relaunched using a grenade launcher. The character must be within movement distance of the grenade and succeed in an Agility + Reaction (3) Test to pick up the bouncing, jumping, skittering explosive. If the test is unsuccessful, the character will be at an effective Range of 0 meters when the grenade detonates. If the character succeeds, she may make an Agility + Throwing Weapons ranged Attack Test to throw the grenade elsewhere.
163 Wielding Two Weapons When one weapon isn’t enough, a character can always wield two. As noted in SR4 (see Attacker Using a Second Firearm, p. 150, SR4A), any attempt to use two weapons at the same time requires the character to split her dice pool between the two attacks. Several other factors may apply, as noted on this page.


Page Rule Text
21 Developing Cyberpsychosis The gamemaster may require characters whose Essence falls under 1 to make a successful Intuition + Willpower (1) Test every time their Essence is decreased further. If they fail, they automatically gain the Cyberpsychosis negative quality. A critical glitch on this test could double the normal effects of the Cyberpsychosis quality.
23 Genetech And The Awakened Increase the costs of all gene therapies for Awakened characters by 50 percent and double any Essence costs. Characters who opt not to apply the increased costs must succeed in a Edge (1) Test or lose one point of Magic attribute.
23 Nanotech And Technomancers this, increase the costs of all nanoware and nanocybernetics for the technomancer by 50 percent and double any Essence costs. Characters who opt not to apply the increased costs must succeed in a Edge (1) Test or lose one point of Resonance attribute.
44 Redlining A Cyberlimb A cyberlimb user can take a Simple Action to temporarily override cybernetic safeguards and “redline” the cyberlimb’s attributes, increasing Strength or Agility to any value up to double the cyberlimb’s normal rating in that attribute. The character may even exceed his augmented attribute maximum in this way. At the end of each Combat Turn a cyberlimb is redlined in this manner, however, the limb and the character suffer damage from muscle sprains, ligament tearing, and general biostress. The DV of such damage equals twice the attribute modifier taken by redlining in Stun damage, and is resisted with Body. For example, a character who redlines his cyberarm from Strength 4 to Strength 8 to pull open a door will suffer 8S damage each Combat Turn he redlines his arm.
120 Severe Wounds Severe wounds occur in one of three circumstances:
* Any time a glitch is rolled on a Damage Resistance Test or Healing Test, you experience some sort of complication that is serious but not life-threatening.
* Any time a character takes a large amount of damage at one time (7 or more boxes of either Physical or Stun damage from a single attack), the character makes an immediate Edge (1) Test. If the test fails, something is seriously wrong with the character and will not heal without medical or magical assistance. These severe wounds are typically life-threatening.
* Any time a critical glitch is rolled on a Damage Resistance Test or Healing Test, you experience some sort of complication that is instantly debilitating and may threaten the character’s existence.
123 Mystical Healing Awakened characters may use Assensing or Enchanting with an appropriate Knowledge Skill for long-term healing.
126 Surgery Glitches A surgery glitch can increase the Essence Cost of an implant by + 25%. Likewise, a critical glitch not only results in the item failing to be implanted, but the subject loses 25% of the item’s Essence cost anyway.

Digital Grimoire

Page Rule Text
8 Alternate Circulations The 28-day circulation for alchemical practices is standard to most magical traditions in the Sixth World and is based on the lunar cycle. Other traditions may base their practices on the solar cycle and practice a 30-day circulation, or on ancient numerology and practice a 25-day circulation. Gamemasters should choose a length of circulation that fits the traditions of the magicians in their game.
10 Attuned Watcher Spirits Watcher spirits are not exceptionally bright, and left to their own devices they can get lost or confused easily. At first glance, this makes their utility as trackers, couriers, and shadows seem very limited. However, a watcher spirit can be attuned to a specific aura or astral shadow during their summoning, making them far more adept at finding the particular person, object, or place tied to that aura or astral shadow. If the aura or astral shadow is in the magician’s sight and he is using astral perception when he summons the watcher, the watcher may then add the magician’s Magic attribute to any test related to noticing, tracking, or finding the subject observed. Alternatively, if the subject’s aura or astral shadow is not within sight, the magician may use a material, sympathetic, or symbolic link to the subject, but the added Magic dice are reduced by any applicable link modifier (see Material Links, p. 28–29, Street Magic). Note that in order to use a sympathetic or symbolic link in this fashion, the conjurer must first possess the Sympathetic Linking metamagic technique (see Sympathetic Linking, p. 29, Street Magic).
12 Alternative Possession Mechanics Possessed living vessels may actively resist possession in a manner similar to a Mental Manipulation spell (p. 202, SR4). Every (Force) Combat Turns, the victim may spend a Complex Action to shake off the spirit’s control. The victim rolls a Willpower (+ Banishing) Test; each hit reduces the net hits on the spirit’s original Possession Test. If the possessing spirit’s net hits are reduced to 0, the spirit is expelled from the target.

Runner’s Companion

Page Rule Text
19 Karma For Character Development You get 5 Karma for completing the 20 Questions
41 Karma System Covered in Character Creation
76 Alternate Elemental Attacks drake characters may switch their Elemental Attack to a different elemental effect, including those listed on pp. 164–165 of Street Magic by paying 15 Karma. This new elemental effect is permanent until the character decides to pay another 15 Karma and change it again.
78 Infected Lifestyle Infected character’s Lifestyle costs are increased by 30 percent, and the character is assumed to receive sufficient metahuman blood or flesh to satisfy their dietary requirement—note that this does not cover Essence Loss. Their Necessities category must be at least at Middle.
79 Alternate Infected Alternate infected
87 Alternate Shapeshifters Players may, with the gamemaster’s permission, exchange their shapeshifter’s Vulnerability and Allergy for another natural, uncommon substance appropriate to the paracritter’s local environment. It’s also possible to be a shapeshifter who has Shift (Dwarf) or whatever instead of Shift (Human) by picking their metatype like normal.
99 Codes Of Conduct Various Positive Qualities that are available.
129 Variable Connection Rating Variable connection
131 Maintaining Contacts If a character has a contact with a Loyalty rating higher than 3, that contact expects to interact with the character in non-business situations. Any month that the character and contact don’t interact in a non-work related manner, make a Charisma + Etiquette Test, with a threshold equal to the contact’s Loyalty rating. If the test fails, the contact’s Loyalty rating drops by a point. Recovering that point of Loyalty is possible, but it will require a Favor (p. 288, SR4A) from the player character of a rating equal to the rating just lost.
150 Lifestyles This entire section, including the Advanced Lifestyle System, is in play.


Page Rule Text
64 Extended Test roll limit Apply a cumulative –1 dice modifier to each test in an Extended Test after the first (so a character with a Skill 3 + Attribute 3 would roll 6 dice in their first test, 5 in their second, 4 on their third, etc).
252 Slower Healing Apply the character’s standard damage modifiers for his current wound level to the Stun and Physical Damage Healing Tests (p. 252, SR4A). If the character’s dice pool is reduced to zero, he will be unable to heal without medical assistance (see Using Medicine, p.242, and Medkits and Autodocs, p.253, SR4A).

Street Magic

Page Rule Text
30 Acquiring Geasa During Play Whenever an Awakened character suffers a critical glitch when using his magic, the character must make a Willpower + Magic (3) Test; if the test fails, then the character has suffered a crisis of confidence. The character suffers a –1 Magic attribute penalty, as if he had broken a geas, until the end of the adventure or some other convenient stopping point for the character to sit down and  figure out what his geas will be. Once the character has identified a geas and adopted it, his Magic attribute returns to normal.
If a character has already broken a geas (thus invoking a reduced Magic attribute) and suffers another crisis of confidence while in this state, Magic losses from broken geasa become permanent. Any geasa that the character had acquired disappear. Magic lost this way also reduces the character’s maximum Magic rating.
31 Arcana Rather than linking Arcana to Logic, you could link it to the magician’s Drain attribute, as appropriate to his tradition. This would reflect that tradition’s approach towards formula. Non-magicians using Arcana would utilize the Drain attribute appropriate to the tradition whose style they are using.
31 Adepts & Geasa Adepts mayvoluntarily take a geas for a specific adept power; in return, the Power Point cost for that power is reduced by 25 percent (round normally). In this case, breaking the geas only affects that power; the adepts remaining geas-limited powers are unaffected.
31 Spirit Edge Bound spirits can be treated as grunts in service of their conjurer. As such, they do not have an innate Edge Attribute, but rather draw from a group Edge Pool equal to the conjurer’s Binding skill level (as appropriate). Summoned (but not bound) spirits have an Edge pool equal to half their Force, rounded down.
31 Magic Loss Possible as a consequence of a critical glitch on a Drain Resistance Test.
31 Expert Aspected Magician Aspected magicians receive a +2 dice pool modifier when exercising magic according to their aspect, but suffer a heftier –6 dice pool modifier for all other uses of magic.
31 Adept Initiation An adept may elect to take an extra Power Point of adept powers instead of a new metamagical technique when they initiate.
79 Aid Enchanting Aid enchanting
83 Exotic Reagent Requisites For every two glitches or critical glitch a character scores while researching a focus formula, an exotic reagent requirement is added to the focus formula.
95 Corps Cadavres And Living Dolls Thee watchers of possession traditions are able to interact
with the physical world to a much greater degree than the watchers summoned by other traditions. These watchers have the power of Possession (p. 101, Street Magic) and the skills of Perception 1 and Artisan 1. A dead body possessed by a watcher is called a corps cadavre. A homunculus possessed by a watcher is called a living doll. A watcher’s physical movement is 10/25.


Page Rule Text
39 Using Attributes Replace the program or complex form in each Success, Opposed, or Extended Test with the appropriate attribute (Logic for hackers, Resonance for technomancers). The maximum number of hits (not net hits) that can be generated by each Matrix Test is limited to the rating of the program or complex form in a manner similar to the way Spellcasting hits are limited by the Force of a spell (see Force, p. 182, SR4A). Agents, IC, and sprites use their Pilot rating in place of the attribute required.
39 Limiting AR Passes Only one Matrix Action per Combat Turn may be performed when using AR, regardless of the actual number of Initiative Passes the character may have.
39 Harder Encryption Increase the interval for all Decrypt Extended Tests from one Combat Turn to one minute. This does not include signal encryption (p. 65, Unwired)
39 Tactical Cybercombat Change the interval of the Extended Test for the Crash Program action to one Complex Action. Note that this does not apply to the Crash OS action
39 Alternate AR Bonus Make a System + Response Test when trying to gain an AR bonus. Every hit grants a +1 bonus, like Teamwork. ). A glitch may indicate anything from slightly faulty information to a spam ad opening over an important part of the heads-up display.
39 Loss of Resonance Possible as a consequence of a critical glitch on a Fading Resistance Test.
66 Dramatic Encryption Dramatic encryption
96 Forging Passkeys A dedicated character could forge a copy of a passkey, but it would require at least a schematic of the passkey and a copy of its firmware. The forged passkey (if made correctly) would be good for one use only—and it would have to be used before the actual passkey is used, or the code won’t work. If someone uses a forged passkey to access an account, the ori inal passkey no longer functions correctly, and spiders or admin users will know that the last time the account was activated, it was done with a forged passkey.
110 Freeware & Open Source Programs * Open Source Programs are legal software that cost 50% normal cost, have neither the Copy Protection nor the Registration options, and degrade like pirated software (but may be maintained by a contact). These programs are capped at your warez contact’s Connection rating.
* Freeware has the Copy Protection option but not the Registration option. They cost nothing but are limited to Rating 4.
119 Software Bugs & Programming Each time a character rolls a glitch while rolling the programming Extended Test, a new bug is added to the software, unbeknownst to the programmer. A critical glitch represents a bug so fatal that the program may not work at all.
126 Initiative Bonus Any character who is part of a tacnet may choose to eschew tacnet dice pool bonuses for a full Combat Turn in exchange for an equal Initiative dice pool bonus that turn instead.

House Rules

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