Alternative system for Shadowrun setting?

Aust Diamondew

First Post
The gamers in my group and myself love the Shadowrun setting. We've only ever played SR3 and SR4 but unfortunately both are too rules heavy for our taste. More to the point perhaps, combat is too slow and kind of clunky (we don't mind complex character generation and complex rules are fine to learn as we can easily use them).
A dice pool is already slower than one dice+modifiers versus a target number (which is fine). But in both SR3 and SR4 it takes multiple dice pool rolls to resolve a single gunshot or spell.

In SR4 for instance the attacker rolls a dice pool, the defender makes a roll, then if the attack hits then a damage resistance roll is made by the defender.
This is further complicated by modifications to dice pools (armor, armor piercing weaponry, lighting, wound modifier, # of defense rolls made this round etc.)
A typical street samurai making two such attacks on each of their turns doesn't help either.
I imagine some groups can handle this many dice rolls quickly and efficiently, but typically we haven't in the past.

Does anyone have any suggestions on rules changes to reduce complexity and speed up combat in SR4?
Alternatively, I'm interested in gritty rules lighter games that could handle the great variety of aspects (firearms, magic, cyberware, matrix, astral etc) in the Shadowrun setting?
 

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weem

First Post
Interesting question.

I have not played Shadowrun, but have just completed my character for what will be my first Shadowrun game coming up soon (we are using SR4). We did one quick test combat, and it went quickly, but there was just 2 of us against 1, so it will be interested to see what I think once we get going.
 

Treebore

First Post
To me the SR dice system IS SR, I cannot imagine playing it with anything else. Since its newer to you maybe you can make a switch just fine. I couldn't.

Maybe CORTEX could pull it off well enough.
 

Aust Diamondew

First Post
@Treebore
We're not that new to Shadowrun.
I played my first ongoing game of SR3 in 2000 and played it on and off for the next few years. In '07 I ran an SR4 game for 6 months and in '08 played in game for a several months.
Most of the guys in my group have similar experiences (one of them first playing when I did). I really want to run Shadowrun again but I always get thinking to about how combat can get bogged down.

I know my old GM would also hate to think of running the SR system under any system others than an official one.
Thanks for the tip though, I'll be taking a look at CORTEX.

@weem
Have fun, I don't regret playing SR3 or SR4 even though I currently would prefer a more streamlined game.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
This may be a bit typical of me, but have you considered Savage Worlds? Characters start out pretty good to great (you could start them at "Seasoned" instead of "Novice" for even more of a Shadowrun feel), It has a wounds system that affects performance a la "Shadowrun Death Spiral" but not quite as intrusive, it has several fan-created adaptations for Cyberware and hacking rules, and its magic system could be adapted for it. Make no mistake -- you'd have a lot of work coming up with the conglomeration of all needed elements, but the rules system would handle it pretty well.

Then again, that might be more work than you wanted to put in. It would be a really fun project, though.

http://wiki.houseofgenius.com/index.php?title=Savage_Shadows -- one take on the idea

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=126680 -- one thread for brainstorming
 
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DrunkonDuty

he/him
There's a HERO system conversion of the SR game available as a pdf. I think it's fan created but pretty thorough (haven't read it all the way through.) Although, in all honesty I don't think HERO can be called "rules light." I mention it anyway, you might want to look at it.

cheers.
 

Treebore

First Post
@Treebore
We're not that new to Shadowrun.
I played my first ongoing game of SR3 in 2000 and played it on and off for the next few years. In '07 I ran an SR4 game for 6 months and in '08 played in game for a several months.
Most of the guys in my group have similar experiences (one of them first playing when I did). I really want to run Shadowrun again but I always get thinking to about how combat can get bogged down.

I know my old GM would also hate to think of running the SR system under any system others than an official one.
Thanks for the tip though, I'll be taking a look at CORTEX.

@weem
Have fun, I don't regret playing SR3 or SR4 even though I currently would prefer a more streamlined game.

I did not say "new", I said "newer". I have played SR since its 1E days, nearly 20 years ago. So maybe that is why I couldn't imagine playing it with any other system.
The system makes if feel the way it does to me, and using another system, making it feel different, simply does not appeal to me.

Thats all I was saying.
 

sev

First Post
My crowd was playing a bit of SR3 7 or 8 years ago, and the game mechanics had us tearing our hair out for various reasons. We eventually kept the shadowrun books for setting information but used d20 Modern for game mechanics, with extra rules called "CyD20" from Ground Twenty to handle bioware. Far from a perfect solution, but at least I finally felt like I could enjoy the setting without getting distracted by game mechanics that two-thirds of us were frustrated by.
 

coyote6

Adventurer
I started trying to figure out a GURPS 3e conversion a long time ago, because we all loved SR's setting, but some of us loathed the rules. Never did finish it though.

I've been thinking about a Savage Worlds conversion, but I don't think the default SW magic system (with power points) fits what I would want for SR. I'd want to preserve the ability of SR spellcasters to cast spells until they drop, rather than run out of power points real fast and then be just a mook with a pistol. I haven't seen a Savaged SR magic system I liked yet, and I don't think I have enough experience with SW to put one together.

Somebody ran a Shadowrun adventure using FATE at a con somewhere. I think it was one of Endgame's mini-cons (Endgame is a game shop in Oakland, CA) last year, but I might be misremembering.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
Can someone remind me what makes casters drop in Shadowrun 3 and 4? It's been a while since I've looked at the system. In Savage Worlds, a caster can "burn" themselves by rolling a 1, and burn themselves about three or four times before they become incapacitated. The cyberware essence issue I saw someone suggest with a "half your spirit" "essence" number, but I'd have to think a bit on how to tie it to max power of the spell.
 

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