Alternative system for Shadowrun setting?


Casting a spell inflicts fatigue damage on the spellcaster (called Drain); they can resist using Will (plus possible modifiers or spell pool dice, depending on edition). The amount of damage they take depends on the power of the spell they're casting. By casting the spell at a lower or higher Force, they can affect the damage. And, if the Force is too high (higher than the caster's Magic rating), the damage is physical, rather than stun/fatigue.

IME, they usually resist most of the damage; only on spectacularly bad rolls would they take significant drain, or if they fire off an awesome spell.

For SW, I'd want to replicate the "possibly damage/fatigue yourself" thing. The basics are probably fairly easy -- Spirit roll to avoid or "soak" some sort of damage. It's the details that would need to be worked out, preferably in a suitably Fast! Fun! Furious! way.

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First Post
I played SR since the first book came out. I fell in love with the world right off, and still love it. But...I never really liked the system. I ran a game for a year straight back in the second edition days. It was equally fun and frustrating, even with us pretty much ignoring the matrix rules.
From following the boards off and on for years, this is a topic that comes up quite a bit. Most of the old time players have an opinion like Treebore, that the system is what makes the game SR (except they are not usually polite about voicing their opinion like Treebore does).
From my brief readings of Savage World I think it might be able to pull it off, with a fair bit of conversion work.


First Post
I can't imagine doing SR without the dice pool system.

It does have a steep learning curve for both players and GMs, but I enjoyed the heck out of it. Admittedly, the last time I played the group ran some aircraft carriers through rules loopholes, but so did the GM.



First Post
The answers to this question are mostly predictable regardless what game/movie/concept you might be asking for a ruleset for. I'll add another predictable answer: FATE.

I have no clue how much work it'll be... I just found the system recently myself and have been working slowly to put together a shadowrun inspired game.


I'd heartily recommend wild talents:

dice pool: check
combat extremely lethal for joe normals: check
cover and ambushes extremely important: check
fast combat: check

And any combination of cybernetics and magic you want can be whipped up with the talent system pretty easily.


Staff member
My first suggestions would be some kind of "toolbox" system, like HERO, M&M, or GURPS.

My next suggestion would be something close to what you're familiar with in terms of RPG systems. Assuming familiarity with D20, I'd go for D20 Modern (see Urban Arcana and/or Dark*Matter) or SpyCraft, esp. with the Ultramodern Firearms and Green Ronin's Modern Magic books. A dialed back version of Dragonstar might also work as well, as might a reskinned Star Wars.

Come to think of it, Mongoose included "serious" rules in their edition of Paranoia...that might work well too.
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First Post
If you already have the 4e books I would go with Desolation if you like dice pools. Now your going to have to make up some rules for some things like the matrix and firearms (its a fantasy game) but Desolation is a d2 dice pool game with one opposed roll for combat and free form magic (ala mage like) with drain. Now I think Desolation is a bit rough around the edges so if you looking for a well balanced system you may want to go to GURPS or HERO.

Not fond of dice pools I would say Eclipse Phase(percentile system), the pdf is free :) and it has all the tech stuff figured out but no magic (but there is psionics). Also your SR4 stuff is supposedly easy to convert (at leased according to the fans on dumpshock). Personally I love the way Eclipse Phase handles the matrix and hope when SR5 comes around they go that route.

Jeff Wilder

First Post
I see in the OP that the player has played SR4 but still finds it too rules heavy. I can sorta understand that, but SR4 is such an extreme improvement, it seems to me "rules-light" just by contrast.

TN is always 5, number of dice rolled is relatively constant (no more keeping track of several different "pools"), damage and armor has been simplified, magic had been simplified (and IMO finally found a pretty good balance), and so on.

If you're sure you want a different system, of course you should go for it, but if you've only played SR4 briefly, I'd honestly suggest sticking with it for a while, to see if it grows on you. I only get to play SR4 at GenCon, but last year I had no problems at all jumping right in (and playing an Awakened PC, to boot).

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