These house rules deviate from the standard core rulebook, or any other supplements, and are used for this group specifically.
Character Deaths and New Characters
Voluntary Replacement of Character
If a player chooses to replace a character in any way, other than retirement, then the group will have input on what the character will be. The player will be stuck with this new character and cannot voluntarily be replaced again. The character can be retired after it meets the retirement requirements. Furthermore, the GM reserves the right to brutally/violently kill the character in any that is deemed fitting.
The group members that are present at the time of the death of the character will each be able to choose one aspect of the character each pass. There will be 2 passes, so each player can choose two aspects. These aspects can include but are not limited to the following details.
- Negative Qualities (GM has ability to declare a negative quality as free to exceed the 25 karma character creation limit.)
- Positive Qualities (Again, GM can declare one free)
- Metaype (within reason)
- Skill Sets
- Character Flavor
- Backstory Elements
The GM reserves the right to veto any aspect provided.
The player will take this information and incorporate the aspects into the new character. The character must still fall within the character creation guidelines, with the exception of any GM freebies.
The addendum to this is if the character is killed, in a way that fits the character concept, and the player decides to not burn edge (or has no edge to burn), then the same process will still take place, but the player can have input and decisions in the aspects chosen.
A player can retire a character at any point after meeting the following requirements. Players will be able to dictate what happens to the character during retirement. Once retired, a character cannot return as a PC, but can be a contact or NPC at the GMs discretion.
- No outstanding debt (as in the In Debt quality)
- No Negative Qualities that have not been resolved. (Resolved does not necessarily mean paid off)
- Character story elements are all resolved
The player should have prior discussions with GM and approval for retirement.
Regardless of how the character is replaced, the runner name of the new character will be chosen by the consensus of the group within 3 full sessions. The new name will be based on the actions and personality of the new character.
- Lifestyles are due on the first of each month.
- Lifestyles can only be changed on the first of each month.
- Each fake SIN must have a lifestyle attached to it.
When an Awakened character is ready to initiate, then the character will undergo a personal test/rite/quest. They type of test will depend on the individual’s tradition and/or type of Awakened they are. The time that it will take to initiate will 2 hours per Initiate grade, with the exception of a mage that is creating a thesis or masterpiece. Cost for initiation will be the standard 10+(Initiate Grade x 3), is non-refundable and must be paid prior to the Initiation quest taking place. In the event that the quest fails and the initiate does not succeed, the character will lose the karma and most likely gain some other drawbacks as a result of the ordeal, likely (but not limited to) negative qualities. In the case of these initiations, the character will receive their initiation rank immediately upon success.
Initiation Extended Test
Characters will also have the option to not have a quest and the player can roll instead. In this event, the player will make an Arcana + Intuition [Astral](Initiate Grade, 30 days) extended test. So for example, the mage is going for grade 1 and has an Arcana rank of 2 and Intuition of 3 with an Astral limit of 6. They will roll 5 dice. If they do not get any hits on the first roll, but does on the second roll, then it will take the character 60 days to complete the training for initiation. The character MUST wait until the END of the training period to become and initiate. Edge CANNOT be used on these rolls. If there is a glitch or critical glitch, then … well just don’t. Bad things will happen, up to and including negative qualities and even death … So just don’t do it.
Mages that learn magic through study and consider magic as a sort of complex mathematical formula would fall into this category. Thus, Initiation for hermetics would consist of scholarly tests / quizzes and may include being accepted into a Fraternal Order of Mages. These tests will be entirely on the Astral Plane and will be designed mainly to test the mages knowledge of magic and not just the practice of magic.
Hermetic mages could also create a thesis or masterpiece. A thesis must be written on parchment or paper and hardbound as a physical tome. A masterpiece must also have a physical representation (e.g., a musical score, a painting, or a lm script). Producing a thesis requires a Logic + Arcana [Mental] (8 + desired initiate grade, 1 week) Extended Test. Producing a masterpiece requires an Artisan + Intuition [Mental] (8 + desired initiate grade, 1 week) Extended Test.
Mages that believe magic is a gift (or curse) that is provided through another entity and that it is “spiritual” instead of “mathematical” would be included. Mages that follow a totem / mentor spirit would also be considered shamanic for the purposes of Initiation. Initiation for shamans would be a grueling mental or physical task that will challenge the character’s determination and ability. This will be tailored to the individual character’s background, belief system, and the magical art the character wishes to attain.
Both Physical and Mystic Adepts would need to complete a ritual that will take a number of hours to complete that is equal to the initiate grade desired. This ritual will allow them to get the assistance of a guidance spirit that will use its Astral Rift power to escort the character into the Astral Plane. Once on the Astral Plane, the initiate will proceed with a test that will also test both their physical and mental limits, again using the individuals background and belief system.
All initiates are open to giving an Oath to a magical society that would accept them. The swear an oath to obey the given magical group’s rules and strictures. This oath would be included in the actual initiation rite and would be sealed once its completed. Please note that, depending on the society, they would need to apply for a position or somehow have an in-character rationale to join such a group.
Other options presented in supplements are available with the caveat that the option is appropriate for your character’s concept, background and type. If you would like to explore one of these options for your initiation, please consult with me and we will work something out.
Each initiate grade will be a different experience, but one thing will remain constant. The process of initiation will be very grueling and difficult on the character. As with all things Shadowrun, the possibility of death is very real and could happen even with initiation. Once the initiation rite is completed and successful, then you are considered an initiate of the appropriate grade with all the benefits.
Working for the Man/People Exchange
Characters are able to exchange fresh karma/nuyen at an exchange rate of 1 karma per 2,000 nuyen. This can only be used after a run and before the next run. When exchanging, you can only exchange what was earned on that run. So, for example, you complete a run and was awarded 5 karma and 15,000 nuyen. You can exchange up to 5 karma or up to 14,000 nuyen. Bonus paydata or other run rewards are not applicable to this rule.
As with most things, a forum post of what you did for the conversion will also be required. So, for example, you decide to exchange 10,000 nuyen for 5 karma. What did you do with the cash to get the karma? Likewise, if you exchanged 5 karma for the 10,000 nuyen, what did you do to earn the cash?
Addictions to “normal” substances, such as nicotine or alcohol would be considered dependancies and would be applied using the Dependents negative quality. These qualities can be bought off as with other negative qualities, but would require some sort of treatment for the addiction. So for example, your character has an alcohol addiction and the Dependent quality. You would spend the karma to buy it off as normal, but you will also need to invest time and nuyen going through a treatment process. The treatment process can be through a counsellor contact, treatment center/group, etc. This will need to be detailed out in a story, of course.