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Plastic Warriors 0007

3

INTRODUCTION......................................................................... 7
Organization........................................................................ 8
Alternatives......................................................................... 8
Authors ............................................................................... 8
GENERAL RULES......................................................................... 9
Dice Pools ............................................................................... 9
Alternative ............................................................................. 9
Dikote................................................................................... 9
Alternative ............................................................................. 9
Drugs & DMSO....................................................................... 9
Flesh Contact .......................................................................... 9
DMSO Breakdown................................................................ 10
Fractions & Rounding.......................................................... 10
Money ................................................................................... 10
Alternative ........................................................................... 11
Exchanging Money............................................................ 11
Cost Of Living ................................................................... 11
Bartering ........................................................................... 11
Side NoteBeggars and Money ....................................... 11
Tests ...................................................................................... 11
Opposed Tests ..................................................................... 11
Rule of One .......................................................................... 12
Rule of Six ............................................................................ 12
Alternatives.......................................................................... 12
Alternative One................................................................. 12
Alternative Two................................................................. 12
Alternative Three............................................................... 12
SOTA...................................................................................... 12
System Identification Numbers .......................................... 12
BIOWARE ................................................................................. 14
Bioware For Magicians ........................................................ 14
Alternative ........................................................................... 14
Enhanced Articulation......................................................... 14
Alternatives.......................................................................... 15
Alternative One................................................................. 15
Alternative Two................................................................. 15
Muscle Augmentation ......................................................... 15
CHARACTERS........................................................................... 16
Allergies................................................................................ 16
Allergies In The Points-Based Character Generation
System................................................................................. 16
Number Of Allergies ............................................................ 16
Alternative ........................................................................... 16
Attributes.............................................................................. 16
Increasing Attributes............................................................. 16
Strength 1 Trolls ................................................................... 16
Building Points System........................................................ 17
Shapeshifters ........................................................................ 17
Contacts & Enemies ............................................................ 17
Enemies ............................................................................... 17
Location Times for Enemies .................................................. 17
Critter Powers....................................................................... 17
Regeneration ........................................................................ 17
Dice Pools ............................................................................. 18
Calculating Dice Pools .......................................................... 18
Using Pool Dice.....................................................................18
Edges & Flaws...................................................................... 18
Disallowed or Modified Edges & Flaws..................................18
Addiction...........................................................................18
Adrenaline Surge ...............................................................18
Allergy...............................................................................18
Blind ..................................................................................18
Bonus Attribute Point .........................................................18
Day Job ..............................................................................18
Extra Contact......................................................................18
High Pain Tolerance............................................................18
High School Education .......................................................18
Night Vision .......................................................................18
Technical School Education.................................................18
Alternative ............................................................................18
Bio-Rejection......................................................................18
Focused Concentration .......................................................18
Illiterate..............................................................................18
Magic Resistance................................................................18
Police Record .....................................................................19
Registered Equipment ........................................................19
Sensitive System................................................................19
Edge & Flaw Development....................................................19
Buying Flaws ......................................................................19
Buying Edges .....................................................................19
Being True To Edges And Flaws..........................................20
Taking Edges & Flaws With The Priority System.....................20
Enhanced Attributes, Skills, Etc.. ....................................... 20
Enhanced Reaction and Reflexes............................................20
Vision Enhancements ............................................................20
Master Character Creation Table ....................................... 21
Adjusted Priorities.................................................................21
Normal Priority Chart ..........................................................21
Humbling Priority Table......................................................21
Alternative ............................................................................21
Starting Resources.................................................................21
Money ...............................................................................21
Bioware and Cyberware......................................................21
Cyberdecks ........................................................................22
Alternative ............................................................................22
CYBERWARE ............................................................................ 23
Cyberears.............................................................................. 23
Cyberlimbs ........................................................................... 23
Alternative ............................................................................23
High-Grade Cyberware........................................................ 23
Vision Magnification and Tactical Computers.................. 23
KARMA .................................................................................... 24
Karma Pool ........................................................................... 24
Blocking................................................................................24
Buying Successes ..................................................................24
Dividing ................................................................................24
By The Book..........................................................................24
Good Karma to Karma Pool ...................................................24
Alternative ............................................................................24
Maximum Karma for a Test....................................................24
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CONTENTS
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
4

Refresh Rate ..........................................................................25
Alternative ............................................................................25
Re-Rolls .................................................................................25
Starting Karma Pool Size........................................................25
Team Karma Pool ..................................................................25
Usage....................................................................................25
Raising Skills ........................................................................ 25
Alternative ............................................................................27
Time Spent Raising Skills .......................................................27
Sourcebooks For Karma ...................................................... 27
MAGIC...................................................................................... 28
Astral Space ......................................................................... 28
Astral Patrolling.....................................................................28
Astral Perception & Projection...............................................28
Astral Quest To Bypass Wards...............................................28
Auras..................................................................................... 29
Objects and Auras.................................................................29
Psychometry (Aura Reading)..................................................29
Alternative ............................................................................29
Conjuring .............................................................................. 29
Alternative ............................................................................29
Essence Loss and Magic Loss ............................................ 29
Foci ........................................................................................ 30
Focus Addiction ....................................................................30
Magical Items For Mundanes.................................................30
Power ................................................................................30
Healing Elixir ......................................................................30
Magical Sword ...................................................................30
Talisman For Safety In Travel ...............................................30
Rejection ............................................................................30
Acceptance ........................................................................31
Assensing ..........................................................................31
Personality..........................................................................31
Cursed Items ......................................................................31
Destruction.........................................................................31
Spell Locks............................................................................32
Alternative ............................................................................32
S ...........................................................................................32
Initiation & Metamagic........................................................ 32
Centering ..............................................................................33
Centering vs. Penalties Against Shielding ..............................33
Gradual Initiation...................................................................33
Alternatives...........................................................................33
By The Book .......................................................................33
Alternative One..................................................................33
Masking ................................................................................33
Physical Adepts.....................................................................33
Magical Misfires................................................................... 34
Magical Traditions ............................................................... 34
Magical Ability Breakdown....................................................34
General Rules .....................................................................34
Magician (20 Points)...........................................................34
Adept (15 Points) ...............................................................34
Minor Adept (Cost Varies) ..................................................35
Physical Adepts.................................................................... 35
Extra Abilities ........................................................................35
Alternative ............................................................................36
More Powerful Physical Adepts .............................................36
Newly-Created Physical Adept Characters .............................36
Physical Adept Powers........................................................ 36
Improved Ability ...................................................................36
Increased Reflexes.................................................................37
Spellcasting .......................................................................... 37
Aiming Spells........................................................................37
Drain .....................................................................................37
Drain for Sustained Spells ......................................................37
Elemental Effects ...................................................................37
Extended Spellcasting ...........................................................37
Grounding.............................................................................37
Holding Spells.......................................................................37
Last-Ditch Spellcasting ..........................................................38
Learning New Spells .............................................................39
Noticing Spellcasting.............................................................39
Reducing Area of Effect .........................................................39
R...........................................................................................40
Spell Defense Across Planes ..................................................40
Spell Resistance Tests............................................................40
Spell Signatures ....................................................................40
Starting Spells With Force Modifiers ......................................40
Sustained Damaging Manipulation Spells ..............................40
Sustaining Spells ...................................................................40
Spells......................................................................................41
Barrier Spells .........................................................................41
Barrier ................................................................................41
Blade Barrier ......................................................................42
Blast Barrier........................................................................42
Bullet Barrier ......................................................................42
Mana Barrier ......................................................................42
Spell Barrier .......................................................................42
Spirit Barrier .......................................................................42
Barrier Spells and Area of Effect..........................................43
Personal Barrier Spells ........................................................43
Alternative ............................................................................43
Death Touch and Stun Touch.................................................43
Healing.................................................................................43
Alternative ............................................................................44
Levitate Person .....................................................................44
Alternative ............................................................................44
Personal Barrier Spells ...........................................................44
Sterilize.................................................................................44
Spirits .................................................................................... 44
Allies ....................................................................................44
Allies and Drain..................................................................44
Allies and Karma Pool ........................................................44
Elementals ............................................................................44
Permanent Elemental Spirits ..................................................45
Initiates & Conjuring .............................................................45
Nature Spirits ........................................................................45
Nature Spirit Area of Affect ................................................45
Bound Nature Spirits ..........................................................45
Miscellaneous Magic Issues................................................45
Mana Fluctuation...................................................................45
The Mystery of Magic............................................................45
MATRIX.....................................................................................46
Escher Loop...........................................................................46
Mainframe Computers .........................................................46
Basic Rating/Capacity System................................................47
Spending System Capacity ....................................................47
Color Multiplier ..................................................................47
SYSTEM INFRASTRUCTURE .................................................47
Normal Things....................................................................47
Notes: ................................................................................47
Unusual Things......................................................................48
Subsystem Ratings ................................................................48
Using a Mainframe to Write Cyberdeck Programs ..................48
What About All Those Little Shops With Orange
Security? ...............................................................................48
Matrix 1.0 to 2.0 Conversion Rules ....................................49
Host Layout ..........................................................................49
Satlink Uplinks......................................................................50
MELEE COMBAT .......................................................................51
Defending ..............................................................................51
Full Defense ..........................................................................51
Martial Arts Styles ................................................................51
Reach .....................................................................................52
Alternatives...........................................................................52
By The Book.......................................................................52
Alternative One .................................................................52
CONTENTS

5
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Alternative Two................................................................. 52
Second Weapon................................................................... 52
Alternative ........................................................................... 53
Ties In Melee Combat Tests................................................ 53
RANGED COMBAT................................................................... 54
Actions.................................................................................. 54
Announcing Actions............................................................. 54
Alternative ........................................................................... 54
Delaying Simple Actions....................................................... 54
Standing & Kneeling ............................................................ 54
Ammunition.......................................................................... 54
Gel and Stun Ammunition .................................................... 54
Attacks And Targets ............................................................ 55
Autofire................................................................................. 55
Barriers.................................................................................. 57
Table Notes ....................................................................... 59
Penetrating The Barrier ......................................................... 60
Vehicle Armor ...................................................................... 60
Table Notes ....................................................................... 62
Critter Hardened Armor........................................................ 62
Personal Hardened Armor .................................................... 62
Gel Packs........................................................................... 63
Armor Degradation .............................................................. 63
Barrier Ratings ...................................................................... 63
Alternative ........................................................................... 64
Body Armor........................................................................... 64
Body Armor and Called Shots............................................... 64
Alternative ........................................................................... 64
Variation 1......................................................................... 64
Variation 2......................................................................... 65
Armor Degradation .............................................................. 65
Alternative ........................................................................... 65
Armored Boots and Helmets ................................................ 65
Excessive Armor Penalties .................................................... 65
Higher Armor Rating Than Power Level ................................ 65
Alternative ........................................................................... 66
Called Shots.......................................................................... 66
Alternative ........................................................................... 66
Combat Turn Sequence....................................................... 66
All Dice Pools Refresh (First Combat Turn Only) ................. 66
1. Determine Initiative....................................................... 66
2. Characters Take Actions................................................. 66
A. Declare Movement ....................................................... 66
B. Declare Actions ............................................................. 66
C. Resolve Actions and Movement .................................... 66
D. Acting Characters Dice Pools Refresh............................ 67
E. Declare and Resolve Movement and Actions of
Remaining Characters ........................................................ 67
3. Begin a New Combat Turn............................................. 67
Damage ................................................................................. 67
Complete Miss ..................................................................... 67
Falling Unconscious .............................................................. 67
Overdamage ........................................................................ 67
Time Between Taking Extra Damage.................................. 67
Alternative ........................................................................... 67
Sleeping In Armor ................................................................ 67
Staging Damage................................................................... 68
Stun Damage And Knockback............................................... 68
Unconsciousness From Deadly Wounds ............................. 68
Alternative ........................................................................... 68
Wounds Affecting Movement............................................... 68
Alternative ........................................................................... 68
Dodging................................................................................. 68
Alternatives.......................................................................... 69
Alternative One................................................................. 69
Alternative Two................................................................. 69
Alternative Three............................................................... 70
Alternative Four................................................................. 70
Alternative Five ................................................................. 70
Firearms ................................................................................ 71
Gas Venting Miniguns ...........................................................71
Point-Blank Range .................................................................71
Recoil ....................................................................................71
Rates OF Fire .........................................................................71
Single Shot.........................................................................72
Semi Automatic .................................................................72
Burst Fire............................................................................72
Full Auto ............................................................................72
Comments .........................................................................72
Shotguns...............................................................................72
Telescopic Sights...................................................................72
Alternative ............................................................................73
Telescopic Sights and Movement ..........................................73
Telescopic Sights and Smartlinks ...........................................73
Tracer Ammunition................................................................73
Weapon Damages and Ranges ..............................................74
Exceptions To The Table .....................................................74
Ammo effects ....................................................................74
Alternative ............................................................................74
Grenades............................................................................... 75
Air Timed Mini Grenades and Scatter ....................................75
Damage ................................................................................75
Alternatives...........................................................................75
By The Book.......................................................................75
Alternative One..................................................................75
Grenade Launchers Against Point Targets ..............................75
Alternative ............................................................................76
Scatter...................................................................................76
Hit Locations ........................................................................ 76
Alternative ............................................................................76
Armor ................................................................................76
Called Shots .......................................................................76
Called Shots For Melee Combat ..........................................76
Resisting damage...............................................................77
Wounds .............................................................................77
Healing ..............................................................................77
Optional Rule 1 ..................................................................77
Optional Rule 2 ..................................................................77
Campaign Effects Of These Rules ........................................77
Initiative ................................................................................ 78
Actions In A Combat Turn .....................................................78
Initiative Rolls........................................................................78
Alternatives...........................................................................78
Alternative One..................................................................78
Alternative Two..................................................................78
Initiative Ties .........................................................................78
Projectile Weapons.............................................................. 78
SKILLS....................................................................................... 79
Build/Repair and Theoretical Skills ................................... 79
Combat Skills ....................................................................... 79
Armed & Unarmed Combat ..................................................79
Unarmed Combat ..................................................................79
Defaulting ............................................................................. 80
Partial Defaulting................................................................80
By The Book..........................................................................80
Knowledge Skills ................................................................. 80
Language Skills .................................................................... 81
Education and Extra Languages.............................................81
New Skills............................................................................. 81
Body Language.....................................................................81
Other Skills............................................................................81
Metamemory .....................................................................81
Read and Write .....................................................................82
Perception Skill......................................................................82
Physical Skills....................................................................... 82
Ambidexterity.......................................................................82
Stealth...................................................................................82
Social Skills .......................................................................... 82
CONTENTS
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
6

Etiquette ...............................................................................83
Leadership ............................................................................83
Leadership & Planning .......................................................83
Leadership in a Run...........................................................83
Technical Skills .................................................................... 83
Biotech..................................................................................83
VEHICLES.................................................................................. 84
Drones................................................................................... 84
Batch Drone Control ..............................................................84
Drone Autopilot Initiative ......................................................84
Subsystem Damage.............................................................. 84
Subsystem Damage Notes.....................................................85
Vehicle Armor ...................................................................... 86
Case 1: Base Power Less Than Or Equal To Vehicle
Armor Rating......................................................................86
Case 2: Base Power Greater Than Vehicle Armor
Rating ................................................................................86
Alternatives...........................................................................86
Alternative One..................................................................86
Alternative Two..................................................................86
Undercarriage........................................................................87
INDEX ....................................................................................... 88


GREETS, in order of length of name:
Dvixen
Adam J.
Joe Cotton
Killbeggar
Elle Holmes
Erik Jameson
Danny Schog
Tobias Berghoff
Mark Steedman
Hilde Hoogland
Maurice Francke
Michel Platteeuw
Garmt Meulendijks
Martijn Weezepoel

No books complete without them :)
TWO VERY SPECIAL GREETS:
Ivy Ryan
Terry L. Amburgey

Because I know theyre just going to love this book
{display evil_grin}
CREDITS:
Written By
Blackjack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl.org>
Stephen F. Eley <sf@techwood.org>
Double-Domed Mike Elkins <mikee@dragonsys.com>
Fade <runefo@ifi.uio.no>
Martin Gotthard <s457033@student.gu.edu.au>
Gurth <gurth@xs4all.nl>
Jonathan Hurley <jhurley1@stevens-tech.edu>
Leszek Karlik <trrkt@friko.onet.pl>
Steve Kenson <talonmail@aol.com>
Lady Jestyr <jestyr@faraday.dialix.com.au>
Loki <gamemstr@primenet.com>
David R. Lowe <dlowe@dnai.com>
Lucifer <lucifer@mci2000.com>
Ray Macey <nightrain@elf.brisnet.org.au>
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Andrew Mellinger <geburah@teleport.com>
Susan Mellinger <ssalmon@portland.cushwake.edu>
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Nurse Wratchett <wratchet-rn@ns.arizona.edu>
Ferri G. Pagano <ferri@digiface.nl>
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Marc A. Renouf <jormung@engin.umich.edu>
Andr Selmer <031andre@cosmos.wits.ac.za>
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-brigade@amurgsval.org>
WoLfM <lmc4@keene.edu>
Wordman <wordman@flashpt.com>
Editing & Layout
Gurth <gurth@xs4all.nl>
Copyright
The copyrights to each house rule are held by the
original author, who is credited with the rule in
question.
This compilation is copyright 1998 by Gurth
<gurth@xs4all.nl>. Unauthorized copying, hiring,
lending, reproduction, circulation, distribution, etc. etc.
etc. highly recommended, on the conditions that the file
remains completely unmodified, is distributed in its
entirety, and no profit is made by the distributor.
Shadowrun and Matrix are registered trademarks of
FASA Corporation, IL 60608, USA, other book names
are trademarks of FASA Corporation, all used without
permission. Original Shadowrun material is copyright
1989-1998 FASA Corporation.


7

INTRODUCTION
Something big is coming, Im quite sure of it. I think
its still pretty far away, though.
Chris Berlini, just before being crushed by a
juggernaut

Unlike in many other Plastic Warriors books, in this one you wont find new stuff for
your characters to play with; instead, it gives stuff for players to play with. This book is
a compilation of house rules from Shadowrun groups the world over. It got started
when I wanted to write up my own house rules for use by my group late last year, and
remembered I had house rules by several other people sitting on my hard drive. So, I
thought, why not compile them into one file and make it a Plastic Warriors book?
I then spent some time looking through Shadowrun web pages and the messages
Id saved from the ShadowRN list, and compiled them all into the book youre reading
now. Not every house rule I came across made it into the book, but most haveonly
very inconsequential ones, or those that had been badly thought out, were left out.

A few words of warning are in order: first of all, some of the rules may contradict
one another (though hopefully not themselves). This is, of course, because they dont
all originate from one source, and also because I didnt try to make everything fit
that would go against the idea behind this book of putting as many good house rules
as possible into one place.
Second, Id advise inexperienced players to stay away from this book for now, as
Shadowrun can be complex enough without having to remember all kinds of rule addi-
tions and alterations. Once youve got the basics down, only then its time to start
thinking about changing them.
Finally, just because something is written down here doesnt mean you cant
change it. A function just as important as supplying ready-made house rules is, in
my opinion, that these rules can be the starting point for your own house rules, which
will probably suit your particular group of players better than rules thought up for
someone elses campaign.

That said, I hope everyone enjoys whats in this book, and makes use of it in their
game. As always, Im open to comments, criticisms, and most other responses

Gurth <gurth@xs4all.nl>, 16 March 1998.
INTRODUCTION
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
8

Organization
The house rules are organized into chapters dealing with
different topics, such as general rules, magic, skills, and so
on. Within each chapter, the rules are ordered alphabeti-
cally into sections, and rules within sections are again or-
dered alphabetically.
In some cases, rules fit under two different headings;
they have been placed in the chapter or section which
seemed most logical, so if you cant find a rule in one part
of this book, it may be in another chapter that is also rele-
vant to the rule.
Before many headers, small circles are provided so you
can easily mark which rules you want to use.
Alternatives
Where different house rules are given for a single topic,
one rule (the one that seemed besteasiest to use, most
comprehensive, etc.) appears under the main heading, and
the rest are under the header Alternatives, following after
the main text. The alternative rules are labeled Alternative
One, Alternative Two, and so on. If a FASA-published
book has an alternative rule as well, that is listed under the
header By The Book.
Authors
If you have a question about a house rule, send a mes-
sage to the person who wrote the rule, not to the editor of
this book (unless they happen to be the same person).
The original author will know his or her house rules much
better, and should be able to answer questions about them.


9

!
Dice Pools
Andrew Mellinger <geburah@teleport.com> & Susan
Mellinger <ssalmon@portland.cushwake.edu>
Reference: SRII p. 84
Pools (Combat, Magic, etc but not Karma) refresh at 1
die at the beginning of a characters action. A character can
spend a Simple Action to regain 1/2 their pool or a Com-
plex Action to regain the entire pool.
!
ALTERNATIVE
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Refresh everyones pools at the beginning of combat.
From that point on the characters pools refresh at the END
of their action phases.
!
Dikote
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 184-185, Shadowtech p. 91
Dikote is hard to come by and is very powerful. Thus,
Dikote has an Availability of 16, not 6. Also, in order to
start the game with any Dikoted items, you MUST have a
valid contact who can provide you with this service. This
contact will most likely not be able to provide you with any
other items or services of any real worth. The contact will
specifically be for acquiring Dikoted items.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
Dikote has an Availability of 21/24 days and is only
available through special fixers. Weapons cannot be dikoted
during character creation. (Yes, I hate Dikote.)
!
Drugs & DMSO
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
Reference: Shadowtech pp. 87-88, 92, 96-100
People seem to have a love/hate relationship with
DMSO and squirt weaponry. Generally, they love it when
they use it, and hate it when its used against them. Despite
which position people take, there seems to be a general
consensus that squirt weaponry combined with DMSO is a
game unbalancing conjunction. While I think its great that
people seems to knock people out with squirt weapons
more often than they kill, the power of squirt weaponry
seems to have caused more than one gamemaster head-
ache.
Below are a few rule ideas and optional equipment de-
signed to deal with the DMSO problem. Some are fairly
decent; some suck. Pick and choose as you wish. (Most of
the equipment/chemical examples have rules with relate to
my Flesh Contact rule variation, below. Gamemasters are
welcome to design rules around the substance or object
that are more suitable to the general Shadowrun rules, or
their own house rule variations.)
Flesh Contact
Since Shadowrun does not generally work off a hit loca-
tion damage system, it can be difficult to tell whether or not
DMSO managed to work its way to the skin. Vests with
plates, hardened armor, and perhaps even raincoats have
the potential to stop the liquid before it damages anybody.
If a target is wearing a security armor suit without a helmet
the only places the chemical could come in contact with
skin would be the seams of the armor (if the suit is not
sealed) and the head (if theyre not wearing a helmet). If
the target is fully armored and sealed, the odds of the
DMSO hitting anything are about nil.
My DMSO/Squirt rules are a variation of my Called Shot
Rules (page 66). To review: My called shot rules get rid of
the flat +8 modifier for hitting a specific section of a target,
GENERAL RULES
Nothing is written in stone. Nothing.
Its all on optical chips now.
Black Circle, decker
GENERAL RULES
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
1 0

and instead modifies the to-hit target number by +1 for
every point of armor the attacker wishes to disregard on his
target. Basically, an attacker firing at somebody wearing
heavy military armor could take a +14 modifier to his to-hit
target number and, if by some miracle he actually succeeds,
the target doesnt get any armor benefits at all (just for this
shot, of course). The attacker could also take a +5 and, if he
hits, the defender will have an armor rating of 9 for defense.
Rather than aiming for the head the attacker aims better
than he normally would, perhaps looking for seams in the
targets armor, lightly armored patches, etc. The actual hit
location is still left up to the gamemaster. If the attacker did
hit in the +14 example above, the gamemaster may very
well declare that the attacker managed to hit a weak spot in
the targets face plate and blow off his head.
The DMSO/Squirt variation of this rule takes a lot of the
kick out of a weapon that, in its current state, is way too
powerful. One rule Ive gotten rid of is the combat pool
negation rule (or the Dodge pool, as its stated in Shadow-
tech which came out before SRII.) Everybody else may wish
to keep it; I simply got rid of it because, generally, I dont
use the Combat Pool in my games. Essentially, the pool rule
stated that if combat successes exceed attack successes
then DMSO doesnt take effect.. I think its a pain in the
ass.
My rules are a bit simpler, although they may go to far
in reducing the effectiveness of squirt weaponry. Basically, if
youre firing against somebody with porous armor (kevlar,
armor clothing, etc.) add 1/2 of this armors rating to the
target number of the attacker. Only one success is needed,
and the DMSO makes flesh contact. Id probably allow
the target to use their bio or cyber based armor as well, just
to keep things simple.
If the target is wearing hardened armor (security suits,
military armor, etc) its a lot more difficult to get a good
flesh hit. For hardened armored targets, add the full rating
of their armor to the target number of the attacker. Again,
only one success is needed for the DMSO to make flesh
contact.
Perhaps you can see how this system follows my basic
Called Shots philosophy. By adding 1/2 armor to the at-
tackers to-hit roll, the attacker is, essentially, looking for a
decent place on the body to hit. I believe, despite the po-
rous nature of most armor, that a Squirt shot hitting some-
body in his chest if hes wearing a jacket over clothing over
form fitting would still have some difficulty making legiti-
mate flesh contact. And even if this belief is false, some-
thing has to be done to keep people from squirting every-
body to hell and back.
The hardened armor aspect of these rules may seem
harsh by, again, they follow my basic armor philosophy.
Since you HAVE to hit exposed flesh if the targets wearing
hardened armor, the task is much more difficult. If you have
somebody dressed in a suit of heavy military armor (minus
the helmet), youd have to hit him in the head (or get lucky
enough to tag a seam in the armor.) If you hit them any-
where else, the Squirt shot simply splashes.
!
DMSO Breakdown
Gamemasters may wish to declare that DMSO loses its
effectiveness after being exposed to air for more than a few
minutes. This rule may solve a few problems, such as how
do you get out of a suit of hardened armor if its covered
with DMSO/Cyanide?
!
Fractions & Rounding
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
In the vast majority of cases, both non-player characters
and player characters round in their detriment whenever a
fraction comes up when figuring target numbers.
There are, however, a couple of exceptions to this in the
standard rules. To keep things simple, and to emphasize
the oppressive nature of the world of Shadowrun, always
round bad.
In other words, whenever you come up with a fraction,
adjust to the nearest whole number in whichever direction
would be worse for you. Thats life in the shadows, chum-
mer. Dont worry, you should be able to take some comfort
in knowing that the non-player characters have it just as
rough.
!
Money
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
The standard currency in the world of Shadowrun is the
nuyen (). For the sake of simplicity, this is the standard
currency all over the world. It is accepted pretty much eve-
rywhere. However, there may be some rural settlements
that have their own method of trade and shy away from this
electronic currency.
Also, there is no such thing as a partial nuyen. Think of it
as having dollar bills, but no coins. Everything is bought
and sold in increments of 1.
Nuyen exists only on the Matrix. There are no paper
forms of nuyen, and all paper money has been destroyed
by the UCAS government. This happened shortly after the
advent of the Matrix. While all paper money was recalled,
not everyone wanted to turn theirs in to be destroyed.
Those who held onto their hard currency had their own
reasons for doing so, and this has had an interesting side
effect on the black market.
Since the dollar (both American and Canadian) has been
completely removed from society whenever possible, this
money is also effectively untraceable. Whereas certified
credsticks are very hard to trace (about the same as tracing
a dollar bill today), they can still be traced if someone is
dedicated enough to do so. The paper dollar isnt at all
traceable.
This means that the paper dollar has a higher level of
value to someone in the shadows than certified cred. This
generally amounts to a 10% discount in price, but this is by
no means a hard and fast rule.
Some SINless individuals are more paranoid than others
about what they buy their guns and ammunition with. Oth-
GENERAL RULES

1 1
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
ers dont have much of a problem with certified cred and
dont give discounts for paper money.
Possession of hard currency is a federal offense. If a per-
son is found in possession of any paper money, it is confis-
cated on the spot. Depending on the officer discovering this
crime, that may be all that happens. However, if he arrests
you and you are convicted, jail time is required. Small
amounts of paper money only warrant a month of jail time
or less, depending on the circumstances. Significant
amounts can lead to investigation and significantly larger
sentences.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
It seems I cant look at a Shadowrun book without
coming across something weird about the management of
money in the world of 2050. All kinds of screwy stuff about
exchange rates and weird forms of currency and false creds
and so forth. In my opinion, as both PCs and gamemasters,
we have better things to worry about than whether the
nuyen is worth $5.50 UCAS or $6.00. So, in my continuing
effort to mess with the rules to the point that they are no
longer distinguishable from the original, Ive come up with
a new set that I normally use in my game.
Exchanging Money
90% of the time the nuyen is world standard and may
be used in any nation AS LONG AS THE CREDSTICK USED
IS CERTIFIED. This is out of the assumption that many back-
woods nations do not possess the ability to do all of the
identification checking necessary to verify a SINed credstick.
Very rarely in my game do we go through the steps neces-
sary to change money to the various other exotic forms of
denominations found throughout the world. If we actually
do go through the exchange procedure we leave the ex-
change rate at a constant, if a range is given this is usually
the one in the middle.
Cost Of Living
I still use all cost of living tables.
Bartering
Sometimes in remote villages or independent urban en-
tities such as the Ork Underground I use bartering as op-
posed to cash. Although a player may barter using anything
of value the most common form of materials used as pay-
ment are precious metals and gems. It is almost standard
for any runner who plans on venturing into remote regions
which they know to be somewhat underdeveloped to pur-
chase an amount of gold, silver, gems, etc. before going
there. Simply use the price table for Enchanting Materials
(raw form) for these exchanges. I even have a few under-
ground moneychanger contacts roaming around the city
which not only sell the materials but even press them into
coins, small statues, etc. for a fee. This visual appearance
has little effect on the materials value and is simply there to
make it so a runner can have a one pound block of silver
valued at 4,800 pressed into one hundred 48 coins.
Side NoteBeggars and Money
Without the use of a cash system Ive always wondered
how street beggars survived. While previously a suit may
have dropped a few dimes into the hat of a beggar, with
the advent of the credstick I could never really picture them
whipping out their Platinum valued at 2,342,423 and
clicking over 50 cents. I have yet to solve this problem in
the corporate world but in the world of the runner a certain
system has developed.
First of all, shadowrunners very rarely use anything but
certified cred sticks. The few that do rarely use them for
transactions, mainly just transferring money to them from
their certified credsticks for storage. Over the years a sys-
tem of managing certified cred has developed, centering on
the concept of the clean certified credstick and the dirty
certified credstick. The clean credstick holds a fairly large
amount of cash and is used for transactions between fixers,
the purchase of expensive objects, buying a plane ticket,
etc. The dirty credstick, on the other hand, rarely holds
more than a grand and is used for small bribes, purchases at
the Stuffer Shack, and the simple charity of giving a
squatter a few nuyen here and there. Since certified cred-
sticks are fairly easy to get a hold of I dont see why a
squatter wouldnt have one, probably the same grime cov-
ered stick theyve been using for years.
Tests
!
Opposed Tests
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 30-32, 180-184
Except for Damage Resistance tests, all success tests
have a base target number of 4. I have a few reasons for
doing this. When using the written rules for resisted tests
(opposing target number equals opposing stat) a difference
of even 1 point results in the character with the lesser abil-
ity losing 99% of the time. Changing the base target num-
ber for resisted tests to 4 gives the weaker opponent a
chance. Also, changing the base target number to 4 for all
tests speeds up the play of the game significantly. And I (as
the gamemaster) dont have to give away opponents stats.

Magus casts a Force 5 mana bolt at Fred (Willpower
3). Magus rolls 5 dice vs. a base 4 (instead of a target
number equal to Freds Willpower). Fred resists by roll-
ing 3 dice (Willpower of 3) vs. a 5 (the spells Force).
Successes are compared to determine the outcome of
the spell.

Shamus is eating a ham sandwich. He puts it down
to turn the page of the book he is reading. A rat, which
has been admiring the sandwich hungrily, tries to steal
it. The rats Stealth is 4. Shamus Intelligence is a 5. The
rat makes a Stealth (4) test, which is modified because it
has to run across some crumpled newspaper. Shamus
makes an Intelligence (4) test, which is modified due to
the rats small size and poor lighting conditions. Suc-
GENERAL RULES
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
1 2

cesses are compared to see if the rat succeeds in steal-
ing the sandwich without Shamus noticing.
!
Rule of One
Andr Selmer <031andre@cosmos.wits.ac.za>
Reference: SRII p. 32
We use the rule that if more than 50% of your dice roll
1s then its a fumble. So if you roll 16 dice, and roll 9 1s its
a fumble (and yes, this has been done before). We then roll
2D6, the higher the worse the fumble. (Current best fumble
includes rolling the above mentioned nine 1s, then rolling
11 on the 2D6. The physical adepts attempted kick to a
trolls chest failed, the Remington a pointblank didnt.)
!
Rule of Six
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 32
Havent you always hated it that all the FASA printed
modules give legwork tables that require 6+ successes to
obtain useful information? Especially when your character
only had an Etiquette skill of 4? Further, doesnt it strike you
as odd that an average person with a Firearms of 2 is un-
able to inflict a Deadly wound with a light pistol? To fix this
problem, I employ a commonly used modified Rule of Six
whereby additional successes may be obtained from a sin-
gle die if the roll is sufficiently high. If a dies result is 6
greater than the required target number, then an extra
success is generated. If it is 12 higher, 2 additional suc-
cesses are gained. This pattern follows on further to higher
rolls, 18, 24, etc. higher than the required target number.

Crystal is rolling her Firearms of 6 against a target
number of 4 to cap some poor stooge in an alley behind
a pub. She rolls 1, 2, 4, 4, 8, 11. Normally this would be
4 successes. However, with the addition of the new
rule of 6, it becomes 5 successes. The 11 is 7 higher
than the required target number, so that particular die
generates 2 successes.

I find that this rule makes for higher numbers of suc-
cesses in general, and means where someone would have
generated 6 successes they may now get 8. Fortunately,
this applies to both NPCs and PCs alike, and in the case of
Opposed Success Tests usually offsets itself. It does how-
ever, allow for those really amazing one off super scores
from few dice that just cannot occur normally. Something
like a 6 success masterstroke from a 3 die roll.
ALTERNATIVES
! Alternative One
Gurth <gurth@xs4al .nl >
Divide each dies roll by the target number, rounding
down, to find the number of successes. For example, a roll
of 3, 4, 5, 5, and 9 against a target number 4 counts as 5
successes, because the 4, 5, 5, are three, and the 9 counts
as two (9 2 = 4.5, which rounds down to 4).
A problem here is that against low target numbers,
characters with lots of dice will score immense numbers of
successes.
! Alternative Two
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
When rolling a five or a six, add four to another roll. This
gives a similar probability distribution while removing the
step-like behavior that makes target numbers of 6n and
6n+1 equally probable.
! Alternative Three
Andrew Mellinger <geburah@teleport.com> & Susan
Mellinger <ssalmon@portland.cushwake.edu>
When the final number on a skill or attribute die, not a
die from a pool, is equal to or greater than twice the base
target number or six greater than the base target number,
whichever is lower, an extra success is generated. Subse-
quent successes can be generated by continuing to double
the subsequent numbers. We do this so people with really
low target numbers and few dice can still do amazing
things, because, It is JUST THAT EASY FOLKS! Think of a
character with 4 Body dice resisting a Serious wound with a
target number of 2, Cant get it to zero, for example:

With base target number of 2, extra successes would
be at 8 (2 + 6),16 (8 ! 2), etc. In this case the first extra
success uses the add 6 rule because 2 + 6 is greater
than 2 ! 2.
With base target number of 8, extra successes would
be at 16 (8 ! 2), 32 (16 ! 2), etc. In this case the first
extra success is generated by doubling because 8 ! 2 is
greater than 8 + 6.
!
SOTA
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: Shadowrun Companion pp. 85-87,
Virtual Realities 2.0 p. 78
The State of the Art rules in the Shadowrun Companion
only apply to fields in which baseline activities can be up-
graded as part of the advance of the SOTA; only if the base-
line activities (such as ECM and ECCM working against each
other or deckers trying to break the latest Matrix security)
do the SOTA mechanics make sense. (Arms broken during
a fall do not become harder to treat because the SOTA
advanced in a biological warfare lab, nor does Mana Dart
get harder to invent because someone came up with ad-
vances in Magic Theory. Body armor doesnt lose any ability
to stop ordinary slugs because armor-piercing ammunition
just got better or cheaper.)
GENERAL RULES

1 3
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
!
System Identification Numbers
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: Shadowbeat p. 86
SINs are rare in the shadows. This is because anyone
with a SIN is on this nice huge database owned by the
government and they can be identified on sight. Anyone
who is magically active in any way has it even worse. They
also have a tissue sample on file with the UCAS govern-
ment. This has been justified as a means of locating any
rampant magically active criminals. And if the government
has your file, megacorps can get it. They have influence
everywhere.

If you wish to avoid being this recognizable, you can
choose to start the game as SINless. You are a non-citizen
and have virtually no rights in the eyes of the government
and the megacorps. What few rights you are legally recog-
nized as having are often ignored anyway. If you are ever
convicted of a crime, you are immediately assigned a SIN
accompanied by a police record. This, of course, makes you
more recognizable in the future. If you desire your character
to be SINless, he can start the game with all traces of his
identity permanently erased from all databases at no cost.
This reflects the employment of a good decker sometime in
the past to eradicate your identity. Just not using your regis-
tered credstick is not enough to make you SINless. You are
still on the database(s) and are just as recognizable. Just
because your fixer doesnt know who you are doesnt mean
the law is equally ignorant.

If you do not have a SIN, you MUST buy everything
through underground/illegal means. Society views the SIN-
less as criminals and will not tolerate them around where
they live and shop. Thus, the vast majority of legal estab-
lishments will require a SIN to even enter their premises.
This way, the store owners can state that they are doing
what they can to keep the scum of the earth away from
their businesses and customers. Thus, Street Index will
almost always apply when a SINless individual wants to
make a purchase.


1 4

!
Bioware For Magicians
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: Shadowtech p.5
Shadowtech states that bioware costs Essence for the
magically active equal to the Body Index of the piece of
bioware, as well as giving the character a Body Index. This
might seem reasonable, but after a little though it is obvi-
ous that this klutz of a rule is lacking much reasoning be-
hind it. Compare the following two situations to see what I
mean:

Claudius is magically active, and has 2 Body Index
worth of bioware. By the rules he has an Essence of 4,
and a Body Index of 2. Thus the target number for a
Treat Spell to affect him is 8 4 +22 = 5. Say Erg, a
mundane, has the same bioware kit. He has a Body In-
dex of 2, and an Essence of 6. For a Treat spell to affect
him, the target number would be 8 6 +22 = 3. A
very vast difference indeed. Even though both individu-
als have exactly the same bioware kit.

To remedy this double jeopardy effect, I implement
what I think was the writers original intention with the rule.
That bioware damages the magical ability of a magically
active character. To this end, I subtract the Body Index of
the character from the characters Essence, as the rule states,
but only for determining the loss of the characters Magic
Attribute. Bioware does not subtract Essence from magically
active characters, but it does frag with their Magic Attribute
as if it did.

Irrumatee has 2 Body Index worth of bioware im-
planted. He now has a Body Index of 2, and an Essence
of 6, even though he is magically active. His Magic At-
tribute, however, is now reduced by 2, as if his Essence
were really 4.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
As above, with the following additions:
Cultured bioware is available as per the standard rules in
Shadowtech, with one exception. ALL listed bioware items
are of standard quality, and therefore not Cultured. Thus,
even neural bioware can be Cultured beyond the standard
values.

There is also another version of bioware available that is
more magician-friendly. Very friendly, in fact. This person-
alized bioware causes no loss of Magic Rating whatsoever
(!) and doesnt add to the Body Index.
However, this technology is very rare and very expen-
sive. The cost is ten times that of the standard version of
the item being purchased. The availability is, shall we say,
limited. If you desire to purchase this type of bioware, you
must discover, in game time, a person who can create and
implant it for you. These individuals are hard to come by,
and generally only cater to the higher levels of society and
to the military/megacorps. They will require a valid SIN (or
a VERY solid fake one, if you get my meaning) and a back-
ground check. This process requires the donation of several
tissue samples and several weeks to grow the bioware
before surgery.
If you desire to start your character with personalized
bioware, you must have a strong background for your char-
acter that would realistically allow for such a luxury.
!
Enhanced Articulation
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 70-72, Shadowtech p. 34
Enhanced articulation, as presented in Shadowtech is
by far and away the most powerful bit of bioware that any-
one could obtain. It adds an extra die to any test involving
any Active skill. Upon looking in SRII to see what an Active
BIOWARE
So this wont impact my physical integrity? Are you
sure?
Vanessa Stokes, mage, at a Body + Tech
BIOWARE

1 5
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
skill is, we see that Active skills include all the following:
Combat, Physical, Technical, Magical, Social and Vehicle.
The only skills not included are Build and Repair, Knowl-
edge and Languages. Somehow I fail to see just how En-
hanced Articulation manages to assist in the summoning of
elementals though. Or in the decking of computer systems.
Or the fast talking of your fixer. My take on the benefits of
enhanced articulation is that it was supposed to give an
additional die to any Physical skills, meaning Stealth and
Athletics, but that the author fragged up.
ALTERNATIVES
! Alternative One
According to Tom Dowd (the original Shadowrun line
developer at FASA), enhanced articulation adds one die to
the following skills: Armed Combat, Athletics, Firearms,
Gunnery, Projectile Weapons, Stealth, Throwing, and Un-
armed Combat. As it isnt printed in any FASA book, you
can make of this ruling what you will.
! Alternative Two
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
This bioware enhancement, does not benefit all active
skills. Rather it only increases the following skills by one
level: Athletics, Stealth, Throwing Weapons, and Armed &
Unarmed Melee Combat.
!
Muscle Augmentation
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: Shadowtech p. 35
I interpret the bonuses granted by Muscle Augmenta-
tion to give the character +1 Quickness per level and +1
Strength per level.


1 6

Allergies
!
Allergies In The Points-Based Character Generation
System
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: SRII pp. 44-47, Shadowrun Companion
pp. 20-21, 25
For characters created with the priority table from the
basic Shadowrun rules, I let players select allergies from
the table on page 46 of that book; in this way, the allergy
doesnt count as a Flaw, and doesnt provide Building
Points.
Characters created with the Building Points system from
the Shadowrun Companion, however, purchase allergies
as Flaws (p. 25 of the Companion) and do not use the table
on page 46 of SRII.
!
Number Of Allergies
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 46
The rules on page 46 of SRII state: At the players op-
tion, a metahuman character can be given an allergy during
character creation. To me, this indicates that only a single
allergy may be chosen (an). Thus I do not allow multiple
allergies to be selected.
!
ALTERNATIVE
David Buehrer <dbuerher@carl .org>
Characters may only start the game with one nuisance
allergy. Allowing a character to take more than one nui-
sance allergy at character creation is munchkinous in my
opinion.
Attributes
!
Increasing Attributes
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 43, 190, Shadowrun Companion
pp. 50-53
Unaugmented Attributes may not be increased above
the appropriate Racial Maximum, unless the character has
the Exceptional Attribute edge to allow him to do so. Of
course, an augmented Attribute is only limited by the cy-
berware/bioware/magical enhancement that is increasing
the attribute.
The Karma cost of improving an Attribute is an amount
of Karma equal to the new Attributes rating multiplied by
the number of times the Attribute has been improved with-
out augmentation (including the current improvement).
Thus, a character raising his Strength for the first time from
a 3 to a 4 would have to spend 4 Karma points. Raising this
Attribute again at a later time from a 4 to a 5 would cost 10
Karma points (5 multiplied by 2-since this is the second
improvement being made to the Attribute).
Also, increasing an Attribute requires proper roleplaying
and a certain amount of time dedicated to the improve-
ment. This is done in a similar manner to improving skills.
The rules for doing so are found in the Shadowrun Compan-
ion.
!
Strength 1 Trolls
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 45
The rules pertaining to the allocation of Attribute points,
and the modifying of Attributes with racial modifiers are
sufficiently ambiguous as to be interpreted two ways. I do
not allow metahumans to place 0 or negative values on
CHARACTERS
Here, thisll help you build character.
Greg Holloway, bartender
CHARACTERS

1 7
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
their attributes that will gain positive modifiers due to the
racial modifiers, thus gaining a final positive value.

Wimpy the Troll cannot assign 3 to his Strength At-
tribute, and then add the +4 racial modifier to have a
final Strength of 1. He must assign at least 1 point to his
Strength, thus forcing him to have a final Strength of 5
or greater.
Building Points System
!
Shapeshifters
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: Shadowrun Companion pp. 20, 36-38
Since it was missing on the Building Points table, Ive
set the Building Points cost for a shapeshifter character at
20 points.
Contacts & Enemies
!
Enemies
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: Shadowrun Companion pp. 71-75
Enemies, in the Shadowrun Companion, are not based
on your Resources. (While one can argue that you might
have acquired your Enemies in the same way you acquired
your Resources, or that people have figured out that youre
worth that much and hence are gunning for you, this begins
to either strain credulity or limit ones character concep-
tion.)
!
Location Times for Enemies
Ray Macey <nightrain@elf.bri snet.org.au>
Reference: Shadowrun Companion pp. 71-75
I use the following rules for location time for enemies.
This provides a loose framework for the enemies to find the
characters that they so hate.
Enemies with a Knowledge Rating of 1 or 2, check every
6 months. Every sixth month game time, the gamemaster
rolls 1D6 for the enemy. For a Knowledge Rating 1 enemy,
they have found the character on the roll of a 1. A Knowl-
edge Rating 2 enemy finds the character on a 1 or a 2. If
the gamemaster determines that the enemy has found the
character, then the gamemaster determines when the en-
emy finds the player in the 6-month period.
Enemies with a Knowledge Rating of 3 or 4 check every
month. For a Knowledge Rating 3 enemy, the find the
player character on a 1, for a Rating 4 enemy, they find the
player character on a 1 or a 2.
Enemies with a Knowledge Rating of 5 or 6 check every
week. Rating 5 enemies find the player character on a 1,
and Rating 6 enemies on a 1 or a 2.
If the Enemy finds the character, it is up to the game-
master to determine what the enemy does about it (this is
related to the enemies motivation rating), and how exactly
the enemy found the character, whether through searching,
or by an accident.
Critter Powers
!
Regeneration
Ray Macey <nightrain@elf.bri snet.org.au>
Reference: SRII p. 219, Paranormal Animals of North
America p. 12, Europe p. 137, Shadowrun
Companion pp. 36-38
I didnt like the abstract 1D6 method of determining
whether or not a regenerating creature has been killed. I
also had problems with the fact that the regeneration oc-
curred at the end of the turn, and then completely healed
all damage. I have changed the way they regenerate as
follows. Every action, the Damage Category of the
wounded creature drops by one.

A weretiger takes Serious damage at phase 18. The
weretiger acts on phases 16 and 6. On 16, the creature
would drop to a Moderate wound. On 6, it would drop
to a Light wound. Then on its first action next turn, it
would be undamaged.

I count all overflow damage as 1 wound category, and
Deadly without overflow as another. So a creature on
Deadly damage with 4 squares of overflow would heal to
Deadly in one action. It would then heal to Serious, down
to Moderate etc., all the way to nothing.
These rules make regeneration extremely deadly once
you combine them with the fact that I have done away with
the random 1D6 to kill rule. To ease this, I rule that to kill
a regenerating creature beyond its ability to regenerate, you
must do an instant kill. That is, in one hit, you must hit the
creature, and do enough damage to kill it (i.e. past its Body
in overflow) in one hit (This is made easier by using deadlier
Damage Overflow rules, see page 17). Doing multiple hits
that take the creature past its maximum overflow does not
count, unless one of the hits is enough to kill by itself.
However, if the regenerating creature takes Deadly dam-
age, it still falls unconscious as does anyone else, making it
quite easy to administer the killing blow if you can hit it in
time. Also, when combined with my Falling Unconscious
from normal damage rule (page 17), regeneration does
have a lot of its bite muzzled.
None of these new regeneration rules work with player
characters playing shifters from the Shadowrun Compan-
ion.
CHARACTERS
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
1 8

Dice Pools
!
Calculating Dice Pools
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 84-85
Combat Pool is calculated by adding Body, Quickness,
Intelligence and Willpower and dividing by 3.
Magic Pool is calculated by adding Intelligence, Will-
power, Sorcery and Magic and dividing by 3.
!
Using Pool Dice
Mike Elkins <mikee@dragonsys.com>
Whenever a character uses some dice from a pool, re-
duce all pools by the same percentage, rounding against
the character. This way, you can split your attention be-
tween spell casting and dodging, but cant do both at
100%, and things you arent very good at take a lot more
attention (for the same number of dice) than things that
have become second nature to you.
Unfortunately, the math involved in this makes it un-
likely to be a very popular house rule. It bogs down play
too much.
Edges & Flaws
!
Disallowed or Modified Edges & Flaws
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: Shadowrun Companion pp. 24-35
In my game, Ive disallowed or modified the following
Edges and Flaws, for the reasons indicated.
Addiction
Disallowed. If a character wants to be addicted to some-
thing, thats fine by me, but I simply dont want them to
get points for it.
Adrenaline Surge
Disallowed, because I apply the Rule of Six to one initia-
tive die anyway (see Initiative Rolls on page 78).
Allergy
See Allergies In The Points-Based Character Genera-
tion System on page 16.
Blind
Ive increased the target number modifier to +8, since
this is the modifier that SRII lists for blind fire (page 89).
Bonus Attribute Point
The cost has been increased to 2 points, because with
the original cost, buying 5 Bonus Attribute Points is a very
easy way to essentially get 5 Building Points for free.
Day Job
Disallowed, as its just too fuzzy for my taste. I still ha-
vent figured out whether its an Edge or a Flaw (Yes, I
know the text calls it a Flaw.)
Extra Contact
Disallowed. Contacts are bought at 5,000 each, which
is usually a lot more expensive than a single Building Point.
High Pain Tolerance
The cost is equal to three times the number of boxes to
which this power applies.
High School Education
Disallowed, since I assume characters have such a level
of education automatically.
Night Vision
As this Edge doesnt indicate the exact bonus, Ive ruled
it is equivalent to cybernetic low-light vision.
Technical School Education
The cost is increased to 2 points due to the relatively
large bonuses this Edge provides.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Bio-Rejection
The Bio-Rejection Flaw precludes the effective implanta-
tion of ANY cyberware or bioware. This includes cultured
bioware and personalized bioware.
Focused Concentration
The Focused Concentration Edge is not allowed in this
campaign. A high level of concentration and strength of will
is already reflected in the Willpower Attribute.
Illiterate
The Illiterate Flaw has a rating of 2, not 1. Reading is
far too fundamental for illiteracy to be worth only 1 point.
Magic Resistance
The Magic Resistance Edge is not allowed. The only be-
ings that have the ability to resist magic are magically ac-
tive (meta)humans with spell defense and/or shielding and
some critters. There are rumors of nega-mages existing in
Shadowrun, but those are just rumors, right?
CHARACTERS

1 9
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Police Record
The Police Record Flaw has a variable rating of 1 to 6.
The higher the rating, the longer and more severe your
record. A 6 Flaw of this nature is pretty severe, and it
would make life extremely hard on the character. It is not
recommended that a character take this Flaw at a high
value.
Registered Equipment
The Registered Equipment Edge does not exist. If you
wish to have legally registered equipment, you will need to
have a valid SIN and pay an amount of money based upon
the equipment being registered. In addition, you will need
to have a valid reason for possessing said equipmentor at
least a contact who could get you the necessary permits
with false data.
Sensitive System
The value of the Sensitive System Flaw is 1 for magi-
cally active characters, not 2. The value for mundane char-
acters is still 3. Cultured bioware and personalized
bioware are not affected by this Flaw.
!
Edge & Flaw Development
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
Reference: Shadowrun Companion pp. 24-35
I personally think Edges and Flaws are the best ideas
FASAs come up with since they blew up Dunkelzahn (I was
getting sick of him.). Itd be a shame to leave them behind
once character creation is over. Generally, you pick up
Edges and Flaws through role-playing and, once the game
has begin, you shouldnt need any rules to govern what
Edges and Flaws your character acquires. But it seems like a
lot of players tend to ignore all aspects of the game that
dont have a numeric system developed for their use. So I
decided to whip up a system for purchasing Edges and
Flaws later on in the game. I havent actually tried this sys-
tem out yet, so it may not work. Anyway, here goes:
Buying Flaws
Ok, so youre not really buying them. Its actually
more of a refund. In any case, Im sure gamemasters have
noticed that, during the game, certain situations arise which
have the potential for generating Flaws in characters; such
as the person is trapped, assaulted in some emotionally
traumatic way, and so on. Normally the character quickly
forgets about these experiences and in a very unrealistic
manner continues to go about their daily business as if
nothing had happened. By allowing the character to actu-
ally declare, on paper, that their character has developed a
Flaw they can lock themselves into its guidelines and are
thus forced to role-play it. Some people really need this
type of an iron-clad contract with their disabilities in order
to role-play effectively. Its sad, but thats the way things
are.
When a character has been involved in a situation that
could cause a semi-permanent Flaw they have the option of
buying it. When they make this purchase they RECEIVE a
number of karma points equal to DOUBLE the value of the
Flaw. The player must then role-play this Flaw or face what-
ever retribution the gamemaster utilizes to punish offend-
ers. Flaws acquired in this manner can be role-played away,
though with much difficulty.

Here are some more examples of situations which
may generate Flaws:
1. A PC is tossed into a vat of chemicals. As a result
they may develop some kind of weird allergy.
2. A PC is smashed over the head with a baseball bat
and takes Deadly stun damage. When they awake
they may realize that they can no longer see colors,
thus picking up the Color Blind Flaw.
3. In the situation above the hit may have instead
knocked a few marbles lose, thus giving the PC the
Oblivious Flaw. Man, ever since that troll whacked
Benjy he hasnt been able to tell his ass from his el-
bow.

It is also possible for a character to pick up a flaw simply
by roleplaying it. I used to do it all the time. For instance, a
character who just lost a good friend in a fire fight may
become depressed, spend a lot of time shut away in their
apartment, and thus develop a minor Infirm flaw. Or the
character, slowly losing it because of the endless violence
he or she faces, may decide that their character is going to
flip out, talk to their gun all the time, and have visions of
killing people at random, thus providing grounds for the
Combat Monster Flaw. The possibilities are endless.
Buying Edges
This is where the gamemaster has to be really careful
lest he or she wish to be faced with characters who have
every Edge in the book. In order to buy an Edge the charac-
ter should have a really, really, really good reason; even
better than they would have to have for getting a new skill.
The acquisition of the new Edge should involve meeting a
really good teacher, suddenly coming across special infor-
mation, being magically zapped my mysterious forces, and
so on. The gamemaster may also decide that a player has
been roleplaying a particular aspect of their character so
well that they deserve to be offered the opportunity to pick
up a new Edge. But, no matter what the reason, the charac-
ter still has to buy it.
The karma cost for acquiring a new Edge during the
game is TWICE its value. And, again, the character should
have a good reason, a few of which may be:

1. The character is constantly the point man for his
group; listening, looking, and watching out for eve-
rything while the rest of the group is usually looking
at their ammo counters. The gamemaster may wish
to offer the character the Perceptive Edge. If the
character is smart, hell take it.
2. A character has been developing his Firearms skill
with the same instructor for many, many game
months. The player declares that hed like to acquire
an Aptitude in firearms. The gamemaster decides
that the characters teacher, after a month of further
training, is willing to give up his secrets of targeting,
thus enlightening the character to a new way of per-
ceiving trajectories.
CHARACTERS
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
20

Being True To Edges And Flaws
On a final note Id just like to emphasize how important
it is for gamemasters to insist that their players characters
stick to their Edges and Flaws. I personally plan on having
each of my players information written on a piece of paper
and taped to the gamemaster screen. This system was cre-
ated for the purpose of creating fleshed out, complicated
characters. It also eliminates a players right to bitch when a
gamemaster states that theyre not roleplaying properly,
which should stop a bit of the whining. Again, make sure
players dont abuse this roleplaying tool.
!
Taking Edges & Flaws With The Priority System
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: Shadowrun Companion pp. 21-22
The Companion says that the total points value of
Edges and Flaws should be equal when using the priority
system for generating characters. A slightly more complex,
but also more satisfying, way is to allow players to ex-
change Attribute, Skill, or Force Points, or Resources
money, for Building Points and use those to purchase
Edges. Likewise, Flaws can be traded in for Building Points
that allow the player to increase other areas of the charac-
ter.
The cost equivalents can be found on the Building Points
Table on page 20 of the Companion. For Resources money,
its recommended to stick to the values given there and
dont allow players to take in-between values.

Teddy the sorcery adept needs an extra Attribute
Point, so he takes a 2-point Flaw (say, Uncouth) and
spends those to buy the Attribute Point.
Teddy now has a 2-point Flaw without needing to
take an Edge to compensate for it.
Teddys player decides he also needs more skill
points and can do with less money, so his player ex-
changes Teddys million nuyen (Resources priority A) for
Building Points. That gives him 30 points, for which he
takes 650,000 (25 Building Points) and 5 Skill Points (5
Building Points).

Gamemasters should of course be careful that players
dont abuse this system; for example a player could trade in
2 Attribute Points to get 4 Building Points, and then use
those to buy 4 Bonus Attribute Points. This sort of thing
shouldnt be allowed.
Enhanced Attributes, Skills, Etc..
!
Enhanced Reaction and Reflexes
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
For the sake of realism and simplicity, all reaction and
reflex enhancements may be turned on/off with the use of a
Simple Action.
It is completely silly to assume that any doctor would
install wired reflexes (for example) without also including a
cybernetic switch to turn them on and off! I mean, I guess
someone could convince a street doc to install a set of
reflex enhancements without an on/off switch, but they
probably would not live too long. After all, how many
friends can you kill by mistake when they tap you on the
shoulder before someone decides enough is enough?
This rule only applies to cyberware and bioware that are
exclusive of other abilities. (A suprathyroid gland, for ex-
ample, would not have this on/off switch because it is not
ONLY a reaction/reflex enhancer.)

Physical Adepts may also turn their Enhanced Reflexes
and Enhanced Reaction powers on/off with the expenditure
of a Simple Action.
!
Vision Enhancements
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 45, 89, 125, 247, Fields of Fire
pp. 79-81
Any racial vision enhancements are always active.
Therefore, a metahuman with natural thermographic vision
sees the standard light spectrum AND sees heat signatures
at the same time.
Physical adept vision enhancements are treated as
equivalent to their racial cousins in all ways, except the
physical adept version is considered to be more blatantly
magical than the racial version.
Cyberware versions of vision enhancements can be
turned on and off with the use of a Simple Action. This
action also includes the time it takes for the eyes to adjust
to the new type of sensory input (or lack thereof).

While the cyberware versions of vision enhancements
superimpose thermographic vision over standard or low
light vision (as appropriate), it doesnt integrate the two
images as well. While it allows for a person to navigate
through the dark while having thermographic vision en-
abled (because he can also see the standard light spectrum
at the same time), the thermographic vision superimposes
OVER the standard or low light vision. This blocks out most
of the physical details of an object or person.
Trying to make out details about what a person is wear-
ing, for example, while using thermographic vision alone is
impossible. Attempting to do so with both normal (or low
light) vision and thermographic vision active incurs a +2
target number modifier to the perception test. Metahumans
do not suffer this penalty, because their thermographic
vision only projects the heat radiation as outlines of the
objects/people being viewed. The heat image doesnt
CHARACTERS

21
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
bleed through and block the visibility of the normal light
spectrum in front of the people/objects being viewed.
Master Character Creation Table
!
Adjusted Priorities
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
Reference: SRII p. 46
The following are two alternatives to the current priority
chart.
Normal Priority Chart
Ive encountered two major problems with the current
priority chart:
1. The money descends too quickly.
2. The grouping of money and spell points doesnt seem
to make much sense. On the rare occasion that I sit
down and try to create a magical character which will
never have a chance to run I dont like having 400,000
on my hands if the character is, say, a humble shaman
living in the sticks. Also letting a mage sorcery adept
have a million bucks tends to result in a character which
not only has a whole lot of really neato spells, but also a
large number of powerful foci right off the bat.
Ive used the Alternate Priority Table with some success.
It adds another priority level (ignored by non-magicians)
but corrects the problems listed above.

Humbling Priority Table
I personally think its fun to start off with a character
that, for lack of a better description, sucks. A character
whos life is crap for a month or two before they ever have
a chance at a half way decent run. The kind of character that
gets beat up at bars a lot. Although it adds a certain
amount of frustration it also adds challenge and does not
allow for the creation of kick ass characters right from the
start.
!
ALTERNATIVE
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
In my game I do not use the More Metahumans option
and have removed the Race category from character crea-
tion. Characters start with 5 priorities (A, B, C, D, and E) to
assign to five categories: Magic, Attributes, Skills, Re-
sources and Force Points.
Regardless of Race a priority of A in Magic is required to
be a mage, and a priority of B in Magic is required to be an
adept.
!
Starting Resources
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII p. 44-47, Shadowtech,
Cybertechnology, Virtual Realities 2.0 pp. 81-109
Money
At creation time, you can choose to take 3D6!1000 in
cash, or just the average, 10,500. You have to decide
which to take before you roll, of course. Anything you buy
with starting cash to outfit your character will be subject to
the usual Availability and Street Index problems.
Bioware and Cyberware
Characters can start with any hardware up to Shadow-
tech, but no bioware. (It gives them something to save up
for.) If a piece of hardware from Cybertechnology looks like
it ought to be available in 2053 (such as protective covers
for cybereyes or cyberarm cyberdecks), it can be approved
by the group; Move-By-Wire is right out. We have some
additional rules for headware that are worth browsing.
Alternate Priority Table
Priority Race Magic Attributes Skills Money Force Points
A Metahuman Human Magician 30 40 1,000,000 50
B Human Human Adept/Metahuman 24 30 500,000 40
C Human Metahuman Adept 20 24 250,000 30
D Human 17 20 125,000 20
E Human 15 17 75,000 10
F Human 15 17 75,000 5

Humbling Priority Table
Priority Race Magic Attributes Skills Money Force Points
A Metahuman Human Magician 20 24 100,000 15
B Human Human Adept/Metahuman 18 20 50,000 12
C Human Metahuman Adept 16 16 25,000 9
D Human 14 12 12,000 6
E Human 12 8 6,000 3
F Human 12 8 6,000 3
CHARACTERS
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
22


Any cyberware from the Cyberpunk 2020 game and
Chromebooks is available, subject to approval of the
Troupe, using the conversion stats from the Plastic Warri-
ors supplements.
Cyberdecks
You can create a decker with a custom cyberdeck they
built themselves, if you wish, using the Virtual Realities
2.0 rules. You must pay for at least Medium lifestyle for the
entire time they spent working on the deck, and must also
pay for all equipment used in developing it. Our mainframe
rules (which replace those in VR 2.0) make buying a main-
frame for development purposes prohibitive; you may,
however, pay for development time on one using the VR
2.0 rules.
!
ALTERNATIVE
David Buehrer <dbuerher@carl .org>
Divide Resources into two categories, Resources and
Force Points. On the Master Character Creation Table do the
same. Characters now start with 6 priorities (A, B, C, D, E,
and F) to assign to six categories: Race, Magic, Attributes,
Skills, Resources and Force Points.


23

!
Cyberears
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII p. 247
By our rules, cyber replacement always includes a
damper, costs 0.3 Essence, and provides option spaces for
0.2 Essence worth of enhancements. If you want to get
high and low frequency hearing as a package, it costs 0.2
Essence and 7,500.
!
Cyberlimbs
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: Cybertechnology pp. 49-52
I use the Cybertechnology rules for cyberlimbs with one
exception. The starting Strength of a cyberlimb is not equal
to 3 (8 for Trolls) it is instead equal to the Strength of the
character at the time of implantation. I use this modification
so that PCs may have cyberlimbs, but do not need to pay 5
Essence or so for the privilege.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: SRII p.45
A cyberarm has the average Strength rating for the
characters racewhich can be found by adding the racial
Strength modifier from SRII p. 45 to 3.

!
High-Grade Cyberware
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: Street Samurai Catalog pp. 98-99,
Cybertechnology pp. 42-44
The suggested multipliers for the cost of cybersurgery at
alpha, beta, and delta clinics in Cybertechnology are truly
unreasonable. Simply using the multiplier for the cost of the
cyberware should burn enough of a hole in a runners
pocket.
!
Vision Magnification and Tactical
Computers
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 88, Street Samurai Catalog p. 85,
88, Shadowtech p.53
Vision magnification reduces the range categories for
ranged combat as per magnification scopes. Tactical com-
puters use shotgun ranges for tagging targets. I do not,
however, allow the tactical computers Range category to
be reduced by the vision magnification. My reasoning for
this is that it is the tactical computer itself that is performing
calculations and other target acquisition functions, and that
the accuracy of these calculations is represented by the
shotgun ranges. Mere vision magnification will not allow
the calculations to be performed any better.
CYBERWARE
I got myself a new arm the other day. Turned out the
doc didnt tell me everything about it
Jork, street samurai


24

Karma Pool
!
Blocking
Loki <gamemstr@primenet.com>
When a character uses Karma Pool, another character
may stop the effects by spending an equal amount of
karma. This second character must also possess the same
skill that the first is spending the karma on.

Sammy gets two successes when he rolls his Un-
armed Combat to smack Kat. He decides hed like to
spend a karma pool point and re-roll for more suc-
cesses. Kat, who also possesses Unarmed Combat,
chooses to spend a point of her own pool to block the
re-roll.)
!
Buying Successes
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: SRII p. 191
The Karma Pool no longer exists. Automatic successes
may be purchased with Good Karma at a cost equal to the
target number of the test divided by 6 (round up).
Successes may only be purchased for tests for which the
character has the required skill, or generates at least one
success when defaulting from the skill web.

Sam is trying to defuse a bomb. He rolls his Demoli-
tions skill but fails. He elects to buy successes with his
Good Karma.
Fred is trying to defuse a bomb. He does not have
Demolitions. He defaults from the skill web. If he rolls at
least one success he may purchase additional successes
with Good Karma. If he doesnt roll any successes he
cant purchase successes with Good Karma.
!
Dividing
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 190-191
Since Shadowrun is extremely vague and ambiguous
(and contradictory) about how to allocate Karma earned to
Good Karma and the Karma Pool, Ive made my own deci-
sions. I play that every tenth point of Karma earned goes
into the characters Karma Pool. This can easily be kept track
of by looking at the characters Private Reputation which is a
total of all the Karma the character has earned.
!
BY THE BOOK
The Shadowrun Companion has the current official rule,
which says every eleventh point goes into the Karma Pool.

A character who has earned a total of 30 points of
Karma has a Karma Pool of 2; as soon as his total is 33
or higher, she has a Karma Pool of 3, and 30 points of
Good Karma.
!
Good Karma to Karma Pool
Loki <gamemstr@primenet.com>
Reference: SRII pp. 190-191
Three Good Karma points may be expended to purchase
one Karma Pool point.
!
ALTERNATIVE
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Karma pool may be purchased on a 1 for 1 basis with
Good Karma (experience).
KARMA
Sometimes, it feels like the gods are smiling down
on me. Sometimes, it doesnt. Thats usually when
things start going wrong.
unknown
KARMA

25
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
!
Maximum Karma for a Test
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
The maximum amount of Karma, under normal circum-
stances, that can be spent on any single test in any way is
10 points. This includes both Karma spent on re-rolls and
Karma spent on additional dice added to the test.
!
Refresh Rate
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 190-191, Shadowrun Companion
pp. 76-80
Karma Pools refresh at the beginning of each scene. A
scene is defined as a series of activities that take place in
one location. However, there are some exceptions to this.
One that comes to mind is a car chase scene. In this case,
the scene would end after the car chase.
Also, a single combat is considered one scene, regard-
less of how many state lines you cross while chasing and
shooting at the opposition. If you have a shoot out, fol-
lowed by a car chase, followed by another shoot out, its
still one scene because the action never stopped.

After a characters Karma Pool has been depleted during
a scene, he can permanently burn a Good Karma point to
have the same effect as using a Karma Pool point, with one
extra option. Unlike Karma Pool points, Good Karma points
can be burned to buy successes at the rate of 1:1. Under no
circumstances will a Karma Pool point be allowed to be
used in this way.
!
ALTERNATIVE
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
The Karma Pool does not refresh.
!
Re-Rolls
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII p. 191
Under normal circumstances, only two re-rolls shall be
permitted for any single test. However, at the gamemasters
direction, fewer or more re-rolls may be directed. For ex-
ample, if a test has minimal consequences in the game or
the test is for a situation where the character has absolutely
no experience to call upon-then the gamemaster may de-
termine no re-rolls are to be made. On the other hand, if a
characters life or death is to be decided on the roll, then
the gamemaster may permit as many re-rolls as the charac-
ters karma permits.
!
Starting Karma Pool Size
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp.190-191, Shadowrun Companion
pp. 76-80
Every character starts off with 1 point in his Karma Pool.
Additional Karma Pool points can ONLY be earned at the
gamemasters discretion. Karma Pool points will be
awarded very rarely, if ever.
!
Team Karma Pool
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII p. 191
Team Karma Pools dont exist. Whoever came up with
the idea should be shot.
!
Usage
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 190
The book is also somewhat ambiguous about just when
a character can use Karma Pool re-rolls and whatnot. I lay
no restrictions on when or what for the Karma Pool dice
may be used, even allowing the re-roll etc. of NPC dice rolls
that have favorable outcomes directly relating to the charac-
ter (such as DocWagon(tm) paramedics rolls to save the
characters worthless hide).
!
Raising Skills
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 190-191
The Shadowrun skill system has a couple of major flaws
that can be addressed if youre willing to cope with a little
math.
One of the problems with the Shadowrun skill system is
that it makes no provision for the possibility that someone
might want to broaden a skill. By the standard rules, if you
buy a Specialization, if you want to go back and buy the
Concentration, you have to pay to bring up the Concentra-
tion as a completely separate skill.

Another problem that appears at character creation is
that skills are assigned at creation time in a radically differ-
ent method from actual play. Six points used at creation
time for buying skills can be worth anywhere from 6 karma
(if used to buy six skills at 1) to 51 karma (if used to buy
one General Skill at 4 with a Concentration at 6 and a Spe-
cialization at 8).

The skill system also has limits that ordinary experience
does not. It is possible (through play) for a character to
have a Specialization at 5, but an accompanying Concentra-
tion and General Skill still at 1. This cannot be done at char-
acter creation time.
None of these seems terribly realistic.
One can avoid a number of these problems with some
extended rules:

When creating a character, instead of buying skills with
points as per the standard FASA rules, sum their points.
Starting characters, as usual, should not have General Skills
higher than 6, Concentrations higher than 7, or Specializa-
tions higher than 8. Gamemasters may wish to insist that if
KARMA
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
26

a Concentration is used, the General Skill must be at least
two points lower, and if a Specialization is used, its appro-
priate Concentration must be at least two points lower and
General Skill at least four points lower. The number of
Karma points corresponding to a given character creation
priority can vary with how you calculate it. The maximum
number of Karma points is based the character taking as
many Specializations at the highest possible levels, i.e.,
taking all possible 8/6/4 Specializations and then another
Specialization. This method can create any starting Shad-
owrun character. One may also calculate on the maximum
number of General Skills, i.e., all General Skills at 6 and then
another General Skill at the highest possible level.

Skill Points Table
Priority Skill Points Maximum
general
Maximum
special
A 40 265 333
B 30 210 255
C 24 164 204
D 20 128 164
E 17 111 140

This helps players break out of the molds of archetypes,
since it is now effective to have a character start as a gener-
alist. Gamemasters may wish to disallow obvious attempts
at taking every single skill on the Skill Web unless the char-
acter has a well-thought-out background as a generalist.

If you have a Specialization, the cost to bring a Concen-
tration that encompasses that Specialization up to the level
of the Specialization is the difference between the karma
cost of the Specialization and the Karma cost of the Con-
centration.

Theora recently used 7 Karma from a run to bring her
Computer 6 skill up to Computer 6, Matrix Software 7,
so she can start working on utilities at rating 7. After
another run, a subsequent 4 Karma can bring her skill up
to Computer 6, Software 7.

The same principle applies for a General Skill.

After that last run, Theora realizes that Concentrating
on pistols just wasnt a great idea. She decides to spend
1 Karma to take her Firearms 1, Pistols 3 to Firearms 2,
Pistols 3. On a later run, going from Firearms 2, Pistols 3
to Firearms 3 only takes her another Karma point.
Normal Skills, by Skill Normal Skills, by Cost
Gen Conc Spec Pts Gen Conc Spec Pts
1 1 1 1
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 3 6 1 2 4
1 4 1 2 50
1 5 1 1 3 65
1 6 2 1 2 3 71
1 7 2 2 3 88
1 8 3 1 3 96
1 2 4 2 3 10
1 2 3 7 1 4 10
1 2 4 1 1 2 4 111
1 2 5 1 3 116
1 2 6 2 2 4 122
1 2 7 2 1 3 4 139
1 2 8 3 2 3 4 147
1 3 9 1 4 15
1 3 4 1 1 5 153
1 3 5 1 3 4 158
1 3 6 2 2 4 164
1 3 7 3 1 2 5 161
1 3 8 3 2 5 179
1 4 1 3 4 175
1 4 5 2 1 3 5 180
1 4 6 2 2 3 5 196
1 4 7 3 4 193
1 4 8 4 1 4 5 201
1 5 2 3 5 202
1 5 6 2 2 4 5 218
1 5 7 3 1 6 215
1 5 8 4 1 2 6 223
1 6 3 1 5 221
1 6 7 3 3 4 5 228
1 6 8 4 2 6 236
1 7 4 2 5 232
1 7 8 5 1 3 6 240
2 5 4 5 24
2 3 8 2 3 6 25
2 4 1 3 5 252
2 5 1 1 4 6 267
2 6 2 3 6 263
2 7 3 2 4 6 270
2 8 3 4 5 278
2 3 1 1 7 280
2 3 4 1 1 5 6 284
2 3 5 1 3 4 6 289
2 3 6 2 1 2 7 295
2 3 7 3 2 5 6 292
2 3 8 4 5 290
2 4 1 2 7 306
2 4 5 2 4 6 301
2 4 6 2 1 3 7 317
2 4 7 3 3 5 6 314
2 4 8 4 1 6 312
2 5 2 2 3 7 323
2 5 6 2 2 6 329
2 5 7 3 1 4 7 336
2 5 8 4 4 5 6 334
2 6 3 3 7 332
KARMA

27
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Normal Skills, by Skill Normal Skills, by Cost
Gen Conc Spec Pts Gen Conc Spec Pts
2 6 7 3 2 4 7 349
2 6 8 4 3 6 347
2 7 4 1 5 7 353
2 7 8 5 3 4 7 351
3 1 5 6 351
3 4 1 4 6 365
3 5 2 1 8 360
3 6 2 2 5 7 366
3 7 3 1 2 8 373
3 8 4 4 7 371
3 4 1 3 5 7 387
3 4 5 2 1 6 7 382
3 4 6 2 2 8 388
3 4 7 3 5 6 385
3 4 8 4 1 3 8 393
3 5 2 2 6 7 395
3 5 6 3 2 3 8 401
3 5 7 3 4 5 7 408
3 5 8 4 1 4 8 416
3 6 3 3 6 7 414
3 6 7 4 3 8 411
3 6 8 4 6 419
3 7 4 1 7 424
3 7 8 5 2 4 8 422
4 1 5 7 429
4 5 2 2 7 434
4 6 3 4 6 7 430
4 7 3 1 5 8 437
4 8 4 3 4 8 435
4 5 2 2 5 8 447
4 5 6 3 3 7 443
4 5 7 4 4 8 450
4 5 8 4 5 6 7 458
4 6 3 3 5 8 466
4 6 7 4 1 6 8 463
4 6 8 5 4 7 461
4 7 4 2 6 8 476
4 7 8 5 4 5 8 484
5 2 6 7 489
5 6 3 3 6 8 495
5 7 4 5 7 492
5 8 5 1 7 8 500
5 6 3 5 8 508
5 6 7 4 2 7 8 515
5 6 8 5 4 6 8 513
5 7 4 6 7 529
5 7 8 5 3 7 8 527
6 4 3 7 8 521
6 7 48
6 8 56
6 7 52
6 7 8 60
!
ALTERNATIVE
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
If one is raising a General skill and one has an appropri-
ate Concentration or Specialization for that skill, one only
need pay the difference in Karma to raise the skill. Similarly
if one is raising a Concentration and one has an appropriate
Specialization, one receives a discount equal to the Karma
already invested in the skill.

Rigger Mortice has Gunnery 4, Assault Cannon 6,
Panther Assault Cannon 8. To raise his Gunnery to 5
normally would cost 10 Karma. However, since Rigger
has already invested 7 Karma in an Assault Cannon Con-
centration of 5, then he need only pay 3 to increase the
skill. If Rigger were wanting to increase his Assault Can-
non Concentration to 7, then he would normally be pay-
ing 10 Karma. However, since he has already spent 7
Karma on his Panther Assault Cannon skill, then he need
only pay the difference, 3.
!
Time Spent Raising Skills
David Buehrer <dbuerher@carl .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 190-191, Shadowrun Companion
pp. 50-53
To increase a skill a character must be instructed for a
number of hours equal to the desired skill level times 10.
Characters may substitute real life experience for instruction
(gamemasters judgment). Also, the character must make
an Attribute test vs. the desired skill rating to increase his
skill level (using the attribute that is closes to the skill on
the skill web). If this test is failed it may be attempted again
after another 30 hours of study/experience. Karma must still
be spent to increase skills as per the rules.
Note, real life experience can be accumulated in a very
short time. If a character spends a day in the wilderness
with nothing but his wits, he just gained 24 hours of expe-
rience applicable towards wilderness survival.
!
Sourcebooks For Karma
Loki <gamemstr@primenet.com>
Players who purchase sourcebooks to donate to my li-
brary receive a Karma award equal to the dollar value of the
book. In my mind this reflects their contribution towards
enriching the gaming universe.


28

Astral Space
!
Astral Patrolling
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: Grimoire II pp. 79, 92
The Spirit Patrol Table on page 92 of the Grimything lists
as one of the modifiers: Intruder(s) present astrally 1 per
2 Magic Attribute Points* with the * being *Unless
masked (see Aura Masking, p. 79). To me this seems a
little odd, as if the intruder is present astrally, he or she is
present astrally, whether they appear as an initiate, magi-
cian or mundane. I rule that Masking will hide any addi-
tional Magic points that have been gained through Initia-
tion, but the intruders original magic points cannot be hid-
den. After all, a mundane present on the astral plane is
probably more suspicious than a magician.
!
Astral Perception & Projection
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 145-146
Astral perception is based upon a sense not accessible
in the physical plane. Its not any of the senses experienced
in the mundane world. Instead, astral perception is some
weird conglomeration of the physical senses, plus addi-
tional input that is very hard to describe to anyone who
hasnt experienced astral perception for themselves. The act
of astral perception is awe inspiring. The astral plane is
generally a place of great beauty in the opinion of most
beings able to perceive it. While astrally perceiving, there is
no physical evidence that you are doing so. Your eyes do
NOT roll back into your head, etc. In order to view a differ-
ent part of the astral plane, you do not turn your physical
head. Instead, you merely shift your perception to view a
different part of the astral. Thus, when looking around on
the astral plane, it doesnt appear to the mundane world
that you are looking around at things that arent there.

When astrally projecting, your body is only supported
by external influences. Thus, unless someone or something
is physically supporting your body, it will fall to the ground
when you leave it. Therefore, the socially conscious magi-
cian will want to take precautions if he doesnt want anyone
in the mundane world to know he is out of his body.

The process of leaving or entering ones body via astral
projection is an exclusive activity, which explains why
spells cannot continue to be sustained when you leave your
body. Astral projection is also considered a magical activity,
so no exclusive activities may be performed while astrally
projecting. (This explains some of the rulings made in the
standard rules.)
!
Astral Quest To Bypass Wards
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: Grimoire II pp. 93-97
A way for an Initiate to bypass wards and other types of
astral barriers is to perform an astral quest at a rating
equivalent to the force of the obstructing astral barrier. If
successful, the magician returns from the metaplanes to a
position on the other side of the barrier. This procedure
provides the benefit of a very good chance of gaining sur-
prise against any entities on the other side of the barrier.
The corresponding penalty is the injuries the magician may
gain from his quest in the metaplanes (against powerful
wards this is almost guaranteed).
MAGIC
Anyone who claims to know everything about magic
is holding something back.
Ching Hersh, mercenary
MAGIC

29
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Auras
!
Objects and Auras
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 145-146, Grimoire II pp. 90-91
Only living beings possess auras. If it isnt currently
alive, it doesnt have an aura-regardless of its history (some
entities may be an exception to this rule).
Mana spells target auras. Physical spells go straight for
the physical makeup of their targets.
All of this means that, yes, you can target that corporate
executive riding in the back of the stretched limo with a
Powerball/Manaball/Hellblast, or whatever tickles your
fancy at the moment. Keep in mind that visibility and cover
modifiers will apply, however. (Dont you just hate those
tinted bulletproof windows?)

Also, this means that Mana Barriers will attempt to stop
living beings within an enclosed object from passing
through the barrier. So, basically, anyone in a car that drives
through a Mana Barrier is in for a world of hurt! Dont panic.
All Barrier spells that have any effect on the physical plane
are also visible on the physical plane. So, if you go driving
into a wall of shimmering energy, you deserve whatever
you get.

Part of an object may be targeted by a physical spell,
within reason. For example, a tire may be targeted when
casting a spell at a car, but the binding of a book cannot.
Treat these targeted shots as if they were called shots.
However, the body and armor of the vehicle apply to the
entire vehicle, including tires and windows. This may not be
entirely realistic, but it prevents disabling vehicles with
ease, while allowing for specific attacks.
!
Psychometry (Aura Reading)
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 145-146, Grimoire II pp. 90-91
The Psychometry skill (a.k.a. Aura Reading) is not im-
mediately derived from Intelligence or mundane Percep-
tion. Thus, if a character viewing the astral plane does not
have the Psychometry skill, they must default from one of
the following skills/attributes: Intelligence, Magical Theory,
or Perception. Treat Intelligence as if it were located in the
same position as Willpower on the Skill Web for calculating
the default modifier. Also, treat Perception as if it were one
dot closer than Willpower on the skill web for the same
purpose. Think of the Psychometry skill as an astral percep-
tion skill. This is not to be confused with the astral percep-
tion ability which simply allows you to perceive the astral
plane. The skill allows you interpret what you perceive on
the astral plane more clearly. I always refer to this skill as
Astral Perception, as the terms Psychometry and Aura
Reading are misnomers.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Ray Macey <nightrain@elf.bri snet.org.au>
Any character that has or gets access to the Astral Plane,
gets the Aura Reading skill free of charge at a rating equal
to their intelligence. From this point on it is a skill in all
regards that can be improved as any normal skill. It will
never be lower than the characters Intelligence Attribute
Rating though, so it will get a free upgrade if the character
increases his Intelligence, and the new Attribute Rating is
higher than the existing skill rating.
!
Conjuring
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 139-142
I feel it is necessary to involve a characters Magic Rat-
ing when it comes to using the Conjuring skill. When sum-
moning a spirit, the normal Drain rules apply if the Spirits
Force is equal to or less than your Magic Rating. If, how-
ever, you choose to summon a Spirit whos Force exceeds
your Magic Rating, the Drain Level is shifted up one step
(i.e. made worse by one step on the chart on p. 140 of
SRII).
Since it is possible to stage the Drain Level beyond the
limits of the table with this house rule, there is an additional
Drain Level of Light over Deadly Physical, meaning that you
suffer 11 boxes of Physical Damage.
This house rule does not apply to the summoning of
watchers.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Replace the word Charisma on the Conjuring Drain Ta-
ble by the word Magic. Note that Drain from conjuring is
still resisted with a Charisma test.
!
Essence Loss and Magic Loss
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 45, 115
If a magician loses a Magic Point due to Deadly wound
or for any other reason (e.g. summoning an Ally), I do not
allow 1 Essence worth of cyberware to be place into the
gap remaining. I interpret the rule on page 45 of SRII
regarding the value of a characters Magic Attribute relative
to his Essence as meaning that a characters Magic Attribute
is equal to 6 (6 Essence) Losses from other sources +
Initiate Grade. Remember that bioware subtracts from the
Magic Attribute as if it costs Essence, but without actually
costing Essence.
MAGIC
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
30

Foci
!
Focus Addiction
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: Awakenings p. 103
You will be happy to know that Focus Addiction does
not exist in my campaign. (Although, there may be a
cursed item that just wont let you put it down, how-
everbut thats not quite the same thing)
Also, keep in mind that constantly relying on foci will
earn you the reputation of being a poor mage not worth his
weight in compost. Additionally, lots of foci means lots of
temptation for the opposition to start grounding spells
through them and destroying the foci. Not to mention that
all mages have heard rumors about astral entities that are
drawn to powerful foci and quickenings, feeding off of
them, and leaving their victims in not-so-healthy conditions
afterwards. You have been warned.
!
Magical Items For Mundanes
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
It seems like every gaming system which involves
magic also includes various items which posses magical
energy but may be used by anybody. Except Shadowrun.
(Unless theyve come up with something new since Ive
purchased my last book which was back in the ice age.) I
speak of magical potions, weapons, jewelry, etc. which,
although once created by magical means, now operate
independent of their makers. For the most part I believe the
lack of items of this kind is a good thing. Nobody wants to
see every samurai trotting around the barrens with a Sword
of Satans Grandson, slicing through panzer engines like
they were margarine. But the occasional healing potion
would be nice. The following rules regarding these types of
magical items were created with the understanding that the
items would be very, very rare. I have not, as of yet, cre-
ated rules dealing with the actual construction of magical
items. For now assume they are beyond the ability of al-
most all magic users to create.
Power
The Power of an item is its most important rating. It de-
termines two things. A: How well the item will work, and
B: whether it will work at all (or activate). Both relate
strongly to the essence of the individual attempting to use
the item. Staying consistent with most rules regarding
magic, a magical item works best with someone who pos-
sesses a high essence. An individual with a lower rating is
less in touch with the latent energy of nature and may also
be less likely to have faith in its power. An individual with a
higher essence retains more of his or her connection with
the non manufactured world and, whether he knows it or
not, is better able to connect spiritually to the item in use. It
also comes down to a magician being as likely to sip a
healing potion as a samurai is to guzzle it.
An items effectiveness when used by an individual is
calculated using the following simple method. Make an
unresisted roll pitting the Essence of the user against a
target number of 10 the Power of the item. Even some-
body will no Essence still gets one die. In addition to its
power an item also has a base effect. One success means it
worked, each additional success multiplies the effect by
one. An example:

Joe Samurai has an essence rating of 5 and is shot up
pretty bad. He possesses a magical elixir with a power
rating of 6 and with little else to do but die, decides to
drink it down. He rolls his essence (5 dice) against a tar-
get of 4 (10-6) and scores two successes. The base ef-
fect of the elixir is the healing of two boxes. Since Joe
rolled two successes a total of four boxes are healed.

I realize these rules make an item of this type pretty
tame but it is probably best that way and keeps magical
crossbows out of the hands of every hard wired merc, sam,
etc. Another important thing to remember is that the rule of
ones still applies for these rolls. A healing potion in the
hands of an extreme cyber burn out may have an interest-
ing, and very unhealing, outcome.
In addition to the items power, various other ratings
may be needed, depending on the individual type of ob-
ject. For example, weapons may need a duration to see
how long they stay hot. The following item list shows a
few of the options. All powers may vary.
Healing Elixir
Duration: Instant
Each success heals two boxes of physical damage. (A
mental version is also available, its called a stim-patch.)
Magical Sword
Duration: One fight
Each success raises the damages Power Level by 1.
Talisman For Safety In Travel
Duration: One day
Each success adjusts the target number any action which
may directly harm the wearer 1 in the wearers favor. (I.E.
the target number for shooting at the wearer is raised by
one while the target of a crash test would be lowered by
one.) It would not lower the target number of an individual
who was simply driving in the snow because he or she is
not in immediate danger.
Rejection
When an individual fails the essence roll required to ac-
tivate a magical item it is said to be rejecting him. For
whatever reason the item does not want to work. With one
shot items like potions, tough luck, its gone and it aint
coming back. (And even if it did I wouldnt want to drink
it.) Other items, on the other hand, are still around but will
eventually get to the point that they will never work for the
person trying to use them. A player may only fail his activa-
tion roll a number of times equal to his essence rating. Even
people with no essence still get to try once. If the player
fails in this way the item will NEVER work for him or her. It
retains its original rating, however, and may be used by
MAGIC

31
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
somebody else. All the player has to do is activate the item
once in order for it to begin accepting him. It will, however,
receive a minus one to its rating for every attempt that was
made. This lowering of rating only applies to the individual
trying to use the item. The rating returns to normal if the
item ends up in somebody elses hands.
Acceptance
When an individual succeeds in the essence roll re-
quired to activate an item he grows closer to it and, in turn,
the item grows closer to its user and begins to resist use by
anyone else. When an individual succeeds in using an item
a number of times equal to 10 his Essence Rating the
personal rating of the item raises by one and the rating
for everyone else is lowered by one. If the rating had been
damaged by repetitive failures during the initial attempt at
activation this will cancel one of these out. The rating of an
item may only be increased by the essence rating of its
user. If this raises the Power above 10 the user gets one
additional success (not automatic success) per point of over
spill. The rating for someone elses use continues to fall
regardless of its users essence. Even if the items rating had
been lowered by failed usage attempts the rating still is
reduced starting from its original number. Once this rating
reaches zero it can NEVER be used by anyone but its owner.
If, however, the item is successfully activated by somebody
else before this rating reaches zero all the rating adjust-
ments are removed and the item returns to its original
state. It is a good idea to keep these things in a safe place.
Assensing
To the naked eye a magical item does not normally ap-
pear as anything incredibly special. Although they will oc-
casionally activate themselves (see Personality, below) it
usually requires an assensing to figure out exactly what it is.
Fortunately, this is pretty easy. The more powerful an item
is, the easier it is to assense. Since the magical energies
within the item is self contained and possesses no links to
astral space it is no easier to examine it from within astral
space than it is from the outside world. From astral space it
simply appears more real then the rest of the mundane
objects lying around it. In the real world the magician will
feel its power, and purpose, and nature. A talisman for
safety will feel comforting. A magical weapon will be feel
powerful. From this the magic user is able to deduce the
ratings for its Power, duration, effect, etc. Now, with the
knowledge of what he has, a player may go about attempt-
ing to activate the item. Although mechanically this follows
the rules stated above, roleplaying wise it depends much
on the items personality.
Personality
The personality of a magical item is probably its niftiest
aspect. Although potions tend to be pretty consistent in
their attitudes (drink me!) other items posses a wide vari-
ety of quirks and idiosyncrasies, probably reflecting the
personality of the person who created it. Some magical
weapons, for example, will not activate unless the situation
is desperate or if it is being used for some kind of noble
purpose. It would probably never activate simply to cut up
a pizza or some other idiot action. Most players would
eventually figure this out when it refuses to activate during
a bar brawl but shutters with power while hacking up an
abusing boyfriend. When a weapon refuses to activate in
this way, do not count it as an actual rejection. You can
give the player a subtle hint that his six successes dont
mean shit to a weapon which has been guided into the
head of a nun. Hell eventually catch on.
Personalities tend to come in two basic brands, Good
and Evil, although many straddle the line. Good items will
normally activate when they are being used to right a
wrong or protect its user. Evil items seem to help the user a
bit of them time, and be out to get him the rest. An evil
sword, for example, may slice through its target and then
continue to swing into one of its users friends. Although
good items dont get too extreme with their actions, evil
ones can get down right nasty. The ultimate evil item is a
cursed item.
Cursed Items
Cursed items are very similar to insect totems in the
way they conduct themselves. Although at first they appear
to assist the user, it is only part of their grand scheme to
eventually control him and bring about his destruction. The
gentlest of the cursed items simply dont want you to be
without them. A cursed Talisman for Safety In Travel, for
example, will keep the user safe while he or she is wearing
it but the instant it is removed all kinds of unsafe things
begin to occur.
Other cursed items, however, dont let you off that eas-
ily. Their actions involve reaching to goal of eventually
driving the user insane or into the grave. Magical weapons
will convince their user to kill for no reason, the old safety
talisman will turn its wearer into a paranoid, suicidal wreck.
Unlike good items, with most evil and all cursed items
as the power for the user increases, so does the items hold
on that user. Good items, although it would probably make
them sad, do not stop its user from simply throwing it
away. Once an individual uses a cursed item for the first
time it immediately begins to control him or her. In order to
break the items hold the user must succeed in an opposed
test pitting the users willpower against the items rating for
that user. They can only make this test once every time the
personal rating of the item increases (see Acceptance,
above). Another way to break the items hold is to take it
away for the user, which can prove to be quite hazardous
depending on the mood of the item and the user you took
it away from. The other way out is for the user is to die. If
any of the above occur successfully all ratings of the item
return to normal and it awaits its next victim.
Destruction
The physical destruction of a magical item is extremely
difficult. Although a good item which has lost a faithful user
will usually crumble into dust all by itself, most other types
are hard to get rid of. Steel items wont melt, leather items
wont burn, elixirs wont want to come out of their flasks,
etc. Also if an attempt at their destruction seems imminent
many have a strange way of getting lost on the way to
execution. The traditional methods of disposal seem to
revolve around some kind of burial, either in the ground or
at sea. Following such an action, however, the individual
MAGIC
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
32

who did the disposing is usually plagued by a long series of
life threatening occurrences. So far the most reliable way of
getting a magical item out of your hair is to return it to its
place of origin. This, in itself, can be a treacherous experi-
ence.
!
Spell Locks
Leszek Karlik <trrkt@friko.onet.pl >
Reference: SRII pp. 138, Grimoire II pp. 20-27, 44-45
Spell locks are not intangible to mundanes. They cost
15,000 and 1 Karma to bond, thus, they always have
Rating of 1. They can still be turned on or off. Note that the
spell lock provides a ritual link to the person that cast the
spell on it, and to the person that spend Karma on quicken-
ing the spell (Grimoire, pp. 44-45).
Note: with a small, half an hour ritual the lock may be
bonded to anyone, even mundane. He has to spend the
Karma, though, and if the person has no Magic attribute
than activating/deactivating the spell lock takes a Simple
Action and a Willpower (6) test.
Also, please note that spell-locks are not real foci,
have no First Bonding cost and can not serve as a ritual link
to their creator.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Spell locks are treated like all other foci when it comes
to their ability to be removed without needing to re-bond
them, being visible to mundanes, etc.
Also, since physical objects do not have auras, spell
locks cannot be bound to them. They only affect living be-
ings with auras. Also, a magician may enchant and fill a
spell lock, while allowing another magician to bond the lock
and use it.
However, the second magician must be present at the
time the spell is cast into the lock in order to bond it. If this
is done, then the lock is bonded to the second magician,
and all grounding attacks, ritual sorcery link usage, etc.
effects him, NOT the magician who cast the spell into it.
Also, this lock does NOT count against the number of spell
locks the casting magician may have bound at any one
time.

Once a spell is cast into a spell lock, it can no longer be
influenced by the caster or wearer of the lock. That spell will
always have the exact same effect when the spell lock is
activated (The area of effect will be the same as when the
spell was cast into the lock, and cannot be altered, etc.). All
the wearer can do is activate and deactivate the lock, or
unbond the lock, thus releasing the spell contained within it
into the astral plane (all of this assumes the wearer of the
lock is magically active and possesses a Sorcery skill. If the
wearer is a mundane or doesnt have a Sorcery skill, they
cannot do any of this. Once a spell lock is removed from its
wearer, it is automatically deactivated. Thus, if a mundane
removes a spell lock, it will deactivate and they will have to
have the lock reactivated by a magician).
Since a spell cannot be influenced by the wearer of the
lock, if a character has bonded a spell lock containing a
Barrier spell, the spell does NOT rebuild itself on the charac-
ters action. This is because the Barrier spell must be ac-
tively concentrated upon to be rebuilt. Since the spell can-
not be influenced by the person it is bonded to (the lock
maintains the spell, not the wearer of the lock), the lock
must be deactivated and reactivated in order for the Barrier
spell to refresh (this takes two Simple Actions, per the
standard rules).
The spell lock doesnt have the consciousness necessary
to refresh the Barrier spell on its own. In effect, what is
happening is that the spell is being recast by the lock when
it is reactivated. Of course, there is a split second in be-
tween when the lock is deactivated and reactivated in the
same combat phase. Thus, another character with a held
action may take his action before the lock is reactivated.

Some spells cannot be cast into spell locks. These would
be spells that require targeting or other input from the
caster in order to be cast. Some examples of spells that
cannot be locked are: Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Analyze
Device, Detect Individual, Analyze Truth, and Mind Probe.
This is by no means a complete list. Exactly which spells
cannot be locked is up to gamemaster discretion.
Spells that normally require targeting can be locked if
they are able to function if cast upon the wearer of the spell
lock and if they dont require any other input from the
caster. Some spells that fall into this category are: Treat,
Heal, Increase Attribute, Cure Disease, Antidote Toxin,
Armor, Invisibility, Silence, and Detect Life. This is not a
complete list, either. Again, gamemaster discretion will be
used to determine which spells fall into this category. Keep
in mind that these spells can be locked, but they only target
the wearer of the lock (or are centered upon the wearer of
the lock, as appropriate). Thus, a Treat spell would begin to
work its magic when the spell lock is turned on, but it
automatically Treats the wearer of the lock and cannot Treat
anyone else.
Also, keep in mind that if the wearer of a spell lock (or
any other focus) dies, it unbonds from them (they have no
aura to remain bonded to, after all). So, you better hope
that Treat spell finishes its handiwork before you bleed to
death, or it wont be worth much to you.
!
Spell Locks and Exclusive Spells
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 133, 138
If an exclusive spell is placed into a Spell Lock, then be-
cause the focus takes over the task of sustaining the spell,
the caster is no longer burdened with the Exclusive modi-
fier.
MAGIC

33
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Initiation & Metamagic
!
Centering
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII p. 81-83, Grimoire II pp. 42-44
If you have a good justification for an otherwise useful
skill being helpful for Centering-such as using your Martial
Arts skill to perform kata before attacking or your Magic
Theory skill to review the principles of the spell before cast-
ing it- you must perform a Complex Action Centering be-
fore you perform the action youre Centering for, instead of
taking a Free Action at the same time. (As it is, many Cen-
tering skills cant practically be performed in a Free Action-
you chant one word in your arcane language, and thats a
point of initiative!)
!
Centering vs. Penalties Against Shielding
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: Grimoire II pp. 44-45
I allow Centering vs. Penalties to be used against an op-
ponents Shielding.
!
Gradual Initiation
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: Grimoire II pp. 38-41, Shadowrun
Companion pp. 80-81
Initiation occurs gradually. Youre not going to under-
stand the vast majority of the superior magical forces that
exist in the mortal realm of Earth by simply dumping a
chunk of karma into the astral plane.
There is no such thing as a Grade 0 Initiate. Your first ini-
tiation brings you to Grade 1. The karma costs to initiate are
the same as they would be for the equivalent grade in the
normal rules. Dont go jumping for joy because of the
karma discount of not having to initiate to Grade 0 just yet.
You only get 2 Metamagical abilities for every grade of
initiation you attain. Furthermore, in order to obtain a
metamagical ability, you must first understand any simpler
versions of the ability. For example, before you can learn
Reflective Shielding, you must first know Shielding.
Also, you cannot obtain both of these in the same initia-
tion. You must have the simpler metamagical ability at least
one grade prior to obtaining its more complex counterpart.
Also, when obtaining a new metamagical ability, it is
treated as a Grade 1 ability, regardless of your current Initi-
ate Grade. Thus, if you choose to pick up Shielding upon
initiating to Grade 3, you are a Grade 3 Initiate now, but
your new Shielding ability is used as if you were a Grade 1
Initiate.
All metamagical abilities increase 1 Grade level for every
level you Initiate after obtaining them. Thus, upon Initiating
to Grade 4, you would gain a new metamagical ability as if
it were at Grade 1 in level, and your Shielding would now
function as if you were a Grade 2 Initiate. All of your previ-
ously learned metamagical abilities would also increase by
1 Grade level in power. This will allow for a lot of flexibility
within the ranks of the Initiated.

In order to even begin to understand the realm of
metamagic and initiation, you must have an instructor who
is qualified to introduce you to it. These are not easy to
come by, and those who covet their power will not pass
their wisdom on often or for free. Also, many of the quali-
fied teachers will refuse to teach a student whom they feel
just isnt ready to experience the great arts of metamagic.
Once a student is ready to learn the basics of the realm
of Metamagic and Initiation, they must make an Intelligence
test versus a target number of 6 to determine how long
they must spend with an instructor before the realm is re-
vealed to them. The base time for this test is 10 days. At
the end of this time, the student is a Grade 1 Initiate and
may choose a single metamagical ability. However, the
student does NOT know how to utilize the ability yet.
For every new metamagical ability obtained, you must
find an instructor who will teach you how to use the ability,
before utilizing it at all. The amount of time you must spend
with an instructor is a base of 10 days (standard game days
= 4 hours). This time can be reduced by making a successful
Intelligence test with a target number of 6.

Yes, this does mean that the high end of the amount of
time you must spend with an instructor in order to initiate
the first time around and understand your newfound
metamagical ability will be 20 days. I hope you have some
nuyen saved up.
ALTERNATIVES
! By The Book
Reference: Shadowrun Companion pp. 80-81
The Shadowrun Companion features a revised initiation
rule similar to the above, but not as extensive in its modifi-
cations of the standard rules from the Grimoire II. It basi-
cally gives one metamagical ability per initiation grade.
! Alternative One
An article in NERPS: ShadowLore modifies initiations in
a similar way to the two mentioned above.
!
Masking
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: Grimoire II p. 46
An initiates masking ability also applies to spell Force
points as well as foci points i.e. a magician may mask spells
whose total Force points are equal to or less than the magi-
cians initiate grade. These spell Force points are cumulative
with any foci points when calculating the total foci/spells
the magician can mask.
MAGIC
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
34

!
Physical Adepts
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: Grimoire II pp. 38-41
Physical adepts have full access to the following meta-
magical skills: Centering and Masking (piercing Masking
requires the Astral Perception ability). They also have lim-
ited access to Shielding. Physical Adepts do not have a
Magic Pool, thus they only receive a number of dice toward
Shielding equal to their Initiate Grade. Physical Adepts have
no control of their Shielding abilities, thus once turned on
via Initiation, their Shielding is always active. The time for
learning how to use Shielding still applies, but it is treated
as an attuning process, rather than a learning experience. In
order for Shielding to function at all, it must first be attuned.
!
Magical Misfires
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: Shadowrun Companion p. 101
The basics of this rule are taken from the Shadowrun
Companion. Basically, a magical misfire has a chance of
occurring when the number of 1s rolled on a magical suc-
cess test EXCEED the rating of the skill being used or the
base force of the spell being cast (whichever is appropriate).
Keep in mind that this includes ALL dice from Magic
Pool, Fetishes, Foci, Exclusivity, and Totem Modifiers. If this
happens, a skill test needs to be made versus a base target
number of 6. Make this test with the appropriate magical
skill (Sorcery if casting a spell, Conjuring if summoning a
spirit, etc.).
A character may use a Concentration or Specialization if
appropriate to the task being performed. Any successes
generated from this test offset one 1 rolled in the spell
success test roll, but they do NOT allow that die to be re-
rolled or scored as a success that die is still a failure, just
not a 1.
An Initiate may add a number of dice equal to his Initi-
ate Grade to augment this test. If, after the Sorcery test is
made, you still have a number of 1s from the spell success
test that exceed the base force of the spell, a misfire occurs.
Use the rules regarding failing the Willpower test when
distracted while extended casting earlier in this document
to determine the outcome. You cannot attempt to use a
Sorcery test to offset any 1s rolled in the case of a botch. As
always, botches can only be avoided through the proper
use of karma.

If the number of 1s rolled is EQUAL to the skill being
used or the base force of the spell being cast, then some
odd effect will occur, but the basic intention will be kept.
For example, if casting a spell, the spell will still go off and
will still strike the desired target, but it may not be quite as
effective as it would have been normally. Or perhaps the
spirit being conjured will be more resistant to your influ-
ence, thereby reducing the amount of services you can earn
from it. The effect of this is entirely up to the gamemasters
discretion.

The magical misfire rules are not being implemented in
order to treat magic as a completely random and chaotic
force. However, when trying to shove too much energy
into the framework of a spell not designed to handle more
than a small amount of excess energy, you are asking for
trouble.
Magical Traditions
!
Magical Ability Breakdown
Steve Kenson <talonmail@aol .com>
Reference: SRII pp. 116-125, Grimoire II pp.8-17, 28-
34, Awakenings pp. 104-131, Shadowrun
Companion pp. 20-21, 32-33
These are the options for magical ability that I use with
the Build-Point System presented in the Shadowrun Com-
panion. People will recognize some of these levels of abil-
ity as Magical Edges from the Edges & Flaws section and it
might help to clarify how those Edges & Flaws were in-
tended (by me, at least) to work.
General Rules
All characters with any kind of magical ability (i.e., any-
one who has spent more than 0 Build Points on magical
ability) have a Magic Attribute, which begins at 6. These
characters are collectively known as Talented or Gifted.
(Magician is used in my campaigns as a generic term for
Talented characters with the highest level of magical abil-
ity.) All Talented characters are subject to the rules govern-
ing the Magic Attribute, including loss due to Essence Loss
and Deadly Wounds. Such characters are also all subject to
the geasa rules due to Magic loss.
All Talented characters must follow a tradition (although
they may not always KNOWINGLY do so). The tradition is
chosen at character creation and may not be changed.
Magician (20 Points)
This level gives the character access to full use all of the
magical skills and abilities of his chosen tradition. Generally
this will be either Hermetic (mage) or Shamanic (shaman),
but there are other traditions available to offer slightly dif-
ferent abilities, such as Nature Magic, Voudoun and so
forth.
Adept (15 Points)
At this level, the character has access to ONE significant
area of magical ability from his chosen tradition. This could
be full use of a single magical skill or partial use of all skills
and abilities. Adepts can bond or use foci that are applica-
ble to their magical skills and abilities. The character can
choose ONE of the following options:

Conjuring Adept: The character can make full use of the
Conjuring skill, but is considered mundane for other magical
skills or abilities, this includes applications of Conjuring that
require Astral Perception or Projection (including metam-
MAGIC

35
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
agic). The character can bond or use foci that are applicable
to the Conjuring skill.
Elemental Adept: This option is only open to mages.
The character is aligned with one of the four hermetic
elements: Earth, Air, Fire or Water. The character can use
the Sorcery skill to cast spells aligned to that element and
Conjuring to summon spirits aligned with that element as
well as watchers. The adept can astrally perceive and pro-
ject. For all other uses of magical skill, the adept is consid-
ered a mundane.
Physical Adept: The adept grounds all of his magical
ability into his body. He may buy physical adept powers
using his Magic Rating, but is considered a mundane for the
use of all magical skills. Physical adepts cannot astral per-
ceive unless they purchase the power that allows them to
do so.
Shamanic Adept: This option is only open to shamans.
The adept can use Sorcery to cast spells for which their
totem grants a bonus and Conjuring to summon spirits for
which the totem grants a bonus. The adept can also astrally
perceive and project. For all other uses of magical skill, the
adept is considered a mundane. Shamanic adepts are only
available for those totems which provide bonuses based on
Spell Category of Spirit Type, not totems that have bonuses
based on things such as time of day (such as Owl) or no
bonuses (such as Coyote).
Sorcery Adept: The character can make full use of the
Sorcery skill, but is considered mundane for other magical
skills or abilities, this includes applications of Sorcery that
require Astral Perception (including metamagic).
Minor Adept (Cost Varies)
At this level, the character has PARTIAL access to the
use of a magical skill or ability or full use of a fairly limited
skill or ability. Minor adepts can bond and use foci that
affect their areas of skill and ability.

Astral Adept (5 points): The character can make use of
astral perception and projection, but is considered a mun-
dane for the use of all magical skills.
Astral Sight Adept (3 points): The adept can use astral
perception, but not astral projection. For the use of magical
skills, the adept is considered a mundane. Note this still
means that the adept can learn the specialization of Sorcery
for astral combat, since even mundanes can do so (see
Awakenings).
Banishing Adept (5 points): The adept can use the
Conjuring skill to attempt to banish any type of spirit. For all
other uses of magical skill and ability, the adept is consid-
ered a mundane. He cannot control spirits, only banish
them. The adept does gain a totem bonus, if shamanic, for
banishing the appropriate kind of spirit.
Enchanting Adept (5 points): The adept can make full
use of the Enchanting skill. For all other magical skills and
abilities, the adept is considered a mundane.
Negamagic Adept (5 points): The adept can use the
Sorcery skill to provide Spell Defense. The number of dice
that the adept may allocate to spell defense is limited to no
more than the adepts Magic Attribute. The adept does not
gain the use of Shielding or any other metamagical abilities
on Initiation, only increased Magic and the ability to allo-
cate more dice to spell defense per turn that comes with it.
For all other magical skills and abilities, including other uses
of the Sorcery skill, the adept is considered a mundane.
Spell Adept (varies): The adept can use the Sorcery skill
to cast a single spell. If the spell is eligible to be cast using
Ritual Sorcery, the adept can do this as well. The adept can
also provide Spell Defense against the spell he can cast, but
not from any others. For all other magical skills and abilities,
including other uses of the Sorcery skill, the adept is con-
sidered a mundane. He cannot learn or use any other spells.
The cost is based on the type of spell known: Combat (4
points), Detection (2 points), Health (3 points), Illusion (3
points) or Manipulation (4 points). The gamemaster may
adjust the cost if the spell is considered especially flexible
or weak. The spell is automatically known at a Force equal
to the adepts starting Magic Rating and can be increased
normally by spending Karma.
Spirit Adept (varies): The adept can use the Conjuring
skill to summon a single type of spirit: a specific elemental
or nature spirit or a watcher spirit. The adept follows the
normal rules for conjuring the spirit, but cannot have more
than one spirit summoned or bound at a time. The adept
may also attempt to banish or control spirits of the type he
can summon. For all other magical skills and abilities, in-
cluding other uses of the Conjuring skill, the adept is con-
sidered a mundane. The cost is based on the type of spirit
the adept can summon: elemental or nature spirit (5
points), or watcher (3 points).

Gamemasters may have to keep an eye on minor adepts
to keep them from becoming a problem, given their low
point cost. Generally speaking, the Magic Attribute limita-
tion keeps most character concepts from abusing the op-
tion; its not worth it for a heavily cybered character to
spend 5 points for Negamagic or Banishing ability if his
Magic Attribute is going to be too low to make much use
of it.
Minor adepts (like all of the Talented) have to carefully
balance the benefits of cyberware and implants with main-
taining their minor magical ability. Many of them decide its
not worth it to maintain a magical lifestyle and go the full
cyber-route, burning out and becoming mundanes. In fact,
some cyber characters might have had a minor adept ability
once and just never knew about it before they had stuffed
themselves so full of metal and cultured tissue that their
Power went poof.
Physical Adepts
!
Extra Abilities
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII p. 124
For every 1 point of Magic Rating a physical adept
spends on powers, he gains an additional 0.25 points in
bonus powers. However, a physical adept may only have a
number of points in powers equal to his Magic Rating ac-
tive (or immediately available to activate) at any given time.
The physical adept has the option of exchanging active
powers for other powers he has access to through medita-
MAGIC
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
36

tion. In order to exchange any powers, the physical adept
must meditate for a number of consecutive hours equal to
his Magic Rating divided by 2. At the end of this time, all
powers will have been exchanged as desired and are avail-
able to the physical adept as per the normal rules. If the
physical adept is disturbed during meditation, the process
is aborted and the powers will remain as they were before
the meditation began. The physical adept has the option of
making only a portion of a power active if the power is
available to be reduced (i.e. could have been purchased
at a lower level). If he chooses to do so, he must do this in
increments equal to one whole level of the power (i.e.
powers bought in increments of .5 points by must be
utilized in increments of .5 points). Also, a physical adept
cannot utilize a power at any higher level of ability than he
has purchased with his Magic Rating. Thus, a physical
adept who has purchased Increased Reflexes at level 2
can utilize this power at level 2 or level 1, but not at level
3. The physical adept may choose to adjust his powers
through meditation as often as he likes. The powers remain
in their current state until the physical adept successfully
meditates and changes them. The meditation that physical
adepts utilize to adjust their powers is an ability available
only to physical adepts, and is not a learned skill. It is
treated as an ability that all physical adepts inherently know
how to do. The reallocation of powers does not require a
success test of any kind. This special meditation ability can-
not be used as a Centering skill. However, if the physical
adept learns another form of meditation, he may utilize it in
conjunction with his special meditation ability to obtain
both goals at once.
!
ALTERNATIVE
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
I allow Priority A physical adepts, which have 1.5 points
to spend on abilities per point of Magic.
!
More Powerful Physical Adepts
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII p. 124, Awakenings pp. 110-119
Physical adepts got creamed in Second Edition. Thus far,
we have a few adjustments:
The power of Increased Reflexes became considerably
less useful and considerably more expensive. It doesnt
make sense that someone with increased reflexes would
have no extra dice to roll in situations that demand a pure
Reaction roll, so we added some Reaction bonuses. We also
made the cost triangular with level, rather than going 1, 4,
6. (In first edition, the costs went 1, 2, 4, 8.)

Level Cost Bonus
1 1 +1 Reaction, +1D6 Initiative
2 3 +2 Reaction, +2D6 Initiative
3 6 +3 Reaction, +3D6 Initiative
4 10 +4 Reaction, +4D6 Initiative

Whenever you have a power that increases your stats
and something else you do (buying a different power, in-
creasing the stat through spending karma on it) moves the
power into a different category, you need to pay the extra
magic points. Getting to the same point by different routes
should cost the same amount.

Thrash, a human physical adept, starts out with
Quickness 4, Intelligence 4, Increased Reflexes 1, and
Increased Reaction 1. This moves his calculated Reaction
to 6. 10 points of Good Karma later, he has upped his
Quickness and Intelligence to 5 each. He hasnt paid
enough for his Increased Reaction to bring it above hu-
man maximum, so his calculated Reaction remains 6 un-
til he has a chance to Initiate and spend half a magic
point to bring his Increased Reaction to a superhuman
boost.

The powers in Awakenings occasionally have two dif-
ferent values. These are the ones weve settled on.

Power Cost Notes
Magic Sense 1 Can be expanded to Astral Per-
ception with Initiation.
Delay Damage 2.5
Quick Draw .5 For drawing anything of Conceal-
ability 3+ from a proper hol-
ster/sheath
Quick Draw 1 Allows quickdrawing of anything
Sixth Sense 3

The Magic Resistance power gives access to initiate-
style Shielding if the physical adept is an Initiate. (Thus, you
get Shielding dice equal to the number of levels of Magic
Resistance plus your Initiate grade.)
Shattering Blow makes the Unarmed Combat test
against a default target number of 4, rather than the Barrier
Rating. (Follow the example in Awakenings, not the rule
wording.) Having superior Reach on the wall does not
lower the target number.
!
Newly-Created Physical Adept Characters
Lucifer <lucifer@mci2000.com>
Reference: SRII p. 124, Grimoire II pp. 38-41
Since physical adepts get such a sucky deal as begin-
ning characters, we start them out as initiate level 0 to help
give them a little boost.
Physical Adept Powers
!
Improved Ability
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 125
I allow the purchase of Improved Ability dice up to the
Rating of any applicable Concentration or Specialization.
However, the number of dice that may be added to any roll
will be equal to the currently used skill rating.

MAGIC

37
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Nick the Knifeman, who is a Physical Adept, has a
Thrown Weapons skill breakdown like so:
Thrown Weapons 4
Non-Aerodynamic 6
Thrown Knife 8

Nick wants to get even better at throwing his knives,
so he decides to purchase some additional dice using
his Physical Adept power. He maxes out and buys 8.
The number of dice he could add to any Thrown Weap-
ons Test would be equal to the skill/concentration/spe-
cialization that was applicable at the time. For example,
he would be able to use all 8 when throwing knives, 6
when throwing grenades (non-aerodynamic) and only 4
of the 8 when throwing shafted thrown weapons.
!
Increased Reflexes
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 126
The Increased Reflexes power has the following costs:

Level Cost
1 1.0
2 3.5
3 5.5
Spellcasting
!
Aiming Spells
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 87-92, 128-132
Damaging Manipulation spells may be aimed per the
standard rules for ranged attacks. In order to aim any other
type of spell, you must first have the spell held via the
Holding Spells rules on page 37. You may NOT call a shot
with a spell, regardless of its category.
!
Drain
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
Reference: SRII p. 129, 132, Grimoire II pp. 119-123
Use the base Force rating when calculating drain, not
F2. This keeps the spelltossers under control.
!
Drain for Sustained Spells
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 128, 132, Grimoire II p. 44
Shadowrun is a little unclear about when drain for sus-
tained spells is to be resisted. I run it that the drain for sus-
tained spells is taken immediately upon casting, which
means that for some really hefty sustained spells, the caster
may pass out before any noticeable effect takes place. This
view is implied on p. 44 of the Grimything II (thanks for the
research Mark Steedman!).
!
Elemental Effects
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 127, Grimoire II pp. 112-114
Only Damaging Manipulations may possess elemental
effects. Therefore, any combat spells that possess elemental
effects are now Damaging Manipulations (and therefore, no
longer combat spells). The Drain Code for these spells re-
main the same, but they are now cast following the rules for
Damaging Manipulation spells.
!
Extended Spellcasting
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 129-132
Any spell can be cast over a longer period of time in an
attempt to reduce the effects of Drain on the caster. For
every extra Complex Action spent on casting a spell, the
Drain target number is reduced by 1. The Drain target num-
ber can never fall below one-half the original Drain target
number (as always, round bad).
The success and Drain Resistance tests are both made
during the same action that the spell is released. In the case
of Ritual Magic, the ritual must be extended for one hour in
order to reduce the Drain target number by 1. The reduc-
tion to the Drain target number applies to all magicians
involved in the ritual.
If the caster is distracted while casting the spell, he must
make a Willpower (2) test to see if he can continue with the
casting, or if the spell is going to do something nasty.
Wound modifiers apply to this test. If he succeeds, then he
can continue casting as he was before the incident. If he
fails, however, something might just go boom! Roll 1D6.
On a 4-6, the spell energies dissipate into astral space cre-
ating a Background Count of 1 for a number of hours equal
to the effective force of the spell. The area effected is a
circle whose radius is equal to the Magic Rating of the
caster. On a 1-3, somethings gonna blow. Roll another
1D6. On a 1-3, its the caster. Resist the spell as if he was
its intended target. On a 4-6, he gets lucky and the spell
targets a nearby object (if its a physical spell); or a random
person within LOS of the caster (if its a mana spell).
!
Grounding
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 149-150, Grimoire II pp. 44-45,
47-50
Quickenings cannot be ground through, nor can sus-
tained or held spells. Anchorings, however CAN be
grounded through at all times, even when not active. Note
that it is actually somewhat easier to ground through an
anchoring while it is inactive.
MAGIC
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
38

!
Holding Spells
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 128-132
Have you ever wondered how Sally Tsung managed to
make her hand glow with magical energy on the cover of
the Shadowrun rulebook? Well, heres how. The caster
declares the force at which he is casting the spell. He then
calls forth the energy from the astral plane as normal, but
instead of sending the spell at a target, he holds the spell
energy in a state in which it is aligned with his own aura.
This requires a Complex Action. While the energy is in
this state, it has a physical echo resembling its basic nature.
For example, this may be some small flames in the case of a
fire spell, or some crackling bits of electricity in the case of a
lightning spell. This echo appears in the area of the aura
surrounding the casters hand, or it can alternatively appear
on the tip of a staff, the blade of a sword, etc.
While in this state, the energy will not harm anyone or
anything if touched. After all, it is just an echo of the real
spell, which is on the astral plane. After the spell has been
called forth to this point, the caster makes a Drain Resis-
tance test as per the normal rules. (This test is made during
the same complex action that the spell is called into being.)
Then, make a Willpower test as per the rules for sustaining
a spell to determine the universal target number modifier
acquired while holding the spell.
Whenever the caster is able, he may target the spell as
per the normal rules and let it fly with a simple action. Dur-
ing this Simple Action, make the Spell Success Test. Yes,
this does mean that he can apply more dice toward the
power of the spell than he would have been able to if cast-
ing the spell entirely within one Complex Action. However,
keep in mind that any target number modifiers resulting
from Drain taken during the casting of the spell apply to
this test and that a magical misfire is more likely to occur
(more on magical misfires on page xx). The universal target
number for holding the spell does not apply to this test.

A magician may hold up to 2 spells at any one time
(one in each hand). However, when casting the second
spell (i.e. calling the energies from the astral plane and
forming them into the spell), the universal target number
modifier acquired from the casting of the first spell applies
to the Drain Resistance test.
The caster is now holding 2 spells. Now, heres where
things get fun. He now has 2 options. He may target them
one at a time, each taking a simple action. When doing so,
dont forget to add in the universal Drain target number
modifier acquired from holding the OTHER spell.
Then, he would release the remaining spell as normal
(taking a Simple Action; universal target number modifier
not applied). However, if he targets 2 different individu-
als/objects with these spell, incorporate the modifier for
multiple targets (+2).
Alternatively, he could let fly with both spells at once!
This takes only a single simple action, but apply the using a
second firearm modifier (+2) to both success tests. If the
caster lets fly with both spells at once AND targets 2 differ-
ent individuals/objects, also apply the multiple targets
modifier (+2) to both tests. It may be hard to do, but boy
does it make an impression!

But wait, it gets better. If the caster is wounded or oth-
erwise distracted while holding a spell, he must make a
Willpower (2) test to retain control over the spell. Wound
modifiers DO apply to this test.
Also, if holding 2 spells, apply the universal Drain target
number increase for the FIRST spell to the test to retain hold
of the SECOND spell, and vice versa. If the caster loses
control of a held spell, he must resist the spell as if it were
cast at him without any Magic Pool dice allocated to its
success test. (This is because the spell, after all, is currently
aligned to his aura.) If he takes any damage from this test,
he is distracted again and must then make a Willpower (2)
test to retain control of the second held spell (if he was
holding a second spell).
If the Magician is unfortunate enough to be holding 2
spells when distracted and fail both Willpower tests to re-
tain control over them, hes in a world of hurt. He must
then resist both spells. (Ouch!) Resist each spell individu-
ally. I hope you have a current DocWagon contract.
!
Last-Ditch Spellcasting
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 128-132, Shadowrun Companion
p. 80
Otherwise known as Oh shit! spell casting, last ditch
spell casting is when a mage who is in dire straits decides
he must do something spectacular, or he will meet certain
death. (Being surrounded by half a dozen true form insect
spirits after your teammates have been slaughtered whole-
sale, for examplenot that I would ever put my characters
in such a predicament) ;)
In such an instance, the player may declare that he is
making a last ditch effort to save himself or accomplish the
goal of killing whatever is going to kill him, or whatever.
There are house rules for how this works, but if I told you
what they were, I would be forced to kill you. ;)
Basically, suffice it to say that if you ever decide to do
this, do NOT make this decision lightly. What you will in
effect be doing is grabbing whatever mana you can get
your hands on (figuratively speaking, of course) in the area
and rapidly shoving it into a spell you are casting. This is
likely to produce some profound effects, and if any of your
teammates are alive and anywhere near you, they will not
be very happy with you.
Also, you stand a good chance of buying the farm in the
process. The chances of surviving the experience are de-
termined randomly. That way, you are in the hands of the
universe, so dont blame the gamemaster if, by declaring
you are going to do this, you grab a ton of mana and force
it through that sorry excuse of a mortal body and die.

Last ditch spell casting has been implemented to add a
more cinematic feel to high threat situations for mages, as
well as to give the mage involved a chance to go out with
a bang. If you are really lucky, you may even survive the
experience-but dont count on it. For those of you who
have read the Secrets of Power trilogy, this is what Hart did
when she was overrun with insect spirits, and it came very
close to killing her. The Hand of God rule (Shadowrun
Companion, p. 80) CANNOT be used in conjunction with
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last ditch spell casting. (Betcha didnt think I was gonna
catch that one, huh?)
!
Learning New Spells
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 124, 132-133
On page 124 of SRII, under the heading Hermetic Li-
braries, it says: A magical theory library is required to learn
new spells (see Learning A New Spell, p. 132).
Then on page 132, the rules say, under the heading
Learning A New Spell: The mage needs peace and quiet
and a sorcery library with a rating at least equal to the Spell
Force.

I have decided that since learning a new spell is a sor-
cerous activity, then the rule on page 132 is correct.

In addition, I allow spells to be upgraded in Force. Ac-
cording to the Shadowrun rules, to learn a spell that a
magician already knows at a low level at a higher level, the
magician must pay Karma equal to the new Force at which
the spell is to be learned. To me this seems a little silly, for
if the character already knows the spell at a lower Force,
then less effort (Karma) will be required to learn the spell at
a higher Force. Thus I allow characters to pay the difference
between the old Force and the new Force in Karma if they
are re-learning a spell that they already know. This makes
upgrading spells a viable and attractive option. The target
number for re-learning the spell is the same as by the rules,
however (twice the desired Force), as are the costs to be
paid to the teacher.
!
Noticing Spellcasting
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII p. 131
In my opinion, it is entirely too easy to notice spellcast-
ing with the rules as they are.
In order to notice spellcasting, the subject makes a Per-
ception test versus a target number equal to the difference
between the force of the spell being cast, and the Magic
Rating of the caster, multiplied by 3 (not 2). If the force of
the spell is equal to the casters Magic Rating, the target
number for the Perception test is 3.
If the force of the spell is greater than the casters Magic
Rating, subtract 1 from the target number of the Perception
test for every point of force above the Magic Rating of the
caster.

A Force 8 Mana Bolt (ouch) cast by a magician with a
Magic Rating of 6 (he must be in a bad situation), would
require a successful Perception test versus a target
number of 1.

Keep in mind that situational modifiers apply to this
test, and that the end result can be no lower than a target
number of 2. One or two successes indicate that you notice
the shimmer of the spell as it travels across the astral plane.
Three or more successes allows the subject to notice who
actually cast the spell.
Obviously, Damaging Manipulation spells are automati-
cally noticed by all but the most distracted of individuals.
Regardless of the force of the spell or the Magic Rating of
the caster, the viewer need only to make a Perception (2)
test to notice who cast the spell. Only one success is neces-
sary in this case. If astrally perceiving while someone else is
casting a spell, you automatically notice who cast the spell
(its obvious), unless, of course, if you are distracted and not
paying attention to that portion of astral space which
could happen if you have your own problems to deal with
at the moment
!
Reducing Area of Effect
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 130, 138
A magician may reduce the base radius of the area of ef-
fect of a spell by 1 meter for every die (not every 2 dice)
withheld from the Spell Success Test. Thus, increasing and
decreasing the area of effect of a spell is equally difficult.
Initiates have greater flexibility than non-initiates when it
comes to the area of effect of their spells. Upon casting a
spell, the initiate must declare what his effective Magic
Rating is for determining the area the spell will effect. He
may choose his effective Magic Rating to be any number
within the range of his base Magic Rating and his Initiated
Magic Rating. This in no way alters the Initiates actual
Magic Rating.
This is only used to determine the area of effect of the
spell being cast at the time.

Jane is a Grade 3 Initiate. Her base Magic Rating is 6,
because she has no cyber or bioware. Her total Magic
Rating is 9 (her base Magic Rating plus her Initiate
Grade).
When casting an area of effect spell, Jane can choose
what her effective Magic Rating is. It can be either 6, 7,
8, or 9. The area of effect of the spell being cast is then
based off her effective Magic Rating for casting that
spell.
If Jane wishes to reduce the spells area of effect be-
low that of what a Magic Rating 6 would allow, she
must withhold dice as per the normal rules. The same
applies if she wished to increase the area of effect be-
yond that of which a Magic Rating of 9 would allow.

Power Foci add to the Magicians Magic Rating AFTER
he declares what his effective Magic Rating is for this spell
at this time.

Thus, if Jane determined that her effective Magic Rat-
ing was 9, but she also had a Rating 2 Power Focus, her
effective Magic Rating is figured as if it were an 11. Jane
has no control over the area of effect increase incurred
from a additional Magic Rating provided by a Power Fo-
cus. As long as the focus is turned on, her effective
Magic Rating will be increased by the Rating of the Fo-
cus.
MAGIC
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
40

!
Ritual Sorcery and Damaging Manipulation Spells
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 133
Shadowrun makes special note that the only spells that
cannot be cast by Ritual Sorcery are combat spells. How-
ever, it seems to have been neglected that Damaging Ma-
nipulation spells require that a physical component travel
from the caster to the target, which is something extraordi-
narily difficult to do when one is casting ritual sorcery half-
way around the globe. Thus I do not allow the casting of
Damaging Manipulation spells by Ritual Sorcery either.
!
Spell Defense Across Planes
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 132
I allow an astrally projecting magician to provide Spell
Defense to someone on the physical plane so long as they
are within the projecting magicians Line of Sight (LOS).
Likewise, an astrally perceiving magician can provide Spell
Defense to anyone in either the astral or physical planes
that he has LOS to.
!
Spell Resistance Tests
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 127-132
ALL spells normally allowed a spell resistance test are
resisted as if they were ranged attacks. By the standard
rules, only Damaging Manipulation spells are resisted in this
fashion.
!
Spell Signatures
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: Awakenings pp. 97-99
Spell signatures are not treated as physical manifesta-
tions that can identify the mage casting a spell. A spell
signature is treated like an astral fingerprint. Upon studying
the energies of a spell, or the residual energies of a spell
that was cast recently, anyone with a Magical Theory skill
and astral perception can identify the signature of the spell.
The base target number for the Magical Theory test is 4.
One or two successes will determine the type of magic
being wielded (Hermetic, Shamanic, Voudoun, etc.). Three
or more successes will reveal the spell signature. An Intelli-
gence test may be required to recall the exact signature
pattern at a later time, however.
Spells leave a residual presence on the astral plane for
an amount of time figured as follows: Tally the total number
of dice used to cast the spell, regardless of the source (in-
cluding Totem modifiers, foci, magic pool, etc.). Each die is
worth 15 minutes of time.
Extremely powerful spells and special circumstances will
alter this duration. Spells cast through Ritual Sorcery leave a
signature at the point of spell manifestation. However, the
signatures of ALL spell casters involved in the ritual are left
in the same location.
A Magical Theory test with a base target number of 4
will determine the number of signatures present. This test
requires only one success. After determining the number of
signatures present, a Magical Theory test with a base target
number of 4 must be made for each signature (requiring 3
successes to grasp the specific signature). This is the same
test as mentioned earlier in this section. Because the dura-
tion of the residual energies on the astral plane is longer
when more dice are involved in casting the spell, spells cast
via Ritual Sorcery tend to leave their presence longer than
LOS spell casting.
!
Starting Spells With Force Modifiers
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 133
I allow starting characters to choose spells with Forces
over 6 if and only if they do so by the use of Force Modify-
ing restrictions (i.e. Fetish required spells and Exclusive
spells). Yes, you can have that Force 10 Fireball, but only if
its Exclusive and expendable Fetish required.
!
Sustained Damaging Manipulation Spells
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: Grimoire II pp. 49, 118, 121, 122
The Grimything is very unclear (and contradicts itself on
5 occasions) on whether Sustained Damaging Manipulation
spells are possible or not. I have decided that they are not,
unless the Damaging Manipulation is some sort of sustained
barrier or has trap-like effects. Sorry, no sustained Fire Bomb
spells.
!
Sustaining Spells
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 129-132
The universal target number modifier while sustaining
spells varies. The base universal target number is 3, not 2.
However, this can be reduced by a strong-willed magician.
To determine the actual target number increase, make a
Willpower test versus a target number equal to the total
number of dice used to power the spell divided by 2. (This
includes ALL dice from Magic Pool, fetishes, foci, exclusiv-
ity, and totem modifiers.) Reduce the target number of this
test by 1 for every level of Initiate Grade the caster pos-
sesses. For each success generated, reduce the universal
target number modifier by 1. The universal target number
modifier can never be reduced below 1.
The number of spells that can be sustained at one time
is limited only by the casters skill and strength of will. If
wounded or otherwise distracted while sustaining a spell,
the caster must make a Willpower (2) test to retain control
and continue to sustain the spell. If he succeeds, he retains
control of the spell and nothing changes. If he fails, how-
ever, the spell energy dissipates into astral space creating a
Background Count of 1 for a number of hours equal to the
effective force of the spell. The area effected is a circle
whos radius is equal to the Magic Rating of the caster.

MAGIC

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Also, it doesnt always make sense to apply a Sustaining
Spell (or Concentration) modifier to ALL success tests made
by the sustaining magician. Such an instance would be
when making success tests directly related to the spell
being sustained. For example, while sustaining Increased
Intelligence +4, you shouldnt apply the universal target
number modifier for sustaining the spell when making Intel-
ligence or Perception Tests. Another example would be
while sustaining Combat Sense. While sustaining this spell,
the magician shouldnt be penalized while making combat-
related success tests. These will be taken on a case-by-case
basis. My primary concern is to not allow the Concentration
modifier to become a double whammy. It is ridiculous to
believe that anyone would sustain a Combat Sense spell if
they felt it would make their combat-related success tests
more difficult to make!
Spells
!
Barrier Spells
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII p. 158, Grimoire II pp. 112, 121, 122,
125, 131, 132
Barrier spells are a great addition to the Shadowrun
universe, but they lack the proper explanations and rules to
cover precisely how they are utilized, thus several house
rules are necessary. I will cover the rules for the specific
barrier spells individually, followed by some general rules
that apply to all Barrier spells.
Barrier
Spell requires one success (target number 6) to erect a
Barrier with a Barrier Rating equal to its Force. Every addi-
tional success generated adds 1 point to its Barrier Rating.
The barrier produced protects against physical attacks, but
not against magical ones. The exception to this is when it
comes to Damaging Manipulation spells. Since Damaging
Manipulation spells travel primarily on the physical plane
and are blocked by physical objects, they are also blocked
by a Barrier spell. Also, anything that is the size of a mole-
cule or smaller may pass through the Barrier unhindered
(such as air and gasses). Monofilament whips do NOT pass
through a Barrier spell unresisted. As long as the Barrier
created is not completely destroyed before the casters next
action, it can be refreshed up to its full Force at that time by
the casting magician with the expenditure of a Simple Ac-
tion. This only applies to sustained Barrier spells, not ones
that are Anchored, Quickened, or in spell locks.
Trying to fire through a Barrier (targeting someone on
the other side of the Barrier), you treat its Barrier Rating as
the appropriate type of armor to resist the attack (ballistic
for bullets, impact for arrows, etc.). When figuring whether
or not a projectile successfully passes through a Barrier
spell, do NOT apply any modifiers for special ammunition
(gel, stun, armor piercing, explosive, etc.), Dikote,
Monofilament wire, Elemental Effects, or for the fire mode
being used. The Barrier spell resists each projectile individu-
ally, thus one bullet may get through, while the rest of a
burst may not, etc. In effect, the Barrier is attempting to
slow down the projectile to the point at which it stops and
falls to the ground due to lack of inertia. Thus, it doesnt
matter how many bullets or arrows are passing through the
Barrier spell at once, nor does it matter what the special
qualities of the projectiles are.
If the armor provided by the Barrier spell is enough to
stop the projectile, then it is stopped somewhere within the
Barrier and falls harmlessly to the ground, (or just stops and
fizzles out in the case of Damaging Manipulations) leaving
both the projectile and the Barrier spell in perfect condition
(except for those fizzled out Damaging Manipulations).
Otherwise, take what remains of the Power Level of the
attack and add any modifiers for special ammunition, Di-
kote, and/or monowire. If enough bullets pass through the
barrier and are directed at the same target to warrant a
burst, then add burst fire modifications as well. At this
point, the target resists the damage as normal (i.e. subtract
your appropriate armor rating from the remaining Power
Level of the attack and resist with your Body attribute). Of
course, you can still use Combat Pool to dodge the attack, if
so desired (if you dont think the Barrier will hold, etc.).
Elemental Effects take full effect upon any appropriate tar-
gets after passing through a Barrier spell, but do NOT affect
the Barrier in any way. If a projectile successfully passes
through a Barrier spell, it does NOT degrade the Barrier
Rating of the Barrier spell.
This may lead you to ask how to take down a Barrier
spell if all your attacks simply pass right though it (albeit
with some resistance). This is all a matter of what you are
targeting. If you are firing through a Barrier spell, you are
targeting someone/something on the other side of the
Barrier, and your attack will be resisted as above. If, how-
ever, you wish to attempt to attack the Barrier spell itself,
you may treat the Barrier as your target. This is difficult to
do, but it can be done with a powerful enough attack. In
this case, the Barrier spell is treated as if it had a Barrier
Rating equal to twice normal (herein referred to as Barrier
Rating (!2)). Subtract the power rating of the attack from
the Barrier Rating (!2) of the spell (when targeting a Barrier
spell, all modifiers for ammunition type, Dikote, monofila-
ment wire, and fire mode DO apply). If there is anything left
over for the Power Level of the attack, subtract that amount
from the Barrier Rating (!2) of the spell. One-half of the
subtracted amount (round in the favor of the Barrier spell) is
also subtracted from the singular Barrier Rating of the spell.
Manipulations can be used to target a Barrier spell in
this manner as well, but the Barrier spell is treated as only
having a Barrier Rating equal to its singular Barrier Rating,
not Barrier Rating (!2). While you cannot attack a Barrier
spell with any other types of spells, you can attempt to
Dispel a Barrier according to the standard rules.
Attacks follow the same rules as ranged attacks when it
comes to determining whether they are able to pass
through the Barrier spell.
Melee attacks can also target a Barrier spell in an at-
tempt to take the spell down (adjustments for Dikote and
monofilament wire DO apply). Follow the same rules for
taking down a Barrier spell with a ranged attack, but use its
singular Barrier Rating, not Barrier Rating (!2). A Barrier
spell cannot be targeted by any form of attack other than
what it protects against (except for Dispelling or when be-
ing attacked by a spirit or astrally projecting magician).
MAGIC
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
42

Barrier spells do not provide any protection on the astral
plane.
Blade Barrier
Blade Barrier spell works the same as a standard Barrier
spell, but only protects against edged weapon attacks
(knives, throwing knives, swords, axes, etc.). Bullets, ar-
rows, spells, and non-edged weapons are not affected in
any way by this spell. A Blade Barrier spell cannot be tar-
geted by any form of attack other than what it protects
against (except for Dispelling or when being attacked by a
spirit or astrally projecting magician). Blade Barrier spells do
not provide any protection on the astral plane.
Blast Barrier
Blast Barrier spell only helps protect against grenade
blasts and other non-magical explosions. The Barrier Rating
of the spell is determined as follows: one success (target
number 6) is enough to erect a Blast Barrier with a singular
Barrier Rating equal to the spells Force. Each extra success
adds 1 to the this rating. Multiply the final result by 2 to
determine the final Barrier Rating of the spell.
When an explosion comes into contact with a Blast Bar-
rier, compare the current Power Level of the blast to the
Barrier Rating of the spell. If the Barrier Rating of the Blast
Barrier is greater than the power of the explosion, then the
blast stops at the edge of the Barrier, and the Barrier Rating
of the spell is reduced by an amount equal to the power of
the explosion that came into contact with it. If the Power
Level of the explosion is greater than the Barrier Rating of
the spell, the Blast Barrier is destroyed.
Subtract the Barrier Rating of the Blast Barrier from the
Power Level of the explosion before the spell falls. The
explosion continues on with whatever Power Level remains.
If the Power Level of the blast is equal to the Barrier Rating
of the Blast Barrier, the spell falls and the explosion is
stopped at the edge of where the Blast Barrier once stood.
A Blast Barrier cannot be targeted by any form of attack
(except for Dispelling or when being attacked by a spirit or
astrally projecting magician). Blast Barrier spells do not
provide any protection on the astral plane.
Bullet Barrier
Bullet Barrier spell works the same as a standard Barrier
spell, but only protects against bullets and other ballistic
attacks. Thus, arrows, thrown weapons, melee attacks, and
spells arent affected in any way by this spell. A Bullet Bar-
rier spell cannot be targeted by any form of attack other
than what it protects against (except for Dispelling or when
being attacked by a spirit or astrally projecting magician).
Bullet Barrier spells do not provide any protection on the
astral plane.
Mana Barrier
Mana Barrier protects against the passing of living be-
ings (humans, metahumans, spirits, dual-natured beings,
and astrally protecting Magicians) and spells (including
Damaging Manipulations and active Foci).
However, it protects against living beings one way and
spells another. For protecting against the passing of living
beings, the Barrier Rating of a Mana Barrier spell is deter-
mined like that of a Physical Barrier. No living being is al-
lowed to pass through the Mana Barrier unless they are
traveling at such a speed that the force of the attack caused
by their slamming against the barrier is enough to smash it.
Of course, this will also cause damage to the being
slamming into the barrier as well. If the Mana Barrier falls
because of this, the being continues traveling on, but is
slowed down. Alternately, a character can make an Un-
armed Combat attack against the Mana Barrier in an at-
tempt to smash it. Compare the power of the attack to the
Barrier Rating of the spell. If the power of the attack is less
than or equal to the Barrier Rating of the spell, the Mana
Barrier is unaffected. If the power of the attack is greater
than the Barrier Rating of the spell, reduce the Barrier Rating
by the difference. Other possible methods of attack are
Dispelling or having a Spirit or an Astrally Perceiving or
Projecting Magician engage the spell in Astral Combat, per
the normal rules.
When casting spells across the barrier (firing through),
add " of the Barrier Rating of the Mana Barrier (round in the
favor of the Barrier spell) to the target number of the suc-
cess test to cast the spell. This represents the attempt of the
Mana Barrier to disrupt any spells that cross it. You may
also attempt to destroy the Mana Barrier by casting spells at
it. Treat this the same as attacking the Mana Barrier with
Unarmed Combat.
When an active focus comes into contact with a Mana
Barrier, the Mana Barrier attacks the focus as if the Mana
Barrier were a ward. Resolve the attack as per the normal
rules for wards and foci.
A Mana Barrier spell cannot be targeted by any form of
attack other than what it protects against (except for Dispel-
ling or when being attacked by a spirit or astrally projecting
magician). A Mana Barrier offers its protection on both the
physical and astral planes (On the astral plane, treat a Mana
Barrier spell as a ward with a Force equal to its Barrier Rat-
ing.)
Spell Barrier
Spell Barrier provides protection against spells cast
across it the same way a Mana Barrier does, but does not
affect living beings in any way. Determine the Barrier Rating
of a Spell Barrier the same way as you would for a Mana
Barrier. A Spell Barrier spell cannot be targeted by any form
of attack (except for Dispelling or when being attacked by a
spirit or astrally projecting magician). A Spell Barrier offers
its protection on both the physical and astral planes (On the
astral plane, treat a Spell Barrier spell as a ward with a Force
equal to its Barrier Rating.).
Spirit Barrier
Spirit Barrier behaves the same as a Mana Barrier, ex-
cept it only protects against spirits and astrally projecting
beings. Dual-natured beings are unaffected by Spirit Barri-
ers. Determine the Barrier Rating of a Spirit Barrier the same
way as you would for a Mana Barrier. A Spirit Barrier spell
cannot be targeted by any form of attack (except for Dispel-
ling or when being attacked by a Spirit or Astrally Projecting
Magician). A Mana Barrier offers its protection on both the
physical and astral planes (On the astral plane, treat a Spirit
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43
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Barrier spell as a ward with a Force equal to its Barrier Rat-
ing.).
Barrier Spells and Area of Effect
Upon being cast, any type of Barrier spell may take the
shape of a dome, wall, two-sided wedge, half circle, or any
similarly simple construct. Any shape not listed here is up
to gamemasters discretion. Once formed, the spell may
not change shape in any way. Keep in mind that Barrier
spells that protect against spells, may not be effective if
they do not completely surround the target(s) of an incom-
ing spell. However, if done right, even a partial barrier can
protect you significantly, as all spells travel in a straight line
(taking the most direct route) to their target(s). Manipula-
tion spells travel in a straight line from the casting Magician
as well, so a wall would be pretty effective in this case too.
Of course, that doesnt stop the Magician from walking
around the wall and casting from there.
Personal Barrier Spells
When cast, the Barrier forms on the exterior of the tar-
gets aura. Personal versions of Barrier spells have a Range
of Touch, and their Drain Codes are reduced to reflect the
smaller area that is covered by the spell. If a held or worn
item extends beyond the aura of the recipient of a Personal
Barrier spell (about half a meter out), it is not affected by
the barrier, nor is it protected by the barrier. Outside of
these modifications, Personal Barrier spells behave exactly
as their area of effect counterparts. Personal Barrier spells
may be cast upon an individual other than the caster. More
details about Personal Barrier spells can be found in the
standard rules.

All types of Barrier spells appear as a shimmering field
of energy on both the physical and Astral Planes. Therefore,
all ranged attacks fired though any type of Barrier spell
suffer a +1 target number visibility modifier. This includes
bullets, arrows, spells, and projectile weapons.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
There is no clear ruling in either SRII or the Grimything
regarding whether Barrier spells Barrier Ratings degrade. I
play that when Barrier spells are impacted or penetrated by
appropriate attacks, their Ratings as barriers are reduced in
the normal manner. When the Rating reaches zero, the
Barrier spell is destroyed.
!
Death Touch and Stun Touch
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII p. 128, Grimoire II pp. 126, 127
The spells Death Touch and Stun Touch are similar to
held spells (see Holding Spells on page 37), but not quite
the same. They are what bridged the gap between standard
spell casting and the ability to hold spells. Basically, cast
them as if they are not held spells. All dice must be allo-
cated to power the spell and to drain resistance within the
same action.
The spell is then held in the aura of the caster, in the
area surrounding his dominant hand. The spell can be
held in this fashion for a number of combat turns equal to
the force of the spell, or until a target is struck by the spell -
whichever comes first. If this energy comes into contact
with anyone during this time, they must resist the spell as
normal.
Dont forget that touch spells receive a 1 target num-
ber modifier due to not actually having to touch the target
of the spell, but needing only to touch his aura.
!
Healing
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 110-115, 155, 250
Magical healing via the Treat and Heal spells precludes
the use of first aid. If, however, the spell is unsuccessful
then first aid may still be utilized, but with a +2 target
number modifier. This signifies the residual magical ener-
gies in the targets body that interfere with the chemicals,
etc. that are used during the first aid process. (The energies
are still attempting to heal the target, and perceive the
invasion of the body as a threat to the targets health.)
However, if a situation occurs in which the person applying
first aid doesnt use a medkit, the +2 target number modi-
fier does not apply. It is a rare event that someone can
successfully perform first aid on an individual without a
medkit, but it can happen.

The Stabilize spell stops the target from bleeding to
death. However, it does not reduce any damage. First aid
and magical healing can still be applied to a target who has
been stabilized in this fashion. (While the Stabilize spell falls
into the category of healing spells, it doesnt actually heal
any boxes of damage. It simply heals the minimal amount
of tissue, etc. necessary to prevent further degradation of
the body.)

If magical healing via the Treat, Heal, or Stabilize spell is
applied to a target who has already been treated with first
aid (successfully or not), apply a +2 target number modifier
to the success test. This represents the difficulty the spell
has compensating for all of the chemicals pumped into the
target during the first aid process. If the person applying
first aid doesnt use a medkit, the +2 target number modi-
fier does not apply.

Medkits that default to using supplies and techniques
specifically tailored to magicians are available. When used
on a magician, the +2 target number modifier for treating a
MAGIC
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
44

magician is not applied. A +2 target number modifier is
applied, however, when using this type of medkit on mun-
danes. These medkits cost twice as much as a standard
medkit and have an Availability of 6/24 hours. These spe-
cial medkits are generally found via talismongers, and are
not available off the shelf at your local drug store.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Ray Macey <nightrain@elf.bri snet.org.au>
I allow magicians to make multiple healing attempts. I
simply rule that the second (or later) healing attempt, only
achieves anything if it is better than all attempts made be-
fore it, and then it heals the difference between the two.

Example 1) Target is lying on the ground with a seri-
ous wound (6 squares). Mage A cast treat (or heal, it
makes no difference) and heals 3 squares of damage.
This works as normal. Mage B then comes along and
casts treat (or heal) and would normally heal 5 squares.
In this circumstance though, it would only heal an extra
two squares of damage. (The difference between his re-
sult of 5, and the previous best of 3).
Example 2) Target is again lying on the ground with
6 squares of damage. Mage A casts treat and gets 3
successes. Again, this works as normal. Mage B then
comes along and cast heal and only gets enough to heal
2 squares. In this case, he would not heal anything, as
he did not beat the previous best. If Mage C came
along, and then got 4 successes, he would heal a grand
total of 1 square (his result of 4 minus the previous best
of 3).
!
Levitate Person
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 107, 157, Fields of Fire p. 76
I have found that the spell Levitate Person is, by the
book, by far and away the most powerful damaging spell
available. One merely casts it upon an opponent and then
proceeds to smash the poor sod against all manner of blunt
objects before whizzing the beaten body up 20 stories and
dropping the spell. Using the rules as given on page 107 of
SRII for crashing, and the rules on page 157 of SRII for
telekinetic manipulation spells and movement, damages
can easily be as high as 10S. Using the falling rules on page
76 of Fields of Fire, damages can be as high as 50D. Either
way, for the minuscule drain suffered by the caster, the
spell is a bargain. I have simply made the spell a voluntary
one (cool idea Robert Watkins!).
!
ALTERNATIVE
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
The maximum distance traveled per action using the
Levitate Person or Levitate Item spells, or any other in-
vented movement spell, is the spellcasters Magic Rating in
meters. Specially designed fast movement spells may ex-
ceed this restriction.
!
Personal Barrier Spells
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 158, Grimoire II p.123
The Shadowrun descriptions of the effects of Personal
Barrier Spells leave a lot to be desired. I run the spells such
that they can only be cast as a dome that is centered on the
caster, but that they will intercept anything that they are
designed to, whether it is heading towards the caster or
not.
!
Sterilize
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: Grimoire II p. 127
The Sterilize spell is a Health spell, not a Combat spell.
The effects and the Drain of the spell remain the same.
Spirits
!
Allies
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: Grimoire II pp. 67-72
Allies and Drain
If a magician must resist drain then his ally may resist
the drain for him freeing the magician completely from any
Drain Resistance Test. The ally suffers the consequences of
an incomplete resistance. The reverse is also true: a magi-
cian may resist any Drain required by his allys actions in-
stead of the ally.
Allies and Karma Pool
An ally shares its magicians karma pool and may use
this pool as per normal karma pool rules.
!
Elementals
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 140-142, 144
Earth elementals can dig by manifesting using available
earth, walking off with it, and then demanifesting, leaving a
pile of earth behind. A Force 4 elemental can take a cubic
meter at a time in this way. Water elementals can pump
liquids, similarly.
MAGIC

45
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
!
Permanent Elemental Spirits
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 140-142, 144, Grimoire II p. 91
If a mage uses special conjuring materials, costing five
times the norm, and also pays a number of karma points
equal to the force of the summoned elemental-the elemen-
tal is permanent, i.e. it has a limitless number of services
and remains until banished, destroyed or goes unbound.
(This is similar to the bound patrolling elemental on p. 91 of
the Grimoire except that a permanent elemental still counts
towards the mages total elementals controlled.)
!
Initiates & Conjuring
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 139-142, Grimoire II pp. 38-41
Initiates add their grade to their Charisma when sum-
moning spirits.
!
Nature Spirits
Nature Spirit Area of Affect
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 139-140, 144
Nature spirits may affect (i.e. Confusion, Concealment,
and other powers) a single target or a group of targets as a
single service. All targets must be in line of sight and within
an area defined by a radius equal to the spirits Force in
meters.
Bound Nature Spirits
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 139-140, Awakenings p. 102
A shaman may have, bound (helping?), a number of na-
ture spirits up to his Charisma Attribute. Note that he may
still only have one bound spirit in a given domain but he
may have several spirits of the same type if they are in
different domains-for example, two hearth spirits in two
different buildings.
Miscellaneous Magic Issues
!
Mana Fluctuation
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: Shadowrun Companion pp. 81-83,
Target: UCAS pp. 96-97
Some areas of the world have higher concentrations of
mana, while others have little mana available for a magician
to shape and wield. Still yet, some areas have none what-
soever, making it impossible for magic to function at all.
Mana surges have also been known to exist, making magic
unpredictable and hard to control. There are also dead
zones which prevent technology from functioning. Magic is
the ultimate wild card in the world of Shadowrun. Dont
underestimate its power or take what you know of it for
granted.
!
The Mystery of Magic
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Even in the year 2057, magic is nowhere near fully un-
derstood. There are so many things that havent even been
discovered yet, much less studied, understood, and mas-
tered.
In order to keep with the feel of the game in this re-
spect, if a character desires to understand a given magical
occurrence, being, or whatever, he must make a successful
Magical Theory test. If the test is unsuccessful, the character
knows NOTHING about it. If you feel it is justifiable for your
character to understand more than absolutely zilch about
magic, you MUST reflect this in your characters background
and in his skills. Otherwise, just keep your eyes and ears
open and see what you learn.

I cannot stress enough how absolutely annoying it is to
have a player run a character as if they know just about all
there is to know about magic, even when their character is
a street samurai with no Magical Theory skill! Just because
you as a player understand the magic of Shadowrun,
doesnt necessarily mean your character has even the
slightest clue as to how it works.
Please try to keep this in mind when roleplaying your
character. As in any other area, if player knowledge and
character knowledge are muddied too often, you will lose
karma. However, I will be more strict in respect to magic
than any other area. Its just no fun when magic loses its
mystery.


46

!
Escher Loop
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: Lone Star pp. 63, 125
The Escher loop supposedly invades a persons datajack
and takes up residence in the firmware. It doesnt make
sense that a person would have hardware installed in them
that cant be rebooted without surgery; no other reference
is ever made in any sourcebook that a datajack even has
anything resembling RAM to run such things in, let alone
being able to give convincing hallucinations by feeding in
simsense signals. We ignore it.
!
Mainframe Computers
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: Virtual Realities 2.0 pp. 101-102
The only mention of pricing or functionality for main-
frame computers in Shadowrun is in the VR 2.0 rules, and
that is frankly silly. They suggest that a mainframe should
cost 5 million nuyen per Security Value point. This doesnt
account for the obvious fact that a Red-8 system should be
vastly more expensive than a Blue-8 system. It also means
that mainframes would be amazingly lucrative targets for
runners (or perhaps that for some magical reason the kind
of power described as a mainframe is actually astronomi-
cally larger than any of us in our gaming group (most of
whom are engineers) can believe, such that a mainframe
would be so large as to be non-portable even to a troll).
So here is the system we worked out. Here are a couple
of the other goals and criteria we had:
Mainframes should have a rating that works similarly to
other ratings for gear. That is, the nominal range of a rat-
ing should be about 1 to 10, and the cost per rating
point should increase in a chunky fashion.
A given mainframe should be capable of running at any
Security Code from Blue to Red, with a dramatic de-
crease in number of users and applications supportable
as the Security Value rises. This would explain why pub-
lic-access databases are all Blue and Green despite the
graffiti problems.

A systems Security Code-its color-represents the level
of robustness the operating system itself is maintaining. A
Blue system is fine for a library computer or Matrix informa-
tion site, but is insufficiently robust to handle serious pro-
gramming tasksits too easy to accidentally crash the
system, lose data, and so one during the process of work-
ing the bugs out of a program. Green is the bare minimum
for a serious programmer, and Orange is generally required
to handle large numbers of programmers working simulta-
neously. A program under development can exhibit run-
away bugs that can crash a Blue system, slow a Green sys-
tem to a crawl, die of resource allocation problems on an
Orange, or be frozen for the inspection of the system op-
erator on a Red.
A systems Security Valueits numerical rating
represents the level of paranoia the system is operating
under with regard to cross-checking user input against
privileges. This is often brought up to a high value in order
to detect incoming deckers, but is also necessary on sys-
tems full of programmers in order to keep programs under
development from interfering in the dataspaces of other
users and the system itself. (In general, a system can only
support development of programs that have a Rating less
than or equal to the Security Value.)
All the other things like subsystem ratings should have
reasonable impact on the needed system capacity.
The system need not cover Ultraviolet systems. Those
are defined as magical and huge, beyond rating in nuyen or
direct comparison to a normal mainframe.

It turned out that after we sat down and wrote some
more detailed statements about what should come out of
the desired system, it was obvious to the mathematicians in
MATRIX
We need to create software-friendly users.
Steven Bridges, researcher at Microdeck
MATRIX

47
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
the group that not only could we meet them all but that
doing so gave an obvious simplest result.
Basic Rating/Capacity System
The capacity of a mainframe is measured in system ca-
pacity (SC), the basic unit for the remainder of this system.
For any mainframe, it is 20 times the rating squared, though
a mainframe can be configured to any arbitrary number of
system capacity points.
System components have different quality levels; weve
used ratings similar to cyberware to give an appropriate feel
for the levels of quality. The given tiers of mainframe are
the ones that require a given quality level of components in
order to keep the system from bogging down. In theory,
you could use standard components to put enough capacity
in one place to make a rating 10 mainframe, but the com-
ponents would be unable to correlate with each other fast
enough, and the system would crash frequently from rou-
tine operations. Since higher-quality components are
smaller and faster, you could always build a low-rating
mainframe out of higher quality components, which would
generally result in a smaller machine.
Mainframes generally take the form of a chassis with a
power supply and a rack inside that can hold cards (about
the size of a modern PC motherboard) that contain a given
amount of processing hardware or interfaces to other sys-
tems. A Rating 1 mainframe is no larger than a desktop
computer of the late 1990s; larger ones are the size of a
refrigerator. Higher-quality components are smaller, faster,
and fit more on a card, so its possible to make a mainframe
smaller by building it out of components that are of a
higher quality than necessary for a system. You can get 5
Standard points on a single card; 10 Alpha grade compo-
nents will fit in the same space, or 20 Beta grade, or 40
Delta grade. (Yes, for 2,500,000 you can fit a 900,000
rating 3 mainframe into a rating 2 chassis by making it out
of Beta and Delta grade components; it also means that a
Rating 7 mainframe occupies about as much space as a
rating 5 or a rating 10.) Machines containing the more ex-
pensive cards often have elaborate security systems to
prevent someone from making off with 2,000,000 worth
of components in a briefcase.
Spending System Capacity
Color Multiplier
Almost everything you spend system capacity on has its
cost multiplied by a number based on the Security Code.
This multiplier represents the amount of overhead the host
is using to ensure that programs are running safely.

Color Multiplier (CM)
Color Multiplier
Blue 1
Green 2
Orange 4
Red 8
SYSTEM INFRASTRUCTURE
The capacity cost for the actual operating system and
other infrastructure is computed as follows:
Normal Things
Operating System and Security Infrastructure:
On a Blue or Green system, (Security Value) ! CM
On an Orange or Red system, (Security Value)2 ! CM
Cost Per Simultaneous User: 1 ! CM
Apps that could run on a PC: built into the cost per user
Mainframe Applications: 1 ! CM per Gigapulse (1,000
Megapulses) of data manipulated
Offline Storage: 1 ! CM per Terapulse (1,000 Gi-
gapulses)
Indexed Storage: 1 ! CM per 10 Gigapulses
Active Storage: 1 ! CM per 1 Gigapulse
Connections (LTG, etc.): 1 ! CM per connection
Slave functions: 1 ! CM per reasonably-sized group of
identical slaves (e.g. one buildings elevators, all the capaci-
tance detectors on the perimeter fence, etc.)
Notes:
Yes, when you increase the Security Code, not only do
things all cost more, but the Security Code itself costs
more.
One running IC program or construct counts as one
user. If a system ends up with more users than it can
handle, start applying penalties such as target number
increases and I/O speed decreases. At some upper
limit, like twice the allowed number, it should just flat
deny further users and/or begin an orderly shutdown, or
even flat out crash.
These costs assume that you are putting the function in
its normal subsystem. If a connection is not in the Ac-
cess subsystem, a slave is not in the Slave subsystem,
etc., the cost is 3 times normal.
Offline storage, as described in VR 2.0, is not quite
offline in the modern jargon. This is auxiliary storage
which is very slow to search, retrieve or modify, and
corresponds to modern hard disk storage. The system
cost here is that for a very small, hence very slow to
search index. Actions such as Locate File, Read File, etc.
Mainframe Ratings Table
Quality Rating Cost Capacity Range Cost per Capacity Point Density (per card)
Standard 1-3 100,000 ! Rating
2
1-180 5,000 5
Alpha 4-6 250,000 ! Rating
2
181-720 12,500 10
Beta 7-9 500,000 ! Rating
2
721-1,620 25,000 20
Delta 10+ 1 M ! Rating
2
1,621+ 50,000 40
MATRIX
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
48

take ten times as long as normal on this data. This is the
sort of storage that, say, the IRS would use for tax re-
turns over 5 years old. Offline storage costs 5,000 per
Terapulse; a one-Terapulse unit is roughly the size of a
hefty toolbox (about 45 cm ! 30 cm ! 15 cm). Modules
like this can be added and removed to the system trivi-
ally, and often come with handles for easy carrying.
Indexed storage is similar to offline storage except
that online storage is used to hold an index to the off-
line data. This allows searching actions (Locate File) to
proceed at normal speed, but reading actions take the
same ten times as long, and edit/writing actions take
even longer, twelve times as long because the index
must be updated.
Active storage is fully available at full speed.
Unusual Things
As mentioned above, putting something in the wrong
subsystem costs three times as much as normal. There are
some other special cases mentioned in VR 2.0 that this
doesnt cover:
A timed vanishing SAN costs twice normal. A teleport-
ing SAN with a fixed repertoire costs triple, plus you
must be paying the telecom companies for all those
SAN addresses. A true teleporting SAN costs four times
the capacity.
The black box software to locate a teleporting SAN
takes up one Gigapulse, which is either 1 ! CM capacity
on a mainframe or (rarely) a Gp of active storage on a
PC or deck. Usually if you want to connect to a teleport-
ing SAN from a small machine you have to go through a
mainframe that is running the black box.
A virtual machine takes capacity on its host as if it were
really of the Security Code as the host. Nested VMs
work the same way. For example: a Green VM that
would take 30 capacity points if it were real is running
inside an Orange VM which is running inside a Red op-
erating system. It costs 30 ! (4 2 = 2) = 60 capacity
points on the Orange VM. The part of the Orange VM
that is running the Green VM is taking 60 ! (8 4 = 2)
= 120 capacity points on the real Red machine.
A bouncer system, along with similar ideas where the
configuration of the system changes on the fly, and in-
cluding systems that have more than two configura-
tions, must obviously have the capacity to run all con-
figurations. It must also dedicate at least one capacity
point times CM per available configuration, under all
configurations, to hold the configuration information,
and an additional capacity point times the highest in-
volved CM under all configurations to hold the switch-
over controlling software. Example: a Green-8/Orange-
10 bouncer system must allocate 8 capacity points (2
(configs) ! 2 (Green CM) + 1 (constant) ! 4 (Orange
CM) = 8) under the Green mode and 9 (2 ! 4 + 1 ! 4 =
9) under the Orange configuration to the fact that it is a
bouncer system.
Subsystem Ratings
At first these seemed problematic, but then we realized
that these are inflated to give the right ranges of target
numbers.
Systems of extremely low Security Values-4 and under-
have base subsystem ratings of the Security Value plus
4. A system may not have a Security Value less than 1.
The base subsystem ratings for systems of Security Value
4 and higher are 8/8/8/8/8.
If you buy a Security Value greater than four, you get
(level minus 4) extra points to distribute among the ba-
sic subsystem ratings. Thus, a rating 9 system can have
subsystems 9/9/9/9/9, 13/8/8/8/8, 10/10/9/8/8, etc.
These extra rating points do not have any extra associ-
ated costs.
Additional points in subsystem ratings (added after any
extra provided by Security Values above 4) cost sepa-
rately per subsystem, and do not take normal Color
Modifiers. The first extra point in a subsystem costs 1
capacity; the next costs 2; the next 3; etc. These costs
are doubled on Orange and Red systems. Note that this
makes the bonus points from the Security Value more
valuable the higher you want to make your subsystem
ratings.
!
Using a Mainframe to Write Cyberdeck Programs
(This is the other replacement for text in VR 2.0. It re-
tains the flavor and nature of the VR 2.0 rule but has num-
bers for this system.)
To use a system in developing cyberdeck programs, the
system must be running a Security Code of at least Green.
The maximum rating of program that can be developed is
equal to the Security Value. Program development requires
1 Gp per 10 Mp of the programs design size. The
300,000 mainframe programming suite, if present, takes 8
Gp. (As usual for a mainframe app, the size in Gp times the
CM gives the capacity cost for running the app.) See the
example systems for an example of this.
What About All Those Little Shops With Orange
Security?
Most of the shops in Sprawl Sites that have impressive
security are just leasing space on someones mainframe-
possibly even a small virtual machine-but certainly dont
actually have Orange systems in the shop waiting to be
stolen.
MATRIX

49
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
!
Matrix 1.0 to 2.0 Conversion Rules
S.F. Eley <sf@techwood.org>
Reference: SRII pp. 165-171, Virtual Realities 2.0 pp.
12-19, 33, 47, 63
Okay folks, heres how to turn your old Shadowrun ad-
venture Matrix maps into newfangled Matrix 2.0 host
maps. This system is a bit oversimplified, and hasnt been
playtested yet, but it should work as a starting point. Please
mail me feedback if you try this system and like it (or
dont.)
Host Layout
Every SPU and CPU is a host. Its that simple. The datas-
tores connected to an SPU are data on that host. The slave
nodes are part of that hosts Slave subsystem. The I/O
ports and SANs are in the hosts Access subsystem.
All the IC is consolidated on the hosts security sheaf.
Any questions?

Heres how to map it:

1. DRAW EVERY SPU AND CPU using the line connec-
tions between them, just as theyre shown on the Matrix
map. An SPU with a SAN connects to an LTG or PLTG; use
the text in the adventure to determine which.
Optional: In Matrix 1.0, the CPU can connect you to
any node with the teleport operation. If you want to rep-
licate this, the host that was the CPU can connect to all
other hosts as a chokepoint. Some of the hosts may be
hidden, however, via trapdoors (p. 33, VR 2.0).
Note that this isnt necessary with the simpler VR 2.0
layout, and may ruin the challenge of some decking runs.

2. A HOST KEEPS THE SECURITY CODE (Orange, Red,
etc.) of the SPU or CPU. The Security Value is equal to the
old nodes Rating. If the system is a Red system of Rating 3
or less, double the rating.
Subsystem ratings are as follows (round down or up de-
pending on nastiness):
Access: The Security Value, plus the rating of any Ac-
cess or Barrier IC on the node connection. Add +2 if any
I/O ports are connected to the host, +4 if the host is con-
nected to a SAN.
Control: 1.5 times the Security Value, +2 if the host was
an SPU, +4 if the host was the CPU.
Index: 1.5 times the Security Value, plus half the num-
ber of datastores connected to the node. Add +2 if one or
more datastores contains critical information.
Files: Roll 2D6 and consult the following table:

Roll Rating
2-3 Index Rating - 2
4-5 Index Rating - 1
6-8 Index Rating
9-10 Index Rating + 1
11-12 Index Rating + 2

Slave: 1.5 times the Security Value, plus half the number
of slave nodes connected to the node. Add +2 if any of the
slave nodes are security systems.

3. BUILD THE SECURITY SHEAF according to the Trigger
Step Table on p. 63, VR 2.0. The following rules apply for
specific forms of IC and alerts:
Access & Barrier: They dont exist in Matrix 2.0. In-
stead, they add to the Access subsystem rating for the host
(see Access, above.)
Probe: This will be activated on either the first or second
Trigger Step. (Use your discretion.) The Probe IC rating is
the average of the Probe IC ratings in all nodes on the host.
If there is no Probe IC in the Matrix 1.0 map, add Probe IC
with a rating equal to the hosts Security Value.
Trace: This will be activated on either the first or second
Trigger Step. (Use your discretion.) The Trace IC rating is the
highest rated Trace IC of any node on the host.
Optional: Trace & Burn or Trace & Dump IC can be
trapped to perform these actions if the gamemaster wishes
(see p. 47, VR 2.0).
Tar Baby: Tar baby IC, if it exists, will be activated on
the third Trigger Step (just before Passive Alert.) The rating
is the highest rated Tar Baby IC of any node on the host.
Damaging White IC: Killer and Crippler IC may be acti-
vated before or after a Passive Alert (which will be either
the third or fourth Trigger Step.) The rating of damaging
white IC is the highest rated IC of that type for any node on
the host, +1 for each time that type of IC is duplicated.
(E.g., if a Killer-5 is on the SPU, and Killer-3 and Killer-2 are
in connected slave nodes, the total rating is Killer-5 + 2 =
Killer-7.)

Gray IC: Gray IC is usually activated after an Active
Alert, but one gray IC program may be activated before
Active Alert (this will be Tar Pit if it exists on the host). The
rating of gray IC is the highest rated IC of that type for any
node on the host, +1 for each time that type of IC is dupli-
cated.

Black IC: Black IC will be activated after all other IC. The
rating of Black IC is TWICE the highest rated Black IC on the
host. (No bonuses for multiple instances; this is deadly
enough!) The form of the Black IC should fit the context
given in the adventure.

Scramble IC: Scramble IC is at its original rating for the
files of any datastore containing it. If every datastore on the
SPU has Scramble IC, Scramble at the highest rating on the
host protects the entire Files subsystem.

Other IC (ripper, worms, data bombs, etc.) are entirely
at the gamemasters discretion, as are constructs, party IC,
and IC options. Try to make it appropriate to the Matrix
system in question, and what the decker needs to accom-
plish. If you dont use ANY of them, the hosts will all tend
to look the same, so be creative.

System shutdown will always be the last Trigger Step on
the sheaf.
Optional: If the host acts as a chokepoint or is other-
wise critical to the run, dont include system shutdown.
MATRIX
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
50


4. CENTRAL METAPHOR: This should be easy. Most
published Matrix systems are already sculpted realities to
some extent anyway. Those that arent, pick something
appropriate to the corporation. It might vary from host to
host, but it usually wont.

And theres your system. Be sure to look at it and tweak
the various Ratings and IC to create the same level of chal-
lenge that was originally intended. This will get easier as
you run more Matrix 2.0 sessions. If you just cant make it
work, dont hesitate to scrap the whole published Matrix
and build your own, putting the important data wherever
you feel it belongs. The key to Matrix 2.0 is paranoia and
style. If the Matrix looks cool, and the decker is paranoid,
youve basically got it right.
!
Satlink Uplinks
Martin Gotthard <s457033@student.gu.edu.au>
Reference: Virtual Realities 2.0 pp. 29-30, 88
As the current Shadowrun rules stand, runs conducted
though a satellite uplink station are essentially untraceable.
This gives the decker relative impunity to physical actions
against him by the target of his run. This can be unbalancing
or at the least annoying for the gamemaster, as it limits the
options he or she can use in a run. The suggestion below
details a possible way around the problem:
Any satellite capable of a decent bandwidth will be rea-
sonably secure, as these satellites carry much of the interna-
tional civilian and commercial traffic. Because of the prob-
lems of data volume, these satellites broadcast the informa-
tion that they receive to their entire footprint in a non-
directional transmission. On the other hand, some satellites,
especially military and secure corporate satellites, would do
their transmitting using a directional antennae, because the
information that they carry is too sensitive to entrust to a
non-specific broadcast system.
Data flow between a deck and the host which is running
the deckers persona is a two-way event, as the host sends
information to the deck about what the decker senses as
well as any downloaded files. This return data trail is the
scent that the trace IC program locks onto and uses to
identify the matrix port of the decker. If the trace IC comes
to a satellite station while tracking the trail, it can presuma-
bly interrogate the satellite host to determine where the
return broadcast is being sent. If the satellite is using non-
directional transmission, this is where the trace ends as
there is no specified address for the return transmission.
However, this type of satellite has its own difficulties, as
explained later.

If however the satellite uses directional transmission
equipment to send the return data, then the satellite must
know where to train the antennae. This can usually be ex-
pressed as a GPS location. Any Trace IC of reasonable rating
and modernity would be equipped to interrogate the satel-
lite host to determine the GPS location of the decker. After
the trace has stored this data, it can piggyback the signal
down the uplink, and confirm whether the data trail ends at
that address, or if it continues elsewhere.

The Trace IC cannot specify a matrix address for the
trace result (if it ends at the uplink station) as the address
does not technically exist. It can however specify a GPS
location which will be accurate within the diameter of the
return transmission and the tolerances of error. However
wide this return beam actually is lies at the discretion of the
gamemaster. Suitable diameters range from a couple of
blocks, down to about 10 cm for a laser link. This location
leaves the decker open to all of the usual physical re-
sponses to an intrusion, such as drones, astral mages and
elementals, to a corporate strike team or even a guided
missile.

Satellites using non-directional transmission would
therefore seem the ideal way to go, as they are unable to
produce a physical location for the Trace IC. Several compli-
cations exist though, foremost among them the security of
data encryption. Data encryption techniques in the Shad-
owrun universe are not completely secure, and can be
cracked given the right program and enough time. It can be
assumed that any decker worth his salt would use some
form of encryption method on his persona programs, to
stop interested parties from sending unwanted spurious
commands to his deck or virtual persona. By virtue of avail-
able processing power, this encryption system cannot how-
ever be any more secure than that used on the data files
that the decker routinely purloins.
This encryption would be sufficient to stop people from
interfering with the real-time run, but the data flow for the
entire run could conceivably be recorded and later cracked
to yield a complete copy of the data that the decker has
possibly trashed his precious cyberdeck to steal. If the data
is hot, then these people that recorded the data could well
beat the decker to selling it and negate his profit margin.
Even if the decker gets the data to market first, there are
cases when he can not afford to disseminate the data ran-
domly because it would be too damaging or unprofes-
sional.
Often the decker will not be concerned who else gets a
look at the data he has acquired, but the value of informa-
tion generally decreases in proportion to the number of
people that know the information. On some runs it would
therefore be necessary to use a directional transmission
capable satellite. It adds an extra level of paranoia and dan-
ger to the life of a decker, but the risk is why they are the
most highly paid (and shortest) profession in the world.

One thing to consider is that to stop a run being con-
ducted through a satellite, the target Corp can send a Corp
decker to perform a Crash Host operation on the satellite
and dump the intruder. Another point to consider is that
many satellites do not operate in geosynchronous orbit, and
have faster orbits. This means that a decker may only have a
narrow window of opportunity to access the satellite before
it passes over the horizon.


51

!
Defending
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 100-103
Defending requires a Free Action. Defenders may not
counter-attack (if the target rolls more successes than the
attacker the attack fails).
Do not use the friends/enemies in melee modifiers.
!
Full Defense
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 84, 100-103
The Shadowrun Full Defense rules are ambiguous and
can be interpreted in two ways. I interpret them as such:
one can normally add Combat Pool dice to the Attack Suc-
cess Test, but not the Damage Resistance Test. By choosing
the Full Defense option, one is allowed to add dice to ones
Damage Resistance Test, but not to ones Attack Success
Test.

Damion fail s to expl ain that by doing so, you get the
chance of causing a complete miss to your opponentif on
the Damage Resi stance Test, the successes from your Com-
bat Pool dice alone exceed the attackers successes, the
attack doesnt hit you at all (SRI I p. 103).
However, if you choose to follow the normal melee com-
bat rules, and thus split your Combat Pool dice between an
Attack Test and a possi ble Damage Resi stance Test, you
cant get a clean mi ss at all .
Gurth
!
Martial Arts Styles
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 70, 100-103
Since there are VERY few circumstances I can think of
that would ever keep someone from using their specific
style of Unarmed Combat, I have decided to make a couple
of changes to the rules for choosing a fighting style within
the Unarmed Combat skill. First, ALL characters have a
fighting style that they use. Streetfighting is certainly a valid
fighting style. Brawling, specific Martial Arts styles, and
Police trained fighting styles are examples of other viable
fighting styles. The chosen style applies to the General skill
of Unarmed Combat (thus, it also applies to any Concentra-
tions or Specializations within that skill) and is the only
fighting style the character knows. The only available Con-
centrations for Unarmed Combat are Cyber Implant Weap-
onry, Offensive Combat, Defensive Combat, and Subdual
Combat. If someone chooses the Offensive Concentration,
for example, he would get the bonus for the Concentration
when attacking, but not when counterattacking. Specializa-
tions within Unarmed Combat would be specific maneuvers
like, flying spin kicks, upper cuts, etc. So what happens if a
PC wants to learn an additional fighting style? It is treated
as an entirely separate Unarmed Combat skill in all respects.
Thus, a PC could, for example, have an Unarmed Combat
(Karate) skill of 5, and an Unarmed Combat (Street Fighting)
skill of 2. The vast majority of Martial Arts fighting styles do
NOT incorporate the use of Cyber Implant Weaponry. Thus,
if you have a Karate fighting style and want to use your
cyber spurs, you will have to default to quickness, because
spurs arent included in your training. You could, alter-
nately, learn another fighting style that does incorporate
Cyber Implant Weaponry.
MELEE COMBAT
Cant we just shake hands on it? he asked me.
No, but we can butt heads over it, I replied.
Hanna, barroom-brawler
MELEE COMBAT
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
52

!
Reach
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 100
In Shadowrun ranged combat speed is king, but in me-
lee combat Reach rules supreme. In fact Reach rules so
supremely that a mere +1 Reach gives a statistical advan-
tage of 100% (i.e. that you could get by with half the skill or
take on an opponent of twice your skill). This is because
Reach has a double jeopardy effect. It modifies both your
target number to make it easier to hit, and your opponents
to make it harder to hit. Upon a little thought by one of my
players (thanks O Great One!), the following rule was de-
vised and the logic behind this rule is thus. If one has a
weapon with longer Reach than ones opponent, one can
do two things with this Reach advantage. One can attempt
to use it to wallop ones opponent, or one can try to use it
to keep ones opponent at bay. The first would be repre-
sented by a decrease in your target number to hit, and the
second by an increase in ones opponents target number to
hit. Thus the idea of taking the Reach modifier, and apply-
ing it to either (or both if it is greater than 1) decrease your
target number, or to increase your opponents target num-
ber.

Koolant the troll has a Combat Axe. He thus has +3
Reach. When entering melee combat, he can use this
reach to do one of 4 things: 1) Subtract 3 from his target
number; 2) Subtract 2 from his target number and add 1
to his opponents; 3) Subtract 1 from his target number
and add 2 to his opponents; 4) Add 3 to his opponents
target number. What Koolant does is entirely up to him.

I find this rule easy to use, satisfying, realistic, and it
lessens the overwhelming power of Reach in Shadowrun
melee combat.
ALTERNATIVES
! By The Book
Reference: Shadowrun Companion p. 92
An optional rule in the Shadowrun Companion states
the Reach modifier is only applied to the target number of
the character wielding the weapon, and not to the oppo-
nents target number.
! Alternative One
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
In order to determine the value of Reach, subtract the
smaller Reach value from the larger one. Whatever is left
over (if anything) is applied to the attack/counterattack rolls
of the person with the superior Reach. Reach does NOT
modify the person without Reachs target numbers in any
way. Reach only modifies the target numbers of the person
with superior Reach, regardless of whether he is attacking
or counterattacking. This allows Reach to have an impact on
a fight, without making a Troll with a combat axe pretty
much unstoppable via Armed or Unarmed Combat.

Jack and Jill have grown up and dont really like each
other much anymore (Jacks never been the same since
that tumble down the hill). Jack is fighting with a knife.
Jill, on the other hand, is skilled in the ways of the
Katana (You go girl!). Jack has a Reach of 0, while Jill has
a Reach of 1. Subtracting the smaller from the larger, the
end result is 1. Jill has the superior Reach, so this modi-
fier applies to her target numbers when attack-
ing/counterattacking. Jacks target numbers are not af-
fected by this number. Thus, when Jill goes to turn her
ex-best friend into thinly sliced cold cuts, her target
number is a 4 minus Reach (which is 1), leaving her with
a final target number of 3. Jacks target number to coun-
terattack would still be a 4. Its been nice knowing ya,
Jack.
! Alternative Two
Ray Macey <nightrain@elf.bri snet.org.au>
When engaged in melee combat, I use the following
rules with regards to reach. Determine reach bonuses as
normal. Whoever has the reach bonus has the following
options.
1. They may choose to use their reach to aid their attack,
or impede their opponent. The reach bonus may be
used to decrease their target number when the charac-
ter attacks (in which case, all that happens is the reduc-
tion to the attack target number, it does not effect the
defenders target number in any way).
2. They may use their reach to impede their opponent. In
this case, the opponent has to add the reach bonus to
their target number to attack (in which case, all that
happens is the increase to the opponents attack target
number. It does not affect the characters target number
to attack or defend.
!
Second Weapon
Ray Macey <nightrain@elf.bri snet.org.au>
Reference: Fields of Fire p. 81
This is not so much a house rule, but actually just the
way I interpret the Two Weapon Combo rules from Fields
of Fire. When using two weapons a skill is needed for each
weapon to be used. This can be the same skill for both
weapons (i.e. Armed (Edged/Swords) works for both a
sword and a knife if they are used together). The attacker
also needs an Ambidexterity skill (this skill limits the maxi-
mum rating of the Armed Combat skill). They also need a
two weapon combo skill (this is unique for each different
combination) which limits the amount of Combat Pool the
attacker can use.
I also use a house rule that states that a character with
two weapons can only use the two weapon combo rules for
either attacking or defending, not both. The character de-
cides this when her turn comes up in the combat round.
This stops two weapon combos from be exceedingly
deadly, as it is limited by my counterattacking rule.

Joe Samurai has a sword and a knife in his hands. He
has an Armed(Edged Weapons/Swords) skill of 3/5/7.
He has an Ambidexterity skill of 6, and a Sword/Knife
MELEE COMBAT

53
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Combo skill of 4. So when he is using his combo he rolls
5 dice for his skill of 5 with his knife (it comes under
Edged Weapons), 6 dice for his skill with his sword (he
has a skill of 7, but it is limited to 6 because that is the
rating of his Ambidexterity skill). He can then throw in
up to 4 points of Combat Pool each time he rolls the
dice (this is limited by his two weapon combo skill of 4).
Its Joes turn in combat. He can choose to either use
the two weapons rules to either attack or defend (this
part is my house rule).
Say he chooses to use the two weapons to defend.
This means that he uses the two weapons rules for any
attacks made against him between now and his next
action. He must still spend Combat Pool for each attack
he defends against though. For his attack though, he
rolls the dice using the normal one weapon rules for the
weapon of his choice.
Say he instead chooses to attack with his two weap-
ons. This means that he uses the rules above for his at-
tack, but for any defensive maneuvers between now and
his next action, he uses the normal rules (as if he only
had one weapon in his hand).
!
ALTERNATIVE
Leszek Karlik <trrkt@friko.onet.pl >
To use two melee weapons, you have to have a special
skill of Paired Weapons. It is treated as a General skill,
with the possible concentration of Specific weapon
combo. (The Ambidexterity Edge means its treated as a
concentration/specialization instead.) The abilities you get
depend on the level of the skill:

Bonuses Reach 1 used Two Reach 1
(cumulative) with Reach 0 weapons
+1 die to defense roll 2 3
+1 or +2 Power bonus (+2
in case of equal damage
weapons) 3 4
+1 die to attack roll 4 5
+1 Power (above normal bonus) 5 6
+1 die to defense roll 6 7
+1 effective Reach 7 8
!
Ties In Melee Combat Tests
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII p. 102
When an opposed Unarmed Combat/Counterattack test
is made, a tie does not go in favor of the attacker. A tie
indicates successful blocks on the part of both parties in-
volved. No damage is dealt to or by either party. Unarmed
Combat attacks that are not Counterattacked follow the
standard rules, with ties going in favor of the attacker.


54

Actions
!
Announcing Actions
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
Players have 5 seconds to announce what their charac-
ters are doing when their action rolls around. If they do not
announce their intentions, they forfeit their action. (Keeps
the game moving.)
!
ALTERNATIVE
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Although I dont do this myself, a gamemaster I once
played with counted down initiative when players couldnt
make up their minds. This could be combined with the
above rule by making characters lose 1 off their initiative
for every 5 seconds they cant decide what to do.
!
Delaying Simple Actions
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 80
Even though the Shadowrun rules for delaying actions
(p. 80 SRII) are optional, I like them. However, they only
allow the delaying of entire actions. I feel that it is useful to
be able to delay a simple action (good pointer Marc Re-
nouf!), and so I allow it.
!
Standing & Kneeling
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 81-83
It is a Simple Action to go from prone to kneeling, and
another Simple Action to go from kneeling to standing. (If
the standard Simple Action to go from prone to standing
were true, it would be impossible to engage in unarmed
combat with someone fleeing. You knock them down, they
get up and run away. If you follow, you dont have a Com-
plex Action left to attack them with.)
Ammunition
!
Gel and Stun Ammunition
Wordman <wordman@flashpt.com>
Reference: Shadowrun, Second Edition pp. 95, 241
As far as FASA is concerned, stun and gel rounds are
not the same, in spite of the listing on page 95 of SRII.
Check out page 241 instead. Gel rounds (30 for 10) are
riot-control bullets of rubber or hard gelatin (2 to Power,
Stun damage). Stun rounds (100 for 10) are large plugs of
rubber fired by large-bore weapons like shotguns.

The rules flake out at this point. The text on page 95
groups stun and gel into the same category, claiming that
they are resisted with impact armor, not ballistic. Page 241,
however, splits the two types, saying that impact armor is
very effective against gel rounds and ballistic armor is af-
fected normally and that impact armor is effective against
[stun rounds], but ballistic armor is useless. This sort of
implies that impact is better than usual against gel rounds
and normal against stun and that ballistic is normal against
gel and useless against stun.
RANGED COMBAT
I dont buy all this physical adept-martial arts-
magic-zen drek. I just shoot them with my gun be-
fore they can get close enough to use it on me.
The Taxman, street samurai
RANGED COMBAT

55
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Of all this, I think only the descriptions and cost really
make sense. I have made the following house rules in my
campaign, based on this, and some info from SR1:

Any gun capable of firing bullets can fire gel rounds.
Gel rounds have 2 to power, do stun damage and are
resisted with 1.5 times impact armor (round up) or nor-
mal ballistic armor ratings.
Stun rounds may only be fired from shotguns, but a
shotgun can be loaded with a slug round where the
slugs are gel instead of lead.
Stun rounds do stun damage at standard weapon power
and are resisted with impact armor only. Ballistic pro-
vides no defense.
Stun rounds, being a single large piece of rubber, do not
spread like normal shotgun rounds. Regardless of choke
setting, stun rounds decrease in power by one every 5
meters. Shotguns are not rifled, so stun rounds are not
very accurate. For each 5 meters increase the target
number by 1.
!
Attacks And Targets
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 98, 104-109
Try using these rules in place of the vehicle/barrier rules.

I divide attacks and targets into three categories.
Type I: People and most critters, standard attacks.
Type II: Vehicles, structures and really tough critters,
anti-vehicle and heavy weapon attacks.
Type III: Ultra tough military targets (main battle tanks),
ultra heavy weapon attacks.

If an attack is directed against a target in the same cate-
gory everything balances out and the rules arent changed:
roll to hit, apply armor (if any) to the Power Level of the
attack, resist damage.

If an attack is directed at a target in a higher or lower
category do the following.
If the attack is in a higher category then the target, di-
vide the Body and the armor of target by 2 for each differ-
ence in level, rounding down (if a Type I target is attacked
by a Type III weapon, the Body and armor of the target
would be divided by 2 twice). When resisting damage the
target also divides its successes by 2 for each difference in
level before staging damage.
If the attack is in a lower category then the target, di-
vide the Power Level, Damage Code and attackers suc-
cesses by 2 for each difference in level, rounding down.

Sam fires an anti-vehicle rocket (Type II Weapon) at
Fred (Type I Target) and hits. Fred has a Body of 5 and is
wearing armor with an Impact rating of 3. When resist-
ing damage Fred only gets to apply half his Body (2)
and half his armor (1). Fred rolls one success, which is
divided by 2, resulting in 0 successes for Fred.
Magus climbs into a main battle tank (Type III tar-
get). Sam shoots the tank with a 9D pistol (Type I
Weapon) and gets 4 successes. Sams successes are cut
in half twice (from 4 to 2 to 1), and the Power Level and
Damage Code of the pistol are also cut in half twice
(from 9D to 4M to 2L) before the tank makes its Resis-
tance Test.

These rules work very quickly and only require common
sense and consistency on the part of the gamemaster.
!
Autofire
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 92-93, Fields of Fire p. 75
My second greatest gripe about the Shadowrun system
has always been that autofire actually decreased your
chances of doing any damage. The idea of autofire is that
one sprays the area, or releases a stream of bullets at a
single target, in an effort to significantly increase the
chances of doing damage, and hopefully hit with more than
one would normally hit with, thus also slightly increasing
the damage done. However, in Shadowrun, when one
uses autofire, one drastically increases the damage done,
and drastically decreases the odds of doing so. I have fid-
dled with many autofire systems over the ages, but the
most satisfying ones were always far too complicated, con-
voluted and involved too much brain strain to be practica-
ble (thanks Rick Bukowski anyhow). Those simpler systems I
found unsatisfying (thanks anyway TopCat). I am open to
suggestions. At this present time, I use a system based
upon Igors Homebrew Autofire Rules and Brett
Barksdales autofire rules (thanks guys, yours are fairly easy
to use and do a good job!).

The system basically works by comparing the best roll
made on the firers skill test to the target number required
for a single shot (SS target number) to hit, and the target
number required for the automatic burst to hit (FA target
number). If the best roll is lower than the SS target number,
then no rounds will hit. If the best roll is higher than the SS
target number but lower than the FA target number, then
some rounds will hit. If the best roll is higher than the FA
target number, then all rounds will hit. This system will also
work for bursts (which are essentially smaller allocations of
autofire), as well as for multiple targets.

A] DETERMINE SS TARGET NUMBER (the target number
for a single shot to hit, i.e. including all modifiers except
the recoil).
B] DETERMINE FA TARGET NUMBER. Unlike the Shad-
owrun rules (see Shadowrun II Errata) I do not apply a
recoil modifier for the first round fired in a Combat Phase.
Thus 10 rounds of uncompensated recoil from an assault
rifle would give a +9 recoil modifier.
C] NOTE THE SUCCESSES ROLLED FOR THE SS TARGET
NUMBER. This is the number of successes generated for the
automatic burst. If no successes are scored at the SS target
number, then the entire automatic burst is a miss. (Yes, this
does mean that often many successes will be generated-
nobody said autofire would be friendly to the target.)
RANGED COMBAT
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
56

D] NOTE THE HIGHEST NUMBER ROLLED FOR THE
SUCCESS TEST. This number determines just how many
rounds in the automatic burst actually hit the target. If the
highest number rolled is higher than the FA target number,
then all rounds hit. If the highest number rolled is less than
the FA target number, then only a portion of the rounds
fired actually hit. The number of rounds that hit depends on
the recoil modifier per round of the weapon that was being
fired (e.g. +1 for normal small arms and firearms; +2 for
heavy weapons, miniguns and Victory Rotary Assault Can-
nons; +3 for Vigilant Rotary Autocannons).
i) For normal small arms and firearms: Subtract the
highest number rolled from the FA target number.
This is the number of rounds that do not hit.
ii) For heavy weapons, miniguns, Victory Rotary Assault
Cannons and other weapons with a +2 recoil modi-
fier: Subtract the highest number rolled from the FA
target number. Divide this number by 2 and round
up. This is the number of rounds that do not hit.
iii) For Vigilant Rotary Autocannons and any other
weapon with a +3 recoil modifier: Subtract the high-
est number rolled from the FA target number. Divide
this number by 3 and round up. This is the number
of rounds that do not hit.
E] CALCULATE THE DAMAGE CODE IN THE NORMAL
SHADOWRUN MANNER (i.e. add one to the Damage
Category for every full multiple of three rounds, and add
one to the Power Level for each round in the automatic
burst).
F] WHACK TARGET.

Time for a few examples:

Andr is wielding an AK-97 SMG Carbine. He has a
Firearms skill of 6, but is wussing out and saving his
Combat Pool for later. He has the weapon loaded up
with a Gas Vent III and a Laser Sight. Andr is a strong
fragger (Strength 9), and so from Fields of Fire (p. 83)
he gets 3 extra recoil compensation points. The lucky
target of Andrs 10 round FA burst is a quickly running
(+1 target number) and very frightened ganger. It is
fairly dim so a lighting modifier of +2 applies, and the
range is Short. Thus Andrs SS target number is 4 + 1 +
2 1 = 6. His FA target number is 6 + 9 3 3 = 9.
Rolling his dice, Andr gets 1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 8. This is 1
success at the SS target number. Andr missed the FA
target number by 1, so 1 round does not hit. The final
damage code that the poor ganger suffers is 15D.

Venus is wielding her trusty M22-A2, all fitted out
with Gas Vent 2 and a Smartlink. Shes feeling happy
and decides to lay into the Jolly Roger security guard
with a 10 round burst. Unfortunately for the guard, hes
not running, and lighting conditions are good. Venus
has average Strength, so she gains no extra recoil com-
pensation from this source. Her SS target number is thus
4 2 = 2, and her FA target number is thus 2 + 9 2 =
9. She rolls her Firearms of 5 plus 2 from her Combat
Pool and gets: 1, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 8. This is 7 successes at
the SS target number (remembering that the 8 counts as
2 successes due to my modified Rule of 6). She hits
with 10 (9 8) = 9 of the 10 rounds. The final dam-
age suffered by the now Swiss cheese impersonating
guard is 17D with 7 successes.

Pyro the Fire Elemental Adept is in a bad way. Hes
copped a Serious Stun from his last spell, the bad dudes
are closing in and all hes got left is his (ex)friends FN-
HAR assault rifle that has no useful additions (except the
Smartlink that Pyro cant use). Pyro decides to lay in,
and fires a 10 round spray in the general direction of the
nearest wannabe Pyro executioner. Fortunately for Pyro
(or perhaps not) the lighting conditions are good and
the range is Short. Pyros SS target number is thus 4 + 3
= 7. His FA target number is 7 + 9 = 16. Rolling his
dice, all 4 of them, Pyro rolls 4, 4, 7, 11 - not bad. This
gives him 2 successes at the SS target number, and al-
lows him to hit with 10 (16 - 11) = 5 rounds. This
generates a 13S damage code with 2 successes for the
bad guy to resist.

Bubba the troll has a gyromounted Vindicator mini-
gun and a bad attitude. He decides to let loose at that
pesky Lone Star Yellowjacket thats annoyingly launch-
ing rockets in his direction. 15 rounds leave the weapon
in the general direction of the chopper. Bubba has 5
points of recoil compensation from the Gyromount, and
4 from his high Strength. The chopper is at Medium
range, but Bubba has a Smartlink attached to the gun.
His SS target number is thus 5 2 = 3. His FA target
number is 3 + (15 5 4 - 1) !2 = 13 (remembering
that miniguns have a +2 recoil modifier and that the first
round does not require recoil compensation). Bubba has
a Firearms skill of 5, and decides the chopper worthy of
5 more dice from his Combat Pool (he aint fraid o no
rockets!). Bubba rolls 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. A
Straight-pity hes not playing Poker. Bubba thus has 10
successes for his burst (the 9 and 10 count as 2 each).
The number of rounds that miss is (13 10) 2 = 2
(rounding up). Thus Bubba hits with 13 rounds, for a
damage code of 20D backed up by 10 successes. Even
with the reductions for the vehicular nature of the target
and its armor, that helo is in a bad way.

If multiple targets are being engaged with the one burst,
then the procedure is pretty much the same, but with a
recalculation of the SS target number and FA target number
for each target, based upon what has occurred before the
attack on that target.

Trev Caligula is out of his element with an automatic
weapon, but no matter, hes going to hose as many of
those Humanis gumbies as he can. Trev has an AK-97
with a Gas Vent II and a Laser Sight on it, and is strong
enough to obtain 2 points of recoil reduction. He de-
cides to open up on the Humanis scum when theyre a
fair distance away (after all, discretion is the better part
of valor and all that), at Long range. No other modifiers
apply. Trev decides that Humanis scuzzbucket 1 de-
serves a 3 round burst, as does his buddy 2. Since Trevs
going for the maximum damage he can, Humanis
scuzzbuckets 3 and 4 will each get 2 rounds sent their
way.
Trevs SS target number is thus 6 1 = 5 for the first
Humanis dropkick. His FA target number for the first
RANGED COMBAT

57
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
target is also 5 (the Gas Vent compensates for rounds 2
and 3 and round 1 doesnt need recoil compensation).
For the second target, the SS target number is 5 + 2 = 7
(additional target), and the FA target number is 8 (Trevs
Strength can handle rounds 4 and 5 but not 6). For tar-
get numero 3, the SS target number is 8 + 2 + 1 = 11
(this would be round 7, which is not the first round of
the Combat Phase, and thus requires compensation-
something that Trev does not have left). Lucky number
3s FA target number is 12 (theres only 1 round after
the first). The final Humanis slitch will have a SS target
number of 12 + 2 + 1 = 15, and a FA target number of
16.
Trev opens up, he has a Firearms of 4, and 6 Combat
Pool dice to throw around. He allocates none to the first
2 rolls, and 3 each to the second 2. For his first target,
he has a SS target number of 5, and a FA target number
of 5. He rolls his 4 dice and comes up with 3, 3, 5, 5,
which is 2 successes. Target 1 has an 11S burst with 2
successes to weather. For the second target, Trev needs
7s for the SS target number, and 8s for the FA target
number. He generates 1, 2, 5, 7, which is one success,
and which misses out on the FA target number by 1.
Thus target 2 cops a 2 round burst with 1 success,
which comes to 10M. Target 3 is lucky, as Trev needs
11 for the SS target number and 12 for the FA target
number. Trev only comes up with 2, 3, 4, 4, 7, 8, 10.
Damn, oh well, perhaps the stray shots will hit another
Humanis target. For the last target, Trev needs 15 for
the SS target number and 16 for the FA target number.
He rolls 1, 1, 3, 5, 8, 9, 15, which gets him 1 success
for the SS target number and misses the FA target num-
ber by 1. Thus target 4 only takes a single round with 1
success, i.e. 8M.

Caligula is going to fire two bursts from his HK-227S
at the corp types bodyguards. The lighting is good, Ca-
ligula has the weapon smartlinked, and the men in
shades and long coats arent moving very fast. Since the
range is Short, Caligula has a SS target number for the
first bodyguard of 4 2 = 2. Caligula, not being terribly
strong, has no recoil bonuses. Thus his FA target number
for the 1st bodyguard is 2 + 2 = 4. For the second burst,
at the second bodyguard, Caligulas SS target number is
4 + 2 + 1 = 7 (due to the recoil and the additional tar-
get). The FA target number for this second bodyguard is
7 + 2 = 9. Rolling his Firearms of 3, and adding no
Combat Pool dice, Caligula rolls 1, 3, 4, which is 2 suc-
cesses, and all rounds hitting the first bodyguard, for a
Damage Code of 10S. For the second bodyguard, Ca-
ligula adds 3 dice from his Combat Pool, and generates
2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 8. This is 1 success, and Caligula missed
the FA target number by 1, so 1 round misses. The 2nd
bodyguard thus suffers a 9M attack with 1 success.

The only comments I have to make on these autofire
rules is that they require a bit more mental gymnastics than
the Shadowrun vanilla rules, and they make autofire quite a
dangerous thing to contend with. As it should be.
!
Barriers
Damion Milliken <milko@uow.edu.au> and Gurth
<gurth@xs4all .nl >, with some input from Vince
Pellerin
Reference: SRII p. 98
These rules replace the Barrier Rating rules found on
page 98 of SRII. They are actually extrapolated house rules
that are based upon many hours of research through, and
deliberation on, the SRII rules.

Note: Throughout these rules, unless otherwise stated,
roundings are to be made down, and performed after all
calculations have been completed. Thus, 9 5.5 + 2 would
equal 5.5, rounding down to 5, NOT 9 5 + 2 = 6, round-
ing down the 5.5.

There are two Effective Barrier Ratings. The first, the
Damage Barrier Rating is for damaging the barrier (AKA
Break Through). The Penetration Barrier Rating is used
for penetrating the barrier (AKA Firing Through). Both of
these Effective Barrier Ratings can be calculated from the
base Barrier Rating, and the type of attack, as per the Am-
munition vs. Barriers Table on the next page.
RANGED COMBAT
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
58


Ammunition vs. Barriers Table
Ammunition/Attack Damage Barrier Rating Penetration Barrier Rating Source
APDS ammo Barrier Rating ! 3
1
Barrier Rating 2 SRII + house rule
Armor-Piercing Anti-Vehicle Weapons Barrier Rating ! 3
1
Barrier Rating 2 SRII + house rule
Blasts Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating SRII
Blunt melee weapons Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating SRII
Cannon rounds Barrier Rating 2 Barrier Rating ! 2 SRII
2

Combat spells Barrier Rating ! 2
3
SRII
Damaging Manipulation spells Barrier Rating Barrier Rating SRII
Explosive ammo Barrier Rating 2 Barrier Rating ! 2 SRII
Flechette ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating ! 2 SRII
Gel (Stun) Ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating SRII
Needle ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating
4
Neo-Anarchists
Guide to Real Life
Regular ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating SRII
Sharp melee weapons Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating ! 2 SRII
Shot shotgun rounds Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating ! 2 SRII

Net.Sourcebooks
#000 Triplex ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating ! 2 Chromebook 2
Acid ammo Barrier Rating
5
Barrier Rating ! 2 Chromebook 1
AP Flechette ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating NERPS: Shadow-
Lore
APFSDS shotgun ammo Barrier Rating ! 3 Barrier Rating 2 Blackhands Street
Weapons 2058
AP Incendiary ammo Barrier Rating ! 3 Barrier Rating 2 Chromebook 1 & 2
Armor Piercing ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating 2 NERPS: Shadow-
Lore
Depleted Uranium ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating NERPS: Shadow-
Lore
Dual Purpose ammo Barrier Rating Barrier Rating Chromebook 2
Duplex ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating Running Gear
Extra High Impact cannon ammo Barrier Rating Barrier Rating Chromebook 2
Firepower ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating Street Samurai
Catalog/Running
Gear
Fragmentation Flechette ammo Barrier Rating Barrier Rating ! 2 Chromebook 2
Flare shotgun ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Chromebook 2
Flash shotgun ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Chromebook 2
Gas shotgun ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating Chromebook 2
Glaser ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating ! 4 Running Gear
HE shotgun ammo Barrier Rating 2 Barrier Rating ! 2 Blackhands Street
Weapons 2058
HEAP ammo Barrier Rating 2 Barrier Rating NERPS: Shadow-
Lore
HEAT shotgun ammo Barrier Rating 2 Barrier Rating Blackhands Street
Weapons 2058
HEP ammo Barrier Rating 2 Barrier Rating ! 2 Chromebook 1
HESH ammo Barrier Rating Barrier Rating ! 2 SWO Guns
Hollow Point ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating + 2 NERPS: Shadow-
Lore
Incendiary ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating + 2 NERPS: Shadow-
Lore
LAPHE ammo Barrier Rating ! 1.5 Barrier Rating Chromebook 2
Multi-flechette ammo Barrier Rating ! 3 Barrier Rating 2
6
Chromebook 1
Ramjet ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating Chromebook 2
Rubber Bullets Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating Chromebook 2
Safety Rounds Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating
6
Blackhands Street
Weapons 2058
RANGED COMBAT

59
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Silver ammo Barrier Rating ! 3 Barrier Rating ! 2 NERPS: Shadow-
Lore
Smoke shotgun ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating Chromebook 2
Stinger shotgun ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating Chromebook 2
Stundart ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating Chromebook 1
Teflon coating Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating NERPS: Shadow-
Lore
Tungsten ammo Barrier Rating ! 2 Barrier Rating NERPS: Shadow-
Lore

Table Notes
1) This is a house rule to make APDS and armor-piercing
weapons (such as many anti-vehicle weapons) less
damaging to barriers, due to their higher armor piercing
ability than regular rounds and weapons. The SRII rule is
to use the Barrier Rating ! 2
2) SRII does not specifically say so, but these are treated
here as explosive rounds.
3) Combat spells cannot hit someone on the other side of a
barrier they are attacking, unless they are an area of af-
fect physical combat spell.
4) Will not penetrate an unmodified Barrier Rating of 3 or
higher.
5) If the Power Level exceeds twice the Damage Barrier
Rating, the Barrier Rating goes down by 1 in addition to
any normal reductions.
6) Will not penetrate an unmodified Barrier Rating of 4 or
higher.

The Damage Barrier Rating is calculated and then com-
pared to the Power Level of the attack. There are three
possibilities, per the Barrier Effects Table on page 98, SRII:

A) THE POWER LEVEL IS SMALLER THAN ONE-HALF
THE DAMAGE BARRIER RATING. In this case, nothing hap-
pens except for some chips and scratches to the barrier.
B) THE POWER LEVEL IS LESS THAN, OR EQUAL TO,
THE DAMAGE BARRIER RATING. The Barrier Rating (not the
Damage Barrier Rating) is reduced by 1.
C) THE POWER LEVEL IS LARGER THAN THE DAMAGE
BARRIER RATING. Subtract the Damage Barrier Rating from
the Power Level, multiply by 2, divide by the Barrier Rating,
and round up. Reduce the Barrier Rating by this number,
and a hole is made, with a width in meters equal to one-
half this number (do not round).

Any spells that have particular effects are to be used as
per their individual descriptions, with the Barrier Rating
referred to in the description being equal to the actual Bar-
rier Rating of the barrier, not the Damage Barrier Rating as
calculated above.

Example A1: Carmen aims her Ares Predator at
BlackFire, whos behind an armored glass wall (Barrier
Rating 4). The Predator does 9M damage, and Carmen
has loaded it with regular rounds. From the table, the
Damage Barrier Rating against regular ammo is equal to
the Barrier Rating ! 2, which makes it 8 in this case. The
Power Level of 9 exceeds this, so the Barrier Rating is
reduced by 1 (to 3) and a 50 cm diameter hole is made
in the glass.

Example B1: Edward comes under fire from a secu-
rity guard and ducks behind a concrete wall. The wall
has a Barrier Rating of 20, and the guard is firing explo-
sive ammo from his AK-97 assault rifle. The Damage
Barrier Rating is halved against explosive rounds, mak-
ing it 10. The weapons Power Level is 9, which is less
than the Damage Barrier Rating, but more than one-half
the Damage Barrier Rating, so the Barrier Rating is re-
duced by 1.

Example C1: Cindy casts a Force 6 Power Bolt spell
at a locked door, which has a Barrier Rating of 3. This is
doubled to 6 for combat spells like Power Bolt, making
that the Power Level of the spell (i.e. its Force) is equal
to the Damage Barrier Rating: the spell reduces the Bar-
rier Rating of the door by 1, to 2.

Example D1: Foobar takes his Panther Assault Can-
non and fires it at an interior wall in an office. Notori-
ously flimsy, this has a Barrier Rating of 2. Against as-
sault cannon rounds, the Damage Barrier Rating is equal
to the Barrier Rating 2, in this case making it 1. The
Power Level of 18 is surely more than the Damage Bar-
rier Rating, which means it opens a hole in the wall. The
holes size is .5 meters for every increment equal to half
the base Barrier Rating that the Damage Barrier Rating is
exceeded; the difference between the Power Level and
one-half the Barrier Rating is 18 (22) = 18 1 = 17.
17 ! .5 meters = 8.5 meters, so a hole with a diameter
of 8.5 meters is blown in the wall, and the Barrier Rating
is also reduced by 17. Since that would make it 15, the
Barrier Rating drops to 0.

For burst attacks containing more than a single round,
there are three alternative methods of calculating the dam-
age to the barrier, with method A being recommended:

A) SIMPLE, SHADOWRUN METHOD: the Power Level of
the attack, modified for the burst, is compared to the Dam-
age Barrier Rating to determine the loss of Barrier Rating.
The comparison is only made once.
B) SIMPLE, SRII ERRATA METHOD: compare the Power
Level of the attack, without modifying it for the burst, to the
Damage Barrier Rating to determine the loss of Barrier Rat-
ing. The comparison is only made once.
C) MORE REALISTIC, BUT TIME CONSUMING
METHOD: the calculation is performed for each round in a
burst, with reductions in the Barrier Rating of the barrier
being taken into account between each bullet.
RANGED COMBAT
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
60

Penetrating The Barrier
If the attack was actually aimed at a target on the other
side of the barrier, then the Penetration Barrier Rating
comes into play (in such a case, this calculation is probably
better off being carried out first). It should be noted that
both these effects are occurring simultaneously, and that
reductions to the Barrier Rating caused by the passage of a
round do not affect the Barrier Rating used to calculate the
Penetration Barrier Rating.
The Penetration Barrier Rating is subtracted from the
Power Level of the attack to determine the Effective Power
Level of the attack. If the Effective Power Level is zero or
negative, then the round is stopped cold, else targets on
the other side of the barrier must resist an attack with a
Power Level equal to the Effective Power Level.

Example A2: Carmens shot may now penetrate the
armored glass. The Penetration Barrier Rating against
regular ammo is 4 (equal to the base Barrier Rating),
which is subtracted from the Power Level of the round.
The 9M round is thereby reduced to 5M when it hits
BlackFire. Keep in mind that the reduction in Barrier Rat-
ing, that also resulted from the same shot, doesnt apply
just yet. If Carmen fires through the glass again, that
shot will face the reduced Barrier Rating of 3, however.

Example B2: With the explosive round from the
guards AK-97, the Penetration Barrier Rating is equal to
the Barrier Rating ! 2, which makes it 40 in this case.
The Power Level is only 9, stopping the round dead in
the wall. Conclusion: explosive ammo is great for break-
ing down barriers, but not for firing at targets on the
other side.

Example C2: Cindy was casting a non-area of affect
Combat spell, which cannot hit anyone out of sight of
the magician. Even if there is someone on the other
side of the door, he or she wont be hit.

Example D2: Like Cindy, Foobar aimed his cannon at
the barrier, not at someone behind it. However, for the
sake of argument lets assume some office worker hap-
pened to stand in direct line with Foobars shot. The Bar-
rier Rating is doubled to find the Penetration Barrier Rat-
ing against assault cannon rounds, so it becomes 4. The
poor wageslave still faces 14D damage from the can-
non

Resolving the affects of burst attacks on targets on the
other side of barriers will depend upon the method used
above to determine the damage to the barrier:

A) SIMPLE, SHADOWRUN METHOD: the Effective
Power Level is merely equal to the Power Level, modified
for the burst, minus the Penetration Barrier Rating.
B) SIMPLE, SRII ERRATA METHOD: the Effective Power
Level is merely equal to the Power Level, without modify-
ing it for the burst, minus the Penetration Barrier Rating.
Burst modifiers are applied after calculation of the Effective
Power Level and determination of actual penetration
C) MORE REALISTIC, BUT TIME CONSUMING
METHOD: when firing a burst at a target on the other side
of a barrier, it is possible that each round in the burst will
have a different Power Level after penetrating the barrier:

For example, an SMG (7M) firing at a target on the
other side of a Barrier Rating 7 barrier, using regular
ammo:
Round 1: Stopped cold
Round 2: 1M
Round 3: 2M
Round 4: 3M
Round 5: 4M
Round 6: 5M
Round 7: 7M
Round 8: 7M
Round 9: 7M

For the purposes of calculating the final damage code,
there are three different options, the first being the recom-
mended one:

1) AVERAGE THE POWER LEVELS OF THE
PENETRATING ROUNDS (rounding down) and then apply
the burst modifier to this. In the above example, the aver-
age Power Level is (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 7 + 7 + 7) 8 = 4,
and 8 rounds hit the target. Thus the final damage code is
12D.
2) TAKE THE HIGHEST POWER LEVEL and then apply
the burst modifier to this. In the above example, the high-
est Power Level is 7, and 8 rounds hit the target. Thus the
final damage code is 15D.
3) TAKE THE LOWEST PENETRATING POWER LEVEL
and then apply the burst modifier to this. In the above ex-
ample, the lowest Power Level is 1, and 8 rounds hit the
target. Thus the final damage code is 9D.
!
Vehicle Armor
Determine the damage to the vehicle, by first using the
penetrating rules (Penetration Barrier Rating) to see if the
attack penetrates the vehicles armor. For this, we use the
Ammunition Vs. Vehicle Armor Table.

Example D3: Foobar is outside the office, and turns
his Panther against a Chrysler-Nissan Patrol-One that is
bringing in some reinforcements to stop him. The Patrol-
One has an Armor rating of 6, which is doubled against
the assault cannon, to make it 12. The Power Level of
the cannon is 18, so it can penetrate the armor.

The vehicle must resist an attack with an Effective Power
Level = Power Level Effective Vehicle Armor Rating. If the
Effective Power Level is zero or less then the attack fails to
penetrate the vehicle armor. If the Effective Power Level is
positive, then the vehicle must resist the damage. How-
ever, the vehicle gets its Body Attribute as composite ar-
mor, and so may subtract its Body Attribute from the Effec-
tive Power Level of the attack (minimum of 2, as per normal
Shadowrun armor rules). However, if the attack is from an
armor-piercing weapon or APDS ammunition, then the
vehicle may only subtract its Body 2 at this stage.

RANGED COMBAT

61
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
The Damage Level of the attack is one less than the
originating Damage Level, except in the case of anti-vehicle
weapons. For these weapons, the Damage Level is not
reduced.

Ammunition vs. Vehicle Armor Table
Ammunition/Attack Effective Vehicle Armor Rating Source
APDS ammo Vehicle Armor Rating 2 SRII + house rule
Armor-Piercing Anti-Vehicle Weapons Vehicle Armor Rating 2 SRII + house rule
Blasts Vehicle Armor Rating SRII
Blunt melee weapons Vehicle Armor Rating SRII
Cannon rounds Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 SRII
1

Combat spells
2
SRII
Damaging Manipulation spells Vehicle Armor Rating SRII
Explosive ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 SRII
Flechette ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 SRII
Gel (Stun) Ammo Vehicle Armor Rating SRII
Needle ammo Vehicle Armor Rating
3
Neo-Anarchists Guide to Real Life
Regular ammo Vehicle Armor Rating SRII
Sharp melee weapons Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 SRII
Shot shotgun rounds Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 SRII

Net.Sourcebooks
#000 Triplex ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 Chromebook 2
Acid ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 Chromebook 1
AP Flechette ammo Vehicle Armor Rating NERPS: ShadowLore
APFSDS shotgun ammo Vehicle Armor Rating 2 Blackhands Street Weapons 2058
AP Incendiary ammo Vehicle Armor Rating 2 Chromebook 1 & 2
Armor Piercing ammo Vehicle Armor Rating 2 NERPS: ShadowLore
Depleted Uranium ammo Vehicle Armor Rating NERPS: ShadowLore
Dual Purpose ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Chromebook 2
Du-plex ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Running Gear
Extra High Impact cannon ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Chromebook 2
Firepower ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Street Samurai Catalog/Running Gear
Fragmentation Flechette ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 Chromebook 2
Flare shotgun ammo Chromebook 2
Flash shotgun ammo Chromebook 2
Gas shotgun ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Chromebook 2
Glaser ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 4 Running Gear
HE shotgun ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 Blackhands Street Weapons 2058
HEAP ammo Vehicle Armor Rating NERPS: ShadowLore
HEAT shotgun ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Blackhands Street Weapons 2058
HEP ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 Chromebook 1
HESH ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 SWO Guns
Hollow Point ammo Vehicle Armor Rating + 2 NERPS: ShadowLore
Incendiary ammo Vehicle Armor Rating + 2 NERPS: ShadowLore
LAPHE ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Chromebook 2
Multi-flechette ammo Vehicle Armor Rating 2
4
Chromebook 1
Ramjet ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Chromebook 2
Rubber Bullets Vehicle Armor Rating Chromebook 2
Safety Rounds Vehicle Armor Rating4 Blackhands Street Weapons 2058
Silver ammo Vehicle Armor Rating ! 2 NERPS: ShadowLore
Smoke shotgun ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Chromebook 2
Stinger shotgun ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Chromebook 2
Stundart ammo Vehicle Armor Rating Chromebook 1
Teflon coating Vehicle Armor Rating NERPS: ShadowLore
Tungsten ammo Vehicle Armor Rating NERPS: ShadowLore



62

Table Notes
1) SRII does not specifically say so, but these are treated
here as explosive rounds.
2) Combat spells resolve their affects on vehicles per the
rules on page 109 of SRII.
3) Will not penetrate an unmodified Vehicle Armor Rat-
ing of 3 or higher.
4) Will not penetrate an unmodified Vehicle Armor Rat-
ing of 4 or higher.

The vehicle rolls (as always) Body + (Armor 2) to resist
the damage.

Example D4: Foobar hits the Patrol-One. The vehicle
has to resist 3S damage from the shot: the Power Level
is reduced by the Effective Vehicle Armor Rating, from
18 to 6, and then another 3 points are subtracted be-
cause the cars Body is 3; because the Panther cannon
isnt a specific anti-vehicle weapon its Damage Level is
reduced by one category, from D to S. The vehicle now
gets its 3 Body dice and one-half its Armor dice to resist
the attack: a total of 6 dice against a target number 3.

Vehicle armor does not degrade or get reduced as per
the Damage Barrier Rating rules, however. It will suffer
degradation by the armor degradation rules outlined below.

There are also alternative, by the book, interpretations of
the vehicle armor rules:

BY THE BOOK INTERPRETATION OF THE VEHICLE
ARMOR RULES 1: use the rules as above but instead of
using the armor degradation rules outlined below, apply
the barrier degradation rules to vehicle armor as well. This
is accomplished by using the Damage Barrier Rating rules
exactly as they are above, with the Vehicle Armor Rating in
place of the Barrier Rating. A question that must to be an-
swered by each individual gamemaster is whether or not
holes will be opened up in the vehicles armor, as per the
Damage Barrier Rating rules, or whether the armor will just
be degraded, but no holes produced. Either way this results
in vehicle armor rapidly degrading in the face of attacks.

Example D4a: the Damage Barrier Rating is equal to
the Vehicle Armor Rating 2 against cannon rounds, so
that becomes 3 (6 2). The Power Level of the Panther
cannon exceeds the Damage Barrier Rating, so the Vehi-
cle Armor Rating gets reduced. The reduction is 4: one-
half the Vehicle Armor Rating is 3, which fits four times
into the difference between Power Level and Barrier Rat-
ing. The Vehicle Armor Rating after the shot is 6 4 =
2.
Depending on whether the gamemaster rules that
holes are opened in the armor or not, a 2-meter hole
could now be in the Patrol-Ones side.

BY THE BOOK INTERPRETATION OF THE VEHICLE
ARMOR RULES 2: for vehicle armor, do not use either
Damage Barrier Rating or Penetration Barrier Rating, but
simply subtract the Vehicle Armor Rating from the Power
Level of the attack. If the attack is from an Armor-Piercing
weapon or ammunition, then subtract half the Vehicle Ar-
mor Rating (round down) from the Power Level of the at-
tack. If the Effective Power Level is then zero or negative,
the round bounces off the armor.
If the Effective Power Level is greater than zero, then the
vehicle resists the damage (at the appropriately reduced
Damage Level), using its Body attribute as composite Ballis-
tic and Impact armor. APDS and armor-piercing weapons
halve (round down) the Body attribute of the vehicle for the
purposes of this calculation. (The minimum target number is
2.) The Damage Level of the attack is one less than the
original Damage Level, except in the case of anti-vehicle
weapons. For these weapons, the Damage Level is not
reduced. This is simple and easy, but not entirely satisfying.

Example D4b: The Panther cannons Power Level is
18, minus the Vehicle Armor Rating and Body, which
results in an Effective Power Level of 18 6 3 = 9.
The vehicle has to resist 9S damage.
!
Critter Hardened Armor
Treat it exactly the same as vehicle armor, i.e. using the
Penetration Barrier Rating rules. The critters Body is to be
treated the same as a vehicles Body, and hardened armor
the same as vehicle armor, except that critter hardened
armor does not degrade at all. However, at the gamemas-
ters option, critter hardened armor may degrade as per the
armor degradation rules explained below.

Example E1: Bob finds himself on a boat in the North
Atlantic, hunting leviathan for sport with some way too
rich guy (he wonders why hes doing this, too). The
employer, as eccentric as is to be expected, has decided
to use normal hunting rifles, which do 9S damage; the
leviathan has 2 points of hardened armor and a Body of
11. APDS ammo is used, which can easily penetrate the
armor rating of 2, so the leviathan now has to resist a
damage of 2M: base Power Level 9 (Armor Rating
2)2 one-half Body 5.5 = Power Level of 2.5, round-
ing to 2; the Damage Level is reduced by one to M. For
this Damage Resistance Test, the critter gets 12 dice: its
Body plus one-half its Armor.
!
Personal Hardened Armor
Treat it exactly the same as critter hardened armor, ex-
cept that the Body attribute of the person inside does not
count as composite armor and reduce the Effective Power
Level, and the Damage Level of the attack is never reduced
by one category. The personal hardened armor will be
penetrated as per the Penetration Barrier Rating rules, and
will degrade as per the rules below. This rule only applies
to personal hardened armor, and not to normal personal
armor.

Example A3: BlackFire shoots back at Carmen, who
wears a light military armor (ratings 10/7). BlackFire is
packing serious firepower, namely a 14S sniper rifle fir-
ing regular rounds. The Effective Power Level is 14 10
= 4, and so the damage Carmen has to resist is 4S. In
addition, some armor degradation will occur (see be-
low).
RANGED COMBAT

63
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
At some later stage, Carmen has acquired a new set
of light military armor, and one of BlackFires buddies
shoots 10 regular rounds from his HK227 (7M damage
each) at Carmen. Using method A for resolving burst
attacks, the Power Level of a single round is less than
the Ballistic rating of Carmens armor, so all rounds sim-
ply bounce off without causing any damage to her at all.
However, the attack may damage the armor itself (see
below).
Gel Packs
In addition to the rules as above, each time the armor is
penetrated (i.e. each attack that the person inside must
resist with their Body), both the Ballistic and Impact armor
ratings are reduced by 1. This reduction is not applied on a
bullet by bullet basis, rather it is applied per attack (i.e. a
single burst, no matter how large, will only reduce the rat-
ings by 1, not by 1 per bullet, assuming that it penetrates at
all, of course). The gel pack armor will also degrade by the
degradation rules outlined below.

Example A4: Carmen shoots back at BlackFires
chummer, this time using her M22-A2 firing regular
rounds on full auto. She fires 6 rounds and hits, causing
14D damage. The target is wearing an armor jacket with
gel packs (5/3 armor), but, again using method A,
Carmens rifle has a base Power Level of 8, so it pene-
trates and the guy has to resist the damage. The gel
packs efficiency is automatically reduced by 1 point,
regardless of any other reductions that may result from
the burst.
!
Armor Degradation
This rule replaces the armor degradation rules on page
75 of Fields of Fire, and it applies equally to personal non-
hardened armor, gel pack armor, personal hardened armor,
and vehicle armor. It may also, at the gamemasters discre-
tion, apply to critter hardened armor, and maybe even to
regular critter armor.

Armor degradation uses the Damage Barrier Rating
rules, but with the following modifications:

Light Damage Code Weapons, Effective Armor Rating
= (Ballistic + Impact) ! 8
Moderate Damage Code Weapons, Effective Armor
Rating = (Ballistic + Impact) ! 4
Serious Damage Code Weapons, Effective Armor Rat-
ing = (Ballistic + Impact) ! 2
Deadly Damage Code Weapons, Effective Armor Rat-
ing = (Ballistic + Impact)

The Effective Armor Rating is then used in the place of
the Barrier Rating in the Damage Barrier Rating rules. I.e. a
2 modifier for explosive rounds, a !3 modifier for APDS,
and the other modifiers would also apply. Also, no holes
are created in the armor as a result of armor degradation.
Additionally, only articles listed as armor in the sourcebooks
abide by these rulesother impediments to attacks, like a
steel plate worn in front of a characters chest, use the stan-
dard barrier rules.

For vehicle armor and critter hardened armor, use the
armor rating in place of the (Ballistic + Impact) sum above.
Alternatively, twice the armor rating may be used to repre-
sent the greater robustness of hardened armors, and takes
into account that they really have Ballistic and Impact rat-
ings equal to their single rating.

Example A5: BlackFires chummer (we wont bother
giving him a name because hes not going to survive
this example anyway) had to resist 14D damage, minus
his Ballistic armor of 5. The base Damage Code of the
weapon is 8M, though, so for purposes of armor degra-
dation his Effective Armor Rating is (Ballistic + Impact) !
4, which is (5 + 3) ! 4 = 8 ! 4 = 32. This is then dou-
bled because Carmen fires regular ammo, to 64. No
matter which way you look at it, Carmens attack is not
powerful enough to cause armor degradation.

Example D5: Foobar and his assault cannon aim at
one of the sec guards crawling out of the Patrol-One af-
ter Foobar pumped a few more rounds into it. He fires,
and hits. The guard is wearing a vest with plates (4/3
armor) and because of Foobars cannon rounds doing a
base of Deadly damage, his Effective Armor Rating is 4
+ 3 = 7. This is then halved to 3.5 because its an assault
cannon round The Armor rating is reduced by (18 7)
3.5 = 11 3.5 = 4 points.

There are three alternatives to assigning the degraded
armor points, with the first being the recommended
method.

1) SPLIT IT EQUALLY BETWEEN BOTH RATINGS, with
any odd point going to the armor rating used to resist the
attack.
Example D6a: Of the 4 points, 2 are taken from the
Ballistic rating and 2 from the Impact rating: the reduc-
tion is distributed evenly, though if there was a point
left over it would come from the Ballistic rating because
that is used to resist damage from assault cannons. The
new Armor ratings are Ballistic 2, Impact 1.

2) APPLY THE FULL REDUCTION TO BOTH ARMOR
RATINGS.
Example D6b: Both Ballistic and Impact ratings are
reduced by 4, giving the armor a 0/0 rating.

3) APPLY THE FULL REDUCTION TO THE RATING USED
TO RESIST THE ATTACK.
Example D6c: Ballistic is used to resist damage from
the cannon, so it is reduced by 4 points. The new armor
ratings are 0/3.

In the case of vehicle armor, the Damage Level used is
the same one which the vehicle resists, not the original
Damage Level of the weapon. I.e. all weapons except anti-
vehicle weapons have their Damage Level reduced by one.
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64

Barrier Ratings
For those gamemasters who wish for an additional level
of selection and fine tuning for Barrier Ratings, the original
SRI Barrier Ratings are transportable directly into SRII. The
Barrier Ratings are outlined in the tables.

First Edition Barrier Ratings
Material Barrier Rating
Thin Normal Thick Rein-
forced
Wood 0 1 2 4
Armor Glass 1 2 4 8
Plywood 1 3 6 12
Construction Plastic 2 4 8 16
Impact Plastic 2 5 10 20
Steel Sheet 3 6 12 24
Ballistic Composite 3 7 14 28
Concrete 4 8 16 32

Second Edition Barrier Ratings
Material Rating
Standard Glass 2
Cheap Material/Regular Tires 3
Average Material/Ballistic Glass 4
Heavy Material 6
Reinforced/Armored Glass 8
Structural Material 12
Heavy Structural Material 16
Armored/Reinforced Material 24
Hardened Material 32

If the two sets of Barrier Ratings are compared, it can be
seen that they are actually very similar. The SRI Barrier Rat-
ings are more specific and explicit in what they assign, but
they only assign values for a limited selection of materials.
The SRII Barrier Ratings appear to have tried to correct this
with general ratings, at the expense of including thick-
nesses for the materials. It is possible to use the SRI Barrier
Ratings as a guide for specific materials.
!
ALTERNATIVE
See Armor Degradation on page 65.
Body Armor
!
Body Armor and Called Shots
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII p. 92, Fields of Fire p. 75
If armor degradation occurs when layering armor, all
worn armor in the hit location is degraded the full amount.
All non-magical ranged attacks will be treated in an abstract
fashion, unless a Called Shot is attempted. Thus, all worn
armor (except forearm guards, of course) will apply to the
shot, including helmets. When calling a shot, a character
has two options: he can target a specific location of the
body, or he can choose to cause a special effect to happen
with the shot. In the case of the former instance, only the
armor covering the targeted location will apply to the Dam-
age Resistance test. In the latter case, any desired special
effect must be approved by the gamemaster. Some exam-
ples of generally acceptable special effects are: shooting the
gun out of a targets hand and temporarily disabling the use
of a leg by shooting out a knee.
All long coats are considered to cover the full length of
the legs, torso, and arms. Form-fitting armor level 1 covers
the torso only; form-fitting armor level 2 covers the torso
and legs; form-fitting armor level 3 covers the torso, legs,
and arms. For the sake of simplicity, all coats, jackets, and
vests are considered to cover their standard areas at all
times-even if they would realistically not do so because
they were currently open in the front. Also, helmets are
considered to cover the entire head, even if they are open-
faced.
Calling a shot to a specific area of the body does not, in
itself, increase the damage caused. For example, targeting
the head of an opponent does not change the base Power
Level or damage code of the attack. Specific cinematic
effects of ranged attacks will be determined by the game-
master, including the location hit in the case of abstract
shots. These effects will not affect the amount of damage
caused in any way. In fact, it will often be the other way
around-the amount of damage caused may determine
where the target was hit.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
The concept of the Called Shot is something that should
not be taken lightly. By utilizing this rule you makes things
a bit more realistic but also a hell of a lot more deadly. The
big problem I run into while gamemastering is the fact that
if I used as many called shots on the PCs as they use on my
NPCs they all would die during the first fire fight. All it takes
is a good called shot to the head and your armor rating of
10 is suddenly reduced to a 0, or a whopping 1 if youre
wearing a helmet.
The following are two variations to the Called Shot rules,
the first of which resembles FASAs normal rules, while the
second is a home brew version which Ive had some pretty
good success with. Note: The two variations are NOT com-
patible with each other.
! Variation 1
Rule #1: Called Shots against partially covered ob-
jects/body parts still receive the +4 partial cover modifier.
This isnt anything new, I simply present it as a reminder
of the importance of keeping your head down, taking
cover, shooting around corners, etc.
Rule #2: Use the armor rating of the targeted area when
calculating damage.
The rules state, somewhere, that called shots simply
raise the Damage Code by one level. This is stupid. The
damage is going to get to D eventually any way and such a
bonus isnt spectacularly helpful. The realistic thing to do
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would be to calculate the armor rating at the point of im-
pact and go from there. In fact, its a good idea to keep the
armor ratings of the arms, legs, head, and torso written
down somewhere so they can be easily referenced. This
also allows people with single cyberarms, off balanced
armor, and so on to take advantage of their armors
uniqueness.
Rule #3: There is an additional +2 modifier for shooting
at the head.
This is because I hate it when people shoot at the head.
! Variation 2
I actually prefer this system over the above because it is
easier to use and results is less outright slayings. The way it
works is simple: Add +1 to the target number for every 1
you wish to give to the targets armor rating for the pur-
pose of calculating damage. In other words, the attacker
could take a +5 modifier to fire if they want to give some-
body wearing an Armor Jacket no armor advantage, a +3 if
they wished to reduce the advantage to 2, and so on. If the
target had an overall armor rating of 10, the attacker could
take a +7 to give the target an armor rating of 3. You dont
actually declare what body part youre shooting at, this
system just assumes you were aiming at a seam in the
armor, the targets hand or head, and so on. For role-
playing purposes the location damaged would probably
relate to how much damage is done. If the resulting dam-
age is deadly then the gamemaster may very well deter-
mine that the head received the bullet(s). Gamemasters
may wish to toss in an additional +2 modifier if this rule
seems a bit too deadly.
!
Armor Degradation
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
Body armor shouldnt stick around forever, especially
when it gets wracked up as much as it does in Shadowrun.
Armor can only take so many hits before it simply falls apart
or, at the very least, loses the rigidity or coverage required
for it to give an actual armor benefit. Eventually the armor
becomes a holed up rag giving no more protection than
would a handi-wipe. Hence my armor degradation rules.
Basically, the gamemaster determines when the armor
rating of a character should drop by taking into account
how much theyve been wracked up. If somebody takes a
couple 6-round bursts from a HVAR, you can bet a bit of
armors been shredded. But, at the same time, it may only
take a few rounds from a shotgun to do the same armor
damage because, with shot, it ravages a larger area and,
with slug, the bullets are really, really big. Assault rifle
rounds may not even phase heavy armor, but a stream of
slugs from an HMG should be chipping armor left and right.
There are so many different kinds of bullets, firing rates, and
so on and so forth that to specialize rules for each kind of
weapon would be an enormous headache.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
If the total number of rounds which has impacted the
characters armor exceeds double the total armor rating
then the level drops by one. In other words, if the total
armor rating is 8 then, after the armor receives 16 bullets,
the rating drops by 1 starting at the top layer of armor. I
think this rule is a bit, but not a whole lot, better than
FASAs because it would normally be more realistic to de-
termine armor loss by the number of bullets, not damage. A
sniping round may end up virtually killing somebody wear-
ing an armor jacket but would have little effect on the ar-
mor, creating a fairly small hole on the grand scale of
things. For the purpose of armor degradation the gamemas-
ter may wish to double the bullet value of weapons firing
exceptionally large rounds, such as HMGs, Shotguns,
MMGs, etc. For hardened armor the gamemaster may wish
to halve the value of light weapon bullets, while keeping
the bullet count for heavy weapons at 1 per bullet. The big
down side of this variation is it requires book-keeping,
which is why I prefer the other variation (above).
!
Armored Boots and Helmets
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 242, 257
These items do not add to the characters total armor
rating. Instead they provide an armor rating equal to their
associated armor type to the part of the body they cover.
The benefit this provides against called-shots to otherwise
exposed body parts is obvious.
!
Excessive Armor Penalties
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII p. 84, Neo-Anarchists Guide to Real
Life p. 94
Wearing large amounts of armor restricts movement and
slows a person down. If the total ratings of all armor worn
(layering) has an Impact rating which exceeds the charac-
ters Quickness Attribute, then for each point of Impact
armor beyond his Quickness Attribute, one die is lost from
the characters Combat Pool. This calculation only applies to
worn external armornot to natural armor nor to cyber-
ware/bioware enhancements.
!
Higher Armor Rating Than Power Level
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Logically, when an attacks Power Level is less than the
targets armor rating, it should do less damage than an
attack whose Power Level exceeds the armor rating. How-
ever, since the armor rating is subtracted from the Power
Level to find the target number for the Damage Resistance
Test, this means that at a certain point, the actual armor
rating is irrelevantthe target number cannot go below 2,
even if youre wearing 14 points of armor against a hold-
out pistol.
As a remedy, I give the target extra dice to roll for the
Damage Resistance Test. The number of dice is equal to the
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THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
66

difference between the Power Level and armor rating, di-
vided by two and rounded down.

Lance takes a shot at a security guard wearing a full
suit of heavy armor (Ballistic 8). Lances Power Level is
6, so the guard gets an extra die for his Body test to re-
sist the damage.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Jonathan Hurley <jhurley1@stevens-tech.edu>
If armor reduces the Power Level of an attack to less
than 2, the Damage Level is reduced by one level, and the
Power is increased by 2. If the Power Level is still under 2,
do it again, until the power is 2 or 3.
!
Called Shots
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 92, Fields of Fire p. 78
With the advent of the graded partial cover rules from
Fields of Fire (p. 78), the original Shadowrun Called Shot
modifier of +4 (p. 92 SRII) has become obsolete. If an op-
ponent were taking near full cover (+6), then it would be
more advantageous to take a Called Shot than to shoot the
actual target. I have simply moved the called shot target
number modifier up to +6 to be in line with the cover tar-
get number modifiers. This means that the Called Shot
modifier for Smartlink II is +4.
In addition, I dislike the way in which Shadowrun gen-
eralizes the effects of Called Shots (p. 92 SRII) into merely
increasing the Damage Code. I prefer to gauge the charac-
ters intent, and use judgment as to the results. The most
common reason for Calling Shots is thus to avoid a targets
armor (the infamous kneecapping or head shot attacks).
Other effects can also be generated, for example shooting
someones weapon from their grip.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Loki <gamemstr@primenet.com>
It didnt make sense to us that shooting a target that is
taking +6 cover (meaning 25% visible) had a higher target
number than shooting the same person in the head without
the cover (+4 to target number). The head itself is obviously
smaller than the 25% of the body represented as visible
with +6 cover. We also feel the modifiers given from the
various levels of cover come from the fact that the shooter
is having to make a called shot to bypass the barrier. Fur-
ther based off this, we have designated that a called shot to
an object or area 75-50% the size of a (meta)human re-
ceives a +2 modifier, between 50-25% this size is at +4,
and 25% or smaller takes a +6.

1. Johnny wants to shoot the Data Courier anywhere
but the head (Headware Memory). He takes a +2.
2. Johnny now wants to bypass an armor jacket, he
shoots anywhere from waist down. This is a +4.
3. Johnny decides to go for the head or some other
specific limb. This means a +6.
!
Combat Turn Sequence
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 78-80, 83, 86
Exactly when movement takes place during combat is
kind of fuzzy. And having dice pools refresh at the begin-
ning of a characters combat phase actually punishes the
fastest character. This re-write of the turn sequence ad-
dresses these issues.
All Dice Pools Refresh (First Combat Turn Only)
If this is the first Combat Turn of a new fight, all Dice
Pools of all involved characters refresh, unless this is a Sur-
prise situation (p. 86, SRII).
1. Determine Initiative
Determine Initiative (p. 79, SRII) (Reaction plus Initiative
dice) for all characters, critters, spirits, or computer pro-
grams involved in the fight. Then determine which charac-
ter has the highest Initiative total.
2. Characters Take Actions
Characters involved in the combat now take their ac-
tions sequentially, starting with the character with the high-
est Initiative total. This character is the acting character. If
more than one character has the same Initiative total, see
Initiative Tie, p. 79, SRII.
A. Declare Movement
The acting character declares if he is moving this
combat phase. Target modifiers for movement (p. 83,
SRII) are applied until the beginning of the acting char-
acters next Combat Phase. If multiple characters are
moving within one Combat Phase (see Initiative Tie, p.
79, SRII), characters declare their movement in reverse
order, moving from the one with the lowest Initiative
total (or whatever is the determining value) up to the
character with the highest Initiative.
B. Declare Actions
The acting character declares his actions for the
Combat Phase. He may make Free, Simple, and Com-
plex Actions in any order. If multiple characters are act-
ing within one Combat Phase (see Initiative Tie, p. 79,
SRII), characters declare their actions in reverse order,
moving from the one with the lowest Initiative total (or
whatever is the determining value) up to the character
with the highest Initiative.
C. Resolve Actions and Movement
Resolve the actions and movement (see p. 79, SRII)
of the acting character. Once the actions and movement
have been resolved, the characters Initiative total is re-
duced by 10. If the resulting Initiative total is higher
than 0, the character may take additional actions later in
the Combat Turn. See Multiple Actions, p. 79, SRII. If it
is equal to 0 or less, the character is done for that Com-
bat Turn. If multiple characters are resolving actions dur-
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ing the same phase, resolve those of the character with
the highest initiative total (or whatever is the determin-
ing value) first, then the next highest, and so on. (See
Initiative Tie, p. 79, SRII).
D. Acting Characters Dice Pools Refresh
The Dice Pools of the acting character refresh. If he or
she has used no dice from the pools, they remain at
their current value.
E. Declare and Resolve Movement and Actions of
Remaining Characters
Move on to the character with the next highest Ini-
tiative total and resolve his actions, starting with step A
above. Continue cycling through steps A through E until
no character is eligible for actions.
3. Begin a New Combat Turn
Begin a new Combat Turn, starting again at step 1. Con-
tinue cycling through steps 1 through 3 until the combat is
resolved. Any unused dice in a characters Dice Pools carry
over to the next Combat Turn and are available for use until
the characters first action of that turn.
Damage
!
Complete Miss
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
Reference: SRII p. 84
The complete miss rule on page 84 of SRII is gone;
its too much of a pain in the ass to keep track of.
!
Falling Unconscious
Ray Macey <nightrain@elf.bri snet.org.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 110-111
Whenever a character takes damage, either Stun or
Physical there is a chance that the will fall unconscious, at
least temporarily. I rule that the character must make a
Willpower test against a target number equal to the number
of squares damage being done in the attack. This is modi-
fied by existing wound penalties, Stun and Physical. If the
test fails, the character is out for 5 minutes per square of
damage done. This may be staged down by making a Will-
power test against a target number equal to the total num-
ber of squares of damage done to the character (both Stun
and Physical).
These tests are only used of Deadly damage has not
been reached on either Condition Monitor. If either Condi-
tion Monitor reaches Deadly damage, then use the existing
rules.
!
Overdamage
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: SRII p. 110-112, Fields of Fire p. 79,
Shadowrun Companion p. 91
For those like me who think that the overdamage rules
from Fields of Fire and the Companion arent deadly
enough, the following may be useful.
Make the attackers Success Test and the targets Dam-
age Resistance Test, and subtract the targets successes
from the attackers as normal. Should the attacker have
more successes than are needed to stage damage up to
Deadly, start at Light damage again and stage up accord-
ingly. Should there be enough successes to go over Deadly
again, repeat this until all successes are used.
If the damage inflicted was Stun, this overdamage is
applied to the Physical Condition Monitor as usual, else it
becomes Overflow damage.

Steve shoots a round from his Mossberg CMDT at
some goon, getting a total of 7 successes after the
goons Resistance Test. The CMDT does Serious dam-
age. Steves successes are enough to stage that up to
Deadly, and then he has 5 left. Thats enough to stage
damage up by two steps, so the goon takes another
Moderate wound and gets a total of 13 boxes of dam-
age from the attack.

This rule applies always, regardless of the Power Level
of the weapon when compared to the targets Body Attrib-
ute, and regardless of how the damage was inflicted:
through firearms, melee combat, grenades, and so on.
Time Between Taking Extra Damage
The time between taking extra boxes of damage after
getting up to a Deadly Wound is normally 10 minutes; to
add an element of chance, this can be adjusted to 1D6
minutes. Use the Rule of Six when rolling this die, and roll it
every time the character takes an extra box of damage.

Crow is shot by a machinegun and takes a Deadly
wound. The gamemaster tells him he goes down, and
rolls a D6: 6+1. After 7 minutes, Crow takes another box
of damage, bringing him to 11 boxes. At that moment,
the gamemaster rolls 1D6 again, and gets a 5, so after 5
more minutes (12 minutes total) Crow has 2 boxes of
Overflow damage, and the gamemaster rolls once
again.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Apply one box of overflow damage for every two suc-
cesses that would stage the damage over Deadly. In this
way, Steves shot would have only caused 13 boxes of
damage (a Deadly wound plus 3 boxes Overflow).
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68

!
Sleeping In Armor
Loki <gamemstr@primenet.com>
Reference: SRII p. 112
Sleeping in armor is an unforgiving and restless process.
To reflect this, a Body test is required at the total ballistic
rating of the armor being worn. The character must roll
more successes than 8 minus their Willpower. If the test
does not succeed, an additional box of Stun damage is
taken. In addition, all target numbers for resting to remove
Stun damage are increased by one-half the Ballistic rating of
armor being worn.
!
Staging Damage
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 90-91
Instead of staging damage by levels (Light to Moderate)
I stage damage on a box by box basis. Each success rolled
on an attack increases the base damage done by 1 box. If a
character attacks with a weapon that does Moderate dam-
age, and rolls 2 successes, he increases the damage to 5
boxes. Each success rolled by the defender when resisting
damage decreases the amount of damage by 1 box. Con-
tinuing with the example, if the defender rolls one success
for his resistance test he would take 4 boxes of damage.
This deals with two issues: how to stage damage past
Deadly, and speeding up the game.
!
Stun Damage And Knockback
Fade <runefo@ifi.uio.no>
Reference: SRII pp. 91, 112
This rule is intended to make unconsciousness less of a
sure thing. This applies only to unconsciousness from
weapons which give Stun damage. If you go unconscious
from stun drugs, this rule does not apply.
Any hit from a Stun weapon has a chance to knock you
out instantly, even without giving Deadly Stun, but then
also has a chance to give less lasting Stun damage. It is tied
to the knockdown test. If you are knocked down by the
weapon, you go unconscious for a few turns (an open-
ended D6 roll) but get an extra Body Resistance Test to get
more resistance successes. These are rolled when you
wake, determined by the D6 roll, or should wake, if it was
Deadly Stun. You also roll the dice if it was a Deadly Stun, if
you were knocked down by the weapon instead of fell
down unconscious.
While tying it to the knockdown test isnt perfectly rea-
sonable, it makes it a very simple rule to use. In other
words: If you are knocked down by a Stun weapon you are
knocked out for a very short time. If you are knocked down
and knocked out by a Stun weapon, you might regain con-
sciousness fairly soon. If you are knocked out by a Stun
weapon, but not down, you're down for the duration. Drug
weapons do not give knockdown and thus do not give
short-duration stun damage.

You can, of course, make sure by plugging a few extra
stun rounds into the poor sap, but that might be very
deadly. But it is also a certain way to make sure they're
down.
Unconsciousness From Deadly Wounds
If you accumulate a Deadly wound, and have no over-
damage, make a Resistance Test against (total number of
damage boxes)D Stun. This Stun damage does not give
physical overflow. If you do not get Deadly Stun (accumu-
lated or otherwise), you are still conscious. Once you get
overdamage you go unconscious. Deadly physical gives +5
to target numbers. Each and any action taken gives 10L
Stun.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Leszek Karlik <trrkt@friko.onet.pl >
When you get hit by a bullet while wearing body armor,
you automatically take a Light Stun wound in case of Light
pistols, and Moderate in case of heavier weapons; spare
successes from Damage Resistance Test will reduce this
damage, though.
!
Wounds Affecting Movement
Loki <gamemstr@primenet.com>
Reference: SRII pp. 83, 110-112
Not only should damage taken affect target numbers
and initiative, but I feel the wounds a character has sus-
tained should have a direct affect on how far/well said char-
acter is able to move. Thus, when walking a character sub-
tracts one-half his combined wound modifiers for both
Physical and Stun damage from his Quickness (rounded
down). Running causes more wear and tear on the body,
thus the full amount of wound modifiers is subtracted from
Quickness before factoring in the Running Multiplier. In
either case, Quickness can not be taken below 1.

Brand, a human with a Quickness of 5, takes a Mod-
erate wound. Should he try to move while under these
circumstances he can walk up to 4 meters, or can run 3
!3 = 9 meters. On the next action he takes Light Stun
damage from spellcasting. Now he can still walk up to
4, but can only run up to 2 !3 = 6 meters.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Subtract the characters total wound modifiers from his
or her Quickness to find the number of meters that may be
walked in an action. The running distance is this same
value, multiplied by the characters Running Multiplier.

Camilla has a Quickness of 5, but has also taken a
Serious wound. She can walk 5 3 = 2 meters per ac-
tion, or run (5 3) ! 3 = 6 meters per action.
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!
Dodging
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 84-91
In order to have the opportunity to dodge, you must be
aware that an attack is imminent. When involved in com-
bat, it is assumed that you are aware of all immediately
obvious threats. The exception to this is when an opponent
uses the Stealth skill to attempt to attack you without your
knowledge. In this instance, a successful Perception test will
allow a dodge attempt. A Perception test under these cir-
cumstances costs no actionsits a freebie. Merry Christ-
mas. In the case of sniping and most other non-obvious
forms of attack, a Perception test will always be allowed.
The chance of success may be infinitesimal, but there will be
a chance of success nonetheless. Note that some magic-
oriented attacks may not allow for a Perception test. An
example of this would be a mage in astral space grounding
a spell through a focus while no one is astrally perceiving.

When a character is aware of a forthcoming attack, he
has two options. The first would be to attempt to dodge
the attack. This is done by rolling any number of available
Combat Pool dice versus a base target number of 4. Wound
modifiers apply to this target number, as well as some
other situational modifiers. Some of these are: being bound,
sitting or laying down, being prone, and dodging within a
small enclosure. In the case of these other situational modi-
fiers, I may reduce the amount of Combat Pool dice that
may be used, rather than increasing the target number. This
is entirely gamemaster discretion. Vision modifiers do not
apply to dodge success tests. However, Dodging may re-
sult in a potentially damaging situation if the Dodge at-
tempt is botched. If this option is taken, no Combat Pool
dice may be used to augment the Damage Resistance test.

The second option would be for the character to make a
Damage Resistance test in the following fashion: he would
roll his Body plus any number of available Combat Pool dice
versus a target number equal to the Power of the attack
minus any appropriate armor. If the number of successes
generated by the Combat Pool dice alone are enough to
reduce the attackers number of successes to 1 (0 in the
case of Unarmed Combat Counterattacks) then the attack
was successfully Dodged and no damage is taken, nor is
any armor degraded. Otherwise, the PC must stage the
damage down as per the normal rules. If he manages to
stage the damage down to nothing, no damage is taken
but there may be some superficial cuts, bruises, tears in
clothing, etc. To add to the cinematic feel of the game, any
attack that is successfully Dodged using only Combat Pool
dice causes no change to the targets clothing or body (i.e.
they dont wrinkle their suit or acquire any superficial cuts,
etc.).
ALTERNATIVES
! Alternative One
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Ive always loathed the Shadowrun method of using the
Combat Pool for augmenting Damage Resistance Tests. That
the Combat Pool dice are rolled against the same target
number as the Body dice really snots me off. I know that it
was done for convenience, and to save on extra calculations
and dice rolls, but it just bugs the hell out of me. To give an
example of what I mean, consider the following example:

Paul is hit by a light pistol round (6L), and is wearing
an armor jacket (5/3). He thus needs a target number of
2 on his Damage Resistance Test. Say he has a Body of
2 and the attacker scored 3 successes. Paul decides to
throw in 5 dice from his Combat Pool. He generates 5
successes, 4 of which are from his Combat Pool. A
complete miss by the rules. Now say Paul is whacked by
a solid slug from a shotgun (10S). This time he needs a
target number of 5 for his Damage Resistance Test. Us-
ing the same allocation of dice, Paul would probably
score 3 successes, 2 of which would probably be from
his Combat Pool. This time, the shot was not a complete
miss, even though the attacker scored the same number
of successes and Paul used the same number of dice.

To remedy this problem, I use a single standard, un-
modifiable target number for dodging of 4, regardless of
the attacks source. After all, why should it be so much more
difficult to get ones hoop out of the road of a shotgun solid
slug as compared to a light pistol round? I use 4 because it
is the Shadowrun standard, and I treat the use of Combat
Pool in this fashion as a Damage Resistance Test, so that no
target number modifiers at all apply. The latter stipulation is
for two reasons. Firstly for ease of play, and secondly to
stop the damage snowball effect whereby one either has
live runners with Karma or dead runners with no Karma. By
using a single target number of 4, which is fairly low, the
Combat Pool becomes quite important and useful for avoid-
ing damage. It should also be noted that the target number
is 4 for dodging melee attacks, as well as bursts and fully
automatic weapons fire. In the latter case, sufficient suc-
cesses allow the target to dodge the entire volley.
! Alternative Two
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: SRII p. 89, Shadowbeat p. 11
After the attacker declares a shot, but before he or she
actually rolls the dice, the target may opt to use Combat
Pool dice in a dodge attempt.
The Combat Pool dice are rolled in an open test (see
Shadowbeat). Subtract the targets Wound Modifiers from
the result (1 for a Light wound, 2 for Moderate, etc.),
and halve the result, rounding down. The result is the base
target number for the attackers shot, regardless of the
range to the target (which normally sets the base target
number). Add all appropriate situational modifiers from SRII
page 89 to this, after which the attacker makes the normal
Success Test to see if the shot hits.
RANGED COMBAT
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
70

Dodging costs a Free Action, which means that a char-
acter can only dodge one attack per Combat Phase. Fur-
thermore, the character counts as a running attacker (but
not as a moving target) if he or she attempts to make an
attack in the same Combat Phase as a dodge was per-
formed.

A rival runner takes a shot at Steve, from Long range
(normal target number 6). Steve decides to dodge the
attack and uses 3 Combat Pool dice for this. He scores
1, 2, and 4. Hes unwounded, so the result of the open
test is 4his highest roll. This is halved, to 2, so the at-
tackers base target number is 2. Thats a lot worse for
Steve than the 6 would have
been

The Combat Pool dice allo-
cated to dodging are naturally
not available to resist the
attacks damage, should it hit
after all. Combat Pool dice
used to resist the attack
should be rolled against the
Power Level of the weapon,
not against a 4 as per some of
the other dodging rules
suggestions aboveusing a
target number of 4 would
effectively allow a character to
dodge an attack twice.

NPCs roll Threat Rating
dice to dodge an attack, but
the Threat Rating dice used in
a dodge attempt cannot be
used to resist damage from
that same attack. Gamemas-
ters may want to split the
Threat Rating dice between
dodging and resisting the
damage.
! Alternative Three
David Buehrer
<dbuehrer@denver.carl
.org>
Dodging is a Simple Ac-
tion. A character may declare
that he is dodging at any time
as long as he is capable of movement. If a character dodges
before his initiative he forfeits a Simple action on his next
combat phase. Characters who are dodging take a +3 target
modifier to any tests attempted while dodging. Target
number modifiers for dodging are applied until the begin-
ning of the acting characters next Combat Phase. A charac-
ter who is dodging may walk, but cannot run.
If a target is dodging at the time of an attack or during
his previous action, the attack suffers a +1 modifier.

Sam and Fred enter combat. Sam rolls a higher initia-
tive than Fred and attacks Fred with a Panther Assault
Cannon. Fred declares that he is Dodging (forfeiting a
Simple Action). Sam modifies the target number of his
attack by +1, fires, and misses. Fred draws his Predator,
but is unable to fire because he spent his other Simple
Action dodging.
! Alternative Four
Ray Macey <nightrain@elf.bri snet.org.au>
When a target is shot at, they must normally make a
test with their Combat Pool and Body stat with a target
number equal to the Power of the weapon minus the rating
of the appropriate armor. If the Combat Pool alone ex-
ceeded the attackers successes, then the attack is consid-
ered to have missed.
With my rule, the target
makes two separate tests
when resisting ranged com-
bat. They make a test with
their Combat Pool, against a
base target number of 4. The
Dodge test target number is
modified in the following
ways:
For every 3 bullets being
fired in a burst or auto-fire
at the target: +1
If the attacker is out of LOS
of the target: +2
Vision Modifiers: Half of
the normal vision penalty
is applied, although this
may not exceed +2.
When being shot at by a
shotgun, the targets tar-
get number is raised by 1
point for each point the at-
tackers target number is
reduced for spread. The at-
tacker keeps his reduced
target number as normal.

The gamemaster may raise
the target number by a num-
ber at his discretion, depend-
ing on terrain the target is in,
and how it restricts dodging.
If the target gets more
successes than the attacker,
then the attack missed. If not,
then the attack hits. The Dam-
age Level is determined here as per normal (i.e. two suc-
cesses to stage down etc) and then the target must make a
Body resistance test, with a target number of the Power
Level of the weapon minus the appropriate armor rating.
! Alternative Five
Leszek Karlik <trrkt@friko.onet.pl >
Your base target number for dodging bullets and all the
other crap (that is, for Combat Pool dodges) is calculated
using the Dodging Table.


Dodging Table
Type of Attack Base Target
Number
Melee Combat (this is for evasion, not
blocking)
5
Thrown weapons; Squirt and paintball guns 4
Projectile weapons; Narcoject darts 5
Single bullet; Normal nets 6
Burst fire; Large nets 7
Full Auto fire and HV bursts 8
Full auto with miniguns and supermachine
guns; Lasers
9
Grenades (first 3 successes, after that target
number is 8)
4
Explosives (first 3 successes, after that tar-
get number is 6)
3*


Modifiers to the Base Target Number
Shotgun, per spread level +1
Reaction of 1-3 +1
Reaction of 9-14 1
Reaction of 15-20 2
Reaction of 21+ 3**

Martial Art skill of 9+ 1
Tactical Computer tracking firer 1
Dropping prone 1
Being already prone +4

* I use the rule on explosives and grenades from the Com-
panion. Thus, in my campaign explosives are more
deadly)
** Yeah, thats FAST
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71
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Also, when dodging, you can move up to 0.5 meter per
success; that allows you to get behind cover.
Firearms
!
Gas Venting Miniguns
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 89, 92, 240
Due to the requirement that a gas vent be located on
the barrel of a weapon, and the fact that miniguns have
multiple, closely spaced barrels, I do not generally allow
gas venting on miniguns. However, should the venting be
specifically designed to fit onto the weapon, then if each
barrel is vented a cumulative recoil compensation bonus
equal to the sum of the gas vent ratings may be obtained.
This, if you think about it, is fairly logical, seeing as each
barrel of a 6 barreled minigun fires 2.5 times in a 15 round
burst, then if each barrel has 2 points of recoil compensa-
tion then 12 of the 15 rounds will be compensated for
(thanks for the explanation Ivy!).
!
Point-Blank Range
WoLfM <lmc4@keene.edu>
Reference: SRII p. 87-89
Take your Firearms rating and divide it by three (round
down), up to a maximum of 2. If this equals 0 then too bad,
you dont have a point blank range. If you have a 1 or a 2
then that is the number of meters your point blank range is.
This is also the bonus you receive when firing within your
point blank range.

Shadow has a firearms rating of 6. His point blank
range would be (6 3) = 2. Therefore he gains a point
blank range of 2 meters and a 2 to his target number
to hit when firing within that range.

If the firearms rating is above a six then it still goes
down to a MAXIMUM of 2. Also for specializations and
concentrations figure out the ranges and modifiers for those
weapons separately.
!
Recoil
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: SRII pp. 89, 92-93, Fields of Fire p. 83
Depending on how a shooter holds his or her weapon,
modify the recoil value of the firearm to better represent
that weapons are hard to keep under control when not
properly held. The Recoil Table lists the multipliers, which
are applied to any recoil that remains after reducing it for
gas vents, the firers Strength, gyro mounts, and so on.

In addition, apply a +2 target number modifier when a
character isnt using the weapons sights, for example when
firing from the hip.

Recoil Table
Weapon & Bracing Recoil
Multiplier
Pistols
Held in one hand !2
Held in two hands !1
BF- or FA-capable !2*
Submachine Guns
Held in one hand !2
Held in two hands, not braced against the
shoulder
!1.5**
Held in two hands, braced against the
shoulder
!1
Rifles, Shotguns, Machine Guns
Held in one hand !3 or !4
Held in two hands, not braced against the
shoulder
!1.5**
Held in two hands, braced against the
shoulder
!1
Heavy Weapons, Shotguns !2*

* In addition to any other multipliers that apply
** Round up
Gamemasters discretion

Soron What A Waist is firing a burst from his AK-
97. Hes holding it in both hands, but hes firing it from
the hip. His base target number is 4 with a +2 because
hes not using the sights. The recoil modifier is +2 (+3
for a burst, minus 1 point of compensation from Sorons
Strength of 5). This is multiplied by 1.5, to +3, as Soron
is not bracing the rifle against his shoulder. His total tar-
get number is 9.
Later, Soron needs to open a door with his left hand,
but he still wants to shoot at someone at the same time.
Again, a base target number of 4 and +2 for not using
the sights. The +2 for the burst is multiplied by 4, as he
only has one hand on the rifle. His target number is 14.

If you like a more cinematic style of roleplaying, this rule
is not for youit will drastically reduce the chances of a hit
when firing an SMG at full-auto in each hand
!
Rates OF Fire
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
Reference: SRII pp. 92-93, Fields of Fire p. 81
Ive never been satisfied with any Shadowrun firearms
rules ever created, primarily because theyre wimpy. Any-
body who's fired a pistol knows why I feel this way. I have
no wired reflexes but can fire off way more than two rounds
every three seconds. In reality fully automatic weapons (not
that Ive ever fired one of them) can often empty their en-
tire clips in less than a second. Yet, in Shadowrun, it would
take a single action prone character seven seconds to
empty the 16 shot clip of an Uzi.
Perhaps my annoyance is rooted in a John Woo, Hong
Kongish film oriented perception of gun fights, a pistol in
each hand cranking away at the bad guys, the recoil often
RANGED COMBAT
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
72

propelling the individual across various no wax surfaces.
Gunfights like this are fun, and these revisions have been
created to promote them.
Two other things to consider when reviewing these al-
ternative rules: in my game we use a lot of modifiers and
like to see a lot of ammunition expended. What this means
is that a lot of lead doesnt hit anything important. A player
or NPC may fire off an entire clip of pistol ammo in one
round knowing that the last six probably wont hit anything
but enjoying the charge it adds to the playing environment.
Modifiers for movement and the ever present intervening
objects rarely result in a base target number of less than six,
so even if a character cranks off ten shots it is rare that any-
body gets completely wasted by them. Unless theyre
standing still in a wide open area with no cover, in which
case they deserve to get shot.
Single Shot
For pistols and rifles a player may fire a number of shots
equal to their Firearms rating, resolving each shot individu-
ally. Recoil is doubled, but accumulates normally. Assault
cannons, launchers, or anything large still gets one shot per
action.

Joe Runner has a Firearms skill of 6 and decides to
fire his maximum of 6 shots from his Warhawk. His base
target number is 4 so the adjusted target numbers are
as follows: 6,8,10,12,14,16.
Semi Automatic
A player may fire any number of shots, resolving each
shot individually. Recoil accumulates normally.

Joe Runner fires off ten shots from his Colt Man-
hunter equipped with level 1 recoil compensation. His
base target number is 4 so the adjusted target numbers
are as follows: 4,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12.
Burst Fire
A player may fire any number of 3 shot bursts, resolving
each burst individually. Recoil accumulates normally.

Joe Runner cranks off 4 bursts from his SMG
equipped with level 2 recoil compensation. His base
target number is 4 so the adjusted target numbers are
as follows: 4,7,10,13.
Full Auto
A player may fire any number of bursts containing at
least 4 rounds (unless a lack of ammo prohibits a full final
burst). If any CONSECUTIVE bursts successfully hit then
calculate the damage rating as if the bursts were fired as
one, adding together the total number of rounds and suc-
cesses.

Joe Runner fires a 6 round burst, a 9 round burst, and
then another 6 round burst from his assault rifle
equipped with level 3 recoil compensation. His base
target is 4 so the adjusted target numbers are as fol-
lows: 7,16,22. If both the first and second bursts hit the
damage would be calculated as if 15 rounds were fired
as one burst. If the first and the last bursts hit they are
still treated separately.
Comments
Although this system seems complicated it actually runs
rather smoothly. For everything but fully automatic weap-
ons the player can be rolling for shot eight while the ga-
memaster is simultaneously resisting damage from shot
three. It is the attackers responsibility to accurately keep
track what has hit and what hasnt. This allows the game-
master to work with another player while the first is rolling.
!
Shotguns
Marc A Renouf <jormung@engin.umich.edu>
Reference: SRII p. 95
The base damage for a shotgun is for both slug and scat-
ter shot. Thus, a shotgun firing at 9S will do 9S damage
with a slug, as well as 9S damage with shot. The difference
is that the Power Level of shot decreases as the shot-
pattern spreads. Thus, a garden variety shotgun firing a slug
would do 9S at all ranges, where the damage for shot
rounds would start out at 9S and decrease as the range to
target increased.
Also: slugs use Ballistic armor, but shot uses double Im-
pact armor, as per the flechette rules. Finally, when calculat-
ing knockdown, the Power Level of shotgun rounds are not
halved as normal.

The reasons for this are mainly that whether firing a slug
or shot, roughly the same mass of lead is coming at you.
The fact that shot has the potential to hit more (possibly
unarmored) areas is taken into account in the lower target
number that comes with scatter (thus leading to a higher
number of successes, which in turn leads to more staging
up of the damage). Also, a slug is more like a typical round,
and thus uses Ballistic armor, while shot is spread over a
wider area, and thus should use the double Impact value.
Finally, shotguns are notoriously good at knocking people
down, which is reflected in the increased knockdown target
number.

It should be noted as well that in my campaign, I in-
clude a shotgun ammunition type called Scattering
flechette, which fires a cluster of flechettes at the target
rather than a single one (as normal). This follows the same
general rules as normal shot as far as spreading and Power
Level reduction at range, but is one Damage Category
higher (fired from the above shotgun, scatter-flechette
would start out at 9D and be reduced as per normal scatter
rules).
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73
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
!
Telescopic Sights
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: SRII p. 88
Under SRII rules, telescope sights reduce the range
category of a shot; in essence, someone with a rating 3
telescope will always be shooting at Short range.
With this house rule, do not reduce the range category,
but multiply the range groups by the rating of the telescope
plus one.
This modifier only applies if the character spends a Sim-
ple Action to steady the weapon (in effect a Take Aim ac-
tion, but it does not grant a 1 target number modifier),
and only when firing single shots or semi-automatic. Firing
any kind of burst or full-auto negates the range multiplier.
The multiplier is also negated as soon as the shooter moves
any significant distance (walking, running, standing up,
getting knocked down by an attack, and so on) or looks
away from the target.

A sniper rifle with a rating 2 telescope multiplies all
its ranges by 3. It now has the following ranges: Short
0-120 m, Medium 121-240 m, Long 241-600 m, Ex-
treme 601-1,200m
!
ALTERNATIVE
Jonathan Hurley <jhurley1@stevens-tech.edu>
As above, with the addition that for those weapons
where this is inappropriate, the maximum range remains
the same, but the range bands are increased. For example,
a shotgun has a maximum range of 100 m. With a rating 3
scope, its ranges become Short 0-40, Medium 41-80, and
long 81-100.
!
Telescopic Sights and Movement
Lady Jestyr <jestyr@faraday.di al ix.com.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 88-89, Street Samurai Catalog p.
85
Vision magnification cyberware, whether optical or elec-
trical, is the joy of Happy Gunners everywhere. Presto! No
range modifiers! While this is a Good Thing as far as the
happy gunners are concerned, it can give the gamemaster
serious problems-combined with a smartlink II, the average
Happy Gunner has a base target number of 2 at any range.
Problems like this can be solved by dint of giving the
happy gunners situations in the middle of the night, with
smoke, rain and fog, with the opponents with 75 percent
cover. This is, however, a reactive solution. A better solu-
tion (or at least game-balancer) is presented here:

The use of high magnification means that objects which
are moving (particularly at long ranges) are much harder to
track; because the field of view covers proportionally less of
the landscape (a given when dealing with magnified im-
ages) moving objects will move across the field of view
much faster. This should make them harder to follow, and
thus harder to accurately target.
This may be accounted for by increasing the movement
modifiers for longer ranges when magnification is used. I
suggest the following:

Movement & Magnification Table
Range Movement Modifier
Short No change
Medium 2! normal
Long 3! normal
Extreme 4! normal

The above solution also increases the utility of the
rangefinder/Smartlink II combination, by making permanent
use of vision magnification less desirable.
!
Telescopic Sights and Smartlinks
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 88-89
I allow smartlinks to work with image magnification.
However, it doesnt work the way the player usually thinks
it will.
With normal vision you can see the smartlink cross-hair
in your peripheral vision. You know when your gun is as
much as 70-80 degrees off target.
With cybered magnification your field of vision is cut
down considerably (10-30 degrees). Now try to bring those
crosshairs on target. With magnification 1 it isnt so bad.
With magnification 3 its damn near impossible (without
taking some time).
For each level of cyber-magnification a character must
spend one action aiming to bring his crosshairs into his
field of vision.

Also, if a character has his eyes at a high magnification
level he will quickly lose track of whats going on near by.
For each level of magnification add a positive modifier to
close range Perception tests.

Also, cyber-image magnification is useless with non-
smartlinked weapons. Take a pair of binoculars to a shoot-
ing range and look at your target with them. Now, while
still looking through the binoculars, try to shoot the target.
Cyber magnification is for scouting, not for combat.
!
Tracer Ammunition
Leszek Karlik <trrkt@friko.onet.pl >
Reference: Fields of Fire p. 51
Ignore that drek about tracers do not adding to Power.
Its just an attempt at Game Balance. For me, all the color-
ful smudges showing where youre firing from, plus the
price, is balancing enough.
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74

!
Weapon Damages and Ranges
Jonathan Hurley <jhurley1@stevens-tech.edu>
Reference: SRII p. 88, Fields of Fire p. 87
FASAs definition for firearm classes is just plain messed
up, as is their assignment of Damage Codes.
To fix this, (and, incidentally, to make a choice between
light and heavy pistols
1
) and to fix some other problems, I
changed many Damage Codes.
First, I assume that the Damage Code is based on the
round fired (more or less. This gets fudged for super-
machine gun class weapons).
Second, I assume that the Power Level strictly measures
armor-piercing capability, and Damage Level is a measure-
ment of how efficient the round is a transferring its energy
to the target.
2


Weapon Table 1 shows what I came up with.
Exceptions To The Table
AK-97 carbine fires assault rifle ammo, on the SMG
range table, and has a damage code of 10L.
AUG-CSL fires assault rifle ammo, using the appropriate
range table.
Barret 121 retains its power, as it fires true HMG
rounds, leaving it at 14S (on the HMG range table, to
boot)

1
Seriously, which is better, an M1911A1 (.45 ACP) or a
Beretta 9 mm? Different people will give you different answers.
2
Not entirely true, but a close first approximation.
3
Later reading and other sources is leading me to believe
that machine pistols fire SMG ammo, and should be 6M, as the
rest of the mid-range of pistol cartridges are. My concern with
this is that it might obsolete the SMG in shadowrunners us-
age. Effective range would still be a factor, though.
Lasers have their standard damage.
Ammo effects
APDS reduces the Damage Code by one level (If dam-
age was L, it is reduced to N (none, the attacker must
have two net successes to do any damage).
Explosive ammo reduces the Power Level by one and
increases the Damage Level by one
EX-explosive does not reduce the Power Level.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
As many will know, ranges of firearms in Shadowrun
can be outright ridiculous at times, usually in being much
too short when compared to real weapons. Damage ratings
make strange leaps in a similar manner, though often in the
other direction.
Weapon Table 2 has suggested ranges and damages for
those weapons which I feel need to be adjusted. Any
weapon type not on the table remain in use without modi-
fications.

Weapon Table 1
Weapon Class Caliber Damage Code
Hold-Out Pistols
(clip-fed) .22 Short and equivalent rounds 4L, 5L
(break) .45 / 10 mm 4S
Machine Pistol .22 Short and equivalent
3
(more power due to longer barrel) 6L
Light Pistol 7.62 mm to 9 mm, .38, .45, and such (SMG ammo) 6M, 7M
Submachine Gun (Same ammo as light pistols) 6M, 7M
Heavy Pistol .44 Magnum and up / 10 mm and up 5S, 6S
Assault Rifle 5.56 mm rifle (.22 LR) 9L, 10L
Sporting Rifle 7.62 mm rifle (.30-06 and other hunting rounds) 9M, 10M
Sniping Rifle .50 cal / 12.7 mm and up 10S, 11S
Shotgun Unchanged 8S to 10S
Light Machine Gun (Same ammo as assault rifles) 10L
Medium Machine Gun (Same ammo as sporting rifles) 10M
Heavy Machine Gun (Same ammo as sniping rifles, with more power behind it) 14S
Supermachine Guns (Same ammo as hold-out pistols)
HVSMG 6L
HVAR 7L, 8L
HVLMG 8L to 10L

Other weapons remain more or less the same.
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75
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
The ranges are all calculated by multiplying the existing
ranges as follows:

Type Multiplier
Light Pistol !2
Heavy Pistol !2
Submachine Gun !2
Assault Rifle !3
Sniper Rifle !3
Sporting Rifle !3
Light Machine Gun !5

Weapons with Damage Codes that differ from the
norm for their type should have their Damage Codes
adjusted accordingly; for example, a heavy pistol that does
only 8M damage under standard rules should do 5M when
playing with these optional rules.
Grenades
!
Air Timed Mini Grenades and Scatter
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: Street Samurai Catalog pp. 37, 68
The rules are unclear on the game mechanics of air
timed mini grenades. However, with a bit of logic, and help
from Robert Watkins, I came up with the following rules.
The grenades are fired as normal, and scatter is rolled for
and reduced by the successes of the Firearms test as nor-
mal. Once the location of the grenade detonation has
been determined, one merely lays a straight edge from the
position of the firer to this detonation point. At the preset
detonation distance along this straight edge the grenade
will explode.
!
Damage
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 97
I am unsatisfied with (gee Im a whiner arent I? :-)) the
Shadowrun grenade damage system. Per the rules on page
97, grenade damage can be staged up just like regular
weapon damage. Most grenades begin at Serious damage.
To me, the ability to stage up grenades damage is ludi-
crous. How? By aiming that explosive blast particularly
well? What about if I use a grenade as a booby trap? Or
drop it off a high building? To solve this problem I have
decided that grenades cannot be staged up by the attacker.
This however, makes it impossible to kill someone with a
grenade, as they only do a base of Serious damage. So, Ive
simply upped the damage category of each grenade type
by one. Now most grenades can do Deadly damage, even
when set up as booby traps or thrown by 2 year olds.
ALTERNATIVES
! By The Book
The Shadowrun Companion makes the gamemaster
roll dice based on the grenades Power Level and stage up
the damage accordingly.
! Alternative One
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Use the Shadowrun Companion rule for explosives
(Explosives attack all targets within their blast radius with a
number of dice equal to their Power Level divided by 2 vs.
a target number of 4).
Armor piercing (anti-vehicle) and shaped explosives at-
tack their target with a number of dice equal to their Power
Level vs. a target number of 4.
The attackers skill may be applied to a specific target
(throwing a grenade at Fred, firing a rocket at Freds car,
placing a demolitions charge on Freds house, etc).
!
Grenade Launchers Against Point Targets
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: SRII pp. 87-91, 96-97, Shadowrun
Companion p. 91
Launched grenades can be fired against small targets
without scattering all over the place. Only if theyre aimed
at a general area (Into the alley, Through the window,
etc.) do the scatter rules from pages 96 and 97 of SRII
apply. When a character wants to fire a grenade at a
(meta)human or vehicle target, make a Firearms Success
Test to see if it hits, just as for other weapons. If the test
succeeds, the grenade hit the target and the successes from
the Firearms test are used to stage up its damage. Suc-
cesses from the grenades Power Level test (see the op-
tional rule in the Companion) also stage up the damage.
If the test fails, the grenade scatters as normal; since
there are no successes, the scatter distance isnt reduced
Weapon Table 2
Type Damage Short Medium Long Extreme
Light Pistol 6L 0-10 11-30 31-60 61-100
Heavy Pistol 6M or 7M 0-10 11-40 41-80 81-120
Submachine Gun 6M or 7M 0-20 21-80 81-160 161-300
Assault Rifle 8M 0-45 46-120 121-300 301-750
Sniper Rifle 10S 0-120 121-240 241-600 601-1,200
Sporting Rifle 7S to 9S 0-90 91-180 181-450 301-900
Light Machine Gun 8M 0-100 101-200 201-400 401-750
Heavy Machine Gun 14S Unmodified
RANGED COMBAT
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
76

from what was rolled for the grenade.
!
ALTERNATIVE
Andrew Mellinger <geburah@teleport.com> & Susan
Mellinger <ssalmon@portland.cushwake.edu>
Grenade launchers can fire as direct fire weapons up to
50 m. When doing so, use shotgun ranges for target num-
ber determination. Beyond 50 m they use the normal scat-
ter rules as indirect fire.
!
Scatter
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 96-97, DMZ p.24
One thing that has often annoyed me about the Shad-
owrun grenade scatter system is the relative ease with
which a grenade can land behind the throwing or launching
character if they are only aiming a short distance in front of
them. This is particularly evident when characters begin
using rifle launched grenades indoors. With a scatter of 3D6
meters, and characters launching them rarely more than 20
m in front of themselves, it is quite possible for the grenade
to land literally at the firers feet, or even behind his back.
This situation, while humorous, is a little unrealistic. After
all, if a grenade is thrown or launched only a short distance,
decent accuracy can be expected, and it is just about im-
possible for the thing to go in the opposite direction to that
which was intended.

To remedy this problem I do two things. The first is that
I use the grenade scatter diagram from DMZ (similar to the
one provided here), which is in my view a much better
scatter diagram (ta Gurth!).

Secondly, I base the distance scattered on the distance
the grenade was supposed to travel. A grenade intended to
go 300 m will scatter significantly more than a grenade
intended to go 30 m. To this end, I roll scatter normally,
and reduce the scatter by the successes generated by the
thrower/firer as normal. I then multiply the resulting scatter
by (Intended Distance)100 m. This is the distance actually
scattered. It might seem like a fair bit of extra calculation,
but with a handy calculator (or an even handier computer
program), and a little practice it becomes very easy. And
the satisfaction in the results is much greater.
!
Hit Locations
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Roll 1D6 and add the number of attackers successes,
then subtract the number of the defenders successes. Then
refer to the Hit Location Table to find the part of the body
that was hit.

Hit Location Table
Result Hit Location
2 Arm
3 Leg
4 Arm
5 Leg
6-9 Torso
10-12 Head
13+ Roll 1D6: 1-3=Torso, 4-6=Head
!
ALTERNATIVE
Ferri G. Pagano <ferri@di giface.nl >
Every time someone is hit, a D20 is rolled for location,
the results are: 1-2 right leg, 3-4 left leg, 5-6 right arm, 7-8
left arm, 9-19 torso, 20 head. For roleplaying purposes
only, you can be more specific on the hit location, so
1=lower area than 2 (1 would be right foot), or 9 being
lower torso (around groin area ouch!).

This system does require certain complications:
Armor
If it covers an area it provides full protection, else it pro-
vides NO protection, if wearing a helmet, you get the full
armor value you'd get with the normal rules on your head
area.
A helmet also enhances your armor as normal, if layered
armor is worn, then the helmet modifiers are applied to the
best armor BEFORE the layering modifiers are added.

Complex Example: say you wear a security helmet
(+1/+2), and an armored jacket (5/3, torso only), lay-
ered on top of level 3 form-fitting body armor (4/1, full
body except head). Armor would be: torso=(5/3 +1/+2)
divided by 2 + 4/1 =7/3, head=7/4 (as per normal SRII
rules), legs: 4/1, and arms as well 4/1.

Note: This is to be calculated BEFORE play by players or
by the gamemaster.
Called Shots
The penalty for a called shot is: General extremity (arm
or leg) +5, Torso +1, Head or very specific body part: +10.
(the formula, if you are interested is 20 (2 ! #), where #
is the amount of possible positive results out of 20, ignore
this formula, its here just for completeness sake).
The idea of this is making called shots possible, but they
should be a bit difficult.
Called Shots For Melee Combat
ALL modifiers are HALVED but a minimum of 1, so
arm/leg +2, head or specific +5, torso still +1. This is done
for both fairness and playability.
RANGED COMBAT

77
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Resisting damage
Only use local armor with 2 changes: you get a free
success on torso resistance and if you get a serious wound
to your head you are knocked out.
Wounds
Say you shoot a mans arm, you do a serious wound,
what happens? Does he drop his weapon/primed grenade?
Clearly it is necessary to address this.
Stun Wounds: as normal, no wounds per body part for
stun wounds. (Too complicated!!)
Physical Wounds: are separately kept track of, PER
body part so it is possible to have a serious wound in one's
arm, and another in one's leg and still be shooting
back.<maybe>

You must keep track of all body parts for their wound
levels, and there are some special rules for this:
Wound modifiers: your torso and head wound modifi-
ers add to each other FULLY (so 2! Serious is +6), for your
other body parts, you only get a wound modifier of one
level less than the wound of the part, so if your arm is seri-
ously wounded, youd do 2 things: cross the 6 boxes in
your arm wound location and add a +2 wound modifier (for
one level less than Serious = Moderate=+2) to your target
numbers as usual.

Effects Of Wounds: a body part with a Deadly wound
level is temporarily useless and if special kinds of ammo
were used such as explosive ammo the body part will (ga-
memasters option) need replacement.
A Deadly head wound means DEATH, no I don't mean
bleeding for 3 hours waiting for DocWagon, I mean In-
stant Kill. If your torso sustains a Deadly wound you are
dead/dying as per normal SRII rules.

Going down due to accumulated hits: if you sustain a
Serious wound to every part of your body, you can still
keep standing, as none are useless? NOPE, or better said,
not for long. You see, when your accumulated penalties
from physical wounds reach +6 or higher, you pass a cer-
tain threshold, from then on, every action you have, you
have to pass a body test, without any pools whatsoever vs.
a target number, if you fail one of those rolls you fall uncon-
scious/incapacitated from shock & bleeding.
The target number for this test is your FULL physical
wound modifier. What do I mean with FULL? well, you'll
recall (I hope) that wounds to your arms & legs counted as
one level less for determining wound modifiers. Well NOT
for this test, all modifiers are added fully, counting Deadly
extremity wounds as +4 each.

This looks more complex than it is, so here follows an
example:

Joe Sam, a street sam with a body of 10 (incl. cyber),
combat pool of 6 and armored as in the last example:
head 7/4, torso 7/3, all others 4/1 picks a fight with
Don Rigger and Merlyn the Sorcerer adept. No one de-
clares a called shot.
Don shoots a burst with his Franchi Spas at Joe, as no
called shot was declared, the hit location is determined
randomly, so the attackers player rolls a D20, he ob-
tains a 13, so a torso result and gets 4 hits.
Joe gets a free success (torso area) and after resisting
gets a Moderate wound to his torso (so a +2 wound
modifier)
Merlyn uses a flamethrower 6 spell on Joe, the D20
roll comes a 2 so the right leg is the target, reduced by
" ! 1 (" impact) so poor Joe has to resist a full 6. He
gets a serious leg injury from that, but his gamemaster
knows that is where he keeps his spare clip of EX-
Explosive ammo, which cooks off, the resulting explo-
sion renders his right leg useless (his gamemaster was
friendly, Id have ruled it was blown clean off) so he has
a Deadly wound in his leg. one level less is Serious so
he gets a +3 added to his general wound modifier so he
is at +5. Also, the gamemaster may require him to roll
Quickness tests in order to keep standing on one leg.
Joe now shoots back with his APDS-loaded Ares Al-
pha, making a called shot for Dons head, getting a
whopping 17 as his target number (base 4 2 from
smartlink, +10 called shot, +5 wound) and miraculously
hits, doing a Serious wound so Dons out of it.
Merlyn gets upset at this and throws a second
flamethrower 6 spell, this time doing a Serious wound
to Joes left leg, 1 wound level is Moderate which
grants Joe an additional +2 wound modifier, making it
+7
Now its Joes turn, but his wound modifier is +6 or
higher, so in order to act at all he has to make a Body
test, he uses his 10 body dice, vs. target number: 2
(torso wound) + 4 (FULL right leg injury) + 3 (FULL left
leg injury) = 9. If he gets even one success he can act
this time (at a +7 wound modifier) and will have to roll
again on his next action until he fails the test. Whenever
he fails, he falls down and is incapacitated until healed.
Healing
All body parts must be healed separately!! This is spe-
cially important if healing spells are used!!
Optional Rule 1
Grenades and PHYSICAL Area Effect Spells: these do
damage to ALL body parts, but the successes are only
counted once, and the DEFENDER gets to choose how to
distribute them, he has two options: one success to each
body part and the leftovers to torso or ALL to torso.
Optional Rule 2
(This rule is untested, munchkin alert!) You may want to
consider helmets as giving head armor equal to that of the
armor they were made for, so a helmet made for medium
security armor would give 7/7 head armor (but look really
bulky, remember Dark Helmet in the Spaceballs movie? :)
Campaign Effects Of These Rules
These rules do add a bit of complicity, but after a few
hours everyone will get used to it.
RANGED COMBAT
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
78

There are few major effects these rules will have in the
campaign:
1) Player survivability will be increased, let's face it, most
SRII mid to heavy weapons will otherwise mean instant
death to shadowrunners, gamemasters response in
usually to have NPCs NOT use them, this is not realistic.
2) Grenades are more deadly, you may want to use the
Fields of Fire rules for (with a lot of risk :) throwing back
a grenade, but I suggest disallowing re-rolls for this
(makes the quickness test exciting).
3) Most importantly, this allows you to describe combats
better, as it gives you something firm to stand on (be-
yond gamemasters whim) when you tell the PC his/her
left arm was hit.
4) It makes grunts survive longer, so PCs who go with all
guns blazing into a corp building may have time prob-
lems getting out again before reinforcement arrives.
Initiative
!
Actions In A Combat Turn
David R. Lowe <dlowe@dnai .com>
Reference: SRII p. 78-80
The system we use in house is that everyone gets their
Initiative plus 1D6. Boosted reflexes, etc., reduce the time
between actions by two phases per extra D6.
For example, a character who would normally have an
initiative of 8+2D6, now has 8+1D6 but acts every 8 phases
instead of every 10.
Its not perfect, and greatly reduces the effectiveness of
some cyberware, but overall we like it. It compresses the
round into a shorter time period, but still gives the quick
players 3-4 actions per round. The thing I like is that the
slow characters get to act at the middle to last third of
the round, rather than dead last.
!
Initiative Rolls
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: SRII pp. 32, 79
The Rule of Six applies to one initiative die, to allow
characters with low Initiative scores to act fast at times, so
they dont always lag behind the street sams.
If a character has only 1D6 for initiative, the Rule of Six
applies to that die; characters with more than one die
should roll one of a different color and apply the Rule of Six
to that one only.
This rule naturally applies both player characters and
non-player characters.
ALTERNATIVES
! Alternative One
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
As above, except spirits and critters apply the Rule of
Six to ALL of their Initiative dice, to reflect an additional
boost given to them by their magical nature. What, you
dont want to try this house rule out anymore?
! Alternative Two
Nurse Wratchett <wratchet-rn@ns.arizona.edu>
My group created some house rules for this as well. We
got tired of the wake my next year syndrome, and I
must have at least a +3D6 so I can do something before the
fight is over phobia.
We rolled initiative as per norm and the highest number
went first, then we compressed everything into a one phase
sequence. The number actions are now used to determine
the types of maneuvers someone can take (i.e. complex
maneuvers = 3 actions, simple maneuvers = 2 actions, and
free maneuvers = 1 action). Thus, somebody with 4 actions
could perform 1 complex and 1 free or 2 simple or 2 simple
and 2 free, you get the picture :).

This gave people a bonus for high initiative, while not
making the combat sequences drag on into infinity. Players
could still delay actions, and use different weapons in each
hand (with appropriate penalties of course).
!
Initiative Ties
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 79
I do not use the Shadowrun Initiative Tie resolution
method on page 79 of SRII. If multiple characters have
actions on the same Combat Phase, then the character with
the highest Reaction Attribute gets to go first. If multiple
characters also have the same Reaction Attribute, then the
character with the highest Initiative total for that Combat
Turn goes first. If even this cannot separate characters, then
each character may roll 1D6. The highest number rolled
goes first. If more than one character rolls the same number
here, then they are assumed to act simultaneously. Charac-
ters act in sequential order, highest to lowest.
!
Projectile Weapons
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: pp. 96, 184-185
Bows add a modifier of +1 to their Availability per point
of Strength Minimum above 6.


79

!
Build/Repair and Theoretical
Skills
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII p. 66-75, Shadowbeat pp. 84-85,
Awakenings pp. 96-97
The skill web in SRII is rather confusing regarding some
of the skills that have corresponding theories and B/R skills:
Computer skill is used for programming computers; its
Hardware concentration is used for configuring hardware.
The Computer B/R skill is used for working with informa-
tion-processing hardware, and tends to concern the futuris-
tic equivalents of fiddling with cables, straps, and chips.
Computer Theory is computer science: algorithms, com-
plexity, information theory, mathematics, and so on, and is
useful when designing new forms of IC.
Electronics skill is used for operating complex electronic
devices that dont have friendly GUIs on top of them. Elec-
tronics (B/R) is the futuristic equivalent of going in with the
soldering iron. A new skill, Electronics Theory, is what you
use when designing hardware that does not do information
processing.
Biotech skill does not have a corresponding (B/R). The
corresponding theory skill is Biology. An MD tends to have
Biotech 5 and Biology (Medicine) 1 (5).
Cybertechnology B/R is used for repairing cyberware;
average Cybertechnology and Biology when doing cyber-
surgery.
Similar skill sets exist for other disciplines of engineer-
ing, including Hydraulics and Plumbing, Architecture and
Building (with concentrations of Carpentry and so on)
Combat Skills
!
Armed & Unarmed Combat
David Buehrer <dbuerher@denver.carl .org>
Reference: SRII pp. 100-103
These skills have two properties, Offense and Defense. If
a character learns a General Unarmed Combat skill then the
Offense and Defense would be equal. If a Concentration is
chosen then increase either property by 1, and decrease the
other by 1. If a character Specializes then increase either
property by 2, and decrease the other property by 2. For
example a character could start the game with Unarmed
Combat: Karate (General): 4/4 (Offense and Defense respec-
tively). Or he could start the game with Unarmed Combat:
Tai Kwon Do (Concentration): 5/3. After character creation
increase of either Offense or Defense has a !1 multiplier.
!
Unarmed Combat
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 100-103
The martial arts rules for Shadowrun are significantly
vague that they can be widely abused. The reason for this is
twofold. Firstly, that there essentially are no such rules.
Secondly because the only such mention of them is as Con-
centration of Unarmed Combat. Further, the capability of
Specialization in a particular strike technique (e.g. hand
strikes) is widely open to munchkinous abuse. A character
may select, for example, Unarmed Combat, Concentrate in
tae kwon do, and Specialize in hand strikes. Now, in nearly
all unarmed combat situations, the character will be able to
use the hand strike Specialization. By Specializing, the char-
acter has effectively gained two free skill points. Similarly
with the martial art Concentrations, there is little opportu-
nity for the disadvantages of Concentration to come into
play. By and large, if the character ends up in an unarmed
SKILLS
Frag! I thought I knew how to do this!
Eileen Simmons, decker
SKILLS
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
80

combat melee situation, they will be able to use their mar-
tial art or Specialization. This is radically different to the
situation for Firearms and other skills, where Concentration
and Specialization have significant drawbacks and players
will not always choose them when creating characters.
To solve this problem, I require that upon selecting the
skill Unarmed Combat, that the player specify what style of
Unarmed Combat has been chosen (thanks for the idea
TopCat!). For example, a character might choose Unarmed
Combat (Brawling), or Unarmed Combat (Thai Kickboxing),
or Unarmed Combat (Tae Kwon Do), and so forth. Concen-
trations of Subduing Combat and Cyber Implant Weaponry
are still available. The Concentration of Martial Arts Style
becomes the Concentration of Specific Technique, with its
Specializations becoming individual moves (much like indi-
vidual weapons for Firearms).
!
Defaulting
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII p. 68-69
Each skills Concentrations and Specializations can be
diagrammed as a tree. If you place a spot at each branch
point, you can default around that tree, with the proviso
that you must default the same category of skill (Concentra-
tion, Specialization) as you possess.

Theora has Firearms 1, concentrated in Pistols at 3,
and Specialized in a Narcoject Pistol at 5. If she uses a
Browning Max-Power pistol, she rolls three dice against
the usual target number and then two more at +2, since
specializations under the same concentration are one
spot away from each other.
If she switches to an SMG, she rolls 1 die at the
normal target number, two more dice at +2 (defaulting
a Concentration off another Concentration passes one
spot), and then two more at +6 (defaulting a Specializa-
tion off another Specialization ends up crossing three
spots).

Ground Vehicles (B/R), Boats (B/R), and Aircraft (B/R) are
all two dots away from each other. (Just draw a vertical line
to the right of all three of them, and put a dot on each line
connecting them to that vertical line.)
Throwing (B/R) does not exist. Use Armed Combat (B/R)
for knives and shuriken, Projectile (B/R) for spears, and
Demolitions for grenades.
Firearms (B/R) is one dot away from Gunnery (B/R).
Partial Defaulting
If you have an appropriate skill for a particular activity
and a better skill nearby on the skill web, you can roll the
dice of your appropriate skill at the usual target number and
the dice by which your nearby skill exceeds your appropri-
ate skill at the same target number you would use if de-
faulting off the nearby skill.

Barry the troll physical adept has Firearms 4, and has
just been handed the teams Panther Assault Cannon
because hes big enough to handle such a massive gun.
He has to attack defaulting his Gunnery off his Firearms,
at +4 to his target numbers. After the adventure, he
spends a Karma point on his Gunnery. He can now at-
tack rolling 1 die at the Gunnery target number and 3
dice at the Firearms target number.
!
BY THE BOOK
Reference: Shadowrun Companion p. 46
The Partial Defaulting rules from page 46 of the Com-
panion allow something similar to the above rules, but by
averaging the skills used.

!
Knowledge Skills
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 20-32, 66-68, 183-184
I feel that a character with a Knowledge skill that is logi-
cally related to the skill being used should receive a bonus
to his success tests when using said skill.
One example of this would be if a character had both
the Negotiation and Psychology skills and was trying to
barter the price of the new power focus he wanted down a
bit. This person should have some advantage over an
equally skilled individual without a Psychology skill when it
comes to Negotiation success tests. After all, if you know
what makes a person tick on a psychological level, you
should be a more effective negotiator.
Thus, here is the system for using related skills for a sin-
gle Success Test. A Free Action is used to make a Success
Test using the secondary skill (in the above scenario, Psy-
chology would be the secondary skill, while Negotiation
would be the primary skill being used) versus the target
number for the primary skills Success Test (in this case, the
opponents Willpower).
For every 2 successes generated by this test, an extra
skill die is rolled for the primary skills Success Test.

Lets say the characters Negotiation skill is a 5,
while his Psychology skill is a 4. His opponents Will-
power is a 4. The character would use a Free Action to
make a Psychology skill success test versus a target
number of 4. Lets say he gets 2 successes. This would
give the character one extra die to augment his Nego-
tiation Skill test with. He then uses a Complex Action to
make a Negotiation skill success test versus a target
number of 4. He would roll a number of dice equal to
his Negotiation skill, plus one additional die that he
earned with his Psychology test. This gives him a total of
6 dice to roll for the Negotiation success test.

There may be the rare instance that more than two
Knowledge skills can be used together. If this occurs, use
the above rules, but there will be two or more secondary
skills, and only one primary skill. Roll each secondary skill
separately. (Thus, successes are kept separate for each Suc-
cess Test.) Then, total the extra dice from all secondary skill
tests. Add these dice to the primary skill success test.
SKILLS

81
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
You may have noticed that these rules are similar to the
Centering rules. They are. All augmented Knowledge skill
tests must be approved by the gamemaster before being
made. It is entirely up to the gamemasters discretion as to
whether or not any two or more knowledge skills are re-
lated enough to augment each other in a given situation.
Build and Repair skills (B/R) cannot be augmented by or
be used to augment other skills.
!
Language Skills
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 44-47, 74
The characters native language skill level begins at the
characters starting Intelligence rating plus 2. The character
has an additional number of skill points, to be spent on
languages skills only, equal to his starting Intelligence rat-
ing.
Note: Sperethiel is never a native language.
!
Education and Extra Languages
Loki <gamemstr@primenet.com>
Reference: SRII p. 74, Shadowrun Companion p. 28
Taking the High-School Education Edge grants the start-
ing character half his Intelligence (rounded down) in skill
points to spend on extra languages. The College Education
grants full Intelligence in extra language skill points.
New Skills
!
Body Language
Nurse Wratchett <wratchet-rn@ns.arizona.edu>
We created a new skill Body Language (Combat [Hand
To Hand, Spec. Martial Art, ranged, magic, matrix, vehicle],
Social [Mafia, Yakuza, Media, Mystic Group, et al], Sports).
This skill gives the practitioner insight into typical behaviors
that may give away information about a person. The target
number is based on how common the behavior is, regional
variation, and personality of the individual, a typical target
number is 6-8. Each success generated gives the practitio-
ner more information, per gamemasters discretion. For
each round the practitioner successfully uses the skill
against the same opponent reduce the target number by 1
(2 minimum).

Tye Mi-Tight is a Master of Wang Chung Kung Fu,
she is engaged in hand to hand combat with Princess
Bride a macho cybergoon who likes to wear the most
extravagant gowns he can find and also practices Wang
Chung. Tye has Body Language at 5 and has one initia-
tive for this round. Since they practice the same art
(even with different instructors) the base target number
decided by the gamemaster is 3, but because Princess
has on gowns which help to conceal his moves the tar-
get number is increased to 6. Tye rolls 2 successes
(great job Tye), and the gamemaster determines that
Tye know that Princess is going to counterstrike her at-
tack, but does not know if any special maneuver will be
used. If the fight continues for 4 rounds during which
Tye successfully uses Body Language against Princess, at
the 5th round her target number would only be a 2. At
this point Tye rolls 5 successes (WOW) and knows al-
most exactly what Princess is going to be doing.

The value of this skill depends on how much information
the gamemaster provides and how creative the player is in
using it. This skill is only effective in combat when the user
has initiative.
!
Other Skills
The Twilight Brigade <twilight-
bri gade@amurgsval .org>
Reference: SRII p. 66-75, Shadowbeat pp. 84-85,
Awakenings pp. 96-97
Acting (Social). Concentrations of Film/Trid, Stage, Sim-
sense.
Homemaking (Physical). Concentrations of Cooking and
Cleaning.
Disguise (Physical). Concentrations of Clothing and
Makeup.
Negotiation has additional Concentrations of Intimida-
tion, Diplomacy, and Seduction. (If Athletics is good for
skydiving, surfing, skiing, and football, Negotiation can be
equally broad.)
Musical Production (Special Skill) from Shadowbeat
can be taken as a Concentration of either Leadership or
Negotiation.
Aura Reading, as given in Awakenings, is useless until
you bring it higher than your intelligence. Since spending
experience on a skill should show an improvement before
the astounding amount of karma it takes to up a skill past
the Intelligence of a magically active character, there are
some other possible interpretations:
1. one can begin buying Aura Reading up from ones Intel-
ligence;
2. Aura Reading should have easier target numbers than
raw Intelligence,
3. one success on Aura Reading should count as two on
raw Intelligence, or
4. Aura Reading functions as a Centering-like skill, with
every two successes adding to your successes from In-
telligence.
Weve tentatively settled on (1) for now.
Metamemory
A new Initiatory skill, Metamemory, represents the Art
of Memoryin addition to helping remember things, it can
also serve as a source of inspiration. Concentrations are
Memory (specialized by topics, which can be as broad as
fixing), Intuition (opportunities, dangers, wonders, astral
quests), and (race memory, past life recall, collective un-
conscious). It can go no higher than twice your initiate
grade (or 1 for grade 0 initiates), and can only be bought
with karma; mere practice will not do. When used for
memory recall, it adds its dice to your Intelligence rolls;
SKILLS
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
82

when used for intuition or race memory, you roll the skills
rating against a target number determined by the game-
master. For the latter uses, it is possible to go on Astral
Quests of a rating up to that of the skill to add dice to the
roll. (This is shamelessly stolen from John Crowley and
Katharine Kerr.)
A number of concentration-only skills have turned up
when people have bought background information: Litera-
ture (by language) is specialized by genre, Dance (by style)
is specialized by particular moves.
!
Read and Write
Loki <gamemstr@primenet.com>
Reference: SRII p. 74, Shadowrun Companion p. 28
Starting PCs receive a free skill in Read/Write equal to
one-half intelligence (rounded down). The High-School
Education Edge starts Read/Write equal to Intelligence.
College Education starts Read/Write at Intelligence + 2.
The Illiterate Flaw means the PC starts without a
Read/Write skill.
During game play, reading or writing tests are made by
averaging the Read/Write skill and the appropriate lan-
guage.

A character wants to read a ransom note written in
Spanish. He has Spanish at 5 and Read/Write at 3, so
hell roll 4 dice in a test to read the note. Yes, this
means that if the previous character were illiterate, hed
be rolling half his Spanish skill (rounded down) at 2.
!
Perception Skill
Justin Pinnow <vanyel@provide.net>
Reference: SRII pp. 185-186, 190-191
Normally, a characters Perception is equal to his Intelli-
gence Attribute Rating. If desired, a Perception skill may be
purchased, in order to allow for a character with a high
level of perceptivity, without increasing his Intelligence as a
whole.
The first level of this skill is bought by spending enough
Karma to raise the Intelligence attribute rating by one point,
as if it were a general skill. This gives you a Perception skill
equal to your Intelligence attribute plus one.

A character with an Intelligence of 3 would need to
spend 8 Good Karma points to acquire a Perception skill
of 4.

Further increases to this skill are bought as per the stan-
dard rules for increasing general skills.
Physical Skills
!
Ambidexterity
WoLfM <lmc4@keene.edu>
Reference: Fields of Fire p. 81
(This is to replace the rule in the Fields Of Fire supple-
ment, which I find confusing.) Firing with off hand gives an
automatic +6 modifier to all target numbers. You can buy
the Ambidexterity skill normally up to a maximum of 6. For
each level of Ambidexterity skill subtract 1 from the penalty
to hit.

Shadow has a level 3 ambidexterity. His left hand
has been hurt badly and cannot fire his gun. When he
tries to shoot with his right hand it gives him a +6
modifier. With his 3 levels of Ambidexterity it drops that
target modifier by three to a +3 modifier.

Enhanced articulation and or reflex recorders will not af-
fect the skill level in any way.
!
Stealth
Gurth <gurth@xs4all .nl >
Reference: SRII p. 185, Shadowbeat pp. 10-11,
Shadowrun Companion p. 91
To sneak around, a character rolls Stealth skill in an open
test (see Shadowbeat). The highest-rolling die sets the base
target number for Perception tests made to notice the char-
acter, not the number of successes rolled (because this is an
open test, there are no successes).

Big Al suspects someone has broken into his apart-
ment, so hes coming in real stealth-like to surprise the
robber. Al has Stealth skill 3, and rolling those dice he
gets 1, 5, and 10. The base target number for the robber
to hear Big Al approach is 10, modified as per Percep-
tion on page 185 of SRII.
!
Social Skills
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 44-47, 72
In addition to the normal skill points for purchasing skills
at character creation, the character has a number of points
equal to his starting Charisma attribute to be spent on, and
only on, social skills.


83

!
Etiquette
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII p. 72
The Shadowrun rules on Etiquette skills state that the
skill requires Concentration. They do not, however, explain
just how one goes about handling the game mechanics of
this, nor do the archetypes presented in the books clarify
the matter an awful lot. The rule itself implies that upon
choosing the general skill Etiquette, one must then Concen-
trate in a particular type. This sounds OK, but then we look
at the archetypes and see that they have all their Etiquette
skills as separate skills, rather than Concentrations of a gen-
eral Etiquette skill. I run the skill as follows. When you
choose Etiquette, you must choose what kind of Etiquette it
is (Street, Corporate, Magical, etc.). Each Etiquette is a
completely separate skill. However, when chosen, because
of the fact that Concentration is mandatory, you receive the
+1 skill point for Concentration to each separate Etiquette
skill. An example will help:

Erif Gnab spends 3 skill points on obtaining Etiquette
(Street). He now has the skill Etiquette (Street) at Rating
4. He then spends 6 skill points learning Etiquette (Py-
romaniac), and thus has an Etiquette (Pyromaniac) skill
of 7.

It is not possible to spend 0 skill points on an Etiquette
skill, natch.
!
Leadership
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 72-73
Leadership & Planning
The skills Leadership, Small Unit Tactics or Military The-
ory may be used for planing a run. The skill is rolled against
a target number of 4 or the number of people participating
in the runwhichever is the highest number. For every
two successes rolled, one temporary Team Karma Pool
point is available, for the duration of the run, to all the
planned participants. If the run diverges strongly from the
planned scenario these temporary Team Karma Points go.
Leadership in a Run
A character in communication with the other runners
may coordinate the activities of a run by the use of Leader-
ship or Small Unit Tactics skills. To do so the character must
spend the last action of every turn on this coordination-
rolling their skill against a target number of four or the
number of participating runners (whichever is higher). For
every two successes rolled the Reaction of all runners is
increases by one for the next turn. The quality of communi-
cation modifies the target number for this skill, e.g. basic
radio communications adds a +2 penalty to the success
test. Military Theory may be used for this activity with a +2
penalty to the success test.
Technical Skills
!
Biotech
Chris Maxfield <cmaxfiel@pcug.org.au>
Reference: SRII p. 71
If a character has both Biotech and Medical Theory skills
then she may add Medical Theory dice to most Biotech
tests at the gamemasters determination. Situations where
this may not apply are purely mechanical operations (i.e.
sewing the arm back on) where intellectual theory is not
relevant. Vice versa, Medical Theory may only apply to
some purely intellectual situations where Biotech is not
relevant (i.e. diagnostics), so only theory dice will be rolled.


84

Note: Most of the rules in this chapter apply only to SRII
and the Rigger Black Book; most will not be fully compati-
ble with the new Rigger 2, or they cover situations that are
also handled by Rigger 2.
Drones
!
Batch Drone Control
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 104, 107
Shadowrun states that a character controlling a vehicle
must spend at least one Complex Action per turn control-
ling the vehicle. I allow squads or batches of drones to
be controlled with a single Complex action, providing that
they are all performing the same task. This rule comple-
ments the Vehicle Actions and Commands rules, in which a
single controlling action may be used to order multiple
drones or remote pilot vehicles (RPVs) to perform the same
task.
!
Drone Autopilot Initiative
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 104-109, Rigger Black Book pp.
98-107
Nowhere in either SRII or the Rigger Black Book do the
rules state what Initiative to use for a drone or other vehicle
that has been left to run commands on autopilot. I use
Autopilot Rating + 1D6.
!
Subsystem Damage
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Reference: Rigger 2 pp. 22-23, 49-55, 85-87
Instead of using a single damage track to determine
damage to a vehicle, this system applies damage to the
vehicles subsystems (tables and rules liberated and modi-
fied from FASAs Rigger 2 by Jonathan Szeto).

Roll to hit and resist damage as per the rules with one
exception: Vehicles do not reduce the damage level of
weapons attacks by one level.
The outcome of the attack determines how many sub-
systems have been hit. If the vehicle suffers Light damage 1
subsystem is hit, Moderate damage 2 subsystems, Serious
damage 3 subsystems, Deadly damage 4 subsystems.
For each subsystem hit roll on the following table. If the
roll results in a subsystem which is not present roll again. If
the roll results in a subsystem which is already destroyed
then that hit has no effect.

Table 1: Major System Categories
2D6 Category Corresponding Table
2 Accessories Accessories Damage
3 Weapon Systems Weapon Systems Damage
4 Vehicle Electronics Electronics Damage
5 Vehicle Controls Controls Damage
6 Chassis Chassis Damage
7 Engine Engine Damage
8 Chassis Chassis Damage
9 Vehicle Controls Controls Damage
10 Vehicle Electronics Electronics Damage
11 Weapon Systems Weapon System Damage
12 Accessories Accessories Damage

VEHICLES
Now if only it would start right away, just for this
once
Tom Blake, freelance rigger
VEHICLES

85
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES

Engine Damage Table
1D6 System
1 Gridlink
2 Turbocharger/Superconductive Drive
3 Engine Hit
4 Engine Customization
5 Nitrous Injector
6 SunCell

Chassis Damage Table
1D6 System
1 Fuel System
2 Passenger Compartment
3 Aggravated Body Damage (Anti-Vehicle and Ex-
plosive Weapons Only)
4 Armor Defeating Hit (Anti-Vehicle and Explosive
Weapons Only)
5 Roll on Engine Damage Table
6 Roll on Controls Damage Table

Controls Damage Table
1D6 System
1 Rigger Control Box
2 Autonav
3-4 Handling
5 Remote Control Linkup
6 Drive-by-Wire System

Electronics Damage Table
1D6 System
1 ECM
2 ECCM
3-4 Sensor Systems
5 ED
6 ECD

Weapon Systems Damage Table
1D6 System
1-2 Turret
3-4 Vehicle Weapon
5-6 Target Acquisition System


Accessories Damage Table
2D6 System
2 Roll on Engine Damage Table
3 APPS System
4 Amphibious System
5 Anti-Theft System
6 Communications Gear
7 Drone Rack
8 EnviroSeal
9 External Cargo Mount
10 Life Support
11 Spotlight
12 Roll on Controls Damage Table

Damage Severity
Light
Damage
The subsystem operates at reduced effi-
ciency. Reduce by 1 any bonuses or extra
dice provided by modifications or accesso-
ries. (If the subsystem has no such bonuses
or extra dice, apply a +1 target modifier to
Success Tests made with the damaged de-
vice/system.)
Moderate
Damage
The subsystem is suffering a serious malfunc-
tion. Reduce by half the original value of any
bonuses or extra dice provided by modifica-
tions or accessories. (If the subsystem has no
such bonuses or extra dice, apply a +3 target
modifier to Success Tests made with the
damaged device/system.)
Serious
Damage
The subsystem is inoperative but repairable.
Deadly
Damage
The subsystem is destroyed beyond repair,
and must be replaced completely.

If a previously damaged subsystem is hit again the new
damage is added to the previous damage: Light increases
the damage by 1 level, Moderate by 2 levels, and Serious
by 3 levels. A Deadly hit results in Deadly damage to a
subsystem.
Subsystem Damage Notes
Aggravated Body Damage (if the attack is not from an
anti-vehicle weapon or explosive device ignore this result
and roll again): If the vehicle has a Body of 1 or less, it and
all of its subsystems are destroyed and it automatically
crashes. If the vehicle has a Body of 2 or more the attack
seriously weakens the infrastructure of the vehicle. For a
Light damage, reduce the vehicles Body by 1. For Moder-
ate damage, reduce the vehicles Body to one-half its value,
rounded up. For Serious damage, reduce the vehicles Body
to one-third of its original value, rounded up. Deadly dam-
age to the vehicles Body destroys the vehicle and all of its
subsystems, and it automatically crashes.
Armor-Defeating Hit (if the attack is not from an anti-
vehicle weapon or explosive device ignore this result and
roll again): The attack reduces the effectiveness of the vehi-
VEHICLES
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
86

cles armor. Light damage reduces the Armor Rating by 1,
Moderate damage reduces the Armor by 3, Serious dam-
age reduces the Armor by 6, and Deadly damage reduces
the Armor Rating by 10. Armor points lost in this manner
are gone for good and can only be recovered by replacing
the armor. Note that this rule is separate from the Armor
Degradation rules (p. 75, Fields of Fire).
Engine Hit: The attack damages the engine, which in
turn reduces the vehicles Acceleration, Speed and Load
Ratings. For Light damage, multiply all Ratings by .9, round-
ing down. For Moderate damage, multiply all Ratings by .7,
rounding down. For Serious damage multiply all Ratings by
.4, rounding down. If the engine suffers Deadly damage,
the vehicle loses power and decelerates at a rate equal to
twice the Acceleration, and the driver must make a Crash
Test.
Fuel System: The attack causes a leak in the vehicles
fuel system. For Light damage, calculate the loss rate by
multiplying the fuel remaining by .01. The result is the
amount of fuel that leaks each turn. For Moderate damage,
multiply the remaining fuel by .05. For Serious damage,
multiply the remaining fuel by .1. If the fuel system sustains
Deadly damage, it ruptures and the driver must make a
Crash Test. (Pyromaniac gamemasters may also check to
see if the destruction of the fuel system results in an electri-
cal fire or fuel explosion).
Handling: The attack damages the primary vehicle con-
trol mechanisms. Increase the Handling of the vehicle by 1
for a Light hit, 2 for a Moderate hit and 3 for a Serious hit. If
the Handling sustains Deadly damage, the vehicle auto-
matically crashes.
Passenger Compartment: The hit generates shrapnel in
the passenger compartment. Passengers must make a
Damage Resistance Test against physical damage. The
damage Power is equal to half the Power of the attack
against the vehicle (after armor reductions), and the Dam-
age Code is equal to the Damage Code of the hit.
Rigger Control Box: The attack disrupts the rigger con-
trol hardware installed in the vehicle and triggers and ASIST
backlash. The rigger must make a Damage Resistance Test
against physical damage. The damage Power Level is equal
to the Power of the vehicles attack (after armor reductions),
and the Damage Level is equal to the Damage Level of the
hit.
Target Acquisition System: The attack damages key
sensor or electronic components relating to target-
acquisition functions. Missiles, sensor-enhanced weapons
and other smart weapons suffer a Damage Modifier (see
Table 8: Damage Severity). If the target-acquisition system
suffers a Deadly hit, the vehicle cannot lock onto a target
and is unable to fire smart weapons. Dumb weapons,
such as rockets, cannons and firearms, are not affected.
Turret: The attack damages the servo-mechanism con-
trolling the vehicle turret (if the vehicle has more than one
turret, the gamemaster may determine which one is dam-
aged). Weapons fired from that turret suffer a Damage
Modifier based on the damage of the hit (see Table 8: Dam-
age Severity). If the turret suffers a Deadly hit, it is rendered
inoperative and frozen in place (the direction it is pointing
is determined by the gamemaster).
!
Vehicle Armor
Damion Milliken <dam01@uow.edu.au>
Reference: SRII pp. 99, 108
Vehicle armor has to take the prize (over even Karma
and Karma Pools) for the most difficult to understand and
poorly written part of the Shadowrun rules. I realize that
Shadowrun is not about vehicles blowing each other away,
but at least an understandable set of rules might have been
generated. Anyway, I run vehicle armor like so:
Case 1: Base Power Less Than Or Equal To Vehicle
Armor Rating
Nothing at all happens. You do not get to damage the
armor, you do not get to reduce it like a Barrier Rating. You
do nothing.
Case 2: Base Power Greater Than Vehicle Armor Rat-
ing
A] IF THE WEAPON IS A NORMAL WEAPON (not ar-
mor-piercing)
i) Reduce Damage Category by one. If the weapon is
rated at Light, it does no damage.
ii) Subtract Vehicle Armor Rating plus Body Rating from
the weapons Power. (Minimum of 2. It is likely here
that nearly all weapons will have a resultant of 2.)
Power (Vehicle Armor + Body)
iii) Roll Body + (Armor 2) (rounding down) against
the target number determined above. Body + (Ar-
mor 2) vs. target determined above.

B] IF THE WEAPON IS AN ARMOR PIERCING VARIETY
(e.g., AVM/R, or half the weapons out of Fields of Fire)
i) Do not reduce damage category by one.
ii) Subtract 1/2 the Vehicle Armor Rating (rounding
down) from the Power of the weapon. Power (Ar-
mor) 2
iii) Roll Body + (Armor 2) (rounding down) against
the target number determined above. Body + (Ar-
mor 2) vs. target determined above.

This set of rules makes vehicles fairly resilient to small
arms, but almost instantly dead if some sort of armor pierc-
ing weapon hits them.
ALTERNATIVES
! Alternative One
The Barrier Rating rules starting on page 57, and mainly
the Vehicle Armor subsection on page 60, can be used
instead of those above.
! Alternative Two
David Buehrer <dbuehrer@denver.carl .org>
Try using these rules in place of the vehicle/barrier rules.
I divide attacks and targets into three categories. Type I:
People and most critters, standard attacks. Type II: Vehi-
cles, structures and really tough critters, anti-vehicle and
VEHICLES

87
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
heavy weapon attacks. Type III: Ultra tough targets (main
battle tanks), ultra heavy weapon attacks (rail guns, nukes).
If an attack is directed against a target in the same cate-
gory everything balances out and the rules arent changed
(roll to hit, apply armor (if any) to the power of the attack,
resist damage).

If an attack is directed at a target in a higher or lower
category do the following.
If the attack is in a higher category then the target, di-
vide the Body and the armor of target by 2 for each differ-
ence in level, rounding down (if a Type I target is attacked
by a Type III weapon, the Body and armor of the target
would be divided by 2 twice). When resisting damage the
target also divides its successes by 2 for each difference in
level before staging damage.
If the attack is in a lower category than the target, divide
the Power Level, Damage Code and attackers successes by
2 for each difference in level, rounding down.
Effects such as armor-piercing ammo are applied after
adjusting numbers for the attack/target.

Sam fires an anti-vehicle rocket (Type II Armor-
Piercing Weapon) at Fred (Type I Target) and hits. Fred
has a Body of 5 and is wearing armor with an impact
rating of 3. When resisting damage Fred only gets to
apply half his Body (2) and half his armor (1). The effec-
tiveness of Freds armor is cut in half again because the
attack is armor piercing, reducing his armor to 0. Fred
rolls one success, which is divided by 2, resulting in 0
successes for Fred.
Mortis drives by in a main battle tank (Type III tar-
get). Sam shoots the tank with a 9D pistol (Type I
Weapon) and gets 4 successes. Sams successes are cut
in half twice (from 4 to 2 to 1), and the Power and
Damage Code of the pistol are also cut in half twice
(from 9D to 4M to 2L). The tank is armored (18) but
Sam loaded his pistol with armor piercing ammo, which
reduces the effectiveness of the tanks armor to 9.

These rules work very quickly and only require common
sense and consistency on the part of the gamemaster.
!
Undercarriage
Bl ackj ack <bhagerty@thunder.temple.edu>
The undercarriages of vehicles have the same Armor rat-
ings as the rest of the vehicle. (I got tired of PCs lobbing
grenades under police cars.)


88

INDEX
A
Acting Skill.........................................81
Actions ..............................................54
Announcing .................................54
Delaying Simple Actions ..............54
Standing & Kneeling ....................54
Actions In A Combat Turn ..................78
Adepts...............................................34
Astral ...........................................35
Astral Sight ..................................35
Banishing .....................................35
Conjuring .....................................34
Elemenal ......................................35
Enchanting ...................................35
Minor ...........................................35
Negamagic...................................35
Physical ........................................35
Shamanic .....................................35
Sorcery.........................................35
Spell.............................................35
Spirit ............................................35
Aiming Spells.....................................37
Air Timed Mini Grenades and
Scatter.............................................75
Allergies ............................................16
In the points-based character
generation system.....................16
Number of....................................16
Ambidexterity....................................82
Ammunition.......................................54
Gel and Stun ................................54
Tracer ...........................................73
Ammunition vs. Barriers Table............58
Ammunition vs. Vehicle Armor
Table ...............................................61
Announcing Actions...........................54
Armed & Unarmed Combat Skills.......79
Armed Combat Skill ...........................79
Armor Degradation ............................63
Armored Boots and Helmets ..............65
Astral Adepts.....................................35
Astral Perception & Projection............28
Astral Quests
To bypass wards...........................28
Astral Sight Adepts ............................35
Astral Space.................................28, 32
Astral quest to bypass wards........28
Aura reading ................................29
Auras .....................................29, 32
Grounding....................................37
Objects and auras.........................29
Patrolling......................................28
Psychometry ................................29
Spell Defense across planes..........40
Attacks And Targets ...........................55
Attributes...........................................16
Enhanced .....................................20
Enhanced Reaction and Reflexes ...20
Increasing.....................................16
Muscle Augmentation ..................15
Racial maximum...........................16
Reaction .......................................20
Strength 1 Trolls ...........................16
Aura Reading Skill ..............................81
Auras .......................................... 29, 32
Objects.........................................29
Reading........................................29
Autofire..............................................55
Recoil ...........................................55
Availability ...........................................9
B
Banishing Adepts ...............................35
Barrier Spell........................................41
Barrier Spells ......................................41
Barrier Spells and Area of Effect ..........43
Barriers........................................ 55, 57
Ammunition vs. Barriers Table ......58
Armor degradation.......................63
Barrier spells.......................... 29, 32
Critter hardened armor .................62
Penetrating...................................60
Personal hardened armor ..............62
Ratings .........................................64
Vehicle armor ...............................60
Batch Drone Control ...........................84
Biotech skill ........................................83
Bioware..............................................14
Cultured .......................................14
Enhanced Articulation...................14
For magicians ...............................14
Muscle Augmentation ..................15
Black market.......................................10
Blade Barrier Spell ..............................42
Blast Barrier Spell................................42
Body Armor .......................................64
Armored boots and helmets .........65
Called Shots .................................64
Degradation .................................65
Excessive armor penalties.............65
Higher Armor Rating Than
Power Level ..............................65
Sleeping in armor .........................68
Body Language Skill ...........................81
Build/Repair and Theoretical Skills.......79
Building Points System.......................17
Bullet Barrier Spell ..............................42
C
Calculating Dice Pools ........................18
Called Shots .......................................66
Centering ...........................................33
vs. penalties against shielding ......33
Character Creation
Adjusted Priorities ....................... 21
Starting spells with Force
modifiers .................................. 40
Character Generation ................... 16, 25
Building Points system................. 17
Master Character Creation Table... 21
Starting Resources ....................... 21
Characters ......................................... 16
Hardened armor .......................... 62
Combat
Actions........................................ 54
Actions in a combat turn.............. 78
Air timed mini grenades and
scatter ...................................... 75
Ammunition vs. Barriers Table ..... 58
Ammunition vs. Vehicle Armor
Table ........................................ 61
Announcing Actions .................... 54
Armor degradation................ 63, 65
Armored boots and helmets ........ 65
Attacks and targets...................... 55
Autofire ....................................... 55
Barrier Ratings ............................. 64
Barriers .................................. 55, 57
Body armor ................................. 64
Body armor and Called Shots....... 64
Called Shots ................................ 66
Complete miss............................. 67
Critter hardened armor ................ 62
Damage................................. 67, 75
Delaying Simple Actions.............. 54
Dodging...................................... 69
Dodging table.............................. 70
Excessive armor penalties............ 65
Falling unconscious...................... 67
Firearms....................................... 71
Grenades ..................................... 75
Higher Armor Rating Than
Power Level ............................. 65
Hit Location Table........................ 76
Hit Locations ............................... 76
Initiative ...................................... 78
Initiative rolls ............................... 78
Initiative ties ................................ 78
Melee.......................................... 51
Overdamage ......................... 67, 68
Penetrating barriers...................... 60
Personal hardened armor ............ 62
Ranged........................................ 54
Sleeping in armor ........................ 68
Staging Damage.......................... 68
Standing & Kneeling.................... 54
Stun damage and knockback ....... 68
Targets ........................................ 55
Turn sequence ............................. 66
Vehicle armor ........................ 60, 86
Vehicle subsystem damage.......... 84
Wounds affecting movement ....... 68
Combat Skills..................................... 79
INDEX

89
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
Complete Miss ...................................67
Computers
Basic rating/capacity system.........47
Mainframes ..................................46
Spending system capacity ............47
Subsystem ratings ........................48
Unusual things..............................48
Using a mainframe to write
cyberdeck programs ..................48
What About All Those Little
Shops With Orange Security? ....48
Conjuring ...........................................29
Conjuring Adept.................................34
Contacts & Enemies ...........................17
Critter Hardened Armor......................62
Critter Powers.....................................17
Regeneration ................................17
Critters
Hardened Armor power ...............62
Currencies ..........................................10
Cyberears ...........................................23
Cyberlimbs .........................................23
Cyberware..........................................23
High-grade...................................23
D
Damage .......................................67, 75
Complete miss .............................67
Falling unconscious.......................67
Overdamage ..........................67, 68
Overflow......................................17
Sleeping in armor .........................68
Staging.........................................68
Stun damage and knockback ........68
Vehicle subsystems ......................84
Vehicle undercarriage ...................87
Wounds affecting movement........68
Damage Resistance tests ....................11
Death Touch spell...............................43
Defending In Melee Combat...............51
Delay Damage Physical Adept
Power .............................................36
Delaying Simple Actions ....................54
Dice Pools ......................................9, 18
Calculating ...................................18
Using ...........................................18
Dikote...............................................9
Disallowed or Modified Edges &
Flaws...............................................18
Disguise Skill ......................................81
DMSO..................................................9
Breakdown...................................10
Flesh Contact ..................................9
Dodging.............................................69
Dodging Table....................................70
Drain For Sustaining Spells..................37
Drones ...............................................84
Autopilot initiative........................84
Batch drone control ......................84
Drugs & DMSO....................................9
Breakdown...................................10
Flesh Contact ..................................9
E
Edges & Flaws..............................16, 18
Addiction .....................................18
Adrenaline Surge..........................18
Allergy .........................................18
Bio-Rejection ................................18
Blind.............................................18
Bonus Attribute Point ...................18
Day Job ........................................18
Development ...............................19
Disallowed or modified.................18
Exceptional Attribute....................16
Extra Contact ................................18
Focused Concentration..................18
High Pain Tolerance......................18
High School Education..................18
Illiterate........................................18
Magic Resistance..........................18
Night Vision .................................18
Police Record................................19
Registered Equipment ..................19
Sensitive System ..........................19
Technical School Education...........18
With the Priority system ...............20
Education and Extra Languages ..........81
Elemental Adept ................................35
Elemental Effects ................................37
Enchanting .........................................32
Enchanting Adepts .............................35
Enemies .............................................17
Location times..............................17
Enhanced Articulation.........................14
Enhanced Attributes, Skills, Etc. ..........20
Enhanced Reaction and Reflexes .........20
Equipment
Availability .....................................9
Dikote .........................................9
Escher Loop .......................................46
Essence Loss and Magic Loss .............29
Etiquette skill......................................83
Excessive Armor Penalties ..................65
Exclusive Spells ..................................32
Experience .........................................24
Extended Spellcasting ........................37
F
Falling Unconscious ............................67
Firearms .............................................71
Damages and ranges ....................74
Gas venting miniguns ...................71
Point-blank range .........................71
Rates oF fire..................................71
Recoil ...........................................71
Recoil table...................................71
Shotguns ......................................72
Telescopic sights ..........................73
Telescopic sights and
movement.................................73
Telescopic sights and smartlinks ...73
Tracer ammunition........................73
First Aid..............................................43
Foci ....................................................30
Addiction .....................................30
For mundanes...............................30
Spell locks ....................................32
Spell locks and exclusive spells.....32
Fractions & Rounding .........................10
Full Autofire........................................55
G
Gas Venting Miniguns ........................71
Gel and Stun Ammunition ..................54
General Rules .......................................9
Good Karma to Karma Pool ............... 24
Gradual Initiation ............................... 33
Grenade Launchers Against Point
Targets ........................................... 75
Grenades ........................................... 75
Air timed mini grenades and
scatter ...................................... 75
Damage....................................... 75
Launchers against point targets.... 75
Scatter ................................... 75, 76
Grounding
Through anchorings or
quickenings .............................. 37
H
Hardened Armor ............................... 62
Heal Spell .......................................... 43
Healing
Magical ....................................... 43
Higher Armor Rating Than Power
Level .............................................. 65
High-Grade Cyberware ...................... 23
Hit Location Table.............................. 76
Hit Locations ..................................... 76
Hit Location Table........................ 76
Holding Spells ................................... 38
Homemaking Skill ............................. 81
I
Improved Ability Physical Adept
Power............................................. 36
Increased Reflexes Physical Adept
Power............................................. 36
Increased Reflexes Physical Adept
Power............................................. 37
Increasing Attributes.......................... 16
Increasing Skills ................................. 25
Initiates.............................................. 39
Initiates & Metamagic
Metamemory............................... 81
Initiation & Metamagic ...................... 33
Centering..................................... 33
Centering vs. penalties against
shielding................................... 33
Gradual initiation ......................... 33
Initiates........................................ 39
Masking....................................... 33
Physical adepts ............................ 34
Initiative ............................................ 78
Actions........................................ 54
Actions in a combat turn.............. 78
Announcing Actions .................... 54
Delaying Simple Actions.............. 54
Rolls ............................................ 78
Ties.............................................. 78
K
Karma.......................................... 16, 24
Good Karma to Karma Pool.......... 24
Increasing Attributes.................... 16
Pool ............................................. 24
Raising Skills ................................ 25
Sourcebooks for ........................... 27
Team Karma Pool......................... 25
Karma Pool ........................................ 24
Blocking ...................................... 24
INDEX
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
90

Buying Successes .........................24
Dividing .......................................24
Good Karma to.............................24
Maximum for a test ......................25
Refresh Rate .................................25
Re-Rolls ........................................25
Starting size .................................25
Team Karma Pool .........................25
Usage...........................................25
Kneeling.............................................54
Knockback..........................................68
Knowledge Skills................................80
L
Language Skills ..................................81
Education and extra languages .....81
Last-Ditch Spellcasting .......................38
Leadership skill ..................................83
Learning New Spells ..........................39
Legwork.............................................12
Levitate Item Spell .............................44
Levitate Person Spell ..........................44
Location Times for Enemies ................17
M
Magic.................................................28
Aiming spells ...............................37
Astral Patrolling............................28
Astral perception & projection .....28
Astral quest to bypass wards........28
Astral space .................................28
Aura Reading ...............................29
Auras ...........................................29
Barrier spell ..................................41
Barrier spells.................................41
Barrier Spells and Area of Effect ....43
Blade Barrier spell ........................42
Blast Barrier spell..........................42
Bullet Barrier spell ........................42
Centering .....................................33
Centering vs. penalties against
shielding ...................................33
Conjuring .....................................29
Death Touch spell.........................43
Drain for sustaining spells .............37
Elemental effects ..........................37
Enchanting ...................................32
Essence loss and Magic loss .........29
Exclusive Spells ............................32
Extended spellcastinh...................37
Extra physical adept abilities.........35
Foci ..............................................30
Focus Addiction ...........................30
Gradual initiation ..........................33
Grounding....................................37
Healing ........................................43
Holding spells ..............................38
Improved Ability physical adept
power .......................................36
Increased Reflexes physical
adept power .............................37
Initiates ........................................39
Initiation & metamagic.................33
Last-ditch spellcasting ..................38
Learnign new spells......................39
Levitate Item spell........................44
Levitate Person spell ....................44
Magical items for mundanes.........30
Mana Barrier spell.........................42
Mana fluctuation...........................45
Masking .......................................33
Metamemory skill.........................81
Miscellaneous issues.....................45
Misfires ........................................34
More powerful physical adepts.....36
Mystery of ....................................45
Newly-created physical adept
characters ..................................36
Noticing spellcasting ....................39
Objects and auras.........................29
Personal Barrier Spells............ 43, 44
Physical Adept Powers .................36
Physical adepts...................... 34, 35
Psychometry.................................29
Reducing spell area of effect .........39
Ritual sorcery and damaging
manipulation spells....................40
Spell Barrier spell..........................42
Spell Defense across planes ..........40
Spell locks ....................................32
Spell Locks and Exclusive Spells ...32
Spell Resistance Tests ...................40
Spell signatures ............................40
Spellcasting..................................37
Spells ...........................................41
Spirit Barrier spell .........................42
Stabilize spell ...............................43
Starting spells with Force
modifiers ...................................40
Sterilize spell ................................44
Stun Touch spell ...........................43
Sustained Damaging
Manipulation spells....................40
Sustaining spells ...........................40
Traditions......................................34
Traditions ability breakdown .........34
Magic Sense Physical Adept Power ....36
Magical Items For Mundanes ..............30
Magicians...........................................34
Mainframe Computers ........................46
Basic rating/capacity system.........47
Spending system capacity ............47
Subsystem ratings ........................48
Unusual things..............................48
What About All Those Little
Shops With Orange Security? ....48
Writing cyberdeck programs.........48
Mana Barrier Spell ..............................42
Mana Fluctuation ................................45
Martial Arts Styles ..............................51
Masking .............................................33
Master Character Creation Table..........21
Adjusted Priorities ........................21
Starting Resources ........................21
Matrix ................................... 10, 12, 46
1.0 to 2.0 Conversion Rules..........49
1.0 to 2.0 Conversion Rules
Host Layout...............................49
Basic mainframe rating/capacity
system ......................................47
Escher loop ..................................46
Mainframe computers...................46
Mainframe subsystem ratings .......48
Satlink uplinks ..............................50
Spending mainframe system
capacity.....................................47
Unusual mainframe things ............48
Using a mainframe to write
cyberdeck programs ................. 48
What About All Those Little
Shops With Orange Security? ... 48
Melee Combat................................... 51
Defending.................................... 51
Full defense ................................. 51
Martial arts styles......................... 51
Reach .......................................... 52
Second Weapon .......................... 52
Ties.............................................. 53
Metamagic ........................................ 33
Centering..................................... 33
Centering vs. penalties against
shielding................................... 33
Initiates........................................ 39
Masking ...................................... 33
Physical adepts ............................ 34
Metamemory Skill ............................. 81
Minor Adepts .................................... 35
Miscellaneous Magic Issues ............... 45
Money............................................... 10
More Powerful Physical Adepts ......... 36
Muscle Augmentation ....................... 15
Musical Production Skill ..................... 81
Mystery of Magic .............................. 45
N
Negamagic Adepts............................ 35
Negotiation Skill ................................ 81
New Skills ......................................... 81
Acting ......................................... 81
Body Language ........................... 81
Disguise ...................................... 81
Homemaking............................... 81
Metamemory............................... 81
Other........................................... 81
Perception ................................... 82
Read and Write............................ 82
Noticing Spellcasting......................... 39
Number Of Allergies.......................... 16
O
Opposed Tests ............................ 11, 12
Other Skills........................................ 81
Overdamage ............................... 67, 68
Overflow Damage ............................. 17
P
Penetrating Barriers ........................... 60
Perception ......................................... 82
Perception Skill .................................. 82
Personal Barrier Spells.................. 43, 44
Physical Adept Power
Improved Ability ......................... 36
Increased Reflexes ....................... 37
Magic Delay Damage .................. 36
Magic Sense................................ 36
Quick Draw ................................. 36
Shattering Blow........................... 36
Sixth Sense.................................. 36
Physical Adept Powers ................ 20, 36
Increased Reflexes ....................... 36
Vision enhancement .................... 20
Physical Adepts ........................... 34, 35
Extra abilities ............................... 35
INDEX

91
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
More powerful .............................36
Newly-created characters .............36
Powers .........................................36
Physical Skills .....................................82
Ambidexterity ..............................82
Stealth..........................................82
Point-Blank Range ..............................71
Police Record .....................................13
Powers ...............................................17
Physical Adept .............................20
Regeneration ................................17
Projectile Weapons.............................78
Psychometry ......................................29
Q
Quick Draw Physical Adept Power......36
R
Racial Maximum.................................16
Raising Skills.......................................25
Time spent ...................................27
Ranged Combat..................................54
Actions.........................................54
Air timed mini grenades and
scatter .......................................75
Ammunition.................................54
Ammunition vs. Barriers Table ......58
Ammunition vs. Vehicle Armor
Table .........................................61
Announcing Actions.....................54
Armor degradation.......................63
Attacks and targets.......................55
Barrier Ratings ..............................64
Barriers...................................55, 57
Body armor ..................................64
Called Shots .................................66
Critter hardened armor .................62
Damage .......................................75
Delaying Simple Actions...............54
Dodging.......................................69
Dodging table ..............................70
Firearms .......................................71
Gas venting miniguns...................71
Gel and Stun Ammunition ............54
Grenade launchers against point
targets.......................................75
Grenades......................................75
Hit Location Table.........................76
Hit Locations ................................76
Penetrating barriers.......................60
Personal hardened armor..............62
Point-blank range .........................71
Projectile weapons .......................78
Rates oF fire..................................71
Recoil .....................................55, 71
Recoil table...................................71
Scatter..........................................76
Shotguns......................................72
Standing & Kneeling ....................54
Targets .........................................55
Telescopic sights ..........................73
Telescopic sights and
movement ................................73
Telescopic sights and smartlinks ...73
Tracer ammunition........................73
Vehicle armor ...............................60
Weapon damages and ranges ......74
Rates OF Fire ......................................71
Reach .................................................52
Read and Write Skill ...........................82
Recoil .......................................... 55, 71
Recoil Table ........................................71
Reducing Area of Effect ......................39
Regeneration ......................................17
Reputation..........................................24
Ritual Sorcery
Damaging manipulation spells......40
Ritual Sorcery and Damaging
Manipulation Spells .........................40
Rounding Off Numbers.......................10
Rule of One ........................................12
Magical misfires............................34
Rule of Six ..........................................12
S
Satlink Uplinks....................................50
Scatter......................................... 75, 76
Scenes................................................25
Second Weapon In Melee Combat .....52
Shamanic Adepts ...............................35
Shattering Blow Physical Adept
Power..............................................36
Shotguns............................................72
SINs ............................................ 10, 13
Sixth Sense Physical Adept Power ......36
Skill Web..................................... 26, 29
Skills............................................ 14, 79
Acting ..........................................81
Ambidexterity ..............................82
Armed & Unarmed Combat..........79
Aura Reading................................81
Biotech.........................................83
Body Language ............................81
Build/Repair and Theoretical
skills ..........................................79
Combat skills ................................79
Defaulting.....................................80
Disguise .......................................81
Education and extra languages .....81
Enhanced .....................................20
Enhanced Articulation...................14
Etiquette ......................................83
Homemaking................................81
Knowledge skills...........................80
Language skills .............................81
Leadership....................................83
Metamemory................................81
Musical Production .......................81
Negotiation ..................................81
New skills.....................................81
Other ...........................................81
Perception ....................................82
Physical skills ................................82
Read and Write.............................82
Social skills ...................................82
Stealth..........................................82
Technical ......................................83
Unarmed Combat .........................79
Sleeping In Armor ..............................68
Smartlinks
And telescopic sights ...................73
Social Skills.........................................82
Etiquette ......................................83
Leadership....................................83
Sorcery Adepts...................................35
SOTA .................................................12
Matrix ..........................................12
Spell Adepts...................................... 35
Spell Barrier Spell .............................. 42
Spell Defense Across Planes............... 40
Spell Locks ........................................ 32
And exclusive spells .................... 32
Spell Resistance Tests ........................ 40
Spell Signatures ................................. 40
Spellcasting ....................................... 37
Aiming spells............................... 37
Drain for sustaining spells ............ 37
Elemental effects.......................... 37
Extended..................................... 37
Holding spells.............................. 38
Last-ditch .................................... 38
Noticing ...................................... 39
Ritual sorcery and damaging
manipulation spells................... 40
Spell Resistance Tests .................. 40
Spell signatures ........................... 40
Sustained Damaging
Manipulation spells................... 40
Sustaining spells .......................... 40
Spells ................................................ 41
Aiming ........................................ 37
Barrier.......................................... 41
Barrier spells ................................ 41
Barrier Spells and Area of Effect ... 43
Blade Barrier ................................ 42
Blast Barrier ................................. 42
Bullet Barrier ................................ 42
Damaging Manipulations ....... 39, 40
Death Touch ................................ 43
Drain for sustaining...................... 37
Elemental effects.......................... 37
Extended casting......................... 37
Grounding ................................... 37
Heal............................................. 43
Healing........................................ 43
Holding ....................................... 38
Last-ditch casting......................... 38
Learning new............................... 39
Levitate Item............................... 44
Levitate Person............................ 44
Mana Barrier ................................ 42
Noticing ...................................... 39
Personal Barrier Spells............ 43, 44
Reducing area of effect................. 39
Resisting...................................... 40
Signatures.................................... 40
Spell Barrier ................................. 42
Spell Defense............................... 40
Spell locks ................................... 32
Spell locks and exclusive spells.... 32
Spirit Barrier................................. 42
Stabilize....................................... 43
Sterilize ....................................... 44
Stun Touch................................... 43
Sustained Damaging
Manipulation spells................... 40
Sustaining.................................... 40
Treat ............................................ 43
Spirit Adepts ..................................... 35
Spirit Barrier Spell .............................. 42
Stabilize Spell .................................... 43
Staging Damage................................ 68
Standing & Kneeling.......................... 54
Starting Resources ............................. 21
Starting Spells With Force Modifiers... 40
State Of The Art................................. 12
Matrix.......................................... 12
INDEX
THE GUIDE TO HOUSE RULES
92

Stealth................................................82
Sterilize Spell .....................................44
Strength 1 Trolls .................................16
Stun Ammunition...............................54
Stun Damage And Knockback ............68
Stun Touch spell .................................43
Success Tests .....................................11
Successes
Buying .........................................24
Sustained Damaging Manipulation
Spells ..............................................40
Sustaining Spells ................................40
System Identification Numbers .....10, 13
T
Tactical Computers
Vision Magnification .....................23
Taking Edges & Flaws With The
Priority System................................20
Technical Skills ...................................83
Biotech.........................................83
Telescopic Sights................................73
And movement ............................73
Telescopic Sights and Smartlinks.........73
Tests...................................................11
Damage Resistance.......................11
Maximum Karma..........................25
Opposed............................... 11, 12
Rule of One ..................................12
Rule of Six ....................................12
Ties In Melee Combat Tests ................53
Tracer Ammunition.............................73
Traditions ...........................................34
Ability breakdown ........................34
Treat Spell ..........................................43
Turn Sequence....................................66
U
Unarmed Combat Skill ........................79
Using Dice Pool Dice ..........................18
V
Vehicle Armor
Ammunition vs. Vehicle Armor
Table ........................................ 61
Vehicle Armor ................................... 60
Vehicles............................................. 84
Armor ................................... 60, 86
Batch drone control ..................... 84
Drone autopilot initiative ............. 84
Drones......................................... 84
Subsystem damage ..................... 84
Undercarriage damage ................ 87
Vision Enhancements......................... 20
Vision Magnification
And Tactical Computers............... 23
Vision Magnification and Tactical
Computers...................................... 23
W
Weapon Damages and Ranges .......... 74
Wounds Affecting Movement............ 68



94

The Players Guide To
Shadowrun House Rules


There are times when the basic rules of a game just dont seem to cover
a situation that comes up during a game. There are also times when
youre not satisfied with the way the existing rules handle particular
circumstances. Or when you just want to experiment with something
different.
This book provides a large number of optional rules for Shadowrun
Second Edition, devised by gamemasters and players for their own
campaigns, but equally usable in others.


GENERAL RULES BIOWARE CHARACTERS CYBERWARE
KARMA MAGIC
MATRIX MELEE COMBAT RANGED COMBAT VEHICLES

This compilation copyright 1998 by Gurth;
individual house rules copyright by their authors. All
rights reserved
Shadowrun is a registered trademark of FASA
Corporation http://www.fasa.com

Plastic Warriors 0007
http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/plastic.html