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 Active Skills - Not All Created Equal?

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MisterBook
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PostSubject: Active Skills - Not All Created Equal?   Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:14 pm

Hello. As a recent convert from 3rd Edition, I've a few rather silly questions to ask. Namely, about active skills. In 3rd edition, it seemed that Active Skills ruled all. Yes, attributes were necessary for overall advancement, but for the day to day run, it was all about the AS. In that regards, how important are attributes in 4ed by comparison? I see that you tally the two together for rolls, which - in my mind - seems a logical step in the right direction, but in practice how does it ante out?

Also! I'm gnawing my way through slapping together a breech expert. Aka, sapper, with electric/demolition skills (Not HA HA GRENADES but quiet poof, door fall down/opens up) etc as a physical way of getting my team through an area where hacking is unavailable/restricted, and we need to move quick. Basically, skills in chemistry, demoltions, electrics, security. A walking uni-key. In theory, it sounds interesting, but in practice, how applicable would someone like that be? Or should I just simplify and go for a straight in head thumper until I get used to the system?

Best regards and thanks in advance.
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PostSubject: Re: Active Skills - Not All Created Equal?   Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:42 pm

Well, to answer your first part, active skills tend to be as important as attributes in most cases. Like you said, the pools are added together, so you can think of upgrading attributes being the same as upgrading all skill groups tied to that attribute. So it's usually cheaper to level up the attribute... usually.

One major deviation though is the Matrix rules, in which the attributes don't play any role (aside from Technomancers). Rolls are based entirely upon Active Skills and programs. There are some optional rules in Unwired to factor attributes back into it though, so at least they realize it's an oddity.

I'll post later when I have some more spare time about the explosives guy. There's a handy condensed guide on using explosives in the Gear section (Street Gear -> Gear Listing -> Explosives) of the book (p. 325 for the anniversary edition, p. 315 for the regular edition). Also check out the Barriers section in the combat chapter (p. 166 in the anniv, p. 157 in the regular), especially the destroying barriers part.
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PostSubject: Re: Active Skills - Not All Created Equal?   Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:31 pm

Durandana summed things up fairly well. Attributes are more expensive but also more general, effective alot more things each. Skills are cheaper, but far more specific, allowing a larger improvement in a given area for a lower cost but at the expense of versitility. With, as mentioned, hacking being a significant exception.

With regards to the demo expert - sounds like an interesting idea to me. As far as its aplicability, its going to vary from game to game. Alot will depend on your GM. There are two main schools of GM'ing I've seen. One puts together a run and its up to the players to figure out how to use their existing skills to solve it. The other puts together a team, then tailors the run to work around the players. Either method works and can make for a good game and many GMs do a bit of both. But its fairly safe to say you would find a fair amount of use in the later situation, while in the former it could go either way. One general point is that many/most secure doors in the Shadowrun universe are mag-lock oriented, which in turn means they can be hacked. That, to some extent, lowers the potential value of the character you described, but there are always lots of uses for high explosives in the shadowrun universe, even if its not blowing down a door. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Active Skills - Not All Created Equal?   Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:21 pm

One of the good things about demolition experts is that you don't need to look for the maglocked door... you can make your own. Everyone expects you to come in through the door, not many expect you to blow down a section of wall and enter through that. And even if they do think you're going to come in through a wall, there's a ton of walls to choose from! Only problem is that it usually can't be done very quietly...

I don't think it takes too much points, though, to make a demo expert. So you might want to have a second specialty too. That way you can shine if you're needed to blow stuff up (or defuse it too!) and can still be helpful otherwise. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Active Skills - Not All Created Equal?   Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:12 pm

[quote= but there are always lots of uses for high explosives in the shadowrun universe, even if its not blowing down a door. Wink[/quote]

Like taking on the entire UCAS, the mafia, and getting through the Chicago Wall? <points to his namesake in BK>
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PostSubject: Re: Active Skills - Not All Created Equal?   Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:35 pm

Ah yes. I've actually been reading that entire little scenario of T-Hawk's from beginning to end. And seeing if I could name the origin of quotes. So far, I've gotten them all, but the Boondock Saints nearly threw me. Smile

Well done, Phantom. Although, now that I'm thinking of it, I've a question for you! In your game with T-Hawk as GM (Butterfly Kisses), I noticed you roll your own dice, and then you roll for the opponent as well. Is their sheet posted for you by T-Hawk to help speed along the game, or how do you figure it? It'd be helpful, once I finalize what I'm going to create and look into getting a run - especially when it comes to speeding along combat, contested rolls, etcetera.
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PostSubject: Demolutions expert   Fri May 21, 2010 11:08 am

How I would do a "Sapper", is High demolution obviously, a knowledge skill in demolutions, a decent lifestyle, a chemical knowledge, and some matrix knowledge. However I enjoy haveing "Real" characters, in order to do everything you really need to do all you need is a demo skill, none of the knowledges, and thing is Is read and refer to the eplosives section often and make sure your GM is up to date on it.
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