In the Long Shadow of Steel & Glass
Character Creation Rules
Due to the open-world nature of ILSSG, Players are allowed up to three (3) completed characters listed as ‘Active’ and uploaded to the Obsidian Portal site.
Characters begin play as standard 400 Build Point (BP) characters per Shadowrun Corebook rules. Use of the Chummer character generation program is highly reccomended and has a full listing of the latest gear and qualities.
On a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being ‘slurping all kinds of pole / ventilating geriatric domes for the next hit of crank’ and 100 being ‘autistic / retarded [1 or 2 charisma / 1 logic] vat-grown super assassins, schooled in the riddle of steel’, ILSSG runs at 35-70. Characters are not necessarily street-punk junkies with ‘Born to Lose’ tattoos on their chest, shooting up the local stuffer shack. Similarly, they are not black trench coat wearing cold-pro assassins, slipping quietly in and out of exotic locales, flying about in private jets and getting paid six figures.
Hackers and riggers are allowed and encouraged, but not technomancers. While many special rules from Runner’s Companion are in use, alternate character creation mechanics and alternate character races are not: use the core book mechanics and races.
Suggested dice pools are 10-14 for primary skills. A hard cap of 16 dice is set for character generation.
In addition to the standard SR4A rules, the following rules are in effect:
No more than two (2) stats (not including Edge) may be below three (3) without approval of the GM.
Meta-races have a racial maximum of two (2) for Edge at character generation while humans have a racial maximum of three (3). Karma may be used to raise edge beyond these maximums once in regular play.
SR4A rules governing maximum skill ratings at character generation will be used. This means that a starting character may have only one skill at rating six OR two skills at rating five.
Additionally, any skills above ‘professional competency’ (rating 3) will require substantiation in character background.
The standard SR4A rules for Qualities apply with the following modifications:
The Restricted Gear quality is generally frowned upon and requires significant justification in character background. Characters taking many levels of the In Debt quality may be awarded Wanted or Enemy qualities without the customary extra build points. Characters may not receive more than 35 BP from Negative Qualities without GM approval. Negative Qualities exceeding -35 points will provide 1 BP for every 2 points of quality, to a maximum of 5 BP.
Standard SR4A availability rules govern gear at character generation – maximum 12. Gear above Availability 8 should have a background justification. Due to the game taking place in 2069, certain gear that is SOTA in 2072 is just emerging from R&D in the present era. To reflect this, high tech gear from Arsenal or Augmentation such as Nanoware will be largely unavailable at character generation and have a standard +4 availability. Finally, Stick & Shock ammunition does not exist in the ILSSG setting.
The following gear must be annotated with the specified information:
- Fake SINs must have a name and a few words of plausible background. (Ex. a cybered up samurai might have a SIN as a Corporate Bodyguard or Security Contractor, etc.)
- Licenses must note what gear they are for and what SIN they are associated with. (Ex. Rating 4 – Ares Predator. Rating 2 – Cyberarm all tied to Corp Bodyguard SIN etc.)
- Lifestyles are required for all characters and should note at least the district in which a player lives. (Ex. Tacoma docks, apartment in South Downtown etc.) If a player so desires, advanced lifestyle rules from Runner’s Companion may be used with the consultation of the GM.
- Gear with specific effects, such as Select Sound Filters, must have their capabilities listed. (Ex. ‘gunshots’, ‘whispering’, ‘team voice patterns’ etc.)
Players receive (Unmodified Charisma x 2) build points to spend on contacts at character generation. Characters that would not plausibly have networked much in Seattle may take the Out of Towner or Fresh Off the Boat qualities.
A bevy of pre-made contacts are available in the Locals and Notables section. The list there is certainly not comprehensive, and there is no reason you can not come up with your own. Custom contacts may be designed cooperatively between player and GM. Connection ratings will be set per rules in SR4A page 286 and advanced contacts from Runner’s Companion page 124.
Characters should come with minimum 250 words backgrounds explaining in around 3 paragraphs who they are, where they come from, why they are a runner and substantiate charactersheet contents. Ie why do they have these perks or flaws, why this gear etc. The Great American Novel is not necessary here. Your background should not lock your character down too much – the most important information will come out during play. We just need to know more about who they are and where they come from.
When it comes to the finishing touches of a character, you might want to take a look at the Personality Development Questions from Runner’s Companion. Answering these can give you a good view into your character’s background, motivations and interests.