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houserules

House Rules, implementation details and potential gotchas

Some of these (such as Essence Hole) are not a houserule but are a nuance that may not be immediately apparent to players familiar with the setting but perhaps not intimately well-versed with Third Edition.

The in-game helpfile (HELP HOUSERULES) enumerates the highlights from this article and sends you here for the details:

We have several house rules in place here, which have evolved over time 
largely due to the constraints of running a tabletop game as a 
long-lived MMO. Most are listed below, but this is not a complete list-- 
if you find something that's missing, let us know so we can add it!

* MUD time elapses thirty times faster than real time;
* Elementals sustain spells up to their own Force;
* Nature spirits last for four days, but despawn if their shaman leaves their Domain;
* permanent character death is opt-in;
* rating caps have been applied to Attributes, Skills, Foci, Adept Powers;
* body slots for wearable items;
* Combat, Spell and Task Pools do not deplete when used;
* Visibility Penalties affect Dodge;
* only one active Autorun at a time;
* Karma Pool, Edges / Flaws, Contacts not implemented;
* Smartlink-II, cyberlimbs buffed;
* armour layering buffed but shields nerfed;
* Skill Points within character generation simplified;
* minor cosmetic relabelling of Skills and Skillsoft types;
* First Aid, drug addiction have custom implementation;
* Concealability simplified;
* weapons checkpoints, cyberscans, astral wards not implemented;
* image magnification enables shooting (but not spellcasting or gunnery) into nearby Rooms;
* AutoNav is limited to GridGuide;
* stock purchased Cyberdecks cannot (be modified to) use Hacking Pool;
* spell learning costs discounted by upgrades, but not Limitations;
* spellcasting Successes capped at Force for Sustained Illusions;
* Invisibility and Ritual Sorcery have custom implementation;
* vehicle combat only partially implemented;
* no drone Pilot to follow or assist riggers automatically;

For more verbose detail, please visit https://awakemud.com/dokuwiki/houserules in your web browser.

Official pen-and-paper rulesbooks can irregularly be available at a bargain.

Time

MUD time is accelerated by a coefficient of ×30:

MUD time Real time
1 Combat Turn (3 seconds) 1/10 second
1 minute 2 seconds
1 hour 2 minutes
1 day 48 minutes
1 month 1 day
21/2 years 1 month

Regardless of how long a character stays connected to the MUD for, TIME will always report that the year is “2064-ish.”

Lifestyle and Purchases

  • Lifestyles cannot be purchased outright for 100 months' rent (SR3.241);
  • vehicles containing Living Amenities (mobile homes / “RV”s: R3.119, SSG.136) can be purchased within character generation or during play and the character may 'live' within, indefinitely, without further cost;
  • Lifestyles may be leased (HELP LEASE) in blocks of 30 real life days;
    • Lifestyles may be shared (HELP HOUSE, HELP RETRIEVE) with guests, but splitting rent is the leaseholder's responsibility;
  • merchants who do not have a listed item in stock will order it for you:
    • High and Luxury Lifestyles impart a -1 and -2 (respectively) modifier to the Availability TN;
    • lowering the Availability by purchasing a Permit (SR3.274) is not implemented;
    • if merchants fail to source your order with your Etiquette roll, you can reattempt after waiting 1 complete MUD day;
    • the latency before it arrives in stock is measured in accelerated MUD time;
    • the period of time it will be held in stock for you to collect it (HELP RECEIVE) is measured as 7 real life days;

Health recovery

Healing Stun and Physical damage (SR3.126) is vastly accelerated in the MUD.

It is decoupled from Body rating (to avoid bias in favour of certain metas).

Track Base Drugs Medical Workshop Social Room Sterile Room Symbiotes Rapid Healing Bioware Overstress Lifestyle
Physical based on Position penalties ×1.8 ×2 ×1.8 ×1.1~2.0 +50%×Rating -10%×Rating +bonus
Mental ditto + 33~50% ×1.5 ×1.5

NPCs heal at double this rate so by the time a PC has healed up from an interrupted encounter (at least, without intervention) NPCs likely have too.

A character whose Mental track is filled is stunned and continues to recover health (at a comparatively high rate). NPCs will generally stop attacking unconscious PCs (although damage-over-time spells like Ignite will continue to tick damage). The character may revive, stand, and flee with luck and good timing.

A character whose Physical track is filled is mortally wounded. All health recovery ceases at this point and they slowly bleed out, inevitably dying without intervention.

Under pen-and-paper play, a spirit recovers one box of damage on its Condition Monitor per minute it spends out of combat (MitS.98) and disappears immediately when either Track is filled (SR3.176). The MUD does not implement these properties. FIXME

Spirits

The accelerated MUD time affects both kinds of spirits.

In standard pen-and-paper play, Elementals can sustain spells of any Force for (elemental's Force) days (SR3.187). In the MUD implementation they can sustain spells up to (elemental's Force) indefinitely instead, which is the other way around.

In standard pen-and-paper play, Nature Spirits depart at the soonest sunset or sunrise (SR3.186, SR3.264; except for Urban/Wilderness shamans: MitS.16). In the MUD implementation they linger for four MUD days. However, every Room has its Domain(s) individually configured during zone design and:

  • Domains very seldom overlap;
  • Domains apart from Hearth and City are very rare;
  • Hearth and City never overlap;
  • Nature Spirits dissipate if their conjurer leaves their Domain (rather than remain in their Domain to continue carrying out their last ordered services: SR3.184);
  • consequently a Nature Spirit will rarely last more than a few Rooms, in practice.

For this reason, if creating a Shaman with Conjuring, pick a Mentor Totem with a bonus to Spirits of Man (eg, Monkey or Dark King), a meta with high Charisma, and a Power or Spirit Focus - because you'll be constantly resummoning (HELP DOMAIN, HELP TOTEMS, HELP SPIRITS, HELP ORDER.)

Astral Projection

Essence naturally begins at 6 and is reduced permanently by implanting Cyberware and is reduced temporarily by Astral Projection. A magician with a datajack and smartlink might have 5.5 Essence, giving them 5.5 MUD hours to Project before running out and dying (SR3.173, MitS.31). This corresponds to 11 real life minutes under idealised conditions (HELP PROJECT).

Towards the end of that time, as your Essence drops to 1, the system will warn you that your memories are slipping away. Depending on what other traffic is being sent to your terminal that same instant, the warning can be overlooked. Include the Essence token in your Prompt to keep an eye on its progress (HELP PROMPT: @Z). If augmentations have lowered your Essence to 1.0 or lower, you won't notice your memories slipping away; you'll just spontaneously rupture faster than DocWagon can respond.

In standard pen-and-paper play, a Projecting magician would need to relocate and return to the Room in which their physical body is before re-integrating with it. If they cannot find their body in time, they die. If they manage to fill their own Stun track with Boxes, they instead get Disrupted, teleport back to their body, re-integrate with it, and are unconscious (SR3.176). This triggers a Magic Loss Check but is better than dying outright. This leads to wearing Shock Watches with a countdown timer, or casting Stunbolt on oneself to escape, etc. In the MUD implementation, targeting oneself with a Combat spell is blocked. Therefore everyone automatically teleports back to their physical body from their astral exploration no matter how distant or how lost in a maze, etc. the astral form has become (HELP RETURN). This makes astral Projection much more powerful as a risk-free means of exploring a slippery dark elevator shaft or when facing a maze of twisty little passages all alike.

Maintenance

Characters are purged after 50+TKE/10 (real life) days of inactivity. This expiry can be lifted through OOC efforts to support the MUD community, quantified through SysPoints (HELP TKE, HELP SYSPOINTS).

Actions in Combat

In pen-and-paper play, a Combat Turn is 3 seconds long, divided into a number of Combat Passes (SR3.39, 104). A participant's Combat Phase in the Pass is divided among Actions. Mêlée, full-auto, summoning, and casting (any number of) spells consumes one Complex Action; semi-automatic or burst-fire consume only a Simple Action and so may be performed twice as often. The MUD implementation elides the differentiation and awards one attack or spell per Pass to each combatant.

The MUD implements one global Initiative ladder. Anyone entering combat slots into it and anyone leaving combat is removed from it. If combat takes a long time IRL while all the combatants in your room do nothing but wait for their turn in Initiative, it is (probably) because elsewhere in the MUD, someone else is simultaneously in combat and the participants in that combat have significantly higher Initiative, are more numerous, or both.

When adversaries initiate mêlée contests with your character in their Phases, your character will automatically participate.

When it's your character's Combat Phase:

  1. if you have submitted a queue of actions to take (eg: reload, (de)activate adept power, summon spirit, cast spell, glance at opponents' health, move, etc.) your character will take the next action;
  2. if the most recent Wound received tripped its Wimpy threshold, attempt to Flee;
  3. if your character's hands are empty and there's an adversary in the room, attempt to DRAW the first READY weapon container encountered;
  4. if there's a loaded firearm in your hands, and the opponent is at range, shoot the opponent;
  5. if there's a mêlée weapon in your hands, close the distance (if necessary) and mêlée the opponent;

As a result, all characters should have a readied weapon available to them that they are skilled in. An SMG with internal Recoil Compensation, Gas Vent IV and bayonet (with SMG and Pole Arms skills) is a solid choice. It doesn't matter if your character knows Force 12 Deathtouch if you, as a player, can't identify your target's name in the scrollspam and issue the command to cast it in time when you're surprised. Carry a weapon. Preparation for the offence is the best defence.

Ordinary directional movement has a cooldown of 1 Combat Phase before it can be used again. Characters can attempt to escape combat using FLEE which can be programmatically triggered using WIMPY. The FLEE command takes half as long as attempting to walk away in a specific direction so can be attempted once every time it's your Combat Phase. Augmentations and racial movement modifiers apply to the Flee mechanic.

Out of combat, movement is not rate-limited.

cRPG

Death

This is a cRPG adaptation of a pen-and-paper ruleset. Having no human GM controlling NPCs has consequences:

  • NPCs' decision-making and actions are primitive; for example:
    1. a ganger and lawman peacefully coexist in a Room;
    2. you enter the Room;
    3. the ganger glares and aggresses;
    4. the lawman jumps to the aid of the ganger, against you!
    • this is taking dystopia and the suspension of disbelief rather far;
  • NPCs respawn when slain (on location, at full health, with full equipment; they then reload their weapon and carry on as if they'd always been there);
  • PCs respawn when slain (in a DocWagon recovery room, at full health while (Newbie) and unconscious thereafter);
    • Newbie protection used to last until 25 Karma, then 50, currently 100.

Players can opt-in to receive DocWagon client emergency dispatch alerts and may show up at the crime scene to revive a wounded player before they bleed out. Don't count on it, though!

The Metabolic Arrester bioware slows bleed-out by a coefficient of 5 which gives more time for a Good Samaritan to swing by, and more opportunities for your DocWagon callout to get through.

As a result of the accelerated future mechanic and no GM fiat to protect PCs from lethal rolls, character death is inevitable (even common, at times). Therefore:

  • Magic attribute is not reduced from deadly wounds (SR3.129, MitS.93);
  • other attributes can be reduced through deadly wounds (4% chance: SR3.127, MM.129);

Just like Diablo, during character generation only, a player has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to voluntarily TOGGLE HARDCORE for that character:

  • there is no mechanical advantage to doing so - only a personal sense of achievement;
  • hardcore characters do not get purged due to extended inactivity;
  • just like in Diablo, hardcore characters who die stay dead and their property remains inaccessible;

Within TOGGLE is an option KEEPALIVE. This doesn't protect your character from injury; it tries to maintain your connection to the MUD server during extended periods AFK.

PvP

PvP is optional. “This flag cannot be removed once it has been toggled on” (HELP PK).

Some players are trolls (not the meta!) and have used Area of Effect (AoE) attacks antisocially. Therefore AoE attacks are disabled, including:

  • grenades
  • AoE offensive spells

Although merchants still sell grenades and Spell Design can be used to create formulae and learn AoE spells, these carry a coded flag, prominent in yellow, saying they have been flagged NERPS, indicating it has no special coded effects.

Area effects (and carried items which create them, such as grenades) are viable within PRuns.

Caps

Attribute caps

Attributes can only be raised with Good Karma up to the Racial Modified Limit, not to the Racial Maximum (SR3.245).

(To offset this limitation, improvements to Attributes from Bioware and Adept Powers are house-ruled to count as Augmented and therefore can exceed the RML. Normally they are considered natural and unaugmented: MM.77, SR3.41.)

Adept Powers that raise Attributes are capped at 6. Spells which raise Attributes are capped at 12 (the rating of Sorcery, and require 24 dice to auto-succeed in Ritual Sorcery).

Attributes experience diminishing returns beyond 20 (!); above this threshold, only every second increase counts mechanically.

Magic rating is capped at 26 (!). Additional Initiations beyond this are possible but do not provide benefit (unless base Magic is subsequently reduced, such as by augmentation). Magic rating cannot be reduced below 1 by augmentations; such implantation surgery is blocked. Magic Loss caused by augmentation cannot be mitigated via gaesa (MitS.31). You can still chargen a Burnout though:

  1. assign Priority A and B to Magic and Resources, either way round;
  2. implant and explant a VCRIII in order to take your Magic to 1 and still have all your nuYen;
  3. buy and bond any F3+ focus;
  4. activate it, check STATUS, and wait:
You are at risk of geas from using too many points of foci! You're using 3, and need to reduce to 2.
You feel some of your magic becoming locked in a rune ring! Quick, take off all your foci before it happens again!
You feel the last of your magic leave your body.
> score attributes
As a Mundane, you have no magic.

In pen-and-paper play, “Magic is the only Attribute that can have a value of 0” (SR3.56, 42) unless someone with Intelligence 1 activates a Pain Editor (mm.73) or someone with Willpower 1 comes down from Kamekaze (mm.120). The MUD implementation caps minimum Intelligence to 1 but Quickness to 0 (MitS.150).

Skill caps

Magic Priority A

Magic is assigned to Priority A by Magicians (ie Mages and Shamans) and Mystic Adepts (not implemented). Their skills are capped to:

  • Rank 12: magical skills;
  • Rank 12: Negotiation;
  • Rank 10: Languages;
  • Rank 8: all other skills.

Magic Priority B

Magic is assigned to Priority B by Adepts (ie Physical Adepts and Aspected Conjurers, Sorcerers, Shamanists). Their skills are capped to:

  • Rank 12: Negotiation;
  • Rank 10: all other skills;

Nonetheless, even if Improved Ability (SR3.169) is not implemented, there are other ways to raise dice above 10 (weapon Focus, Enhanced Articulation, Reflex Recorder and Pools).

Magic Priority E

Magic is assigned to Priority E by Mundanes. Their skills are capped to:

  • Rank 12: all skills;

For more information, HELP SKILLS.

Equipment caps

Encumbrance limit is 30+Str×10kg (instead of the system on SR3.274 which inflicts damage for carrying certain loads for certain durations). A shopkeeper can sell you a heavy item which takes your character far over their limit and they will still be able to move; they just won't be able to pick anything new up, and if they do DROP the heavy item they will be blocked from GETing it from the ground again.

Body slots are implemented for all gear worn or carried:

  • this prevents wearing 20 helmets;
  • there is a limit on the number of items a character can hold in the top level of their inventory;
  • containers can be nested;
  • outer layers (such as an ABOUT longcoat) can Conceal inner layers (eg the UNDER slot) from player observers;
  • equipping to head slots can obstruct player observers from being able to read your carefully crafted character description (embellishing your limp, scars, tattoos, gang affiliation patches, exotic accent, et al. CUSTOMISE PHYSICAL) — this is not a bug but is working as intended;

A Focus (plural: Foci) is a magical item (SR3.189). The Force of a Focus is capped to:

  • F2 for a weapon Focus with Reach 1 or 2;
  • F3 for a weapon Focus with Reach 0;
  • F4 for a sustaining Focus (mostly F3; only two F4 available);
  • F4 for a power Focus;
  • F4 for a category Focus;
  • F8 for a specific spell Focus;
  • F6 for a spirit Focus;
  • F8 for an expendable Focus;

Character generation offers each type of Focus except for a weapon Focus. Pregenerated archetype characters have their Focal bonding costs 100% subsidised. Up to (Intelligence) Foci of a sum total of (2×Magic) Force can be Active simultaneously (SR3.190, MitS.45). Intelligence can be raised with Sustained spells. Up to a number of spells equal to the Sorcery skill may be Sustained simultaneously (SR3.178).

Sorcery Libraries and Conjuring Libraries are used by all mages to research / learn spells and summon Elementals. The Rating of a Library limits the Force of the effect it can accommodate.

  • F8 for a Sorcery library
  • F8 for a Conjuring library

As a result, hermetic spells and spirits are capped to F8.

Limitations

Not all mechanics are implemented.

Archetype Implementation Outstanding
Street samurai =) =) =) =) =) projectile weapons
Adept =) =) =) =) :!: metamagic; some Powers
Mage =) =) =) :!: :!: astral space minigame; metamagic; Focus allocation; Ally spirits
Shaman =) =) :!: :!: :!: astral space minigame; metamagic; domains; Focus allocation; Ally spirits
Decker =) =) =) =) =) modding stock purchases; trace IC
Rigger =) :!: :!: :!: :!: drone Pilot; vehicle combat; Control pool

Partially implemented

  • Archetypes:
    • Adepts:
      • Mystic Adept:
        • Path of the Magician and the Adept Power: Magical Power (MitS.22) are not implemented;
      • Physical Adept:
        • Improved Ability is intentionally not implemented (SR3.169);
    • Magicians:
      • not every Focus you have comes with you when Astrally Projecting (SR3.173);
      • Metamagics: very few are implemented (HELP METAMAGIC);
      • Spell Design (Magicians can create formulae for (some) spells that appear in Core and MitS, but cannot engineer custom spells: MitS.47);
      • Spell Limitations (Exclusive and Fetish) are not implemented (SR3.180);
      • Ordeals and Group Initiations are not implemented (MitS.58);
      • Astral Projections can pass through known locked doors, but not through walls, ceiling, hidden doors, etc.
    • Rigging:
      • flying vehicles are not high enough to be out of mêlée reach;
      • vehicles currently auto-lose in mêlée;
      • vehicles currently auto-win against magic;
      • no control over Control Pool;
      • vehicles cannot PUSH BUTTON or OPEN DOOR;
      • vehicles cannot shoot outside the Room in which they are located;
      • drones have no Pilot and cannot FOLLOW or ASSIST the way Spirits and teammates can;
      • drones are usually too heavy to be manually carried from room to room (unless you're a troll rigger) (HELP PUSH, HELP DRAG);
      • armour can be added to vehicles (maximum of half body or +2) but not drones;
      • can rig cars, trucks, bikes via RCDeck (HELP SUBSCRIBE, HELP CONTROL) with no Driving skills (default to Reaction);
      • cannot rig cars, trucks, bikes directly (HELP RIG) with no Driving skills (cannot default to Reaction);
      • all AutoNav is only implemented to traverse GridGuide-equipped terrain:
        • higher Rating AutoNav should be able to navigate without GridGuide;
        • the only coded benefit of higher Rating AutoNav is the number of GridGuide coordinates it can bookmark for future trips;
  • Pools:
    • Pools allocated to a purpose do not deplete with use (SR3.43, 104) except for Hacking Pool;
    • while PRONE, Combat Pool may not be used to Dodge incoming ranged attacks;
    • Dodge TN is subject to Visibility penalties;
    • dice contributed from a Focus are conflated with the Pool (eg a Power Focus conflates with the Spell Pool), reducing how many dice can be applied to a test since they now count as a common source, not two separate sources;
  • Mêlée:
    • Reach always lowers the attacker's TN and does not raise the opponent's TN (even when the attacker's TN is at 2 and Reach lowering it further has no effect: SR3.121). A toggle has been proposed to control this.
  • Good Karma is divided into:
    • Reputation: awarded from completing Autoruns and PRuns;
    • Notoriety: awarded from killing rats, spirits, metahumans, sentry turrets, ghouls, matrix IC, etc.;
    • added together they form TKE (total Karma earnt);
  • Autoruns:
    • You can only have one Autorun accepted and active at a time; to abort it requires visiting the Johnson, phoning the Johnson, or relogging (HELP ENDRUN);
    • items and NPCs spawned for the purpose of an Autorun have the (Quest) status in yellow displayed to the player on the run and the (Protected) status in magenta to third parties; Protected NPCs are immune to PCs they are not spawned for (even if that PC is on the same quest at the same time);
    • the most recent fifteen Autoruns you have been offered are remembered in a queue; their Johnsons will not re-offer a job while it's in that queue; after sufficient other jobs have pushed through the queue or time has elapsed, you can repeat the jobs for as long as the Johnson continues offering them; they will decline runners whose Reputation exceeds their threshold;
  • Perception:
    • Ultrasound vision (MM.18) usually halves Normal Visibility Modifiers (SR3.282, MM.49) but the MUD implementation just uses it to see through Invisibility spells and technology (eg Ruthenium);

Not implemented

  • Karma Pool (SR3.63, SR3.246);
  • Edges and Flaws (SRC.15);
  • Albinism (SRC.37);
  • Contacts (SR3.61, 253);
  • Skill Specialisations (SR3.245) and Concentrations (CC.104);
  • Projectile weapons (bows, crossbows, slingshots: SR3.117, CC.13);
  • Dual-wielding weapons (in mêlée and ranged: SR3.112, CC.94, 105);
  • Enchanting foci and fetishes (MitS.39);
  • Astral Quests (MitS.92);
  • astral Initiative +20, Reaction +Grade, Damage Resistance +Astral Pool (MitS.58);
  • Watcher Spirits and Ally Spirits;
  • Supermachinegun rate-of-fire (CC.101, 20, 24)
  • Shock weapons' (SR3.124: stun batons, shock gloves, etc.) fixed damage codes (decoupled from Str)
  • Cyberskates (MM.38);
  • Cyberscanners, weapons searches and other checkpoints are (generally) not implemented. (There are some checkpoints passed by use of a Key item, a racial flag, current wealth, etc.);
  • Shapeshifters (SRC.34), Otaku (Mat.133)

Metatypes

“Meta” is the cyberpunk term equivalent to “race” in other RPGs. It primarily governs:

  • modifiers to Attributes after discretionary points are assigned;
  • natural vision modes (low-light, thermographic, astral);
  • movement rate multiplier, which determines how easy it is to both enter and escape mêlée;
  • the willingness of merchants to engage in trade;
  • gnomes and dryads have their magical options limited;

In pen-and-paper play, Humans get bonus Karma Pool as compensation for having none of the special perks metatypes get. The MUD does not implement Karma Pool.

Metatypes have metavariants accessible within custom character generation. They come with:

  • slight rearrangement of the Attribute bonus and penalty array of their base metatype;
  • substantially steeper penalty to the willingness of merchants to engage in trade;
  • dwarf / ork metavariants are charged a steep creation Priority tax which elf / troll metavariants are not; FIXME
  • certain edge-cases are overlooked (Can a Cyclops install a pair of cybereyes? Does an active eye datajack make a Cyclops completely blind or only lose depth-perception? Can a Satyr benefit from Kid Stealth?);

Certain metatypes (HELP PRESTIGE) consume system points on creation:

  • the Dryad metavariant (SRC.43) is not limited to being female;
  • Ghouls' (SRC.32) modifiers are calculated from four successes at third stage (“Better than normal (almost)”);

If using Build Points creation method, take care to ensure enough Attributes are purchased to cover all penalties your metatype imposes.

At one point, there were house-rules implemented for tall characters getting Reach but having to hunch or stoop if the ceiling wasn't high enough, penalising other things. This complexity has been deactivated in the source code.

The map hosted in the MUD is chock-a-block full of toilets and food shops because at one point, there were house-rules implemented for digestion requirements… Resident Evil style. Stomach growl cues and everything. This complexity has been deactivated in the source code. Ghoul dietary requirements are not implemented (there is no GET all all.corpse; EAT all.corpse).

Augmentations

During character generation, RESTRINGs are advertised, promoting their ability to customise visible cyberware such as datajacks and cybereyes. Within character generation, augmentations are either implanted or in the shop - never in the inventory to restring. However, within play cyberdocs can explant and implant augmentations, and they charge 10% of the augmentation's value for doing so (rather than MM.151's exorbitant fees). Fortunately, implants acquired during character generation are set to worthless, which means:

  1. spend the 5 complimentary restrings on other items during character generation;
  2. enter the game;
  3. explant cybereyes or datajack, as desired, for free;
  4. pay Good Karma or SysPoints to restring it;
  5. implant it with your customisations, for free;

Be aware prior to paying to restring cybereyes that there are cosmetic cybereyes (SR3.300) for sale from many shops in play which will cover most designs, saving you the cost of manually restringing. Be aware that wearing goggles / spectacles in the Eyes bodyslot will prevent other players from seeing and appreciating your fancy cybereyes. Protective Covers (SR3.300) are inexpensive, zero Essence, Magic-friendly super-contact-lenses that can be restrung; officially they are compatible with all eyes, but the MUD implementation blocks them if you have BioWare eyemods (Cat Eyes, Nictitating Membranes). They are for sale in custom character generation and Little Chiba.

Explantation (even within character generation FIXME ) leaves behind an Essence Hole or BioIndex Hole of the same size as the most cyberware or bioware ever installed simultaneously caused. This cannot be repaired. It impacts Magic rating, healing TN, BioTech TN, etc. If, during custom character generation, you regret the implantation of augmentations and cannot find other augmentations you like to fill the Hole, the only way to (ever) recover that Essence or BioIndex is to delete the character (QUIT) and recreate it.

Consider that some augmentations are situational. For example, you either need a VCR if you're sending a drone to fight for you or you need cyberlegs and dermal sheath if you're going in person. In which case you can explant your cyberlegs (thanks for keeping my real legs on ice all these months, doc!) and install your cranial VCR in the hole your legs left (abstraction is the only way this makes any sense). You don't need all your implants implanted all the time. If you plan to make use of this, try to plan ahead and front-load your Alphaware / Cultured augmentations in character generation so that their price-crunch minimises your refitting overheads in play. Player characters in WHO who are flagged (Cyberdoc) can provide this service at their discretion.

Cyberware

  • Smartlink-II cyberware (MM.31) with a level 2 smartgun provides TN-3 instead of -2;
  • Move-by-wire is restricted to mundanes only (Wired Reflexes, etc. can be used by the Awakened);
  • Cyberlimbs are restricted to mundanes only (MM.32);
  • Cyberlimb bonuses are not diluted across five hit locations (MM.35);
  • Cyberlimbs and cybereyes do not provide Capacity in which to install Enhancements, Essence-free (SR3.299, MM.35: although there are “packages” sold which provide limbs and eyes preconfigured with Enhancements in their Capacity);
  • Tactical Computers add their Rating to attempts to resist Invisibility spells for mundanes only;
  • Ultrasound-vision cybereyes are not obstructed by wearing goggles, spectacles, or helmets;
  • Chipjack Expert Driver Task Pool is limited to the rating of the chipped skill. (In pen-and-paper play, only “some Pools have limitations on how many dice can be added to a single test” (SR3.43) and the Task Pool isn't one of them. Adaptation, Astral, IVIS, Task (and possibly Ritual) Pools do not limit dice);
  • Chipjack Expert Driver provides its Task Pool to every skillsoft slotted (disregard HELP EXPERT) even if not every skill (HELP BROKERAGE). (In pen-and-paper play, that would require a separate CED for each chipjack: MM.19);
  • there is no Social Skills penalty for Essence below 3.5 (SR3.93, MM.48);
  • there is no Signature penalty for Essence below 3.0 (MM.47);

Bugs:

  • Combat Skillsofts can benefit from combat pool (CPOOL) but this is unintentional (SR3.296); FIXME
  • logging out of the MUD while jacking a Skillsoft of a skill you naturally have can cause the natural skill to be forgotten; FIXME

Bioware

In pen-and-paper play, Bioware counts as “natural and unaugmented” (MM.77) which means it cannot exceed the Racial Maximum the way Cyberware, spells and drugs can when they generate augmented ratings (SR3.56, 41). In the MUD implementation, Bioware generates augmented ratings, so it can exceed the Racial Modified Limit.

Possible bugs:

  • “the Thermosense Organ gives the user functional Thermographic Vision” (Bicson Biomedical) but explicitly doesn't in the source material (MM.75, 79); FIXME
  • only one Reflex Recorder can be implanted at a time, total;

Equipment

Active players often DONATE surplus loot rather than lug it around in their bags, trying to find a merchant willing to offer scratch for it. 80% of donations are teleported to the Rummage Bins in the Neophyte Guild, often including abundant branded armour, and firearms without ammunition. Combined with the generous Nuyen awards from Neophyte Johnson autoruns, it is very viable to assign -5 Build Points to Resources in character generation (500Y) and acquire all necessary equipment from scavenging.

Armour

  • Layering (SR3.285):
    • standard pen-and-paper rules award:
      1. the full value of the highest-rated item worn; +
      2. half the value of the second highest-rated item worn (round down)
      3. the third highest-rated item and all subsequent items provide no benefit but continue to count toward penalties
      • is simple enough to compute through mental arithmetic
    • MUD rules award:
      1. the full value of the highest-rated item worn; +
      2. half the value of every other item worn (round each down) summed together
    • under both systems:
      • form-fitting body armour (FFBA: CC.51) is subject to layering but does not impact Combat Pool or raise Quickness TNs (SR3.286) [Cannon Companion erratum];
      • ensemble components (CC.45) within a matched set are added together as if a single garment. Layering penalties do not apply among components of the ensemble but do apply with other armour. For example:
        • Portland Surehand Square sells a Serulos ensemble by body slot: 3.5 about, 1.5 body, 1.5 under, 1.5 legs, 1 feet for 9/9 total;
        • omitting the 1.5 under results in an ensemble of 7 total;
        • layering partial Serulos with FFBA 5/3 reduces FFBA effectiveness to 2/1, resulting in a total armour of 9/8 but penalties as if wearing 12/10. This is inferior to wearing the full ensemble.
      • wearing multiple components from multiple ensembles aggregates only one such ensemble's components without penalty; other pieces are considered individually;
      • fractional armour values are rare: they are present in stock ensemble components but they don't arise from layering; layering always truncates division without preserving fractions, thereby favouring armour values which are even numbers;
  • Riot shields (SR3.284):
    • do not have the messy TN+2-to-both-contestants mêlée rules implemented;
    • do not have the ability for their armour benefits to be ignored by adversaries with Reach 2+ implemented;
    • suffer from layering penalties as compensation;
    • are coded to be illegal and will aggress NPCs on sight as compensation;
    • the Electro Riot Shield (SotA64.98) is not implemented;
  • there is no Social Skills penalty for wearing armour (SR3.93);
  • in pen-and-paper play, form-fitting body armour and forearm-guards are tailored to a specific person's physique and don't function for others; in the MUD implementation, even dwarfs and trolls can swap such items with each other to full effect;
  • the MUD implementation indicates ensembles via PROBE including It is part of matched set but the MUD does not present how many body slots the “full set” would occupy; FIXME

Dikote

  • Dikote (MM.111) glaze can be purchased and applied to some vehicles and drones as an aftermarket upgrade (not flying vehicles);
  • Dikote may not be bought and applied to armour - Dikoted armour must be purchased that way;
  • Dikote may not be bought and applied to weapons - Dikoted weapons must be purchased that way;

Hoarding, item damage and loss

Equipment worn on body slots can be damaged in combat by sufficiently savage mundane attacks (CC.96) or (more often) through the Secondary Effects of Elemental Manipulation spells (SR3.196, SR3.183, MitS.51).

When equipment damage takes place, the MUD combat log contains lines such as these:

 remains undamaged
 has been slightly damaged
 has been damaged
 has been destroyed
 would have been damaged, but was shielded by your newbiestatus!
(OOC message: Be careful with these enemies; your deck would have taken permanent damage

You can configure your MUD client to remember / alert you when such strings are detected. You can take damaged equipment to an NPC for repair:

  1. EQUIP DAMAGED to check if anything is broken;
  2. UNWEAR ITEMNAME to remove it to your inventory;
  3. HAIL a taxi or GRIDGUIDE to -4138, 2169;
  4. READ SIGN there which says REPAIR CASH/CRED ITEM;
  5. REPAIR ITEMNAME without specifying cash or cred (it only gives you an error if you use that argument);
  6. wait some time;
  7. LIST to check if your items are ready;
  8. RECEIVE ITEMNAME to get the item back (RECEIVE 1 doesn't work here like it works in shops);

Many bags such as backpacks can be worn: You can WEAR and REMOVE it, and potentially PUT things in it while worn. That exposes those stored things to combat damage, though! Therefore if the top level of your inventory is full you can WEAR BACKPACK but the container might be damaged if you enter combat. You will know the top level of your inventory is full if you see output such as:

You can't carry any more items.
Your arms are already full!
you can't hold any more items.
you can't carry that many items.

When this happens, you can:

  • JUNK items you know are useless;
  • DONATE items you think might help newbies (restrictions apply — see PROBE for details);
  • DROP items that are heavy / low priority and come back for them later (items left in corpses will be despawned by The Coroner after a timeout but items left on the ground will remain unless/until another player loots them or the server restarts);

To effectively hoard equipment for later:

  • lease an Apartment:
    1. find an NPC with subtext might have some rooms for lease. See HELP APARTMENTS for details.;
    2. LEASE a room (note that the room listing claims The following rooms are free: but this is untrue - only Coffin Motels are free, and they don't provide storage);
    3. use your keycard to access the room which will be accessed via a nearby hallway and will have the (Apartment) flag in the room title;
    4. DROP your surplus equipment on the ground within that Room;
  • lease a Garage:
    • the same as for an apartment, only:
      • cheaper;
      • with vehicular access and storage;
      • with the (Garage) flag in the room title;
  • use a vehicle:
    1. COLLECT a vehicle after character generation or BUY one in play, prioritising Armour, Body, and Load (HELP INFO);
    2. ENTER MY.GMC or whatever brand your vehicle is;
    3. LOCK to keep others out;
    4. SWITCH to move to the boot;
    5. DROP your surplus equipment in the back of the vehicle;
    • beware that locking a motorcycle does not secure it from opportunists entering it;
    • beware that if your vehicle gets destroyed in a crash or wrecked by (Alarmed) NPCs:
      • a third of its cargo is outright destroyed;
      • a third of its cargo is ejected into the Room where the vehicle is;
      • a third of its cargo remains in the vehicle;
    • to mitigate the risk of destruction:
      • prioritise Armour and Body;
      • purchase armour upgrades and install them at the public vehicle workshop (GRID JUNKYARD then go west);
      • purchase Dikote glazing and install it likewise;
      • park the vehicle somewhere safe such as a (Garage);
    • you can increase the Load capacity of your vehicle with an upgrade purchased from Circuit Couriers (GRID CIRCUIT then go north) and a sidecar (if a motorcycle);
  • carry everything yourself:
    • prioritise your Strength attribute by being a Troll / Ork / Dwarf adept or sam;
    • purchase high capacity, low weight containers (Phil's Army Surplus, Hearl St in the Ork Underground, Big-Ass Alley in Redmond, ground storey of Telestrian Habitat, etc.)

Items dropped in (Apartment)s and items dropped in vehicles parked in (Garage)s have special efforts made to preserve them across updates and reboots. Try not to hoard excessive quantities of stuff you really don't need any more. Each stored item has some small impact on server speed (COUNT ALL).

If you stored items in a vehicle but it has (or you have) since moved and you've lost track of it, Dude, WHERESMYCAR?

Skills

Natural skills

The pen-and-paper rules for natural skills are:

  • the character generation method provides a number of Skill Points to assign to Active Skills:
    • raising a Skill rating (up to its linked Attribute) costs 1 Skill Point (SR3.57);
    • raising a Skill rating beyond its linked Attribute costs 2 Skill Points;
  • the Intelligence score multiplied by a coefficient (usually 5) provides a number of free points to assign to Knowledge Skills (SR3.58);
  • the Intelligence score multiplied by a coefficient (usually 1.5) provides a number of free points to assign to Language Skills (SR3.59);

The MUD rules for natural skills are:

  • the character generation method provides a number of Skill Points to distribute among Active Skills, Knowledge Skills and Language Skills;
  • raising a Skill rating (regardless of its linked Attribute) costs 1 Skill Point;
  • the Intelligence score does not attract any free points;
  • the character begins with rating 10 in English which can be refunded and diverted to Active or Knowledge Skills (caveat emptor!);

After character generation, both:

  • use the coefficients on SR3.245 as controlled by relation to the Linked Attribute;
  • ie Active / Knowledge skills cost the same during character generation, but Knowledge skills cost less than Active within play.

Skillsofts

The pen-and-paper requirements for skillsofts are on (SR3.295):

Jack type Info ActiveSofts KnowSofts LinguaSofts DataSofts DIC BTL
Chipjack is a specialised datajack +Skillwires
Datajack is required to access headware memory +Knowsoft Link + Display Link / Image Link

The MUD implementation of skillsofts is:

stay Jacked ActiveSoft KnowSoft LinguaSoft
Yes Chipjack + Skillwires Chipjack
No Chipjack + headware memory + Skillwires Chipjack + headware memory + Knowsoft Link
  1. JACK chip;
  2. SKILLS now lists the skill; if you want to free up the jack slot then:
  3. LOAD chip;
  4. UNJACK chip;
  5. MEMORY to see indices;
  6. LINK 1 to connect the Knowsoft Link or Skillwires;
  7. SKILLS now lists the skill; if you want to delist the skill then:
  8. UNLINK 1;
  9. DELETE 1;

Shops in character generation and within play sell:

  • ActiveSofts labelled as ActiveSofts (eg, Athletics, Negotiation, Pistols, Stealth);
  • KnowSofts labelled as ActiveSofts (eg, Data Brokerage, Police Procedures, Program Design, Spell Design);
  • LinguaSofts labelled as LinguaSofts (eg, Or'zet, Sperethiel);
  • there are plenty of DataSofts as (Quest) items, but if you try to JACK them, you're told But that isn't a chip.;
  • BTLs (not in character generation);

Customers can tell a KnowSoft erroneously displayed as an ActiveSoft is genuinely a KnowSoft because it is more expensive than the ActiveSofts of the same Rating. Knowing that it is a KnowSoft reassures the customer they do not need Skillwires; a Chipjack will be sufficient to make use of the skillsoft:

Rating ActiveSoft KnowSoft LinguaSoft
3 2700Y 4050Y 1350Y
5 7500Y 11250Y 3750Y

Quirks:

  • in pen-and-paper play, Skillwires can simultaneously run skillsofts whose sum total Rating is no greater than the Skillwires' Rating; in the MUD implementation, Skillwires can simultaneously run skillsofts whose individual Ratings are each no greater than the Skillwires' Rating;
  • Knowsoft Link listed in shops has been flagged NERPS, indicating it has no special coded effects but it isn't – the LINK command engages it; FIXME
  • Knowsoft Link description says it accesses “any knowsofts downloaded into headware memory or piped through a datajack.” In practice, it seems to need a chipjack; FIXME
  • a mundane character is prevented from accessing Nw - Magical Skill Training with You don't have the ability to learn magic. but they can JACK a Spell Design KnowSoft just fine and when they do, it asks for a Hermetic Sorcery Library; FIXME
  • During character generation, a character can purchase softs, upload them to headware memory, and sell the chips back to the merchant. This wouldn't be viable in pen-and-paper play.
  • If 300MP is insufficient for 1.00 Essence, install a Data Compactor IV for 0.25 Essence that'll give you five times as much storage. In pen-and-paper play, you would not be blocked from installing more than 300MP.

Language

The MUD implements multiple Language skills. Select which language future utterances will be in using the LANGUAGE command (HELP SPEAK). Sentences spoken in Languages other than English are legible by other characters with that Language skill; such utterances will be displayed in English on the clients of characters who understand that Language and in gibberish on other clients. Authentic translation is not implemented. The Rating of a Language skill determines the complexity of words conveyed faithfully. It is possible to UNPRACTISE ENGLISH in custom character generation and thereby understand nothing any NPC says to you; it is possible to compensate for this with a Chipjack and Linguasoft: English 5. Even so, the Johnsons' Are you interested? will be misrepresented as “Are you angry?”, “Are you socks?” or other random replacement of words over a threshold length. To save you ten minutes of experimentation, this is what it looks like:

> job
The following words are too long for TongueTied's understanding of English: 'I', 'm', 'looking', 'for', 'a', 'job'.
Please limit your speech to words of length 0 or less.
Jack Johnson says in an unknown language, "College senior pull month top your painting mission environment."
Jack Johnson says in an unknown language, "Serve economy your?"

If you deteriorate your character's fluency in English, please be mindful of this and don't submit TYPO reports for garbage! It is often challenging to know whether garbage text is intentional:

  • “spoons” (normally cutlery) and “clutch” (normally part of a car, or young birds in a nest) have esoteric meaning here;
  • some anticapitalists avoid capitalising acronyms so that their initialisms masquerade as typos;
  • certain regional localisations struggle with plurals: “a ways” and “a foci” are particularly popular here (“a dice” is surprisingly not!);

Dropping English entirely during character generation could allow you to raise two Active skills from 1 to 6, which would have cost 58 Good Karma + 150kY total in play. Learning English back up to rank 10 within play costs 71 Good Karma + 226kY. On the plus side, the language teacher is trivially easy to locate whereas others require considerable exploration. (Calculations here assumed a Linked Attribute of 6.)

Cosmetic

The Unarmed Combat skill has been renamed to Brawling. It is the only skill used in Astral Combat while Projecting (Sorcery is not used; the skill associated with your Weapon Focus is only used when Perceiving). FIXME

The Gunnery skill has been renamed to Mounted Gunnery.

The Heavy Weapon skill has been split into specialisations:

  • Assault Cannons
  • Machine Guns

and does not Default To Skill (SR3.84) between them.

The Launch Weapon skill has been split into specialisations:

  • Grenade Launchers
  • Missile Launchers
  • Artillery

Laser rifles use the Rifles skill rather than Laser Weapons.

The Etiquette skill has been split into specialisations:

  • Corporate
  • Elven
  • Media
  • Street
  • Tribal

and does not Default To Skill (SR3.84) between them. They do Default to Charisma.

The Vehicle skill Car (SR3.89) has been split into:

  • Driving Cars
  • Driving Trucks

and the character can Default between these and Bike (Driving Motorcycles) skills. They do not Default to Reaction when inside the vehicle but they do Default to Reaction when using a Remote Control Deck. FIXME

BioTech

Standard pen-and-paper rules permit:

  1. BioTech/FirstAid once, which recovers one entire Wound Level (Serious to Moderate; Moderate to Light; or Light to nothing) or stabilises the character (if at Deadly) (SR3.129); then:
  2. magical healing once, which recovers a number of Boxes (SR3.194); then:
  3. natural recovery thereafter.
  • “Spells can speed up or slow down processes, such as healing” (MitS.47) and therefore “successful use of [the Heal or Treat] spell precludes the use of further healing or treating spells, or of first aid.” (SR3.127)
  • just as with any Skill test, the medic's Wound penalties raise the TN for BioTech;

MUD implementation provides:

  • unlimited applications of First Aid while Wounds are high enough to stay in Body Overflow (SR3.125);
  • Skill level ÷ 3 applications of First Aid thereafter, which if capped means:
    • 2 attempts to provide First Aid by a magician (8/3=2);
    • 3 attempts to provide First Aid by an adept (10/3=3);
    • 5 attempts to provide First Aid by a mundane — there is a bonus +1 for reaching Skill 12 (12/3=4 +1);
  • retries incur a TN penalty regardless of success;
  • First Aid removes a number of Boxes of Wounds (HELP TREAT) even to characters with 10 Boxes (Deadly Wounds);
  • magical healing with the Heal spell (the window of opportunity to cast Treat has likely elapsed before combat has finished and First Aid has been applied);
  • First Aid (with TREAT) and magical healing (with CAST TREAT) do not need to be applied in a particular order and do not interfere with each other;
  • First Aid (with TREAT) intentionally disregards any Wound penalties suffered by the medic;

In pen-and-paper play, a medkit is Rating 3 and provides complementary dice (MM.138, SR3.97). In the MUD implementation, it isn't and it doesn't. BioTech/FirstAid costs 150Y per attempt rather than manage the overhead of Supplies.

In pen-and-paper play, a Trauma Patch (SR3.305) has no Rating. In the MUD implementation, its Rating is rolled against TN 4 in order to stabilise its patient.

Stimulant Patches (SR3.305, SR3.126):

  • no longer return the damage (and more) when they wear off;
  • are restricted to mundanes only (so no repeatedly StimPatching the captured wagemage to turn them into a burnt-out mundane: MitS.31);

Drug mechanics (MM.108) extensively overhauled.

DocWagon retrieval depends on your character owning a Modulator, wearing it, BONDing it, being in an accessible Room, and being dealt 10 or more Boxes of Wounds. The Modulator attempts repeatedly to secure your extraction until you exceed Body Overflow - the longer this takes, the greater the chance DocWagon will respond. Successful retrieval costs 10% of your carried cash and is deducted directly from your bank account (or cash, if your bank account is depleted). Successful retrieval preserves the current Job. Successful retrieval delivers your character with their worn and carried equipment to the DocWagon recovery room. Failure delivers the player to the login menu which brings them to the DocWagon recovery room with no worn or carried equipment (not even a Modulator). Just like in Diablo II, your equipment is dropped in your corpse in the Room where you died (HELP BELONGINGS, HELP WHERE). Getting to that Room, looting the corpse, and re-equipping every item while surviving hostile NPCs can be non-trivial. Belongings should survive copyovers. Belongings can only be looted by their owner. Corpses are intentionally programmed to be impossibly heavy to prevent trolls (the character meta, and the player attitude) from being disruptive.

The DocWagon Modulator (Platinum) at 50kY is one of the most expensive items most characters are likely to be wearing (a power Focus or weapon Focus can cost ten times as much). Being made of Electronics sets its Object Resistance high, but it is more susceptible to electricity-based attacks such as Lightning Bolt spells. When facing hostile magicians who are unlikely to kill your character outright, it can be worthwhile to stow the Platinum DWM and wear a Basic DWM so that there is still some coverage but repair costs are reduced. Characters who splurged on a Platinum Modulator within character generation find it is free to repair (due to being programatically set to worthless to prevent people from buying a pile of them in chargen and selling them immediately in play).

Combat

In the Neophyte Guild is a mounted TriD unit. One of the broadcasts to take seriously is: *A public safety message from Lonestar. An officer with a thick mustache (sic) and mirrored shades says deadpan to the camera, “Don't walk around with weapons on. We will kill you.” You can walk into a bank with a minigun in your pocket and 100kg of assault rifles in your backpack — everyone will treat you with decorum as a law-abiding citizen. But if you so much as hold a rubber NERF whip in your hand, or a toy water-pistol, Lone Star will gun you down. Be warned. Add ammo and firemode tokens to your PROMPT so you can quickly tell if you are wielding, and include HOLSTER in many of your aliases.

In standard pen-and-paper play, the Condition Monitor has a Physical and Stun Damage Track (SR3.125) with two special cases: characters have Body Overflow and vehicles have no Stun track (SR3.145). These tracks start out empty and are filled in with a number of Boxes when Wounds are dealt. Likewise, healing removes Boxes, emptying the tracks. In the MUD implementation:

  • vehicles are displayed this way in SUBSCRIBE and SCORE while controlling or rigging;
  • characters are displayed inside-out by default:
    • PROMPT starts out displaying @p/@P as 10/10 empty physical Boxes and @m/@M as 10/10 empty mental Boxes;
    • this probably conforms to conventions in MUDs simulating other RPGs such as D&D where one starts at full hitpoints and loses them during combat;
    • @& is the prompt token for displaying physical Boxes taken; @* is the prompt token for displaying mental Boxes taken;

In standard pen-and-paper play, vision penalties are halved in mêlée. In the MUD implementation, they aren't. FIXME

Weapon accessories are simplified and their exceptions streamlined:

  • in standard pen-and-paper play, the Shock Pad (SR3.282) does not consume a mount. The MUD implementation has it consume the Barrel mount;
  • the Foregrip (CC.34) isn't restricted to SMGs, ARs and shotguns; etc.
  • the Bayonet (CC.32) can be fitted to weapons smaller than rifles:
    • one-handed firearms (pistols / tasers / SMGs) have base Reach 0 (Clubs Skill); with a bayonet they have Reach 1 (Polearms Skill);
    • two-handed firearms have base Reach 1 (Clubs Skill); with a bayonet they have Reach 2 (Polearms Skill);

In standard pen-and-paper play, vision imaging magnification scopes (SR3.282) modify the effective Range (SR3.110) to the target, and are incompatible with Smartlink. In the MUD implementation, they are compatible with Smartlink and allow a character to shoot firearms at targets in nearby Rooms without modifying the TN of doing so:

  • with no scope, a shooter can SCAN and SHOOT victims in the current Room and immediately adjacent Rooms (the limit for pistols);
  1. Rating 1 scopes extend range to 2 Rooms away (the limit for SMGs);
  2. Rating 2 scopes extend range to 3 Rooms away (the limit for sports rifles, assault rifles, and miniguns);
  3. Rating 3 scopes extend range to 4 Rooms away (the limit for other heavy weapons, sniper rifles);

Shooting across each Room boundary raises TN by +2 (higher TN means more difficult). Sniper Rifles ignore the first +2 penalty (a bit like how scopes work in pen-and-paper play). (Some) sniper rifles in pen-and-paper play are knocked out of alignment if their wielder is engaged in mêlée; this is not implemented in the MUD.

This increases demand for the limited Mount slots, which increases the value of effects which can provide such benefits without consuming Mounts:

  • Adept Power: Improved Sense (Magnification) obviates the need for a top-Mounted scope;
  • Spell: Stealth / Silence obviates the need for a barrel-Mounted silencer / suppressor, and even works for firearms that cannot accommodate mundane sound suppression;
  • helmets, visors, shades, etc. can provide image magnification;
  • mounting a weapon in a firmpoint or hardpoint halves its uncompensated recoil;

In pen-and-paper play, a character can fire a semi-automatic or burst-fire weapon twice in one Combat Phase (as two Simple Actions). The second time it is fired, it suffers a TN penalty detemined from the number of rounds fired total reduced by recoil compensation. In the MUD implementation, only one attack per Phase is made. Therefore that second attack doesn't take place. As a result, semi-automatics (whether pistol or assault cannon) gain nothing from recoil compensation.

“Advanced” (rather than “optional”) combat rules:

  • dwarfs do not suffer penalties for wielding equipment that hasn't been miniaturised for them (CC.98);
  • wielding 2H mêlée weapons in one hand (at a penalty) or 1H mêlée weapons in two hands (for bonus Power) has not been implemented (CC.98);
  • wielding 2H ranged weapons in one hand at no penalty for trolls is implemented via Troll-Modified weapons sold by an appropriate merchant (CC.99);
  • firing Heavy Weapons without gyrostabilisation subjects the operator to a Knockdown test (CC.99) even if all recoil is fully compensated for by other means;
  • Recoil Compensation from Strength (CC.103: maximum of 3RC) has not been implemented;

NPC corpses (organic) and remains (inorganic) are intentionally too heavy to pick up in order to prevent belongings (player corpses) from being interfered with.

Movement

Special mechanic implemented to close on a mêlée target:

  • Satyr metavariant provides a bonus;
  • Dwarf running multiplier provides a penalty;
  • Kid Stealth cyberlegs and hydraulic jacks provide a bonus;
  • deployed foot anchors provide a penalty;
  • Nature Spirits' Movement Power provides a bonus or penalty;
  • armour and visibility provide a penalty;
  • two successes on a Qck test are required to succeed.

Special mechanic implemented to escape mêlée to Flee. Tripping a threshold number of wound Boxes taken can automatically initiate this behaviour (HELP WIMPY) but if a character is detained or knocked down, they will forget they were supposed to Flee. FIXME

  • Satyr metavariant provides a bonus;
  • Dwarf running multiplier provides a penalty;
  • Kid Stealth cyberlegs and hydraulic jacks do not provide a bonus;
  • deployed foot anchors do not provide a penalty;
  • Nature Spirits' Movement Power provides a bonus or penalty;
  • visibility provides a penalty;
  • one success from Qck ×1.25 is required to succeed, per capable adversary.

Your character may execute manual directional movement every second Combat Phase or automatic random Flee movement every Combat Phase. Drug-withdrawal-induced Fugue state instantaneously teleports the character (even through locked doors, etc.)

When Stealthing, Defaulting to Attribute on an Open Test would commonly lower the spotters' TN by 4 to perceive the person hiding. The MUD implementation instead caps #successes.

In pen-and-paper play, the Levitate spell is typically used to fly, Superman-style, at terminal velocity assisted by Movement and Guard. Occasionally it is used to inflict falling damage on an adversary. In the MUD implementation, its altitude remains within reach of mêlée assailants, however it does not grant Superior Position (SR3.123). It cannot be cast offensively, or on inanimate objects. Its function is to autopass Athletics/Climbing and Swimming tests, and therefore Force 1 is all that's necessary.

When being driven by a vehicle's AutoNav, the vehicle moves at cruise speed. This is half its maximum speed (maximum of 55). Its maximum speed is its rated maximum speed multiplied by the fraction of its Load currently consumed (HELP POP, HELP PROBE). The more a vehicle is loaded up, the slower it cruises.

There are several automated transits which wormhole occupants from location to location:

  • taxis (HAIL);
  • monorail (north of the Neophyte guild) / MAX train (Portland);
  • Hellhound coach (GRID HELLHOUND);
  • cargo and passenger aeroplanes (-17650, 8925);
  • ferry (Caribbean);

Taxis can drive you to locations which AutoNav refuses to (eg Redmond, Tarislar) for a premium surcharge. Non-taxi transits are free (generally) and require minimal to no interaction in order to get you to locations that variously:

  • you could drive to (eg the monorail);
  • it would be inconvenient to drive to (eg Portland) without a special item;
  • it would be impossible to drive to (eg Caribbean) without special vehicles;

All they need is for you to:

  1. pay attention to the prompts announcing the arrival of the transit:
  2. check EXITS to find out where the Door into/out of the transit is;
  3. use that Door;
  4. pay attention to announcements…

Often, ENTER and LEAVE can be used to automatically find and make use of whatever Door will take you inside or outside, respectively. Unfortunately, these commands do not work with transits. FIXME

Certain transits which shuttle exclusively between exactly two terminals now disgorge all passengers automatically upon arrival.

Decking

In pen-and-paper play, unauthorised access to a credstick's funds requires a cyberdeck to hit a TN 10 or 12 and failure wipes all the funds immediately (SSG.123). In the MUD implementation, a mere Electronics Kit can repeatedly tamper with a credstick until it yields. It never self-destructs.

Pen-and-paper character generation restricts gear purchases to Rating 6 and Availability 8 (SR3.270). The CMT Avatar has Availability 6 (SR3.304) so that's fine, but it has a Deck Rating of 7 (SR3.207) and so is not available during character generation. Cyberdecks' Legality is 4P-S so for an extra 5% cost, a Permit lowers Availability by 2 (SR3.274) to 4, but its Deck Rating still exceeds character generation limits. In the MUD implementation, the CMT Avatar is available within character generation.

The Evaluate utility is used when locating worthwhile paydata (Mat.70). The rating of this utility degrades over time to represent the fast pace of SotA. You can program a new Evaluate utility up to the rating of your Data Brokerage skill rating. You can program your new Evaluate utility using a Computers ActiveSoft, Program Design KnowSoft, and Data Brokerage KnowSoft. Even when software chips write software chips like this, the Data Brokerage skillsoft, etc. does not degrade over time to represent the fast pace of SotA.

Many hosts have no obvious exits, thanks to Universal Matrix Standards being deprecated (SR3.200). If you cannot LOCATE HOST, you can navigate up one level to the parent host with LOGON LTG.

The Hacking Pool (SR3.207) is displayed (POOLS) for any character with ranks in the Active Skill: Computers. Without a deck, it equals simply Intelligence ÷ 3. Pen-and-paper play with only the Core book and no Matrix book supports Hacking Pool whenever using a Cyberdeck (SR3.207), but the Matrix rulebook refines / restricts / overrules this, tying it to the ASIST module.

The Hacking Pool absorbs the Task Pool in pen-and-paper play (Mat.26) but in the MUD implementation, you can roll Skill + (up to Skill dice from) Hacking Pool + (up to Skill dice from) Task Pool, drawing from them in parallel.

In pen-and-paper play, the Matrix can be accessed using different systems:

  • public DataTerms (SSG.121) like payphones or ATMs; those in A or AA zones provide CyberTerminals;
  • home TeleCom (SSG.118) hosts home automation; it includes a Matrix jackpoint, mouse, keyboard, VR gloves;
  • CyberTerminal (SR3.207) or “tortoise” use monitors, VR gloves, mice:
    • MPCP is capped at 4;
    • Persona Programs = Bod and Sensor;
    • no Response Increase;
    • programmes' Ratings are reduced by 1;
    • cost 10% of a CyberDeck of equivalent Rating;
    • user cannot be hurt by Black IC (SR3.230) or Dumpshock (SR3.227);
  • CyberDeck (SR3.206):
    • a Legality Code of 4P-S (SR3.303)
    • Persona Programs = Bod, Evasion (Legality 3P-S), Masking (Legality 2-S) and Sensor (Mat.21);
    • Masking is the prime element used to distinguish a CyberDeck from a CyberTerminal (Mat.21);

A CyberTerminal is cheap, legal and quite moddable. A CyberDeck is just a CyberTerminal with two illegal Persona Programs:

  • A CyberTerminal only has Bod and Sensor Persona Programs (Mat.56);
  • A CyberDeck follows the same rules as a CyberTerminal except that it has four Persona Programs. CyberDecks are considered illegal because of the Evasion and Masking Programs (Mat.56);
  • A decker could purchase a legal CyberTerminal and add Evasion and Masking to the machine to turn it into a CyberDeck (Mat.56);
  • Note that the CyberDeck commonly used by deckers is merely a souped-up CyberTerminal. For clarity and ease of use, 'CyberTerminal' will be used to refer to both (Mat.17);
  • Whether you are building an entire unit or upgrading a single part, the same rules apply (Mat.56, 52);
  • A legally sold MPCP has a rating limit of 4. The MPCP can be modified after the sale (Mat.56);
  • If a character replaces a CyberTerminal's MPCP, the ASIST interface must be replaced (Mat.58);
  • The user can choose to put in a cold ASIST interface or a hot ASIST interface. The hot interface can run cold (Mat.56);
  • The majority of CyberTerminals and some CyberDecks are equipped with the standard ASIST interface (also called cold ASIST). (Mat.18);

so it would be feasible for a home hacker to:

  1. purchase a legal, stock, MPCP 3 CyberTerminal for 7,500Y (Mat.167, SR3.207 ÷ 10);
  2. modify its MPCP to rating 6 for 1260Y;
  3. replace its ASIST with a hot interface for 2150Y;
  4. install Evasion and Masking (Bod/Sensor begin at 5/4) for 1260Y each;
  5. to turn it into a fully functional CyberDeck for roughly 15kY;
  6. most importantly, one which looks perfectly legal, since nobody can see Masking installed in it;

The MUD implementation includes a decker's “2600 magazine” item which endorses this:

Probably the oldest still-running hacker magazine in existence, and still
after all these years, the biggest joke of the actual hacker community.  In
this magazine it discusses modifying commercial cyberterminals to become full
cyberdecks.  Good knowledge for the neophyte decker wannabe, kindergarten
grade school drek for anyone who is actually slicing ice.

Although Matrix states that stock CyberTerminals can follow this upgrade pathway and that CyberDecks use the same rules, it doesn't explicitly state:

  • which stock CyberDecks ship with hot or cold ASIST — and so therefore it has been assumed they all ship with cold, just like most CyberTerminals do;
  • whether stock CyberDecks can be modded, customised and upgraded just like CyberTerminals can — and so therefore it has been assumed that they cannot;

Consequently, stock CyberDecks bought in the MUD:

  • cannot go hot ASIST;
  • cannot be upgraded with hot ASIST; and therefore
  • cannot use Hacking Pool (Mat.18);

If you want to deck with hot ASIST and the Hacking Pool, you need to construct your own CyberDeck from scratch and build hot ASIST into it from the start. The usecase pathway for doing so is implemented in the MUD.

Nevertheless, if you CONNECT to the Matrix and customise your PROMPT to include the Hacking Pool token, its value does fluctuate (likely ineffectually) even using a stock CyberDeck with cold ASIST.

Hot ASIST is generically illegal, but Masking (at 2-S) is the most illegal possible. Therefore if you flash your cyberdeck around guards, they will aggress. Even if you built your deck yourself, and it's a one-of-a-kind designed to look like a shoebox full of rainbow string, or a minidisc recorder, the moment that object is exposed, guards smell its Masking firmware and are overcome with bloodlust. Promotional material for the FoxFire 'Turtle II' cyberdeck says it has a retractable waist strap for easy carrying, but such straps have been severed by manufacturers to avoid legal backlash from customers being assaulted for their waistline. Even if your custom deck looks like an innocuous Tamagotchi, keep it secret; keep it safe.

The MPs consumed by Utilities scale exponentially with their Rating. The maximum MPs provided by custom-built CyberDecks scale linearly with their Rating (Active = MPCP ×250; Storage = MPCP ×600) as an artificial limit introduced by the MUD implementation. As a consequence, entry-level decks can field a full arsenal of MPCP-rating Utilities while the Decker is learning the ropes and figuring out what they need and how much of it they need. By the time they're using a MPCP 10 Deck, certain Utilities will need to be cut entirely or several downgraded to sub-MPCP-rating in order to squeeze into the memory limit. A MPCP 12 Deck requires the Decker to prioritise exactly what they know they need for a run without any unnecessary surplus and to hotswap Utilities on-the-fly as conditions develop and priorities evolve. (This is similar to the active Power Points minigame invented for Adepts.)

The Sensor Persona Program is used for noticing IC spawn and sets the TN for their manoeuvres against you. The Evasion Persona Program is used for using manoeuvres and hiding from Trace IC (the MUD doesn't implement it tracing you in meatspace; it just inflates your Tally faster: Khai) therefore it's viable to set up a CyberDeck as 6/6/-/6/6 without Evasion. You can't set up the CMT Avatar as 7/7/-/7/7 in character generation, due to Rating 7 exceeding the character generation limits (… at least for Persona, if not for Deck Rating!) so settle for 7/6/3/6/6. Khai's number-crunching indicates a Rating 7 with cold ASIST functions like a Rating 6 with hot ASIST, so permitting CMT Avatar within character generation evens things out overall.

Magic

Background Count

Violent death raises the BGC within a Room. For example, if SCAN reveals a magician and a bodyguard in the next room, shooting the bodyguard will make spellcasting more difficult for the magician by creating a Rating 1 Background Count. When casting spells, the MUD responses provide insight into the challenges you face in the current Room:

  • “The mana here refuses to heed your call” means the room is flagged NOMAGIC. This flag is most commonly placed in social areas and occassionally to protect Johnsons from magical abuse. This should not be seen in any room with killable mobs (and if it is, that's a bug that should be reported).
  • “The tainted mana here resists your control” means there's a background count that's giving you a penalty.
  • “You fail to bind the mana to your will” means you rolled zero successes on your spell.

In pen-and-paper play, the metamagic “Cleansing cannot affect lasting, long-term background counts” (MitS.74) but in the MUD implementation, Cleansing is viable against both:

  • temporary BGC caused by circumstances;
  • permanent BGC encoded into the Room;

Sorcery

In the MUD implementation:

  • Spell targets must be in the same room as the caster;
  • When not in initiative passes, there's a half (real life) second delay between casts;
  • The act of casting a spell does not itself cause initiative to be rolled;
  • NPCs can be debuffed (eg. merchants can be subject to Decrease Intelligence to improve the player's Negotiation) without aggressing them;
  • all NPCs from cyberzombies to Force 12 free spirits have 6 Essence so don't be afraid to try Decrease Attribute;
  • debuffing a character with Decrease Attribute in order to improve successes with Increase Attribute is discouraged by the pen-and-paper FAQ but supported in the MUD implementation;
  • Physical Drain (eg from overcasting) can be healed with Treat/Heal (Physical damage caused by Drain cannot be healed using Magic: SR3.162);
  • Levitating (or otherwise ungrounded targets) gain no benefit against Lightning (discretionary: SR3.197, MitS.52);

In pen-and-paper play, learning spells (SR3.180) “costs Good Karma equal to the desired Force” with no discount for upgrading from a lower known Force. In the MUD implementation, upgrading is discounted. However, you cannot learn a spell from player casters and learning a spell destroys the formula from which it was learnt.

In the MUD when casting spells:

  • #successes is capped at 1 or Force (many spells describe a maximum number of effective successes anyway (eg 2× Force) but unilateral application is backported from SR4a.183);
  • normally this would trivialise DISPELL attempts, but NPCs don't take that action directly;
  • whenever non-Drain damage is taken, every spell being Sustained through effort rather than via Focus or Elemental makes a Sorcery (Force + Damage Power) test and is cancelled outright if no successes are scored;

Low Force is often advantageous:

  • when facing penalties from Wounds, Background Count (MitS.84), etc. low Force is still safe to cast and still effective;
  • the Astral Chameleon Edge makes the astral signatures (SR3.172) of low Force spells much harder for forensics to trace, and prevents F1 spells from leaving a signature entirely (SRC.28);
  • real-time noticing Magic (SR3.162) is more likely the higher the Force involved and many runs mandate covert operations;
  • for example, someone could cast Stunbolt Force 1 Light damage against an average target with Will 3. Putting 6 Sorcery dice into it and 6 Spell Pool dice, they might get 8 successes. This would stage up the damage four times (only three of which are effective). The target easily gets 3 successes on their resistance test because it's F1, leaving 5 net successes remaining. Therefore, they take Serious Stun from the spell. Force 1 spells are not ineffective!
  • Levitation and Increase Reflexes +3 (SR3.194) are also both highly capable at Force 1;

In standard pen-and-paper play, Illusions such as Invisibility have a boolean result: either the observer determines the illusion is not real or they are fully affected (SR3.195). Ultrasound Vision (MM.18) is subject to both Mana and Physical non-visual illusion if it is implanted in cybereyes (paid for with Essence) but not if worn as equipment such as goggles (SR3.282). Thermosense Organ is explicitly non-visual and therefore immune to Invisibility (MM.75, 79). Typically:

  • Invisibility (Mana) is cast at Force 1:
    • all Sorcery and Spell Pool are allocated to casting since Willpower is ample to stage 2M(S) drain;
    • the spellcast gets ~6+ successes;
    • adversaries haven't got enough Intelligence to be able to get ~6+ successes on an Int(2) test, so they can't see you (but cameras, drones, etc. can);
  • Improved Invisibility (Physical) is cast at Force 5+:
    • Force 4 is sufficient to automatically (SR3.183, MitS.50) defeat non-living cameras, sensors, drones, cyberscanners, etc. with an Object Resistance up to 8 (SR3.182, SotA64.62) but Force 5 has the same Drain code, so OR 10 then;
    • 3M(S) Drain is pretty easy to stage (especially with a Trauma Damper) so living observers get to make an Int(5) test and can defeat the illusion if they get ~6+ successes;
    • if they don't fully resist the spell, it affects them convincingly;
  • both can be stacked with the Concealment power and a Stealth test;

However, the MUD implementation has degrees of success:

  • #successes is capped at the Force of the spell (backported from SR4a.183) making low Force ineffectual for Sustained Illusions (Invisibility, Stealth);
  • “the Thermosense Organ gives the user functional Thermographic Vision” (Bicson Biomedical);
  • TN is raised by the Force of a spirit providing Concealment power (if any);
  • an observer who defeats the Illusion can (and probably will) attack the stealth unit without penalty;
    • they will also alert nearby NPCs to attack you (with penalties… the others still can't directly see you);
  • otherwise if the illusion holds up:
    • Ultrasound vision limits to +4 (half Blind Fire) the penalty for interacting with an unseen unit affected by (Physical) Improved Invisibility;
    • Ultrasound vision limits to +2 the penalty for interacting with an unseen unit affected by Ruthenium Polymer (MM.114);
    • Thermovision limits to +2 the penalty for interacting with an unseen unit (successfully) affected by (Mana) Invisibility or Ruthenium Polymer;
    • being Mundane limits to +2 the penalty for interacting with an unseen NPC unit;
  • even if the opponent does not defeat your spell, they may become (Alarmed) by your torch-beam;
TN penalties by vision mode Ultrasound Vision Thermovision Mundane PC
Invisibility (M) 0 +2 +2
Improved Invisibility (P) +4 +8
Ruthenium +2 +2

NPCs may wear a focus, but they don't actually activate and benefit from it. As compensation for this, they do not suffer a TN +2 Concentration penalty for Sustaining spells. As a consequence of this, they will often cast Ignite early in a combat and Sustain it (for free) until it becomes Permanent, while getting on with casting other spells throughout ongoing combat - a tactic that would be ill-advised in common pen-and-paper play. All NPC spellcasters have a menu of spells they draw from while in combat and their spontaneous selection can be luckily effective or laughably inappropriate.

Ritual Sorcery (MitS.34) extensively overhauled. The MUD implementation:

  • does not involve a Ritual team;
  • does not target a remote location;
  • is instantaneous rather than taking hours per stage;
  • costs raw Nuyen;
  • casts a spell with automatically maximised #successes in a single cast;
  • still must be performed within a Circle or Lodge;

so it is therefore useful for buffing prior to venturing out into dystopia, especially for buff spells with implausibly difficult TNs (for example, Increase Attribute).

Pen-and-paper play would typically encounter Wards (SR3.174) that would strip characters of all buffs whenever they enter or exit a corp's premises, but these are not present in the MUD implementation.

In pen-and-paper play, Spell Defence (SR3.183) consumes a Free Action every 3 seconds to maintain. There, it will lapse if someone is unconscious or too busy to dedicate a Free Action to it. In the MUD implementation, it persists even if the caster is unconscious. It can only be applied to the caster; not allies and enemies (so no tampering with adversaries' attempts to buff or heal!) The same applies by extension to Reflecting metamagic.

In pen-and-paper play, a spellcaster may cast simultaneously a number of spells using one Complex Action equal to their Sorcery skill. So a magician could cast four Stunbolts, or they could cast Invisibility and Armour, etc. This is not implemented in the MUD.

Conjuring

Nature Spirits' Confusion Power (SR3.263) is one third as effective in the MUD implementation.

Nature Spirits' Concealment Power cannot be applied to vehicles, drones or specific items.

Officially, a spirit must assume physical form before it can engage any Physical powers (SR3.262) but Materialisation (SR3.264) itself is a Physical power. House-ruling this reachability gaffe is common.

NPCs do not summon spirits. Spirits you encounter are scripted to spawn by the Room, just like every other NPC. Regardless of Force, they have 6 Essence, just like every other NPC. In pen-and-paper play, a Disrupted Spirit cannot return to the Physical plane for 28-F days (SR3.176) but the MUD does not implement this timeout.

In pen-and-paper play, a shaman Summoning gets their Totem bonuses applied to the Conjuring roll (SR3.186) and also to the Drain roll (SR3.188) since there is no equivalent of Spell Pool for Conjuring (SR3.44). In the MUD implementation, the Totem modifier is not applied to the Drain roll. FIXME

In pen-and-paper play, summoning a number of spirits equal to Charisma and then lowering Charisma (by unsustaining a spell, by sustaining a spell, by drug withdrawal, etc.) results in the excess spirit(s) going Free. In the MUD implementation, they remain controlled.

Lodges and Libraries

In pen-and-paper play:

  • a Lodge occupies 3m × 3m (SR3.166) and:
    • can be built within a Low lifestyle room (SSG.132) provided it counts as being the Mentor Totem's Environment (eg, cave, under the open sky, on/by the sea);
    • can be of arbitrarily high Rating provided the shaman can Talismong the materials or hit the Availability and spend Force × days;
    • is built of reusable Materials (bones, quartz stones, tanned hides, etc.);
    • can be upgraded in-place;
  • a Hermetic circle has a diameter of its Rating metres (SR3.167) and:
    • a Rating 2 can be built within a Low lifestyle room (SSG.132);
    • a Rating 4 can be built within a Middle lifestyle room;
    • a Rating 6 can be built within a High lifestyle room;
    • costs the (negligible, consumable) stick of chalk used to circumscribe it and Force × hours;

In the MUD implementation:

  • mages can share a Sorcery / Conjuring Library that has been dropped on the ground;
  • shamans cannot share a Lodge FIXME (eg for Spell Design, learning spells, etc.):
    • even with another PC shaman who follows the same Mentor Totem;
    • there are permanent NPC Lodges on Council Island dedicated to specific Mentor Totems however player characters who are Shamans of those Totems cannot benefit from them either;
  • the rating of shamanic Lodge construction is artificially capped at the shaman's natural Magic attribute (reduced by augmentations, but not raised by an active Power focus);
    • this prevents shamans from being able to learn spells of a Force greater than their Magic (ie spells which would cause Physical Drain) from a spell formula (eg a high Force formula designed by a friend);
    • shamans can still learn spells of a Force far greater than their Magic (eg Force 6 and Magic 1) from an NPC trainer;
  • build in a room flagged (Apartment) or (Garage) which you lease and have a private key for:
    • this protects them from dissolving during a server restart / copyover and from anyone damaging them (HELP BUILD, LODGE and CIRCLE);
    • the (Apartment) or (Garage) does not need to adhere to the Mentor Totem's Environment;
  • Lodges must be destroyed and recreated at full cost to change their rating;

Focus activation

Pen-and-paper play would support a magician activating one Power Focus and assigning its dice to Spell Defence; then activating another one and assigning its dice to Drain; then activating another one and assigning its dice to Spellcasting; then casting a spell. The MUD implementation blocks the activation of more than one Power Focus at a time.

An active Power Focus remains active through a logout and relogin to the MUD. A Sustaining Focus deactivates when logging out. A Weapon Focus remains active while wielded.

An active Power Focus remains worn when a magician astrally projects (with its Force applying as an augmented bonus to the Magic attribute and adding dice to the Spell Pool).

In pen-and-paper play, a Sustaining Focus must remain in contact with the target of the spell (SR3.190). Due to the terminology specified for 'subject' and 'target' for Detection and Illusion spells, this means:

  • for a Detection spell like Enhance Aim, that means you plant the focus on the victim you're trying to shoot;
  • for Illusion spells like Invisibility, that means you plant the focus on everybody who could potentially attempt to observe you;
  • for certain spells like Levitation, there is no target of the spell so it cannot be sustained via a focus;

The MUD implementation ignores the problematic official Sustaining focus exception and treats it just like every other focus; it must remain in contact with its bonded owner.

The MUD implementation considers a focus which is bonded to an Increase Attribute health spell to be effectively bonded to every Increase Attribute spell. So a character could use the same focus to sustain Increase Quickness or Increase Intelligence (not at the same time) without needing to pay Karam to rebond it.

Initiation and Power Points

Pen-and-paper play would support an adept or magician Initiating whenever they have adequate Good Karma (reduced by Ordeals, Groups, and Neopaganism – all not implemented) to do so. Adepts also have the option to purchase a Power Point for a flat cost of 20 Good Karma (SR3.168) although “the power point for Karma rule was specifically included for players who do not use the advanced magic (initiation) rules. It is recommended that this rule be ignored if the initation (sic) rules in Magic in the Shadows are also being used.” (FAQ)

In the MUD implementation, both of these mechanisms (HELP INITIATE, HELP INITIATION, HELP ADDPOINT) have been rate-limited:

TKE Initiate AddPoint
0 1 1
50 2
100 2 3
150 4
200 3 5
then every 200 TKE every 50 TKE
cost (new Grade +5) ×3 20

In pen-and-paper play, many Adept Powers are always-on, some are temporary (Attribute Boost) and some are triggered (Suspended State). Adepts within a Mana Warp (MitS.85) “cannot simultaneously use more Power Points worth of powers than their effective Magic Rating.” In the MUD implementation, adepts can learn a number of Powers equal to their addpoint + Magic attribute as a float, but they can only activate a number of Powers simultaneously equal to their Magic attribute as an integer. A Power's cost to activate is less than or equal to its cost to train (Improved Attribute).

In pen-and-paper play, “when an adept loses Magic, he chooses which powers are lost” (FAQ) but in the MUD implementation, Powers are confiscated (seemingly at random) while they exceed adjusted Magic + addpoint.

To gain Metamagic techniques:

  1. pay to Initiate and choose a technique;
  2. locate an NPC who looks willing to help you train in metamagic techniques. Use the TRAIN command to begin.
  3. pay again to learn the technique;

Adept trainers in the MUD can also teach manoeuvres such as “Kip Up” (CC.91) for Good Karma. Even the NPC in the character generation wizard offers it, even though the character has no Good Karma then. FIXME

Development

Character generation restricts Attributes, Skills and equipment to Rating 6 and Availability 8 (SR3.270) so that there is plenty of headroom to expand into within play. Training rules (SR3.245, SRC.48) are Optional and consume considerable downtime. The MUD implementation for character development is:

  • Attributes:
    • 1 +meta during character generation
    • 2 Good Karma × new rating thereafter
    • 1kY × new rating thereafter
  • Skills:
    • 1kY for rating 1
    • 5kY × current rating thereafter
  • Initiation (HELP INITIATION):
    1. 50kY
    2. 75kY
    3. 125kY
    4. 225kY
    5. 425kY
    6. 825kY

All three of these character development steps are instantaneous.

Often in long-running pen-and-paper play, Attributes will be awarded a higher Priority than Skills because dumping Attributes effectively halves Skill Points linked to them (bypassed by Skillsofts). In the MUD implementation: charging double skill points for skills which exceed the linked Attribute is not implemented; karma can be earnt on demand; developing Skills costs more Nuyen than Attributes; the trainers for Physical and Mental Attributes are introduced via a Neophyte Johnson autorun whereas the NPCs who let you practise your skills need to be discovered via exploration. As a result, MUD economics disturb conventional priorities to favour awarding Skills a higher Priority than Attributes.

Certain roleplay games (eg: Dungeons and Dragons, World of Darkness, Cyberpunk 2020) employ a dice mechanic which rolls Attribute + Skill. Other roleplay games (eg: Call of Cthulhu, Fudge) employ a dice mechanic which rolls only Skill. Shadowrun uses the latter system. Your Attributes have no direct influence on your probability of success; they mostly improve the economy of long-term development. When making a Skill test:

  • if the character has that Skill, roll it + full Pool (if available) against the TN;
  • otherwise, roll the Linked Attribute (no Pool may be used) against the TN +4 (HELP DEFAULTING);

Some tests simply roll an Attribute without a Defaulting penalty (eg Perception tests simply roll Intelligence - there is no Skill to Default from).

If one completes character generation with Charisma 1 and Etiquette 4, developing Etiquette to 5 and 6 will be much more expensive than if one had Charisma 6. However, probably not as expensive as raising Charisma from 1 to 6 and raising Etiquette to 6. If one planned to raise multiple Charisma-linked skills, then raising Charisma first would pay off.

In pen-and-paper play, the Flaw: Day Job (SRC.26) provides passive income of 5kY per game month. In the MUD implementation, “Universal Basic Income” supplies 1kY per real-life hour, equivalent to 24kY per game month (HELP UBI).

Rigging

Rigging is performed by any character with a VCRig implanted (SR3.130). Driving via datajack and virtual dashboard (SR3.134) is not Rigging the same way that plugging your datajack into your washing machine isn't Decking. You need a VCRig to Rig and you need a Cyberdeck to Deck.

A Rigger can:

  • CONTROL a vehicle SUBSCRIBEd to a RCDeck (no Driving Skill required) over the waves;
  • RIG a vehicle (Driving Skill is required) over the wire;

This is inconsistent. FIXME

In pen-and-paper play, the Car skill is used to drive wheeled/tracked drones and vehicles, just like the Rotor Aircraft skill is used to fly helicopters and rotodrones. The player can Default (the VCR halves Defaulting penalty) if it is favourable to do so.

In the MUD implementation, a rigger with no Vehicle Skills can drive their car perfectly well via their RCDeck while they are not in it but the moment they enter their car and plug a cable in to rig it, they find they have no idea how to drive.

GridGuide is built into the roads and AutoNav is built into the cars. In the MUD implementation, AutoNav is constrained to gridlinked terrain. If a newly purchased vehicle lacks AutoNav, it will need to be PUSHed into the back of a truck with enough Load to convey it to a workshop (GRID JUNKYARD then west), or TOWed (doesn't work for motorcycles), or:

  1. BUY a Vehicle Workshop;
  2. DROP it beside the vehicle;
  3. SETUP the workshop (HELP UNPACK) taking real-life minutes;
  4. UPGRADE the vehicle with the AutoNav;
  5. PACKUP the workshop (HELP PACK) taking real-life minutes;

Upgrading uses the appropriate Build & Repair vehicle Skill. The MUD implementation does not penalise retries, so providing the base TN is lower than 8, Defaulting to Intelligence is sufficient; putting ranks into the B&R Skill is unnecessary. If the base TN is 8 or higher, a couple of ranks is adequate (ideally via Activesoft, so that you can unjack it if you want to Default in the future).

Riggers can mêlée adversaries with the RAM command and shoot them with the TARGET command. Mounting multiple weapons to a vehicle's hardpoints / firmpoints will give the Gunnery skill test a dual-wielding penalty. Riggers cannot rig while their body is safe in a (Peaceful) -flagged Room.

In the MUD implementation, a drone or vehicle which takes enough Boxes to fill its damage track becomes (Wrecked). It can be DRAGged to a different Room or into the back of a vehicle; it can be TOWed by a forklift from the junkyard (towing must be initiated at SPEED IDLE). If a copyover occurs while a (Wrecked) vehicle is in a non-(Garage) Room, it will be teleported to the Taco Junkyard regardless of which building or country it was in previously. If a copyover occurs while a (Wrecked) vehicle is in the Junkyard, that vehicle is erased (HELP GARAGE, HELP JUNKYARD).


PRuns and NERPS

When participating in GM-hosted PRuns at the NERPopolis, a character has access to many more of the pen-and-paper features than function in the automated MUD:

  • Contacts (SR3.61, 253);
  • Edges and Flaws (SRC.15);
  • Knowledge skills (SR3.58, 89);

There are House Rules specific to this niche context.

Meta

  • Albinism does not increase Willpower Attribute (SRC.37).

Edges and Flaws

The following are unavailable:

  • Ambidexterity (CC.96);
  • Bonus Attribute;
  • Exceptional Attribute;
  • High Pain Tolerance;
  • Lightning Reflexes;

Archetypes

The following are available:

  • Magicians:
    • Area of Effect Combat and Elemental Manipulation spells;
  • everyone:
    • Area of Effect items (eg grenades);

The following are unavailable:

  • Physical Adepts:
    • Improved Ability;
  • Magicians:
    • Quickening Metamagic on Armour or Increase Attribute spells;
    • Quickening Metamagic on spells higher than Force 4;
    • NERPS foci of Forces higher than coded MUD provision;

Centring

In pen-and-paper play, adepts can learn the Centring Metamagic multiple times (MitS.73), applying it to an increasing breadth of Skill Groups. The MUD implementation blocks reselection of the Centring option during Initiation if it has previously been selected in Initiation more often than it has been bestowed by a Metamagic trainer. Since Centring is NERP, this makes no difference in MUD-play, but for PRuns alert your GM that you ought to have access to (up to) Initiate Grade picks from the following menu:

  • Athletics and Stealth (mandatory)
  • all B&R skills
  • all Melee Combat skills including Sorcery
  • all Ranged Combat skills
  • all Knowledge skills
  • all Language skills
  • all Social skills
  • all Technical skills
  • all Vehicle skills
  • one NERP skill chosen individually

For more on Centring, see MitS.30, 72 for the Magical Skill and MitS.73 for the MMT. To learn Centring in the MUD:

  1. HAIL a taxi and ENTER it;
  2. SAY nerp and LEAVE it;
  3. PUSH BUTTON to teleport to a ship named “El Sombrero” (meaning a parasol-like shade-hat);
  4. Up; North; North. From here:
    • to train Centring MMT go West; North and pay 70,000Y
    • to train Centring Skill go East; Down and pay 1 Good Karma + 1000Y as normal
    • to train Creative Skill go East; Noreast and pay 1 Good Karma + 1000Y as normal

Substances and pathogens

The following are unavailable:

  • Ebola+ (SotA63.30)
  • FAB (MitS.90)
  • Laes (MM.120)
  • VITAS (SR3.25, 251)

Bugs

The following potential gotchas might surprise players until they are addressed:

  • Link: Essence / BioIndex Hole does not automatically heal during character generation;
  • Link: Mentor Totem advantages are not applied to Summoning Drain;
  • Link: dwarf / ork metavariants are charged a steep tax which elf / troll metavariants are not;
  • Link: Astral Spell Pool is reset and auto configured every time you Project, and in a suboptimal way that doesn't allocate all your dice (workaround with ALIAS);
  • Link: Astral Projection doesn't always bring a bonded Focus along;
  • Link: players respawn (in DocWagon recovery) still wielding whatever weapon they held at death, risking antagonising NPCs on the streets;
  • Link: being Concealed by a Nature Spirit erroneously displays as Engulfment when checking STATUS;
  • Link: Nature Spirits will not remain to Sustain the final Service exacted from them with ORDER;
  • Link: whether Nature Spirits arrive Manifested or Materialised is inconsistent; some of them will refuse to perform Physical Services until manually ORDERed to Materialise first;
  • Link: while Projecting, not all communications channels work (eg people who TELL you stuff find you're linkless at the moment - they aren't ignoring you!);
  • Link: Domains aren't fully operational;
  • Link: sufficiently long and/or run-on “words” can (silently) be replaced with a random substitute leading to miscommunication with no objectively obvious cause;
  • Link Link: taxi and autonav routing can sometimes decline to cooperate (use GRID STOP if being spammed with That's not an easy path errors);

The project source is hosted on github:

  • the engine is the latest live version;
  • the world data are a stale old version;
  • the latest live world data are not distributed;

The project binary is hosted on awakemud.com on:

  • port 4000 if you like a lot of chat on radio, OOC and newbie channels;
  • port 4001 if you like copyovers and experimentation;
houserules.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/25 18:26 by bloodninja