The 3 Basic Rules of Playing Any RPG
#1: Wheaton's Law. "Don't be a dick."
This is applicable to everyone. In Wheaton's Law we come to understand that you, as GM or as Player, should never do something intentionally knowing that the end result is 'dickish' and attempt to justify it with comments like "Hey, it's what my character would do" or any iteration that means essentially that. If you find yourself about to do something that you know will screw someone over, re-think it. Think it over twice. Thrice. Yes, maybe even 4 times. We all spend a lot of time and effort to maintain characters, drive to the game site and spend time having fun being other people for a few hours. The last thing we want is for our good time to be destroyed by a guy who enjoys shitting on other people's fun for sake of his own. So ... just dont be a dick.
#2: Trust the Players.
A GM has countless responsibilities and things that they need to be aware of that make the game run smoothly and still make sense. The list of stuff they have to do is already long enough, the last thing they want to deal with is the minutia of going over your character sheet to check for cheats, errors and more. So, at this table the GM will trust the player to record his character sheet accurately and honestly. If you cheat at a role playing game you are not only hurting your own experiences, you are directly affecting the other players ability to cope with any additional stress your actions might cause the GM. So the GM will trust you ... bask in it.
#3: Trust the GM.
As previously indicated, the GM has tons of things on his plate. He not only has to create the very adventure you are running, but he simultaneously has to be 100's of people at the same time and be fully cognoscente of their individual personalities and knowledge base. It can be a hard job. There are likely to be times when you find yourself in a hard situation or even an impossible situation. Sometimes you know why you are in those situations and sometimes you might be inclined to feel like the GM is out to get you, or playing unfairly. Most of the time the GM has logical reasons for doing what he's doing, and they will become clear eventually. Show some faith before getting upset and see where the road leads. Understand and trust that your GM will not force you into a situation where you will all die with no chance for escape. Keep the faith!
The Rule of Creation:
At this table we use the standard method of character creation, the original Priority system. Infected and Drake options are not available for initial PC concepts. Surged characters are harder to play and harder to be associated with, so it is suggested that before making a surged character you consult with the rest of your party to verify they are going to be ok with the additional difficulties it presents. You can find a functional version of Chummer (a Shadowrun Character Generator) HERE. Note that only English books are allowed, none of the German content is permitted. '2050' is also disallowed.
The Rule of Knowledge:
After the initial amount of knowledge skills, characters receive additional knowledge skill points equal to (INT + LOG)x2. These may NOT be spent on language skills.
The Rule of Automatics:
Any weapon fired as Full-Auto (FA) not only affects the target, but all other things within 1 meter of the target. This does require a seperate roll for each victim, but if edge was spent beforehand, then all rolls are treated as edged.
The Rule of Probing:
Mind Probe certainly has some good uses, but it now has a downside. If you mind probe someone who has a mental disorder of any type there is a chance of inheriting that disorder. When you encounter a disorder while using this spell, make a LOG + WIL where you suffer a dice pool penalty equal to target's LOG score. Failure means you have also contracted that same mental issue. This can be bought off with normal karma expenditure.
The Rule of Qualities:
Positive qualities purchased after Character creation do not cost double karma, nor does buying off negative qualities. Only negative qualities bought at character generation can be bought off, though. Negatives received during play do not have a karma cost to remove ... they must be role-played off and have the GM's permission to remove.
The Rule of Death's Edge:
Anytime a character perma-burns an edge to avoid death, they are rewarded with an easy-out of their situation. They will typically be given a physical defect that can be fixed by surgery or a negative quality that reflects something about the incident. Generally, the player will be given the choice with minor exceptions.
The Rule of Removal:
The qualities of "Hobo with a Shotgun" and "Leroy Jenkins!" are no longer available for purchase at this table. They have been removed from the game entirely.
The Rule of Forbidden Arcana:
The spell tree featuring Euphoria has been removed from the game and is no available to player characters.
The Rule of The New World:
All characters will start with a simle Meta-Link Commlink and a Rating of 1 in Computers. If you choose Computers during creation you get a free rank AFTER CharGen is complete. This is to represent the increased presence of computers in the future. This will not apply to anyone to takes Incompetence in Computers.
The Rule of Uniqueness:
The quality "Prototype Transhuman" may only be taken by 1 player/character in the group to preserve immersion. The GM might make exceptions for new players who are bringing experienced characters into a running campaign, but otherwise only one such character is allowed at any given moment.
The Rule of Essence:
Characters cannot drop below an Essence score of 0.5. If they do, their character must be surrendered to the GM to be an NPC.
The Rule of Age:
A character may not be younger than 18 years old.
The Rule of Repair:
Damage to vehicles and drones does not automatically heal itself through the passing of time. Repairs must be made at a cost of 10% the vehicle/drone's value, divided by it's number of Condition Monitor boxes, per box. So, if the item being repaired cost ¥10,000 and has 10 boxes of health : (¥10,000 - 90% = ) so ¥1,000/10 = ¥100 per box of damage. This value can be halved if a player is the one doing the repairs. Repair time is equal to 2 hours per box of damage. Spending an Edge can halve this time.
The Rule of Redesign:
Every character may undergo 1 full redesign, complete with karma earned up to that point. This can be taken only once and must be done before the character has accumulated 75 career karma.
The Rule of Cyberlimbs:
All cyberlimbs now come fully customized to match the users stats and cannot be raised except by "Enhanced" packages, which now cap at 4 levels instead of 3. This maintains the Augmented Maximum rules of the book.
The Rule of Quickening:
After purchasing the "Quickening" metamagic you gain the ability to make any sustained spell permanent. This now costs a number of Karma equal to the Force of the spell. If this enchantment is lost in any way you are refunded a single (1) Karma, unless the original cost was 1 Karma, in which case you receive nothing.
The Rule of Karma:
If you are unfortunate enough to miss a session, your character will be assessed half the karma and money rewards from any mission. This will happen only once, so if you miss multiple sessions you get nothing past the first absence. If you leave before the mission is complete, you will be assessed a fraction of the rewards based on how much of the session you were present for and the amount of contribution you provided before you left, determined by the GM. The only variance of that rule is for the GM. He/She stores all karma awarded until he chooses to play a character, which will then be the recipient of the stored cache.
The Rule of Summoning:
All spirits above your current Magic score will spend edge to resist your summoning attempt. The "Spirit Affinity" quality is the only exception, and raises the force limit by 2. The negative quality "Spirit Bane" will allow all spirits of the chosen type to use edge against your summoning attempts, regardless of the force. Spirits will also use edge to resist being summoned into a background count that does not match their origin.
The Rule of Vision:
Items that grant various visual enhancements will not stack. This means you can wear contacts -or- glasses -or- goggles -or- a monocle (etc) but only the benefits of the top most layer apply. The only enhancement that does not follow this rule is "Flare Compensation," which remains functional at any given level.
The Rule of Collision:
If you are riding in a vehicle you will automatically be assumed to be wearing the built-in restraint, unless you:
a) State otherwise
b) Are (or are planning to) firing a weapon out the window, but only if the weapon requires 2 hands (rifles, guns with "foregrips", etc)
c) Are leaning out of said window
d) climbing into/out of/onto the car
If you are wearing the restraint and a collision occurs, you gain the vehicle's body as bonus soak dice for any damage. If you are not using the restraint you receive no benefit from the vehicle.
The Rule of Toxins:
Toxins that have multiple vectors will see their effectiveness reduced by a percentage relevant to the number of existing vectors if a target has means of countering one. Example: A power 10 inhalation/Contact vector will be reduced to a power 5 if the victim has a gas mask. This would change to a power 6 toxin if the vectors were (for example) inhaltion/contact/injection.
The Rule of Downtime:
Your GM should be able to tell you how long you can expect to be unemployed after a run. This time is called "Downtime" and gives you some options to spend karma, nuyen or otherise keep busy. For every week of downtime you can choose one of these options:
a) "Get Stronger" ... Use Karma to improve up to 2 stats by 1 point or 1 stat by 2 points
b) "Get Better" ... Use Karma to improve up to 2 skills by 1 point or 1 skill by 2 points
c) "Work for the Man" ... Convert 1 Karma into ¥2,000 (Limit 3 per week)
d) "Work for the People" ... Convert ¥2,000 into 1 Karma (Limit 3 per week)
e) "Work for a Friend" ... Earn 2 'favors' from a Contact (see next rule for "Favors" clarification)
f) "Pimp the Hobby" ... Use a profession/skill to earn money on the side. Discuss with your GM results.
g) "Chrome out" ... Spend a week to recover from a surgery where cyberware/bioware was installed.
The Rule of Favor:
Favors act as a single use dice-pool modification when interacting with your contact. Negative favors reduce the pool, while positive favors increase it. Ultimately, the GM will assign both types during gameplay, but only positive favors are spent at your whim. Negative favors only come off at the cost of positive favors. You cannot have both negative AND positive favors on one contact at the same time. Using favors you can raise a contacts loyalty, one point at a time by permanently burning a number of favors equal to the new loyalty rating.
The Rule of Adaption:
Character's installed ware can automatically be upgraded to the next grade at a cost of ((New Upgrade cost - Old grade cost)+10%). This does not affect the rating, and you will still have the same surgery/recovery time and leaves an essence 'hole' from the change. Only one upgrade at a time can be done like this. This does not require finding the new ware, as this introduces new medicines/tech to make the upgrade. These are readily available at most installation sites.
The Rule of Tutoring:
Now Tutorsoft reduces the cost of learning its relevant knowledge skill by 1 karma to a minimum of 1. IE, a "Fashion" tutorsoft will reduce the cost of upgrading the "Fashion" knowledge skill by 1.
The Rule of Drain:
If a character has a drain-dice pool equal to 4 times the amount of drain from a spell, no dice need to be rolled. The drain is fully soaked and the spell is considered 'trivial' to the character. This rule is only applicable to real-life table-based games and does not apply to games on Roll-20, where the computer takes care of rolling all the dice for you.
The Rule of Hacking
Hacking as it exists within the SR5 books has been eliminated due to time constraints. Now, all devices will have a dice pool (shown below) to resist hack attempts. To hack a device you must complete 3 successful "Hack" rolls against that device, though they need not be consecutive. Each attempt takes 1 action and if successful, reduces the number of dice the device can use on the next roll by 2. Conversely, if you fail a roll against said device, your dice pool is reduced by 2.
If you are attempting to hack a drone being controlled by another person, that device will be granted a number of bonus dice equal to the total successes of a relevant check by the pilot. For each round you succeed both the device AND the pilot receive the dice pool penalty.
There are qualities and other considerations that can change these numbers. Devices can also have a firewall installed, rating 1-12 that will add additonal dice.
Standard ... Device Rating x2
Alpha ... Device Rating x2.5
Beta ... Device Rating x3
Delta ... Device Rating x3.5
Prototype ... Device Rating x5
The Rule of Moving Up:
Characters must make a visible effort to improve their standard of living. While there will not be a set-in-stone standard to follow, the GM will punish characters that are spending/saving money without giving thoughts to their living conditions. This can be reflected in many ways, but there is no reason to have someone living at "Street" or "Squatter" level if they have $20,000 in the bank.