Pen and Paper RPG House Rules

Making our favorite games even better

Shadowrun Overhaul: Fourth to Fifth Edition Conversion House Rule

The conversion rules from taking characters from fourth to fifth dealing with skills bothered me because they weren’t nuanced at all. Basically they make no allowance for character experience or NPC experience and just didn’t make any sense to me. There should be a big difference in a converted Street thug compared to a converted Red Samurai or Wildcat when it comes to how high their skills are even if a street thug managed to have a 6 in a skill.

The conversion rules PDF can be found at http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/116922/Shadowrun-Fifth-Edition-Character-Conversion-Guide

My house rule takes into account the various range of character potency. First I will start with NPC conversion:

Professional Rating 0: no change in skills or knowledges.
Professional Rating 1: One skill or knowledge raised by 1 pt.
Professional Rating 2: One skill or knowledge raised by 2 pts and one skill or knowledge raised by 1 pts.
Professional rating 3: One skill or knowledge raised by 3, one by 2, and two raised by 1.
Professional rating 4: One skill or knowledge raised by 4, one by 3, two by 2, three by 1.
Professional rating: 5: One skill or knowledge raised by 5, one by 4, two by 3, three by 2, and four by 1.
Professional rating 6: one skill or knowledge raised by 6, one by 5, two by 4, three by 3, four by 2, and five by 1.

A lieutenant could be converted as one Professional rating higher or given an extra quality, item, additional spells or a +1 to a skill.

A superhuman NPC such as an immortal elf could use the official conversion rules or a doubling of bonuses such as two skills raised by six, two by 5 and so on.

As you can see this gives you some freedom to decide just how diversified a professional with 6 rating in four skills can be rather than just having 12 in four skills she would have a 12, an 11, and two tens or maybe one of the five rating skills could get a boost retailoring the NPC a little bit. This makes having a 12 mean something and that 12 is the NPC’s top priority.

Skill groups should be split by this into their component skills to avoid skill group conversion issues.

For PC’s the GM could decide to simply pick one of the professional ratings above for all the PC’s to use or could use a system based on total karma gained since PC creation to place the PC’s into one of the above categories.

Rating 0: no karma gained yet. Might as well just make a new fifth edition PC.
Rating 1: under 50. Again for most PC’s just add the karma to the total in finishing touches and make new fifth edition PC.
Rating 2: 51-100.
Rating 3: 101-200 .
Rating 4: 201- 300.
Rating 5: .301- 400.
Rating 6 401+.

For my collection of house rules please visit: Shadowrun Overhaul House Rules

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