Pen and Paper RPG House Rules

Making our favorite games even better

Shadowrun Overhaul: GM Optional Combat Rule for Grunts

The optional “Mowing Down” rule on page 379 of SR5 has the option of a takedown with a single wound when dealing with Grunts. I thought that was a little too much and modified it for a single wound greater than Body or several wounds equaling Body rating x2. Whether that means death or unconsciousness depends on the weapon, the needs of the story, and how long it would take for medical assistance to arrive.

This rule is for dealing with regular people, mall cops, basic security people, secretaries etc. With the standard rules an elderly woman could take a solid hit from an ork and have a good chance of not going down. Basically this optional rule applies to anyone with a Professional Rating of 0 to 2 who wasn’t a leader or lieutenant.

As far as I am concerned as a GM I really don’t want to spend a lot of time crunching through combat when the pc’s severely outclass their opponents. As a side benefit this rule gives the players an opportunity to shine and feel powerful while also making it easier for combat to involve more low level NPC’s and it makes the professionals that much scarier when they can take a good hit and keep on ticking.

In 5e it is much harder to do a takedown compared to 3e for example. Hitting hard with a decent stunball against a group with 2 or 3 Willpower would almost always work with “Deadly” stun while in 5e it would take two or three decent Stunballs to drop a normal everyday schmo. However to balance it out those Stunballs are more likely to do a little bit of damage to strong characters in 5e which in previous editions could be a little too tough.




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