House Rules

Direct Combat Spells

We will be using a modified version of the optional rule that increases drain for each hit added to the damage of a direct combat spell. Base drain on direct combat spells is (Force + Net Hits) / 2.

Engulf (Critter Power)

The Engulf critter power is not paralysis, just immobility. Trying to escape is a complex action, but the victim can still take non-movement actions normally. Modifiers apply as if the spirit and the victim are in melee combat, and the spirit cannot move out of melee range if it wants to sustain the power.

Fear (Critter Power)

The Fear critter power works like the Foreboding spell. The target is not automatically forced to flee, but if they don't they suffer a dice pool penalty equal to the net hits scored by the critter.


Knowledge Skills: If a character has an appropriate knowledge skill they roll (Logic or Intuition) + Skill.

Contacts: When a PC gets in touch with a contact, make a Connection + Connection Test for the contact. The results of this test will determine how many ranks of information the contact knows about the question. (Apply die modifiers to this test based upon relevance of the contact to the subject matter.) A PC then makes a test of Charisma + Etiquette + Loyalty rating. The contact will reveal that many levels of information about that topic for free. (Up to the number of hits scored by the contact for that topic.) If the contact knows more, additional information will require a payment to the contact of 50 * TR.

Deeper Digging Contacts: If the PCs have worked all of their contacts, and are still missing important information, they may ask a contact to ask around. If they do so, have the Contact make an extended (Connection + Connection (20 minutes)) Test. Additional information will be available at a cost of 200 * TR.

Data Search: A Data Search may also be utilized to gather information from the following charts. They may only make a number of Data Search + Browse rolls equal to their dice pool (p.64, SR4). An Agent can do this as well, using Pilot + Browse.

Contact / Knowledge Extended Contact Data
0 0 0 Nada.
1 6 6 Public, basic information.
2 12 12 Limited interest or non-public information.
3 18 18 Hidden information.
5 24 24 Information which has been actively erased.

Nonlethal Attack Modes

Capsule rounds and Stick-n-shock ammunition no longer exist. Their damage potential made them too good of a choice in a game that's supposed to be dark and gritty. Dart guns and tasers still exist for those looking for ways to not kill people.


SR4 doesn't seem to have any parachuting rules, so these are adapted from the ones found in SR3's Cannon Companion.

The Threshold for a jump is determined by the distance to the ground when the chute is opened. When parachuting a character has the choice of three types of jumps: standard, low-altitude, or HALO. This determines the minimum altiitude range in which he intends to open his chute. See the table for the typical jump heights for each type of jump.

The Parachuting Test

Modern parachutes come equipped with safety measures to ensure they open, so most of the skill in parachuting (outside of freefall gymnastics) is in the landing and the scatter distance from the target landing site. To determine how far he lands from the target site the character rolls Intuition + Parachuting, plus any modifiers (see table). The base scatter distance is shown on the table below. Divide it by the number of successes achieved to determine the actual scatter, and use the scatter diagram for thrown weapons to determine the direction (with 1 indicating the direction of the prevailing winds). A critical glitch on this test indicates that the character's primary chute has failed to deploy, though the automatic chute will open them at the next lower altitude level (unless it was disabled to allow a HALO jump).

The Landing

The character makes a Body + 1/2 Impact test against the base damage level listed on the table for the altitude at which he opened his chute. A glitch on this test upgrades the damage to physical.

Type Minimum Distance Threshold Base Scatter Base Damage
HALO (Critical Glitch) <100m You're screwed 50 Screwed
HALO 100m 2 50 7S
Low-Altitude 200m 2 100 5S
Standard 500m 1 250 3S

Situation Modifier
Type of Jump
Standard +4
Low-Altitude +2
Bad Weather (Rain, Strong Wind, Snow) -2
Terrible Weather (Storm) -4
Restricted Landing Terrain (small buildings, trees) -2
Tight Landing Terrain (city buildings, forest, jungle) -4
Combat Landing Environment -2
Military Jump (rip cord pulled as leaving plane) +2

Rating vs. Rating Tests

Things with opposed rating tests will instead have the defending object roll Rating x 2 vs. a threshold of the other object's Rating. This makes it impossible for very low rating items to beat high rating gear, and makes it harder for defense systems to work at all, which kinda makes sense as crime is almost always ahead of security just because there's so many more criminals looking to break through than there are scientists building new walls.

Scatter vs. Dodge

In order to keep dodge rolls from telekinetically moving grenades away from the target, the new sequence for resolving scatter is:
  1. Attacker chooses the target spot.
  2. Attacker rolls the attack.
  3. Attacker resolves scatter.
  4. Defenders roll their defense tests and move one meter per success, up to their maximum movement in a pass. If they have a Free Action remaining they can use it to run if needed. If they've already moved during the current pass then avoiding the explosion uses up their movement for the next pass.


"Stunting" is a rule stolen from Exalted and Scion. It's a way of rewarding players (and sometimes NPCs) for being more descriptive. For saying more than a rules description when taking an action, the character gets an extra die to his test. If that additional description includes the use of the environment it grants a 2-die bonus instead. If the description is enough to make the other players go "Wow!" and/or impress the GM with its creativity the bonus is 3 dice and the character refreshes a point of spent Edge. If the character has no unspent Edge he instead heals a box of Stun damage (if any). In either case, a 3-die stunt is also worth 1 bonus XP (limit 1 per session per person).

When interacting with the environment, limited narrative changes are allowed. For instance, a player might state that they're jumping behind the heavy metal filing cabinets for cover even though no cabinets had been mentioned. Unless there were some compelling reason that filing cabinets should not exist, congratulations are due for the quick thinking, the two defensive dice, and the shiny new cover bonus. As always, the GM can veto environmental modifications, so it's unlikely that the old lady's car the group just jacked is going to have a barrett hidden in the trunk just waiting to be stunted into existence. She might have had a taser in her purse, though.

Strength for Recoil

We'll be using the Strength for recoil rules in Arsenal (pg. 163).
Strength Recoil
1 - 5 0
6 - 9 1
10 - 13 2
14 - 17 3
18+ 4

Wound Penalties

Wound Penalties to Initiaive do not apply until the next turn. This is to streamline things and prevent having to shuffle the initiative order every time someone gets hurt.