Shadowrun 4e Rules Primer
HOW TO PLAY
In Shadowrun 4th Edition, all dice rolls are encompassed by a d6, and all actions are resolved by making tests. Tests are undertaken whenever an action may reasonably (and/or dramatically) end in failure — e.g., chasing a motorcycle through an alleyway would require a test, whereas driving down a highway would not.
Unlike many other RPGs, modifiers are not added to a roll. Instead, you roll a number of dice equal to your dice pool. Your dice pool is the sum of the skill and it’s linked attribute relevant to the test performed. The skill and it’s attribute are determined by the GM, or by common sense. Additional modifiers (negative or positive) may apply situationally — negotiating these modifiers with the GM is allowed and even encouraged. Still with me? Here’s an example of a test from the core rulebook1:
When you roll and a die surpasses or meets the standard target number of 5, that die is considered a hit. The number of hits in a test determines whether you succeed or fail, and how spectacularly, when compared to that test’s threshold.
Failure is also simple: if you don’t make enough hits to meet the threshold, then you fail your test. In addition, if half or more of the dice pool rolled come up as 1s, then a glitch occurs. A glitch is a mistake, error, fumble, or random fluke that causes the action to go wrong in some way. Note that it’s possible to both succeed in a task and get a glitch at the same time. The nature of the glitch can be tempered against the number of hits achieved: 6 hits and a glitch would be a minor setback, while 1 hit and a glitch would be a severe annoyance.
A critical glitch occurs when a glitch is rolled alongside zero hits. Critical glitches are far more dramatic than their normal counterparts, and may even cause injury to yourself or others. A character may spend Edge (more on this later) to downgrade a critical glitch into a regular one.
todo: buying hits
TYPES OF TESTS
todo: defaults, attribute tests, longshots, opposed tests, extended tests, teamwork tests, crit success
1 “Shadowrun Core”, pg. 54