House rules for Plot Points in Shadowrun: Anarchy.
Plot Points drive the meta-game in Shadowrun: Anarchy. How they are earned and how they are spent truly sets the tone and the flow of the whole game. Plot Points arguably have a stronger role in creating memorable moments than even Skill Tests or Edge.
After almost two years of playing, I have found that some Plot Points need some notes to help keep the game flowing. Here are some house rules on new and existing Plot Points that you can use in your games:
EXISTING PLOT POINTS
Live Dangerously: Players and NPCs can have a specific Exploit in mind when they add a Glitch die to a roll.
Examples of specific Exploits might include: Suppressing Fire on an Attack Action (target narrates last), Called Shot on an Attack Action (attack bypasses armor), Dive for Cover on a Dodging Test (take half damage), End Run on a Pilot Test (escape a chase by pulling off a stunt), etc.
Potential specific Glitches might include: Grazed (do half damage), Jam/Out of Ammo (weapon on Cooldown), Prone (lose your Movement), Drain /Fading (take Stun damage), Alert (Matrix host launches IC), etc.
<<This Plot Point can simulate almost any risk/reward action that one can draw from SR5. Obviously, this would not preclude players from having narratively unique Exploits or Glitches.>>
Shake it up: The first player that spends their Plot Point on Shake it up gets priority on Narrations.
<<If you play Shake it up after some one else played Shake it up, you don’t get to go before them. This is to avoid “reverse priority” frustration; no First In, Last Out – this ain’t Magic: The Gathering.>>
Double-Time it: You can take two movements or bring another willing character with you during your movement.
Surprise Threat: When a GM adds a threat, they spend a Plot Point. When a player adds a threat, they actually gain a Plot Point.
Threats added can be any threat (not just corporate security).
<<This produces pretty exciting risk/reward decisions for the players.>>
Malfunction: Putting a weapon/device/etc. on Cooldown must happen BEFORE the Malfunction target is used in a Narration.
<<If someone says they shoot at you, you cannot call Malfunction on their weapon to stop that. You can say that their gun jams afterwards or anytime before they shoot at you. This is to preserve the “yes, and...” philosophy of shared-storytelling.
We have renamed this Plot Point to Jam it or Frag it.>>
Take the Hit: You can use this Plot Point mechanic for Counterspelling combat spells if your ally is Near you. You make a Sorcery + Willpower Test and the target(s) may use your result instead of their own to defend against the spell. The target of the spell does not change.
<<You can also use this same mechanic for counter-hacking if an enemy decker attempts to hack your ally’s gear.>>
A Dish Best Served Cold (Get Revenge): You cannot Get Revenge on someone else’s Get Revenge attack.
<<Otherwise it gets out of hand fast.>>
NEW PLOT POINTS
Push Forward (New): Convert a failed Test into a Teamwork Test for a subsequent Narration.
<<This comes from the idea that nothing narratively interesting comes from binary failure. Pushing your hits forward (converting them into extra dice later) can alleviate the frustration of rolling really well and seeing the opposing dice pool shut you down anyway. Push Forward represents setting a team member up for a knock-out blow, or gathering mana for a strong conjuration, or trying various code scripts to get that mark to land on a powerful Matrix host.
The subsequent test should be substantially similar. A failed Firearms Test would not translate into extra dice for a later Hacking Test, but might work on a Close Combat Test.>>
Soak the Hit (New): Convert up to half of an attack’s Physical damage into Stun damage.
<<Soak the hit is a way for tough characters to spend Plot Points on defense without breaking the flow of the game by rolling more dice. It effectively allows them to access the “extra” hit boxes in their Stun CM. Unlike using Live Dangerously on a defensive test, the results are guaranteed.>>