Character Generation Guidelines
Creating a character is done as per the rules found in Shadowrun, Fourth Edition. Make sure you have the latest printing of SR4 - if you do not, please download the errata. Shadowrun Missions uses the standard system for generating characters. Gear is limited by Device Rating and Availability. Any gear, including magic, cyberware, and bioware, may be purchased at character creation, provided the Availability is 12 or less, and/or the Device Rating is 6 or less. Characters may only choose basic or alpha grade cyberware or bioware at creation.
You'll want to create some kind of background story for your character. It doesn't have to be a novel, but you should be able to define what your character did before entering the shadows, how s/he became a shadowrunner, what his/her motivations are and how s/he feels about things like wetwork, et cetera.
Players are strongly encouraged to carefully consider the contacts they choose and the false identities they purchase for their character. A few contacts are outlined in the Welcome to Denver guide in the January 2006 issue of Commando Quarterly. As Denver is a city of four nations, false identities can get quite a work out when crossing national borders.
When creating a character, keep in mind that in Shadowrun Missions you can never be quite sure what other archetypes will be available for play at the table. Nor can you be certain that a given adventure will focus on a particular aspect of game play. Because of this, it may not be in a player's best interest to create a highly specialized character.
We enforce the rules for addiction to various substances such as BTLs and drugs. Should your character use such substances and become addicted, they will suffer the consequences of the addiction negative qualities. That is the price for the thin line they have chosen to walk.
If you are pressed for time, you can certainly select one of the pregenerated sample characters found in the core rules for your first Shadowrun Missions event. If, after playing that character, you realize that you'd prefer to create your own, you may transfer the debriefing log to a new character of your own creation. This is a one time allowance for new players. If a player plays a character in two events, they may no longer perform this debriefing log transfer.
Tracking Your Character
After completing each scenario, you will receive a Mission Debriefing Log which will show the progress of your character and any special items, abilities, contacts, or other things which your character may have garnered during the scenario. Keep these logs with your character to ensure that future gamemasters will be able to see how your character has progressed and what you have done in the past.
You will also want to track your character's adventure history and down time activity on a Shadowrun Missions Calendar. Characters are allowed to make one 'run per week in game time. Tracking adventures and down time activities becomes critical for keeping tracking of when monthly lifestyle expenses are due.
Players who participated in the third edition Shadowrun Missions campaign have the opportunity to transfer all Good Karma earned in that campaign to their fourth edition character. This Karma transfer must be performed before (or during) their first SR4 Missions game session. To tabulate the previous Karma earned, please present your GM with all of your SR3 debriefing logs and a completed copy of the Karma Rollover log.
The gamemaster at an event may review your character prior to running the event and ask about any questionable issues with your character. You may be asked to not use a certain item, ability, or skill during the scenario - not because it is not "legal", but because the GM may not feel comfortable with the item or may need you to play along in order to advance the storyline.Advancing Your Character
Characters advance by spending earned Karma as normal. Skills and Attributes may be raised normally in accordance with the basic rules. No official training is required, nor is any "time" spent - your character is assumed to have been training in the Skill or Attribute for some time, and only gains the new level of ability upon spending the required Karma. Spells can be purchased through various channels, or you may learn a spell from someone who already knows it, including other player characters! If you seek out an NPC magician, be prepared to pay the fees necessary for the instruction. You can certainly attempt to discover or develop the spell yourself. Keep in mind that this takes time which will need to be recorded on your calendar and will incur lifestyle costs.
Equipment that has a Legality Code of Legal may be freely purchased between scenarios - it is assumed that you have worked up a temporary ID sufficient to pass the low level scanners at various markets, or have gotten them through fixers or other grey market channels. Note that anything that has an Availability Rating of greater than 4 or 24 hours may incur lifestyle costs to reflect the time needed to "grease the wheels". Any equipment which is illegal will require interaction with a gamemaster to determine actual availability and time required to attain the item or service in question.