On Burning Edge

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Shadowrun CharGen is a massive time investment. As such, characters should not be lost easily. Luckily, the core rule book offers the burning edge mechanic (Core, p. 57) to save a character from permanent death. This document aims to refine and standardize this mechanic for living community play.

On the ShadowHaven, characters shall remain playable after burning edge on most runs. This does not mean there is no hardship in a near-death experience, but players should be able to run with their character again with scars from their experience that are not overwhelming should they choose to continue to run. This document offers a guide on how GMs and players can have discussions over the fallout of a run after burning edge.

We need to balance the risk of a run, any “bad things” a GM wants to apply to the character, and the burden of rising from the experience. We wish to prevent the case where a street sam with 500,000 nuyen or more of cyberware has the cyberware removed during a low threat run. There is something not proportional in that case. As such, we limit the RVP of additional penalties brought upon the player after burning edge. This limit depends on the run threat.

GMs may ignore these limits if they clearly, publicly mention disregard for edge burning mechanics in the run post during semi-prime and prime runs.

GMs set the negative RVP, if any, associated with getting out of trouble. The players choose what happens to fulfill negative RVP.

1 Negative RVP is defined as the following:

  • 2,000 nuyen in bribes
  • 2,000 nuyen in ware needed to purchase to recover (missing limbs)
  • 2,000 in lost ware or gear
  • 0.5 karma worth of a negative quality. That is to say, the buy off cost of negative qualities.

Karma value of a lost point of resonance or magic. Please note, burning edge begins a discussion between the player and GM over what happens. Do not force a player to lose a point of magic or resonance.

Fixers are willing to lend nuyen to help a runner out, but this negative RVP will be recouped from the payout of the runner’s next runs.


This is a precautionary measure, not punitive.


Examples:

Circled Square, a mage, gets geeked by a Halloweener with a chainsaw during a low threat run. The players opts to burn edge. The GM and player agree that she lost part of her hand holding the chainsaw away from her neck. The players gets 4 new cultured fingers at a cost of 8,000 nuyen or 4 negative RVP to avoid impacting her magic.


Blast Damage wrecks his bike in the barrens running from KE after a firefight. The damage is enough to geek him, but since no one really cares in the barrens and the player has an automatic injector for stim packs the GM lets the player walk away with just the damage to their bike.


Danger Close gets captured by bug infected Firewatch after surviving a laser going through his chest during a high threat run. He manages to bribe an Ares doctor, who happens to be against the bugs, 20,000 nuyen to organize his escape from the Ares facility.