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Best Practices for Character Creation

In order to play on Runnerhub, all characters must be rules legal for both Shadowrun 5e and the Runnerhub House Rules.

Best Practices are not a requirement for play. They are recommended in order to ensure everyone on the table feels like a solid asset to their team and help everyone have fun chucking dice. Following these best practices will help you:

  • Understand the ramifications of your design choices
  • Maximize your chances of being selected for runs
  • Avoid dirty looks over the internet

Not following best practices will have your character judged as "cheesy". An extremely cheesy character may not make it past vetting on Hub chargen, regardless of rules validity. A moderately cheesy character will be less likely to be selected by GMs for sessions. Even a slightly cheesy character may develop a bad reputation with other players as being un-fair, or worse, un-fun to play with. Note that cyberlimbs, partial or otherwise, in any number, are not considered cheesy.

Well Roundedness

On the hub you will rarely have the same group twice. The closest you'll get is a few of the same people together on some related runs. This is the largest difference between a home game and the Hub. As a result, characters need a larger degree of self reliance. The terrifying brute of a troll who can't do anything but murder hobos doesn't have a team built around her making up for her weaknesses. The social butterfly face can't rely on having a brain-dead death machine friend to protect him every time the going gets tough. Consider rolling 4 dice on checks for the following skills to count as the basic ability to function as a normal metahuman:

  • Sneaking
  • Perception
  • Etiquette
  • Con
  • A ranged combat skill (Archery, Automatics, Longarms, Pistols, Heavy Weapons, or Throwing Weapons)
  • Computer
  • Disguise
  • First Aid

It is critically important to have Sneaking, Perception, Etiquette, Con and at least one ranged combat skill. Having zero ranks in any of those skills could make you a liability on a many of runs. Having zero ranks in skills like Computer, Disguise, or First Aid can prove problematic later on.

Being completely incapable in any section of the game available to your character will make the rest of the runners pick up the slack. This can be a drain on the pacing and enjoyment of the session for everyone.

Negative Qualities

Negative Qualities must have a negative effect on the character and be reasonably easy to implement by the GM. When selecting a quality that requires definition like addiction or allergy the choice must have a reasonable and mechanical affect. When selecting a quality that requires elaboration like prejudiced the choice must be easily identified and understood.

Taking a negative quality that doesn't seem to affect the character enough or is too difficult for the GM to implement can be cheesy.


  • Addiction [Alcohol / Soykaf / Sex] - The addiction factor is so low and the ease of access is so simple it is viewed as cheesy. Also, the sex one is a little creepy.
  • Allergy [Orichalcum] - Extremely rare and uncommon are not synonyms
  • Prejudiced [Shifters] - The choices for prejudiced are between common and specific. Specific does not mean rare.
  • Dependent [Parole Officer] - A dependent has to be someone you care about losing. Even if they are only a nuisance.
  • Allergy [Bees] - Just because it's in the book doesn't mean it isn't extremely cheesy. If you have this allergy be prepared to have the GM make something up to force it to become relevant. This applies in general to any allergy, or phobia, or prejudice.

When taking a negative quality think about whether it would be better suited as just part of your characters story or as something that is a real problem for them as a runner. If your negative quality doesn't fall into the simple and/or easy to understand category, be prepared to either go out of your way to make it a problem for your character or give a concise, in-depth explanation of what it means on your sheet.

Negative Qualities and their implementation are the largest leap of faith required to play on the hub. Most GM's won't know your character inside and out, so it will largely be on you to assist with the tension and drama. Negative Qualities are not "free karma".

Statistics of One

Shadowrun's stat system can be lethal at low levels. A stat of three is the average baseline. A stat of two is below average while a stat of one is very noticeably below average. A statistic with only one means that you cannot default on associated skills, which means utter incompetence. One body means you're shockingly frail, and one Logic means you're a few IQ points from a brick. If you are going to play with a stat of one be prepared deal with and play with the consequences. If you don't take skill ranks in the relative skills for the statistic you won't even be able to roll dice for them. This is especially true of Logic and Charisma. It is very difficult to maintain a game or play with characters that stupid or that awkward. For a functional character a statistic of one is not a dump stat to save a point. A stat of one is not allowed, unless permanently augmented to a higher rating.

Page last modified on December 22, 2016, at 05:03 AM