The Hand of God!

I am still reading Shadowrun and I have moved on to the Helps and Hindrances chapter.  I have read through the section on grunts and really like the use of them in a simplified format should speed combat up nicely.  But then I moved into the prime runner section and there is a small little section that is called The Hand Of God.

I started to read this tiny section and the first few lines made me grimace.  Here was a section that was about to tell me that if I have an NPC that the PC’s eliminate before its time that it would be OK to change the decision.  This is the stuff that I normally hate to see in a GM section because the player needs to know that they can make a difference to the game world.  The section starts off by saying that if the players don’t find the body then the NPC could still be alive.  They fall off a building or the explosion brings down rubble and they can’t find the body.

Oh no, it’s the Hand of God!

At this point I am mentally writing my letter of complaint to Catalyst Games to tell them to stop spreading bad GM advice.  And as I keep reading, they turn me right back around again in the third and final paragraph.

In this paragraph they talk about deaths that occur out in the open and then they talk about how even though the NPC may appear dead the GM can use the Hand of God clause.  In this you burn all his Edge (this is an attribute that really makes an in game difference) so that they lose all their Edge permanently and have the NPC clinging to life so that when the players become distracted they can get themselves out of harms way.  I was still a little dubious at this point but then they follow it up by saying the next time they are encountered the NPC may even have lost an attribute point or two due to the injury besides the Edge.  They hobble up to the runners using a cane, or half their head are encompassed by a metal plate or the like.

This idea I really like.  I will never use the cheat of “can’t find a body so they may not be dead” UNLESS I also apply the Hand of God clause.  I love that.  It does give the players the clear understanding that what they have done has had this effect and adds interest and flavour to the game.  So well done Catalyst Games!  This is the type of rule I like to roll with.  I will of course use it sparingly and will still allow major planned plot points to be fluid based on these injuries but it will make a great point to have a phoenix amongst some of the worse people the character meet.  Everyone loves a nemesis!

Until next time, keep rolling!

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