I've been running a Shadowrun game for a while now, and I'm tired of the overcomplicated rules.

I'm plannning to move the game to the FATE System, but have some... questions about how to convert some parts of Shadowrun system to FATE:

  • Magic: How to represent the Drain in FATE? And spirits?
  • Cyberware: In the FATE Core rulebook, each piece of cyberware seems to cost a stunt... Seems pretty expensive, and totally kill the street sam concept. How can I do?

Are there any FATE-based games where I can steal some ideas to fix those issues?



There are several ways the draining effects of magic can be represented in the system.

I'm currently playing a shaman in an Aether Sea campaign, and I think a thing or two can be taken from its magic system: if you don't roll well enough, you have to take Stress equal to the difference between the opposition of the spell and your total roll result. That would mean that so long as Drain isn't huge, it should recover after the end of the scene (instead of counting turns or the like). Overdraining would of course inflict Consequences.

Another alternative that produces a similar feel would be creating an additional stress track, and getting it filled under similar circumstances, but that seems like a step towards complicating rules that you want to get away from.

Spirit Conjuration

You might want to look into how Jadepunk handles Ally-type Assets. I think they provide a reasonable compromise between simplicity and customisation of Stunts representing ability to summon a helper (in this case, a spirit). Generally, the Asset system may be of use for building other shticks that are appropriate for Shadowrun.


You should charge Stunts for cyberware when it produces strong effects - effects that are approximately worth giving up one Refresh for (even if the Stunt is bought out of the allowance of the three free Stunts rather than by literally selling Refresh). Otherwise, use an Aspect. Any cyberware that is more conveniently handled as an occasional bonus (whether invoked or on which an Advantage is Created) or as an excuse to declare a Story Detail should be handled by an Aspect.

A Word on Stunts in General

Cyber-samurai aren't the only ones who might need a lot of Stunts if they have a lot of cool abilities. Casters may need some too if they can provide unusually helpful buffs or big damaging spells. So you may want to look at the System Toolkit for ideas on how to give players more Stunts - whether by increasing the number of Stunts given at the beginning, doubling Stunts purchased per Refresh, both, or some approach of your own. Finally, there's a radical option found in Tiānxià that allows buying certain Stunts with Skill Points (bottom of page 77).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Awesome ! Thanks you very much for your help ! \$\endgroup\$ – Varkal Jul 22 at 19:16

I have a partial answer for you so here it goes: Back in 2010, I worked to port Cyberpunk to Fate (no Core at that time) and built a game mechanic I called Upgrades to represent cyberware and other similar augmentations.

Basically, an upgrade is an aspect coupled with an always-on effect that activates whenever its trigger conditions are met. That effect is beneficial most of the time, but it comes at a cost. Each character has a Humanity stress track, and there's a risk of it getting hit every time an upgrade is triggered. If a character gets taken out on the humanity stress track, they lose their sense of right and wrong.

When they lost it in my playtests, I usually took over their character, had them do something they would find abhorrent/inhuman and handed it back. Later, I adopted the idea of also changing one of their permanent aspects to reflect cyberpsychosis setting in. (No, it was never "You lost your humanity and you die")

A character can get as many upgrades as they want. Their inherent risk balances out their benefits, and overloading on upgrades tends to make a character quite volatile.

Although my work was for a no-magic setting, I think you can easily use a very similar mechanic for magic as well. Since magic and cybernetics are at odds with each other in SR, maybe you can split a fixed number of boxes between the 'humanity' and 'drain' stress tracks, so if one of them works well for a character, the other causes trouble.


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