I'm GMing a Shadowrun 4th edition game where the players are Shadowrunners in a place whose missions are very deadly. The group they're in are conformed by 4 players and 2 NPCs. Also, the ''group'' have existed for five years, and they had very different formations, some players characters being on the run for more time than the others.

So, one of those NPCs, '' Single-ears'', is the group foundator and ''leader''. In the second year of the group existance, she had a very seriously heart problem, and stopped running, but is still part of the group as a tactician.

So I was thinking in what way should her heart problem affect her sheet, but I seriously got nothing. I was planning on her going out in a mission in case the guys need some backup, so I should have it figured out. What do you guys think?


2 Answers 2


Only using the negative qualities in the core book, if you're desperate for a mechanical explanation, I would say that the character would have a Severe "Allergy" to Stress. Anything the GM would say gets the heart pumping causes 1 damage every round until she calms down or takes her pills. Social "attacks" could be seen as weapons, therefore a damage rating 4 attack made by a social roll could in theory cause it to happen.


In former editions there used to be a handicap named "borrowed time" (translated back to english by me), which I think still exists in SR4. Usually no player ever takes it, because it's a death sentence. As far as I remember there's a dice throw (not based on stats) each month to determine, if the character will live another month.

The handicap is not specific as to why the character has only a limited time left to live. A heart problem surely qualifies.

I think it also allows for a lot of interpretation in the way that the GM can introduce minor strokes for fluff as well as handwave any dice throw to moments, he thinks it will fit the story for the character to die right now. That is in both directions:

  • Don't throw monthly but only/every time, when the character is under pressure and/or didn't take the pills.
  • Decide that now is the time to pass on.

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