Edgerunners is first and foremost a game of fast-paced action, and we’ll be using many of the rules from Gurps Action 2: Exploits. When it’d take long enough to look up a rule that it’d interupt the pace of play the GM will be entitled to simply rule on the spot whatever keeps the game moving along best.

Be warned. Combat in Edgerunners is potentially lethal. It would be a foolish and probably suicidal character who doesn’t remember the Eight Easy Steps To Surviving A Firefight:

  • Shoot first.
  • Get into cover.
  • Don’t let them shoot back.
  • Keep moving.
  • When in doubt, grenade it out.
  • Don’t stand up.
  • Doors are bad, people shoot through them.
  • If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Basic Abstract Difficulty

Basic Abstract Difficulty is a concept from Gurps Action 2: Exploits. It can be used in two different ways – as a penalty to the player’s skill rolls when rolling against the opposition, or as a bonus to the skills of the opposition. BAD represents not only skill and training, but also equipment and cyberware bonuses, among other things.

In Edgerunners, we’re splitting it into two separate categories – Situational BAD and Organizational BAD. A further distinction from the BAD in Action 2 is that BAD is treated as a penalty to skill, rather than a straight modifier – in Edgerunners, a negative BAD is a bonus to Edgerunner skill, while a positive BAD is a penalty.

Situational BAD is the BAD based upon what the Edgerunners are doing and where. Situational BAD can run from 0 to 5.

Organizational BAD depends upon whatever organization you’re dealing with, and each organization has four different categories of BAD modifiers – Security, Digital Security, Competence, and Knowledge. Security deals with physical security – locks, weapon skills, sensor systems, etc. Digital Security deals with the security of the organization’s computer networks. Competence deals with normal, everyday tasks for the organization, such as Administration and Professional Skills. Knowledge deals with what the organization already knows and what it can find out, including things like research or forensic analysis. Organizational BAD acts as a modifier to Situational BAD and can vary from -4 to +6.

For characters with no character sheet, BAD can allow the GM to come up with skill levels quickly and on-the-fly. If the character should reasonably have the skill, just take the overall BAD for the skill category (Security, Digital Security, Competence, or Knowledge) and add it to 10 to get the character’s BADified skill level. For generic characters with character sheets, but not specialized to the organization, just add the Organizational BAD modifier as a general modifier to the appropriate skills – Situational BAD is assumed to be included in the generic character’s writeup.

Example 1: The Edgerunners want to break into a convenience store and steal its security camera footage in order to track down a target that they know from a previous run purchased something from here. The overall Situational BAD is 0 – this is an ordinary encounter. The store is a Shopping Wall outlet in an upscale location, so it includes an onsite ‘Shopping Assistant’ rather than being completely automated. The Shopping Wall has organization BADs of Security +0, Digital Security +2, Competence +2, Knowledge -2. One of the team goes to the front of the store and pretends to haggle with the Shopping Assistant over the price of one of their products in order to distract them while the rest of the team breaks in the back. The GM hasn’t created a character sheet for this character, so instead he uses the BAD to figure out the Shopping Assistant’s skills. The GM wants to roll against Observation to see if the Shopping Assistant notices the break-in, against Body Language to see if he notices that he’s being distracted, and a quick-contest of Merchant against the Edgerunner to see if the haggle is successful. The GM sets Observation to 10 + 0 (Situational BAD) + 0 (Organizational Security BAD) = 10, Body Language to 10 + 0 (Situational BAD) -2 (Organizational Knowledge BAD) = 8, and Merchant to 10 + 0 (Situational BAD) +2 (Competence BAD) = 12. Meanwhile, the team has to pick the lock and avoid setting off the security sensors – this is a roll against both Traps and Lockpicking, both at a +0 modifier (Situational BAD of 0 + Organizational Security BAD of 0).

Example 2: The so-called Shopping Wall outlet is actually the secret entrance to Umbra Corporation’s top-secret underground genetics laboratory! The overall Situational BAD is 3 – down in the lab itself it would be 5. Umbra’s Organizational BADs are Security +4, Digital Security +4, Competence +5, Knowledge +3. The “Shopping Assistant”‘s Observation skill is now 17 and Body Language is 16, while (as he’s actually a security agent, not a true Shopping Assistant) his Merchant skill is effectively at default, a -4 penalty from that figured from Situational BAD with no bonus for Organizational BAD, for a total of 9. The Traps and Lockpicking skills are both at a -7 penalty – the Edgerunners team might have a bit more trouble than they’re expecting…

Situational BAD Table
BAD Example
0 Breaking into residential apartment
1 Breaking into commercial building
2 Breaking into active crime scene
3 Breaking into corporate headquarters
4 Breaking into secured facility
5 Breaking into a fortified bunker
Organizational BAD Table
BAD Example
-5 Almost Nonexistent: Doler apartment security, unprotected consumer computer system
-3 Inadequate: Untrained and inexperienced
0 Average: Commercial physical or digital security
3 Top shelf: Highly trained, military-level security
5 Best of the best: Top training, highly experienced and augmented

The number of BAD points available for Organizational BAD is based upon the organization’s societal position. An organization has a base of 2 BAD points to spread around. The following organization aspects provide further modifications to BAD point availability (see Advantages for more information on organizational aspects).

BAD Points Table
Aspect BAD Points
Typical Resources +4
Large Resources +8
Dominant +4
Special Assets +2
Total Control +4

This is a general guideline, but it is highly recommended that organizations be within +/- 4 of this total. Further deviations require GM notification and assent.

Optional and House Rules

Initiative: We don’t use the standard GURPS initiative system. Instead at the beginning of each turn in which initiative matters each character rolls a seperate initiative comprising a D6 + Basic Speed (If you have Combat Sense, that adds another +1 for you only). Turns take place from highest to lowest of the resulting totals. This system is both fairer and more flexible, in our opinion, than the standard GURPS resolution.

Just a Flesh Wound: Burn 1 CP to recover 5 HP, 5 FP, or any combination thereof; or to “downgrade” a crippling injury 1 level (from lasting to temporary, etc). This must be done immediately after the battle in which the injury was sustained, before any other kind of healing or recovery is attempted. (We’ve also allowed this rule to apply to such things as recovering from unconsciousness, etc. in the past.)

Complementary Skills: A complementary skill is a skill that can help the primary skill. Any primary skill roll may utilize any number of complementary skills, but complementary skills typically can not benefit from complementary skills of their own. When utilizing a complementary skill, the complementary skill is rolled against. If it succeeds, the primary skill gets a +1 bonus; if it critically succeeds, a +2 bonus. If it fails, the primary skill gets a -1 penalty, and if it critically fails, a -2 penalty. Complementary skills must be appropriate for the task at hand – no using Guns as a complementary skill for Diplomacy, but using Guns as a complementary skill for Intimidation would be acceptable. The complementary skill does not need to be used by the person rolling against the primary skill, but it may be, and any number of complementary skill bonuses may stack onto the same primary skill roll.

Planning Rolls: When planning a caper, heist, con, or other run, a ‘mastermind’ character may make a Planning Roll against an appropriate skill – Tactics for runs primarily involving small-unit combat, Strategy if it primarily involves large scale combat, or Leadership otherwise. Complementary skills may be used to scout out the target beforehand – these scouting missions should be played out, and are the primary exception to the ‘no complementary skills for complementary skill rolls’ rule.

The team gains a number of Planning Points equal to the Margin of Success on the Planning Roll. These Planning Points can be used by the team to retroactively say ‘we did “x” earlier’ – allowing the team to create the plan while playing out the run. This makes actual detailed planning unnecessary!

The Planning Point cost varies depending upon how major of a retcon the team asks for. Minor retcons cost 1 Planning Point; these might be things like bringing a specific tool for the job or having researched a specific item or person. Major retcons cost 2 Planning Points; these would be things like having changed something in a database or setting explosive charges. Minor retcons do not need to be specifically played out and require no roll; major retcons should be played out, including appropriate skill rolls for the task at hand.

An enemy Planner may similarly utilize a Planning Roll on the defense; if so, he uses the same rules here, typically using his available points to foil the friendly Planner’s plans.


Edgerunners Langy Langy