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Gameplay Rules

General Notes

There is no "Rule of One" in SR5. If your dice pool, or the dice pool of an NPC, is reduced to 0 or less, the character in question achieves 0 hits with whatever effects would follow from that result. Characters may still choose to spend Edge and Push the Limit, rolling a dice pool equal to their Edge attribute.

Ambient Background Count/Noise

The guidelines for Background Count, Noise, and Spam Zones are not followed. GMs may still choose to have a location with high BGC/Noise as part of opfor security on runs.

Berserk States

Each source of a Berserk State's duration is independent of other sources of Berserk States, and overlaps unless otherwise specified (such as the Berserker Temper power, or the Berserk Imbuement). Attribute bonuses from different Berserk States (such as Woad or the Berserk Adept Power) are treated as Attribute Augmentations, and stack up to the Augmented Maximum bonus of +4. Any effects that are triggered by being in a Berserk state (such as Woad or Berserk Imbuement) are triggered by berserk states from any source.

Example: An Adept with the Bear Mentor Spirit, a Berserk weapon, who is under the effects of Woad must make a Simple Charisma + Willpower [Social] (3) test at the start of combat. Failure of this test triggers the Imbuement's Berserk state for the appropriate duration. If at any point their teammate is badly injured they must make the Charisma + Willpower test, and hits will reduce the impending (3+IG) Mentor Spirit Berserk State duration. Should the Adept take Physical Damage, the Woad's Berserk state will automatically trigger, lasting until the drug wears off or the enemy is pacified. If any of these states trigger, the character benefits from the extra Agility from Woad and the Berserk damage value increase. If any of these states trigger simultaneously, the character will remain in a berserk state until the longest individual duration has ended.

Live Performances

The No Future rules for Creating Art, Playing Gigs, Artist Status, and Expression Points (pages 58-62) are not in use on the Runnerhub.

Passage of Time

The current date of the Runnerhub world is the current real-time date advanced by 62 years. In-game time is considered to be equivalent to real time for downtime activities (e.g. contact advancement, acquiring gear, etc.).

When going on a run, the real-time day of the run cannot be used for downtime activities that require the character to actively spend their time (Genetech installation, contact advancement, etc.). For simplicity’s sake this only extends to the real-time day, even if the run takes multiple days in-game.

Real-time advancement progressions are only paused and are not reset when they are interrupted by going on a run or similar.


At the GM’s discretion, runners on a job may choose to subcontract tasks out to other Hub runners. This can range from hiring a decker to hack a single camera to hiring a whole team to hit a second site, though ultimately the GM can determine what is allowed. Payment can be negotiated between the runners and their prospective contractor(s), though it should be noted that Johnsons are rarely happy to renegotiate payment, so it will typically come out of the runners’ end or expense account. GMs may grant mid-run hires a bonus reward of 1-4 karma, depending on level of contribution, though being hired in this way does not count as a full run for purposes of bonus knowledge skills, rent, etc.

Player Economy

No exchanges of goods or services between player characters, voluntary or otherwise, can result in a player character adding to their sheet any gear or nuyen that was on another player character ’s sheet or was paid for by something on another player character ’s sheet.

The free exchange or use of temporary goods or services (giving out drugs, ammunition, etc.; negotiating purchase of goods or services) may occur only during a run and for the purpose of completing that run, as arbitrated by the GM.

For instances where a character is wanting to benefit from another PC’s skills (e.g. coding a Synthskin Mask), this is allowed, but still needs to happen on the table of a third-party GM, who must still note down the outcome as per normal.

Players may not sell or fence crafted items.

Edge Use

Edge may never be used on a roll performed by a contact, or or a roll performed in downtime.

If a single action would involve multiple tests by one character, any or all of those tests may be affected by edge independently. Regardless of how many tests a single action requires, only one point of edge may be spent per test.

As written in the Core Rulebook, Burning Edge to Survive only means you survive, but is not a blanket to save you from all consequences. GM’s are free to hand out Negative Qualities to characters that burn edge to survive, in order to symbolise the trauma they suffered. In some cases, this can also result in ending up owing favours to a powerful NPC/group, and having to repay said favours or end up dead anyhow. This will most often be run by TD to ensure that the consequence matches the situation, and TD may deem that a different consequence is necessary than one initially given.

Edge Tests

A GM is free to call for an Edge Test when they feel that the outcome of a situation should be determined by pure luck. It is also up to the GM whether one, multiple, or all of the teams members get to roll their Edge for this.

Skill Use

Diving and Swimming

Players may roll either diving or swimming whenever either is called for.


Flight is treated as the sky equivalent of the Running skill.

  • For characters affected by a spell, the Flight skill is 1/2(Force), rounded up.
  • For adepts flying from an adept related ability, the Flight skill is equal to Initiate Grade.
  • For PCs with innate flight capabilities (namely, falconine shifters), you must learn Flight as a normal skill. For these characters, Flight is part of the Athletics skill group.

Gymnastics is used whenever Freefall is called for.


When bypassing Alarms using the Hardware skill, the door/window/etc. will be opened. As long as the Hardware test succeeds, the alarm is bypassed without it going off.


Leadership is used whenever Instruction is called for.


Characters may default on Palming tests.

Exotic Weapon Skills

All individual exotic weapons are assigned to either an existing weapon skill as a specialization, or a new Exotic Weapon skill, as per the tables below. Specializations in existing skills, and ranks in new Exotic Weapon skills are purchased as normal.

New Exotic Weapon Skills are Bio-Sprays, Chainsaws, Directed Energy Weapons, Flame Weapons, Lasers, Monofilament Weapons, and Spray Guns.

Characters may choose to take Exotic Weapon Skills as per RAW, in addition to these changes.

Exotic Weapon Specializations

ArcheryBladesClubsHeavy WeaponsLongarmsPistolsThrowing WeaponsUnarmed Combat
Grapple GunsGrapple GunBladed SkatedboardShieldsBallistic ShieldShiawase/Nemesis MancatcherGun CanesKnockoff Gun CaneShooting Bracers Shiawase Arms SimoomBladed Yo-YosBladed Yo-YoFrog Tongue
Grapple HandChakram (Melee)Riot Shield "Trafalgar" Gun CaneTiffani Élégance S.B.Hardened Yo-YoGarrote
Underbarrel Grapple GunInjector PenBlast Shield Parashield Dart RifleFN-AAL Gryojet PistolBolaGoring Horns
Tactical Grapple GunRolling BladesBriefcase Shield  Micro Flare LauncherBullwhipOral Slasher
Net GunsSA Retarius Net Gun Ares FlaShield  Parashield Dart PistolChakram (Throwing)Proboscis
SA Retarius Net Gun XL Battering RamsStandard Ram   NetQuills
Blowgun Fluid-Motion Ram   Throwing SyringeThagomizer Tail
Underbarrel Bola Launcher Pneumatic Ram   Gunstock War Clubs (Thrown) 
  Shock Ram     
  Hardened Skateboard     
  Krime Stun Lance     
Specific Exotic Weapon Skills
Bio-SpraysChainsawsDirected Energy WeaponsFlame WeaponsLasersMonofilament WeaponsSpray Guns
Bio-SprayerAsh Arms Combat ChainsawAres Screech Sonic RifleFlame BracerAres Archon Heavy MP LaserMonofilament BolaAres S-III Super Squirt
Chemical Gland (ExhalationAsh Arms Monofilament ChainsawFichetti Pain InducerHalloweener Barbecue LighterAres ArmatusMonofilament GarroteAtomizer
Chemical Gland (Spitter)Non-Combat ChainsawsNarcoject PEPShiaware Arms IncineratorAres Lancer MP LaserMonofilament WhipModified Spray Pen
Corrosive SpitUnderbarrel Chainsaw Shiawase BlazerAres RedlineMonofilament Yo-YoNarcoject Gas Gun
Natural Venom (Exhalation)  Underbarrel FlamethrowerUnderbarrel Laser Narcoject Trackstopper
Natural Venom (Spit)     Pepper Punch Pen
Spidersilk Gland     Hold Fast Sprayers

Weapons that fall under an existing skill (such as Archery, Unarmed Combat, etc.) require a Specialization in that skill to use them. Weapons listed as a group (e.g. Grapple Guns) are all covered under the same specialization (e.g. a Grapple Guns specialization in the Archery skill). A character must have a specialization in the appropriate skill to use the listed weapons, even if the skill can normally be defaulted on. Exotic weapons do not receive the traditional +2 dice pool modifier from specializations, only the ability to use the weapons. Specializations purchased for exotic weapons do not break skill groups.

Weapons that fall under new skills (Lasers, Spray Guns, etc.) can be used once at least one rank of the relevant skill is purchased. These skills grant the ability to fire all weapons in that skill category (e.g. the Flamethrowers skill will allow the user to fire all listed Flamethrowers). These skills cannot have specializations, and cannot be defaulted on.

Converting Existing Characters

Characters with an Exotic Weapon skill lose that skill, then gain an equivalent skill and specialization. A character with 6 ranks of Exotic Weapon (Monofilament Whip) would gain 6 ranks of Monofilament. A character with 6 ranks of Exotic Melee Weapon (Garrote) would gain 6 ranks of Unarmed Combat, with a free specialization in Garrote. If the character already has equivalent ranks, or more ranks in the new skill, they only receive the specialization.

Usage in Chummer and HeroLab

Players can add specializations to existing skills as normal, however Chummer will not calculate the dice pools for exotic weapons correctly as this exceeds the ability of our team to currently implement without a Chummer modification. For the new skills, players should purchase ranks in Exotic Weapon($New Weapon Skill). This will allow all of the Exotic Weapons skills to show up in the skills list.


To use the new rules in Herolab, players will need to download the latest release archive, following the installation instructions included there.


As a rule of thumb, looting is not allowed on the Hub.

One exception is that if an item is used by OpFor and you have the chance to take it from them, you may do this in order to avoid the availability roll normally required, but not the nuyen cost. The full nuyen cost will still have to be paid - this can be done with Run Rewards, given GM approval.

Another is that some GM’s plan for looting as part of the Run Rewards. This will, ultimately, not change the total reward amount, however, and any nuyen earned from looting will be reduced from the negotiated pay from Johnson, or reduce the SC reward to compensate. The GM has the final say of whether or not it will be allowed on any given run.

Availability Rolls

Players are allowed to acquire any non-restricted, non-forbidden gear of availability 6 or lower without a roll. Standard delivery times apply. GM’s are allowed to speed up gameplay on their tables by expanding this allowance to restricted or higher availability gear, if they feel it is appropriate.


The rewards that characters receive for going on regular runs are usually in the form of Karma and Nuyen, although some runs may also award contacts, gear, or other forms of rewards.

Contact Advancement

See the Contact Advancement section in the Contacts rules. The methods for increasing the Connection and/or Loyalty of a Contact introduced in Better than Bad are not in use.

Working for the Nuyen, Karma, or Faction

Once per run, characters can exchange Karma or Nuyen earned from that run for more Nuyen or Karma, respectively, or for Faction Rep. These are termed Working for the Nuyen (WFTN), Working for the Karma (WFTK), and Working for the Faction (WFTF). This exchange rate changes based on the direction of the conversion.

  • Working for the Nuyen, you may change 1 Karma for 2,000 Nuyen, up to a maximum of 5 Karma for 10,000 Nuyen.
  • Working for the Karma, you may change 4,000 Nuyen for 1 Karma, up to a maximum of 20,000 Nuyen for 5 Karma.
  • Working for the Faction, you may change 2,000 Nuyen or 1 Karma for 4 Faction Reputation, up to a maximum of 10,000 Nuyen or 5 Karma for 20 Faction Reputation

Karma gained from WFTK does not count towards Career or Player Karma, and Karma used in WFTN or WFTF is not subtracted from Career or Player Karma.


General Merit Points (otherwise known as GMP) are another form of reward players can earn for various forms of participation on Runnerhub, such as GMing games. A detailed explanation of how GMP is earned and spent can be found here.

Career Karma

Career Karma (CK) is the sum of Karma a character has accumulated over their career as run rewards, and determines the character’s Street Cred. Karma gained through conversion of GMP or Nuyen does not count toward CK.

Depending on the program used for a character sheet, it may be necessary to manually track Career Karma. If doing so, note the character’s actual Career Karma on their sheet.


Street Cred

Street Cred (SC) is a measure of a character's positive reputation in the shadows. It is earned at a 10:1 ratio based upon a character’s Career Karma – for every 10 full points of CK, that character gains 1 SC. Street Cred can also be awarded by GMs for particularly successful, noteworthy or otherwise outstanding runs. However, a character’s ‘’effective’’ Street Cred is determined by subtracting their Notoriety and Public Awareness from their total Street Cred, termed Effective Street Cred (ESC).

Both SC and ESC have multiple uses. First and foremost, SC may be used to buy off Notoriety and Public Awareness at a permanent cost of 2 SC per point of Notoriety or 4 SC per point of Public Awareness. Secondly, when acquiring gear, the availability of the item is reduced by (ESC) ÷ 10. Third, a character may add their ESC as a positive modifier to their social limit in appropriate social interactions at GM discretion.

Depending on the program you use for your character sheet, it may be necessary to manually track your Street Cred. If you are doing so, note the character’s actual SC ‘’and’’ ASC on their sheet.

Characters which were in play before April 29 2015 are encouraged to track their SC and ASC retroactively. However, doing so is not required due to the potential difficulty in tracing all gains in SC and ASC backwards in time. However, all characters new and old must adhere to these rules as of April 29 2015.


Notoriety (Noto) is a measure of a character's negative reputation, gained as described in the Shadowrun 5th Edition Core Rulebook, and can be harmful to a character in social situations where their poor reputation is known. The exact details of if and how a character is hindered by their Notoriety is left to GM discretion, but Notoriety always imposes a penalty in social situations: The limit of Social tests where a positive outcome (EG: Negotiation) is desired is reduced by the Notoriety of the character with the highest amount of Noto.

Notoriety can be removed through the expenditure of Street Cred, use of certain Runnerhub contacts, purchase of qualities, and exceptional circumstances (subject to approval by Thematic Division).

Depending on the program used for a character sheet, it may be necessary to manually track Notoriety. If doing so, note the character’s actual Notoriety on their sheet.

Public Awareness

Public Awareness (PA) is a measure of a character’s “mind share” among the media, authorities, general public, etc., and is gained as described in the Shadowrun 5th Edition Core Rulebook. It can potentially affect a character in social situations where they are recognized, though the details of if and how the character is affected are at GM discretion.

Public Awareness can be removed through the expenditure of Street Cred, use of certain Runnerhub Contacts, purchase of Qualities, and exceptional circumstances (subject to approval by Thematic Division).

Depending on the program used for a character sheet, it may be necessary to manually track Public Awareness. If doing so, note the character’s actual Public Awareness on their sheet.

Character Advancement

General Notes

Characters must have completed at least one game before dedicated Karma to advancements. Advancing a Skill, improving an Attribute, mastering new Martial Arts techniques, and learning new Spells or Complex Forms takes no time. Characters simply pay the Karma cost, and the advancement is available, though advancements cannot be purchased mid-run. These rules also apply to using GMP.

Initiations, Submersions, Binding Spirits, Registering Sprites, Genetech Installation, Contact Advancement, pet training, and delivery times for purchased items track in real time. Initiations and Submersions cannot be backdated prior to the completion of the last Initiation or Submersion. Pet training may be backdated to the last trick trained. Binding Spirits, Registering Sprites, Genetech Installation, Contact Advancement, and delivery times cannot be backdated prior to the date of the last run performed by the character. The completion date of an Initiation or Submersion is defined as when the character finishes the final interval of the Extended Test, rather than the date they paid the karma for the Initiate/Submersion Grade. Any other Extended downtime test or actions which takes time is tracked in real time and may not be backdated prior to the date of the last run performed by the character.

The last run for a player is the last time they were present on a table. The last run for a character is the last time that specific character was a on a table. In instances where a run gets split into two distinct parts, the first part is counted as the last run until the second part is run, then that counts as the last run. Any applicable runs that might happen in between two parts will update the last run time until the next part happens.

Improving Skills


The purchase cost for Knowledge skill specializations is 4 Karma.

Edge Recovery

A character’s spent edge is completely recovered between runs.

Buying Information

Some services, such as Psych Profile, take time to compile before the information is made available to the character(s) who purchased it. It’s up to GM discretion for exactly how long each service takes (recommended minimum 2 days, +72 hours suggested).

In regards to Market Scan, note that it is a flat -2 to the availability index. Refer to the following table for pricing.



How a runner lives is a complex subject. Please see the in-depth explanation.


Players may bring back characters who have been retired (not died), with the following restrictions:

1) TD must be informed and has the right to veto an unretirement, and may require that the character go through a review by CCD.

2) Unretired characters must have up-to-date character sheets as of their last run. If this is not possible, players may rebuild sheets from chargen sheet + AARs, likely requiring a CCD review at TD's discretion.

3) All unretired characters return with one Edge lost, regardless of how they were retired. If they did not have any Edge at time of retirement, they may not be unretired.

4) Each player may only have one character on roster at a time who had previously been retired, and may not unretire any characters within six month of their last un-retirement.

5) Any character who had previously been retired, then unretired, who is retired for a second time, regardless of reason, is lost permanently.

6) The player must have a valid slot on their roster. Unretirement does not allow more runners on a roster than there are slots availabl, and does not override limits on Special Characters.

To request unretirement of a previously retired character, please modmail TD. [insert TD modmail link here -

Under no circumstance may retired runners become or be used as Contacts, Johnsons, or any other form of NPC of power/importance, regardless of how or why the character was retired.

Page last modified on July 04, 2022, at 09:54 PM