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Rules / Gameplay

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.

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.

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.

Edge Use

Edge may never be used on a roll performed by a contact.

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


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.


Characters may default on Palming tests.

Diving and Swimming

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


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 Man, People, 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 Man (WFTM), Working for the People (WFTP), and Working for the Faction (WFTF). This exchange is at a rate of 1 Karma:2,000 Nuyen:2 Rep with a limit of 5 Karma, 10,000 Nuyen, or 10 Rep per exchange.

Karma gained from WFTP does not count towards Career or Player Karma, and Karma used in WFTM 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.

Player Karma

Also known as ‘’PK’’, this is the total sum of career karma earned all of a player’s characters, plus 50% (rounded up) of all GMP earned by that player.


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, 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. 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. 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.


Once a character is retired, they are effectively gone from the Hub world. Under no circumstance may they become or be used as Contacts, Johnson, or any other form of NPC of power/importance. This is regardless of how or why the character retired.

Page last modified on July 14, 2019, at 10:40 PM