How to convey the tone of Shadowrun?

Reading the core book I realized how different Shadowrun is from my usual game of Dungeons & Dragons. We usually play the good guys saving a village from a tribe of goblins. Most of the time we play the heroes and when we don’t, we end up doing it anyway. My players want to play Shadowrun because it sounds different and they play guys for hire ready to take any job for the right money.

How do I convey the tone of Shadowrun to the players? How can I describe mundane stuff to make them understand we are in a dystopian world? How can I convey that megacorporations are everywhere?

I want to show them this stuff, not simply tell it to them. Assume we are completely unfamiliar with Shadowrun and the genre of cyberpunk. We play in 2070 if it’s relevant.

Best way to convey that one search criterion depends on another (or doesn’t)

I am creating a very basic screen in a desktop app that shows a customer service representative a customer’s order history. As of now, there are 4 criteria by which you can search:

  1. By order No.
  2. By product No/product description
  3. By date
  4. By Order type (e.g., cancelled orders, dispatched orders, fully paid orders, etc)

A user can search by any number of these criteria at once.

So far, simple, but there are two things that are causing me a lot of trouble.

  1. If you choose to search by Order type, then, you must also choose a date range, as the system is unable to return all orders of a type, only orders of that type within a date range.

  2. If you choose to search by order no, then all of the other search fields should be ignored (if they have anything in them). I.e., the order no search field is independent of the others.

How can I convey this to the user?

So far, I have come up with this:

----------------------------Search---------------------------------- Order No[       ][Search!]       Product No [          ]                                  Order type [          ]                                  Date       [          ]                                          [Search!] 

To solve 2, I placed the order no field far away from the other fields to convey its independence of them. But this looks ugly, and I don’t even know if it conveys independence.

To solve 1, I auto-fill the date field if the user selects an option from the order type field. But I have doubts about this, as the user may not understand why the date field has suddenly been populated, and may get frustrated when they try to clear it but can’t.

I’ve been pulling my hair out for 2 days over this. I’m just a programmer who has been given the responsibility of designing and implementing every aspect of this new large application. I have no UX or UI experience or knowledge.

Best way to visually convey that one result is better than the other

We are building a small tool to compare mortgage terms and their impact on the user’s finances in the long term.

How would you best visually convey that one result is better than the other? This is our attempt:

enter image description here

Additionally, what do you think about the text block structure in the explanation below for comparing these two mortgage options? Are there other ways we could better compare 2 results in a text-like format?

Here’s the full design for context.

What is best way to convey to a user that two things are necessary to utilize a feature?

We currently have a feature that allows users to add a Donate form to their page, but this feature is disabled unless you do two things:

  1. Upgrade to a paid account
  2. Connect to Stripe

We want to enable this feature in Free accounts to allow the user to try using the feature before they decide to upgrade. Publishing the page is restricted and is only possible after upgrading.

Here are a couple ideas I explored:

Idea 1 – A notification banner above the Donate form that says, “You cannot publish this page until you upgrade your account. A Stripe account is also required.”

Idea 2 – Add a notification banner above the Donate form that says, “You cannot publish this page until you upgrade your account.” Once upgrade has been completed, another notification about Stripe is introduced.

The problem with Idea 1 is I feel like having two actions in a notification might be a bit much.

The problem with Idea 2 is Stripe isn’t available in other countries. So it would be upsetting if you upgrade only to find out afterwards that Stripe isn’t available in your country.

Any other suggestions? What is the best way to convey these two points?

What visual cues can convey the sense of direction?

In a series of tests, participants were exposed to visualizations that show how items are transferred to various recipients.

The purpose of the image is to answer the following questions:

  1. what item goes to which receiver?
  2. for what purpose is the item sent to the receiver?
  3. in what amounts, relative to others, are the items transferred?
  4. what is the most transferred item?
  5. who receives most of the items?

The interface provides the information in tabular form, where users can search and sort the entries. However, it can get difficult when tables have many rows.

The receivers are companies, but they cannot necessarily be recognized as such; some names could be obscure players, unlike “Microsoft” or “Sony” that most would identify easily.

The visualizations are Sankey diagrams, meant to give a quick estimate about the data set. Here are some examples of what participants saw:

Mapping fruits to companies

As above, but with the addition of an intermediate point – the purpose of transfer:

Mapping fruits to companies, via purpose

As above, but with the use of colour as a second way to differentiate item types:

As above, but with unique colours per item type

My observations show that interpreting the image was easier when you have just the item type and the receiver, but the presence of the intermediate point would puzzle some participants.

In the tests some participants would use their finger to trace it, e.g., in the last image they’d touch the bottom entry and say “Tamarillos are given for the purpose of selling in cinemas, to the company Bolton” or “Tamarillos are given to Bolton to sell in cinemas”. These are correct interpretations, and I am looking for a way to nudge others towards tracing the curves with their finger, or following them visually.

  1. What visual cues could be leveraged, to convey the idea that the diagrams are read left to right, by following a curve?
  2. What other interpretation hints can aid users?

What was tried so far:

  • Above the diagram there were bullet-points expressing key hints, like “diagrams are read left to right”, “flows are grouped by purpose”. However, some still struggled.
  • After a participant’s suggestion, a short (40s) instruction video animation was made to explain it. The link to the video was added to the UI, and in subsequent tests multiple participants clicked it and watched the video, and found it helpful.

However, both these methods add more content (text, or take time to watch the video). Perhaps there are some “passive” approaches – textures, gradients? Subtle animations?

How can I convey to my group that they have to discipline their murderhobo?


I guess most GMs have had a group of murderhobos in their sessions before and there are quite a few nice answers dealing with how to react to them, these threads have nice answers, but I fear my problem is a bit too complicated for general punishment of the whole group.


I have dealt with quite a few murderhobos already, but mostly they were only a few in a group that strongly opposed them. A few months ago I started a new homebrewed campaign loosely based on DSA (in English: The Black Eye) rules, which started quite fine. Most of my players are rather reserved, so most actions of the group as a whole are decided by a few, who take up the initiative. One of these few is my star player. He has played Pen&Paper for years and it is a pleasure to have him in my party, as most of the more inexperienced players still lack the confidence to interact with the world vividly.

Unfortunately he has also quite a temper as well as a borderline aggressive vibe. He gets angry fast, takes things personal and gets grumpy and loud as soon as things don’t go his way. NPCs that are hostile or offensive to him end up on his kill-list pretty soon. This happens quite regularly, as the group plays as Witchers, which aren’t treated with much hospitality. He doesn’t care about NPCs, plots to kill guards and royalty and beats shopkeepers into submission, because he claims they disrespected him with their prices. He played a murderous viking in a one-shot adventure I held before and now has a rather feeble and laid back character, but doesn’t play him much different.


  • Due to some unfortunate accidents with black maigc the group ended up wreaking havoc to a local inn, which caused the other innkeepers in my village to stop serving them. My problem-player saw this as disrespectful, knocked that guy out cold, prohibited(threatened) the rest of the group from tending to him and ‘took over’ the inn.
  • Due to some critcal fails in bartering my problem-player convinced a local scribe twice, that his map of the region is worth more than he is currently demanding, after raising the price to something my group couldn’t afford my problem player tortured that poor scribe until he fainted and would’ve killed him, if not for another player.
  • Having anyone look down upon him will make my problem player immediately plot to kill him. I created an easy-to-antagonize Baron for whom they are currently doing some jobs and each time they meet him I have to gently remind my murderhobo about the castle full of well-armed guards, who definitively can end their adventure on the spot, as soon as I notice him calculating the sucess of an attack roll against that baron again.


I thought about several way to get him to stop treating these people poorly, but I doubt any of them will help. I thought about …

  • Reminding him to act according to the rather gentle nature of his current character (which he made himself)

Problem: His personality clearly somewhat reflects in his character and I doubt that this will be a long term solution. I already had a talk with him, after he complained – in character – how the dungeon boss deals too much damage and then left the fight, slamming the door behind like an offended teenager. It got better, but not for long.

  • Removing him from the group

Problem: As I said he is one of my most active players. He advances my plot and the group would greatly suffer without him. (We had sessions without him, so I know the others aren’t just intimidated)

  • Punish them for their crimes

Problem: I plan to do that somehow, but I fear that general punishment will have quite the opposite effect, as my violent player would get even more mad while the others are dragged along into committing even more crimes. I even had one campaign come to an end by mass-suicide, because I had a few murderhobos in my last group, who thought the best idea to break free from a encirclement of a superior enemy was to behead, gut or ignite the few important prisoners they had taken previously.

I also thought about a way to only punish my problem-player, but I didn’t find a way to not make it look like I am picking on him, which would escalate the situation. It also wouldn’t make much sense for the villagers to not condemn the whole group of strange outsiders, if their supposed leader has just reinforced their prejudices.

The Group

The group doesn’t necessary agree with the actions of my murderhobo, but doesn’t oppose them either, so they just follow.

Since playing as witcher was my idea, as I liked the whole ‘Monster Hunter’ setup, I asked my group on several occasions, if they would like to abolish the witcher-plot and play on as brigands or mercenaries, since they didn’t seem to internalize the whole concept, as none of them ever read or played the source material, but they decided they would like to stay as witcher.

I don’t mind them stirring up some trouble. In fact Geralt of Rivia himself has more than enough brawls and fights with harassing peasants in the games and books, but maiming everyone, who makes abusive remarks to witcher makes the whole campaign stressful and boring to me, as no matter what encounters I plan, they’ll end up brawling with the city guard. And yet again, none of the other players seems to be in for that kind of progression.


I think the best way my problem-player would reflect on his previous behavior and be less violent would be, if he met opposition from within the group, but although nobody seems to happy about going in the direction my murderhobo is leading them, nobody stands up against him.

How can I help my rather reserved players to discipline their murderhobo, if they don’t agree with his violent ways?

How to convey the user that some of the form fields cannot be changed later?

I have a form wizard some input fields. On the first step of the wizard, there are 2 checkboxes which once the form has been submitted, cannot be edited. All other fields can be edited later on if the user wants to.

How do I tell the user that the two checkboxes cannot be edited so that they do not miss out on the message? Is the following message understandable?

enter image description here

How would I convey the information that multiple options can be selected, and just one can be selected as well?

So, this is what my scene looks like: enter image description here

How would I show the users that they can book only one service, or more than one? I wouldn’t want to make a clickable ‘+’ instead of a book button that adds it to a list and at the end you have only one book button, because most of the times users would just book one service.

I thought of having a ‘+’ like the last paragraph says but it only takes 1/3 of the ‘book panel’ (the black background behind the book text) when someone clicks it then the book services comes up, showing the users they can select various services.

Is the way I thought of alright? Or maybe the idea I’m trying not to recreate is not so critical for the user experience?