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Author Topic: Shadowrun by Huntdown  (Read 984 times)

Shrieking Banshee

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Shadowrun by Huntdown
« on: June 09, 2021, 11:42:39 AM »
Shadowrun is the game I want to love, but it always pushes me away. Mechanics wise yeah there is that, but I can use a alternate rules set from some other game.
Its actually more the world and the theming that just doesn't stick with me.

The core conciet of playing mildly ethical looser mercenaries as they blow folks away that are just barely less ethical then themselves, and are implicitely disposable assets for unstoppable megacorporations that will use you and throw you away. It never sat well with me. Also the ecophelia and the native american worship leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and the themes of magical discrimination get really tiresome.

I liked the videogames, but they almost unilatirally broke all the rules of the setting every time (You play ethical mostly heroic people financed by taking jobs but mostly independant working to avert catastrophy and succeeding in the face of megacorporate odds).

And then I played Huntdown (link to trailer because I couldn't get a text link working:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QepvIm_-NHQ)
And I played a milly ethical mercanary blowing away folks only barely less ethical then me, and am a disposable asset for a mega corporation that gets swept aside in the end.....And I LOVED IT! Its my favorite game of 2020, and I loved not just its mechanics, but worldbuilding and style.

This has been maddening. As I try to figure out what makes me not like Shadowrun and like Huntdown. My only sorta clue is I feel Huntdown takes itself less seriously, and in that becomes more....believable?

I would like to run a Shadowrun-esque game someday, but if I can't figure out what I like and dislike, I can never get it to work.

HappyDaze

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2021, 11:46:12 AM »
My only sorta clue is I feel Huntdown takes itself less seriously, and in that becomes more....believable?
Taking itself less seriously is a big part of why I love the Fallout games, so I can relate.

KingCheops

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2021, 12:46:51 PM »
The shark was jumped a long time ago for Shadowrun taking itself seriously.  You can play it seriously but have to remove a lot of the weirdness.  In my experience each table ends up with its own mish-mash of what they like from Cyberpunk with magic and elves tacked on.  When I started the group that introduced me was huge on Snowcrash.  When us "younger" guys started running the games it was full on The Matrix era so games started looking more like that.

HappyDaze

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2021, 12:51:55 PM »
The shark was jumped a long time ago for Shadowrun taking itself seriously.  You can play it seriously but have to remove a lot of the weirdness.  In my experience each table ends up with its own mish-mash of what they like from Cyberpunk with magic and elves tacked on.  When I started the group that introduced me was huge on Snowcrash.  When us "younger" guys started running the games it was full on The Matrix era so games started looking more like that.
Shadowrun 1e didn't really try to take itself seriously. The Seattle Sourcebook talks about go-gangs zipping around in ultralight aircraft and all sorts of other gonzo stuff. By 4e, they were taking themselves way too seriously, and trying to sweep away the gonzo...but it's never going to happen.

KingCheops

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2021, 01:01:50 PM »
Yup agree with you there HappyDaze.  Rocker was one of the cooler archetypes for 1e.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2021, 01:14:39 PM »
The shark was jumped a long time ago for Shadowrun taking itself seriously.
Its shocking but they do it. Its weird, but its not over the top.

Its like of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space crash landed outside of a small town....And then proceeded to discuss labour disputes and mention how they generally don't dress like this. And take over the town using basic (but efficient) coercive techniques in place of wacky clown monster stuff. And then they are defeated when its mentioned how they don't have a landing permit and 30 minutes of the movie is a boring courtroom scene where they discuss the aerospace limits of planets.

This is exsasperated in later editions, but even the first edition takes itself so goddam seriously. I read the Neo Anarchists guide to north america and its trying so hard to have it make sense from the context of our world. So much lore on fucking restaraunts and 'realistic but boring' locations.
Fallout is a good example. It in theory takes place in the United States, but the world (even before the fallout) was already a cartoon that has very little realistic connection to ours.
While Shadowrun is trying too hard to have itself be serious, with so much lore for locations that make sense but are utterly banal.

Like how in place of Megacity architecture (like Judge Dredd) the architecture is mostly like our real world with a few mega buildings that are pretty rare. Do megabuildings make sense from....any angle? No. But are they cool? Hell yeah.

Thanos

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2021, 07:06:34 PM »
"but even the first edition takes itself so goddam seriously."  Not even remotely. 1 and 2nd edition are WILDLY tongue in cheek. 3rd a little less so.  4 on is very serious but not serious enough to go over the top and be fun again.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2021, 07:19:32 PM »
"but even the first edition takes itself so goddam seriously."  Not even remotely. 1 and 2nd edition are WILDLY tongue in cheek.
Tongue in cheek maybe, but its still in the mouth of a tax accountant. Places of wackiness or interest are in the minority, with most fluff being just 'Oh yeah, here is the magical university in florida...Its like any other university, but magical'.

Give me the good 1e supplements, because I can't find them.

234ne

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2021, 08:48:25 PM »
One thing that kinda forcefully adds seriousness on Shadowrun is the whole street-mercenary & corporate espionage aspect of it - no loyalty except the nuyen.

Like take for example 1e's "Dragon Hunt." The premise of this is wacky as you have an amnesiac dragon in a oversized hospital bed, channel surfing on the t.v., hiring you to investigate his past. The locations you go have potential to be interesting; like a speak easy type joint with all the hostesses surgically altered and trained to look and act identical on different shifts, so to keep their enemies guessing who's the owner. However it's Shadowrun, its all business as they say, the players are not really given a chance to know the dragon more personally and he betrays you in the end. 

       

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2021, 08:57:43 PM »
One thing that kinda forcefully adds seriousness on Shadowrun is the whole street-mercenary & corporate espionage aspect of it - no loyalty except the nuyen.
Its 'Rage against the machine but in a way that utterly works for it' sort of problem. 'Shadowrunner' feels very much like a tryhard name for 'Disposable Freelance Mercenary'.

The setting is more interested in its own status qou then how the players will interact with it.

234ne

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2021, 09:31:34 PM »
The setting is more interested in its own status quo then how the players will interact with it.

I think the writers kinda knew too by 3rd edition, so my guess is that's why the Shadows of Asia and the Shadows of Europe splat-books are more 'warzone-like ' with a lot more room for revolutions to happen. Unfortunately they kinda abandoned the prospect of that train of thought even by late 3rd edition, although understandable especially with the publishing switch from FASA to Catalyst.   

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2021, 09:39:58 PM »
I think the writers kinda knew too by 3rd edition, so my guess is that's why the Shadows of Asia and the Shadows of Europe splat-books are more 'warzone-like ' with a lot more room for revolutions to happen. Unfortunately they kinda abandoned the prospect of that train of thought even by late 3rd edition, although understandable especially with the publishing switch from FASA to Catalyst.   

What I think needed to happen is cannonically have a team of shadowrunners gun their way up a corporate HQ, kill the ones that betrayed them, leak their files online and bomb the building (maybe less gruesome then that). Actually cause a collapse of a megacorp by runner hands or the like.

Its unrealistic, but its a way the PCs would have influence over the world. Without that, your just a corporate machine cog with extra steps.

234ne

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2021, 10:18:38 PM »
Actually cause a collapse of a megacorp by runner hands or the like.

Or like the opposite route, have the players make a underdog/mom&pop corp and build up to be a 'better' (or not) megacorp. Because, off top of my head at least, I don't recall either Fasa or Catalyst ever made a rule structure for the players to make a corp yourself for that kind of campaign, or a runner team becoming more than this shady street legend in the published fluff? Please correct me if wrong, as my SR lore is very outdated and very buggy.

KingCheops

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2021, 10:32:47 AM »
Why does PC level stuff have to be part of the actual published meta?  We often threw stuff off the rails at OUR TABLE.  We can do whatever the fuck we want there.  The publisher is showing us what the setting looks like and how it progresses if no one gets involved in a big way.  Take that base line, take what you do at the table, and extrapolate from there.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2021, 10:53:19 AM »
Why does PC level stuff have to be part of the actual published meta?

Its a bad idea to do too much, because what happens then is Dark Sun Revised.
But the problem is that some level of PC involved suggestion is a good idea because it sets the tone right.
Because otherwise it just becomes more and more books of 'Bad shit happens and PCs can't do anything about it, fuck you'

So much of the material is a waste of time and space, because it just spends so much time fluffing itself, without describing how a player can get involved or change anything. It expects them to just be side passive observers, while the writers jerk themselves off.

In Dark Sun, the first metaplot thing that happens is the overthrow of one of the city states. And thats a good initiation of the plot. A stinger of hope in a world WAAAAY bleaker than Shadowrun (And it has an antagonist thats spelled out to just be flat out undefeatable). Then it goes too far with a whole bunch of bullshit, but that doesn't make its first stinger a bad one.