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Author Topic: Shadowrun by Huntdown  (Read 985 times)

KingCheops

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2021, 11:16:14 AM »
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.

Sure I can agree with that assessment.  It is honestly a FASA thing.  It was the same deal with Battletech.  They wanted to build expansive settings but didn't necessarily gear all that content to how it helps gameplay at the table.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2021, 12:22:27 PM »
Sure I can agree with that assessment.  It is honestly a FASA thing.  It was the same deal with Battletech.  They wanted to build expansive settings but didn't necessarily gear all that content to how it helps gameplay at the table.

I think that helps me ping exactly what the issue is: Fasa sees the corporations as the real protagonists of the setting in the same way the houses are in Battletech. But in battletech you play mercanaries or part of a military. So even if you can't win the war singlehandedly, you can contribute in a battle.
Thats what also huntdown did differently: everthing gets a ton of personality, EXCEPT for the megacorp. Because its details are not as important as the stuff you interact with.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2021, 10:19:59 AM »
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 Please correct me if wrong, as my SR lore is very outdated and very buggy.
Because the SR writers lean heavy left (though not as hard as, say, EP's devs), I'm not surprised there's no rules for 'building your own megacorp'.

Also, in-universe it's been stated repeatedly that the Big Ten (the triple-A corps) will attempt to slap down AA's that get too ambitious, even working in concert if they have to. Keep in mind, they own Zurich-Orbital and GOD, so they can get away with a LOT.

(Hence why if you want to change the setting hard, the first step is to knock Z-O out of orbit.)

Ratman_tf

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2021, 10:40:46 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.

I threw up in my mouth.

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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.

4th edition was wise to set Dark Sun just after Kalak's death. It shows the setting is in motion, without knocking over all the blocks before the PCs get to play with them.
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Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2021, 11:54:59 AM »
(Hence why if you want to change the setting hard, the first step is to knock Z-O out of orbit.)

The first thing I would do is revise the underpinning economics of the megacorps. As they stand, they work by magic.

Habitual Gamer

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2021, 01:57:24 PM »
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.

So you don't like Cyberpunk then?   :)

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'll admit it: I liked it.  It's fantasy nonsense ("in a game about dragons and elves!?!? gasp!"), but I remember in the novels (I read decades ago admittedly) white people getting cosmetic surgery to look Native, and a woman being sexually by a (literal) gang of Natives.  I also seem to recall the NAN books making it clear that life in the NAN kinda' sucked.  I also really liked the bit where humans stopped being racist towards one another, and instead focused on the orks and trolls (and ghouls and other HMHVV variants).

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?

Maybe?

Personally, I see default Shadowrun as a product of the Cyberpunk of the 80's that was itself written in the 90's.  It's like revisiting something that you loved as a kid, but now think looks kinda' dated and dumb. 

My advice to make Shadowrun more engaging?  Ditch the tropes.

The Year is 20XX.  Tech has advanced, magic exists, and your characters... live in the suburbs.  Or out in the rural part of your country.  And rather than take inspiration from Blade Runner and Johnny Mnemonic, you're going for Ozarks or Longmire.  But with cyber and magic. 

Instead of arcologies and skyscrapers and neon holograms at night, you have trees and sunshine and dirt roads.  Buildings are seldom taller than two stories (and even three is pretty uncommon), everybody seems to know everybody, churches are much more common (depending on where you're at, they may be nearly everywhere), livestock and farms are things, and so on and so forth.  If you've ever driven through (say) Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida, ask yourself "how would this place look in Shadowrun?"  If you think "boring", then what would make it interesting?

"A rigger?  What's that?  Well, the closest we got is the Jacobs kid who plays with his drones.  He lives over by Old Snagglejaw's, the bar run by that ork who got set on fire fifteen years back in a brawl with Alamos 20,000.  A shaman?  You want Sharon Carpenter.  She runs the animal shelter with her husband, and they sell purebreed Siberian mastiffs.  A street samurai?  No idea.  A cyber soldier you mean?  Shannon Park is the town sheriff, so I doubt she'll be up to whatever you want.  But her daughter is pretty sick, and the bills are piling up, so maybe she'll be up to something if the money's good.  But that's a big maybe.  A 'fixer'?  Nyah, I aint no fixer.  I just like to keep up with what's going on and who's doing it.  Now why are you here?

Attending Po' Boy's funeral huh?  Never knew 'em, heard they were a good hacker though.  But I bet that's why those Aztechnology suits have been sniffing around.  Yeah, they came in over at Richards' landing strip a couple a days ago, got a hotel room down at the Riverside, and... hey!  Where you going?"       

tl;dr - Shadowrun: Dumas Arkansas might help fix things for you.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Shadowrun by Huntdown
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2021, 02:36:42 PM »
So you don't like Cyberpunk then?   :)

I thought I didn't (playing it, I liked watching and reading it) till I played Huntdown. You play as bonafide sociopaths, and it ends with the megacorp betraying you.

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I also really liked the bit where humans stopped being racist towards one another, and instead focused on the orks and trolls (and ghouls and other HMHVV variants).

To me it feels hackneyed and increasingly played out as they added new things to be racisted-at. It substituted development or a growth of other themes because there are new things to be racist with. In addition its much more....logical? To be afraid of the super long lived elves that can outsmart you and are superior to you in so many ways, or bothered by the Orcs that are stronger then you and have super high proliferation rates.

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Personally, I see default Shadowrun as a product of the Cyberpunk of the 80's that was itself written in the 90's.  It's like revisiting something that you loved as a kid, but now think looks kinda' dated and dumb. 

Its not that its dated and dumb. Thats the Huntdown paradox. Thats a love letter to 80s action films, as well as cyberpunk of the 90s (and a WHOLE bunch of other stuff). And I adored it.

Shadowrun is the poe-faced boring version of that. Tiny flicks of fun in a miasma of dull greyness.