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Author Topic: The definitive Shadowrun  (Read 2176 times)

Omega

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The definitive Shadowrun
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2020, 02:39:09 pm »
For me it was the little bits removed here and there. Bits of background changed or removed or just quietly shuffled out of focus just enough to irk. Saw this a little in 3e and then alot more in 4e.

I'd have to go back and do a side-by-side comparison and thats just not something Id want to do anytime soon.

sureshot

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The definitive Shadowrun
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2020, 11:53:08 pm »
I would say Third Edition even if Hacking and Rigging were both and are still pain in the ass to run imo.

I was willing to give Catalyst Games a free pass on one poorly edited and error filled edition. No more and probably going forward using 3E warts and all.

Tyberious Funk

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The definitive Shadowrun
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2020, 01:48:33 am »
I never got into Shadowrun... I started playing CP2020 after being burned out on D&D and the last thing I wanted in my game was magic and elves.  It seemed like some kind of homebrew D&D hack -- not the rules specifically mind you, just the concept.  A few years ago, a friend left a bunch of SR books at my house and basically refused to pick them up again... "keep 'em."  They're all 2nd edition, I think.

These days I have zero interest in the game mechanics, which I understand were pretty crunchy, but I'm a little more open to the setting.  Is there a particular edition worth checking out?  Are the 2e books I already have worthwhile? Or should I read something else as a starting point?  Just to get a good sense of the setting, that is... like I said, I'm not really interested in the system.
 

Itachi

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« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2020, 04:21:31 am »
I think the 4th Anniversary Edition best captures the new flavor and is the ideal intro to the setting these days. If you like it, take a look at 2nd edition if only to know where the game began and how the flavor changed from it's 80s roots.

About the system: yeah it was always overly crunchy IMO.  There are good adaptations for Blades in the Dark (here) and Powered by the Apocalypse (here), if that's your thing. I wish someone did it for OSR too.

Quote from: Shrieking Banshee
I think the 80s view of cyberpunk was hot. The 2000s view of cyberpunk is cold.
I like this definition.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 04:37:20 am by Itachi »

Omega

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« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2020, 06:38:54 am »
Quote from: Tyberious Funk;1136755
These days I have zero interest in the game mechanics, which I understand were pretty crunchy,

but I'm a little more open to the setting.  Is there a particular edition worth checking out?  Are the 2e books I already have worthwhile? Or should I read something else as a starting point?  Just to get a good sense of the setting, that is... like I said, I'm not really interested in the system.


Far as I know as a player and not a DM for 2e... the rules are not all that complex once you get into actual gameplay. Chargen is where things are complex and getting a handle on dice pools in SR. In 1st ed it was a pain in the ass parsing out how the damn pool worked exactly. Past that its pretty straightforward. I assume 2e fixes some of these issues as that is the most common compliment to 2e.

Recently had a glance through the start of 3e SR and have to say its history section isnt bad really. Seems to retain most if not all the info from 1st ed and adds in events from some of the modules.

KingCheops

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« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2020, 05:05:48 pm »
If Deckard had in fact found a real, live toad how unsatisfying would that have been?  Earth is fucked and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

The megacorporations are monoliths -- Renraku falls and several more rise up.  They are Hydra.  All you can do is rage against the machine.

Your actions and the choices you make are what's important.  When you can't stop the monster all you have left is what you care about and what you choose to protect.  If you destroy the Rosen Association another one will just replace it.  A rocky marriage and a soul destroying job is enough to keep going if it means you can get a real animal one day.

Sure you wake up 200 years later and take out a Yakuza boss who's manipulating religious institutions to allow Meths to commit murder.  The really important thing is finding your long lost lover.  When the flesh isn't real and you're just DHF on a stack the only thing that matters is memories you can verify to be true.

The main problem with SR and ESPECIALLY in later editions is MAGIC.  Shadowrun was set up to run with the same tropes as the rest of the genre but magic can be proven to make a better world in spite of interference from the repressive force.  It's a fucking mess but I still love it.

Itachi

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« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2020, 06:51:13 pm »
Quote from: KingCheops;1136829
The main problem with SR and ESPECIALLY in later editions is MAGIC.  Shadowrun was set up to run with the same tropes as the rest of the genre but magic can be proven to make a better world in spite of interference from the repressive force.  It's a fucking mess but I still love it.
I think Shadowrun made it's fantasy elements reinforce the genre tropes pretty well, actually. For each of those elements carry it's share of social problems: metahumans and paracritters are hunted or oppressed, magic is used to maintain the status quo or to give expression to abominable drives and creeds (like blood magic) , etc.

 You know that old saying by Gibson about "the streets finding new uses for technology" implying the technology humanity believed would make the world better actually fucked it up? Shadowrun did the same to magic and fantasy IMO.

For all it's gonzo and absurd parts, one can argue the extension that magic changed the world in Shadowrun is better thought out than your average D&D world where magic exists apparently in a bubble for adventurers, never changing settings in logical ways. In Shadowrun it did change the setting - for worst. It fucked up the world.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 07:22:07 pm by Itachi »

Omega

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« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2020, 07:20:12 pm »
One thing that sets Shadowrun apart from the standard cyberpunk fare is that is not totally bleak and hopeless. Sure the corps are big and bad. But they are not invincible. And there are large areas that are not a mess even. Even the matrix is not a loss so far. Dangerous potentially if you poke places you shouldnt. But managable.

The PCs just tend to end up either fixing or causing messes. heh-heh.

Itachi

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« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2020, 07:34:05 pm »
Don't know about that, Omega. The average Seattle citizen is a SINless  (non-registered person) living under the law in a coffin hotel or worse (like in the barrens), doing some moonlighting to pay the bills and trying to survive some mix of local gang/mafia/police/paracritters violence. And the lucky citizens to actually be recognized as such are wage slaves for the corps working their ass out in prison-looking enclaves.

If that's not a shitty world, I don't know what is.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 07:39:34 pm by Itachi »

Shrieking Banshee

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The definitive Shadowrun
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2020, 07:47:01 pm »
Quote from: Itachi;1136846
The average Seattle citizen
Changes depending on author or supplement. One thing I noted consistently is just how poorly Shadowrun visualizes its worlds through images and text. There are only vague impressions.
Or not even ultra poorly but contradictorily.

Itachi

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« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2020, 09:08:37 pm »
Quote from: Shrieking Banshee;1136849
Changes depending on author or supplement.
But not much. It has always been near this:

https://shadowrun.fandom.com/wiki/Seattle


Quote
One thing I noted consistently is just how poorly Shadowrun visualizes its worlds through images and text. There are only vague impressions.
Or not even ultra poorly but contradictorily.
I think it's good at visualising shadowruns but yeah, the day to day of cities is lacking. Here I think newer editions are better than old ones. 4e Anniversary in particular has some good pics of day to day life, IIRC.

Shrieking Banshee

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« Reply #41 on: June 28, 2020, 09:16:02 pm »
Quote from: Itachi;1136866
But not much. It has always been near this:

The hardcore written numbers don't matter when the authors ignore them or interpret them in different ways. A USA slum is very different from an Indian slum for instance. Poverty means different things to different people at different times.
Allot of this has to do with the 'punk' of cyberpunk being largely uneducated towards economics.

This may also be by design as the contents of the books are sometimes written with the assumption that the contexts within are biased and not objective.

Itachi

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« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2020, 02:11:41 am »
Well, the numbers matter to give a picture of how shitty the situation in Seattle is. If 33% of a total 4 mi population is below poverty line, and another 2 million is not even registered, then you have more than half the total population living in shitty conditions. Besides that, you have a district literally destroyed by a volcano and another destroyed by a nuclear meltdown. The former is a hotbed for paranormal hazards and the later for gangs and crime. Neither have coverage from the police, and millions of citizens live in them.

So even if the authors diverge on details, it's still a dystopia through and through. Or at least it was in older editions. I stopped following after 4e.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 02:20:56 am by Itachi »

Shrieking Banshee

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« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2020, 02:34:25 am »
Quote from: Itachi;1136902
Well, the numbers matter to give a picture of how shitty the situation in Seattle is.
I feel like giggling everytime cyberpunk seatle is brought up because its steadily hurdling that way, but mainly through its coddling identity politics bullshit. I guess thats why I have trouble taking seatle seriously as a place for anything. So Im not left with a distinct impression that seatle is really any different in Shadowrun.
At the same time the authors bring up native americans living in harmony with the environment and complete and utter hippy bullshit. It also really bothered me that Russia ends up embracing paganism in the rural areas when the rural areas are hardcore catholic. I can sorta see some of Southern Latin America embracing traditional values (having visited), but russia has not been in any way pagan (outside of fairytales and the like but under that logic england is pagan too) for hundreds of years. Its not a change that was forced on it by an outside source.

Im not sure why Shadowrun treating spirituality as exclusively an aspect of native americans and pagans as something that bugs me so much (Im not even christian).

Mishihari

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« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2020, 04:19:07 am »
Quote from: Shrieking Banshee;1136535
I always have trouble coming up with plots or things I find interesting in cyberpunk settings without ending the cyberpunk. I'm not super interested in endless mercenary jobs, and changing the world would just be grimy miserable domestic terrorism with no real positive outcome.

To a certain extent in stories that motivate me, I want something to protect or something to change to the better. And the only sort of stories of that in Shadowrun require very uncyberpunky stories (IE the Videogames).

The Shadowrun and cyberpunk is not for you.  No big deal, just move on to another genre.  If you want to play Shadowrun you're going to have to change a lot to enjoy it, and it's easier to start elsewhere.

I'm kind of the opposite in that I _don't_ want the setting I'm playing in to change.  I pick a setting to play a particular type of game, and if it changes, then I no longer am playing the type of game I chose.  I generally prefer brighter settings as well, but when I want to play cyberpunk, I want to stick with the genre.