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> General Consensus?, Good, Bad, or Ugly?
thepatriot
post Oct 7 2005, 03:58 PM
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SR4 has been out on PDF long enough to get a general idea of it. How is it? Do the errors make it unplayable? Do the new rules streamline and speed up gameplay (in your opinion, of course, no flamefests :eek: )? How many are using house rules to limit the changes? Are the new 'ware rules useful or cumbersome?

Whatever you wish to voice might help those who are still waiting on the paperbacks.
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Wasabi
post Oct 7 2005, 04:04 PM
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Its not changed rules, it a whole new game, but it smacks of Shadowrun and I like it a lot.

Specifically:
I like the changes to setting regarding AR and Bioware.
The Rigging system is better than ever and the Matrix system still needs a flowchart for a typical run, but both are strong.
I like the combat system.
Magic is a bit too powerful since defenders without counterspelling use 1 stat (willpower) versus 2 stats (Sorcery+Magic). Too hard to reduce damage even by a tricked out non-mage.
I dislike the 'short list' of gear and cyberware that will hopefully be amended in expansions.
I like the Edge system a lot.

All in all, a great product! :-)
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Bandwidthoracle
post Oct 7 2005, 04:06 PM
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To answer your questions, in my opinion of course:
It's great.
The errors, not really unplayable, no more than SR3.
Yes, the new rules do speed up gameplay, (We did 20 man combat in under an hour, just to show we could)
Our only houserule is that magic augs and matrix augs stack instead of capping each other.
The new ware rules are a bit better, I really like the concept of capacity.

My only concern: The new matrix rules are just too open ended.


Hope I helped
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Jaid
post Oct 7 2005, 04:10 PM
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the errors aren't generally too bad, IMO.

stuff like referencing wrong page numbers, typos, and whatnot seem to be most of it. and most of those it's fairly evident what they meant.

personally, i dislike some of the new naming conventions (for example, you won't hear 'drek' any more, which i personally prefer to the straight-up swearing they use). i also prefer decker and otaku over hackers and technomancers, but these are all changes that are easily made if you prefer.

the main dislike i have about the game is the set-in-stone limits... i personally really like the aspect of 3rd edition where you could keep on boosting a skill, but eventually you were just gonna get such a low value out of it that you boost something else instead. to put it another way, SR3 kinda walks up to you and says "hey, you might wanna try building up something else", whereas SR4 hits you upside the head with a mallet while screaming "you can't get any better at this! improve something else!!!"

of course, should you happen to just focus on magic or technomancy, then you have unlimited potential for some reason. just if you don't have either of those things going for you, you will hit a brick wall that keeps you from going any higher.
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Azralon
post Oct 7 2005, 04:23 PM
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It probably contains just as many errors and vague rules as the entirety of SR3, but the overall system is more streamlined and therefore easier to chew on.

I like it; I appreciate the fact that they identified a lot of failings of all previous editions and eliminated/mitigated most of them in occasionally elegant design decisions.

Yeah, they dropped the ball in a few places, but every system is like that. It's kinda like the two questions you should ask when getting a new girlfriend:

1) Do her merits overshadow her flaws?
2) Can I tolerate her flaws enough to make everything else enjoyable?

With respect to SR4, my personal opinions are:

1) Yep.
2) Likely. If not, I'll beat her until she changes. ;)

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JesterX
post Oct 7 2005, 04:36 PM
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Even if I stated many errors and complained a lot about SR4 in the latest weeks, it's still a good product and I have fun playing it.

The edge rule is really great.

As everyone seems to say: the matrix rules can use a little clarification...
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blakkie
post Oct 7 2005, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE (Wasabi @ Oct 7 2005, 10:04 AM)
Magic is a bit too powerful since defenders without counterspelling use 1 stat (willpower) versus 2 stats (Sorcery+Magic). Too hard to reduce damage even by a tricked out non-mage.

Yup, for direct spells if you don't have a friendly Counterspelling magician/mystic adept with LOS to you are just as hooped as before. :( However Counterspelling evens the playing field much more as it does not deplete with use, and does not cost the magician/mystic adept elsewhere to allocate defense.
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blakkie
post Oct 7 2005, 04:50 PM
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I'd say there are a number of areas that are more vague at this point than optimal IMO, but certainly still playable. There are a few ugly typographical errors in the first printing (a few tables) and some other obvious stuff that is a bit of a pain, but for the most part that's all fixed up with the one page offical errata on the ShadowrunRPG site.
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Azralon
post Oct 7 2005, 04:55 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie)
QUOTE (Wasabi @ Oct 7 2005, 10:04 AM)
Magic is a bit too powerful since defenders without counterspelling use 1 stat (willpower) versus 2 stats (Sorcery+Magic). Too hard to reduce damage even by a tricked out non-mage.

Yup, for direct spells if you don't have a friendly Counterspelling magician/mystic adept with LOS to you are just as hooped as before. :( However Counterspelling evens the playing field much more as it does not deplete with use, and does not cost the magician/mystic adept elsewhere to allocate defense.

The balance is that said spellcaster has a chance of doing damage to himself in the process. Plus, he did spend extra BPs in character generation.
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NightmareX
post Oct 7 2005, 05:05 PM
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Despite my initial misgivings and gripes, I fraggin' love the way this system works! Seriously folks. We finally got to get going with our trial (that is, with minimal house rules) campaign last weekend, and it totally rules. Combat is so quick and easy that it melds into non-combat play even more smoothly than d20 does. Here's an example:

* Under 1st edition SR, my original crew back in the day ran Food Fight as our first "run". The combat portion (3 turns game time) took nearly an hour and a half to run.

* Under 2nd & 3rd edition, the average time to run a 3 turn combat has, over the years, averaged about a half hour.

* Under 4th edition, the run we were on included two combats (2-3 turns each), each of which took about 10 minutes start to end. With two new-to-SR players.

All I can say is Damn!

That said, there we'll probably end up with some house rules (no caps on skill advancement for one), but nowhere near the 20+ pages of house rules we used in SR3.
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blakkie
post Oct 7 2005, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE (Azralon)
The balance is that said spellcaster has a chance of doing damage to himself in the process. Plus, he did spend extra BPs in character generation.

Only if they glitch a roll....and since the skill in the only die source other than foci, it's one of the few SR4 skills where it is probably better to have none than 1 unless you have yourself a nice, beefy foci helping you out.

That brings up the subject of Counterspelling foci. They are really cheap, during character creation they only cost 6BP (including cash) for a bound Force 3. A steal of a deal.

P.S. If you have a good Medkit, First Aid is the only other skill example of none better than 1 that comes to mind.
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Fortune
post Oct 7 2005, 05:42 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie)
QUOTE (Azralon @ Oct 7 2005, 10:55 AM)
The balance is that said spellcaster has a chance of doing damage to himself in the process.  Plus, he did spend extra BPs in character generation.

Only if they glitch a roll....

Or take Drain.
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Azralon
post Oct 7 2005, 05:42 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie)
QUOTE (Azralon @ Oct 7 2005, 10:55 AM)
The balance is that said spellcaster has a chance of doing damage to himself in the process.  Plus, he did spend extra BPs in character generation.

Only if they glitch a roll....

I was referring to how casters can take drain.
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Azralon
post Oct 7 2005, 05:43 PM
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Fortune FTW. :)
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Fortune
post Oct 7 2005, 05:46 PM
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Just barely! :D
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blakkie
post Oct 7 2005, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE (Fortune @ Oct 7 2005, 11:42 AM)
QUOTE (blakkie @ Oct 8 2005, 03:37 AM)
QUOTE (Azralon @ Oct 7 2005, 10:55 AM)
The balance is that said spellcaster has a chance of doing damage to himself in the process.  Plus, he did spend extra BPs in character generation.

Only if they glitch a roll....

Or take Drain.

You only take drain on Spell Defense you glitch (and the GM decides that you didn't instead deflect the spell onto someone else).

QUOTE (mid-left page 176)
Using Counterspelling to defend against a spell as it is cast
does not cause Drain.


It is Dispelling that can [normally] cause drain.
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Azralon
post Oct 7 2005, 06:06 PM
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No, no, we're talking about drain taken by the caster while casting a spell.

That is to say:

1) Spellcasting has the offender using an Attribute and a Skill for the attack, while the defender gets only an Attribute to defend (unless they have the Counterspelling skill in play). Meanwhile, the caster is effectively doing (at most) half of that damage to himself and resisting it with Willpower + another Mental Attribute.

2) In contrast, gunplay has the offender using an Attribute and Skill for the attack, while the defender gets only Reaction to defend and then Body (+ Armor) to soak. However, the only drain the shooter has to worry about is a depleted clip.
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blakkie
post Oct 7 2005, 06:12 PM
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QUOTE (Azralon @ Oct 7 2005, 12:06 PM)
No, no, we're talking about drain taken by the caster while casting a spell.

Ah. Well given the imbalance of drain vs. effect for a number of the spells, i wouldn't rely on that much. ;) Counterspelling is really a requirement against a serious sorcery threat. Likewise for dealing with spirits you are mostly hooped without magical means of some sort, or block leveling mundane firepower, against high level spirits....unless the GM mixes in SR3 interpretation and lets them have at it with "elemental" attacks.

P.S. That brings up what i consider the biggest single busted in SR4 is spirits and there insane stats.
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Azralon
post Oct 7 2005, 06:19 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie @ Oct 7 2005, 02:12 PM)
the biggest single busted in SR4 is spirits and there insane stats

Well, they do double their Force in drain to the summoner. So there's a price to pay (aside from worrying about them going uncontrolled or getting stolen away from you).

I haven't looked into it deeply yet; is a burst from the Ares Viper Slivergun still as good of a spiritual countermeasure as before? I mean, technically spirits are unarmored...
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 7 2005, 06:32 PM
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Technically, they have Hardend Armor, with all the implications.
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hahnsoo
post Oct 7 2005, 06:33 PM
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QUOTE (Azralon @ Oct 7 2005, 01:19 PM)
I haven't looked into it deeply yet; is a burst from the Ares Viper Slivergun still as good of a spiritual countermeasure as before?  I mean, technically spirits are unarmored...

The AVS isn't a good tool to use against spirits, in both 3rd and 4th edition. Spirits are considered to have hardened armor through their immunity to normal weapons power. The unarmored bonuses for flechette ammo don't apply, and in 4th edition, they get 2 more points of armor because of the +2 AP.

I will agree that spirits in 4th edition are much too powerful. You might want to rein in the Reaction in particular (in our games, we've house-ruled that their Reaction is equal to their Agility) and put a cap on their skills to a maximum of 6.
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Azralon
post Oct 7 2005, 06:36 PM
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Mm. I don't recall Immunity to Normal Weapons being considered hardened armor in SR3, but I'll trust you until I get a chance to look it up.

I just checked the SR4 text, and yup there be hardened armor there these days at least. APDS, then? :)
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hahnsoo
post Oct 7 2005, 06:39 PM
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Here's the entry from SR3 p 264
QUOTE
IMMUNITY
Type: P • Action: Auto • Range: Self • Duration: Always
This power gives the critter an “Armor Rating” equal to twice its Essence when resisting damage from whatever it has immunity against. In addition, if the Power of the damage does not exceed twice the creature’s Essence, it automatically has no effect. This power works against both magical and nonmagical effects.
Note that beings with immunity to age do not age, and never suffer the effects of aging.
Immunity to fire works against any fire-based attack.
Immunity to normal weapons has no effect against Combat Spells or Weapon Foci. Against elemental damage (such as fire, water cannon, elemental manipulation spells and so on) the effect is halved (Armor Rating equal to Essence). APDS, AVM, and other armor-piercing ammunitions are treated as normal ammunition against creatures with this power

Here's the entry from Critters:
QUOTE
IMMUNITY
Type: P • Action: Auto • Range: Self • Duration: Always
The Immunity power gives the critter the equivalent of an Armor Rating equal to twice its Essence for resisting damage from the thing against which it has immunity. In addition, if the Power of the damage does not exceed twice the creature’s Essence, it automatically has no effect. This power works against both magical and non-magical effects.
Note that beings with Immunity to Age do not age and never suffer the effects of aging.
Immunity to Fire works against fire and any fire-based attacks.
Immunity to Cold works against cold temperatures and any cold-based attacks.
Immunity to Normal Weapons does not protect against combat spells or weapon foci. Against weapons that inflict elemental damage (such as fire, water cannon, elemental manipulation spells and so on) the effect of the Immunity to Normal Weapons power is halved (Armor Rating equal to Essence).
Treat APDS, AVM, and other armor-piercing ammunitions as normal ammunition against creatures with the Immunity to Normal Weapons power.
Creatures with the Immunity to Control power subtract twice their Essence from the Force of any spell (or Essence of any power) used in an attempt to control them.
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Azralon
post Oct 7 2005, 06:43 PM
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Thank ya for looking it up and posting it. :)

And yeah, the AVS loaded with APDS instead of flechettes is (still) just an all-around better weapon than a Predator. Versus spirits or not.
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hahnsoo
post Oct 7 2005, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE (Azralon)
And yeah, the AVS loaded with APDS instead of flechettes is (still) just an all-around better weapon than a Predator. Versus spirits or not.

It's a general consensus that you can't load an AVS with ammo other than flechettes. This part of the description didn't survive between editing of SR editions, but most GMs enforce this, preventing that cheese.
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