IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

9 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Emergence Review, Is it good?
JesterX
post Aug 27 2007, 09:17 PM
Post #1


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 358
Joined: 12-May 05
From: The nearest UV host near you...
Member No.: 7,390



I can't find any reviews of the Emergence campaign...

I tried googling it and search on these forums but I can't find anything...

Anyone got a link to a review?

Or anyone here tried to run it?

Is it good?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Buster
post Aug 27 2007, 09:32 PM
Post #2


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,246
Joined: 8-June 07
Member No.: 11,869



There definitely was a long thread here on Emergence about a month ago, so it might be a few pages back.

Personally, I really hated the premise of the Emergence campaign:

"People are perfectly fine with magicians that can read their minds, force people to kill their own families, fireball crowds of people, and summon demons that can bring down airplanes and collapse buildings; but they're really afraid of technomancers who can break into their commlinks and read their email."

Emergence might have made sense if people already hated and feared magicians and adepts. It might have even made sense if scriptkiddie hackers couldn't do everything a technomancer can do (and probably do it better). Also, Emergence might have been a clever way to introduce technomancers if they weren't already in the core book.

It's a GM's source book, all fluff, no crunch. There are no adventures and there weren't even any new echoes, tricks, or qualities for technomancers.

Sorry to be so harsh, but Augmentation and Street Magic were lots better. :( They should have rolled Emergence into Unwired.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dizzman
post Aug 27 2007, 09:33 PM
Post #3


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 80
Joined: 25-March 07
Member No.: 11,306



I've had it for about a month and I'm about halfway through. In other words, its not very engaging. Then again, I don't like TMs that much. AFAIK, its not really an adventure. It has some adventure ideas...kinda like Year of the Comet.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ol' Scratch
post Aug 27 2007, 09:34 PM
Post #4


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Validating
Posts: 7,999
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,890



Yeah. The premise makes no sense at all. Best I can tell it's a feeble attempt to clutch on to the 1980's mentality of cyberpunk. "Ooh, something new is scary! The world isn't turning into a giant swarm of technophiles who would, at worst, be completely envious and in awe of people who could interact with the Internet! No way! Witch hunt! Witch hunt! I don't care how unplausible it is, witch hunt! Oh man, my sore is throat; hey Mr. Mage, when you're done killing that guy across the street without anyone knowing, can you cast a Heal on me? k thx." Please.

Freaking out when people start goblinizing into monsters? Yeah. I can see that. General mayhem when dragons emerge out of nowhere and people start throwing mojo without any explanation? Again, sure, I can see that. But having a new breed of magician (despite vehement claims to the contrary) who can interact with the Matrix without a commlink/deck 60 years after the Awakening causing that much fuss? Just a piss-poor premise all around.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JesterX
post Aug 27 2007, 09:36 PM
Post #5


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 358
Joined: 12-May 05
From: The nearest UV host near you...
Member No.: 7,390



But what about the campaign itself? Is it good?

If my group doesn't have technomancers, is the campaign interesting enough?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Buster
post Aug 27 2007, 09:38 PM
Post #6


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,246
Joined: 8-June 07
Member No.: 11,869



The campaign is cool if you can swallow the premise and liked the political stuff in X-Men. There aren't any fully fleshed out adventures though, just half formed idea joggers.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ancient History
post Aug 27 2007, 09:38 PM
Post #7


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 6,748
Joined: 5-July 02
Member No.: 2,935



It's not just about technomancers. There's also metaplot goodness and AIs for you to enjoy. I haven't read a full and balanced review yet.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Synner
post Aug 27 2007, 09:43 PM
Post #8


Runner
******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,314
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Lisbon, Cidade do Pecado
Member No.: 185



QUOTE (Buster @ Aug 27 2007, 09:32 PM)
Emergence might have made sense if people already hated and feared magicians and adepts.  Also, Emergence might have been a clever way to introduce technomancers if they weren't already in the core book.

I suggest you reread the Street Magic fluff regarding how magic and magicians are percieved by mundane society - people have had 60 years to get used to magic and still there is fear and suspicion. The emergence of technomancers is directly linked (by the media and its masters) to the single most catastrophic and traumatic event in recent living memory in the Sixth World. There's a significant difference.

As to technomancers being in the base book, Emergence begins in late 2069 and transpires during 2070. This is simultaneous with the BBB, which you will note includes no fiction on how technomancers interact with society other than they are very, very rare.

Furthermore technomancers aren't all that Emergence has in store.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JesterX
post Aug 27 2007, 09:53 PM
Post #9


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 358
Joined: 12-May 05
From: The nearest UV host near you...
Member No.: 7,390



I quite like the idea of Technomancers been seen as "the new boogeyman"

In fact, that's how I already play it. As Synner pointed out, the Otakus were mainly responsible for what happened in the second crash... So it's only natural for non-resonance aware people to be quite mefiant if not afraid of them.

I think I'll like that one...

From what I understand, it's assembled like Mob War! and Blood in the Boardroom were?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Buster
post Aug 27 2007, 09:53 PM
Post #10


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,246
Joined: 8-June 07
Member No.: 11,869



QUOTE (synner)
I suggest you reread the Street Magic fluff regarding how magic and magicians are percieved by mundane society - people have had 60 years to get used to magic and still there is fear and suspicion.

Fear and suspicion is not the same as a full blown witch hunt holocaust. Mages, scriptkiddie hackers, and cybersams are all subject to fear and suspicion, not genocide. Emergence seems to be in it's own universe where mages, cybersams, and hackers don't exist.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Synner
post Aug 27 2007, 10:04 PM
Post #11


Runner
******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,314
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Lisbon, Cidade do Pecado
Member No.: 185



QUOTE (JesterX @ Aug 27 2007, 09:53 PM)
From what I understand, it's assembled like Mob War! and Blood in the Boardroom were?

In fact it is very similar in structure with System Failure which means its GI sections are also similar to MobWar and BitB.

QUOTE
Fear and suspicion is not the same as a full blown witch hunt holocaust. Mages, scriptkiddie hackers, and cybersams are all subject to fear and suspicion, not genocide. Emergence seems to be in it's own universe where mages, cybersams, and hackers don't exist.

Let me clarify, if cybersams, hackers and mages were depicted as:
  • directly linked to the force behind the single most catastrophic event in recent history the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide,
  • defined as crazy, schizoid nutjobs wielding uncontrollable powers that actually contribute to make them more unstable,
  • described as able to spontaneously generate computer code, speak to Matrix dwelling entities unknown to anyone else, and potentially create another Crash virus,
  • inexplicably being able to do with their minds, what it costs an mundane human thousands of dollars and considerable skill to replicate,
  • allegedly linked to alien artificial intelligences that hide in the Matrix.
... by every major corp owned media outlet on Earth then they'd suffer a witch hunt too.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Zhan Shi
post Aug 27 2007, 10:12 PM
Post #12


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 609
Joined: 13-August 07
Member No.: 12,615



I've never much cared for the tech side of SR; my focus has always been the magic/secret history of the world type stuff. I agree that the premise was somewhat weak. And I miss the engaging banter that was in many SR3 books (like Cyberpirates), although I understand why it was toned down; it was probably hell on the writers/developers to keep track of it all. Also, I am a little taken aback by SR's use of profanity. Don't want to seem like a prude, but one of the things (for me) which separated SR from other game lines (think White Wolf) was the creative use of language. I miss the "frag"s and "drek"s, etc.

Having said that, the book itself was an interesting read, and gave many good ideas for adventure hooks. What 'runner would not what technomancers and AIs owing him favors for saving his hoop from the witch hunt?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Zhan Shi
post Aug 27 2007, 10:14 PM
Post #13


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 609
Joined: 13-August 07
Member No.: 12,615



oops. I think Cyberpirates was SR2.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ol' Scratch
post Aug 27 2007, 10:17 PM
Post #14


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Validating
Posts: 7,999
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,890



QUOTE (Synner)
Let me clarify, if cybersams, hackers and mages were depicted as:
  • directly linked to the force behind the single most catastrophic event in recent history the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide,
  • defined as crazy, schizoid nutjobs wielding uncontrollable powers that actually contribute to make them more unstable,
  • described as able to spontaneously generate computer code, speak to Matrix dwelling entities unknown to anyone else, and potentially create another Crash virus,
  • inexplicably being able to do with their minds, what it costs an mundane human thousands of dollars and considerable skill to replicate,
  • allegedly linked to alien artificial intelligences that hide in the Matrix.
... by every major corp owned media outlet on Earth then they'd suffer a witch hunt too.

Translation: We cooked up a hokey plot idea and forced it into being with a mallet. Accept it, peons, regardless of how implausible it all is. See, we made the media say it so it's all okay cause the media is godly! That makes it all okay. Now accept the stupidity of the premise and move on.

Gotcha.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Synner
post Aug 27 2007, 10:24 PM
Post #15


Runner
******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,314
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Lisbon, Cidade do Pecado
Member No.: 185



QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein @ Aug 27 2007, 10:17 PM)
Translation:  We cooked up a hokey plot idea and forced it into being with a mallet.  Accept it, peons, regardless of how implausible it all is.  See, we made the media say it so it's all okay cause the media is godly!  That makes it all okay.  Now accept the stupidity of the premise and move on.

Strange even though it seems to work to get presidents elected today, I don't see how it could possibly work in a fictional setting where the powers that be controlling the media are even more powerful and influential over public perceptions than today's are... :sarcasm:
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ol' Scratch
post Aug 27 2007, 10:31 PM
Post #16


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Validating
Posts: 7,999
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,890



QUOTE (Synner @ Aug 27 2007, 04:24 PM)
Strange it seems to work to get presidents elected, I don't see how it could possibly work in a fictional setting where the powers that be controlling the media are even more powerful than today... :sarcasm:

Yes, that's the part that's stupid about the premise. You got me.

Nevermind Bug City or the Universal Brotherhood with their actual alien invasions. Nevermind that being able to talk to a computer without having to spend 500 nuyen on a commlink is hardly BOO SCARY!!!, especially compared to throwing out fireballs, creating mana warps when presidents get magically assassinated, or being able to mind rape you on a whim. Nevermind that mages regularly talk to "alien artificial entities" on a regular basis, even conjuring them out of thin air, right smack in front of people.

Technomancers are scary! For realz! They might be talking with what are little more than advanced Agent programs on the Matrix. They, unlike hackers or megacorporations, might be able to write viral code (guess that's how the first Crash came about, too, huh?). So that clearly makes them far more scary than magicians, dragons, and all the evil boogeymonsters lurking in the dark. Brilliant premise! Absolutely flawless. How could anyone roll their eyes at that?

If anything, I'd be surprised if in a far more plausible take of the events, the majority of the public wouldn't be suspecting the Crash 2.0 was all a ploy by the megacorporations to force everyone to use their new Matrix and mass-produced Commlinks that just came out of thin air. And that the real witch hunt wouldn't be aimed at them. (And nevermind that this would have been a perfect way to write in a means of having governments regain some of their lost power base as a result.)

No. Clearly the mediocre, subpar, technomancers who's abilities anyone can pretty much mimic for a few bucks and a quick Computer 101 course are to blame. Kill 'em all. (But still make them a plausible character archetype.)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Buster
post Aug 27 2007, 10:37 PM
Post #17


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,246
Joined: 8-June 07
Member No.: 11,869



QUOTE (JesterX)
I quite like the idea of Technomancers been seen as "the new boogeyman"

In fact, that's how I already play it.  As Synner pointed out, the Otakus were mainly responsible for what happened in the second crash...  So it's only natural for non-resonance aware people to be quite mefiant if not afraid of them.

I think I'll like that one...

I think you would like Emergence then. I remember thinking the whole time I was reading it, "if this was in a stand alone universe instead of Shadowrun, I would love this." GURPS: Emergence would have been great. :D

I love X-Men, and Emergence is very X-Men. So if you can get passed the premise that the all-powerful media has stopped a genocide on mages, razorboys, and scriptkiddies but not on technomancers, then I would buy it (but keep the receipt ;) )
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Synner
post Aug 27 2007, 10:47 PM
Post #18


Runner
******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,314
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Lisbon, Cidade do Pecado
Member No.: 185



QUOTE
No. Clearly the mediocre, subpar, technomancers who's abilities anyone can pretty much mimic for a few bucks and a quick Computer 101 course are to blame. Kill 'em all. (But still make them a plausible character archetype.)

The problem there being that somehow Average Joe in the Sixth World is aware of the metagame information and realizes that it's all hype and the rules for technomancers in SR4 actually make them pushovers.

Emergence develops from the premise that Average Joe doesn't know the full extent of a technomancers powers. In fact, at several points in the story technomancers are seen to do things TM characters are clearly unable to do under the rules. A handful of TMs bring down a major city grid easily (nobody knows they're sending out sprites to do the hard work nor does it matter). Their abilities are described by scientists and pundits as electrokinetic, so who knows what their limits are? (You only do because you've read the rules). They seem to descend from otaku who were behind the Second Crash (and nobody knows) and they may or may not be linked to mysterious AIs (who turn out to be equally threatening).

The point is that Average Joe doesn't know, and that's a sure way to mislead and manipulate the masses into believeing what someone wants them to believe.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ol' Scratch
post Aug 27 2007, 10:50 PM
Post #19


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Validating
Posts: 7,999
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,890



You're assuming anything I said was based upon the perceived power of a Technomancer. Joe Bob Average has access to the Matrix just as much as a Technomancer does. Hardly anything scary about that, especially if the majority of the populace is even moderately knowledgeable about it (which is hard to believe that they're not). As opposed to, you know, being able to conjure sentient monsters out of thin air, throw lightning bolts out of their fingers, or turn innocent people out enjoying a walk in the park into mentally controlled puppets.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
knasser
post Aug 27 2007, 10:53 PM
Post #20


Shadow Cartographer
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,737
Joined: 2-June 06
From: Secret Tunnels under the UK (South West)
Member No.: 8,636



I was the villain that started the Emergence Review thread when it first came out. If you search through the 4th Ed. forum here for "Emergence Review" it will pop right up. I considered my review to be fair as I gave full reasons for every comment so that people could know if it would apply to their own tastes or if they should ignore me. There was a long, long thread following it covering all the points and counterpoints made by people.

I'm not going to start repeating everything again as I said I would not and the original (long) thread is there if anyone cares to click search. I do want to make one comment about the game being suitable for non-technomancers, however. It is not. Many comparisons with the X-men have been made here already. The important point to grasp is that apart from the technomancer character in the party, everyone else is Bobby's parents.

There's also a major issue in that it came out... over a year after the original book. For anyone that has a technomancer character that has been getting on fine with everyone, they might wonder why all their contacts are retroactively shocked and prejudiced.

Okay, I'm starting up again, I'll stop there.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Malachi
post Aug 27 2007, 10:55 PM
Post #21


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,228
Joined: 24-July 07
From: Canada
Member No.: 12,350



I think the fear and panic from Technomancers is very in-keeping with establish SR history. The people of the SR world are afraid of everything new. They were scared of Magic when it appeared, they were scared of the other races and Goblinization, they were afraid of Bugs and new spirits, they were afraid of SURGE, and they were afraid when they learned of rogue evil AI's. Seems very plausible to me that they would be afraid of the next "new" thing.

As for people's expectations about what is actually in the book, perhaps Catalyst needs to better communicate the types of books that exist. Emergence is a "plot" book, Augmentation and Street Magic are rule ("crunch") books, and On the Run is an Adventure book.

If you don't like the book, then don't include it in "your" Shadowrun world. I don't think anyone at Catalyst would claim that you must use
"their" version of the world, so it's really not a big deal.

Finally, I would like people to keep in mind this: criticism is easy, creation is hard. So, if you are someone who finds it very easy to spout off what a "bad idea" some things are, I would like you to speak up with some better ones. I'm sure Catalyst could always use more Freelancers.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Rotbart van Dain...
post Aug 27 2007, 10:57 PM
Post #22


Hoppelhschen 5000
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 5,792
Joined: 3-January 04
Member No.: 5,951



The real problem with Emergence is that it should have been part of System Failure, tailing a few months after the second crash. That would have worked much better:

After the reader is told that a dooms-day cult has secretly developed a method of green nuclear fission, people lynching radio brains selectively isn't really a big deal. Oh, and it would have prevented people from retconning their characters and campaings.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Synner
post Aug 27 2007, 11:00 PM
Post #23


Runner
******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,314
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Lisbon, Cidade do Pecado
Member No.: 185



QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein @ Aug 27 2007, 10:50 PM)
You're assuming anything I said was based upon the perceived power of a Technomancer.  Joe Bob Average has access to the Matrix just as much as a Technomancer does.  Hardly anything scary about that, especially if the majority of the populace is even moderately knowledgeable about it (which is hard to believe that they're not).  As opposed to, you know, being able to conjure sentient monsters out of thin air, throw lightning bolts out of their fingers, or turn innocent people out enjoying a walk in the park into mentally controlled puppets.

Most people don't have hacking software. Most people won't be able to hack you accounts or your home system even with a computer. Most people won't even know how to get the software to do it. And most people will probably be a little scared of an individual that can, you know, conjure sentient monsters inside the ubiquitous computers systems everywhere around you (and anywhere reachable by Matrix for that matter), can knock out wireless electronics and cyberware with a flick of his fingers, or hack the brain of anyone linked to the Matrix and psychotropically program them to do his bidding or possibly even download his mind into their bodies like you've heard his AI masters were able to do.

Yup, I can see where the big difference is.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Caine Hazen
post Aug 27 2007, 11:01 PM
Post #24


MechRigger Delux
***

Group: Retired Admins
Posts: 1,151
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Hanger 18, WPAFB
Member No.: 1,657



QUOTE (Buster)

So if you can get passed the premise that the all-powerful media has stopped a genocide on mages, razorboys, and scriptkiddies but not on technomancers, then I would buy it

Well lets look at the timeframes... we've had scriptkiddies since the 1970's, so we've had 100 years to get used to that shit. Then there's the Cyber, which you couldlink back to even the 1980s (when paralysed men walked again because of wires in their bodies) so almost 100 years of that... plus it got good press, since the blind can see, the paralysed could walk, and the quads could get online to forum troll by controlling a mouse with their mind. All that media coverage means people have had a long time to learn what cyber can and can't do, and to romaticize it. Then there was magic. Yeah, I'll bet there were all sorts of bad things about that... oh wait, we already have the books describing events around that. There were years of hype and hystiria over all sorts of things, but people came out and were probably interviewed impartially and things got calmed down some. Plus being that magic can fit with many world/religious views, there would be a contigent of people who would help and support such effeorts as to make life easier on mages. And remember, when this was all going on, people were also far more worried about things like elves and orcs and dragons (OH MY!).. there wasn't one thing to focus on.

Technomancers are a different story. As was stated, it happens too close to the Crash 2.0. The media is against them, and its spun to the masse badly. Plus there is the straight fact that unlike things like the Bugs and Shedim, its on the big networks, not the fringe shows. There's no secrecy around this. And since most of the technos are even aware yet what al they can do with their powers, there are vast gaps that can be filled in with any rumor you'd like to place there.

I dunno though, I can't see people getting all worked up about it </sarcasm>
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ol' Scratch
post Aug 27 2007, 11:09 PM
Post #25


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Validating
Posts: 7,999
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,890



QUOTE (Synner)
Most people don't have hacking software. Most people won't be able to hack you accounts or your home system even with a computer. Most people won't even know how to get the software to do it.

Most people know people can do that. Most people know the limits of what you can do on the Matrix. I mean, I'm not a hacker in real life yet I'm certainly not pissing myself at the thoughts of all those evil, malicious virii and hackers out there! OOH, SCARY! And I sure as hell don't think it takes a magician ("but not really magicians, honest!") to do that shit. Or that if, suddenly, people were able to interact with the web, all the technological limits in place instantly become useless. Just because they don't need a computer to do it, you see.

QUOTE
And most people will probably be a little scared of individuals that, you know, can conjure sentient monsters inside the ubiquitous computers systems everywhere around you (and anywhere reachable by Matrix for that matter), can knock out wireless electronics with a flick of his fingers, or hack the brain of anyone linked to the Matrix and psychotropically program them to do his bidding or possibly even download his mind into their bodies.

As opposed to those who can do all those things outside of the Matrix, amirite? :please: Or the existance of software that can do the same thing, and has been able to do the same thing for decades now. (See: BTLs, moodchips, personafixes, etc.)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

9 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 4th December 2020 - 03:23 PM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.