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Roccojr
post Aug 30 2007, 08:22 AM
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New to the forums but not new to Shadowrun (been playing since the day 1st Edition hit the streets...). I dragged my girlfriend (now wife and mother of our three kiddies... future Shadowrunners, all!) to go get the rules the day they came out and we were playing a couple of days later.

We had a long hiatus that we're just emerging from. Our campaign is significantly behind the official timeline... we're in 2058. Dunkelzahn's death, the Mob War, the Corp War... they're all in the near future for us. I'm not sure how closely we will follow the timeline at this point but I've been pretty loyal to it in the past. Despite the hiatus, I was keeping up on the books. I even have one of those pre-ordered, leather-bound 3rd Edition rulebooks stashed away (popularly referred to as BABY, if I recall).

We played 1st Edition and then 2nd Edition when it came out. When 3rd Edition came out, we opted to stick with 2nd. Now 4th is out. My group STILL prefers 2nd Edition. We've incorporated some 3rd Edition stuff and even a few 4th Edition things so we refer to our rules as Shadowrun 2.5 when we need to differentiate but its close enough to 2nd Edition that I'm pretty sure anyone who preferred that Edition would be happy... We are!

Is anyone else out there an anachronistic, 2nd Edition hold-out?
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Mr. Croup
post Aug 30 2007, 09:40 AM
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I was for a while. I'd only got most of my SR2 books when SR3 came out and was a little miffed as i recall. So i stuck with 2nd ed until i found i preferred the SR3 rules system as it seemed to iron out a lot of old problems (whether those problems were with the system or with me i don't know, a lot has happened for me since then).

As it stands i'm still a staunch SR3 fan as, despite the new system being, in my eyes, ten times better than the lurching monster that is the SR3 system (well, once you added all the books it certainly became that, the original set wasn't all that bad), the feel of SR4 is different thanks to newer tech and an advanced timeline. That and my game is still somewhere around early 2064.

However, i'm looking a lot more towards SR4 at the moment since augmentation came out. I've been looking at doing a Transhumanist character for a while but SR3 seemed to lack that special something that would help pull it off. SR4 Augmentation book has really brought out the chance to do so with it's fine line in cosmetic cyber/bio/gene/nanoware. I'm just trying to get together with an SR4 running group at the moment, but we're having 'logistical' problems at the moment.

Sorry, got carried away a little there!
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tisoz
post Aug 30 2007, 01:52 PM
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I could go for a second edition game, but I had so much trouble finding any game it is usually the current edition. It was certainly true when SR3 came out. I've played one SR3 game since SR4 came out.

I liked the Second Edition skill groups and threat ratings. We used to give the players the option of increasing the threat level point for point with karma rewards. Anchoring was still worthwhile. There was the problem when the shaman discovered he could summon a Force 1 spirit, have it materialize in the enemies midst, and fireball them from the astral by grounding it through the spirit. I think there was even a "loophole" where the magicians did not need Sorcery above 1, because you rolled the Spell's Force + Magic Pool to cast spells.

I also liked better how some cyberware worked, like the Tactical Computer (making it worth the monetary and essence cost) and Encephalon. I do like how 3rd edition simplified Decking, I do not care for how it made Matrix combat pointless most of the time. At least there are not matrix hosts to map out.
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Kyoto Kid
post Aug 30 2007, 05:11 PM
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...played in every edition. Yeah 3rd is one of the most rules heavy and at first I didn't like the more specialised skills (for example, Firearms was broken up into four distinct weapon skills). However, I actually like the old style decking better and the fact that Riggers were a unique personality. I also like the fact that casting and summoning drain was harder to shake down and there was clear cut a distinction between Hermetics and Shamans.

However, 4th ed still has me hedging. I still am not pleased with the skill caps. I am not into the whole idea of Edge (replacing Karma pool) being a purchased Attribute. I also do not like the progression rules for awakened characters (even though I rarely if ever play a mage). Knowledge skills were nerfed. some of the basic flaws (like Phobia) were omitted. The Incompetence quality is bogus. Kinesics and Critical strike are broken. Anybody can be a hacker (even mages) Riggers were nerfed, The price of a loaf of bread is obscene, and I'm building a swimming pool and there's dirt all over the place...

...oops sorry, spiraling again. :grinbig:
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Draconis
post Aug 30 2007, 10:28 PM
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QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
...played in every edition. Yeah 3rd is one of the most rules heavy and at first I didn't like the more specialised skills (for example, Firearms was broken up into four distinct weapon skills). However, I actually like the old style decking better and the fact that Riggers were a unique personality. I also like the fact that casting and summoning drain was harder to shake down and there was clear cut a distinction between Hermetics and Shamans.

However, 4th ed still has me hedging. I still am not pleased with the skill caps. I am not into the whole idea of Edge (replacing Karma pool) being a purchased Attribute. I also do not like the progression rules for awakened characters (even though I rarely if ever play a mage). Knowledge skills were nerfed. some of the basic flaws (like Phobia) were omitted. The Incompetence quality is bogus. Kinesics and Critical strike are broken. Anybody can be a hacker (even mages) Riggers were nerfed, The price of a loaf of bread is obscene, and I'm building a swimming pool and there's dirt all over the place...

...oops sorry, spiraling again. :grinbig:

Funny that earlier editions where mentioned, I was just reading some 1st ed stuff out of nostalgia.

I personally like the rules of 4th but the look and feel of the new edition it is waaay and completely off from 3rd and earlier editions. Everything has taken a backseat to rules, the fluff and the design has gone straight to hell.

KK ignore skill caps. Oh and Edge is perfectly fine as written. I've had an edge of 2 for two real life years and it's been fine. If I used old edition rules I'd have a Karma pool of about 22 and gameplay would be a joke.

Hmm progression rules for awakened chars.? What's wrong specifically? I'm just curious as I currently play a magic user.

I haven't really seen much of a difference in knowledge skills except that you get less.
Phobia was being used for cheap BPs. Incompetence is indeed bogus I can't argue with you there. I still just shrug and take them anyway. Critical strike is in no way broken, I have it and use it occasionally.

Theoretically anyone can be a hacker, in actual game play that's generally not how it turns out. If the mage starts to lean that way not only does he become a shitty mage he becomes a shitty hacker. Use logic+skill, cap success at program rating and you're good to go. }: P

So anyway....was fourth edition needed? Nope, 3rd looks and works just fine.
Until recently I liked our 3rd ed campaign better, was thinking about reviving it.
But Augmentation just came out which was a badly needed shot in the arm for the new edition.

Btw I played a reluctant Transhumanist in 3rd ed. So it was possible. It is indeed easier now in 4th. That previous character is mentioned obliquely in Augmentation which gives me warm fuzzies. :)
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Wounded Ronin
post Aug 30 2007, 10:32 PM
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I want to try 1st edition.
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tisoz
post Aug 30 2007, 11:15 PM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
I want to try 1st edition.

Sure you do.

Either players preferring 1st edition are very quiet, or they just do not exist. I can not recall ever hearing anyone stating a 1st edition preference.
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Kagetenshi
post Aug 30 2007, 11:17 PM
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QUOTE (Draconis)
If I used old edition rules I'd have a Karma pool of about 22 and gameplay would be a joke.

Not as much a joke as you think—you get twenty-one free passes on failure on low-TN tests, but high-TN tests will still be problematic, while high-TN tests you need multiple successes on will still eat you for lunch. For example, hitting a TN of 18 with 6 dice is a ~2.75% chance, while doing so with 36 dice (oversimplified, but good enough for a test where you only need one success) gives you a ~15.38% chance. Powerful, but not wildly so, and it costs all but one of your KP. For something like soaking a one-success Ranger Arms shot with five points of armor and six soak dice (TN 9, 7 successes needed to fully soak), you have (assuming 6 dice plus 6 rerolls equals 36 dice, which inflates your actual chance of success meaningfully compared to how it actually works but I'm too tired right now to do it properly) a ~9.82% chance of doing it successfully.

Really, the most overtly powerful part of a large karma pool (as opposed to simple relative immunity to bad rolls on low-TN tests) is due to the fact that dodge tests generally have low TNs. Three- or six-round bursts can bleed off that KP very quickly—it's only the weird damage codes that encourage Heavy Pistols that makes that seem like such a big deal.

~J
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Draconis
post Aug 31 2007, 12:21 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Aug 30 2007, 11:17 PM)
QUOTE (Draconis @ Aug 30 2007, 05:28 PM)
If I used old edition rules I'd have a Karma pool of about 22 and gameplay would be a joke.

Not as much a joke as you think—you get twenty-one free passes on failure on low-TN tests, but high-TN tests will still be problematic, while high-TN tests you need multiple successes on will still eat you for lunch. For example, hitting a TN of 18 with 6 dice is a ~2.75% chance, while doing so with 36 dice (oversimplified, but good enough for a test where you only need one success) gives you a ~15.38% chance. Powerful, but not wildly so, and it costs all but one of your KP. For something like soaking a one-success Ranger Arms shot with five points of armor and six soak dice (TN 9, 7 successes needed to fully soak), you have (assuming 6 dice plus 6 rerolls equals 36 dice, which inflates your actual chance of success meaningfully compared to how it actually works but I'm too tired right now to do it properly) a ~9.82% chance of doing it successfully.

Really, the most overtly powerful part of a large karma pool (as opposed to simple relative immunity to bad rolls on low-TN tests) is due to the fact that dodge tests generally have low TNs. Three- or six-round bursts can bleed off that KP very quickly—it's only the weird damage codes that encourage Heavy Pistols that makes that seem like such a big deal.

~J

Ack he's throwing math at me, it burns us. Hang on what was my Karma pool.....hmm only 7 at the time seems odd for 103 karma. Oh ya I think I bought successes a few times to save my tail.

What about offense as well as defense? Still, remember I did prefer 3rd edition, it was much more cinematic.
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Kyoto Kid
post Aug 31 2007, 12:26 AM
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QUOTE (Draconis)
Hmm progression rules for awakened chars.? What's wrong specifically? I'm just curious as I currently play a magic user.

...mainly the Karma cost having to both initiate and increase MA. I find this even more hindering to Adepts (which are the only awakened characters I like) in that both are necessary to expand your power repertoire. Mages on the other hand can learn/create more spells, as well as use foci and spirits to augment themselves without necessarily having to initiate or increase MA.

QUOTE
Critical strike is in no way broken, I have it and use it occasionally.

...I also have several characters with the power. I feel I pretty much said my peace on this in the Adepts thread. I just have issues with a 1 Strength character being able to knock someone into next week.

QUOTE
Use logic+skill, cap success at program rating and you're good to go.

...our group has adopted this rule.

QUOTE
So anyway....was fourth edition needed? Nope, 3rd looks and works just fine.
Until recently I liked our 3rd ed campaign better, was thinking about reviving it.

...I feel the same way. I have revived my 3rd ed campaign titled Rhapsody in Shadow since I have a new group of players.
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Draconis
post Aug 31 2007, 12:36 AM
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QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
QUOTE (Draconis)
Hmm progression rules for awakened chars.? What's wrong specifically? I'm just curious as I currently play a magic user.

...mainly the Karma cost having to both initiate and increase MA. I find this even more hindering to Adepts (which are the only awakened characters I like) in that both are necessary to expand your power repertoire. Mages on the other hand can learn/create more spells, as well as use foci and spirits to augment themselves without necessarily having to initiate or increase MA.

QUOTE
Critical strike is in no way broken, I have it and use it occasionally.

...I also have several characters with the power. I feel I pretty much said my peace on this in the Adepts thread. I just have issues with a 1 Strength character being able to knock someone into next week.

QUOTE
Use logic+skill, cap success at program rating and you're good to go.

...our group has adopted this rule.

QUOTE
So anyway....was fourth edition needed? Nope, 3rd looks and works just fine.
Until recently I liked our 3rd ed campaign better, was thinking about reviving it.

...I feel the same way. I have revived my 3rd ed campaign titled Rhapsody in Shadow since I have a new group of players.

Ya I know having to house rule everything is a pain. Frank's are excellent though. Come to think of it I must admit I've been using them for so long I forget what the printed rules actually are instead of what they're supposed to be. Maybe a revised edition is in order? Everyone else does it, heh.

For example, with us Initiation does increase your MA. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Uh you do realize critical strike is a magical ability? But ya tangent alert.

Every group should adopt that rule because it makes sense. How the hell the actual rule got printed is beyond me. I think it was a rush job.

Of course it could be worse, just have to look at a certain other line of RPGs to see what happens when English majors do something mathematical. :grinbig:
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Kyoto Kid
post Aug 31 2007, 01:03 AM
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QUOTE (Draconis)
Uh you do realize critical strike is a magical ability?

...yeah, had to dodge a lot of plascrete bricks thrown my way on the other thread over this. For the sake of argument though, so is the Improved Ability power, however, that is capped by 1/2 skill rating. Just seems like a nagging little inconsistency to me.

QUOTE
But ya tangent alert.

...agreed.
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Roccojr
post Sep 1 2007, 09:11 PM
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QUOTE (tisoz)
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Aug 30 2007, 06:32 PM)
I want to try 1st edition.

Sure you do.

Either players preferring 1st edition are very quiet, or they just do not exist. I can not recall ever hearing anyone stating a 1st edition preference.

I remember a few.. but it was in ancient times (back when SR2 was brandy new). The variable staging (damage codes might be something like 4M3 or 6L4 meaning it staged up or down with every THREE or FOUR successes, respectively, instead of the standardized two that they used in 2nd and 3rd editions) was apparently popular with some people... though I'm not sure why.

I still keep and refer to my 1st Edition book, though. Actually, I refer to my 3rd Edition book, too. 3rd Edition does some REALLY good explaining of things. Just as a simple example, 3rd Edition explains the 4 major components to a smartlink. 1st and 2nd don't really. It goes a long way to explaining the cool looking eyepiece targeting devices you see characters wearing in SR art... or why some people wire themselves into weapons when a smartlink includes an induction pad.

-Jim
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Platinum
post Sep 3 2007, 03:33 PM
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I am a staunch and vocal 2nd edition hold out. I can complain all day about the things that I don't like about third edition, and won't even bother with fourth.

Each edition has a few loop holes, it's the nature of enterprising players to take things to the extreme, but a smart gm would just start turning the tables around on the players when they start pulling the "astral grounding through spirits tactics" or whatever exploit applied.

1st edition was good ... but it took all day if you were using full auto because you rolled for every bullet.

They changed the damage staging to standardize damage codes so things would go quicker. All it wound doing was making every shadowrunner carry a heavy pistol.

I really loved the effect speed had on characters in 2nd edition, and how everyone was such a specialist. It was a gritty, dirty and deadly edition. I still pine to play it.
Also if you were an expert in rifles ... you could actually pick up and fire another gun, instead of not having any kind of ability like third. The only downside was how mages had to learn a different spell for each damage level for combat spells.

Sr3r has some really great ideas that they are incorporating into their project. Some small changes to decking etc, that are worth plucking out and inserting into your game.

I liked the old way of decking, but VR2 really streamlined it and sped it up which is what 95% of the parties needed out there. Unfortunately most people were too lazy or could not figure how to properly integrate a decker into a party to make it worth while having a PC decker instead of a NPC. They say they fixed this in fourth, but I don't like how it works at all.

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TheMadDutchman
post Sep 3 2007, 06:54 PM
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I started back in SR2. I really enjoyed it. I moved on to 3 when it came out and I liked it too.

That being said I pledge total and undying allegiance to SR4. Seriously, my thing is that I hate rules. In a lot of games that I've been in I'm the Gm in more than 1/2 of them and I never bother to learn complex rules. I favor SR4 because everything's a lot more streamlined than previous editions. Also, I love the fact that the matrix finally went wireless. It was getting to the point where my cell phone was more high-tech than anything in Shadowrun.

The rules for SR4 have so far been quicker and, to me, much more intuitive than rules in other editions.

Now, if a friend said "Hey, you wanna play some SR2 or SR3" I'd say yes; because I enjoyed the games but I won't run them. That being said if someone wanted to run a game of advanced second edition of some other game; I'd say no.
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 3 2007, 08:40 PM
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QUOTE (TheMadDutchman)
That being said I pledge total and undying allegiance to SR4. Seriously, my thing is that I hate rules.

Serious question: then why do you buy them?

~J
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Kyoto Kid
post Sep 3 2007, 09:16 PM
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...I for one like Decking over Hacking I like having to get your butts into a facility or tapping a commline to surf a corp's matrix.

I liked it when Dynamo Jo could go into a stuffer shack and pay for a bag of Orc Rinds and a 6 pack of Spud Lite & leave no datatrail behind. I liked the fact that her Cyber implants did what she wanted them to and not what some snot nosed kid hacker thinks they should do. I like the fact that she really was indeed "the best pilot you ever saw" and not just like "every other best pilot you ever saw"

I like the concept of the "Million :nuyen: Sammy". The "A-Rod" Quarter Million :nuyen: version just doesn't have the same ring to it.

I have run both systems and overall, I actually prefer dealing with the more "complex" rules of SRIII as a GM over the homogenisation of character archetypes in SR4. In my campaigns, Deckers still reign supreme in the matrix, not Sammys, Adepts, or Mages. Riggers are kings of the roads, skies, & seas, not Sammys, Adepts, or Mages (well, unless they levitate & use the appropriate spirit or elemental to move them along).
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Tanka
post Sep 3 2007, 11:48 PM
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2nd Ed player here. I'm familiar with the 3rd Ed rules, but my core SR group is 2nd Ed through-and-through.

(OK, OK, we use some 3rd Ed rules and material. But the timeline and most of the rules are all 2nd Ed.)
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Link
post Sep 4 2007, 01:14 AM
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QUOTE (tisoz)
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Aug 30 2007, 06:32 PM)
I want to try 1st edition.

Sure you do.

Either players preferring 1st edition are very quiet, or they just do not exist. I can not recall ever hearing anyone stating a 1st edition preference.

Bravo Ronin.

The only edition I don't prefer is 4th ;)
1st and 2nd are quite similar, the later books like VR2 and Rigger 2 wrought more significant change. 1st ed. was only around for a few years and in the days when a new edition seemed like an improvement I assume most players moved to 2nd.
That said, some of my favourite books, like Shadowtech and Shadowbeat, are from 1st ed.
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TheMadDutchman
post Sep 4 2007, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
QUOTE (TheMadDutchman @ Sep 3 2007, 01:54 PM)
That being said I pledge total and undying allegiance to SR4. Seriously, my thing is that I hate rules.

Serious question: then why do you buy them?

~J

Because as I much as I hate rules I recognize their necessity in a communal storytelling environment.

Without rules we're just playing make-believe and when you're playing make believe it's only a matter of time before someone make believes that their character is invincible or unkillable or however they want it to sound.

This takes me back to when I was a kid and me, my older brother, and our friends (grammatically incorrect on purpose) would play G.I. Joes. We'd all be having fun our armies and strike forces attacking and engaging our enemies and there'd be an almost casual tradeoff of casualties- this Repeater kills the alley viper; Destro kills Tunne Rat; Duke takes down the range viper. Everything would be great until someone- usually my brother- brought out Snake-Eyes. Snake-Eyes, the mute ninja commando. He couldn't be hit, he couldn't be killed, and he was most certainly in the Arashikage killing trance (See G.I. Joe A Real American Heroe by Marvel Comics issues in the early 100s). The best you could hope for was that you had a Snake-Eyes of your own. That way the two of them could duel for ever.

I hate rules but they serve a purpose. If there had been rules to those battles- dice and statistics, such as there are in roleplaying games, than at least there was a chance someone else could have defeated Snake-eyes. He could have glitched and dropped his sword, his uzi could have run out of ammo. On a roll of the dice he could have just missed opening the way for Storm Shadow or Firefly to take him down.


Now yes, rules aren't perfect. I've seen a lot of characters for a lot of games become pretty damn near indestructible but with the rules you can at least see how it's done.
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Platinum
post Sep 4 2007, 09:44 PM
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Sounds like you should look up amber. It's a diceless system that depends heavily on storytelling.
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DuckEggBlue Omeg...
post Sep 5 2007, 12:12 AM
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I started playing with 3e and I like it, even if there are some really weird situation specific rules (Matrix searches done using etiquette? Buying gear uses Intelligence for TN but fencing using Willpower, with both using a Charsima linked skill?) I like the core mechanics.

I do like SOME things about 4e, even the fixed TNs are growing on me (they're easier for a GM to fudge - saying 'yeah that's enough successes' is alot easier than having to check how well each individual dice rolled) but one thing I absolutely loathe is adding attributes to skill tests. It plays into the GURPSian philosophy of natural ability trumping hard earned skills everytime, it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 5 2007, 01:18 AM
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QUOTE (TheMadDutchman)
Because as I much as I hate rules I recognize their necessity in a communal storytelling environment.

Without rules we're just playing make-believe and when you're playing make believe it's only a matter of time before someone make believes that their character is invincible or unkillable or however they want it to sound.

You really should check out Amber Diceless. You don't need a bunch of mathematically unsound rules to give structure to communal storytelling.

~J
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Mercer
post Sep 5 2007, 02:24 AM
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Actually, there's a lot of indie games out there that are worth checking out. Universalis, PrimeTime Adventures, and Dogs in the Vineyard. Just off the top of my head.

I started playing with SR2, and my group switched over to SR3 when it came out. In terms of rule-specifics, its a little hard to judge, but some of the best games of my life were SR2. That had a little to do with the system and a lot more to do with where I was in life-- right out of high school, working and going to school part time, no real responsibilities and nowhere to be early in the morning. Its hard to recapture that magic.

I liked SR3. It wasn't too terribly different from 2ed and there's always that bit where a new system will "fix" everything I liked and leave alone the stuff I don't like (*cough* vehicle combat *cough*). But 3ed had enough going for it to win my heart. I preferred 2ed Initiative-- and my main 2ed character was a private detective that started his career at 5+1d6 and ended it 400 karma and millions of nuyen later at 7+1d6-- but 3ed was more balanced.

SR4 is what I play now, because that's what people play. It's not a bad system, and I have a lot of fun playing it. I don't know it as well as a knew 2 or 3 (in fact, its been so long since I've played them that I don't know 2 and 3 that well anymore), but I'm learning.

I've also lost my grail-like obsession with finding "the perfect system". There used to be this feeling that if the rules were absolutely perfect, the games would rock. My current theory is that what makes games rock is far more ephemeral than what can be found in the text. All I'm really looking for these days in a ruleset is that it doesn't actively get in the way.
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Blade
post Sep 5 2007, 08:05 AM
Post #25


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I'm not here to say that SR4 is the best, I have my own gripes with some of the new rules, but I'm really surprised by some criticisms:

QUOTE ("Kyoto Kid")
...I for one like Decking over Hacking  I like having to get your butts into a facility or tapping a commline to surf a corp's matrix. 

Nothing new in 4th ed. If the facility's Matrix connection is cut off the Matrix grid, then you have to get there.

QUOTE ("Kyoto Kid")
I liked it when Dynamo Jo could go into a stuffer shack and pay for a bag of Orc Rinds and a 6 pack of Spud Lite & leave no datatrail behind.

Nothing new in 4th ed, if you pay cash (if the shop still accepts it), or use a certified credstick, or even with a transaction commlink to commlink (anonymous according to some fluff).
Of course, the presence of your commlink inside the stuffer shack might leave a trace in the shop's log, just like your credstick did in SR3 (as written in the SSG).

QUOTE ("Kyoto Kid")
I liked the fact that her Cyber implants did what she wanted them to and not what some snot nosed kid hacker thinks they should do.

Some snot nosed kid hacker who is less than 3m from her and can hack on the fly a node with a threshold of 10, in the middle of a fight (so I guess that hotsim VR is out of question)

QUOTE ("Kyoto Kid")
I like the fact that she really was indeed "the best pilot you ever saw" and not just like "every other best pilot you ever saw"

I don't get this one: in 3rd ed, anyone could max out a skill without spending that much BP. You wanted to create the best pilot, and you ended up with the same skill rating (6) as the Sammy who just wanted to be good at driving and had a few BP left.
In 4th ed, you have to pay an insane amount of BP to max out Reaction (with exceptional attribute) and driving skill (with aptitude), and I don't think that every player will do it.

QUOTE ("Kyoto Kid")
Deckers still reign supreme in the matrix, not Sammys, Adepts, or Mages.

Nothing prevented a mage/adept in 3rd ed to have a datajack (and a Geas to keep his magic), a decent cyberdeck and decent hacking skills... even at chargen. I've seen some examples of that.
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