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> Metagame Shadowrun question, ideas, and concerns., Everything you wanted to know or ask about the metagame.
Thadeus Bearpaw
post Nov 13 2008, 01:01 AM
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I use metagame in the sense of "anything which does not take place in-game". Here are some questions I have.

What skills do you as a GM roll for the players so as to facilitate the suspension of disbelief?
I'm thinking about rolling all perception checks (Perception, Matrix Perception, Assensing). I'm also tempted to roll Con and Disguise checks. What do you guys think? What do you as the GM throw and how do you as a player feel about that? What's more fun?

I also have some questions about Shadowrun from a corporate perspective. Who owns the licenses? Does Catalyst only own the RPG license and other companies own or have rights to other licenses? How did this come about? How well does Catalyst do financially? What does the future hold for Catalyst and should we be worried about the health and growth of the hobby? I know its probably not public record but does anyone have a bead on the numbers?

Please post other questions you guys might have here and any answers or advice to the above would be greatly appreciated.
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orcsoul
post Nov 13 2008, 02:13 AM
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As far as the GM rolling skills, I don't think I'd mind it personally just as long as I know that they're rolling for me... though personally I'd rather have the dice roll in my hand, call it paranoia or just general distrust of other human beings, but I would have to insist upon seeing the roll and the results.

Far as I'm aware about the corporate aspects, Topps/Wizkids are the legal owners of the Shadowrun PnP/RPG license who are leasing (?) it out to Catalyst to produce the game world books. Catalyst has said that the recent Wizkids closure won't impact SR at all since the deal was made with Topps or something along those lines.
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Thadeus Bearpaw
post Nov 13 2008, 03:54 AM
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QUOTE (orcsoul @ Nov 12 2008, 08:13 PM) *
As far as the GM rolling skills, I don't think I'd mind it personally just as long as I know that they're rolling for me... though personally I'd rather have the dice roll in my hand, call it paranoia or just general distrust of other human beings, but I would have to insist upon seeing the roll and the results.

Far as I'm aware about the corporate aspects, Topps/Wizkids are the legal owners of the Shadowrun PnP/RPG license who are leasing (?) it out to Catalyst to produce the game world books. Catalyst has said that the recent Wizkids closure won't impact SR at all since the deal was made with Topps or something along those lines.


What about rolling Con or Disguise checks? I think Con would be a definate but disguise I wonder about given how much prep can go into a disguise.
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orcsoul
post Nov 13 2008, 04:42 AM
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Well... Con and the rest of that family of skills are opposed tests to begin with... it would seem like a bit of a conflict of interest for the GM to roll both the PC's con/intimidate/leadership/negotiation and the NPC's opposed roll.

For every situation I'm trying to think up why it would be a good reason for the GM to secretly roll the PC's dice, I seem to be coming up with a perfectly good reason why not, or how it could be handled just as well letting the PC handle the rolls.... unless you're just dealing with someone who has a tendency to misrepresent their rolls across the table.
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raggedhalo
post Nov 13 2008, 06:09 PM
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QUOTE (orcsoul @ Nov 12 2008, 09:13 PM) *
I would have to insist upon seeing the roll and the results.


Why? If you can't trust your GM to roll Perception-type checks on your behalf, as is suggested in the RAW, why do you even let them run games?

I roll Perception checks for my players; they actually asked me to, as it means that they don't know OOC that there's something for them to notice IC. I tend to buy successes for them, rather than rolling five sets of dice, except where it affects things like how many dice they roll in a Surprise Test. It works well.
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DocTaotsu
post Nov 13 2008, 06:14 PM
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Seriously... If you don't trust your GM to do the right thing behind the screen, why bother gaming with them? Furthermore, what the heck is the point of having the GM roll dice for you if you insist on seeing the actual roll and the results? You might as well roll them yourself.

Yesh...
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Drogos
post Nov 13 2008, 07:26 PM
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I wouldn't buy successes for them, because then all you end up with is the exact same result for each player every single time. Instead, might I suggest you take each of their DPs and roll say 15 times for each Perception DP and then compile the hits/glitches in a list. Then you go through the list as they need to make a perception test. Once you go threw once, you start back at the begining. Our GM does this and there is at least a fair ammount of variance.

I would also avoid rolling Con and Disguise. Honestly, the more rolling you can keep out of your hands the better, becuase you have enough on your plate as a GM. Perception is a fair exception because it can lead to them doing things they shouldn't (Like not going through a door). Of course, if you have those types of problems with your players, you should talk to them about using metagame knowledge (such as the result of a roll).

As for Catalyst, all indications say that the company is doing well and the line is not going to be affected by the Wizkids closing. Unless you are on their staff, you probably will not be getting more information than that (and most of the people who could answer it are likely tied to a NDA that keeps them unable to speak to the specifics).
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MYST1C
post Nov 14 2008, 08:26 AM
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QUOTE (Thadeus Bearpaw @ Nov 13 2008, 02:01 AM) *
I also have some questions about Shadowrun from a corporate perspective. Who owns the licenses? Does Catalyst only own the RPG license and other companies own or have rights to other licenses? How did this come about?

The Shadowrun IP (except for video/computer games) is owned by Topps who got it when they bought (and recently closed) WizKids. WizKids had previously bought Shadowrun from the original publisher/owner, FASA.
Shadowrun is licensed for production to InMediaRes Productions who publish the game through their Catalyst Game Labs imprint.

The video/computer game rights to Shadowrun are owned by Microsoft, aquired when Microsoft bought FASA Interactive, FASA's computer division.
After the failure of the recent Shadowrun FPS game Microsoft has licensed Shadowrun video/computer game rights to Smith & Tinker.
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sunnyside
post Nov 14 2008, 10:05 AM
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On rolling. I've found that players do not like having you roll for them. They like to control their own fate, and sometimes they think their dice are just luckier. Plus for all they know you're applying some modifiers they wouldn't agree with or you're forgetting some bonus they should have.

Plus many people just plain like getting to roll the dice.

I only roll for players when not doing so would give them OOC information that could lessen the fun of the game.

For example:

"The Johnson says he'll pay you the other half on completion of the run.

uh. Gimmi a con check. "

Is not something I think a wise game master should say. It really spoils things because even if they would have gotten suspicious on their own everyone already knows the score. Same with many perception tests.

However if they player were the one lying I'd let them roll. If they're spending an action to observe in detail I'd let them roll. (even though, yes, they'd know if they rolled well or not).

I also let them roll if the result will be instantanious. For example if they're rolling to see if they noticed the guys about to surprise them. Win or lose they're in combat so might as well just let them roll that one.



Oh. And there is another serious player concern here. The use of edge. Maybe if they know they were called on to make any kind of con roll during negotiations they'd use edge. If you're rolling for them you wouldn't be.



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Thadeus Bearpaw
post Nov 14 2008, 10:58 AM
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QUOTE (sunnyside @ Nov 14 2008, 04:05 AM) *
On rolling. I've found that players do not like having you roll for them. They like to control their own fate, and sometimes they think their dice are just luckier. Plus for all they know you're applying some modifiers they wouldn't agree with or you're forgetting some bonus they should have.

Plus many people just plain like getting to roll the dice.

I only roll for players when not doing so would give them OOC information that could lessen the fun of the game.

For example:

"The Johnson says he'll pay you the other half on completion of the run.

uh. Gimmi a con check. "

Is not something I think a wise game master should say. It really spoils things because even if they would have gotten suspicious on their own everyone already knows the score. Same with many perception tests.

However if they player were the one lying I'd let them roll. If they're spending an action to observe in detail I'd let them roll. (even though, yes, they'd know if they rolled well or not).

I also let them roll if the result will be instantanious. For example if they're rolling to see if they noticed the guys about to surprise them. Win or lose they're in combat so might as well just let them roll that one.



Oh. And there is another serious player concern here. The use of edge. Maybe if they know they were called on to make any kind of con roll during negotiations they'd use edge. If you're rolling for them you wouldn't be.


The concern for edge I can see as a valid thing. I'd have to say rolling perception checks (whether its assensing, matrix perception, or meat) is something I definately ought to do if the element of surprise is important to atmosphere, say an assassin is sneaky his way towards the party, plus if you've got 3-6 players throwing that many dice pools the chances of somebody spotting something substantitally increases. Instead I'd roll the highest pool and add one for the other members of the party (just like NPCs) to balance it. I think you're right on the con and disguise checks, I think checks done in advance ought not be rolled by players otherwise they'll change strategies going in, on the other hand why couldn't they see how well their disguise was, and on the third hand (Nartaki anybody?) why would the necessarily know whether their disguise is bad or good?
Now say they're rolling a disguise or con check for something happening right than and there? Sure, let the players roll, the stress is already on, there's already emotion and if they flub the roll than they know the consequences pretty much immediately anyway.
I think in general players should throw their own rolls, with edge on perception or disguise checks (in advance) they should know how badly they want to succeed on something. They'll know this disguise check is critical enough to the success of the run to edge it. I don't really like edging after the fact anyway. I always like the way hero points in Mutants and Masterminds and if this is the one roll out of dozens that they don't get to edge I can't imagine that would top the suspension of disbelief newly evident in the game.
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sunnyside
post Nov 14 2008, 12:11 PM
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Hmmmm.

You know sometimes players will say things like "I'm being extra cautious about XYZ".

Maybe you could use statements like that to specify when they would use edge on a perception/con/etc roll should one come up.

If you want maybe you could require them to be explicit and punny and that they need to tell when their characters are "on edge".
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