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> Oncology, How to get a D&D gamer playing SR well
WeaverMount
post Nov 24 2008, 04:48 AM
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So we all play SR for a love of the setting, lord knows it isn't the rules. Lots of gamers though think that table topping is D&D. Do we have any best practices for getting people to make the mindset switch?
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Ravor
post Nov 24 2008, 04:53 AM
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Sit him down and explain the differences between the two games. Then run two different one-shots for him, in the first one let him screw it up royally, and in the second give him pointers on what a real Runner might do in this situation for the best Pink Mohawk effect.

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kzt
post Nov 24 2008, 05:18 AM
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It depends. There are people who are perfectly happy with HacknSlash D&D. If they are then it's hard. If they want something different SR might work, but you have to figure out what they want and tailor the game for them. There are many different ways to play SR, even if you don't mess with the setting or the rules.
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toturi
post Nov 24 2008, 06:16 AM
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QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Nov 24 2008, 12:48 PM) *
So we all play SR for a love of the setting, lord knows it isn't the rules.

I love the SR rules.
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Muspellsheimr
post Nov 24 2008, 06:33 AM
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QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Nov 23 2008, 09:48 PM) *
So we all play SR for a love of the setting, lord knows it isn't the rules.


Despite its many flaws, Shadowrun 4 is by far the best game system I have seen.
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TheOOB
post Nov 24 2008, 06:43 AM
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The rules of shadowrun do what they do well. The thing about PnP RPGs is that most rule sets are designed to do one certain thing and do things other then what they where designed for quite poorly. Shadowrun happens to do well with extremely deadly yet cinematic combat with the three plane system(meat, astral, and matrix). D&D on the other hand does over the top heroic fantasy tactical combat very well.

As with any game system, the best way to get players to learn the system is give them a pre-gen character and have them run a couple of one shots. This will help them understand the rules and how the setting works. The pre-gen character part is important because truth be told until you have acually played a game it is difficult to understand the consequences of the choices you make in character creation. Make sure in the one shots that you show the player how dangerous and deadly shadowrun is, and how kicking in the door isn't always they best option, if they played D&D exclusively they are likely used to playing a character who can be caught in the middle of a fireball and barely take a scratch, while in shadowrun that ganger with a pistol is a legitimate threat unless you have some heavy duty armor.

Other tricks, limit new players access to the additional rulebooks until they understand the core rules well, and if possible have them use the priority system to make their first couple of characters, the BP and Karma system gives you simply too many choices for a new player.
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WeaverMount
post Nov 24 2008, 09:05 AM
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QUOTE (toturi @ Nov 24 2008, 02:16 AM) *
I love the SR rules.

I say this from massive respect, you have a very special relationship with the rules that is by no means typical of SR players. PM me if you ever take up kabbalah.

QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Nov 24 2008, 02:16 AM) *
Despite its many flaws, Shadowrun 4 is by far the best game system I have seen.

What makes it the best for you? Honest question because my life would be easier if I could see how to really like the rules.

QUOTE
The rules of shadowrun do what they do well. The thing about PnP RPGs is that most rule sets are designed to do one certain thing and do things other then what they where designed for quite poorly. Shadowrun happens to do well with extremely deadly yet cinematic combat with the three plane system(meat, astral, and matrix). D&D on the other hand does over the top heroic fantasy tactical combat very well.

I feel like this edition sacrificed elegance, and rigger for localized simplicity. Every one thing in SR4 is easy and straight forward, but nothing clicks together nicely, no you can make it work, but you have make it work. It doesn't just go all by it's self. If I'm going to put work into getting my mechanics to work I would rather be playing GURPS or wushu.
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Dashifen
post Nov 24 2008, 03:37 PM
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Responding to the OP's question, my best case conversion from D&D to SR for a player was to hit them with a high-action game first. Put them in a situation where they get to shoot their guns, punch people in the face for money, and summon massive force spirits to eat chase vehicles. However, at the end of all that, put them in a situation where they cannot use that power unless they want to risk something else. For example: hostage situations, especially if the hostage is the very person they're paid to find, save, speak to, etc. Then, make sure the very next run is entirely different. Make it more social or investigative. Put them in a horror situation (getting out of the warzone they just created as the ghouls come out to play, for example).

In other words, give them a taste of how SR can be like D&D sometimes, but then very quickly give them a taste of how SR can be something very different. 'Course, this is not to say that D&D can't be a horror/social/investigative game, too, but it's not the way most players experience that setting, IMO.

Finally, the most important step: after the end of the second scenario, stop playing for a while and chat with the players. Tell them that you can run SR like the first episode or like the latter one. And, it can be a lot of things in between. See if they like one more than the other or if they strongly disliked one more than the other.

The last tidbit I've done well with is to make sure the opposition doesn't have equipment that is that much better than the players and stress that the handgun they could steal from that ganger isn't worth all that much and they've already got a perfectly good handgun of their own. That tends to cut down on the loot-the-corpses mentality.
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Onin the Shade
post Nov 24 2008, 04:06 PM
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shoot him in the foot, tell him your playing SR now. repeat as needed. direct, to the point, and it gives him a first hand look on how things may end up in the SR game if things go sour. heh
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Malachi
post Nov 24 2008, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Nov 24 2008, 05:05 AM) *
I say this from massive respect, you have a very special relationship with the rules that is by no means typical of SR players.

Ahh, be careful. All sweeping generalizations are false. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Nov 24 2008, 05:05 AM) *
I feel like this edition sacrificed elegance, and rigger for localized simplicity. Every one thing in SR4 is easy and straight forward, but nothing clicks together nicely, no you can make it work, but you have make it work. It doesn't just go all by it's self. If I'm going to put work into getting my mechanics to work I would rather be playing GURPS or wushu.

I felt that previous editions had more of a "compartmentalization" problem with different rule "zones" but that's probably just a difference in personal viewpoint.
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Ryu
post Nov 24 2008, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Nov 24 2008, 05:48 AM) *
So we all play SR for a love of the setting, lord knows it isn't the rules. Lots of gamers though think that table topping is D&D. Do we have any best practices for getting people to make the mindset switch?

SR4 is my favourite rules system:

- No fixed classes, you can meet job requirements in a multitude of ways.
- The skill system is simple and elegant, and you donĀ“t have to spend years before you reach some level of competency.
- It works over a wide range of power levels.

As for making the mind-switch, stress that initial power is way higher, so that advancement speed is more like 10th level upwards. Stress also that shadowrunners depend on skill and cunning instead of brute force. If you are already playing, describe how unbelievable some runner feats are for normal people. Scroll down on this part of Aarons site to find knassers illustration of samurai physical abilities.
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BlueMax
post Nov 24 2008, 08:02 PM
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Weaver,
It looks like we are in the same geographic area. What up Orkland?

I would love to meet sometime and discuss in person. This topic is one which also interests me. Perhaps you could cameo in one of my Saturday games?

As to the conversion, its easy if they are alt schule gamers and have played games like the original Call of Cthulu. Games where story and background were everything and your characters were just people. Outside of that, its just hardwork and effort.
(What I thought would help my group)
You could send them to play SR at any of our local conventions, except nobody runs it (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif)

I've learned a great deal on how to enjoy 4th from my Sunday GM, who is still running the world in 2050. Running the old adventures with the new rules is a wonderful and educational experiment. (though sometimes painful "Ill use my edge to shoot the boss" "What dead already?") And it was wise to outlaw the phrase "Back in my day".

BlueMax
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Wesley Street
post Nov 24 2008, 09:36 PM
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Compared to D&D, Shadowrun isn't a hack 'n slash game. The biggest difference in combat is that a wise player always stacks cover modifiers to his favor as you're dealing with ranged attacks 75-80% of the time.

In terms of general skillsets, everyone can theoretically do a little bit of everything though it is a game that rewards a team with diverse specializations. So gaking a group of gangers isn't necessarily going to earn a player karma/XP but creativity in problem solving will.

PS: I like the SR4 rules just fine.
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Zombayz
post Nov 25 2008, 05:48 AM
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If a gamer already like the more gritty and brutal DnD stuff(low levels, hard encounters, etc) then SR fits just fine for them. Did for me.

Side note: Love SR rules
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TheMadDutchman
post Nov 25 2008, 04:26 PM
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It has been my vast experience at gaming that there is no way you prepare someone for a new system and get them adapted to "The proper" way of playing the game before they sit down at your table. You can brief them, show them example charcters, recomend video or fiction of similar theme (plenty of that around) but in the end the best things you can do are hope (and if you're a believer in something pray).

You have to be prepared for them to screw everything up and you have to be prepared to deal with it.
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Zen Shooter01
post Nov 25 2008, 05:29 PM
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Weavermount:

I'm going to suggest that any thread that begins, "The SR4 rules are very bad...but that's not what I want to talk about," has a very high likelihood of going off topic.

One thing you might do to try to elevate the thinking of hack and slashers is to show them a movie or two that reflects the tone you want your game to have. Point out as you watch the films where and how the hero avoids death, and how these successful tactics are not hack and slash tactics.
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