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> Pre-2064 SR4?
brennanhawkwood
post Dec 9 2008, 02:30 AM
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Has anyone used SR4 to run a Shadowrun campaign set pre-2064?

I am curious what sort of "house-rules" you might have used or might be suggested for using the SR4 rules to play Shadowrun set prior to the big changes that come into play around 2064 (especially the wireless matrix and the changes in magical traditions and spirit summoning "explained" by the Unified Magic Theory).

The reason I ask is my gaming group is becoming interested in playing Shadowrun again and they would prefer to restart one of our previous SR3 campaigns rather than start something completely new. One of the campaigns was set in Denver in 2056 and the other was actually set all the way back in 2050.

I'm not really looking for general SR4 House Rules... plenty of other threads for that (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) ...just things to help model key differences between the 'modern' times of SR4 vs. the yester-year of SR1/2/3. I can think of a number of areas that might need to be modified or tweaked to get the right feel, but figured I'd ask around to see if anyone else has already done some thinking on this.
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Fix-it
post Dec 9 2008, 03:18 AM
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I just did a quick think about what has changed since 1st and 2nd edition.

Then I tried to think about what HAS NOT changed. that was harder.
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Jaid
post Dec 9 2008, 04:49 AM
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removing the wireless from the matrix is not exactly difficult. just say "there is no AR mode or cold sim, and everything needs wires now".

you may also wish to add to the cost of commlinks, i suppose.

the spirit thing is even easier. a shaman may summon an air spirit in SR4 *mechanically* speaking, but as far as the shaman is concerned it's actually a storm spirit or whatever. and i don't just mean that's how you adapt it into previous canon, i mean that's how it works in current 207X SR4 shadowrun. if you mean the summoning/binding thing, that's easy. you just rule that binding traditions no longer can summon spirits and go straight to the binding test, but summoning traditions can't bind (other than great form spirits).

furthermore, much of the advances in magic come not because magic has necessarily hugely advanced, but because additional traditions become known. a lot of the ritual metamagic stuff wasn't so much recently discovered as it is a matter of voodoo becoming one of the traditions made available. it's not that geomancy was recently discovered, it's just that when your options were a mage or a shaman, neither of those traditions really favored geomancy. (though admittedly, some metamagics legitimately are breakthroughs, it's simply a matter of saying "these metamagic techniques are not available yet").
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The Jake
post Dec 9 2008, 05:39 AM
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Full HMHVV infected (e.g. vampires, nosferatu, wendigo) characters can be played. As can AIs.

Otaku still exist as Technomancers now but have no risk of (permanently) Fading - at least as it was known in SR2/SR3.

There are no more huge world spanning metaplots that threaten the entire earth (e.g. Horrors/Corruption, Bugs, Deus, etc). It is clear they are moving away from this larger style 'Threats' but they still exist but are left largely up to the GM to decide on their scope and grandeur.

All details on the megacorps has been pretty much ignored. Future goals/plans left largely unstated - so unless you're familiar with the past history of SR, you have to make it all up.

Magic has been REALLY dumbed down to simplify the rules for everyone.

That's about it really.

- J.
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Medicineman
post Dec 9 2008, 09:58 AM
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thats Funny (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
We start a SR4 Campaign called 2060-2070
We have no Houserules (insofar)
I Can talk more about it in January (thats our second session)

HougH!
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Fuchs
post Dec 9 2008, 10:42 AM
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I play that -I simply retconned the wireless matrix in as "has always been like that".
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KCKitsune
post Dec 9 2008, 01:28 PM
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I think that with what we're seeing today with Wireless internet on cell phones that the idea of a Wireless Matrix and commlinks are completely explainable.
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brennanhawkwood
post Dec 9 2008, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Dec 9 2008, 08:28 AM) *
I think that with what we're seeing today with Wireless internet on cell phones that the idea of a Wireless Matrix and commlinks are completely explainable.


I can see that and might be tempted to handwave it as having always worked along those lines except for two things: (1) these are already established games with characters who already know how things work. Handwaving the existence of a wireless matrix prior to it coming into play in the timeline would just sit wrong with my players. And (2) the player know the timeline in reasonable detail and I don't want to have rewrite it or get them to ignore what they already know.

Thanks all for your thoughts... I am interested in seeing if there are any other ideas out there and am starting to write up what I think our rules will be. I'll post them here for feedback/suggestions/etc. when I get them typed up.
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i101
post Dec 9 2008, 04:09 PM
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QUOTE (brennanhawkwood @ Dec 8 2008, 10:30 PM) *
I am curious what sort of "house-rules" you might have used or might be suggested for using the SR4 rules to play Shadowrun set prior to the big changes that come into play around 2064 (especially the wireless matrix and the changes in magical traditions and spirit summoning "explained" by the Unified Magic Theory).

We dropped WiFi and commlinks, deckers need a port and fiber-optic cable to jack into the matrix, and riggers are back to their VCR (modified commlink) . Regarding the magical traditions we re-introduced the old diffrences between hermetics and shamans. That is no mentor spirits for hermetics, elemental and natureghosts are back, and hermetics need force x hour time to summon their elemental ghosts.

QUOTE (brennanhawkwood @ Dec 8 2008, 10:30 PM) *
...just things to help model key differences between the 'modern' times of SR4 vs. the yester-year of SR1/2/3. I can think of a number of areas that might need to be modified or tweaked to get the right feel, but figured I'd ask around to see if anyone else has already done some thinking on this.

I think at some points you cant compare the old versions with the actual one. Things like the matrix development that has taken place from 2050 - 2070 seems logical, although the new technolgy sometimes makes it difficult to play the game. But then you have stuff like the ''new magic'' that is used in the 4th edition, mentor spirits for every magican, and the same type of ghosts (not talking bout their appearance, more their powers). My group and me came to the conclusion that the old retro shadowrun (2) cyberpunk spirit has been lost within the 4th edition (no offense to the devs), thats why we tweaked the game with some houserules to play back in 2053.
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Nath
post Dec 13 2008, 08:37 PM
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That's an easy one : WiFi did not spread in Shadowrun world before 2065 because people and government believed papers published in the 2000ies establishing the link between cellular and Wifi frequencies and brain tumors (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Malachi
post Dec 13 2008, 09:11 PM
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I'm doing this right now, my SR4 group is running the Year of the Comet events right now. In my case I did "back-port" the wireless Matrix into SR3 time and gave it the "it's always been this way" treatment. This was mainly because I never liked having to leave the Decker behind or to have the rest of the team wait around for the Decker to finish. Keep in mind that a wireless Control Rig for riggers existed in SR3 times so the Rigging stuff should work fine exactly as it appears in SR4. However, back in SR3 times, Riggers and Deckers worked on different "wavelengths" so a Decker couldn't interfere with a Rigger's network, only other Riggers could. If you really want to maintain the "wired" Matrix thing, you can still use the SR4 rules for the system, just make it so the Decker has to "jack in" somewhere in order to do it. (Someone above mentioned that Cold Sim didn't exist in SR3, but it did actually).

Cut out all of the Genetech stuff except for a couple select things like Leonization. Nanotech stuff should only be available around 2060 and onward (from the era of Man & Machine, SR3).

All Technomancers in that time are called "Otaku" and will all be young children, under the age of 14. You can pretty much use the exact rules for Technomancers, with the exception that the Otaku must be "jacked in" to do their thing.

This Timeline should be helpful and determining what should be included according to "canon."
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SamVDW
post Dec 14 2008, 07:14 AM
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I ran a pre-2070 campaign using SR4. I re-read parts of the SR2 and SR3 handbooks before I started the campaign to kind of refamiliarize myself with the differences in the settings. I also took note of the differences in what spells and gear weren't available in the earlier editions. There is definitely a lot that changed, but I really focused on the setting more than the differences in rules.
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TKDNinjaInBlack
post Dec 15 2008, 03:32 AM
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One in my position can't really just hand wave the matrix making its big jump from wired to wireless. I mean you can for all intents and purposes in your campaign, but for my players they know the realm, the world and the history and they like the fact that it jumped form a wired very cyberpunk to a wireless open air renaissance kind of feeling.

As far as not being able to justify why things were wired? I can think of lots of reasons. First and foremost, timeline in Shadowrun takes a nice little detour in 1989 and anything that's happened in the real world post 89 hasn't happened in Shadowrun. Our little wireless revolution that's going on in our current RL timeline very well might not happen until 2065 in the SR timeline because their technological evolutionary path took a different route. While in our RL timeline we advanced the pervasiveness and accessibility of communications (ie, wireless becomes the norm), in the SR timeline they advanced and developed the levels of interaction and interface of communications systems (ie ASIST and simsense). That technological revolution came first and all of its ramifications followed before the accessibility was addressed.

Hell, if SR was real and someone was playing a RPG set in our RL 2070 world, the players would probably have a hard time grasping why we were still using keyboards and clinking away code with our hands until the mid 2060s (as compared to their DNI methods standardized during their technological revolution) but fantasizing about the wonders of connectivity and wireless access like we've never believed.

The wireless revolution in the worlds of cyberpunk only mimics what we can do today because the audience has such a hard time suspending their disbelief when they think future tech is "less evolved" than the current tech.

Another good reason for the lack of a wireless matrix late into the SR timeline is that the levels of data and information being pushed with the complex interfaces of simsense and ASIST would be too broad and eat up too much capacity of a wireless infrastructure until the science of data transmission caught up to the far more advanced levels of interaction. Wired would have to be the way to go to transmit such vast amounts of data. This theory works even if there was an initial wireless revolution with old telecomm systems prior to the first crash. Once ASIST and Simsense become the standard, after attempts to try and fit it to a wireless infrastructure used for the old telecomm system met with failure, they'd have to rely on wired means to pump that data.
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Medicineman
post Dec 15 2008, 08:11 AM
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One in my position can't really just hand wave the matrix making its big jump from wired to wireless
Sorry,but there is no "Big Jump" .Wireless Matrix already existed in SR3 /in the 2060s,It was just in the Background (Its all in the Sprawl Survival guide,just read it thoroughly (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) )
The Crash in 2063 was only the initiator for most of the Cons to switch to WiFi .The Wireless matrix was coexistent with the Wire-Matrix since 2055 or 2058 (IIRC)

with coexisting dance
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TKDNinjaInBlack
post Dec 15 2008, 03:30 PM
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Yeah, but it was only used for rigging technologies, very similar to the way RC vehicles have been radio operated for the last 50 years.

They only hint at wireless capabilities for matrix use at the very end of the SR3 timeline which puts it being developed around 2063-2065. I'd still say that a 3-7 year transfer from wired to wireless is a big freaking jump.
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Malachi
post Dec 15 2008, 04:01 PM
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The fluff says that the "big breakthrough" for the Wireless Matrix came when runners working for Transys Neuronet managed to capture one of the people acting as one of the "Nodes" in Deus' Network. It was actually Deus that created short-range, full-simsense, wireless technology so that his Nodes could work on recompiling him discreetly, without having to obviously "jack in." Many corps had been working on the Wireless Matrix, but Transys Neuronet made the breakthrough. That's why Novatech wanted to acquire them so badly. So, Novatech merged with Transys Neuronet and Erika, becoming NeoNET, and cornered the Wireless Matrix market.
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Fortune
post Dec 15 2008, 07:35 PM
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QUOTE (TKDNinjaInBlack)
Yeah, but it was only used for rigging technologies


Not at all. The Wireless Matrix Initiative was alive and doing just fine long before the second Crash.
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BIG BAD BEESTE
post Dec 17 2008, 03:56 PM
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That is was, but really only for those that could afford SOTA or that were in an area where the "traditional" wired Matrix was insufficient or never existed in the first place.

Anyhoo, onto the topic: I've currently got a SR3 campaign set in 2055, but I've also used quite a few bits from 4th Ed without too much hassle. Using skills and skill groups from 4th isn't a problem - reminds me of 1st with concentrations and I really like the new Attributes like Logic/Intuition, Agility/Reaction and Edge. Will probably upgrade the game into 4th Ed once my players are comfortable with the Shadowrun setting.

OK, but more to your problems: changing stats and skills is relatively painless as they really work in a similar way. Magical traditions are more freedform in selection and use and really let the players get to grips with their beliefs/style of casting. Nothing really that needs changing there unless you want to restrict shamans to Summoning and mages to Binding, but overall they can still summon spirits and using both gives them a bit more tactical flexibility - not a game breaker IMHO.

No, the biggest headache will be Matrix interaction and the technology. Rigguing and riggers are practically the same as post-2055 with regard to advanced wireless control decks. Note that you'll have to limit the access of drones and weapons and tech to the appropriate era it was uncovered in - moreso for drone/nanotech advances of 2060 than say weapons which practically run the same but need cyberised smartlinks. As for deckers, well, you can use the basic BBB rules to replace 4th ED commlinks and OS with the earlier versions of cyberdecks & programs. Roleplaying wise just apply the wired Matrix theories but the rules should pretty much work as 4th Ed to do Matrix runs. Remember that not many people played deckers in pre-4th Ed either and most non-decker PCs would be limited to Data Search skill tests when "surfing" the Matrix over a pocket secretary. Oh yeah, no AR of course.

The biggest difficulaty will probably be in monetry values. If you're creating a character in 4th ED everything else pretty much works aside from the ammount of Nuyen you get for Resources. Get your hands on the appropriate ear pricelists for gear and you'll seee what I mean when compared to 4th Ed prices. If you quadruple the ammount of nuyen you get for 1 BP that might go someway towards evening out the balance, although you'll probably see some characters allocating more to skills - but with more skills available and contacts costing more (2-12 BPs each) this does kind of average out.
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