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> Shadowrun World Reboot
otaku mike
post Jun 10 2010, 02:06 PM
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OK, a reboot of the world in the corerule might be a bad idea, I admit.

But the concept intrigues me, with all the options that it opens again, the setting choices that need to be made again.

What about a special campaign sourcebook then, that would present an alternate SR world? It's entirely plug and play and self-contained. Either you use it or not, but that way it doesn't affect the rest of canon SR because, hey, it's a sort of What-if book.

Mike
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sabs
post Jun 10 2010, 02:14 PM
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That would be fun.

But where do you start the divergence from?


It's already been partially done. I think that "Unwired" was a reboot of the Matrix system, with a re-understanding of computer systems of today. That's why everything is wireless and Pan's and commlinks are basically dopped out Iphones.

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Fuchs
post Jun 10 2010, 02:17 PM
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I think it would have limited appeal to most - not many will agree on what should be cut in a reboot. NAN? Denver? IE? GGD? Crash? Crash 2.0? US breakup? Japanese Empire?
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Dread Moores
post Jun 10 2010, 02:31 PM
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QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jun 10 2010, 10:17 AM) *
I think it would have limited appeal to most - not many will agree on what should be cut in a reboot. NAN? Denver? IE? GGD? Crash? Crash 2.0? US breakup? Japanese Empire?


I'm not sure I understand that point of view. On it having limited appeal, I mean. At some point, every SR fan picked up SR material before they knew the metaplot. Whether it was seeing that cover for 1st edition, or whatever, the fans jumped on board without knowing all the massive amounts of metaplot that we're aware of now. So if a well-written and well executed reboot of Shadowrun was out there, and marketed well (this being a really key point), why would new people not get involved? Does every book need to focus exclusively on keeping the existing audience happy, without also trying to pick up new players?
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Dr.Rockso
post Jun 10 2010, 02:33 PM
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A problem with a reboot is that the game would lose a lot of it's cyberpunk roots. I think it would be far too difficult to accurately view the world and build 50+ years of history viewed through the lens of 1989 again. I think a reboot in 2010 would be less Neuromancer and more Aeon Flux and would lose much of the grime and desperation of the established setting.
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Dread Moores
post Jun 10 2010, 02:36 PM
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QUOTE (Dr.Rockso @ Jun 10 2010, 10:33 AM) *
A problem with a reboot is that the game would lose a lot of it's cyberpunk roots. I think it would be far too difficult to accurately view the world and build 50+ years of history viewed through the lens of 1989 again. I think a reboot in 2010 would be less Neuromancer and more Aeon Flux and would lose much of the grime and desperation of the established setting.



And I guess that's where my experience with players colors my opinion. The players I've encountered recently often cite that very thing (the grime and desperation from the dated cyberpunk ideals) as one of the big drawbacks of the game. I'm not so sure I'd want the game viewed through the lens of 1989.
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Fuchs
post Jun 10 2010, 02:37 PM
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QUOTE (Dread Moores @ Jun 10 2010, 04:31 PM) *
I'm not sure I understand that point of view. On it having limited appeal, I mean. At some point, every SR fan picked up SR material before they knew the metaplot. Whether it was seeing that cover for 1st edition, or whatever, the fans jumped on board without knowing all the massive amounts of metaplot that we're aware of now. So if a well-written and well executed reboot of Shadowrun was out there, and marketed well (this being a really key point), why would new people not get involved? Does every book need to focus exclusively on keeping the existing audience happy, without also trying to pick up new players?


It's easy: Rebooting the setting means reducing the metaplot/history. "Ultimate Shadowrun". If we do not change anything, it's not a reboot.

Since it'll still be set in the future we'll still have a fictional history, the "and so it came to pass 2.0". What do we cut out? What do we change?
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otaku mike
post Jun 10 2010, 02:41 PM
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I would probably start the reboot from today. Delay the arrival of magic a couple years, have technomancers appear at the same time as any other awakened people (and skip the entire "decking" era), then have the tech curve go much faster than in canon SR, so that the game would be played about 30-40 years in the future.
Everything else would need to be evaluated not for its nostalgia/reference worth, but for what it brings to the table at the time in which the characters evolve. For instance, a divided North America needs to be kept because smuggling and political power plays are an important aspect of shadowrunning there. But how they became divided would be open to reimagination.

Mike
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Fuchs
post Jun 10 2010, 02:48 PM
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Others could claim that there are enough "countries" in North America with a dozen extraterritorial megacorps to have smuggling occur even with an unbroken US.
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Xahn Borealis
post Jun 10 2010, 02:53 PM
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If you want a 'what if' scenario, try the Matrix Crash 2.0. What if Deus won? Winternight and Jormungand were too late to crash the stock exchange.
The next question after 'what if' is 'what now?'


So, what now? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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sabs
post Jun 10 2010, 02:57 PM
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I think that if you look at Modern Day Politics, how a UCAS/CAS could come into being isn't really that hard to conceive.
I for one love the whole NAN thing. Native American Shamanism awakening and the Spirits of the Tribes returning and beign all. "What happened to my chosen people. All these roads aren't working out for me. Lets take back a big chunk of our lands."


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otakusensei
post Jun 10 2010, 03:01 PM
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I have yet to run into people who have a problem with the setting, and I have a whole group full of new players who are burning through the material as fast as I can provide it.

There are just too many elements for anyone to really get hung up about a simple set of them. In one game I had an illiterate Scandinavian shaman, a Japanese fox shapeshifter face, a troubled vampire knife-bunny, and a technomancer ork from a space colony. They fought crime... sorta. Ok, they were crime.

But everyone at the table got to do exactly what they wanted. There were big corps to pay them to attack each other. Seattle had so many different types of terrain that they were slumming in Downtown one day, fighting for they're lives near Glow City then and living off the land in Snohomish the next; all the while they were wondering if they should take the job that would send them to that Aquacology in Europe.

I think we get bogged down in the details of the metaplot and the timeline sometimes and miss, well, the details of the setting itself. Even a street level game doesn't have to involve a street. You could run a perfectly legitimate game that never deals with megacorps or dragons. In fact someone had an interesting idea for a game based in Tir na nOg after reading through the rules on Calling in Running Wild. Really more Changeling than Shadowrun, but there are all the elements right in the game already, so why not do it?

For my money I'd like to see the current setting get more love and attention before they start fragmenting it. There is still way too much potential left. Though I would not say no to some nice setting books that carry a bit of a different flavor, like Mercs or Doc Wagon or Druids.
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Summerstorm
post Jun 10 2010, 03:16 PM
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Ah yeah... that is an interesting topic. Hm, the hard parts is to get the cool "Cyber-punk" feeling and low/mid level magic into a game starting anew (and most likely from 2010 viewpoint)

Let's see what i can think about:

1. Awakening maybe a few years later... FIRST we need some catastrophies... of biological origin: Make it a deadly, deadly sickness. BUT it has to be something like leprosy, just slower, but incurable. That would push the engineering towards cyberware/geneware. And would wrack the world, split the rich/poor down as needed.

2. Then the awakening. The poor ones, the sick ones etc., rise up and bloody vengeance and chaos reformes the world. Say in 2025 or so.

3. Orks, Trolls, Elves, etc... all unchanged.

4. No technomancers, and Otakus but something similar may be "produced" by genetech. But overall no "mysticism" in the matrix.

Game should be set in 2050 or something. Corporations just saved what was possible in the Time of chaos and "stole" their extraterritoritality. Countries split and merged, trying to get some identity and get the "global states, the corps" under control. Genetech, nanites, Cybertech, Robots and magic all available but excessivly costly. Overall building three worlds, which the runners all not belong to:

1. The corps, High towers of steel and glass. Glorious life, but cameras, guards and killerbots everywhere. Most people are not even ALLOWED to leave for the weekend. (Or have to leave their children when on a business trip etc.). People "vanish" if they are not worth to keep around. And nobody wants to know what is behind door 101...

2. The cities: Trying to get by as before the shitstorm started: Trying to fix social problems. Having normal businesses and jobs. People in normal lifes. (But it all crumbles: They have to pay ressources to the corps, can't threaten them anymore and are attacked on the other side by the criminals and insane people (Many terrorists, extremists, magical threats etc.) And just can't cope with that.)

3. The criminals and warlords (in all sizes and shapes... and colors), who either just want to see it all burn or want to use the weakness and overall conflict to secure themselves.

Overall it should be: Just several megaplexi, the country overall nearly deserted. Food comes out of factories. Critters and magical phenomenons roam the land (Also said warlords with just hundreds of dudes with cheap AK's). The cities themselves: Just like they were, just with huge modern blocks thrown in. Squatters, sick people, the poor cramped in the old cities or in shanty-town on the outskirts (Where people get eaten by ghouls at night)

I know i just described it how much of it IS... but it somehow lost that feeling for me. (I for example gm a game set in germany/ADL... and while it always was a lot "nicer" than Seattle and MUCH nicer than Hong Kong and others it is just a not so bad place anymore)
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Drats
post Jun 10 2010, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE (sabs @ Jun 10 2010, 03:57 PM) *
I think that if you look at Modern Day Politics, how a UCAS/CAS could come into being isn't really that hard to conceive.
I for one love the whole NAN thing. Native American Shamanism awakening and the Spirits of the Tribes returning and beign all. "What happened to my chosen people. All these roads aren't working out for me. Lets take back a big chunk of our lands."


I've always thought the escape from the camps and the Ghost Dance made perfect sense. I like the idea of a small band of rabble rousers finding a way to make the world's greatest superpower say Uncle, and the NAN add what I feel is a very beneficial awakened/environmental bloc to the North American landscape that you just wouldn't be able to otherwise justify if America had Balkanized in a more conventional faction. Every Shadowrun fan has come to terms with the massive suspension of disbelief it takes to justify the canon course of events leading up to all of it, though.

The challenge is keeping all of that while bringing the history a little closer to believability, and without having the remnants of America turn around and take it all back once the dust had settled. Whatever you hashed together, the Amerinds would have to be some kind of small magical overclass in NAN society rather than the bulk of its citizenry.
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deek
post Jun 10 2010, 03:21 PM
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I'm certainly a proponent of a type of reboot. While I'm not running into problems with the setting, my players could really care less. They don't care about the fluff and all they really care to know about the setting is that there is matrix, cyberware and magic all in the future. I've never really used any critters.

I would think that separating the core books so they held all the rules and then have separate setting books to do all the metaplot stuff would be great. And a divergence in plot would be nice. Kind of have one path that goes from the original stuff up to the 2050s or 2060s and then a "reboot" that starts in the 2070s and goes forward and doesn't have to use the other path as background.

The reboot stuff still has magic, cyber, wireless matrix, but is a lot more generic so you get rid of all the canon stuff and get an opportunity to craft brand new.

And then all the old stuff can be played with that "1989" outlook, wired matrix and all that. Use the same ruleset for both and you end up getting to break rules in metaplot without offending the old-timers...
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Daddy's Litt...
post Jun 10 2010, 03:29 PM
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A reboot would kill off much of the history of the game world. Although there have been 4 (or 5?) editions it has been game mechanics that have changed, not the history, so gamers can keep going forward. If you have a reboot you will create a schism between people new to the game who never knew any different and older players who have well established ideas and feelings.
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Dread Moores
post Jun 10 2010, 03:34 PM
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QUOTE (Daddy's Little Ninja @ Jun 10 2010, 10:29 AM) *
A reboot would kill off much of the history of the game world. Although there have been 4 (or 5?) editions it has been game mechanics that have changed, not the history, so gamers can keep going forward. If you have a reboot you will create a schism between people new to the game who never knew any different and older players who have well established ideas and feelings.


For me and my own experiences, that schism already exists. It also keeps people out of the game. 20 years (or 25 years in the case of Battletech) of prior fluff, most of it out of print and no longer available, that really doesn't lead new players to wanting to jump on board in my own experiences. Because they aren't satisfied with the fluff in the core book, they want more, and can't find it (without resorting to secondary markets). Once the players discover that, they just seem to lose their desire for it. Well, that and I haven't had any players in the last 15 years who didn't find the NAN laughably silly.
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Fuchs
post Jun 10 2010, 03:35 PM
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And it's not really needed. You can play in a dystopian cyberpunk world as imagined in the 80s, or a more technophil vision based on contemporary times, and use the same rules and books, as long as you emphasize different aspects.
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Warlordtheft
post Jun 10 2010, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE (Daddy's Little Ninja @ Jun 10 2010, 11:29 AM) *
A reboot would kill off much of the history of the game world. Although there have been 4 (or 5?) editions it has been game mechanics that have changed, not the history, so gamers can keep going forward. If you have a reboot you will create a schism between people new to the game who never knew any different and older players who have well established ideas and feelings.


Isn't that what NWOD did. They rebooted the setting and alot of the old timers stuck to the orginal because of it?
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otakusensei
post Jun 10 2010, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Jun 10 2010, 11:37 AM) *
Isn't that what NWOD did. They rebooted the setting and alot of the old timers stuck to the orginal because of it?

They diverged from the setting pretty drastically. But for some reason kept enough in that it felt like the old setting, but wasn't. Personally I liked Mage a lot and while I love the new rules I hate the new setting.

I wouldn't want to see the same thing happen with Shadowrun so I'm glad that SR4 and SR4A have cleaned up the rules without touching the history. Also that the metaplot is meta enough that it isn't a barrier unless you make it one.
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Kanada Ten
post Jun 10 2010, 03:52 PM
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This seems like it'd be a much better fan project than a marketable production.
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Draco18s
post Jun 10 2010, 04:22 PM
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Also by "rebooting" ShadowRun would lose its hallmark notation of having never issued a ret-con.
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Dreadlord
post Jun 10 2010, 04:43 PM
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My players are not overly interested in the history, they just like the feel of the setting in 2070.

Instead of a fan-based reboot of the series, I would rather see a fan-based project of being able to use SR4 mechanics in 2050, 2060, etc. I would love to be able to run all the old classic adventures, with a team of shadowrunners in 2050. This would include cyberdeck stats, conversions, gear that has a "year-beginning" stat. It would be a pretty massive effort, but it would allow me to leverage the massive collection of adventures I have sitting on my shelf that I bought and never played in time before the next edition came out.

As for the setting, instead of a reboot, my players really only needed a quick summary, which the excellent timeline sidebar in the SR4A did nicely at. It was enough detail to get started with, and if they had questions, either I or the whole "History Lesson" chapter is able to answer them.

Shadowrun can be as gritty or as "wire-fu" as you want it to be, so rebooting it is kind of unnecessary. As a GM, you determine what kind of party you have, and come up with RELEVANT history just for those characters. It kind of works better, as the players don't really know any more than their characters.

I suppose if someone were used to a "cancerous" game that had 9 or 10 different worlds for the same rulesets, it might seem confining to only have one, but honestly SR is so rich, you can pretty much find whatever style you want to play somewhere in the SR universe.
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otakusensei
post Jun 10 2010, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE (Dreadlord @ Jun 10 2010, 12:43 PM) *
My players are not overly interested in the history, they just like the feel of the setting in 2070.

Instead of a fan-based reboot of the series, I would rather see a fan-based project of being able to use SR4 mechanics in 2050, 2060, etc. I would love to be able to run all the old classic adventures, with a team of shadowrunners in 2050. This would include cyberdeck stats, conversions, gear that has a "year-beginning" stat. It would be a pretty massive effort, but it would allow me to leverage the massive collection of adventures I have sitting on my shelf that I bought and never played in time before the next edition came out.

As for the setting, instead of a reboot, my players really only needed a quick summary, which the excellent timeline sidebar in the SR4A did nicely at. It was enough detail to get started with, and if they had questions, either I or the whole "History Lesson" chapter is able to answer them.

Shadowrun can be as gritty or as "wire-fu" as you want it to be, so rebooting it is kind of unnecessary. As a GM, you determine what kind of party you have, and come up with RELEVANT history just for those characters. It kind of works better, as the players don't really know any more than their characters.

I suppose if someone were used to a "cancerous" game that had 9 or 10 different worlds for the same rulesets, it might seem confining to only have one, but honestly SR is so rich, you can pretty much find whatever style you want to play somewhere in the SR universe.

I completely agree with everything you said.
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Dread Moores
post Jun 10 2010, 05:06 PM
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QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jun 10 2010, 12:22 PM) *
Also by "rebooting" ShadowRun would lose its hallmark notation of having never issued a ret-con.


Really? I wasn't aware of that. That would make it the only FASA game not to have done so. Then again, I don't necessarily think that retcons automatically equals bad, so it really doesn't bug me so much.
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