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> Review of the 6th World Almanac, Book review
Warlordtheft
post Oct 27 2010, 03:51 PM
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I got my hardcopy at my FLGS a couple weeks ago and have been reading it off and on since. I am almost finnished with the book-just one continent left. Not seeing any recent reviews on it I thought I'd post it here. I'm AFB so this is all off the top of my head.


Format: I liked the fact that it was hard copy, and a full color book like the seattle source book. Well designed and predictable layout of the country sections.
What I would have liked was more of a shadow runners guide to each country-but that would have easily added hundreds of pages for each country. The jack pointers did provide some of this information, but left me wanting more.

The history section: Much of this for me was a trip down memory lane (been playing since 1st ed), though there was some new material. Most of it was recapping the meta plot of the previous editions. For newer players this should be a good recap of SR lore and history. For long timers like myself, I found myself looking at this sections page count and thinking, great-I wished they had devoted some of this to exlporing more countries.

The viginettes: Were well written, and continued the tradition of giving a fluff feel of the next section.

North America: Good updates on the countries and the after affects of major events (the Tir, Aztechnology, Ute, Tishman, Denver etc). Covered every country so no complaints there.

Europe: Again, updates on major countries. What I thought was missing was a write-up on the Scandanavian Union, Portugal, and a few other countries.

Africa: Most areas covered for the first time, though there should have been an open section on the Congo tribal lands, and at least some mention of Madagascar (the whole population died from Vitas 1 or fled).

Asia-the updates were great. I really enjoyed finally getting some official canon on the Warlord states in china.

South America: AMazonia finally got a write up more expansive than it is an awakened country that hates technology. Also the other south american countries are all written up (finally some decent cannon info!!).

Antartica was not mentioned...not a country technically, but would have been interesting to see something there.

Overall, I'd give it a 7.5 out of 10. Great source material, but to use it effectively you'll have alot of fleshing out to do. I understand the page constraints, but wish they had lightened up on the history section of the book (about half the page count) rather than the countries covered. For newer players without access to the older 1st through 3rd ed country books, I could see rating it an 8.5 out of ten.


In the future I'd like to see future books focused on specific cities rather than countries as a whole. Most mentionable: Cairo, Berlin (an english version, I think there might be a german version), and Sydney.
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Pepsi Jedi
post Oct 27 2010, 04:11 PM
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I thought it was a good 9 out of 10 myself. Sure we'd all like "more" but as pointed out it could only be so big. (( and was pretty costly at the size it was at))

The thing is it's aimed at .....'normal' Shadowrun players. The people that do -not- have 50 Shadowrun books on the shelf. Or 4 previous editions worth of books. I loved both the history section. Which actually had a few things in there that I'd missed along the way. For me it was a bit better than the country section.

And remember it's supposed to be an Almanac. Not a totally indepth reference thing on EVERYTHING in there. it's supposed to give you 5 to 10 jumping off points for any of the sections and just enough information to let you know if you want to look deeper into any of the areas. ect. Then you can search out the books on that area.

I could have 'liked' it to be twice the size with more countries, but I've been waiting on this exact book for years. I'm quite happy with it. Bought both the hardcopy and PDF.
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sabs
post Oct 27 2010, 07:12 PM
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Did the population stuff make sense?
What did Quebec look like roughly?

I'm interested in this book, but mostly for Quebec and Africa.
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Semerkhet
post Oct 27 2010, 07:39 PM
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No mention of the fairly significant typos and layout errors in the history section. I remember at least two cases of a particular year's sidebar being pasted into a later year, thus leaving us without the timeline for the years that were pasted over. I'm AFB or I'd quote exact page numbers and years. I picked up my copy at GenCon but I was under the impression that it was the same print run as was released to 'street' a few weeks later.

As much as the history section was a nice trip down memory lane (another 1ed player here) I, too, would much rather have seen the entire book dedicated to nation profiles. The expanded timeline, IMO, would have been better suited to a pdf-only release. The existing country profiles have just enough information to get you intrigued but not enough to set a game, or even a single mission, there without significant individual research. Just one or two more pages for each of the nations might have pushed the profiles over a threshold into a more usable form. Obviously this is all very much my opinion, but I'm a GM without gobs of free time to develop "guest settings" for my runs, even though I would love to.
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Warlordtheft
post Oct 27 2010, 08:15 PM
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QUOTE (sabs @ Oct 27 2010, 02:12 PM) *
Did the population stuff make sense?
What did Quebec look like roughly?

I'm interested in this book, but mostly for Quebec and Africa.


Quebec is no longer the Francophile country it once, also with Ares taking over most Catco the country's fluff is different.

Africa is an interesting read, cause there was not much there in previous editions. They covered Nigeria area around lagos, Egypt, South Africa and maybe one more country (AFB). Population figures were not too outrageous.

I think some of the typos from the gencon book was fixed from Gencon. There were few typos, (I think I noticed 1).
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tagz
post Oct 27 2010, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE (Semerkhet @ Oct 27 2010, 07:39 PM) *
No mention of the fairly significant typos and layout errors in the history section. I remember at least two cases of a particular year's sidebar being pasted into a later year, thus leaving us without the timeline for the years that were pasted over. I'm AFB or I'd quote exact page numbers and years. I picked up my copy at GenCon but I was under the impression that it was the same print run as was released to 'street' a few weeks later.

As much as the history section was a nice trip down memory lane (another 1ed player here) I, too, would much rather have seen the entire book dedicated to nation profiles. The expanded timeline, IMO, would have been better suited to a pdf-only release. The existing country profiles have just enough information to get you intrigued but not enough to set a game, or even a single mission, there without significant individual research. Just one or two more pages for each of the nations might have pushed the profiles over a threshold into a more usable form. Obviously this is all very much my opinion, but I'm a GM without gobs of free time to develop "guest settings" for my runs, even though I would love to.

The year 2006 sidebar from p 15 is reprinted on p33 in place of year 2020's sidebar.
The year 2040 sidebar from p 58 is reprinted on p62 in place of year 2044's sidebar.

I was pretty mad when I saw it considering how obvious the mistake was, especially the second case only being 4 pages apart.

Oh, and I bought mine in my local game store, so street print has all the flaws it would seem.
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Doc Chase
post Oct 27 2010, 08:37 PM
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I was hoping that was fixed from when I saw it in the .pdf print. Hmm.
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Warlordtheft
post Oct 27 2010, 11:23 PM
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QUOTE (tagz @ Oct 27 2010, 03:23 PM) *
The year 2006 sidebar from p 15 is reprinted on p33 in place of year 2020's sidebar.
The year 2040 sidebar from p 58 is reprinted on p62 in place of year 2044's sidebar.

I was pretty mad when I saw it considering how obvious the mistake was, especially the second case only being 4 pages apart.

Oh, and I bought mine in my local game store, so street print has all the flaws it would seem.



Now that I'm near my book. Yep that editing mistake is there....(IMG:style_emoticons/default/mad.gif)
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MJBurrage
post Oct 28 2010, 02:53 AM
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So three questions:
  1. Is the sidebar on page 15 & 33 correct for 2006 or 2020 ?
  2. Is the sidebar on page 58 & 62 correct for 2040 or 2044 ?
  3. What is the correct text for the missing sidebars ?
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etherial
post Oct 28 2010, 03:03 PM
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QUOTE (Semerkhet @ Oct 27 2010, 03:39 PM) *
As much as the history section was a nice trip down memory lane (another 1ed player here) I, too, would much rather have seen the entire book dedicated to nation profiles. The expanded timeline, IMO, would have been better suited to a pdf-only release. The existing country profiles have just enough information to get you intrigued but not enough to set a game, or even a single mission, there without significant individual research. Just one or two more pages for each of the nations might have pushed the profiles over a threshold into a more usable form. Obviously this is all very much my opinion, but I'm a GM without gobs of free time to develop "guest settings" for my runs, even though I would love to.


These 2 page descriptions are great for character backstory or one-off run. That's, I think, what this book was really aimed at - weaving the history of the world all together in one place to help you build your ideas. It's a fluff book, and fluff books are the best kind of books IMNSHO.
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Doc Chase
post Oct 28 2010, 03:04 PM
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QUOTE (MJBurrage @ Oct 28 2010, 02:53 AM) *
So three questions:
  1. Is the sidebar on page 15 & 33 correct for 2006 or 2020 ?
  2. Is the sidebar on page 58 & 62 correct for 2040 or 2044 ?
  3. What is the correct text for the missing sidebars ?


2006 and 2040 are the sidebars. The correct text?

We don't know. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif)
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SleepIncarnate
post Oct 28 2010, 10:59 PM
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I ordered mine from Amazon and just got it about a week ago, just double checked, and those sidebar errors did get fixed. So earlier copies may have had them, but the intended audience (those who don't religiously pre-order every book and don't have all 4 editions of books on their shelves) will mostly get it in a less typo-rific form.
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Doc Chase
post Oct 28 2010, 11:15 PM
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Perhaps the Gencon copies, then.
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jakephillips
post Oct 28 2010, 11:45 PM
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I like it but it was pricey.
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Raiki
post Oct 28 2010, 11:49 PM
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Anything at all on Australia? I'm relatively new to SR, and one of my players wants to play an Auzzie. I honestly don't know what to tell him. Did I miss Australia blowing up or something? Because so far I haven't found a fracking thing in any of the 4th ed books.



~R~
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Critias
post Oct 29 2010, 12:15 AM
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QUOTE (Raiki @ Oct 28 2010, 06:49 PM) *
Anything at all on Australia? I'm relatively new to SR, and one of my players wants to play an Auzzie. I honestly don't know what to tell him. Did I miss Australia blowing up or something? Because so far I haven't found a fracking thing in any of the 4th ed books.



~R~

There is a regular-sized blurb on Australia in the Almanac, yes, but you're correct in that for the most part it's been ignored in most Shadowrun material (that's not unique to fourth edition, for what it's worth). For the most part, the basic line on Australia has been "aborigines and mana storms took over most of the island, the end." And, well, that part hasn't changed much.

For a brief recap? The seat of government moved to Canberra because Sydney's permanently wrapped up in a mana storm, with Sydney in turn becoming dominated by a corporate advisory council (since the megas stepped in to help rebuild). Perth's a big industrial center with Renraku and S-K involvement, and Melbourne's the seat of the local stock exchange and riddled with corporate bigwigs and espionage and whatnot. Other than that, it's pretty much the usual "zomg lots of weird magic stuff, lots of paracritters, lots of horrible dangerous stuff in the Outback."

For more info, the only really meaty published piece so far is Target: Awakened Lands (which might as well have been called, "Target: Holy crap, we just remembered Australia after two editions!" and which is, on the bright side, available for like $5 from Amazon).

To give you an idea of just how sparse published material on Australia has always been, check out the Australia page over at the Sixth World Wiki...it's about as barren as the Outback.
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Raiki
post Oct 29 2010, 12:25 AM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Oct 28 2010, 08:15 PM) *
To give you an idea of just how sparse published material on Australia has always been, check out the Australia page over at the Sixth World Wiki...it's about as barren as the Outback.


Yeah, that was my first stop when he asked about it, but I figured he wanted a bit more than "Shit, there are mana storms!" and "It's primarily owned by Renraku and Shiawase."


Thanks for the help, I think I will pick that book up. I'm glad it's not just me failing my Google-Fu test.






~R~





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Critias
post Oct 29 2010, 12:40 AM
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QUOTE (Raiki @ Oct 28 2010, 08:25 PM) *
Yeah, that was my first stop when he asked about it, but I figured he wanted a bit more than "Shit, there are mana storms!" and "It's primarily owned by Renraku and Shiawase."

Thanks for the help, I think I will pick that book up. I'm glad it's not just me failing my Google-Fu test.

~R~

Yeah, Australia pretty much always has been just "shit, there are mana storms!"

I'd make your player pony up the $5, and snag a used copy of T:AL off'a Amazon. Everyone wins. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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toturi
post Oct 29 2010, 06:20 AM
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I would say that I would be happier if some countries that have cities that have been addressed (at least partially) in other location books been left out and some other places that have not been touched on in 4th Ed been added in.
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Nath
post Oct 29 2010, 07:44 AM
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QUOTE (SleepIncarnate @ Oct 29 2010, 12:59 AM) *
I ordered mine from Amazon and just got it about a week ago, just double checked, and those sidebar errors did get fixed. So earlier copies may have had them, but the intended audience (those who don't religiously pre-order every book and don't have all 4 editions of books on their shelves) will mostly get it in a less typo-rific form.

Also add the foreign audience. At least in France, the retailer gets its book very early (actually, in one occasion, I even saw a book available one day before the official paperback release date in the US) and rarely order a second batch given the market size for OV book. But I guess buying OV books may qualify me as religious (instead of reading the latest French release... Ghost cartels).

It would be nice for the errata to be available to the religious types...

QUOTE (Critias @ Oct 29 2010, 02:15 AM) *
There is a regular-sized blurb on Australia in the Almanac, yes, but you're correct in that for the most part it's been ignored in most Shadowrun material (that's not unique to fourth edition, for what it's worth).

[...]

For more info, the only really meaty published piece so far is Target: Awakened Lands (which might as well have been called, "Target: Holy crap, we just remembered Australia after two editions!" and which is, on the bright side, available for like $5 from Amazon).

To give you an idea of just how sparse published material on Australia has always been, check out the Australia page over at the Sixth World Wiki...it's about as barren as the Outback.

Australia got 64 pages in Target: Awakened Lands, in 2001. Compare to the countries in Western Europe -save Great Britain, Ireland and Germany- who got covered for the first time in Shadows of Europe in 2004, with 10 to 15 pages each, the countries in Asia in Shadows of Asia, with 20 to 30 pages dealing with entire regions (Chinese states, Indian subcontinent, Middle East) in 2005, and Brazil/Amazonia, who only got a small part in Hualpa chapter in Dragons of the Sixth World before getting three and half a page in the Almanac.

QUOTE (Critias @ Oct 29 2010, 02:15 AM) *
The seat of government moved to Canberra because Sydney's permanently wrapped up in a mana storm

Canberra was intended to be the Australian capital since 1911. The government left Melbourne in 1927. Sydney never was the capital, and as far as I know, it had nothing to do with mana storms.
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Brazilian_Shinob...
post Oct 29 2010, 10:39 AM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Oct 28 2010, 09:40 PM) *
Yeah, Australia pretty much always has been just "shit, there are mana storms!"

I'd make your player pony up the $5, and snag a used copy of T:AL off'a Amazon. Everyone wins. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


Infidel, Australia does not have only mana storms. It has mana storms and the MIGHTY and MAGNIFICENT Dropbear (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
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Bradd
post Oct 29 2010, 10:51 AM
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Anyone know whether the corrected Almanac is available for download? I bought the PDF when it first came out, and it would be nice to have the fixed version.
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MJBurrage
post Oct 29 2010, 01:01 PM
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QUOTE (SleepIncarnate @ Oct 28 2010, 05:59 PM) *
I ordered mine from Amazon and just got it about a week ago, just double checked, and those sidebar errors did get fixed. So earlier copies may have had them, but the intended audience (those who don't religiously pre-order every book and don't have all 4 editions of books on their shelves) will mostly get it in a less typo-rific form.
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Sengir
post Oct 29 2010, 01:52 PM
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So, anyone got the German version yet?
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Warlordtheft
post Oct 29 2010, 02:07 PM
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QUOTE (Brazilian_Shinobi @ Oct 29 2010, 05:39 AM) *
Infidel, Australia does not have only mana storms. It has mana storms and the MIGHTY and MAGNIFICENT Dropbear (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)


Manastorms, Drop bears, and aborigines...oh my!
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