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> Shadowrun 2050 4A - What would you do
cndblank
post Apr 6 2012, 07:11 PM
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QUOTE (snowRaven @ Apr 5 2012, 01:21 PM) *
Magic needs(?) to be scaled back to only a few traditions, and preferably more difference between the spirits. All that can be done without specific rules, of course...like forcing hermetics to use Binding and shamans to stick to Summoning.





I already run an "Old School" campaign in 2055.

It is easier to run.

Less nano and gene tech.
That stuff is still out there but only in SOTA black labs. Makes it more special.

Cyberware is still cheap (base rate), but all Bioware is double price and very hard to detect.
Rigger control cyber ware is much more invasive (cost up to 1.5 essence for level 3) but not so much that they can not use wired reflexes.

Wireless hacking goes on all the time, but you need to be jacked in to use full VR with hot sim.
And no one keeps any thing of real value accessible by wireless (lots of hardwired limits on how much can be accessed at one time or per day).
For example in my campaign commercial jets require the pilot to be rigged in or using manual controls. There is no way to remote in to the jet's control hardware unless the panic button has been physically activated (which flashes a light and puts a blinking icon on very screen in the cockpit).
So you can wirelessly pick a man's pocket (his comlink) any time, but once you reach his daily limit draining his bank account means going against the bank security which allows very limited wireless access to the accounts.


I'll be interested how they do the spirits for Mage/Shaman.

I run it with shamanic spirits are +1 force inside their domain and -1 outside. Also it takes a full day per point of force to bind a local spirit the first time as the shaman establishes a relation ship with the spirit. Takes 1 hour per point of force after that as the Shaman returns the favor. The favors take as much time and nuyen as the cost of binding the spirit. Plus you can play up the Shaman having to do favors for his allies.
The shamanic spirit is also -1 force if sent out side the local area (so would be -2 force if outside the local area and not in their domain), but a bound spirit is an ally of the shaman so will not attack the shaman or his friends if the spirit goes free (unless there is a critical glitch).

That means a shaman new to the area is much weaker until he or she establish ties with the local spirits. Also a shaman can risk binding more powerful spirits than a mage. And they have wider options on what to use for binding materials (You need an a collection of rare comic books for what?.)

Mages use the base rules (so they can summon an elemental (spirit)).

Seems to provide a good flavor without being too difficult or overpowering.

I'm thinking of adding a rule for summoning by mages that unless there is a large enough source in the material world for the elemental to form on the Astral the summoned spirit will be at -1 force.
So a camp fire is fine for a force 3 fire elemental but a force 6 needs a burning house or a bonfire. Course air elementals are easy to summon unless under ground.
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Mirilion
post Apr 6 2012, 07:40 PM
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So how do the players of the original 2050 setting think 2070 should be like? Obviously this is just a mental exercise but I'd be interested to hear your opinions.

Ever since Eclipse Phase came out I always assumed that the setting was progressing towards a strange transhuman-horror-fantasy feel, but that's just me.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Apr 6 2012, 09:44 PM
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Besides the video games, I got into Shadowrun right around the time 4E was rolling around. Like, literally a month before it rolled out. I never had much time to get invested in the earlier editions. The lore of those times is... Well, it's what made the Sixth World what it is, but I kind of like the "Burn Notice with Trolls" feel of SR4A.

A lot of that is that Shadowrun 1st through 3rd editions were all what the 1980s thought the mid-21 century would be with magic and elves and orcs, whereas SR4 is what today's futurists and technological advancement prediction rates state that the late-mid 21st century will be with magic and elves and orcs. Japan being a feared, expansionist superpower, for instance, because for some reason in the 1980s everybody was terrified of Japan, rather than a defensively-oriented regional power which has no interest in military conquest, which is what they are now and look to be for the foreseeable future.

And, of course, the Native Americans. Where in the flying hell did they come from? Did the guys just, like, not even bother to look at the 1980 Census data? Native Americans, as any kind of functioning nations or even ethnic groups, are for all intents and purposes extinct, and they have been since before Shadowrun was dreamed up.


But, by the same token, those are part of the forces that make our magitechnical dystopia the magitechnical dystopia we all love.


[e]As an aside, am I the only one who read the title of this thread and thought it was going to be about a group of 2070s characters who get transported back in time to the 2050s? You could have a character unironically exclaim "We have to go back! To the future!"
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binarywraith
post Apr 6 2012, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE (Mirilion @ Apr 6 2012, 02:40 PM) *
So how do the players of the original 2050 setting think 2070 should be like? Obviously this is just a mental exercise but I'd be interested to hear your opinions.

Ever since Eclipse Phase came out I always assumed that the setting was progressing towards a strange transhuman-horror-fantasy feel, but that's just me.


Honestly? It's hard to say. One of biggest complaints I have with where they've taken the setting are that apparently Crash 2.0 made the Megacorps and everyone else go balls-out retarded about computer security. Even given the idea that they didn't rebuild the Matrix the way they originally had it to try and keep any more AIs from spawning, wirelessly connecting everything is dumber than a box of rocks. Anything wirelessly accessible will eventually be compromised, even if only by some bored kid with a smattering of talent and just enough hardware who thinks it'd be funny to switch the traffic lights in the middle of rush hour. Extending that to letting them make your cyberarm beat you to death is exceedingly stupid. 'The Real World Does It' is a terrible excuse for this, as computer security experts today rage against having anything that matters accessible via wireless due to the ease of social engineering compromising passwords and remote access. Not to even mention that Seattle is an island in the middle of a huge continental chunk of undeveloped area. The cost to retrofit everything with wireless tech had to be laughably astronomical, and who's paying to rewire the Barrens? Much less disaster areas like San Fran or Chicago.

Beyond that, the NaN and CSA have been really, really neglected as powers. Between them they control 2/3 of the old US, and a lot of very large metroplexes (CSA) and huge chunks of valuable magical resources (NaN), but neither of them has really been mentioned at all in some time. The lack of NaN is probably part of the catalyst for the difference between the hermetic and shamanic traditions has been removed, simply because without the tribal culture it's hard to explain shamanistic viewpoints in a way that matters.

Losing that distinction is a major loss as well, as the hard differences between shamans, hermetic mages, and adepts were one of the main points of uniqueness of the Shadowrun magic system and their effects on the setting made major difference in the feel of the game by making it all sadly generic.

So yeah. I guess my own 'vision' for how to go from 2050 to 2070 would be simply doing what was working then, only moreso. Limiting the advances of cyber, bio, and nanoware simply because the megacorps have zero reason to release the really good advancements onto the market when they're most often being used against them. No normal citizen is going to be lining up to buy 'em after all, and the black market has every reason to keep prices high and availability limited. Sure, this means it is damn near impossible to create a 'perfect' cybered-up samurai at creation, but there has to be some path for character development available. Keeping the distinctions between magical traditions an important and experience-changing matter for players and the setting alike. In general, making progressive decisions that fit with where the story was, and flow forward, not adapting the story to how the real world is now. The two timelines clearly diverged somewhere back in the 90's anyway, there's no reason to try and rectify them.

Cyberpunk, rather than near-future Urban Fantasy, is what I want.

As far as shifting towards horror, that's been kind of a thing with HMHVV and the introduction of the insect spirits, Horrors, and the Immortal Elves way back in 2e. Not to mention AZT's blood magic habits. There are plenty of downright scary things going on in the metaplot that a GM can bring to the surface if he wishes, and half the fun is that the corps are always going to be Business As Usual over it.


Wow, sorry, didn't mean to rant.
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JonathanC
post Apr 6 2012, 10:07 PM
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I have to agree that the "real world does it" explanation is particularly stupid with regards to wireless technology, since the real world *doesn't* make everything wireless. It's both unrealistic *and* less adventurous, since you no longer have to look for access points, or worry about having someone watch over your body while you jack in, since you're just trotting along with the team hacking in AR.
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Mirilion
post Apr 6 2012, 11:03 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Apr 6 2012, 09:44 PM) *
[e]As an aside, am I the only one who read the title of this thread and thought it was going to be about a group of 2070s characters who get transported back in time to the 2050s? You could have a character unironically exclaim "We have to go back! To the future!"


I groaned and laughed at the same time.

Anyway in all the scenarios I came up with the pros (which is most of the people the runners actually go up against) can't be easily hacked, using all the tricks in the core book and unwired. Only the chumps are easy or at least easy-ish, the pros always require social engineering, hacker presence and general cleverness. The coolness factor of the wireless matrix is unbelievable and I am prepared to go to extreme lengths to defend it in my games, including GM fiats for pacing and balance while distracting players by offering them extra snacks and beer.

It has to be said, though, that if a player comes up with a brilliant plot to subvert some sammie's cyberware in order to hack it later, as far as I'm concerned he earned it.

As for the reason for this wireless madness, I actually started developing a story for it. Some sort of pre-singularity-emergent-machine-god thing manipulating events before it is fully formed. Seems to fit nicely with some tidbits from Emergence, plus the idea that corps won't care about the security of the common people because they want to shove ads in their faces and keep tabs on them. It was going to be a really world changing event, bringing things closer to Eclipse Phase in some respects, but we never got around to playing more than a few runs so far.
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JonathanC
post Apr 6 2012, 11:40 PM
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I don't see what's so cool about it; that Google ad for their Augmented Reality glasses just looks annoying, to me. You think I want to be instantly interrupted by random people while I'm eating breakfast? And if that guy lived in Manhattan but didn't know how to walk to Strand books from a few blocks away, how does he manage to tie his shoes in the morning? I used to live in the Bronx and I could find my way to Strand books without consulting Google Maps.

Plus, since even Hidden Nodes are laughably easy to hack your way into....shouldn't Shadowrunning be nearly impossible? Like, the second you connect to the Matrix anyone who's looking for you could pinpoint your location. It's just stupid. And for what? So we could trade in an awesome, flavorful vision of the future from back when people had more of a creative vision for some bland, iFuture that looks like it was lifted from an Apple presentation?


I love the ruleset of SR4A in most cases, but flavor-wise I have some serious problems with what was done to the Matrix and Magic.
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Mirilion
post Apr 6 2012, 11:58 PM
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QUOTE (JonathanC @ Apr 6 2012, 11:40 PM) *
I love the ruleset of SR4A in most cases, but flavor-wise I have some serious problems with what was done to the Matrix and Magic.


What do you think the future of 2070 should have been like? Realistically technology should have progressed in the 20 years that passed, but how? or maybe they should have just updated the rules without advancing the setting? I found the matrix rules very hard to understand and actually use in play, at least at first, but otherwise I actually love everything you mentioned except for the google glasses.

Edit: I just realized that 1992 was 20 years ago...
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JonathanC
post Apr 7 2012, 12:14 AM
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QUOTE (Mirilion @ Apr 6 2012, 04:58 PM) *
What do you think the future of 2070 should have been like? Realistically technology should have progressed in the 20 years that passed, but how? or maybe they should have just updated the rules without advancing the setting? I found the matrix rules very hard to understand and actually use in play, at least at first, but otherwise I actually love everything you mentioned except for the google glasses.

Edit: I just realized that 1992 was 20 years ago...

Technology doesn't advance at a regular pace. A situation in which large corporations have cornered the market on nearly every aspect of modern life should actually result in stagnation, not innovation. Besides, why have there been advances in every area *except* security? It's easy to break into computers, anyone with a knowledge of electronics can defeat most locks, and the technology to turn a regular person into a super-fast killing machine is apparently cheap enough for mercenaries and criminals, yet is completely absent from security personnel.

And yet I'm told that SR4 is a more "realistic" view of the future than previous editions.
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binarywraith
post Apr 7 2012, 12:25 AM
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QUOTE (JonathanC @ Apr 6 2012, 07:14 PM) *
Technology doesn't advance at a regular pace. A situation in which large corporations have cornered the market on nearly every aspect of modern life should actually result in stagnation, not innovation. Besides, why have there been advances in every area *except* security? It's easy to break into computers, anyone with a knowledge of electronics can defeat most locks, and the technology to turn a regular person into a super-fast killing machine is apparently cheap enough for mercenaries and criminals, yet is completely absent from security personnel.

And yet I'm told that SR4 is a more "realistic" view of the future than previous editions.


Especially a situation where corps control the market on everything and the entire electronic communications infrastructure has been hard crashed twice now, with untold losses in R&D. Hell, since the 2040's R&D has to be conducted under massive security in order to prevent opponents hiring Shadowrunners to steal or destroy it and the researchers involved. That is not a recipe for smooth growth.
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Mirilion
post Apr 7 2012, 12:27 AM
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Strange, it's as if we're playing a completely different game. My security forces have ware, and lots of it in the case of high rating forces, but good luck hacking it. In my experience hacking is hard and dangerous, it takes a lot of skill and luck to open locks without incident and finding hidden nodes is very hard unless you're lucky or the situation happens to make it easy for you.

As for the last part, corporations have been in control for quite a while now (in the real world) and I can't even remember what 1992 was like. It's really hard to remember what 2000 was like, actually. Apple, for example, has tech researched and planned ahead for who knows how long, but even they with all their money-making schemes are still advancing their products once a year.

So basically you're saying tech should stay at 2050 levels even at 2070 because of complete stagnation? That's not... very fun. But technological advancement has always been a weak point in role playing games. I liked it when Shadowrun 4th ed. devs actually advanced the technology significantly, it's something not many developers want to deal with but it makes futuristic worlds MUCH more realistic.
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binarywraith
post Apr 7 2012, 12:55 AM
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QUOTE (Mirilion @ Apr 6 2012, 07:27 PM) *
Strange, it's as if we're playing a completely different game. My security forces have ware, and lots of it in the case of high rating forces, but good luck hacking it. In my experience hacking is hard and dangerous, it takes a lot of skill and luck to open locks without incident and finding hidden nodes is very hard unless you're lucky or the situation happens to make it easy for you.

As for the last part, corporations have been in control for quite a while now (in the real world) and I can't even remember what 1992 was like. It's really hard to remember what 2000 was like, actually. Apple, for example, has tech researched and planned ahead for who knows how long, but even they with all their money-making schemes are still advancing their products once a year.

So basically you're saying tech should stay at 2050 levels even at 2070 because of complete stagnation? That's not... very fun. But technological advancement has always been a weak point in role playing games. I liked it when Shadowrun 4th ed. devs actually advanced the technology significantly, it's something not many developers want to deal with but it makes futuristic worlds MUCH more realistic.


That's the thing. In a lot of ways, they regressed the technology towards modern solutions instead of projecting where future trends could go.

And modern corporate control is nothing compared to the Megacorps. Remember, you're talking about a world where corporate citizenship is more important than nationality, and most wageslaves don't even -own- money that isn't corpscript. Where changing employers is hard enough that people hire teams of mercenaries to do extractions. Where even the smallest of the Big 8 has a larger economic presence than first-world countries today.
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Mirilion
post Apr 7 2012, 01:08 AM
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I get what you're saying but total stagnation still isn't possible IMO, and in-genre cyberpunk is all about the cutting edge.

All I could come up with for an alternative 2070 which is different than both 2050 and the SR4 2070 is a world with more magitech and less essence-cyber conflict. Like Deckers with magi-modules trapping spirits inside their cyberdecks, mage-riggers animate manadrones with elementals, stuff like that.

Edit: or more space stuff.
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binarywraith
post Apr 7 2012, 01:25 AM
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QUOTE (Mirilion @ Apr 6 2012, 08:08 PM) *
I get what you're saying but total stagnation still isn't possible IMO, and in-genre cyberpunk is all about the cutting edge.

All I could come up with for an alternative 2070 which is different than both 2050 and the SR4 2070 is a world with more magitech and less essence-cyber conflict. Like Deckers with magi-modules trapping spirits inside their cyberdecks, mage-riggers animate manadrones with elementals, stuff like that.


Except that doesn't work at all given the way Shadowrun magic works.
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Mirilion
post Apr 7 2012, 01:35 AM
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Lucky I didn't tell you about my SR4 crossover with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, then.
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CanRay
post Apr 7 2012, 01:39 AM
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QUOTE (Mirilion @ Apr 6 2012, 08:35 PM) *
Lucky I didn't tell you about my SR4 crossover with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, then.
What the hell is it with ShadowBronies?
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Mirilion
post Apr 7 2012, 01:42 AM
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You don't need a SIN to love and tolerate, you know.

But seriously, how can 2050s style cyberpunk be even more cyberpunk without changing the setting too much, like SR4 did, but still having enough new stuff to reflect 20 years of changes.
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binarywraith
post Apr 7 2012, 01:46 AM
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QUOTE (Mirilion @ Apr 6 2012, 08:35 PM) *
Lucky I didn't tell you about my SR4 crossover with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, then.


Sentient, magic-using ponies would work with the setting. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) Magitech not so much.
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kzt
post Apr 7 2012, 01:48 AM
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QUOTE (CanRay @ Apr 5 2012, 01:24 PM) *
Hopefully they get some of the good writers in on this, and not the hacks like some of the newer Freelancers.

Maybe get someone new who can write matrix rules that are logical, work and make sense to people who have ever used a computer? Possibly even get someone who understands how computers work and doesn't worship TRON?
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ShadowDragon8685
post Apr 7 2012, 01:48 AM
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QUOTE (Mirilion @ Apr 6 2012, 09:35 PM) *
Lucky I didn't tell you about my SR4 crossover with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, then.


You cybered up Applejack, didn't you? You maniac.
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Mirilion
post Apr 7 2012, 01:57 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Apr 7 2012, 01:48 AM) *
You cybered up Applejack, didn't you? You maniac.


Hehe, actually my alcohol-induced semi-ideas included an invasion of pony-like spirits, pony cultists brainwashing new bronies into the herd, spreading love, tolerance and the mindless worship of their goddess "celestia". Anyone may be infected, they just become nice to everyone and everything, including researchers freeing trapped technomancers and AI from secret labs, security guards letting runners in if they ask nicely, stuff like that. At some point we started talking about other, less terrifying things so that was it.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Apr 7 2012, 01:59 AM
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Oh, so you took something innocent and sweet and pure and warped it into something horrifying and terrible, in proper Shadowrun fashion, eh?

Fair 'nuff, carry on.
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CanRay
post Apr 7 2012, 02:41 AM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Apr 6 2012, 08:48 PM) *
Maybe get someone new who can write matrix rules that are logical, work and make sense to people who have ever used a computer? Possibly even get someone who understands how computers work and doesn't worship TRON?
Don't know many computer techs, do you? TRON is the bible for most of them. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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last_of_the_grea...
post Apr 7 2012, 02:52 AM
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QUOTE (CanRay @ Apr 5 2012, 12:24 PM) *
Hopefully they get some of the good writers in on this, and not the hacks like some of the newer Freelancers.


Uhh...are you, in a roundabout way, kicing said freelancers off of your lawn?
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CanRay
post Apr 7 2012, 03:20 AM
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QUOTE (last_of_the_great_mikeys @ Apr 6 2012, 09:52 PM) *
Uhh...are you, in a roundabout way, kicing said freelancers off of your lawn?
No, I'm backhandedly insulting myself. I've always referred to myself as a hack about my writing.

I'm the newest freelancer (or close to it), so I figure they'll want to get the varsity on this one.
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