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> SRV, V stands for Verisimilitude
Koekepan
post Oct 24 2013, 09:20 PM
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Let me preface all the rest of this with the statement that this is entirely hypothetical, has no bearing on anything published in the past or currently, or most likely in the future. Furthermore, it has no relevance to anything with regards to the timeline, as generally understood.

Imagine you were offered a job as a game designer for Shadowrun, and after your initial celebratory libations you came back to earth and decided that what you wanted most of all was a minimum of complaint on Dumpshock about the plausibility of the ruleset. In a word, you wanted verisimilitude. What would you change? The laundry list is fairly long, but I think that we could consider quite a few options. Here are some which spring to my mind initially:
  • Weaponry:
  • A level set on damage, as per known lethality and penetration levels. Also on effective range, based on MOA calculations. It's not hard. You can start at websites such as The Box of Truth.
  • Assess the actual meaning of upgrades to weaponry. Again, not that hard. Porting is incompatible with suppressing, and so on. Address concealment issues too.
  • Magic:
  • Magic suffers from many problems, but perhaps the worst is that it is not particularly well balanced between what a magician can do with six months in the lab, versus six seconds of notice before twenty thugs kick in his door. Many magicians, aside from summoning and ritual sorcery, are five trick ponies of destruction who look kind of stupid when someone asks them to fix an ailing apple tree.
  • Give magicians the ability to prepare some big flashy things ahead of time, along the lines of single use fetishes, but give them more flexibility in what they do in the long term. Yes, there are some fixes for this in Street Magic, but they should have been in the core. It also means that a magician is more of a support role and possibly subject matter expert rather than a first choice front liner along with the adepts and samurai.
  • Computing:
  • Let's resolve wireless vs wired this way: There is a good, excellent set of reasons to have a wired connection. It's less likely to be tapped/snooped upon, it is less vulnerable to noise/interference, and the throughput is more reliable. These are consequences, for the most part, of physics. This means that a wired connection is suitable for very high load, high demand scenarios such as full VR and high speed data transfers. Relegate wireless to the equivalent of tortoises in earlier versions, and AR. If you want to be wired into your commlink so that you can VR to it and struggle with slower connections to elsewhere, fine. If you want to have a VR link directly into a remote mainframe, your user experience will suck to the point that it makes MORE sense to connect to it with an old school interface, and all that implies. Hence the value of getting a specialist in to touch hardware, as appropriate.
  • VR for rigging requires a direct link. Drone management is by AR, autopilot and intermediate level AI for complex commands.
  • Handwave the significance of gibsonian cyberspace. Let's presume some actual interface design twisted genius found some concrete interface which is more powerful than a programmable, abstract interface. However, don't allow combat-time programming actions, as opposed to invocation of pre-scripted actions, somewhat analogous with the case of magicians preparing single-shot effects.


I would also strongly consider ditching technomancers, possibly allowing for a brain-in-jar type of character for the real freaks.

Thoughts? I could have gone on for pages, but I decided to cut this shorter.
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MADness
post Oct 24 2013, 09:31 PM
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Redo Adepts from the ground up. With a team of six total people, split between the need-to-nerf and already-needed crowds. This would include Mystics and Aspected. Powers would be rebalanced, both in terms of effects and costs. They would have tools that could help them beyond the Focuses they already get. (I imagine a kind of library/lodge that allows a temporary boost to one or two powers. Meditate for a week, boost it by a level or three for 24 hours). I would also want them to feel a little more unique. The combat focused Adepts feel like week magic-based Samurai. Unless your game is going to go for a extensive period of time, they don't edge out Street Sams without using the bonus PP upon initiation rule. They have a bevy of advantages, true, but optimizing with cyber is just easier most of the time in the early/short game.
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binarywraith
post Oct 24 2013, 10:05 PM
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QUOTE (MADness @ Oct 24 2013, 03:31 PM) *
Redo Adepts from the ground up. With a team of six total people, split between the need-to-nerf and already-needed crowds. This would include Mystics and Aspected. Powers would be rebalanced, both in terms of effects and costs. They would have tools that could help them beyond the Focuses they already get. (I imagine a kind of library/lodge that allows a temporary boost to one or two powers. Meditate for a week, boost it by a level or three for 24 hours). I would also want them to feel a little more unique. The combat focused Adepts feel like week magic-based Samurai. Unless your game is going to go for a extensive period of time, they don't edge out Street Sams without using the bonus PP upon initiation rule. They have a bevy of advantages, true, but optimizing with cyber is just easier most of the time in the early/short game.


I would add to this by making Essence loss drop the PERMANENT total PP an Adept is allowed to have, not just his total at the time, in order to make cybered-up Adepts not get best of all worlds bonuses 'balanced' by negatives that can easily be bought off with karma that is much more easily obtainable than cash.

Tacomancers, though, need to go to keep to the setting's own rules about how technology and magic interact.


Adjust the suggested pay rates to make sense of why 4-6 guys with a million nuyen or more of gear and specialized training each are doing incredibly dangerous and shady things for less money than a janitor makes a month.
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Koekepan
post Oct 24 2013, 10:22 PM
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In this context I'm less worried by nerfing or the alternative than coherence of concepts. For example, it just makes sense to me that a guy who got a doctorate from MIT&M in magical studies would cheerfully spend three weeks researching the perfect antidote to some magical hazard, and prepping it in some fetishes for the Big Guns to carry when they get nefarious. That same guy even being in the getaway van with a carbine in case extra covering fire is needed on extraction, I can buy. But hustling into Renraku or Ares or wherever with a knife between his teeth and an Ingram in his hands? I don't buy it.
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Isath
post Oct 24 2013, 10:35 PM
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QUOTE (binarywraith @ Oct 25 2013, 12:05 AM) *
can easily be bought off with karma that is much more easily obtainable than cash.


Depends on the game you are in. "Much more easily obtainable" is not how I would describe Karma in the game, that I am taking part in.
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RHat
post Oct 24 2013, 11:18 PM
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QUOTE (binarywraith @ Oct 24 2013, 04:05 PM) *
Tacomancers, though, need to go to keep to the setting's own rules about how technology and magic interact.


Except that they have nothing to do with Magic.
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Tanegar
post Oct 24 2013, 11:52 PM
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QUOTE (RHat @ Oct 24 2013, 06:18 PM) *
Except that they have nothing to do with Magic.

Then why are their mechanics virtually identical to magicians'?
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Dolanar
post Oct 24 2013, 11:54 PM
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I imagine because of simplicity, if you notice in 5E EVERYTHING follows the Limit system now, the only difference is Magic can still choose their limits.

A system that has a different mechanic for every small thing becomes overly complicated, so keeping a simple mechanic across multiple parts of the system speeds things up.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 25 2013, 12:44 AM
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QUOTE (Dolanar @ Oct 24 2013, 05:54 PM) *
I imagine because of simplicity, if you notice in 5E EVERYTHING follows the Limit system now, the only difference is Magic can still choose their limits.

A system that has a different mechanic for every small thing becomes overly complicated, so keeping a simple mechanic across multiple parts of the system speeds things up.


Not only does it become overly complicated, it tends to piss people off, and push them to more easily mastered games. I see this all the time. My wife is a prime example of such behavior. Some people want to play, rather than trying to grasp a system that reads like a College Level Textbook. Just because Technomancers and Mages use the same system, that does not make them both mages. It is a nod towards simplicity. That was really one of the things that pissed me off about SR3. All the damned sub-systems that were different. I had a really hard time trying to get new players even close to interested in it. Which is sad, because the fluff really drew them in, and then the mechanics drove them away. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif)
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Tanegar
post Oct 25 2013, 12:50 AM
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Simpler or not, the thing I most dislike about technomancers (at least in 4E, I don't have 5E) is how mage-like they are. I liked the game much more when magic was magic, and tech was tech, and ne'er the twain shall meet. I put my mark in the "eliminate technomancers" column.
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Isath
post Oct 25 2013, 12:55 AM
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Indeed, simplicity is an artform.
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RHat
post Oct 25 2013, 12:56 AM
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QUOTE (Tanegar @ Oct 24 2013, 05:52 PM) *
Then why are their mechanics virtually identical to magicians'?


For out-of-game reasons.
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Isath
post Oct 25 2013, 01:02 AM
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QUOTE (Tanegar @ Oct 25 2013, 02:50 AM) *
I liked the game much more when magic was magic, and tech was tech, and ne'er the twain shall meet.


Thing is, that with technomancers, tech has never been just tech.

Also it is the tale that makes the difference not the rules. In P&P RPGs rules should stay out of the spotlight and manage things behind the scenes. You do not need a different set of rules for every aspect of the 6th world and doing away with a lot of that clutter has been one of the major achievements of the edition progressions.
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RHat
post Oct 25 2013, 01:07 AM
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QUOTE (Tanegar @ Oct 24 2013, 06:50 PM) *
I liked the game much more when magic was magic, and tech was tech, and ne'er the twain shall meet.


And it hasn't.
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Tanegar
post Oct 25 2013, 01:23 AM
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QUOTE (RHat @ Oct 24 2013, 08:07 PM) *
And it hasn't.

In great Cthulhu's unholy name, must you be quite so blindingly obtuse about absolutely everything? Technomancers are just reskinned magicians. They have a special Attribute that lowly Muggles lack, they summon ("compile") spirits ("sprites") out of thin air, and suffer Drain ("Fading"). Face it: Resonance is Magic that deals with machines. They didn't even try to give it a basis in any kind of science or technology, it's just "Hey, look, these guys are MAGIC with MACHINES! Do you see what we did there?!"
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Remnar
post Oct 25 2013, 01:34 AM
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Put me in the camp that feels technomancers need to get the axe (literally).

Its stylistic for me, probably from my CP2020 roots. You wanna hack, you gotta plug in and punch deck chummer. No "magic" mental manipulation of the 'trix without the ware. Adding sprites, threading and submersion made it worse for me. On the same point, I also don't much care for Hacker Adepts for much the same reason, despite how awesome they can be.

The exception was always Chip Carriers. Because those rocked.

Naturally that's just my personal opinion.
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Remnar
post Oct 25 2013, 01:35 AM
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QUOTE (Tanegar @ Oct 24 2013, 05:23 PM) *
In great Cthulhu's unholy name, must you be quite so blindingly obtuse about absolutely everything? Technomancers are just reskinned magicians. They have a special Attribute that lowly Muggles lack, they summon ("compile") spirits ("sprites") out of thin air, and suffer Drain ("Fading"). Face it: Resonance is Magic that deals with machines. They didn't even try to give it a basis in any kind of science or technology, it's just "Hey, look, these guys are MAGIC with MACHINES! Do you see what we did there?!"


+1
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Dolanar
post Oct 25 2013, 01:39 AM
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yeah because Technomancers have never been mentioned in form of fiction or movie...

oh wait we have TRON...
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RHat
post Oct 25 2013, 01:43 AM
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QUOTE (Tanegar @ Oct 24 2013, 07:23 PM) *
In great Cthulhu's unholy name, must you be quite so blindingly obtuse about absolutely everything? Technomancers are just reskinned magicians. They have a special Attribute that lowly Muggles lack, they summon ("compile") spirits ("sprites") out of thin air, and suffer Drain ("Fading"). Face it: Resonance is Magic that deals with machines. They didn't even try to give it a basis in any kind of science or technology, it's just "Hey, look, these guys are MAGIC with MACHINES! Do you see what we did there?!"


Mechanically, they're similar - a greater degree of difference is needed to get the feel right. But in setting? Not at all connected.

And yeah, it's completely unexplained - but it isn't Magic.
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Trismegistus
post Oct 25 2013, 06:35 AM
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This is a silly argument. If you're going to complain about how Magic and the Matrix are similar, then throw away every cyberpunk book that you've ever owned. Starting with Neuromancer.
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tasti man LH
post Oct 25 2013, 06:57 AM
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*pfft*

The Matrix, based on real science and technology?

Next you'll be telling me that the nanomachines in Metal Gear Solid 4 are an accurate depiction to how nanotechnology actually works.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Oct 25 2013, 07:00 AM
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If you want to try to make the point that Technomancers totally aren't magicians, we swear, then here's what you do.

Point blank: Essence Loss does jack shit to Resonance.

There. That's the first thing you do.


Otherwise, just fucking go ahead and say that yeah, we think they're some kind of alternate Awakened that could only come about in a high-energy, high-tech, wireless world.
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RHat
post Oct 25 2013, 07:07 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Oct 25 2013, 01:00 AM) *
If you want to try to make the point that Technomancers totally aren't magicians, we swear, then here's what you do.

Point blank: Essence Loss does jack shit to Resonance.

There. That's the first thing you do.


Otherwise, just fucking go ahead and say that yeah, we think they're some kind of alternate Awakened that could only come about in a high-energy, high-tech, wireless world.


So, horrible balance problem or they have to be the same thing? False dichotomy much? Given that technomancers are actually biologically different (covered in, as I recall, Emergence), it's certainly reasonable to have modifications to their body have an impact.
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quentra
post Oct 25 2013, 07:13 AM
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I don't see a problem with TMs being basically 'It's not MAGIC but it works exactly like MAGIC except on the internet NOT-MAGIC!' I think the problem is that their mechanics are too similar to hackers - they should have a fundamentally different way of dealing with the Matrix entirely than the same skill+program rating that you have in SR4.
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phlapjack77
post Oct 25 2013, 08:15 AM
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QUOTE (RHat @ Oct 25 2013, 03:07 PM) *
So, horrible balance problem or they have to be the same thing? False dichotomy much? Given that technomancers are actually biologically different (covered in, as I recall, Emergence), it's certainly reasonable to have modifications to their body have an impact.

I'm still on a grail-quest to figure out a way to make a non-game-breaking version of some kind of Emergence-type character that doesn't suffer Res loss when getting cyber. It just seems so...perfectly fitting. Someone who interacts with tech on a much deeper level than normal people should be able to interact with tech in their own bodies the same or better as well.
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