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> The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia, It's out
Sengir
post Jun 16 2019, 02:21 AM
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My first impression: The book wants to wanted to alternate between "dry CIA Factbook" and "light-hearted Shadowtalk", which is a nice idea for a document supposedly compiled from different sources in Wikipedia style. But the result also alternates to "there is nothing noteworthy in this article" and "where did the fourth wall go?" Besides these "meta" concerns, the information content itself does not seem to be obviously erroneous, but...


Two wit, this is the entire entry on the Czech Republic
QUOTE
The Czech Republic is a European country of about 12.4 million well-educated and accepting citizens. The last decade has tested the Czechs’ acceptance, after Crash 2.0 brought an influx of immigrants seeking political asylum about fifteen years ago. The parliament mandated all immigrants who wanted to stay had to become citizens by 2075 or get kicked out, and the citizenry mobilized. The numbers in favor of the immigrants remaining were far higher than those in favor of their deportation. In the end, parliament granted a grace period, and those who lobbied to let the immigrants stay mobilized themselves to help get the immigrants’ applications and testing done, adding a little strength to the country’s reputation for acceptance.

A population number and some recent political issue is not a different tone from other entries, it's just nothing.


And then there are the dwarf-Jews...first, the fourth wall gets bulldozed to tell us that dwarfs are an analogy for Jews (because $REASONS) in the least subtle way possible:
QUOTE
You ever wonder why the dwarfs never made themselves a kingdom like the elves did with Tír Tairngire, Tír na nÓg, and the Zulu Nation? Ever wonder why they instantly integrated after the Awakening and are now among the most overlooked and unrecognized races in the Sixth World? There are conspiracy theories aplenty. Some suggest that there is a vast, secret cabal of dwarfs who control all the world’s money and have sunk their hooks into big media and corporate culture. Before the Awakening, people blamed the Jews or other minority groups for that stuff, and it wasn’t true then and isn’t true now.


Then, we are told that there is a secret cabal of dwarfs through the ages -- to their credit, the writers(s) realized that this is slightly unfortunate to write right after identifying dwarfs with the group at the center of every conspiracy theory, but instead of just dropping the subject, the reaction was to smash the ruins of the fourth wall even further so the writer's voice can clarify that this conspiracy is 'far from the “let’s rule the world” illuminati'.

Anyway, a bunch of dwarfs are secretly building a kaer. How does the IC writer know about that? The same way they know about the function of JackBNimble, in other words, they shouldn't.
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Koekepan
post Jun 16 2019, 04:57 PM
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Interesting.

I don't have the book, but these are useful observations.

In terms of structure, as you say, such a mish-mash makes sense, but I'll also cut them some slack on holes in their narrative. A page on every country in the world as of right now would be a 200 page book before you cover anything else.

I suspect that the dwarf/jew thing is more a matter of clumsy wording, than a bad In Character idea. Basically, as I read the excerpt, they're saying that dwarves suffer from prejudices and slanders similar to those traditionally aimed at jews. Then, a different authorial voice provides some out-of-character information (which I'd probably ignore in-game anyway).
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bannockburn
post Jun 16 2019, 06:27 PM
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QUOTE (Koekepan @ Jun 16 2019, 06:57 PM) *
Basically, as I read the excerpt, they're saying that dwarves suffer from prejudices and slanders similar to those traditionally aimed at jews.


Since when? That's NEVER been mentioned before, and is just a repeat of tired 4chan tropes.
Furthermore, the missing delineation between in-character and author voice is atrocious.
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Nath
post Jun 16 2019, 08:20 PM
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The part on dwarves looks like the author trying to backpedal on what has been published in Run Faster. Run Faster went way further in comparing dwarves to jewish people, while never openly acknowledging it. When I say further, I mean it has the "dim masses" targeting dwarf-owned shop in search for gold, and sometimes finding it.

QUOTE
Run Faster, pages 45-46
[...] It is that strength of will (not a weakness as some have said) that defines why the dwarfs are the only metatype that has not carved out their own nation. They have not felt the need to congregate and exert their will in a single place but have instead maintained a sense of unity even while separated by books, borders, and bottom lines.
But what does that sense of unity mean to them? Well, it means that dwarfs, no matter where they fall in a nation, corporation, or religion, will usually side with, and prefer to deal with, other dwarfs before anyone else, even non-dwarfs within their parent culture. It is not a matter of racism or even a sense of superiority, but instead a sense of steadiness and understanding that they all share. When working with their own, they know what to expect, they know they will be dealt with according to a particular set of cultural norms, and they know that when the deal is made or the argument is done, it will stay that way. Within dwarven culture, a deal is a deal.
Now, I know I mentioned a lack of a nation, but what the dwarfs have instead is a world. Thanks to a global Matrix and its astral equivalent, dwarfs aren’t limited by borders for their culture. They are both technologically and magically savvy. Traits that, along with their steady and willful nature, give them ways to connect over great distances. The contacts list on a dwarf’s commlink is often its largest datafile and full of connections to other dwarfs, many of whom the owner may have only met once. Or they may never have met and just got a name passed to them by a friend. This connectivity brings together nearly three-quarters of all the dwarfs in the world (with approximately a fifth of the missing members being a pumilionis metavarient). Some of the connections may be negative, such as a note pointing out a dwarf is untrustworthy or has failed to hold to an agreed deal, but through small degrees of separation, —usually less than three, never more than six—a dwarf in the larger group can be connected to another dwarf.
One of the most significant disadvantages to their insular and well-connected nature is it feeds into the conspiracy-esque view of dwarfs as hoarders of wealth. Dwarf-owned shops, especially those in less well-todo neighborhoods, are frequently targeted by the dim masses in search of dwarven gold. The urban legend of well-connected dwarfs who operate as go-betweens for illicit corporate operations and keep certain valuables, such as credsticks and electronic stock certificates, has only helped fuel these rumors. Especially when these hidden wealth caches are discovered.

And since Run Faster did not break the fourth wall and/or acknowledge the reference to jews, you could not tell if it was stupidly antisemitic ("such people exists in the real world and I use them as an inspiration for Shadowrun setting"), violently antisemitic ("the people who think like me will understand this thinly-veiled reference and know I'm with them"), dumbly unimaginative ("I modelled racism against dwarves after actual racism to make the setting more realistic"), or desesperately trying to be edgy ("wouldn't be cool if we could play SR adventure based on 1920s Germany?").

Hell, I couldn't even completely rule out that it may have been written by someone who was so offended by the "old" metaphor that was sometimes discussed on the Internet - where poor, disenfranchised orks were black people, tech-savvy dwarves were asian people, while elves, with their own ancestral language, their own districts, their own nation, and their actual millenia-old conspiracy, were the jewish people - that it wrote that part specifically to make it canon that its beloved Tolkien elves should not be compared to jews.
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hermit
post Jun 16 2019, 09:18 PM
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I always found it quite obvious that Shadowrun, if anything, obviously set Elves as "Jews".

- Elves have their own ethno-state funded to the detriment of natives, claim it according to ancient stories, and treat said natives like crap
- Elves have secret, ancient traditions everyone is suspicious of
- Elves have a reputation for elitism, arrogance and dishonesty
- Elves are Elves first, and citizens second, and flock to Elf supremacist organizations out of Elvishness (this was very prevalent in early SR)
- Elves are extremely at odds with the "Black" equivalent despite similar problems for historical reasons
- The Night of Rage always drew a comparison to the Kristallnacht for me, at least. It could be a reference to anti-black progroms in the US, too, though.
- Never trust an Elf is a book title.

It should be said that, given that everyone but Tom Dowd on the original core team was Jewish, this probably is more like an in-joke and/or a tie-in to Shadowrun's race commentary than intended t be read as antisemite dog-whistling. The pretty thinly veiled criticism of Israel also works to convince me this was more liberal American Jewish commentary than dogwhistling. Also, given that Shadowrun is full of such underlying social commentary, that never really was a problem for me, from Orks (and Trolls) as a metaphor for US Blacks to Lofwyr as the living embodyment of the Leviathan, to Policlubs and other references to the 1920s, including neofascist Japan and its extermination policy against lower races.

That said, given some of the authors' stated beliefs, I'm with "violently antisemitic" as a working hypothesis, depending on who wrote this piece. Doubly so the Streetpedia piece. Unsurprising if this is something they picked up from 4chan.

The Czech Republic seems to be some kind of metaphor about immigrants in Europe (though the author apparently has no idea what half the words they wrote mean), but ... I am a bit lost at what it wants to tell us. The government wanted to kick all the immigrants out, so they granted everyone asylum because citizens helped the immigrants who were never mentioned before fill out the forms? Somehow? Immigrants who ... were already there since the Crash? I mean, what? Didn't the NEEC have a New Schengen accord anyway?
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Iduno
post Jun 17 2019, 02:50 AM
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QUOTE (bannockburn @ Jun 16 2019, 01:27 PM) *
Since when? That's NEVER been mentioned before, and is just a repeat of tired 4chan tropes.
Furthermore, the missing delineation between in-character and author voice is atrocious.


These are also the people who defended having a run that consisted of killing ghosts of Jewish people at a concentration camp to steal a magical scalpel that not-Megele used in experiments. Which, aside from being edgelord BS and not appropriate for Shadowrun, was also a fiarly impressive lack of understanding of how Shadowrun spirits work.
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Koekepan
post Jun 17 2019, 11:22 AM
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QUOTE (bannockburn @ Jun 16 2019, 08:27 PM) *
Since when? That's NEVER been mentioned before, and is just a repeat of tired 4chan tropes.
Furthermore, the missing delineation between in-character and author voice is atrocious.


Nath covered the "since when" pretty well, so I won't replough that ground.

I agree that Shadowrun's treatment of bigotry has always been a bit ham-fisted, but at least they acknowledged that it would be a probable outcome.

I think that we basically agree that it's poorly worded and poorly edited, and that the editorial staff really fell down on this one in a big way. It's as if they (mostly) know how to use a spell checker, but lose their way when it comes to reading for content. But we all know standards on that have been terrible for a while.
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bannockburn
post Jun 17 2019, 12:09 PM
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QUOTE (Iduno @ Jun 17 2019, 04:50 AM) *
These are also the people who defended having a run that consisted of killing ghosts of Jewish people at a concentration camp to steal a magical scalpel that not-Megele used in experiments. Which, aside from being edgelord BS and not appropriate for Shadowrun, was also a fiarly impressive lack of understanding of how Shadowrun spirits work.


Oh, I' aware. My point was not that someone might be antisemitic or not. It's just the mind-boggling idiocy that someone apparently felt the need to incorporate entirely new fluff that no one ever needed or asked for, based on troll posts directly from 4chan.
Admittedly, I was not aware yet of that blurb from Run Faster that Nath so kindly provided to educate myself that this has been going on one book longer than I could even imagine, but that just shows that the situation is worse than I thought.
To my mind, one of the strengths of Shadowrun's background in comparison to other fantasy RPGs is that your race doesn't define your culture (usually). Sure, there are a few Elven nations, a troll nation and even a ghoul nation, but in general, your culture's first defined by where you grew up (or rather in which surroundings), and only second by your race. Of course for everyday racism, race still comes first and it'll probably be relieving and liberating to find common ground with other members of that race, but that's nowhere near what Nath's quote describes, and certainly not on "we build our own country with blackjack and hookers" levels.

I'm not mad, just disappointed.

QUOTE (hermit)
- The Night of Rage always drew a comparison to the Kristallnacht for me, at least. It could be a reference to anti-black progroms in the US, too, though.

Not sure that's a good example. The Night of Rage was an outburst of violence against all meta races, not specifically Elven.
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lokii
post Jun 17 2019, 01:54 PM
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QUOTE (Nath @ Jun 16 2019, 10:20 PM) *
QUOTE
Run Faster, pages 45-46
[...] Now, I know I mentioned a lack of a nation, but what the dwarfs have instead is a world. Thanks to a global Matrix and its astral equivalent, dwarfs aren’t limited by borders for their culture. [...]

Never read this. How is it different for any of the other metahuman cultures? Even with the elven states, also because there is more than one, I had the impression that their cultural pull is limited.
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hermit
post Jun 17 2019, 06:24 PM
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QUOTE ("bannockburn")
Not sure that's a good example. The Night of Rage was an outburst of violence against all meta races, not specifically Elven.

Hence why I wrote it might just as well refer to progroms in the US. However, the nationwide, coordinated nature, the backing by human supremacists and the implication of all security forces available (including makeshift concentration camps and plans of deportation) in the progrom are unlike how racist massacres in the US, which were, to my knowledge, always localized, went down. That is Kristallnacht (or, if you will, Bartholomy's night) territorry.
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Jaid
post Jun 18 2019, 03:22 AM
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QUOTE (hermit @ Jun 16 2019, 05:18 PM) *
The Czech Republic seems to be some kind of metaphor about immigrants in Europe (though the author apparently has no idea what half the words they wrote mean), but ... I am a bit lost at what it wants to tell us. The government wanted to kick all the immigrants out, so they granted everyone asylum because citizens helped the immigrants who were never mentioned before fill out the forms? Somehow? Immigrants who ... were already there since the Crash? I mean, what? Didn't the NEEC have a New Schengen accord anyway?


the government didn't want to deal with the refugees. the population wanted to welcome them with open arms. it really isn't that hard to understand.

i mean, i'm not gonna suggest there isn't stupid crap in the new books, but we don't need to invent problems that don't exist... we can stick to the ones that actually do exist.
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hermit
post Jun 18 2019, 08:11 AM
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QUOTE
the government didn't want to deal with the refugees. the population wanted to welcome them with open arms. it really isn't that hard to understand.

That doesn't work like the author seems to think it does.

Also, the author clearly has no idea what political asylum is and how it differs from other types of immigration. And finally, what did those refugees do since 2064? Which is 16 in-game years? Where were they? Why kick them out now, all of a sudden? This makes no sense. It seems whoever wrote this also had no idea how the in-world timeline is organized. So yeah, stupid crap.
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Jaid
post Jun 18 2019, 10:08 AM
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QUOTE (hermit @ Jun 18 2019, 04:11 AM) *
That doesn't work like the author seems to think it does.

Also, the author clearly has no idea what political asylum is and how it differs from other types of immigration. And finally, what did those refugees do since 2064? Which is 16 in-game years? Where were they? Why kick them out now, all of a sudden? This makes no sense. It seems whoever wrote this also had no idea how the in-world timeline is organized. So yeah, stupid crap.


if the government decides they don't want to give you political asylum any more and none of their population care enough to complain, i bet it doesn't look different enough that they couldn't kick them out of the country. in a political system other than democracy, the population caring might not matter. heck, in real life democracy, it still might not prevent anything happening.

given we're talking about probably the first major piece of information on the country since... well, i'm not sure we even *had* anything on it before, this doesn't even need to be super recent. but it could be, if the government recently got tired of these refugees (or, given we know it's a parliamentary system, if the government changed and the new government doesn't like them) in a fictional future with fictional laws that don't necessarily follow our own (i mean, we know some pretty major legal divergence from real life happened starting in what, 1997 when corporate extraterritoriality started becoming a thing? not to mention, let's be honest here, i'm betting you know VERY little about the modern real life Czechoslovakian legal system which the 2070s version of magical cyberpunk Czechoslovakia's laws might have evolved from). if they recently decided to put that deadline in place, the refugees may very well have never bothered getting citizen status because they didn't need it until recently. in the face of massive protests, the government allowed extra time for those refugees to become citizens (possibly thinking there was no way they'd be able to make the deadline, which would explain why help on that front might be so important).

again: there are real problems to complain about. this two paragraph write-up failing to accurately provide every tiny detail of the history of a country which has received VERY little attention in previous products? that isn't one of them. let's focus on the real stupid crap they do, and not complain that they didn't give us an in-depth write-up of every tiny little detail of the past 100 years of shadowrun-czech history in this product when there was no reason to expect anything more than a brief description of recent events that someone could build from would ever be necessary, which is what we got.

you want to complain that edge is a stupid mechanic to use for every single source of advantage that could be gained ever? be my guest. it infuriates you that armour does not, in fact, protect you from damage and may actually instead allow you to be better at shooting people in the head or perform complex gymnastics routines that protective gear should actually make more difficult? by all means, express your rage to the world. you think it is stupid that no melee weapons use strength to determine damage with the exception of unarmed combat for some unfathomable means? go nuts.

there is plenty of real actual stupid crap to complain about in shadowrun products. we don't need to invent things that they can use to justify ignoring our feedback when we complain about the problems the game actually has (not that i expect them to fix any of those things, i rather expect choosing not to have an open playtest thoroughly scuttled any chances of being able to do anything about anything no matter how much the fans think those things are stupid).
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bannockburn
post Jun 18 2019, 10:13 AM
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Different folks find different things grating (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Iduno
post Jun 18 2019, 08:25 PM
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Yep. Fluff is pretty important to any former-FASA property. It's one of the things they did well.

They also weren't afraid of making mechanics interesting and complex, but that's not always good. It's just tough to figure out what can actually be simplified without ruining it.
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Nath
post Jun 18 2019, 08:58 PM
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QUOTE (Jaid @ Jun 18 2019, 12:08 PM) *
given we're talking about probably the first major piece of information on the country since... well, i'm not sure we even *had* anything on it before, this doesn't even need to be super recent.
Czechia was first decribed with 9 pages in Shadows of Europe (2063 IG, 2004 IRL), updated with two pages in The Sixth World Almanac (2072 IG, 2010 IRL). The Marienbad Council (formerly part of Germany that joined the Czech Republic in 2063) was also featured with two pages in War! (2073 IG, 2011 IRL). The refugees issue was first introduced in 6WA, so The Neo-anarchist Streepedia is mostly providing closure here.

QUOTE
Sixth World Almanac, page 144-145
Following the second Crash, the Czech Republic has seen an increase in immigrants from the AGS. Many of the immigrants claim
political asylum, leing prosecution and have settled in Marienbad. The Marienbad Council has allowed the immigrants to settle in the area, though the Czech Parliament required that all immigrants in the autonomous region become citizens by January 1, 2075 or face deportation. [...]

> The noise from the Czech Parliament about immigrants in Marienbad is to make sure that they get their full taxation. With the autonomy of the region, the government doesn’t want to take any chances that the local magistrates take kickbacks without sharing.
> Kay St. Irregular

The War! section on Marienbad is noteworthy for featuring a mercenary bragging about how he planted rumors that romani were spreading sickness, which, as far as fiction goes, is not exactly clearing your record when you bring that up in the same chapter that features killing jewish ghosts to recover a magical nazi scalpel.

QUOTE (Jaid @ Jun 18 2019, 12:08 PM) *
i mean, we know some pretty major legal divergence from real life happened starting in what, 1997 when corporate extraterritoriality started becoming a thing?

The 1999 SCOTUS decision only covered the use of lethal force by corporate employees to protect corporate property and prevent radioactive hazard. Corporate extraterritoriality is brought by a SCOTUS decision in 2001.
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hermit
post Jun 18 2019, 09:56 PM
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QUOTE
The refugees issue was first introduced in 6WA, so The Neo-anarchist Streepedia is mostly providing closure here.

Right, I had forgotten about Marienbad as a safe haven. Thanks.

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Nstol_wisper
post Jun 19 2019, 09:33 AM
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Hello! First post!

With no into thread I thought I'd say Hello to everyone here.

I do have The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia( it's great (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) ) and I'd be happy to join any future discussions about it.
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Sendaz
post Jun 19 2019, 09:46 AM
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QUOTE (Nstol_wisper @ Jun 19 2019, 05:33 AM) *
Hello! First post!

With no into thread I thought I'd say Hello to everyone here.

I do have The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia( it's great (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) ) and I'd be happy to join any future discussions about it.

Welcome to the Madhouse!

Leave your armor jacket by the door, there is some SynthScotch behind the counter.
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Nstol_wisper
post Jun 19 2019, 09:58 AM
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Thank You!

I thought that I would use the lag between editions to build some playing resources.
I'm pretty impressed with the Streetpedia being released first.
Sixth World is the first edtion to put out such a comprehensive book so early, No?
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hermit
post Jun 19 2019, 12:32 PM
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Or so late, depending how you look at it. Though actually, though, a similar book was published between 3rd and 4th, but German only.
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Nstol_wisper
post Jun 19 2019, 05:25 PM
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I remember 3rd not having a whole lot of supplements early. I wasn't playing yet, I got interested at the end of 4th editions cycle.
But I remember that sourcebook being a big deal. Almost killed the game due to US publishing policy.
But the the fanbase made alot of noise and saved it.

It was just around but not quite 10 years after the AD&D sue crap. So that whole thing was something to watch with interest.
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Sengir
post Jun 19 2019, 08:30 PM
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QUOTE (Nath @ Jun 16 2019, 10:20 PM) *
The part on dwarves looks like the author trying to backpedal on what has been published in Run Faster.

To me it sounds more like the author(s) backpedaling on what they themselves just wrote: "Wait a second, Jews and a big ancient conspiracy? Whoopsie, that's not good".

I mean, good they noticed, but maybe the solution could have been to just drop that damn analogy, for which there is no good reason, instead of trying to fix things with more "hey, author here". Also, all of that was just to include something that should have been shadowtalk at the "dwarf" entry...which does not exist.

QUOTE
Run Faster went way further in comparing dwarves to jewish people, while never openly acknowledging it. When I say further, I mean it has the "dim masses" targeting dwarf-owned shop in search for gold, and sometimes finding it.

...and it basically spells out the "rootless cosmopolitan" canard. That was just a bit too much on the nose.
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Nstol_wisper
post Jun 19 2019, 09:49 PM
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I felt the handling of the African continent had been not great up until 5e.
But at least there is more writen about how they play into the big picture.
The similarities betwwen Africa say the Amazonia region including everything near them are starting to show.
Making the game's focus less themed.... An Island called Seattle. Finally. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/notworthy.gif)

Shadowun run is a harsh dystopic environment for sure.
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Nstol_wisper
post Jun 21 2019, 06:43 PM
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I for one liked the references all located in one sourcebook.
Take for example UCAS and CAS are in one book, you don't have to pick through several books just to get a general vibe of the current culture..
Also I always felt that the current state of the culture in Shadowrun, of a given nation is knid of defined by the surrounding nations. Culture is many contributing factors, so a sourcebook which allows one to take a step back to follow the factors where you may (and RP them) is a good aid.
I wonder what the rest of this edtion will look like with the streetpedia setting the tone?
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RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 15th July 2019 - 06:45 PM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.