IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

3 Pages V   1 2 3 >  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Good and Bad edition changes
Prime Mover
post Jun 11 2020, 05:12 PM
Post #1


Shooting Target
****

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 1,753
Joined: 5-September 06
From: UCAS
Member No.: 9,313



Edition War's, everyone will always have their nostalgic favorite. Nitpicks aside every edition has had the same intention. Smooth the bumps and make entry easier. Personal bias aside which edition has done the most to fulfill this mandate? Where would you as a fan like to see the game disected and reinvisioned. Should theclock be turned back to a 3rd eition and overhauled like in the worlds favorite dungeon crawler? Was 4th edition on right track but wrong implementation? Is 6th edition worth saving? I have my opinions and I know you do too. But if an honest effort was made to create a recognizable universal system, where to start.

I think the first steps are stripping down an edition that works and rebuilding it from the ground up. K.I.S.S. the ole adage keep it simple stupid. A universal mechanic and some common sense balancing.

I've run this game since 89 and while never the easiest game to GM or teach, the most current edition just creates such a log jam with its new mechanic it leaves me gnashing my teeth. That's not to say there arent good ideas or a clear intention to move in right direction. Just bad implementation. Is it worth trying ot save?

TL'DR : Tearing an edition down to its essence and building a set of core rules to use at the table.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Moirdryd
post Jun 11 2020, 05:36 PM
Post #2


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 864
Joined: 31-December 03
From: Shadows of Britain
Member No.: 5,944



1-3 Collectively and 4e are both fairly good beasts of their own design purpose. And while I never was a fan of 4e I can easily see why people liked it. Personally I think an actual revision of 3rd edition may be the key to Shadowrun.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Prime Mover
post Jun 11 2020, 06:50 PM
Post #3


Shooting Target
****

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 1,753
Joined: 5-September 06
From: UCAS
Member No.: 9,313



Played a lot of first and second edition. My kids were born during third edition so my play time was minimal. I returned to table In earnest with Fourth. Anniversary edition has been my go to rule set for awhile now. Maybe I need to take deeper dive back into third before do anything g else.

Anyone willing to list what they feel the highlights of third are for them?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Koekepan
post Jun 11 2020, 07:18 PM
Post #4


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,128
Joined: 19-May 12
From: Seattle area
Member No.: 52,483



I'd say that 3rd Edition was a somewhat cleaned-up 2nd Edition. In some ways, I liked 2nd Ed the best, but there were some rough edges.

4th Edition had a cleaner playstyle, and I liked that. Low friction is a good way to run - but it's where the metaplot just started to go sideways. 4th Edition is where I spend more time houseruling the milieu, rather than the operational rules.

I do think that a thorough redesign is justified at this point, and a setting reboot.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lionesque
post Jun 11 2020, 08:47 PM
Post #5


Target
*

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 44
Joined: 6-April 17
From: Copenhagen, Republic of Scandinavia
Member No.: 207,604



Rules: 4th is probably the least unplayable. That's not saying a lot. 5th was completely unplayable and plain unfun, and I'll never get to see 6th. I've mostly played a modified 3rd with little or no matrix and magic. Because the rules suck and I have one Master's degree already, can't be bothered to study for another one just to play a game.
Setting: Our Shadowrun never progressed past 2056. I will never understand why they had to replace the dystopia of rampant capitalism (and... was that Queen Euphoria movie just a case of very good special effects, or...?) with a never ending repetiion of "Oh you think THAT was bad? Now see THIS even more horrible inescapable evil monster beings from outer space you never heard of before but they are immortal and wants to eat your babies". Yaaaaawn.

So, yes please to a complete reboot: a comprehensive rules overhaul (just stick to ONE fraggin system for matrix, magic and machineguns, how hard can it be?) and a return to the rock'n'roll/punk aesthetics of the original, thank you very much. The original Seattle Sourcebook still ranks in the top three of all RPG supplements ever, IMHO.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Moirdryd
post Jun 11 2020, 09:07 PM
Post #6


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 864
Joined: 31-December 03
From: Shadows of Britain
Member No.: 5,944



One system for the subsystems is a bad idea - because yes it's very hard to achieve without going into beige. They already did some of that in 5e. If that is what you want there are several very good cyberpunk Savage Worlds, FATE, BESM and GURPS settings out there to be playing - but it's a solidly bad idea for Shadowrun.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mantis
post Jun 11 2020, 09:49 PM
Post #7


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,095
Joined: 23-August 09
From: Vancouver, Canada
Member No.: 17,538



Like Prime Mover, I've played and GMed this game since '89 in all it's incarnations except 6th ed. From an ease of access and fun stand point rules wise, I've found 4th ed Anniversary edition to be the best starting point. From a meta plot point, 3rd probably had it best. That was when FASA was in full control and they were able to build on everything established from 1st ed onward.
However, as a rules system, SR is terrible. There isn't much granularity and at the end of the day the difference between the best in the world and someone with a bit of talent or cyberware is minimal since it all boils down to dice pools.
If you were remaking SR, I'd salvage as much of the 3rd ed meta plot as possible and then build or borrow a rules system from one of the systems Moirdryd mentions. SR's rules are just too complex and lacking in adequate examples and explanations to be much fun. The amount of things that have needed house rules is ridiculous and if I need to house rule vast chunks of the game to make it understandable or playable or fast or fun then why bother having them in the first place?
SR seemed pretty innovative back in '89 but it wasn't the rules I fell in love with, it was the world and that world could be better represented with much better rules. I think trying to salvage the game by salvaging the rules is probably the wrong direction. Figure out what aspects of the game world you want to save and find a rule set that does that. I played Earthdawn when it first came out and, while the world was interesting and tied into the SR world nicely, the rules were once again, overly complex and arcane and there were already plenty of fantasy rule sets out there to use instead.
FASA made some really fun and interesting worlds but their rule sets kinda suck.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Koekepan
post Jun 11 2020, 10:12 PM
Post #8


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,128
Joined: 19-May 12
From: Seattle area
Member No.: 52,483



I maintain that one of the best I've seen for fairly complex action that is engaging and fast on the ground, is HackMaster 5. The core mechanic is consistent, but the application is pretty variable, and the main reference points are precalculated during character generation, so the in-game result is as slick as it can be.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Nath
post Jun 11 2020, 10:44 PM
Post #9


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,726
Joined: 11-December 02
From: France
Member No.: 3,723



From 1st to 2nd edition...
Dividing Initiative Score by 10 to get Initiative Passes. A good idea for simplification. It made high level of initiative boost less powerful, which was also a good thing IMO/YMMV.
Removing variable damage threshold. Also a good idea for simplification.
Karma Pool. To the best of my understanding, the Karma Pool was an answer to the fact that, as a skill-based, level-less rulesystem where gear matters a lot, Shadowrun did not know how to make experienced character much better than fresh new ones. That being, the implementation was terrible. The 1/10th and 1/20th felt like a tax for new players, and made human overpowered compared to metahumans as the pool grew.

From 2nd to 3rd edition...
Initiative Passes going from lower to higher number. A good change I think, my memories of not getting to do anything at all during combat were not that good.
Extra points at chargen for knowledge skills. Still undecided on that one. Special skills in 1st and 2nd editions were well understood to be a trap option. Knowledge skills manage to add flavor, but their use in game is not that convincing: range is way too subjective, and in the end it is not an efficient mechanism for the gamemaster to convey the needed information about the setting or the intrigue, all too often bordering on some semi-active skills.
Removing the skill web. Yes.
Removing Matrix Maze. The Matrix mini-game needed either overhauling, to include the rest of the team, or the kind of streamlining it got. That being said, I think it could also have been streamlined by removing cybercombat instead - going in a completely different direction to make Matrix a game of locks and traps.

From 3rd to 4th edition...
Target Numbers set at 5 & Dice Pool is Attribute plus Skill. It's divisive enough and would probably require a thread on its own (well, it got it more than once). My opinion is that it made the 4th edition easier to understand and scales difficulty better.
Splitting Quickness and Intelligence. The first was a good idea, especially given the use of Attribute to set Dice Pools. I'm a lot less sure about the second one. I understand they sought symetry between physical and mental attributes, but the divide between Intuition and Logic is dubious in places (like, Knowledge skills linked to Intuition ?)
Also, Strength and Body should have be merged and/or Strength should have been made more useful (through bigger recoil compensation for example), which could have been a way to maintain the aforementionned symetry.
Skill max rating set at 6/7. Strongly undecided. On one hand, it sets a power scale (at least until Street Legends ignored it) and established that PC were able to start with top-notch skills. On the other hand, that power scale was quite narrow (I feel that was less of a problem for me because I started playing less often at the time and thus characters got less karma to spend).
Fixed Initiative Passes. It could have been a good idea, if they also reworked the augmentation. This change made high-end augmentation much more powerful, as previously one level of augmentation that only added an average of 3.5 or 5.5 to your Iniative Score, about a third or half what you needed for an extra pass, now granted a full pass.
Numbered Damage Code. Undecided. I usually favor that sort of streamlining, but the lethality does not scale well.
Lowering augmentation and cyberdeck price. Good call. Setting-wise, runner budget in the price range of a sport car made no sense. On the other hand, a more radical change would probably be needed to get rid of the fundamental issue Shadowrun struggle with to balance different character options that can be paid in Karma, Nuyen or Essence.
The Wireless Matrix. As a CS graduate IRL, a step too far for me. I don't mind hackers working from wireless connections (I already played it that way in 3rd edition), but I let a lot of things on wired subgrids.

From 4th to 5th edition...
Limits. That one would also probably requires its own thread. In my opinion, it an extra layer of complexity during chargen and game that provides no added value. It was supposed to make it fun to comb through gear listing to get small Limit increments, when it actually felt like a tax you add to pay to get the benefits of your lucky rolls.
Skill max rating set at 12. Makes the power scale wider. Also bars PC from starting in the top league. I preferred when they could.
The forcefully Wireless Matrix. Same as above.
Return to old Initiative and price. I liked those changes, so reverting them fell on the wrong side for me.

From 5th and 6th edition...
No idea.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Koekepan
post Jun 11 2020, 10:57 PM
Post #10


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,128
Joined: 19-May 12
From: Seattle area
Member No.: 52,483



Am I the only one that liked the skill web? It didn't come up a whole lot, but one thing that I liked was, with multi-step increments it rapidly turned : "Eeeeeerrrr, sure you can try for it..." into: "Hahahaha frag off drekhead." so that being a tiny god of gun-fu didn't mean much on, say, vehicle theft.

I also liked variable target numbers, because (and maybe this is just my long background in statistics talking) target numbers, pools and thresholds all affected the way that you approach success and failure in different ways.

I do agree on most of what you said, though. In particular, I thought that fixed initiative passes were a stupid idea.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 11 2020, 11:01 PM
Post #11


Hoppelhäschen 5000
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 5,785
Joined: 3-January 04
Member No.: 5,951



The funniest change from 3rd to 4th concerning the Matrix was where parts of the rules and world-building were located:

In 3rd, everybody assumed the only way to go online was using a wired deck, because that's what the main book focused on. Then Matrix came along explaining that everybody is online all their lives, how wireless the matrix truly is, including cellular satellite service (StarLink on steroids) and how tortoise mode works.
In 4th, they put all of the latter in the main book, making everybody believe there is nothing wired anymore and there is nothing beyond comlinks... and then went into Unwired and explained how the backbones are still wired and secure systems are onion-layers or air-gapped, and how nexi are what any hacker really wants.

From a world-building perspective, I much preferred the approach of 4th in making the Matrix more accessible to new players. You don't hide stuff like that in a supplement after using incredibly boring rules to scare away the n00bs.

Then again, all the interesting setting books are from 3rd or 2nd edition... so I found my games mostly being run on Shadows of North America, Shadows of Europe and Target: Wastelands. Shadows of Asia and Target: Awakened Lands were a treasure trove as well. Shadows of Latin America... the stuff of legends.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 11 2020, 11:11 PM
Post #12


Hoppelhäschen 5000
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 5,785
Joined: 3-January 04
Member No.: 5,951



The strangest thing was how Bioware and cyberware interacted:

In 1st and 2nd Edition, it was a separate stat Bioindex limited by your Body. BioTrolls!

In 3rd, first it was Bioindex as before... just using Essence+3 as a limit. Then at the very end through errata swapped around consuming Essence, but only the lower half of both sides. It also added Nanoware, which was nice, but kind of weak.

It stayed that way in 4th... though Nanoware became actually usable. And of course, decreased Essence costs for implants, grades for Bioware and streamlining implants made it really fun to play a chromed runner.

Until 5th came along, kicking cybered mundanes between the legs multiple times, by removing that and making implants less essence friendly, as well as forcing everybody to be online through wireless 'boni' that were just prior basic functionality... with their implants that could now be permanently destroyed by hackers, too - so 'combathacking' could be a thing. Then topping it off with CFD, thus neutering Nanoware. Fun times. Added bonus for making people with the legendary Trauma Dampener (the same since 1st edition ShadowTech) into meth mouths.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
KCKitsune
post Jun 12 2020, 02:49 AM
Post #13


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,151
Joined: 9-February 08
From: Boiling Springs
Member No.: 15,665



QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jun 11 2020, 06:11 PM) *
Until 5th came along, kicking cybered mundanes between the legs multiple times, by removing that and making implants less essence friendly, as well as forcing everybody to be online through wireless 'boni' that were just prior basic functionality... with their implants that could now be permanently destroyed by hackers, too - so 'combathacking' could be a thing. Then topping it off with CFD, thus neutering Nanoware. Fun times. Added bonus for making people with the legendary Trauma Dampener (the same since 1st edition ShadowTech) into meth mouths.


"Kicking cybered mundanes between the legs multiple times"? More like cutting their junk off with a rusty dull chainsaw!


Say what you will about D&D/Pathfinder, but Starfinder makes playing non-magical characters viable. D&D 5e and Shadowrun 5th and 6th edition made playing a non-magical character VERY sub-optimal.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
bannockburn
post Jun 12 2020, 07:39 AM
Post #14


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,607
Joined: 22-April 12
From: somewhere far beyond sanity
Member No.: 51,886



QUOTE (Nath @ Jun 12 2020, 12:44 AM) *
Splitting Quickness and Intelligence. The first was a good idea, especially given the use of Attribute to set Dice Pools. I'm a lot less sure about the second one. I understand they sought symetry between physical and mental attributes, but the divide between Intuition and Logic is dubious in places (like, Knowledge skills linked to Intuition ?)
[...]
Skill max rating set at 6/7. Strongly undecided. On one hand, it sets a power scale (at least until Street Legends ignored it) and established that PC were able to start with top-notch skills. On the other hand, that power scale was quite narrow (I feel that was less of a problem for me because I started playing less often at the time and thus characters got less karma to spend).
Fixed Initiative Passes. It could have been a good idea, if they also reworked the augmentation. This change made high-end augmentation much more powerful, as previously one level of augmentation that only added an average of 3.5 or 5.5 to your Iniative Score, about a third or half what you needed for an extra pass, now granted a full pass.
Numbered Damage Code. Undecided. I usually favor that sort of streamlining, but the lethality does not scale well.
Lowering augmentation and cyberdeck price. Good call. Setting-wise, runner budget in the price range of a sport car made no sense. On the other hand, a more radical change would probably be needed to get rid of the fundamental issue Shadowrun struggle with to balance different character options that can be paid in Karma, Nuyen or Essence.

I'm with you on most of what you wrote, but I'd like to address these points with my own opinion:
  • I'm firmly in the camp of supporting split attributes, especially Intelligence, since that means your troll samurai doesn't need to be a potential nuclear physicist just to be good at perception. Also, I like the split between knowledge skill categories, since they're - to my mind, and I'm aware that it's my interpretation of them - Knowledge and Interest skills. Not only do I see street knowledge and academic knowledge and so on as distinct categories linked to their own attribute, I also allow skills like "Dancing" and link them to physical attributes. For a test, you can always easily switch the linked attribute required around.
  • I do like the skill max rating, but just as you say, there's only a narrow margin of improvement. Moreover, especially for adepts, the final max number is linked to how much you can pump the skill with augments. I feel like a 6 max at character creation and a 9 max after would be a fine way to go, but I haven't really playtested this since myself and the few usual players I have tend towards broadening their skillsets instead of deepening it.
  • I agree that high end initiative augmentations are indeed very powerful, especially because they also affect dodge actions. But I also think that with the fixed initiative passes characters with low end augmentations or even a single pass have become much more viable.
  • I'm a big fan of the numbered damage code and I think it does scale well until you get to ludicrous armor numbers. Shadowrun has always been a deadly game, but the outliers have also always been weird. A switch from 1, 3, 6, 10 to a sliding scale gives a better granularity, IMO.
  • In my mind they went a bit too far with the lowered prices for matrixware in general. I fully agree with lower prices for cyberware, but going ham on the matrix gear made everyone a potential hacker much too easily. Nobody needs a cyberdeck that costs 250k, but going down to 40k for a pretty tricked out Fairlight Caliban (this is an estimate from one of my characters, who's not a hacker) was a bit too much. Furthermore, it also limits upwards growth for hacker characters. On the other hand it makes it easier to replace both Cyberware and matrix gear, so YMMV.


QUOTE (Koekepan @ Jun 12 2020, 12:57 AM) *
Am I the only one that liked the skill web? It didn't come up a whole lot, but one thing that I liked was, with multi-step increments it rapidly turned : "Eeeeeerrrr, sure you can try for it..." into: "Hahahaha frag off drekhead." so that being a tiny god of gun-fu didn't mean much on, say, vehicle theft.

I like the skill web, or at least the streamlined version of defaulting to other skills. I still use rulings from that on the fly in 4th edition. "Oh, you want to fire that submachine gun, but don't have an Automatics skill? Subtract 2 from your Pistols skill and go for it."

------
I think it's easy (and also natural) to come up with criticism of a system that's new and unfamiliar. The older people get, the more conservative they usually become. Change is bad, we like the thermostat how it is.
I hated the switch from SR2 to SR3 for other reasons, mainly that I was a powergamer and loved to barge into rooms with my samurai and shoot people up before they could react. But in hindsight, most changes turned out to be better.
I was a firm sceptic of SR4, but as soon as Runner's Companion came out, I became a new convert, and it became even better with the Anniversary edition.
The biggest eye opener for me was turning away from variable TNs.
Koekepan said:
QUOTE
I also liked variable target numbers, because [they] affected the way that you approach success and failure in different ways.

And I agree with that. However, I'd say the majority is not that versed in stochastics, and seeing "Oh, I have 3 dice and need to roll a 5. Makes my chances pretty good" is a definite plus and fully in line with the streamlining goal. Furthermore, The fixed TN approach ALSO approaches success and failure in different ways: namely you can modify the dice pool negatively as well as modifying the number of needed hits to succeed. I think that is plenty of variance while still enhancing the speed of gameplay.

Now all this being said, I will try to find things that I liked, either as a concept or actually in their implementation.
I will concentrate mainly on SR5, because what has been said about 1-3 and 4 I mostly agree with and don't have an interest in re-hashing.
I don't think that 5 (or for that matter 6) is completely unplayable. That is a gross exaggeration, and there's a very active community belying that claim. It is not the game that I want to play, but it is fine enough, even with the glaring warts.
  • Ritual magic - Making the rituals distinct and not just a bit more complicated version of the standard spell list was a great step. They went a bit overboard with some of the rituals (warding not available to physical adepts anymore, watchers not available to summoner adepts anymore), but in general, this was a great idea.
  • More called target options - Also a great idea, getting creative here is very interesting. Some weird implementations, such as disarming people with shotguns on wide spread not hurting them at all, but sound in general.
  • Qualities no longer in 5 point increments - Well done, again. The costs are all over the place, but the heart was in the right place. More granularity here is welcome.
  • Free karma for buying contacts during character creation - I've been using that a while so I was glad to see it make it to the base character creation rules.
  • Skill consolidation - e.g. Shadowing and Stealth consolidated into Sneaking. Good idea, less clutter. Not automatically always great, of course, but taking a look at the list and taking stock is well done.
  • Wireless bonuses - I know this is controversial, and I myself have criticised this a lot, but I still think the idea is a good one, while the implementation is atrocious.
  • Random Run Generator - Love that little cheat sheet. Great to include it in the core book.

I won't go into 6, because my interest in that game was killed by the overall low quality of SR5 releases, and apart from a short look at the horror that is the Edge system I don't know enough about it to have a useful opinion. Suffice it to say, I'm not playing it, don't plan to, and still have enough SR4 material to digest.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
freudqo
post Jun 12 2020, 08:21 AM
Post #15


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 378
Joined: 11-May 12
Member No.: 52,307



I'd like a well revised follow-up to SR3.

Dice pools vs variable TN for a number of successes was I think a good thing for the reason Koekipan said. The fact that raising your dicepool and raising the TN don't have exactly opposite effects on the difficulty was IMO a good thing, and then counting the successes had a real meaning. To sum-up, the difficult task remained difficult for everybody, while you could still have some very good guy performing well.

But what the game really needed is to admit how exactly it abstracts rules and combat. As has been said, the SR3 system doesn't support a lot of granularity. That is actually also true of SR4, mind you. A +1 penalty or -1 bonus on your TN can be quite huge, and that really doesn't allow for the minutiae of stuff they pretend to simulate, from Recoil Compensation to aiming aid, and so on, just quoting combat.

For me, the number one thing to correct, once and for all, is how combat works. If you have a good combat solving system, efficient and robust, you can then adapt the rest of the rules to it, and you'll see when you break balance easily.

All this is to say that ultimately, I think combat in shadowrun suffers from the way actions are defined and used, and the fact that despite being supposedly "abstract", they actually try to simulate to much in minutiae what's happening. The worst example is that, while they describe melee as a series of blows ultimately leading to one of the opponents taking the lead, they don't do so for range, where you actually count the number of trigger pulls during a combat phase. And the worst is that it comes from the notoriously terrible first edition of shadowrun, especially for ranged combat.

So what needs to be done? Here is what I'd suggest (based on SR3):

- Combat round at 3 seconds is a bit stupid. Once people get cover, "real life" gunfights can actually be much longer than the one or two rounds the average shadowrun gunfight lasts… Going to a 10 seconds, or at least 6 seconds rule would let people have much more meaningful moving around and help the magical melee guy do their stuff (these are two separates thing, mind you).

- We should find a way to limit the number of dice thrown. Currently, a combat phase for a street sam involves 6 throws if he does what is simplest for him: shooting twice. The enemy gets a dodge, and then he gets a resistance test using body. An attacker trying to get someone dead should only require 2 tests max: one from the attacker, one from the defender.

- Attacking is always a complex action. Maybe you can make carefully aimed shots, maybe you want to spray the ennemy by pulling the trigger as fast as you can, maybe you want to give some cover to your friend, etc. we can decide that it's solved with only one dice throw with appropriate TN. Example could be: aiming reduces the number of bullets you fire, or allow for less TN at your next action, spraying lets you up the opponent TN by expanding more ammo, stuff like that. Point is: getting rid of this stupid simple actions mechanics letting you "pull the trigger" once each time. A modern day shooter is only able to shot 2 bullets in 3 seconds most of the time? That's stupid. Additionnally, the changes would make ammo relevant. I only once had a character run out of ammo, because she was using the ruger thunderbolt that can be shot exactly four times before reloading. Man do they spend some time telling you how to change "clips" while this never happens…

- All the preceding requires an overhaul of a bunch or weapon mods and stuff (spoiler: most of them disappear and that's good), as well as retooling of combat armor (spoiler: there are less available and they don't work the same at all). But that's quite hard to come up with something balanced on the fly, and would require some kind of long playtest…
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Blade
post Jun 12 2020, 09:38 AM
Post #16


Runner
******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,005
Joined: 25-September 06
From: Paris, France
Member No.: 9,466



Tear it all down!

Rule-wise, I've never found an edition that played how I wanted. I liked 4th because it was less fiddly than 3rd and fixed a few of my biggest gripes with the system like damage. But after some time, I realized that many of my 4th ed game had many "let's ignore the rules" sequences because nobody wanted to bother spending hours rolling dice for something. After some attempts at house-ruling I finally settled on making my own system.

Background-wise, we're at a point where, unless you're one of the handful of people who remembers everything about the SR-lore, it takes hours of research to write something without risking to contradict something. We also have some more or less serious problems with the lore that can't really be properly addressed without at least, some retcon.

Fluff-wise, the Pink Mohawk/Black Trenchcoat divide (among others) can get a little difficult to work with. If you try to write a game that will support both, you'll end up with a lukewarm game that doesn't fully support either.

So to me it should all be rebuilt from the ground up.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Magnaric
post Jun 12 2020, 05:19 PM
Post #17


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 12
Joined: 7-June 16
Member No.: 200,412



So, I'm prefacing this by saying I've played and GMed 2, 3, 4, and 5e. Least experience with 3rd, most with 2nd and 4th, but working knowledge of 5th.

I agree with earlier posts about looking at it from a lore perspective, going with the world you liked, and creating or adapting rules to work within that paradigm. Trying to pick your favourite rules is...honestly, that conversation has been had a million times, and it never goes anywhere.

Having said that, od go with 2e or 3e as a foundation. I like SR4A, because the rules worked within their own consistency. Yes, it had major problems, such as massive dice pools. Rolling 30+ dice feels great on a rare occasion. Doing it every session just gets...tedious. From a lore perspective, 4e had some great ideas and poor execution. Wireless Mateix access? Great, but get everyone on the same page about what is and isnt still wired, and why.

For all it's annoyances, 2/3 just FELT like gritty urban fantasy. I'm of the camp that likes target numbers, because it felt immediately more identifiable if something was easy, hard, or nigh impossible. TN 3? Piece of cake. 8? Okay, a bit of a challenge. 12+? Better get that Karma ready for rerolls. Yes, the issue of 6/7 and 12/13 dead spots was there, but it's simple enough to ignore. I'm not sure how you'd fix it, without a full change to the d6 system.

And 4e did make that change, and I dont hate or, but then you have huge dice pools, and...etc etc.

On another note, I want the Matrix to be simplified, naturally. The old maps were cool, but tedious. In my 2e home game, we've simplified it so that the 5 stats are reduced to 3, and eliminated the check just to see what's connected. If you're in a mode, you see where else you can go(unless connections are hidden). This streamlined it a bit, but of course didnt completely solve the Mateix Pizza Problem.

IMO, what might work is to have a simplified grid map like the old editions, but give the decker a choice of backdoors and access points to connect from. I know everything was connected/protected via chokeholds, but giving him more choices based on, say, legwork or a good initial decking roll might speed things up a bit.

On the note of Mateox checks, the system needs to be analogous to combat, like someone else mentioned I think. Shoot, hit or miss, resist damage, done. Matrox needs to be action/program, success or fail(hit or miss in the case of cybercombat), damage or effect, done. And it was that way sometimes, but the decker also needed to roll EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. They did anything. Look around, find connections, browse files, change user account, hide trail, etc etc. All a separate roll. I wont argue exactly what needed trimming without an actual playtest and taking notes, but it needed a large reduction.

That's all I have to add for now. I do like that the rules were tied so much to the universe though. As painful as it was sometimes, the exploding d6 system is instantly recognizable as Shadowrun, just like d10 for World of Darkness or d10 for D&D.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 12 2020, 05:43 PM
Post #18


Hoppelhäschen 5000
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 5,785
Joined: 3-January 04
Member No.: 5,951



QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Jun 12 2020, 04:49 AM) *
Say what you will about D&D/Pathfinder, but Starfinder makes playing non-magical characters viable. D&D 5e and Shadowrun 5th and 6th edition made playing a non-magical character VERY sub-optimal.

On the other hand playing a character class without superpowers in the first iteration of Pathfinder was an even worse idea than in Shadowrun.

Just think Fighter vs. Barbarian, or... Rogue vs. Ninja or... Vivisectionist Alchemist.

In fact, I really liked D&D5 - though mostly, because they gave every character superpowers of some sort. Even the Fighter has them. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
They really tried to balance options, cut out trap options and weak-sauce and when it came obvious that the Ranger was kind of weak in general... they revised that class.

That's more than what can be said about Shadowrun under the reign of Jason M. Hardy. The last true rework happened with 20th Anniversary.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 12 2020, 06:38 PM
Post #19


Hoppelhäschen 5000
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 5,785
Joined: 3-January 04
Member No.: 5,951



QUOTE (bannockburn @ Jun 12 2020, 09:39 AM) *
Furthermore, it also limits upwards growth for hacker characters.

Nexi. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Tecumseh
post Jun 12 2020, 07:01 PM
Post #20


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,012
Joined: 1-September 11
From: Seattle
Member No.: 37,075



I've been playing since 1993, which makes me a hopeless rookie to some of you, but in that time I've played every edition except 1E. I've even played 6E and GM'd Anarchy. And you know what? I've enjoyed every single edition, and I've had gripes with every single edition. Shadowrun rules are a water weenie that slips out of your hands every time you squeeze it.

I did not like target numbers. The 6/7 plateau was unacceptable to me. As a GM, I didn't like the stress of having to calculate the target number perfectly. If I screw up on a dice or two in 4E-6E, the overall impact to the roll is minimal. But if you mess up a target number by even 1 (unless, of course, it's between 6 and 7), the results of your roll could swing massively.

Conversely, I don't like how little smartguns do in 4E-6E. In 1E-3E they were must-have for shooters because they reduced your target number by 2! BY 2!! But now they give you +2 dice, which is a fart in a stiff wind.

I haven't like the rules for the Matrix in any edition. There, I said it. I guess I like them best for Anarchy because they consist of two pages that boil down to, "Eh, roll some dice and do what you want."

I didn't like the fixed Initiative passes for 4E. It robbed combat of some of its strategy and tactics.

I didn't like the dice pool arms race in 4E. Even if Limits weren't popular in 5E, I appreciated their intention to give players something else to improve besides their dice pool.

I don't like how sharply 4E-6E have skewed toward MagicRun. Awakened characters are my favorite, but it's a real problem when every character type can be made better by being Awakened.

I didn't like the transition to full-color books with glossy pages. I honestly think it robbed the game of a lot of its cyberpunk, dystopian feel. Give me black-and-white artwork on paper pages that SMELL AMAZING and still do 25+ years later.

QUOTE (Blade @ Jun 12 2020, 01:38 AM) *
Background-wise, we're at a point where, unless you're one of the handful of people who remembers everything about the SR-lore, it takes hours of research to write something without risking to contradict something.

Oh, thank the Lord that someone else feels the same way. I know a shocking amount of lore, but even that is a fraction of what's available. I appreciate that the Shadowrun world is dynamic and moves forward, but I can't read (and remember) this stuff as fast as they write it. The lore is a double-edged sword: I love that such a rich library exists, but it can handcuff you as much as liberate you.

But you know what? Despite all the "I don't like" statements, I still love the game. It's a flawed product but I've been playing it for 2/3rds of my life and I don't intend to stop. Sure, I want it to improve, and yes, I think I could do a better job if I were in charge. As soon as I win the lotto I'll enter a bidding war with Catalyst to license the publishing rights from Topps. But until then I'll continue to do what I've done for decades - even back to the FASA days - which is it to patch, house rule, and ignore the rules as appropriate so that I can play my favorite game in my favorite setting with my chummers.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Thanee
post Jun 13 2020, 06:58 AM
Post #21


jacked in
**********

Group: Admin
Posts: 7,643
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 463



From the underlying system, I vastly prefer 4th edition (onwards) over the older editions.

The change from the variable target number to a fixed target number with modifiers applied to the dice pool is exactly how the system should work. It's about getting number of successes, not about rolling a single d6 as high as you can. We already changed SR2 back in the day to work like this with extensive house rules, and it was a clear improvement in my eyes. When 4th also went into this direction, it was very much appreciated.

Now, not everything is perfect here. Magic is too powerful in 4th (not that it was any less powerful before). Dice Pools are gone, they were pretty neat, and I would have kept them. Some modifers are not impactful enough (i.e. Smartlink really should do more than just add 2 dice). 5th has done some interesting changes and some questionable ones. Limits are probably a necessity, although you could also limit how much stuff you can stack on top of a dice pool in another way, I guess. Having spells resisted by two attributes is also a good change. Spirits are still too powerful, of course. The initiative system of 5th works pretty well.

Overall, I think the newer editions are a clear improvement.

Bye
Thanee
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Jaid
post Jun 13 2020, 07:53 AM
Post #22


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 7,078
Joined: 4-October 05
Member No.: 7,813



the old 6/7 plateau was relatively easily fixed. the suggestion I've seen to do so without changing TNs at all was to use d8s with 0-7 being the rolls values on the sides of the dice. roll a 7, you get another roll, but it can come out to a 0, meaning that you don't automatically succeed on a TN that is one higher. 0-7 has the same average as 1-6, so you don't need to change TNs around too much, either.

it would be simple enough to do the same with D6 if that is what people prefer, although that *would* require changing up TNs.

(and on a side note, I can't agree that D&D 5th edition has the same sort of problem as shadowrun lately has with regard to the magic/mundane problem... certainly, at higher levels magic gives you a heck of a lot more options in D&D, but the regular fighter with no overtly magical powers is at least good at doing their thing. in shadowrun, if you want to be the best at *anything* you go straight to the magic options and never look back. whatever thing you want to do, the only question is what flavour of magic makes you best at it, barring some weird niche crap that is mostly less effective methods of doing the same job as could be done more effectively with magic so long as you only care about end results).

(on another side note, I would *not* use D&D 5th edition as an example of how to handle stuff that needs correcting. the ranger has been redone half a dozen times, but none of them are official. new ranger subclasses are more powerful than old ranger subclasses to partially compensate, but WotC has their head just as firmly up their own ass hole as CGL when it comes to actually making a change and admitting there was a problem in the first place. granted they at least posted some homebrew ideas before they abandoned older warlock, sorcerer, and ranger subclasses in spite of the flaws present in them, but they're still forcing the old crappy stuff onto the many people that play adventurer's league, for example... I am sure we can find a better example than *that* for how we'd like our RPGs handled).
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
freudqo
post Jun 13 2020, 09:21 AM
Post #23


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 378
Joined: 11-May 12
Member No.: 52,307



QUOTE (Jaid @ Jun 13 2020, 07:53 AM) *
the old 6/7 plateau was relatively easily fixed. the suggestion I've seen to do so without changing TNs at all was to use d8s with 0-7 being the rolls values on the sides of the dice. roll a 7, you get another roll, but it can come out to a 0, meaning that you don't automatically succeed on a TN that is one higher. 0-7 has the same average as 1-6, so you don't need to change TNs around too much, either.


I had seen a rule that we applied for a while: You get a reroll on a 5 or a 6, and you add 4. That really smoothes out the probability curve, but doing it correctly would involve more playing around, as TN8 is the new TN6 for difficult tasks. And the problem is that now you have a reroll to reach TN6 also… That's cumbersome.

Nevertheless, changing to d8 and having reroll on 7-8 add 6 would not be so cumbersome, give a kinda smooth curve and give a bit more granularity. But you have to rework the base TNs for various tasks.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Koekepan
post Jun 13 2020, 04:16 PM
Post #24


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,128
Joined: 19-May 12
From: Seattle area
Member No.: 52,483



HackMaster did it pretty well.

Roll dwhatever
If you roll max, then add dwhatever-1
(d20 has slightly different rules for exploding dice).

But thus you have a smooth progression, with a simple calculation, while being able to explode your d8 to a result of 23.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 14 2020, 10:59 AM
Post #25


Hoppelhäschen 5000
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 5,785
Joined: 3-January 04
Member No.: 5,951



QUOTE (Jaid @ Jun 13 2020, 09:53 AM) *
the old 6/7 plateau was relatively easily fixed.

The roll-over plateaus were not the true problem of variable TN systems with exploding dice.

Open tests were.

Those made stealth tests into a kind of lottery in Shadowrun.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

3 Pages V   1 2 3 >
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 14th August 2020 - 10:21 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.