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> [ShadowsOfEurope] Penta lands in Portugal, Yet more SOE review
Penta
post Jun 27 2005, 03:14 AM
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This chapter...I dunno, but it just *felt* better.

Aegis just sounds like a really, really neat idea, which had me squirming happily.

An eminently usable country, though the low profile of Portugal IRL means the GM has to hustle a bit more. Nice.

A completely irrelevant point: Font and typefaces.

My God, I'm going to lose it with the Shadowtalk typeface. It has almost no contrast from the page background, except in an abundance of light.

Additionally, it differentiates poorly between "o" and "a" in lower-case.

But that's just a side point.

This chapter worked great. Not the atmosphere of other countries (it's not really as known as the others, which probably doesn't help here), but it works quite well if the GM has the sense to grab a Lonely Planet guide or something.

Chapter review: OK.

Book: It climbs. It's not quite at monkey-level climbing yet, but it climbs.
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hermit
post Jun 27 2005, 08:58 AM
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Just on a side note, there're many nice internet travel sites where GMs not familiar with a given country at all can read up on the basics. Pays for players, too. In my recently ended Amazonia campaign, all my players bought Spanish linguasofts, and then wondered why they didn't understand the locals in Metropole. I would have told them, had their characters even asked about what the national language in Amazonia was.

Anyway, for settings the players aren't intimately familiar with because they're covered by gazillions of pages of publication (Seattle, Germany for Germans), it's always better to leave a fair bit to the GM, I think. In that respect SoE is fairly well done - it gives a framework for each country, but doesn't put down every last detail.

Any GM planning to run a campaign in a given country - and desiring to play the country with local flavour - should read up on it, in case he has never been there. I read up on Brasilian legends for Amazonia too (and my players, of course, happened to come across Mapinguari - it's the most well known, and it made a great addition to an insect hive, from what I read about it's affinity to decasy and insects).

Now, for SR's Portugal ... I really liked that. It's a nice 'gateway' country, where Shadowrunners from Seattle can get the basics of the old continent, make some first runs and start building a network; it also offers opportunities for both traditional shadowrunners and corp soldier/army/merc campaigns (who, it seems, got quite some attention with SoE).

I love Lusitania. Hell, Portugal is a lot like I would have liked Germany to be. Shame on you, Germany SB authors.
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Synner
post Jun 27 2005, 10:42 AM
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And you should see the other 80 pages of unused stuff we developed for Portugal. ;)

But really, it's nice to see that my backyard, Portugal and Lisbon in particular, came off as stepping stones into Europe. Like Europort (UNL), that's the way they were intended. Lusiada and the various factions at work in the country have so many potential tie-ins on so many continents that they make a good excuse for anyone wanting to cross the Pond to get involved in all manner of stuff from the Grand Tour to down and dirty merc operations.
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Penta
post Jun 27 2005, 01:57 PM
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Agree with Hermit in many ways...But also think that the game info sections are a major cause of my discontent. It would have been much better if it had suggested the basic "theme" for locations, as a way of giving the GM a clue as to what the intent was.

Definitely agree, though, that Portugal has a lot of promise as a gateway...

And that it is what Germany coulda, shoulda been. (Allow me to be frank. Someone shoulda told FanPro Germany that, in fact, that setting sucked, and that it would be blotted from memory as much as possible. I'm not sure the SoE approach of trying to fix by addition really helped there.)
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hermit
post Jun 27 2005, 03:08 PM
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Well, as I said in the other thread ... they were trying to work with what's in canon. Besides, a significant portion of Germans actually *likes* Germany SB's setting, and they had to take this into account, too.

Yes, SM is a big thing here. Especially the M part. :P
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Synner
post Jun 27 2005, 05:46 PM
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It's important to understand that the current German writers including the writer of the SoE AGS chapter labor under certain constraints imposed by both continuity and the fact that a lot of people (whether they like it or not) have been using the German setting as presented in DidS and Germany for years. Pulling the rug from under those players was never in the plans.

While it was possible to selectively "correct" material from the out-of-print Austrian and Swiss sourcebooks (more the latter than Austria) without causing too many waves, the AGS setting had been in use too long and was played by too many people (not to mention it had been recently updated with DidS2) for us to reboot it.

However, gradually moving Germany towards a different vision through integrated plots and in game developments is the ultimate goal. Hopefullly the 2070 setting of SR4's Germany will introduce further changes.
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hermit
post Jun 27 2005, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE

While it was possible to selectively "correct" material from the out-of-print Austrian and Swiss sourcebooks (more the latter than Austria)

Yeah, I noticed the absence of certain ... tings ... like the crossbred plummed serpent/western dragon thing. Austria lacked the worst bits, too, as I mentioned in the other thread. Good work, considering what you had to work with. His smile isn't even too diabloc, so to speak; you still recognise him as Jack Nickolsen. ;)

QUOTE
However, gradually moving Germany towards a different vision through integrated plots and in game developments is the ultimate goal. Hopefullly the 2070 setting of SR4's Germany will introduce further changes.

If you manage that, I'll be eternally in your debt. And you get a tasty cake of your choice shipped to Portugal. :)
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Penta
post Jun 27 2005, 06:21 PM
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Agree with Hermit...Though I'm too poor to ship anything.:(
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hermit
post Jun 27 2005, 06:23 PM
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Not even a wee little pop tart? :(
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Synner
post Jun 27 2005, 07:44 PM
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Well, I can definitely push in the right direction although ultimately its up to Christian and the German freelancers. Maybe if I make it RatCon this year we can have a brainstorming session like the one we had a couple of years back.

BTW, Penta, while Opus Dei isn't in Loose Alliances, Aegis Cognito does get a chapter.
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Penta
post Jun 27 2005, 09:05 PM
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QUOTE (hermit)
Not even a wee little pop tart? :(

On an average day, I'm lucky to afford a Pop Tart. :(

I'm in college, man, I'm poor. :(
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hermit
post Jun 27 2005, 09:33 PM
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Awww ... isn't college supposed to be the time where you have spring breaks and beer and riot and stuff? :(

Jeez man ... maybe I should send a cake your way too?
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Penta
post Jun 27 2005, 10:53 PM
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:rotfl:

That assumes you have money. As it is, where I go to school is expensive, because unless you have a car (I can't drive), you're a captive audience. Even with it, you are. Price gouging commences immediately. :mad:

Sending food my way...Nahhh. At home I'm fine. At school, it wouldn't survive the mail.:)
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hermit
post Jun 29 2005, 10:45 AM
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QUOTE
And you should see the other 80 pages of unused stuff we developed for Portugal. ;)

Hmmm ... can't that find it's way to the Nexus or something, together with the Balkans chapter?
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Elve
post Jul 5 2005, 12:47 PM
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QUOTE (hermit)
that find it's way to the Nexus or something

Speaking of that one...
What happend to the project?
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Synner
post Jul 5 2005, 05:10 PM
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The Helix project has been put on hold and will probably only be launched to meet the 2070 setting of SR4, allowing people to add to and update the basic information from SoE and recent books but keeping it uop to date with the new setting.

It seemed to me that it was kinda useless to go ahead with the site as planned since although the vast majority of the core setting material in the Shadows of books will remain valid in 2070, a lot of the detail stuff (which is what the Helix would focus on) would quickly become obsolete as the setting advanced post-System Failure.

Look for a post on the future of the project in the Community Projects forum after SR4 is released.
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