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Dogsoup
Mainly since I've long wanted to start a campaign and playing through various happenings in the fifties, but also since many things (mainly matrix and the fluff on magic) are completely overhauled, IMO you could just as well make SR4 an "alternative universe", sort of. Your thoughts on the subject would be much appreciated.

I'd like to present a world much less affected by various supernatural powerplayers than by the (more or less astonishing) technological advancements done through the 30's and 40's; probably bringing in some elements from the Transhuman Space rpg (another ambitious semi-near future game). The idea is to "compress" the history and time leading up to SR4 to 50 years, rather than 70; adding and removing as one see fit.

The crash of 2029 is what brought the wireless matrix about, and is sort of the first and the second crash rolled into one. Decking "of old" existed roughly through the 20's. The technological setback caused by te crash wasn't all that grievous as it is portrayed in canon.
This new AR society feels to me too important to just weld onto the setting: It's a complex and global system that operates on all levels of society: It must've grown steadily through time, prolly the latest 10-20 years.

This is also a chance to do a whole new take on the SR world, not only because of personal whim but to keep things fresh, and surprise jaded long-time players.
Don't like an event or a particular person/company? It never existed, or happened in another way. Your players wary of going to chicago? Throw "bug city" on them when they're relaxing in San Fransisco. Redraw the maps if you've always been bugged by this or that country and it's actions.
For example, I'm very tempted to play out the '56 election with a different outcome. Dunkelzahn would remain the media personality he originally was, and not becoming some kind of omnipresent icon, hovering over the world for decades.
All this doesn't have to be all that planned and thought out in advance: Just throw the players into "old" situations kept open-ended. Let them have a go at shaping the new setting.
Nyxll
I think that is a great idea, and kind of do the same.... I prefer setting sourcebooks rather than timeline metaplots. vegm.gif Most of the people here seem to be on the fanpro bandwagon and prefer to do things their way.


If you are GM'ing you are calling all the shots, so unless you are switching up, you can do whatever you want with the world and timeline.
mintcar
Ive had thoughts in these lines... I havent even played out most of the important stuff even once yet. The whole arcology plot, mob wars even Bug City have been left untouched. But for now Im going with a small scaled, selfwritten campain in post war -70's Salish. Im not ready for the workload of making over the entire universe.
Solstice
I think this is a great idea and I've been thinking along the same lines. The rules IMO should be completely snap-in and not dependent on a timeline. I want to keep my campaign in the 60s and invoke all of the new rules.
Butterblume
There's no problem using the new rules in the fifties.
Only certain background stories have to be ignored. Wouldn't be hard for me, since i didn't know about most of them before reading System failure wink.gif.

Wireless could be there since decades...
hyzmarca
Disallowing Technomancers and gutting the AR rules would be wise, although it would certainly alter game-balance. On the bright side, you can keep comlinks but have them work as program carriers that give you cancer even faster than normal program carriers do.
Taki
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Disallowing Technomancers and gutting the AR rules would be wise, although it would certainly alter game-balance. On the bright side, you can keep comlinks but have them work as program carriers that give you cancer even faster than normal program carriers do.

Commlink are just basicaly a computer with a mobile phone ... They will exist far before 2029 anyway !!!
Silo
QUOTE (Taki)
Commlink are just basicaly a computer with a mobile phone ... They will exist far before 2029 anyway !!!

actually they are akin to wireless access points, with built in network services...along with the computer and phone. smile.gif

but yeah...they are totally viable as a device prior to 2029. in fact...you could make one today, i bet.
runefire32
QUOTE (Silo)
QUOTE (Taki @ Feb 6 2006, 08:37 AM)
Commlink are just basicaly a computer with a mobile phone ... They will exist far before 2029 anyway !!!

actually they are akin to wireless access points, with built in network services...along with the computer and phone. smile.gif

but yeah...they are totally viable as a device prior to 2029. in fact...you could make one today, i bet.

Umm yeah they prety much exist already...not in the fashion of say being able to jack into them. But they exist in Pocket PC's, the more sophisticated PDA phones, and other such mobile devices. So its not a matter of making one today, they already exist. Just not at quite the level of shadowrun because well...we don't have things like simsense yet, or atleast not available to the public.

Silo
QUOTE (runefire32)
QUOTE (Silo @ Feb 6 2006, 09:52 AM)
QUOTE (Taki @ Feb 6 2006, 08:37 AM)
Commlink are just basicaly a computer with a mobile phone ... They will exist far before 2029 anyway !!!

actually they are akin to wireless access points, with built in network services...along with the computer and phone. smile.gif

but yeah...they are totally viable as a device prior to 2029. in fact...you could make one today, i bet.

Umm yeah they prety much exist already...not in the fashion of say being able to jack into them. But they exist in Pocket PC's, the more sophisticated PDA phones, and other such mobile devices. So its not a matter of making one today, they already exist. Just not at quite the level of shadowrun because well...we don't have things like simsense yet, or atleast not available to the public.

yar...i was talking about something broader than a pda though. my pda can't link up with my other devices. they are all separate. the commlink links all your personal devices.

but, i think someone could make a device that could link them all up. of course, they'd have to agree on standards. hmm, i retract my previous statement in light of an inability for manufacturers to agree upon standards.

biggrin.gif
runefire32
Actualy theres bluetooth...which does just that...

I can't link up all my devices to my mobile devices, because not all of my devices have bluetooth or other such capabilities, but its not a shortcoming of my mobile device.

Bluetooth is a wonderfuly nifty technology that just hasn't been incorpertated into everything yet..
kigmatzomat
QUOTE (Silo)
QUOTE (runefire32 @ Feb 6 2006, 08:57 AM)

Umm yeah they prety much exist already...not in the fashion of say being able to jack into them.  But they exist in  Pocket PC's, the more sophisticated PDA phones, and other such mobile devices.  So its not a matter of making one today, they already exist. 

yar...i was talking about something broader than a pda though. my pda can't link up with my other devices. they are all separate. the commlink links all your personal devices.
but, i think someone could make a device that could link them all up. of course, they'd have to agree on standards. hmm, i retract my previous statement in light of an inability for manufacturers to agree upon standards.

Like the man said, the standards (for now) will be USB and bluetooth. I expect wireless USB to be added to the mix in 2-3 years.

My treo650 talks to my laptop through BT, USB, or even IR. I can use it to synch my data or use the treo as a high speed wireless modem while on the road. My buddy's GPS unit has BT to communicate with a Treo or laptop; it's also got a USB cable so it can direct link to the laptop and feed off the batteries. I've got a BT headset that gets caller-ID info from my treo and (if the treo had BT 1.2) it can stream audio. There are BT keyboards, mice, and other toys that can be used with various success with PDAs. I've got a PDA version of the MS Office suite, FTP, IM, and VPN/vnc so I can remote control servers on the road.

The base functionality of a Comm is here in the form of the PDA/smartphone. It's not up to VR yet (or even TV quality full motion video) but at this point the form factor is only waiting on the technology to improve.

Heck, ye olde Pocket Secretary was probably modeled off of the Apple Newton.
Butterblume
The standards and protocols for wireless meshed networks are still in development, a few more pilot projects are about to start in the near future.

There are a few kinks to be worked out, but that's only engineering and spending money.
hyzmarca
Comlinks, along with cellphones that weight less than fifty pounds and aren't on a wristwtch, ruin the 80's feel of early SR. Without the 80's what can possibly matter?
Eryk the Red
So to maintain the proper 80's feel for shadowrun, I guess we'd also have to go back to pretending that in the future, Japan will be the dominant economic power. I'm not sure I can suspend my disbelief enough to make that jive.
AngelWuff
I've slowly worked on a 'realistic' (my comment, and not true) background, with less of the more severe changes. no elf nation or NAN or really major changes so quick. follows the background roughly.... I do feel that SR4 is a completely different game from 3, a lot less punk and gritty almost. could have a whole ghost-in-the-shell game on what is reality even with all the simsense availabel.
knasser
Just posting to say that I'm doing the same. New game starting up in the near future and I'm chucking out most of the big plotlines. There are too many major events that overwhelming to those new to the setting. And the natural response is both disbelief and to misjudge the reality-fantasy balance of Shadowrun, "There was a dragon president? Okay - I want to buy a unicorn mount."

Pretty much everything rules-wise and gear-wise is just going back verbatim to 2050. It's a game - the players aren't going to much care about any minor details.... Now if I could just get hold of a copy of Queen Euphoria.
kigmatzomat
The power of threadomancy is strong in this one.

I don't believe there's too much issue with saying Japan might become a global economic power again. Their federal bank equivalent has again started charging interest and their economy has dragged its way out of the crapper.

And it isn't that Japan is THE dominant economic power, simply that the US ceeded so much power to corporations that the primarily extranational japanese-owned companies became far more powerful. As to why, Japan had less societal stress than the US (no Ghost Dance, no NAN, no Tir Tairngire) or Europe (Tir Na Nog, the paranormals of the Black Forest, German civil war, etc).



Dr. Dodge
when i first read over SR4 i didnt like the idea of a new system. but eventually me and my group warmed to it (i was especially excited that light pistols seemed viable for once). However it definitely wasnt as gritty or 80's cyberpunkish as i wanted it, so i decided to start the campaign in 2050. I kept the matrix wireless and just pretended it always was, but with a few caveats. I really dont like AR very much, so I said the matrix can only be accessed by VR and I have pretty much relegated AR to interacting with drones (can't hack in AR but you can access and command). I havent made a real concrete ruling on this, but the one hacker in my game is mostly into drone rigging so it hasnt been a big deal yet. I pretty much ignore all the RFID related spam crap, though RFID for tracking and stuff is still legit. commlinks are for "deckers" so everyone uses phones and poc secretaries, etc. Another reason i wanted to do 2050 is so i could run all the old adventures i never got to or never owned (now that you can find most in pdf on the internet, i can run the ones i always wanted to but never owned). We're a veteran group so we're prety familiar with all the main story arcs (bug city, deus, etc.) but we're just pretending we dont know and if any of those plotlines show up we just go on pretending (what's a bug spirit? wink.gif).
Thane36425
I like the conversions.

It really doesn't take that much work to replay old adventures in SR4. I've done this with SR3 and have been playing a few of the older adventures in SR4.

All you really need to do is keep track of when certain technologies came to be. The two primary of those are the wireless internet and alpha + grade cyberware. Just use the canon timeline as to when these became available and there you go.

Magic isn't too different. I've pretty much allowed initiation from the mid-2040s or so on.

Cyberdecks and stuff are more complicated, but since I don't often use hackers, I normally just back convert the skills to SR3 and use them accordingly.
RunnerPaul
More thread necromancy. There's a lot of that going around today for some reason.
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (Nyxll)
I think that is a great idea, and kind of do the same.... I prefer setting sourcebooks rather than timeline metaplots.    vegm.gif  Most of the people here seem to be on the fanpro bandwagon and prefer to do things their way.


If you are GM'ing you are calling all the shots, so unless you are switching up, you can do whatever you want with the world and timeline.

...amen!

BTW, isn't there something somewhere in the BBB that says: "be creative?"

I still have my original Pre-TT sourcebook Portland setting in a binder somewhere.
Thane36425
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
QUOTE (Nyxll)
I think that is a great idea, and kind of do the same.... I prefer setting sourcebooks rather than timeline metaplots. vegm.gif  Most of the people here seem to be on the fanpro bandwagon and prefer to do things their way.


If you are GM'ing you are calling all the shots, so unless you are switching up, you can do whatever you want with the world and timeline.

...amen!

BTW, isn't there something somewhere in the BBB that says: "be creative?"

I still have my original Pre-TT sourcebook Portland setting in a binder somewhere.

I have altered the timelines in my campaigns. One of those was pushing back the beginning of Bug City so my group could run through more adventures, mainly spaced around Harlequin's episodes and some others. Bug City started just a few years later and during that time we ran Harlequin's back, which gave us a big boost in the Karma. (I had a GM character in this group to round it out.)

Other times I have changed when adventures happened and things like that. But most of mine have been in the 2040's and 2050's.
Banaticus
My first thought when I read your caption, was that you wanted to go back to the 1950's. Get rid of deckers completely, no more wireless rigging, just plain driving in all sorts of different vehicles. Play up the whole Men in Black/Secret Agents thing -- like Captain America. Cyberwear, biowear, it's all there in secret labs (some sponsored by the governmen). Wired reflexes, tailored pheremones, it's all out there. The Red Threat is the primary menace. Runners have to keep everything quiet, keep it out of the news, avoid panicking regular Americans.
ludomastro
QUOTE (Banaticus)
My first thought when I read your caption, was that you wanted to go back to the 1950's. Get rid of deckers completely, no more wireless rigging, just plain driving in all sorts of different vehicles. Play up the whole Men in Black/Secret Agents thing -- like Captain America. Cyberwear, biowear, it's all there in secret labs (some sponsored by the governmen). Wired reflexes, tailored pheremones, it's all out there. The Red Threat is the primary menace. Runners have to keep everything quiet, keep it out of the news, avoid panicking regular Americans.

That was my first thought as well. Actually, I like this a lot.
Kesslan
Well you can do that or bump it up to current day, and instead of the red threat it's terrorists, scesessionist governments etc. Maybe some corporate espionage.

And you'd still have to play up the hush hush angle of it all. And then you could even throw in some very basic drones, GPS, the internet, spy sats etc. But they'd be alot more limited than 2040's- 2070s tech etc.
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