Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Cough, I Have not Spoken in Years...
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Pages: 1, 2
Big Crow
Well, at least his belongs here.

Big Crow bought the first SR book available in Lincoln. Why? God only knows, well that, and he was friends with a storeowner who could rival Pete.
Big Crow and his friends spent years gaming SR, and after each session, Big Crow would say, "I talked to 'X', and we have been doing 'Y' wrong all this time... Because SR 1 was written so badly...

That was the original essence of Shadowrun. Printing errors, mind-fcking mistakes, and no easy way to get errata. However, it was always better than D&D.

Then SR2. I still own the entire second, first runs. Sad. I never joined the RPGA, because, well, why? However, I was always invited, back then, to run SR for the Local Yokels
.
3Rd. Meh. I loved it, and still do. But I could never convinced enough people to lay out the cash (In the days before Drive-Thru) for them to make it interesting enough to continue. All the Cons at that point dreade3d me. I would always ruin a Gm's plot; take the easiest way out. I guess it was too easy to abuse. When you have a rules are full, the Power-Gamer will walk the Earth.

Time passes.

Incidentally, for a while, I thought FASA was tappin' my room. All my house rules ended up, in a way, in Game, or as a Card. Hand'o'God, lucky Rabbit's Foot (I think Dunk owes me, since I created the first Magic Item used by a mundy...) And Native Blood Magic (being both a Fan of ED and being Native myself...).

4th Ed?

To start. Man, I asked everyone in my pathetic City to order it for me. I support local business. But they said, "Shadowrun, come on, those Dolls killed that game". So I said, "I have money..."

Still I could not get a damn book. Luckily, I guess, a store owner I know over-ordered his allotment, and got six books when it came out. Did he save one for me? NO.

I had to wait another 2 weeks, and he still bitched, "I hope people buy these (3) books. *Sold out that day.* I will give him credit, he kept one back, and sold it to me at cost.

But still, will he look into future publications? No, "Let's see how it sells."

I told him, you sold 9 of this system within a month, through word-of-mouth, so explain why I should not buy from either the company, or Amazon?" I still have not gotten an answer.

Anyway, SR4, dunno yet, but I am game. I have been running (ruining) this game for, what was it, '89??? So 16 years. I do not know if it is just me, but, 4th Ed. reminds me so much of 1st Ed.; not through mechanics, but through presentation. I thought I would never, no mater how many classes (university) I took, be so lost in a subject. Then, and now.

Not badly written. In fact, I like the newer style. What I do not like, is flipping through hundred of pages, and back and forth, just to resolve a simple action. (When we made characters for our new foray, I was on the verge of slapping my players, and the editor.

I thought we were, simplifying. Just kidding, we have, but it is an ouch for the silent majority of us whom take what we are given. D&D is up to 3.5, after nearly 30 years, SR? Four rules systems in one head, no one can live at that speed.

I am certain/Thinking a Gm screen will sort this for me.

What a big change. SR4 Needs a warning label. "Caution: Experienced Players will Take about as Year to Get how much Better This Is Than the Last Edition."

And even after all this, I really hope a year from now I can wander to a local shop to get whatever is being published by FanPro.


Incidently, not to avertise, check out Great Idea.
FrankTrollman
I really feel you, I've been there myself.

But rather than just post a simple "me too", I figured that I'd nitpick:

QUOTE
D&D is up to 3.5, after nearly 30 years, SR?


That's because of some creative accounting on the editions. See, there have been four distinct editions of Dungeons and Dragons, but the last one was called "3.5" because it was put out in such a shprt time after 3rd edition came out. The thing is, they weren't making Dungeons and Dragons for over 20 years before 3rd ed came out, they were making Advanced Dungeons and Dragons between the late seventies and the end of the twentieth century.

3rd edition D&D isn't the edition of D&D after AD&D 2nd edition, that was Revised Edition AD&D 2nd Edition. No, 3rd Edition D&D is the successor to D&D Basic Set from 1977, which in turn was the successor to the Dungeons and Dragons game that came off of Greyhawk. In the over 30 years we've had D&D, we've had seven editions. And that's only if you don't count "Chainmail", "Greyhawk", or "Blackmoor" as being editions of D&D.

Looked at in that context, SR has been pretty relaxed about new editions. 3 new editions in 16 years is pretty good compared to what the D&D folks have to go through - they get a new rules set every 3.5 years like clockwork.

-Frank
Mr.Platinum
Oh man thats to much to read first thing in the morning, but rock on brother.
Bull
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
I really feel you, I've been there myself.

But rather than just post a simple "me too", I figured that I'd nitpick:

QUOTE
D&D is up to 3.5, after nearly 30 years, SR?


That's because of some creative accounting on the editions. See, there have been four distinct editions of Dungeons and Dragons, but the last one was called "3.5" because it was put out in such a shprt time after 3rd edition came out. The thing is, they weren't making Dungeons and Dragons for over 20 years before 3rd ed came out, they were making Advanced Dungeons and Dragons between the late seventies and the end of the twentieth century.

3rd edition D&D isn't the edition of D&D after AD&D 2nd edition, that was Revised Edition AD&D 2nd Edition. No, 3rd Edition D&D is the successor to D&D Basic Set from 1977, which in turn was the successor to the Dungeons and Dragons game that came off of Greyhawk. In the over 30 years we've had D&D, we've had seven editions. And that's only if you don't count "Chainmail", "Greyhawk", or "Blackmoor" as being editions of D&D.

Looked at in that context, SR has been pretty relaxed about new editions. 3 new editions in 16 years is pretty good compared to what the D&D folks have to go through - they get a new rules set every 3.5 years like clockwork.

-Frank

Lessee, Basic D&D had 5 distinct prints/publishing that I can recall, 4 of which I've owned. Advanced D&D had 1st Ed, 2nd Ed, and 2nd Ed revised, which with the "Options" books that many groups tended to consider necessary core books, it really was a new edition. Then 3.0 and 3.5.

Not to mention numerous "Specalty" settings that had entire sets of unique rules and world information (Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms being relativly tame, Spelljammer, Ravenloft, and Dark Sun being a bit more involved).

Hell, how many editions is Chaosium's Cthulhu up to? Not counting the D20 version? ork.gif

Deadlands is about to hit it's 4th version (Deadlands had a "Revised" edition a couple years after it orginallyw as released, plus the D20 version, and now Reloaded is coming out. And this doesn't include Deadlands: Hell on Earth or Lost Colony, which I'm not sure ever even saw print).

Gurps is up to 4 "official" editions, and I think they've gone the "Revised" route once or twice.

Vampire is on it's 4th edition, IIRC. Might only be three, with a possible revised or two in there.

Eh, not even sure what my point is, other than we were disucssing multiple editions smile.gif

Bull
Adam
QUOTE
Deadlands is about to hit it's 4th version (Deadlands had a "Revised" edition a couple years after it orginallyw as released, plus the D20 version, and now Reloaded is coming out. And this doesn't include Deadlands: Hell on Earth or Lost Colony, which I'm not sure ever even saw print).

You forgot GURPS: Deadlands. smile.gif
Bull
QUOTE (Adam)
You forgot GURPS: Deadlands. smile.gif

Ack! You're right! Plus GURPS: Vampire!

Has there been a GURPS: Cthulhu? Or GURPS: GURPS? smile.gif

Hrmm, maybe TriStat D20 GURPS with FUDGE conversion rules. smile.gif

Bull
Ancient History
QUOTE (Bull)

Has there been a GURPS: Cthulhu? Or GURPS: GURPS? smile.gif

I can recall at least one half-assed try at GURPS: Cthulhu, or something similar. Are you counting D&D's little ill-considered bout with the Mythos?
Clyde
I love how the complaints about SR4 have gone from:

"I can't stand to play anything so dumbed down" to

"I can't understand this"

But hey, man, try the conversion from D&D 3.0 to 3.5. THAT was a real screw job - never knowing if a rule had changed in some stupid little way.
Demon_Bob
I still can't quite see where this streamlining of the rules Translates to faster gameplay
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Demon_Bob)
I still can't quite see where this streamlining of the rules Translates to faster gameplay

The die rolling step, especially for knowledge tests.

Old rules:

step 1: Roll 3 dice.
Step 2: That six you rolled? Roll it again.
Step 3: Report Die results: "I rolled a 3, a 4, and a 9."
Step 4: Gamemaster compares dice rolled to the TN in his head of 4, and realizes that you got 2 successes.
Step 5: Gamemaster reports information: "It's a barghest head."

New rules:

step 1: Roll 6 dice.
Step 2: Report Results: "I got 3 hits"
Step 3: Gamemaster reports information: "It's a barghest head."

The fact that the player reports the total number of hits as an integer number, rather than giving a categorical list of how many successes would be achieved at different TNs for the GM to sort out really makes it go a lot faster.

-Frank
Orb
I've gotta agree with Frank on this one.

I GM for a large group of 7 PCs. When we played 3rd ed., it was often painfully slow - that was my biggest complaint about 3rd ed. Now when playing 4th ed. it seems that the pace is much quicker, especially for combat. So far I've been impressed with how smooth the system works in practice.

-Robert



BookWyrm
{hands Big Crow a glass of ice-water}

I know your pain, Big Crow. Ordering thought some channels is difficult at best & non-existant at worst. I use Diamond's Previews catalog system, thankfully my local comic shop does.
I too blanched at the aspect of having to re-learn everything, thanks to the so-called "upgrade" to SR4. But I see it as yet another challenge in my life, one I embrace.
It does NOT mean that SR3 is completely dead. Use the system that you feel is better, and adapt the new stuff to it. I think your right inyour assumtion that the upcoming GM's Screen will help. If not, then send a message to FanPro & request a PDF of a 'quick-start rules' that will ease the transition pain (ala GURPS Lite).
TheFr0g
I don't see the problem. Its difficult to get used to after all these years of one system, but I haven't had any trouble figuring out the new system. The only complaint I have (and I make it grudgingly), is that it requires a LOT of dice. Usually I love big handfulls of dice... but this is a bit excessive.
BookWyrm
If you check with your local gaming source, or wait until Spring/Summer for the first local Sci-Fi cons, you can get all the dice you need at very inexpensive prices. Every year, I attend ICON & Chessex always has a dice-dealership table right at the beginging of the first isle. You can pick up whole sets for a few dollars, or scoop up a coffee-mug of dice for under $5. By the last day of the weekend, I had a freind replace several years worth of lost dice for under $20, including the leather pouch he bought to carry them in.

My own 'set' of 6-sided I use for SR are small (8mm, I think), but I have 2 of almost every color, a full 40. Now all I need are the GitD's. Last year they had no individuals for sale. But I shall have them. Oh yes, I shall.
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
QUOTE (Demon_Bob @ Dec 11 2005, 01:00 PM)
I still can't quite see where this streamlining of the rules Translates to faster gameplay

The die rolling step, especially for knowledge tests.

Old rules:

step 1: Roll 3 dice.
Step 2: That six you rolled? Roll it again.
Step 3: Report Die results: "I rolled a 3, a 4, and a 9."
Step 4: Gamemaster compares dice rolled to the TN in his head of 4, and realizes that you got 2 successes.
Step 5: Gamemaster reports information: "It's a barghest head."

New rules:

step 1: Roll 6 dice.
Step 2: Report Results: "I got 3 hits"
Step 3: Gamemaster reports information: "It's a barghest head."

The fact that the player reports the total number of hits as an integer number, rather than giving a categorical list of how many successes would be achieved at different TNs for the GM to sort out really makes it go a lot faster.

-Frank

yeah but it would basically be the same number of steps if the GM just mentioned the TN when telling them to make that knowledge check.
SR3
1. yeah mkae a knowlege paranorlaml animals check. TN 4
2. roll dice
3. report resluts 3 4+
4. It's a barghest head."

SR4
1. yeah mkae a knowlege paranorlaml animals check
2. roll dice
3. report resluts 3 5+
4. It's a barghest head

Sr 3 would add a step if the TN was above 6, or your making an open test or something but that's it.
Shrike30
QUOTE (TheFr0g)
I don't see the problem. Its difficult to get used to after all these years of one system, but I haven't had any trouble figuring out the new system. The only complaint I have (and I make it grudgingly), is that it requires a LOT of dice. Usually I love big handfulls of dice... but this is a bit excessive.

Until you've seen a full-size ork mob in Warhammer 40k charge into an assault, you've not seen "a LOT of dice."

Seriously. First, you've got the exchange of handgun fire, 32 dice with successes rerolled twice before you get the final results. Then comes the charge... and the 128 dice with two rerolls... eek.gif
TheHappyAnarchist
Don't forget. The other player makes the second reroll, dependant on their stats, which gets modified by the ork mobs weapon. smile.gif
Shrike30
Yeah, and that's not even including the possibility of them using burnas as power weapons or the whole template dealie (who knows HOW many dice that thing will add?), the Nob having different stats and possibly a Klaw or something similarly evil...

Yeah. You wanna talk lots of dice? HappyA knows what I'm talking about... smile.gif
Shinobi Killfist
roll dice for warhammer 40k???
my computer does that for me behind the scens, or are you not talking about the lovely dawn fo war game. biggrin.gif

Miniture games always just seemed to expensive of a hobby to me.
TheFr0g
QUOTE (TheHappyAnarchist)
Don't forget. The other player makes the second reroll, dependant on their stats, which gets modified by the ork mobs weapon. smile.gif

Eh... I cut my teeth on an unreasonably overpowered D6 Star Wars campaign, where rolls over 50 weren't uncommon, so I'm familiar with it, it just tends to slow things down more than I would like.
Shrike30
I'll grant you that 40k's an expensive habit... a standard 1500 point army easily cruises around 400-500 USD if you buy all of your stuff at list price. But between the modelling, the painting, and the playing, I'd say I've gotten more than my money's worth out of it in fun alone.

It's kind of like owning a gaming console. Someone wants to cough up a few hundred bucks plus 50-odd dollars a game, that's their thing. I prefer to do it for little models that I largely get to shape and paint, and then mess around with them on a miniature battlefield.

Woo, getting way OT here...
eidolon
I've decided to quit before my first game of 40k. I started assembling an IG army. I love putting them together and having them, but I get tired of painting multiple figures (I prefer to paint single character figs rather than armies, as it turns out). On top of this, I'm discovering that I just don't want to continually spend that much money on a game that I actually don't get all that much enjoyment out of.

Now I'm stuck between either selling off my army as is (mostly painted), or finish painting it and then sell it. It's hard to work up the interest when the end state is the same.
Shrike30
My brother plays IG. He might be interested.
Cain
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Dec 11 2005, 11:15 AM)
QUOTE (Demon_Bob @ Dec 11 2005, 01:00 PM)
I still can't quite see where this streamlining of the rules Translates to faster gameplay

The die rolling step, especially for knowledge tests.

Old rules:

step 1: Roll 3 dice.
Step 2: That six you rolled? Roll it again.
Step 3: Report Die results: "I rolled a 3, a 4, and a 9."
Step 4: Gamemaster compares dice rolled to the TN in his head of 4, and realizes that you got 2 successes.
Step 5: Gamemaster reports information: "It's a barghest head."

New rules:

step 1: Roll 6 dice.
Step 2: Report Results: "I got 3 hits"
Step 3: Gamemaster reports information: "It's a barghest head."

The fact that the player reports the total number of hits as an integer number, rather than giving a categorical list of how many successes would be achieved at different TNs for the GM to sort out really makes it go a lot faster.

I wish.

My old SR combat went something like this:

Step 1: Me: "Roll against this TN".
Step 2: Player rolls, reports successes.
Step 3: Opponent rolls combat pool for defense, if any; then rolls soak.
Step 4: Calculate net successes and apply damage.

My SR$ trial went something like this:
Step 1: Me: "Roll your attack skill".
Step 2: Spend five minutes looking up modifiers.
Step 3: Player rolls, reports successes.
Step 4: Spend five minutes looking up modifiers.
Step 5: Opponent rolls defense.
Step 6: Spend five minutes looking up modifiers.
Step 7: Calculate if damage is Physical or Stun.
Step 8: Spend five minutes looking up modifiers.
Step 9: Opponent rolls soak.
Step 10: Spend another five minutes calculating damage points and apply it.
Step 11: Compare damage boxes to character's total to determine if character is incapacitated, and calculate damage modifiers.

Since everything in SR4 adds or subtracts from your dice rolled, I can't calculate the total modifers on the fly for the players. Under SR3, I could very quickly abstract out a TN, and if I were off by a bit, no one would ever know. Now, players have to know every last modifer that they have to deal with.

I recently tried introducing my gaming group to both SR4 and Savage Worlds. Savage Worlds was added to our repetoire almost instantly. I'm going to have to do some serious arm-twisting to get them to ever play SR$ again.
BishopMcQ
Cain--I would say to look at how long each game has been played...every new system takes awhile to memorize and master all the various modifiers. I've been working with very specific skill groups and can almost rattle off each modifier without looking at the book because I've referenced it som many times. The same thing happened in SR3 and will happen eventually for everyone who plays SR4 regularly.
Cain
Well, I guess it wouldn't seem so severe if we hadn't tried Savage Worlds alongside of it. Savage Worlds is blazingly fast, and provides a lot of nifty quick reference charts. We hardly had to look up anything at all, and we went through a massive battle (*Nineteen* combatants!) in less than twenty-five minutes.

At any event, researching modifiers wasn't the only slowdown. There's a lot more calculation that needs to happen in SR$. Under SR3, I could calculate a lot of it on the fly, and give the players a final target. Under SR4, since modifiers affect the dice rolled, I *can't* do that for my players. That would require me memorizing every last stat of theirs, something I cannot do.

I happen to like my gaming group, so I don't think I'll have the chance to play SR$ for a long, long time. They'd rather stick with systems that they know, or are easier to pick up.
Athenor
*shrugs*

Doesn't the chart in the back help with that?

I can't really talk in this discussion, as I haven't run SR4 yet due to situations outside of my control...
Azralon
QUOTE (Cain @ Dec 13 2005, 03:59 AM)
There's a lot more calculation that needs to happen in SR$.  Under SR3, I could calculate a lot of it on the fly, and give the players a final target.  Under SR4, since modifiers affect the dice rolled, I *can't* do that for my players.  That would require me memorizing every last stat of theirs, something I cannot do.

I'm confused. How is calculating TN modifiers any different than calculating pool modifiers? Both are addition and subtraction.

You don't need to memorize anyone's stats. You tell them the circumstance modifiers and their character sheet tells them the rest. That hasn't changed between editions.
Arz
Guys, I think yinz are missing one of Big Crow's points. The editing on SR4 is quite possibly worse than in every other edition. I'm not talking about grammar here folks. The presentation of the rules forces you to flip back and forth through the book just to understand combat. This is what harks you back to SR1. You had to flip through and memorize every page to play the game.

I don't like that on nearly every page there are a minimum of three page references. However, I think in many areas the rules are easier. Its going take all of us some time to become familiar with the die modifiers.
Skippy
Agreed! As I'm not someone who likes to bookmark, dog-ear, or otherwise mark up books (working in a Library for the last 10 years will do that to you), this edition of Shadowrun is just about the most difficult rpg rulebook I've ever owned. Perhaps not as bad as MERP - but certainly a close second.

It has its good points - no doubt. I like a decent index, and well... many of the sourcebooks I've purchased in the last couple years (especially for Dungeons and Dragons) are not indexed. At all. SR4 has what I like in that regard. Also, It is already looking like this hardcover book is physically holding up better than the paperback SR3 that most of the people I game with got back in 98-99. Also a plus. (Though admittedly, I always thought that the special SR3 BBB had about the best binding of any RPG book I've ever purchased)

However, the lack of (or seemingly haphazard) organization, information left out, typos and rules contradictions (as well as the over 2 dozen individual instances of errata that had to be put up before August was even finished) makes me wish they had just... spent more time on it. I understand that having it ready for Gencon made them a lot of sales there. heh. I was one of those who were just unable to get a copy. Every time I went by the booth it was gone. But the product just has a RUSHED feel.

I really liked the sheer number of examples that SR3 provided - as long as they didn't have any mistakes in the examples, they were of great help. They explained how a lot of things worked - things that the rule wording itself didn't make clear. While I see some of the same examples reworked for the new rules, there are ALOT of places where details are missing, rules are left up to broad interpretation, and wording is a bit clumsy (as often wording for game concepts can be). Those would be great places for examples.

Unfortunately, all of this leads up to seeing a lot of "this is how I Interpret X" or "The way I See X..." in online discussions, where it'd be nice to see "Page Y says 'X' - Look there for clarification."

I'm not saying any of this because I hate SR or FanPro or whatnot - but because I really REALLY think that SR is about the coolest RPG premise out there. I've been playing since GenCon 1990 (or was it 1991.. hmm) and up until now, I've felt that the game has just gotten easier and easier to play. I remember whipping up my first character for SR3 by the END of the day I picked it up at GenCon. With SR4, I am finding that... not happening.

Unfortunately, as the book is already out, the only benefit from this post is getting my feelings and opinions on SR4 out there and maybe read by a group of people who may or may not agree with me. I've already dropped the money, and I'm going to be playing in a game of SR 4 in a few weeks. I'm just a bit disappointed at the state of the text. For sure, that disappointment is better than hearing that SR was done with altogether.

I think we all want to see Shadowrun have a long future ahead of it, but I'm just glad that this forum exists. Where else could I post my crackpot observations? heh.

Thanks for reading!

Skippy
Wireknight
I'm pretty tired of people suggesting that SR4 is faster than SR3 because you don't have to calculate TN# modifiers. You still have to calculate modifiers, they just affect number of dice rolled, and don't tend to scale as well through variable levels of play. The only thing that can make SR4 faster on a pure mechanical level is the "GM is encouraged to make up modifiers rather than checking reference material" fiat, a fiat that could be tossed at SR3 with equal speed increase.

The aforementioned aspect of SR4 might appeal to GMs who were okay with doing all of the work of determining final TN# based upon player dicerolls, and calculating degree of success themselves, but I'm lazy (and maybe a bit optimistic about the faculties of others). I expect the player to know their TN# based on the information I provide, contextually or explicitly. Given that, SR4 really hasn't provided any rules offerings that I find compelling, compared to the scaling flaws that have really turned me off.

I still believe that the system would have been better served with a revision of the SR3 rules to provide mechanical unification for contextually similar activities. But that's just my opinion, based upon my style of play and what I look for in a game.
FrankTrollman
In every edition of the game, and for that matter every game, there are essentially two kinds of modifiers: modifiers that the player knows about, and modifiers the player does not know about. If a character is standing in the dark, that's a modifier they know about, if the target is actually a little pixie using a hologram to appear full size, that's a modifier the player probably doesn't know about.

SR3 handled the integration of those two kinds of modifiers relatively poorly. Both affected the TN of each die, so the player was forced to say dumb things like:

QUOTE (Player)
I got a 2, two 3s, a 4, and an 8. As far as I know, I need a 3.


Compare this to a system that handles those two kinds of modifiers well: Dungeons & Dragons (3rd edition only, don't even get me started with AD&D). A modifier the player knows about is applied to the die roll, and a modifier the player doesn't know about is applied to the Target Number. So the player says "I rolled a 28." and all of the player's own modifiers are already handled. That's the kind of steamlining that the 21st century demands, and it's a good thing.

Now in SR4, a modifier the player knows about alters the character's dice pool. A modifier the player is unaware of modifies the threshold. That's good. It keeps a line drawn between gamemaster information and player information. It's also faster to play, because the player announces just a single number of hits rather than a potentially very long list of numbers.

-Frank
Azralon
QUOTE (Wireknight)
You still have to calculate modifiers, they just affect number of dice rolled, and don't tend to scale as well through variable levels of play.

I hope you don't mean compared to variable TNs.
phasmaphobic
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist)
yeah but it would basically be the same number of steps if the GM just mentioned the TN when telling them to make that knowledge check. 

That would be so, yes, but I don't think I've ever played a game with a GM who actually told the players their target numbers on anything outside of combat, and even then it wasn't always a given, especially if the opponent had some unknown buffs.

Hell, I never give out TNs either. Oftentimes the players' knowledge of the TNs can drastically change their perspectives, especially if the situation has a lot of variables of which they know not. And usually, that out-of-game knowledge quickly changes their ideas, especially in such a number-driven game.
Syd
QUOTE (Wireknight)
I'm pretty tired of people suggesting that SR4 is faster than SR3 because you don't have to calculate TN# modifiers.

It's faster because the roll prep and results go from 3 axes (target number, number of dice rolled and number of successes) to 2 (number of dice, threshhold).

I was skeptical of SR4 until I played it last Friday. The fights were definitely faster, and results of other (like perception, knowledge, etc) tests were had quicker. I'm sold.
Wireknight
QUOTE (Azralon @ Dec 13 2005, 05:10 PM)
I hope you don't mean compared to variable TNs.

Yes, I am. This has been beaten to death, but I'll throw another good solid whack at it just because beating things that are already dead is still a form of tasty violence.

+1 TN# makes the task more difficult no matter how many dice you are rolling. You will become a uniform degree less likely to succeed when positive TN# modifiers are applied, and a uniform degree more likely to succeed when positive TN# modifiers are applied, reagardless of the amount of dice you are rolling. Teachdaire the uber-sniper with a cyberlinked AET anti-materiel rifle (and skill 14), and Jim-Bob Jones the farmer with his varmint-huntin' rifle(and skill 1), are still hit just as relatively hard by +1 TN#.

On the other hand, -1 die would halve(-50%) Jim-Bob's accuracy (reducing him from 2 dice, assuming him as the worst case with a linked attribute of 1, to 1 die). Teachdaire (again, in SR4 terms, probably rolling around 24 dice) would find his accuracy reduced a mighty 4%.

QUOTE (Syd)
It's faster because the roll prep and results go from 3 axes (target number, number of dice rolled and number of successes) to 2 (number of dice, threshhold).


I'm just not seeing that. The complexity everyone seems to think is gone just got shifted from calculating the TN# to calculating the number of dice rolled. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Cain
QUOTE
I'm confused. How is calculating TN modifiers any different than calculating pool modifiers? Both are addition and subtraction.

Because previously, all I had to keep track of was TNs. I compute a TN, hand it to the player, and they keep track of their stats. Now, I need to not only keep track of total modifiers, I need to stop and ask the player what their dice pool is, to make sure they're rolling the right amount of dice. I can't simply say: "Roll Quickness", I need to say: "Roll Quickness with this modifier, and that modifier, and these other ones" and *then* apply threshold.

If I'm off by a bit on a TN modifier, there's a good chance that the players will never notice. If I'm off on a dice pool modifier, they know instantly, and can demand that I go over it again for them. That combined with the very poor organization in SR$ makes things a lot more difficult to run.

Don't get me wrong, my group is very good. But it happens to include a computer programmer and a draftsman, both of whom are very good at keeping track of numbers. +1 TN may or may not mean anything much on a roll in SR3, but in SR4, dice pool modifiers are *everything*, and they can't be faulted for wanting to make sure they're getting every last advantage.
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Wireknight)
+1 TN# makes the task more difficult no matter how many dice you are rolling. You will become a uniform degree less likely to succeed when positive TN# modifiers are applied, and a uniform degree more likely to succeed when positive TN# modifiers are applied, reagardless of the amount of dice you are rolling.


You have a different defintion of "uniform" than anyone else I have ever met in my entire life.

First of all, every TN shift is a proportional shift in your ability to succeed. That is, you average half as many successes if the TN goes from 5 to 6. That doesn't sound uniform, that sounds like the TN shift is roughly equivalent to losing 2 dice if you had 4 and 3 dice if you had 6.

But it gets worse. Because while that TN shift made you get half as many hits, the next TN shift doesn't do anything to you at all. If you get a total of +6 to your TN, you've just gotten on average 1/6 as many successes. But you did it by passing through a meaningless mod, a 5/6 mod, a 4/5 mod, a 3/4 mod, a 2/3 mod, and a 1/2 mod, that in total makes you get 120/720 successes. How you got "uniform degree" out of that without a crap tonne of wishful thinking is beyond modern science.

---

And let's not forget that in opposed tests their dice pool is also your TN. In any competition between two individuals of sufficient skill, the end result is almost always a tie, because noone gets any successes. To pick an extreme (and therefore extremely evocative) example, at a TN 50 it takes about 1.4 million dice to expect one success. So an opposed test between one character with a skill of 50 and another with a skill of five thousand almost always results in a tie. The one character is supposedly 100 times better than the other, but in practice there's no difference because high TNs make crazy happen.

And who could forget the strength/body hillarity of previous editions? Strength was a TN, Body was a dice pool. So when humans punched each other, they rolled a few dice against a TN they were very likely to meet, and they staged damage down. But when Orks and Trolls punched each other, they rolled a sizable pile of damage resistance dice against a TN that they were no way going to make. Heavyweight fights weren't over in one round, they were over in 3 seconds. Flyweight fights went the distance. That's dumb.

No. Moving TNs up and down wasn't some magic pancea. It was a clunky system that only worked at all because we spent years of our life figuring out workarounds for the myriad ways the game collapsed on itself.

-Frank
Azralon
QUOTE (Cain)
Because previously, all I had to keep track of was TNs. I compute a TN, hand it to the player, and they keep track of their stats. Now, I need to not only keep track of total modifiers, I need to stop and ask the player what their dice pool is, to make sure they're rolling the right amount of dice. I can't simply say: "Roll Quickness", I need to say: "Roll Quickness with this modifier, and that modifier, and these other ones" and *then* apply threshold.

I'm still not with you on this.

In SR4, all you need to keep track of is situational modifiers, which pull from the same sorts of tables as TN modifers did. You're still saying in both cases "plus for this, plus for that, minus for the other thing." Then in both cases you communicate a single modifier to your player.

Spider
Strange it's faster?

How do you explain it's faster? I've played my first game this weekend and even if i can say that keeping track of every single modifier is quite a task for me at this moment, i can also say that the gameplay is faster, and that is good because i can put more emphasis on the storyline and less on the magic/combat/clumsy matrix/ insane rigging rules...

I think it's okay to have some reserve on certain sides of SR4(compare to the SR3 rules and expansion), but i think it's not honest to say it's not faster.

-Spider
Valentinew
Why does the GM have to be the one responsible for all of this? I feel like the SR4 system allows for the player to be more involved in the roll. The player knows most of the +/- modifiers to the dice pool, the GM knows the TN.

All I know, is our game moved quicker. The final jury's still out, but it looks promising.

(Cowering in preparation for the flaming.)
Athenor
From what I'm reading in this forum, the upcoming release of the GM screen will be the biggest benefit.

PS: Fanpro, you guys listening? Have some method.. anything, really.. to upgrade/update the GM screen as the supplemental rulebooks come out! That was my biggest issue with SR3 -- all the advanced stuff I loved wasn't on the GM screen.
Synner
QUOTE (Athenor @ Dec 14 2005, 04:15 PM)
PS: Fanpro, you guys listening? Have some method.. anything, really.. to upgrade/update the GM screen as the supplemental rulebooks come out! That was my biggest issue with SR3 -- all the advanced stuff I loved wasn't on the GM screen.

That is is in the plans...
BishopMcQ
My understanding, sorry if I'm wrong, is that it will have a blank panel for GM specific tables and notes. The other panels will be devoted to the necessary tables from the main book.
Athenor
I personally think it'd be cool to have a "scrolling" GM screen, with a calculator built-in somewhere. Picture this:

Your whole screen on your laptop would be taken up by the GM screen, in panels for each major function. as you move your mouse left/right, more panels are revealed, until you reach the "edges."

Special places would be present for a calulator (both normal and threshold/dice, utilizing clicking on certain entries in the GM screen would add/subtract them from the calculator, as well as a running tally), and a note-taking section.

This wouldn't be terribly hard to program, would it?
Azralon
Give it time, and someone will have something like that in web page form.

Not saying it'll be me, mind you. In addition to weekly SR I've got a full-time job, a wife, three kids, and 2 MMORPGs to feed.
Athenor
I'm just saying that such would be an ideal program for a game GM...

I am also of the persuasion that GM tools for laptops are horribly underrepresented in the gaming industry, given how big of geeks we all are.
phasmaphobic
QUOTE (Athenor)
I'm just saying that such would be an ideal program for a game GM...

I am also of the persuasion that GM tools for laptops are horribly underrepresented in the gaming industry, given how big of geeks we all are.

Ah but you see, not all of us ARE geeks. We're all dorks, that's for sure. But I've always got the feeling from the two words that Dorks are those easily addicted to activities that are usually considered socially laughable (games, cards, anime, comics, etc), while Geeks are those with higher interests in science, technology, and mathematics. I've gamed with many, and I'd say the geek population would about 1/2 - many of my fellow gamers are, believe it or not, quite inept with computers. Thus the small number of RPG enhancement softwares available.

Then there are nerds, the lowest of the bunch, who are kinsmen of geeks and dorks, but completely socially inept and not very skilled at any of their interests.
Cheops
QUOTE (Athenor)
From what I'm reading in this forum, the upcoming release of the GM screen will be the biggest benefit.

PS: Fanpro, you guys listening? Have some method.. anything, really.. to upgrade/update the GM screen as the supplemental rulebooks come out! That was my biggest issue with SR3 -- all the advanced stuff I loved wasn't on the GM screen.

That's a big old Hell Yeah on the screen. I can't wait for that thing to come out. Assuming its actually going to have useful information on it like the SR3 one did. Or even better was something like the Kingdoms of Kalamar GM screen.

I really wish that they would bring out Unwired before Street Magic. My group has next to no questions about how magic works and I can easily come up with stats for bugs, threats, and metaplanes based on previous editions and my own concoctions. The new matrix on the other hand is the really fuzzy grey area right now.

Like what exactly you can do in the Resonance Realms (I have run a RR quest to the Realm of Data Archives which seemed to go okay). How high can you go with non-technomancer abilities (is 7 the hard cap for all mundanes?). And generally more elaboration on security, topography, tricks, and whatnot. This is a truly new and unique part of the game and is causing the most hiccups right now as we try to figure out how to run it.

That being said, SR4 is not faster than SR3 in terms of combat length. It will be a little shorter once my players and I get used to the modifiers and whatnot but a combat still takes a long time. Everything is more streamlined so that Mundane, Magical, and Matrix can all happen together with the same mechanic so you don't have to play the game with three separate groups anymore. Also with the removal of the Pools this has reduced the learning time for new players but combat can still take forever or be very short exactly the same as SR3.
Cain
QUOTE
In SR4, all you need to keep track of is situational modifiers, which pull from the same sorts of tables as TN modifers did. You're still saying in both cases "plus for this, plus for that, minus for the other thing." Then in both cases you communicate a single modifier to your player.

Because I'm not communicating a single modifier to my player. I have to do a joint calculation with him to make sure he's rolling the right number of dice.

In SR3, all I had to do was keep track of TNs, and all the player had to do was reference his sheet to determine the right number of dice to roll. In my test run, I had to keep track of all pool modifiers, all threshold modifiers, and cross-reference it against the PC sheet to make sure everything was done right. That, plus the mandatory three dice rolls per combat action, and the piss-poor organization in the rulebook, slowed gameplay to a total crawl.

Now, some of this is pretty usual for a new system. But I also was introduced to Savage Worlds at about the same time. Savage Worlds effectively has a floating TN system, and it runs many times faster than any other RPG I've ever seen! So, fixed TNs are not some magic cureall for faster, easier gameplay.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012