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I'm both curious about this, and think it might be useful for selling SR to future players compared to other systems with an argument better than "Well I already have the books..."

For me I like SR because in many ways it makes more sense than some of the over the top dystopian settings (CP2020), and had a very tactical and lethal combat system (As opposed with the idiocity of Paladium). Also I enjoy the magic and matrix elements. They make for a lot more plotting options, and makes players not step on each others toes so much. Finally I liked that PCs started off fairly cool. It made it easy for people to get into it, and allowed for more complex and realistic stories from early on.

As for edition I really wanted to resist 4th edition. I have a massive stack of 2nd edition books, and do not look upon my 3rd edition purchases as wise investments as ulitmately I wasn't impressed with 3rd compared to 2nd and now with another edition out they aren't even current. And I really didn't like the idea of removing the changable target numbers.

However 4th ed hacking was simply irresistable. It confuses every GM that comes across it, and has some issues in the details. But really it's the best hacking/matrix concept out there, not just in SR but in any system I know of. Fast, useful, and integrated into daily life So I made the switch.

Bizarre - I was thinking about this same topic and was going to post it.

Personally, out of all the Cybergames out there [HERO, GURPS, CP2020, Trinity, Kromosome, CyberGeneration, SLA Industries, the D20 modernday one I can't remem the name of, Shatterzone, Twilight Inc, Corporation, Ex Machina, TORG - off the top of my head], SR has no advantage over any of the others.

HERO and GURPS are more flexible.
CyberGen and Trinity have very good rules and feel for integrating the virtual word into the real world - and did it years ago.

CP2020 is modelled on Neuromancer-esque, and does an admirable job.

SR has a rich and vibrant background...
...But it's def not the only one to have tactics, options, magic, matrix, realistic and complex stories.

And, really, SR v4 appears to have faded away much of the SR1-3 background, so it's not as different as it used to be.

I'm really interested in why people play SR rather than any of the other options our there...
...Is it just because the other options aren't hyped as much ?? The rules are faster/easier ?? Flexibility ?? Amount of gear ?? Grit ??

I'm just curious.
Why SR?

Because it is hillariously over the top, pink mohawk, style over substance, especially with 1st ed Germany sourcebook's Berlin coupled with 4th ed RC and Augmentation.

Because of the combination of physical world, matrix and astral space, providing 3 simultaneous battlefields, along with the complex social networks and technological possibilities of modern societies.

Because it deconstructs clich├ęs from classic fantasy.

And finally, because i'm used to it and have been playing it since the early 90s.

Why 4th edition?

Matrix rules that don't make you want to outsource the hacking to an NPC and don't mean the decker would be better off killing himself and let the player stat out a new character when the cyberdeck gets lost.
In fact, because it doesn't require half of the team to be millionaires who have wasted a fortune on illegal items.

Because AR > VR.

Because i like the streamlined and flexible magic rules.
Or, for that matter, the more streamlined rules in general.

Because i like the new TN system better.

Because it contains jarheads and all the whacky stuff from RC.
All the whacknes from previous editions and then some.

Because it is, even with all the additional rules out now, still more rules light than 3rd ed.

Because it has got more drugs.
And cyberlimbs that are actually useful.

Because the old, 4-stage damage system made no sense to me anyway.

Because Dikote™ sucks and portable gauss rifles rule.

And because i've spent enough time getting into the system to make it work to its full extend.
Right now, I don't play SR. I've tried, but the rules seem cumbersome and too much detail actually detracts from my enjoyment. I'm finding that I like easy games these days - heavy on flavor and low on crunch - WHFRP. Dark Heresy, Hollow Earth Expedition, and Savage Worlds all give me that. In fact, I'm looking at playing SR with the Savage Worlds rules just to get by the clunky crunch.
I play 4th currently. Three big reasons why:
1) I've been playing Shadowrun since 1st editon, and I've generally followed the timeline. Adapting 4th edition stuff to 3rd edition rules or vice versa is often more work than I'd like it to be. So it's just easier to use the native rules.
2) The Matrix. It doesn't require massive time expenditures, and I've plugged most of the egregious holes in the basic rules, so it works pretty well.
3) It's a lot easier for people that aren't me - and therefore don't own just about every SR book ever - to find rulebooks for.
Why Shadowrun?
Because it has legend based fantasy (magic, races, etc.) AND high-tech (cyber, matrix, etc.) together in a world with a cool back story that ties it all together well. I have been playing since 1990, so am experienced with all editions, but would still play in the world (with say GURPS rules) even if I thought the native rules were that bad.

Why 4th Ed.?
Because hacking works well enough to be used by PCs. Other minor reasons include the fixed target numbers (fixes the TN 6/7 issue), and that it is current. (Just because I have everything published in English (and then some) does not mean that the average player in my (currently two) groups does.)

P.S. I also like that the 4th Ed. difference between heavy and light pistols is more reasonable, it always bugged me that the .45 equivalent was so much better than the 9mm equivalent. But I can also get obsessive about things that don't really matter that much.
Why SR?

In a word: Awesome.

I started with 2nd in college and haven't had any regrets. My first character was a phys-ad (back when you they were called physical adepts) Troll with an attitude (brought over from my DnD days). Our run took us to Japan with all the meta-hate and the GM played up the dystopian setting. When my troll got his mid-section bitten out by an small(ish) Eastern dragon and I then had to "watch" him bleed to death, I learned two things. 1) Being a smartass in SR is a bad idea. 2) The old "common sense" edge (i.e. positive quality) is your friend in a new system.

I still play because the system - grit and all - makes for a much more lethal kind of game.

Why do I play SR4? Because as was mentioned previously, SR3<SR2. Since SR2 is a legacy system now, I play with SR4 to keep up on what's current.
Me and my bro started in 2nd edition, and it just stuck. We stumbled across the SNES game, and since then SR has been "the one".

I've played a bunch of other stuff, but it just doesn't feel like home.
Shadowrun because of the flavor. It's has such a rich background that weaves the technology and magic together. I can actually read through the sourcebooks, and I can actually play a character that cares about things in the world. I still remember the session i was playing when my character found out about Big Ds death.

This is one of the reasons I havn't switched to 4th edition. It's just seems bland compared to the last editions. The again, I never liked success based systems, I prefer the TN ones.

3rd edition for me. Its what I started with and it just flows well while being grity enough to support the world.
Hm... oh boy... where to begin biggrin.gif

When I started SR1 in...must have been '90 or so, I allready had experience in fantasy set rpgs. SR was a new approach to me, with elements that I wascomfortable with (fantasy), elements I knew (the real world[tm]) and elements that always fascinated me, SiFi. That's why I started, how I got to know SR in the first place is a totaly different story. wink.gif

Over the years, I played in several campaigns, created several of them as well, and liked every new edition more than the old. Adapting was hardest, while switching from 1st to 2nd Ed. as it was the first time I encountered the concept of "surprise its a new game now" in roleplaying. There also have been times, when I did not play SR for a while, part of that time was filled with CP2020, which I definately do not like less than SR. Still I do not tend to play both systems at a time.

Today I play SR because it is one of my homes somehow. It is a world that has been with me for a long tme now (even when not playing actively). There is much about this world that I hold dear and my initial reasons are some of those.

Why SR4... SR has done an important step, it included many of the things that CP2020 was better at, than SR had ever been. So in SR4 I have SR with a bit of what I prefered in CP2020. Also it is (in my eyes) more like a SR2. Somehow I see SR2 as SR1.2 and SR3 as SR1.3. The 4th edition, is the one edition, that streamlined and cleaned up much of that rule and story clutter, SR has collected over the years - it is the first massive change. While many hate changes, I like them, if they are good (which they are IHMO). Also I see more belivabillity in some aspects. While it is always hard to predict how the future will look and work, it is strange to play a future setting with high-tech, that is low-tech compared to todays standart (post-civilization scenarios excluded).

Much time has past, I changed, SR did so aswell and we still like each other biggrin.gif
For me, above all, it's the grit.

When I played DnD(long live 2.0/3.0/3.5!!), I loved the gritty low level stuff. High level was good and all, but only if it was dangerous as hell. Shadowrun has the grit, setting, rules, and history that combine so perfectly it's beauty is almost painful.

Plus, where else can I combine grit and the ability to take a tank shell and not even flinch with the same ruleset and starting points?
Not of this World
Why Shadowrun?

Originally I got hooked on Robert N. Charrette's first book, the first novel for Shadowrun and the mix of High Fantasy with a folklore base and Cyberpunk instantly had me hooked.

Why 3rd edition?

It fixed a lot of problems with overly complex rules in 2nd edition, and greatly improved riggers and deckers in the setting. The rules aren't without problems, but I've home ruled those away in my own games a long time ago. 4th edition had some good changes but took it too far and broke belief in the virtual/augmented reality system by making everything like cyberware, guns, and your kitchen sink hackable. Plus 4th edition Matrix is treated much like the Matrix, with everyone including the hermit in the woods having a "presence" in the Matrix.

Character creation is a lot simpler and faster than 4th edition.

3rd edition books have a richer feel with the unique slang. Magic in 3rd edition still has distinct mechanical and roleplaying differences between different traditions from 4th edition which makes it again a richer setting (even though 3rd and 2nd edition both suffer from too many variations on magic systems).

4th edition has mostly done away with the use of Shadowslang that helped create the setting of a different culture and a different time from our current one. It also made the game more friendly to play in family friendly game stores and mixed age groups.

Of my old regular Shadowrun players (about a dozen) in Oregon, only one is willing to play 4th edition and only because it is the only game in the neighborhood area he moved to.

Plus as a Shadowrun veteran [1st through 3rd editions] (these wouldn't effect someone brand new to Shadowrun) I find a number of things very annoying about contemplating switching to 4th:

Needless renaming of well established core rules (Edges & Flaws are become "Qualities", Karma Pool is now Edge, etc) creating even more needless confusion.

Massive jump/shift in SR storyline. There is a jump of 5+ years from the last 3rd edition book to SR4. This was used to change a lot of the known characters, corporations, countries, etc other elements of the setting. This is good if you thought the setting needed a lot of changes.

Lack of storyline continuity between 3rd and 4th editions. Were you a fan of things like Otaku, one of the AIs like Megaera, resurgent ancient cultures (Native American Nations that were portrayed as Native and not corporate), or Elves being in charge of Elven nations? Out with the old, in with the new. 4th edition has a lot of storyline changes that just won't "Jive" with a lot of campaign settings from 3rd edition and there isn't a sense of closure or continuity to them. Particularly when it comes to the Matrix it lacks consistency with prior editions or even different books of this edition.
QUOTE (Not of this World @ Aug 17 2008, 12:21 AM) *
Karma Pool is now Edge, etc) creating even more needless confusion.

Actually that was the second biggest reason for switching over to 4th. First karma pool started off low, and having some is useful. But if you had a group where the players could go a long time without getting killed Karma Pool would start getting out of control. In principle it could get burned off, possibly really fast, but often a player would simply rather be dead than hand of god, and would suffer much not to burn.

And the person who didn't burn/die would start getting a little nutty.

Tied in with that is one of the things I like about SR is that you don't start out as some dunce who can barely wipe their own butt and the work your way up to being over 9000.

Players can tackle more as they gain experience. But I find that has as much to do with players getting smarter, sharper and more competent in the game work as opposed to rolling a couple more dice.
Lots of reasons really,
I like tech and magic, I like a game where more thinking is involved even if I do suck at talking to npcs smile.gif. In a lot of games it can degrade so quickly into the old D&D idea of enter hole in ground, kill monster, loot monster, SR just seems more creative, And like most games I play it was teh fiction and writing that got me intrested in the game it was based around.

I mean lots of games have elfs,dragons,vampires ect. And in lots of games you can avoid being eaten by these creatures...but in shadowrun the dragon dosn't have to eat far worse..he can just SUE! you..true evil I know..

*Fighter runs into cave* HA! I have my +8 sword of dragon slaying you shall fall before me creature!
*Dragon yawns and a door to the side opens* Yes but I have my lvl 6 Attorney with a +3 Subpoena, Now Roll your Legalezze language skill and tremble before my litigation <evil dragon laugh>
Well, I started playing SR4 tthis spring I think. I am an old CP2020 fan and what got me into Shadowrun was simply how much CO v.3.0 sucked. Personally I prefer playing SLA Industries more, but I have trouble finding players. However Shadowrun is in print which means that it is somehow staying up with technology and is not as rules heavy as GURPS and is fun to play. 'nuff said.

So if v3.0 hadn't been crap in the shape of a book I would have stayed with it, but as it is not I am now here.
I play SR 4th after a fairly long (100+ karma earned) SR 3rd game. I played SR back in 1st Ed in between CP2020 because I had a grip of friends who liked aspects of the CP-genre but were also Hugh Jass fantasy fans. To them it was all about the mix of elves, orcs, magic, cyberware, and guns. I preferred CP but they wanted some magic in the mix now and again so I ran and played SR, too. Skipped 2nd completely except for a short campaign and wasn't impressed at all.

Why 4th? To be frank, the dice engine rocks. I find SR 4th to be what I wish SR was in 1st Ed. Easy to use, streamlined, and intuitive. Some people bitched that it's NWOD with d6 but I fail to see where the issue with that is, either. Both are great gaming engines.

The best part of SR 4, IMO? That the meta-plot (and I'm sure it's coming) hasn't had a chance to beat you over the head yet. I run games that are SR rules-based, not SR background based except in the loosest terms (corps, ghouls, spells, etc). Hell, I don't even know the real name of the event that the NA super-mage used to punkslap the old US in the original storyline! Strangely enough, this hasn't affected our game, or the ability for us to have fun, in the slightest.

The worst part of SR 4th? I feel that the developers sometimes feel the need to add something too much or too fast at times to bulk up the books. I think that game development, especially when adding new non-optional rules (yeah, I know that they're all technically optional but like that's really the reality of the situation to players nyahnyah.gif ) to the ruleset, is like Novocaine. Just give it time and it'll work out fine. You rush things and all you'll have is a pissed off patient(s). This is just an opinion folks and the reality of publishing is that the end has to roll a lot faster than the start as the poor, overworked editors start yelling for their pieces of the puzzle so they can put the damn thing together.

I grab what I like, I toss the rest. Works for me.
Why Shadowrun? Because it adds Magic and Technology. The setting is also kinda cool, if not too much focused on Runners, but that's not much of a problem. I wouldn't know what to play in CP2020. In Shadowrun, i don't face that problem.

Why 4th Edition? I started with the 3rd Edition. We had a nice little plot going (although confusing for my character) until i said one day "Guys, would you want to try out the 4th Edition rules in a one-shot?". Our time-managing GM mentioned that we should better choose to actually change the system, since one guy has troubles with the SR3 Rules. My reason to change was the IMO better ruleset, although i was biased because it reminded me so much of the NWOD (which i dislike). But it works good and is fun and the fights are much quicker resolved. The setting is something i love, mostly because the matrix now makes sense and the cyberpunk style isn't that much 80s anymore.
Me and a mate used to play "Dee-en-dee", which had nothing to do with Dungeons and Dragons, it was just a system that two 8 year old kids made up to tell eachother stories while sitting around a beach house, or in the gardens during sunday lunches between families. There were no real rules or stats. You described your character, and then to make the game not so easy, we had the "pick a finger" rule system. Where the GM would hold out their hand and the player would select a finger, with differences made up on the spot, such as "you open the chest and:
-There's a spider in the chest and it bites you. Pick a finger to see if it's poisonous or not!
-There's 20 bucks. Awesome!
-Suddenly a angry spirit appears defending the chest!
-The chest is locked and you can't get in.
-You find a sword"

Most of the games were a combination of the Starcraft universe and the Fifth Element (it was what we were into as young'ns). And it was pretty fun, but the chance of death was relatively tiny, and most of the time all you'd need to do is say "I backflip off the barstool onto the table and kick him. Right in the face", and the margin for error was often incredibly slim. We applied this system to many things, such as pirate adventures, sci-fi, medieval/magic games, detective stories, etc.

I never had a problem with PnP games, I just thought they weren't for me. All I really heard about was dungeons and dragons. And I figured if I wanted to play that kind of game, I could just fire up Diablo or The Elder Scrolls and have a more streamlined and stimulating fantasy dungeon crawling experience.

However my dee-en-dee buddy had a friend. The kid was pretty separated from reality, and had aspergers syndrome, and he also picked up a shadowrun habit and the 3rd ed core book from his older brothers. One time at our holiday house, my friend borrowed that book and brought it up, and I fell in love with the concept. I thought "Orks and elves with mind-computers! Awesome!" and so the obsession began. It was just like Dee-en-dee, but with a fixed yet versatile concept, and with an actual mechanical system that determined whether you succeeded or not, that was more relevant to character than pick a finger.

That's what got me, a child very disinclined to take any interest in anything involving numbers and equations and crunch interested in roleplaying. I resisted 4th ed for quite some time when I found it. I thought 3rd ed was fine, and felt like the atmosphere had more veracity. It wasn't until I joined Dumpshock and saw everyone else playing 4th and espousing the virtues of the unified system that I decided to pick up the rules and see what all the fuss was about. I realised that I could still use the same ideas that 3rd ed had fostered with it's artwork (I loved Bergting and Hoop's edgy black and white stuff - still do) and fluff, but I just had to do less fiddly mathematics.
Why Shadowrun?
I started SR back in '90 with 1st edition, and while the group at the time ended up playing only about a campaign and a half (finishing about halfway through Harlequin), I got totally hooked on the setting. The magic system was what lured me the most, having only been familiar with D&D Vancian magic at the time (SR is the second RPG I tried) the concept of being able to cast at will was just beyond awesome. The actual mechanics of the magic system annoyed the hell outta me, as did the rest of 1st edition mechanics (variable staging is the major complaint), but the concepts behind it I fell in love with. From there atmosphere, the flavor, the in-jokes, the foreign-but-familiarness, the faux-realness, and cybergoodness just barged on in and settled in to stay (y'know how you invite one person to a party and they bring like 20 other people you never heard of? Kinda like that). The metaplot and world itself have kept me coming back (if not entirely faithful) ever since.

Why 4th Edition?
Back in the early days of SR1 we ran Food Fight. A 5 round gunfight (during which my mage KOed himself with drain without effecting a single target) took 2 hours to game out. The Matrix, while cool, was a place that we stared in awed confusion at and left the decking up to an NPC. Eventually everyone got tired of messing around with variable staging and armor that could only be defeated by nuclear weapons and quit, leaving me to buy the GM's books from him thus forming the core of my collection. I can still remember the stale cigarette smoke smell of the BBB as I type about it now. In college, I started SR2. They fixed the variable staging mess, made armor feasible, and introduced alot of cool things, but they also moved it away from the beautiful grit and punks in the streets goodness of 1st Edition, ending up very much more manapunk then anything. 3rd edition came out and I switch immediately, partly to keep up with what was current, partly because I had yet other new group of players. The SR3 BBB consolidated alot of the old stuff, fixed some problems, and almost, almost brought back the punks in the street grit. It was so close but they dropped the ball somewhere and it ended up feeling more like Mission Impossible than SR. And the Matrix was still a place to loose your sanity, only not so much so - SR3 is the only edition I've actually used the Matrix RAW to this point.

Then SR4 comes out, and my group looks at it with the proverbial hairy eyeball. After debating and looking over the BBB a while, we decide to give it a shot. That 5 round gunfight? It's down to 10-15 mins realtime now, and that's with only one player that's familiar with the game. The mechanics are (mostly) coherent, simple, and make sense while still being tailored to the world, and for the first time the Matrix is understandable and easily usable! Annoying setting elements (the godlike AIs, the horrors metaplot and it's aftermath, IE proliferation, CATco) are gone or being minimized and the world is rolling on in a quasi-believable fashion. So we updated and haven't looked back since. And the lack of Karma pool makes it almost feasible to play my namesake character, who hails way back from the good old days, again. Almost.

Are there problems? Yes. Technomancers are basically magical in nature, there's too damn many AIs running around, combat against PCs and important NPCs has become a game of depleting their unspent Edge until they finally give up the ghost, one still needs a full pound of dice to play with a mid-sized group (plus GM), and Shadowland and it's NeoAnarchist undertones are gone, replaced by pale imitations. frown.gif

And it's still not punks in the street gritty (being somewhere about halfway between Mission Impossible and Pink Mohawk IMO). But that is something I fear exists now only in my memory.....
The Universe sold me. Started with the novels...

I wanted to play since '92, but could never find a group in my hometown.

Finally broke down a few years ago, bought the main rulebook (SR4 BBB), and said, "Damnit! Even if I have to GM, I'm damn well going to play it!"

So far, my group has been enjoying things despite my in-experience as a GM.

"VIC THE CABBIE! Good! I need you to go to this place and steal a cow!" "When?" "NOW!!!"
I loved Snow Crash and most of William Gibson - if you wanted to play in a game like that, you really only had Cyberpunk 2020, GURPS, and Shadowrun as options.

I love the kind of stories that you can naturally tell with it - capers, heists, espionage, who can you trust kind of stuff. I love that not all the rules are for combat - that you get details about contacts and lifestyles (especially in 3rd), and it's really necessary to role-play to get the job done. I love that you can have a fight with machine guns, spirits, and helicopters in one run yet pat yourselves on the back that not a shot was fired in another. I love the modern and fantasy blend. I love the story and the world - bug spirits, shamans, Deus, the tenuous Earthdawn connections, everything really except for immortal elves.

I play 4th because I like the rules, I like the way the Matrix is handled and how drones are simpler, and (honestly) because it's the best way to keep current.
I choose Shadowrun because the players tend to be detective and roleplay oriented. It can have some wargaming style combats if folks want that aspect but all in all its a complicated gameoworld where you never really know what to expect.
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big tri-d screen, choose nexi the size of washing machines, cheap cars, sim-rigs and cybernetic commlinks. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter lifestyle. Choose your contacts. Choose leisurewear and matching weapons. Choose you elf stripper on hire purchase in a range of fucking tastes. Choose DIY vehicles and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows on AR, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got Shadowrunning?
I started in CP2020 but it struck me as grey, all shades of black and white. SR was full of colour in the background. You could be a mercenary who sacraficed your flesh and sanity to cyberware but you could also be a neo anachist antihero who slung spells.
It was the vivid and vibrant background that entraces me, the cyberpunk/fantasy fusion making something greater than the compontent parts.

I still play 3rd ed for three reasons;
The first: inertial/practicality we have a long running game and we're all happy with it and don't want the hassle to change.
The second: the rule are a frankinsteinin mess but there is always something new to tantalize and inspire.
Finally: I prefer the 3rd ed matrix rules where the decker has a nano second neon quest to seize victory.

A happy side effect of 4th ed is that I can take inspiration for my third ed game for sota and meta plot developement.
Wesley Street
It grabbed my thirteen year-old mind and blew it. It was so hilariously over the top with its Neuromancer meets Lord of the Rings setting that it was something that I just had to play. I've thumbed through Cyberpunk and it seems so... stale in comparison. Seventeen years later, I discovered that there was a 4th Edition. I wanted to get my gaming group away from tedious hack 'n slash D&D adventures and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. The rules were simplified, deckers/hackers could actually run with the group, it was an easy game to teach... it all clicked. So I think I'm one of the few who jumped from 1st ed. to 4th. biggrin.gif
Why Shadowrun?

Because I was burned out on AD&D at the time, & Palladium only had a few tititles out that I liked. I was looking for something different. I went to a comic shop in Wantaugh (that's on Long Island....the comic shop is long gone now) & happend across one of the first flyers for FASA's Shadowrun. I was hooked.
Becuase the magic in SR has consequences. Mages take Drain when they use magic. I liked that.
It's still a nice blend of the high-tech/low-life genre similar to cyberpunk with decent magic rules.

Why Shadowrun 1-4 edtions?
Because I'm a completist. nyahnyah.gif
I got started on SR2 by my cousin years ago. He had to GM without books, and did a decent job remembering the rules despite everything. He got us into RPGs proper, and my brother and I picked up our own books as soon as we got home and had the cash. I've been hooked ever since. I was *really* leery of the SR4 ruleset, because it was so vastly different than the previous versions. Given it's mechanical similarity to the D10 Storyteller systems (my favorite system), I was able to adapt pretty quickly when my GM made the decision to swap to 4th ed. My only major regret at the time was the lack of extra books to fill in the gaps that SR3 had long since filled due to all of its supplemental books. Now that RC is finally out, that same gap is filled and I'm quite content with everything now.
Why Shadowrun?

It's the only game left, in my opinion, that'll still give you a good old-fashioned dungeon crawl. It actually divides "role-playing" and "game" into two seperate phases bridged by one that mingles both. (Getting the run is RP, the run itself is gamist awesomeness, legwork is both.) And y'know something? That works.

Why 4E?

The rules make sense to me, and I taught a girl the basics in about a minute. What's not to like?
Wounded Ronin
1.) For the 80s
2.) For the Asian Inherent Sinanju Qualities, aka physad powers
3.) For the ninjas
4.) Because it's one of the few RPG systems that is remotely realistic where anyone can be killed when a random punk pulls out a handgun and shoots him in the back of the head. When I invest a lot of time creating a RPG scenario I want there to be tactics and planning, and not 120 hitpoint buffers before anything interesting happens.

EDIT: 5.) Native American hipsters
Not of this World
QUOTE (sunnyside @ Aug 16 2008, 09:37 PM) *
Actually that was the second biggest reason for switching over to 4th. First karma pool started off low, and having some is useful. But if you had a group where the players could go a long time without getting killed Karma Pool would start getting out of control.

Oh I always had a problem with how Karma Pool was treated in 3rd edition and it was home ruled that second I read it. I treated it more like 1st edition Karma. Karma Pool was burnt 1 point at a time and treated like "Hand of G-d" rule in that you completely averted a roll of the dice. Simple and prevented the amassing of high Karma points.

My complaint isn't the way in which edge works. I'm really ambivalent about it (because my home rule has always worked flawlessly), it is that swapped terminology around with no regard to consistency between editions. Simply changing all the terminology and wording is a quick way of convincing me the edition is less about better rules and more about "we're trying a new addition to boost sales".

As someone who works in Quality Assurance (i.e. proofreading technical documents for ISO compliance) a lack of consistency is the first thing we come down on our writers on even between editions of a technical document. To me game mechanics are nothing if not another form of technical document.
Wounded Ronin
RPG rules are kind of like an extreme technical document because there's no physical counterpart you can hold and fool around with. It's entirely abstract and therefore harder to understand.
Why Shadowrun?
I started back with 1st Edition back in '89. I was getting tired of generic fantasy and there was Shadowrun and it was awesome and dark, gritty and violent. I played the Decker archetype straight out of the book because no one else wanted to but that girl rocked, with her Fuchi Cyber-4 and her Ruger Super Warhawk.

Now 20 years later, I'm playing Shadowrun. The degree of crunch is high. The rules can be clunky. And the typos really bother me. But even as I play Burning Wheel and Savage Worlds, there is something about Shadowrun that keeps bringing me back to the table. I think it's party nostalgia, part inertia and having played many other games, none quite captures the feel in the same way.

Why 4th Edition?
I played every edition and loved them all. Why 4th? Because I was teaching newbies and bringing them into the game and 4th was so much easier to introduce them to. Now years later, I'm hooked and there's no going back to 3rd.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (jklst14 @ Aug 17 2008, 06:56 PM) *
Why 4th Edition?
I played every edition and loved them all. Why 4th? Because I was teaching newbies and bringing them into the game and 4th was so much easier to introduce them to. Now years later, I'm hooked and there's no going back to 3rd.

But you have to admit the number of Native American hipsters represented seems to have dropped.
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Aug 17 2008, 06:57 PM) *
But you have to admit the number of Native American hipsters represented seems to have dropped.

As have the number of Rockers. At times, I miss those 1st edition days when SR was brand new...
Rock 'n' Roll may save my soul, but it sold out long ago and can no longer save the world. frown.gif
I play 3rd edition online, and soon I will be joining a 4th IRL. Of the two, I prefer 3rd.
I think what attracted me the most to Shadowrun was the pure deadliness of the system. Combine that with the tactical nature of the game (combat pool helped this a lot) and the vast diversity between archetypes without forcing them ... yeah hard not to get into it. Oh and then there's plot, and setting, and ridiculous books full of ridiculous additional gear. I miss most the old SR1/2 books fill with the hacker commentary. I learned to love Captain chaos, fastjack, and findler man. I was extremely sad with what happened to hatchetman ... made it seem to hollow. I feel that all of that is missing now and as such I've yet to touch 4th edition. I do like AR and I really like the streamlined rolling mechanics although I feel while easier they are also retarded in their own right (I really wish the developers were a bit stronger on their math and probability than they seem to be). I feel that edge is what karma always should have been. They got a lot right in SR4 but they didn't need to go so far imho. I'm now reduced to playing a very chopped version of SR3 that includes AR and very very lightweight custom decking rules. I feel like I'd rather play WOD than SR4 so I'm looking at a long future of Sr3 campaigns. That said my perennial campaign (has been through 4 groups now) is only in 2060 so I still have plenty of material to play with before it has to get really goofy.
Why Shadowrun?
because I have always admired/respected/been entranced by the detail that FASA/FanPro/WK/CGL (apologies if I am forgetting anybody) has put into building the universe of their game (this is the same reason that I love Battletech to death, and that by and large my collection of gaming books is ~80% SR and BT). Straight up, they do fluff better than almost any other game company I am familiar with

Why SR4?
because somebody moved here and had some SR4 books, so it's what we play. life on a hippie commune is often a case of "make do with what you've got" (yes, i did just admit to being a roleplayer who also lives in an intentional community. it's more likely than you think!)
Not of this World
QUOTE (Cyntax @ Aug 17 2008, 03:29 PM) *
I play 3rd edition online, and soon I will be joining a 4th IRL. Of the two, I prefer 3rd.

Why Shadowrun?

I started off in '89 as well. I was immediately drawn to it by the full-color world. There simply wasn't any other setting out there quite like it. It supported gonzo, neon-mohawk razorboys right next to neo-luddite shamans, and everything in between. Over the years, the world got better and better; Shadowrun was one of the early games to develop a metaplot. Plus, Harlequin was the module that taught me how to GM. To this day, I occasionally leaf through it for pointers.

Why SR4? Because there's nothing else out there right now. Even before I moved away from Seattle, I was having trouble finding SR3 groups. What it boiled down to was that the only Shadowrun fix I could get was playing Missions games. Which, I discovered, could be easily broken simply by sticking to the rules as written; Missions does not allow house rules. Now that I live in a smallish town, finding gamers is even harder.

SR4 has sacrificed the uniqueness of the world in favor of more popular rules. And those rules don's always work, which is the sad part. Shadowrun is trying to become trendy, instead of unique. Things are added because they're cool and popular, not because they'd be a good addition to the Shadowrun world and ruleset.
QUOTE (Rasumichin @ Aug 16 2008, 08:35 PM) *
Because Dikote™ sucks and portable gauss rifles rule.

Well spoken. Not like those two things are mutually exclusive but the word count spent on including gauss rifles far outweighs anything that could have been gained from including Dikote.

Edit!> Oh yeah, if you can't guess from the rest of the post. REAAAAAALLY burned out on D&D and fantasy in general. One of guys in my group is trying to convince me to play Warhammer Fantasy RPG but... I have to be completely honest that it just doesn't grab me like the prospect of making a hard exit out of a research facility and sky diving to safety.

I play SR because... I like cyberpunk and SR seems to have the largest player base. The fantasy aspect is modular in my mind but gives me an in to rope players who normally don't spring for "All that sci-fi crap". Beyond that I like the rules, they're fast, interesting, and just crunchy enough for me to fawn over some awesome gun in the book but not so much that I'm doing trig to calculate armor density on hot days.

A large part of why I play SR is the gaming group I'm in now and their style of play. Being military we do certainly lean towards the tactical but look towards a slightly cinematic play style (We've discovered playing: "Regurgitate what you were forced to learn in SOI" not to be all that fun. I guess that novelty has worn off for most of us). I find that it's fairly easy to tweak the rules for plenty of "Oh God that was fucking awesome!" scenes while not causing situations where we end up in screaming matches over what bonuses the interlocking fields of fire should confer or how come the T-Bird doesn't have comparable stats to a CH-53K becausethosearecomingoutnextyearandand... You get the idea. It's fun, it's fast, the skills system is robust (Fuck you D&D 4 e), and the setting has a good sense of history with enough wiggle room to plug in virtually any character concept.

It's also not straight fantasy, filled with murderous hobos that hack dungeons and occasionally overthrow governments. The only 10X10 room my players had to deal with was a holding cell and the ork that was already in there was awaiting trial for manslaughter not waiting to bonk the players on the head for their gold.

Yeah, SR 4 and to a lesser extent SR3 both meet my gaming requirements... so I play it.

Plus I have those books. I'm sorry but I just can't keep buying and introducing gaming systems, it's annoying smile.gif

Oh yeah, I also feel confident that I can pound the SR4 system into any gaming experience I want with a few exceptions. I can do post-apoc zombies, I can do lost mercenaries, I can do mystical X-Files crap, etc etc. It's not GURPS but it'll do.
QUOTE (Not of this World @ Aug 17 2008, 09:31 PM) *

Why do I prefer 3rd edition? Because its familiar, there's a lot of books to it and the setting is how I know it. 4th edition rules are confusing, I hate the chargen and the world setting has gotten unfamiliar.
Not of this World
QUOTE (Cain @ Aug 17 2008, 06:59 PM) *
Shadowrun is trying to become trendy, instead of unique. Things are added because they're cool and popular, not because they'd be a good addition to the Shadowrun world and ruleset.

I have to disagree with the cool and popular part because I still remember the initial reception that the rules changes to SR4 got. It was widely dissed in these forums and the game stores I frequented.

Now I won't argue that they aren't popular now, but the player base has radically changed. A lot of people have left Shadowrun because of the shift, and new players have been introduced to it and this version is current. I've seen games go down hill very fast beyond return because a very vocal player base is very adamant about a part of the game that just drives away most casual player en masse (i.e. Hardcore FFA PvP players in MMOs).
Why Shadowrun?

I was bored with D&D 3.5 and nobody was playing straight up Cyberpunk.

Why 4th Edition?

I dont get 3rd edition. No wireless? People walking around with big cyberdecks? I dont understand. Cellphones in 2008 are small, and are only getting smaller, whats this silly cyberdeck thing? I can get wireless internet anywhere and everywhere I go TODAY. The world of 2063 made no sense to me.
QUOTE (Not of this World @ Aug 17 2008, 07:42 PM) *
I have to disagree with the cool and popular part because I still remember the initial reception that the rules changes to SR4 got. It was widely dissed in these forums and the game stores I frequented.

Now I won't argue that they aren't popular now, but the player base has radically changed. A lot of people have left Shadowrun because of the shift, and new players have been introduced to it and this version is current. I've seen games go down hill very fast beyond return because a very vocal player base is very adamant about a part of the game that just drives away most casual player en masse (i.e. Hardcore FFA PvP players in MMOs).

The thing was, the SR4 core mechanic is basically lifted from the New World of Darkness core mechanic, which was initially developed in the late 90's for the Aberrant line. I heard a podcast where Rob Boyle basically said they copied the rules on purpose; Steve Kenson was the one to suggest it, since the original World of Darkness borrowed heavily from the Shadowrun rules.

There's two major trendsetters in RPG's today: White Wolf and Wizards of the Coast. Their products outsell just about everything else in the market. Since converting to d20 would cause cancer wink.gif, they followed the other trend.

Lots of other changes to Shadowrun show the signs of being trendy instead of game-balanced. Bluetooth is trendy, so a wireless matrix was created. Now, I know there's lots of arguments on this one, but let's face it: if wireless access wasn't so trendy, if something else had replaced it, the SR4 Matrix would look a hell of a lot different. New rules were created to fit the concept, and the whole world was rewritten to fit it in.
I had played dozens of RPG's over the years, and none ever stuck except AD&D, and I hated some major aspects of the rules.

I was wandering around Gen Con one year, and saw a table stacked high with pretty blue hardcovers. It was a cyberpunk game that had magic. It seemed pretty cool, but I wasn't going to try to teach a new game to my friends, especially since most of them were casual gamers. Then I ran into a friend who said ,"hey you gotta see this new game I got!" We've been playing fairly regularly ever since. Has it only been twenty years? wink.gif

The things that grabbed me then, were... I was a big fan of cyberpunk science fiction back then (too bad the game isn't really CP anymore). I liked that the character creation was very open. You can take any skill you want. None of this "you can't use a sword because you chose to learn magic." The magic system made sense. And the magic itself provided the limitations on how much you could cast (rather than "you can only memorize one wimpy spell a day, because you haven't killed enough goblins"). You can improve your character a certain amount after gaining experience, and you can improve any aspect you wish, rather than being stuck on a career path. The ability to be killed decreases only slightly as you gain experience. Can you tell I have issues with a certain game system? biggrin.gif

What's kept me (and my whole group of players) is the game world. It's so rich. There are so many possibilities. Many of those possibilities are enabled by the character generation system, but it's really the socio-political atmosphere. Races and racism. Magic coming to the world, and the mystery surrounding it. Corporate rule. And it's so similar to the "real" world. It's an extrapolated history, and it's not so far into the future as to be unrecognizable (in fact, I'd prefer it to be a little farther removed than it is, but people can only predict so much). There's such a wide variation possible in the type of conflicts. You can go up against corpsec forces, mercenaries, toxics, other shadowrunners, gangs, dragons, vampires, bugs, your Johnson, etc. Even the standard breaking & entering shadowrun, gives you endless possiblities for targets. Not to mention the possibility that you can be corpsec forces, mercenaries, toxics, other shadowrunners, gangs... There are so many possibilities that it's sometimes frustrating I can't play all the ones I want.

Why does my group play fourth edition? Every edition has been an improvement on the one before it. Confusing though the hacking rules are, the fact that the hackers can hack while they're hanging with the team, and not steal any gaming time from the rest of the group is worth it. Standardizing the magic rules across traditions was a great idea. Time spent running combat continues to decrease. Aside from that, we like to keep up with most of the published story lines, so it's just a pain to stick to the old rules. I'm glad wireless technology finally evolved enough to support the bandwidth required for VR.

It's very interesting to read people's feelings about SR.
QUOTE (Cain @ Aug 18 2008, 06:31 AM) *
Lots of other changes to Shadowrun show the signs of being trendy instead of game-balanced. Bluetooth is trendy, so a wireless matrix was created. Now, I know there's lots of arguments on this one, but let's face it: if wireless access wasn't so trendy, if something else had replaced it, the SR4 Matrix would look a hell of a lot different. New rules were created to fit the concept, and the whole world was rewritten to fit it in.

If they wanted to be really trendy, they'd have changed to a rules-light system, with a lot of power to the players. I don't think the wireless matrix was inserted just to be trendy. Since SR1 came out, SR kept adapting itself to the changes of the Real World. The wireless Matrix is one of these changes.
It's also because it wouldn't make any sense to any new player if their character was unable to connect wirelessly 60 years in the future. It was already difficult for old-timers to accept it.
Finally I also think it's about game-balance: in the days of a wired Matrix, even if the Matrix was already everywhere and controlling everything, its role was underplayed in most games I've played. With a wireless Matrix and AR you can't ignore it anymore.

Why Shadowrun?

When I started playing RPG, a friend of mine GMed Shadowrun, so I joined the game and had a lot of fun. A few years later, after reading Neuromancer and other cyberpunk book, I got the urge to start playing a cyberpunk game again, and decided to play Shadowrun because it was the one I knew about. At first, I thought of playing it without magic, but after reading the BBB I realized how well the designer had managed to insert magic in a cyberpunk setting and went for a canon game.
And why do I stick to Shadowrun now that I know a lot of other cyberpunk games? Because it's the most detailed one, because it's one of the most consistent, because it has so many possibilities that you can actually do the same thing as in the other games while the opposite isn't true.

Why 4th ed?

I never was a big rule addict and never managed to get all (including all additional rules) SR3 rules right. I just had two issues with the rules: a munchkinized character could resist everything that wasn't shooting bursts of APDS rounds or dealing Naval damage and there was a difference between the attributes' description and the in-game facts. When SR4 came out I didn't find anything that was changed in a wrong way, but a few things that were in a good way, so rulewise I didn't have any problem to make the switch.
As for the setting, I like the idea of AR and wireless matrix, which makes it easier for everyone to understand the impact of the Matrix in the daily life instead of reducing the Matrix to "the thing the hacker (NPC) uses to give us information". I also like the intent to make it street-level again, instead of the world-saving/world-shattering trend of the previous edition.
Oh yeah, I forgot RFIDs irritate me. In RC it even mentions a -candy bar- having a RFID in it. The candy bar, not the wrapper. I thought it was bad enough that underwear have them, but even the frickin' food you eat. It was silly to start with, but that goes too far over the top. I wonder if there's some sort of cyber you could get put in that just zaps any RFID you come into contact with, like a little EMP aura.
Wesley Street
It's not silly seeing as how RFID tech exists now.
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