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TKDNinjaInBlack
I just wanted to know why Shadowrun took off so well in Germany. I visited a comic shop in Ludwigsburg (outisde Stuttgart) in 2003 and found Shadowrun books all over the place. Doing a bit of research I found that there are a few (4?) books for Shadowrun that won't be released here in the states, including the second Germany sourcebook. On top of that, when the Shadowrun novels stopped at 40 here (before having 6 more from fanpro), they kept going in Germany up till novel 62. As a minor speaker of Deutsch, I plan to pick up the novels we can't get here in the states and read them to the best of my ability (and hopefully improve my German), but I still ponder;

What is it about Shadowrun that you Germans find so interesting? What were the conditions behind WizKids and FanPro that more material came out in Deutschland instead of here in the states?
Suenert
No fucking clue.

If I had to speculate I would wager that his is due to the fact that Fanpro was the producer/distributor of Das Schwarze Auge (The Dark Eye), the as far as I know largest roleplaying game on the german market, to the point that you could buy DSA products in normal toy stores.
For a time my home town of barely 12 000 inhabitants had two stores carrying DSA boxes.

So I would suspect that part of it is simply the spill over effect.
Ancient History
Germany has a very strong roleplaying culture in place, and they've historically had a lot of local language support - local sourcebooks, that kind of thing. Helps.
It trolls!
Yup, due to high population (and population density) as well as 1,5 neighboring countries speaking the same language, we always had a lot of localizations and well yes, FanPro was big and DSA could classify as the German D&D when it comes to popularity.
The German-only stuff is not always quite "in touch" with the US publications so in the past, we got our share of cheap, easily-obtainable gamebreaking guns and cyberware, as well as some locations that I'd attribute to heavy drug-abuse on the author's side.
It's gotten better over time though and the SOX book as well as M√ľnchen Noir were well-received IIRC.
I have very high hopes that Pegasus, the new German publisher will greatly refine the German setting. They have a bigger staff than FanPro's German team and promised to communicate with Synner & Co. a lot more. Aand they promised new cover art for Augmentation and Arsenal wink.gif
Gast
Because we like engineering?

No, honestly, no idea. The fact that the Cyberpunk system is dead probably helped. The big systems in Germany are probably DSA (but FANPRO wasn't publisher of that when they started to do FASA stuff), Shadowrun and WoD. Cthulhu is also pretty popular.

And actually, there was more material in the US. FANPRO just took the line serious and produced a lot of Germany related stuff. They also had some independent metaplotlines which were ok, especially because there were no immortal elves with magical cyberdecks in them. God, how I hate those.

I assume that stuff wasn't localized because WizKids assumed there's not a market for 3 sourcebooks about Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and lots of novels playing in that location.

And concerning the partially game breaking items and wacky locations, they were no worse or better than FASA with that.
It trolls!
I thought Fanpro was basically founded by the DSA inventors to develop the system. Schmidt Spiele was the official publisher but Fanpro developed the content.
I was a toddler back then though, maybe someone older can comment on this.
Gast
And because I am complusive, here's a list of German material not translated:

2nd Edition:
Chrom & Dioxin (Switzerland and more Germany stuff)
Walzer, Punks & Schwarzes ICE (Austria and more Germany stuff)
Schlagschatten (Adventure book, 3 adventures in the ADL)
Schattenlichter (3 adventures in the ADL, one in Switzerland)

3rd Edition:
Brennpunkt ADL (new Germany stuff)
Deutschland in den Schatten 2 (actualized Germany book with progressed metaplot)
Schockwellen (campaign book for the Proteus Corp plotline, 10 adventures and lots of background)

4th Edition:
M√ľnchen Noir (Munich en detail, including a campaign)
SOX (Shadowrun Germany had a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. area before the video game, and here's the Sourcebook, also including a campaign)

If you understand german, just visit shadowhelix for the novel list.

Rasumichin
QUOTE (It trolls! @ Sep 15 2008, 12:56 AM) *
I thought Fanpro was basically founded by the DSA inventors to develop the system. Schmidt Spiele was the official publisher but Fanpro developed the content.
I was a toddler back then though, maybe someone older can comment on this.


There always was a personell overlap between Fanpro and the DSA/TDE devs, but the two wheren't completely the same in the beginning.
Fanpro was founded by Werner Fuchs, one of the original DSA devs, but he wasn't involved with DSA anymore when that became important.

The Fanpro connection might have generated some support for SR, but i don't think that's such an important factor.
SR became popular years before Fanpro took over DSA.
During the Schmidt Spiele years, they had no opportunity to push the game through these channels.

I contribute the fact that there always where a lot of German-only books to a comparatively large RPG scene in general.
CoC also has a lot of German-only material, our most succesful RPG is a domestic product, so it's not an SR-only thing.
TKDNinjaInBlack
I was also wondering if the overall tones of punk and industrial culture permeating the game helped the appeal to the German crowd as well.
Ryu
Certainly. The scare of copycat asian products was rather massive, politics had a strong leftist undercurrent... the whole SR world was a somewhat believeable vision of the future, while fantasy-heavy enough to appeal to the The-Dark-Eye crowd.
Rasumichin
QUOTE (TKDNinjaInBlack @ Sep 15 2008, 02:31 AM) *
I was also wondering if the overall tones of punk and industrial culture permeating the game helped the appeal to the German crowd as well.


In the case of my group, that certainly was one of the reasons to give the game a try.
Naysayer
I think part of the success came down to simple availability. I don't know much about the publication history, but I don't think that the Big Blue Book had a large print run when it came out in Germany. Of course, once it was out there, the mixture of 80's angst and fantasy was just too delicious to pass up on, but that it got the chance to catch n in the first place seems like a bit of a lucky break to me. For example, from what little I know, the French have a pretty strong tradition of roleplaying, too. And cyberpunk was, in its heydays, quite big all throughout Europe. Yet, our poor neighbours did not get an official Shadowrun until only some years ago. And from what I gathered, it's doing quite well.
So if you ask me why SR was such a success in Germany? Because it was there.

Being awesome might have helped, though...
Ryu
QUOTE (Naysayer @ Sep 15 2008, 04:09 AM) *
I think part of the success came down to simple availability. I don't know much about the publication history, but I don't think that the Big Blue Book had a large print run when it came out in Germany. Of course, once it was out there, the mixture of 80's angst and fantasy was just too delicious to pass up on, but that it got the chance to catch n in the first place seems like a bit of a lucky break to me. For example, from what little I know, the French have a pretty strong tradition of roleplaying, too. And cyberpunk was, in its heydays, quite big all throughout Europe. Yet, our poor neighbours did not get an official Shadowrun until only some years ago. And from what I gathered, it's doing quite well.
So if you ask me why SR was such a success in Germany? Because it was there.

Being awesome might have helped, though...


The German book market is special, both in its relative size and the degree of localisation. A populace that is willing to spend quality money on good books helps when you are selling to a small market.
TW
Just to add some trivia and additional information for the non german speaking crowd:

QUOTE (Gast @ Sep 14 2008, 08:17 PM) *
Chrom & Dioxin (Switzerland and more Germany stuff)
Which includes Jon Szeto's translated write-up of Frankfurt, first published in the U.S. SR mag Shadowland

QUOTE (Gast @ Sep 14 2008, 08:17 PM) *
Deutschland in den Schatten 2 (actualized Germany book with progressed metaplot)
Which served as the main source for the AGS chapter in Shadows of Europe

QUOTE (Gast @ Sep 14 2008, 08:17 PM) *
Schockwellen (campaign book for the Proteus Corp plotline, 10 adventures and lots of background)
Of which a translated summary can be found here
Stahlseele
'cause if you compare the ADL with Seattle, the ADL is basically seattle on a bigger scale, that's why!
Steampunk
And btw: Nobody needs to worry that he missed anything because there are so many german shadowrun novels... Most of them are really, really bad. After reading the last one I really hope that someone stops FanPro from producing more of them...
Stahlseele
yeah, seriously, don't read the NEWER ones . . the earlier germany only novels are readyble enough, but nothing really good either . . and the new ones? pretty much pure crap in my eyes <.<. . .
Warentester
QUOTE (TKDNinjaInBlack @ Sep 15 2008, 02:31 AM) *
I was also wondering if the overall tones of punk and industrial culture permeating the game helped the appeal to the German crowd as well.

Yeah, probably because Punk is still kinda alive in Good ol' Germany wink.gif
Medicineman
You mean there are still Punks out there, that think SR is Cyberpunk ? grinbig.gif poor Newbs spin.gif

HokaHey
Medicienman
GreyBrother
Well, i'm no Punk but: It is.
Grinder
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Feb 2 2009, 09:38 AM) *
You mean there are still Punks out there, that think SR is Cyberpunk ? grinbig.gif poor Newbs spin.gif


Most punks had probably never heard of SR.
MK Ultra
Probably not smile.gif
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