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Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Adam
The PDF version of Ghost Cartelsis now available to buy from both our BattleShop and OneBookShelf [DriveThruRPG/RPGNow]:

Ghost Cartels PDFs:

* Ghost Cartels at BattleCorps.com
* Ghost Cartels at DriveThruRPG.com

If you are looking for the print pre-order + PDF bundle deal, it's not available yet as we don't have a street date for the book finalized. When we do, the bundles will be available.

Ghost Cartels Previews:

* Preview #1
* Preview #2
AngelisStorm
Woot!
Sir Randel
QUOTE (Adam @ Oct 24 2008, 09:55 PM) *
The PDF version of Ghost Cartelsis now available to buy from both our BattleShop and OneBookShelf [DriveThruRPG/RPGNow]:

Ghost Cartels PDFs:

* Ghost Cartels at BattleCorps.com
* Ghost Cartels at DriveThruRPG.com

If you are looking for the print pre-order + PDF bundle deal, it's not available yet as we don't have a street date for the book finalized. When we do, the bundles will be available.

Ghost Cartels Previews:

* Preview #1
* Preview #2


Well, just bought it from Battle Shops, but there is no download link in my account ? Does someone else have the same problem ?
Adam
If I was less tired, I wouldn't find this so funny, but I'm pretty beat, so it's hilarious. It appears there's something not properly setup with the GC download. Please hold tight; working on it.
Adam
Okay, it's been fixed. All future orders will be fine. Those who have ordered it already, you'll be getting an email shortly with a download link/instructions.

Sorry for any inconvenience!
Janice
This just a premade adventure or does it have any crunch worth noting?
Adam
If by "crunch" you mean "new rules", then no. It does have a number of fully-statted NPCs and some new vehicle stats.
Janice
QUOTE (Adam @ Oct 24 2008, 09:38 PM) *
vehicle stats.

I know it's a longshot, but by chance would those stats be some form of tank or APC?
knasser

Adam, thanks for all your efforts in getting this out for today. You've already got my money (well Catalyst has), but I wanted to add a verbal appreciation. It's downloading at 31% so far and I already have a great feeling about this.

Khadim.
knasser
Wow! Looking good.

And I note the little hint about Geneva in the Jackpoint logon, too. smile.gif
Heath Robinson
My subject award came in recently but my Amazon orders are shipping, and my work is falling behind. I'm not sure I can budget time to read this.

But I want to. I really want to.
knasser
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Oct 25 2008, 08:47 AM) *
My subject award came in recently but my Amazon orders are shipping, and my work is falling behind. I'm not sure I can budget time to read this.

But I want to. I really want to.


I'm on page 23. Which is the weird thing. My normal response to a product like this is to skim through and get the overview, what's going on and all that. But I started reading at the opening fiction and there's been no point where I've been willing to actually stop and start skipping about. The writing is really good.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (knasser @ Oct 25 2008, 08:52 AM) *
I'm on page 23. Which is the weird thing. My normal response to a product like this is to skim through and get the overview, what's going on and all that. But I started reading at the opening fiction and there's been no point where I've been willing to actually stop and start skipping about. The writing is really good.

There is a knife in my stomach and you, my friend, are twisting it.
Sir Randel
QUOTE (Adam @ Oct 24 2008, 11:26 PM) *
If I was less tired, I wouldn't find this so funny, but I'm pretty beat, so it's hilarious. It appears there's something not properly setup with the GC download. Please hold tight; working on it.


Thanks for your celerity. I got the file.
Synner
QUOTE (Janice @ Oct 25 2008, 05:44 AM) *
I know it's a longshot, but by chance would those stats be some form of tank or APC?

No. The vehicles we've included are appropriate to the various story frameworks and are either new vehicles or customized versions of existing vehicles (using Arsenal rules), since most of the adventures are urban with a few set in the jungle - none really pit characters against mechanized military or security forces (well, they shouldn't...).
Synner
QUOTE (Janice @ Oct 25 2008, 05:35 AM) *
This just a premade adventure or does it have any crunch worth noting?

For anyone interested in an idea of what they're getting.

Ghost Cartels is divided into 4 parts. The first chapter, A New High, is composed of fiction material—in the vein of System Failure or Emergence—which contextualizes all the events in the later sections of the book. Quite a few bits of fiction are presented in unique formats that allow them to be used/ported into handout easily. The fiction material is devised to ground events in the setting and explore some of the personal, social, criminal, corporate, media and law enforcement implications (the obvious ones and those less so) of the plot on the Sixth World setting—and maybe provide you with a few plot seeds while it does so. This first chapter also includes a general game information overview of events, a timeline, profiles of the key players in the central story thread and writeups of their organizations. Guidelines are also provided for alternate campaigns using Ghost Cartels as a backdrop and tips for gamemasters wanting to integrate the rest of the book or parts there of in their current campaigns.

Chapter 2, First Taste, is the first of three "track campaigns" in this book and depicts the myriad street-level consequences and intrigues resulting from the appearance of the popular new drug tempo on the streets of Seattle. It drops players into the action on the side of one of the factions in the ensuing underworld turmoil. Besides profiling the organizations and agendas involved in the Seattle situation, as well as mini-overview of the city itself, it tells the story through a series of sequential freeform Adventure Frameworks (a departure from previous products where the frameworks were largely unconnected) that form the backbone of the campaign. Adventure Seeds are also presented for "side quests" and gamemasters are provided with latitude to introduce their own adventures to the unfolding story. Major locations in each adventure framework are profiled in a Crime Scenes sidebar—some even get maps. Finally the chapter (as with subsequent chapters) is rounded out by a Cast of Shadows and a new section called Grunts and Moving Targets which respectively provide stats for major NPCs and grunts/vehicles used in the story arc.

Chapter 3, The Source, carries the characters around a number of major sprawls of the Pacific Rim starting in Seattle and ending in Los Angeles as they act as troubleshooters for a delegation from a South American corporation. The story unfolds primarily in Seattle, Hong-Kong, Tokyo and Los Angeles but there's plenty of leeway to add your own locations to the "tour." The major sprawls are profiled briefly and sequential Adventure Frameworks focus on critical events that take place in each location as the storyline unfolds. As with the previous chapter there is also information on all the major players involved, Adventure Seeds (a lot of them), Crime Scenes, a fully fleshed Cast of Shadows and Moving Targets and Grunts sections.

Chapter 4, Final Cut, starts in Los Angeles (or Caracas) and travels to South America backtracking the source of the drug tempo while the plotline climaxes. Plenty of secrets, twists and surprises are included. The characters are closer than ever to the heart of the plot but suddenly find themselves and their employee backed into a corner. It too is divided into a section with organization and agenda profiles, Adventure Frameworks and contains additional Adventure Seeds, Crime Scenes, Cast of Shadows and Grunts and Moving Targets. Of course, I should mention that Final Cut includes a final twist for the characters, one that's been hinted at through-out.

Not only can you play through the Adventure Frameworks sequentially in individual tracks as a short campaign, but the three arcs/tracks can be played sequentially too unfolding as a megacampaign that takes players from gangland warfare in the backstreets of Redmond to the perilous jungles of Amazonia.
knasser

Okay: Sorry to keep posting these "as I read" impressions, but I just have to say:

Mushisushi! rotfl.gif rotfl.gif Who came up with that one?
Ancient History
Yo.
Rotbart van Dainig
Is it just me or is Chikao a bit off ruleswise?
Synner
Aside from the Essence issue brought up before, unfortuantely yes, a couple of other corrections "didn't take" for one reason or another and made it into the final version. Errata should remove his cyberarm Armor 3 enhancement and switch the shockhand to the other arm.
Rotbart van Dainig
That's not quite my point - his Agility should be (9) at best, he should either have the Submachine Gun skill or another description and Nanosymbiontes have Rating 3 max - and of course, the Ground Craft specialization should be Wheeled... the Nitama NeMax should have DV 5, too.
knasser
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Oct 25 2008, 02:02 PM) *
Yo.


Now why am I not surprised.

I'm a pretty fast reader, but I've not got through a third of this. I have finally given up and started jumping back and forth to see what it contains. And I'll say I'm impressed with both the low-key nature of the plot and the thought that's gone into it. By low-key, I'm not in anyway being critical. I'm saying that the mystery behind everything, whilst sufficiently sinister to make the players go 'Oooo' also avoids the setting-wrangling stuff of things like AIs. changelings and such. If there's metaplot here, it's being handled in a nicely subtle and unintrusive manner and nothing seems to be fucking with the general setting in any ireperable way making it a nice plug-and-play campaign.

@Janice: There are some merc support helicopters if that helps. Also, "Troll Adept Bodyguards" is my new favourite scary phrase. grinbig.gif
Ancient History
QUOTE (knasser @ Oct 25 2008, 01:54 PM) *
Now why am I not surprised.

Because I introduced the concept in Corporate Enclaves?
Synner
QUOTE (knasser @ Oct 25 2008, 02:54 PM) *
I'm a pretty fast reader, but I've not got through a third of this. I have finally given up and started jumping back and forth to see what it contains. And I'll say I'm impressed with both the low-key nature of the plot and the thought that's gone into it. By low-key, I'm not in anyway being critical. I'm saying that the mystery behind everything, whilst sufficiently sinister to make the players go 'Oooo' also avoids the setting-wrangling stuff of things like AIs. changelings and such. If there's metaplot here, it's being handled in a nicely subtle and unintrusive manner and nothing seems to be fucking with the general setting in any ireperable way making it a nice plug-and-play campaign.

I really want to show that globetrotting campaigns and street-level storytelling are not mutually exclusive and that you can do gritty, low-key Shadowrun adventures with some potentially huge metaplot implications without it turning into an epic world-changing campaign. I'm very fortunate that my authors "got it" and they turned an intense and dark stories with lots of plug-in and plot hook potential. Also note that as I mentioned in the last couple of Shadowrun chats Ghost Cartels is written so that those of you who possess Runner Havens and Corporate Enclaves will get more mileage out of those books.

QUOTE
"Troll Adept Bodyguards" is my new favourite scary phrase. grinbig.gif

Wait till you get a load of Ding's bodyguards.

QUOTE
Is it just me or is Chikao a bit off ruleswise?

Chikao's stats before the dev-editing snafu (mea culpa) are listed below. Corrected stats will be in the first errata (hopefully right after the print release)
[ Spoiler ]
Janice
QUOTE (Synner @ Oct 25 2008, 01:35 AM) *
No. The vehicles we've included are appropriate to the various story frameworks and are either new vehicles or customized versions of existing vehicles (using Arsenal rules), since most of the adventures are urban with a few set in the jungle - none really pit characters against mechanized military or security forces (well, they shouldn't...).

Ahhh bugger. Back to the homebrew table for me.
Leofski
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Oct 25 2008, 08:59 AM) *
There is a knife in my stomach and you, my friend, are twisting it.


You want it. You want it lots. I have my copy and you'll enjoy it.

1. It has Caracas.
2. If you don't I'll beat you with a chair leg next weekend or otherwise send an attack squad to get you.
Beetle
I just downloaded my copy from BattleCorps. I've really got to tip my hat to the guys that made the maps. I had a nice and unexpected Keanu Reeves style "Whoa" escape my lips.
Adam
Sean MacDonald really brought the awesome with his maps. I'm pleased to say that he's currently working on maps for two more Shadowrun projects for us right now.

[For those of you that haven't bought the PDF yet or don't plan on buying it, you'll get to see the maps in a later preview...]
Backgammon
Street Date - ballpark figure, weeks or months?
Adam
We do not estimate Street Dates. The entire purpose of using a street date is to remove those estimations. When we have a street date, we'll post it, and make the book available for pre-order.
knasser
QUOTE (Backgammon @ Oct 26 2008, 04:00 AM) *
Street Date - ballpark figure, weeks or months?


This is what was called the Tao of Fanpro.There are release dates, but no products. There are products, but no release dates.

Just do what the rest of us do: whine and pester the developers constantly. It's your only release from the uncertainty. biggrin.gif
Adam
I think it's pretty fair to say that we're outperforming FanPro in terms of accuracy and throughput ...
knasser
QUOTE (Adam @ Oct 26 2008, 07:38 AM) *
I think it's pretty fair to say that we're outperforming FanPro in terms of accuracy and throughput ...


Hey. just teasing, you. biggrin.gif
Grinder
QUOTE (Adam @ Oct 26 2008, 09:38 AM) *
I think it's pretty fair to say that we're outperforming FanPro in terms of accuracy and throughput ...


And that's difficult as hell. wink.gif
Ryu
QUOTE (Adam @ Oct 26 2008, 08:38 AM) *
I think it's pretty fair to say that we're outperforming FanPro in terms of accuracy and throughput ...

Yes, yes you do. Now back to your race with the flying horse, while the crowd cheers both contestants on wink.gif
Synner
What? No more comments on the writing? The new campaign format? The ultracool maps? The freeform plug-your-own-adventure-ideas-into-the-plot approach? The secret of tempo? Tenoch? Sheesh, all that sweat, blood and sleepless nights and nary a review?
Backgammon
I personally am busy making extended WILL+LOG tests to resist buying the PDF cause I want to hard copy version.
Trobon
QUOTE (Synner @ Oct 26 2008, 05:46 AM) *
What? No more comments on the writing? The new campaign format? The ultracool maps? The freeform plug-your-own-adventure-ideas-into-the-plot approach? The secret of tempo? Tenoch? Sheesh, all that sweat and blood and nary a review?


Ok. I'll come out of my shell to say what I thought.

The book was really nicely done and I am glad I bought it after all. I haven't been a huge fan of the big story arc books before. I mean, I do like the changes they bring to the setting and enjoy seeing the Shadowrun story unfold, but actually using the books has always been something that I just can't bring myself to do for some reason. However, Ghost Cartels has gotten me hooked good. I was planning on not GMing any time soon as I am in a tough class right now (at my college we only take one class a quarter, but its 16 credits a class and this is upper division physics), but then this book came along and got me all excited so now I have to GM again.

The fiction, as usual, was very informative and entertaining. I personally, thought it was a little cluttered for my taste, but all in all it was an enjoyable read. It certainly achieved, what I assume was, its primary objective of letting the reader get a good feeling for what's going on in the shadows and how everyone is reacting. It also adds a lot of context to the rest of the book, but again, not unusual.

The meat of the book, the three story-arcs/frameworks/whatchamajigers, were very nicely done in my opinion. I liked the way that it was set up so that the general idea of what was going on in the cities was told first with the adventures referenced right there so that I can not only decide where my players can fit in easier, but it also allows me to come up with my own side stories and sub-plots, which actually leads into another part I liked a lot. The sequel/side-plot areas at the end of each chapter was another good thing to have and I look forward to using a couple of those myself.

The secret was a whole thing unto itself. I have to say that I did not see it coming at all and my players will be very very surprised when we play through it.

The only thing that I can't find, although I admit I haven't read through it very carefully, is what the general ballpark is for the big payout at the end of the players being on retainer. I haven't ever done anything to that degree and it's going to be a little difficult to work it out.

All in all, it is a very good book and I am excited about running it.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Leofski @ Oct 25 2008, 11:46 PM) *
You want it. You want it lots. I have my copy and you'll enjoy it.

1. It has Caracas.
2. If you don't I'll beat you with a chair leg next weekend or otherwise send an attack squad to get you.

This argument is persuasive enough for me. Catalyst will be getting my monies.
kanislatrans
just got permission from the accounting dept . will be ordering tonite. WOOt! grinbig.gif
knasser
QUOTE (Synner @ Oct 26 2008, 12:46 PM) *
What? No more comments on the writing? The new campaign format? The ultracool maps? The freeform plug-your-own-adventure-ideas-into-the-plot approach? The secret of tempo? Tenoch? Sheesh, all that sweat, blood and sleepless nights and nary a review?


Well you've already got some positive comments from me. And I'm not someone who is prone to saying nice things for the sake of it, so you can take that as a very solidly grounded opinion. I really like it. I think it's very good for a number of reasons. However, I've only read about just over a third of the entirety of it. When I've gone through most of it, I'll post my review. I already have six paragraphs of draft review for it, but it wouldn't be fair to post without having read nearly all of it. smile.gif

It's about 170 pages long and some of us have social lives, you know! Patience. We're still digesting it all, but I think the general reaction is that we like the taste. smile.gif

Khadim.
Prime Mover
Baby incoming soon and x-mas around the corner, budget demands I wait on print release...be happy to review once I got it! So far sounds like a great product, really looking forward to finaly finding out the "secret", please spoiler tag it if someone mentions it! twirl.gif
Synner
QUOTE (knasser @ Oct 26 2008, 06:00 PM) *
It's about 170 pages long and some of us have social lives, you know! Patience. We're still digesting it all, but I think the general reaction is that we like the taste. smile.gif

You're right, of course, I'm just so used to Dumpshock tearing every book apart within 24 hours of release that the wait is getting to me. nyahnyah.gif

Seriously though, there are several reasons I'm more impatient than usual for feedback. In many ways Ghost Cartels as a product and as a story/campaign is telling of where I want to take Shadowrun as developer. It was a complicated book to put together for a number of reasons - I believe at one point I thought it was cursed - but I'm quite enthusiastic about the way it came out. Bobby, Malik, Jennifer, Jay, Elissa and Lars produced some excellent material, Sean added some awesome maps, and Adam brought it all together with his usual flair.

In many respects Ghost Cartels is something of a departure for us. With it we're introducing a new format for campaigns, one I'm anxious to get feedback on. The new style melds the best elements IMHO of a "canned" adventure (character stats, location descriptions and maps, and fiction elements to be used as handouts), with elements of the ‚Äútrack‚Ä? campaigns (the freeform adventure frameworks and the profiles of major players and events) and ‚Äúmetaplot‚Ä? adventures (the fiction/in character sections and the overall narrative continuity of the metaplot). We also conceived it so that it actually encourages gamemasters to add their own adventures to the overall plot and develop things beyond the existing frameworks. But that's not all, Ghost Cartels was developed to closely integrate with published material, both location books and rulebooks so that groups that have been buying into SR4 get the extra value for their buck - and frankly, so we pimp the stuff that's in those books. This is something new in terms of SR products and I'm very keen to see how it goes over with the fans.

Storywise, I'm very happy with what we came up with and what all the writers brought to the project - from Fatima's demise to Haze's addiction to Primeira Vaga. I can honestly say this is how I envision Shadowrun 4 plots in the future. Ghost Cartels has the global impact of our biggest metaplots (in it's way) while remaining true to the street-level perspective and storytelling that we've tried to implement with the new edition. It has the gritty plotline, the background mystery, and the surprise twist (more on that soon) and yet the focus is very much on the player character's actions. Heck it literally "seeds" future plotlines.
Ancient History
Heh. BAD babies. Eheh.
Trobon
QUOTE (Synner @ Oct 26 2008, 11:45 AM) *
You're right, of course, I'm just so used to Dumpshock tearing every book apart within 24 hours of release that the wait is getting to me. nyahnyah.gif

Seriously though, there are several reasons I'm more impatient than usual for feedback. In many ways Ghost Cartels as a product and as a story/campaign is telling of where I want to take Shadowrun as developer. It was a complicated book to put together for a number of reasons - I believe at one point I thought it was cursed - but I'm quite enthusiastic about the way it came out. Bobby, Malik, Jennifer, Jay, Elissa and Lars produced some excellent material, Sean added some awesome maps, and Adam brought it all together.

In many respects Ghost Cartels is something of a departure for us. With it we're introducing a new format for campaigns, one I'm anxious to get feedback on. The new style melds the best elements IMHO of a "canned" adventure (character stats, location descriptions and maps, and fiction elements to be used as handouts), with elements of the ‚Äútrack‚Ä? campaigns (the freeform adventure frameworks and the profiles of major players and events) and ‚Äúmetaplot‚Ä? adventures (the fiction/in character sections and the overall narrative continuity of the metaplot). We also conceived it so that it actually encourages gamemasters to add their own adventures to the overall plot and develop things beyond the existing frameworks. But that's not all, Ghost Cartels was developed to closely integrate with published material, both location books and rulebooks so that groups that have been buying into SR4 get the extra value for their buck - and frankly, so we pimp the stuff that's in those books. This is something new in terms of SR products and I'm very keen to see how it goes over with the fans.

Storywise, I'm very happy with what we came up with and what all the writers brought to the project - from Fatima's demise to Haze's addiction to Primeira Vaga. I can honestly say this is how I envision Shadowrun 4 plots in the future. Ghost Cartels has the global impact of our biggest metaplots (in it's way) while remaining true to the street-level perspective and storytelling that we've tried to implement with the new edition. It has the gritty plotline, the background mystery, and the surprise twist (more on that soon) and yet the focus is very much on the player character's actions. Heck it literally "seeds" future plotlines.


Well that's good to know. I think knowing what you're looking for in terms of reviews is helpful for the process of giving feedback.

On the first point, the format, I've already given my opinion on it. I think that the adventure framework format is a great one for Shadowrun, giving adventures themselves in a very loose way and making them interconnect, but stay apart and have nice sequel ideas just by themselves makes a great read in my book. As I said, I feel encouraged to not only use some of the adventures from the book, but to make a nice campaign out of it, interconnecting the story with player plots and side tracks of my choosing. That's more than I could ever say about any of the other books. I really disliked Emergence because I felt it gave too little guidance, and Ghost Cartels is a great change of Pace.

On the second point, integrating other material, this is a tricky subject. On the one hand you want to give people who have the material more to do with it. However, on the other hand you can't make it unusable for those who don't have it. **NOTE: I am using Neo-Tokyo as my basis for this part** I think that, for the most part, this was accomplished. You made sure that anyone who didn't own it wouldn't feel left out, but in the end I didn't see enough that expanded or could be expanded from the use of other books. Some side-missions using the info from those books more heavily wouldn't have been too much I think, but all in all fairly well done.

Now onto the third and final part, the story. You've got the gritty, street level thing going pretty well for it. I think you've made a campaign that's both globetrotting and street level. It still has a good amount of surprises and mystery like I've come to expect from a Shadowrun game. The only thing that I would say is that the story is fairly linear and one way. Now, I know this is going to look like I am going against my first point, but I am trying to reconcile that in my head. The story in this book is meant to follow the path of the book. Now you can go off the path and there are places where you can make great offshoot campaigns based on a few things alone. However, this is no where near as prominent as it was in the older campaign books. There don't seem to be as many random things going on over on the side. There are some side-treks but these are tied into the original missions/storyline more than just "hey and this is happening" sort of stuff. However, given the choice of this style OR the Emergence style I would go for this one, but I do miss those random bits a little.

There. Those were the three big things you were specifically asking about and there is my opinion on them.
fistandantilus4.0
QUOTE (Backgammon @ Oct 26 2008, 10:44 AM) *
I personally am busy making extended WILL+LOG tests to resist buying the PDF cause I want to hard copy version.

That's precisely where I'm at as well.
Synner
@fistandantilus: whenever you do get it, expect the usual easter egg hunt...
Grinder
QUOTE (fistandantilus4.0 @ Oct 26 2008, 09:38 PM) *
That's precisely where I'm at as well.


Yeah, me too.
fistandantilus4.0
QUOTE (Synner @ Oct 26 2008, 05:27 PM) *
@fistandantilus: whenever you do get it, expect the usual easter egg hunt...



Sweet! You know how I love those. But we're moving right now and my financial advisor (read:wife) has advised me to wait.

Besides, for adventures, I really like to have something in front of me with actual pages. I just don't want to wait that long.
Sir_Psycho
Personally I'd love to get a look at a sample of these maps that have got people talking.
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