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Full Version: How is 4e simpler than 3e (sell me on the idea)?
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tete
Because I'm just not seeing it. For example you have replaced TNs which change in one dimension with Variable Thresholds and Dice Pool Modifiers which is two dimensions of change.
limejello10512
well I remember putting 3rd edition down cause I found it to be unplayable.... I don't know what possesd me to buy fourth ed but it is the game I am playing now....fantastic game....I find it simple and easy.

Also there is one demension to dice pools it's just the number of dice the target is always the same a 5 or 6 is always a hit....in 3rd the target and dice pool changed, and I don't know why it was confusing. everything also used weird different systems.....this doesn't everyhting is a variation of the dice pool system and it works very nicely. It's also easy to redesign everything. It what was up with power AND damge? Especially when damge was static? The damage system in this is way better. There are a bunch of other things too but it's been so long since I've played third ed that I don't remember.

HOWEVER

if you want some help I found some great cheat sheets here that pretty much sum up the book in 4 pages

http://www.geocities.com/grant_erswell/sr/index.htm

While tryin to find the above site I also came upon this but I haven't looked it all over yet so it might suck:

http://pavao.org/shadowrun/cheatsheets/
Apathy
Dice Mechanics
  • The old mechanic had you rolling a variable number of dice based on your stats, attributes, and lots of different modifiers against a variable target number based on difficult and lots of different modifiers. The number of dice rolled effects your success chance linearly, but changes in TN impacted your chances non-linearly, which made odds difficult to calculate. Does your opponent have better odds of hitting you with a TN 8 and 10 dice pool or do you have a better chance of hitting him with TN 12 and 15 dice? At the time I made tables to keep track of the stuff, but I was never able to just rattle the odds off the top of my head. Also meant that a given TN modifier could have wildly different impact depending on how many other modifiers stacked up with it (going from TN 6 to 7 was a lot different than going from TN 9 to 10.)
  • The new mechanic is completely linear. Fixed TN, and variable dice. Effectively, changing threshhold by one is the same as modifying the dice pool by 3 - still linear. You will always know that roughly a third of your DP will be hits on an average roll, so it's easy to guess your chances of beating the threshhold at a glance.

Rules Consistency
  • SR3 had very different paradigms for each group of actions. Matrix, Magic, Melee were all calculated differently, and it was tough to remember the distinctions. It's been too long since I've played SR3 and I can't remember many examples, but I do remember feeling that when SR4 came around that the rules were more consistent. Of course, the flip side of that is that the detractors would call it dumbed down.
  • SR4 didn't follow their own guideline for consistency in all cases. Matrix actions are still calculated differently than physical ones (which many of us dislike and have house-ruled away), for instance. But they're still more streamlined than the old rules. They no longer have different rules for hermetics vs shamans, etc.
Screaming Eagle
Simplifications:

THE MATRIX RULES - OMG! i'm not even sure where it start, that paranoia style colour coding, the program dependant TN's, the variable rating on all the different tasks depending on the system the grossly differing IC rules - all gone. On the sad side I had just figured it all out solidly when they switched

Then Magic rules - actually now unified, actually now using the same rules for everyone, not all good changes, but no serious complaints

The Chase rules - Still a nightmare, but whats a body to do.

No more pools - this is one of the few changes I outright didn't like but it does make teaching the game easier.

Bioware uses essence not its own tracking system

Less math to figure out how many dice you need to do hard things - this is the biggest simplification. The difficulties are far more transparent and it is rather easy to see how many dice you need to reliably do X task.

Things they haven't sold me on that are "simpler":
The new take on riggers - they ain't riggers. They don't feel like riggers in play and they don't make baby Jesus cry when behind the wheel when compared to a decker doing the same thing with a good command program.
tete
sure I'll buy that the skill increase is more linear with a fixed tn, but I don't feel that is simpler... Coming from the GM perspective I now have to calculate 2 things, the threshold and a dice pool modifier where as before all I had to calculate was target number. I understand many people find calculating a TN difficult, I never did, its just adding and subtracting. The new system isnt hard I just have to do the TN calculation twice now, once for dice pool and once for threshold.

sr3 was skill+any dice pool you wanted to add. Thats pretty much the same now only you don't get a choice is attribute+skill (except matrix that falls back to the sr2 rules of program+skill unless you use the optional rules)

dice pools were pre-calculated as karma, hacking, spell, combat + a couple optional ones. This again doesn't feel any harder than the new system just less options, i can't choose to save some of my pool for later.

Magic well ill buy into its better but i still wouldn't say simpler. A tied force to a spell just didn't make as much sense when they moved away from spell pool+force (sr2) to spell pool + skill (sr 3)

Bioware, ill buy into that...

Matrix that is a tough one using the standard rules they added a lot of skills (from 2 skills to 7) to keep track of making it "i roll what?" and made the decks more complicated by separating the MPCP into two components. But they removed the different TNs for each test. Programs are pretty much the same so I call that a wash.
Karoline
Wasn't it possible for the dice pools to change throughout a game? Which means you're still dealing with two numbers changing. Personally I think it is more complicated to keep track of a half dozen 'pools' which can change than to just use attribute + skill.

Also the TNs are fairly set and don't change a whole lot. Most TNs are actually opposed tests, which is alot easier to do in SR4 than SR3, as you don't have to calculate anything, you just roll the dice.

Never ran the matrix in SR3 so don't really know how different they are.
Screaming Eagle
Frankly having given 4th ed a shake down over the last year and change I have no preferance either way. If I had a group that wanted to play 3rd over 4th I'd be all over that.

I was REALLY fond of the "pool" rules and their ommision bothered me far more then the change in dice mechanincs ever could.
The Matrix has always been my weakest link in this game and I found the newer system more intuitive - still not actually intuitive, but more so.
I seem to recall there have always been thresholds, in opposed and extended tests as well as many spells (petrify comes to mind for some reason), but maybe I'm out of it (I am at work and far from my 1st and 3rd ed books, never did have a copy of second *weeps a single tear*).
I don't feel the need to wax poetic the "New and improved" system... because I don't feel it is greatly improved and if I had a group want to use first Ed. I would... now I want to run first Ed... dang...
Dragnar
SR3 had a lot of fake flexibility in it, that actually didn't make the game any better. Having "more dimensions of change" is actually a bad thing, as it makes probabilities harder (or even impossible) to gauge for the GM, while not actually allowing for all that much more significant probability spreads.
Case in point: How does the probability of success change if a character with a dicepool of 9 changes from having a TN of 8 to a TN of 9, compared to reducing the dicepool to 7? If the GM can't eyeball the difference within any reasonable margin of correctness, the technically "more gradual probability" becomes utterly meaningless in an actual game.
Malachi
I also seem to be one of the few people that didn't like Dice Pools (neither did my players). They were a far too abstract, "gamey" concept for us. What were they supposed to represent exactly? They were these incredibly abstract things, only somewhat related to your character's combat abilities, and were very difficult to explain/grasp for new players. Especially so since you needed to pre-declare them at the beginning of the combat turn, we always forgot to do that. What it boiled down to was that any roll in a Combat Turn that you really "cared" about, you doubled your dice. With SR4's mechanic of adding your Attribute to skill to form the "dice pool" it's just like you're throwing your Pool dice into every test. It's also a whole lot easier for new players to understand.
PBI
Dice pools in Sr1-3 never changed unless the stats they were based on changed, so, no, you never had to recalculate pools that often.
Shinobi Killfist
SR 4 unified things, which is a bit simpler. But on the other hand I never thought it was that hard to learn a sub-system if I was going to be using it. If I am playing adecker I will learn the decking rules, so its not a big deal IMO.

SR 2&3 there core mechanic I actually found easier. A variable TN makes it easier on both sides of the table for me. Before it was simple you roll your skill and what ever pool you were going to put into it, and then the GM says how many 6's did you get. Bang easy. Now you are constantly adjusting how many dice you roll for recoil, damage, lighting etc. A fairly constant amount of dice to roll and the GM says your TN is X just seems easier to me. I understand its basically the same thing but in reverse for 4e, but again for me it was easier.

SR2 was my favorite, though SR1 is a close 2nd. Sr3 I found less impressive, and SR4 even less impressive. You know I like unique sub-systems. I don't think one rule fits all the things in play. I don't feel it added much in the way of difficulty but it added immensely to the game play.

Karoline
Well, it may have been all well and good for each player to know their own sub-system and not all that difficult, but the GM needs to know them all, which puts on a fair bit of extra work.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Oct 9 2009, 11:33 PM) *
SR 4 unified things, which is a bit simpler. But on the other hand I never thought it was that hard to learn a sub-system if I was going to be using it. If I am playing adecker I will learn the decking rules, so its not a big deal IMO.

SR 2&3 there core mechanic I actually found easier. A variable TN makes it easier on both sides of the table for me. Before it was simple you roll your skill and what ever pool you were going to put into it, and then the GM says how many 6's did you get. Bang easy. Now you are constantly adjusting how many dice you roll for recoil, damage, lighting etc. A fairly constant amount of dice to roll and the GM says your TN is X just seems easier to me. I understand its basically the same thing but in reverse for 4e, but again for me it was easier.

SR2 was my favorite, though SR1 is a close 2nd. Sr3 I found less impressive, and SR4 even less impressive. You know I like unique sub-systems. I don't think one rule fits all the things in play. I don't feel it added much in the way of difficulty but it added immensely to the game play.

You're offloading much of your work to the already overloaded GM. Have you no shame?
Shinobi Killfist
I didn't think it was much extra work when I GMd SR2. Magic had like 4 or 5 basic rules to learn.
1. Spellcasting
2. summoning
3. drain
4. astral

Decking was a bit of a bitch but I have no problem learning the basics and letting the player handle the rules side a bit. Really how much did I have to learn as a GM, a few basic program and IC types, and the basic rating system. The mechanics weren't exactly far off form the normal mechanics. You rolled X dice based on the program etc and your TN was the opposed attribute. The player had the fun time of learning like 40 different programs.
Dreadlord
I was running a group of players new to Shadowrun with 3rd edition. We quit in mid-campaign, because we all found the system non-linear, chock-full of speacial-case rules, and WAY too much load on the GM.

Plus, 2 words: Skill. Web. UUUUgggghhh!!!!

Now, I am running 4th edition, and the basic dice mechanic is fairly uniform throughout the game. Thresholds (which you need only occasionally) are pretty standard: 1, 2, 3, 5 hits needed depending on difficulty. Extended tests are a breeze as well, and with the new -1 die cumulative per roll, it is now much more exciting than it was where it just wasted real time and game time.

I hate to admit this as a GM, but often I don't stat out every opponent, I just assign basic pools for everything, and fake it! I couldn't do that as easily with SR3.
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Oct 9 2009, 06:42 PM) *
You're offloading much of your work to the already overloaded GM. Have you no shame?


Um, I was the GM. And I really did not find it much more difficult to learn, and I found it easier to run.
Paul
I don't think 4e is simpler, but it is different. But that's my vote.
cndblank
QUOTE (Karoline @ Oct 9 2009, 04:39 PM) *
Well, it may have been all well and good for each player to know their own sub-system and not all that difficult, but the GM needs to know them all, which puts on a fair bit of extra work.



AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is no comparison in the game systems.

3rd was a huge step forward but they kept adding more and more subsystems.



Just getting rid of those horrible Rigger vs Spider/security rigger combat system made 4th worth it.

And you can run your campaign in 2050 and play down the wireless.
Joe Chummer
One changed aspect I like better is the handling of damage. In SR1-3, attacks could only inflict 4 amounts of damage:

Light wound - 1 box
Moderate wound - 3 boxes
Serious wound - 6 boxes
Deadly wound - 10 boxes

All characters had only 10 boxes on their damage monitor, regardless of metatype, and you could only scale damage up or down in whole-level increments, not individual boxes. So, if you already had a Serious wound, then took another Serious hit from the same weapon, you'd be out (and with 2 overflow boxes, to boot), even if you managed to scale the damage back from what started as a Deadly-level attack. If you take a Deadly hit with a fresh, clean Condition Monitor, you're out, no matter how well you did on your Damage Resistance Test.

With SR4 rules, you could possibly scale the damage of an attack down to 5 boxes, then you could take another hit from the same weapon and scale the hit back to 4 boxes. In this scenario, you'd have blood in your eyes and not be able to shoot straight, but you're not yet down for the count. And if you take a single hit with a power of 10 (enough to fill most characters' whole condition monitors at once), if you do well enough on your Damage Resistance Test, you might be able to scale the damage down to 9 boxes and at least be able to limp away. For those with survivability of their characters in mind (like myself; I hate senselessly killing characters with a bad roll), I think this is a big draw.

I also think that characters being able to have more than ten boxes of damage puts high-Body characters in a more realistic perspective.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Oct 9 2009, 11:58 PM) *
Um, I was the GM. And I really did not find it much more difficult to learn, and I found it easier to run.

You found it easier to run all of the mental maths for every player at your table? I question the reliability of that anecdote.
Joe Chummer
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Oct 9 2009, 10:51 PM) *
You found it easier to run all of the mental maths for every player at your table? I question the reliability of that anecdote.


Maybe the guy just has an "Affinity For Numbers" quality or something? grinbig.gif

Let's face it: some people are just good at math. I'm certainly not one of them. I think my mother took the "Hates Numbers with a Passion" quality at character creation.
the_real_elwood
I was always fine with 3rd edition, and the variable target number and dice pool thing never bothered me. Sure, the rules then made it worthless to spend the effort to move your target numbers from a 7 to a 6, but that was never a problem for our groups.

I think the biggest advantage is the simplified way that magic works over all disciplines, and the further integration of the matrix rules. Our 3E groups never played with a decker, partly because no one wanted to, but partly because for most of the time the decker would have been sitting around the table doing nothing.
Dikotana
SR4's Matrix and rigging are hands-down better, because those don't become single-player games with lots of observers.

SR4 unifies rules. Things work the same way, and if you learn how SR4 works you can handle SR4. SR3 has subsystems. They're oddball, they require a lot of learning or accepting that you, the player, don't quite get how that decker/rigger/mage/bioware works. It's okay. The GM needs to know more, which can be either good or bad. Running SR3 on the fly isn't much different from running SR4, though. You can make up dice pools and stats for challenges on the fly for either if you know what you're doing.

TNs? Yes, the probability is weird. I usually keep a cheat sheet of odds handy.

Bottom line: The games work differently. SR4 is definitely more newbie-friendly, but all the special rules for SR3 are a lot of fun if you like special rules. (You do definitely want a GM capable of picking and choosing, though. Anyone trying to force the surgery rules on players deserves to lose said players!) SR4 is simpler in learning curve and rules; SR3 is simple enough once you've played a few times in a few roles.
Cain
With the exception of the Vehicle rules, SR4 is not simpler than SR3. Where the difference lies is that SR4 is written much better than SR3, making it more accessible. The writing quality and layout in SR4 are far superior, especially when you consider that FASA always had serious layout issues. This makes it look simpler, but it's actually an illusion.

There are advantages-- the increased accessibility means you can use the book examples more often, rather than trying to come up with your own, thus decreasing the need for your own teaching skill. I've discovered, however, that it's easier to explain the core mechanic of SR3: I can explain that using only a sentence or two, while SR4 requires about three sentences and a handful of dice as a visual aid. Not that either is especially difficult to explain, it's just that SR4 is easier to explain with props.

QUOTE
SR4's Matrix and rigging are hands-down better, because those don't become single-player games with lots of observers.

I never had that problem. I had deckers go along with the party most of the time, and act in the same time as the others. For solo decking runs, it was no worse than the mage going on an astral space recon, or the team ninja going on a stealth recon.

QUOTE
Running SR3 on the fly isn't much different from running SR4, though. You can make up dice pools and stats for challenges on the fly for either if you know what you're doing.

Technically true, but SR3 NPC's are easier to make up on the fly and by prepwork. By the book, SR4 characters are built with BP's. So, you need to build each one from scratch. What's more, the same number of BP's won't guarantee you the same power level of character, so a 450-BP NPC is going to get his butt handed to him by a well-built 400-point runner.
tete
QUOTE (Dreadlord @ Oct 9 2009, 11:53 PM) *
I was running a group of players new to Shadowrun with 3rd edition. We quit in mid-campaign, because we all found the system non-linear, chock-full of speacial-case rules, and WAY too much load on the GM.

Plus, 2 words: Skill. Web. UUUUgggghhh!!!!

Now, I am running 4th edition, and the basic dice mechanic is fairly uniform throughout the game. Thresholds (which you need only occasionally) are pretty standard: 1, 2, 3, 5 hits needed depending on difficulty. Extended tests are a breeze as well, and with the new -1 die cumulative per roll, it is now much more exciting than it was where it just wasted real time and game time.

I hate to admit this as a GM, but often I don't stat out every opponent, I just assign basic pools for everything, and fake it! I couldn't do that as easily with SR3.


There was no skill web in 3e...You either defaulted to a similar skill for +2TN or back to the attribute for +3. The skill groups were almost the same as they are now just you could only take the individual skills but you could default to any of the others in that group. 1e and 2e had the skill web.

[edit]I have always done like you and never stated npcs. I find 4e no different from previous editions in this regard.

QUOTE (Cain @ Oct 10 2009, 04:35 PM) *
Where the difference lies is that SR4 is written much better than SR3, making it more accessible.


This is true since 4A especially...

QUOTE (Joe Chummer @ Oct 10 2009, 02:09 AM) *
If you take a Deadly hit with a fresh, clean Condition Monitor, you're out, no matter how well you did on your Damage Resistance Test.


Huh? if you make your damage resistance test you don't take that level of damage... I don't see how your "out"?
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Oct 9 2009, 11:51 PM) *
You found it easier to run all of the mental maths for every player at your table? I question the reliability of that anecdote.


There isn't any more mental math in 1-3e than there is in 4e. Giving a TN to hit is no different than giving a player the right # of penalty dice. I found it easier because I wasn't juggling a different number of dice all the time for the same NPC template. All the thugs just rolled 4 dice for shooting with he pistol or whatever I just adjusted the TN for each NPC, I didn't have to constantly switch up how many dice I had in my hand. Also I find different subsystems easier to remember in game than a exception based core rule system.

If you are talking probability, I could care less what the odds are. You have a TN is 8 roll and find out how many successes you got.

Also in 1-3e I found it a whole of a lot less necessary to make it a penalty based game like 4e is. 4e seems to try to feebly balance archetypes with different penalty systems. You should always have a background count of X or the mage is going to be too powerful, blah blah. If I constantly have to create modifiers to form the internal balance between archtypes I have a lot more work on my hands.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Oct 10 2009, 11:15 AM) *
There isn't any more mental math in 1-3e than there is in 4e. Giving a TN to hit is no different than giving a player the right # of penalty dice. I found it easier because I wasn't juggling a different number of dice all the time for the same NPC template. All the thugs just rolled 4 dice for shooting with he pistol or whatever I just adjusted the TN for each NPC, I didn't have to constantly switch up how many dice I had in my hand. Also I find different subsystems easier to remember in game than a exception based core rule system.

If you are talking probability, I could care less what the odds are. You have a TN is 8 roll and find out how many successes you got.

Also in 1-3e I found it a whole of a lot less necessary to make it a penalty based game like 4e is. 4e seems to try to feebly balance archetypes with different penalty systems. You should always have a background count of X or the mage is going to be too powerful, blah blah. If I constantly have to create modifiers to form the internal balance between archtypes I have a lot more work on my hands.


Maybe it is just me, but I think that the streamlining of 4th edition is a godsend, as it makes learning the game for new players a great deal easier than the older editions...

Also, I see no problems balancing the archtypes against each other (Real life is not balanced after all), without going to the extremes that you describe (such as background count always an X)...

Keep the Faith
Thanee
Changing the number of dice with fixed TN (which we already did back in 2nd Ed.) just seems more natural with a dice pool system, where it is the number of successes (yeah, hits), that is relevant.

It also plays out more intuitively at least for me. The streamlining surely plays a big part here.

Bye
Thanee
Cain
QUOTE
Maybe it is just me, but I think that the streamlining of 4th edition is a godsend, as it makes learning the game for new players a great deal easier than the older editions...

You're right, it is just you. biggrin.gif

SR4 is not really more streamlined than previous editions. It *is* better-written and laid out, which helps make it more intuitive and easy to grasp. But that's due to the writers, and not the system.
tete
Just a quick note I have had the chance to run 2 sessions for my wife as a decker/hacker. One in 3e and one in 4e, all she has played various short shots of shadowrun (maybe a half dozen games) and never really liked it. She has played the old sega game alot. She found 3e much easier to grasp. This is partly because I know 3e better and the adventure for 3e was a bit better suited for a decker to have alot to do. So its not quite apples to apples but it does show that at leased from a players perspective 3e can be more strait forward than 4e.

[edit] some of her thoughts... The target numbers made gauging how tough the node was easier. Tests were easier because all you rolled was the skill + a dice pool if you had one (which is obvious, hack pool for hacking). You didn't have to try and remember "oh yeah logic caps my successes". Program names were easier to understand what they did. There were less skills, you didn't have to look up if it was cybercombat or hacking for that test. Another example was datasearch & computer, too many similar skills.
Dikotana
QUOTE (Cain @ Oct 10 2009, 10:35 AM) *
Technically true, but SR3 NPC's are easier to make up on the fly and by prepwork. By the book, SR4 characters are built with BP's. So, you need to build each one from scratch. What's more, the same number of BP's won't guarantee you the same power level of character, so a 450-BP NPC is going to get his butt handed to him by a well-built 400-point runner.

If you're building large numbers of NPCs with the PC character creation rules, you're doing too much work. Most characters don't need to be fully fleshed out. They need attributes and they need dice pools for the tasks they're going to perform. Decide how good you want them to be at things, make up some numbers, and you've got yourself a character.

Priority saves a bit of time on character creation, but it's still possible to make a terrible character with poor point allocation. In particular, there's a huge barrier to entry with equipment in every SR edition. You've got a huge pile of nuyen to spend (nuyen.gif1,000,000 in SR3!) and a huge list to spend it on. Buying the right guns, cyberware, decks/commlinks, drones, vehicles, and so on and so forth requires a huge amount of knowledge of the system. If you know how to equip a character, you understand the game well enough that with priority or with build points you can put something together quick that isn't a trainwreck of a character sheet.

Joe Chummer
QUOTE (tete @ Oct 10 2009, 10:39 AM) *
Huh? if you make your damage resistance test you don't take that level of damage... I don't see how your "out"?


In 2nd/3rd Ed. every 2 net successes an attacker made increased the damage level of an attack by one. Every two net successes the defender made on their Damage Resistance Test reduced the damage level by one.

So, if you got hit with, say, a 16D attack (power 16, Deadly damage), and your ballistic armor only soaks up 4 points of the power of the attack (12D attack), and you rolled one success one your Damage Resistance Test (which means you rolled a 6, than rerolled the 6 [using the Rule of Six] and got a second 6, for a total of 12, thus hitting the Target Number of 12, which is a pretty good roll, all things considered), that one success is not enough to downgrade the damage of the attack to Serious (you need 2 net successes to reduce the damage by one level). Thus, you take Deadly damage. You cross off all ten boxes on your Condition Monitor, and you are unconscious. Not dead, per se, but most certainly out.
Cain
QUOTE
If you're building large numbers of NPCs with the PC character creation rules, you're doing too much work. Most characters don't need to be fully fleshed out. They need attributes and they need dice pools for the tasks they're going to perform. Decide how good you want them to be at things, make up some numbers, and you've got yourself a character.

That's what they need, but according to the rules, you must build them with BP's. I prefer eyeballing them as well, but by the book, I'm not allowed to. I believe that SR1-3 recommended the eyeball method as well.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Cain @ Oct 10 2009, 08:51 PM) *
You're right, it is just you. biggrin.gif

SR4 is not really more streamlined than previous editions. It *is* better-written and laid out, which helps make it more intuitive and easy to grasp. But that's due to the writers, and not the system.


This is where you and I would disagree... there are no more (or at least a minimum of) sub-systems, this is a big change from SR3 to SR4+ (where everything was a subsystem)... with everything working the same, it IS more streamlined in a lot of ways (though not everyone understandable likes this change)...

This change alone makes it more intuitive, though the layout and design also help a great deal in this matter as well...

Keep the Faith
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Cain @ Oct 11 2009, 09:16 AM) *
That's what they need, but according to the rules, you must build them with BP's. I prefer eyeballing them as well, but by the book, I'm not allowed to. I believe that SR1-3 recommended the eyeball method as well.



Why exactly are you building the NPC's with BP's?

Use the NPC templates and customize to your taste... takes about 2 minutes per NPC (if you even change anything)... the only NPC's built with BP/Karma are Prime Runners... if you are spending BP's for every NPC you stat, you are doing too much work...
Matsci
QUOTE (tete @ Oct 10 2009, 10:39 PM) *
Just a quick note I have had the chance to run 2 sessions for my wife as a decker/hacker. One in 3e and one in 4e, all she has played various short shots of shadowrun (maybe a half dozen games) and never really liked it. She has played the old sega game alot. She found 3e much easier to grasp. This is partly because I know 3e better and the adventure for 3e was a bit better suited for a decker to have alot to do. So its not quite apples to apples but it does show that at leased from a players perspective 3e can be more strait forward than 4e.

[edit] some of her thoughts... The target numbers made gauging how tough the node was easier. Tests were easier because all you rolled was the skill + a dice pool if you had one (which is obvious, hack pool for hacking). You didn't have to try and remember "oh yeah logic caps my successes". Program names were easier to understand what they did. There were less skills, you didn't have to look up if it was cybercombat or hacking for that test. Another example was datasearch & computer, too many similar skills.


Some of this seems to come from mis-understanding.

How are the Rating of nodes diffrent across editions?

4e is Skill+Program. How hard is that?

Logic Capping successes is a houserule.

Program Names are better? Half the time they have the same names.

To many skills? You use like 3 while hacking.
Are you fighting? Cybercombat
Are you Hacking? Hacking
Are you using a regular computer acess? Computer.

I agree with you about data search, though.

tete
QUOTE (Joe Chummer @ Oct 11 2009, 05:04 PM) *
In 2nd/3rd Ed. every 2 net successes an attacker made increased the damage level of an attack by one. Every two net successes the defender made on their Damage Resistance Test reduced the damage level by one.

So, if you got hit with, say, a 16D attack (power 16, Deadly damage), and your ballistic armor only soaks up 4 points of the power of the attack (12D attack), and you rolled one success one your Damage Resistance Test (which means you rolled a 6, than rerolled the 6 [using the Rule of Six] and got a second 6, for a total of 12, thus hitting the Target Number of 12, which is a pretty good roll, all things considered), that one success is not enough to downgrade the damage of the attack to Serious (you need 2 net successes to reduce the damage by one level). Thus, you take Deadly damage. You cross off all ten boxes on your Condition Monitor, and you are unconscious. Not dead, per se, but most certainly out.


I guess I never saw this as a problem as the attacker also needed pairs of successes to stage the damage up to deadly. The only weapons that do strait deadly (thus only needing one success) should kill you outright anyway. Thanks for the clarification as I can see what your saying.

QUOTE (Matsci @ Oct 11 2009, 07:45 PM) *
Some of this seems to come from mis-understanding.

How are the Rating of nodes diffrent across editions?

4e is Skill+Program. How hard is that?

Logic Capping successes is a houserule.

Program Names are better? Half the time they have the same names.

To many skills? You use like 3 while hacking.
Are you fighting? Cybercombat
Are you Hacking? Hacking
Are you using a regular computer acess? Computer.

I agree with you about data search, though.


So nodes are now system+firewall the PC gets no prior knowledge to what they need. The metagame of 1-3e the gm may tell you the target number before hand (rather than potentially having you roll infinitely with the rule of 6) thus giving away the difficulty of the system. So you could use the metagame knowledge to jack out.

The problem she had wasn't with the mechanics (which are actually a rehash of the original mechanics) it was with the terms. Deception is more strait forward as to what it does than Exploit. You have to remember to that she has played the sega game alot so the program names from 1-3 she kinda already knows.

Your correct, this was an error on my part thinking that the optional rule listed in 4A where you use attribute+skill hits capped by program rating worked the same in reverse for the regular system.

The programs that threw her off were all the new ones and the couple of name changes.

Yes your using 3 for hacking... compared to 1 skill in 1-3e.

Again this was not quite an apples to apples test. 4e had two things against it going into the test. 1) my experience level, I can run 1-3e in my sleep having run over 100 sessions of 2e, and over 50 of 3e and at leased a dozen of 1e while having at most 1/2 dozen games of 4e. 2) the 4e adventure was not as well designed to give the decker things to do. It was interesting to here my wifes points however coming from someone who as a whole doesn't like shadowrun. 3e was much easier for her grasp (I blame the sega game, and terms used). She has not read the books (other than some novels) so this in no way has anything to do with the quality of writing but just the choice in terms used.
Semerkhet
I'll throw in my .02 nuyen and say that I prefer 4th edition to any previous edition. I've been playing off and on since 1st edition in '89. My preference is based on a whole bunch of small reasons, many of which have been mentioned by other posters in this topic. I find the core die-rolling mechanic to be a vast improvement on the old one. I have a much easier time as GM estimating probable success for a given size die pool. I didn't much care for dice pools, so I don't miss them. I like Edge. I like the new BP chargen system. I like that not all magicians start at 6 Magic. I could go on in that vein for a while.

Biggest single selling point is the updated computer and communications tech. My tastes in near future gaming have trended toward the Transhuman Space direction, but I hate GURPS and I like the tech/magic mashup of Shadowrun. So I'm glad they've made the SR setting a little more in line with current trends in SF futurism; even if all the AR and wireless stuff is less than 20 years off, not 50. In fact, I'm considering introducing more Transhuman Space elements like full digital consciousness transfer and more prevalent nanotech.

Is it simpler overall? Maybe a little bit. Certainly more unified, but not much simpler. Doesn't matter to me, since simpler wasn't the selling point anyway.
Cain
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Oct 11 2009, 09:26 AM) *
This is where you and I would disagree... there are no more (or at least a minimum of) sub-systems, this is a big change from SR3 to SR4+ (where everything was a subsystem)... with everything working the same, it IS more streamlined in a lot of ways (though not everyone understandable likes this change)...

This change alone makes it more intuitive, though the layout and design also help a great deal in this matter as well...

Keep the Faith

I agree that there are no more subsystems, at least as far as the core book goes. But in both cases, the subsystems are just a twist on the core mechanic. (Discounting the Maneuver Score, of course--I *despise* the maneuver score.) The streamlining is largely an illusion.

QUOTE
Why exactly are you building the NPC's with BP's?

Because that's the rules. You are supposed to build each and every NPC using the PC rules, and eyeballing it or modifying the existing templates is technically cheating. I *like* modifying and eyeballing better, but I don't pretend
I'm following the rules when I do so.
Matsci
QUOTE (Cain @ Oct 11 2009, 08:27 PM) *
Because that's the rules. You are supposed to build each and every NPC using the PC rules, and eyeballing it or modifying the existing templates is technically cheating. I *like* modifying and eyeballing better, but I don't pretend
I'm following the rules when I do so.



Acording to my rulebook, only Prime Runners are build with BP. Grunts Abilities and Skills are dependent on their profession rating.
Blade
I have to admit that as a GM I always had trouble keeping track of the NPC's dice pools. I either had to write them down (which took time) or make them up (which wasn't fair).

Other than that I think that a good example of the streamlining is the posession spirits rules. In SR3 there was at least one ruleset per spirit type (bug, shedims, voodoo...) now there's only one posession rule that covers them all with little to no impact on the fluff. That's the kind of change the streamlining is about.
Medicineman
QUOTE (Cain @ Oct 10 2009, 11:51 PM) *
You're right, it is just you. biggrin.gif

SR4 is not really more streamlined than previous editions. It *is* better-written and laid out, which helps make it more intuitive and easy to grasp. But that's due to the writers, and not the system.


Well its also Me wink.gif
And Yes SR4 is more streamlined.
In SR3 you had Riggers and Deckers and they had different Rules or accessing the Matrix .As a Decker ,you needed
special "Riggerware" even though both used the same Matrix.
Now in SR4 they use the same stremlined Rules.Much better,much easier ,for Players and for the DM.
What about the MiJi Rules.3 separate Tracks,that made the Takingover of a Drone very cumbersome and lengthy.
What about slow and complex and difficult Matrix Rules in SR3 .I've been (and I'm still going) to a lot of Convenbtions. Most often SR3 GM's didn't want any Deckers because the Rules where very Complex. Now in SR4 the hacker is a needed
Member of the Runners Party 'cause the rules are easier (I used to Play some SR3 Deckers, my SR4 Hackers are much easier to Play)
Magic : !!
in SR3 you had one Set of Rules for each different Tradition.One for Hermetics,one for Schamans,Voodoo, WuJen,etc. They where all different Rules,the Spirits where all different.
Now in SR4 its all Streamlined you have the Same Kind of Spirits no matter what kind of Mage you are (they're only different in One way ,when theyre Possession Spirits)
so its so much easier for GM and Player alike
Now its the Fluff of the Tradition thats more Important,so its more "Roleplay" (I hope you get my Meaning,sometimes its not Easy for me to find the right Words blush.gif )

Oh,one more Thing
Cain Is wrong,when he says that SR4 NPCs have to be Build with BP.
Its their Profession Rating thats important. only High Class NPCs are build with BPs (Same as SR3 NSCs)

With the right Dance (I Hope)
Medicineman
darune
I have played 3rd edition from time to time in past, but once we really got to try out 4th edition i have to say it is a joy now.

I always found the setting to be interesting enough to play the game even if that meant I was not too fond of the core mechanics and combat system that was overly complicated.

Add to that, that most of the times we played without magic in the setting and without deckers (since the decker was a solo game anyways, we used an NPC for that).

The biggest change is truely the better layout of the book, even if a few references are off, it is nothing compared to 3rd.

I remember it was very frustating trying to grasp rules for rigging (we didn't have expansion book for riggers). It was basicly 1-2 page in the book that gently touched the concept of rigging or so i recall.
Another example i remember was me asking another player, what this table column was short for, we found out it was not even in the book. That is so far out its not even funny.

Actually it is alot of small and big things that makes it simpler, that is best described as a generel overhaul. That is not say that it has become very simple, there are still a lot of speciel rules, most related to modifiers and the process of accomplishing something.

There are other things as well, like edge and new BP system, that makes 4th cool.
Karoline
Been a while since I looked at 3e, but as I recall the 3e program names where really confusing. Names like sleaze are way less obvious than 'stealth'. 'exploit' should be easy enough for anyone that knows english most of the time.

Didn't 3e have a bunch of other unclear names along the lines of sleaze and schmooze?

I think your girlfriend/wife (Don't remember what you said) got a bit of a biased view since you yourself are exceedingly more experienced at running 3e than 4e, and her previous experience with the SNES game (Which is awesome by the way). She isn't all that objective when she has had tons of experience with the old system and none with the new.

Stealth, attack, data bomb, encrypt, armor, medic. All the 4e names seem entirely self explanatory to me.
Semerkhet
QUOTE (Cain @ Oct 11 2009, 10:27 PM) *
Because that's the rules. You are supposed to build each and every NPC using the PC rules, and eyeballing it or modifying the existing templates is technically cheating. I *like* modifying and eyeballing better, but I don't pretend I'm following the rules when I do so.


As a GM, there are no rules, only guidelines. Nothing I do, if done in the service of making the game fun for everyone, is cheating.
cndblank
I picked up SR 1 the first Gencon it came out, ran a nine year campaign using Third at the end.

Been running SR4 for almost 2 years now.

SR4 does a wonderful job covering all the ground that 3rd did using a fairly uniformed game mechanic.

I had serious trouble keeping up with all the game mechanic subsystems towards the end. And some of them were pretty bad (like rigger on rigger combat for control of a building system).

No knock on third, but 4th is better written and they already knew everything they needed to cover so it is much better organized.

Yes I miss some of the detail in third, but having simpler game mechanics that are so much easier to learn or teach really makes it worth while to me.



tete
QUOTE (Semerkhet @ Oct 11 2009, 11:36 PM) *
Is it simpler overall? Maybe a little bit. Certainly more unified, but not much simpler.


I think that sums up how I am feeling about it but I started this thread because people kept telling me move your group to 4e because its simpler. The more I read/play 4e the more I feel that while it has its improvements, simpler is not one of them.

QUOTE (Medicineman @ Oct 12 2009, 09:45 AM) *
What about slow and complex and difficult Matrix Rules in SR3 .I've been (and I'm still going) to a lot of Convenbtions. Most often SR3 GM's didn't want any Deckers because the Rules where very Complex. Now in SR4 the hacker is a needed
Member of the Runners Party 'cause the rules are easier (I used to Play some SR3 Deckers, my SR4 Hackers are much easier to Play)


I disagree, deckers have been easy to play since vr2.0, infact you can play them with little to no mini game (at leased no more than a face character or anyone else gets) unless you get wrapped up in the fluff of describing the matrix. Most of the time you can handle matrix runs in 1-4 rolls, unless they set off the alarm and theres matrix combat its pretty quick. The new rules may be slightly faster just because the target threshold against all the tests is the same where as in 3e they could change the target number of a test based on action. The only way they are more useful is the fluff, now with common wireless (3e had wireless just not everywhere) and hacking peoples cyberware they have more they can do but thats a timeline thing not a rules thing.

QUOTE (Karoline @ Oct 12 2009, 01:28 PM) *
Didn't 3e have a bunch of other unclear names along the lines of sleaze and schmooze?


Yes, all the more uncommon programs had gonzo names. 4e lines up more with common computer terms (more so), however if your not in the biz the term doesn't mean anything to you.
Semerkhet
QUOTE (tete @ Oct 12 2009, 11:27 AM) *
I think that sums up how I am feeling about it but I started this thread because people kept telling me move your group to 4e because its simpler. The more I read/play 4e the more I feel that while it has its improvements, simpler is not one of them.


Let me use slightly more precise terminology. If you think of the SR4 rules as a systems hierarchy chart, I think you'll see a smaller number of higher order levels in SR4 compared to SR1,2,3, representing the (mostly) unified core mechanics. At the bottom level you still have the same bewildering variety of little things to remember like all the DP modifiers and sub-mechanics like Full Defense, Surprise, Grenade Scatter, and on and on. SR4 is less complicated because there are fewer higher order levels, but it's just as complex as previous editions because of the number of entries in the lowest order level. For instance, in 3rd edition you have the 3rd order level entries of Magic, Combat, Rigging, Matrix and others I'm forgetting. Under Magic you had a lower order entry for each of the traditions, and each of those traditions had a set of lowest order rules. SR4 dispenses with all of the second order entries for the Magic system, essentially turning it from a three-tier to a two-tier system.

Is this making sense?
Cain
QUOTE
In SR3 you had Riggers and Deckers and they had different Rules or accessing the Matrix .As a Decker ,you needed
special "Riggerware" even though both used the same Matrix.
Actually, you didn't need that; your decker could add an extra datajack, but then he could rig and deck with the best of them. I ran a rigger/decker for a long time, and I never had different trules for accessing the matrix. You didn't control drones through the matrix.

QUOTE
What about slow and complex and difficult Matrix Rules in SR3 .I've been (and I'm still going) to a lot of Convenbtions. Most often SR3 GM's didn't want any Deckers because the Rules where very Complex. Now in SR4 the hacker is a needed
Member of the Runners Party 'cause the rules are easier (I used to Play some SR3 Deckers, my SR4 Hackers are much easier to Play)
I've heard a lot of people complain about the Matrix rules, but few (if any!) can point specifically to what makes it a problem. I think it comes down to the writing again: SR3 was obtuse and impenetrable, while SR4 is easy to read and accessible. That makes SR4 seem to be easier, since it is more inviting. But the systems themselves are still very complicated. SR4 also uses a bundle of special-case rules for the Matrix, especially if you add in Unwired.
Paul
Nice to see you haven't changed a bit Cain. I'm glad you feel the way you do, but not everyone agrees with you. Feel free to give me several more pages of you reinforcing that you like it, but for my dollar and my personal preference no version of Shadowrun, and I've played all 4, does the Matrix in a way I like, or find useful at my weekly table top game.
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