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BigGreenSquid
I am currently running a SR4A game and we are at least a year out RL from 2075, however I thought it might be better to gradually shift my game from 4 to 5. In most areas, the shift will be rather seamless. Not so much with the Matrix. I could use some transition/retcon advice on moving my game from 4 to 5e.

I thought SR4 did a really good job in reflecting the current changes in technological development (AR is already becoming a reality via smartphones and google glass). More than just changing the very nature of the Matrix to something that made a lot more sense in light of modern technology, the Crash 2.0 was a very clear event that would indeed call for a very rapid and dramatic change to the existing Matrix infrastructure.

There really isnt a clear demarcation between Matrix 2.0 and 3.0 (as it is nearly as big a change to the underlying infrastructure of the the Matrix as from 1.0 to 2.0). More importantly, a change that large would require an investment of nuyen to nearly rival that of the post crash recovery. Additionally, switching from a wireless mesh network that did not require much in the way of physical telephony to a grid based architecture (I am inferring from the fluff it would be more of a cellular type design) would require massive roll out in both time and manpower. Finally, making a drastic overnight switch is just asinine from a business perspective. If you are able to put out your first gen Matrix 3 system today, you wouldn't begin to think of phasing out your Matrix 2 equipment until the end of its life-cycle (a minimum of two years if you use the current cellphone contracting system as a model). The return of the cyberdeck might be great from a grognard meta-game perspective, but an utterly ridiculous stumble backwards as a technology design model and just doesn't make sense from a story perspective.

One thing I have already begun to implement is that cyberdecks never went away. The current commlinks listed in the books are in fact not commlinks but cyberdecks and as a cyberdeck they function exactly as described. Commlinks have much lower processing power. A commlink with a system of 5 cannot run 5 programs before its response degrades but 5 points of programs before its response degrades. So it is good running a stealth 3 program, but add on a encrypt 3 (for a total of 6 rating points) and its response drops.
Voran
Yeah, I'd be inclined to some sort of 'cyberdecks never went away' thing. I mean otherwise, if we go from timeline between the sudden shift in the Matrix, to Edition 5, that means all the respective corps magically had new cyberdecks able to work with this new system and able to churn them out for retail prices the same as the OLD cyberdecks. Much less be able to handwave the new setup for hosts and stuff.

I'd also say if you're actually converting an old SR4 char to the SR5 format, you get a freebie upgrade to 'internal cyberdeck' if you previously had 'internal commlink'. I'm not fond of the new costs of the actual decks either, but whatever smile.gif
RHat
You could just say that the Denver stuff from Storm Front occurs earlier than it actually does...
IridiosDZ
Storm Front also has some of the fluff about the reasoning for the change to the new systems and some of the events leading up to the roll out of the new Matrix. It implies that the roll out had been in the works in 2074 and only went 'live' in 2075. You could incorporate some of the roll out in your runs as things like hijacking new host equipment that is being delivered. Or stealing new cyberdecks that were meant for corporate spiders.
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (RHat @ Aug 14 2013, 01:33 AM) *
You could just say that the Denver stuff from Storm Front occurs earlier than it actually does...


Now that is a very workable option. From that point gradually rolling out the new matrix would be workable.
RHat
QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 14 2013, 02:36 AM) *
Now that is a very workable option. From that point gradually rolling out the new matrix would be workable.


As written, it really seems like they were just waiting for an excuse - a lot of stuff might already be in place.
Trigger
They didn't just go 'poof' and there was a new Matrix, it was in development and the structure was being subtly built over the course of a year. The GOD even invited FastJack and other hackers to test the new protocols, leading to the shadow community discovering just how screwed they were going to be if they continued to try and hack with their current 'links. New programs had to be written, new hardware was cobbled together from what they had available (also probably from various runs and data steals) and the world at large gave next to no shits. Why? Because it didn't impact them at all. The normal wageslave could still use his old link and now he had a nice, private Corporate grid to do so on, free of the spam of those SINless on the public grid. GOD was stronger and could protect the common man and the SINners at large were happy. The Megacorps knew it was coming and so they were prepared, they signed off on its implementation in the first place, and so their deckers have no issue getting well equipped and out there, protecting corporate assets. And finally, the criminal element is knocked down a handful of pegs, scrambling to adapt to the changes. Cyberdecks are expensive because they are still new and rare as fuck, and the cyberpunk element of this edition got stronger for it IMO.

Also, a lot of the fluff information about the build up and switch to the new Matrix protocols can be found in Storm Front, if you want to read about them.
Voran
I'm not sure specifically what it is that discomforts me about it. The needlessly expensive cyberdecks (from a player perspective) combined with the anemic SR5 'rewards' ruleset sure. Basically it goes, "Here's how we want you to play it. But if you do, realistically it'll be years for any chars to upgrade. Unless yknow, handwave it." In which case, why make it so in the first place? Either a GM has to come up with handwavium guidelines to boost income so they can afford things at list price, change the rules so the list prices are like...10x less than what they are to make them feasible, or do the 'plot device' thing of "ooh I'm giving you an excalibur, but its part of an adventure!" Which then bypasses the rules entirely.

I'm actually fine with the mechanics of the new matrix SR5 tho.
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (Trigger @ Aug 14 2013, 05:24 AM) *
Also, a lot of the fluff information about the build up and switch to the new Matrix protocols can be found in Storm Front, if you want to read about them.


Thanx, this was one element I was absolutely missing. I had not read that material as I have the next 3-4 months worth of material already mapped out and we switch out GM's on occasion. As a curtsey rule to the other guys at the table who GM we have agreed not to read campaign material outside what we are currently running and as the other GM's if they had planned on using specific material before we start using it.

One of the biggest complaints I had heard/read about the Matrix stretching back to SR1 was that the decker spent a bunch of time doing things while the rest of the party sat around on their thumbs. Since all of us are RL techgeeks, we happen to like the Matrix and want it to be a significant part of our games. Every one of the players who's character is not a Matrix toon built a secondary character at 80% of their primary character's Karma. These characters are too young to be full blown shadowrunners, so they do not accompany the party on the run, they are hired for matrix support only. Matrix runs in my game are significantly more difficult and complex than they would be in a normal game, so there is very little chance the two members of the party with matrix abilities could pull of their portion of the mission by themselves. Watching the party work to connect their target node to the matrix proper so the secondary characters can assist on the matrix run is probably the most enjoyable part of my evening.

All that, was to get to this simple observation. The hackers in the party work together for the purchase/coding/patching of (pirate) software. This only makes sense, and as a group they have every single program at 6 or better. It only took about 4 games for them to achieve this, so I can see some of the merits of the new system. However, this is far from the case with the technomancers in the group. The new system would totally screw them over, stripping them of their greatest asset, flexibility.

Any ideas on how to fix this?
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (Voran @ Aug 14 2013, 05:56 AM) *
I'm not sure specifically what it is that discomforts me about it. The needlessly expensive cyberdecks (from a player perspective) combined with the anemic SR5 'rewards' ruleset sure. Basically it goes, "Here's how we want you to play it. But if you do, realistically it'll be years for any chars to upgrade. Unless yknow, handwave it." In which case, why make it so in the first place? Either a GM has to come up with handwavium guidelines to boost income so they can afford things at list price, change the rules so the list prices are like...10x less than what they are to make them feasible, or do the 'plot device' thing of "ooh I'm giving you an excalibur, but its part of an adventure!" Which then bypasses the rules entirely.

I'm actually fine with the mechanics of the new matrix SR5 tho.


I have really been playing up the skillwired workforce element in my games. If I were to go with these unrealistic prices, there is no way the vast majority of wageslaves would be unskilled drones equipped with skillwires. I think what bugs me the most about 5e is the way the devs are disgusting bootlickers to the 3e grognards. I can only push my suspension of disbelief so far, and most of what they have done makes absolutely no sense. You would think they might have at least consulted with a college freshman who and taken information Security or Economics 101 before writing some of this crap.
Epicedion
QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 14 2013, 02:31 PM) *
the devs are disgusting bootlickers


Wow, dude.
Voran
QUOTE (Epicedion @ Aug 14 2013, 02:45 PM) *
Wow, dude.

Jeez, yeah. I mean disagreement is fine, but ...jeez.
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (Voran @ Aug 14 2013, 12:49 PM) *
Jeez, yeah. I mean disagreement is fine, but ...jeez.


Ok, maybe that was a little harsh. To any devs out there who might be lurking, mea culpa. However, it seems like a lot of things were done for nostalgia purposes without applying common sense or better yet business sense as this is a world rule by corporations.
RHat
As far as the skillwires go, well, that's actually part of how they control their workforce. The wageslaves owe them the cost of the skillwires, implantation, and maintenance, and cannot leave without paying that off. With, presumably, interest.

As far as technomancers go, they're properly screwed - I'm rolling a fix around in my head, but it will be some time before that can possibly be considered usable.
Glyph
I would assume the workers don't own the skillwires they are implanted with at all. If they leave, they have to stop by the surgical wing to give the corporation back its property. And the high retail cost of skillwires and skillsofts keeps any would-be entrepreneurs from giving them any competition. All that said, though, I still think the opportunity cost to shadowrunners is too high for skillwires/skillsofts.
RHat
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 14 2013, 08:09 PM) *
I would assume the workers don't own the skillwires they are implanted with at all. If they leave, they have to stop by the surgical wing to give the corporation back its property.


That could be done, but I don't think it suits the corps' interests as well.
Voran
One also assumes that corps have ways to make wageslaves not leave, heck the wageslaves don't WANT to leave. And even the junk ones can get recycled and reprogrammed smile.gif
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 14 2013, 08:09 PM) *
I would assume the workers don't own the skillwires they are implanted with at all. If they leave, they have to stop by the surgical wing to give the corporation back its property. And the high retail cost of skillwires and skillsofts keeps any would-be entrepreneurs from giving them any competition. All that said, though, I still think the opportunity cost to shadowrunners is too high for skillwires/skillsofts.


For most, I have been treating them like were leased, that way any wageslave who up and ran was a criminal in the eyes of the law (grand-theft).

Has there been any justification by the devs as to why the nuyen has hyper-inflated between 2074 - 2075? Are prices still ramping, is the value of the nuyen still tanking? It might be a good story element, if worked properly.
Sendaz
Part of the price hiking for lots of stuff is from here
RHat
QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 15 2013, 06:21 PM) *
For most, I have been treating them like were leased, that way any wageslave who up and ran was a criminal in the eyes of the law (grand-theft).

Has there been any justification by the devs as to why the nuyen has hyper-inflated between 2074 - 2075? Are prices still ramping, is the value of the nuyen still tanking? It might be a good story element, if worked properly.


No more nanotech means more difficult manufacturing and implantation, and has also caused a major recession.
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Aug 15 2013, 06:34 PM) *
Part of the price hiking for lots of stuff is from here


Thanx Sendaz that is really helpful, I will have fun twisting this into a wicked plot-line. Do you know if there is a Jackpoint archive anywhere? I would like to find all of the fluff text that isn't in a book.
RHat
QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 15 2013, 06:53 PM) *
Thanx Sendaz that is really helpful, I will have fun twisting this into a wicked plot-line. Do you know if there is a Jackpoint archive anywhere? I would like to find all of the fluff text that isn't in a book.


You may also be interested in Splintered States and Stolen Souls, the books where this plotline is expected to be developed further.
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (RHat @ Aug 15 2013, 06:36 PM) *
No more nanotech means more difficult manufacturing and implantation, and has also caused a major recession.


I may end up deviating from cannon, but I think I might take this and run with it. Why should we think that inflation should slowdown? And if nanotech is involved in the manufacure of soy based foods, who's to say it isn't involved in every step of the food production process from seeds and soil, to cattle in vetro, all the way up. Manufacturing should be just the tip of the iceberg.
RHat
QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 15 2013, 07:03 PM) *
I may end up deviating from cannon, but I think I might take this and run with it. Why should we think that inflation should slowdown? And if nanotech is involved in the manufacure of soy based foods, who's to say it isn't involved in every step of the food production process from seeds and soil, to cattle in vetro, all the way up. Manufacturing should be just the tip of the iceberg.


Sure, but I was specifically referring to the forces acting on the prices of 'ware. Like I said, there's a major recession (at least, according to that Jackpoint post), which is going to be caused by the issues plaguing just about every sector.
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (RHat @ Aug 15 2013, 07:05 PM) *
Sure, but I was specifically referring to the forces acting on the prices of 'ware. Like I said, there's a major recession (at least, according to that Jackpoint post), which is going to be caused by the issues plaguing just about every sector.


Sure, but not every sector impacts the economy equally. How much is all the tech in the world worth when you are hungry and the prospect of acquiring food isn't even a speck on the horizon. People with endure a great many things so long as they have their bread and circuses, but you take away either and the whole party falls apart.
Voran
I appreciate the link to the macro/nano stuff, but at the same time that's whats frustrating about this game at times, now its really a MAKE A MAGICUSER constrained choice kinda thing.

In some ways its also a hearty "Go F yourself" to anyone buying earlier versions (yknow, supporting the product line) because the heavyhanded 'haha not backward compatible with previous editions' feel.

Coming soon Sixth Edition: We call it Earthdawn cause, well, tech is fantasy age again! Magic for everyone!

RHat
QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 15 2013, 07:20 PM) *
Sure, but not every sector impacts the economy equally. How much is all the tech in the world worth when you are hungry and the prospect of acquiring food isn't even a speck on the horizon. People with endure a great many things so long as they have their bread and circuses, but you take away either and the whole party falls apart.


Yeah, and the nanotech issues aren't hitting every sector equally. Could get a lot of runs out of companies having to adapt to the nanotech revolt, though.

For reference, though, I don't think it's causing the entertainment sector anywhere near as much trouble. Food might have gotten harder to get for the lower strata, though.

QUOTE (Voran @ Aug 15 2013, 08:41 PM) *
I appreciate the link to the macro/nano stuff, but at the same time that's whats frustrating about this game at times, now its really a MAKE A MAGICUSER constrained choice kinda thing.

In some ways its also a hearty "Go F yourself" to anyone buying earlier versions (yknow, supporting the product line) because the heavyhanded 'haha not backward compatible with previous editions' feel.

Coming soon Sixth Edition: We call it Earthdawn cause, well, tech is fantasy age again! Magic for everyone!


Except that they massively increased the resources available. Many prices went up by a greater proportion, but a lot of that was balance changes that needed to be made. And as long as you adjust prices accordingly, pretty much everything from before is compatible (other than nanotech stuff and basically the entirety of Unwired).
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (RHat @ Aug 15 2013, 09:16 PM) *
pretty much everything from before is compatible (other than nanotech stuff and basically the entirety of Unwired).


There is a reason I did not, and will never switch to D&D 4E, and you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Any company which I have supported for years by purchasing their entire product line, who then goes and renders it entirely obsolete so they can sell me a new edition of their old stuff has burned all of the goodwill they have garnered over the years.
Sendaz
It's a fine line.

If the new edition does not introduce enough new material/rules, it's not a new edition, it's a reprint. Yes, it could be called a 2nd edition printing, but you know what I mean.

Change it too much and it may or may not be the same game you started with.

I do not envy the devs the task of trying to make those choices to keep a game fresh or more fun without radically upsetting the very system you are basing it on.

I am still wading through this all, trying to decide what will have to be houserule to fit the taste I want for this and hoping some of the errata clears up a bunch of questions of intended meaning.
Voran
Heh, it could be worse, it could be Forgotten Realms smile.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Voran @ Aug 16 2013, 04:07 AM) *
Heh, it could be worse, it could be Forgotten Realms smile.gif


What's wrong with the Forgotten Realms (From Edition 3.5 at least - will never play Editions 4+)? Currently playing a campaign in the Silver Marches right now. Immense Fun. smile.gif
Wakshaani
QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 15 2013, 07:21 PM) *
For most, I have been treating them like were leased, that way any wageslave who up and ran was a criminal in the eyes of the law (grand-theft).

Has there been any justification by the devs as to why the nuyen has hyper-inflated between 2074 - 2075? Are prices still ramping, is the value of the nuyen still tanking? It might be a good story element, if worked properly.


Hyper-inflation of the Nuyen? Some individual things have gone up, mostly those connected to nano-production, but you'll notice that across the board, many prices haven't moved. In essence, if you watched the prices of modern solar panel production when China shut down the export of needed tech, you saw the prices in that sector jump, but inflation as a whole didn't budge. There's a similar thing in effect here; a tad more widespread, but still not what you would traditionally call hyperinflation. In particular, you'll see that lifestyle prices didn't budge an iota, and that's where you should really be looking. Food prices went up somewhat, so people have had to drop back to more bland fare to save money, but rent, electricity, etc, are the same. So, not hyper-inflation.

QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 15 2013, 08:03 PM) *
I may end up deviating from cannon, but I think I might take this and run with it. Why should we think that inflation should slowdown? And if nanotech is involved in the manufacure of soy based foods, who's to say it isn't involved in every step of the food production process from seeds and soil, to cattle in vetro, all the way up. Manufacturing should be just the tip of the iceberg.


Inflation largely doesn't move around due to the Corporate Court, who are a bit big on stability. They like harvesting money from the populace and inflation makes things more unstable than they'd like. Nano-issues make them unhappy as manufacturing had been using more and more nano-machines in the process, which had only just started to be moved into food. Obviously, that experiment's over. smile.gif The real hit in the food side was the loss of NatVat, which shook Aztechnology badly. As they recover from that, the food issues will let up. (There's no worldwide famine, mind you. Other agricorps stepped up, with Shiawase making a bundle and, of all people, Horizon. The nation of Aztlan is hurting, but the rest of teh world not so much.)


QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 15 2013, 08:20 PM) *
Sure, but not every sector impacts the economy equally. How much is all the tech in the world worth when you are hungry and the prospect of acquiring food isn't even a speck on the horizon. People with endure a great many things so long as they have their bread and circuses, but you take away either and the whole party falls apart.


Once again, keep an eye on Aztlan. Other nations got worried and tightened up a bit, but Aztlan's the one place where food got *scarce*.
BigGreenSquid
Thanx Wakshaani,

Is all this in the Horizon series?
Wakshaani
QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 16 2013, 02:23 PM) *
Thanx Wakshaani,

Is all this in the Horizon series?


Depends on which part, but none of it should be. Dirty Tricks and Storm Front for most, with a few other tidbits hidden in areas like the Sixth World Almanac and in the JackPoint newsblurbs at the front of many products.
Voran
Btw do hosts get to run programs other than IC? Can you have a Host that runs sleaze or attack boosters/etc? Otherwise I was seeing programs for decks as the way to mitigate the generally superior ratings of Host attributes. Otherwise even when running a Fairlight Excalibur, if you're decking anything more than a small college or private business, you're at a disadvantage that just gets worse as your runner targets increase. The gap simply gets bigger against you when you actually start trying to deck local corporate and higher.

Then consider that general runners don't start with Fairlights, and that even low end hosts end up being superior to mid-range cyberdecks. "Everyone hacks Stuffershack" which ends up being...kinda not true unless 'everyone (even the wannabes)' has dropped around 200k for a device 3 cyberdeck and that's before any programs running in 'hot sim' to protect the host.
Ryu
QUOTE (Voran @ Aug 16 2013, 05:41 AM) *
Coming soon Sixth Edition: We call it Earthdawn cause, well, tech is fantasy age again! Magic for everyone!

I DO have a transition strategy for that (will be SR4A-E rather than SR6, and only for one campaign). So far its working.

If I wanted to phase in the SR5 matrix, Id start by making jury-rigged commlink extensions a way to beat matrix security on a regular basis, then offer street-level "custom decks", to be phased out by corp product. Adding storyline elements on the fly.


Regarding inflation, only uncertainty has a damaging effect. A known constant inflation can be build into any planning formula.
BigGreenSquid
QUOTE (Voran @ Aug 16 2013, 01:12 PM) *
Btw do hosts get to run programs other than IC?


That is a good question, as they do have all four matrix attributes.
Abschalten
QUOTE (BigGreenSquid @ Aug 14 2013, 04:09 PM) *
Ok, maybe that was a little harsh.


No, no. Don't apologize. I personally think you're pretty close with that assessment.
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