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Redjack
I am getting increasingly frustrated with the open attacks in offhanded posts that amount to nothing more than edition wars. This thread is for a discussion about specifics. I'm tired of hearing "the writers suck". If there is something you don't like, discuss it and how it could have been done to your liking. If you simply like nothing about an edition and cannot discuss how it could be written in a way you like, then you have nothing to say.

Frankly, I'm also tired of snarky replies with no other purpose than to drop an offhanded insult at the current development team when I try to have a conversation. Example: I write how I dislike something in SR5, contrast it to how it was in SR4 and get a reply that SR5 is the waffle edition and you simply need syrup.
binarywraith
All I want for Christmas is proper proofreading and editing.

When you hear 'the writers suck', it's flat out that. Failures of basic proofreading and editing, failures of layout, failures of organization of ideas... the basics of the written word. Everything published for SR5 as a sourcebook so far has suffered from all of the above, and in incredibly uneven ways that indicate that it isn't a single-writer problem but also those higher up in the production process that are failing.
Redjack
QUOTE (binarywraith @ Dec 29 2014, 09:07 AM) *
Failures of basic proofreading and editing, failures of layout, failures of organization of ideas...
This is a start and it is far more constructive than "they suck". It, at least, gives us a starting point for a conversation.
Medicineman
I would like to get Rules that are explainable ingame !
no more:
Just because you're a Surgeling you get 1 Level Distinctive Style even if you have NO physical difference at all (SR4A)
also Just because You're an Oni in Japan You get the same
and no more:
Just because You missed a Payment from the In debt neg qual You get 1 point unresitible & uncurable damage until you make the Payment (SR5)

Hough
Medicineman
Sendaz
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 29 2014, 10:31 AM) *
Just because You missed a Payment from the In debt neg qual You get 1 point unresitible & uncurable damage until you make the Payment (SR5)

Hough
Medicineman
To be fair, I always took that to mean Vinnie leaned on you for being late in paying, broke your arm which would take longer to heal and he has been dropping round periodically to see if you are ready to make good and rebreaks something if you don't nyahnyah.gif

But yeah, fixing some of these would be helpful.
Bertramn
I want dirt, wounds, tattoos and ugly people in the artwork,
also more screaming and faces distorted in extreme emotions.
Otherwise I love the 5th Edition Artwork, as far as colour artwork goes.
Though I prefer the Judge-Dredd-Style artwork third edition had.
Medicineman
For me it would be totally OK If a GM would play out this Scenario with me/My Char
Vinnie & his friends could come Over for " a talk" even if this would end up with my char in a Hospital and far more than just 1 Point of Damage. but the way this is written there is no Interaction no explanation just a Point of Damage.
(Hell If it would be from Vinnie & his Friends it could be cured with a Spell or medkit but this 1 Point uncurable Damage sounds like a new kind of Curse
What ails me is that this Point of damage is ...beyond the Rules because its uncurable !
and that its not played out ingame its just thrown onto You/your Char
Luckily there are only a few of these examples but they're (ImO) so wrong on so many Levels
( Sorry ,I can't properly explain what I mean in English sarcastic.gif )
....
The same with the distinctive Style. it's a ...kind of Curse the Char gets " just because"
and this "just because" is what so totally wrong


HougH!
Medicineman
sk8bcn
Ok I start:

I own 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th edition but I haven't yet read 4th or 5th (and it won't happen before quite some time since I plan to do so after having read my 3rd edition collection).

Yet I have some knowledge about 4th and 5th so I'll do some comments:

> 3rd is, in all honety, an average ruleset at best.
The main grief against that ruleset is:
a- Variable TN and roll system induce strong inconsistencies in probabilities.
b- Matrix system too complicated and not consistent with fluff (how Matrix works in novels and so)
c- Vehicle rules, erm...
d- I never liked the variable room for development (truckloads karma sink for mages, not much for samourais...)

Good points were:
a- Depth of the game
b- Dice Pools added strategy


Now 4th:
- United Magic doesn't appeal me
- More consistent stats-wise but
- Truck loads of dices
- Stats >> Skill
- Base dice system actually suck (1 die = 0,33 succes in average, which means that a skill 6 guy does 1 success more in average vs a skill 3 guy, which is inconsistent with the description of a skill)

5th:
- Limits seems a nice concept. It seems though that it's badly implemented.
- Wireless boni and bricking doesn't sound realistic at all.


What I'd wish:
> Something new, something deeply different that goes beyond 4th/5th and mix in 3rd.

I'd go for something alike:
Roll skill. TN depending on stat but TN not variable. Number of success requiered variable depending on difficulty. And in either bonus pools or re-roll pools. Reshape stats.
Attributes would have a range of 1-12. Skills would be uncapped with an average skill beeing 6 (3 mediocre, 9 stong, 12, exceptionnal...)


Exemple: Roll [skill].
Stat:
1-2: 6
3-4: 5+
5-6: 4+
7-8: 4+ (reroll 6's)
9-10: 3+ (reroll 6's)
11-12: 2+(reroll 6's)

Pair value of a stat grants you a re-roll of failures per session.

1 succes needed for an easy task, 2 for medium diff, 3 for a hard task...)

Mr X has Physical (Old Body and Strength regrouped) of 7, granting him 3 re-rolls per session and a TN of 4+ plus rerolling failures. His Athletics skill is 4 (he's not that good).

he rolls 6,3,2,1, rerolls his 6 and rolls another 4. 2 success. Not enough for a hard task. He spends a reroll to throw again the 3,2 and 1.
Bertramn
Sounds awesome.

I dont get it.

Attributes are added together and are then stats or what?
Shemhazai
I like every edition. I want to see them do more and for more people to play. Repeated posts that endlessly complain about the same thing or attack certain people are a time waster for me.

As far as 5th edition goes, I don't like Limits. I'm not so fond of wireless bonuses or the way that alchemy has been implemented. Other things I don't like aren't specific to 5th edition. I would be in favor of a reboot and redesign, but I fear that has the potential to ruin the game if it's not done very carefully.
binarywraith
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 29 2014, 09:54 AM) *
For me it would be totally OK If a GM would play out this Scenario with me/My Char
Vinnie & his friends could come Over for " a talk" even if this would end up with my char in a Hospital and far more than just 1 Point of Damage. but the way this is written there is no Interaction no explanation just a Point of Damage.
(Hell If it would be from Vinnie & his Friends it could be cured with a Spell or medkit but this 1 Point uncurable Damage sounds like a new kind of Curse
What ails me is that this Point of damage is ...beyond the Rules because its uncurable !
and that its not played out ingame its just thrown onto You/your Char
Luckily there are only a few of these examples but they're (ImO) so wrong on so many Levels
( Sorry ,I can't properly explain what I mean in English sarcastic.gif )
....
The same with the distinctive Style. it's a ...kind of Curse the Char gets " just because"
and this "just because" is what so totally wrong


HougH!
Medicineman


I believe the point of the incurable irresistable damage is to prevent powergamers from simply setting up to ambush the hired goons when they come around to talk payment plans that start with medical bills, and just shooting their way into free karma.
Medicineman
of course its to keep the Player in line , thats not the Point smile.gif
I can fully understand the Meta-reason for this .... kind of Rule, I just don't like the Implementation.
If there should be a Problem with Powergamers it should be adressed to outgame not ingame
The GM should adress the Player and urge him to keep to the Spirit of the Disadvantage not enforce an unexplainiable Ingame Handicap to keep him in Line.
Much of the Content of the BBB (and other Corebooks too) is how to handle different Situations, why not here too, why
didn't they write some advise on how to handle a Powergamer ?

JahtaHow
Medicineman



Sendaz
QUOTE (binarywraith @ Dec 29 2014, 12:12 PM) *
I believe the point of the incurable irresistable damage is to prevent powergamers from simply setting up to ambush the hired goons when they come around to talk payment plans that start with medical bills, and just shooting their way into free karma.

true, but at that point wouldn't the GM then just change it from In Debt to a suitably priced Enemy/Hunted as Vinnie's people now have to make an example out of you or nobody will be paying them back?
Critias
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Dec 29 2014, 01:23 PM) *
true, but at that point wouldn't the GM then just change it from In Debt to a suitably priced Enemy/Hunted as Vinnie's people now have to make an example out of you or nobody will be paying them back?

One would think something like that might happen, yeah, but given the internet slap-fights that have swirled around In Debt for years, it's apparently not so clear cut to lots of people.
Sendaz
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 29 2014, 02:01 PM) *
The GM should adress the Player and urge him to keep to the Spirit of the Disadvantage not enforce an unexplainiable Ingame Handicap to keep him in Line.
Indeed, communication between players and GM is key here as everyone has to participate. If they are abusing it, the GM can and should call them on it, explain what is the problem and discuss what can work.

QUOTE
Much of the Content of the BBB (and other Corebooks too) is how to handle different Situations, why not here too, why
didn't they write some advise on how to handle a Powergamer ?

JahtaHow
Medicineman
That's a good idea and maybe one should start a thread asking exactly that so folk can contribute their examples and ideas to help other GMs navigate that balance point.
flowswithdrek
I hear a lot about bad writing in 4th & 5th editions, but I don't remember reading anything that I would have said was overly bad, though I haven't read all the 4th edition or 5th edition stuff yet. I'm genuinely curious (Iím also a writer), so any examples as to what people consider truly bad writing? Are we talking rules not explained as clearly as they could be? Is it bad spelling, grammar, or incorrect word usage, or just typos? Is it the ideas that suck rather than the actual writing, i.e. the creative direction?
The closest I can get to saying the writing is bad is the constant shifting from male to female when referring to the GM or Players. It hurts my brain. I really donít care which is used, but pick one or use neither. In the main 5th edition rules I'm sure I remember reading one sentence where the subject was referred to both male and female in the same sentence and it feels like someone has gone through the text and editing it just to create some kind of balance.
My main problem with both 4th and 5th is that I just can find all the info in one place. I like crunch, but I like it to be accessible and understandable.
Spielmeister
QUOTE (sk8bcn @ Dec 29 2014, 10:09 AM) *
What I'd wish:
> Something new, something deeply different that goes beyond 4th/5th and mix in 3rd.

I'd go for something alike:
Roll skill. TN depending on stat but TN not variable. Number of success requiered variable depending on difficulty. And in either bonus pools or re-roll pools. Reshape stats.
Attributes would have a range of 1-12. Skills would be uncapped with an average skill beeing 6 (3 mediocre, 9 stong, 12, exceptionnal...)


Exemple: Roll [skill].
Stat:
1-2: 6
3-4: 5+
5-6: 4+
7-8: 4+ (reroll 6's)
9-10: 3+ (reroll 6's)
11-12: 2+(reroll 6's)

Pair value of a stat grants you a re-roll of failures per session.

1 succes needed for an easy task, 2 for medium diff, 3 for a hard task...)

Mr X has Physical (Old Body and Strength regrouped) of 7, granting him 3 re-rolls per session and a TN of 4+ plus rerolling failures. His Athletics skill is 4 (he's not that good).

he rolls 6,3,2,1, rerolls his 6 and rolls another 4. 2 success. Not enough for a hard task. He spends a reroll to throw again the 3,2 and 1.


How would the number of rerolls per session be tied to Stat values? Its not clear here. I like the way this method keeps Stats and Skills paired but significantly reduces dice pool bloat, and keeps an incentive to spend karma on Stat improvement.
Bertramn
QUOTE (Spielmeister @ Dec 30 2014, 01:10 AM) *
How would the number of rerolls per session be tied to Stat values? Its not clear here. I like the way this method keeps Stats and Skills paired but significantly reduces dice pool bloat, and keeps an incentive to spend karma on Stat improvement.


Can anyone explain to me what stats are exactly in that example?
Spielmeister
QUOTE (sk8bcn @ Dec 29 2014, 10:09 AM) *
Mr X has Physical (Old Body and Strength regrouped) of 7, granting him 3 re-rolls per session and a TN of 4+ plus rerolling failures. His Athletics skill is 4 (he's not that good).

he rolls 6,3,2,1, rerolls his 6 and rolls another 4. 2 success. Not enough for a hard task. He spends a reroll to throw again the 3,2 and 1.


In this example sk8bcn is using a new Attribute (Physical) compiled from Body and Strength, at least that was my inference.
Smash
I want the game to become more Dystopian. I think it used to be up until about 4th ed and then it just started mirroring reality to much. I found Dragonfall really refreshing how it makes the police out to be corrupt and lazy from the get-go and how the streets weren't patrolled by drones constantly scanning people's SINS.

If there's one thing I can't stand about shadowrun right now it's how you get stooged by not turning off that one camera you didn't detect. I want a system where cops still use books of crims faces to try and match people to crime scenes, irrespective of whether that happens now or how likely it is to happen in the future. A 6th edition needs to be the future of 1st edition, not the future of our current reality.

The game needs to re-invent the setting so that my pink mohawk, rocket launcher wielding biker can get in a scap in Tacoma and not have law enforcement using facial recognition bollocks to stooge you for doing something fun. This used to happen in Shadowrun, not anymore. Decking needs to be more submersive again without being a pizza ordering experience and cool stuff should happen there too just as it does in the astral. Maybe the matrix could just be a metaplane that's accessed with technology but also with magic? I really like that idea now that I've said it.

Less complexity is needed all round. Licences for the mot part should just be linked to SINS and/or lifestyles, unless it's military grade stuff or something.
Less modifiers for combat, less modifiers for the matrix, less actions for the matrix. Less would definitely be more for this setting.

Keep dice pools and keep limits or maybe tie skill max back to attributes (both have their problems but are better than having neither).
Glyph
SR5 has a lot of places that show what it could have been - things like how Edge is explained, how regeneration works, are much more clear. But the editing is bad - at the production level; I have heard more than one complaint about edits and fixes that would inexplicably not show up in the final product. There are sections where multiple writers seem to be working at cross-purposes, or where one writer penalizes something one way, than another writer comes in and penalizes it another way. There are cut-and-paste jobs where important bits are missing. One example is skills (there are no rules for any kind of augmented limits for skills, as there are for Attributes), the other example is the (hopefully unintentional) omission of regeneration from shapeshifter powers.

The overall philosophy of "everything has a price" is, as I have said before, a horrible, horrible philosophy to take when designing game options. It's like going "Hey, this option is cool! How can we make it less fun?" Game options should be balanced by limited resources and the accompanying opportunity costs. The sad thing is, SR5 doesn't need most of its nerfs. Looking solely at opportunity costs, it is pretty well-balanced. I have done the how-much-can-you-get-for-this builds; 12 Agility, 12 Reaction, 12 power points, 30 dice for melee combat. And you know what? Most of them, I look at them and go "Yeah, it's nice having that much in this area, and it's a playable character, but I would rather have a bit less of that and be able to have more of this other stuff."

As far as new mechanics go, I could live with the Priority system. It is less flexible than build points or karma by its very nature, but it is better than the simplified SR4 version, with higher values at each priority and some starting Karma to smooth out the rough edges. Likewise, limits are wonky in a few areas (spirit Force as a limit doesn't make sense to me - it is the higher Force spirits that should be doing less services), but don't mess up the game too much. Wireless "bonuses", though, are horribly implemented, breaking immersion in the game be being so illogical, and putting players in the annoying position of having to choose between losing some dice or being vulnerable to an attack from an undetectable vector that can potentially maim them. The other nerf that is the most problematic is background count, which, frankly, is much too common and goes up much too high. The ironic thing is that adepts are at probably their most powerful in this edition, but the mechanic of background count can suddenly turn them into mundanes.

I am no grognard; I was looking forward to SR5, and I really, really wanted to like it. But so far the books have had very poor editing, ham-handed over-corrections to anything accused of being an optimal choice in SR4, and some rules that are unclear or that have serious problems.
binarywraith
QUOTE (flowswithdrek @ Dec 29 2014, 02:32 PM) *
I hear a lot about bad writing in 4th & 5th editions, but I don't remember reading anything that I would have said was overly bad, though I haven't read all the 4th edition or 5th edition stuff yet. I'm genuinely curious (Iím also a writer), so any examples as to what people consider truly bad writing? Are we talking rules not explained as clearly as they could be? Is it bad spelling, grammar, or incorrect word usage, or just typos? Is it the ideas that suck rather than the actual writing, i.e. the creative direction?
The closest I can get to saying the writing is bad is the constant shifting from male to female when referring to the GM or Players. It hurts my brain. I really donít care which is used, but pick one or use neither. In the main 5th edition rules I'm sure I remember reading one sentence where the subject was referred to both male and female in the same sentence and it feels like someone has gone through the text and editing it just to create some kind of balance.
My main problem with both 4th and 5th is that I just can find all the info in one place. I like crunch, but I like it to be accessible and understandable.


You should check out War!. That's pretty much the current gold standard for 'Why would you publish this?', as far as bad writing and editorial decisions go.

In specific, we're talking about :

Basic spellchecker errors like homophones being swapped
Whole sections of the SR5 rulebook that were deprecated playtests (Trolls and Lifestyle costs) going to print not once but twice
Sample characters are not legal builds
Direct rules contradictions in different sections of the SR5 book. See 'bricking' for the most often argued one.
Catalyst going to print with both the $400 leather bound special editions and a second printing run of the SR5 core book with the known errors still uncorrected despite both months of public callouts
The very proofreaders who're credited on SR5 books pointing out that the final poofs they submitted were not the ones used to publish
The 'Arbeit Macht Frei' section of War! going to press. At all.
The writer responsible for the Wireless Bonuses section of the SR5 main book having been given completely different instruction as to the design goals than what was published
Adept powers printed in Street Grimoire with a prerequisite power that wasn't in print (Keratin Control) until the Shadow Spells e-book months later. Whoops!

Additionally, fun issues like art in the Gun Heavens books having been found to be minor Photoshops of article pictures from Wikipedia is a thing that's happened, as well.

Beyond that into actual game design, we have the whole issue of the wireless bonus rules being nonsensical. The writer who wrote the bonuses wrote them on the assumption that devices could still be networked directly internally, and as such major standard features of cyberware are tied to the wireless system. This means that those characters least likely to expose themselves to digital attack, bleeding-edge street samurai, are forced to do so in order to get their 'ware to work properly. Also in the WTF game design bucket is 5e Technomancers, who are essentially identical to mages, only with their Magic attribute reskinned as Resonance. Apparently technopathy and technoempathy are hindered if that technology happens to be attached to you. rotfl.gif

Then there's the splatbooks, with fun things like the Infinite Karma Loop from Street Grimoire's Essence Drain rules that essentially voids the whole reason Aztechnology ever got involved with blood magic, and makes it clear that the only reason the Great Dragons don't have literally infinite statistics is because they choose not to. After all, lift one Karma (or Essence, or Magic) from every employee of Sader-Krupp and give it to Lofwyr as a Christmas bonus every year...
Smash
QUOTE (binarywraith @ Dec 30 2014, 05:42 PM) *
The writer who wrote the bonuses wrote them on the assumption that devices could still be networked directly internally, and as such major standard features of cyberware are tied to the wireless system. This means that those characters least likely to expose themselves to digital attack, bleeding-edge street samurai, are forced to do so in order to get their 'ware to work properly.


Is this something you actually know or is it just an assumption? If the former do you have a link to a blog post or something that talks about it?
sk8bcn
QUOTE (Spielmeister @ Dec 30 2014, 01:10 AM) *
How would the number of rerolls per session be tied to Stat values? Its not clear here. I like the way this method keeps Stats and Skills paired but significantly reduces dice pool bloat, and keeps an incentive to spend karma on Stat improvement.


It would be like this, to be more precise:

Stat:
1: A succes is score on a 6
2: A succes is score on a 6 and you get 1 reroll per session linked to this stat
3: A succes is score on a 5+ and you get 1 reroll per session linked to this stat
4: A succes is score on a 5+ and you get 2 rerolls per session linked to this stat
5: A succes is score on a 4+ and you get 2 rerolls per session linked to this stat
6: A succes is score on a 4+ and you get 3 rerolls per session linked to this stat
7: A succes is score on a 4+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 3 rerolls per session linked to this stat
8: A succes is score on a 4+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 4 rerolls per session linked to this stat
9: A succes is score on a 3+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 4 rerolls per session linked to this stat
10: A succes is score on a 3+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 5 rerolls per session linked to this stat
11: A succes is score on a 2+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 5 rerolls per session linked to this stat
12: A succes is score on a 2+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 6 rerolls per session linked to this stat


About stats: I would go for a 6 attributes format:

Physical (your athletics), used as either body and strength and used somehow for your ability to soak.
Quickness, which would help for general initiative (which is important when damages affect your ability to hit through penalties)
Agility/Accurateness : Use to aim and shoot

And Willpower, used to soak stun and defend against mental magic
Charisma (self explained)
Intelligence: I never liked the 3rd ed idea that intelligence=Perception so I would remove "Alertness" to a skill in itself.
sk8bcn
QUOTE (Spielmeister @ Dec 30 2014, 02:32 AM) *
In this example sk8bcn is using a new Attribute (Physical) compiled from Body and Strength, at least that was my inference.


Exactely!
binarywraith
QUOTE (Smash @ Dec 30 2014, 02:27 AM) *
Is this something you actually know or is it just an assumption? If the former do you have a link to a blog post or something that talks about it?


I'm trying to find the quote, but it was mentioned back shortly after SR5 PDF released and we were having a loud communal grumble about the nature of the bonuses. I seem to recall it being someone who had worked on the book mentioning reactions from others who had to the final product.
Bertramn
QUOTE (sk8bcn @ Dec 30 2014, 09:51 AM) *


I really like the idea, but I do not like mechanics that go 'per session'.
Reminds me of DnD with its 'per day' stuff.

The table would be greatly simplified if those rerolls were taken out,
and rule of 6 applied everywhere.
That could be belanced out by raising some TNs above 6, as they were in 3rd,
giving the whole thing a way more even probability curve.

All in all it is a good system though.
flowswithdrek
QUOTE (binarywraith @ Dec 30 2014, 06:42 AM) *
You should check out War!. That's pretty much the current gold standard for 'Why would you publish this?', as far as bad writing and editorial decisions go.

In specific, we're talking about :

Basic spellchecker errors like homophones being swapped
Whole sections of the SR5 rulebook that were deprecated playtests (Trolls and Lifestyle costs) going to print not once but twice
Sample characters are not legal builds
Direct rules contradictions in different sections of the SR5 book. See 'bricking' for the most often argued one.
Catalyst going to print with both the $400 leather bound special editions and a second printing run of the SR5 core book with the known errors still uncorrected despite both months of public callouts
The very proofreaders who're credited on SR5 books pointing out that the final poofs they submitted were not the ones used to publish
The 'Arbeit Macht Frei' section of War! going to press. At all.
The writer responsible for the Wireless Bonuses section of the SR5 main book having been given completely different instruction as to the design goals than what was published
Adept powers printed in Street Grimoire with a prerequisite power that wasn't in print (Keratin Control) until the Shadow Spells e-book months later. Whoops!

Additionally, fun issues like art in the Gun Heavens books having been found to be minor Photoshops of article pictures from Wikipedia is a thing that's happened, as well.

Beyond that into actual game design, we have the whole issue of the wireless bonus rules being nonsensical. The writer who wrote the bonuses wrote them on the assumption that devices could still be networked directly internally, and as such major standard features of cyberware are tied to the wireless system. This means that those characters least likely to expose themselves to digital attack, bleeding-edge street samurai, are forced to do so in order to get their 'ware to work properly. Also in the WTF game design bucket is 5e Technomancers, who are essentially identical to mages, only with their Magic attribute reskinned as Resonance. Apparently technopathy and technoempathy are hindered if that technology happens to be attached to you. rotfl.gif

Then there's the splatbooks, with fun things like the Infinite Karma Loop from Street Grimoire's Essence Drain rules that essentially voids the whole reason Aztechnology ever got involved with blood magic, and makes it clear that the only reason the Great Dragons don't have literally infinite statistics is because they choose not to. After all, lift one Karma (or Essence, or Magic) from every employee of Sader-Krupp and give it to Lofwyr as a Christmas bonus every year...


Thanks for the detailed response, there is a lot of stuff there I wasn't aware of. I wonder how many of these issues you describe lie not the the realm of bad writing but bad direction/project management and or unfamiliarity with the rules. But yeah, all in all that all adds up to a pretty bad product.
apple
QUOTE (Smash @ Dec 30 2014, 03:27 AM) *
Is this something you actually know or is it just an assumption? If the former do you have a link to a blog post or something that talks about it?


It was here on Dumpshock. The author (necro-something with a dragon avatar (Necrosis? Necrosys?)) complained about our wifi online bonus complaints, asked why we did not find GITS cool (without knowing the GITS-Background) and when we explained our issues with the wifi bonuses to him he responded that we did not understand the rules, we posted the rules and he had to admit that he did not know the official rules because something totally different was said to him.

All IIRC .. it was shortly after the SR5 release, so some details may be sketchy.

Ah, yes. here it was I think: http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?show...c=39050&hl=

Neurosis wrote
QUOTE
"My understanding of SR5 was that Wireless bonuses did not require MATRIX Connectivity, only PAN connectivity. I could be wrong, but when I wrote MOST (not all) of the Wireless bonuses and made MOST but not all of the comments I have made about them, it was this understanding I had in mind. So in the pejoratively stupid "Extendable Baton" example, there is no wireless signal ping-ponging through some Matrix cloud protocol. Your thought directly transmits a wireless signal to the baton, done deal."
I was completely fucking wrong here. My bad!


SYL
Medicineman
and If You're wondering why We're still here and still playing Shadowrun.
For Me it's because I still love the Game smile.gif

HougH!
Medicineman
Draco18s
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 30 2014, 11:33 AM) *
and If You're wondering why We're still here and still playing Shadowrun.


Ironically, I'm not playing.
I'd like to. But I haven't the time, the group, or anyone willing to run it. Compound that on top of "the edition wars" (no one being able to agree on which set of rules to use*) and it makes for a rather barren market.

*One GM I can recall--but not remember who--runs 5th edition not because he likes it but because it's the only edition he can find enough people to play. He'd much rather run 4th or even 3rd. But so few of the people he knows are old enough to have played 3rd.

As for complaints about editions:
I think most of it has been said already. I played one game of third and while it was fun, the statistical model was not one I enjoyed. I much prefer 4th (although there are changes from 5th that I can objectively look at and go "yes, I like that" and if I had the opportunity said rule could easily be back-ported to 4th), mostly because it's the version that I played the most of, so I recognize there's a bias. But I also like the statistical model at the core level. There are some edge cases where it doesn't work (*cough* Hardened Armor, low-dice-pools, extreme Edge values--1: burn every session and rebuy / 7+: all the edge all the time, fuck skill points) but the core mechanic with the d6s works really quite well.
Mantis
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 30 2014, 08:33 AM) *
and If You're wondering why We're still here and still playing Shadowrun.
For Me it's because I still love the Game smile.gif

HougH!
Medicineman


Well, game world anyway. The ideas in the game are fun, entertaining and have been the source of numerous hours of enjoyment for me and my players for two and a half decades. All that fun has been, to one degree or another, hampered by the various editions odd rule sets. That said, up until 5th ed, it felt like the rule sets improved every time a new one came out.

For me, 5th ed was the version that had a ton of good ideas hampered by poor implementation. I was excited when I first heard about accuracy as I was thinking of adding something like that to my own games. The implementation did not excite me. It frustrated me and my players. I would have done it as a modifier to your limit or your pool (since I don't actually like the limit implementation either).
I thought the new matrix mechanics were well done but only so long as you remove the bricking, wifi bonuses and cyberdecks (or at least their cost). So the core mechanic is nice. All the stuff around it, not so much.
Direct combat spells have always been a bit of a problem in 4th ed. They said they fixed it with 5th ed. Excitement. Then I read what they actually did and it is more like a double nerf (higher drain, less damage. Pick one please, not both). Excitement gone and replaced by frustration.
They added some more utility to enchanting. Cool idea. They made it so you needed to spend yet more karma as a magician to get it to work and it wouldn't work as well as a regular spell. Hmmm. I can see the utility but it didn't keep my excitement up.
I'm sure you see the trend here and I could go on with more example but I won't. For me, 5th ed has been the frustration edition. So much promise in the ideas. Such frustrating implementation. I think Umidori summed up the reason for the anger people feel about this situation quite well earlier in this thread.
Medicineman
@ Mantis
The same Here
a big +1 from Me biggrin.gif
another Example ist the Skillrating
Rating 6(7) from SR4A was too low so it was great when I heard that they raised the Skilllevel in SR5
but a rating of 12 (13) is way to High it can hardly be reached by Player Chars (or only with an enormous amount of Karma)
NSCs otoh have no such a hindrance, now official NSCs have Pools of 15 or even 20 Dice but some Players are happy if their Char reaches a pool of 10 Dice
ImO thats the same : Basically a good Idea(to raise the Skill Rating) ,but the Implementaition failed
(my Houserule for a Mix of SR4A and 5 Rules is a Skill level of 9(10) with a maximum of +4(+5) from any other source be it Item,Magic,'ware, whatever. It's the same as with Attributes, I like my Rules simple and streamlined )

with a simmple and streamlined Dance
Medicineman
Spielmeister
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 30 2014, 12:53 PM) *
(my Houserule for a Mix of SR4A and 5 Rules is a Skill level of 9(10) with a maximum of +4(+5) from any other source be it Item,Magic,'ware, whatever. It's the same as with Attributes, I like my Rules simple and streamlined )


Thanks for that input. If you don't mind I'll be using that in my game.
Method
Regarding bad writing: one of the things that drives me nuts in SR5 is the co-mingling of in-character and out-of-character voice. SR pioneered the separation of IC and OOC voice in RPGs and SR5 flushes that right down the toilet. You have in-character sections referencing metagame elements and crunch sections full of contrived cyberpunk slang and stupid jokes. The whole tone is just too conversational, and IMHO comes off as sloppy. Crunch sections should be like technical writing: the goal is to convey game mechanics as precisely and efficiently as possible while avoiding vagaries that can lead to conflicting interpretations. I would note that at the end of the day this is largely an editorial issue.

Regarding rules with no logical in-game justification: how about one attack action per round. Nothing like having a simple action to spend and being told you can't do something that normally requires a simple action because... reasons or something. This (and similar bad rules already mentioned) destroys the concept of player agency, which is central to PnP RPGs. It just shouldn't happen. The game has a frame work for limiting what you can and can't do (i.e.- you have 2 simple actions per round and you go in initiative order). Within that framework the player should be able to do whatever he or she wants.

Mantis
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 30 2014, 10:53 AM) *
another Example ist the Skillrating
Rating 6(7) from SR4A was too low so it was great when I heard that they raised the Skilllevel in SR5
but a rating of 12 (13) is way to High it can hardly be reached by Player Chars (or only with an enormous amount of Karma)
NSCs otoh have no such a hindrance, now official NSCs have Pools of 15 or even 20 Dice but some Players are happy if their Char reaches a pool of 10 Dice
ImO thats the same : Basically a good Idea(to raise the Skill Rating) ,but the Implementaition failed
(my Houserule for a Mix of SR4A and 5 Rules is a Skill level of 9(10) with a maximum of +4(+5) from any other source be it Item,Magic,'ware, whatever. It's the same as with Attributes, I like my Rules simple and streamlined )

with a simmple and streamlined Dance
Medicineman


That is hilarious. biggrin.gif I did the exact same thing. For the exact same reason. 12 is too high, 6 isn't high enough. I know, lets go for the same rank level as the max an augmented human can have for SR4. Perfect. Enough distinction between the ranks without going overboard. They should have asked us for some ideas when putting SR5 together. wink.gif

Method, I agree with you completely on the single attack thing. With that and no real good use for the second action (a second attack), all this accomplishes is to invalidate recoil and recoil compensation. You now have no option most times but to pause for an action to let the recoil reset. So with that being the case, why not just say recoil only matters when you go full auto and save on some paper work.
Medicineman
QUOTE
how about one attack action per round. Nothing like having a simple action to spend and being told you can't do something that normally requires a simple action because... reasons or something. This (and similar bad rules already mentioned) destroys the concept of player agency, which is central to PnP RPGs. It just shouldn't happen.

that was my main Pet Peeve (is that the right expression ? ) too....
until Run & Gun where they introduced the way more logical Rules from SR4A (multiple Attacs are possible again)
and right now the only SR5 Char I'm playing regularly is a Troll melee Adept so it's (right now) not much of a concern to me personally, but in General this one attack action per round rule is so completely unexplainiable ingame.....
it might have been ok in a Boardgame , but not in a Roleplaying game .

with only one Dance per Post
Medicineman
binarywraith
Yeah, that's an issue with SR5 specifically. The power balance between PhysAds and Sammies is absurdly bad. The iconic combat cyber is still costed like a starting character can pull a cool million nuyen.gif in character creation.
Redjack
Hoping to keep the thread clean, I've split out a couple of the conversations into their own threads:
- Run Payouts
- Upgrade Rules

Given some feedback on Dumpshock improvements, it was suggested we try to keep threads a little cleaner and split as needed. Let me know if this feels like it works... or if it doesn't.
-RJ
Sendaz
It will help find the discussions at least smile.gif
Cain
QUOTE (flowswithdrek @ Dec 29 2014, 12:32 PM) *
I hear a lot about bad writing in 4th & 5th editions, but I don't remember reading anything that I would have said was overly bad, though I haven't read all the 4th edition or 5th edition stuff yet. I'm genuinely curious (Iím also a writer), so any examples as to what people consider truly bad writing? Are we talking rules not explained as clearly as they could be? Is it bad spelling, grammar, or incorrect word usage, or just typos? Is it the ideas that suck rather than the actual writing, i.e. the creative direction?

Honestly, at the start of SR4, I thought the writing and layout was pretty good. And with the 4.5 core book, the master index plus layout quality looked pretty high. For the most part, the rules were clear and easy to follow. There were some inconsistencies, like the on-again, off-again shadowslang in 4.0, but it wasn't too bad.

Things started to go downhill from there, though. Probably not-coincidentally, with the Great Freelancer Scandal, most of the great writers left, and the new ones weren't up to snuff. Now, a good editor can and should bring out the best in writers, but that didn't happen, and the clearest example of this was War! War! shows several forms of bad writing: lots of typos and errors that have no place in a final submission (yes, proofreaders are supposed to help, but they're not a front-line checker, they're only supposed to be an extra set of eyes. That, and apparently they did go over War!, their fixes were just ignored); poor research (jungles of Bogota? On a mountain top?); poor game design (do you *really* need rules for nukes? And that ridiculous Slow spell), and poor communication between sections. It looks awfully like each writer was handed a vague set of guidelines, and left to their own devices-- however, that means certain terms and concepts are used different ways by different writers. The best example of this is in SR5, where we originally had two completely different versions of Commanding Voice come out.

Now, some of that is on the editors. But the writers have backchannels to each other, so they can communicate with each other-- I don't know if they're discouraged from doing so, but it seems obvious that they should talk to each other when they're working on the same project. The end result is that they're not working together, which causes these problems.
Orffen
QUOTE (Method @ Dec 31 2014, 03:45 PM) *
Regarding rules with no logical in-game justification: how about one attack action per round. Nothing like having a simple action to spend and being told you can't do something that normally requires a simple action because... reasons or something.


It seems clear from the other complex actions that attacking is meant to be basically the only thing you do each round, probably to speed up combat. To me it reads that the Semi-Auto Burst is the preferred attack over just an SA shot, but since spellcasting doesn't require reloading having the "Fire SS, SA, BF or FA" action lets you reload your weapon and still fire (albeit without the option for the to-hit bonus you get with SB). You trade that to-hit bonus also for the ability to call a shot or take cover. As such, I don't really have a problem with the attack limit.

My biggest problem with SR5 is the rulebook layout - constantly having to flip back and forth makes it very hard to get into the flow and just read and understand the rules. I think the rest of the rulebook presentation is quite good - the artwork and fluff pieces are pretty solid.

Coming from SR4A into SR5, I've found limits to be pretty interesting and I've appreciated the streamlining of the Matrix rules. I had a pretty extended break from RPGs towards the end of last year, so no doubt time has smoothed all of the rough edges and I've just forgotten the things that particularly irritated me. smile.gif

Medicineman
QUOTE
My biggest problem with SR5 is the rulebook layout - constantly having to flip back and forth makes it very hard to get into the flow and just read and understand the rules. I think the rest of the rulebook presentation is quite good - the artwork and fluff pieces are pretty solid.


You are so going to hate Run & Gun and the Martial Arts chapter.....

HokaHey
Medicineman
Glyph
It goes back to editing, again. The graphical layout of the books is very well done, enhanced by art that is usually pretty good. It is just the haphazard organization and presentation of the rules themselves (and the errors and unclear areas) which is frustrating.
Bogert
QUOTE (apple @ Dec 30 2014, 10:11 AM) *
It was here on Dumpshock. The author (necro-something with a dragon avatar (Necrosis? Necrosys?)) complained about our wifi online bonus complaints, asked why we did not find GITS cool (without knowing the GITS-Background) and when we explained our issues with the wifi bonuses to him he responded that we did not understand the rules, we posted the rules and he had to admit that he did not know the official rules because something totally different was said to him.

I picked up the 5e book and read it before reading any forum stuff about the edition. Coming to various boards later, the weirdest thing for me is the amount of hate wireless bonuses get; reading the book I had no problem with the idea.

Here's how I think about it:
1. The 5e Matrix, and all devices on it, operate on some kind of distributed Cloud-computing architecture.
2. Availability of this Cloud-based infrastructure is assumed in the design of basically everything.
3. So, anything that's disconnected from the Matrix doesn't work quite right.

Those three alone are enough to handle any wireless bonus that requires any kind of processing power, but even things like the extendable baton can make sense in this framework:
Can you turn wireless on the baton off, and then connect it to your commlink with a cable? Sure, but:
1. If your commlink is connected to the Matrix, hackers can get at your baton by going through your commlink; treat this as exactly the same as having your baton slaved to your commlink and having both wireless. So, it doesn't get you anything to do this.
2. If your commlink isn't connected to the Matrix, you don't get the magic of extremely responsive DNI, your commlink+baton alone just don't have the processing power to pull this off. Using your DNI to flip baton modes is now no better than just hitting a physical button. So, it doesn't get you anything to do this.

See, if you think about things this way, I don't think there's anything in the 5e RAW that offends plausibility too badly.
Shemhazai
QUOTE (Bogert @ Jan 26 2015, 06:02 PM) *
....I don't think there's anything in the 5e RAW that offends plausibility too badly.

I partially agree, but a significant amount really was bad. As for your technical rationale, I find it entirely unbelievable.
Bogert
QUOTE (Shemhazai @ Jan 26 2015, 11:58 AM) *
I partially agree, but a significant amount really was bad. As for your technical rationale, I find it entirely unbelievable.

Well, in a world where you want mobile devices to have lots of processing power, but processing power is constrained by size/weight, power requirements, and/or cooling requirements (all of which seem like reasonable constraints) designing your mobile devices to take advantage of the Cloud makes a lot of sense, I think.

Anyway, a move towards widespread reliance on the Cloud strikes me (personally) as one of the more plausible things in the setting. It's one of the things (along with AR, wearables, drones, and vehicle autopilot) that I'd probably incorporate into any "20 minutes into the future" sci-fi setting I was writing.
Bogert
Double post
Cain
QUOTE (Bogert @ Jan 26 2015, 09:02 AM) *
I picked up the 5e book and read it before reading any forum stuff about the edition. Coming to various boards later, the weirdest thing for me is the amount of hate wireless bonuses get; reading the book I had no problem with the idea.

Here's how I think about it:
1. The 5e Matrix, and all devices on it, operate on some kind of distributed Cloud-computing architecture.
2. Availability of this Cloud-based infrastructure is assumed in the design of basically everything.
3. So, anything that's disconnected from the Matrix doesn't work quite right.

Those three alone are enough to handle any wireless bonus that requires any kind of processing power, but even things like the extendable baton can make sense in this framework:
Can you turn wireless on the baton off, and then connect it to your commlink with a cable? Sure, but:
1. If your commlink is connected to the Matrix, hackers can get at your baton by going through your commlink; treat this as exactly the same as having your baton slaved to your commlink and having both wireless. So, it doesn't get you anything to do this.
2. If your commlink isn't connected to the Matrix, you don't get the magic of extremely responsive DNI, your commlink+baton alone just don't have the processing power to pull this off. Using your DNI to flip baton modes is now no faster than just hitting a physical button. So, it doesn't get you anything to do this.

See, if you think about things this way, I don't think there's anything in the 5e RAW that offends plausibility too badly.

The plausibility problem with the baton is that you would even need processors and mechanisms to snap open the baton. Really, modern snap batons open quickly, without anything added. To make them open electronically, you'd actually have to add weight-- adding magnets and solenoids to force it open, instead of letting a quick flip of the wrist do it. On top of that, triggering a solenoid doesn't even need a computer-- I once built a system that fired forty-two solenoids in precise sequence, without using a computer chip, just timed toggles.

Beyond that, it seems like most of the wireless bonuses aren't bonuses at all-- not using them is a penalty for defying the SR5 system assumptions. I generally prefer the carrot to the stick, but the system seems designed to bludgeon people into using wireless, instead of providing an actual reward.

But the biggest problem is that they are an obvious, artificial attempt to make deckers more useful in combat, by forcing a vulnerability on everyone. There's a lot of design flaws behind this thought, but that could easily be its own topic. The notion that everyone should have an equal role in combat is from 4e D&D, and it was extremely controversial-- in some cases, it's simply better to make it so everyone has good quality spotlight time, and remove the system mastery requirements needed to have a character who's effective in more areas.
Bogert
QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 26 2015, 12:55 PM) *
The plausibility problem with the baton is that you would even need processors and mechanisms to snap open the baton. Really, modern snap batons open quickly, without anything added. To make them open electronically, you'd actually have to add weight-- adding magnets and solenoids to force it open, instead of letting a quick flip of the wrist do it. On top of that, triggering a solenoid doesn't even need a computer-- I once built a system that fired forty-two solenoids in precise sequence, without using a computer chip, just timed toggles.

Defending the plausibility of SR5e extendable batons specifically:
1. Assumption: Free actions aren't generally appreciably faster than Simple actions, it's just that you can do them while you do other stuff.
2. Assuming no electronics, you pull out the baton and snap it open. You can do that pretty quickly. It takes two Simple actions, which means one turn, which is just part of what you can do in one 3 second combat round.
2. But this is 2075, we've got to go even faster. If you build in an electronic extension system, connect it to your super-responsive DNI, you can have the baton already extending (automatically, by reflex, like an extension of your body, not getting tangled on anything, with no training), while you draw it. One Simple action and one Free action, buying you just enough time for an additional Simple in this turn.
3. Now, assuming we think this sounds cool, and we want an electronic extension system which is controlled by a DNI, what kind of system would we build to handle it? Maybe it's like those computer chips in singing greeting cards. Yes, they have more processing power than you need for what they do, but those chips are made in huge batches and are consequently very cheap to purchase and get code for. Or, since this needs to be able to handle working dynamically with a DNI, it might be the case that that in itself require a certain level of processing power.


I personally am very happy about giving hackers more to do out in the world, so I don't agree with that objection, but I can understand it.
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