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Master Shake
Some of us see Shadowrun as a public trust while others see it as merely a job. Ancient History and I can attest that it is often the passive observers of Shadowrun who know and care more about it than the so-called professionals whose job it is to keep this thing going. The best way to satisfy both groups is to make Shadowrun stronger by appealing to new players. This will improve finances and paychecks and insure that the Shadowrun world will continue to be developed. Everybody wins.

The most important point to recognize is that there are better ways to spend your time and money. Video games are making books obsolete, so only the best ideas and products can survive in rectangular analog form. To compete with video games, Shadowrun has to be big and bad ass and as spectacular as possible. Why should someone pay $20 a book for this stuff? Conflict, action, drama, personalities and atmosphere are fundamental. Shadowrun is a cool concept, itís cyberpunk with magic. If done right, it can appeal to more people than it reaches now, but only by staying true to what makes it unique. Here are my unique and Copyrighted ideas on how to make Shadowrun competitive and appealing to new players.

Shadowrun is about atmosphere, itís about a dystopian future. Too much of the focus in Shadowrun has been on game type instead of the game world. Street level neo-anarchy appeals to some, but thereís no reason to limit the scope of the game, especially when the goal is to expand the Shadowrun base. The focus needs to be developing a rich atmospheric world with a strong and dramatic narrative and letting people play whatever kind of game they want to, not railroading them into dumpster-diving poverty. The master narrative is the story of all the great personalities in the game, from Dragons to Runners to Corporations. There have been too many plot hooks and not enough plot lines recently. Big events have to happen all the time to keep players interests. Even if it doesnít directly involve them, the world has to by dynamic and interesting as a background while players do what they want to.

Shadowrun has done a poor job of defining its dystopian nature. The political-economics are half-assed bourgeois. A nations strength is its tax base, with extra territoriality, corps owning politicians and the total collapse of national tax base, nations cease to exist in any meaningful way. I like the Shadows Of... concept, but the focus of SoNA and SoE is on nations. Nations donít exist in Shadowrun unless they have a spiritual (magical) foundation to them like the Elven Nations, the NAN, Aztlan, Amazonia, Great Britain, Tibet or Japan. That is the dystopian cyberpunk reality that Shadowrun hints at but never got around to fully embracing. The political and economic situation in Shadowrun should be more like the video game Syndicate Wars with ruthless corporations openly fighting while everyone else watches helplessly. With machines and drones, human beings are increasingly obsolete. People arenít needed so there is absurdly high unemployment and crime with no government social support or even public schools. This is contrasted by the elite lives of the corporate slaves who live in comfortable isolation and confinement. That is cyberpunk, that is dystopian, that is the source of the action and conflict and violence and desperation that is the soul of Shadowrun. The point is to define the atmosphere of Shadowrun, and to use its personalities to create drama. Corps, Dragons, IEís, monsters and the desperate masses all thrown in a blender. Push the conflict, push the cyber-robotics-nanotech development, push the magical adepts and magical threats angle. Shadowrun needs to define itself, and then constantly blow itself up.

Shadowrun needs to appeal to D20 players. Thatís where the new players will come from. In order to fix some of the problems with the Shadowrun rules, and to appeal to D20 players, Shadowrun needs a 4th edition. The rules focus is on Shadowrun rules, but every product should be compatible with D20. The goal is to get D20 players into Shadowrun and then have them drop the D20 rules for Shadowrun rules. So keep the D20 conversions to the bare minimum (feats, basic rules for rigging, decking and magic), but this will allow old and new players to buy and play the same books. What good is it to have just a Shadowrun D20 Rulebook, but not have D20 for the sourcebooks and adventures? To appeal to new players, it all has to be compatible, so they will buy the other products. This is a simple and elegant way to fix the old rules and make it easy for new players to get involved. Because Shadowrun is futuristic and atmospheric, the new art should be predominantly computer generated and focused on the dystopian landscape. Visuals should give an idea of the game environment, focus not on individuals, but the relationship of individuals to the urban sprawl or the rural wilderness and highlight magic which is the unique spin to cyberpunk.

After the general rulebook to introduce Shadowrun, there have to be books that give more background and atmosphere to players and GMís. A Runners Guide which is part Players Companion, part Sprawl Survival guide will give more character options in both rules formats, give them ideas on the kinds of characters and games they want to play- from gutter-trash, to mercenary, to racist elf supremacists, to all magical, to Lupin the 3rd style capers- and develop the game world from the players perspective. A Fixerís Guide will be part MJLBB and part Shadowrun textbook. Give GMís NPCís for contacts or targets, help them to plan different sorts of games and styles to meet what their players want, but to really focus on the themes of Shadowrun. The conflict between urban sprawl and the wild wilderness inhabited by awakened creatures that make the rural areas no-mans-lands, the desperate poverty of freedom and the soul destroying corporate slavery, the active policlubs fighting for a cause and the neo-anarchists, corporations fighting each other for minds and souls, the magical world vs the mechanical world, organized crime preying on the poor while they protect them against the worst abuses of the corps and magical threats, the hope of humanity and the threat of the Horrors. Focus on what Shadowrun is and its atmosphere and give players and GMís as much freedom to play any way they like.

Rules Expansions have always added rules (now in D20 as well) and options to the game, but the focus needs to be on adding atmosphere first, then rules, then connecting it to game play. These books shouldnít be sterile, but filled with plot hooks and all should have one short adventure focusing on using the new rules. So RE: Matrix needs to develop the matrix as a cultural phenomenon, how everyone uses it and has a datajack, why it matters to non-deckers. Then add the decker rules and give ideas for decker characters and plot hooks, and have a short adventure that features decking prominently and in an appealing way. RE: Equipment would be part CC but with more useful items like electronics and how runners would use them, sneak suits, et al. RE: Magic would clean up some of the magical rules (like F1 Improved Invisibility) but still focus on atmosphere, rules, and connecting it to your own game. RE: Cyberware would be similar to MM but with more atmosphere and game ideas. RE: Rigging would be very visual like Equipment, but showing futuristic cars and jets will really help people visualize what Shadowrun looks like. SOTA is a good way to trickle in new toys and to update news and atmosphere of the game world.

Those books establish the atmosphere and boundaries of the game, but everything else needs to focus on blowing shit up. The biggest problem is the disconnect between cyberpunk dystopia and lingering bourgeois notions about nations and economics. The first major narrative needs to be the collapse of the nation state as it exists in Shadowrun now, with how it would be in the context of dystopian Shadowrun. Two interesting and underdeveloped Shadworun concepts are the policlubs and organized crime. Policlubs represent where the nationalistic energy will go, into small, highly motivated groups of thugs- political anarchy is the spirit of Shadowrun. Organized crime is too tied to the ethnic concepts of current passed OC. Shadowrun OC should be more like the Zaibatsuís. It makes sense that OC would follow the patterns of the mega-corps by focusing on profits, not ethnicity. We should see the rise of a vast Shadow Corporation, not a syndicate, but The Syndicate that operates outside the bounds of the Corporate Court and exists as almost like a franchise from sprawl to sprawl.

Sourcebooks on Policlubs and The Syndicate that is part atmosphere, part rules and ideas for players and GM and part adventures that introduce these concepts and connect to the larger narrative conflict lead to a campaign adventure. Policlubs and Syndicate start off the Narrative which leads to an adventure book that puts the characters into the conflict between rising patriotism that threatens the Corporate Court which issues an Omega Order on weakling nations (without some spiritual foundation). Poltical groups like New Revolution rise up to take back power from the corps combined with help from urban socialists guerillas, social justice groups and similar Policlubs looking for their chance with organized crime which leads to massive violence, political assassinations and the Corporate Council abolishing the UN, EU and all such political organizations and setting itself up as the world gov. GOD takes charge of the Matrix, they form other corporate policing bodies to monitor magical threats and The Syndicate becomes a shadow member of the Big Ten(11) for joining the Corps in fighting off and putting down the popular uprising. Let players decide how it ends, give them a chance to blow up the Zurich Orbital in petty retaliation and once itís been played, they send in response cards and the majority opinion becomes official Shadowrun in the next SOTA. Itís important to reach out to players and let them determine outcomes to get them more involved in Shadowrun. Every major campaign should end with the players deciding the final outcome and having it become canon. Once this campaign is over, Shadowrun will be realigned to its true dystopian nature and will allow for clearly defined conflict between corps, runners, policlubs, The Syndicate, Dragons and other Immortals. This is all about defining and refining what Shadowrun is. Thereís plenty of stuff similar to the now, Shadowrunís appeal is that itís a new world, with new problems and menaces, so the Shadowrun world needs to be new and distinct.

Itís important to tie Sourcebooks to the games. So include plot hooks and adventures and even connect them to a larger game narrative. Here are some other ideas for Sourcebooks and narratives. Lofwyr vs Alamaise - players decide which one lives and which one dies- can introduce more IEís and some deep background plus involves corps and policlubs. The Immortals- give actual stats for Harlequin and other immortals, including info on vampires and playing vampires. Connect this to a campaign featuring Harelquin (Harlequin Returns) which involves the Books of Harrow from Dunkís will, Horrors, Darke and the establishment of a new Shadow School, in a space station orbiting earth (why not?). Could use the Atlantean Foundation to introduce Laura Croft-style relic raiding characters and adventures. Deep Space- Develop space travel, space stations, colonies on the moon and mars. Push the tech envelope, and open up space travel and space adventure. Robotechnology- Androids as player characters, advanced drones and machines, cyberzombies and typical Ghost in the Shell stuff. Deus Ex Machina- campaign connected to Robotechnology, Deusí split personaís are united in android bodies, some of which gain their own personalities, players decide how it all ends. Iniatiates Sourcebook- focusing on advanced magical concepts like the Earthdawn adepts. Shadowrun archetypes, even for some non magical types, like the otaku. Introduce the Lightbearers and the Horrors as initiatory groups, some advanced metamagic and could connect it with a larger campaign, perhaps Harlequin Returns or something specific to Aztechnology who is now evil again. The point is to make it as big as possible. If players donít want to play big adventures, they donít have to, but you attract new players and define the game atmosphere by being dramatic. All the best stuff in Shadowrun was big and dramatic.

The strength of Shadowrun is the atmosphere, the unique magical angle and the personalities. Aztechnology had a personality when they were evil, once the morons tried to water down the Big A, what was the point? Who cares about just another corp? You have to develop personality or nobody will care. Aztec was defined, Ares, SK, Renraku, Novatech, Yamatetsu are defined. Cross, Mitsuhama, Wuxung and Shiawase are poorly defined and need more personality. What ever happened to Mercurial? Bring back all those characters you let slip away. Lofwyr is the spirit of Shadowrun, Dragon magic and Corporate dystopian, Harlequin is the spirit of shadowrunners. Use characters that are clearly the strengths of the game, make this stuff interesting and worth spending $20 on the next book to see what happens.

The Shadowrun website needs to be redesigned to reflect the new dystopian focus and visuals and to offer more player and GM support. More NPCís, free adventures, downloadable floor plans, more game atmosphere that gives new players a real sense of what Shadowrun is all about. Make Shadowrun as easy for beginners as possible. Translate all the old adventures and books to 4th Edition, and offer them free or cheap downloads. Especially for a game like Shadowrun, the website and the internet content has to be interesting and impressive.

Atmosphere and the conflict that defined personalities can create made Shadowrun great, but those two factors are exactly what Shadowrun has been shrinking away from for years. If Shadowrun has a future, it has to get back to what made it interesting in the first place, and reach out to new players. Simply, there has to be a new focus on players- new players and the game world they play in.

For information on where to send my six figure consulting fee, contact mastershake@fastmail.fm
Kagetenshi
Well, if you were line developer we'd never lack for volume of new releases.

~J
Ancient History
Or...you can admit that Rob has been doing a damn fine job as it is.

Master Shake, I'll only ever ask you for one favor, and this is it: never use my name to lend credence to anything unless I'm said as much already.
Solstice
I'm confused as to how this makes you God....
Supercilious
Pen and Paper RPGing will not die for years and years, until books themselves are replaced by a new medium.

The allure of the imagination and a "build your own story do whatever you want" world ensure the survival. As soon as videogames have a system that can be made up as you go along, simply by voice communication and players never get stuck on geometry, THEN they will be made obsolete. But only then.

EDIT: I have $4,000 worth of D&D D20 splat books, none of them were really worth the money. I like SR because each book is worth it, and the world is insanely good. I like how vague it is, I love have a vague world that i can fill in the blanks. I could never invent a world this detailed, but I could certainly insinuate that Renraku made Deus on purpose, hoping he could be as farsighted as Lofwyr so they could compete more effectively, but then Lofwyr found out and sabotauged the arc.... If the books TOLD ME how everything ended and left nothing to the imagination THAT is what would kill this game, turning SR into a LINEAR world would be the death of it.

Long live a vague drawn out political system where I get to make the answers, not an author.
RedmondLarry
Amazing. I have a new appreciation for Rob.
mfb
it'd take hours and hours for me to post everything i disagree with, in the post. suffice to say, the only vote option i can see myself clicking is "or".
Austere Emancipator
mfb took the words out of my, uhh, keyboard.
Synner
I was going to post something witty but I just thought, why bother? This thread is just so wrong on so many levels.
BitBasher
QUOTE (mfb)
it'd take hours and hours for me to post everything i disagree with, in the post. suffice to say, the only vote option i can see myself clicking is "or".

I concur.
Method

First of all, SR already has most (if not all) the stuff you are talking about.

Second the day SR goes D20 is the day it dies....
Nath
Oh, it's not like we never saw such rants about D20, street-level and big events, the choice between 1980ies' cyberpunk, post-cyberpunk, cyber-corporate, and the balance between corporations and states, the outcomes of adventure... I can remember discussing each of those in several occasions on DSF. They just were rolled into one single post. No really unique idea here, except maybe the Syndicate thing.
Crimsondude 2.0
I agree with mfb (shocking, I know), and everyone who said (essentially), "I have a new appreciation for Rob." I have a certain appreciation for Rob after reading this. Jebus. From the very beginning there is an incorrect assumption that the fanboys actually know more than the developers. It doesn't apply to something as broad as politics, so why the hell would it apply to something as specific as one of the few viable tabletop RPGs? Your views on governments are also short-sighted and predicated on the false premise that corps want them gone.

The only sentences I do agree with are, "Some of us see Shadowrun as a public trust while others see it as merely a job," and "SOTA is a good way to trickle in new toys and to update news and atmosphere of the game world." Maybe it's the fact that I've been playing this game for over a decade to realize that for all the things in SR that twist my nipple, the game is going in the right direction and this would kill SR completely.

Let me repeat that.

This would kill SR completely.

I am dumber for having read that post. I am retarded for writing a response.
GunnerJ
Well, if we wade through the shit a bit, there is a good kernal of an idea. I'd like to see the Shadowrun world develop a bit more focus, and I would like to see a generalized set of rules that can adapt to more play styles and possibilities in this world than the standard shadowrunning.

But yeah, I was wading through the shit for that, and I did vote "or."
Crimsondude 2.0
How do you focus and generalize simultaneously?
GrinderTheTroll
Bah, just read the first sentences of each paragraph.

QUOTE (Master Shake)
1) Some of us see Shadowrun as a public trust while others see it as merely a job.

2) The most important point to recognize is that there are better ways to spend your time and money.

3) Shadowrun is about atmosphere, itís about a dystopian future.

4) Shadowrun has done a poor job of defining its dystopian nature.

5) Shadowrun needs to appeal to D20 players.

6) After the general rulebook to introduce Shadowrun, there have to be books that give more background and atmosphere to players and GMís.

7) Rules Expansions have always added rules (now in D20 as well) and options to the game, but the focus needs to be on adding atmosphere first, then rules, then connecting it to game play.

8) Those books establish the atmosphere and boundaries of the game, but everything else needs to focus on blowing shit up.

9) Sourcebooks on Policlubs and The Syndicate that is part atmosphere, part rules and ideas for players and GM and part adventures that introduce these concepts and connect to the larger narrative conflict lead to a campaign adventure.

10) Itís important to tie Sourcebooks to the games.

11) The strength of Shadowrun is the atmosphere, the unique magical angle and the personalities.

12) The Shadowrun website needs to be redesigned to reflect the new dystopian focus and visuals and to offer more player and GM support.

13) Atmosphere and the conflict that defined personalities can create made Shadowrun great, but those two factors are exactly what Shadowrun has been shrinking away from for years.


6 of 13 mention "atmosphere", guess he's outta ideas.

3 of 13 use the word "dystopian", mmm dystopian.

PS - You can forfeit your vote just choose to "view results". ;)
Necro Tech
I'll say it because no one else has mentioned it. Six figures? In what universe?

Maybe he might mention who he is. Nah, that would mean taking a little responsibility.
Moirdryd
*blink, blink, blink*
GunnerJ
QUOTE (Crimsondude 2.0)
How do you focus and generalize simultaneously?

By doing them to different things. Focus the world, generalize the rules.
BitBasher
I think I'd like to mention that SR really isn't dystopian. For the average citizen of the world it's not all that much different in day to day life that today. The power shifted, but it's not really dystopian. It's actually pretty decent for most of the people.
Kanada Ten
Wow, I thought [dystopian] meant something totally different. I tend to think the Shadowrun world has oppressive elements, but the real darkness is the apathy and life's loss of value.
GunnerJ
I agree. There is a great deal of oppression and disparity between "haves" and "have-nots" in SR, but it's not dystopian in any meaningful sense of the word (i.e., in line with the dysdopian literary tradition). The main thing I get when I compare the SR world to today is how much weirder, faster, and more dangerous it is.
mfb
QUOTE (BitBasher)
It's actually pretty decent for most of the people.


i'd have to disagree; for most of the world's population, life pretty much sucks. Joe and Jane Corporate Citizen are the super-rich Haves of the world. that's pretty much the same situation we have today, though, so it depends on whether or not you define the modern world as 'dystopian' (as an increasing number of sci-fi and other fiction authors do).
Kanada Ten
I don't see any evidence that the modern world is any more oppressed or more terrorized than previous times... So unless we state that human life is always under the dystopian (* as bad as can be; characterized by human misery) rule... Seroiusly, things seem better than durning the Cold War.
Fortune
I do think the move towards more 'Street-Oriented' things at the expense of Metaplot-type material isn't necessarily a Good Thingô. As I've said many times before, I have no problem doing the street thing on my own. I want a nice mixture of both over-reaching plot lines and gritty world details.

I totally disagree with the need to produce Shadowrun D20. One of the attractions of Shadowrun is that it isn't D20.
Herald of Verjigorm
I still stand in support of Shadowrun D30.
Jťrťmie
My calendar is pretty messed up... I was sure it wasn't april 1st yet...
mfb
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
I don't see any evidence that the modern world is any more oppressed or more terrorized than previous times...

yeah, but the divide between rich and poor is much wider than it was in previous times. i guess i'm defining 'dystopian' not by how unhappy the have-nots are, but by how happy the haves are.

i'm strongly opposed to SR d20. i like d20, but i prefer SR's system for playing SR. any version of SR published in d20 would feel watered-down and stupidized to most veteran SR players, no matter how many cool and innovative game mechanics the publishers came up with to capture the SR feel.
Tziluthi
SR D20, huh? Master Shake, you make Baby Jesus cry.
DocMortand
I used to play Deadlands....and when I saw the D20 version, I nearly broke down and cried. The Mad Scientist just was lobotomized... (well, more than usual) One of the coolest parts of the scientist was actually drawing the schematics you were attempting to build. bleh...no more in D20. I still remember trying to make plastic explosive using bee honeycombs and dynamite...If I remember correctly, I failed so spectacularly that at the start of the campaign all my facial hair was burned off.

Personally, I like rolling drekloads of D6s myself...I own 4+ cubes of dice, be a shame to not use 'em...besides, I'm a huge Warhamster 40K player (5 armies), and that still uses the drekloads of D6 system too...so I'm used to it.

Besides, the SR system is dystopian enough, especially if the GM concentrates on the dystopian elements. Forcing everything to confirm to a single line ruins a lot of the fun of determining your own fate.

And yes, I voted "or"
Enigma
I completely disagree with the need to draw D20 players to Shadowrun. D20 players can get into Shadowrun, or they can not. D20 players do not make or break a game. I have to say that I have little respect at all for basically every D20 player I have met thus far, although that may just be a local phenomenon.

I guess I am like every other consumer when I say that I will keep buying Shadowrun books as long as they're good. I will stop when they are crap, and to be honest I am completely happy with the writing thus far. I own every Shadowrun book with a few first edition exceptions, and I have liked the SR2 writing, and I like the SR3 writing. I can see the change as the writers have changed and evolved and I like what they've done and also where they seem to be going. I don't think we need to elevate one single fan to Godliness in order to save SR. I think the SR writers are doing just fine without him.

I know that the day the writers release a D20 edition, or say in the front of a book that "this book is an effort to tap into the lucrative D20 market" and change the rules to that aim is the day I stop buying Shadowrun books forever, and I suspect I am not alone. Shadowrun has a unique system which is easily the best I have ever encountered, and I've been playing for some time and I have had a few games of most systems. I like that it's vague enough that you can cinematically fill in the blanks. I like that it is fairly deadly, that fights can be as cool or fast paced or deadly as you want. I like that as a GM I can improvise NPCs quickly because the rules are simple enough to do so. I like that there basically isn't any situation, or combat, or event which you can't cater for in the Shadowrun rules.

I feel that the SR3 line has thus far been nothing short of inspired. I do not see the need for any sort of radical rule change, nor do I see the need for a re-release of the Companion-type books. SR3 is still new and cool and is being done well. SR4 would be nothing short of a money-grubbing gimmick.

I agree that the SOTA books are a good idea. I like that the "Shadows of" books are not the sole focus of the sourcebook releases because, to be honest, I will write a game for an exotic locale every now and then but at least 75 percent of the games I write remain in the setting in which it started, being (usually) LA, Seattle or New Orleans.

In terms of the game world, I do not feel we need a regular supply of world changing events. There was a period of SR2 and SR3 where you defined your game by whether it was post- or pre-events, and I have to say that it was not good. I didn't like the fact that you described your game by saying "post Arcology but pre-comet". I like that the world changes and in a well thought-out and constructed way, but I do not think the game needs a regular event of significance in order to grow. I have the ability to think on my own and this enables me to write games for my players, and I like inspiration from Fanpro (and trust in them to have good ideas) but do not need them to do my thinking for me. I am a fan of the game world as it stands but I think the game benefits from well thought out sourcebooks and tech books just as much as it benefits from another Wake of the Comet type book.

There was very little material of any merit at all in Master Shake's post.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
yeah, but the divide between rich and poor is much wider than it was in previous times.

That's true, which is what I though dystopian meant: divided world. But it means the miserable world - which applies to all of human existence... that's what drives the damn thing forwards.

QUOTE
i guess i'm defining 'dystopian' not by how unhappy the have-nots are, but by how happy the haves are.

Wait, you're saying the haves were happier than the have-nots at one point, but now they're not as happy as the have-nots? I'm not sure I agree that anyone is happier or less happy than historically.

QUOTE
I feel that the SR3 line has thus far been nothing short of inspired.

Me too.

QUOTE
In terms of the game world, I do not feel we need a regular supply of world changing events. There was a period of SR2 and SR3 where you defined your game by whether it was post- or pre-events, and I have to say that it was not good.

Ah, but it's so how reality is. We're post-Cold War entering Terror War, now (meet the new boss, same as the old boss)... That doesn't mean you need to tie your game to the events directly, but they make handy markers in terms of tech and background.
Wounded Ronin
My response to the first post: no.
Tziluthi
You know the word Utopia? It means paradise. Dystopia is the opposite.
Cynic project
I vote "or" because frankly I live by the idea that 90% of everything is crap...And for the most part in shadowrun only about 10% is crap. So life is good. Besides this guy is crazy.
Tanka
QUOTE (Tziluthi)
You know the word Utopia? It means paradise. Dystopia is the opposite.

Which means any setting you choose to be in is a dystopia, just by English technicalities.

Opposite of utopia? Not a utopia. So, therefore, life is a dystopia. (Really, really vague and roundabout, but if you look at it for a second, it works.)

To be honest, all of the points were so far off base I think that you're (the first poster) just here to sow dissension amongst the forumites. What you've instead succeeded in doing was to mark yourself as nothing more than a wordmonger -- and a bad one at that.

SRd20 would be murder to the game. The entire idea of the game is that it is not d20.

I quote from the FAQ on http://www.shadowrunrpg.com:

QUOTE
Are you going to publish a Shadowrun D20 system?
No. We have no interest in diving into the flood of D20 products since we are quite happy with the game system as it is. The Shadowrun system also does not mesh well with the character-class, hit-or-miss, no-levels-of-success D20 system.

Should I be more clear? More articulate?

There will be no D20 Shadowrun as long as FanPro holds the reins.

Also:

QUOTE
Are you going to publish a Shadowrun, Fourth Edition?
What, are you trying to say that Shadowrun, Third Edition isn't perfect?!
No, we have no plans for SR4 at this time.

Why does the system need a fourth edition? For background updates? Why, that's preposterous! That's exactly what a sourcebook is for, and in fact is what is being used in things like the "Shadows of..." series.

In fact, the "Shadows of..." series is not on countries, but on where countries are according to what we know as of January 2005. Hence "Shadows of" and not "North America Sourcebook." Instead, it talks about the area that we know as Germany and describes who is in power at the time, what's happened since the writing, so on and so forth. It is not a "Germany still exists as a country, and this is what's what." It is a "this is where Germany was. This is who is now in power. These are the sects of people clamoring for power" and so on and so forth.

Please. Think before typing. Everything you have just offered us is completely against what the world stands for.

You want to define more dystopia? Do it yourself in your own games with your descriptions. Don't expect FanPro to write your games for you.
Adam
QUOTE
SRd20 would be murder to the game. The entire idea of the game is that it is not d20.


Yeah, I'm pretty sure one of the design goals in 1989 was to "not be like that d20 game" released more than 10 years later. wink.gif
Cynic project
Utopia means something on the lines of "No where".Dystopia in an odd way means, something along the lines of "not no where"....
FlakJacket
To paraphrase Henry Rollins, "I wish I could sue people for time back on my life."
Tanka
QUOTE (Adam)
QUOTE
SRd20 would be murder to the game. The entire idea of the game is that it is not d20.


Yeah, I'm pretty sure one of the design goals in 1989 was to "not be like that d20 game" released more than 10 years later. wink.gif

When I refer to d20, I also refer to D&D simply because that is what d20 stemmed off of.

Yes, there was a popularity spike recently in d20 products, but the popularity of D&D has been around since the 70s.
Thanos007
Refine the rules so that you can run many styles of games? The type of game is decided by atmosphere. Man, for a guy who obviously loves the word atmosphere you don't seem to know how it works.

Thanos

OK. It's also decided by character generation but still...
Mr. Man
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mfb
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
Wait, you're saying the haves were happier than the have-nots at one point, but now they're not as happy as the have-nots? I'm not sure I agree that anyone is happier or less happy than historically.

wait, what? whoah. lemme start over.

my basic assumption is that the have-nots of any age are going to be pretty much equally miserable; below a certain level of suck, it just doesn't matter whether you're in the stone age or the fusion age--life's hard, and you're generally too busy dealing with it to get any miserabler.

so, since you can't judge dystopianism on the have-nots, you have to judge it on the haves--more specifically, how much higher the quality of life is for the haves, than it is for the the have-nots.

at this point in history, the worldwide gap between have and have-not is really, really high. ergo, according to a certain definition of "dystopian" that quite possibly only exists inside my own head, we live in a dystopian world.

this sounds vaguely crazy, i guess, but it seems to make sense to some people--people like sterling, stephenson, and (in his latest book) gibson. (of course, stephenson made the point that any age can be considered dystopian, in the Baroque Cycle, so... whatever.)

Sandoval Smith
SR is defintely a dystopian setting. Large swathes of the population are disenfranchised and unhappy. Pollution is killing a great deal of the world. Many of the streets are unsafe, and corproate Darwinism is the rule of the day. Ick.

Anyway, SR D20 is a ridiculous concept. D20 works best for people who have a great idea of a setting, but don't have the ability to write a whole new rule system around it. They can just use this existing, open liscense, easily adaptable system for whatever story they want to tell.

SR meanwhile, already has a fully functioning system, which the majority of players like, and which is part of the character of the game (I play a lot of D&D and L5R, and enjoy it, but sometimes, it just feels _good_ to roll that handful of d6s). Nothing is going to be gained by converting it, and the staggering (not to mention pointless) headache of converting everything will probably kill whoever tries it (just thinking about the magic system makes me want to pop a capilary).
The White Dwarf
HAHAHAHahahahahahahahah (breath) aHAHAHAHAHAhahahahaha!

Shake, seriously, whatever youre smoking, cut back man.
Adarael
From Crimsondude 2.0:
QUOTE
I am dumber for having read that post. I am retarded for writing a response.


That is my new sig file. That's about the best quote for anything on the internet I've ever read. Rock.
Shanshu Freeman
QUOTE (Ancient History)
Or...you can admit that Rob has been doing a damn fine job as it is.

Master Shake, I'll only ever ask you for one favor, and this is it: never use my name to lend credence to anything unless I'm said as much already.

lol <3
Trashman
If provocation is Shake's game...

he admirably succeeded. One has to give him that.

At least, the rants are thought-provoking. Assuming books are really on their way out (at least in 2050 they are rare amongst runners but they are still there!), one could just set up a think tank and consider the idea of publishing SR on CDRom. Basically just a marketing ploy, natch, but perhaps there is the odd potential customer segment getting hysterical about the prospect of having to carry around books.
Not me, I like looking at that meter or so of SR books on my shelf wink.gif

Besides everything else - and I don't want to make this thread much longer than it already is - I side with those stating SR is not dystopian. Since it's basically science fiction it merely takes our world and views it through an extremist lense. What makes it so very special IMHO is the inclusion of magic, so stating there just might be something beyond our Newtonian world view. No esoteric mumbojumbo, just... neat.

When SR came out it had that chaotic devil-may-care attitude. Logical. We had one of the worst 'peaceful' decades behind us. And everything in SR was being described from the gutterpunk perspective of the runners or for their benefit.
SR has long lost this. I like to think Dunkelzahn's Will as the turning-point where the developpers sort-of said: Look, this world which the majority of denizens think "just OK" or "can't help it" may take a turn to the good or to the bad. You guys'n'gals have got the guns and the guts (and sometimes the brains), so why don't you stop having fun and start making a difference?

But then again I just might be naive do-gooder... wink.gif
Tanka
I'll take books over a PDF any day. Books don't have a battery life, nor are they ridiculously fuzzy on screen.

Sure, they break apart. Sure, you need some form of light when it's dark out.

Who cares? I'll be using them for years, and years, and years, and years...
kevyn668
I was midly interested until I got to the "4th Edition" and "D20" parts. Then I skipped the rest just so I could post that.

Edit: Now that I think of it, didn't MS pull something like this a while back?
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