Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Adept Powers of SOTA 2064
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Deacon
This is what my GM had to say about the adept powers in SOTA 2064. I agree with a lot of what he says, and quite frankly, I think the ball was dropped with this book.

I'm posting this because he says very eloquently what most of my opinions are.

QUOTE
Originally posted at Shadowrun Denver MUSH:
I'd just like to say before I go about tearing this book up - and by god, am I going to tear it up - that I am not a magic hater. I actually like magic. There are many things about the magic system I enjoy. But in many ways, I feel like the game is getting away from what it was supposed to be, especially with regards to Physical Adepts, which this book really seems to concentrate on.

Nor am I attacking [...], or anyone else who likes this book. I am merely attacking the ideas of the writers, who I think have been taking large hits off of illegal substances.

Also, these are only my opinions. Even if I don't like something, I may end up approving it for play if the rest of staff feels differently, as long as it doesn't seem like it's going to break the game.

I feel like a lot of these powers are fads. The writers have a specific character concept in mind, and created specific powers to fit that specific concept. In my mind, that is the worst way to come up with powers. Powers should be general, balanced, and fit the concept of the physical adept. I have serious, serious issues with all the crap in this book dedicated to making Adepts the new Fixers, or the new Mage Helper, or the new Animal Controller. Bull. Shit. On to specifics.


Aid Spell: There's no limit on this power on how many dice the mage can actually use, like with Spell Pool and Sorcery Skill. A chargen level adept could effectively act as a Force 6 focus for all of a mage's spells, even to a Mage with Sorcery 1.

Animal Empathy: Not too bad - other than the very specific nature of the power. There are no 'animal handling' rules, not even in Critters. Too specific to be useful. Also seems like part of a PC-animal fad. Fads make poor powers.

Commanding Voice: And this one states the target either carries out the command, or pauses in indecision (GM call) - GM call based on what? If the command made sense? Flip of a coin? If they feel like it?

Cool Resolve: Does 'manipulated' mean you can also use this in Negotiation tests when people are trying to manipulate you to a lower price? And it doesn't protect against the Fear or Influence power of critters (something I could actually see as being useful).

Deep Rooting: I suppose if we were using maps and miniatures for combat, this would be a good power. Sort of. Most of the things you'd want to use this power have so many other problems (weight of weapon, weight of ammo, legality), the recoil is the least of your worries.

Eidetic Sense Memory: Ever wanted to use /log as a justification for knowing something? This would be it. Vaguely acceptable, though it would be nice to see an 'average time' for reading a book, and just how much faster this makes it.

Elemental Strike: Let's go over a couple of these, shall we? Blast: Characters struck with this effect are subject to Knockdown associated with Melee combat. Uhm... Fire: Did you know that if you set someone on fire in melee combat, their ammo/grenades may go off while you're standing right next to them? Ice: Any moving vehicle must immediately make a crash test. There's something for all the people wanting to fuck with vehicles with melee attacks. There's more, but at least half of them are so vague as to be useless.

Empathic Healing: [FanPro] forgot to add in Bio Index, there. Oops. I'm really not sure where I stand on this one. Compared to, say, a Heal spell, or even a little quick First Aid, it doesn't seem all that useful. Where you had one wounded person, now you have two, slightly lesser wounded people.

Empathic Reading: So if you're telling a lie, you roll Negotiation to see if people catch you? Hm. New one on me. Wouldn't that mean that most Negotiations get -1 TN per level, then, such as negotiating price down? I sense much bickering with this power.

Enhanced Balance: This could be acceptable - if it weren't for the fact that you can already buy a -2 to balance, as 'any sense provided by cyberware can be provided by Improved Sense'. Including Balance Augmentation (senseware), which gives -2 to all rolls involving balance and Knockdown.

Enthralling Performance: An interesting power for the occasional NPC to make them more unique, perhaps. Worthy of its own entry? Uhm. No. Not something I can see them having.

Facial Sculpt: I don't know. This power seems a little... off. I can't put my finger on a reason, specifically. Maybe it just reminds me of all those B-rated horror movies.

Gliding: If it's considered a Difficult maneuver, that makes it TN 6-7! What do you mean, the GM determines the TN? This effect always seemed highly cheesy to me in the movies - it seems no less cheesy here.

Improved Ability: Well, thank god they didn't include Technical skills. But they did include Social Skills. What with all the Negotiation modifiers so far, Fixers are now an Adept class. Mundanes won't be able to compete, period. Never have I seen a better example of marginalization. Doom and gloom aside, I can see many PC fixers retiring and going back into chargen to become Adepts.

Inertial Strike: So... subtract a damage level, but add a success needed. Vaguely useful, I suppose. Seems rather limited, though. I would've done this simply as an increase in the TN to resist it.

Iron Guts: Another version of cyber Ingested Filters! The powers that don't seem useless or outrageously overpowered all seem like versions of cyberware. I hate that. smile.gif

Iron Lungs: See above statement, with the note that Internal Air Tanks are actually far, far more effective than this power and only cost 0.25 essence.

Kinesics: Fixer Adepts. Even more powerful than Cultured Tailored Pheremones with the bonus to TN's. Bleah. No.

Linguistics: For no karma cost. For *no* karma cost. I wonder if anyone at FASA bothered to think of the fact that a Trid comes with millions of channels, in every language known to man. I don't even doubt that there are Sperethiel channels. Anyone for picking up two new languages /every day/? I am so not handling those queues. smile.gif Why don't we just say they know all languages at 1 and make it easy? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Living Focus: Hey, didn't we already have a power about adepts acting as a focus? Oh, wait, this is for sustaining. I wonder if, further down, there's a power that gives mages more dice for Conjuring, too. Seriously, adepts acting as a focus for mages is just a totally whack concept to me. I don't know what they were smoking.

Melanin Control: Hair is dead. How can you change the color of dead stuff? Must be magic. That aside, this is another power that falls into the 'how can we make adepts better at disguising themselves', and thus falls into my personal grudge-bucket about getting away from what Physical Adepts are supposed to be. Have people forgotten that the first word, before 'Adept', is PHYSICAL?

Motion sense: See also: Ultrasound Vision. Only with a new table of TNs to deal with. And more modifiers. And ultimately not being as useful, since Background count applies, and it only gives -2 to visibility. Seriously, if you're using this power, you're likely at a +8 penalty already for being blind.

Multi-Tasking: From the one line description, this power actually LOOKs really really powerful. From the game effects, this looks wussy. However, I'd probably allow this one (after changing the description), because having two Free Actions instead of one is a very useful, but not overpowering, ability. It actually make some sense.

Nimble Fingers: They forgot Draw Weapon. Oh, that's right, Quickdrawing pistols is so easy to do, nobody needs Draw Weapon as a Free Action anyway. Vaguely useful. Would consider it, but the +1 die to Stealth? Covered by Improved Ability. I'd whack that part.

Pain Relief: Hey, look, more mage-powering adept powers! Bleah. That's all. Just bleah. Are these Physical Adepts, or Meta-Physical Adepts?

Penetrating Strike: Hmmm. Something actualy interesting. And it fits. And the prices seem reasonable. As do the rules. I'd probably allow this one.

Resilience: This one seems fairly decent as well. I guess the crack wore off when they got to this section.

Side Step: Oh, no, wait, they took another hit. Full Dodge? Pretty sure they meant Full DEFENSE. Gah. You can almost *double* the size of your effective Combat Pool, and in combat, ranged or melee, your Combat Pool is your life. Too powerful.

Sprint: On the surface, this looks okay. However, I have some qualms about the potential for Adepts to break the sound barrier, like Rigger 3 did with motorcycles. Would have to do the math. Also not sure how ridiculous this would be with Great Leap.

Sustenance: Hey, we have something like this. It's called a Sleep Regulator. But.. uhm. A sleep regulator doesn't work this well, and for only 0.25 points. *THWAK*

Three-D Memory: Magic Rating in square meters? 6 square meters? You could barely memorize a coffin motel's room, 2 x 3 meters. What the hell? Useless.

Voice Control: This is just... I don't know. Kind of silly. And potentially abusive, combined with Controlling Voice.

Wall Running: Another skill that reminds me of bad martial arts movies that have wires everywhere, or video games that allow you to 'wall jump'. Meh. Cheesy, corny, whatever you call it, definately some kind of processed food product.

Metamagics

Attunement: While not, perhaps, overpowering, I question the large number of powers and abilities that are being put forth for Adepts to control animals. Has anyone here ever tried to train an animal to fetch slippers? It takes months. Now imagine trying to control the thing in combat. While it is possible, it takes years and years of training. I get the feeling that pets are becoming an 'in' thing, and that certain powers and abilities reflect that. This is one of them. I would also guess that most GMs simply allow PCs to control pets as if they were another character. Easy, simple - and very very bad, with the playing styles we typically have online. I wouldn't allow this, simply because of the projected abuse it seems to want to encourage.

Cognition: Better than Mnemonic Enhancers, even. The karma reduction applies to all skills. It lets you center with Perception tests. It lets you center against the defaulting penalty from Intelligence. I would chalk this one up to 'too powerful', even with the two prerequistites.

Empower Animal Companion: More animal powers. Almost acceptable, if it didn't seem like part of the new fad. Spending karma for something temporary has also never been something I've been a fan of.

Infusion: A nightmare of bookkeeping and number crunching for the GM running the scene.

Limited Astral Projection: Enh? Enh. This isn't so bad. I could see this.

Somatic Control: As Infusion - but WORSE! Math, attribute numbers, and skill modifiers dance before your eyes! I would flatout refuse to do the math as a GM.

Vituoso: While an interesting concept for a one-time plot, perhaps - SCADS of potential for abuse. Imagine a dancer adept having a Virtuoso act that she begins in the middle of combat. Suddenly, the Background Count jumps to 5, making Magic useless. And potentially enthralling everyone in the area. Alternately, there could be some argument made about a piece of clothing being a Masterpiece, so you have a continual Background Count following you around that Enthralls people. Mage Armor, here I come. Bleah.

As for the different Hermetic ways: Uhm. Hermetics. The whole point of Hermeticism is that they *all work the same way*. Despite quibbling on precise terms, as such, in game terms, they *all work the same way*. That is the point of being a Hermetic Mage. All this seems like extra potentially abusible window dressing.

And lastly, Rune Magic: So, let's see. Double the base time. Extra test to make that can muck up your enchantment. Each restriction reduces the TN by -1. Well, let's start with, 'Only usable by me', and work down from there. On here, we actually say, 'If it doesn't restrict you in some fashion, it's not a geas', but that would make this thing pretty darn useless.

In conclusion... I see a whole boatload of arguments about how things work, mages vs. sammies, marginalized mundanes and overpowered archetypes, and that's just in the new Adept powers. Bunk. They want how much money for this six-month headache waiting to happen again? I'll pass.

Craig


Feel free to share your opinions.
FXcalibur
QUOTE
Melanin Control: Hair is dead. How can you change the color of dead stuff? Must be magic. That aside, this is another power that falls into the 'how can we make adepts better at disguising themselves', and thus falls into my personal grudge-bucket about getting away from what Physical Adepts are supposed to be. Have people forgotten that the first word, before 'Adept', is PHYSICAL?


I like the fact that SR3 calls Adepts 'Adepts' and not 'Physical Adepts'.
Ancient History
This reminds me, I just updated my metamagics page through SOTA: 2064 last night.
toturi
QUOTE (FXcalibur @ Feb 7 2005, 08:03 PM)
I like the fact that SR3 calls Adepts 'Adepts' and not 'Physical Adepts'.

I agree and I think that's why the book is called SOTA 2064. It is perfectly fine for people to stay 2050s and have nothing against people who want to play SR2 but come on, people, let's get with the program, shall we?

AH: Cognition reduces Karma for all skills, not just Knowledge skills.
Deacon
QUOTE (toturi)
QUOTE (FXcalibur @ Feb 7 2005, 08:03 PM)
I like the fact that SR3 calls Adepts 'Adepts' and not 'Physical Adepts'.

I agree and I think that's why the book is called SOTA 2064. It is perfectly fine for people to stay 2050s and have nothing against people who want to play SR2 but come on, people, let's get with the program, shall we?

AH: Cognition reduces Karma for all skills, not just Knowledge skills.

Okay, folks, let's all harp on the guy for using a term which was ingrained into him from 2nd Edition, shall we?

Frankly, if you have nothing else interesting to add besides laughing at the man for using outdated terms, I don't want to hear it.
Moonwolf
Yeah, adepts are good at what they do, and the new powers are quite powerful, but mundanes at startup can do far more, even if they aren't as good at any one thing. A good cyber/bioware package at startup can be vastly more effective than an adept, and then you complain about the powers that make them different. Remember that an adepts powers are mostly built around what they believe that they should be able to do, and that spellcasting allows all of those to be done much cheaper. Adepts are still the weakest starting team member in my view, but now they can actually fully fulfil their paths, rather than just buying extra stuff to use power points up. Invisible way just ended up taking only about 2-3 points of powers, and then you'd finished before SOTA'64.
Fortune
The only Powers I really have a problem with are the Social ones.
FXcalibur
QUOTE (Deacon)
QUOTE (toturi)
QUOTE (FXcalibur @ Feb 7 2005, 08:03 PM)
I like the fact that SR3 calls Adepts 'Adepts' and not 'Physical Adepts'.

I agree and I think that's why the book is called SOTA 2064. It is perfectly fine for people to stay 2050s and have nothing against people who want to play SR2 but come on, people, let's get with the program, shall we?

AH: Cognition reduces Karma for all skills, not just Knowledge skills.

Okay, folks, let's all harp on the guy for using a term which was ingrained into him from 2nd Edition, shall we?

Frankly, if you have nothing else interesting to add besides laughing at the man for using outdated terms, I don't want to hear it.

It's not the term itself. It's that SR3 seemed to make adepts less defined as pure combat archetypes by removing the 'physical' from the front. It opens up more possibilities for exploring powers.
Grinder
QUOTE (Fortune)
The only Powers I really have a problem with are the Social ones.

And the opening of improved skill to b/r and technical skills. "i am the master adept of auto repair!". sure.
Sokei
I find the language power to be pretty useless aside from the near automatic language learning at 1.
toturi
QUOTE (FXcalibur)
It's not the term itself. It's that SR3 seemed to make adepts less defined as pure combat archetypes by removing the 'physical' from the front. It opens up more possibilities for exploring powers.

Exactly my point. In SR3, it is adepts. The Ways define the adept and there are many Ways, not just "physical" Ways. Social adepts are simply one manifestation. If he was complaining about upsetting game balance, then fine, it is his opinion that such powers upset game balance. But IMO, introducing these powers simply mean that the adept is no longer fixed into certain roles
Large Mike

Despite some of the powers detracting from other archtypes (taking even facing out of the realm of the relativly uncybered mundane), I cannot objectivly say that any of them are broken. Although you can be damn sure I ask adept characters in my games what their way is *much* more often now. "Wall running, improved negotiation and killing hands? Sounds like somebody's Way-less."
Xirces
QUOTE (Grinder)
QUOTE (Fortune @ Feb 7 2005, 01:39 PM)
The only Powers I really have a problem with are the Social ones.

And the opening of improved skill to b/r and technical skills. "i am the master adept of auto repair!". sure.

Does this include things such as Computer, Electronics or Driving?

Whilst I agree that Adepts can be weak sometimes - any Adept that wishes to specialise in a particular area (Face, Ranged Combat, Unarmed Combat) WILL be better than any other character who specialises in the same field. It's almost at the point where every character might as well be an Adept - you can have the face adept, combat adept, hiding and disguise adept, driving adept, computing adept etc, etc...

Fortune
Technical Skills (computer/electronics/biotech/demolitions etc) are not included in the Improved Ability Power, but their B/R counterparts are (if applicable), as are Vehicle Skills.
hahnsoo
The way we've decided to play these new adept rules is to make all adepts follow a "Path" that encompasses a set of abilities (Path of the Warrior, Path of the Invisible Way, Path of the Social Adept, etc.) and any purchase outside the set costs double the amount of power points. It's pretty much similar to the way we've been playing adepts anyway (except that my group typically doesn't purchase powers outside of Path). Adding a new "Path" (on top of the existing one) is a metamagic ability. Magician's Way adepts can choose one other Path to follow at character creation.

This is starting to sound a bit like Earthdawn, where every PC is an adept of some sort. biggrin.gif
Grinder
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
This is starting to sound a bit like Earthdawn, where every PC is an adept of some sort. biggrin.gif

The new adept-power "gliding" is a lot like the Earthdawn-talent "gliding stride".
Garland
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
This is starting to sound a bit like Earthdawn, where every PC is an adept of some sort.

Gee, almost like it's the same world or something. nyahnyah.gif
Cray74
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
This is starting to sound a bit like Earthdawn, where every PC is an adept of some sort. biggrin.gif

Someone beat me to it.

Yes, it is. I like a lot of the new options in SOTA:2064. They're really opening up the adept field. No longer just "ninjas" and "kung fu masters," they're really starting to apply magic to many fields - much like in Earthdawn.
Xirces
I think the big issue is that you can now have an Adept who is, simultaneously, better at fighting than the Sammy, better at driving than the Rigger and better socially than the Face.

This was actually always my complaint about the Adept in particular (and magicians in general to a lesser extent) - every other character type becomes redundant.

I recall playing 1st edition when adepts (and sorry, they'll always be //physical// adepts to me as well) were first introduced and it didn't seem that bad - pretty effective martial artists with some nice mystical skills. Then the improved ability got extended to modern weapons which took the emphasis away from other characters. Then you get a few more powers added - it's the way that it creeps along, just getting better and better that really bothers me. It doesn't help that idiot fanbois create more super powers because they think adepts are the ultimate power and should be able to flip out and kill everyone.

I specifically remember having a conversation with my group about 15 years ago during which I raised the issue that magicial types were getting too powerful, to which I was told that my character (a pretty archetypal sammy) could have all those cool toys from the SSC. A quick scan round everyone's character sheets showed that those toys were been used by EVERYONE - the mage had milspec armour and a PAC, the physad was using forearm guards. You get the idea.

Basically, any character type that uses technology can easily be replicated by an adept because they have access to the same tech at no cost to their skills - in some areas Adepts are just better (vision mods count as natural for a start). Spell slinging can be replicated by Adepts already at only marginal loss of skills. Now Adepts also make the best faces. Will SOTA65 include the computing adepts (I know, they're just like Otaku), driving adepts (a natural VCR or some crap like it)?

Whilst the notion of having a "way" should constrain things a bit I don't see how this can be enforced. How long before someone wants a Ninja (who as we all know are a combination of Warrior's Way, Invisible Way, Social Way, Disguise Way and Every Which Way)?

Bah.

//edit: (wow, I ranted more than i thought..!)//
toturi
Yes, the Path of the Munchkin would pretty much give you access to any power you'd like. biggrin.gif

Looking at it from a IC POV, I see it as why the Awakened are often allowed things that a mundane suit would not be allowed to do. An Awakened asset is an asset that no mundane can ever hope to duplicate. All the mundane PC have over the magical PC is the advantage of having earlier access to technological toys than the magical types and not having to worry about magical loss from deadly damage.
Demonseed Elite
I'm all for criticism, feedback, and discussion, but that guy's rant is all over the map. I'm not even sure where his point is. Some powers he describes as overpowered, some underpowered, some not "popular" enough for entry, some he just "doesn't like." I want to respond, but I'm not really sure I can, because I can't see where his position is. What is he saying?
Crimsondude 2.0
You use the term, "pooched mundanes" like it's a bad thing.

Frankly, I look at the SR1 and SR2 physads (LIke I'm going to use terms created by Steve Kenson. Right.), and compared to SR3 they just flat-out suck. The rules for attribute (including Reaction) bonuses was just awful, as was the decoupling of Inc. Reaction and Inc. Reflexes. You didn't have any of the Centering bonuses--You had to actually get a power called Enhanced Centering for 2 pp each. Frankly, for nearly ten years (I was a latecomer to SR3) my reaction to physads was: Why bother?

Besides, a physad may now be a better driver than a Rigger. But they'll never be faster, nor will they be able to do anything Rigger-like except drive the car. Oooooooh.
mfb
quick translation: "omg SOTA:64 is teh suck!!1!!!"

seriously, some of the complaints he made are just plain wrong. for instance, his complaint about Empathic Reading centers around the fact that using Negotiation to lie is "a new one on him". page 88 of SR3, which specifically states that Negotiation is what you roll when you're trying to lie to someone, has been around long enough that anyone it catches by surprise has only themselves to blame. most of his other complaints are based on the fact that he wouldn't want to play an adept with these powers--which automatically means, apparently, that no one else should either, making the entire book a waste of money.

not to mention the fact that he missed the most glaring flaw in the entire book: Three-D Memory is measured in square meters.
Garland
I'm not sure how creating "useless" powers "pooches mundanes." Then again, I'm not sure what "pooching" is.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Xirces)
Whilst the notion of having a "way" should constrain things a bit I don't see how this can be enforced. How long before someone wants a Ninja (who as we all know are a combination of Warrior's Way, Invisible Way, Social Way, Disguise Way and Every Which Way)?

Bah.

//edit: (wow, I ranted more than i thought..!)//

We use the designations listed in Magic in the Shadows, along with Way of the Beast, Way of the Social Adept, Way of the Explorer (Vehicle Skills), and Way of the Creator (B/R). It is enforced by group consensus (since we have long since done away with GM fiat). Plus, my group is pretty concerned about maintaining balance and respect to the genre (again, we've never had anyone take powers "outside" of their way before). It's not that we oppose the new powers (I like the fact that there are Music and Social adepts finally), which breathe a long breath of fresh air into the adept rules (whether they like it or not smile.gif ). I'm personally looking forward to the resurgance of the Rocker archetype.

I'm glad folks caught the Earthdawn reference with the big cheesy grin.
Adam
QUOTE (Garland)
I'm not sure how creating "useless" powers "pooches mundanes." Then again, I'm not sure what "pooching" is.

I suspect it means "screws" or "makes pointless" in this context. smile.gif
Xirces
OK, it's not a well written rant (actually doesn't "rant" preclude "well-written"?), but as I tried to point out (in my own rant) there are some valid points...

1) In some ways, Adepts are given increased power specifically because, currently, there are things that they cannot do as well as other character types (much like the unbalanced crap you find on the intarwebs - some of this really is only one step away from the Adept smartlink power)

2) Adepts are given additional powers and options to allow them to achieve things that are niche, or "flavour of the month" (animal training)

3) Adepts are given additional powers that aren't actually any good, making one wonder why anyone would take them and leading to an impression that it's not been thought out properly.

But, hey, none of that matters because everyone knows that Adepts are cool and have real ultimate power™.

I've not got SOTA64 (and judging from the the content I've heard about so far - not including this - so it's not on my shopping list for a while - especially since PDFs of some OOP is now available...) but it seems a continuation of the trend of making magic in general and adepts in particular into the superheroes that some people seem to want runners to be...

Some of the stuff like the music/performance fields might be interesting - I actually like the Rocker and media stuff from Shadowbeat so I'm interested in how this will sit together...
Fortune
The animal stuff will probably tie in quite well with the soon-to-be-released Running Wild.

As I said earlier, the Social Powers are the things I have the most trouble swallowing. I also don't see the rationale behind the Metamagics like Cognition and Attunement (Animal) being Adept-only, as opposed to being open to all Initiates.
Demonseed Elite
For the record, and as a writer (though not one that was involved with SOTA64), I do think the whole magic vs. cybersams vs. deckers vs. riggers relationship needs a serious re-examining with an SR4 sometime in the near future. But that's not my call. wink.gif
Crimsondude 2.0
QUOTE (Xirces)
(actually doesn't "rant" preclude "well-written"?)

No. That would be, "ravings of an ignorant lunatic."

QUOTE (Fortune)
I also don't see the rationale behind the Metamagics like Cognition and Attunement (Animal) being Adept-only, as opposed to being open to all Initiates.

Because they're similar to the physad-only Centering bonuses for skills, maybe?

QUOTE (Demonseed Elite)
I do think the whole magic vs. cybersams vs. deckers vs. riggers relationship needs a serious re-examining with an SR4 sometime in the near future.

Any particular reason why, DE?

I've never understood the very nature of the sam vs. physad debate, so maybe it's just me that I couldn't care less about which character type can kick the most ass.

But I do find it interesting that people are concerned that there might be more physads to reflect the fact that there are by canon more Adepts--physads, sorcerors, conjurers, shamanists, elementalists, et al.--than there are full mages. If this is what it takes to reflect that reality, then so be it.

As for the original rant... meh.
Demonseed Elite
QUOTE
Any particular reason why, DE?


Well, when the game first started, there were clear divisions between the various "roles." You were a decker or a sam or an adept or a mage, etc. Which is one way to go with a game. Since then, the game has moved in a direction that blurs the lines. There are many flavors of adepts now, many crawling into roles once dominated by other characters (I'm not making a judgement here on whether that's good or bad, it's just a fact). Deckers are now often played as combo-characters as half-decker/half-sam or something, mostly because that role was very sidelined compared to others because of how the rules worked. Riggers often have some overlap too. And as the rules continue to be developed, there definitely seems to be a design intent to blur these lines more.

Which I'm not saying is bad. In fact, I'm a huge fan of games that don't put characters in little cookie-cutter archetypes ("Oh, I'm the level 10 Rogue/Fighter!"). But I think SR is kinda in a limbo where the basic mechanics of the game still make those role distinctions, but the books since have blurred the lines away from that. So I think it'd be great if SR4 came around to really build the rules from the ground up getting rid of the clear-cut distinctions (though samples could still be given that include clear-cut roles). I would like to see more deckers that are part of the physical extraction team and know how to use weapons. I'd like to see more combat specialists who mix a few magical abilities with high-tech cyber. And not be munchkin while doing it, just a fundamental design where those things can be mixed without an overpoweredness or a flexible view of the rules.
shadow_scholar
I've been out of Shadowrun for a number of years now, and only recently have I just begun to return to the game because some old gaming buddies asked that I run a SR game. So I head to the local comic/game shop and see various new sourcebooks...cool. I was very glad to see SR is continuing to evolve, until I actually began to look a little closer at the new books. I dunno, as an old player/GM (I got in just after the release of 2nd Ed) I find this need to release a State of the Art book every year somewhat disturbing. It seems like a few new toys for players and GMs alike that is meant to get more of your money as a Shadowrun gamer. It seems very mercenary to me, and it doesn't seem like I get back as much as I pay for it. I still haven't seen SOTA 2063, but that doesn't really matter, I'm still gonna pass on that stuff for now. I'll stick to my main sourcebook, my gun book, my magic book, my rigger book, my cyberware book, and my matrix book. Honestly, I don't even need all that, I have yet to even read the Decker book, and I find the rigger book majorly less useful to me now that it doesn't even contain pictures of the vehicles anymore (and why the hell not?).

As for Mr Johnson's Little Black Book, that's awesome, and I applaud that they brought all that old stuff back. I probably would have picked that up if I didn't already have the Sprawl Sites book and the Contacts booklet.

What happened to the cool sourcebooks that showed other facets of the Shadowrun universe, like the geographic ones (there's 90% of the SR world that isn't even touched) and genre books like the Underworld Sourcebook and Cyberpirates? Has Shadowrun now been reduced to a pure monetary enterprise, run by the almighty dollar? My, my, how ironic that seems to me, a game that pokes jabs at corps who are interested in only money being published by a company that seems to follow the very same formula.
Cochise
QUOTE (Crimsondude 2.0)
But I do find it interesting that people are concerned that there might be more physads to reflect the fact that there are by canon more Adepts--physads, sorcerors, conjurers, shamanists, elementalists, et al.--than there are full mages.

*erm* Do you have canon source for that, because so far I was under the impression that full magicians make up the majority of those 1% of awakened persons within the SR universe ...
Demonseed Elite
Shadow Scholar, I think you need to go back to your gaming store and look at the collection of books again. There is a major book line in SR for geographical locations, the "Shadows of..." series. Shadows of North America and Shadows of Europe are already on the shelves. Shadows of Asia and Shadows of Latin America are in development now. Books like Running Wild and Loose Alliances are purely genre books like you speak of, the first covering how to work in paracritters into the game and the latter full of organizations with agendas.

The State of the Art books were actually something that was heavily requested by the player base; yearly updates full of fluff and flavor, with small tidbits that otherwise wouldn't see print because it isn't enough for a full book on its own.
Fortune
QUOTE (Crimsondude 2.0)
But I do find it interesting that people are concerned that there might be more physads to reflect the fact that there are by canon more Adepts--physads, sorcerors, conjurers, shamanists, elementalists, et al.--than there are full mages. If this is what it takes to reflect that reality, then so be it.

This keeps coming up, but according to canon there are more full mages than aspected ones. I believe that canon states something similar to '1% of the population are magically active, a fraction of which are Aspected'*.

*Actual quote not available at the moment.
Xirces
QUOTE (shadow_scholar)
Has Shadowrun now been reduced to a pure monetary enterprise, run by the almighty dollar? My, my, how ironic that seems to me, a game that pokes jabs at corps who are interested in only money being published by a company that seems to follow the very same formula.

This is a particularly unfair thing to state - the release schedules are better timed and planned than ever and the books seem to be far better also... The fact that you can communicate openly with the authors and publishers in a variety of ways and actually GET INVOLVED if you want says a lot about the way things are.

The move towards producing PDFs (and without DRM!) shows a trust in the customer that wouldn't go amiss amongst other creative industries...

I actually like SOTA63 - the collected rules from other various source are a good idea and whilst I agree on the "new toys" point - that is always going to be the case in any game set in an evolving world and actually part of the fun. The argument here is about how the (toys|powers|spells|guns) are distributed between various character types and maintaining balance - for such a technologically advanced world there seems to be more focus on magic than anything else.

(Although M&M did open up some wonderful new worlds for cyber-based characters there's still not a lot there that can't, basically, be done by an adept as well)
Demonseed Elite
QUOTE
This keeps coming up, but according to canon there are more full mages than aspected ones. I believe that canon states something similar to '1% of the population are magically active, a fraction of which are Aspected'*.


Keep in mind that the argument is further blurred by the fact that some books consider somatic adepts in the same category as aspected magicians, and some do not. The SR3 main book considers adepts and aspected magicians entirely seperate categories, but later books blur that line.
shadow_scholar
Demonseed, yeah, you're probably right. I've been out of the game for a while, it is just that seeing all these new books without much substance (to me) didn't really spark any excitement in me. As for the Shadows of NA and Europe, I've got various books like Neo A's Guide to NA and the London and Germany Sourcebook, are these new incarnations better/more informative than the old stuff I've got? As for Shadows of Asia and Latin America, I'll probably pick those up, I've been wanting to see some official info on those parts of the world for a long, long time now. Have they published anything for Australia yet? Or Africa?

As for the SOTA, I'm still probably going to stay away from those. Hopefully they'll just package all that new tech & magic into fully fleshed out sourcebooks later, or maybe even throw it in Shadowrun 4th Edition.
Demonseed Elite
Australia features as a majority of the Target: Awakened Lands book. I'd pick that up if you want info on Australia. From what I know, a Shadows of Africa is planned, but it hasn't started development yet.

You just won't see books like the London Sourcebook again, unfortunately. Yes, they went into a great deal more depth, but they didn't sell well. Partially because they were so focused that it was easy for a majority of the player base to ignore that book if they had no interest in England (or Germany, or whatever the book specialized in). One of those facts of life, it's not mercenary, but you need to be able to sell the book enough to make it worth the development costs.
Tanka
I think one statement sums our answers up:

"If you don't like it, don't use it!"

Whiner.
Lindt
And here, all along, I allowed improved skill to be in anything it damm well wanted to be in. I had someone give me a contact that was subtitled Mechanic Adept. Zen and the Art of rebuilding carburetors anyone?
I need to get my hands on that book...
nezumi
I just got my SOTA64 book on Friday, and my wife was rather miffed that I kicked her out of bed so I could tuck it in next to me.

Honestly, adepts have gotten the short end of the stick for a very long time. It wasn't until they could geas their powers that any players would seriously look at them unless they were going for a ninja. While I'm not sure about some of these powers, I love the fact that they filled them out into unexplored areas (animal training, which honestly fits better with adept than any other character type because of the 'spiritual connection' drek) and more importantly, artists! I tried making an artist adept once and I came away pretty upset because there were so few powers that I felt were really appropriate. Artists make up a big chunk of the SR culture, but they're largely ignored in the books.

I'm still scratching my head on how people can complain about there not being enough cyber for the 'average joe', stuff PCs wouldn't buy but that add flavor to the game, but now that we get powers like that people fuss about it. It's there for flavor! It's there for people who don't want to make ninjas! Deal with it.

I haven't see these powers in use yet, so I can't comment on how unbalancing they are. I do hope the next book continues expanding options for mundanes, though. They desperately need a boost, especially something that lets them channel their karma somewhere useful after they've maxed out their skills. As much as I hate to say it, the idea of being able to buy back essence with some extreme karma cost is sounding more and more enticing.
lodestar
QUOTE (Grinder)
QUOTE (Fortune @ Feb 7 2005, 01:39 PM)
The only Powers I really have a problem with are the Social ones.

And the opening of improved skill to b/r and technical skills. "i am the master adept of auto repair!". sure.

You've never read Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Repair I take it... wink.gif
Jrayjoker
Do you mean Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?
Method
I think the powers in SOTA 2064 are a step toward curing the "one trick pony" syndrome that has plagued adepts since they were introduced (and even despite the expansion of their abilities in SR3).

An adept can out shine just about anybody IN ONE SPECIALIZED AREA, but thatís about it. They pretty much suck every where else, and if you tried to make a generalist adept you would find the powers so expensive that by the time you develop a working knowledge of one or two new areas the rest of your team has totally surpassed your character in power and ability.

At least now there are some options...
Jrayjoker
Method, that assumes you don't let the adept buy Karma for cash and then puchase power points for karma. It has been so long I can't remember if that was a house rule for 2nd Ed though.
Xirces
QUOTE (Method)
An adept can out shine just about anybody IN ONE SPECIALIZED AREA

... even if the other person shares the same area of specialisation and sinks all his karma and experience into that area because, like, y'know, the Adept is magic and magic is kewl.
mfb
you're absolutely right. what were the writers thinking, allowing magic to offer characters an advantage?
Demonseed Elite
QUOTE
Method, that assumes you don't let the adept buy Karma for cash and then puchase power points for karma. It has been so long I can't remember if that was a house rule for 2nd Ed though.


Karma for Cash and Cash for Karma are optional rules though, and can be highly unbalancing. GMs have to use them very carefully, and if certain character types are dominating the game through the use of them, obviously the GM isn't using them appropriately.
Method
QUOTE (Jrayjoker)
Method, that assumes you don't let the adept buy Karma for cash and then puchase power points for karma. It has been so long I can't remember if that was a house rule for 2nd Ed though.

Actually, I have never used that optional rule. It seems it would be difficult to moderate it such that you don't upset game balance (thatís my personal opinion based on my experience and my players). I've never really liked the idea.

QUOTE (Xirces Feb 7 2005 @ 11:37 AM)
... even if the other person shares the same area of specialization and sinks all his karma and experience into that area because, like, y'know, the Adept is magic and magic is kewl.


Well as mfb has said, whatís wrong with magic granting a character an advantage? Have you seen the cost of adept powers? They aren't cheep and IMG 20 karma is a lot. Lets not forget that an adept pays BPs for this "privilege" as well.

Is it just because being mundane has no innate advantage? Oh wait, isn't that what mundane means? Normal? Run of the mill? Unexceptional?
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012