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I'll second that Whuffie.
How I wish rpgīs could support more employees. Both for yours and our sakes Adam. Take care and donīt burn out man.
Zen Shooter01
Adam, I don't think you're lying on the couch looking at internet porn. I know you're working.

That doesn't change the fact that SoA's PDF is late.

Obviously, you have too much to do. So why doesn't Fan Pro hire more staff? Even temporary staff? Here we go again...things get screwed up, and the Fan Pro company men say, "Hey! We're working really hard!"

Yeah, hard, but not very effectively. Because Fan Pro can't be bothered to hire any little gamer nerd at minimum wage for a temporary position as a gopher during the preparations for GenCon (or if they have hired one, they didn't hire two, which they obviously need), to take some of the weight off Adam.

Because Fan Pro has clearly put a work load so heavy on Adam (who, as Fan Pro knows, has obligations to other companies, too) that it's impossible for him to get it done. Because Fan Pro has decided to build Rome in a day with all these SR releases piled on top of each other.

Fan Pro organizes badly, understaffs, makes impossible demands on its personnel and faerie-tale promises to its customers, and as a result, the whole show likes like a burning clusterfuck in a centrifuge.

And the upshot of all this is that Zen Shooter runs home from work every Thursday for the last three weeks to be disappointed that SoA isn't out yet. The upshot is instead of being thrilled, the customers are cranky.

Furthermore, writers with a little more experience, like myself, slipped too.

Guilty here, too.
I not infrequently put in two weeks' work in six days, and it's very taxing. So I definitely appreciate Adam's effort.

And it's not his fault if this is the "industry norm". See Dilbert. (And beyond that, see an industry that has a reward structure set up so that if you are realistic instead of following the industry norm, you run into problems.)

Oh, and finally--the worst way to get a project done faster is to add more people to it at a late stage. New people require training. Then, they do things wrong. People who can do things right have to take time training them, and then fixing their mistakes. Once you've missed a deadline, you're basically screwed unless you can hire extremely expensive experts, and it's usually better to just miss the deadline than splurge on that kind of talent (if there even are freelancers of that quality in the industry you're working in).
Never add n00bs. Look at Halo 2 over Live nyahnyah.gif

Adding people not toally familiar with the product late on is deadly. They need to be there from go or not at all.
I agree with most of what Zen shooter said in his last two posts. To be a little less wordy, it comes down to experience. the occassional missed deadline, we'd all understand, but when it is chronic we are less understanding.

They set the deadline, not us. They should, after several years experience, be able to be realistic. They declare what is coming out and when. They should be able to be realistic about it. To repeadely fail with the consistency of the NY Mets after the all star break, is, to be polite, frustrating. It makes their other statements coming from the company less beliveable because their statements about projects are so much chaff.

I mean if you cannot competantly set deadlines for yourself, why should we believe other statements from them?
QUOTE (Ellery)
Oh, and finally--the worst way to get a project done faster is to add more people to it at a late stage.  New people require training.  Then, they do things wrong.  People who can do things right have to take time training them, and then fixing their mistakes.

Absolutely. There's even a saying about it in the software industry (where I've worked a lot longer than I've been a freelancer): "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." When you're trying to get something done and everyone's clicking along (even if some or all of them are late), the worst thing you can do is introduce new people. All it does is make everybody grumpy and risk screwing up the project even worse than if you just bring it in late. And as for bringing in "little gopher nerds," I somehow doubt that that would help, unless you teach them the software Adam's using for the layout, teach them to edit (which implies teaching them something about Shadowrun if they don't already know it--yeah, let's try doing that in two days!), and make sure that they don't screw up the files when they try to do something that blows up in their faces.

Forgive me for getting a little grumpy here myself (something I rarely do, and even now it's going to be pretty mild because I respect the folks who run this forum and don't want to run my mouth off too badly), but Zen Shooter01, take a couple of steps back and listen to how you sound. "Adam, I'm sorry that you've been killing yourself to get SR4 out, but I'm standing here with my money in hand and I want my book now!" You sound like Veruca in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," the spoiled girl who ended up going down the garbage chute. Yeah, it sucks that it's late. I can guarantee you that the people involved with it aren't dancing around gleefully about the fact that it's late--on the contrary, nobody's happy about it. But facts are facts, and one fact aside from the one that it's late is that it's an RPG book. It doesn't contain the secret of the universe (at least not in any of the chapters I edited...). It's not a guidebook for how to turn one's life around and make a million dollars overnight. It's not going to cure anybody's disease. This isn't an excuse--it's not my place to offer one, so I won't. It's just an observation. I can guarantee you that nobody is going to die, waste away, or experience chronic hair loss because SoA is a couple of months late. We've all lived this long without it--I think we can probably manage to muddle through a little longer.

As for scheduling--I said my piece a few posts up, but I'm going to reiterate it. Yeah, FanPro misses dates. Frankly, I'm amazed that they manage to put out the quantity (and quality) of stuff that they do, with Rob as (AFAIK) the only full time staff member. If you're a fan of the game, cut 'em a little slack. They're not in business to make you (personally) happy. If they put out stuff that makes you happy, great, but that's not their reason for being. If you simply can't handle the fact that releases tend to come out late fairly regularly, do one of two things: 1. every time you hear about a FanPro release date, adjust it forward by X months (preferably longer than they're usually late). That way, you'll be pleasantly surprised when it comes out. 2. Go play another game, one that comes out on time. This isn't the optimal solution, obviously, for FanPro or for you (if you love the game as much as you claim to), but hey, if it's going to cause you this level of aggravation, then maybe it's time to consider it. The alternative is to continue to bitch every time a release is late, but eventually that's going to get old. By me, it's kind of old already. I think everybody's gotten the message.

Okay, that's my piece. Agree or disagree as you will. I can handle it either way, but I just couldn't stay quiet any longer.
The only thing that I'd question regarding release dates, given that they're usually missed, is scheduling a critical release (new edition) at a very-hard-to-break date (GenCon). Everyone does it, granted, but it seems unwise. Promise a kick-ass preview, maybe even with preview copies of the game, but leaving wiggle room would probably make for less sleep-deprived editors and a better and more polished game.
I think it was a lot to take on their plates all at once. I'm hoping the 4th ed BBB comes out about the time they said.

But come on Zenny, I've probably whined (yes, I'm a whiner ) more than anyone so far about SoA, but it's like Winterhawk said, they're all freelancers putting this stuff together. They have no control aobut how it goes out, and I'm sure they're just an anxious as we are, if not more so, to get their works out there. Beides, posting in here isn't gonna get Rob Boyle to come over, see it , and go "oh! he;s right *checks watch*, we are late. Ok boys, go ahead an ship 'em out!" All it does is frustrate the freelancers that do see it. ANd if they could put it out sooner, they would have by now.

As evidenced by Adam, this isn't the only thing they're working on . Far from it. I know where your coming form, it is frustrating to keep getting dates that don't really mean much. But they can't just say "hey, we're putting this book out some time this year. Look forward to it, ok?" They have to set some sort of date. jsut think of it as a tentative release date, and call it good. Obviously it's a bit different scenario for SR4 and Gencon, but that's probably why they don't have SoA out, they have something that they really need to get out on a certain date, and that date's gonna be here soon. Very soon now *does Mr. Burns finger-steeple*.
QUOTE (winterhawk11)
I can guarantee you that nobody is going to die, waste away, or experience chronic hair loss because SoA is a couple of months late.

I smell a lawsuit. "Fanpro causes me to lose all of my hair. Oh yeah and my psychic powers too." biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

Really although I await SOA with baited breath, I understand the deadline thing. Don't let them get you down Adam. Oh and get some sleep.
yeah, I think I saw a couple of hairs there in the shower the other day too!

And I think I'm starting to waste a bit too. Or is that getting wasted? I'm so confused. Lack of SoA is making my head all fuzzy. Or that could be the shmirnoff.

WinterHawk! Help! I need SoA NOW!

or.... maybe less vodka, and a haircut. Or is it more vodka?
SL James
QUOTE (Ellery @ Jul 29 2005, 09:46 PM)
The only thing that I'd question regarding release dates, given that they're usually missed, is scheduling a critical release (new edition) at a very-hard-to-break date (GenCon).

I can appreciate the mad time crunch and pressure to meet Gencon, but that's why perhaps they've had five books in the pipeline to be released within three months, and specifically the three months leading up to and including Gencon; especially when one of those books is a new edition of the game, and another is the story book which effectively ends the previous edition.

IIRC, that's the total number of sourcebooks to be released in all of last year.
right, they've got so much in the pipeline in such a tiny space, and they set the deadlines. Another question, what ed will SoA be?
I know the game info section is minor and all, but it does exist in the SB's already out there. It was supposed to be 3rd ed, by the schedule they set out. Let's now say it won't be out before Gen con so there are options
1) They put out 3rd ed SB's after 4th ed is out.
2) They lied when they put out the schedule and planned for it to be 4th ed all along
3) They decide to redo it from 3rd ed to 4th ed which means a whole new delay, and once more trashes the schedule.

Boys and girls, something to discuss. If it's a given that Fanpro is not being realistic in its scheduling, then they are saying stuff just to float it out there, then it becomes increasingly difficult to believe their other statements, like about 4th ed. and entireraisin d'etre.

My experience has been that once someone who wants money starts lying about one set of things, just assume they're lying about everything else. It saves time cutting through the BS later.
QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
My experience has been that once someone who wants money starts lying about one set of things, just assume they're lying about everything else. It saves time cutting through the BS later.

Yeah, you've figured it out. The mighty FanPro Cartel™ just sits around all day trying to figure out ways they can lie to players so they can piss them off. (This is also the real reason why the stuff keeps coming out late--you would not believe the amount of time it takes to get a cartel to agree on what kind of pizza to order, let alone what new ways they're going to use for annoying their customer base). You know, I'm relieved that this is finally out in the open, because keeping the secret was getting pretty tough on some of the cartel members.

But seriously, folks: FYI, SoA is 3rd Edition. It's not going to be retooled for 4th Edition. Nobody lied about the scheduling. It's not going to be pulled back in to be entirely rewritten for 4th Edition--not the least reason being that it's plot stuff which won't suddenly become obsolete because a new edition is out. It'll still be just as usable with 4th as it is with 3rd--the only difference is that it won't cover events from 2065-2070 (except maybe a few tantalizing hints--I honestly don't remember). Whether it comes out before or after Gen Con, it's still 3rd Edition. I don't think I'll get in trouble with anybody for saying this because AFAIK it's been announced in numerous places before.
Demonseed Elite
The print roleplaying game industry isn't nearly organized enough to maintain conspiracies. Trust me on this. By and large, the industry is just a mess. I enjoy doing work in it, but it's underfunded, understaffed, and largely disorganized. So whenever there are product delays and missed released dates, it's not a matter of something sneaky, it's just that someone is overworked, there's a shortage of money somewhere, something wasn't planned for well enough, or someone screwed up.
Not conspiracy, 'wage slave corp spokeman,' I mean Winterhawk, but the claims that 4th ed is anything but a money grab? nah. Those I no longer accept. There is NO reason for 4th Ed except they want you to buy their core books all over again.

You said that we can assume SoA will be 3rd ed because it's been announced else where. Well guess what? You just made my point. They also announced when the SB wouyld be pout, and they didn't make that, did they? If they were not straight up about that, why should we believe the rest of it?

They've been caught out and they are called on it. It has been pointed out in this thread by people before me, that they repeadedly set and miss their own deadlines. They do NOT have a rep for being accurate. another word for 'accurate' could be 'honest.' The BS on 4th Ed. make me more willing to make the substitute now than I was a month ago.

After SoA they were supposed to have the SB explaining how 3rd Ed world ended, before hte 4th ed came out. In theory people buying 4th ed would have bought that SB to keep the sotry line. now, with that clearly coming out after 4th ed debutes it will be an "either/or." If you buy 4th ed, you've got the details there and won't need the SB. If you do not want 4th ed, you may not need to go that way.
Demonseed Elite
I can't read Rob's mind, but I don't think SR4 should be qualified as a money grab. I don't really doubt that new editions bring some money in, but I don't think that was even close to the main motivation for the new edition. I think, to be entirely honest, they wanted to bring new players in. And, probably, they wanted to approach the game from an angle that was theirs. Wizkids/FanPro runs Shadowrun now and they probably had some ideas of stuff they wanted to do that they could finally do. Rob's been working on SR for a long time; I'm sure he's come across ideas he's had that he's wanted to work into SR but never could under FASA. Now he got his chance, and if I were him, I would have taken it too.

If you want to see missed dates as dishonest, go right ahead. But I'd say that's erroneous. The dates aren't set with deception in mind. Sometimes they are set optimistically, and conditions don't work out to support them. Sometimes they are even set conservatively and things don't work out to support them. That happens in many industries. It happens in the print roleplaying industry a lot, because it's a very disorganized industry. I don't like that the industry works that way, but that's the way it is.
Not conspiracy, 'wage slave corp spokeman,' I mean Winterhawk

Wage slave corp spokesman? Me? Oh, thanks for the laugh! No, I'm just a freelancer who loves Shadowrun and who doesn't get my undies in a bunch every time something doesn't happen exactly the way the Powers that Be say it will. I don't hang out on Dumpshock all that much, Snow_Fox, so I'm not too familiar with you, but do you work in the corporate world? All this anti-establishment, 'the man's tryin' to lie to us and keep us down' stuff is suggesting to me that maybe you don't. You're ascribing far too much malice to something that really comes down to limited resources trying to do a lot of work in a limited amount of time. The RPG industry isn't rolling in money--they can't just hire new people (even if that would be smart--see previous posts) to take up the slack. Heck, I work for one of the largest companies in the country (sometimes known as the Second Evil Empire, behind Microsoft) and even we can't just bring people on willy-nilly when projects are late.

While I'm at it, I don't know why some folks seem to think that trying to earn money is evil. You call SR4 a 'money grab'. In addition to fixing a bunch of problems with 3rd Edition (and I won't go into that--I refuse to be drawn into an SR3 vs war), it's been seven years since the last edition came out! I'm not privy to FanPro's business records, but why is it so strange to some folks that a company has to grow and innovate to stay competitive? Every company has to do it. If you just sit back and count on past glories to carry you forward, the world's going to pass you by. What would you suggest they do? Just continue to come out with 3rd Ed stuff for the next ten years (assuming that they can stay in business that long in a shrinking and increasingly difficult and competitive market)?

Finally--I really don't see how you can assume that just because a product is late, that means it's not going to contain what it claimed it's going to contain. Do you see how one of these things might be subject to a lot more vagaries than the other? The editorial content is fixed--if somebody writes something that doesn't jibe with editorial vision, it gets kicked back to that person with a note saying "this doesn't work--it should be like this." That can be controlled. What can't be controlled are things like freelancers getting sick, having family emergencies, or losing their hard drives; editing taking a lot longer than expected; layout taking longer than expected; printers' schedules being tight and difficult to slip without slipping dates; and general acts of God. I'm not saying all of this stuff (or even any, necessarily) happened with SoA, but all of it (and more) can happen. And none of it is malicious. That's one thing I can guarantee with 100% certainty--none of it is malicious.

So go ahead and bitch and weave conspiracy theories and call me a corporate shill if you want to--it doesn't change the truth. Nobody's out to get anybody.
I already said it wasn't "conspiracy theories." In fact I never said it was. You keep bringing that up. I'm guess to distract everyone else from the fact my key statements are valid.

I have a far better idea of how corps work than you do, trust me. I know how companies are made, and destroyed and are targeted for aquisition. That's why I don't trust Fanpro, anymore. It's not a case of me getting po'ed whenever they miss a deadline, it's the fact they constitantly miss a deadline, something they set. apart form stuff tyhey put aty gen con, I'd be surprised if you could find a product where they did meet their commitment.

As for profit, sure, it's why they exist, but the point is they expect people to shgell out money all over again for the core books instead of producing new products.
I have a far better idea of how corps work than you do, trust me.

Do you? Having worked in corporate society (software) for 16 years and having been through several acquisitions both friendly and very hostile, I wouldn't be too sure about that, but that's neither here nor there.

As for profit, sure, it's why they exist, but the point is they expect people to shgell out money all over again for the core books instead of producing new products.

Once every seven years they come out with a new edition and ask (not expect) that people will pay a relatively small amount of money for some new books. I don't think that's unreasonable, if the company is to survive and keep producing product, and if the fans still enjoy the game enough to support it and continue playing. Maybe my sense of economics is skewed, but 30 or 40 dollars for a new core book and 20 or 30 for the core sourcebooks every few months doesn't seem unreasonable to me. And if it seems unreasonable to anybody else, they have several options: stay with 3rd Edition, try to get somebody else to buy the books and join a game, buy the books used, or try to find another game with cheaper products. Nobody's forcing anybody to buy the 4th Ed books.
I think something that isn't quite clear about Shadows of Asia: It's finished. It's done. It's printed. It's somewhere in the shipping process [which is taking much longer than it should, but that's not something that I'm especially privy to details about, so I'm not exactly sure /why/ it's late.]

The PDF of Shadows of Asia is late, as I mentioned above, because I've been exceptionally busy trying to get more important products done. Not only does FanPro have priorities, but occasionally the freelancers have their own priorities. I've apologized -- to the fans in general and to FanPro -- for this situation, and while I'm sorry to disappoint you/them, I don't think I made the wrong decision.
Demonseed Elite
Regardless of your knowledge and experience with companies and corporations, Snow Fox, I get the personal sense you don't understand the print RPG industry very well. Especially the smaller companies like FanPro (and note when I say FanPro, I mean pretty much one guy, Rob, who is pretty much solely FanPro US, all by his lonesome). They are, pretty much, garage companies.
There are certainly cases where new editions and desire for money have no relation to each other, or where desire for money is just as good of a motivation as desire to make a good game and please existing fans while acquiring new ones.

There are also cases where money conflicts with these goals. For example, setting a major release date at a major event is for publicity, which is to gain short-term sales, which is about money. This increases the fan base over the short run, but if too many shortcuts are taken, it has a negative impact on the game that lasts for years (until the next edition). Eventually, this will translate from grumbling players into reduced sales, but companies tend to be more interested in money now than the possibility of more money at some vague point in the future. Money doesn't grow on trees, and anyway, growing trees is expensive.

There's also an argument to be made that there's a monetary impulse to make a new edition less compatible with previous editions (as well as an artistic license / sense of ownership impulse). For example, if you had the Grimoire and Awakenings when Magic in the Shadows came out, you didn't really need to rush out and buy MitS; the SR2 rules fit well enough under the SR3 framework that you could mostly adapt them on the fly. Of course, the SR3 rules turned out to be somewhat different, and eventually that means that players will switch to keep current, but the immediacy is gone. With SR4, the change is drastic enough so that MitS, along with the other SR3 books, is only useful as a foot-stool to help you reach the SR4 books on the shelf. Any existing fans need to buy the rules supplements as soon as they come out, or live without all the toys they're used to. Again, money now vs. maybe happier players eventually who might buy more stuff from you later (or might just be happier and not pay you).

So I don't believe that new editions in general--and SR4 in particular--was not shaped in part out of a desire for increased revenue. But I also don't believe it was shaped only out of that desire, since there are other good explanations for the existence of a new edition (it's about time!) and the sea-change magnitude of the differences from SR3 (desire to leave a mark of ownership and do things Rob's way).

I also don't believe that corporate monetary considerations are always good ones from a customer's perspective. Corporations have no conscience or empathy, nor do they care about what harm they cause, because they're not people. Individuals within a corporation may care about these things, and laws or public opinion may force corporations to behave as if they were empathic and ethical when they might get caught. But what makes for a good company is profit, especially short-term profit since if you don't win in the short term, you won't be around in the long term. There's a constant pressure towards what would be considered criminally deviant behavior if it occurred in an individual person. After all, isn't that a great deal of the point behind Shadowrun--the inhuman exploitative nature of the corporations, using violence to achieve their ends (through shadowrunners)? It's not all fiction (although corporate espionage today tends to be overwhelmingly nonviolent). That said, FanPro is pretty far from a big faceless corporation. But even Rob has to juggle matters of income vs. other considerations, and it would be strange if the other considerations always won.

And I also don't believe that missing deadlines is a sign of dishonesty per se. It may be--and monetary considerations may drive one to be more optimistic-sounding than one can probably back up, which is dishonest, and is probably often done (probably by FanPro, too). Missing deadlines is also a sign of poor time-management skills. In an industry like this, outstanding time-management skills would be necessary to come out with things on time, but it doesn't much penalize companies who miss deadlines. So there's no reason to put that kind of effort into setting realistic deadlines. Fans have short memories, on average, too. So, they'll think "Woo, yeah, look at all the stuff coming out soon!" and then a few months later, after one thing has come out, they'll think, "Huh, wasn't a lot of stuff supposed to be out already? Oh well...woo, yeah, look at all the stuff coming out soon!"

Those of us who take a longer perspective would be well advised to snicker cynically when obviously overoptimistic dates are promised, and not be upset (or surprised) when the dates are missed.

It may be too much to ask for the people who are in the thick of it to take that longer perspective. It's a lot harder to estimate from close up than from afar.
Yes, I'd much rather get the products a couple/few months later, then get them on time, and get garbage. See the computer gaming industry for an example.
QUOTE (Bigity)
Yes, I'd much rather get the products a couple/few months later, then get them on time, and get garbage.

See my thread about delaying 4th Ed for a year then.

Again I'll say it, I could understand the occasssional missed deadline, what I have a problem with is they fact they seem to never be able to meet the deadline. I mena at this point, why bother setitng one? They'll miss it and piss off the buying public, us, by wondering when we'll see the product and put the nice developers, like Synner, in the hot seat as they try to put a postitive spin on the late product, a position they should never be put in by the corp. and yes Synner, I do appreciate what you do.
Release dates have to be set to satisfy the book trade and the RPG distribution trade, so they can take pre-orders. The_Dunner made a nice post about that earlier in the thread.

Unfortunately, it isn't a system that punishes for late releases -- and in some ways, it actually rewards for late releases -- late books tend to sell better than on time ones!
otaku mike

The release date is the 15th of August. It's official
SL James
As much as it may make me the turd in the punch bowl, I found the lack of mention as to System Failure particularly telling, and not a little annoying.
QUOTE (SL James)
As much as it may make me the turd in the punch bowl,....


Hey, I'm looking forward to it too. But can't you just enjoy it for five minutes?
SL James
I'll enjoy it when it's sitting in my hands, and not a second earlier.
To be honest, I am more curious as to when the PDF of Shadows of Asia will turn up, we have a hardcopy release date true, but not a softcopy one (other than the good old, when it is done of course)
QUOTE (SL James)
I'll enjoy it when it's sitting in my hands, and not a second earlier.

well of course! Kinda hard to read otherwise!

I'm not trying to get on your case. I'm just tired of everyone being pissed off about SR4 and book delays. Yes you have reasons, yes you're entitled to voice them. I'm just making the attempt at levity here. smile.gif
The book is coaming we just need to wait. I just hoped I am not picking it up on the way to gen con. At leat we have one date the pdf should be out soon hopefully. smile.gif
Shadows of Asia is available for purchase at BattleCorps now.

Pre-Order the book only : Click Here
Pre-Order the book and get the PDF too (and save $) : Click Here
Order the PDF only : Click Here

We've also added SR4 for pre-order, and reduced the price of Loose Alliances from $22.00 to $18.00!
SL James
QUOTE (Vairdic)
We've also added SR4 for pre-order, and reduced the price of Loose Alliances from $22.00 to $18.00!

I was just over at BattleCorps and was thinking of buying the pdf, untill I talked to my gm and he said he wanted the non pdf version. I am still thinking of buying it. I saw they said there was info on the asian magic system. Any idea if there is information on the matrix? smile.gif
SL James
Yeah, I'm curious as to what they mean by "magic traditions" given what's been said about Fourth Edition and magic traditions in a game that will be released at Gencon four days after the hard copy of this book.
Glancing at the table of contents, there is info on the Japanese Matrix.

So far I read all the way thru China. I like what I read so far. The first chapter mostly deals local corps and some info on the religions. Basic info similar to the first chapter of SOE.

The second chapter is China. It describes some of the splinter states in semi-detail. The book does not go to far in focusing in on one particular region, but instead gives a rough look of each of the regions. Just enough info to give some plot seeds and how the government of the regions interact. I would recommend reading a travel book before running a game in China. One non-game thing that stood out to me was there is a splinter state in Northern China known as the Republic of China. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Taiwan was the Republic of China. I don't recall reading in the history section where Taiwan became offically independent, but I might have missed this. If fact, I don't think there is any dicussion on Tawain as a country in this chapter. If you read the Lung section of DotSW, then you know about the five sacred mountains and the importance of the dragonlines. This chapter covers the same ground as the earlier book, so if you don't have DotSW, you are not missing anything. It feels like this chapter had a lot of stuff cut to make it fit into the book. Since they have to cram this into 28 pages when they could make a book the size of SoNA for China alone, I believe they did the best they could do.

After reading about Hong Kong, I hope they release more info for it during SR4.
The next chapter is India and after that the Japan.
QUOTE (SL James @ Aug 5 2005, 02:25 AM)
Yeah, I'm curious as to what they mean by "magic traditions" given what's been said about Fourth Edition and magic traditions in a game that will be released at Gencon four days after the hard copy of this book.

Shadows of Asia includes references and rules for Asian magical traditions previously undeveloped (some have been mentioned briefly in MitS). This material is SR3 and may be useful for anyone who liked the stuff in SoE and SOTA:64 on alternative magic traditions from different cultures. FanPro does not expect people to make the transition to SR4 immediately and is fully aware that when a new edition comes out there are inevitably those people who don't wish to move on. The same logic applies for releasing all Shadows of under SR3 rather than waiting and making them SR4. Players who want to stick to SR3 should get as much of the global picture as they can.

As I have explained elsewhere, FanPro will be updating these traditions to SR4 rules in Street Magic (and there's a fair chance that those that aren't updated therein for lack of space will be offered up for free on the website).

Taiwan = Nationalist Republic of China
mainland China = People's Republic of China
QUOTE (Synner)
Taiwan = Nationalist Republic of China
mainland China = People's Republic of China

That's what I recall as well.
Shadows of Asia PDf

Looks like the PDF is finally available and they are even offering a discounted bundle for pre-ordering the hardcopy with the pdf.
QUOTE (Starglyte)
One non-game thing that stood out to me was there is a splinter state in Northern China known as the Republic of China. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Taiwan was the Republic of China.

Without having read the book I figure that without the Chinese rattling their sabres at them, there really wouldn't be anything to stop the Taiwanese declaring independence. Unless of course China going down in flames rekindled the harebrained idea of reconquering the mainland.
Continuing with my mini-review, I come to chapter 3. The Indian Subcontinet.

This chapter has a tighter focus than the previous parts, mostly due to the fact that is is focused on the Indian Union. It starts off with a short history of India during the 21st century and moving on to the caste system. A lot of focus is in describing the caste system and how it was resurrected. How the castes interact with each other, how they do business, and most importantly, how they deal with shadowrunners in their ranks. I found it to be a enjoyable read and it provides some of the flavor the GM could use in placing a run in India.

Moving on, the other religions of the country are describe and some ideas for runs are thrown out. The best part of the chapter is next, describing the sprawls. New Delhi, Calcutta, and Bombay are given roughly a page and half description. Each of the cities has a different flavor, from Politics(New Delhi), Corps battles( Calcutta), and my favorite Bollywood society plots( Bombay). Each a of the cities has a plot seed injected in the Shadowtalk. New Delhi has the privatization of the national highway network, where competing Megacorps trying to get a piece of the pie. The Bombay plot seed is by far the best, involving a upcoming wedding between to uppercaste weddings. There is so many plot twists that is could be a whole campaign in itself and lends it self to a international runs.

The last part of the Indian Union goes over the mystical sights that dot the landscape. The holy rivers and been discovered to flow over Manalines. This causes some interesting effects in that pilgrims bathing in the waters will sometimes Surge. These individuals are treated as holy men by the local populace. The mystical sites are given some detail and how the local mages like to treat them.

The chapter finishes off with the rest of the nations in the area. Nothing really special with the execption of Tibet. If you are running games with Indian Jones type runners, this is your country. Tibet's mana cloud that has been keeping out unsavory types like Chinese Warlords, Megacorps, and PCs is begining to weaken. This just happens to occur while the country is is without its leader. Much politicing and soulsearching is going on and just asking for your PCs to go in and make a problem into a disater. It is describe in basic detail, so the GM has enough to make whatever s/he wants to place there.

This chapter is a good read and plot hooks stand out. I hope the rest of the book keeps this up.
QUOTE (Starglyte @ Aug 5 2005, 08:06 PM)
This chapter is a good read and plot hooks stand out. I hope the rest of the book keeps this up.

Thank you. And yeah, the Bollywood melodrama was fun to contrive.
Demonseed Elite
Hehe, Peter's Bollywood plotline is great. That was cracking me up during the writing of SoA.

I have much more material on Tibet in my notes that never made it into SoA due to word count. I have to see yet if FanPro wants to do anything with that material and the website, but if not, it will still be put out there.
Now, on to the most important chapter( to me) of Shadows of Asia. Being the one reason why I bought the book, I have very high hopes for the chapter on Japan. I will start off with a disclaimer. One, I'm a Japanofile. So if there is any RPG sourcebook on Japan I will get it. Second, being a fan of anime, I don't automatically hate any references to the medium( and its older brother Manga). Third, since it says Target under my name in the forums and I have let it been known that I look forward to SR4, you should take my next mini review with a grain of salt. I am easily pleased. So off to the tour of Japan.

The first I will go over is a RL issue. On the map of Japan, it appears that the Southern Kurils near Hokkaido have been returned to the control of Japan. This had not been mentioned in the history part, and it is really not that important to the scheme of things, but it does bear mentioning.

The chapter starts of with another history lesson. What makes this lesson from the previous one is that it feels like it was written by the Japanese. Extolling the virtues of Japan while brushing aside the shames of it past, it describes the Imperial Japan we all love to hate. The racism against metahumans and a sense of national destiny are not condemed but explained away as a unforunte happening that was inevenibtle.

The next section goes into the power struggle between the Emperor and his aides, the Megacorps, and the Great Dragon Ryumyo. The metaplot started in YotC and contiued on through DotSW is expaned on. It seems the Emperor is not as all powerful as he seems to be. With both the dragon and the Megacorps chomping at the bit to bring him down, runners can make plenty of Nuyen by choosing a faction(or better yet, playing them off against each other). A religious schism is growing between the Shinto shrines, where some support the Emperor while others support Ryumyo.

Up next, the Japanese criminal underworld is described. The yaks have there turn in the spot light, but if you have the 2nd edition Underworld sourcebook, it is not anything that you don't already know. The Ninja clans are what would interest players the most. With mentions of some notable clans and a famous swordmanship school, your elven Kunoichi PC can have her background fleshed out. I don't consider this a bad thing.

A code of the Salaryman is the following section. Describing the mind of the local corps employees, it is mostly used for background color for runs. The next two sections are viewpoints of Japan from outsiders and natives. My only problem with this is they are two short! So much more could be put in.

Pop culture is the next section, but like the Code of Salaryman, it is used more for background color for the locale.

The last part of the chapter deals with sites. First up is the Nippon Matrix, which is the future of Shadowrun. No really, it is. Set to be the first wireless network in the world, this section screams metaplot. With Transys Neuronet helping MCT build the network, it is being touted as the next best thing. Much can be weaved around this and it will probaly tie in with Systems Failure when it comes out. You heard it hear first. Neo-Tokyo and Nagaski are given some description, and somewhat fleshed out for runs. I stand by my opinion that Neo-Tokyo should be one of the six core cities for SR4. Most likely in the 2nd cities book. Nagaski is the local Barrens, but in a city wide scale.

In conclusion, I like the chapter alot, but some things bug me. How prevalent are spirits in SR? It seems most of the rebuilding is to be done by the local spirits. I still having trouble with the concept that magic is common enough that instead of construction companies doing the work, that magical beings will be the ones to be rebuilding on such a massive scale. Second, the information in the chapter has enough background color to run some runs, but if you plan on running a game in Japan, I recomend purchasing the Call of Cthulu supplement Secrets of Japan. It goes into more depth on the culture and if you remove the Cthulu stuff, it can be used as a generic soucrebook for any game system set in Mordern( or Future) Japan.

Next chapter is the Middle East and following that is one of my other favourite countries, Russia.
Thanks for the review so far. Do you know if there is any info on otaku? I am hoping they may have some. smile.gif
There are some information scattered throughout the book. Nothing major yet.
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