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  #1  
Old 01-09-2019, 07:15 PM
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The future of Shadowrun 5e

Recently, I saw that Shadowrun 5e was the fourth most popular game on RPGX for 2018. First off, that's awesome, way to go local showrunners! Second off, I want third place for 2019!

That brings me to two questions aimed at two different groups of people.



Group 1) People who have heard of Shadowrun.

What would it take to get you to take the leap and give Shadowrun 5e a shot?

Group 2) Established Shadowrun players.

What would it take to convince you to run a Shadowrun 5e game?





I have a few solutions to those on my end

For the players, I'm currently writing up a rules-light NPSG-esk intro to Shadowrun. *crosses fingers* With any luck, that will go live in the next few weeks! I've also started compiling a list of fan-made resources and quality podcasts to help people with the heavy rules.

For the GMs, I have an extensive list of free (and legal) pre-published runs to help take some of that burden off their shoulders. I also plan to compile my notes from the above adventure and freely share them with my fellow SR GMs. I also gladly offer my experience/services to anyone considering running a game with any questions about the setting or the system.

So what do you think hivemind? Think we have a shot of dethroning 3.5?

I do!

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Old 01-09-2019, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imveros View Post
What would it take to convince you to run a Shadowrun 5e game?
I've thought about it often actually. But let's say I loved Shadowrun the most as a Gm was when I still had it cooking with my local group, so a part of me would prefer to recreate some of that if I was to ever Gm Shadowrun on the Crossing.

But that might be difficult. We set the action where we all were at the time, Vienna, artfully stealing a google map from some reddit post and changing and enhancing it while we fairly regularly played for the following three years. And it is a detailed map, much larger than the one that is still handed around on various sites (actually more in line with the proposed size of Vienna in the last material on it somewhere in the fourth edition - Shadows of Europe I think), with a fairly large amount of information to go with it, and somewhere I still have the table for over a hundred npcs and all that jazz.

So that's fun, but it'd be hard to bring to this site. I'd have to translate the map at some point, a task that could only be undertaken bit by bit. I'd have to set up a scenario that made available characters from around the world, and a good reason to keep in that one place over another. And I suppose maybe fewer people would bother than if it was set in north america or at least another english speaking country - but who can be sure on that account.

As for scenarios - we ran some of the previous seasons adventures, but I can't even begin to remember which ones. And as we never really had a clear break between runs as things just spiralled out of control I don't remember it as a mission by mission thing. We'd have to see if I still had the mojo to come up with interesting runs on the regular.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imveros View Post

What would it take to convince you to run a Shadowrun 5e game?
I'm already running a Shadowrun pbp game (albeit not here) that has my plate pretty full. I might be tempted to do some minor short term something if I get the time, but only if I can run it in my homebrew world.



One of the problems I've always had with Shadowrun (and established settings in general, regardless of the system) is that there is so much information about the setting out there that the players can always look up something you've overlooked and start making assumptions based on information you as a GM didn't even known about. Then you either have to find a way to incorporate it or deviate from the established lore, especially if the players are experienced and know a lot about the lore. I once ended up getting into a lot of trouble over something obscure as the color of Dunkelzahn's scales as it was something I had no idea about but was describing on the fly in a live game, yet my players apparently knew. They also knew the exact year and date that various events happened which forced me to do weird things with the calendar and it all blew up into something really stupid.

Anyway, that's why I always take the general feel of a setting and then homebrew everything. I make up all the npcs, companies, countries and what have you. It's a lot easier for me to build from scratch than to memorize an endless amount of established lore that is scattered in random bits across countless books and 5 editions. I love the premise of Shadowrun, but don't want to have to have a history degree in Shadowrun lore just to run a game.

Last edited by BiBo; 01-09-2019 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:24 PM
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I don't really do the canon either, I like to mostly do my own stuff. That being said, I never truly did away with megacorps or the broad strokes of the history established. Just playing somewhere that is not or barely mentioned in splatbooks or novels is enough for me.

Anyway - as for taking Shadowrun higher up the ladder of systems advertised: That also depends how well the games that have been recruiting 2018 fared. I'm sure there is a certain critical mass of shadowrun players on the site, and if they were all still playing an ongoing game then at some point new ads would not garner that much interest anymore. That's assuming people don't want to play in multiple shadowrun games simultaneously. Some might, but I guess it's only a fraction of the total players.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:32 PM
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I've been fearing critical mass as well, that's why I've recently started shilling for the site on all of my favorite Shadowrun related pages. I chose now to try this because two games recruiting at once makes for a good advertisement. I've snagged two newbies so far and I'm hoping for more.

I'm also putting a lot of faith in the training game I'm working on. With any luck, I'll be able to convert people over to our dark ways

If you're curious BTW
 
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imveros View Post
Group 1) People who have heard of Shadowrun.

What would it take to get you to take the leap and give Shadowrun 5e a shot?
I've been interested in Shadowrun since my childhood when my best buddy got the '93 SNES game for it. Never could get far when We were like 7yrs old, we didn't understand anythingwe played it but heck if it wasn't interesting/cool!

Since arriving at the site the only thing that's been stopping me from taking the leap is my short attention span when it comes to getting through the core handbook so I'm not a (complete) bumbling fool when I make the jump.


A NPSG would be absolutely amazing though!
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imveros
that's why I've recently started shilling for the site on all of my favorite Shadowrun related pages
I support shilling for DnDOG RPGX at all opportunities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imveros
Group 1) People who have heard of Shadowrun.

What would it take to get you to take the leap and give Shadowrun 5e a shot?
The big barrier for me (Currently I've got urgent reasons to learn DnD 5E, Fate Core, and Monster of the Week, and I'm planning a tabletop campaignaside from the fact that it'll be a while before I have the time) is the impression / memory that Shadowrun is a relatively crunchy system. I love the feel of the system and the world. But I've found as I've gotten older and as my career / other endeavors take a bigger chunk of my time and brainspace, I have less ability to keep up with crunchy systems or systems with rules bloat. Can you give me any solace on that front?

I really appreciate what you're doing here, Imveros! Even if I never Run over to the Shadowy side, this is a great addition to the community.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:08 PM
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I'm one of the people who fell in love with the game setting because of the story and not the game itself. I have even started reading all the Shadowrun novels in order, and I am on the 5th one. I have realized that I have read 3 of the five novels so long ago that I remember only bits and pieces of the books.

I've applied to four games as a player and got into two. And I am one of the two who has advertisements up to DM a Shadowrun game. I am nervous about my first game as a DM on this site, but if it goes well, I might just get a second game going before too long.

@BiBo:
As to the aspect of having players know the Lore of a game system that you as a DM know little about, I've had that happen before. I love to read, but I am also absent-minded most day's so remembering specific Lore is hard for me. I've taken to telling my players that know more about the setting than I, that I am doing it this way to keep the game going and it would be too much work to change it now and to 'just go with the flow.' Sure you might upset a player or two but if they don't leave the game will go on.

Thanks for doing this Imveros. I'll be following this thread. Mainly to add anything that I may have forgotten to type as I am quite tired today and may have missed something
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:10 PM
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I'm one of the established Shadowrun players I suppose. And frankly, to run a game I'd need Time. I'm a Physics PhD student, so probably not going to happen.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unko Talok View Post
I've found as I've gotten older and as my career / other endeavors take a bigger chunk of my time and brainspace, I have less ability to keep up with crunchy systems or systems with rules bloat. Can you give me any solace on that front?
Honestly I don't think of Shadowrun's mechanics as super difficult to learn, just that it is a bit disorganized, particularly the current edition. At its core, the main mechanic you need to know (at least for the current edition) is you throw a number of d6's equal to your skill+relevant attribute and count up the 5's and 6's. The more you get, the better you did. It's not THAT hard. Sometimes you do have 2-3 dice rolls involved in checks (usually when you are doing something against someone else), but it's otherwise not all that impossible to learn the mechanics. Like any system, stick to the parts of the book that are relevant to your character and you'll be fine. For example, if you don't use magic, there's no reason to worry about the magic system. Your character probably knows nothing about magic anyway, so if you don't know anything about it, it will make sense for your character

The difficulty comes a bit in chargen (there are a lot of options available because it is a super flexible system, even only using the core rulebook, so first time players often have a bit of decision paralysis in creating their character), understanding the setting (and its consequences), and the fact that a game has no similarity to D&D beyond the cosmetic ideas of fantasy races and magic. In D&D you don't have to worry about surveillance, the internet (matrix), the astral plane, the legality of what you are carrying on you, or the fact that you can be killed in a single lucky gunshot no matter how high leveled you are (unless you're a troll, but they are silly). Where D&D is basically a tactical war game where you are expected to fight your way through everything with little consequence, Shadowrun is more subtle and you are far better off if you avoid combat entirely. There's no resurrection or instant healing and the more hurt you get the harder it is to do stuff. Walking through the city with a battleaxe in D&D won't get you a second glance, but doing the same thing in Shadowrun can get you arrested or worse. There are no evil monsters to slay. Everyone is a person and killing them is murder, so don't get caught. It's all a very different mindset.

Last edited by BiBo; 01-10-2019 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imveros View Post
Group 2) Established Shadowrun players.

What would it take to convince you to run a Shadowrun 5e game?
*fears teh GMing*

Seriously though, I just upped my workload in RL (RL...boo, hiss!), and I don't think I have nearly enough of a grasp of the overall rules to actually run a game. Of course, I'm often playing next to Shadowrun Godlings like AwesomeEli, Raizen, UngainlyFool, etc. (Apologies to all the SRGLs I left out.) Kinda intimidating to a neonate like myself!

Maybe I'd do a one-off quick adventure at some point, where if everyone either died or wound up ruling the world, it wouldn't matter cause there'd be no cleanup. Might be worth considering, and could potentially be a lot of fun.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Group 2) Established Shadowrun players.

What would it take to convince you to run a Shadowrun 5e game?

A controlling interest in Ares

The last game I ran ended up with me spending about an hour searching up some obscure, poorly written rules before I could make a post, then have it debated and argued about and so on. It just becomes a real slog to the point where I'm barely even interested in playing it. Not to mention dealing with the munchkining and people actively trying to break the system.


The other problem is it's always the exact same thing. For a world that has more options than most other systems for stories it always comes down to the Johnson calls up a bunch of randos that get stuck together for some run, the lore tells the players to be paranoid, the players (at least one anyways) acts like a total dbag to prove how tough they are. Other players get mad, the game falls apart. New players get a bad taste from it and go back to d&d. If the game doesn't fall apart there it gets stuck in the infinite planning loop.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:07 AM
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I’m currently running a game here that’s been going pretty well, I feel, in spite of some RL hiccups on my end, and I’ve found that rapid contact between members of the group (my game uses a discord server I have) and being a little more permissive in what the players can retcon has both been really beneficial to my game, and the SR games that I am a Player in.

I haven’t really seen a lot of power balance issues personally, as typically the PCs are diverse enough that they’re never directly competing against one another, but that also means balancing on the fly, which some GMs may not feel comfortable with.

I’m looking at trying out some mechanics from other systems to see if I can’t streamline the planning phase in the PbP format too. Things like Blades in the Dark’s flashback mechanic allow for slick “planning” without bogging down the game for a month and a half, is the hope.

There can be some issue managing player expectations in SR, in part due to how diverse you can get for characters’ motivations, MOs, and personalities, but more rapid, less formal communication has helped address that too, from what I’ve seen here. Being able to quickly and casually talk something out means that perceived problems get addressed more quickly and don’t have time to grow worse. Of course, that’s dependent on soft skills of everyone involved, but it’s helped a lot from what I’ve seen.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imveros
What would it take to convince you to run a Shadowrun 5e game?
I love the setting and have a good bit of knowledge of the flavor from the Harebrained Schemes video games. The hangup for running a game is simply not knowing the mechanics of the tabletop with any certainty yet. I definitely need at least a game under my belt (and probably a second with a matrix based char). I would like to eventually run a game - and I am especially intrigued by RainyDayNinja's game of 'good guy' runners - I just need a better grasp of the system first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AwesomeEli View Post
Things like Blades in the Dark’s flashback mechanic allow for slick “planning” without bogging down the game for a month and a half, is the hope.
I am hoping to get into my first 5E SR game soon (so I can't speak to the SR side of this) but I was in a short-lived Blades game on this site and I loved this mechanic. Not only did it completely remove planning for a heist but it really seemed cinematic and epic. If planning is an issue, I can't recommend this mechanic enough!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiBo
The difficulty comes a bit in chargen (there are a lot of options available because it is a super flexible system, even only using the core rulebook, so first time players often have a bit of decision paralysis in creating their character), ...
I completely agree with this, chargen is intimidating at first, especially when approaching it with the DnD mindset. I do see a lot of similarities in chargen to a few other systems though in Fate and 13th Age. I am just learning the SR system, but it seems like the cleanest chargen is to come up with your 'high concept' first. The system is so flexible that you can pretty much make whatever you want to play.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:41 AM
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Oh the Planning Phase in Shadowrun. It is especially painful as a Gm when you know that there will be one or multiple twists that will render parts of it useless - which happens often enough. I don't mind that either, because as a player I don't really enjoy a scenario where we plan for ages and then everything goes smoothly without a single hiccup - that's barely a story honestly.

Generally it helps to limit this phase. More commonly this is done through story, as in "You have x days to do the job". Which is fine, but you can also just agree on an artificial span of game time devoted to this phase after which the players have to get moving. Around a table this might be an hour, in pbp one could just set it at 3 or 4 cycles of posts maximum.

As for crunchy rules and overly edgy and paranoid characters - that's a bit tougher to handle. But with the former I don't have too much of a problem, i like the system in general. If there is a rule I can't find in a certain amount of time then it is getting winged, players have to accept that.

Characters are a different matter, but setting up a slightly different scenario could be the way to go. We will be able to ask rainyday once he has his game up and running.

When I was still running an SR campaign in person, mentioned above, I kept the game fairly street level for similar reasons without changing the mode of character generation. I just did not care to run a game that was too bleak, even though the setting allows for it. I was more interested in gangs than megacorps, which were only a very rare target for runs in the campaign - usually at the end of a story arc.
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