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Author Topic: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition  (Read 1962 times)

Shadowjack

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Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« on: (21:57:49/02-26-17) »
I love reading shadowrun books but I dislike the way they're constructed. There is way too much filler in every rules book, it's exhausting having to look at a bunch of different books when I want to make npcs or characters. Do we really need 7 short stories in every rules book that eat up 20+ pages? I love short stories but please put them in anthology books. There are way too many character options books. I get it, you need to make money, but don't force me to buy a character book for each archetype.. There is a LOT of discussion by jackpointers in all the books and it's kind of annoying. It really just feels like filler, I'd rather read novels about these characters or read books like attitude or street legends. I think it should be set up like this for 6th edition.

Core Book - everything you need to play
Gear Book - weapons, armor, vehicles, gear
Character Options Book - qualities, new programs, new spells, new adept powers, new cyberwave, etc.
Novels galore
Street legends type books
Npc mega book - critters, elite ops, shadow spirits, etc

Bottom line: Please keep rules books focused, I don't want to pay for a 220 page book with 160 pages of filler and only 60 pages of what I am actually paying for. I don't want to spread my character options over 7 different books. I enjoy rules books, I enjoy lore books, I enjoy novels, let me pay for what I want please.
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Carmody

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #1 on: (03:51:09/02-27-17) »
Please do not do what he is asking!

With all due respect Shadowjack, I really like the books the way they are, they provide information about a specific subject, including but not limited to what is directly usable by characters. This is what makes those books great : they are not just "catalogs"

Shadowjack

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #2 on: (05:02:11/02-27-17) »
I apologize in advance if this post comes across as brash but I just endured 15 minutes of waiting for the page to load and I'm VERY tired of that. With all the money CGL makes from this game you'd think they would care enough to upgrade the forums, it's PATHETIC.

With that said, let me ask you this, Carmody. Do you actually read all the short stories and fluff over and over in Run and Gun? I know I don't. I read them the first time and never again, after the initial read all they are is clutter that I don't want. I use Run and Gun now only for looking at gear. On top of that glaring issue I find it annoying that each new book adds more rules to a game already heavily bogged down by rules. The game is overly complex for no good reason and piling on more pointless rules just feels like more filler. Yeah, that's just my opinion, but it bothers me. These books should be resources for character creation and npc design, not a bunch of short stories, jack pointers eating up half the book with their conversations, and tons of pointless rules.

I find character creation frustrating. First I need to look at the core book, then run and gun, then run faster, then rigger 5, then chrome flesh, then hard targets, all that just to make a street samurai, arguably the most basic archetype in the game. 6 books to make a simple character, that is ridiculous and feels like it's only this way so CGL can force me to buy lots of books, it does not feel like they're trying to write the books to give me a good value or experience, it feels greedy. When you need to look at 6 rules options books to make a character the company has failed. On top of that every damn book is riddled with errors and it turns 5th edition into a constant internet scouring frustration. I've spent so many hours on the internet trying to find out how the rules work because the books are published in an extremely poor manner. It just feels like bullshit. You charge $40 or $50 per book and you can't even make one of them without forcing customers to hunt for clariifaction on how things are supposed to work. And you know why that sucks? Because we need to wait for errata for a lot of different books, and that takes YEARS. If the character options were condensed into 1 or 2, maybe 3 books, we'd have all the errata by now. I mean seriously, the whole point of buying a hardcopy book is so you don't need to go on the internet, but that just isn't possible.

Look at dungeons and dragons 5th edition, they're doing the opposite. They produce less books and they're higher quality. When you buy the monster manual it doesn't have 30 pages of short stories and another 45 pages of Drizzt talking to Elminster and a bunch of other people. I open the book, find the monsters I need, and I'm good to go. That's how shadowrun books should be, packed with as much character creation tools as possible. I'm a damn good customer, I buy a LOT of shadowrun products, but I'm also disgruntled because I feel like I'm being screwed around. Seriously, these short stories, while great, are pointless to include in such books. Everything in a character option book should be usable forever, short stories are read once or twice and then they just bog down the book and make it harder to find what I'm looking for.

Anyway, I think I've made my point. Make the books focused, let me buy what I want and don't make me pay for products that are infested with errors.You print 60 novels, I'll buy all of them guaranteed, I don't even read the teasers. I play Anarchy now, it's more fun and it just feels superior, but I still need to buy new books and convert things, I just want those things to be in a neat package. Sorry if this is overly aggressive but I think a lot of us are tired of the poor editing and these ancient and pathetic forums. Get your shit together, please! And despite my harsh criticisms I love this game and I love and appreciate all the writers.
« Last Edit: (05:06:46/02-27-17) by Shadowjack »
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MDMann

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #3 on: (06:55:09/02-27-17) »
I agree. With Carmody. DON'T cut the background and fluff.

Carmody

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #4 on: (08:49:48/02-27-17) »
Shadowjack, your post is interesting but it raises many different points, some of which I agree with, some not.

I will try and answer them (sorry for "haching" your original post, I did my best to regroup the various points on the same topic).

Quote from: Shadowjack
I apologize in advance if this post comes across as brash but I just endured 15 minutes of waiting for the page to load and I'm VERY tired of that. With all the money CGL makes from this game you'd think they would care enough to upgrade the forums, it's PATHETIC.
This is very true!  >:(

Quote from: Shadowjack
With that said, let me ask you this, Carmody. Do you actually read all the short stories and fluff over and over in Run and Gun? I know I don't. I read them the first time and never again, after the initial read all they are is clutter that I don't want. I use Run and Gun now only for looking at gear.
[...]
Look at dungeons and dragons 5th edition, they're doing the opposite. They produce less books and they're higher quality. When you buy the monster manual it doesn't have 30 pages of short stories and another 45 pages of Drizzt talking to Elminster and a bunch of other people. I open the book, find the monsters I need, and I'm good to go. That's how shadowrun books should be, packed with as much character creation tools as possible.
[...]
I'm a damn good customer, I buy a LOT of shadowrun products, but I'm also disgruntled because I feel like I'm being screwed around. Seriously, these short stories, while great, are pointless to include in such books. Everything in a character option book should be usable forever, short stories are read once or twice and then they just bog down the book and make it harder to find what I'm looking for.
This is a good question, and no, I do not read those part over and over again. However, I fail to see how they are an issue to find what you are looking for in the book. Most of this fluff, being the short stories or the fluff could not be produced in a different book than those rule books. The novels are way too short, and most are related to the next chapter. The fluff is also very thightly linked to the rules and I do not see how it can be "extracted" to be put elswhere (without even considering the commercial aspect).
Your comparison with D&D is relevant, and it shows that not all of us want the same thing. I fully agree with the fact as you present them: mix of fluff and crunc in SR, crunch only in D&D, but my conclusion is the opposite than yours: I do not want to open  a gun catalog, or some kind of "hunting menu". I like those elements to be integrated within the background, to have the shadowtalkers debate wether or not this weapon is reliable, easy to find, whatever data that can fuel my imagination. Bringing a bunch of statistics together to provide a list of 10, 100, 1000 weapons (or spells, or creatures, or whatever) has no added value in my eyes. I can do that on my own.
I do not say you are wrong and I am right, this is absolutely not my point. I just want to show you that not everybody is thinking like you, the the fact that it does not suit you does not mean it is intrinsically bad.

Quote from: Shadowjack
On top of that glaring issue I find it annoying that each new book adds more rules to a game already heavily bogged down by rules. The game is overly complex for no good reason and piling on more pointless rules just feels like more filler. Yeah, that's just my opinion, but it bothers me.
There I partly agree with you:
   - I agree that there are too many rules to my taste. However I can understand from what I am reading here that it fit the expectations of many people here
   - I agree that some rules are not where they should be. For example, all extra combat related rules should have been added in R&G, not in Chrome Flesh (see rules for some weapon implants that comes in pairs). You also mention Hard Target, I have a more mitigated feeling about these books which add a little more gear in the middle of a mostly fluff book.

Quote from: Shadowjack
And you know why that sucks? Because we need to wait for errata for a lot of different books, and that takes YEARS. If the character options were condensed into 1 or 2, maybe 3 books, we'd have all the errata by now.
This is again a different point, and one which I agree 200%

farothel

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #5 on: (09:45:03/02-27-17) »
I would propose to do both.  Make the books as they are now, with short stories and filler and then offer PDFs without all that stuff (can be as simple as in the final version just cutting out all the extra stuff).  People who want it short can download the PDFs (and print them if they want dead tree versions), while the rest can have the full book with everything.

That will give you six short(er) PDFs which you can use for character creation (and combine into one bigger one if you want before printing and binding).

As I've never gone over to 5th edition, I don't know the issues with the errata, but I can totally relate to the fact that these should be kept as minimal as possible and if needed, be available as quickly as possible.
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Jack_Spade

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #6 on: (09:48:07/02-27-17) »
If a company doesn't publish continuously they'll have quite soon a bit of a cash flow problem. "Publish or perish" is not limited to academia.

That said, I do very much understand where you are coming from. Personally, I favor crunch much, much more heavily than fluff. SR 5 has a lot of very good writers and material. What SR 5 lacks is the clear distinction between fluff and crunch (and editors doing their job, but that's a whole other bag of dirty needles). After all it doesn't matter how much stories you don't care for are in the book, as long as you can quickly find the crunch you are looking for.

The complexity of the system is in part based on the attempt to stay consistent with prior editions. Imho, SR would also greatly benefit from using consistent rules terminology (and enforcing its use with all their writers, be they staff or freelancers). That alone would make it much easier to catch errors before they go into print.

Oh and by the way: Despite a few problems, Hard Targets stands out to me as one of the all around best supplements. It has crunch for almost all types of runners (excluding only Technomancers), some great plot hooks and an interesting setting.
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Moonshine Fox

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #7 on: (11:51:53/02-27-17) »
What SR 5 lacks is the clear distinction between fluff and crunch (and editors doing their job, but that's a whole other bag of dirty needles). After all it doesn't matter how much stories you don't care for are in the book, as long as you can quickly find the crunch you are looking for.

This right here. Fluff is really good for building out a game world and giving players and GMs alike a look glimpse of things from an inside point of view. Keeping them distinct from each-other and easy to find is important.

MijRai

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #8 on: (12:39:13/02-27-17) »
I actually do go back and read the chapter fiction, myself.  And I love the banter between the JackPointers.  My only gripe is how mechanics are spread out across the book instead of kept in a single area of the book; if they had fluff first, crunch second in cohesive sections, I'd be perfectly happy. 
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farothel

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #9 on: (13:12:36/02-27-17) »
I actually do go back and read the chapter fiction, myself.  And I love the banter between the JackPointers.  My only gripe is how mechanics are spread out across the book instead of kept in a single area of the book; if they had fluff first, crunch second in cohesive sections, I'd be perfectly happy.

That's the way they did it with the 'elemental' books in the last edition of L5R and you're right, it's very useful.  You first have a lot of fluff and then at the end you have all the rules.  Simply go to the chapter titled 'New Mechanics' and you have all the crunch without having to search (they even put it in the same order as the other chapters, so if the fluff chapter on combat is first, then the combat new mechanics are also first).  They didn't do it in their first books and in those it's a lot more difficult to find things.
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Moonshine Fox

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #10 on: (13:14:52/02-27-17) »
Kinda like the old 3rd edition books. Each chapter started with the section that talked about all the stuff from an in-world perspective with the Shadowland folks commenting. Then after that you had the breakdown of how the rules worked for the things that were discussed.

Moonshine Fox

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #11 on: (13:20:30/02-27-17) »
I actually do go back and read the chapter fiction, myself.  And I love the banter between the JackPointers.  My only gripe is how mechanics are spread out across the book instead of kept in a single area of the book; if they had fluff first, crunch second in cohesive sections, I'd be perfectly happy.

That's the way they did it with the 'elemental' books in the last edition of L5R and you're right, it's very useful.  You first have a lot of fluff and then at the end you have all the rules.  Simply go to the chapter titled 'New Mechanics' and you have all the crunch without having to search (they even put it in the same order as the other chapters, so if the fluff chapter on combat is first, then the combat new mechanics are also first).  They didn't do it in their first books and in those it's a lot more difficult to find things.

The old Deadlands books did it that way too. Posse section for the fluff, No Mans Land for the crunch, and the Marshal's Section for the secret behind the scenes stuff players aren't supposed to read (but secretly always did).

FastJack

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #12 on: (13:21:59/02-27-17) »
I apologize in advance if this post comes across as brash but I just endured 15 minutes of waiting for the page to load and I'm VERY tired of that. With all the money CGL makes from this game you'd think they would care enough to upgrade the forums, it's PATHETIC.
In response to the forums: These forums are free. The mods (myself included) volunteer our time to the boards. The developers likewise volunteer their time as well. And, I don't know if you know this or not, but making games is not very profitable. Most game developers I know, do so out of love in the spare time between their "normal" jobs. We work with what we got.

As for the filler, I love the stuff. I appreciate your feelings though, since you want to get right to the crunch of the book to start using the new rules and gadgets in your game.

Kwai

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #13 on: (15:13:54/02-27-17) »
Suggestion (which may already exist and I am unaware of it):

The 20th Anniversary Core Book had a "Shadowrun Master Index" that detailed where to find what across several sourcebooks.
Could a Master Index be created for 5th (and then 6th), stickied to a forum, and updated as new source material is released? Very useful, imo.

Personally, I enjoy the fluff and stories a do reread them for a "How do I present this info in game as a GM?" perspective. I like the jackpoint banter. But I do miss the "game Information" / gm section of the books, where crunch/new/special rules are provided for topics that have been discussed "in character".

All4BigGuns

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Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
« Reply #14 on: (16:09:50/02-27-17) »
I agree. With Carmody. DON'T cut the background and fluff.

Not cut entirely, but that stuff needs to be in separate sources from rules information (aside of course from a general overview at the beginning of Core).
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