Author Topic: 5th Edition what does its job and what doesnt  (Read 688 times)

tytalan

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5th Edition what does its job and what doesnt
« on: (16:36:02/08-25-16) »
I want to share my thoughts on the core 5th edition books and what does its job and what fails
 Run & Gun - combat and gear supplement:  This one does a good job IMHO it has a good locker of weapons and add some interesting thing to combat

 Street Grimoire - magic supplement:  another book that does much of what it is supposed to but they could of added more still another good core book IMHO

 Run Faster - character gen/alternate races/qualities supplement:  The companion books have always been a mixed bag and this one no different.  It add a lot of options but the rules want to force you to use a character build other than the traditional priority system which I happen to like.  It also spends a Large portion of its pages on making Vampires and their subsects.  To me vampires have always been great villains not player characters so this half of the book is mostly ;useless IMHO

 Chrome Flesh - Core Cyberware/Augmentation rulebook:  As a cyberware book this ones okay I could ask for more meat but it does the job and add some interesting new ideals.

  Data Trails -  Core Decking/Matrix rulebook:  I hate to say it because I love playing Deckers but this one FAILS.  It adds little to character creations unless you use a optional creation system,  Instead of fixing and clarifying the Matrix it add a new level and more complication.  Than it spends a large section on a new character/race type that is more limited than second edition Deckers,  we do not need A.I. character rules.  with all this it has no rule for deck construction.  it waves its hand at modification almost.  No rules for frames or creation you own programs.  "when I created a Decker in 3rd edition the first book after the core book I grabbed was Matrix and I used it to characters whole play life.  Not sure dif I would even open Data Trails. 

   Rigger 5 - Core vehicle/rigging rules:  I have not played a Rigger but I help a friend create for our 3rd edition game and we used Rigger 3 revised and loved it.  Riggers 3 was about the same size as Riggers 5 but that were the similarity's end Riggers 3 was 75% Rigger rules including things like security Rigging were you are the building and many other things.  Rigger 5 is 75% vehicle catalogue and 25 % yea there are Riggers this is kind of how the modify vehicles.  There is so much more possibilities for Riggers in 5th and the Book Fails almost as bad as Data Trails

Well these are my views please add your own thoughts   

 

Shadowjack

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Re: 5th Edition what does its job and what doesnt
« Reply #1 on: (02:31:20/08-29-16) »
Honestly, having to buy and constantly read so many books just to build a character is kind of annoying. I have to check my books all the time for rules, gear, etc, it's exhausting. My opinion on the books though:

Run & Gun: Martial arts are neat but it's too hard to remember all of them, especially as the GM. All the special attacks are too hard to remember, and there is too many. The weapons are well done and I like them, but the armor is mostly redundtant stuff and encourages power gaming. The forearmguards, vitals kit, etc kind of upped the soak dice too far and caused more harm than good. I really dislike them.

Street Grimoire:One of the better books imo. Lots of nice spells and options.

Run Faster: Great book with a lot of options, most of which you will probably never play but it's a very nice resource. The qualities are reallly good and very needed as the core book doesn't offer that many.

Chrome Flesh: I was disappointed by this book. It has a lot of cool stuff but most of it I've seen in previous editions and not much of the new stuff jumped out at me. I was really hoping for more strong combat ware but  most of it was just weird or not that good imo. Genetic infusions are really cool though.

Data Trails: Some great concepts but the matrix is just painfully slow and this makes it even slower. I didn't really enjoy the book much but it was okay.

Rigger 5: Don't have it yet.

Overall: I find it to be kind of annoying that each new edition forces the customers to buy a bunch of books or they can't play the archetypes they want. Spreading all that information over so many books is not practical imo. It also feels a bit like a cash grab when each new edition just recycles all the old stuff and you have to read it over again under the new rules, it feels like all the same stuff. There is sometimes a few new goodies but I haven't been too impressed. The rules of the game are long winded and spread out over too many books, the result is that 95% of the player base barely knows the rules, it's a huge problem. Anarchy should solve a lot of these issues, I won't have any reason to play core again. I'll be buying anarchy and anarchy related products (if they ever decide to make them). I may convert some stuff into anarchy as well. Another issue I have is that there is tons of useless stuff in the books that is basically just filler, like 5 ways to acquire each thing you want (such as low light vision). Many things are barely ever used and and feel completely useless because they are such niche items, in particular I'm talking about ware.

This all may sound very harsh, and it is, but I play Shadowrun because I love the setting and the types of things I get to do in the game. I think the rules are really outdated and bad, unnecessarily complex, and impossible to learn for most people. I know that certain players love having to "master" the rules, but I don't get anything out of it, not even a little bit. I've been playing for 20 years and all my friends and I agree that there are way too many pointless rules. The gameplay can often be very slow, especially when players feel compelled to check the book for rules mid session.

I am very hopefully that 6th edition will have a completely different feel. In particular I'd like to have all the rules and options in 2 or 3 books and simply cut down on all the flavorful discussions and writeups. I do love the writing, and the writers, but once I've read these sections once I don't ready them again, and I find they just get in the way of my attempt to find the particular item, spell, quality, etc that I'm looking for. I would much rather get writeups in other books and keep the two mostly separated. This is why I love books like Attitude and 6th World Almanac.They are very focused from cover to cover. If you look at the 3 core D&D books, there is a very heavy focus on the meat of the system and not that much writing about random stories, such as yet another writeup on mafia activity and other things that are written about over and over. When I open those books, I can easily find what I'm looking for and I have a reason to read the entire books again and again, because it's all useful and it is focused on a certain topic. That is the proper way to layout a book imo. Keep the rules and options in some books and the others can expand on the setting more.

Anyway, kind of a rant but that's how I feel. The writing is excellent, the writers work hard and I love them, but I really wish the product line was designed much differently.
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Jack_Spade

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Re: 5th Edition what does its job and what doesnt
« Reply #2 on: (03:48:15/08-29-16) »
R&G: One of the better books: It has errata, the options are by and large usable, the chapter on space is very good as is the explosives one. The Martial Arts are a mixed bag with a few very good options and a lot of meh +1 to that negate 1 point of this stuff. Compared to the costs of a new spell most of these options are pretty lame.

@Shadowjack
Armor add ons are not the problem. They benefit high strength characters and since strength is really the red headed step child in this edition, it's good that the troll character can at least get some use out of it by wearing more armor. (Not to mention, that core already allowed you to get to +9 armor with add on gear)

SG: A really mixed blessing: Lots of options, but the layout is horribad. For example, the adept ways have their options strewn across three different sections. Lots of essential stuff his hidden and needs the index to be found - if at all (I'm looking at you fetish and limited spell)

RF: Good effort, but the new lifestyle options aren't really that usable and would imho benefit from some clarification. Shifters have been hit hard with the nerf hammer, Vampires are as super-powered as ever.  No errata (yet)

DT: Much fluff about nothing - A few gems hidden, mainly because there is no index and no table of content. The AI rules are unnecessarily complicated with its own generating system. The gear options at least allow for some funny stuff. No errata (yet)

CF: Interesting Options and CFD - no index and table of content, drug creation system is an untested/unusable mess, but at least the gear options are solid (for the most part). No errata (Yet)

R5: The book is a layout mess - at least compared to the German one. Whoever thought individual stat blocks strewn across the pages was a good idea, should think again. Two different modification systems for drones and vehicles seem to be unnecessarily complicated, yet you can't ignore them because the vehicle options just don't work with drones and their limited bodies. On the plus side: A lot of interesting gear - except if you have been hoping for a bit more variety on RCCs. In that regard you are shit out of luck. No errata (Yet)

Howling Shadows: Animals and critters galore, but you can buy them because there are no prices. Great if you want to send your players on safari. The unreliable narrator turns the critter entries into a very tiring affair for the GM. A taxonomic system would have been great. No errata (Yet)


Hard Targets: My personal favorite of the second line books. It's got a lot of stuff and options for almost all archetypes. The weapon customization is especially interesting for 5e which otherwise seems to favor less individuality in your gear options than the previous editions. No errata (Yet)

Shadow spells: Short but full of neat toys for mages and adepts

Bullets&Bandages: Great if you want more grit in your combat wounds - also some great toys for riggers

Stolen Souls: Early installment weirdness - gear without proper description hidden in fluff. Most of it is now obsolete with CF and Rigger 5

Gun Haven: Lot's of boom sticks but only few you actually would want to use. The book is mainly good to equip corp guards with weapons your players don't want to loot.

Assassins Primer: Fluff, fluff, fluff and very few morsels of meat, but tasty nonetheless.

« Last Edit: (15:59:22/08-29-16) by Jack_Spade »
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Shadowjack

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Re: 5th Edition what does its job and what doesnt
« Reply #3 on: (14:27:43/08-29-16) »
@Jack_Spade
I just don't like the armor addons. Shields and helmets were enough imo. Tacking on copious amounts of armor just slows the game down for those that still use real dice, like me :P As for your comment about strength being a weak stat, I strongly disagree. High strength characters are killing machines. I have a 14 strength troll that uses throwing knives and I one hit kill nearly everyone and everything I hit. That may be seen as an extreme example but I think high strength is very powerful, particularly on races with higher strength maximums. Bows are incredibly damaging as well, as are melee weapons like katanas and unarmed adepts. I don't know, strength seems very good to me :P

I agree with your comment on Hard Targets too, that is a great book.
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Jack_Spade

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Re: 5th Edition what does its job and what doesnt
« Reply #4 on: (16:39:37/08-29-16) »
Not to derail this thread, but I don't think that 5 dice more or less are derailing the game and SR has always been a game of 20+ d6.
Extreme strength characters are deadly - but come with enormous opportunity costs.
Whenever you consider such a character you have to compare them baseline to a guy with a cheap AK-97 loaded with ex-ammo.
Compared to that investing in strength instead of. agility, reaction or plain body is the least efficient way to go about - unless you are also using that strength to improve your soak dice.
talk think matrix

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Shadowjack

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Re: 5th Edition what does its job and what doesnt
« Reply #5 on: (20:28:29/08-29-16) »
Alright, I'll try not to derail it too. Shadowrun has always had large soak pools, that's true, but I think it's bad design and needs to change. It is very weird when these armor upgrades are not in the core book and when the gear book comes out, suddenly everyone is stacking extra armor. It also results in more armor across the board as intelligent ncs in combat roles are going to be using them as well. You make a valid point on the strength topic, but I am not too worried about whether option A is mathematically stronger than option B, I just play what I think will be fun :) The high strength guy does have some insane costs but if he hits you once you will die unless your character is exceptionally tanky/lucky. My troll throwing adept is not even min-maxed, but he does have strong offense, and I could have made him more powerful than I did but I went for fluff options. Again though, valid point, an ak-97 is hard to top without large expenses.

Back to the topic, I would like to hear more opinions on the books in question.
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tytalan

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Re: 5th Edition what does its job and what doesnt
« Reply #6 on: (18:14:21/08-31-16) »
I want to put in town more cents but please do not let me disrail my own thread.  I see a couple of people have similar feeling that I do on at least two books.  Both data trails and Rigger's fail!  I suggest that CGL needs to take that in consideration.  I would suggest 2 or 3 major character books.

1st I call it virtual persona it would be a large book 250 to 300 pgs to do the subject right 25% decker 25% rigger and 50% technomancer use the technomancer book for a starting point maybe add 10 pg fix for the matrix think hard on character advancement not character creation

2nd I call it Street Meat think of this as a character book for the other guys like your Faces and Fixers and maybe remember some of the old archetypes like Rocker "yea we only had them in one book but they worry for that other game" and Reporters "see above".

3rd We need a tactical book I know most of the time runners don't get military hardware but it does happen some times and runners do encounter it from time to time.  Another thing that would fit this book is the military and paramilitary cyber packages.  No your normal grunt is not going to be cybered but your Ranger is and it will be a set package maybe with a slight essence cost cut because it is a package.

I think if we could get these 3 books it could go a long way to fixing things if they were done right

Now thank you for listening and let's get back to the thread