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I want to love SR6...but I dont know how.

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Gmanjkd

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« on: <02-01-22/1925:53> »
Hello all, Im looking for advice.  I may be looking at SR6 through the wrong lens or unfairly and need those of you who have more experience than me to bring guidance, clarity and rational to my observations.

NOTE:  Years ago I posted a similar post about Masks of Nyarlathotep for Call of Cathulhu because I just didn't get why it was good....after reading the replies to my post with an open mind i later ran that campaign (well the 1st 26 sessions) and absolutely LOVE it!  I say all that to say this.  My concerns, confusion and perhaps disappointment come from an open minded and good natured place not a place of antagonistic aggression.

Where I'm coming from:  I played SR2 a little back in the day and SR3 for a year or 2 when it was new and HOT but never ran either of those games. I ran the starter adventure for SR5 but it did not fit my group at the time so we did not continue with it. 

In the last 3 or 4 weeks I have caught the SR bug BAD and fallen down the SR white rabbit hole big time.  During that time i have read the following books in this order. 

Part of SR 20th anniversary core book.
Part of SR2 core book and ran a few mock combats.
Part of SR3 core book
All of SR6 core book
Assassins Night
Most of Kechibi Code
Renraku Arcology Shutdown
Free Seattle PDF
Battle Royal PDF
Cutting Black
Im currently on night 5 of the 30 Nights Campaign.   
NOTE I have read several of the SR1 & SR2 adventures years ago.

Ok, so now that I have fallen down the SR rabbit hole, I have spent quite a bit of $$ on SR6 and I really want to like it but im having some issues.  Im not talking about mechanics as I have not emotional allegiance to any edition of SR since I have been so removed from the game for so long and am basically coming in at SR6....ignorance is bliss i guess?

My Preconceived ideas about Shadowrun are that the setting/game is gritty cyberpunk, street level missions for or against the Corps....Based in Seattle.  I mean Seattle is the assumed setting for SR right?

Well, what im finding is thats not the case. Cutting Black (love the fiction in this by the way. Super fun read) talks all about Detroit.....and St Louise.....and Atlanta.....not really much about Seattle.  Ok so my thought is that Detroit's battle with the bugs was really cool.  Surely 30 nights goes into that conflict and is all about adventures during that time.  NOPE!!  30 Nights apparently takes place in Toranto..... So my confusion mounts.  Also Assassins Nights takes place in Barcelona if i remember correctly...and I dont remember where Kechibi Code is but i think its rather world spanning as well.

Im not sure if i am judging SR6 fairly because it looks like it is not what i assumed it was.  It not SR6's fault if I want Ice Cream and SR6 is a steak....Doesnt matter how good of a Steak it is if I only want Ice Cream i will not be happy with steak....

To be fair there is a lot that i like about SR6.

1st think i noticed was the art.  I really like a lot of the art... I wish there was more even if it was B&W.  I also kinda dig the Pink and Black....dont know if that is subtle nod to Pink Mohawk and Black Trench coat or not but its cool.

It looks like Deckers will actually be playable which is not something i remember being realistic in SR2 or SR3. So that is awesome!

I like the Priority System...this was something that was cool and set SR apart back in the day and i appreciate that they have kept that.  I think its cool.

A Few things i dont like. Again none of this may be fair and i may be out of touch.

1 - Tone....im getting a big action hero vibe instead of a gritty street level survival things are deadly vibe.  I get this from the fiction and the cover art... Characters are not afraid of horrible things that go bump in the night....just angry and inconvenienced.  Perhaps actual play works out differently.

SPOILERS BELOW
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2 - Everything is friendly now...there are friendly Ghouls, Friendly Dragons and......Friendly Bug Spirits.....Really???  Perhaps this is something that started in a much earlier edition and I was not aware.


3 - Plot sourcebooks.  I know this is not limited to SR6 and i want to be clear i am not complaining about the writing quality of Cutting Black as it was a ton of fun to read....i read it in like 3 days... But i cant help but think.....couldnt this have just been a novel.  I mean there are no adventures in it.  Sure there are adventure seeds but their are adventure seeds in novels too.  I mean how do you guys use these Plot Sourcebooks?

4 - Campaign books.  I REALLY LOVE the opening story in Assassins Night.  I was sooo hoping that the person you were supposed to assassinate or not assassinate was going to be the mystery character at the beginning but nope.  The pacing of this is a bit slow...or at least it feels that way.  I would not really call this a campaign....this imo a collection a broad stroked story seeds.... The GM has to do a LOT of work with this to run it.  If i am wrong PLEASE tell me I want to see what i am doing wrong.

5 - coming from the outside looking in it seams like nothing is rare or special anymore.  Dragons are everywhere, Bug Spirits are friendly, Ghouls are vegan and running for office....I dont even think there is a separation between Hermetic Mages and Shamans anymore.....is that true.

6 - No Modules -  As far as my research can tell SR5 had about 10 adventures printed.....thats not a lot but its something for the new GM to get their feet wet and established in the setting before they need to create their own....I dont really see that with SR6.   Battle Royal is really just to teach how to roll dice and Freeing Seattle (yay its in Seattle) is something but I would not consider it on the same quality as say Splintered State.

7 - I dont see a good entry point for GM's new to the SR universe.  Sure there is a starter set but that is not a substitute for a legit adventure set in Seattle and perhaps a line of adventures ( 1-3 ) to really get a new group started.


Thanks for letting me ramble.  I really appreciate anyone who is kind enough to critique my view.  I really want to love SR6 (im already heavily invested) I just dont know how to look at it differently....yet.  I want to see it in a better light.  A light that i can appreciate it for what it is instead of perhaps what i thought it was.


Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #1 on: <02-01-22/2007:34> »
Some of this can't be really argued, you read it how you read it.

1. Tone I think that does seem to be the tone being pushed from my readings of it, but each table sets the tone for their games. Mine would end up grittier and more street level in feel. The setting is not Seattle specific, though that was the I guess default for multiple editions.

2. I think its pushed more as a normal idea now, it always existed but was seen much more as the exception to the rule. Outside of mantis spirits I can;t think of any "friendly" bug spirits and friendly may be a stretch more that they eat other bugs, so enemy of a enemy. That being said I'd dipped out of a lot of 6es lore.

3. Maybe, that's a business decision. But novels don;t feel as easy to reference and use as a GM to me.

4.  Yeah they are big on story seeds, I'd like more meat to things like this as I'm lazy, the seed part I can come up with but the meat and potatoes takes more work. I'm old and tired so there is only so much time I want to put into prepping for game night.

5.  They may be hitting a everything is special so nothing is point. And yeah the difference between hermetics/shamans is all but gone.

6. I feel that is a big failure on their part.  They should be cranking out mission level adventures and putting them up for free or at a nominal cost. Its basic marketing for the game, don't add art to save on costs but give people content to work with. They have some up, but it was/is really slow going. And last time I tried to get them it was a pain in the butt. New players especially will have a hard time crafting adventures given the system and unusual setting.

7. See 6, yeah its rough on the new DM.
« Last Edit: <02-01-22/2009:37> by Shinobi Killfist »

Darksithmstr

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« Reply #2 on: <02-01-22/2046:24> »
SR 6 is decent, no harder to DM than any other, but it is a bit easier to run than others.  I think the Shadowrun Missions books for 6 are like adventure modules, there are a couple on Drivethrurpg.  But I find most Cyberpunk theme games, require a lot of input from DM's to write.  But yeah I have had the bug too, I jumped to Cyberpunk Red, but I love the SR Universe too much, plus I invested quite a bit into SR6.
See u in the Matrix!

Beta

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« Reply #3 on: <02-02-22/1511:31> »
The SR bug never really goes away ... it can lie dormant for decades but you never know when it will flair up again!

re: "everything is friendly" I think there are three things to keep in mind:
- those things have been around for long enough that the current writers are probably enjoying writing the exception to the rule, assuming that people know the 'rule' of how such things are
- there has always been some of this in the game.  Look at Dunkelzhan, the great dragon who was elected as president of the UCAS. And early in the books about Chicago I think there was some fairly civilized ghouls in one part of the city (been a while since I read Bug City, I could be wrong about when they were introduced). 
- I think it is more a question of what the writers have focused on, rather than a major change in how things are

Seattle has always been the default setting, but Chicago was developed as an alternative during (I think) 2e, and Denver in 3e?  Native American Nations volumes 1 and 2 came out during 1e, and Shadows of Europe and Shadows of North America were 3e.  The game has been trying to move beyond Seattle for a long time.

In matters of tone, in 6e I think they made a deliberate move back towards the neo-anarchism that was first developed in the 2e period, where valiant punks are striking back against the powers that be, cooperating with each other to make viable lives and societies outside of corp control (all while taking money for jobs from the corps, of course).  I thought 5e had a little darker tone through most of its run, until it started moving that way in the final few books.  Just my feel, I can't really point to evidence of all that.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #4 on: <02-02-22/1712:05> »
Shinobi I agree with everything you said there.

I'm the type of player that skims over the plot stuff, probably won't read any of the fiction, and spends 90% of their time reading the gameplay stuff.  So I can't comment on lore things in this edition. 
They definitely are spending a ton of time on non-Seattle locations this time though, even though they are also shaking things up back in the Emerald City.  Speaking of which, I expect we'll get lots of new plot hooks and stuff in the Seattle book coming out this year.  Hopefully that ends the Seattle dry spell.  Shadowrun development has tried to hit lots of different locations around the world... this may be because it wants to get a more global, jet set spy thriller thing going, but personally I don't think this is a great idea for them because they just flat out don't have the production capacity to support an expanding world and a dynamically changing one.
I mean, Pegasus seems to be doing good covering Germany and central Europe, maybe Catalyst's time would be better spent spiraling out from Seattle - revisit Portland, do a setting and campaign book for the SSC (Why has Vancouver been ignored all these years?) and then come back to SF and LA.  I mean if you're going to do cities, do the ones that matter most in the corporate world. 


When it comes to adventure modules - Yeah, no kidding, sometimes I wonder if the Catalyst folks have ever drawn an rpg map in their life.  I can't remember the last Shadowrun module I read that was more detailed than some story beats.  The line developer is a fiction writer, I'd wager a lot of the freelancers are also writers first.  The modules are organized like fiction, which is why you get stuff like in 30 Nights where some groups and NPCs that would be important to your starting location aren't mentioned until one of the chapters calls for them.
Ah sorry, got me complaining. 

Quote
4 - Campaign books.  I REALLY LOVE the opening story in Assassins Night.  I was sooo hoping that the person you were supposed to assassinate or not assassinate was going to be the mystery character at the beginning but nope.  The pacing of this is a bit slow...or at least it feels that way.  I would not really call this a campaign....this imo a collection a broad stroked story seeds.... The GM has to do a LOT of work with this to run it.  If i am wrong PLEASE tell me I want to see what i am doing wrong.
Nah you're not wrong - 30 Nights is worse in this regard (I am running 30 Nights right now) because it's less organized than Assassin's night, but they're both broad stroke story seed kind of campaigns.   Assassin's Night at least has clear delineations between its subplots (even if you have to read it cover to cover to learn that) and when I run it, it'll be a much more truncated version of the story, with just one of the three major subplots - I'll probably even move it to Seattle.  After spending 8 mos in a new city, they'd probably like to get back to Seattle.  Unlike 30 Nights, I think Assassin's Night can be moved to another city without a complete rewrite.

Gmanjkd

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« Reply #5 on: <02-02-22/1802:52> »
Thanks all for your replies.

 I really appreciate you taking the time to read my LONG post and to then reply with your views.  Im a little sad with the replies as I was kind of hoping for people to tell me i was crazy and that i had just misinterpreted SR6 or perhaps something like "hey dummy didnt you know that there are Adventure Modules scheduled for release later this year and they are set in Seattle"  but no such luck.

I will continue to research...ill finish reading 30 nights as i have already spent the $$ on it.  Hopefully something clicks and i see things differently but at this time im just not ready to write my own adventures (haven't been good at that for decades) I may continue to research using SR20A and the 2050 book to run the old classic 1e through 3e adventures.

You guys have been very helpful and welcoming.
Again thanks to everyone for your thoughts.

Reaver

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« Reply #6 on: <02-02-22/1806:07> »
I try to stay quiet about 6e since I have not even fully read the core book yet (STILL!!). But there are a few other things here that you brought up that I can comment on, especially from my perspective.

I have been an avid Shadowrun fan since 1e, and 6e is the first edition that I have not bought a book for, nor read (nor, it seems do I have an interest, as I have an the opportunity to do so). HOWEVER, I am still playing shadowrun. Just an older edition of the game (my table has reverted to 3e.) And for the most part the reason is simple, as it was hidden.

TONE.

The Tone of the game has drastically changed in the last 3 editions. For those that are "old skool" fans of shadowrun and have access to the books: Go read them again, but ignore everything but the underlying Tone and Tension of the game world. Don't go too far out of your way, just read the core rule book, and any 2 expansion books of your choice. (and for those that don't want to, or don't have the books... I be summing it up next :D )


There is a sense of both High Tech, and dirt. A sense of progress, and regressive-ism...
For example, in 1-3 edition they talk about Gridegide... (you know, the self driving car mechanism).. and how greta it is at regulating traffic and "yadda yadda yadda"... And then right under that, you get the "real facts" (as laid out by the Runners). About how GG only really works in "A" rated and above zones. How GG can get you killed in other zones (by being hijacked and taken to a "meat chop shop"... Or just flat out doesn't work.

From 4e up... well... to quote the meme: "It just works"...

A lot of effort went into describing how the Corps work to keep people in their "hamster cages of productivity" through fear, manipulation, and control, and just how people "fell off or where pushed off the Grid"... A lot of effort was put into not only setting each race apart, but actually discussing some of the hardships those races face and feel....

From 4e up...  Well, best just to say "Rose colored Glasses"...

In 1 to 3e effort was put into setting up conflicting dichotomies. Magic Vs Tech, Human VS Metahuman, Magic theory VS Magic Theory, Tech VS Humanity, (and many more!)

4e up has worked to harmonize all of this.




Sadly, it feels to me and my table, that all the efforts to "modernize" and "update" and "streamline" Shadowrun, has also cut out a piece of its soul, and has gotten lost along the way. Sure, everything that was in the older editions of shadowrun is still there... but its not.
Now, for some "old timers", they have been able to keep the old feel going in their games, but it gets harder and harder to do the more and more the editions drift from their roots. And while this may not be a problem for newer players (who never knew the old Tone and Feel..) it does create issues for those like you who can feel this difference (probably because of the books you read and so quickly).

Not sure how you are going to reconcile what your feeling with 6e... But for my table it was a reversion of editions that really hit the nail on the head for us... and why we are sticking with 3e for now (who knows what will happen in the future)
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Gmanjkd

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« Reply #7 on: <02-02-22/1822:47> »
I try to stay quiet about 6e since I have not even fully read the core book yet (STILL!!). But there are a few other things here that you brought up that I can comment on, especially from my perspective.

I have been an avid Shadowrun fan since 1e, and 6e is the first edition that I have not bought a book for, nor read (nor, it seems do I have an interest, as I have an the opportunity to do so). HOWEVER, I am still playing shadowrun. Just an older edition of the game (my table has reverted to 3e.) And for the most part the reason is simple, as it was hidden.

TONE.

The Tone of the game has drastically changed in the last 3 editions. For those that are "old skool" fans of shadowrun and have access to the books: Go read them again, but ignore everything but the underlying Tone and Tension of the game world. Don't go too far out of your way, just read the core rule book, and any 2 expansion books of your choice. (and for those that don't want to, or don't have the books... I be summing it up next :D )


There is a sense of both High Tech, and dirt. A sense of progress, and regressive-ism...
For example, in 1-3 edition they talk about Gridegide... (you know, the self driving car mechanism).. and how greta it is at regulating traffic and "yadda yadda yadda"... And then right under that, you get the "real facts" (as laid out by the Runners). About how GG only really works in "A" rated and above zones. How GG can get you killed in other zones (by being hijacked and taken to a "meat chop shop"... Or just flat out doesn't work.

From 4e up... well... to quote the meme: "It just works"...

A lot of effort went into describing how the Corps work to keep people in their "hamster cages of productivity" through fear, manipulation, and control, and just how people "fell off or where pushed off the Grid"... A lot of effort was put into not only setting each race apart, but actually discussing some of the hardships those races face and feel....

From 4e up...  Well, best just to say "Rose colored Glasses"...

In 1 to 3e effort was put into setting up conflicting dichotomies. Magic Vs Tech, Human VS Metahuman, Magic theory VS Magic Theory, Tech VS Humanity, (and many more!)

4e up has worked to harmonize all of this.




Sadly, it feels to me and my table, that all the efforts to "modernize" and "update" and "streamline" Shadowrun, has also cut out a piece of its soul, and has gotten lost along the way. Sure, everything that was in the older editions of shadowrun is still there... but its not.
Now, for some "old timers", they have been able to keep the old feel going in their games, but it gets harder and harder to do the more and more the editions drift from their roots. And while this may not be a problem for newer players (who never knew the old Tone and Feel..) it does create issues for those like you who can feel this difference (probably because of the books you read and so quickly).

Not sure how you are going to reconcile what your feeling with 6e... But for my table it was a reversion of editions that really hit the nail on the head for us... and why we are sticking with 3e for now (who knows what will happen in the future)


Thanks so much for your reply.  This has been VERY insightful.  May i ask you a couple of questions.

If i were to return to an older edition my choice would be either 3e or 4e.

This is what i need it to do.

1) I have to be able to have Deckers and RIggers in the party.  I know my group and my wife.  Deckers and Riggers are a must.

2)  I need to be able to run the old classics. 

3) the (CORE) books need to be fairly priced on the resale market.  I believe this is the case for both 3e and 20A.


Do you have any advice or opinions on these 3 points?

Thanks again.

Reaver

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« Reply #8 on: <02-02-22/1858:25> »
Oh wow! Loaded question :D

To be completely honest, There is no "Perfect Edition" of Shadowrun. They all have their own unique quirks and flaws that come with each system.

I could give the pedantic answer of "Riggers and Deckers work in all editions!!" but we both know that isn't really true in spirit, as it is in fact.

Decking in 1 to 3e is, and always will be, an adventure of "The GM, The Decker, the Matrix, and the Pizza Guy".... No that is not the title of a cheesy porn movie... but a simple fact that decking in 1 to 3e is basically "Solo time for the decker" while the rest of the party assault the Pizza Guy for the food...


SR4 (20a) tried to fix this massive issue.. and basically succeeded. But by making the "Decker" archtype a defacto "tag on" for every other archtype... (decking in 4e had ZERO impact at character creation, and was entirely gear ran... right down to the skills needed :(  <As in: you don't need any>).



Depending on how far back in the editions you are trying to go for your published adventures, converting them through the editions can be a royal P.I.T.A. This is because of both grand and small rules changes through the editions. For Example:

Predator damage codes:

4m3 (1e)
9m (2e/3e)
5p (4e)
8p (5e)

"What the heck! how can the same gun be all over the place for same game?!?!" I can hear many people saying... Well, the answer is the "the mechanics behind the weapon have changed, but its effectiveness has not".... And to get into that rabbit hole, we would need a long rant about dice pools, and target numbers, and all that associated stuff! (not fun!)....

so yea, if you can follow the mechanics behind the editions, you can "update" a 1e to 2e adventure after some work figuring out the new stats, dice pools and gear numbers. But if you can't... well might as well learn Greek. (OR, "fake it till you make it" also works"


Now, for us and our table. My Gm and Decker player had sat down a LONG time ago (as in like 20 years ago!) had hashed out a set of "quick hack" rules for SR 3 so that they didn't end up spending 30 minutes to hack a lock. Those rules worked so well for our table that we have, in effect, continued to use them ever since! (adapted to 4e and 5e..), So there is nothing to stop you from developing your own "quick hack" system for 3e as well.


But if you are looking for the system that is going to be the easiest to pick up and play, with out "table quick rules" AND still want to run the old school adventures, then your time and money are best spent on the 20a rule book and the 2050 (SR4a) rule book. Those 2 in combination will help you "suss" out what is going on for the most part: but do expect to spend a LOT of time converting older adventures.

 

 
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Gmanjkd

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« Reply #9 on: <02-02-22/1904:03> »
@Reaver

You.....are my hero.

Thank you sooooo much.  I have been reading so much lately that my brain is gooing out of my ears.  :)

This really has been helpful and will allow me to better direct my efforts.

Be safe  :)

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #10 on: <02-03-22/0902:50> »
So let me explain what Seattle is up to:

Free Seattle happens before Cutting Black, then in 2081 we get the current Shadowrun Missions storyline. This storyline takes place in Seattle, <redacted> storywise. There's a hint in Collapsing Now, but I'm not spoilering.

Originally that storyline was planned to be 6+6 runs in 2020, 6+6 runs in 2021. Then COVID happened. Now, in 2021 they decided to start again with the first 8. So the 6+6 is ignored, now 2022-2024 are 8, 8, 8. This means that 2024 convention season is expected to see the end of the Seattle storyline's 24 Missions (and a few Prime Missions as well). At cons you can play these, and wherever Demo Team agents offer them, but they're not publicly released yet.

(Incidentally, some adventure modules that SR5 started with were just converted SR4 CMPs. Currently they're working on releasing part of Neo-Tokyo as SR5/SR6 dualstats.)
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Gmanjkd

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« Reply #11 on: <02-03-22/1039:06> »
@Michael Chandra

Thanks for the reply.  so the current SRM season is based in Seattle?  I bought 9-1 and thought it was based in Neo Tokyo?

am I understanding you correctly that the 24 SR Missions will be set in Seattle?  if so then that might actually solve my dilemma.

sorry if im asking dumb questions.  Just trying to acclimate myself and formulate a plan before I spend any more money.

thanks again

UPDATE. I Reread your post.  I think I was confusing real world date and in game date.  I believe what you were saying was that 24 mission will take place in Seattle but due to covid their creation has been delayed.  if I'm understanding you correctly then this is very helpful information. thank you.  I will need to do a lot more researchlol.
« Last Edit: <02-03-22/1354:35> by Gmanjkd »

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #12 on: <02-03-22/1511:35> »
To be precise, SRM 2081-01 to 12 have already debuted online, and 01 to 08 at the big cons. This year 09-16 will hit the cons, next year 17-24. But the release for buyers I can't tell when.

As for SRM 09-01 to 10-06, these 12 runs (of which 3 are published) are SR5/SR6 dualstatted and take place in Neo Tokyo. These are not legal for SRM 2081 characters.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Gmanjkd

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« Reply #13 on: <02-03-22/1607:07> »
Thanks that is very helpful.  I will keep my eyes open for the SRM 2081 series to become available for purchase.  I will probably refrain from buying any more books until I can purchase a few of those.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #14 on: <02-04-22/0047:22> »
I never really had a problem with deckers in 2e/3e(I don't remember 1e well enough to comment other than it was like 2e mostly) But we never did the long Decker adventure thing where everyone gets pizza anymore than we did a astral adventure thing or stealth guy adventure thing etc. Pre-run stuff was handled mostly like talking with contacts, a bit of role play with a few die rolls. During the run it was done pretty much simultaneously as other peoples actions. Which is how we assumed it was always supposed to be done by our reading of the setting and rules. So it was really each player pre run had their separate 10 minute thing which might go through multiple rotations. The sam would be physically surveilling, the face chatting up contacts, working a line on staff after hours, the Decker scouting the matrix or checking with the data haven or contacts, the mage astrally scouting.