Catalyst Game Labs > Catalyst's Shadowrun Products

What the hell?

(1/9) > >>


--- Quote from: NotMe ---So the shovelware cycle continues at Catalyst. I am going to need a lot of mead to review any of it, because the "File Dump" structure is apparently going to be not only standard in upcoming works but sold as a feature.

In the near future Jason plans to release Artifacts Unbound, Jet Set, Conspiracy Theories, Corporate Adventures, and "more". These books will be compiled out of a series of ~5000 word essays by different authors who may or may not be talking to each other - each of which is about some vague topic and presents "possible adventure and plot ideas" that a GM might want to fit into their campaign. In short: someone convinced Jason that the White Wolf Time of Judgement books were a great idea.

So buckle up and wait for things to get extremely stupid. Each book is going to present alternate and wholly incompatible progressions of the metaplot that are not discussed amongst the writing staff or checked against the history that Shadowrun has. So internal contradictions are basically impossible to avoid with the way Jason is acting as developer, so he has given up even trying to not have them. From now on: internal contradictions are a feature because he's putting the power to resolve them in the hands of the game master (because he is too fucking lazy to notice or fix them himself).

Furthermore, Jason has totally thrown in the towel as regards to keeping Shadowrun history straight. From this point forwards, the Shadows of XXX books are off the required reading list for authors of upcoming books. But don't worry, Jason has also thrown in the towel as regards to keeping Shadowrun rules straight - the secondary core books are off the required reading list too. So for example, the people who write Artifacts Unbound are not expected to have read or be able to reference Street Magic, let alone Ancient History's artifact guide.

It's not just that the books are going to be a file dump of incoherent postulates, it's that in addition to being roughly 120,000 words of wild speculation no more interesting or official than a forum discussion about where the plot might go, they will also be written by people whose knowledge of Shadowrun begins and ends at the SR4A Core Book and the atrocious Sixth World Almanac.

Yeah: and the big reveal for Artifacts Unbound: the artifacts are Dragon Balls. If you put them together you get powerful one-off magic effects, but then the artifacts fly away and hide themselves again. I'm not making that up.

By the way, I would send letters of complaint by mail to:

      Topps Incorporated
      One Whitehall Street
      New York, NY 10004
--- End quote ---
Emphasis mine.

Having read both Frank's post and the leaked document for "Artifacts Unbound" I agree that what is *not* listed in the References section is pretty troubling.  I can only hope that there is a taken-for-granted reading list that all freelancers are expected to be familiar with.  Unless I see an official CGL freelancer's required reading list I can't just take Frank's statement
--- Quote ---"From this point forwards, the Shadows of XXX books are off the required reading list for authors of upcoming books."
--- End quote ---
as unvarnished truth.

Frank paints the worst case scenario, as per usual.  Although if he's right about the "Dragonball" thing about the artifacts gathered in the DotA series I will be, to say the least, disappointed.  I've read Ancient History's draft for Harlequin's Gambit and I like it.  If the current writers don't tie the DotA artifacts into a bigger picture, I'll just skip "Artifacts Unbound" and finish developing Mr. Derie's draft for my own use.


--- Quote from: Semerkhet on ---I can only hope that there is a taken-for-granted reading list that all freelancers are expected to be familiar with.
--- End quote ---
Considering the number of writers without previous Shadowrun ties taken in recently, I doubt it can be expected implicitly.

As usual, Frank and his sock puppets don't present all the facts, and they make wild assumptions based on very little information.

Bobby, of course, posts the latest leaked information (3 days, not bad turn around time there guys, though a little slow.  I figured this would be posted by Christmas afternoon)...  But, I note he doesn't quite post all of it.  And one of the points on the second page that wasn't transcripted into PDF specifically deals with one of Frank's comments:  That the writers will be expected to communicate and work with each other to make sure the entire thing fits together.

But, to answer the general point of this...  Referenced Reading listed in Bobby's PDF is the Almanac and all of the SR4 "Place books" (RUnner Havens, Feral Cities, etc).  Street Magic isn't listed because, as freelancers, we all assume that the core SR4 rulebooks are included in that.  Common sense and all that.  

And this is why these "leaks" are annoying.  They're presented with little secondary information, they're incomplete, and they're presented with commentary not backed up by fact.  

Also...  We really would like to do more general bandying about of these projects on the freelancer list.  So we can fact check each other better.  But when we can;t even brainstorm or spitball ideas without them getting posted online and blown way the frag out of proportion, it severely hampers what we can do and how much double checking those of us with more extensive background knowledge of Shadowrun can actually to do help.  War didn't get bounced off all the freelancers for this reason, and with a bit more time, some of us could have caught and commented on some of the problems in there.  Attitude's getting a bit better treatment, but still it's limited because none of the authors want to see their rough drafts posted online.

So, yeah, what the hell indeed.  


So, give all those unhappy SR fan-experts a way to help with stuff if they want, under a NDA agreement. This way you both get what you want - CGL a better product, and the fans their beloved Shadowrun...
Maybe something like RedBrick's Open Call, or 'which way should Shadowrun go' polls?


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version