Shadowrun

Shadowrun General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Shadowjack on <02-26-17/2157:49>

Title: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <02-26-17/2157:49>
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.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Carmody on <02-27-17/0351:09>
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"
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <02-27-17/0502:11>
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.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: MDMann on <02-27-17/0655:09>
I agree. With Carmody. DON'T cut the background and fluff.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Carmody on <02-27-17/0849:48>
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%
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: farothel on <02-27-17/0945:03>
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.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-27-17/0948:07>
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.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Moonshine Fox on <02-27-17/1151:53>
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.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: MijRai on <02-27-17/1239:13>
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. 
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: farothel on <02-27-17/1312:36>
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.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Moonshine Fox on <02-27-17/1314:52>
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.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Moonshine Fox on <02-27-17/1320:30>
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).
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: FastJack on <02-27-17/1321:59>
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.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Kwai on <02-27-17/1513:54>
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".
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: All4BigGuns on <02-27-17/1609:50>
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).
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <02-27-17/1809:43>
Thank you, everyone, I am enjoying this thread and you have all made valid points. There are too many individual points for me to address but I would like to say that I respect the way you handle yourself, Carmody. And to Fastjack, I admit that I don't know much about the financial side of the hobby but I will say this: I used to operate a website and it cost me $120 CAD annually. I don't know how much it costs to run a website like this one but I have a hard time believing that it would be very expensive and I do think that having a functional website is a worthy investment, even for a small business, which this is not. This website is used for promoting products and it is also vital to keeping Shadowrun relevant, the fact that the forums are literally the least reliable out of any forums I've visited in the past 10 years is a matter of great concern to me. Moderators working for free is noble although I can't help but feel there is greed behind CGL as you should be getting paid. People seem to buy a lot of pdfs and hardcopies so I don't understand why CGL can't afford to pay the moderation team at least a little something for thier hard work. My last point is on that topic is that many people no longer visit these forums and have gone to reddit as they are fed up with load times and the forum constantly going offline, it looks very neglectful.

Back on the original topicf, I think it would be prudent to at least split the books into fluff and crunch sections. I do find it hard to find what I'm looking for a lot of the time and I don't have this problem with D&D. When you consider how rules heavy this game is and how often players and GMs open the books to find rules during sessions I think the current layout schemes are impractical. I understand that not everyone agrees with me on this but I strongly dislike having to look at so many bookd during character creation, and to be clear, I use hardcopies exclusively and that is part of the problem. If you rely on pdfs you have the benefit of search functions and having every single book open simultaneously, but that is not the reality with  hardcopies.Over on the reddit there is a huge amount of discontentment about the editing of 5th edition and you can't deny that this wouldn't be as big of a problem if the character options and rules were condensed into a smaller number of books, just something to ponder.

Another issue I see with Shadowrun specifically is that the majority of players appear to be power gamers. This is not a problem in itself, people should play the way they enjoy, but I do believe that it limits CGL's options for publishing. Most people care about crunch a lot more than fluff and they simply won't buy books like 6th World Almanac or Market Panic, they simply have no interest. If CGL wants to sell a lot of books to power gamers they need to spread crunch over as many books as possible. This makes sense but it also cheapens the quality of the books a lot imo. I am in the unfortunate position of being a huge fan of the fluff but wanting to have it separated from the crunch. I still believe there can be fluff added, like an intro to the weapons section, for example, but I think CGL goes way too far with jackpointer banter, short stories, and new and unnecessary rules. A good example of this is Cutting Aces. To be fair, I didn't buy it, but I think all the extra rules for long cons is basically just a cash grab. I highly doubt many people that buy the book will ever use those rules more than once.  Another example of a book I'm not a fan of is Hard Targets. Now I actually like the gear in the book, I got a big rush when I read it for the first time. *But* The majority of the book is basically a sourcebook for Havanna (iirc), I don't agree with putting these things in the same book because most people are not going to start a Havanna based campaign, they're just going to use the character options.I'd much prefer sourcebooks full of fluff that I can buy at my discretion and have character options condensed into fewer books.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Dwagonzhan on <02-27-17/2010:59>
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.

3rd Edition was very much the superior format. I can find info in those books with very little trouble most of the time, even without the benefits of searchable digitized text.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Trillinon on <02-27-17/2314:59>
I ultimately agree with Shadowjack on this. I love the fluff, shadow-talk, fiction, and all of that. In source books.

But for a rule book, I want an excellent rules reference. Fiction, shadow-talk, and purple prose all get in the way during play.

In my idea world, the starter set would focus on establishing the lore and providing the basic rules. An advanced rule book would contain all of the rules in an easy to reference manner, and then a catalog would contain a super-set of all the gear, cyberware, spells, etc. There's room in a catalog for shadow-talk, but keep the rest of the fluff to a minimum. After that, go crazy with the fluff. I'll lap it up.

But, we don't really need a 6th edition for this. I would happily buy both a Rules Compendium and a Runner's Catalog for 5th edition, even if they were entirely reprinted material, so long as they focused on being excellent reference books.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Carmody on <02-28-17/0531:42>
Chrome Flesh was a nightmare in term of rule-fluff mix. All the gear descrptions are done in character, then, all of a sudden, sometime in the middle of the very same paragraph some rules appear...
In the french edition we kept the descriptions in character, but all the rules were moved to dedicated boxes, along with the nuyen and essence cost (basically as it was done in the Arsenal chapter of Run & Gun).
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <02-28-17/0856:31>
I'm starting to realize that part of my issue with the books is that I have strong preference for games with convenient session prep and npc design. Shadowrun 5E is a frustrating romp across the internet to find answers and even making a simple npc often requires a lot of rules reading and page flipping spread across many books. It's a bit too exhausting for my tastes. If all the pertinent information was in one, two, maybe three books, I'd find that a lot more satisfying. I make all my sessions from scratch and it's a lot of extra work just because there are so many important books.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: All4BigGuns on <02-28-17/1146:28>
Having a lot of books isn't that bad, but mixing too much 'fluffy bits' into the rules sources is just annoying as all hell. Again, I'd rather see all the stories and other stuff like that in their own sources. Heck, a lot of the non-rules information thus far could have gone into something like Shadows of North America from 3rd.

Quite irritated that so much focus was put into mixing the two that we can't have ground up creation rules for weapons and vehicles (and even add armor to the mix this time).
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Senko on <02-28-17/1222:06>
Honestly like or hate the fluff (I'm on the like side by the way) I feel the books have much bigger issues that should be addressed first. Rules relating to the same subject in different sections of multiple books so its easy to miss things, inconsistent internal terminology that creates ambiguity, lack of clarity about what has/hasn't changed from previous editions (I've seen this when debating with more experienced players about how something works) and of course design decisions that aren't thoroughly checked through the book like the critter costs in howling shadows I believe where it tells you to look up another table that was removed.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Trillinon on <02-28-17/1649:26>
Honestly like or hate the fluff (I'm on the like side by the way) I feel the books have much bigger issues that should be addressed first. Rules relating to the same subject in different sections of multiple books so its easy to miss things, inconsistent internal terminology that creates ambiguity, lack of clarity about what has/hasn't changed from previous editions (I've seen this when debating with more experienced players about how something works) and of course design decisions that aren't thoroughly checked through the book like the critter costs in howling shadows I believe where it tells you to look up another table that was removed.

You'll get no disagreement there, though I think the two things are related. I imagine that effectively editing a rule book is more challenging when it doubles as a lore book.

A SR5 Rules Compendium could address both problems. It could focus on being a rule book, and it would give the designers an opportunity and financial justification to reorganize, clarify, and generally polish the rules.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Kincaid on <02-28-17/1651:41>
I have no insights into CGL's particular stance, but with other game companies one of the main considerations it making a product that appeals to the broadest possible audience in the hopes of maximizing your sales, so you end up with products that incorporate elements of crunch and fluff in some mix.  If you make a product that's too narrow, it won't sell (I think I recall reading that this was the fate of Street Legends), which dampens the prospect of similar products getting made down the line.  Small-scale supplements, like Gun H(e)aven, can essentially be all crunch, but major releases carry much more financial weight in terms of needed ROI.

I love L5R, but I never really got into the mechanics-at-the-end layout.  Partly because which mechanics were attached to a given chapter seemed a little random--I've lost track of how many times I've looked up the Utaku Infantryman school.  I haven't given this too much thought, but my instinct is to have fluff with a mechanics and in-play sidebar offset (they would be separate) and then referenced gear/tables at the end.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Beta on <02-28-17/1711:09>
I know that the SR5 rules are more comprehensive, but I compare my old SR2 book with the SR5 book, both in thickness and in how many words are probably on each page, and I feel like the sheer weight of words in SR5 doesn't actually do the book any favors.  I get that they were being somewhat chatty in approach in many of the rule areas, and trying to be precise in some other areas, and all of that takes words, but .... I don't know, the book feels like it was written by people paid by the word, rather than paid to encompass a given set of rules in as few words/pages as possible.  To me a target for SR6 would be to produce it with about a third less words compared to SR5.  I don't know if that could be met, or how it could best be approached, but I think the effort to meet it would result in a much easier to use book.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: farothel on <03-01-17/0300:26>
I love L5R, but I never really got into the mechanics-at-the-end layout.  Partly because which mechanics were attached to a given chapter seemed a little random--I've lost track of how many times I've looked up the Utaku Infantryman school.  I haven't given this too much thought, but my instinct is to have fluff with a mechanics and in-play sidebar offset (they would be separate) and then referenced gear/tables at the end.

You're talking about the books where they add the crunch at the end of each chapter and indeed, that is not always clear what is where.  There they should have put some more information in the table of contents.  But in the books like Book of Air, Book of Water, etc. all crunch is at the end in an appendix (with clear explanation in the table of contents) and to me that's one of the best ways to do it.
Bonus fact: They have created in the book Secrets of the Empire a school index with all schools, advanced schools and paths they have with the book and page number they can be found (organised by clan).  I find that extremely useful to quickly look something up.

For Shadowrun it might be a bit more tricky as they don't really have schools and such, but one interim solution could be that at the end of each chapter they put in one table with a summary of all the rules from that chapter, with a page number as to where the full rule explanation can be found in that chapter.  That way you have in your table of contents for each chapter a line saying something like 'rules summary', which makes it a lot easier to find everything back.  I know I created something like that for all matrix actions for 4th edition (it should still be on these forums somewhere as I shared it back in the day).  All matrix actions in alphabetical order with dice pools and short explanation and reference to the book and page number for the full rule.

And maybe at the end of the production of books, bring out a small PDF with all those tables, organised by group (I mean here, one table for combat, one for matrix, one for magic, etc.) with the books and page numbers of all the rules.  This PDF should not be all that large and easily printable for reference at the table.  Creating this might even help in finding inconsistencies between books and help with creating errata (or the other way around, during errata they can make this table as they have to look things up anyway).
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Glyph on <03-01-17/0331:08>
The biggest problem with SR5 is the editing at the production level.  I don't mind the fluff in and of itself, but I think that it needs to be differentiated from the crunch.  Someone mentioned Chrome flesh, which has some examples of this - someone talking about how to get the RFID tags out of augmentation bundles, or someone mentioning that reproductive enhancement bioware is half the cost of replacement - this should be rules, not shadowtalk!  Conversely, the rules themselves sometimes sound like shadowtalk - thing like saying "no self-respecting shadowrunner" would ride a dodge scoot.  I know they think they're sounding cool and edgy, but it gives a real douchebro tone to parts of the books.  It would be fine if they had a shadowtalker making a comment like that in-character.

My biggest problem with the books is not having to buy a number of "core" books - it is that after doing so, it is still not complete!  All I ask is for the gun stuff to be in the main and Run & Gun books, the magic to be in the main and Street Grimoire books, etc.  But it isn't!  Things that were in the core rulebooks in SR4, such as the commanding voice or enthralling performance adept powers, custom weapon grips, or the Norse magical tradition, are missing - and you have to hunt down some crappy .pdf's if you want them.  If you are going to stick gear and other crunch in some adventure or campaign setting book, at least make it new content, not something that should already be in the core 5-6 books.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Carmody on <03-01-17/0421:14>
As Kincaid said, Catalyst (and all editors) have to make books that will sell well.
For Shadowrun, crunch books have good sells, fluff/background books not so well.
There are several possible explanations to this, people being, in average, more interested in crunch, fluff books being bought only by the gamemaster while many players do buy the crunch books relevant to their character, etc.
I think this is why most fluff centric books also have a crunch section, and many books tend to be balanced between fluff and crunch.

Regarding NPC making, you are obviously doing it very well, on my side I tend to use mainly (if not only) the core book for them.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <03-01-17/0425:07>
I have to agrere with Glyph on the "douchebro" comment. I find it a bit irritating that the books contain some weirld aggressive comments toward the readers like "you can debate what is and isn't lethal damage all day, we'll be here when you're done!" or something like that, I can't recall the exact wording but it's kind of weird. Another example is treating the reader like a moron by saying "you need bullets to shoot people, but we shouldn't need to explain that", again paraphrased heavily, but these types of comments are in a bunch of SR5 books and I don't like it.

I am not a fan of pdfs, I'm getting too old I guess, I just can't enjoy myself when reading a book on a computer. I do have interest in the content of pdfs and would pay for it if it was in hardcopy form, *especially* fluff books compiled together. In general I  find myself cravying more books like attitude and 6th world almanac, and more novels. Going back to the fluff to crunch ratios of rules books, I mean, they are rules books, people need them to play the game. People like pictures, stats, character options, etc, you can't please everyone and if you try to you end up with odd books imho. I'd be much happier with books like Run and Gun if they were more focused, I mean, this is a hugely important book, practically everyone needs weapons. Which brings me to my next point, the armor in Run and Gun is quite bad for the game, you can't really make a handful of superior armors or they set the standard for the rest of the edition. But the *worst* problem with Run And Gun, for me, was the armor addons. Those should never have been published because every time you make a character you need to go there, check the costs, and buy them all, or you're at a disadvantage. That really sucks, they are just fillers and create new standards.

I feel this needs repeating: Rules books should be dedicated to rules and character options, short stories and shadow talk decrease my interest in the books and SR5 as a whole. Way too many rules,  too hard to remember, easy to forget if you take a break for a few months. I read the core book for I would estimate about 60 or 100 hours. That is foolishness and a waste of my time. Meanwhile with Anarchy I read it once and understood the majority of the game and can play and have a blast. Because there are less rules it's eaiser to get clarifications on things that need explaining (thanks Rusty!). The game runs faster, smoother, and quite frankly, better. Not only that but the SR5 core book is way too heavy, it's impractical. The errors in SR5 are out of hand, I don't know what the problem is but someone probably needs to be fired if they can't put any books together properly. There really isn't any excuse for it, it just makes CGL look bad. When I buy books from other companies this does not happen.

As it stands now I might not play 6th edition for the following reasons.

1. Convoluted rules
2. Terrible editing
3. Way too much fluff inside rulesbooks
4. Can't remember the rules
5. Anarchy is 10 times more fun
6. Buying the same stuff reskinned edition after edition and spread over too many books

Put out Anarchy 2.0 6E and I'll buy that. Imo 6E might as well be rules lite too, there is no point to having a million rules and while some people like it, most people don't, at least not from what I've seen online and in person. My dream scenario would be a rules lite 6E with between 1 and 3 character options books and a plethora of pure fluff books and novels. Just my two nuyen.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Carmody on <03-01-17/0504:31>
As it stands now I might not play 6th edition for the following reasons.

1. Convoluted rules
2. Terrible editing
3. Way too much fluff inside rulesbooks
4. Can't remember the rules
5. Anarchy is 10 times more fun
6. Buying the same stuff reskinned edition after edition and spread over too many books

Put out Anarchy 2.0 6E and I'll buy that. Imo 6E might as well be rules lite too, there is no point to having a million rules and while some people like it, most people don't, at least not from what I've seen online and in person. My dream scenario would be a rules lite 6E with between 1 and 3 character options books and a plethora of pure fluff books and novels. Just my two nuyen.

You forgot to mention the main reason: 6E does not exist  ;)

Jokes aside, from what you said it seems you are simply more an "Anarchy guy" than a "SR5 guy" in terms of what kind of rules you like (this is not said in a negative way, I am fully an Anarchy guy myself). The best solution in that case is probably to just switch to Anarchy (eventually letting aside the shared narration stuff if you prefer a more usual GM/Players split) rather than forcing you to use something not suited for you.
We now have the chance to be able to choose!
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <03-01-17/0536:04>
I am definitely more of an Anarchy guy, you are right about that, Carmody :) I do still need to buy the character options books again in 6th edition though, as I doubt CGL will make Anarchy equivalents for all of them. But if they were condensed into a smaller number of books, maybe they would. The book for SR5 I'm missing is Rigger 5.0 but I don't feel comfortable buying it because I know it's going to have a lot of unwanted fluff in it. Without it though I don't have a good reference of all the vehicle names, how they look, vehicle upgrades to for amp creation, and so on. I'll also be paying for a bunch of rules I can't usee, so that kind of sucks.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Kiirnodel on <03-01-17/0632:58>
Shadowjack, you keep referring to a 6E as if it were on the upcoming releases list. As far as I'm aware there aren't any plans to switch to another new edition now or in the near future. Referring to how you'll "need to buy the character options books again" particularly in reference to how you'll need them as a supplement for Anarchy purposes is a very negative outlook on the whole process.

I guess I'm just of the opinion that while, yes, there are mistakes when it comes to the some of the ways the books are laid out in the 5th edition books. It isn't worth throwing ones hands up and just giving up until they release the next edition. Fourth edition was around for a long time, and it even went through a bit of a re-write and reorganization of its own. I don't think 5th edition is going to be booted out for the next edition any time soon.

As for Rigger 5.0, it is actually one of the more crunch-heavy books of the set. With chapters devoted to each vehicle category with stats for everything. I don't really think of descriptions about each vehicle and small (Shadowtalk) commentary about their pros and cons as being "unwanted fluff." It reminds me very much of the weapons and armor chapters from Run & Gun.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <03-01-17/0732:35>
I am not suggesting that 6E is coming out soon, as I said, I just don't want it to be a repeat of how 5E was designed. I don't exactly see how my outlook is negative, I'm paying $50 per book for character options and the books are full of things that I place no value on. It is also a concern that as an Anarchy player I have to either skip on buying all character options books or I need to buy them, pay for a bunch of stuff I don't need, and then convert everything myself. On top of that, most of the character options from edition to edition are just the same old things with modifed rules. My stance is firm, I don't think the books are designed properly for what they're supposed to do. Let's look at how Chrome Flesh was marketed and see if it makes sense.

"EDGE OF THE POSSIBLE

Shadowrunners cannot be limited by what their bodies can—or cannot—do. They have to do more, stretch farther, surpass any limits, and accomplish the impossible. Some runners can rely on magic; for everyone else, there are augmentations. From shiny chrome that makes your body into a humanoid semitruck to genetech that alters you at the most fundamental level to drugs and chemicals that give you a quick and dirty boost, Chrome Flesh provides dozens of new ways to alter Shadowrun characters and make them better, stronger, faster, and altogether readier to kick ass and take names on the streets.

Along with the gear and a compiled table of all cyberware, bioware, genetech, and nanotech currently available in Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, Chrome Flesh covers how runners break down and what resources can help fix them up, and where augmentation tech might go in the future. It’s paydata every shadowrunner needs if they want to overcome everything the Sixth World is going to throw at them.

Chrome Flesh is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition."

Let's take a look at what I paid for. I got 95+% of the same bioware and cyberware I got in previous editions, there was almost nothing new and of the new stuff very little was important. There was a lot of drugs, most of which I don't use and don't see purpose of, especially since drugs are a weird aspect of SR5 since you needs to make modifications to your character every time you use them. In terms of crunch this book was very close to a copy+paste from previous editions, especially the fluff, I don't want to pay for and read all that stuff in each new edition. I know there are new players to think about but for me, it just feels annoying.  The book is over 200 pages long, about half or more of the content is fluff. The book talks at length about megacorps and their cyber plans and I don't see how that is useful at all, I am willing to bet that less than 5% of readers use any of that stuff. In fact, most Shadowrun books go on and on about the same things, gangs, megacorps, policlubs, etc, I don't need it in every damn book. This goes back to my big complaint: After the first read, when all the fluff has been soaked in, Chrome Flesh became exclusively a resource for me to browse ware, most of which I never used despite being a street sam enthusiast. I don't think Chrome Flesh really added anything to Shadowrun. Am I wrong? I did not feel like I got a good deal and I barely use the book, if I didn't have the book I don't feel like it would change my SR5 experience that much.

What I would have liked Chrome Flesh to be would be 80% to 100% crunch, lots of new and interesting ware and biotech items, new qualities pertaining to these two things, and perhaps a better system for using drugs. When a new edition comes out I expect some really cool stuff in each book I pay for, Chrome Flesh was uninspired imo.

Let's look at Dungeons and Dragons for a moment.

Dungeon Master Guide: 100% essential and useful fluff, packed with crunch
Player's Handbook: Almost completely crunch and useful info on running the game
Monster Manual: Fluff on each monster (useful), lots of crunch

No shadow talk equivalent, no short stories. The books are well organized and full of consistently useful information. If I need to reference the books mid game I can do so quickly and conveniently. I remember what I read, the rules are simple and clean and the books have no errors of note. These are the core books of the game and I am very comfortable with them.Why can't Shadowrun books be like that? I know Shadowrun lore is pretty in depth, and I like that, but not when I'm using core books, with the exception perhaps of the actual core book. Since Shadowrun has more character options than Dungeons and Dragons, why not fit all the additional character options into a small number of books? I don't mind little additions to pdfs or other non-essential books, but I reallly don't like having to flip through 6+ messy  rules books to make each character. I think my concerns are legitimate and iirc 5th edition was already well into development before it was even announced. 6th edition is said to not even be in progress *but* I want to get my concerns out there well in advance so history does not repeat itself. I think that's my right after spending the amount of money that I have on Shadowrun.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: &#24525; on <03-01-17/1546:38>
The vibes I'm getting is both the lack of distinction and imbalanced content amounts create a dissatisfying product. There have been several descriptions of layout in regards to the separation of fluff and crunch and the amounts of them, of which are all important in considering what to do with the books. Ultimately there is a resounding agreement to bringing an improvement to the "quality of life" to the products and in turn essence the game itself (as in the act of us gathering and playing it; or rather the experience of the game).

(and editors doing their job, but that's a whole other bag of dirty needles).
Like that scene from Saw 2?  :P
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Dwagonzhan on <03-01-17/1809:21>
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.

I hate being the guy who does nothing but complain, but the more I've read through Fifth Edition Shadowrun, the more I've come to just despise the editing.
It's not even just the errors, inconsistencies and logical gaps; Shadowrun is a large and complex game, those errors are to be expected and corrected.

But it's the layout for information that really drives me nuts.
I'm a GM, so it's on me to commit to keeping the game rules consistent at my table. Cross-referencing between books is the bane of any GM's existence to begin with but cross referencing within the same section where something is supposed to be described is a Cardinal Sin as far as I'm concerned.

The worst offender I've found is in Street Grimoire, in the section that describes the Adept Ways.
From page 156 to page 178, there are THREE separate segmented descriptions for each Way. That is, each Way is described three different times, with different crunch each time.
Why not just put each Way down in ONE section describe the Crunch there?

My current theory is that three separate writers worked on these sections independently and the editor just just plopped them down one after another, instead of editing the text to be cohesive and concise.

Far be it from a lowly customer to tell a professional how to do their job...but I have literally done better editing in academic pursuits than what is found in parts of these books.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Wakshaani on <03-02-17/0108:25>
Let's take a look at what I paid for. I got 95+% of the same bioware and cyberware I got in previous editions, there was almost nothing new and of the new stuff very little was important.

Point of order; right at half of the ware was old, the other half new. I went through all four previous cyber-books, took notes, grabbed what I could, then added more .... it wasn't easy, but a book that left out old favorites would get nailed to the wall, while one that was "95% old" would as well. There were, I want to say, four? Pieces of gear that didn't make the cut, one of which was a mistake to leave out, but otherwise it updated almost everything, then added the same number again. There's a TON of stuff there. Sure, you won't use all of it, but it *is* present.

As for the fluff and crunch entwining, it was a HUGE hit for the 2050 book, so much so that editorial wanted it carried forward into 5th, which we've done. This has resulted in a few problems, but keep in mind that rules hidden in fluff date allllll the way back to the Street Samurai Catelogue. Still, if it's unpopular, pass it up the chain and they'll ask us to do it differently in the future. We don't mind either way, honest.

Quote from: Shadowjack
The book for SR5 I'm missing is Rigger 5.0 but I don't feel comfortable buying it because I know it's going to have a lot of unwanted fluff in it. Without it though I don't have a good reference of all the vehicle names, how they look, vehicle upgrades to for amp creation, and so on. I'll also be paying for a bunch of rules I can't usee, so that kind of sucks.

Here, I should point out that a vehicle's looks, what it is, what it does, and, heck, even the name, are, in fact, fluff. We could release a book that nothing but statlines:

Mid size car Speed blah, accel blah, armor this, body that, seats so many, costs all this

And just repeat it twenty times a page with nothing else.

It would wither on the fine and die.

The difference between "a bike" and "My Yamaha Rapier!" is what gives the game life. The setting, the culture, the language, it all works together. If you want, feel free to contact the guys upstairs and suggest that they release some PDFS that are just the stats and nothing else. They get enough people wanting a thing, they're happy to sell a thing. It's what keeps the doors open, after all, but I have to warn you that it won't light you up like you think.

LASTLY... I think i'm the only person to have written for both Shadowrun and L5R. The way that Alderac worked is that writers did the fluff, while the rules team did all the rules. Writers never went near 'em. This can cause a few problems, but is one way of doing things. Should Shadowrun do the same? It could, but, it comes with a few problems. One: If the rules guy leaves, he takes all the knowledge with him. Everyone else has to relearn the system. If, for instance, only one person knows how the Matrix is supposed to work, then they leave the company, everyone else has to scramble and figure it out. Two, you sometime shave rules and fluff that don't align. L5R has this with, for instance, the Daidoji Bushi, master of the spear, getting a polearm instead of a spear, while the Shiba bushi, samurai famous for using the naginata, get a spear instead of a polearm. Small things add up. Personally, I like the L5R model a bit more, but, it's not the only way of doing things. Will it change for us in the future? Time will tell. I certainly don't know, but I'm happy to abide by whatever direction upstairs passes down. I'm a typeslinger, travelling from town to town with a word processor on my belt. I'm happy to write anything for anyone, as long as they meet my rate. RPG stuff, short stories, novels, journalism, poetry, plays,  movie scripts, anything at all. I'm not a picky dude. :)

Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: &#24525; on <03-02-17/0235:22>
One: If the rules guy leaves, he takes all the knowledge with him. Everyone else has to relearn the system. If, for instance, only one person knows how the Matrix is supposed to work, then they leave the company, everyone else has to scramble and figure it out.
Hmmm....
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: north on <03-02-17/0254:05>
All I really want is a usable table of contents.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-02-17/0329:33>
@Wakshaani

That sounds... disturbing to be honest. Does CGL really have such a bad data management without documentation by the developers?

And about the 2050 book: Has there been a quantitative survey among the buyers? Because from my perspective that sounds like a case of correlation and not causation. (I love the German 2050 book because it gave me 2050 rules and tech and not because it mixed rules and fluff)

In regards to the stats on vehicles: Form and look should be part of the stat block, since that very much influences crunchy stuff like cover and social mods. That a particular car has won a certain race or that it was target of a series of runs is fluff.

Lastly, the problem you describe of fluff not fitting crunch is very much one of internal communication. Frankly, that is a management and editor issue and not a problem of this particular style of writing (I'm not saying it's easy, if it was easy to produce a good/perfect product a lot more people would do it)
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <03-02-17/0626:07>
@Wakshaani

I will say this: The new decker ware in Chrome Flesh was a hit, I do feel like that was a step forward. As a street sam enthusiast though, I didn't see much that changed the game for me. Move by Wire was nerfed and there wasn't any major additions that got me excited, and that was disappointing. Especially considering that a big part of Shadowrun is the evolution of technology, particularly, cybertechnology, I just felt that Chrome Flesh was lacking impact and surprises. There were some nice minor pieces but not a lot that really grabbed me. A lot of the ware was just stuff that you could get in other areas of the game, I mean, the game has so many ways to get low light vision for example. Regarding the 2050 book, that was a standalone book, right? I think any kind of core book should have a decent amount of fluff just for new readers, but then again, D&D didn't do that and they managed.

As for you comment on vehicle stats, I can see your point although having a plethora of usable info is useful. In particular with vehicles, having fluff is good. For example, "this bike is a favoirte in the triad street racing scene, known for it's high speed and fuel management." That is good fluff imo, it adds character to the item, nothing wrong with that. But the fluff that I don't like is very long winded and redundant stuff about megacorps, gangs, etc, short stories, and TONS of shadow talk. I don't think the books need to be devoid of fluff, but it needs to be toned down a lot, especially in sections dealing with rules. If a rules section had just rules and examples of how they work, that would be ideal. I have to agree with others that it can be too hard finding the rules quickly when they are amidst so much fluff.

One book that I feel is needed is a new Anarchy supplement with a plethora of new amps. There just needs to be more, a lot more. Custom amps are very fun but each one can take an hour if it's complicated and the basic rules for amp creation can only take you so far before the overlap kicks in . If this book came with 50%+ fluff I think it would be a fail. We already get the fluff from other books, this is a very key book for Anarchy players, devoting too much space to fluff means we won't get what we need and the next book could be a year away, if we get one at all.  I'd probably make the book like this:

80% amps, qualities, npc stat blocks, contact briefs, etc
20% fluff
The crunch of the book would be a major boost and leave Anarchy players with LOTS to play with. If the book failed in that area the book would be a disappointment for me. Btw, thanks for handling criticism well. I don't claim to be an expert, these are just my preferences as a customer :)

Edit: Just wanted to add that I agree if the books had just nothing but stats they would be weaker, but I do think the rules books should be more focused. As an example, why not put all the ware, vehicles, and gear into the same book? That would be the major equipment supplement. You could fit quite a lot in there and remove most of the fluff. The next book could have changelings, infected, metavariants, qualities, martial arts, etc. Then maybe make the third book about magic and matrix. 3 hyper focused books that cover all the crunch would be great. Things would be easy to find without so much fluff, pages could be color coded on the sides. Then after those major books you could go on to add new, non-essential supplements that would be the main source of fluff and maybe come with a little bit of crunch if necessary. On top of that, trim the rules down a LOT, make the game run smoothly, don't make it feel like a college course to learn. Why can't 6th edition be set up like that? What is the disadvantage? I mean, maybe you would sell less books, and that sucks, but is it not more important to make higher quality products?
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <03-02-17/1248:17>
One thing I should clear up a bit, I think Hard Targets is a good book. It has some nice crunch but it's not really the main point of the book. So overall I like it and I think the large amount of fluff is appropriate. I don't consider it a rules book. I just want the real rules books to be designed for long term use and be full of regularly used materials.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <03-02-17/1425:25>
One thing I should clear up a bit, I think Hard Targets is a good book. It has some nice crunch but it's not really the main point of the book. So overall I like it and I think the large amount of fluff is appropriate. I don't consider it a rules book. I just want the real rules books to be designed for long term use and be full of regularly used materials.
Well, that's a bit of a tall order for Chrome Flesh when all the essential 'ware is in the CRB, is it not? While CF offers some interesting and useful options (of particular interest to myself are the internal router and nephritic screen), I can't see any reason one would make a streetsam that wasn't mostly 'wares from the CRB. One the subject of CF, I genuinely enjoyed reading the bits on mental illness in the shadowrunning community, the history of cyberware and the nuances of biotech. However, I read those out of curiosity and boredom, and the rest of the time I was annoyed that I had to scroll through all the fluff sections to look at the different kinds of 'ware. So, while Rigger 5.0 and Run&Gun get an A+, CF gets a B.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Mirikon on <03-02-17/1511:20>
I'll start off by saying that I was introduced to Shadowrun in 4th edition. I've gone back and read some of the old sourcebooks, but that was strictly for fluff and worldbuilding reasons. There's a difference between veiled mentions of things in the current books, and actually reading Missing Blood, Threats 1 & 2, Shutdown, and the other big gamechanger books, y'know?

Anyways, I really liked how 4th edition did things. There was plenty of fluff, and plenty of crunch, but you could separate the two out, so you didn't have to try and glean rules information from in character speech. Since Chrome Flesh has been talked about a lot in this thread, look at 4e's Augmentation. Look at the cyberware chapter, as a simple example. Start off with some intro fiction. Then go to an in-character info piece, talking about the pros and cons of cyberware, along with the big names in cyberware (not just AAAs), all sprinkled with shadowtalk for extra flavor. Then you have a hard stop and moving into the rules section. The rules section is not in character. It doesn't have shadowtalk. It is just rules, and tables, and some out of character info dumping, and some player-side examples of how stuff works (like calculating the nuyen and essence cost of some second hand R2 Alphaware Muscle Replacements).

Compare that to Chrome Flesh, where all that drek is mixed up together in a voice that goes in and out of character at a whim, and you can see why people would have a problem with it. So basically, I'd say that the amount of fluff in the books is great, but you absolutely have to organize it better.

4E had steak (the crunch) and mashed potatoes (the fluff), and put them on the same plate. You can talk about whether the potatoes were lumpy enough for you, or whether your steak was cooked right, but you had steak and potatoes, and everyone (usually) agreed on which was which. 5E took the steak and potatoes and threw them in a blender to give you some obscene meatshake.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <03-02-17/1635:01>
@Ghost Rigger

Personally I feel that the CRB should have most of the essential street sam ware but Chrome Flesh should have brought more to the table. I think deckers actually won out by a large margin over street sams, which seems odd considering they get their own book of goodies, all of which are direct expansions on what the CRB offers, so it did feel a bit lopsided. I like the fact that you don't *need* other books to play Shadowrun, just the CRB alone is a great value and you can play it to death. Chrome Flesh actually nerfed move-by-wire and that was an unpleasant surprise for me because I felt like the 4E version was very stylish. Some other street sam ware was nerfed too and it felt like more was taken away than was added. I did enjoy some of the new ware but it just felt underwhelming if I have to grade it honestly. When I read that book I was very excited but it died down quick when I actually got to see the ware. I also feel like nanotechnogoly is in a borderline unplayable state, same thing for drugs, and martial arts as well (while we're at it).

@Mirikon

I haven't read the books you mentioned but I'll add them to my long list of old books that I need to get. I agree that 4E had better layouts, it also had better editing. 5E felt like an improvement rules-wise, if only there weren't so many errors. I actually quit 5E a while back just because I got fed up with the perpetual internet searching for rules clarificaitons and iirc the rules section on these forums is the biggest other than the online campaigns sections, that is a pretty good indication that Shadowrun in general has a bad rules set, which is further indicated by the existence and popularity of Anarchy. I imagine it's difficult for CGL because the fan base is accustomed to deep rulesets and may not react well to a huge change. But if 6E is another massive heap of rules I'm going to be disappointed because it just seems like the writers are trapped in a cage at that point. I also wish that Anarchy 2.0 could be released at the same time so all fans have a fair chance to enjoy the next age of Shadowrun. Again, I know this is years away, but I might as well plants some seeds in hopes of growing the crops I was down the road.

The funny part about all of this is I am addicted to Shadowrun fluff, I can't get enough. I just don't like the rules to in needle-in-a-haystack formart. I also have seen a lot of people talk about how they quit Shadowrun because of the complicated rules. I think a lot of people still don't know Anarchy exists, which is a shame because Anarchy is what saved Shadowrun for me.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: EiraHaexa on <03-02-17/1756:57>
I for one am willing to aid in the creation of SR6. If nothing else, I can help make sure lore remain consistent, unless there is a logical decision to retcon something, and supply fluff and filler. I love Shadowrun, even more than D&D (Forgive me Gary Gygax, for I have sinned!). I want to see it continue far into the future so that one day my own children can enjoy it (once they're old enough).

I'm willing to help make sure that happens.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <03-02-17/2029:19>
Well, sorry your favorite cyberware got nerfed, but I'm looking at Augmentation right now and honestly it had that nerf coming.  Comapred to 4e wired reflexes, 4 move-by-wire had superior mechanical benefits, doubled as a skillwire and was inherently more invasive to the body. I don't know whether or not it was balanced in terms of nuyen, but there was no way those two 'wares should've cost the same essence.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <03-02-17/2111:36>
Nuyen has always been a balancing point for gear though, it's just part of Shadowrun. All I can say was that the nerf was very disappointing for me. That version of Move-by-wire was one of my favorite additions to the game gear-wise and in 5E they basically took it away.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Mystic on <03-02-17/2115:12>
I for one am willing to aid in the creation of SR6. If nothing else, I can help make sure lore remain consistent, unless there is a logical decision to retcon something, and supply fluff and filler. I love Shadowrun, even more than D&D (Forgive me Gary Gygax, for I have sinned!). I want to see it continue far into the future so that one day my own children can enjoy it (once they're old enough).

I'm willing to help make sure that happens.

I don't know how much longer until the powers that be decide it's time for SR6, but if you're serious, contact Jason Hardy and try and get into the freelancer pool. All opinions aside, he's still the one in charge and the best place to effect change in the game is from within.

My two cents and friendly advice.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <03-02-17/2218:26>
Nuyen has always been a balancing point for gear though, it's just part of Shadowrun. All I can say was that the nerf was very disappointing for me. That version of Move-by-wire was one of my favorite additions to the game gear-wise and in 5E they basically took it away.
Essence cost is also a balancing point, though. If nuyen were the sole balancing point, then we wouldn't have bioware equivalents of certain cyberware, because why would you pay 285,000 nuyen for Synaptic Booster 3 when Wired Reflexes 3 only costs 217,000 nuyen and stacks with Reaction Enhancers?

There's also the fluff concerning essence loss; my understanding is that the essence loss caused by any given implant is a product of 3 things: how invasive it is (which is why bioware always costs less essence than a piece of cyberware that does the exact same thing and why the different grades of ware are a thing), how physically unlike your original body it is (which also contributes to the bioware vs cyberware situation) and how much it increases your abilities (which is why the benefit:essence loss ratio is constant as you increase level the for most 'wares, and also why the different bone lacings cost different essence loss).  4e Move-By-Wire was bigger in all those ways than 4e Wired Reflexes, so the idea that they cost the same essence loss seems quite silly to me.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <03-02-17/2231:56>
I'm about to go to sleep so I don't feel like checking my books but I'm not sure I see a problem with a similar but superior piece of ware having the same essence cost and an increased nuyen cost. You're paying more to get more.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: adzling on <03-02-17/2350:32>
IMHO the crunchbooks have been overrun with fluff and while fluff is very important to crunch books they should not dominate.

+. as many have said, the editing is horrifically bad both for content and layout reasons.

it makes it supremely difficult to find something during a game, which should be a priority for any, you know, rule book.

which is a shame because srun has some of the best fluff and some of the most detailed rules and options around.....all terribly implemented by tossing it into a blender without a competent editing process.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Trillinon on <03-03-17/0048:25>
@Shadowjack, you mentioned being concerned about picking up Rigger 5.0 due to your problems with Chrome Flesh. You should. While, yes, there's a high level of fluff, it works better. Probably because the book reads far more like a catalog.

Also, Chrome Flesh's biggest problem isn't the blending of crunch and fluff. It's the lack of a real table of contents and super-vague chapter titles (a serious problem with the entire edition).

Here's the SR5 table of contents (From DriveThruRPG (http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/151893/Shadowrun-Chrome-Flesh)):

INTRODUCTION . . . 3
MY BROTHER’S KEEPER  . . . 4
CLUSTERF*CKED  . . . 8
FIXING WHAT’S BROKE . . . 26
THE ENHANCED LIFE 54
SHINY: LATEST IN CHROME . . . 62
THE BODY REDEFINED . . . 94
STEELING THE FUTURE  . . . 126
HACKING THE METAHUMAN CODE  . . . 130
QUICK & DIRTY AUGMENTATIONS  . . . 168
THE MURKY FUTURE  . . . 194
COMPILED AUGMENTATION TABLES   . . . 222

Now, compare that to the Table of Contents from Augmentation (http://catalystgamelabs.com/download/previews/CAT26002_Augmentation_preview.pdf?053ad1)

The SR4 book is simply much more useful. They both cover the same topics. Both have plenty of setting material and fluff. But the SR5 book resembles a novel, whereas the SR4 book is a tool for playing the game.

SR5 books are lavish, beautiful, and clearly created by people who love the setting. But the team needs to have someone who is ruthless about usability, and they should be in charge of the final product.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Senko on <03-03-17/0518:36>
Even the fluff isn't that well edited in some cases pictures showing a layout that doesn't actually match the layout of the ship  in question, repeated pictures for different creatures.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <03-03-17/0928:46>
I'm about to go to sleep so I don't feel like checking my books but I'm not sure I see a problem with a similar but superior piece of ware having the same essence cost and an increased nuyen cost. You're paying more to get more.
You pay for your 'wares with your soul as well as your nuyen though. And by soul I of course mean Essence. That's why the different grades of ware exist, and why bioware that's more expensive than cyberware with the same function is a thing.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Rosa on <03-03-17/0942:32>
While you can always debate the ratio of fluff to crunch, the fluff does play an important role in world building and in introducing the game world to new players. 

Also CGL did not come up with the structure with having a magic book, a gear book, an augmentation book, a matrix book, a critter book  and a rigger book. ..etc. that structure has existed at least since 3rd edition and probably longer. Part of the reason is of course to sell books yes, but it is equally because of the staggering amount of content in SR,  which only grows edition by edition.

As several people have already pointed out 4th edition were simply superior in every way when it came to layout and structuring the books, the difference between reading for example street magic and reading street Grimoire is painful, and the fact that several traditional chapters were cut from street Grimoire is just another example of the poor editing that has plagued 5th edition.

So my wish for 6th edition is simply, look to 4th edition for editing choices and I'll gladly buy the books.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: EiraHaexa on <03-03-17/1228:04>
I for one am willing to aid in the creation of SR6. If nothing else, I can help make sure lore remain consistent, unless there is a logical decision to retcon something, and supply fluff and filler. I love Shadowrun, even more than D&D (Forgive me Gary Gygax, for I have sinned!). I want to see it continue far into the future so that one day my own children can enjoy it (once they're old enough).

I'm willing to help make sure that happens.

I don't know how much longer until the powers that be decide it's time for SR6, but if you're serious, contact Jason Hardy and try and get into the freelancer pool. All opinions aside, he's still the one in charge and the best place to effect change in the game is from within.

My two cents and friendly advice.

Out of work, ATM, so I could definitely use a little side cash, even if it's just enough to pad my account a touch. I'll give him a holler and see how far I get.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: adzling on <03-03-17/1833:21>
The SR4 book is simply much more useful. They both cover the same topics. Both have plenty of setting material and fluff. But the SR5 book resembles a novel, whereas the SR4 book is a tool for playing the game.

SR5 books are lavish, beautiful, and clearly created by people who love the setting. But the team needs to have someone who is ruthless about usability, and they should be in charge of the final product.

This is perhaps the most concise and truest critique of 5e.

The person / people in charge of 5e are missing the entire point of what a rule book / system is meant to do and what their purpose is.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Sipowitz on <03-05-17/1054:04>
Also CGL did not come up with the structure with having a magic book, a gear book, an augmentation book, a matrix book, a critter book  and a rigger book. ..etc. that structure has existed at least since 3rd edition and probably longer. Part of the reason is of course to sell books yes, but it is equally because of the staggering amount of content in SR,  which only grows edition by edition.
Tradition should never be used as justification.

To me you know there is a problem when the freelancers get all giddy with each other over/about the fluff.  You can really get the impression that the rules are way down the priority list compared to who's mary sues are present.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <03-05-17/1110:03>
Tradition should never be used as justification.
While that is true, you can hardly fault someone for sticking to tradition when the reason that tradition existed in the first place is still around; in the case of Shadowrun, that reason is "if you put every single gun, armor, gear, 'ware, vehicle and magic option in the core rulebook it'd be way too big".
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Kwai on <03-05-17/1221:58>
Not my work and I have only skimmed it but from a thread in another forum: https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/28b4q3/the_shadowrun_5_superbook/
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Sipowitz on <03-05-17/1349:04>
Tradition should never be used as justification.
While that is true, you can hardly fault someone for sticking to tradition when the reason that tradition existed in the first place is still around; in the case of Shadowrun, that reason is "if you put every single gun, armor, gear, 'ware, vehicle and magic option in the core rulebook it'd be way too big".
Perhaps.   
What does the equipment porn actually do for the game?  That should be something that should be really truly thought about, because if the knee jerk reaction is 'cuz tradition', well there is a problem(imnsho). 
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: MijRai on <03-05-17/1545:11>
To be honest, a part of why I love Shadowrun is the equipment porn.  It's a game where if there's a job, there's a tool.  There's a variety of tools in fact, different ones getting the job done a little differently.  I love it.  I want to have all of those options available, and while sure, one could take the same basic 'Assault Rifle' stats and slap different names/images on them, that is boring to me.  If I want to play a game where equipment is less integral, I'll find a different system and setting, because what you use is as important as how you use it in Shadowrun.  Partially for my preference for it (I enjoy Pathfinder for the gear as well), partially because I find it evokes the setting quite well.  It's a world where brand names are everywhere, on everything.  There's no escaping them.  Everyone has something they want to sell you, and they have to compete with everyone else selling that same thing.  Not only do you have to keep the quality in mind, but the cost.  I can't imagine Shadowrun without all those little details (which is why I refuse to pick up Anarchy). 
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <03-05-17/1912:29>
I find that calling it equipment "porn" is actually quite accurate. I know I get excited when I look at all those weapons, armors, vehicles, drones, 'wares, accessories and modification and think about what options I'm going to take and how fun those toys are going to be once I get my hands on them, and I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way. Granted, it's not a sexual sort of excitement (Class 4 I-Dolls with "certain modifications" notwithstanding), but I've written lists of all the toys I want and all the modifications and accessories I'm going to put on them, as well as a 1.2 million nuyen betaware upgrade. I've looked at those lists weeks, or even months, after they were written in moments of boredom, thinking about how awesome it's going to be when I finally got them. Now that I have managed to get my hands on some of those goodies, I've been thinking about how awesome they're going to be when I use them next session (or more accurately for everything except the new assault rifle, whenever they're relevant; I've had my car for a while and haven't used for anything other than basic transportation, leaving me disappointed that we haven't had a chase scene yet). Trust me, there is an analogy to masturbation to be made. More specifically the analogy involves nudes from a girlfriend, because once you've got the nuyen you can actually get what you've been wanting.

Woo, that got a little weird there.

Anyways, you need a LOT of different options because people want to do different things and do them different ways. Some guys think a helicopter should be a relatively stealthy observation and extraction vehicle; others, like me, want assault helicopters and assault helicopters with transport capability. Plus you need some aesthetic variety as well. I didn't like the sound of the Hyundai Shin-Hyung, but fell into love with the GMC Phoenix despite them being mostly the same statwise.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Carmody on <03-06-17/0339:37>
Now that basically everybody agrees on the fact that the books are poorly organized, what would be the ideal way to organize things.
I can think of two ways:

I like to see some fluff within the gear, it is what makes weapons, vehicles, whatever unique, more that a negligible difference in stats in my opinion. However, I'd like to know wether you consider that practical or not.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-06-17/0446:00>
To minimize page numbers and make indexing easier I'd like to see the following three parts for gear:
1) Description of the piece of gear with proper keyword use.
Example:
The Ares Alpha is a Bullpup Assault Rifle with 2 points Recoil Compensation, a 6 Shot single action Grenade Launcher and integral Smartgun
2) One or two sentences fluff, in a slightly different font with Shadow Talk
Example:
This baby is used primarily by Knight Errant and other Special Forces. No licences for you Omae, no, not even then. If they catch you with it, kiss your ass goodbye.
3) Weapon stats as part of a list, repeating integral gear
ACC 5(7), RC 2, Ammo 42,...
Smartgun, Underbarrel Grenade Launcher

For the rules part, I'd like it to be similar:
1) Short Story and Fluff
2) Rules with defined terms and precise wording
Examples: Keyword "Melee" means you have -3 to use and evade ranged attacks
3) At the end of the book a collection of all tables and modifiers




Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: MijRai on <03-06-17/1214:56>
When it comes to mechanics of the game, I prefer a complete separation.  The only 'in-game' part there should be the side-bar examples. 

When it comes to equipment, I do like having a little bit of lore then.  A small paragraph stating what it is there for/the sales pitch, a line or three of JackPointers gossiping if it is interesting (not really needed for stuff like rope), etc.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Senko on <03-06-17/1724:11>
Personally I'm rather inclined to a fluff/rules division myself that is like some of the chapters you have the fluff at the start and then the rules. It doesn't have to be that hardly seperated just not mixed that is for example . ..

Book
1) Chapter Index
2) Chapters
3) Index

Chapter
1) General Fluff Story
2) General Chapter

Gear Entry
1) Rules/stats in a purely x is Y format.
2) Fluff Entry about the piece.

Magic Entry
1) Rules
2) Fluff about the phenoma/creature

and so on so you'd have a mix of fluff/rules through the book but you'd know what your looking at. Although I'd prefer more information the traditions in the street grimoire are rather good for that in my opinion. There you have . . ..

1) Tradition Name
2) Fluff
3) Big red box with hard information types of spirits, preferred spells, preferred adept powers.

So you can flick to a relevant tradition, read the fluff description or just look at the obvious box to find out that for example chaos summons water spirits for manipulation. Throw in types of reagents gathered and the like in that box and it'd be for me a nice way to divide the rest. That way you'd have the dodge scoot, a nice picture, a big red box with purely mehanical stats and then a black on white text fluff description.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Ragnarok on <03-20-17/2054:48>
I am really disappointed in how SR5 has been rolled out, generally speaking.  The one thing that got me hooked, was the inclusion of the Technomancer.  SR5 has been out quite a bit now, and still nothing on a dedicated TM book.  Data Trails had a wonderful opportunity to expand upon the TM toolbox, but the opportunity was carpet-bombed.  And still nothing on the rumored TM book. 

I understand that the TM isn't everybody's cup of tea, but there are some that do like them.  Sprinkling a handful of TM options here and there is actually quite insulting to TM fans.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Ragnarok on <03-20-17/2113:04>
My 2 cents on how an SR5/SR6 book can be organized:

Split into 3 sections: Setting, Rules, Everything Else.

Setting Section split into History and the "fluff".

Rules Section having all the Rules Character Creation, Skills, and character options.

Everything Else Section having all the Magic, Matrix, and Gear info.

I know this is probably overly-simplistic, but I think it could be more cohesive.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Tym Jalynsfein on <03-21-17/1426:52>
Pretty much how nWOD /Chronicles of Darkness does it... nothing wrong with that approach.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Mirikon on <03-21-17/1605:30>
Hell, just go back to doing it the way EVERY OTHER EDITION of Shadowrun has done it. Have an 'in character' section at the front of the chapter, and then a Game Information section at the end of it. Simple, easy, and it works.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Dwagonzhan on <03-22-17/1448:47>
Hell, just go back to doing it the way EVERY OTHER EDITION of Shadowrun has done it. Have an 'in character' section at the front of the chapter, and then a Game Information section at the end of it. Simple, easy, and it works.

^So much this.
Cut the snark from the gear descriptions, and keep rules mechanics concise.
Ideally, I shouldn't have to cross reference anything more than once (and even then, the worst of it should fall under Rigger builds, where it's all about attaching gear onto vehicles/drones)

The only times that the goofy in-line commentary on gear entries works is when it's a Shadowtech style format. (or Gun Heaven / Run & Gun for a 5e analog)
But even Shadowtech and Cannon Compaion had a condensed list of gear entries at the end.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: 0B on <08-29-20/1832:00>
(It may be a spambot necro, but the discussion interests me anyways)

One of the biggest annoyances in 5e was learning and finding the actual rules. In 6e, this isn't as bad in places, but it's hard to tell what's fluff and what's an actual rule. And then, should the fluff be part of how you interpret RAI?

There are places that do this well. Take the "Hacking the Matrix" section, for example (p. 178). The first paragraph is fluff/exposition, and the first sentence introduces this well. The next paragraph goes into the technicalities, and the first sentence of this paragraph introduces this as well, and this paragraph is structured in a logical order.

Someone skimming this section just to look for the rule would skip over the first paragraph, and then see that introduction sentence in paragraph 2 indicating to them where they should look for the rule. This seems like writing fundamentals, but it gets messed up easily.

Compare this to the section on traditions (p. 127 - 128). Again, someone skimming through this is going to skip over paragraphs. They'll hone in on the bolded word "tradition," but move on once they realize it's fluff. They have to get to the last paragraph to get to the rule on tradition attribute. This is still easier to find than a lot of rules in 5e, but it takes longer than the matrix section. A better way to handle this would be a sub-heading of "tradition attribute" with the rules information, separating it from the fluff. Someone looking for the rule on tradition attributes would not need to skim through the entire tradition section to find it. However, they will still find it easily enough.

A section that does not do this well is the "cold" damage type (p. 110). It opens with this:

Quote
No one likes being cold. The shakes, chattering teeth, hypothermia, and tissue damage are just a few reasons your life will be harder after you get hit by a cold-based attack.

It goes into the mechanics immediately after. There are two things I don't like about this:

1. This fluff is both redundant, and contradicts the rule. Nothing in the rule talks about tissue damage, hypothermia, or any of those other effects. The rule inflicts the chilled status, which ties fluff to the rule in a much better way "When you are truly, damagingly cold, it seeps into your bones and won’t let go, and you can’t move as smoothly and nimbly as you would like." This provides the rationale behind why being cold affects all dice pools.

Now, a reasonable person will understand that since there aren't any mechanics for hypothermia/tissue damage, then these are not actually applied. However, this is the RAW. If I interpret it exactly as it is written, then I might say that anyone hit with a cold-based attack will get hypothermia and tissue damage. Hypothermia kills people if it's left untreated. Should I have the character take ongoing damage if they don't receive medical attention? Should they be required to spend hours under blankets by a heat source to remove the effect?

This seems ridiculous, but in another thread we were trying to interpret the fluff on multiple attacks to determine which weapons could make multiple attacks, how many weapons you needed, etc. because the text didn't cover it. There's less room for interpretation here, of course.

2. It breaks the pattern of the passage. Both "chemical" and "fire" talk about the "qualitative" effects, but they aren't fluffy. Fire describes that you and things around you may light on fire: this ties directly to the game mechanic. Chemical describes how it sticks around: this also ties directly to the game mechanic.

I know I keep mentioning skimming through all this lovely fluff. I enjoy the fluff, but it gets in the way when you have a specific goal in mind (Learn the rules, look up a rule, etc.) At times, it feels like the author is holding the rule hostage until you finish reading their prose on the setting of the game. It's not like this in all sections, but it's in enough sections to irritate me.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: adzling on <09-16-20/1142:34>
This is what happens when you make a frustrated writer the line editor.

It's horrific and makes the books much harder to use.

It could be fixed easily by ensuring that fluff and mechanics actually make sense in relation to each other but for that you'd need a line editor focussed on rules instead of fluff.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: penllawen on <09-16-20/1223:33>
but for that you'd need a line editor focussed on rules instead of fluff.
The fluff isn't anything to write home about either.

Unless you live at the Department For They're Ruining My Favourite RPG Again, 1100 W Cermak Rd, Pilsen, Chicago.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: jim1701 on <09-16-20/1327:15>
(It may be a spambot necro, but the discussion interests me anyways)

One of the biggest annoyances in 5e was learning and finding the actual rules. In 6e, this isn't as bad in places, but it's hard to tell what's fluff and what's an actual rule. And then, should the fluff be part of how you interpret RAI?

This.  This is the heart of what I see wrong with the current state of Shadowrun.  This whole you got chocolate in my peanut butter approach.  Except while it may be a great way to make candy it's a horrible approach to game design and certainly points to the poor editing skills of the current dev team.  4E/4A has it's issues with design choices but I'll take that version over 5E or 6E just on the technical merits. 
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: adzling on <09-17-20/1703:59>
but for that you'd need a line editor focussed on rules instead of fluff.
The fluff isn't anything to write home about either.

Unless you live at the Department For They're Ruining My Favourite RPG Again, 1100 W Cermak Rd, Pilsen, Chicago.

Have you read any of Hardy's fiction writing?
The abysmal Hell on Water is a great example if you're feeling masochistic.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: 0B on <09-17-20/2041:35>
(It may be a spambot necro, but the discussion interests me anyways)

One of the biggest annoyances in 5e was learning and finding the actual rules. In 6e, this isn't as bad in places, but it's hard to tell what's fluff and what's an actual rule. And then, should the fluff be part of how you interpret RAI?

This.  This is the heart of what I see wrong with the current state of Shadowrun.  This whole you got chocolate in my peanut butter approach.  Except while it may be a great way to make candy it's a horrible approach to game design and certainly points to the poor editing skills of the current dev team.  4E/4A has it's issues with design choices but I'll take that version over 5E or 6E just on the technical merits. 

You can make it work, but not with crunchy systems. It works better with narrative systems. These are from the Sprawl:

Quote
I know people: Once per mission you may introduce a new Contact. Name the contact, say what they do, then roll Style.
10+: you’ve worked with the contact before; they have talent. Write them down as a Contact
7-9: you’ve never met them before, they’re an unknown quantity
6-: you know them all right. Tell the MC why they dislike you After you’ve rolled, describe how you contact them; the MC will ask some questions.

Quote
I love it when a plan comes together: At the start of a mission, roll Edge.
10+: gain 3 hold
7-9: gain 1 hold
During the mission, spend 1 hold for one of the following effects:
• You have that piece of gear that you need, right now
• You appear in a scene where you are needed, right now
6-: gain 1 hold anyway, but your opponent has predicted your every move; the MC will advance the Legwork Clock

A lot of things are left on the player or MC in the Sprawl (How did the opponent predict their moves? Why does that contact dislike you?) but the results of your actions are clear, and the stylized Move titles enhance player understanding, rather than conflict with mechanics. Even the stylized results are still understandable ("you know them alright" feels different than "you know them," but doesn't change the mechanics. Similarly, "they're an unknown quantity" adds foreboding to the 7-9 result.)

The other key thing here is economy of language- by adding 1-3 words and being careful about word choice, the Sprawl conveys a lot of information.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: FastJack on <09-17-20/2134:01>
You can make it work, but not with crunchy systems. It works better with narrative systems. These are from the Sprawl:

Quote
I know people: Once per mission you may introduce a new Contact. Name the contact, say what they do, then roll Style.
10+: you’ve worked with the contact before; they have talent. Write them down as a Contact
7-9: you’ve never met them before, they’re an unknown quantity
6-: you know them all right. Tell the MC why they dislike you After you’ve rolled, describe how you contact them; the MC will ask some questions.

Quote
I love it when a plan comes together: At the start of a mission, roll Edge.
10+: gain 3 hold
7-9: gain 1 hold
During the mission, spend 1 hold for one of the following effects:
• You have that piece of gear that you need, right now
• You appear in a scene where you are needed, right now
6-: gain 1 hold anyway, but your opponent has predicted your every move; the MC will advance the Legwork Clock

A lot of things are left on the player or MC in the Sprawl (How did the opponent predict their moves? Why does that contact dislike you?) but the results of your actions are clear, and the stylized Move titles enhance player understanding, rather than conflict with mechanics. Even the stylized results are still understandable ("you know them alright" feels different than "you know them," but doesn't change the mechanics. Similarly, "they're an unknown quantity" adds foreboding to the 7-9 result.)

The other key thing here is economy of language- by adding 1-3 words and being careful about word choice, the Sprawl conveys a lot of information.
One of the reasons I like Anarchy is because it's more narrative, allowing the story to be told instead of rolled.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: penllawen on <09-18-20/0327:53>
One of the reasons I like Anarchy is because it's more narrative, allowing the story to be told instead of rolled.
Anarchy is a loooooong way away from The Sprawl. If you've never read it, it's worth your time. It's really good, and it might change the way you look at a lot of things in RPGs.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: FastJack on <09-18-20/1042:40>
Checking it out now, but I'd prefer TechNoir over Sprawl for true narrative storytelling. I brought up Anarchy since it's actually based in the SR universe so you don't have to try and wedge Magic & Dragons into the existing rules.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: 0B on <09-18-20/1934:35>
Have you seen stuhl's "Shadowrun in the Sprawl?" He did it in a way that players could decide how much of the "extra" content to use, it's pretty smooth. However, it is an additional 20-30 pages to read on top of the Sprawl rules

Thank you for the recommendation, I will check it out!
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: jim1701 on <09-18-20/2337:45>
I've tried the narrative style a few times but I do want some crunch.  That's why I've gravitated towards Savage Worlds the last few years.  Especially since they got access to the Rifts franchise.  After Shadowrun Rifts is my favorite setting and I've come to love the Savage Worlds system.

I also happened to pull down my 5e rulebook and looked at the page count.  By all that's holy who thought a 500 page core rulebook was a good idea?  Hopefully the 6e core rulebook is slightly slimmer.  Please tell me they at least did that.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-19-20/0029:49>
I've tried the narrative style a few times but I do want some crunch.  That's why I've gravitated towards Savage Worlds the last few years.  Especially since they got access to the Rifts franchise.  After Shadowrun Rifts is my favorite setting and I've come to love the Savage Worlds system.

I also happened to pull down my 5e rulebook and looked at the page count.  By all that's holy who thought a 500 page core rulebook was a good idea?  Hopefully the 6e core rulebook is slightly slimmer.  Please tell me they at least did that.

Yeah its shorter.  That wasn't an improvement. It feels like a lot of stuff was sort of left out like as if they were sure you played previous editions and must know what they meant.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: jim1701 on <09-19-20/0155:10>
I've tried the narrative style a few times but I do want some crunch.  That's why I've gravitated towards Savage Worlds the last few years.  Especially since they got access to the Rifts franchise.  After Shadowrun Rifts is my favorite setting and I've come to love the Savage Worlds system.

I also happened to pull down my 5e rulebook and looked at the page count.  By all that's holy who thought a 500 page core rulebook was a good idea?  Hopefully the 6e core rulebook is slightly slimmer.  Please tell me they at least did that.

Yeah its shorter.  That wasn't an improvement. It feels like a lot of stuff was sort of left out like as if they were sure you played previous editions and must know what they meant.

That doesn't surprise me.  They did the same with 5e.  So much confusion due to missing references because they ported something from 4th and forgot to make sure they also ported all the reference material that went along with it.  Pixie vanishing ability was a famous one in our group.  Or course if you didn't have 4th it's not like you'd know that.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: penllawen on <09-19-20/0410:49>
I've tried the narrative style a few times but I do want some crunch.  That's why I've gravitated towards Savage Worlds the last few years.  Especially since they got access to the Rifts franchise.  After Shadowrun Rifts is my favorite setting and I've come to love the Savage Worlds system.
I like Savage Worlds a lot, it has a middling level of crunch/rules that suits my table. We've run a little Deadlands in it. One day, I might adopt one of the existing Shadowrun/Savage Worlds mashups for my own use, and move my SR campaign to it.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <09-20-20/0310:51>
So now that 6E has been out for a while, what do you guys think, was I right about the filler? Have they reduced it? I only bought the CRB as the novelty of the new ruleset wore off fairly quickly for me, it's still fun but I was hoping for more dramatic changes.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: 0B on <09-20-20/1039:56>
It did not reduce filler to a level I liked. There are aspects of the fluff/structure that are better than 5e, but I think that's a low bar to measure it against.

For example, it doesn't explain what a TTRPG actually is until the game concepts chapter on page 34 (Or, the 28th page after the table of contents). It might be OK to put setting info up front, but the introduction straight up recommends a new player read a short story and the setting info first. Is this going to be useful to someone who's never played a tabletop RPG before?

Compare this to 3e Shadowrun. It explains what a TTRPG is on page 8, (the 3rd page after table of contents). It directs returning players to the setting and game concepts sections.

This is just organization, though. There are other parts. For example:

Quote
What dice do I use?
Six-sided dice. Period. Sometimes one or two or three, sometimes a small handful, sometimes a large handful. Maybe twenty or more, when you get really good. Throughout the book, six-sided dice are abbreviated as D6, sometimes with a number in front telling you how many dice, so that “3D6” means three six-sided dice

The third and fourth sentences can be cut- we don't really need to go through all the possibilities for dice pool sizes. I'd also get rid of the second sentence, but that's more because I feel the tone is 3edgy5me, rather than being too long. Compare to 3e:

Quote
MAKING DICE ROLLS
Shadowrun uses a number of six-sided dice to resolve any challenge for a character. The gamemaster will not require a
test to find out if a character can open the door, but will prob­ably ask the player to roll dice to see if his character can somersault through the glass sunroof, land on his feet, and smack the detonating switch out of the terrorist’s hands—all without splattering himself on the floor or setting off the bomb.

All the information in 5e's paragraph (Except abbreviation codes) are resolved in the first sentence. The next bit explains how things work for someone new to TTRPGs, and add to the paragraph. (FWIW, 3e never explains what "1D6" means to new players, so it's not the end-all be-all. It's just a convenient example)

I also don't like the structure of this section as a whole, I feel like almost every question & response could be cut down, or shifted into a single paragraph. Currently, it's about the same size as 3e's section, but 3e's rules are more complex and also contain guidance on when certain tests are used that will be helpful to someone new to TTRPGs.

There's other bits of structure I don't like, or that I prefer how older systems did it. Character creation goes over the different classes archetypes in 6e, but doesn't explain what abilities and skills you should choose (Well, street samurai mentions "strength and agility," but that will not be sufficient). Character creation also holds the mechanics hostage behind a few pages of fluff and backstory development. I like fluff and backstory development, but I don't think this is the right place for it, from an organizational perspective.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: Shadowjack on <09-20-20/1543:42>
Sounds about right. The way I've always looked at it is that the rules should be as simple as possible to facilitate fast gameplay, difficult to remember rules is something I've grown to give up on. The filler I particularly dislike is the banter between jackpointers, especially in rule books. I don't find it worth the space and I'd prefer more focus on information, stats, items, etc. Actual content. I am a huge fan of Shadowrun fiction but I feel like these little exchanges don't belong. This is something I've brought up before and some people disagreed with me. Fair enough.
Title: Re: Reduce Filler in 6th Edition
Post by: wraith on <09-21-20/0308:08>
(It may be a spambot necro, but the discussion interests me anyways)

One of the biggest annoyances in 5e was learning and finding the actual rules. In 6e, this isn't as bad in places, but it's hard to tell what's fluff and what's an actual rule. And then, should the fluff be part of how you interpret RAI?

This.  This is the heart of what I see wrong with the current state of Shadowrun.  This whole you got chocolate in my peanut butter approach.  Except while it may be a great way to make candy it's a horrible approach to game design and certainly points to the poor editing skills of the current dev team.  4E/4A has it's issues with design choices but I'll take that version over 5E or 6E just on the technical merits. 

You can make it work, but not with crunchy systems. It works better with narrative systems. These are from the Sprawl:

Quote
I know people: Once per mission you may introduce a new Contact. Name the contact, say what they do, then roll Style.
10+: you’ve worked with the contact before; they have talent. Write them down as a Contact
7-9: you’ve never met them before, they’re an unknown quantity
6-: you know them all right. Tell the MC why they dislike you After you’ve rolled, describe how you contact them; the MC will ask some questions.

Quote
I love it when a plan comes together: At the start of a mission, roll Edge.
10+: gain 3 hold
7-9: gain 1 hold
During the mission, spend 1 hold for one of the following effects:
• You have that piece of gear that you need, right now
• You appear in a scene where you are needed, right now
6-: gain 1 hold anyway, but your opponent has predicted your every move; the MC will advance the Legwork Clock

A lot of things are left on the player or MC in the Sprawl (How did the opponent predict their moves? Why does that contact dislike you?) but the results of your actions are clear, and the stylized Move titles enhance player understanding, rather than conflict with mechanics. Even the stylized results are still understandable ("you know them alright" feels different than "you know them," but doesn't change the mechanics. Similarly, "they're an unknown quantity" adds foreboding to the 7-9 result.)

The other key thing here is economy of language- by adding 1-3 words and being careful about word choice, the Sprawl conveys a lot of information.

Even in a more narrative format, though, those are clear and unambiguous rules text. They are open to interpretation, but only in the way the game designer intended them to be open, not because they are poorly written.