Shadowrun

Shadowrun Play => Gamemasters' Lounge => Topic started by: prismite on (16:09:43/04-12-19)

Title: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: prismite on (16:09:43/04-12-19)
Hi all,

I've been running Shadowrun for the better part of 10 years now for (largely) the same group. Most of this time my players have been in massive disagreement about certain elements of the game-world. We've managed to keep the group together by mostly trying to ignore the creative differences in the way each player views the fluff of the game.

To be more specific, I have a player who states that all the information in the book points towards Steampunk being not only accepted but 'common' place. He goes on to say that the books all but condone looking like a 'punk' and that its normal to see things we'd find asinine. He cites that a young lady with half a shaved head and glow-in-the-dark rainbow hair on the other side would be a typical corporate asset as well as a street vendor for hot-dogs or even a school teacher.

Another player altogether believes that the iterations of 'colorfulness' mentioned in the book only relate to street life, like runners, gangers, bikers, and other non-corporate elements. He believes that corporate employees would still largely be held to the dress code that current companies run.

In fact, the argument that keeps coming up is the first player goes downtown for meets and jobs while wearing Argentum / Sleeping Tiger / Club-goers attire with ocilating colored hair, heelies and shirts showing an animated middle finger rising and feels that the book has iterated that this is the new norm. The other player feels that this draws unnecessary attention to the group.

How do you guys adjudicate something as simple as fashion in SR? I'm curious as to how to bridge the gap between their immersions without crapping on the beliefs of either individual.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Iron Serpent Prince on (16:53:35/04-12-19)
That is the age old question / debate between Black Trenchcoat / Pink Mohawk.

There is no one right answer here...  It is a matter of gameplay style.

It an uptight, buttondown corporate society ("one of us!") the more flamboyant stuff would be frowned upon, for sure.  Exactly why it would thrive as well.  ;)

Just point out there are dress codes, of a sort, depending on location.  Your "punk" player will get further on the street (easier, if not eliminated, Etiquette tests), and your "corp" player will get further in corporate or "uptown" locations.

Another example of this is the Thundercloud Morgan.  (Rigger 5, page 52)  Nothing stops a player from purchasing and using one in character.  They are pretty cheap, after all.  However, at best it is a CJ (Classic Jeep) with a weapon mount on the rollbar, and at worst it is an armored dune buggy style vehicle (ala Westworld).
It might never draw a second glance in a rural town, or border town.  But downtown in a Sprawl?  It will stand out like a 50 year old man at a Billie Eilish concert...
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: prismite on (17:12:12/04-12-19)
Hmm. This is a really good point that I had not thought of. The players are both of different play styles (Trenchcoat & Mohawk) so it only makes sense that their 'flavor' clashes as such.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Ghost Rigger on (17:45:46/04-12-19)
Another player altogether believes that the iterations of 'colorfulness' mentioned in the book only relate to street life, like runners, gangers, bikers, and other non-corporate elements. He believes that corporate employees would still largely be held to the dress code that current companies run.
And he's completely right. That said, dress code is location dependent. If you meet in a fancy restaurant, dress well. If you meet in a dive bar in the barrens, dress like gutter slime.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: adzling on (17:51:12/04-12-19)
I agree with Ghost Rigger.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Beta on (18:19:37/04-12-19)
I feel like the punk vibe has cooled down some over the years.  Which kind of makes sense -- in the 2050s, things were still emerging from survivor culture -- vitas, goblinization, balkanization in many places, crash 1.0, coming to terms with the night of rage ... 2040 to 2050 had been the longest stable period in many ways, and perhaps people were beginning to rage against the machine, but also just to show some individuality, celebrate life a bit, and maybe experience a bit of hope that things were going to get better.  Not everyone was going to be full on punk, but some flashes of colour or other attention-getting items may have been more common.

By 2080, hope for much improvement is struggling, there has been ongoing disruptions while the megas tighten their grip, technology has improved enough to make life much more heavily monitored, so perhaps less people are going to trying to stand out?
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on (18:41:53/04-12-19)
Fashion fluctuates. And quickly. There is an old sourcebook that mentions "Mercenary Chic" as being a recent rage that's now (as of, like 2055) considered gauche.

A player should have at least a little agency in a game, and being able to say this or that is all the rage right now is exactly that sort of thing, imo.  However that player's character should have a relevant knowledge skill (in this case, fashion) to contribute to the collective campaign canon in such a way.

Mechanically, the way I view fashion is by Lifestyles.  High or higher lifestyle? You're current.  If you want to be.  Lower lifestyles are either not able to put fashionable outfits together at all, or their very best isn't considered up-to-date in fashion trends.  Social armors still do what their mechanical benefit says they do.  But if you have a Middle or lower lifestyle, social armors are clearly dated in a "fashion" sense.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: prismite on (19:10:56/04-12-19)
Mechanically, the way I view fashion is by Lifestyles.  High or higher lifestyle? You're current.  If you want to be.  Lower lifestyles are either not able to put fashionable outfits together at all, or their very best isn't considered up-to-date in fashion trends.  Social armors still do what their mechanical benefit says they do.  But if you have a Middle or lower lifestyle, social armors are clearly dated in a "fashion" sense.

This is a fascinating turn on it. I've never thought of it like this. Great addition!
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Ghost Rigger on (19:30:22/04-12-19)
Fashion fluctuates. And quickly. There is an old sourcebook that mentions "Mercenary Chic" as being a recent rage that's now (as of, like 2055) considered gauche.
I would still separate being able to dress well from being fashionable, though. If you watch Victorian era period pieces, the suits the men were wearing don't look very different at all from modern suits, and the descriptions of Executive Suit indicate that suits haven't changed significantly by the year 2080 either. Stick to timeless classics, and you won't have to worry about chasing fashions....and that's not just advice for dressing like the 1%. On the street side of things, an Iron Maiden t-shirt still looks as good as the day The Number of The Beast was released.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on (19:50:10/04-12-19)
Sure. 

For certain venues, low lifestyles might organically fit in.  Someone at Low lifestyle might live in ME-109 concert tees (as far as I'm concerned, they're a canonical Iron Maiden tribute band!), but only if the runner has a knowledge skill that reasonably infers they're a fan.  On the other hand, someone paying 10,000 nuyen a month at High lifestyle can afford to just go buy one at the drop of a hat, even if he or she hates metal and had no plausible reason to have already had one.

So, sure.  Lower lifestyles might have coincidentally have "correct" clothing on-hand, but the way I like to run it Higher lifestyles always either have it, or can get it without having to track the expense.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: AnotherUser on (20:03:36/04-12-19)
As a GM I would allow both players to be right and provide them with context.
(Please note this is my (our) interpretation. Others are equally valid.)

First, the corporate universe is such all-pervading and by 2080 so refined and well established that it is not only catering to and shaping the mainstream, but also the counter-culture. There are tolerated (and monetized) grey areas for corporate citizens to explore. The canon sources support this view. (see Market Panic about drones "slumming" at a the semi-seedy coffee stand)
An IRL equivalent today would be something like tattoos or piercings. You might get a high status job with a single piercing at the eyebrow. Or at the nose wing. But add a couple more and a big tattoo and you have crossed an unspoken, but very clear boundary. Established by nothing else but custom and media. You might think there is some wiggle room, but it is mainly an illusion.

This ties directly into my next point. Fashion is a generational thing. The leather jackets teenager girls are wearing today would not have been out of place when their grandmothers went out to dance to rock&roll. So, a corps kid could absolutely get away with something seemingly "gangster" looking. In a way that is only expected. Your gender/age/metatype influences hugely if people accept your attire. If Gary Kline wore a glowing nano-tattoo on the forehead at the Academy Awards last year, you certainly can do that as a fit, good-looking human male. Just donīt try it if you are over 50. Or ugly. And as a woman it would make you look like a slut.

Last, what you should never forget is that fashion is a part of your status. But only a part. Most of its meaning comes from context. In other words you could wear exactly the same type of punk/cut-off-sleeves leather jacket with spiky studs, but if you stepped out of a Ford Americar or a Mitsubishi Nightsky would make a huge difference. If the cuts in your pants are from real wear and tear or are painstakingly manufactured to look like real. (and wonīt unravel the thread) Is it made from recycled plastic bottles or from megalodon leather? Does the wearer adress you as "sir" or "chummer"? Does he look comfortable in the posh neighbourhood or is he showing unfamiliarity with the hundreds of miniscule norms and behaviour patterns associated with the place? How much did the colour-matched lipstick cost?

Signalling status and fitting in or not is an holistic endeavour. So yes, your player saying steampunk is an accepted fashion trend would be absolutely right in my world. The fashion is still a bit freaky and perceived as such. That is its very purpose. That is its attraction to the paying customers.
Your other player saying steampunk fashion is mainly associated with counter-culture would also be totally right. But you know Nora from accounting? She is just a total synthcore-waltz fan and loves that look for clubbing. In the office she always has another jacket ready to hide the bandshirts for when the department supervisor shows up, but you can still recognize them from their collars. He doesnīt mind.

So will a certain look draw unwanted attention? Mechanically, there are lifestyle costs which also determine what clothes/care products you have access to. And there is a skill specifically for blending in. Also your character has a background and/or fitting or unfitting knowledge skills.
The actual look your character is wearing is just the flavour, the angle from which to approach that question. You can be a steampunk squatter accosted by KE at every corner or you could be a steampunk trideostar the valets bow to when you hand them the keys to your car.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Ghost Rigger on (18:38:14/04-14-19)
Sure. 

For certain venues, low lifestyles might organically fit in.  Someone at Low lifestyle might live in ME-109 concert tees (as far as I'm concerned, they're a canonical Iron Maiden tribute band!), but only if the runner has a knowledge skill that reasonably infers they're a fan.  On the other hand, someone paying 10,000 nuyen a month at High lifestyle can afford to just go buy one at the drop of a hat, even if he or she hates metal and had no plausible reason to have already had one.

So, sure.  Lower lifestyles might have coincidentally have "correct" clothing on-hand, but the way I like to run it Higher lifestyles always either have it, or can get it without having to track the expense.
Not quite the point I was getting at. Fashion is a never-ending rat race, and you don't need to participate in it to dress well. Sure, if you chase the latest trends, you get the bonus of being on the cutting edge of fashion, but you have to keep putting money into it or you'll face the detriment of having an outfit that's so last month. The alternative is to dress in clothes that looked good 10 years ago, look good now and will look good 10 years from now; you never get bonuses for wearing what's new and hot, but you'll never suffer the detriment of wearing a dated outfit. Which option any given character goes for depends on their personality and style.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Wakshaani on (00:57:13/04-15-19)
You have no idea how much I want a fashion book.

Normal people will look, more or less, normal. Jeans and a T-shirt is still something people wear for instance and business chic is required for lots of corporate life.

BUT!

There's also what people wear when they want attention. Club fashion changes CONSTANTLY, for example, and the Hot New Style of the year (or, more accurately, the season) changes often. Spring's pink is Summer's yellow is Fall's auburn. Last year's Wild West is this year's rockabilly is next year's Esienhower jackets. The higher your lifestyle is the more your fashion needs to be on the cutting edge (or for the highest, IN FRONT OF the edge!) …. it changes *fast*.

Body decoration's a whole other area. During 60-64, outlandish bodymods were IN... catgirls, gills, eyestalks, etc. A few years later, it was all about being subtle. By the time '70 rolled around, you wanted some mods but nanotats were the BIG thing. After the Nanopocalypse, you couldn't *give* nanotats away but fiberoptic hair? HELLS yeah!

Around 2080, cyber is seen as archaic and poor. A few corporate climbers still get Datajacks (a surefire sign of a corporate climber) because the senior management team all have them and they want to ape what the big names have, but cyberlimbs are for poor factory workers, cybereyes are for those who can't get proper bio-replacements, and dermal plates are for grandpa who still listens to that whatshername from 2050. Murcurachrome or whatever? It's a granpa thing.

Of course, this also varies tremendously at each and every table. You play your game the way YOU want and don't let anyone tell you that you're wrong. :D
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Shadowjack on (02:49:14/04-15-19)
Wak's response resonates with me most, although I'd like to voice my own opinion. Shadowrun is not so black and white, every country, corp, club, etc is different. Generally speaking, the more upscale corp environments do lean toward "professional" appearances, while the more street things get, the more wild fashion is (not talking about high fashion, though). In other words, you are more likely to see facial tattoos and ripped jeans outside the boardroom, but at a club it's a totally different ball game, many corp citizens "dress up" when they go clubbing, and they also sometimes like to "slum" in the barrens, often for the thrill of getting outside the corporate environment. Corporate youth are known to occasionally wear band t-shirts, dye their hair, etc, while adults are typically more traditional. This is all based on what I've read, and again, try to think more in shades of gray.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: mcv on (08:21:49/04-15-19)
Dress codes change and evolve. Corporate dress code today is very different from 50 years ago. Tattoos have become completely accepted. Hair styles are more diverse. CEOs wear jeans and turtlenecks now. In some offices, people wear bermuda shorts and flip-flops.

60 years in the future? Yeah, I can see colorful hairstyles being totally acceptable.

Despite that, there's still going to be a massive difference between street and corporate fashion. If you want to blend in in a corporate environment, you still wear an expensive suit, not an armored jacket, even if you combine the suit with a mohawk. And if you wear that executive suit in the Barrens, you're going to stand out.

And yeah, the Thundercloud Morgan is a dune buggy. It may seat two, but the passenger is hanging on the back manning the machine gun. If you want to go clubbing in that, feel free, but in Bellevue you're going to stand out.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Seras on (11:54:51/04-16-19)
It is definatly true that the current fashion trend ( enforced by the Japonacons and Horizon ) is to look as natural and Human as possible.

Any augmentions you have should be subtle. This makes Headware like controlrigs, or internal ware a premum interest. If you must replace a limb it should be a skin version not a crome one.


Around 2080, cyber is seen as archaic and poor. A few corporate climbers still get Datajacks (a surefire sign of a corporate climber) because the senior management team all have them and they want to ape what the big names have, but cyberlimbs are for poor factory workers, cybereyes are for those who can't get proper bio-replacements, and dermal plates are for grandpa who still listens to that whatshername from 2050. Murcurachrome or whatever? It's a granpa thing.


Even in 2080 however there is chrome and .... BETAWARE Chrome !!  Remember people cyber comes in grades.

Used and Standrad are definatly for the downtrodden.

Alpha is for Corp citizens and the middleclass (  doctors, athletes, mercenaries and shadowrunners, successful salesmen etc. )

Betaware and the clinics that install it are world famous and have a  very long waiting list. See the chrome flesh book. A cyberarm, even a visible one, from a Betaware clinic shows that you have money, good connections or probably both.

Hell, this prestigue is what Johnny Spinrad makes most of his money from  ;)

Just my two cents ^^

Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Ghost Rigger on (15:50:42/04-16-19)
It is definatly true that the current fashion trend ( enforced by the Japonacons and Horizon ) is to look as natural and Human as possible.

Any augmentions you have should be subtle. This makes Headware like controlrigs, or internal ware a premum interest. If you must replace a limb it should be a skin version not a crome one.
Oh, wow. There's a lot to unpack in those three sentences. I'm going to just ignore spelling mistakes for the sake of brevity.

First, bold of you to assume that the preference towards metahumans that actually look like metahumans in their natural state is a "fashion trend" and not hardwired biology. Sure, some corps might be pushing it, but that is to counter EVO's deviant influence. The fact of the matter is, we don't like things that are different from us by our very nature; they disgust and frighten us, sometimes for good reason. In addition to the bevy of real life examples of discrimination, I can point to the treatment of orks and trolls as proof of this.

Second, what are you going on about "headware and internal ware being a premium"? You can't charge an extra fee for subtlety when there's not a cheaper, more obvious alternative. If you were comparing orthoskin to dermal plating, you might have a point, but you weren't, so you don't.

Third, you don't actually want a synthskin limb, you want a new limb made of meat, preferably cultured but uncultured will do if you're not that rich, or better yet you want to spend a week inside a tank getting augmented healing. A synthskin limb is obvious to the touch unless you spend money (and capacity!) on improved synthskin, and at the point of R4 improved synthskin you might as well just buy an uncultured replacement limb for the same price and less essence loss. Or just get an obvious cyberlimb and use its capacity to get some interesting features.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Marcus on (17:56:27/04-16-19)
Is this going somewhere useful?

To the OP as far as I am aware we don't, for the vast majority the only things about clothes that matters is Armor rating, bonus to stealth, bonus to Social limit or social skills, and what kind of mods can be stuck in it.

Right now Sleeping Tiger is in the top spot, when we get another tech book that adds armor it may be de-throned and it may not.
 
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Seras on (16:24:27/04-17-19)

Oh, wow. There's a lot to unpack in those three sentences. I'm going to just ignore spelling mistakes for the sake of brevity.

First, bold of you to assume that the preference towards metahumans that actually look like metahumans in their natural state is a "fashion trend" and not hardwired biology. Sure, some corps might be pushing it, but that is to counter EVO's deviant influence.

First off, no Spelling is not my forte. The fact that my primary language is german does not help  ;).

My german autocorrect hates it when I post on this forum ..... ;D

Secondly, the above is not my opinion, it is a quote from the Chrome flesh book , so take it as you wish.

Personally I love obvious  Cyberware and full body conversions......
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: prismite on (14:32:03/04-23-19)
I'm glad to see so many varied responses. I appreciate everyone's feedback.

That being said it sounds like there isnt a book-standard answer to it, so I will continue trying to bridge the two concepts as best I can. I think it easier for our (modern) minds to imagine a future that is more like our time the same way my grandfathers grandfather might have not have anticipated current trends.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Voran on (04:46:23/05-19-19)
Loosely it depends on what the up-tops think.  If enough up-tops start walking around their corp wearing Steampunk, then you can bet all the peons below will start doing that too.  Similarly if the up-tops start wearing 80s power suits and 'all business' that'll change the culture too.  Kids will always wear stuff that will irk their parents as they try to express themselves, and sometimes hilarity because they end up retro using styles their parents did when THEY were the kids.

My general personal thought as a runner would be, "Blend with the crowd.  Sticking out can be bad for when they come looking for you."  Its mitigated somewhat by the introduction of color changing gear and AR accents and even hair that can morph styles/etc.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: CanRay on (14:07:42/05-19-19)
All I know is that I loved explaining, in detail, exactly what happened to my group's Savile Row Bespoke Suits after they had to douse each other in commercial-grade cleansers that they didn't read the instructions for.

They were supposed to dilute it 10-1 with water.  Instead they just got into a cleanser fight.

After some very bad rolls afterwards to try and find some replacement clothing, the only thing they could find was Victoria's Secret.  (They were in the "Employee Only" section of a mall.).  On the bright side, the Elf's Hoop now has it's own fandom, much to his disgust.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: ORTEGA76 on (13:06:16/05-20-19)
A few things to note.

One is that prosperous times tend to bring out more flamboyant fashions and downturns keep things more conservative. In recent memory, look at how subdued everything got in 2008/9 when the economy tanked.

Second, things come in cycles. the 2050's were pretty wild. The 2070's toned down. At some point, pink mohawks come back.

Third, a lot of it is attitude. A runner with enough style can pull up to meet a Johnson at an exclusive restaurant on a mototcycle while wearing bike leathers. Not just any Yamaha Rapier, mind you. But a fully custom bike and a set of Euro fashion leathers. He strides in, greets the elf maitre'd in Sperethiel and orders a glass of exclusive Japanese whiskey.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: Psimon_Says on (10:33:08/05-24-19)
I think that the differences in their outlook are a good thing. At my table, there have been discussions about what to wear and what gear to take to meetings. I always insist that these discussions take place in character. Once the decision has been made I as GM decide the attitude of the Johnson on how the characters present themselves. This includes their physical appearance; but it also includes their general attitude and specific interactions with each other, the environment, and how they treat and speak to him. Then I assign a social test modifiers.

From what I have gathered their is going to be a "Heat" mechanic in 6th Ed. So we shall see how this changes moving forward. If your Steampunk character shows up a fancy restaurant, maybe she earns a little Heat. If your Corporate Suit guy shows up in a Barrens bar, maybe he gains Heat. Sounds to me like that would be a fairly good solution - without compromising either players aesthetic.
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: JoeNapalm on (10:50:48/06-18-19)

Short answer : You're the GM. It's your world, you determine what would be appropriate...and also, based on that character's background and skillset, if they would know what is appropriate.

Long answer : This is highly situational, regional, and cultural. What is appropriate in a board room in New York is very different than in Miami, or Brasilia, or Bangkok, or London, or Moscow.  What is appropriate in the boardroom of Seader-Krupp is different than Horizon, or Spinrad, or Ares, or Mitsuhama, or Aztechnology.

What you'd wear in federal court would get you bounced from a high society black tie event, and killed in the Barrens. What you wear to an AAAT meeting wouldn't fly at HOAA.

Neon/Steam/Cyberpunk attire may in fact be mainstream in your setting, and may be appropriate in many places -- but I'd look to things like Availability and bespoke suits that give social stat bonuses to determine what is appropriate in higher society and corporate board rooms.

Of course, Runners are generally SINless untouchables, anyway. If they're being hired for jobs that require "acceptable" attire, Mr. Johnson should be providing it, or hiring Runners of high enough standing to know that Hawaiian Netsurfer wear is not what one wears to a gala at the Tir Ambassador's residence.


-Jn-
Ifriti Sophist
Title: Re: Lets talk about the clothes for a minute...
Post by: knppel on (23:58:39/07-07-19)
Specifically in regards of punk-styles, but generally applicable:
It's most important to differ between this summer's trend- which might have been punky anytime any year between 2050 and 2080, for all we know- worn by trendsetters, fashionistas, influencers and those who care to follow, but will be replaced by the next trend asap-
And on the other hand "punk" looks that derive not out of following the fashion, but out of association with Neo-Anarchist circles, for instance (which happens to be quite common for shadowrunners lorewise).

Thus, if you "just look like a punk" and expect to get in like that anywhere because it's socially accepted, you're plain wrong (in my 6th world, at least). Specially with such a mindset, it's more than just realistic to expect literally every oh-so-blunt troll bouncer will spend time reading gossip on the matrix and be up to date on what people wear, even if he personally sticks to the all time classic of a suit.

tl;dr,
Regardless of which theme(s) a character picks for their clothes, more important (just as irl) is if they take a little care with their attire, then you can get away with anything even if it goes against current trends (Suit with green mohawk? Was already perfectly fine in 2005 as long as I did my job and put the needles out of the nose on work).