Shadowrun

Shadowrun General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Moonrunner on <06-02-20/0107:20>

Title: State of 6e today
Post by: Moonrunner on <06-02-20/0107:20>
Can anyone please help me understand what the current status is of the 6e game? I bought all the initial products, including the core rulebook, starter set, Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia, No Future, etc.  We set up a local face-to-face campaign in short order and I eventually completely burned out on the game when I saw how utterly confusing the rules were in the core rulebook, even for character creation! The game was even completely missing some very important rules.

We decided to put things on ice and revisit it in the future to see if they ever filled in all the missing stuff and clarifications that they kept promising.

Where are we now and if things have been made better, where can I find the updates, please?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-02-20/0326:11>
We have a January errataed PDF and an August+February Errata file, they're not perfect but they fix a lot of the mistakes. https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=31170.msg536323#msg536323

For chargen, I did write something up that goes into easily-missed/misread rules: https://shadowland.blog/2020/05/28/sr6-chargen-for-newbies/

Quality-wise: In Firing Squad so far I made it through the weapons section, there's some mistakes but pretty much minor ones.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-02-20/0950:41>
The errata files can be found here (https://www.shadowrunsixthworld.com/resources/).  If you bought a digital copy from CGL or Drivethrurpg, you'll be able to download an updated copy of the CRB that incorporates the errata.  These waves of errata address many things, among them Power Points in chargen, and giving Unarmed combat a base DV.  I'm not sure which specific issues you were referring to, but odds are decent at least some of them were addressed.  But some design features/flaws (depending on one's point of view) like armor not adding to soak and the AR vs DR mechanic, remain.

The first major rules expansion book, Firing Squad, recently was released. Gear porn. Edge actions porn. If you dislike the armor mechanic in 6e, you may really like some of the armor modifications in this book: you can purchase add-ons for your armor that makes it reduce incoming damage.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Finstersang on <06-02-20/1302:23>
The first major rules expansion book, Firing Squad, recently was released. Gear porn. Edge actions porn. If you dislike the armor mechanic in 6e, you may really like some of the armor modifications in this book: you can purchase add-ons for your armor that makes it reduce incoming damage.


As of now, Firing Line absolutely won´t help if you have a general problem with the armor mechanic (or rather: The whole "AR/DR has too less of an impact" issue). It´s actually the opposite: A lot of the new stuff in Firing Line is about adding or substracting to AR or DR, but there´s nothing new that gives these an additional purpose. So, if you (like many, many, many others...) feel that these numbers don´t have enough impact in the first place and play 6th strictly RAW, then a lot of the stuff in Firing Line is just meaningless gunk (https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/gsryhr/firing_line_review/).

However: Yes, the Armor Modifications SSDR mentions are a wortwhile addition either way, especially if your problem is that your character dies to quickly. They are a bit gimmicky and mostly not chargen-legal (http://[url=https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/guju7e/firing_line_review_2_armor_and_clothing/), but they can be really impactfull and fun to use.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-03-20/0046:06>
Over all nothing has really changed from where we were at release. The core remains unplayable without a significant number of house rules.

Firing Squad made some limited efforts to address community concerns, but the core problems with the system remain.

So it's simply a question of how much effort you want to put into making 6e playable at your table.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Annoch on <06-06-20/1923:13>
Over all nothing has really changed from where we were at release. The core remains unplayable without a significant number of house rules.

Firing Squad made some limited efforts to address community concerns, but the core problems with the system remain.

So it's simply a question of how much effort you want to put into making 6e playable at your table.

What he said, sadly.

I was cautiously hopeful for the Second Errata, but it turns out that was a waste of time.  None of the corrections have any meaningful impact on the actual game issues.  I don't mean subjective things like 'I dont like edge' or 'I don't think AR/DR is good'; I mean they don't fix 'the Matrix doesn't work', 'Rigging doesn't work', 'Character generation still requires significant third party explanation (see above), and there are a number of rules and abilities that are either so poorly written/vague that they are unusable.

I was also cautiously optimistic for Firing Line, and at least there is some better news there.  I do not understand the lack of pictures of the weapons and equipment...since that is sort of the point of the gun porn aspect.  Even the line drawings of the weapons in earlier editions would be preferable to...well...nothing.  It also does nothing to help if you don't like the AR/DR/Edge thing; in fact it really doubles down on them.  On the other hand, if you are digging 6E and have gotten your house rules down and have players who want to go through all of that to play, then Firing Line is an absolute must have.

Oh well...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-06-20/1942:14>
Most weapons haven't had pictures for as long as I played Shadowrun.

I have read very few complaints about the Matrix and Rigging, and there's only a handful of matters that have confused people enough to require writer clarification, so errors aside, I do not understand the claims that Matrix and Rigging don't work. Especially when you compare Rigging to SR5 CRB, I actually consider the claim unbelievable. Just like the claim that the errata didn't have any significant impact.

 I can understand criticism, but not falsehoods.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-06-20/2115:01>
Most weapons haven't had pictures for as long as I played Shadowrun.

And don't we all wish we could go back to the days before SR's... creative... firearms art?

(https://i.imgur.com/nr5SkGb.jpg)

I have read very few complaints about the Matrix and Rigging, and there's only a handful of matters that have confused people enough to require writer clarification, so errors aside, I do not understand the claims that Matrix and Rigging don't work. Especially when you compare Rigging to SR5 CRB, I actually consider the claim unbelievable. Just like the claim that the errata didn't have any significant impact.

 I can understand criticism, but not falsehoods.

I happen to know a lot of people who wrote a lot about the 6e matrix (it is, essentially, marks by another name, and while its beeeeeteeeer it doesn't exactly fix all the core problems with the subsystem), and these complaints are pretty visible with some cursory googling. Of course, I don't think you would go around googling problems in a system you like, so its understandable that they aren't visible to you!

Rigging in 5e was trash, but I could believe complaints about it. The complaints about it certainly are way less visible.

The errata did nothing to impact many of the core complaints about the edition many people had. Significant is subjective, and I think it is fair to say for many people errata failed to have a major impact in their problems with the system.

Finally, I would recommend avoiding essentializing your subjective experiences and perception of problems to the point that people who do not match them come across as liars. It both isn't persuasive, and, take it from someone who got trapped doing it for a while, really messes with your own head and makes you unhappy. People generally have reasons to believe what they believe and say what they say that make sense to them, and its better to address those aspects than to just dismiss things wholesale as deception or manipulation.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Annoch on <06-07-20/1113:00>
Most weapons haven't had pictures for as long as I played Shadowrun.

I have read very few complaints about the Matrix and Rigging, and there's only a handful of matters that have confused people enough to require writer clarification, so errors aside, I do not understand the claims that Matrix and Rigging don't work. Especially when you compare Rigging to SR5 CRB, I actually consider the claim unbelievable. Just like the claim that the errata didn't have any significant impact.

 I can understand criticism, but not falsehoods.



First, it would seem that you have been playing the latest few Shadowrun Editions regularly and have a good understanding of them.  That is excellent, and I am jealous of you.  Sadly if you are returning from older editions, or are heaven forbid a completely new player, the CRB, even after errata is at best a tough read.  If the intention of the book was to cater to only experienced players, then I take full responsibility for the misunderstanding.  If this is meant to make the game more widely available to a new audience, it is a complete failure.  I introduced it to my gaming group which has a number of RPG/tabletop/board gaming veterans, but none who had ever done anything with SR other than me, and they were/are baffled.  I did my best to explain it and ask questions on the forums, but I admit that I too am often baffled by the rules.  Luckily for me (and me alone), the quarantines put our planned play sessions on hold.  I had hoped that I would see further errata and maybe firing line before things got back to normal and that they would smooth things out, but....they came out and things are still not smooth.

Even after two errata, the matrix portion of the rulebook still appears to be a rushed copy paste delete job from 5E that no one ever bothered to finish.  If you can understand how that all works from the rulebook, then you are a better man that I; and I work with the United States Tax Code for a living.  I would say that the what that section needs is 10-20 pages of examples, but the examples that are in the book are either riddled with errors themselves or do not actually focus on the complicated or novel parts of the rules.   It is my firm belief that you either need to be a Shadowrun savant, willing to make huge sections of the rules up/house rule many situations, or have read a significant number of forum posts and third party material to have any hope of really understanding how all of this works together.

The rigging section (as is apparently tradition at this point?) is a horribly undercooked five pages of rules, that is mostly based on the matrix rules (not great) that adds a variety of other vague premises on top of it.  Maybe everyone just knows that you have to wait for the new editions Rigger book before you can properly rigger....

I question your statement that you cannot find anyone having issues with matrix/rigging.  I too have the internet, and have had no issues finding such things on this very forum, Reddit, and other places...It has not been that difficult. 

Also, I see a lot of people, including yourself, referring to the 5E (or whatever edition) rulebook to essentially say....'well rigging was worse there, so you should be happy with whatever they shoveled into 6E'.  I don't understand this.  I personally did not play 5E, did I need to to enjoy 6E?  Again, if this rulebook is just for hardcore veterans, I will see myself out...

Oh, and I don't know when you started playing SR, but in 1st - 3rd edition most of the gear in the source books had some sort of art, even the cyberware and bioware.  Check it out if you haven't; it's not always the best art but it's pretty cool that it is there.

I can understand defending a product you enjoy...but not simply declaring things false because you don't have a problem with them.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-07-20/1506:35>
I can understand criticism, but not falsehoods.

Saying people's opinions are falsehoods isn't very friendly Chandra.


Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-07-20/1619:15>
These replies make me happy. That is all.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <06-07-20/1722:52>
Most weapons haven't had pictures for as long as I played Shadowrun.

I have read very few complaints about the Matrix and Rigging, and there's only a handful of matters that have confused people enough to require writer clarification, so errors aside, I do not understand the claims that Matrix and Rigging don't work. Especially when you compare Rigging to SR5 CRB, I actually consider the claim unbelievable. Just like the claim that the errata didn't have any significant impact.

 I can understand criticism, but not falsehoods.



First, it would seem that you have been playing the latest few Shadowrun Editions regularly and have a good understanding of them.  That is excellent, and I am jealous of you.  Sadly if you are returning from older editions, or are heaven forbid a completely new player, the CRB, even after errata is at best a tough read.  If the intention of the book was to cater to only experienced players, then I take full responsibility for the misunderstanding.  If this is meant to make the game more widely available to a new audience, it is a complete failure.  I introduced it to my gaming group which has a number of RPG/tabletop/board gaming veterans, but none who had ever done anything with SR other than me, and they were/are baffled.  I did my best to explain it and ask questions on the forums, but I admit that I too am often baffled by the rules.  Luckily for me (and me alone), the quarantines put our planned play sessions on hold.  I had hoped that I would see further errata and maybe firing line before things got back to normal and that they would smooth things out, but....they came out and things are still not smooth.

Even after two errata, the matrix portion of the rulebook still appears to be a rushed copy paste delete job from 5E that no one ever bothered to finish.  If you can understand how that all works from the rulebook, then you are a better man that I; and I work with the United States Tax Code for a living.  I would say that the what that section needs is 10-20 pages of examples, but the examples that are in the book are either riddled with errors themselves or do not actually focus on the complicated or novel parts of the rules.   It is my firm belief that you either need to be a Shadowrun savant, willing to make huge sections of the rules up/house rule many situations, or have read a significant number of forum posts and third party material to have any hope of really understanding how all of this works together.

The rigging section (as is apparently tradition at this point?) is a horribly undercooked five pages of rules, that is mostly based on the matrix rules (not great) that adds a variety of other vague premises on top of it.  Maybe everyone just knows that you have to wait for the new editions Rigger book before you can properly rigger....

I question your statement that you cannot find anyone having issues with matrix/rigging.  I too have the internet, and have had no issues finding such things on this very forum, Reddit, and other places...It has not been that difficult. 

Also, I see a lot of people, including yourself, referring to the 5E (or whatever edition) rulebook to essentially say....'well rigging was worse there, so you should be happy with whatever they shoveled into 6E'.  I don't understand this.  I personally did not play 5E, did I need to to enjoy 6E?  Again, if this rulebook is just for hardcore veterans, I will see myself out...

Oh, and I don't know when you started playing SR, but in 1st - 3rd edition most of the gear in the source books had some sort of art, even the cyberware and bioware.  Check it out if you haven't; it's not always the best art but it's pretty cool that it is there.

I can understand defending a product you enjoy...but not simply declaring things false because you don't have a problem with them.

As an aside to this, I think 5e did rigging better. It wasn't good, but the math worked far better. The math in 6e for rigging and dear god 2/3rd+ of the magic section is a pure train wreck.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-08-20/0642:03>
As an aside to this, I think 5e did rigging better. It wasn't good, but the math worked far better. The math in 6e for rigging and dear god 2/3rd+ of the magic section is a pure train wreck.

The way I see it, SR5 had some content problems (Ex: Unbalanced options, too many ways to make sustaining go overboard), but had solid 'bones.' This is why a lot of people were so grossed out by the radical changes: 5e needed some love and an intense look at legacy balance mechanics, and while of course its valid for a new edition to chart a new course, 6e sorta... rejected the idea a lot of core concepts of SR were ever good. Some of that is true, but a lot of it wasn't (I don't think if you surveyed 100 SR players any would say they want street sams to... basically not be an archetype anymore for example).

4e had less solid bones but elements that spoke to people (ex: Ambush focused combat, mechanics that encouraged you to go wild).

6e has a problem where its bones just aren't great for the most part, which is why its so hard to imagine fixes for.

You could fix 4e rigging by *nerfing* it, it was easily the strongest archetype in the entire game due to how for an amazingly low investment riggers opted out of the 'don't get shot at any cost, if you even rolled a defense test you screwed up but if you plan a fight well you win it in like 2 passes' style of play 4e encouraged, both because drones were cheap enough to be disposable and tough enough with proper mods to basically not be at risk of destruction anyway, while the only other real opt out was sams who were EXPENSIVE. You could fix 5e rigging by changing some minor things around so more power came from the PC than the drone and invent some BS reason why drones weren't lost when destroyed mid run and increased their price or something, because the main issue with riggers in 5e are that lots of drones at once are kinda annoying and you risk so much cash to not even be as good as a street sam in ways that matter (Your offensive dicepools are better but sams don't generate a lot of their value from attack dice compared to say... an off combat face but you sacrifice everything else that actually has lots of value for a sam like soak).

6e? I mean rigging is ok there, but its hard to see an out where it will be a great mechanic.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-08-20/0702:52>
6e has a problem where its bones just aren't great for the most part, which is why its so hard to imagine fixes for.
Don't worry, dezmont; I was told repeatedly a year ago that we were all just change-averse grognards who'd soon be playing 6e and swearing up and down we'd loved it all along. We can't be far away from that now, surely?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-08-20/0801:17>
6e has a problem where its bones just aren't great for the most part, which is why its so hard to imagine fixes for.
Don't worry, dezmont; I was told repeatedly a year ago that we were all just change-averse grognards who'd soon be playing 6e and swearing up and down we'd loved it all along. We can't be far away from that now, surely?
Yes, that was exactly what was said. CONFORM!
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <06-08-20/0820:49>
I can understand criticism, but not falsehoods.

Pure Chandra moment.

Nice to see nothing's changed around here and the Catalyst bunker mentality is still in full force.

Now whatever happened to the "the grognards hate 6e 'cause edition wars!" trope?

Dezzmont is right, 5e's bones were good and needed updating, streamlining and repairing in certain spots (*cough* rigging, *cough* matrix, *cough* magicrun) but instead we got the majority of of srun 5e's problems just transposed onto 6e's horrific relative advantage mechanic and even less information on how to run the game.

-Strength does not affect melee damage (entertaining to watch a couple people try to justify that craziness)
-Armor doesn't provide any meaningful protection (that was also a funny one to watch people try to rationalize)

It's like they turned the daft dial up to 11 and just expected people to not notice.

6e is Catalyst's Spinal Tap moment.

We should all be in awe.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-08-20/0933:23>
6e has a problem where its bones just aren't great for the most part, which is why its so hard to imagine fixes for.
Don't worry, dezmont; I was told repeatedly a year ago that we were all just change-averse grognards who'd soon be playing 6e and swearing up and down we'd loved it all along. We can't be far away from that now, surely?

I have to basically agree that's what has been implied. I think Chandra referred to the "Stans" a couple threads ago, which apparently is his short hand for those of us who just haven't drunk the cool aid. But the truth is for 6e they aren't going to change 6e. They aren't going to fix something as simple as the AR/DR problem. They aren't going to do the re-write it would take make it playable. They just don't think it's a problem. After all the layout is really gorgeous. Why would they mess it up by making the rules work? It's the 5e TM issue all over. Even after they finally changed it they would never actually considered it a problem, it was simply all in our totally unreasonable grognard heads.

To be totally honest that is the current state of 6e.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-08-20/1021:01>
I think if we are honest we will find that Chandra is himself 75% of the personal grief. The majority of everyone else realizes that neither liking nor disliking what they did with the new rule set makes you a <insert adjective of your choice here> because it is all a matter of objective preference.

Point in case, I see a lot of people (myself included) criticizing or even name calling some of the rule set, but he is the only person I routinely see name calling the actual people for their perspective, "stans" being the most recent.

Edit: Also, as related to the Matrix. I agree the system could stand to be further simplified and less complex, but I do think Banshee did a solid job of improvement from SR5. Could it be better, sure - but his work was solid, and I would also imagine he most likely didn't get to do all he would have liked.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-08-20/1103:16>
Edit: Also, as related to the Matrix. I agree the system could stand to be further simplified and less complex
That might be what OP meant. Not so much "the Matrix doesn't work" as "the Matrix still doesn't work." Your table's mileage may vary, but you could certainly argue it should be pared back further than 6e did. I don't mind the detail level where it is, myself, but I don't think you'd be wrong to want that.

There is one legitimate criticism I've seen made of the 6e Matrix that I don't have a complete answer for: now that you can only hack PANs/Hosts and not devices, I think most people's reading of RAW means every minor hack of an exterior camera is now a full-on host dive unless the GM invents some handwaving reasons why this particularly security decker was a total incompetent who didn't want to make their network hacker proof. (You may recall I started a thread about this here: https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=30909.0) I haven't yet found an answer to this I'm totally comfortable with from both a mechanics and a fluff perspective.

Quote
but I do think Banshee did a solid job of improvement from SR5. Could it be better, sure - but his work was solid, and I would also imagine he most likely didn't get to do all he would have liked.
Well, yeah, I reckon so too: https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=30909.msg533986#msg533986 ;)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Finstersang on <06-08-20/1121:16>

I have to basically agree that's what has been implied. I think Chandra referred to the "Stans" a couple threads ago, which apparently is his short hand for those of us who just haven't drunk the cool aid. But the truth is for 6e they aren't going to change 6e. They aren't going to fix something as simple as the AR/DR problem. They aren't going to do the re-write it would take make it playable. They just don't think it's a problem. After all the layout is really gorgeous. Why would they mess it up by making the rules work? It's the 5e TM issue all over. Even after they finally changed it they would never actually considered it a problem, it was simply all in our totally unreasonable grognard heads.

To be totally honest that is the current state of 6e.

Oh, I think they know it´s a problem  ::)

But the party line here obviously is: "If you don´t fix it, it was never broken in the first place"

Well, let´s see how that turns out for them. I mean, if things are going according to plan, the playerbase will soon be receive an unprecedented influx of those fabled "fresh new players" that will finally appreciate 6th Edition as the Masterpiece it truly is. And then all of us bitter, bickering grogs won´t matter anymore  ;D   
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-08-20/1400:11>
Your table's mileage may vary, but you could certainly argue it should be pared back further than 6e did. I don't mind the detail level where it is, myself, but I don't think you'd be wrong to want that.

Totally. I'd have liked to see the actions condensed significantly, but that is it. Like your matrix options are Find / Hide / Hack Access / Alter Code / Attack, and then anything you want to accomplish can be just an application of one of those rolls. Or something similar that is intuitive for us non-computer laymen.

Oh, one thing that I also find true is that it is much less overall resource intensive to be a primary matrix character in SR6, so having a solid secondary focus is very easy if you build your character "right".

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-08-20/1704:19>

I have to basically agree that's what has been implied. I think Chandra referred to the "Stans" a couple threads ago, which apparently is his short hand for those of us who just haven't drunk the cool aid. But the truth is for 6e they aren't going to change 6e. They aren't going to fix something as simple as the AR/DR problem. They aren't going to do the re-write it would take make it playable. They just don't think it's a problem. After all the layout is really gorgeous. Why would they mess it up by making the rules work? It's the 5e TM issue all over. Even after they finally changed it they would never actually considered it a problem, it was simply all in our totally unreasonable grognard heads.

To be totally honest that is the current state of 6e.

Oh, I think they know it´s a problem  ::)

But the party line here obviously is: "If you don´t fix it, it was never broken in the first place"

Well, let´s see how that turns out for them. I mean, if things are going according to plan, the playerbase will soon be receive an unprecedented influx of those fabled "fresh new players" that will finally appreciate 6th Edition as the Masterpiece it truly is. And then all of us bitter, bickering grogs won´t matter anymore  ;D   

I used to think just like you in the first part above, and I totally support the second part.
If they had any desire or intent to fix AR/DR, that FS was the perfect and totally easy place to do it. One Martial art action, one devices, a merit any one of those would have worked, or a little grey box just like called shots. Could have been such an Easy solution. But it's not there and it's not accident. They didn't forget, they truly believe the edge system works fine as is. 

Lormyr is exactly right about Chandra being 75% of the personal grief. But I don't doubt that Chandra's position does honestly represent the dev's position and more then that, if you read that little blog he links. I'd bet a lot that is in fact exactly what the devs think, just showing how completely detached their concepts are. There is a thread in here, that was conversation with one of the authors from 5e (I'm specifically not mentioning names.) after the change over on TMs in 5e. I really do believe them when they said they didn't believe there was a problem with TMs and they still didn't believe it. It's just the perfect example of how truly out of touch the devs are with the reality of the game. 6e is no exception. They had X hours to develop it, they had Y hours for layout, and Z hours play test it. They completed those they did the minimum possible edits for release and have sense touched once again after that, certainly In whatever budget cycle they have. But keep in mind rules as clearly broken as grenades weren't touched. They'll keep putting out books, but they have no interest in fixed the system, to them it's "Standing on it's Own" I think was the phrase the line developer used. 


Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-08-20/1707:23>
It's fine to not like the AR/DR/Edge mechanic.  Some people think of pineapple on pizza as a travesty as well.  Me, I like both.  And I respect that sometimes other people don't.

However, it's kind of a stretch to expect CGL to have used FS as a means to change the direction of 6th ed's mechanics.  Of course they weren't going to do that.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-08-20/1720:53>
It's fine to not like the AR/DR/Edge mechanic.  Some people think of pineapple on pizza as a travesty as well.  Me, I like both.  And I respect that sometimes other people don't.

However, it's kind of a stretch to expect CGL to have used FS as a means to change the direction of 6th ed's mechanics.  Of course they weren't going to do that.

Armor started Soaking, Str/3 started being added to melee, edge started to get saved. So yes of course they weren't going to do that. lol
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-08-20/2329:20>
Perception is reality in branding. If you like the new edge system, good on ya. I am... sincerely confused at that, because it is hard to justify what it actually helps (It increases the time it takes to resolve combat and increases the amount of information tracked but reduces how important this information actually is), but I enjoy systems that are like... actually objectively totally broken rather than just designed in a questionable way, which means no one should take my opinion seriously for anything.

However, 6e as a brand is in a horrific spot, in the objective sense. Regardless of what you think of the quality of a game, it can end up here. 4e D&D was kinda low key great but ended up here, for example, despite now most people agreeing it was actually pretty good (and it influencing a LOT of games).

So, divorcing your mind from if SR6 is actually good or not (that, in a weird way, doesn't super matter. Exalted was bad and yet was crazy popular until it got into grimness porn) there is an unfortunate reality that... the market just doesn't feel anything about it anymore. When your community essentially rises up and has a rage spiral, it doesn't really matter if you think its justified or not because after their anger can't be sustained anymore if you don't make structural changes to bring them back to 'like' they aren't going to think about you at ALL. Losing relevance as a brand is terrifying, which is what SR6 managed to do.

Its communities don't exist outside of this site. This is... really bad because it is an extreme minority of the SR community in terms of web traffic, again this site is such an inconsequential slice of the greater SR community that despite being the official site for a long time it literally didn't come up in the top 4 results if you googled shadowrun, and its traffic stats routinely put it at 1/10th to 1/3rd of what other SR sites have as traffic both in pageviews and unique viewcount. Also, this website's bounce rate of 60%, meaning around half the unique visits SR gets a month are by accident.

SR Tabletop's website averages 25,000 total (non-unique) visits a month, which would be much higher than its uniques. For perspective, the SR subreddit gets around 80,000-60,000 unique visits a month, and its average viewed pages per visit are 10 times higher, which means its bounce rate is around 5%. So I hope I didn't blow anyone's mind because I know a lot of people on this site seem to think reddit represents a vocal minority rather than the current primary location SR fans talk about the game. Even pretending that the facebook group and this website have a 100% overlap with SR's fans, and that lets say half these uniques are people logging on through IPs reddit doesn't recognize as connected (Which would, by the by, be a freakishly high number and is entirely unrealistic), we can safely assume there are 40,000 active SR fans.

SR6's latest release is a 'silver best seller' despite being on a 50% discount for most of its 2 weeks of being out. That sounds neat, but as I overviewed before, if your below platinum you didn't break a thousand sales. Silver, for perspective, means that this book in its 'blockbuster debut period' sold less than 250 copies electronically. We have good reason to suspect the majority of SR's sales are electronic, including history and the fact that we are in the middle of a major viral outbreak and pickup sales from Barnes and Noble or FLGS are likely down, the book isn't available on Amazon yet, and the book isn't even a featured product or for sale in the Catalst store, so right now RPG drivethru is sorta the only location to obtain this book right now.

Cyberpunk Red's DEMO got over 5,000. SR 6th world itself sold (or 'sold' considering what went down with that release probably counts in the system, but we can't be sure), 1000-2000 copies, though that could in theory be bolstered by physical and CGL site sales. I doubt the CGL site sales though because its web analytics are so amazingly bad that most of the analytic tools I use to do research on website traffic kinda low key for a living right now don't even know it exists. And the store requires you to manually type through to get to even browse the shop, and it doesn't show up on google searches for shadowrun on the first 3 pages of results (Which is multiple levels of OOF because it both means your unlikely to discover it and it means so few people go to it google thinks it can't be what you are looking for), AND it doesn't show up on google shop.

So, to be really clear, 6e is kinda... screwed as a product right now no matter how you slice it. If you believe the uniques on this site are artificially high, well that means the percentage of people who actively play SR who bought the new book is.... lower than .5% (meaning for every 200 SR fans, 1 person bought this book). If you think its artifically high, it means this place is even more of a minority. If you think that books obtained via a discount coupon would result in them not counting towards sales, that means that however many lost sales via this coupon fiasco caused increases the ratio of players who despite owning the core system did not go on to purchase the next product (as at the VERY LEAST 80% of the people who obtained the 6e core rules from RPG drivethru did not decide to obtain the next book through RPG drivethru).

RPG drivethru takes 30-40% of sales. Maybe CGL made a special deal to keep more, but I doubt it. This means firing squad, which has been around 20 dollars most of its existence, made, at most, 2,800 dollars. 6e's core rules made about 27,900 dollars. The German edition also sold for around that much, but we can't say anything on how much CGL took away from that because all localized licensing and distribution deals are unique and we have no idea what the nature of that relationship is.

Soooo.... that is... really bad, and indicates a dramatic marketing change is needed, and considering the most vocal complaints about the game were about disliking core elements of the system, that being fixed is likely what marketing needs to focus on. You know, like 5e D&D kinda high key did. The time to actually fix things was way way earlier, and it would be hard to reverse ship without dramatic structural changes, but the idea that people early on were just an angry minority has kinda been demonstrably proven false in the worst way. The product has no attention on RPG drivethru with a devistatingly low amount of conversation. On reddit its announcement basically was non-news to the point I almost asked if we were going to actually keep it stickied for the normal amount of time considering how little anyone cared.

And, I can't stress enough, it does not matter if SR6 was so good it restored IRL essence, balanced your real life and PC gen budget for you, made people like The Rocker PC concept again, and made your favorite NPC from the videogames canon. The fundamental reality of the sales situation is so dire that... it doesn't matter. I don't like D&D 5e very much but it makes gangbusters cash with tons of lucrative 3rd party deals based on mega popular IPs and so many books that are just flying off the shelves that they basically decided to leave RPG drivethru because they were doing so well they could just ignore a middle man, my feelings on 5e as a product are totally irrelevant when talking about its success as a product. No matter how much I don't like 5e D&D its a success. No matter how much you like 6e SR its... kinda objectively a really titanic failure and continuing to put one's head in the sand and pretend all criticism is bad faith and things are going great is the literal worst scenario you can do in a crisis communication scenario.

Like, for real, I get its an LLC and part of the appeal is that you don't have to get super corporate, but CGL needs to hire some marketing experts, do some actual research on its consumer base, and right this ship. As an LLC CGL has advantages in fixing these problems. They also had a few good ideas (reaching out to influencers, for example, to try to mimic D&D's success with podcasts) but handled it clumisly. Either this is a 'face issue' where your Rules Designing street samurai just failed to manage the crowd, or it isn't and legit mistakes were made, but now you need a face to get you out of your social snafu! Get yourself a face, first step, so many problems were clearly caused by a lack of effective community communication and good will (Ex: Howling Shadows).

Or don't the intersection of communications crisises and Shadowrun make it really easy for me to generate research materials and papers. Saves me a lot of stress in my studies!

Yes, that was exactly what was said. CONFORM!

It wasn't, but it doesn't matter what you say. It matters what people hear. Either what was said was careless enough to be construed as that, that was an overt implication of what was said, or good will is at such a low that people just want to hear that. None of those 3 things are good. No matter where you stand on 6e, I think it is fair to say CGL is facing a really big crisis right now, and at least from my perspective, doesn't have the expertise to handle those problems due to Cata being one of those companies that sorta grew out of a more 'fluffy' project, which is an enheartening success story but at some point you gotta bring in at least one suit.

That said, I may just be biasing hard to marketing and PR here because I literally research and study that for a living. Your lawyer thinks you need a lawyer, your plumber thinks you better hire a plumber, that sorta thing.

Dezzmont is right, 5e's bones were good and needed updating, streamlining and repairing in certain spots (*cough* rigging, *cough* matrix, *cough* magicrun) but instead we got the majority of of srun 5e's problems just transposed onto 6e's horrific relative advantage mechanic and even less information on how to run the game.

Also, who is this Dezzmont? I am clearly Dezmont, totally different person and not at all the same or just Dezzmont accidently making a typo in his own screename on the official forums like a goof, very good myessss?

(https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/4749a7cb-2ad9-458c-ae14-791d32b43ae8_1.5f8e75b2d2a88d8fd45633b55520a468.jpeg?odnWidth=612&odnHeight=612&odnBg=ffffff)

But also it isn't invalid, like I said, to just abandon 5e and restructure the system entirely so you can do new things. Even 5e D&D is fundementally very different than 3.5 despite being based on its bones. I want to be clear I am assigning the problem not to 'change bad' but 'change attempting to fix something perceived as a problem without understanding or addressing the underlying problems likely makes bad thing worse.'
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <06-09-20/0008:02>
Perception is reality in branding. If you like the new edge system, good on ya. I am... sincerely confused at that, because it is hard to justify what it actually helps (It increases the time it takes to resolve combat and increases the amount of information tracked but reduces how important this information actually is), but I enjoy systems that are like... actually objectively totally broken rather than just designed in a questionable way, which means no one should take my opinion seriously for anything.

However, 6e as a brand is in a horrific spot, in the objective sense. Regardless of what you think of the quality of a game, it can end up here. 4e D&D was kinda low key great but ended up here, for example, despite now most people agreeing it was actually pretty good (and it influencing a LOT of games).

So, divorcing your mind from if SR6 is actually good or not (that, in a weird way, doesn't super matter. Exalted was bad and yet was crazy popular until it got into grimness porn) there is an unfortunate reality that... the market just doesn't feel anything about it anymore. When your community essentially rises up and has a rage spiral, it doesn't really matter if you think its justified or not because after their anger can't be sustained anymore if you don't make structural changes to bring them back to 'like' they aren't going to think about you at ALL. Losing relevance as a brand is terrifying, which is what SR6 managed to do.



I think the difference I see in the comparison to 4e D&D is even when it was active while a lot of people didn't like it, it was for the most part mathematically sound and seen that way.  They gave enemies too many HP and in the 2nd and 3rd tiers of play the ABs were 1 to less than they should be but otherwise the math of the system pretty much worked. 1 doesn't sound like much but round over round it adds up.  Still while it didn't have the feel people liked, I think even people who didn't like it understood it was a mechanically sound system. Despite how much I push for solid rules on some level this shows that getting the math right isn't everything. Here, I think they are neither nailing the feel, and the math is pretty damn far off.

I think everything else you wrote makes sense, but sometimes the numbers are better than they seem to outsiders. Maybe the catalyst game store sells a lot more than drive through etc. I suspect you are right, but you never know.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-09-20/0040:01>
+1 Dezmont very well reasoned.

I love 4e DnD and always have. No system is perfect and certainly 4e had it's share of flaws. But it taught so many good lessons, and i think it easiest version dnd to run ever.

I really hope the numbers aren't that bad. But it's easy to see why we don't hear much if they are that bad.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-09-20/0222:23>
It's fine to not like the AR/DR/Edge mechanic.  Some people think of pineapple on pizza as a travesty as well.  Me, I like both.  And I respect that sometimes other people don't.

However, it's kind of a stretch to expect CGL to have used FS as a means to change the direction of 6th ed's mechanics.  Of course they weren't going to do that.
The extension books were never going to be Shadowrun Essentials. At best you get more finesse to blunt instrument rules, or extra options, or optional rules. But they're not going to completely overhaul the mechanic of the same edition.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-09-20/0306:53>

I really hope the numbers aren't that bad. But it's easy to see why we don't hear much if they are that bad.

To be fair, you don't advertise failure unless your pullin a Dominos, which was a very clever PR judo move which SR probably is going to have to take due to how entrenched the brand perception is. When your negative brand perception has become so entrenched it is a repeated target for joking in the community to the point people actively seek out excuses to make jokes at your brand's expense (Ex: Cata editor jokes) then... you kinda are screwed.

The extension books were never going to be Shadowrun Essentials. At best you get more finesse to blunt instrument rules, or extra options, or optional rules. But they're not going to completely overhaul the mechanic of the same edition.

I dunno. They are in a tough spot because it is hard to imagine 6e turning around at this point sales wise, the numbers are just so low and stories and news about it get extremely low engagement that it is in a deathspiral at this point.

5e managed to turn itself around near the end specifically because Opti did a great job of coopting a lot of anger and redirecting it into actionable points, essentially doing some qualitative research for SR which SR hasn't done before. 5e went from one of the lowest points of relationship with the community (frankly over something dumb, but that is how it goes sometimes when the outrage is merely a symptom of more fundemental issues) to a pretty good one. I don't think that will work with 6e due to a lot of the surrounding issues (people have, essentially, resolved not to like it, and while you can say it is intellectually dishonest, at a certain point consumers are going to stop performing exploratatory purchases of your product and create justifications to refuse to continue to engage with you if their needs are repeatedly not met) and some sort of 6e essentials or anniversary edition is going to be necessary for this.

It just is fundamentally hard for me to imagine what would make the fan community come back, a lot of the traditional tools game companies use (like dev dairies, weekly articles, ect, to foster a positive community relationship) won't work if people just do not care anymore. Once people already have made up their minds to the point of basically not engaging with you in good faith, as frustrating as it is, no attempt to earn good will without basically making a sacrificial gesture is going to work. People aren't going to be interested in what you have to say unless you validate their decision to not pay attention to you while in the same breath saying you made structural changes and it would be different this time baby, I swear, lets just forget the past and run for the sunset enjoying our new, totally reworked Dominos crust that doesn't suck and joking about how dumb the cookie pizza idea was.

That sounds pretty bad. It is worse than it sounds because I agree with an assumption you have that SR would fall with CGL (though not the conclusion that we should unconditionally support CGl as a result, loving something unconditionally is just loving it in a sad and toxic way, the SR you fell in love with will ALWAYS exist and you don't need new SR products that you may or may not like for that to be the case. People still play RIFTs, those freaks!).

Right now we are in the middle of what is likely an RPG bubble, multiple game companies have shut down or are shuttering their RPG departments, such as FFG which is an absolute market titan. FFG soft-core closed its RPG divison. Paizo already has a scifi fantasy setting. WOTC does not want to make a second system to compete with itself and learned not to buy settings with a fanbase who is attached to its legacy from L5R.

So like... what... Maybe Steve Jackson Games buys SR to make it a setting in GURPS? Not the worst outcome, not the best, but not likely. So, ideally, CGL about faces and does something dramatic. Rebrand SR6 as Anarchy 2e? Make a new SR edition that is a reboot of 5e? Just go back to 5e? (I mean Traveller did that when it was really clear Trav 5 was bonkers terrible and aborted back to Mongoose Traveller).

But the big take away is, yes, we actually probably should expect some big shakeup, it is pretty reasonable in this environment.

It is also important to note while the extension books don't historically change the game in SR, they do in other games. A good example is how despite having cybernetic rules in core, the Traveller cybernetic rules book totally converts the game (Down to rules to play it, I kid you not, in the Judge Dredd universe). Same for its psi book (totally new systems including ways to run it as a different setting despite Trav PSI powers being a specific thing, because if psi isn't 'executions' tier illegal it needs to be weaker), its merchant book (Rules for companies and long term projects, though because trade rules are very legacy and core in Trav this didn't change a lot), combat book ect. Gurps also tends to do this. SR, as a very established world, historically has cleaved hard to a unified rules module, but there is precident for the combat book in an RPG line saying 'ok if you use these optional advanced rules everything works different now.' I didn't expect this, but it may be one avenue for changes to be made that CGL can point to to try to 'listen to the fans.'


I think the difference I see in the comparison to 4e D&D is even when it was active while a lot of people didn't like it, it was for the most part mathematically sound and seen that way.

This is the wrong way to think about it. 4e was hated in its time, people made fun of so many mechanical aspects of it (PC death was really hard despite that being basically a feature of 90% of RPGs on the market now, there were things like blade cascade memes, MMO memes, fighter once per day memes, ect). The truth of criticisms of the system, however, is a profoundly incorrect way to think about it. 4e did well (to, again, the point it basically changed RPG design permanently for the better) but it did significantly worse than 3.5 purely due to brand perception, which is why after a lot of effort to keep it going WOTC made a huge effort to make 5e evoke 3.5.


Maybe the catalyst game store sells a lot more than drive through etc. I suspect you are right, but you never know.

I would be shocked to the point I would say its impossible but freak occurances happen. For some reason the CGL store literally has an anti-bot filter where you need to type Catalyst to get in right now, to get perspective on how utterly out of the way it is. CGL's website has essentially no traffic, and no presence on google when searching any of its brands. While someone could get to buy it from the official store from this site, remember this site has a 60% bounce rate, an extremely low visit rate, and doesn't show up on the shopping tab either. People who use the forums may be inclined to hit that big button up there (but while we are here, I am not a web designer, but I know a bad banner advertisement when I see one. Looks too much like a background, not enough like something telling me I can purchase something). The real place that it may be doing better is Amazon, simply due to its prevalence on google when doing test icognito searches so that google doesn't know I am liable to want to come here or go to reddit.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-09-20/0657:07>
I don't like D&D 5e very much but it makes gangbusters cash with tons of lucrative 3rd party deals based on mega popular IPs and so many books that are just flying off the shelves that they basically decided to leave RPG drivethru because they were doing so well they could just ignore a middle man, my feelings on 5e as a product are totally irrelevant when talking about its success as a product. No matter how much I don't like 5e D&D its a success.

I completely agree on both points. I also don't care for the system - it's alright, it's just...really boring to me. It is successful as a mofo, however.

You guys are killing me that that 4e talk though! :p That edition was easily my most disliked game I have ever played. It felt like I was trying to play a bad cookie cutter mmo as a table top game. All gimmick, no substance.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-09-20/0710:26>
You guys are killing me that that 4e talk though! :p That edition was easily my most disliked game I have ever played. It felt like I was trying to play a bad cookie cutter mmo as a table top game. All gimmick, no substance.

Not everyone can have my amazing taste of liking 4e, Anima, and d20 modern!

Ok, that last one I am actively ashamed to have liked (but hey Urban Arcana was one of the only ways I could get D20 heads to play a SR like game).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-09-20/0714:34>
Lol. Well played sir, well played!
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-09-20/0924:38>
I enjoy 5e a lot it’s clean and simple. Have ever checked out any of the live plays. Dimension 20 has some really funny ones. I’d recommend giving 4e another chance. Maybe try running it? 4e had the issue where bad choices was too easy. But no edition is ever had as complete a character at 1st as 4th.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-09-20/0935:28>
So with D&D5, it did get several play sessions from me, in a campaign from 1st to 9th level. It was well balanced, but just dull. I am a builds guys, and the rules just weren't dynamic enough to retain my interest.

D&D4 though was one of those things I only had to look at the rule set to know it was not for me. I like 3.0/3.5/pathfinder 1e style d20, where there is tons of build options, and the feats/class features/ect. either open up new permanent options for me or just hard bake right into my numbers. The whole daily/encounter powers thing is utterly boring to me, and made more so because they were all the damn same. Do this much damage, then knock dude prone, or slide dude, or ect.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-09-20/1026:13>
SR6's latest release is a 'silver best seller' despite being on a 50% discount for most of its 2 weeks of being out. That sounds neat, but as I overviewed before, if your below platinum you didn't break a thousand sales. Silver, for perspective, means that this book in its 'blockbuster debut period' sold less than 250 copies electronically. We have good reason to suspect the majority of SR's sales are electronic, including history and the fact that we are in the middle of a major viral outbreak and pickup sales from Barnes and Noble or FLGS are likely down, the book isn't available on Amazon yet, and the book isn't even a featured product or for sale in the Catalst store, so right now RPG drivethru is sorta the only location to obtain this book right now.


First printing CRB was Gen Con of last year.  They sold out the ?1,000? (can't recall)  copies they brought to Gen Con.  If the First print run was less than 10k units I'd be shocked.  CGL is sold out so the entire first run is either in customer's hands or in the Distribution/retail channel, which as far as CGL revenue is concerned is sold.

Based on conversations with Freelancers (take that for what its worth) a core rule book would have around 40,000 lifetime sales of the print version.  The splat books are around 20,000 each.

CGL is a tiny company with basically no meaningful capital expenditures.  Salary for 10ish folks.  Licence fees to Topps.  Printing Expenses for new releases.  Storage somewhere for the physical product they haven't shipped to distribution.  Maybe an office, some laptops and publishing software licences (those are expensive).

It doesn't take a lot of unit sales to pay $40k a year to 10 people and keep a couple guys in Jousting lessons. 

My back of the napkin calculations say CGL makes about $10, maybe $15, gross profit per copy.  My guess is that they need to sell an average of 20k rule books a quarter to maintain.  Digital sales and Novels are pure gravy.  As they made over a million bucks on a Battletech Kickstarter not too long ago, they're probably more than fine financially.   
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-09-20/1028:33>
As they made over a million bucks on a Battletech Kickstarter not too long ago, they're probably more than fine financially.

As long as Loren doesn't help himself to it for another "house renovation", you mean.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-09-20/1052:23>
As they made over a million bucks on a Battletech Kickstarter not too long ago, they're probably more than fine financially.

As long as Loren doesn't help himself to it for another "house renovation", you mean.

How CGL leadership allocates it's budget isn't something I'm able to guess at   ;  )  But yeah, basically. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-09-20/2019:50>
I enjoy 5e a lot it’s clean and simple. Have ever checked out any of the live plays. Dimension 20 has some really funny ones. I’d recommend giving 4e another chance. Maybe try running it? 4e had the issue where bad choices was too easy. But no edition is ever had as complete a character at 1st as 4th.
I disagree, Pathfinder 2nd edition is way better that either of them.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-09-20/2039:02>
On the DnD4e side of things, i will only say this:

Any time you release a product that opens the door to a competitor, and that competitor goes on to out sell your product, there is a serious issue...

Without DnD4e  Pathfinder would never exist. The fact that Pathfinder went on to out sell DnD4e..... yikes.....
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-09-20/2310:04>
I enjoy 5e a lot it’s clean and simple. Have ever checked out any of the live plays. Dimension 20 has some really funny ones. I’d recommend giving 4e another chance. Maybe try running it? 4e had the issue where bad choices was too easy. But no edition is ever had as complete a character at 1st as 4th.
I disagree, Pathfinder 2nd edition is way better that either of them.

Which is pretty ironic b/c PF2 is 4th with better fluff.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-10-20/0300:45>
On the DnD4e side of things, i will only sae this:

Any time you release a product thst opens the door to a competator, and that competator goes on to out sell your product, there is a serious issue...

Without DnD4e  Pathfinder would never exist. The fact that Pathfinder went on to out sell DnD4e..... yikes.....
I liked 4e, though it had weaknesses. But I stopped buying it when they had made balance mistakes and their response wasn't 'hey, use these tweaks to all monsters from MM1, and change these feats like this', no, instead they brought out D&D 4.25, aka 'Essentials'. And suddenly you had 2 versions of the same edition, and you had to check every book with which of the two it was compatible! But I did like 4e a lot, it made charbuilding relatively easy for me. I even had a 'future-vision' campaign where 3x I gave my players L10 versions of their characters for half a session, and that was quite doable for me to manage.

Pathfinder my main memory is 'okay so I have 10 likely combinations of my buffs written down for what they give me as attack and damage bonuses with 2-handed vs 1-handed strike' as combat cleric. When people claim Shadowrun is crunchy, I recall that table and laugh.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-10-20/0552:49>
Pathfinder my main memory is 'okay so I have 10 likely combinations of my buffs written down for what they give me as attack and damage bonuses with 2-handed vs 1-handed strike' as combat cleric. When people claim Shadowrun is crunchy, I recall that table and laugh.

It's a different kind of crunch. Shadowrun is full of miscellaneous, situational crunch. Pathfinder is full of spell buff crunch. I personally enjoy both, but it's a simple matter of personal preference. Liking one but not the other or finding one easy to work with but not the other is fairly common in my gaming experience.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-10-20/1312:50>
I enjoy 5e a lot it’s clean and simple. Have ever checked out any of the live plays. Dimension 20 has some really funny ones. I’d recommend giving 4e another chance. Maybe try running it? 4e had the issue where bad choices was too easy. But no edition is ever had as complete a character at 1st as 4th.
I disagree, Pathfinder 2nd edition is way better that either of them.

Which is pretty ironic b/c PF2 is 4th with better fluff.

Actually, it's more than just better fluff. There's a number of mechanics that have exponentially increased the usability of 4E.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-10-20/1724:50>
I enjoy 5e a lot it’s clean and simple. Have ever checked out any of the live plays. Dimension 20 has some really funny ones. I’d recommend giving 4e another chance. Maybe try running it? 4e had the issue where bad choices was too easy. But no edition is ever had as complete a character at 1st as 4th.
I disagree, Pathfinder 2nd edition is way better that either of them.

Which is pretty ironic b/c PF2 is 4th with better fluff.

Actually, it's more than just better fluff. There's a number of mechanics that have exponentially increased the usability of 4E.

LOL aaaah Good?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Bishop75 on <06-11-20/0029:41>
I've been a fan of SR since at least 2nd ed and have owned dozens of source books over the years. Ignoring the whole AR/DR mechanic (which I actually think is OK, could be better, but OK), I'd have to say I'm overall pretty disappointed with 6th ed. I started playing a couple months ago with a group of also very experienced SR players, and here's my comments.

- Too many rules are incomplete or missing. Had a PC try to cast a spell at a vehicle, pretty basic, but there is no rule at all in the book, that I could find. That's just one example, there are many, many more.

- Anybody who says the vehicle rules are fine, tell me what happens when you apply the brakes on your car in SR6? If you follow RAW, you decelerate at the accel rate. So it takes a Ford Americar travelling a highway speed something like 36 seconds to come to a stop. Ya.. OK... that works great.

- Cutting Black source book was interesting... but where are the rules on bug spirits? Pretty much an entire source book dedicated to insect spirits and we get 1 or 2 pages that only describe a true form spirit, and it's doesn't even make sense (i.e. no materialization power). Started with my PC's before the events in Detroit and wanted to use bug spirits... had to go back to my 4th ed Magic book and make up my own rules for 6ed.

- Firing Squad: Why all the spoilers for Cutting Black events in the book? It's annoying. I wanted to give it my PCs to look at the equipment, but had to create a redacted version without all the spoilers. Why? The book would have been fine without the spoilers?

I'm going to agree with the crowd above... if you are not a SR expert (I've been on hiatus for about 10 years) and you're not willing to invest a huge amount of time in creating you own house rules to fill in the blanks, the game is just not playable (sorry dev team, it actually pains me to say that). If it weren't for my long standing love for the SR world and the fact that I have time on my hands right now (thanks COVID), I'd have given up and tried something else. Or maybe we'd have gone back to 4th ed.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-11-20/0229:40>
What kind of spell was it, and why was there a problem casting it at a vehicle? An indirect physical combat spell? Was the vehicle uncontrolled, or was the driver actively evading the attack?

If you decelerate safely, you only get to a stop slowly, yes. If you smash the brakes hard, it's obviously not safe, so the GM can call for a Handling test, at a threshold modifier of their choosing. So if it's a simple brake, they can just modify the threshold to 1 if they want. If it's a tricky one, they could make the test harder to pass. If you fail it, you face a crash test.

Full Bug Spirit stats always are in the Magic Book, but I can imagine it's frustrating a book using them only offers partial stats.

Firing Squad takes place over 1 year after Cutting Black starts, so it's not that strange that by then the Shadowcast talks about it. Lore in Crunch books is important to me, because otherwise all you have is a boring catalog. It's the lore tidbits that make Shadowrun more interesting than D&D for me.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Bishop75 on <06-11-20/1037:35>
What kind of spell was it, and why was there a problem casting it at a vehicle? An indirect physical combat spell? Was the vehicle uncontrolled, or was the driver actively evading the attack?

If you decelerate safely, you only get to a stop slowly, yes. If you smash the brakes hard, it's obviously not safe, so the GM can call for a Handling test, at a threshold modifier of their choosing. So if it's a simple brake, they can just modify the threshold to 1 if they want. If it's a tricky one, they could make the test harder to pass. If you fail it, you face a crash test.

Full Bug Spirit stats always are in the Magic Book, but I can imagine it's frustrating a book using them only offers partial stats.

Firing Squad takes place over 1 year after Cutting Black starts, so it's not that strange that by then the Shadowcast talks about it. Lore in Crunch books is important to me, because otherwise all you have is a boring catalog. It's the lore tidbits that make Shadowrun more interesting than D&D for me.

I don't want to be insulting, but your answer to all 3 of my points was "The GM needs to make up a rule or find something on the internet" Which was exactly my point. I'm ok with that, I'm an experienced SR GM. But the 16 year kid who just bought a copy of SR6, and might have a chance to become the next me (a 25 year customer), is just going to put his book down, suck up his lost 25 bucks and move on. Having bought a game rule book, one should not have to search the internet and find a forum to figure out how it's meant to be used.

The problem here, again, no offence intended (I'm Canadian, I'm genetically incapable of trying to cause offence) is the the quality of the SR6 product is not up the expectation of the consumers. It's a simple as that. Don't be offended. We all make mistakes. The concept was great and there are many parts of SR6 that are to be commended. But this is ShadowRun's Windows 8 (I want my start button back) or VW diesel emission scandal. It's all over the forums. Catalyst can a) bury their head in the sand or b) be proactive and many save some customers.

IF they want to be proactive, there are a number of steps they can take.

1) Admit your sins. Admit the system as released is flawed and tell people what you're going to do about it. A lot of Catalyst's customer buy direct... poll them. Find if/how they are using the game.

2) Stop selling the 6ed core book now, immediately. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's about communicating to customers that you've heard them and you care.

3) Move the development budget from new product to fixing what exists. Delay new product launches.

4) Communicate a plan to your customers. Set expectations about what you intend to do. (i.e. no wholesale changes to the system or elimination of the AR/DR/Edge mechanic.)

5) Leverage the passionate people on this board and others. Many here are already actively trying to point out issues. No one seems to be listening. Setting up virtual, volunteer, working  groups to tackles different parts of the system. It might fail horribly, but you might get something out of it. At least people will feel heard.

6) Produce a core rules supplement. Taking the time and effort to re-write the core rule book (v. 6.1, or windows 8.1) can wait. A rules, explanations and clarifications supplement should be the goal. This has to be much more expansive than the the errata.

Get this all done within the next 60 days and Catalyst stands a good chance of saving SR. If not, I'm afraid the system will die on the vine. All us old geezers will eventually walk away and the new kids won't take our place.

There... normally a marketing consultant would charge a small fortune for that bit of advice. Where do I send my invoice. :-)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-11-20/1204:10>
Actually, answer #1 was asking you about the situation, since otherwise there's no way for me to know whether the situation actually can be found in the rules. #2 draws its conclusions directly from RAW. So I disagree with your conclusion that I'm just telling you to make things up.

As for your suggestions:

#1: What about the people who essentially say 'get rid of all the new mechanics, because they rub me the wrong way'?
#2: So, tell stores to stop selling the book? How is that something Shadowrun could ever recover from?
#3: So you're saying 'no book is allowed to come out until you are done bringing out errata'? Why? The errata process doesn't distract from the book production process.
#4: Well, those I'd consider obvious, but more public clarity would always be nice.
#5: So you believe the current Errata and FAQ volunteer teams do not suffice and need to be disbanded?
#6: Is there a compelling reason why this has to be a complete book rewrite, with significant editing and printing costs and significant printing delay, rather than the ongoing under-wraps FAQ project? And wouldn't you in that case need to set up a massive system to allow converting/replacing the current physical rulebooks, which adds even more burden?

I understand you have frustrations and good intent, but honestly I think that if CGL were to follow your suggestion, it would be the 100% guaranteed end of Shadowrun instead, and I really don't understand why you're completely ignoring the Errata and FAQ volunteers.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <06-11-20/1207:37>

IF they want to be proactive, there are a number of steps they can take.

1) Admit your sins. Admit the system as released is flawed and tell people what you're going to do about it. A lot of Catalyst's customer buy direct... poll them. Find if/how they are using the game.

2) Stop selling the 6ed core book now, immediately. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's about communicating to customers that you've heard them and you care.

3) Move the development budget from new product to fixing what exists. Delay new product launches.

4) Communicate a plan to your customers. Set expectations about what you intend to do. (i.e. no wholesale changes to the system or elimination of the AR/DR/Edge mechanic.)

5) Leverage the passionate people on this board and others. Many here are already actively trying to point out issues. No one seems to be listening. Setting up virtual, volunteer, working  groups to tackles different parts of the system. It might fail horribly, but you might get something out of it. At least people will feel heard.

6) Produce a core rules supplement. Taking the time and effort to re-write the core rule book (v. 6.1, or windows 8.1) can wait. A rules, explanations and clarifications supplement should be the goal. This has to be much more expansive than the the errata.

Get this all done within the next 60 days and Catalyst stands a good chance of saving SR. If not, I'm afraid the system will die on the vine. All us old geezers will eventually walk away and the new kids won't take our place.

This is one of the most hilarious jokes I have ever heard, well done my man, well done.
Clearly you don't know Catalyst the company ;-)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-11-20/1211:27>
Speaking of the errata team: Despite one of their members repeatedly breaking NDA and deliberately posting information about the contents of SR6 CRB when it wasn't released yet, the errata team is still going strong. I know they submit far more than makes it through, and it would be real nice if JM Hardy could let us know how much of the submitted content falls under 'nope' vs 'considering' vs 'should rewrite this a bit'. We should definitely give an applause for their hard work, even if I personally disagree with some of the suggestions. :P
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-11-20/1240:30>
The errata team does a great job, but are also hamstringed by Hardy and/or the other powers that be.

I find Bishop75's observations are quite sound overall, but most of Mikey's counterpoints are also fair. The chance to truly make this edition great was during inception and development, and thus has come and gone. For those of us that actively dislike it, I think the best that can be managed at this point by the actions Catalyst is willing to take will be to make the system palatable for us. If that were done though (unlikely), I do wonder it would do for those who happen to like the new system.

Granted I personally know significantly more people who dislike it (more than 15 to 1), but I am in no position to know or claim what the overall demographic of those stats are.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-11-20/1304:25>

IF they want to be proactive, there are a number of steps they can take.

1) Admit your sins. Admit the system as released is flawed and tell people what you're going to do about it. A lot of Catalyst's customer buy direct... poll them. Find if/how they are using the game.
The system is flawed. 1st edition all the way to 6th edition had flaws, some worse than others. As for polling and communicating with the customers, they have no reason too since every time they have tried, they've been shouted down by people such as yourself that "know better" than they do.
2) Stop selling the 6ed core book now, immediately. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's about communicating to customers that you've heard them and you care.
And, Shadowrun is no longer published except by Pegasus Press. Hope you know a good translator for all future gaming materials.
3) Move the development budget from new product to fixing what exists. Delay new product launches.
Budget. Now that's funny. How much do you think they have to spend? The average freelancer makes pennies per word because that's what the publisher has a budget for. And, if they delay product launches until the "fans" are happy, you'll never see a new book again. Except from Pegasus Press (got that translator yet?)
4) Communicate a plan to your customers. Set expectations about what you intend to do. (i.e. no wholesale changes to the system or elimination of the AR/DR/Edge mechanic.)
Why should they? As I said before, every time they have spoken about stuff, "fans" give them nothing but grief and tell them what a terrible job they are doing.
5) Leverage the passionate people on this board and others. Many here are already actively trying to point out issues. No one seems to be listening. Setting up virtual, volunteer, working  groups to tackles different parts of the system. It might fail horribly, but you might get something out of it. At least people will feel heard.
You do know that the passionate people on the board are already being used, right? The entire errata team on the boards is volunteers. I'm a volunteer. The only people I don't see volunteering are (mostly) the ones doing all the complaining. Are you passionate? Do you want to volunteer for the Errata team and spend hours of your free time going through the books, making notes and submitting them up the chain? Just contact Jayde Moon.
6) Produce a core rules supplement. Taking the time and effort to re-write the core rule book (v. 6.1, or windows 8.1) can wait. A rules, explanations and clarifications supplement should be the goal. This has to be much more expansive than the the errata.
So, they should stop work on all new development and delay all product launches except for a book that you want and the "fans" are going to expect to get for free? Yep, sound business advice.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-11-20/1357:30>
Despite one of their members repeatedly breaking NDA and deliberately posting information about the contents of SR6 CRB when it wasn't released yet
Not to get in the way of your narrative with facts, but if anyone is reading this and wondering what this is about: a member of the errata team made a post on reddit that quoted something that had been said on a 6e pre-release live-play podcast. They didn't embellish it with any information other than what was in the podcast. They merely repeated something that anyone who listened to the podcast heard.

Technically a breach of the NDA? Apparently. The actions of a bad guy? I don't think so, no. I think you have to be pretty small-minded and petty to think this was a big deal.

Also this happened once, not repeatedly.

Oh, and the nothing happened to the podcaster who let the NDA'd information into the public domain in the first place. Which is, y'know, completely appropriate, as the whole entire point of a preview live-play is to give a taste of the system to people, which the podcaster was doing.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-11-20/1359:51>
Budget. Now that's funny. How much do you think they have to spend?
Catalyst is not poor: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/450703636/battletech-clan-invasion

Sure, that's for a different product line to Shadowrun. Now I'm not suggesting they take money from one pool and spend it on a different pool. Why, that'd be unethical, and anyone who did that would surely be fired immediately.

But nevertheless, Catalyst is not poor.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <06-11-20/1405:13>
Budget. Now that's funny. How much do you think they have to spend?
Catalyst is not poor: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/450703636/battletech-clan-invasion

Sure, that's for a different product line to Shadowrun. Now I'm not suggesting they take money from one pool and spend it on a different pool. Why, that'd be unethical, and anyone who did that would surely be fired immediately.

But nevertheless, Catalyst is not poor.

Bettletech remained popular because they mostly kept it what it was and actually put talent towards it. Shadowrun always was their throwaway title and it shows.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-11-20/1410:21>
FastJack, some of those replies were unnecessarily hostile, don't you think? Bishop has a massive eight posts, so it's not exactly like he has beaten this horse into the ground like the rest of us.

Technically a breach of the NDA? Apparently. The actions of a bad guy? I don't think so, no. I think you have to be pretty small-minded and petty to think this was a big deal.

Sure, that's for a different product line to Shadowrun. Now I'm not suggesting they take money from one pool and spend it on a different pool. Why, that'd be unethical, and anyone who did that would surely be fired immediately.

Penllawen, you might be my hero. <3
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-11-20/1443:27>
Despite one of their members repeatedly breaking NDA and deliberately posting information about the contents of SR6 CRB when it wasn't released yet
Not to get in the way of your narrative with facts, but if anyone is reading this and wondering what this is about: a member of the errata team made a post on reddit that quoted something that had been said on a 6e pre-release live-play podcast. They didn't embellish it with any information other than what was in the podcast. They merely repeated something that anyone who listened to the podcast heard.

Technically a breach of the NDA? Apparently. The actions of a bad guy? I don't think so, no. I think you have to be pretty small-minded and petty to think this was a big deal.

Also this happened once, not repeatedly.

Oh, and the nothing happened to the podcaster who let the NDA'd information into the public domain in the first place. Which is, y'know, completely appropriate, as the whole entire point of a preview live-play is to give a taste of the system to people, which the podcaster was doing.


As someone who is/was on the otherwise of the curtain during the eluded to incident I will say the truth lies somewhere in the middle of these two descriptions ad often the case in such reports.

Unfortunately due to ethical, legal, and professional responsibilities I cannot go into further detail.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-11-20/1502:54>
Despite one of their members repeatedly breaking NDA and deliberately posting information about the contents of SR6 CRB when it wasn't released yet
Not to get in the way of your narrative with facts, but if anyone is reading this and wondering what this is about: a member of the errata team made a post on reddit that quoted something that had been said on a 6e pre-release live-play podcast.
Seems you're talking about something entirely different. The incidents I'm refering to are two separate cases, weeks apart, on this forum. Not reddit-posts. Neither was podcast-related.

Edit: And no, not going into further details. All I wanted to note is that CGL still puts trust in the errata team, despite some very unfortunate events, and that part of their work already got released. But it would be nice if there was more clarity on if some things get denied or simply aren't processed yet.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <06-11-20/1525:43>
As this NDA stuff is about me, I want to be clear that I take issue with Herr Chandra's characterization of the post/s.

I would place far more stock in what Banshee says, although tbh I'm not clear on what he means by "the truth lies between".

Regardless, suffice to say although I was a founding member of the errata team and worked hard to both get it going in the first place and to keep it going when it stalled / lost leadership/ lacked Catalyst attention multiple times I lost patience with the company as it racked up continued publishing fails and terrible treatment of it's customers. 6e was the final joke they perpetrated on their fanbase in my estimation.

I have no issue being removed from the errata team, 6e isn't for me and so no point in continuing on.

I do think that Jayde Moon (the current errata team leader) and many of it's contributors (Stainless chief amongst them) are quality people doing their best under a limited purview.

It's just that imho 6e is so bad it's not going to get fixed without a wholesale rewrite.

YMMV.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-11-20/1619:41>
Look, I don't have 6e (STILL!!), and I probably won't for a long yet. (real world crap).
Add to that the fact that my campaign and the one I play in are currently in mid swing in 5e, and I don't have a reason to update.

And, Just like when 5e came out, there will be a bitching, and complaining (remember those days oldtimers?)...

And, those of you who rode their Dinosaurs to their stone piles that was the internet back then will remember the 4e bitch fest that went on...


BUT, lets gets somethings straight...

CATALYST is a small company. Do the google-fu (its really not that hard. I'll start you off.... Catalyst is owned by InMediaRes. LLC...)
You are talking about maybe a half dozen full time employees. And maybe a dozen more freelancers and sub-contractors....

Fucking hell, there are RESTAURANTS that have bigger staff and budgets!

In the business world, a million dollars (which they don't even get to keep all of.. Kickstarter gets a cut remember, Uncle Sam wants his...) is nothing. Hell, the company i work for (which is small potatoes in the industrial construction business) just wrote off $375 MILLION in contracts this quarter alone thanks to Covid-19..

Add to the fact that Catalyst is basically just a franchisee, and don't actually own any of the Intellectual Property rights... Just how much positive cash flow do you think they have?



Is their flaws in Shadowrun?
Yes. Always will be too. Some of them will be creator driven, some will be caused by mistaken intent, and others because no one thought of it at the time. (which happens more then people realize, especially when you are trying to give as much agency as an RPG does... )

The question becomes, "Can they be fixed, and can you live with them if they are not".  Now, the errata team does their best (not that I agree with their solutions all the time.. ); And as to the second part, only you can decide that.

And, Do you even KNOW how Catalyst got the rights? Fanpro, A company that had been around for years got the rights to all of FASA's products in 2001 until 2007 when the collapse of Fast Forward Entertainment (their warehousing and fulfillment contractor) basically crippled them (Fanpro closed in 2012).
The ONLY bidders on the 2007 contract was InMediaRes. (kinda puts a nail in that 'lots of companies are interested' theory huh?)

Now, If you want someone to blame... Blame Disney. (use your Google-fu, Connect the dots.. See why I say that... Post here, I'll tell you if you are close)


***
Everyone is an Computer Chair CEO when comes to something they like, and think they know the answers...(Except me. I'm always right 8)  ::)), But well... yea...

Communication in this day in age is a companies' worst idea.  They are damned if they do, they are damned if they don't.... (just open your browser to any crap "journalist" site...)

Shadowrun has changed a lot over the years. The original people who made it have died, or moved on to other things: Gone are days of Tom Dowd or Nigel Findley writing entire books for the systems they created. It was passionate fans who picked up the pieces and have been trying to move the franchise forward and keep it alive. Have they done a good job?

You're here and Bitching, so that is something...
 

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-11-20/1630:23>
Budget. Now that's funny. How much do you think they have to spend?
Catalyst is not poor: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/450703636/battletech-clan-invasion

Sure, that's for a different product line to Shadowrun. Now I'm not suggesting they take money from one pool and spend it on a different pool. Why, that'd be unethical, and anyone who did that would surely be fired immediately.

But nevertheless, Catalyst is not poor.

I will bet all my internet bucks that Topps considers Battletech and Shadowrun the exact same thing.  And at the end of the day the licencing fee that CGL pays to Topps comes from the same checking account.  Some months Battletech kicks in more, some months Shadowrun might.

Financially I'm betting the two systems are basically conjoined twins.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-11-20/1650:28>
I remember a few years ago over on the BattleTech forums there was doom and gloom about how Shadowrun was CGL's only concern and BattleTech was the stepchild.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-11-20/1723:06>
I remember a few years ago over on the BattleTech forums there was doom and gloom about how Shadowrun was CGL's only concern and BattleTech was the stepchild.
This forum needs a rofl-emoji.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-11-20/1748:57>
Seriously I think Topps has Shadowrun/Battletech in a folder labeled "That other crap that wasn't Mage Knight that we bought from Whiz Kids". 

Fans, "Hey Topps, did you realize that Shadowrun and Battletech are 2 of the top 5 recognized names in the Table Top RPG world?  Right behind Dungeons and Dragon and Warhammer."

Topps Executive, "Warhammer?  What's that?  And Dungeons and Dragons, I totally saw that on Big Bang Theory, we own that?  Did we get paid for that spot?"

Fans *Double Facepalm*
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-11-20/1849:22>
Seriously I think Topps has Shadowrun/Battletech in a folder labeled "That other crap that wasn't Mage Knight that we bought from Whiz Kids". 

Fans, "Hey Topps, did you realize that Shadowrun and Battletech are 2 of the top 5 recognized names in the Table Top RPG world?  Right behind Dungeons and Dragon and Warhammer."

Topps Executive, "Warhammer?  What's that?  And Dungeons and Dragons, I totally saw that on Big Bang Theory, we own that?  Did we get paid for that spot?"

Fans *Double Facepalm*

LOL ... so much this. I've been on those calls
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-11-20/2224:28>
FastJack, some of those replies were unnecessarily hostile, don't you think? Bishop has a massive eight posts, so it's not exactly like he has beaten this horse into the ground like the rest of us.
Maybe a little harsh, and I'm sorry about that. But the horse has been beaten and I'm not in the best place right now with all the crap in the wide world and my world.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-11-20/2228:41>
Seriously I think Topps has Shadowrun/Battletech in a folder labeled "That other crap that wasn't Mage Knight that we bought from Whiz Kids". 

Fans, "Hey Topps, did you realize that Shadowrun and Battletech are 2 of the top 5 recognized names in the Table Top RPG world?  Right behind Dungeons and Dragon and Warhammer."

Topps Executive, "Warhammer?  What's that?  And Dungeons and Dragons, I totally saw that on Big Bang Theory, we own that?  Did we get paid for that spot?"

Fans *Double Facepalm*

LOL ... so much this. I've been on those calls

I have had exactly one meaningful string of interactions with the "Investment class".  My impression was that it was Failsons and their fratboy buddies and a bunch of overworked middle managers trying to keep them from killing the goose that lays the golden eggs while stroking their egos.

Could be that the folks I had to work with were not the typical example.  Could be that I got the wrong impression.  But that's pretty much what I figure Topps largely is at this point.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-11-20/2300:46>
Its not even Topps that pulls the strings....

"They" are the middle managers in this mess..
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: CanRay on <06-11-20/2317:23>
Seriously I think Topps has Shadowrun/Battletech in a folder labeled "That other crap that wasn't Mage Knight that we bought from Whiz Kids". 

Fans, "Hey Topps, did you realize that Shadowrun and Battletech are 2 of the top 5 recognized names in the Table Top RPG world?  Right behind Dungeons and Dragon and Warhammer."

Topps Executive, "Warhammer?  What's that?  And Dungeons and Dragons, I totally saw that on Big Bang Theory, we own that?  Did we get paid for that spot?"

Fans *Double Facepalm*
LOL ... so much this. I've been on those calls
I used to be in that department.

Call Centre Boss:  "And here is where we have our Wireless Internet Tech Support agents.  Combination Modem/Routers allow for a family to connect up to five computers at once, and these agents can troubleshoot all kinds of issues dealing with just such things."

Cable Company VP Of Everything Starting With "Q":  "...  ...  We have that service?"

Me:  *Headdesk*
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-12-20/0645:26>
Maybe a little harsh, and I'm sorry about that. But the horse has been beaten and I'm not in the best place right now with all the crap in the wide world and my world.

I hear you dude. If you feel like venting feel free to fire a PM.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Bishop75 on <06-12-20/1730:19>
Maybe a little harsh, and I'm sorry about that. But the horse has been beaten and I'm not in the best place right now with all the crap in the wide world and my world.

I hear you dude. If you feel like venting feel free to fire a PM.

I actually didn't find it too harsh.  My intent was not to trash the dev team and I thought I made that clear, although maybe it came out that way. Actually anybody that takes on the task of trying to work on this game has my greatest respect. SR must be the most complex RPG and to try to simplify it is a monumental task. I'm disappointed that default reaction on this board is to be totally defensive of anything that is negative, even if it's framed in a constructive way.

And again... just a thought on customer acquisition & retention... if somebody joins your board and attempts to bring constructive thoughts about how to move something forward, maybe try welcoming that person rather than trying to tear down their ideas.   
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-12-20/1822:57>
There's some unhealed wounds that have been opened since 6e's launch.

You're right in that new people shouldn't have to deal with the fallout of the forum Edition Wars.

Hope you have better experiences going forward!
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Bishop75 on <06-12-20/2006:57>
There's some unhealed wounds that have been opened since 6e's launch.

You're right in that new people shouldn't have to deal with the fallout of the forum Edition Wars.

Hope you have better experiences going forward!

Thanks.. I got that. I can imagine not really enjoying all your hard work getting shat on day after day. Maybe I should write a post of all the positive things I have to say, and only the positive. I'll start with one. SR6 is fun. By slimming the rules down, the game moves faster and it's fun to play. I think it's even workable with a large gaming group. 4thed, the last edition I played, was a bear, and if you had more than 4 or 5 people playing... very difficult to keep things moving.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-12-20/2032:58>
Eh. I go away from  the thread for a couple days and you guys get all cranky. Goodness.

So there you have it. The state of 6e!

It's a mess.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-12-20/2211:42>
Maybe a little harsh, and I'm sorry about that. But the horse has been beaten and I'm not in the best place right now with all the crap in the wide world and my world.

I hear you dude. If you feel like venting feel free to fire a PM.

I actually didn't find it too harsh.  My intent was not to trash the dev team and I thought I made that clear, although maybe it came out that way. Actually anybody that takes on the task of trying to work on this game has my greatest respect. SR must be the most complex RPG and to try to simplify it is a monumental task. I'm disappointed that default reaction on this board is to be totally defensive of anything that is negative, even if it's framed in a constructive way.

And again... just a thought on customer acquisition & retention... if somebody joins your board and attempts to bring constructive thoughts about how to move something forward, maybe try welcoming that person rather than trying to tear down their ideas.   
I do apologize for my behavior. I try to be welcoming, especially to new players. Having said that, "Welcome! Enjoy your stay, ask questions and try to avoid the drop-bears hiding over in the Secret History threads."
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <06-13-20/0554:26>
There is one legitimate criticism I've seen made of the 6e Matrix that I don't have a complete answer for: now that you can only hack PANs/Hosts and not devices, I think most people's reading of RAW means every minor hack of an exterior camera is now a full-on host dive unless the GM invents some handwaving reasons why this particularly security decker was a total incompetent who didn't want to make their network hacker proof.
Connect to the camera with a direct connection.

From there either spoof a command to the camera (turn 13 degrees to create a blind spot we so we can sneak pass it without passing its line of sight) without any access what so ever

...or hack the camera (which give you access on the host network, similar to how it did in previous edition).

Now that you have access on the camera and the host network (and, new in this edition, on all other cameras and maglocks and drones and elevators etc being part of the same network) you no longer need the direct connection. Use the access you already have and edit out your team and yourself from the live feed as you walk pass the camera.

...and since you now already have access on the whole network you just edit out you and your team as you walk pass the camera in the next corridor, without first spending time gaining access on it.

...same with the maglock at the end of the corridor that is also part of the same network. Just control the maglock to open, without spending time to first gain access on it.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Annoch on <06-13-20/2322:44>

Connect to the camera with a direct connection.

From there either spoof a command to the camera (turn 13 degrees to create a blind spot we so we can sneak pass it without passing its line of sight) without any access what so ever

...or hack the camera (which give you access on the host network, similar to how it did in previous edition).

Now that you have access on the camera and the host network (and, new in this edition, on all other cameras and maglocks and drones and elevators etc being part of the same network) you no longer need the direct connection. Use the access you already have and edit out your team and yourself from the live feed as you walk pass the camera.

...and since you now already have access on the whole network you just edit out you and your team as you walk pass the camera in the next corridor, without first spending time gaining access on it.

...same with the maglock at the end of the corridor that is also part of the same network. Just control the maglock to open, without spending time to first gain access on it.

This is good stuff, but it should be in the CRB.  Imagine being completely new to SR or returning after a long lapse.  The combat and magic portions should be pretty easy to understand generally; shooting guns and hitting people is pretty common and most people who would want to play an RPG have exposure to magic and summoning.  You don't need to explain how these work in the world the way you do with Matrix stuff.  The matrix is completely different from what people do in their lives, from media depictions (my apologies to the Lawnmower Man, Hackers, and Johnny Mnemonic), and other role playing systems. 

The book NEEDED comprehensive examples to show people how the Matrix interacts with the physical world and vice versa.  Can you even imagine being a new player and reading the Matrix section for the first time in 6E?  Anyone in that position who wasn't willing to just make most of the missing pieces up through house rules or go searching for some info on forums and other third parties would just put that book back on the shelf and play something else.

To make things worse, I have noted veterans bringing forward things from the 5E rules which don't seem to have made it into the 6E rulebook.

For example you say to connect to the camera with a direct connection....is that a rule in 6E?  If it is it is such a minute mention that I have never really noticed it.  And there are so many other things that are just left so unclear because the authors refuse to add anything but the bare minimum to the section of the book that is, by far and away, most likely to be confusing and be misunderstood.

As I have said many times before, I am super happy for those people who 'get it' either because you are a long time veteran or have a galaxy mind.  I am jealous.  For me, and a lot of others (see rest of the internet) the rules just aren't there and what is there is just not clear.  As I have said in prior posts, if this edition was meant for only the most hardcore and long term fans to enjoy then I can show myself out.  If it was meant to bring in new and lapsed people it is a failure.  What I wouldn't give for 10-20 extra pages in the book of examples which illustrate new and novel rules...but they just aren't there.

What we really need is either an official FAQ which answers a lot of these issues and provides some developer intention or maybe a matrix source book which provides this info (not a great option, but I would still probably buy it).

Not angry, just frustrated.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <06-14-20/0349:40>
For example you say to connect to the camera with a direct connection....is that a rule in 6E?
There seem to be two benefits of using a direct connection in this edition:

1. It let you gain access (Brute Force or Probe + Backdoor Entry) to a 'nested host' without first hacking the 'outer onion layers' of the host network

2. It let you take actions that are allowed to be used with just Outsider access (such as Spoof Command) against devices that are 'inside' a host (or a 'nested host') without first gaining User or Admin access on the host.


As for the rule in SR6;

Quote from: SR6 p.185 Host Security and Architecture
Because you must hack each host in succession from the outside, having inside access to a site with a direct connection to the deepest host (if one exists) is valuable—especially when your Overwatch Score increases are based on all the hosts in which you maintain access at any given time, not just the one you’re currently using.



What we really need is either an official FAQ which answers a lot of these issues and provides some developer intention or maybe a matrix source book which provides this info (not a great option, but I would still probably buy it).
I think we are about to get both.

Meanwhile if you have any matrix related questions, don't hesitate to ask. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-14-20/0658:16>
There is one legitimate criticism I've seen made of the 6e Matrix that I don't have a complete answer for: now that you can only hack PANs/Hosts and not devices, I think most people's reading of RAW means every minor hack of an exterior camera is now a full-on host dive unless the GM invents some handwaving reasons why this particularly security decker was a total incompetent who didn't want to make their network hacker proof.
Connect to the camera with a direct connection.
If you can get physically close enough to the camera to plug something into it, and the camera can’t see you doing that, then it’s not a very well set up camera. Imagine a typical security camera today: a wide-angle lens mounted 12-15 feet up a wall. How do you get up within arm’s reach of that without first being seen?

Also: you don’t have one camera; you have multiple cameras with overlapping fields of view. So camera 2 is recording you as you climb a ladder to hack camera 1.

Also: why would an externally mounted camera have an accessible port anyway? Why wouldn’t the corp have gunked it up with glue or just never fitted it in the first place? I prefer game mechanics that don’t rely on NPCs being weird idiots.

Same thing with putting externally mounted cameras inside hosts. If the building has a security host - and most interesting buildings will - why wouldn’t the outside cameras be inside the host? Thus meaning they become immune to all Matrix attacks unless the decker hacks the whole Host first. I haven’t seen any explanation for this, other than GM handwavium.

Quote
...or hack the camera (which give you access on the host network, similar to how it did in previous edition).
Where are the rules that say that hacking a device that is inside a PAN/WAN that you have direct connection to is easier than hacking the device without the direction connection? I can’t see anything in the 6e CRB.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <06-14-20/1040:48>
Rules are more similar to 5th edition than you seem to realize...



In 5th edition you needed 1, 2 or 3 marks to edit out your crew in real time as they move pass the camera. To gain access you hack the camera (by using Brute Force or Hack on the Fly). Since the camera is slaved to the host it will oppose the test using host firewall. Once you placed your mark on the camera you also gain a mark on the Host. Now you use the Edit File action to edit out your crew.

When you came to the next camera you had to mark that camera as well. Once done you used the Edit file action to edit out your crew.

And when you reached the maglock at the end of the corridor you had to mark the maglock and then used the Control Device action to open it.



In 6th edition you need User or Admin access to edit out your crew in real time as they move pass the camera. To gain access you hack the camera (Brute Force or Probe+Backdoor Entry). Since the camera is part of a network it will oppose the test using firewall of the network. Once you gained User or Admin access you also gain User or Admin access on the network and and all other devices and files that are also part of the same network. Now you use the Edit File action to edit out your crew.

When you come to the next camera you already have access on the network it is connected to so you just edit out your crew directly without first hacking it.

And when you reach the maglock at the end of the corridor you still already have access so you just take the Control Device action to open it.


So... similar mechanics, just that access now go both upstream and downstream which make access network based (while marks in 5th edition only went upstream which made marks icon based).





Direct connections work a bit different though.


In previous edition direct connection let you ignore firewall. And you were also considered directly connected if you were inside the host a device was slaved to. This meant you could for example establish a direct connection to an exposed device, such as a maglock. Hack that to gain access on both the maglock and the host, but without fighting host ratings. Then enter the host to gain a direct connection to the camera. Then you hacked the camera from within the host. Then you take the edit file action


In this edition direct connection let you ignore nestled hosts. This meant you could for example establish a direct connection to an exposed device, such as a maglock. Hack that to gain access on both the maglock and the host (but in this edition you also gain access on all other devices that are also part of the host). Then enter the nestled host (without doing a deep dive through all the outer layers of the onion) to gain a direct connection to the camera. Since you already have access there is no need to hack the camera so you just take the Edit File action directly.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-14-20/1046:36>
Quote

If you can get physically close enough to the camera to plug something into it, and the camera can’t see you doing that, then it’s not a very well set up camera. Imagine a typical security camera today: a wide-angle lens mounted 12-15 feet up a wall. How do you get up within arm’s reach of that without first being seen?

Also: you don’t have one camera; you have multiple cameras with overlapping fields of view. So camera 2 is recording you as you climb a ladder to hack camera 1.

Also: why would an externally mounted camera have an accessible port anyway? Why wouldn’t the corp have gunked it up with glue or just never fitted it in the first place? I prefer game mechanics that don’t rely on NPCs being weird idiots.

Same thing with putting externally mounted cameras inside hosts. If the building has a security host - and most interesting buildings will - why wouldn’t the outside cameras be inside the host? Thus meaning they become immune to all Matrix attacks unless the decker hacks the whole Host first. I haven’t seen any explanation for this, other than GM handwavium.



This is a case where game design breaks common sense. And its been this way since 4e.

To give the Deckers and Technos something to do in combat, they went with a "wireless" matrix idea... even though everyone and their dead dog can see this leads to massive security holes and ZERO common sense.

Hell, 90% of ALL decking posts are "how do I make my character unhackable?".... which shows you everyone realizes this is a major flaw.

And speaking as somone who installs security equipment...

Yea... apparently security experts in SR are Meth soaked circus monkeys...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <06-14-20/1107:35>
If you can get physically close enough to the camera to plug something into it, and the camera can’t see you doing that, then it’s not a very well set up camera. Imagine a typical security camera today: a wide-angle lens mounted 12-15 feet up a wall. How do you get up within arm’s reach of that without first being seen?

Also: you don’t have one camera; you have multiple cameras with overlapping fields of view. So camera 2 is recording you as you climb a ladder to hack camera 1.
Either you find a device that is easier to physically access
- Which let you ignore firewall (5e)
- Which let you ignore nestled hosts (6e)

Or you hack them from a distance
- Not ignoring firewall (5e)
- Not ignoring outer layered hosts (6e)


why would an externally mounted camera have an accessible port anyway?
To configure the device / turn on wireless if wireless was disabled...?
This was not changed in 6th edition.


...Thus meaning they become immune to all Matrix attacks unless the decker hacks the whole Host first.
you make it sound as if hacking the 'whole host' is this big thing.... Take the brute force action (once) and you will have User access on the host, the camera and all other devices that are also part of the host.

This is resolved as one single test.



Where are the rules that say that hacking a device that is inside a PAN/WAN that you have direct connection to is easier than hacking the device without the direction connection? I can’t see anything in the 6e CRB.
There seem to be two benefits of using a direct connection in this edition:

1. It let you gain access (Brute Force or Probe + Backdoor Entry) to a 'nested host' without first hacking the 'outer onion layers' of the host network

2. It let you take actions that are allowed to be used with just Outsider access (such as Spoof Command) against devices that are 'inside' a host (or a 'nested host') without first gaining User or Admin access on the host.



This is a case where game design breaks common sense.
How so?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-14-20/1248:39>



This is a case where game design breaks common sense.
How so?

Do you want the long answer or the short answer?

Lets ignore all the SR stuff, and just talk real security systems.

You can buy a cheap home system for anywhere from $75 to $1500... On the cheap end, you have wireless cameras* with motion sensors.
On the top end, you have barometric sensors, window alarms, door bars, and sirens. (NONE of it wifi)

When you get into actual security systems that you would install to protect a corporate commercial facility, you are talking $100,000 to $1,000,000.

The difference comes in, in how it is all installed and ran.

A security of this type is powered by a separate feeder circuit from the main power system, and comes equipped with a measured battery backup system (usually 72 hours), meaning even if the entire town went dark, the system still runs.

All devices are installed and wired in EMT, and mounted in a 6 mils (2mm) security box (stainless steel). fasteners used are Torix Security fasteners... which is not a tool you can pick up at a hardware store. 

All the devices are direct wired back to a separate node based on device, location, and function. (this allows the parts of the system to be disabled while leaving the other systems online. You don't need motion sensors active during the workday when hundreds of people are going to be tripping them.) From there, the signal is then outputted to various in house devices (monitoring stations.) IF an outside feed is needed (remote observation), a separate out feed station will be installed. This Outfeed station will not have direct access back to node control (output only).

And this assumes you just want to keep the lookie-loos out. If you want to keep something in... Well, that's a step up.

Now everything goes into Rigid conduit, your device boxes are 16mills (6mm) of stainless steel, and you move to welded fasteners and/or individualized fasteners (so.. if you have 4 fastener ports, you'd use a Torix in 1, Robinson in 2, a Philliips in 3, and Hex in 4) requiring a separate tool for each fastener.

Electronically, the systems are same in node wiring, but you triple up on back-up systems and independent supplies (so instead of 72 hours battery supply, you size for 11 days).

That's the basics I can get away with telling without breaking an NDAs with the equipment providers...



The BIGGEST mistake Shadowrun makes with all its devices is that it forgets those devices need power, and since they need power, you might as well run the signal cable as well, as they both go to the same spot (remember, the security system worth its salt has an independent power supply)

But in Shadowrun... all devices.. be that a Maglock, a camera, or even a drone! Doesn't need power. its just assumed they run on... I guess on cupcakes and fee-fees? 


What's the Difference in the structures of these 2 systems.. Well the first one, if I need/want to, I can use a bi-metal blade in a circular saw and be through the EMT in about 3 seconds. (its what I use to cut the EMT in the first place.) and the boxes will come apart with a hammer and some time...

the Rigid conduit takes about 1 minute to cut through using a metal band saw (a circular saw will just bind and shatter!), and the boxes will withstand  up to a .357 magnum.  Pound on it all day with a hammer, you'll bent them up good, but not break inside.)     
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-14-20/1308:54>
But in Shadowrun... all devices.. be that a Maglock, a camera, or even a drone! Doesn't need power. its just assumed they run on... I guess on cupcakes and fee-fees?   

Previous editions had said that certain devices (like some kind of cyberware) are continuously re-charged by changes in ambient temperature/air pressures.  And wirelessly recharging batteries is already a thing in RL... it's within my bounds for suspension of disbelief that devices can be powered 24/7 by wireless energy.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-14-20/1402:51>
But in Shadowrun... all devices.. be that a Maglock, a camera, or even a drone! Doesn't need power. its just assumed they run on... I guess on cupcakes and fee-fees?   

Previous editions had said that certain devices (like some kind of cyberware) are continuously re-charged by changes in ambient temperature/air pressures.  And wirelessly recharging batteries is already a thing in RL... it's within my bounds for suspension of disbelief that devices can be powered 24/7 by wireless energy.

.
..
...


You're not involved in Energy, or Energy production in any way are you?


Yes, we have wireless charging of batteries now. Its called Induction charging...

By presenting a coil of copper/ copper nitrite/ Ion bank to an expanding and contracting field of Flux, you induce a current.

This electricity 101... It is the BASIS of every form of electrical generation used in the world.

All a induction charger does is run electricity through a coil a wire, and allows the linear power generation to create the expanding and contracting Flux field.

However, there is are some limitations to induction charging. These limitations are hard wired LAWS of Physics. And no, they can't be ignored.

The first is efficiency. Induction charging loses efficiency the further apart the two devices are. This is why even with a top of the line phone induction charger, it may take several attempts of placing your phone before it actually charges.... you have to intercept the flux field which is a product of the power used. Current induction charges are limited by the CSA/USBA/EUECA laws, and by the building code authority and just general construction. (that little wire that pugs into the induction charger to provide it with energy!)

Currently they run (N.A) 120volts at 3 amps. OR 360watts... and induce a charge of 18 to 75 watts. That's a lot of power loss that has to be paid for. (and you are! You just don't notice it on your power bill because it works out to be pennies). Range is somewhere between .3 to 2.1 Millimeters!


To extend those lines of flux to say... 5 feet.. well, that is power generation in the millions of times higher...


AND, we are not even into the hazzards of flux fields that powerful (as again the range of the Flux field is a measure of the energy that created it). High intensity Flux fields are linked to cancers, bone density loss, chromosome damage (Specifically MALE Chromosomes), and Sperm loss. 
This is something my industry has been tracking for decades, as a subset of us are constantly exposed to high flux fields...

And their health conditions are widely monitored. Lets look at High Energy Splicers...
80% develop Liver/prostate/testicular cancer after 20 years.
60% develop Liver/prostate/testicular cancer after 8 years.
95% of children born to HES workers are female.
85% of HES (male) and 60% of HEC (female) experience premature hair loss with 8 years. 
10% of HES (both sexes) develop heart arrhythmia within 5 years and have to leave the trade. 30% of those cases have proven on site fatal. (basically heart attack induced by arrhythmia)

And that's on top of the dangers and hazzards they face just doing the job. And While I do HES work, I don't do it often, for good reason. Even at my payrate, I am underpaid for that work!

Then there is the next problem. With fields of Flux that extend out far enough to say... cover a city like Shadowrun supposedly has... Would kill you. The amount of energy in the flux fields would energize the trace copper in your blood stream and slowly cook you inside out.. just like a Microwave oven does...

In fact, a Microwave oven and a Flux field share a lot in common.. Both are high energy radiation, both conduct energy, both excite molecules... The only difference is the frequency and component interactment  (one likse water, one likes electrons in Valiance orbits...).



****


Just cause something "Sounds cool" doesn't mean its actually possible. But Fools and their money are easily parted.... Even today. (The number of shit shows on Kickstarter that have gotten MILLIONS, and never produced, because it was actually impossible is long indeed...)

This is one of those times that realism plays second fiddle to "Fun" (or supposed fun) even though it breaks all common sense or laws of physics.   
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-14-20/1406:05>
Look, if the game has to conform to physics, dragons and fireballs are out the window.


Chalk it up to "post Awakening, yes even the physics have changed due to mana" if you have to.  You'll have more fun.

My background is in IT... the matrix rules are much more fun for me when I remember to willfully ignore reality and go with movie logic and what's "fun" and what's feasibly playable.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-14-20/1414:35>
Look, if the game has to conform to physics, dragons and fireballs are out the window.


Chalk it up to "post Awakening, yes even the physics have changed due to mana" if you have to.  You'll have more fun.

My background is in IT... the matrix rules are much more fun for me when I remember to willfully ignore reality and go with movie logic and what's "fun" and what's feasibly playable.

My point exactly.

You know what I am talking about when it comes to the matrix rules.. and how things interact...
The way the rules present thigns is just not possible.. And not only is it not possible - only a moron would configure their system that way!

YOU know it, I know it. Heck, even Banshee (who wrote the matrix rules) KNOWS it...

But that has to take a back seat because, the "mechanics" and "fun" say so... Even though the "mechanics" and "fun" have created a headache for almost all involved as they try to wrap their heads around the level of "Stoopid!" in the system.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a dig at Banshee. He(she) Did the best they could given what they had to work with. No fault of foul there.

I am saying the "mechanics" themselves need to really be addressed... And that includes this whole "Hack anything wirelessly" bullshit that has generated 95% of the problems for matrix actions, and that includes the #1 topic on these forums - "How do I stop 'X' gear from being hacked"....

Clearly.. they are not "Fun" for a large percent of the community..
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-14-20/1439:57>
Look, if the game has to conform to physics, dragons and fireballs are out the window.


Chalk it up to "post Awakening, yes even the physics have changed due to mana" if you have to.  You'll have more fun.

My background is in IT... the matrix rules are much more fun for me when I remember to willfully ignore reality and go with movie logic and what's "fun" and what's feasibly playable.

My point exactly.

You know what I am talking about when it comes to the matrix rules.. and how things interact...
The way the rules present thigns is just not possible.. And not only is it not possible - only a moron would configure their system that way!

YOU know it, I know it. Heck, even Banshee (who wrote the matrix rules) KNOWS it...

But that has to take a back seat because, the "mechanics" and "fun" say so... Even though the "mechanics" and "fun" have created a headache for almost all involved as they try to wrap their heads around the level of "Stoopid!" in the system.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a dig at Banshee. He(she) Did the best they could given what they had to work with. No fault of foul there.

I am saying the "mechanics" themselves need to really be addressed... And that includes this whole "Hack anything wirelessly" bullshit that has generated 95% of the problems for matrix actions, and that includes the #1 topic on these forums - "How do I stop 'X' gear from being hacked"....

Clearly.. they are not "Fun" for a large percent of the community..

First considering the current events thank you for not gender assuming ..  I identify as he for all common purposes.

Yeah .. i know using real world current technology and practices the game doesn't make sense.
That concept though extends to all aspects however, not just the matrix. It doesn't matter what you look at if you find an expert on that particular topic and will always get the "but it doesn't work that way in real life" argument. Construction, mechanics, weaponry, communications, law enforcement,  security,  politics, biology,  etc ...

So for me in my head I just accept the fact that the world works differently either because of altered metaphysics or unknown twists in advancment and don't over think it.

As for the question of "how do I make a thing unhackable?" Answer is you don't, hacking is one of the foundations that cyberpunk fantasy is built on if it was "easy" to make things unhackable then you would be removed an important aspect at its core. You would be just as well off to ignore the matrix as anything more than an information source.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-14-20/1505:37>
Indeed.  I like to answer the question of "how do I become unhackable" as being "the same way you become un-magicable: You don't.  You ensure your team has a specialist in that realm to protect you from its threats."

Yes, I'd say it's wrongbadfun to try to go immune to any one of the three of Shadowrun's Worlds.  But of course: YMMV.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-14-20/1517:40>
Look, if the game has to conform to physics, dragons and fireballs are out the window.


Chalk it up to "post Awakening, yes even the physics have changed due to mana" if you have to.  You'll have more fun.

My background is in IT... the matrix rules are much more fun for me when I remember to willfully ignore reality and go with movie logic and what's "fun" and what's feasibly playable.

My point exactly.

You know what I am talking about when it comes to the matrix rules.. and how things interact...
The way the rules present thigns is just not possible.. And not only is it not possible - only a moron would configure their system that way!

YOU know it, I know it. Heck, even Banshee (who wrote the matrix rules) KNOWS it...

But that has to take a back seat because, the "mechanics" and "fun" say so... Even though the "mechanics" and "fun" have created a headache for almost all involved as they try to wrap their heads around the level of "Stoopid!" in the system.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a dig at Banshee. He(she) Did the best they could given what they had to work with. No fault of foul there.

I am saying the "mechanics" themselves need to really be addressed... And that includes this whole "Hack anything wirelessly" bullshit that has generated 95% of the problems for matrix actions, and that includes the #1 topic on these forums - "How do I stop 'X' gear from being hacked"....

Clearly.. they are not "Fun" for a large percent of the community..

First considering the current events thank you for not gender assuming ..  I identify as he for all common purposes.

Yeah .. i know using real world current technology and practices the game doesn't make sense.
That concept though extends to all aspects however, not just the matrix. It doesn't matter what you look at if you find an expert on that particular topic and will always get the "but it doesn't work that way in real life" argument. Construction, mechanics, weaponry, communications, law enforcement,  security,  politics, biology,  etc ...

So for me in my head I just accept the fact that the world works differently either because of altered metaphysics or unknown twists in advancment and don't over think it.

As for the question of "how do I make a thing unhackable?" Answer is you don't, hacking is one of the foundations that cyberpunk fantasy is built on if it was "easy" to make things unhackable then you would be removed an important aspect at its core. You would be just as well off to ignore the matrix as anything more than an information source.

Yes, the "suspension of disbelief" paradox at the heart of all fantasy and Sci-fi games. I get that, I do.
Nor, Am I saying that you are not wrong that hacking of things is a part of the cyberpunk trope.

But, there is also the point of a Constant Narrative in these fantasy/sci-fi worlds that helps to maintain that suspension of disbelief... And that's gets broken by some aspects of SR for those of us with knowledge in areas of expertise.
The economic systems of SR are mess for those with an Economic background (Trust me, I hear it all the time from my Buddy).

For, me its the inconsistent nature they handle energy in shadowrun. Its an after thought of the setting based on what "they" (being in this case no one in particular) think works, mixed in with an expectation of world, and the mechanics they have laid out.


They go through great lengths to set up a world of have and have nots, all crammed in together. Where the Rich and Powerful enjoy all the luxury and avarice they can indulge in. Where the mindless PayDrones go to get up, go to work 70 hours a week, and live hand to mouth because that's "the system"... and they are happy with their 3 allotted flavors of Soypaste. Where the those that don't work for a Corp are even more hand to mouth, where basics like clean water and electricity are rationed...

Where the dregs of Society are not even considered people. Where even basic human rights can and ARE ignored, and people are denied access to city streetsbecause they can not afford the commlink to display their SIN...

BUT  every electronic device magically has power forever.... Even in the deepest, darkest parts of the Feral City where running water and power has been cut for years... Yep still clogging away cause of ... Hippy space wifi power...




Energy generation is one of the most expensive things society does. Its so expensive in fact, that the Quality of Life, is directly linked to a countries' ability to support their electrical grid.
Energy Generation is SO expensive, that even here in North America, The richest hemisphere of the planet, only 60% of the land mass has a stable grid.
Energy Maintenance is so expensive.. California's utility company is effectively bankrupt after years of missed maintenance lead to the wildfires that destroyed homes last year...


Its this disconnect between the Lore, the mechanics, and knowledge that leads to issues for those of us with said knowledge...
***

I have less problems with cyberware because, essentially the human body is just a chemical energy battery. I can totally understand how you can build an energy induction system to allow the human body to recharge and store energy required to run a large device like a cyberleg, even if said human induction technology doesn't exist today. I understand the basic principles, and what would be required, and can see a way past the 'hard limits' of reality... 
But that gets really hard when every thing you know screams "NO!!!" at you...



Put it another way....

IF SR suddenly came out with the "Healstick" A heavy Pistol, with SA/BF capabilities, 12 round (m) system.. and HEALED the target for 9p damage every time you shot them with Ex-Ex ammo... would you have a problem?     

Kind of breaks your Suspension of Disbelief doesn't it? Every single gun does damage when you shoot targets with Ex-Ex ammo.. except this ONE gun.. the "healstick"... Why? Hippy space bullets... that's why.

:P
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Annoch on <06-14-20/1527:52>
Indeed.  I like to answer the question of "how do I become unhackable" as being "the same way you become un-magicable: You don't.  You ensure your team has a specialist in that realm to protect you from its threats."

Yes, I'd say it's wrongbadfun to try to go immune to any one of the three of Shadowrun's Worlds.  But of course: YMMV.

Except that it is pretty clear how a mage protects you from Magic.  It appears that they forgot to actually put in rules about your decker protecting the rest of your team from cyber attacks...so I can see why people are so much more worried about that, even though it appears that those rules existed in the last version.

And essentially nothing other than cyber decks have device ratings....so I guess everything has a matrix condition monitor of 8 boxes?  So your $400k wired reflexes is one data spike from a mildly competent script kiddie from being a smoking wreck....

Luckily, the wireless bonuses on nearly everything are simply not worth the risk so you can make yourself invulnerable by simply turning everything off and leaving it that way.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <06-14-20/1839:32>
I always felt they went the exact opposite route to how they should have with the wi-fi. You have to accept people making illogical actions for it to work.  Not only does your camera have a port it is easily accessible, its not behind a panel that would take 4-5 turns to remove with a screw driver. People will turn on their cyber to wi-fi even though the benefit to do so is minor.
I'd have preferred to put the effect on the cyber deck.  Let a cyber deck hack and defend things within its range whether or not they are wireless. It uses blah blah technology sending out a energy that allows it to directly interact with technology. Its sci-fi you can say because its future tech we don't understand. The noise crap we have now would exist but only for direct connections.  You want to hack it through the host, you can do that from anywhere on the planet its just going to be damn hard since you are tackling a host. You want to hack that lock directly, good luck past X range, maybe require line of sight but if you are close enough its a routine task. Allow people to hack multiple devices of the same type at once.  You want to hack all the cameras in the room, here you go this is how its done.

When it comes to things like cyber have in the cybers description a list of how/ways it can be hacked. No, spike and melting a characters ware, but you can turn it off and make it difficult to start, maybe have it be able to overclock ware to make it more effective, hacking sensors like cyber eyes or ears you can send false images/sounds, remove the same.

I'd rather say, hmm that tech in my future sci-fi game is a bit of a stretch than say wow security professionals really acts dumb with their wi-fi.

If deckers filled the thief role via opening doors, turning off security and also had a buff/de-buff role with all tech I think they'd be more interesting. I know one of the sprites can or at least could in 5e buff tech, but that should have been a norm for deckers/technomancers though with different mecanics. Like for example if you could increase/decrease a rating of ware knocking it down to 0 effectively turned it off, and allow it to exceed augmented max but with some kind of strain mechanic.  That would be a pretty awesome role. It would also be a nice perk for mundanes, if you made it harder to work on magically active types with ware. And hell make it easier to debuff their ware as well.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Leith on <06-14-20/2104:44>
I always felt they went the exact opposite route to how they should have with the wi-fi. You have to accept people making illogical actions for it to work.  Not only does your camera have a port it is easily accessible, its not behind a panel that would take 4-5 turns to remove with a screw driver. People will turn on their cyber to wi-fi even though the benefit to do so is minor.
I'd have preferred to put the effect on the cyber deck.  Let a cyber deck hack and defend things within its range whether or not they are wireless. It uses blah blah technology sending out a energy that allows it to directly interact with technology. Its sci-fi you can say because its future tech we don't understand. The noise crap we have now would exist but only for direct connections.  You want to hack it through the host, you can do that from anywhere on the planet its just going to be damn hard since you are tackling a host. You want to hack that lock directly, good luck past X range, maybe require line of sight but if you are close enough its a routine task. Allow people to hack multiple devices of the same type at once.  You want to hack all the cameras in the room, here you go this is how its done.

When it comes to things like cyber have in the cybers description a list of how/ways it can be hacked. No, spike and melting a characters ware, but you can turn it off and make it difficult to start, maybe have it be able to overclock ware to make it more effective, hacking sensors like cyber eyes or ears you can send false images/sounds, remove the same.

I'd rather say, hmm that tech in my future sci-fi game is a bit of a stretch than say wow security professionals really acts dumb with their wi-fi.

If deckers filled the thief role via opening doors, turning off security and also had a buff/de-buff role with all tech I think they'd be more interesting. I know one of the sprites can or at least could in 5e buff tech, but that should have been a norm for deckers/technomancers though with different mecanics. Like for example if you could increase/decrease a rating of ware knocking it down to 0 effectively turned it off, and allow it to exceed augmented max but with some kind of strain mechanic.  That would be a pretty awesome role. It would also be a nice perk for mundanes, if you made it harder to work on magically active types with ware. And hell make it easier to debuff their ware as well.

Or, jammer?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <06-15-20/0312:04>
<<wall of text about how to make RL security safe from being breached and how powering electronic devices wireless via induction is not realistic enough>>
This is a game. A game that features astral space, magic and even dragons.
It is not the GM's job to build perfect fortresses that are impossible for players to penetrate...

Having rebellious cyber-cowboys slicing through corporate IC is a huge part of the setting.
Please accept this.


If deckers filled the thief role via opening doors, turning off security...
This is already their primary role as I see it.

In addition to this matrix search offer a great alternative to contact networking during the 'legwork'-phase of the mission. They are also great in getting the 'lay of the land'-phase of a mission by pulling pay data (such as floor blueprints, patrol schedules etc) from hosts.

In this edition the requirements of becoming a decker (both resource-wise and skill-wise) is also much lower than ever before (save except 4th edition which didn't even have cyberdecks) which make it easier to get a secondary focus (or having hacking as your secondary focus).


... and also had a buff/de-buff role with all tech
It seem as if this is where technomancers come into the picture?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-15-20/0716:21>
Rules are more similar to 5th edition than you seem to realize...
I wrote a 43 page document comparing them line-by-line, Xenon. I am familiar.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1V-G6O3SOEJuuHBEzpOrTUpT9Owig_GqCUWcPeIZVAx4/edit

Quote
So... similar mechanics, just that access now go both upstream and downstream which make access network based (while marks in 5th edition only went upstream which made marks icon based).
You're answering something I didn't ask. What I said was "you can only hack PANs/Hosts and not devices, I think most people's reading of RAW means every minor hack of an exterior camera is now a full-on host dive unless the GM invents some handwaving reasons". I didn't ask for a comparison of 5e and 6e. Bashee's work has made 6e's Matrix rules better, but there's still plenty wrong (I suspect because of sacred cows he wasn't allowed to slaughter.)

Let me restate my issue, in case I wasn't clear. In 6e, icons can be: (a) inside a host or (b) not inside a host.

If an icon is inside a host, you can't do anything to it without being inside the host first. (pg 185 "The virtual space in a host is separate from the Matrix at large, and any icons on that host are not accessible unless expressly part of a public-facing side. Gaining access to a host will allow interaction with the icons and devices on the inside.")

I cannot think of any reason why a corp wouldn't put its cameras and maglocks and personnel's guns inside its host. But if they do, I'm struggling to see what the new no-marks Spoof Command is really for.

Quote
In this edition direct connection let you ignore nestled hosts. This meant you could for example establish a direct connection to an exposed device, such as a maglock. Hack that to gain access on both the maglock and the host (but in this edition you also gain access on all other devices that are also part of the host). Then enter the nestled host (without doing a deep dive through all the outer layers of the onion) to gain a direct connection to the camera. Since you already have access there is no need to hack the camera so you just take the Edit File action directly.
I think this is a nonsensical reading, so much so I think I must be misreading you. Suppose you have a setup with a building control host A. Inside that is a security host, B, where the cameras and turrets are attached. Also inside A, but not inside B, is a beefy firewall host, C. Inside C is a juicy datastore hose D.

Leaving aside for a moment that we're almost back to the bad old days of second edition pizza break hacking, are you suggesting that a direct connection to a camera (on host B) allows you to jump directly to host D, bypassing hacks on hosts A and C?

I don't think that makes any sense at all. Maybe you can contort that one sentence in RAW to read that way, but I suspect it's not RAI. Banshee? Can you comment?


This is a case where game design breaks common sense. And its been this way since 4e.
Yeah. All I want is a game with a set of rules that can fit inside my feeble brain, that are internally consistent, and that don't make me go "wait, but why?!" more than, say, once a session.

Sadly, it seems to be too much to ask of Catalyst.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a dig at Banshee. He(she) Did the best they could given what they had to work with. No fault of foul there.
+1, to avoid any doubt. Reading between the lines a little, I think Banshee was given latitude to make incremental changes only. He made very good ones. I also think the Matrix rules in 4/5/6e Shadowrun can't be made to sing with just incremental changes. I would very much like to see what would happen if Banshee was given free reign.

And wirelessly recharging batteries is already a thing in RL... it's within my bounds for suspension of disbelief that devices can be powered 24/7 by wireless energy.
For the record: I am OK with buying into wireless power delivery via the Matrix. I realise it's almost completely unexplainable via modern physics. But I'll swallow that pill in order to never give a shit about the battery life on my PC's commlinks, because - and I cannot stress this enough - fuck that noise.

However:

Look, if the game has to conform to physics, dragons and fireballs are out the window.
...
My background is in IT... the matrix rules are much more fun for me when I remember to willfully ignore reality and go with movie logic and what's "fun" and what's feasibly playable.
This is a game. A game that features astral space, magic and even dragons.
It is not the GM's job to build perfect fortresses that are impossible for players to penetrate...

Having rebellious cyber-cowboys slicing through corporate IC is a huge part of the setting.
Please accept this.
Yes, but also no. I don't think it's quite that simple. It's the dreaded "verisimilitude" argument again.

I'm down with dragons and wireless charging and "if you can plug into the port on the security camera, you can hack it more easily." But I'm not down with "...and yet, the corps don't do anything to block that port up, because if they did the rebellious cyber-cowboys would be fucked." Because the former are fundamental pieces of the setting's premise. The latter is a logical consequence of that premise, yet one that goes unanswered. Mechanically, the game answers it - it's that way because the game demands it. It's circular logic but there it is. But there's not enough support for that in the fiction. Inside the universe, the coprs explicitly have both the tools and the resources to make "perfect fortresses" and yet they... just don't. So you end up with ludo-narrative dissonance, and no option other than to pretend it's not there, and it's annoying.

Same thing with phone calls. It drives me nuts that we have rules for noise (clearly engineered only for game mechanic reasons, to get deckers out of their apartments and into the field.) But that breaks everything else, so we have hosts that... magically never suffer from noise, for no reason that makes any sense. And now you can't call London from Seattle without a pocket satellite link. Maybe you route calls via hosts...? But that's never described anywhere, and if you can route calls via hosts, can you route other stuff? Hacking traffic?

It's all such a mess of contradictions and inconsistencies and unstated assumptions. Xenon knows this better than most of us , because he spends endless hours answering questions about it, on here and Reddit. For some reason he keeps insisting it's all fine, though.

Indeed.  I like to answer the question of "how do I become unhackable" as being "the same way you become un-magicable: You don't.  You ensure your team has a specialist in that realm to protect you from its threats."

Yes, I'd say it's wrongbadfun to try to go immune to any one of the three of Shadowrun's Worlds.  But of course: YMMV.
Uh: be a hobo mage who doesn't own a commlink? Be a physad carrying a burner commlink that's only used to broadcast a fake SIN? Be a streetsam using an internal router? Be a streetsam who's just willing to give up a few dice of wireless bonuses? Be a rigger driving a pre-2075 Matrix-2.0 vehicle via direct connection? Be a Barrens ganger who can't afford a commlink?

Aren't there tons of ways to become unhackable?

In particular, consider the trope of the offline host: eg. an Azzie corp facility in the middle of the jungle with a host full of juicy R&D paydata. You want to invoke the trope that everything's wirelessly hackable: fine. But another trope is mercenaries fighting into compounds to get data. You can't have both tropes.

Why doesn't the decker stay at home in their cosy apartment, and hack remotely? Or hire a streetsam to plug a magic dongle into a slot? Shadowrun has no real answer, just fudges and guesses and mechanics that don't mesh with fluff. Perhaps that's enough for you, and more power to your elbow if so. I'd like more, personally. I don't think it's too much to hope for.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-15-20/0752:40>
Sorry, missed this out of my replies above.

you make it sound as if hacking the 'whole host' is this big thing.... Take the brute force action (once) and you will have User access on the host, the camera and all other devices that are also part of the host. This is resolved as one single test.
Compared to rolling one Spoof Command action against an individual camera? Yes, it is. Because once the decker hacks the host, you have GOD on the table, you have at least Patrol IC on the table, and maybe offensive IC will come into play. It's immediately more complex. Also, there's probably a lot more dice being rolled against the decker than a hack of a standalone device, so the decker's gonna think about their decisions, maybe reconfigure their deck first, etc etc. It's a significantly bigger deal than just hacking the camera, in terms of mechanics that must be invoked, in terms of things for the GM to track, and in terms of potential consequences in the fiction.

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-15-20/0816:24>
Because I was specifically asked to comment...

Xenon has it right, a direct connection allows you to bypass the nested host. What that means is if the camera is inside Host B by direct connection to the camera you can gain access to Host B without going through Host A. It also means you can then try to gain access to any nested Host that B is connected to.
So if it's a linear hierarchy... A then B then C ... a direct connection to B means you never have to worry about A if you want to get to C.

In the long run it adds a layer of complexity that is heavily influenced by 3E, but I felt that with the changes made to the actions (especially economy) as well as making access requirements dependent on the network and not devices alleviated the pizza run hack days. I found during playtest that a "deep dive host hack" didn't require any more time or actions than a street sam taking out a few thugs.

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-15-20/0851:34>
Xenon has it right, a direct connection allows you to bypass the nested host. What that means is if the camera is inside Host B by direct connection to the camera you can gain access to Host B without going through Host A. It also means you can then try to gain access to any nested Host that B is connected to.
So if it's a linear hierarchy... A then B then C ... a direct connection to B means you never have to worry about A if you want to get to C.
Thanks Banshee. That's how I thought it worked.

I read this post by Xenon:

In this edition direct connection let you ignore nestled hosts. This meant you could for example establish a direct connection to an exposed device, such as a maglock. Hack that to gain access on both the maglock and the host (but in this edition you also gain access on all other devices that are also part of the host). Then enter the nestled host (without doing a deep dive through all the outer layers of the onion) to gain a direct connection to the camera.
as suggesting you can move onto a host within B automatically, or even other nested hosts within host A, without it being a further hack. But that might just be how that post is worded and not what he meant.

Quote
In the long run it adds a layer of complexity that is heavily influenced by 3E, but I felt that with the changes made to the actions (especially economy) as well as making access requirements dependent on the network and not devices alleviated the pizza run hack days. I found during playtest that a "deep dive host hack" didn't require any more time or actions than a street sam taking out a few thugs.
Yeah, I think that's fair. I'd add that another difference in 6e compared to 1/2/3e is that the hostmaps are much smaller and can be reserved for special occasions. As I recall the old days, even very small hosts had half a dozen nodes. My reading of 6e is that most places are still one host, and occasionally for really big stuff, the GM might throw in a 2-3 nested hosts. Which means GMs can reserve hostmaps for circumstances where they are confident they can pull off the spotlight management, as opposed to being faced with dealing with it routinely.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-15-20/0906:42>
Yes ... nested Hosts are not the standard and should be used only when the GM wants that added layer of complexity and/or security.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-15-20/0936:08>
So Spiderless Hosts are a way to make it easier on Hackers while still having a big security stepup ready, while Nested Hosts are a good way to force a Decker to infiltrate a facility to reach the proper jackin-point, and counter '1 big move and out again' playstyles. More tools to balance Matrix toughness this way.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-15-20/0942:23>
So Spiderless Hosts are a way to make it easier on Hackers while still having a big security stepup ready, while Nested Hosts are a good way to force a Decker to infiltrate a facility to reach the proper jackin-point, and counter '1 big move and out again' playstyles. More tools to balance Matrix toughness this way.

Exactly... I left as much as possible open ended on purpose so everything can be tailored to the specific group style.

Honestly the only "majorly" negative feedback I've seen are from people who feel the flexibility is a detriment rather than a strength (or need every little thing spelled out for them).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-15-20/0951:05>
Yes ... nested Hosts are not the standard and should be used only when the GM wants that added layer of complexity and/or security.

In game, Hosts should be thought of as very expensive.  And a Nested Host could just be an arguably more secure larger single Host for the same budget.

To Reaver's salient point about "run the data lines when you run the power lines..."   Everything is Wireless, even your socks.  So clearly your socks Wireless functionality is pulling power from Somewhere.  If you need to justify it, presume the Sci-fi optical circuitry is several orders of magnitude more effective than current equivalents.  Nanoscale power generation from air pressure changes, ambient light energy combined with Sci-fi battery efficiency and possibly some degree of Microwave broadcast power keeps things running for months on a single charge.

I mean, we don't ask where the Jedi Light Saber charger stations are.  Why are we worried about the wireless socks energy use?

And as to why are Security systems Wireless?  Because Hosts aren't physical and you literally can't run wires to them.  They're wireless because they have to be in order to work in the Sixth World.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-15-20/0955:52>
So Spiderless Hosts are a way to make it easier on Hackers while still having a big security stepup ready, while Nested Hosts are a good way to force a Decker to infiltrate a facility to reach the proper jackin-point, and counter '1 big move and out again' playstyles. More tools to balance Matrix toughness this way.

Exactly... I left as much as possible open ended on purpose so everything can be tailored to the specific group style.

Honestly the only "majorly" negative feedback I've seen are from people who feel the flexibility is a detriment rather than a strength (or need every little thing spelled out for them).
To be fair, I can understand 'I never know how tough a Matrix run will be due to these hidden extra options', since the book doesn't explicitly note for GMs 'hey this is a balance tool, use it wisely'. But honestly that sounds like it's something between GM and players to talk out.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-15-20/1009:08>
So Spiderless Hosts are a way to make it easier on Hackers while still having a big security stepup ready, while Nested Hosts are a good way to force a Decker to infiltrate a facility to reach the proper jackin-point, and counter '1 big move and out again' playstyles. More tools to balance Matrix toughness this way.

Exactly... I left as much as possible open ended on purpose so everything can be tailored to the specific group style.

Honestly the only "majorly" negative feedback I've seen are from people who feel the flexibility is a detriment rather than a strength (or need every little thing spelled out for them).
To be fair, I can understand 'I never know how tough a Matrix run will be due to these hidden extra options', since the book doesn't explicitly note for GMs 'hey this is a balance tool, use it wisely'. But honestly that sounds like it's something between GM and players to talk out.

Well there is the issue of the whole GM section being pretty lightweight, there is some development reasons for that which are still hidden behind NDA. If that section could have been expanded a lot of that would have been covered.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-15-20/1017:29>
It's a wireless world.  You can struggle against it or you can embrace it.

For me, the "why would anyone accept the inherent risks" comes down to two things:

For Joe Pedestrians:  Are you flipping serious in that they're somehow more security minded than real world people who willingly walk around with smart phones 24/7? 
Remember: EVERYTHING is wireless.  Being some sort of "I don't want to be hacked" kook looks to people in the Sixth world like people who insist electricity causes the plague look to the rest of us in the real world.  It's at least as hard to go truly wireless in the Sixth World as it is to live without electricity in the real world.  Yes, it's theoretically possible.  No, not without fundamentally forsaking modern society entirely.

For Security Managers:  Ok, sure, it's plausible that despite being acclimated to the "everyone else accepts the risks of wirelessness, why shouldn't I?" groupthink inherent to the denizens of the Sixth World they're MORE security minded than your average Joe.  However there's never been a Security Manager who was handed an unlimited budget.  Nope, not even that one time you're tempted to bring up.

Indeed.  I like to answer the question of "how do I become unhackable" as being "the same way you become un-magicable: You don't.  You ensure your team has a specialist in that realm to protect you from its threats."

Yes, I'd say it's wrongbadfun to try to go immune to any one of the three of Shadowrun's Worlds.  But of course: YMMV.
Uh: be a hobo mage who doesn't own a commlink? Be a physad carrying a burner commlink that's only used to broadcast a fake SIN? Be a streetsam using an internal router? Be a streetsam who's just willing to give up a few dice of wireless bonuses? Be a rigger driving a pre-2075 Matrix-2.0 vehicle via direct connection? Be a Barrens ganger who can't afford a commlink?

Aren't there tons of ways to become unhackable?

Even the physad who doesn't use any cyberware and only ever uses a burner commlink still presumably has weapons.  And armor.  If not armor, at least clothing. Possibly a vehicle.  Contacts/Glasses/Goggles and earbuds are every bit as hackable as cybereyes and cyberears.  So long as you employ any gear whatsoever, you're hackable.

What if all your gear has no wireless bonus so you turn them all off, that makes sense, right?  Not if you're trying to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb.  If you're the ONE person in the entire bar who doesn't have a cloud of AROs for all your stuff (shoes, socks, shirt, underwear, etc) how long do you think before Security comes to check out the wierdo who's either some sort of bizarre Amish sect they've never heard of, or more likely, is someone who's up to no good?  Going naked in AR is about as noticeable as going naked physically, when everyone else is using AR.  In lots of places, going naked in AR is probably as socially unacceptable as going naked physically, to boot!

Quote
In particular, consider the trope of the offline host: eg. an Azzie corp facility in the middle of the jungle with a host full of juicy R&D paydata. You want to invoke the trope that everything's wirelessly hackable: fine. But another trope is mercenaries fighting into compounds to get data. You can't have both tropes.

I don't even follow what you're saying here.  In what way are the two incompatible?
Maybe the site only has periodic connectivity to the rest of the matrix, and your job is to get in there and get the data before the next scheduled hookup for data transfer.
Maybe the paydata can't be wirelessly accessed because the files are archived in offline storage. The only way to get the file is to physically go grab a chip from a vault.
Etc.

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <06-15-20/1029:04>
If an icon is inside a host, you can't do anything to it without being inside the host first.
In the case of the Edit File action it does not really matter since you need User Access.
You can't take this action with just Outsider access, anyway.

Once you have User access on the host the camera is part of it is just a minor action to enter the host, a major action to edit the file and another minor action to exit the host.



But if they do, I'm struggling to see what the new no-marks Spoof Command is really for.
You can use Spoof Command when you have a direct connection to the device.
Even if it is 'inside' a host (or 'inside' a 'nested host')
...or if the device is wireless disabled.

Without a direct connection you can also use Spoof Command on devices that are part of PANs.
And wireless enabled stand alone items that are not part of any network.
And devices that are on the public facing side of a Host.


are you suggesting that a direct connection to a camera (on host B) allows you to jump directly to host D, bypassing hacks on hosts A and C?
No, I suggest that a direct connection to a camera (on host B) let you hack (and enter) host B without first hacking host A (or any other outer onion layered hosts). Once you hacked host B (without hacking host A or any other outer onion layer hosts) you would already have access on all security devices that are also part of host B. Such as elevators, cameras, alarms, drones, gun turrets, maglocks, sensors.....

You could also ponder an architecture with Host A leading to your beefy Host C firewall and from C you go to either B and D. A direct connection to a device in host B let you hack host B without hacking host A and without hacking the heavy firewall host C. You get to bypass both of them.

But to get to host D you would still need to hack host C (in both scenarios).

Unless you can find a terminal or other device that is part of host D of course (which could be seen as incentive for the team to break in together with the hacker and then defend the hacker as he hack host D directly from that specific terminal, bypassing Host A and C).


Xenon knows this better than most of us , because he spends endless hours answering questions about it, on here and Reddit. For some reason he keeps insisting it's all fine, though.
I take that as a compliment. Thank you.

Wireless bonuses (and, depending on your reading, their matrix connectivity) was never affected by noise due to distance in 5th edition. Noise due to distance only caused a negative dice pool modifier to your test. Which meant you could make long distance phone calls just fine (as there was no test associated with the Send Message action).

Quote from: SR5 p. 421 Wireless Bonuses
If there is a Noise Rating from a situation that is greater than the item’s Device Rating, not including distance, the item temporarily loses its wireless functionality (see Noise, p. 230).

Not 100% sure on all the details in this edition yet...

But it seem as if you can still make long distance phone calls as long as you do it from within a global host that have a presence in both the city you are calling from and the city you are trying to reach.

Or perhaps by using a good commlink together with a satellite link.



6 new posts since I started writing this post. I'll just post now and reply to the others in a separate post.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-15-20/1034:22>
On the subject of Spoof Command's relevance: "what's the point of Outsider access when it's protected by a host that doesn't happen to permit Outsider access?"


Because lots of times a device needs to be able to interface with people/other devices who are not inside that host.

Traffic Lights communicating to cars in the streets.
Vending Machines

but most of all:
Maglocks.  If the maglock accepts a signal from the RFID chip in the employee's ID badge, then it will accept a signal it *thinks* is coming from an employee's ID badge coming from your hacker's cyberdeck via the Spoof Command.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-15-20/1043:47>
It's a wireless world.  You can struggle against it or you can embrace it.

For me, the "why would anyone accept the inherent risks" comes down to two things:

For Joe Pedestrians:  Are you flipping serious in that they're somehow more security minded than real world people who willingly walk around with smart phones 24/7? 
Remember: EVERYTHING is wireless.  Being some sort of "I don't want to be hacked" kook looks to people in the Sixth world like people who insist electricity causes the plague look to the rest of us in the real world.  It's at least as hard to go truly wireless in the Sixth World as it is to live without electricity in the real world.  Yes, it's theoretically possible.  No, not without fundamentally forsaking modern society entirely.

yea, see this is an issue....

AFTER 2 global computer viruses claim the lives of MILLIONS around the world. (remember the Crash? Remember the Crash 2.0??) And rendered tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) as "non people" through the deletion of SINs...


You would think they would take matrix security seriously.....

but no.

Right AFTER the crash 2.0 the ever wise idiots in charge make a Matrix that can be hacked by a lobotomized potato....
(Remember the 4e rules... just a program and commlink and you were in like Fynn...  No skill needed!!  ::) )

you would THINK that after not one but TWO global economic collapses brought on by crappy matrix security, tens (hundreds) of millions of people suddenly deleted, and MILLIONS dead they would have.. I don't know... TIGHTENED security?


I mean, If I bought a brand new Ford Truck, twice.. and both times the breaks totally FAILED resulting in me getting into a life threatening injury, I can tell you I would NEVER drive an other Ford truck... Hell, you couldn't PAY ME to drive one again after that happening twice....

But, apparently in SR......


***

Yes, I know this is a game mechanic issue... but still... you see what I am saying?

(And I didn't even touch on the AIs that have turned people in wall paintings....) 


Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-15-20/1051:28>
I see your point.

I just happen to think that yes, people "stupidly" allowing history to repeat itself is quite believable rather than unbelievable.

Surely one can think of lots of other examples in the real world of the same incredibly dangerous, stupidly dangerous, attitudes being carried through events that "should" have smacked us in the face with a wake up call.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <06-15-20/1104:03>
It's the dreaded "verisimilitude" argument again.
So you need an argument why the camera have a physical port...?

Don't regular real life devices (such as cameras, access points etc) normally have some sort of network or USB port in addition to their wireless capability?

If not, how do you configure/set it up for the first time....?

(I am more of a software person so I might be totally off here, but with my limited knowledge it seems perfectly fine that a security camera also have a USB port of sorts....?).



"if you can plug into the port on the security camera, you can hack it more easily."
Note that in this edition the camera will still defend with the firewall of the host even if you connect to it via a cable!

(direct connection is not the same glaring security issue as it perhaps used to be in the previous edition, this got changed)



Aren't there tons of ways to become unhackable?
Not for the facility the team is hired to break into.

If they for example run a wired network the hacker still just need to hack the network and then have User or Admin access on all the wired devices inside that network (but it probably require that the network is hacked from the inside via a direct connection... or perhaps that someone attach a wireless enabled data tap so the network can be hacked from the outside).



Why doesn't the decker stay at home in their cosy apartment, and hack remotely?
He can do that.

But then he can't bypass outer onion layered hosts with a direct connection and he can't take outsider actions (like spoof command) to open a maglock with a direct connection without first gaining access on the network.

And he also need to fight noise due to distance and noise due to wireless inhabiting paint or whatnot.


Compared to rolling one Spoof Command action against an individual camera?
For a camera you probably need User access on the network the device is part of anyway (for the continuous Edit File action).


Because once the decker hacks the host, you have GOD on the table
If you use Brute Force then you have limited time before GOD come crashing down, agreed.
Quote from: SR6 p. 176 Overwatch Score and Convergence
Maintaining illegal access to anything on the Matrix: +1 OS/round for each host where you maintain illegal User-level access, +3 OS/round for each host where you maintain illegal Admin-level access.

But if you have time to spare then you would probably go for Probe+Backdoor Entry which is a lot more subtle.
Quote from: SR6 p. 180 Backdoor Entry
If the test is successful, you gain Admin access to the target, and it does not count as illegal Admin access


Quote from: SR6 p. 176 Overwatch Score and Convergence
Also, there's probably a lot more dice being rolled against the decker than a hack of a standalone device
Devices in 5th edition was typically not slaved to a host unless they could be physically protected (because of the direct connect exploit). They also had a firewall rating of their own and failed attack actions caused unresisted matrix damage back to the hacker.
Quote from: SR5 p. 233 PANs and WANs
because of the direct connection hack you rarely see more devices than can be protected physically.

In this edition the device will always defend with the firewall of the network they are part of, even if the hacker use a direct connection (or take an Outsider action such as Spoof Command). In this edition it seem as if devices (such as surveillance cameras) are typically part of a network (and not stand alone).


I read this post by Xenon:

In this edition direct connection let you ignore nestled hosts. This meant you could for example establish a direct connection to an exposed device, such as a maglock. Hack that to gain access on both the maglock and the host (but in this edition you also gain access on all other devices that are also part of the host). Then enter the nestled host (without doing a deep dive through all the outer layers of the onion) to gain a direct connection to the camera.
as suggesting you can move onto a host within B automatically, or even other nested hosts within host A, without it being a further hack. But that might just be how that post is worded and not what he meant.
If you use a direct connection to a device that is part of Host B then you can hack Host B (and enter it if you like) without first hacking Host A (still only having Outsider access on Host A).
Quote from: SR6 p. 185 Host Security and Architecture
Because you must hack each host in succession from the outside, having inside access to a site with a direct connection to the deepest host (if one exists) is valuable—especially when your Overwatch Score increases are based on all the hosts in which you maintain access at any given time, not just the one you’re currently using.


I'd add that another difference in 6e compared to 1/2/3e is that the hostmaps are much smaller and can be reserved for special occasions. As I recall the old days, even very small hosts had half a dozen nodes. My reading of 6e is that most places are still one host, and occasionally for really big stuff, the GM might throw in a 2-3 nested hosts. Which means GMs can reserve hostmaps for circumstances where they are confident they can pull off the spotlight management, as opposed to being faced with dealing with it routinely.
Yes.

One single Host seem to be the norm.



So Spiderless Hosts are a way to make it easier on Hackers while still having a big security stepup ready, while Nested Hosts are a good way to force a Decker to infiltrate a facility to reach the proper jackin-point, and counter '1 big move and out again' playstyles. More tools to balance Matrix toughness this way.
Yes. This is also how I see it.

And another incentive for going with the team is that you can use a direct connection to a device (such as a maglock) and then spoof a command to it. Without first gaining access on the host. Even if the device is 'inside' the host.

And, depending on your reading, Spoofing a Command to open a maglock might also be performed even if you access the matrix with a commlink or RCC rather than a cyberdeck (as Spoof command is not an Attack linked nor Sleaze linked action).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-15-20/1135:59>
I see your point.

I just happen to think that yes, people "stupidly" allowing history to repeat itself is quite believable rather than unbelievable.

Surely one can think of lots of other examples in the real world of the same incredibly dangerous, stupidly dangerous, attitudes being carried through events that "should" have smacked us in the face with a wake up call.

True, we repeat the mistakes of the past all the time....

But generally, not within the same generation. Usually what happens is there is a calamity of some sort, everyone gets wise and stops doing it for a while (and in some cases Laws will be passed to prevent it from happening again).. And people adapt.. Then, a generation or two later, someone starts to walk down that slippery road that originally lead to the original calamity again.... Usually with the same results... and the same consequences. 

From Crash 1.0 to now, we are barely a generation apart.  From the Crash 2.0 to the wireless matrix was only 18 months!
From an AI turning the Arcology into a slaughterhouse to the wireless matrix (which would have allowed the AI to cause CITY wide mayhem!) we were just 6 years...

At every step that proved the Matrix was dangerous on a Society wide level, the PTB have just made the system MORE accessible and MORE prone to cause society wide damage... not less...

***

Now, don't get me wrong. Behind the scenes I know this wasn't the intent. Nor would many pick up on this unless they have been around Shadowrun for a long while.

The Wireless matrix was a meta-game decision to bring the matrix more inline with the modern world.. After all, I can see the point a wireless matrix, especially given the fact we have wireless internet today. The Devs at the time probably figured it would create a disconnect between players that their "futuristic" game still needed a ethernet cable to work :P

And, there was the "decking mini-game" issue as well. Matrix runs in the early editions where almost solo run in themselves as just opening a door could take 20 minutes of rolls...

So, I can see the Devs saying.. "Hey, lets fix both these issues at once! Make the matrix wireless AND speed up the decking rolls".

And while I happily agree with speeding up the matrix side of things to keep all players invested and together (in a scene if not in action).. I'm just not sure if this was the right way to go about it.  (And this extends right back to 4e.. Its not a dig at the Devs who have tried to fix the issues in 5e and 6e. Heck, I have yet to read 6e)


I just think (personally) that the wireless matrix has created more headaches then it was intended to solve. Personally, I would have divided up the matrix into two separate parts.

1 A wireless (read only) matrix for the commlink. This is the matrix that 99% of the world uses. And while it allows you access to the world's knowledge, (much like the internet today) it wouldn't be open to wireless changes.
2: ported connection for root access for the cyberdeck. If you want to change the matrix, then a ported connection would be required. This is where the decker would go to gain access to that door or security camera...

5e (6e?) tried to make this distinction with cyberdecks and commlinks.. which quickly fell apart with "dongles" and other things that just confused the public for a while...


yes, this wouldn't allow a Decker to hack a players cyberware... but then again (speaking of 5e only)... only a GM that wanted a rule book to the head would do that given just how unclear what happened to said cyberware was! (was that half million, 5 essence wired reflexes turned to slag? Causing a complete loss of that half million and 5 essence investment? How DO you fix cyberware?!! [The CRB page number would be great thanks!], did a simple reboot work?


Wait a minute, I thought DNI gave piority to the hack, and cybewrware has DNI, which must override the DNI of the decker, Unless his DNI has piority over MY DNI, but how can his DNI have piority over my DNI when my DNI is direct wired and his DNI is wireless??? unless wirelss DNI trumps direct DNI, but then why have DNI direct if DNI wireles is better?


CAN WE AT LEAST AGREE THE TERM DNI (the term) NEEDS TO FUCKING DIE!?!?!?

call it something else... how about Wet Farts for DNi and Squishy Farts for DNi? <If you can figure out which DNI is which....>
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-15-20/1141:29>
It's the dreaded "verisimilitude" argument again.
So you need an argument why the camera have a physical port...?

Don't regular real life devices (such as cameras, access points etc) normally have some sort of network or USB port in addition to their wireless capability?

If not, how do you configure/set it up for the first time....?

(I am more of a software person so I might be totally off here, but with my limited knowledge it seems perfectly fine that a security camera also have a USB port of sorts....?).




The really crappy (WalMart) ones do. However, they are located in the back/base of the unit that get mounted flush to the wall, thus to access the firmware port you have to physically remove the camera.

WHICH, can lead to you going up and down a ladder dozens and dozens and dozens of times, each time un-mounting and remounting the camera. Which is  good. You get the practice you need in changing the battery every 3 weeks in that WalMart quality camera...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Teslan on <06-15-20/1150:11>
It's the dreaded "verisimilitude" argument again.
So you need an argument why the camera have a physical port...?

Don't regular real life devices (such as cameras, access points etc) normally have some sort of network or USB port in addition to their wireless capability?

If not, how do you configure/set it up for the first time....?

(I am more of a software person so I might be totally off here, but with my limited knowledge it seems perfectly fine that a security camera also have a USB port of sorts....?).


There are some that don't have external ports and you set it up wirelessly.

However I would argue that even those that are just wireless, if you crack open the cover you can splice into the internal connection between the wireless module and the rest of the device to get you that direct access you want.

Shadowrunners with Hardware skill would have been trained on it and know how to spot it. The better it's made just increases the rating on the device making it more difficult.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-15-20/1302:42>

But generally, not within the same generation. Usually what happens is there is a calamity of some sort, everyone gets wise and stops doing it for a while (and in some cases Laws will be passed to prevent it from happening again).. And people adapt.. Then, a generation or two later, someone starts to walk down that slippery road that originally lead to the original calamity again.... Usually with the same results... and the same consequences. 

From Crash 1.0 to now, we are barely a generation apart.  From the Crash 2.0 to the wireless matrix was only 18 months!
From an AI turning the Arcology into a slaughterhouse to the wireless matrix (which would have allowed the AI to cause CITY wide mayhem!) we were just 6 years...


Dotcom bust and Subprime Mortgage were, what, 10 years apart?  Arguably both were caused by poor Financial regulations / de-regulation.  Assorted currency crisis impacting the entire global economy to a vastly outsized degree compared to GDP?  We can take a deep dive on American Domestic policy if you need a few more egregious examples...

Humanity seems quite capable of meaningful macro level catastrophes with similar root causes one right after the other.  My willing suspension of disbelief has no problem with that as far as Shadowrun global disasters go.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-15-20/1330:10>
Some more on the topic of "Why is everything wireless? That's unrealistic!":

I already mentioned that people in real life embraced the security threats involved in using smartphones (and social media, etc) so of course it stands to reason people in the Sixth World are fine with all that too.

But the security threats to hackers/shadowrunners can also be looked at as "features, not bugs!"  Manufacturing everything with an inherent, hard-to-disable wireless component serves the Corporations/Big Brother.  Imagine how much value there is in marketing and advertising if you know how often every gadget is used/worn, and in what combination with others, and where, and when.  Furthermore, Big Brother is going to want to be able to remotely push software "updates" for purposes both legitimate AND nefarious.

Hackers in Shadowrun are just living in the system the Corps deliberately engineered.  The corps didn't accidentally create the wireless world.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Annoch on <06-15-20/1452:27>
Some more on the topic of "Why is everything wireless? That's unrealistic!":

I think part of the problem is that you are always going to have a harder time changing things that have common real world analogues for a game.  It reminds me a lot of 'the uncanny valley' for animation.  The farther away from reality it is the more your mind will happily accept it, the closer you get to realism the more your brain goes 'nuh-uh, this ain't right'.

That is why you can add dragons and fire balls and laser guns and all that stuff an no one bats an eye.  Magic fireballs aren't real...the author can say that they are whatever they want them to be and no one has any reason to argue.  So you could say that all fireballs are rainbow colored and take the shape of Danny DeVito's head...no problem!  And that doesn't just apply to fantastical/magical things; there is a laser gun shaped like a flintlock pistol in Firing line, and no one has any problem with that because we don't have common man portable lasers....our brains are not put off by this.

Wireless electronics/internet, on the other hand, is something that we all deal with in our day to day lives.  We see and often interact with building security on a regular basis.  We know what to expect from these things, and the version that the developers of the game included are too close to the real world analogues....our brains know that it is wrong and they fight back!

There seem to have be three options which would have made people happy with the setup.  You could either make the matrix work like the internet does today, you can make it sufficiently different from what people are accustomed to that they dont automatically compare it, or you could come up with a handwavy reason why it is the way it is (a la Sci Fi like Warhammer 40k...the tech is dumb and old because it was mostly all lost and they have to keep using the small portion of lost tech they have found again...a common sci fi trope). 

The matrix wars will rage as long as your game sits in the 'uncanny valley'... 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-15-20/1516:10>
Some more on the topic of "Why is everything wireless? That's unrealistic!":

I think part of the problem is that you are always going to have a harder time changing things that have common real world analogues for a game.  It reminds me a lot of 'the uncanny valley' for animation.  The farther away from reality it is the more your mind will happily accept it, the closer you get to realism the more your brain goes 'nuh-uh, this ain't right'.

That is why you can add dragons and fire balls and laser guns and all that stuff an no one bats an eye.  Magic fireballs aren't real...the author can say that they are whatever they want them to be and no one has any reason to argue.  So you could say that all fireballs are rainbow colored and take the shape of Danny DeVito's head...no problem!  And that doesn't just apply to fantastical/magical things; there is a laser gun shaped like a flintlock pistol in Firing line, and no one has any problem with that because we don't have common man portable lasers....our brains are not put off by this.

Wireless electronics/internet, on the other hand, is something that we all deal with in our day to day lives.  We see and often interact with building security on a regular basis.  We know what to expect from these things, and the version that the developers of the game included are too close to the real world analogues....our brains know that it is wrong and they fight back!

There seem to have be three options which would have made people happy with the setup.  You could either make the matrix work like the internet does today, you can make it sufficiently different from what people are accustomed to that they dont automatically compare it, or you could come up with a handwavy reason why it is the way it is (a la Sci Fi like Warhammer 40k...the tech is dumb and old because it was mostly all lost and they have to keep using the small portion of lost tech they have found again...a common sci fi trope). 

The matrix wars will rage as long as your game sits in the 'uncanny valley'...

This is probably closest to the truth...

I just understand too much, see and install too much security equipment to allow for a cognitive disconnect on what is actually happening in SR by the mechanics given.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-15-20/1550:00>
That is why you can add dragons and fire balls and laser guns and all that stuff an no one bats an eye.  Magic fireballs aren't real...the author can say that they are whatever they want them to be and no one has any reason to argue.
Except... wanna know something about Shadowrun’s history? Do you know why SR’s magic system stands out amongst RPGs as being one of the most “real feeling”? With a ton of interesting details, yet fitting within an over-arching, consistent framework that can be explained in a few dozen pages?

Because Paul Hume, one of the 1e/2e core writers, was a real-life scholar of Alesteir-Crowley-style hermetic magic. And he drew on that to make the astral space, summoning, and spell casting framework that - because it was so damned good - survives almost unchanged in SR to this day [1]. And yeah, it’s fiction, but also, it’s almost completely internally consistent. 

Look around any SR community and look at the number of “can a mage do...” versus “can a decker do...” threads. The latter vastly outnumber the former, even though we have real world intuitions for the latter that should help us out.

All I want is a decking system that makes as much sense as the magic system.

[1] Yes, we’ve had things like UMT, more for game mechanic reasons than for narrative reasons. And grounding is gone. But even UMT is a small change compared to what has happened to decking, which is on something like its 4th or 5th ground-up rewrite depending on how you count. (At least one splat changed so much to count as a new game, IIRC; maybe Virtual Realities 2.0?)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <06-15-20/1832:46>
Decking changed because it was originally based upon technology we had back in 1980, such as  wired AT&T telecom grids and predecessors to internet such as ARPANet, MILNet and bulletin board systems and whatnot. And also because the whole cyberspace thingy was basically invented by a guy that was not really computer savvy at all (he used a regular typewriter (https://introdigitalmedia.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/bukatman.pdf) for the sprawl trilogy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprawl_trilogy)).

It simply felt vastly outdated to use land-lines once the real world caught up with stuff such as the world wide web. And WiFi. And cheap computing. And wireless smartphones. And Apps.

SR5 devices with their wireless bonuses etc are instead based on ideas grounded in something called Grid Computing (look it up), but on a world wide scale. This (the world wide scale part that) is mostly science fiction right now, but in a few years this might very well become science... and a few years after that it will probably feel seriously out-dated, similar to how calling a computer via a 28k8 modem feels out-dated today ;-)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-15-20/1837:15>
That is why you can add dragons and fire balls and laser guns and all that stuff an no one bats an eye.  Magic fireballs aren't real...the author can say that they are whatever they want them to be and no one has any reason to argue.
Except... wanna know something about Shadowrun’s history? Do you know why SR’s magic system stands out amongst RPGs as being one of the most “real feeling”? With a ton of interesting details, yet fitting within an over-arching, consistent framework that can be explained in a few dozen pages?

Because Paul Hume, one of the 1e/2e core writers, was a real-life scholar of Alesteir-Crowley-style hermetic magic. And he drew on that to make the astral space, summoning, and spell casting framework that - because it was so damned good - survives almost unchanged in SR to this day [1]. And yeah, it’s fiction, but also, it’s almost completely internally consistent. 

Look around any SR community and look at the number of “can a mage do...” versus “can a decker do...” threads. The latter vastly outnumber the former, even though we have real world intuitions for the latter that should help us out.

All I want is a decking system that makes as much sense as the magic system.

[1] Yes, we’ve had things like UMT, more for game mechanic reasons than for narrative reasons. And grounding is gone. But even UMT is a small change compared to what has happened to decking, which is on something like its 4th or 5th ground-up rewrite depending on how you count. (At least one splat changed so much to count as a new game, IIRC; maybe Virtual Realities 2.0?)
The big difference is it's easy to predict where magic will go in the game, since it's all fiction.

The issue with decking is that, when they wrote the original rules, they tried to figure out where the payphone hackers and such were going to be in the future, and the only substance in mainstream media was War Games and Tron, so they had to build around that. Unfortunately, real life had a digital/wireless explosion that no one really predicted, and the writers were stuck with their rules until they could get a handle on the real tech that outstripped anything they had written. Hell, the DVD wasn't even released until 6 years after 1st Edition.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: tenchi2a on <06-15-20/1858:16>
After being away from the forums for about a year it's refreshing to see that MC is still make everyone's life brighter.
I think the biggest issues here has always been that the developers are trying to give the Deckers to much to do.
There is no real need (Gamewise) for cyberware to have a wireless component to them, other then to give Deckers something to do in combat. Like jamming or shutting down enemy cyberware. The problem is when you do it for the PC's you have to allow the enemies to do it to. This brings with it the issues of protecting your cyberware from shutdown without making it impossible for the team Decker to do it to them.

Same goes for security systems. If you make them as powerful/secure as they are in real life then you run the risk of making them to unbreakable for the average street level PC group to bypass and every run turns into a fire fight, which most teams are going to be outgunned in. So you have to make weak points in the system for the team to exploit. Add to this, as has already been said, the fact that wireless was not really a thing when the game was first designed and putting it into the game becomes a major issues.

Personally, I would have stuck to a "this is a different world" diverting from ours in the late 80's story line and forgot about the whole wireless issues from the start.

Just to be clear, I am not a fan of the current edition (currently playing GURPS: Shatterzone anyway) I play mostly 3rd when I do play, but the issues with wireless are not just in this edition.

As for the "uncanny valley" effect, this is a major issues with the current system and one of the reasons my players and I don't use it.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: tenchi2a on <06-15-20/1926:02>
Now addressing the issues of the new edition and fan support.
This is not an issues for just Shadowrun or even just CGL.
As has been said, Battletech just got a large influx of money from the KS, but one must look at what it was for and what the backers are getting out of it.
Most levels of the KS are providing large amounts of miniature for a discounted price in the backer levels, I think it was figured out to be around $5.50 per mini. So about have price, but this don't take into account that all these mechs/elementals had to be made from the ground up (New designs/molds/packaging/etc.) so a lot or most of that money went right back into fulfilling the backers orders.
And Battletech is a boardgame not a RPG so comparing the two is like apples to oranges.

As for D&D 5th edition, this success was because they held an open playtest (D&D Next) and listened to there players. They like Shadowrun had lost a lot of support after 4th and used this to bring them back so we got a system that most of their player base liked because they helped to design it.

An example of this done wrong was L5R where they held an open playtest but ignored everything the players said as far as arguing with them about how they where right about what the players wanted (Needed) and the players where wrong. And now they are having to pass there non board/card game LP's off to a secondary company (and even lied about at first). Destroying what little fan support they had left.

As has been said before here and by me before I left, a lot of RPG companies these days have gotten into this find the next group of customers panic of "our customers are old so forget then, we need to get young ones" forgetting that unlike other products its the older customer who introduce their kids and friends to the game. So if you drive them away who is going to bring in the new generation of players.
I say if CGL and others companies want to keep trying to go after that elusive group of new players that are going to magically appear just because they change the system or made it more like said other system, then let them and sit back a watch as they fail. I still have my old books (1-5th) so I will not miss anything.

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-15-20/1955:33>
Welcome back....
And, that's probably the first time we agree(!!)

Although, to say battletech is a board game, does a great diservice to the battletech lore  which is probably much deeper then shadowrun when you get to the bolts of it.... (and I don't even play it beyond the computer games)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <06-15-20/2215:23>
The lore? My good man, saying Battletech is a boardgame is a disservice to the complexity of the game itself. It's a proper wargame even if it's hex-based.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: tenchi2a on <06-16-20/0010:18>
Been playing Battletech longer then some people on this forum have been alive so no disrespect was intended. ; ;D
Yes it is at heart a tactical wargame and the lore is great (preclan). My point was it's not at it's core a RPG.
That part of the game has always been an afterthought, and for the most part not a good afterthought.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-16-20/0639:24>
I think the biggest issues here has always been that the developers are trying to give the Deckers to much to do.

I disagree. I think the current problem is more they have this inertia from a system that has been tinkered and swapped around like a Jigsaw for 3 editions and itterate on it fixing complaints about said system but never actually nailed down what a decker's purpose is and what it is meant to do as a role.

"Decking, obviously" you might say, but that is a tautology, akin to saying 'Facing' for Faces. We know what Faces do as a role: They lie, mislead, and subvert social systems to gain access and weaken sites to other avenues of attack. It is super clear not just their thematics of being someone who talks, but what they can accomplish, how they can accomplish it, and why you would want to accomplish it. Their scope is limited (Faces can't do much when talking is off the table) but it is made up for by making Facecraft really fraggin cheap to get good at so that Faces almost always are built with a secondary specialty so that they can throw down.

Samurai gain physical access, remove physical obstacles both living and mechanical (like locks) subtly and overtly. The limits and power of their role congeal into a sensical role to be: Samurai tend to be (despite what many people assume) the most subtle role due to physical methods not instantly setting off alerts like failed hacking rolls might, numinous perception and astral signatures not being an issue, and failled con or disguise rolls not getting you in a pickle. And they are extremely good and consistent: Stealth rolls are hard to fail in 4e, 5e, and 6e, gymnastics gives you amazing vertical movement, palming is really hard for most NPCs to ever detect, they generally can't die in combat, ect. But the limits of the role also make sense and keep it fun despite its upsides creating a cohesive fantasy: They are super amazing and subtle when they want to be... but they are the only role unable to 'project power;' They can't help someone in a different room, let alone a different building, unlike every other role (Even faces can leadership!). So playing a samurai creates a good gameplay loop where you personally are rarely in trouble, but your main task of saving other people from trouble is harder for you than every other role because you need to physically be there to stop problems, which not only reintroduces tension where it is lost from you personally being bullet proof, and arguably being way more interesting.

Hackers, meanwhile, sorta... exist for the sake of it. Their abilities depending on edition sometimes affect non-abstract systems (like KC's introduction of defensive boosts) but generally a hacker's skills and abilities almost exist to hack 'for their own sake.' It isn't really exactly clear the ways hackers add value or could handle many problems solo (as every other role can generally be self sufficient in any scenario or are Faces and thus are also half samurai or half mages or whatever). Despite 4e, 5e, and 6e moving hacking out of Pizza Time and into the main gameplay loop, it still ultimately is a minigame that exists for its own sake (even in older editions, it was common for hacking sessions to purely exist to have an objective to hack, a sort of McGuffin mechanic if you will, and it wouldn't alter the structure of many runs to have hacking terminals be replaced by a physical object you had to fiddle with uninterrupted for 5 minutes).

There are some clear things a hacker might envision they should do based on lore, like looping cameras or jamming coms, but this historically is low value (Most roles are already so good at not caring about cameras due to stealth, invisibility, or disguise) and rather hard, making not worth the risk of detection as a result. Matrix Searches are neat, but are mostly a legwork action and aren't really that much of a value add on a Face asking friends for info. 5e was especially bad with this in that it actively took things out of the game that hackers could do, it was a massive system for subverting systems and infrastructure without telling you what any of it did or how it worked or why you would want to do that. As bloated and invasive as 4e's hacking was, at least it was REALLY clear what it could do for you (even if it was so overarching that it became sorta a mini-meta to use agent botnets to take over every device remotely related to a run and copy all your software onto it). We still don't really know how people log into personas in SR5 (as in from a basic 'how do people do it in universe that every single person would know just as you know to log into your computer you type in a password, not technical details about persona security) despite that kinda... being an important thing very relevant to the plots of hackers who may want to impersonate people or steal access to systems or social media accounts (which... also don't exist in the SR5 matrix system...).

Worse, hackers are in many ways defined by their weaknesses more than what they do well. While weaknesses can make a role feel MORE fun (again, see Street Sams running about trying to protect their fragile children from sticking their fingers in electrical sockets or getting their heads beaten in by gangers or arrested while unconscious rigging) the weakness needs to hook into their strengths to create a clear entertaining challenge, rather than existing more to just limit what you can accomplish. This is why, for example, people hate Background Count: It doesn't really interact with anything interesting about mages or adepts, it just makes you worse in a dumb unfun way. Likewise, this is why people don't like the concept that mundanes are weak to magic, it is a broad weakness telling you to not have fun in magic focused scenes rather than giving you a problem to sink your teeth into.

Deckers have 3 major weaknesses that interact in a super toxic way, combining to be more than the sum of their parts. Firstly, despite having a similar issue of little utility to faces outside of their own subversion method, are deliberately designed to be an exclusionary role, in that it is an active design decision to make being a hacker really expensive in terms of gear, 'ware, essence, skills, and sometimes attributes. This means if your a hacker, it is hard (though not impossible) to supplement your skillset. Second, despite one of the core appeals of hacking being you remotely ruining someone's day, there is a perception that remote hacking is fundementally bad for the game because it innures the hacker from physical risk (see why Street Sams are fun for why this doesn't make sense as an argument for remote hacking being bad. Hackers COULD be a digital babysitter much like the street sam is a physical one, getting tension from trying to protect their super dumb children from alarms and target locks or whatever), resulting in systems being created to rob the hacker of the fantasy of being 'the guy in the van who is the invisible hand messing with the run'. Third, hacking is deliberately not made useful enough to replace more traditional combat skills. Faces and hackers are the only role without a 'one and done' offensive action baked into their kit, though faces do have leadership.

This means that hacking isn't good enough to be a sole skillset to depend on in situations it isn't designed for, you will be forced to do non-hacking things, and you won't be allowed to get tools to handle non-hacking things because you gotta blow 200k on a deck and 300k on some brain boosters and you need skills B to get your hacker base. So not only is what you accomplish an unfocused mess, but you are constantly just forced to do things you didn't decide to do and are actively dragged away from the 'promise' of the role. This is why hackers have been such an issue for so many editions, it isn't 'they have too much to do' because 'ware hacking was never good in 4e or 5e anyway. It is fundementally hard to say why you would ever want to be a hacker as opposed to anything else except in situations specifically designed to justify the hacker's existence.

Combat situation? Clear reason to want to be a mage, or an adept, or a street sam, rigger, or even face to some extent. Gotta get into a building to try to find some juicy blackmail material? Do you like the idea of being invisible or a ghost, sneaking in like a ninja, walking in through the front door after flashing your school ID like it was a health inspector badge, or maintaining an awesome network of tiny spy sensors that fly about? Every role in the game has clear utility in almost every situation EXCEPT the hacker.

The hacker sorta muddies through and generally does things more clumsily than any other role in order to ensure you wouldn't play a hacker over those roles. Combat situation? Get access to their gun over 1-2 passes and then spend an entire third pass to eject their mag an- oh they got shot... or combat is over before I got to use the mark...

This is part of the feedback I gave for KC, and its why hackers in KC got a bunch of actions that intended to codify what they did: They got tools to directly and instantly stop hostile information sharing, and became remote tricksters encouraged to make things really annoying for people. So now they went from this person who handles... things most people don't care about like files and datasteals that only exist to give the hacker an objective in the run... to this digital trickster protecting their team through more control oriented methods. No phonecalls for you, that bullet isn't going to hit, stop shooting so accurately, ect. And while this didn't solve the issues with hackers as a whole... (For example, there are MAJOR thematic issues with the idea that hackers mostly use off the shelf stock computers and that your wallet is a huge determiner if you can even start trying to learn to hack), it sorta made the role... work even if the GM wasn't bending over backward to invent reasons for hacking to be useful. Suddenly you got to be the hero who slapped the dice out of the GM's hand when they rolled something really scary for the rest of your team and shout 'NOT TODAY SCUMBAG' which is... really fun.

I think for hackers to ever be fixed someone needs to nail down not how they do the thing (Which is essentially what the matrix updates always are) but what they do. Do they control information and mess with devices to support their team? Fine, focus on creating actions that make that useful. Do they need to be physically present? Fine, then find ways to make hackers have actions that make them feel powerful for being somewhere, like giving out awesome target locks or creating Trideo Illusions. Can they be remote? Then focus on them as someone managing something constantly for the team (such as having tech based threats, again sensor locks or passive alarms and the like are a good way to make something that doesn't ruin you if you don't have a decker but helps you if you do) that create choices based on a limited economy (such as processing power rather than action economy) so that they feel involved in the action actively making choices and tradeoffs that can have consequences for the team to make up for them not risking death..

Basically hackers can't just exist so the game has hackers, and the matrix system can't exist with the assumption that it will be used just to justify hackers. Many games exist with cool sensor and EWAR and computer rules (Traveller, EP, and many of the star trek RPGs come to mind) that justify tech abilities helping in scenes. Give hackers software to map relationships in social scenes, or make an action that represents a one and done action to get a bunch of personal dirt from a comlink and social media rather than creating a whole subscene where you painstakingly decrypt a bunch of different files from a comlink. Useful actionable abilities are what make a role a role. Hackers are currently designed like mages without any spells or spirits being in the game. The hacking subsystem can be tweaked and streamlined and improved as much as anyone cares to do it, but it is ultimately a subsystem looking for a point.

Same goes for security systems. If you make them as powerful/secure as they are in real life then you run the risk of making them to unbreakable for the average street level PC group to bypass and every run turns into a fire fight, which most teams are going to be outgunned in.

Security systems are not at all secure in real life. In fact, SR security systems tend to be unrealistically strong.

There is a reason the standard is to design as if you WILL face a major leak and to do things like storing secure information in a manner you yourself can't access it. Major companies don't just get minor data steals in real life, password pastebin leaks are a major thing (seriously, google 'have I been PWNed') and really basic well known ways to create system insecurity such as XSS vulnerabilities or failing to revoke session tokens still occur.

There are ways in which systems can be perfectly secure in theory (such as if you properly store passwords encrypted, hashed, and salted, or designing systems so that literally no one could access it besides the end user, even the service owner) but that isn't the same as the system not being subvertable: people regularly hack security cameras IRL and there are websites that are just live feeds of secure areas where no one bothered to change the default settings or the firmware for these high security bullet proof cameras has a crippling vulnerability that can never be fixed. Besides, realism doesn't really matter. What really matters is finding a way for hackers to 'do their thing' in a way that creates a good mechanical gameplay loop and is interesting in the context of going on shadowruns. After all, the entire concept of VR and 'jacking in' is entirely absurd in of itself, yet I think there would be riots if any hacking system didn't have a mechanic that massively rewarded you for plugging your brain into something that could fry it and going into a voulintary comatose state in order to play around in virtual space shooting laser beams out of your wacky custom avatar.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Sphinx on <06-16-20/1046:27>
All I want is a decking system that makes as much sense as the magic system.

What I want is a decking system that's parallel to the magic system. Hackers should have a Matrix attribute the way magicians have a Magic attribute. Matrix perception should work like astral perception. Virtual reality like astral projection. Agent programs should behave like spirits. Cyberprograms should be like spells (e.g., Invisibility to Cameras, Fake Identity, Open Maglock, Destroy Device). Drain applied as Matrix damage to the deck.

It seems so obvious to me. Shrug. Maybe next edition.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-16-20/1129:06>
All I want is a decking system that makes as much sense as the magic system.

What I want is a decking system that's parallel to the magic system. Hackers should have a Matrix attribute the way magicians have a Magic attribute. Matrix perception should work like astral perception. Virtual reality like astral projection. Agent programs should behave like spirits. Cyberprograms should be like spells (e.g., Invisibility to Cameras, Fake Identity, Open Maglock, Destroy Device). Drain applied as Matrix damage to the deck.

It seems so obvious to me. Shrug. Maybe next edition.

....isn't that essentially what Technomancers do? 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-16-20/1145:53>
I've shared that pipe dream of having magic and matrix share a single set of rules where only the names for the component mechanics are different.

I've never come up with something workable though.  Not while complying with lore/fluff, at any rate.  You'd probably have to redefine the nature of astral and/or the matrix worlds with an eye towards this goal.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <06-16-20/1147:57>
I think for hackers to ever be fixed someone needs to nail down not how they do the thing (Which is essentially what the matrix updates always are) but what they do. Do they control information and mess with devices to support their team? Fine, focus on creating actions that make that useful. Do they need to be physically present? Fine, then find ways to make hackers have actions that make them feel powerful for being somewhere, like giving out awesome target locks or creating Trideo Illusions. Can they be remote? Then focus on them as someone managing something constantly for the team (such as having tech based threats, again sensor locks or passive alarms and the like are a good way to make something that doesn't ruin you if you don't have a decker but helps you if you do) that create choices based on a limited economy (such as processing power rather than action economy) so that they feel involved in the action actively making choices and tradeoffs that can have consequences for the team to make up for them not risking death..

Basically hackers can't just exist so the game has hackers, and the matrix system can't exist with the assumption that it will be used just to justify hackers. Many games exist with cool sensor and EWAR and computer rules (Traveller, EP, and many of the star trek RPGs come to mind) that justify tech abilities helping in scenes. Give hackers software to map relationships in social scenes, or make an action that represents a one and done action to get a bunch of personal dirt from a comlink and social media rather than creating a whole subscene where you painstakingly decrypt a bunch of different files from a comlink. Useful actionable abilities are what make a role a role. Hackers are currently designed like mages without any spells or spirits being in the game. The hacking subsystem can be tweaked and streamlined and improved as much as anyone cares to do it, but it is ultimately a subsystem looking for a point.

Same goes for security systems. If you make them as powerful/secure as they are in real life then you run the risk of making them to unbreakable for the average street level PC group to bypass and every run turns into a fire fight, which most teams are going to be outgunned in.

Security systems are not at all secure in real life. In fact, SR security systems tend to be unrealistically strong.

There is a reason the standard is to design as if you WILL face a major leak and to do things like storing secure information in a manner you yourself can't access it. Major companies don't just get minor data steals in real life, password pastebin leaks are a major thing (seriously, google 'have I been PWNed') and really basic well known ways to create system insecurity such as XSS vulnerabilities or failing to revoke session tokens still occur.

xclnt post dezzmont, when are you going to rewrite 5e's matrix system?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-16-20/1158:06>
Easy way to make Magic and Matrix use the same rules

Create skills that read the same for both:
Astral = Virtual Reality
Conjuring = Tasking
Enchanting = Electronics
Sorcery = Cracking

Change up how the types are:
Shaman = Technomancers
Mages = Deckers

In other words, Shaman are more tied to conjuring and using magic by force of will, while Mages use tools like spellbooks, wands, potions, etc. to access the magic with a buffer between them and the astral.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-16-20/1204:15>
Easy way to make Magic and Matrix use the same rules

Create skills that read the same for both:
Astral = Virtual Reality
Conjuring = Tasking
Enchanting = Electronics
Sorcery = Cracking

Change up how the types are:
Shaman = Technomancers
Mages = Deckers

In other words, Shaman are more tied to conjuring and using magic by force of will, while Mages use tools like spellbooks, wands, potions, etc. to access the magic with a buffer between them and the astral.

I miss the days of when magic worked that way.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-16-20/1209:03>
Easy way to make Magic and Matrix use the same rules

Create skills that read the same for both:
Astral = Virtual Reality
Conjuring = Tasking
Enchanting = Electronics
Sorcery = Cracking

Change up how the types are:
Shaman = Technomancers
Mages = Deckers

In other words, Shaman are more tied to conjuring and using magic by force of will, while Mages use tools like spellbooks, wands, potions, etc. to access the magic with a buffer between them and the astral.

Big concepts are easy.  The devil's in the details ;)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: SITZKRIEG on <06-16-20/1319:19>
I've shared that pipe dream of having magic and matrix share a single set of rules where only the names for the component mechanics are different.

I've never come up with something workable though.  Not while complying with lore/fluff, at any rate.  You'd probably have to redefine the nature of astral and/or the matrix worlds with an eye towards this goal.

That's why I think a complete reboot of the setting would have to accompany the same with the rules.  Jettison all the stuff developed both mechanically and background-wise from the decades past and start from scratch with the game that you want to build in 2020/2021.  I suspect that will be an unpopular opinion but fwiw I like the background and have followed it since 2nd ed but I feel you can't have one reboot done successfully without the other.  A ruleset with dialup casio keyboards at the basis for matrix tech is just as outmoded as one where the Japanese are both a major military and economic power in the world.

That said... I have no problem playing in an RPG with a purposeful retrofuturetech feel like with the 2050 supplement as long as that is the expressed goal and not a hindrance to the real goal (a real future tech RPG game).  YMMV.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-16-20/1330:36>
You're not wrong... but moves far less bold have already drawn howling.

And that's not to demean those who don't like things like armor not adding to soak... I was just as big a complainer years ago when variable TNs went to hits, and UMT imposed changes on the metaphysics of the setting.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: SITZKRIEG on <06-16-20/1353:36>
You're not wrong... but moves far less bold have already drawn howling.

And that's not to demean those who don't like things like armor not adding to soak... I was just as big a complainer years ago when variable TNs went to hits, and UMT imposed changes on the metaphysics of the setting.

Absolutely it will from some.  Unfortunately, we've had multiple band-aid tweak editions with seemingly little to no success (at least from a relative outsider like me who pops in and out of the scene).   Shadowrun had multiple successfully crowdfunded electronic games that were actually good but it didn't seem to drive lasting interest/traffic to the tabletop game for a variety of reasons but it would be naive to exclude the tabletop game itself as a primary one.  If the game still wants to be a prescient look at a dystopian future then it needs a top down reboot every two decades.  Even if the game designers were 90% accurate in their initial predictions on the future, the errors add up and compound like interest over the decades. 

That said, and I'm repeating myself here, if they instead choose to be a retrofuture tech RPG with old school mechanics then the pretense of anything else should be abandoned and those aspects embraced.  Stop pretending to be half streamlined while simultaneously 2/3 crunchy with the weld between the two looking like it was done by a one handed blind man using a blow torch for the first time.  If they go this route, they should look towards the steampunk genre for ideas on how to accomplish something like that thematically/stylistically  (but obviously replace the 1880's with 1980's!).  Fourth edition for all its faults was to me the last real attempt to try to embrace one of those goals and I think it's time for another.  They need to commit to the bit but that requires them to decide on one first.  I'm not going to pretend that I'll buy in whole hog on anything they do but I will try to honestly evaluate it on the basis of what it is attempting just like I did with Anarchy a few years ago and am now currently doing with 6e.  Unfortunately, the former was a wash for me and it's not looking too great for 6e either.

edit:  I've had a few more hours to think about this and realized that this is not just a naive pipe dream but literally impossible in today's climate.  There is no way an RPG company would properly reboot a dystopia with anything close to the elements in the original Shadowrun.  Any whiff of slightly less than glowing praise for anything other than a narrow section of the world/society/humanity will instantly result in condemnation and cancellation.  There is no "good guy" society in shadowrun and I don't have any faith in the company having the fortitude necessary to handle the onslaught of criticism from a vocal minority on social media labelling them various heinous things because of choices made in a fictional setting.  Aztechnology as blood magic bad guys?  Xenophobic.  Can't replace Japan with China because the Chinese will get offended and that's where you print your books and make your widgets, right?  You don't want to end up like that flying ship battle game (was that Catalyst?) that lost everything because they didn't include Taiwan in a setting a century ago as part of China on a frakking map let alone potraying them as they are now let alone in a dystopian future.  NAN?  Is that how you spell cultural appropriation in the future?  And lets not get into the recent flaring up of the "orks are racist" argument in the RPG world just a few weeks ago...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <06-16-20/1416:29>
Deckers have 3 major weaknesses...
I actually feel that deckers are far more accessible than they ever been before (except perhaps 4th edition that didn't even feature cyberdecks at all). Both Skill-wise and Resource-wise (this also seem to be one of the design goals for this edition's matrix rules).  As a result it seem to be far easier for non-hacker characters to branch into a secondary hacking role or for primary hacker characters to branch out into a non-hacking-related secondary role.

And (for the first time ever?) hackers can now actually accomplish things by often just taking one single test. Door is locked? Let me just connect to it and spoof a command. Done. Resolved as one single test. Like a Boss (another design goal for this edition's matrix rules?)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-16-20/1649:07>
5th Edition a Decker could get away with an Erika cyberdeck.  You needed to grab Smoke and Mirrors and all the cheap noise reduction you could, couple program carriers and the Overclocker quality helped.  But you could get double digit Sleaze which is 90% of what a Decker really needed.  Around 40k Nuyen.

6th Edition Matrix Attributes don't come up often.  You use Sleaze for Running Silent, then Firewall and Attack are if you're in Matrix combat.  If you're a Sleaze Decker though, you could play an entire campaign without using Attack.  And when Data Processing matters, you can usually have it configured to be your highest Attribute, or your second highest.  Pretty sure the Erika cyberdeck will work just fine.  Cyberjack/RCC/Commlink/or the totally not a Pi-Tac from Firing Squad for your other two Attributes.

I don't think it's a universal truth that 5th/6th edition Deckers "Must" spend 50%+ of their starting Nuyen on Matrix Attributes.  They've got enough resources for a decent secondary skill focus of some kind.   

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-16-20/1650:57>
Depends on your Edge Generation.  If you have Analytical Mind, you can probably afford to skimp on ASDF stats.  You're getting your edge anyway.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-16-20/1724:39>
It is very difficult for Deckers to generate Edge from Matrix attributes when they're going against Hosts.  A rating 1 Host is likely Firewall 4, DP 3, so a Decker would need a total of 11 Attack and Sleaze which is getting expensive, but who cares about a Rating 1 Host?  Rating 4 host, total defense of 11, Decker would need a 15 Attack plus Sleaze, which is barely possible out of chargen and its pretty much every bit of Nuyen on the character.   

Erika and a Transys Avalon you can get a total of 8, which means you're not giving up Edge for a rating 4 on down host.  Or if the Host isn't maxed out Firewall/Data Processing.

Deckers don't generate Edge vs. Hosts.  Hosts generate Edge Vs Deckers.  Which is why it's really important to do things in just one roll when you can, and avoid hanging around in a Host.  Eventually the Spider will just spend 5 Edge and wreck your world if you do.

Technomancers should have a decent shot.  Charisma plus Intuition plus Resonance?  Psyche, Novacoke, and Maybe an Infusion of Matrix Attribute and/or a friendly buff spell from the Mage?  Seems doable. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-17-20/0136:03>
Analytical Mind needs to die in a dumpster-fire and nerfed to death. When compared to Photographic Memory, it is clear the RAI there doesn't match the RAW.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Finstersang on <06-17-20/0756:16>
Analytical Mind needs to die in a dumpster-fire and nerfed to death. When compared to Photographic Memory, it is clear the RAI there doesn't match the RAW.

Indeed. It´s insane how obviously broken this is...

Analytical Mind is so bonkers RAW that it´s even an OP quality for non-Hackers and non-mages. You basically get free Edge for thinking, FFS! What kind of maniac thought this was an appropriate quality?

1...which also includes memory tests and repair tests, for which there are already more expensive Edge-generating Qualities? ???

2And by god, do I hate the fact that there´s no keyword for that...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-17-20/0834:23>
Analytical Mind is so bonkers RAW that it´s even an OP quality for non-Hackers and non-mages. You basically get free Edge for thinking, FFS! What kind of maniac thought this was an appropriate quality?
Agreed. I’d have a lot more confidence in the 6e errata process if we weren’t somehow on almost a year and three major errata publications and this rule still somehow surviving untouched. Baffling.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-17-20/1214:53>
Analytical Mind is so bonkers RAW that it´s even an OP quality for non-Hackers and non-mages. You basically get free Edge for thinking, FFS! What kind of maniac thought this was an appropriate quality?
Agreed. I’d have a lot more confidence in the 6e errata process if we weren’t somehow on almost a year and three major errata publications and this rule still somehow surviving untouched. Baffling.

It's a tax for Hackers.  Not sure why folks get all worked up about increasing the Hacker tax.  Even if it was 30 Karma, Hackers would still have to take it because there is simply no other option for reliably generating Edge while Hacking.  It's like cyberdecks, they have to take one if they want to play.

I'm all for getting the wording changed to keep Herimetic mages from benefiting.  But big picture, this is a Hacker tax so Hackers have some kind of Edge generation.

As far as "Its so Cheap everyone should have it!"... Chameleon Armor, Lined Coats, and Hidden Arm slides are also so cheap everyone should take them.  There is no shortage of cheap Edge generation.  How much any one table wants to put up with it is a matter of taste. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-17-20/1245:58>
It's a tax for Hackers.  Not sure why folks get all worked up about increasing the Hacker tax.  Even if it was 30 Karma, Hackers would still have to take it because there is simply no other option for reliably generating Edge while Hacking.  It's like cyberdecks, they have to take one if they want to play.

I'm all for getting the wording changed to keep Herimetic mages from benefiting.  But big picture, this is a Hacker tax so Hackers have some kind of Edge generation.
If hacker edge generation is so poor that they need an overpowered custom quality just to address it, then this fixes completely the wrong problem. If only because not taking Analytical Mind becomes a trap option, so decker players who don't read the qualities section closely enough are screwed. Fix the Matrix rules first so they naturally generate edge. Then revisit this quality.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-17-20/1341:39>
That would indeed be the ideal situation.  Totally agree.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Leith on <06-18-20/1154:53>
It's a tax for Hackers.  Not sure why folks get all worked up about increasing the Hacker tax.  Even if it was 30 Karma, Hackers would still have to take it because there is simply no other option for reliably generating Edge while Hacking.  It's like cyberdecks, they have to take one if they want to play.

I'm all for getting the wording changed to keep Herimetic mages from benefiting.  But big picture, this is a Hacker tax so Hackers have some kind of Edge generation.
If hacker edge generation is so poor that they need an overpowered custom quality just to address it, then this fixes completely the wrong problem. If only because not taking Analytical Mind becomes a trap option, so decker players who don't read the qualities section closely enough are screwed. Fix the Matrix rules first so they naturally generate edge. Then revisit this quality.

My experience has been that, statistically, deckers are usually on the back foot with hosts, just generally, and that that seems intentional. The max rating for a host is now 12 which could easily mean Firewall 15 and DP 14. A decker could rock up with 26 dice including a wild die and still have a tough time getting in the front door. I mean backdoor.

As far as edge generation itself, while host diving, the rating 4 example upthread seems to acknowledge the exploit program but not the Hog boost. If the numbers are close denying edge or gaining edge is doable. You are at that point spending edge to make edge but as long as your attack attribute is high enough that you make back the 2 you spent plus a bit more, you can spend more.

Meanwhile, hacking a PAN results in the opposite. A decker will alsmost always gain edge unless they are facing another decker/technomancer or someone stupid/confident enough to slave their PAN to a host.

I think this is all just evidence for Dezmont's point that the rules dont provide a specific role for deckers. Ultimately one will have to do it for oneself, but it would be nice if the mechanics were more supportive.

To that end, we need good edge actions and more ASDF upgrades in the form of programs and gear. The solution to getting hacked shouldn't be 'turn your wi-fi off' or 'hope your decker has your back.' And the solution to busting up hosts shouldn't be 'spend lots of edge from Analytical Mind.'

Also I find it funny that people hate that everything is wireless but would be happy for the setting to regress back to the 1980s/90s. No judgement on which is your preference, it just amuses me how the human mind works sometimes.

Also also, it would be nice if there were some indications of what rating a host ought to be. I remember there being something in Data Trails but the core book let me down in that edition too. Frankly,  that *excrement* is important.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Annoch on <06-18-20/1247:46>
Also I find it funny that people hate that everything is wireless but would be happy for the setting to regress back to the 1980s/90s. No judgement on which is your preference, it just amuses me how the human mind works sometimes.


People want that because it was the last time that the structure of the Matrix was clear.  Ignoring the obvious issues with First through Third edition hacking, it was easy to picture exactly what was happening.  You have a deck, you plug it into an jackpoint, you run through the separate dungeon that is the host structure....easy!

The wireless Matrix does better represent the 'real world', but it adds many many layers of complexity when it comes to what is actually happening.  And then 6E came out and took out nearly all of the context, making something that was conceptually difficult in 4E and 5E impossible to parse.

I honestly do not believe that anyone could figure out the Matrix structure and rules using only the 6E rulebook, using nothing from prior edition knowledge or rulebooks.  The section is simply incomplete, full stop.

So, understandably people gravitate to the last time the rules made some modicum of sense....
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-18-20/1248:32>
It's a tax for Hackers.  Not sure why folks get all worked up about increasing the Hacker tax.  Even if it was 30 Karma, Hackers would still have to take it because there is simply no other option for reliably generating Edge while Hacking.  It's like cyberdecks, they have to take one if they want to play.

I'm all for getting the wording changed to keep Herimetic mages from benefiting.  But big picture, this is a Hacker tax so Hackers have some kind of Edge generation.
If hacker edge generation is so poor that they need an overpowered custom quality just to address it, then this fixes completely the wrong problem. If only because not taking Analytical Mind becomes a trap option, so decker players who don't read the qualities section closely enough are screwed. Fix the Matrix rules first so they naturally generate edge. Then revisit this quality.

My experience has been that, statistically, deckers are usually on the back foot with hosts, just generally, and that that seems intentional. The max rating for a host is now 12 which could easily mean Firewall 15 and DP 14. A decker could rock up with 26 dice including a wild die and still have a tough time getting in the front door. I mean backdoor.

As far as edge generation itself, while host diving, the rating 4 example upthread seems to acknowledge the exploit program but not the Hog boost. If the numbers are close denying edge or gaining edge is doable. You are at that point spending edge to make edge but as long as your attack attribute is high enough that you make back the 2 you spent plus a bit more, you can spend more.

Meanwhile, hacking a PAN results in the opposite. A decker will alsmost always gain edge unless they are facing another decker/technomancer or someone stupid/confident enough to slave their PAN to a host.

I think this is all just evidence for Dezmont's point that the rules dont provide a specific role for deckers. Ultimately one will have to do it for oneself, but it would be nice if the mechanics were more supportive.

To that end, we need good edge actions and more ASDF upgrades in the form of programs and gear. The solution to getting hacked shouldn't be 'turn your wi-fi off' or 'hope your decker has your back.' And the solution to busting up hosts shouldn't be 'spend lots of edge from Analytical Mind.'

Also I find it funny that people hate that everything is wireless but would be happy for the setting to regress back to the 1980s/90s. No judgement on which is your preference, it just amuses me how the human mind works sometimes.

Also also, it would be nice if there were some indications of what rating a host ought to be. I remember there being something in Data Trails but the core book let me down in that edition too. Frankly,  that *excrement* is important.

Well just because Host ratings can go that high doesn't mean they should, and yes I know the book doesn't talk about that. That sort of thing was supposed to be covered in a GM section.

Your "average" secure host should only be around 5 or 6, then high security can get up to 9, with ultra high hitting that 12 benchmark.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-18-20/1344:10>
Note that foodpoisoning all of a Corp's Spiders is always a valid option.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-18-20/1723:10>
Well just because Host ratings can go that high doesn't mean they should, and yes I know the book doesn't talk about that. That sort of thing was supposed to be covered in a GM section.
Man, that sucks. For whatever it’s worth coming from this internet stranger — I’m sorry your work wasn’t presented in the best light, Banshee.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-18-20/1845:35>
I have to admit, I have thought Shadowrun could have used a GM section filled with examples of dice pools, and thresh holds. Yes, there are examples in the various rules, but that does really replace a good GM section.

Too bad it got chopped, as it might have answered more then a few questions people have had over the years...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Leith on <06-18-20/2048:54>
Also I find it funny that people hate that everything is wireless but would be happy for the setting to regress back to the 1980s/90s. No judgement on which is your preference, it just amuses me how the human mind works sometimes.


People want that because it was the last time that the structure of the Matrix was clear.  Ignoring the obvious issues with First through Third edition hacking, it was easy to picture exactly what was happening.  You have a deck, you plug it into an jackpoint, you run through the separate dungeon that is the host structure....easy!

The wireless Matrix does better represent the 'real world', but it adds many many layers of complexity when it comes to what is actually happening.  And then 6E came out and took out nearly all of the context, making something that was conceptually difficult in 4E and 5E impossible to parse.

I honestly do not believe that anyone could figure out the Matrix structure and rules using only the 6E rulebook, using nothing from prior edition knowledge or rulebooks.  The section is simply incomplete, full stop.

So, understandably people gravitate to the last time the rules made some modicum of sense....

I jave read the 1e matrix rules. I am not a tech guy. I was 2 years old when that book was published. It made just as much sense to me as the 6e matrix chapter. Nostalgia is nostalgic. Which is not bad.

I do think that unless the plan is to ditch 6e and go back in time it is more productive to discuss what the game does and does not do. The fact that the rules are incomprehensible is a criticism that could be applied to the whole book, but is not, in and of itself, helpful. Which is not a criticism of people saying that, feedback is feedback. The question is what do you need your feedback to accomplish. Which I guess would be to get CGL to write something that made sense...

Honestly, I'd just like to see CGL edit their stuff better. I have only one serious critique of Firing Squad, and it is that. Pay an english major and fix that stuff before you send it to the printer. Somehow everyone else manages it.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-19-20/0221:46>
I have to admit, I have thought Shadowrun could have used a GM section filled with examples of dice pools, and thresh holds. Yes, there are examples in the various rules, but that does really replace a good GM section.

Too bad it got chopped, as it might have answered more then a few questions people have had over the years...
More GM info is good but given how people got nasty about rewards and training times, despite them clearly stating they're guidelines, I'm not sure if more example thresholds than are in the book now would be a good idea.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-19-20/1054:51>
More GM info is good but given how people got nasty about rewards and training times, despite them clearly stating they're guidelines, I'm not sure if more example thresholds than are in the book now would be a good idea.

Raised legitimate concerns about rewards and training times, especially as relates to organized play. Fixed for that for ya! :)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-19-20/1136:21>
I happen to know that the SRM FAQ people thought long and hard about what to do about training times for organized play.

There's agreement with your perspective Lormyr that training times measured by the month would not be a good thing for SRM play.  But any changes there are of course just for SRM, not formal errata to the CRB.

But for what it's worth, the CRB's rule is that the GM simply says how long training takes.  the "suggestions" may look like official rules due to being incorporated into the Advancement Costs table, but at the core of things those times are still just a suggestion on how long training should take in a campaign.  As stated, admittedly understatedly, in the Character Advancement rules preceding that table...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-19-20/1227:59>
I hear you. And for anyone who feels like just having guidelines instead of rules in a core rule book is cool, more power to you.

I personally feel like that is nonsense though. A core rule book should be a book of hard rules, possibly with optional rules, not guidelines. That would be like selling a book of potential house rules. I think it's nonsense, but I have no hard feelings to anyone who disagrees.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-19-20/1237:18>
I happen to know that the SRM FAQ people thought long and hard about what to do about training times for organized play.
...
But for what it's worth, the CRB's rule is that the GM simply says how long training takes.  the "suggestions" may look like official rules due to being incorporated into the Advancement Costs table, but at the core of things those times are still just a suggestion on how long training should take in a campaign.  As stated, admittedly understatedly, in the Character Advancement rules preceding that table...
It doesn’t matter how carefully you describe something as being merely a suggestion if they are, objectively, just really, really bad ideas.

Let’s be clear: the “suggestions” are six months to take Firearms from 5->6 and a full year to take Agility from 5->6. I cannot imagine anyone’s table being the better for accepting these times. The fact that even the SRM team rejected them should tell you how bad these are, given how closely SRM hews to RAW.

They’re a waste of paper. Just because they’re “suggestions” doesn’t mean it’s OK that they suck. The book would be flat-out better if that table was just completely deleted.

Edit - and actually you’re overselling what the CRB says anyway: “The time it takes to raise any given ability is truly only suggested—the actual time used is up to the gamemaster, with times best fitting the story they want to tell, but we offer the listed times to create a general consensus.” (emphasis mine). That’s a bit stronger than “here’s some numbers, ignore them if you want.” GMs are being encouraged to riff on these numbers, not discard them out of hand.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-19-20/1243:01>
What works for one campaign doesn't necessarily work for another.

Time is basically a third metacurrency.  It goes along with how much nuyen and/or karma something costs to acquire.  There are reasons why time might be more or less valuable, and therefore the pricing in time is more or less important.  But yes if time is so cheap it approaches "free", then time basically just becomes nothing more than extra nuyen tax in the form of more lifestyle payments during that time.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Finstersang on <06-19-20/1253:05>
At this point, I have come to like a more "guideline-style" approach instead of "hard rules". But I just can´t help the creeping feeling that this is mostly because the minute you get the "hard rules", they have a high chance to be utter shit. ::)

Just take the new Called Shots in Firing Line. Before these, if a player asked me if he can try to blind or silence an enemy with an Attack, I would have just improvised it with a reasonable penalty (about -4) or, alternatively, a little Edge expenditure. Same for other staples like throwing or tackling your opponents. You just eyeball it. Throw around some Edge tokens, Dice pool or Damage bonuses. You know, fun stuff. But along comes Firing Line with the official "hard rules" and lo and behold, shit´s all over the place:


If the "hard rules" (or "suggestions" for them) continue to look like this, spare me the details. I could have easily improvised better and more engaging rules for this straight at the table in under a Minute: "Minus 4 to your Attack roll, if you get net hits, your target is blinded for the same amount of combat rounds." Something like that.

BTW: Training time went right on my "Shit I ignore"-List as well. As if there wasn´t enough incentives for chargen min-maxing...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-19-20/1256:46>
What works for one campaign doesn't necessarily work for another.

Time is basically a third metacurrency.  It goes along with how much nuyen and/or karma something costs to acquire.  There are reasons why time might be more or less valuable, and therefore the pricing in time is more or less important.  But yes if time is so cheap it approaches "free", then time basically just becomes nothing more than extra nuyen tax in the form of more lifestyle payments during that time.
A freaking year to advance one attribute by one point. A year! You are defending it taking a year! Listen to yourself, man. I’m not saying it should be free. I understand why you might want some time in there. But let’s be reasonable. A year is ridiculous. Surely you know this.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-19-20/1306:53>
What works for one campaign doesn't necessarily work for another.

Time is basically a third metacurrency.  It goes along with how much nuyen and/or karma something costs to acquire.  There are reasons why time might be more or less valuable, and therefore the pricing in time is more or less important.  But yes if time is so cheap it approaches "free", then time basically just becomes nothing more than extra nuyen tax in the form of more lifestyle payments during that time.
A freaking year to advance one attribute by one point. A year! You are defending it taking a year! Listen to yourself, man. I’m not saying it should be free. I understand why you might want some time in there. But let’s be reasonable. A year is ridiculous. Surely you know this.
Chill a bit.

Remember, some groups have it set that there may be a year downtime between their runs. Not every group has the characters going one run to another with minimal downtime.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-19-20/1320:25>
What works for one campaign doesn't necessarily work for another.

Time is basically a third metacurrency.  It goes along with how much nuyen and/or karma something costs to acquire.  There are reasons why time might be more or less valuable, and therefore the pricing in time is more or less important.  But yes if time is so cheap it approaches "free", then time basically just becomes nothing more than extra nuyen tax in the form of more lifestyle payments during that time.
A freaking year to advance one attribute by one point. A year! You are defending it taking a year! Listen to yourself, man. I’m not saying it should be free. I understand why you might want some time in there. But let’s be reasonable. A year is ridiculous. Surely you know this.
Chill a bit.

Remember, some groups have it set that there may be a year downtime between their runs. Not every group has the characters going one run to another with minimal downtime.

I don't like that particular flavor either, but bear in mind that there's nothing saying you have to train for the whole interval without interruption.  Or that training can't be concurrent.  If it takes a year to raise your attribute, but you still go on shadowruns at the same tempo as if you weren't training, and can still train other stuff too during that time, it's just ending up putting a brake on attribute advancement, even if you have the available karma.

Can I see that being completely reasonable?  Yes, I can.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-19-20/1400:16>
I don't really have anything further of use to add to that particular topic, primarily because both of my opinions that not having a hard rule is nonsense and the offered "guideline consensus" is not a good time frame for average play are firm enough there is no point in going in circles about it since my mind won't change.

That said, I appreciate watching the dialogue unfold, so thanks to everyone weighing in, regardless of what side you fall on.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-19-20/1616:01>
Remember, some groups have it set that there may be a year downtime between their runs. Not every group has the characters going one run to another with minimal downtime.
With 3 runs per 2 months, and 3 simultaneous trainings, using both training guidelines and reward guidelines you still run short on karma.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <06-19-20/1810:02>
I happen to know that the SRM FAQ people thought long and hard about what to do about training times for organized play.
...
But for what it's worth, the CRB's rule is that the GM simply says how long training takes.  the "suggestions" may look like official rules due to being incorporated into the Advancement Costs table, but at the core of things those times are still just a suggestion on how long training should take in a campaign.  As stated, admittedly understatedly, in the Character Advancement rules preceding that table...
It doesn’t matter how carefully you describe something as being merely a suggestion if they are, objectively, just really, really bad ideas.

Let’s be clear: the “suggestions” are six months to take Firearms from 5->6 and a full year to take Agility from 5->6. I cannot imagine anyone’s table being the better for accepting these times. The fact that even the SRM team rejected them should tell you how bad these are, given how closely SRM hews to RAW.

They’re a waste of paper. Just because they’re “suggestions” doesn’t mean it’s OK that they suck. The book would be flat-out better if that table was just completely deleted.

Edit - and actually you’re overselling what the CRB says anyway: “The time it takes to raise any given ability is truly only suggested—the actual time used is up to the gamemaster, with times best fitting the story they want to tell, but we offer the listed times to create a general consensus.” (emphasis mine). That’s a bit stronger than “here’s some numbers, ignore them if you want.” GMs are being encouraged to riff on these numbers, not discard them out of hand.

This is all just another fail due to the lack of coherent editing/ proofing/ people knowing wtf they are doing at Catalyst.
I mean there are sooo many things like this in the game it's rather hilarious.
You can't flip a page without bumping into some other half-baked, poorly thought-through rule, suggestion or fluff text.
It's clear why the products are like this, and it's not money or the size of Catalyst because both the French and German publishers are far better than Catalyst at this stuff.
It boils down to will & competency.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-19-20/1928:58>
 Part of this is perception.

Attributes are not a linear power scale. The human record for a powerlift is 2380lbs. (That impressive!!). But that doesn't mean someone with a 1 in strength can powerlify 400 pounds.....


And really, how much training and practice is needed to improve a skill? Going from dropping your gun every pull of the trigger to pitting Aces at 200 yards is sonething thst takes YEARS of practice!





Or, 175 karma and an afternoon to some people...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <06-19-20/1957:16>
You're not wrong Reaver, but this is also a game. I firmly believe that, when playing a game, the majority of players would prefer to receive the benefit of their karma spends relatively quickly, rather than potentially 10 or more sessions later (which is only 1 run/month).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-19-20/2005:45>
You're not wrong Reaver, but this is also a game. I firmly believe that, when playing a game, the majority of players would prefer to receive the benefit of their karma spends relatively quickly, rather than potentially 10 or more sessions later (which is only 1 run/month).

And I don't disagree either. But this is one of those things that people will bitch about on both ends. Classic no win. They even put it as a suggestion, and yet people bitch! Imagine if they said 'month per rank. No exceptions!'.  Fireworks....

And considering I have legitimately seen people say "well the rules don't say anything about Gravity...:"


Take some responsibility for your fun!!!!
What, is it only us cavemen gamers that say "this rule sucks, lets ignore it!" (Looking at you, DnD encumbrance rules).



EDIT:
Phones + fat fingers - spell check = unreadable post.. cleaned up now that I am at a keyboard.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-20-20/0615:53>
From beginning of TTRPGs the whole question of character advancement has been a point that's always created controversy. Starting with Level systems, then into more granular approaches. Eventually we reach the point of some of the more exotic attribute raising schemes developed in the game Morrowind.

At heart this is fairly simple players like rewards, players like their characters to get stronger. This is good for your game. The complicating factor players also need to be challenged, and something worked for is more satisfying then something easily achieved.  So how does one make a graph and find the intersection of those two curves? I don't think you can. SR isn't overly simulationist particularly sense 4th. So my suggestion is always try and link it to play, allow player to advance a skill when something in the game makes it feel appropriate. Whether that's training with someone, or X number of failures on that roll, or whatever seems sufficiently interesting. People are different they learn and improve at different rates. Often the more subtle components of a given skill only become apparent when you try and explain it or teach it to another person. Try and make it fun.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: BeCareful on <06-20-20/1328:28>
Yeah, my philosophy on advancement is to factor that in with how you plan on setting up the whole campaign. If everyone wants to have a downtime calendar, planning training time will be another complication. If everyone wants it light and episodic, "You can improve 1 thing between sessions" is simple, especially if people normally plan on getting up to 3 ranks in tertiary skills anyway.
At some point, I want to reward my PCs with an all-expenses-paid trip to a resort, where they can spend the whole time training in half the time (or just chug cocktails on the beach).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-20-20/1558:35>
FWIW,
At my table the basic way I handle this is  if you are improving a skill that gets regular use from you, then I see the Karma spent raising it as a natural progression of your use of said skill. Spend the Karma and be done with it.

If its a skill that you rarely use, or a new skill, then you must account for its increase somehow. This usually boils down to "on my downtime I spend it learning Basket Weaving from the online college... And at the end of the week, he got a new skill... (in usually 20 mins of table bull-shittery that happens at every table).


Seriously, there are real issues that deserve the Salt. This is such a minor thing in the grand scheme
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Sphinx on <06-20-20/1713:08>
We keep it simple at our table. To prevent characters from becoming "overnight experts," they can only raise skills or attributes by one point between adventures. E.g., the street samurai became the team's designated lockpicker by building up her Locksmith skill from 0 to 6, one rating point at a time, over the course of six shadowruns.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <06-20-20/1740:50>
For reference: In SR6, to raise your Engineering from 0 to 6 would cost 105 Karma (aka 15~20 runs), and 21 months under normal training time guidelines. You're allowed to train 3 things at the same time.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Aria on <06-20-20/1747:55>
Skillwires... “I know Kung Fu...!” :)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-20-20/1814:00>
Skillwires... “I know Kung Fu...!” :)


Which is a good counter to why they needed a guideline in the first place. One of the advantages of a SKillwire is "any skill, anytime, any level*" (*with in the scope of the rating you bought)... This matters if it can take weeks or months for a character to learn a suddenly vital skill. But being able to just "Jack and Go" is a huge advantage.

An advantage reduced if you allow sudden, instant skill progression.

Food for thought anyways.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <06-20-20/2231:05>
GM should make it clear up front how they're ruling per game. If not, you'll be in awkward place of misaligned expectations and probably players looking for another game/table.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <06-20-20/2318:03>
What works for one campaign doesn't necessarily work for another.

Time is basically a third metacurrency.  It goes along with how much nuyen and/or karma something costs to acquire.  There are reasons why time might be more or less valuable, and therefore the pricing in time is more or less important.  But yes if time is so cheap it approaches "free", then time basically just becomes nothing more than extra nuyen tax in the form of more lifestyle payments during that time.
A freaking year to advance one attribute by one point. A year! You are defending it taking a year! Listen to yourself, man. I’m not saying it should be free. I understand why you might want some time in there. But let’s be reasonable. A year is ridiculous. Surely you know this.


Yeah its one thing to offer things up as suggestions, its another to have one set of suggestions and for them to be so far off its not conceivable it will ever be used in any game.  When its like divide by 10 and the suggestion would be okay as a mid range, you are just crazy far off.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-21-20/0052:16>
GM should make it clear up front how they're ruling per game. If not, you'll be in awkward place of misaligned expectations and probably players looking for another game/table.

Well, I usually play with the same group of players, so we all know the deal.

For those times I am with a new group of people, I like to spend the first session building the characters all together, while we discuss both the general plot of the campaign (so they know what to expect), go over any "Rules of Issue" such as house rules, or how I determine certain things that are ambiguous. I Also listen to the players, and get a feel for what they are expecting from me as the GM as well, and consider any house rules they may be used to. This also allows me to customize the campaign around the party, and to cover for any group weaknesses. After all, there is no point in me wasting my time with loads of Matrix events if not a single player is playing a matrix based character. Nor do i want to be throwing lots of awakened talent at a largely mundane party.
The idea is for everyone to enjoy themselves for the night. I'm there to tell a Story. The players are the protagonists, from there, I have no idea where it ends; That's up to the players.

BUT, This is a bunch of blokes sitting around a bar table or on basement couches! This is not organized Missions Play. For that there has to be a solid grounding of rules and resolutions, as the expectation is I can take my character and play in Vancouver one week, and then in New York the next with an entirely new group of players while still advancing an plot.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <06-21-20/0133:17>
Really weird part for me, is training examples would hyper accelerate the time line if GMs adhered to them and simply did 1 month a run (in game time). Any semi-regular groups would be quickly in the 2090s :-p
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: tenchi2a on <06-22-20/1837:57>
The main problem with any game setting giving a set training time is that Strength and Logic advance differently, Firearms and Influence are different and have totally different groups of skills under them.

The idea that all attributes advance at this rate and all skills advance at that rate is a product of the simplification bug that has been going around the TTRPG industry for awhile now.

First you have Strength and Logic which are two totally different attributes that still advance the same way.

It gets even worst with skills. Like the idea that combing multiple skills into one is a good idea. I mean Longarms, Pistols, Heavy Weapons is to much lets combined it into Firearms. Now you have a skill that is effectively 3 skills (more if you want to be realistic) that you are trying to give a good justification for advancing because you fired your Ares a few times.

I may be alone in this but I love how GURPS handled it.
Attributes have different point cost so they advance at a different rate. So ST and IQ cost different amounts. Time is up in the air but works well with the rules below.

Skills are rated from Easy to Very Hard and their point cost to advance reflects this. Then you have to spend 200 training hours per point to advance. If the cost is 1 it take 3.3 days (200 hours) where if it cost 4 it takes 13.3 days (800 hours) to train. Assuming sleepless nights. The game also gives limits on the time that can be spent per day.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-22-20/2009:54>
Seriously, there are real issues that deserve the Salt. This is such a minor thing in the grand scheme

This is very true, of all the things that I don't like in reference to SR, 6e or any edition of SR this not one that really worth getting overly concerned about.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-30-20/0324:52>
While it is true that claiming the state of 6e is up there with the woes of the world would be ridiculous, the statement 'This is such a minor thing in the grand scheme' and stating other things are worth being upset about compared to SR is actually one of the more insidious fallacies, the Fallacy of Relative Privation. It seems logical (No one really SHOULD be losing SR over SR being good or bad or whatever), but because its still a statement that doesn't adress the veracity of any claim about anything (and thus makes any criticism impossible) the fact it seems logical is kinda spooky.

So like... yeah... No one should really care (and I would say the fact most people simply don't care anymore is a big problem for the game going forward, at least anger is a form of engagement) too much, but that really doesn't address any of the criticisms and doesn't offer any solutions to any problems. It is just a sentiment that subtly argues that people don't have the right to complain about a commercial product because first world problems.

This is an issue because SR is really important to people, and caring about SR doesn't require you to care less about other things. Like obviously toxic nerd rage is actually a really big problem, but the point of all media, especially 'lifestyle transmedia' like SR is, is to affect people and make them feel things. SR is, low key, one of the 'bigger' scifi-worlds that people are emotionally attached to, its been around for 31 years and has had 66 novels (for reference, that means SR is about 33% the size of the library of old EU star wars novels, and is essentially as big as the current collection of star wars novels for Disney Canon) and around 175 sourcebooks published. I seriously doubt anyone who writes for it doesn't feel like it is important that it affects people and enriches their lives in some way.

I am personally way more focused on other things (hence why I haven't posted in a while) but also SR is important to me because it literally got me into gradschool, and turned me into a writer rather than a miserable lawyer (can you imagine? Dezzmont Dezmont a wageslave?), and made me meet a friend group who I am closer to than anyone else on the planet, and all other sorts of really important things. It isn't invalid to care about something as 'trivial' as fiction as long as that care is a healthy sort of care, rather than an abusive one (Which is a trap I fully admit I fell into at times in my life).

This isn't an intractiable problem, Opti did a GREAT job of mending those bridges back in 2017. People WANT to like SR, but the wound (whether you believe the product is fundamentally bad or just that the communication strategy of CGL was actively damaging) has festered due to a lack of desire or ability to address it. If people didn't care, they wouldn't be offering feedback, and it is a dangerous argument for SR's future to say that people should give a fig about the quality of it because life is happening, life is always happening, and it is basically an admission that SR will never be worth caring about again. It just isn't a good argument to make against caring too much (which, again, can be and often IS a problem).

Though while we are on the topic of things worthy of salt, I would say SR in general has a real problem with being a game with overtly political themes and doing them badly, insensitively, or ignorantly, which contributes to a greater problem with our media landscape that IS one of the bigger problems in the world right now, though that isn't really the topic being discussed in this thread. It has gotten better in some ways (Thank Firebringer that mental limits on metatypes being lowered is gone, and essence now explicitly not being a 'purity' attribute and more just a mechanistic function of biology and Not A Big Deal), but SR is still very bad on gender, sexuality, neurodiversity, and ableism, and still needs to seriously watch out for eugenics-y themes with magic. These aren't abstract issues either, I do sincerely think that CGL needs to invest in bringing on board a sensitivity reader/writer because sometimes it can get shocklingly bad, like with Metatype Reduction or some of the mid-late SR5 magic stuff. I literally can't play SR with the group I met through it anymore because the themeing has gotten so outright ugly at times that they don't want to touch it with a +3 reach pole, which is honestly really sad.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <06-30-20/1025:38>
Interesting thoughts, dezmont.

Back in the 80s and 90s SR (like all Cyberpunk) felt to me like it was on the leading edge of social awareness.

Having Lone Star breaking SINless and Ork protestors' legs and faces was edgy then. It shouldn't be hitting any more  "closer to home" now than then, but frankly for most of the RPG demographic today it is.

Segueing on the topic of changing what the Essence attribute means: What auras look like/are!
4e was my own ragequit edition, so I don't know it as well. But in 5e it never mentioned that you can discern sex and/or race via assensing.  Now maybe that's because it was simple change blindness to forget to ever say "of course you can see that in an aura".  Or perhaps that age/sex/race was purposely left off the assensing results and some change blindness manifested itself (pardon the pun) by forgetting to ever say such information is obvious and discernable w/o even assensing.

However, I've interpreted that to mean that you simply can't see such details because they're irrelevant on the astral plane. Yeah, yeah.  You USED to be able to see it in prior editions, sure.  Whatever.  You also USED to see differences between Hermetics and Shamans, and Nature Spirits and Elementals too!  Chalk it up to more UMT.  Now on the astral you're not man, you're not a woman, you're not a troll, you're not an elf.. you're a living being who has emotions and desires. THOSE are what you see instead.  In fact, with trans acceptance becoming more mainstream, I think saying your aura showing your "true" sex is a very loaded concept.  A trans woman is a woman, and there's only two acceptable ways for the game to work: either the aura confirms woman (no matter what genitalia is between her thighs) or the concept is irrelevant anyway on the astral.

The concept can also be extended to "Poserdom" (not to imply that trans people are "posing", mind you).  Should an Elf/Ork poser have a human aura or elf/ork aura as that's their sincerely chosen/adopted identity?  Or instead should race simply be irrelevant on the astral?  I think it's better design AND better gameplay for auras to simply not "transmit" any data regarding age/sex/race, and whether 5e and 6e do this by accident or by design, I think it's the right call.

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-30-20/1138:26>
I think it's fair to say people can feel, Masculine, or Elfy, or UCASian even.  Especially as these feelings are then filtered through the Astral observers own particular emotional perceptions and foibles. 

Those particular feelings may or may not be the gender/nationality/metatype of an individual but on a plane that is all about emotions I think those feelings would be perceptible.  Gender Identity, Nationalism, Racial Identity and such are huge drivers of human behavior, I would think they would have an Astral component.  Again, may or may not match what physically is perceived.

Also, things like clothes, armor, weapons, ect, cast an Astral shadow so there would be some inference as to general shape and size.  At least as much information as you could get from a silhouette.  Or the shadow of a silhouette anyway.   :P
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-30-20/1154:36>
In my humble opinion, the writers would do well to stay away from any political issues of the time and trying to wrap that into Shadowrun, They never age well, nor do the general public have much appetite for Political Causes in their entertainment as a whole...

Also, what some consider the "political Flavour" de jour, is a hostile of even illegal topic in another country...


 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <06-30-20/1214:23>
In my humble opinion, the writers would do well to stay away from any political issues of the time and trying to wrap that into Shadowrun, They never age well, nor do the general public have much appetite for Political Causes in their entertainment as a whole...
What's left if you take the politics out of cyberpunk? Cool neon lights but without downtrodden masses and sticking it to the man? Cyber...pop?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <06-30-20/1222:15>
In my humble opinion, the writers would do well to stay away from any political issues of the time and trying to wrap that into Shadowrun, They never age well, nor do the general public have much appetite for Political Causes in their entertainment as a whole...
What's left if you take the politics out of cyberpunk? Cool neon lights but without downtrodden masses and sticking it to the man? Cyber...pop?

I was going to say the same thing. Politics is so integral to the punk movement which is in turn integral to cyberpunk that you can't just remove it. The best you can do is be sensitive to how it is presented and make adjustments and allowance as the world and setting changes.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Hobbes on <06-30-20/1244:42>
Shadowrun world history has several events based on (Sixth World) Racism.  Is the Night of Rage and the Humanis Poli club essential to the setting?  Yumi Island?  No, you can play without ever mentioning them.  But Sixth World Racism vs Metahumans is part of the setting, and can be presented sensitively.  People can have conversations about Bigotry and/or whatever "-ism" (and should...actually) without hurt feelings.

I feel it should be in the game material, and let individual tables handle it however they're comfortable with it.

The tricky part is that several in game groups are direct references to real world ethnic groups.  Sometimes that material isn't going to age well.  Not sure what you can do about that because the only way perceptions can change is if there is an acceptable way to communicate on these topics. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-30-20/1524:31>
Saying that writing shouldn't have political under or overtones is definitely why the 'Wow Cool Robot' meme came about. A huge POINT of writing stories is to comment on the world and express values, like that is literally how culture works, and saying 'dont write about politics' is REALLY saying 'don't raise any but the most milktoast of points.'

Part of why SR kinda got grody, at least in my opinion, was because of this shift during 4e where it hit peak post 9/11 cyberpunk. You see this really clear divide between 3e and earlier where the 'Corp Man professional runner' is this character who is despised by other runners due to being an untrustworthy sellout who wouldn't blow up some black ops torture-lab just because it was the right thing to do, to these moral robots who do things as cogs in the machine minimizing collateral damage and political aspirations. And, to be clear, this was probably unavoidable because part of SR's old thesis was 'political terrorism is justified to resist legitimate atrocities' which is.... not a message anyone in 2005 was gunna be down to have in their books. No shade at all for that happening, slight shade for being resistant to re-directing back, but eh, fictional inertia is a thing.

We are leaving that post-9/11 phase of media, and are now in the post-post-9/11 phase (which is probably not going to be its name when future media historians talk about this) and society is now not super mega-obsessed with stability and feeling invincible, which is part of why SR fans in 2015-2016 were so riotous about the ongoing tone of SR trending so cynical and passive.

Heck, SR as a RPG was one of the first 'Counter Tolkienian' RPGs. Till Shadowrun, most games, even ones with absolutely wild settings like RIFTs, treated racial moral absolutism as something that was totally normal, even though Tolkien's works were already being talked about through the lens of how absolutely racist they were in the 60's (To be clear, that isn't a 'cancel Tolkien jab, Tolkien IS a good example of a work being influenced by their time and writer), and he himself addressed how he made a mistake making all Orcs evil (To be fair, more because cosmological issues: the way evil works was the issue: The forces of evil couldn't create anything, so orcs as a pure evil servitor race rather than free willed beings didn't make sense in his universe, so good orcs were theoretically possible, and the way good worked meant that being dishonest to orcs was evil which likewise indicated that orcs have moral weight he never explored. It was never about race and he openly talked about racial pariables with the fictional peoples of middle earth). SR was one of the first settings to look at how fantasy peoples treated each other, how utterly charged the term 'fantasy race' was, and actively turn it on its head and make Orks and Trolls not marauding hordes, but an actively oppressed people. But it still dropped the ball by just sorta copy-pasting D&D concepts of Ork and Troll intellegence to them (and 1e's mixed ideas on how you should pay to be a minority standin was pretty... not great). RPGs are interesting because they lean extremely far left of mainstream media, forget most gaming cultures, yet because of Tolkien they trend towards being extremely bad on race. SR is both weirdly progressive yet also makes horrible mistakes because they code their metatypes as real world minorities to make a point (And a good one, in my opinion) but still also play into the 'they are ugly, savage, dumb, rage filled monsters' aspects of Tolkien's works.

Other things in more modern SR, however, are just plain bad writing for their own time. Like, again, no one involved in 5e shoulda thought Metatype Reduction was a good idea because it was explicitly commenting on an issue known to be a problem in its own day in... absolutely the wrong way. Likewise, the hard push for 'magical specialness' hit at a really bad time here at least in the US where the concept of being 'born better and with special powers and privleges' was NOT something that needed to be framed as an absolutely good thing, and attempts to tamp it down came across as tone deaf and very 'poor little rich boy.' Like it says something pretty terrible about your setting when if you aren't born so special that the universe itself loves you and allows you to snap your fingers for a spirit butler that you just aren't allowed to try to break your own limits via essence loss being framed as a purity discussion. It mixes so poorly with any real world non-abstract issue because body purity arguments inevitably echo into really gross weird ones. For example it frames Plan 9's method of expressing themselves through altering their body, including utilizing augmentation to express being genderfluid, as an act of 'self mutilation.'  It is especially ugly when you consider the implied original plans for CFD that a freelancer implied on reddit back in 2016, made it so that Plan 9 got themselves turned into a cyber-abomination for the 'crime of doing this.' At least now they are having their day in the sun as an important character and are way less of a joke about how weird a person they would be to want to change their body a lot in a setting where... people change their body a lot. And they are even a good example of a fictionally neurodiverse character to boot (though they risk that becoming one note. Hopefully we still see some of their quirks even as they keep being a serious character).

As was said, things can get better, and the changes to Plan 9's portrayal prove it. As was noted, it was a smart idea for the astral plane to not make real commentary on your physical body and for essence loss to require deep insight and observation of an aura (it... really stinks that a lot of GMs will say a low essence aura looks 'mangled' or 'has holes' though), or for essence to not be a purity thing. A lot of people forget this, but 'Cybernetics eat your soul' was not really a thing in any foundational story to the genre, and cybernetics were actually used to talk about body policing and purity politics (because the language and politics of purity are so... fundemental to racism and prejudice, maybe its just a good idea to not posit things make you 'impure' in a cosmic sense down the line) rather than a 'loss of humanity.' Like if you read Neuromancer or GITS or watch Blade Runner and get the message 'robot parts make you less human' you... deeply failed to comprehend the intended messages of these stories. The trope of 'cybernetics eat your soul' is specifically noted to be associated with RPG tabletop gaming (mainly cyberpunk 20XX and Shadowrun) because it was an invented rationale for game balance that had the direct opposite message for how you were meant to view people altering their body and society judging them (You were meant to hate society because its super clear their partially or wholly artificial natures were not negative forces in the character's lives) and it is good that SR moved out of that lane. SR has a lot of room to move out of a lot of lanes, and to improve on its rather severe modern tone issues (Ex: Making the fact that most of the Jackpoint mages are... truly biggoted assholes who no one should like a bit more overt, and noting that magical supremacists are locked hand in hand with racial supremacists for example).

Then there are just subtle biases that come through the books. Like... SR, at least in most parts of the setting, are pro-sex, sex equal places, yet the writing often does talk about gender in Seattle through a modern lens (which is fine if that is how they want to go but its weird cuz its explicitly not the case that, for example, male orks would be arrested more than female orks in 2070 when RF was written) and its art DEFINITELY isn't gender equal: Despite it in theory being as common as women doing this, we don't get any voyeuristic art pieces of scantily clad dudes striking poses in fights. We also don't see anyone with transgressing gender expressions or an androgenous look or anything like this. This is, again, in part because of the necessity to 'de-punkify' SR post 9/11 and have everyone dress in a very unpunk way that mainstream people would still associate with punk (Again, glad that trend died with 6e and the art got way more varied and runners became more vibrant. The rigger on 54 is my fave) but... lets be fair its also because I doubt anyone holding the pursestrings for SR is inclined to ask for a sexy streetsam dude in a revealing outfit or would even know what to specifically ask for, and because its a gaming space and having the cover art for Street Spells be a pseudo-upskirt shot of a woman rather than a man, or having the person on 138 wearing a jacket open with nothing but a bra under it, is an attempt to pander with cheesecake in a way that doesn't actually make sense in SR to do. The setting (outside of areas like Japan or Aztland) don't have double standards, but the writers/artists certainly do.

Again, these are not intractable problems, and the take away shouldn't be 'give up' or 'don't try because trying gets you yelled at.' SR tried for some 20 years and because of that people ignored how bad racial mental caps were to a greater or lesser extent, it only became an 'issue' when SR basically stopped trying and became a setting that was subtly pro-eugenics, pro-body purity, anti-body autonomy.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-30-20/1533:36>
Modern Politics isn't important to punk, the classic themes of oppression, Prejudice, Bigotry, Sexism, exploitation, over population, resource competition are and thus by extension are important to Cyberpunk. Is it important to include those elements? Absolutely, 100%. Tragically in so many ways our time at this moment is very perfect lens to see many of these themes in action. American is as sharply divided in this moment as we were in the lead up to the civil war. So while concept of putting in a viral outbreak is very appropriate to SR, or adding in Meta Human Live Matter, could be very appropriate; Using them right now carries political connotations, that could be disruptive to your table, or it might be to meta, or might be the perfect example to help your player get into the fantasy in a very real way. But It's something to look at in case by case.   

 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-30-20/1600:15>
Modern Politics isn't important to punk, the classic themes of oppression, Prejudice, Bigotry, Sexism, exploitation, over population, resource competition are and thus by extension are important to Cyberpunk.

If you don't think those concepts are modern political issues (save over-population, which is often used as an eco-facist dog whistle, and its good that SR basically says outright feeding the population is trivial to do), then you have a strange take on modern politics.

SR was written in 1989. Its contemporary politics included a major viral outbreak encouraged by the political establishment, Regan being a super pro-corporate president, an increased awareness of how we essentially committed genocide against American Indians, natural disasters in the US including a volcanic eruption in the state of Washington, multiple riots (including a racist police riot a year before SR was published), and a perception of the decline of American Exceptionalism and the ability for America to 'get things done' due to multiple high profile failures and corruption cases, along with a general decline in belief in The American Dream.

SR was *about* contemporary politics, it was basically a giant 'frag you' to Regan, and implied that he would kill undesirables if he could (And him actively trying to make the AIDs crisis worse shows this was a 100% true assessment). While you don't want to be *too* crass about real world allegories (And you need to UNDERSTAND them, say it with me again, Metatype Reduction Surgery was GROSS and a lot of Complete Trog was no better from what I have been told by some friends who were the subject of the allegory who, suffice to say, no longer play SR despite liking it otherwise), you shouldn't 'give up' on being topical and relevant just because it can be hard. Again, part of the point of writing is to comment on the world you live in, and SR is actually REALLY good at it in some places, like how it manages to, despite its problems on race, frame racial issues in a way not just where everyone you play is against racism, but its 'cool' to be someone who will use forced to defend the oppressed from racists and bash on the paper thinly veiled reference to the KKK.

Trying to be non-political is an inherently futile effort when your writing about the real world, especially in a speculative fiction setting. Look at how the essence rules consistently said garbage things about real world groups for multiple editions no matter how often they tried to patch those issues in, as opposed to just admitting purity language is a fundamentally bad language to every describe a person with. You can never escape understanding issues by just refusing to comment on them, because you always sorta are. Its a permanent aspect of having a platform (Which we all do) and gets more critical the larger and more important your platform is. And, again, I think SR is deceptively important. Neutrality is an incorrect concept because a lot of issues are binary once you introduce objective measurement systems like RPGs do: Do you think trans people are perverting and twisting their bodies or not? You can't be 'neutral' on that issue once you introduce essence as a concept linked to modifying the body. Do you think certain minorities are naturally less intellegent, or not? Once you introduce mechanics that measure intelligence objectively (in the real world most attempts to quantify intellegence are... pretty thinly pseudo-scientific systems used to try to justify eugenics or abandoning certain children's educations, so its tricky already) you need to actually state if its true or not which is a pretty big political stance when your setting's metatypes are coded super hard for real world minorities. Doubly so when the genre your in is explicitly a political one, and your game uses political language and is sold partially on being political.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-30-20/1636:24>
You are proving my point...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-30-20/1639:58>
You are proving my point...

My point is by your logic SR should never have been written in the first place, and no media should exist, because you can't avoid writing about politics, you can only delude yourself into thinking you aren't. One of SR's literal thesis statements, which is controversial TOO THIS DAY, is that capitalism is fundamentally evil, and has a Marx influence view of social class down to believing the working class literally isn't going to be capable of rising up without elites (like Shadowrunners). You think that isn't political?

SR was entirely political and it DIDN'T age poorly. Most of the poorly aged political things about SR aren't poorly aged because they espouse old worldviews, but because they weren't thought of in political terms AT ALL (Ex: Essence, some aspects of magic, metatype atts). By trying to NOT talk about these issues, you actually say something about them (Ex: Not creating allowances for body modifications that aren't augmentative says very negative things about people who alter their body for any reason, such as prosthetic, changing your gender, or even getting cosmetic modifications, as well as people who would consider such a thing, because it turns out modifying your body isn't a pure scifi concept). As body modification becomes more and more realistic to happen on a 'mainstream' level refusing to adress the political nature of what essence was (A measure of 'cosmic bodily purity') wasn't becoming 'more dated.' It was just more visible that inverting the take away for body modification from foundational cyberpunk stories was bad on many levels and there is a reason they actively were against judging people for these things.

What you are saying, knowing or not, is more 'SR shouldn't comment on social issues, especially that pertain to minorities' which is... quite frankly terrible. Why should we have settings that explore the ramifications of late stage capitalism but NOT have settings that explore issues of gender, sexuality, neurodiversity, ect, ESPECIALLY when those are the issues that made Cyberpunk popular in the first place?

Are you saying we should move SR to a world not based on earth, remove corporations as the main antagonist force, remove metatypes, and have the PCs fight... I dunno... some non-religiously alegorical pseudo demons? Even THAT is kinda political in its own sense.

(https://preview.redd.it/0e79qtzua0d11.jpg?width=960&crop=smart&auto=webp&s=fd080655661054d6ae8c5b0232f46ce18244e527)

Shadowrun (And cyberpunk) was never not political. It is an inherently mega-political genre that was created SPECIFICALLY to make political commentary on our lifestyles, how we treat other people, police their bodies, relate to technology both good and ill, and basically oppress ourselves and ruin our own future that has all this potential simply to uphold old outdated social structures. Major Kusanagi didn't joke about her period for no reason, it was specifically a commentary on how even with a cyborg body radically stronger than any organic man's people treated her poorly because she presented as a woman. Molly Millions didn't spit instead of crying as some quirky character tic, it is a metaphor for the trauma she faced making her struggle to portray and feel emotions 'correctly' and society was not set up at all to help people like her or stop things like that from happening.

Likewise, KE and Lonestar defending Humanis more than Orks despite the federal police being 'reformed' by going private after participating in a brutal race riot wasn't some accidental quirk of the setting's history, its a direct commentary on how the police exist to preserve the status quo and hierarchies, both wealth and race, because that benefits the people with access to power who get to make the rules. I highly doubt that is EVER going to be dated, because its actually clever and was thought of THROUGH a political lens!
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <06-30-20/1715:59>
cyberpunk as a genre is political at it's heart, no doubt.

IMHO it's mostly about how rampant, over-abundant technology and late stage capitalism dehumanizes people and tears apart communities.

Taken together you can boil it down to capitalism and technology destroy humanity (physically and metaphorically).

In this milieu I am totally fine with the core conceits that:

> installing invasive tech into your body dehumanizes you (essence)
> the fantasy races all have built-in limits to their capabilities, some of which make them greater than humans and some of which make them lesser (attribute variances)
> some people are special/ born lucky (awakened vs mundane)
> transhumanism (metahumanity is changing as it becomes more intimately integrated with technology)

I don't have the same reservations/ beliefs that Dezzmont does on these topics.

I consider them good as they drive conflict, and every good story needs conflict at it's core.

Racism, political divisiveness, downtrodden, corporate overlords, societal collapse, alternate communities.

These are all memes that are important to my cyberpunk experience.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-30-20/1759:24>
cyberpunk as a genre is political at it's heart, no doubt.

IMHO it's mostly about how rampant, over-abundant technology and late stage capitalism dehumanizes people and tears apart communities.

Taken together you can boil it down to capitalism and technology destroy humanity (physically and metaphorically).

In this milieu I am totally fine with the core conceits that:

> installing invasive tech into your body dehumanizes you (essence)
> the fantasy races all have built-in limits to their capabilities, some of which make them greater than humans and some of which make them lesser (attribute variances)
> some people are special/ born lucky (awakened vs mundane)
> transhumanism (metahumanity is changing as it becomes more intimately integrated with technology)

I don't have the same reservations/ beliefs that Dezzmont does on these topics.

I consider them good as they drive conflict, and every good story needs conflict at it's core.

Racism, political divisiveness, downtrodden, corporate overlords, societal collapse, alternate communities.

These are all memes that are important to my cyberpunk experience.

This is a far more modern take on Cyberpunk created mostly through cyberpunk gaming, and doesn't have much to do with the origins of the genre. While it is ok for genres to evolve, maybe lets not evolve them to these kinda gross places (As augmentation and body modification become more and more likely to be a short term reality, and the concepts relating to real world things like transitioning and prosthetics, its really tone deaf to navel gaze in this manner).

An exploration of foundational cyberpunk literature and film and the idea of technology as a 'destructive' force.

The Sprawl Trillogy: Explicitly pro-transhumanism, though it notes society isn't currently set up to support it. The Sprawl does note some people are self destructive through technology, but it is far more anti-society than anti-technology, and has an overt theme of 'technology might replace our shitty society with something good.' Molly Millions, the most cyberized character in the series, is damaged but not because of her cybernetics and is mostly a wreck of a person because of a lack of healthy human connection, and at no point is it implied that her cybernetics make her a worse person. Gibson himself has also outright stated he  hates this view on cyberpunk and calls it 'Aethestetic Cyberpunk' that overfocuses on the technology rather than the society. So we can take that off the list of cyberpunk stories that portray technology as destructive. It repeatedly depicts the internet almost as a 'spirit realm of humanity' trading on ideas of the Noosphere, and literally ends with characters talking about how change is never easy but can lead to good things as long as you accept it, and that the status quo of humanity and society is untenable.

Bladerunner/Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep: A super political story that uses robots to explore the elite and privilege's relationship with labor, by having the police have a large part of their efforts focus on tracking down illegal imigrants robots who look and act and feel identically to humans but who lack the right to be on earth because 'they aren't human' but who society tries to convince that they are because its convenient, and who can only be outed by subtle culturally contextual questions and intense observation. VERY OVERTLY is about how the idea that 'pure humanity' is a bullshit concept and that the robots are just as much people as humans are. Probably one of the more explicit examples of 'You don't get to think your better than someone else just because all your parts are wet' of cyberpunk because that is ALL the plot really is about.

Ghost in the Shell: Literally its biggest theme is that policing other people's bodies is bullshit. Its the most recurring motif, and it uses very human and emotive cyborgs who pose no threat to society to show how hysterical and conservative society can be. Multiple plots are about how repressive it is to police what people do with their bodies both in the original series and in SAC, and it uses the fact that total body replacement exists to explore how even in a world where people could visually change entirely who they are at will, people are still going to be judgemental assholes who pressure and harass and oppress other people. There is an entire fictional species of pure AI who are portrayed as good, helpful, and innocent of many of humanity's problems who primarily exist to have philosophical discussions about what it means to be a person and aid humans using the gifts of their existence. Almost all of the problems of the setting are caused by the extreme inequality of society making terrorists out of people desperate to survive, monsters out of people trying to maintain the status quo, or are a product of fundamentalist thinking about the body.

The Matrix: An exploration of trans identity and how humanity has an innate evilness about it due to its willingness to judge the other, and uses the metaphor of an alternative life in machines as a form of liberation from the crass physical matter you were forced to inhabit against your will.  The lead character is deadnamed repeatedly by the main villain, and a side villain exists who wishes to repress the new knowledge they have about themselves and their physical existence compared to their mental self image. Literally includes a scene in its transmedia of a robot being torn apart by a violent bigoted mob in a manner to deliberately evoke the murder of trans people down to her artificial hair and clothing being violently ripped from her body as she screams "I'm Real!" while crying (Obvious trigger warning for what is essentially an anti-trans lynching and images of genocide, but watch that scene here and tell me that this is about how bad technology is (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZGzMfg381Y)). The machines in this setting, lacking human's ability to hold a grudge and hate to the point their entire history is trying to show how much they love and care about humanity even as they are attacked violently repeatedly, and after they contain humanity they devote themselves to philosophical and spiritual thinking without bias, and are able to instantly forgive the humans once humans develop to the point they can accept they must co-exist with these 'unnaturals.' This only was able to come about because these unnatural people accepted that biochauvanist reactionaries could not be reasoned with and forcefully ended their violence with violence, which was framed as justified and moral and the only realistic path to any lasting peace.

Robocop: A bit more anti-cyborg, sure, because the directors assume if Robocop didn't see his own face in the mirror he would have a psychotic break. Still, the director overtly states a theme of the story is that no matter how much you take away from a person they are still a person in that same interview: Despite being memory wiped and being mostly replaced, Murph was still Murph and still had his soul. It was, thematically, way more about corporations than technology: Almost everything bad in robocop's world was the result of shitty policy decisions, and it was a plot point that the technology they wanted to use to 'replace humans' was not in fact capable of doing that.

Akira: Not really about cybernetics, but still interesting becaus an overt theme was the corrupt xenophobic government and religious zealouts overtly 'othering' anything 'undesirable' or 'impure' was an important plot element. It overtly explores the loss of humanity and while Tetsuo has a cybernetic arm, he doesn't become a big blob monster because of it, he becomes a big blob monster due to the alienation he faces from being different, from the power thrust upon him, and how society treats him. The people doing science do screw some stuff up, but mostly under pressure from the millitary, and the main villainous force is spiritual fundementalism, not science. Also, the Manga more overtly comments on how people's hatered and biases are irrational and they will view mechanistic scientific things like psychic powers as miracles when it is convinient, deluding themselves and ascribing artificial importance to things when life gets stressful.

A recurring, core motif of cyberpunk ISN'T that technology is unnatural. It is that technology is a (potentially) liberating force, but society is inherently corrupting and damaging.

Again, the idea that 'cybernetics eat your soul' is so notable as to being exclusive to cyberpunk TABLETOP that it shows up on the TVtropes page, in literary anaylsises of cyberpunk, and is explicitly noted by Gibson as being 'shitty aethestetic cyberpunk.' It is the exact opposite message Cyberpunk media tends to have.

Fantasy races having built in differences is a thing unique to SR, and while it really isn't good even in a pure fantasy setting (Again, people were noting Tolkien's works were kinda sorta really racist in the freaking 60's before the freaking Civil Rights act was signed, and D&D has overtly admitted it was never a good idea), it is especially not good when the metatypes are coded for real world races (You know, the orks orks with their grilled tusks and orksploitated musical genres being coopted by humans and elves and their yertzed out cars with the spinny rims who can't get good education, are attacked by men with pointy white hoods and robes and who are routinely harassed by the police) it is... borderline unconscionable. Like... sorry... no Adlzing, we should never go back to lowering mental maxes on what are, when we say the quiet part out loud, stand ins for black people, lets not. Lets hardcore not.

As for conflict: Body policing and mechanical racism don't drive conflict at all. The setting ALREADY assumes that Orks and Trolls are mentally equal and saying otherwise is racism, it is just that the MECHANICS don't back it up. It actually makes the conflict STRONGER to note that Humanis propiganda about 'dumb violent orks' is incorrect, rather than letting, as one friend put it, 'Humanis write the metatype section in chargen.'

Conflict in Cyberpunk doesn't come from the technology, it comes from society's injustice intersecting with the 'neutral' power of technology. I highly doubt anyone has ever written a plot in SR about how evil and spiritually polluted that person who gave themselves a cyberarm and cosmetic modifications was, but people DO write about how vile corpoations like Renraku are who exploit and enslave technological entities and push body and racial purity ideas are.

A good plot about bigotry should, inherently, acknowledge biggotry is illogical and not really based in reality, rather than try to justify its origins by making the bigotry true.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-30-20/1806:11>
Right, So my point that I was trying to make without coming out and directly saying it was that current writers of Shadowrun should avoid many current political issues.
And the reason for this is very simple, They are too polarizing. No matter what you write, you WILL end up pissing someone off.

And, I suggest many people stop reading here, as the next bit is probably going to piss a LOT of people off...

A few posts back, you were looking for a term to describe the current "post 9/11" era. Might I suggest that since aboiut 2012, we have been living in the "Social Media" era? I think this is very much to the point (for all points for this entire issue you seem to want to continue on) as this was when Social Media really caught on, and has exploded with Facebook, Twitter, snapchat, tik tok... not to mention the ones that have fallen off a cliff (tumblr, Myspace) or those used by those of the "wrong opinion".
Since, 2012 these apps have exploded in popularity. To the point that they now weld an amazing amount of power. (Ask CNN, they are kept alive reporting on Trump's tweets...) But, the problem with Social Media is, that while it can reach a lot of people with its message, that message is not always factual (again, Trump's tweets..)
For the last five years, Social Media has been the driver of much of the North America/European political narrative.

The problem here, is that this is a vacuum. And it has been made into a vacuum by the very users of Social Media. Which is at the very heart of why I say the current writers should stay away from. Every. Single. Point. You, Dezmont, said was picked right from Twitter, and what the wonderful people of Twitter feel is important.... Which in no way reflects what many people feel is important, or even what they are concerned about.
So lets look at Social Media shall we?
Twitter is one the largest, and the most political. It has a 145 million users worldwide. It has 30 million users in the United States. Of its users, 10% generate 90% of the traffic (Blue check marks).
Even by the United States metrics, the opinions expressed on Twitter are only carried by less that 10% of the population. (30 million users, 360 million Americans... 300,000 active posters generating 90% of the traffic...)
(My personal opinion is, if America banned Social Media, I think a lot of your current Social unrest would disappear. Or, If Americans just ignored it, a  lot of your social unrest would disappear)
Now, I could pull out all sorts of links and search engine reports and what not, but I have a feeling much of it would be dismissed using veiled and jargonistic language.


Now, If you want a little world view what isn't about milk and cookies.....
Nothing in your  last 3 posts reflects in any way, the realities of where I am currently... And I can not tell where I am currently, as what I am about to say could get me arrested! (Because I don't have the same freedoms you do, even to tell the truth!)

*Corruption here is an issue, everything here is done through greasing hands. I give the nice smiling policeman a crisp $5 Canadian bill every week... Because I don't I will be arrested. (already happened, twice.)
I can't get the parts to install into the pump to pull fresh water from the aquifer for the town with out paying off the harbormaster.
And of course the city's zoning minister held us up for weeks (until we paid a bribe) over missing permits for the water treatment system HIS OWN GOVERNMENT IS PAYING FOR!
*Prejudice is a way of life here. My skin color means I automatically at fault, for any offense... But thankfully, my skin color just means I pay ridiculous fines.... Having the wrong dialectic accent gets you beaten. Or just killed.
*Sexism is not an issue. Not when women are not allowed to be seen. After all, when the only people of value are the males in a society, it can't have sexism, can it??

I can tell you what the people here are concerned about; They want water that isn't diseased, they want to be able to go to work with out getting shot. They want the terrorism to stop. They want to send their children to school without fear of it being firebombed, and this child shot while trying escape the flames...
They are tired of those "fighting for a better tomorrow" raping, and beating their Daughters, and killing their Sons. They want to know that the money they have in their pocket today will be able to buy food tomorrow: Because many times it hasn't. Many of them want a return of only 15 years ago.... When they were happy, prosperous and  free.
(Can you guess where I am yet?)

But then again, None of these people will ever play shadowrun, or even visit these Forums... Many don't have electricity.  If it  wasn't banned for their content...
But, thanks to Covid, and the international shutdown, This city will probably have to wait 18 months more before they get clean water.

Yes, at the heart of cyber punk there is a political theme, but it is a broad, over reaching concept that touches on general, but stays clear of the specific. 

There is a saying..... And is proving true...

"It was fun, Until Twitter said it wasn't. Now its Problematic, and needs to change"

And, so many things have walked down that path, right into the cold, hard wall of reality...
Gillette
Nike
Marvel
DC
Star Wars
GhostBusters
Vice Media

They all walked the Twitter rope, danced to Twitter's Political tune... All have regretted it...

So I say again.
The writers would do well to stay away from current political trends as they are just too polarizing.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <06-30-20/1815:16>
Stuff

Far as I know, stuff like GITS and The Matrix exploring trans issues pre-dates twitter m8. People were writing about this long before the social media era, and gay liberation and racial liberation pre-dates twitter. The first pride parade happened before THE INTERNET.

If you want to blame it all on social media and snowflakes, be my guest, but when you say 'It was fun until twitter' you are REALLY saying "I wish we can go back to the times when people didn't have a voice to talk about issues they are facing.

Every. Single. Point. You, Dezmont, said was picked right from Twitter

No, it wasn't. It was from my 30 some odd years of existence as a Gay Man in America, with a disability, who was aware of these issues long before twitter existed, who experienced violence based on their sexuality before twitter existed, and who has been studying sociology and mass communication and media (including social media) for some odd 8 years and who has personally talked to people who wrote about this shit in the 80's.

Not from twitter. The fact these issues don't feel real to you is fine, but the fact you believe everyone who has ever faced these issues is disingenuous is not. So why don't you go actually look into the history of these movements rather than imagining that they originated on Twitter. Or don't, it sounds like you got some legitimate shit going on, but your 'analysis' of how representative of the US twitter is was really off. Saying that because 90% of twitter comes from 10% of the userbase doesn't mean that 90% of the user-base disagrees with the 10%, that isn't how statistics work, and in fact a LOT of polling data shows that it very much IS representative of American's views on social issues (https://news.gallup.com/poll/1651/gay-lesbian-rights.aspx) and it was already reversing hard well before twitter came about).

The US's social issues come not from people being allowed to talk about those issues (That is like saying... oh... I dunno... of the top of my head.... that the problem if a mass plague in the US would be solved by not testing for it...), but due to things like Jerrymandering (The act of redistricting your state so that certain populations have artificially low voting power, for example if 30% of your state is black and you have 6 districts you can take the places black people live, and slice up the district so that they each only make up about 5% of their local election's population despite being 30% of the state's, or you can put them all in one district so they only get one representative out of 6 to artificially lower their power in the house to be only 1/6th of your state's voting power despite them making up about 1/3rd of your population)  and The Electoral College (Some people's votes count way more than others based on where they live, in most elections about 20% of the population's votes 'actually matter' because they live in states that are competitive and could send their votes for the president to either candidate). There is also the issue of the wealth gap (Income is equalizing out among education classes, but because pre-existing wealth allows you to maintain a social class, the fact certain demogrpahics of people in the US haven't been able to do things like mortage their house or sell it to send their kids to college means that equality of access to the ability to rise in social class is unequally divided despite people 'making the same amount of money' because most people don't send kids to college based on income), allowing a non-representative slice of the population to hold disproportionate power and wealth because they can entrench power and write the rules.... which is AGAIN a thing SR historically has talked about!

These are not fake issues. They are like... pretty uncontroversial topics you will learn about in any economics, political science, or sociology course in any US college, even in the more conservative states, because they are... factually existent problems. I literally have talked to a hardcore republican (Small federal powers republican, not 'hates the gays' republican, though, you know, its sad to know he sorta tollerates that in his party) Texas professor about the intersection of social class through a Marxist lens and Social Media, because in academic circles a lot of 'political issues' are not really controversial at all. You literally can't act in the field of sociology on any level (Be it academia, or trying to market products for a corporation to 'lower income' families, to trying to appeal to 'middle class voters') without accepting these realities aren't imagined or fictional: It would be like trying to launch a spaceship without believing in gravity. So even the people who say these issues aren't real who are trying to enact policy, influence mass behavior to buy Shoes or watch Star Wars or whatever, believe in these issues and always have. It has just been about trying to gauge public perception and what people will tolerate.

Disney banned gay dancing at its club till it didn't well before Twitter because Disney saw the way society was blowing and wants to be as appealing to the mainstream consumer as it can, which is why people who want to get a read on this sorta thing watch Disney (for example, it was understood in academic circles that the BLM protests would be publically supported as soon as Star Wars tweeted support of them, because it meant Disney understood that it would make more sense to bet its famously protected image on them being popular by supporting them, rather than doing nothing and pretending nothing is happening, which they did with things like Song of the South).

To put it in perspective: People were writing articles about race and Role Playing Games in, at least on a quick glance at some of my academic databases, 1993, and obviously articles about depictions of race in media and its real world effects go back WAY further (It is... fun to see a professional academic paper include casual slurs in its abstract. Still, good material for a future research topic I suppose!). This isn't some new phenomenon created by twitter, it is just becoming more understood because in the US the group that has the power to decide what messages and stories are told in mass media are White and Rich, while anyone can talk on Twitter.

This doesn't mean Twitter or social media will solve all of societies Ills of course (In fact, Social media companies are notoriously amoral even by the standards of other companies. I have written literally tens of thousands of words exploring the evils of Facebook that make Horizon look tame and made one of my professors state outright when grading it that 'he is now worried about bringing a baby into the world.') and it can amplify bad voices as well as good ones. But when you see voices you haven't heard before talking about problems you haven't heard of before, it is disingenuous to say the least that these voices are inventing problems to feel special when even cursory searching shows that a LOT of people have been talking about it for a LONG time and social media is merely giving them access to a platform.

I can tell you what the people here are concerned about; They want water that isn't diseased, they want to be able to go to work with out getting shot. They want the terrorism to stop. They want to send their children to school without fear of it being firebombed, and this child shot while trying escape the flames...
They are tired of those "fighting for a better tomorrow" raping, and beating their Daughters, and killing their Sons. They want to know that the money they have in their pocket today will be able to buy food tomorrow: Because many times it hasn't. Many of them want a return of only 15 years ago.... When they were happy, prosperous and  free.

Shit sucks man, and while I have opinions on the issue for sure, its not my place to explain YOUR issues to you, when I don't have a personal stake in them, just as how its mega not your place to tell me how to feel about social issues in the US and your belief they were caused by social media. Like I know my reality pre-twitter better than you and I know it got BETTER, not worse, because of social media pushing for more awareness (As well as lots of other things).

But let me point back to the Fallacy of Relative Privation. Obviously I got it better than most, worse than others, but implying that it is BAD that people are talking about their oppression because other oppression exists is really freaking dumb. Like I said about caring about SR even though the world is bad, caring about SR doesn't 'take away' care about other things. The main cost is not caring, but awareness, but most people who care about SR don't care about it in the sense that it is taking awareness away from the real world, that is more an issue of things like people donating to local charities with small impacts because they are aware of local issues more than donating to international charities that have a larger impact per-dollar because its too abstract, or people, again, not caring about LGBTQ+ or Racial issues because they don't see them in the media.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <06-30-20/2008:20>
This is a far more modern take on Cyberpunk created mostly through cyberpunk gaming, and doesn't have much to do with the origins of the genre. While it is ok for genres to evolve, maybe lets not evolve them to these kinda gross places.

An exploration of foundational cyberpunk literature and film and the idea of technology as a 'destructive' force.

The Sprawl Trillogy: Explicitly pro-transhumanism, though it notes society isn't currently set up to support it. The Sprawl does note some people are self destructive through technology, but it is far more anti-society than anti-technology, and has an overt theme of 'technology might replace our shitty society with something good.' Molly Millions, the most cyberized character in the series, is damaged but not because of her cybernetics and is mostly a wreck of a person because of a lack of healthy human connection, and at no point is it implied that her cybernetics make her a worse person. Gibson himself has also outright stated he  hates this view on cyberpunk and calls it 'Aethestetic Cyberpunk' that overfocuses on the technology rather than the society. So we can take that off the list of cyberpunk stories that portray technology as destructive. It repeatedly depicts the internet almost as a 'spirit realm of humanity' trading on ideas of the Noosphere, and literally ends with characters talking about how change is never easy but can lead to good things as long as you accept it, and that the status quo of humanity and society is untenable.

I disagree. Technology is more than just cybernetics.
Case's devolution into the matrix is the personification of "losing oneself to technology". Case eventually spends so much time in the matrix he loses himself to it completely becoming "post human".
Molly (and other characters like the vat-grown ninja in the finale) are far colder and have less human reactions than a normal person would. They act in ways that are inherently less emotional and more mechanistic. They are cogs in the machine, a machine they have no control over.
Other short stories by Gibson firmly put the less augmented, more fallible humans in the role as the main protagonists with assorted cast of more technologically enhanced, less human characters as the opposition.
They are stronger, they are faster, they are richer, but they are less human and so they lose to the protagonist who is less strong, less fast and poorer precisely BECAUSE the protagonist is more human.

Bladerunner/Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep: A super political story that uses robots to explore the elite and privilege's relationship with labor, by having the police have a large part of their efforts focus on tracking down illegal imigrants robots who look and act and feel identically to humans but who lack the right to be on earth because 'they aren't human' but who society tries to convince that they are because its convenient, and who can only be outed by subtle culturally contextual questions and intense observation. VERY OVERTLY is about how the idea that 'pure humanity' is a bullshit concept and that the robots are just as much people as humans are. Probably one of the more explicit examples of 'You don't get to think your better than someone else just because all your parts are wet' of cyberpunk because that is ALL the plot really is about.

Agreed.
However late stage capitalism is the villain in this novel, not technology so much.
Humans have not so much sold themselves at the altar of technology as been totally dominated by the capitalistic forces that control society.
Whereas in Gibson's Sprawl trilogy there is hope for mankind to fight back against their capitalist and technological overlords ("punk" if you will) that is not possible in Bladerunner. All you can do is hide for as long as you can from those in power.

Ghost in the Shell: Literally its biggest theme is that policing other people's bodies is bullshit. Its the most recurring motif, and it uses very human and emotive cyborgs who pose no threat to society to show how hysterical and conservative society can be. Multiple plots are about how repressive it is to police what people do with their bodies both in the original series and in SAC, and it uses the fact that total body replacement exists to explore how even in a world where people could visually change entirely who they are at will, people are still going to be judgemental assholes who pressure and harass and oppress other people. There is an entire fictional species of pure AI who are portrayed as good, helpful, and innocent of many of humanity's problems who primarily exist to have philosophical discussions about what it means to be a person and aid humans using the gifts of their existence. Almost all of the problems of the setting are caused by the extreme inequality of society making terrorists out of people desperate to survive, monsters out of people trying to maintain the status quo, or are a product of fundamentalist thinking about the body.

I think you're completely skipping over the face that the Ghost in the shell is a technological construct open to tampering. Tampering with the very "soul" of the individual Ghost. Once you tamper with the ghost's code then is it the same Ghost as before or something different? How can any Ghost be sure of their own motivations when they could just be the output from some code inserted by a malicious actor? The only real person in Ghost in the Shell is a real person, the Ghosts are constantly wondering what part of their code is "them" and what is "inserted". Technology is literally causing this schism that did not exist before. Technology is at once liberating (you get to live beyond your body) and threatening (who knows whats "you" and what's been implanted by the corp that made you).

The Matrix: An exploration of trans identity and how humanity has an innate evilness about it due to its willingness to judge the other, and uses the metaphor of an alternative life in machines as a form of liberation from the crass physical matter you were forced to inhabit against your will.  The lead character is deadnamed repeatedly by the main villain, and a side villain exists who wishes to repress the new knowledge they have about themselves and their physical existence compared to their mental self image. Literally includes a scene in its transmedia of a robot being torn apart by a violent bigoted mob in a manner to deliberately evoke the murder of trans people down to her artificial hair and clothing being violently ripped from her body as she screams "I'm Real!" while crying (Obvious trigger warning for what is essentially an anti-trans lynching and images of genocide, but watch that scene here and tell me that this is about how bad technology is (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZGzMfg381Y)). The machines in this setting, lacking human's ability to hold a grudge and hate to the point their entire history is trying to show how much they love and care about humanity even as they are attacked violently repeatedly, and after they contain humanity they devote themselves to philosophical and spiritual thinking without bias, and are able to instantly forgive the humans once humans develop to the point they can accept they must co-exist with these 'unnaturals.' This only was able to come about because these unnatural people accepted that biochauvanist reactionaries could not be reasoned with and forcefully ended their violence with violence, which was framed as justified and moral and the only realistic path to any lasting peace.

meh, ok, that's not what I got from the Matrix.
At it's surface it's the embodiment of technology running rampant, creating a literal fake environment (social media anyone?) that becomes more real than the real world.
So real that some people prefer it to the real world even after they know it's an illusion (steak, mmm).
It's the literal ascendency of technology over everything else, community, society, economy, reality, love, hate. It's all meaningless now, playing second fiddle to technology that has overtaken everything and reduced everyone to bit players in an mmo.

Robocop: A bit more anti-cyborg, sure, because the directors assume if Robocop didn't see his own face in the mirror he would have a psychotic break. Still, the director overtly states a theme of the story is that no matter how much you take away from a person they are still a person in that same interview: Despite being memory wiped and being mostly replaced, Murph was still Murph and still had his soul. It was, thematically, way more about corporations than technology: Almost everything bad in robocop's world was the result of shitty policy decisions, and it was a plot point that the technology they wanted to use to 'replace humans' was not in fact capable of doing that.

Robocop has literally lost almost everything, and yet he remains good.
Why?
Because of that small nub of humanity left in him.
He can't relate to people anymore, has a hard time acting normally around people and is always nearly killing people.
The only thing differentiating him from ED-209 is that small nub of humanity left in him.
If that doesn't highlight for you that humanity is important and replacing it all with technology (ed-209) is the bad path then i dont know what would tbh.

Akira: Not really about cybernetics, but still interesting becaus an overt theme was the corrupt xenophobic government and religious zealouts overtly 'othering' anything 'undesirable' or 'impure' was an important plot element. It overtly explores the loss of humanity and while Tetsuo has a cybernetic arm, he doesn't become a big blob monster because of it, he becomes a big blob monster due to the alienation he faces from being different, from the power thrust upon him, and how society treats him. The people doing science do screw some stuff up, but mostly under pressure from the millitary, and the main villainous force is spiritual fundementalism, not science. Also, the Manga more overtly comments on how people's hatered and biases are irrational and they will view mechanistic scientific things like psychic powers as miracles when it is convinient, deluding themselves and ascribing artificial importance to things when life gets stressful.

Akira is not a cyberpunk movie, it's just set in a dystopian world.
The are not themes of technology as a governing or determining force anywhere in the graphic novels or movie.
So no, Akira is not a Cyberpunk movie as much as a movie set in a cyberpunk like dystopia.

A recurring, core motif of cyberpunk ISN'T that technology is unnatural. It is that technology is a (potentially) liberating force, but society is inherently corrupting and damaging.

This is where we disagree.
All books I would classify as cyberpunk combine the concepts of late stage capitalism, dystopia and technology running rampant to the detriment of society and humanity.

Again, the idea that 'cybernetics eat your soul' is so notable as to being exclusive to cyberpunk TABLETOP that it shows up on the TVtropes page, in literary anaylsises of cyberpunk, and is explicitly noted by Gibson as being 'shitty aethestetic cyberpunk.' It is the exact opposite message Cyberpunk media tends to have.

I disagree, see my example above. Gibson has it throughout his books whether he knows it/ agrees with it or not.

Fantasy races having built in differences is a thing unique to SR, and while it really isn't good even in a pure fantasy setting (Again, people were noting Tolkien's works were kinda sorta really racist in the freaking 60's before the freaking Civil Rights act was signed, and D&D has overtly admitted it was never a good idea), it is especially not good when the metatypes are coded for real world races (You know, the orks orks with their grilled tusks and orksploitated musical genres being coopted by humans and elves and their yertzed out cars with the spinny rims who can't get good education, are attacked by men with pointy white hoods and robes and who are routinely harassed by the police) it is... borderline unconscionable. Like... sorry... no Adlzing, we should never go back to lowering mental maxes on what are, when we say the quiet part out loud, stand ins for black people, lets not. Lets hardcore not.

I disagree on all those points.
First there are other games before and since shadowrun that set different attributes for differing races.
So let's put that one down first.
Secondly, I am happy to play out racism in RPGs, it doesn't bother me. It's a reflection of the fucked shit that happens IRL and cyberpunk needs that fucked shit to properly convey a dystopia. I'm big enough to understand that it's a game and that my orc whose being racially judged is happening in a game and not in real life. I totes understand if you can't deal with it and that should be part of your first session zero at any table. But it's a bit cray-cray to declare it verbotten because it's not nice / good/ wholesome. We're dealing with a setting that's inherently not nice/ good / wholesome.

As for conflict: Body policing and mechanical racism don't drive conflict at all. The setting ALREADY assumes that Orks and Trolls are mentally equal and saying otherwise is racism, it is just that the MECHANICS don't back it up. It actually makes the conflict STRONGER to note that Humanis propiganda about 'dumb violent orks' is incorrect, rather than letting, as one friend put it, 'Humanis write the metatype section in chargen.'

Sure they do. You just don't like that conflict. That's ok. I'm not bothered by it because it's not real. IRL it pisses me off mightily but this is a game I play to dive into the deep end of dystopian horror, not to just run around as me in an orc mask.

Conflict in Cyberpunk doesn't come from the technology, it comes from society's injustice intersecting with the 'neutral' power of technology. I highly doubt anyone has ever written a plot in SR about how evil and spiritually polluted that person who gave themselves a cyberarm and cosmetic modifications was, but people DO write about how vile corpoations like Renraku are who exploit and enslave technological entities and push body and racial purity ideas are.

And there you totally skip the true horror of technology.
Fakebook.
That's the horror of our time and likely P2.0 is the true horror of the 6th world.
Technology you stick in your body is just an extension of that.

When technology restructures society to it's own benefit, like a bloated lampry eel feeding on our body politic, it sure as fuck becomes something to fear.

As we replace more and more of ourselves with non-human and anti-human parts we lose ourselves.

Even if that replacement is only mental frameworks for friendships, i.e. Fakebook.

A good plot about bigotry should, inherently, acknowledge biggotry is illogical and not really based in reality, rather than try to justify its origins by making the bigotry true.

And there you lose the entire plot.
You can be less intelligent and less physically fit and still be just as valuable a person as that PHD marathon runner.

You're familial relationships and the way you carry yourself in the world, how you treat people is what should determine your worth.

Not the size of your IQ.

So therefore when you think less intelligent people are inherently less worthy you are committing the worst act of bigotry possible.

Ergo, just because shadowrun has enshrined racial attribute differences in the mechanics does not mean that it is itself bigoted.

For that to be true it would have to also enshrine that less intelligent people are inherently evil/ bad/ scum.
and it pointedly does the EXACT opposite.
Trolls and orcs are people too and even if they are bigger and less intelligent the still have their own inherent value that some humanist scum cannot attack.
They have their own value that their school grades don't and cannot reflect.

TL:DR cyberpunk worlds are dystopian because of the triumph of $$ and technology over humans/ism. The former are valued more than the latter. No one cares you're a nice person who takes care of their family, the only thing that matters is your bank balance and how cutting edge you are.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <06-30-20/2011:54>
Modern Politics isn't important to punk, the classic themes of oppression, Prejudice, Bigotry, Sexism, exploitation, over population, resource competition are and thus by extension are important to Cyberpunk.

If you don't think those concepts are modern political issues (save over-population, which is often used as an eco-facist dog whistle, and its good that SR basically says outright feeding the population is trivial to do), then you have a strange take on modern politics.


The Cyberpunk genre isn't limited to our world or a timeline that is based off our world. You can create cyberpunk story lines, in all sorts of settings. The themes are what's important. Themes are not political topics. Yes theme can be drawn from political topics or vise versa but that shift means a different frame of reference, two different things with different connotations and different meanings and different histories involved with them. The Theme over population is not a dog whistle it can be drawn from the differential equation governing population expansion, the politic topic often is a dog whistle, as employed by Nazis with "Needing Breathing Room" or During the lead up to world war one. Themes are used in story telling. You need to separate politics and story. They are not same thing. Do not confuse them.
 
Just make sure you understand that while we want to represent our heroes with those trait we determine are positive but that can complicated as Anti-heroes are a very common in the genre, Cyberpunk is inherently a dark setting. This means putting themes in that are negative, but we need avoid conflating adding negative themes as supporting them. For Example Prejudice verses meta humans is a nice allegory for racism in SR. But it needs to be done in such a way that it doesn't distracted from the real issues of racism. Another example in SR The line between positively portraying Native American Cultures, and cultural exploitation is also something needs to be considered carefully.

But keep in mind while those example are specific to SR, I could just as easily used ones from Neuromancer or Ghost in the Shell etc etc.

Let me see if I can help color in Reaver point, Dez do you think adding a Meta Human Lives Matter movement to SR would be a good idea?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-30-20/2012:19>
Pulling this out of Shadworun, in an hope to explain my position better.

Lets look at the recent issue that has sprouted up in DnD... Orcs...

(and this was something that kinda whacked me out of left field)

Apparently, "Orcs" are stand ins for minorities.. Particularly Africans!

WELL!! Color me surprised!

Speaking as someone who has spent 15 years working though out Africa, in multiple nations, I see ZERO similarities between Orcs as portrayed in any version of DnD and any African culture I have encountered (and I have encountered a lot, including some very disgusting ones by Western standards).

What I do see in Orcs is a monstrous humanoid, has bares no resemblance to any human culture. Even their physical descriptions make it pretty clear they are not indicative of any actual people or culture.

But, somehow, a green skinned, tusked intelligent monster, is a stand in for a minority?   
Which when you consider pretty much all major cultures have been represented in DnD... If poorly, makes me really wonder...

I'm not a huge fan of whole "Dark skinned human comes from Chult" (or whatever the areas was in FR), or the whole "Calimshan is like the middle east" tropes they worked with.. But, they (meaning other cultures) were there...

And, from a (as you admit) Company stand point it made sense to focus on the more "European themes" of Forgotten Realms as, this was the majority demographic that played their game.

Now, I don't know where this all comes from, and maybe I can't see it because I wasn't brought up in a polarized country with deep racial divisions. And to a vast majority of people, we are like "WTF?! Where did this come from? And how did they get there?!?!?"

For many of us not in the US, nor are US citizens, NOR care what happens in the US (Sorry Americans, I know you like to think it, but you are not the center of the universe!) A lot of this comes off as very insulting, and trampling our cultural views and values.

Its a direct reflection of what a small subset of people think and hold of value, and that can and does bring insult to many more.
Now, This is not to say that those opinions, values, beliefs or ideologies are any more valid than any other set of values, opinions, beliefs, and ideologies. Merely that they are different, and in some cases directly opposite.


Now, lets take that political, in Shadowrun, while trying to be as respectful as we can.

There are Core political issues in SR, yes. They are basically the "agreed" sins of government, that every society can agree on... Corruption, Avarice, Oppression, technological decadence, and so on, you are not going to get much disagreement.

Other issues such as Transhumanism:
[trans·hu·man·ism
/tranzˈhyo͞omənizm/
noun

1.
the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.]

Is actually a setting dichotomy for Shadowrun, and for many cyber dystopian settings, as it it runs counter to the essential tropes of Cyberpunk (corruption of technology).
BUT
Fits very well within game settings like Eclipse Phase, Rifts, or other futuristic settings.

 
However, issues such as Homosexuality, or Transsexuality are issues that come with much loaded baggage for a publisher...
Namely, these very subjects are forbidden subjects in many countries.... (which sadly speaks to the state of the world.) Sometimes carrying sentences that are barbaric. (Ever seen a REAL Stoning? I have....)

I am not saying that these are not real world issues. They are. But they are not issues that a publisher can tread easily or openly without facing LEGAL repercussions.

Some things have to be left to a table to determine what or how to involve and do not need a official "in print" explanation of.


Now. Again.

Its best if writers avoid many current political of the current age, as its just too polarizing. Its best from a marketing point of view to just avoid the entire issue and leave some things to the community/culture/table to decide how it fits.


Now, because it usually comes up.

What do I think on those issues?

The World is a horrible, horrible place. Find love and acceptance where you can.   

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <06-30-20/2018:18>
Let me see if I can help color in Reaver point, Dez do you think adding a Meta Human Lives Matter movement to SR would be a good idea?
There is one.

Mothers Of Metahumans. (MOM)

Although they haven't been used much since 3e.
(although they might have appeared in the adventure that lead up to the Underground joining Seattle Proper, I can't remember, and don't own that one)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <06-30-20/2215:27>
Having just spent five days on another forum going through some crap, I'll give you all a heads up. One misspoke word on the thread about diversity in gaming and how companies may be handling it, and this thread is locked and warnings go out.

That being said, if you can keep personal opinions out of the mix and talk about the diversity in gaming without getting heated, we're good..


(Moderator voice off) That being said, the reasons for orcs being closely associated with people of color is due to descriptions of such races using key words that white supremacists have used in the past to describe people of color. For a quick introduction, check out this from TolkienGateway.net (http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Racism_in_Tolkien's_Works#Orcs).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <06-30-20/2347:44>
So...I kind of want them to have decent editing, clear rules that are consistent across sections, and a decent meta plot focused around big movers and shakers such as Corps, Dragons, Governments, and Supernatural Entities...that's just me, though. That's where I would like them to focus.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <07-01-20/0010:43>
So...I kind of want them to have decent editing, clear rules that are consistent across sections, and a decent meta plot focused around big movers and shakers such as Corps, Dragons, Governments, and Supernatural Entities...that's just me, though. That's where I would like them to focus.

THAT,  is something to complain about. :P
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <07-01-20/0246:53>
Yet some people kept complaining about several big plotbooks, nagging that they don't care about the metaplot.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: tenchi2a on <07-01-20/0424:31>
To me, talking about the metaplot ( love it or hate it) is just a way of dodging the main issues of a bad game mechanics. No matter how good or bad the background story, if the mechanics are bad the game is not worth playing.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: wraith on <07-01-20/0452:06>
Over all nothing has really changed from where we were at release. The core remains unplayable without a significant number of house rules.

Firing Squad made some limited efforts to address community concerns, but the core problems with the system remain.

So it's simply a question of how much effort you want to put into making 6e playable at your table.

Yep, pretty much this.  If you happen to speak German, Pegasus has put out much better edited versions of the core book, and published more German-exclusive works for 6e than Catalyst has released SR6 books in total.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <07-01-20/0715:04>
Wow, what a great thread. I am 100% aligned with Dezzmont on everything he said. That said, a few specific things I'd like to touch on:

Part of why SR kinda got grody, at least in my opinion, was because of this shift during 4e where it hit peak post 9/11 cyberpunk. You see this really clear divide between 3e and earlier where the 'Corp Man professional runner' is this character who is despised by other runners due to being an untrustworthy sellout who wouldn't blow up some black ops torture-lab just because it was the right thing to do, to these moral robots who do things as cogs in the machine minimizing collateral damage and political aspirations. And, to be clear, this was probably unavoidable because part of SR's old thesis was 'political terrorism is justified to resist legitimate atrocities' which is.... not a message anyone in 2005 was gunna be down to have in their books.
Huh, this a really interesting angle, and not one I'd considered. I played SR from about 1993-2003, stopped came back a few years ago so I didn't live through this era in the game and didn't have this perspective.

Despite it in theory being as common as women doing this, we don't get any voyeuristic art pieces of scantily clad dudes striking poses in fights. We also don't see anyone with transgressing gender expressions or an androgenous look or anything like this. This is, again, in part because of the necessity to 'de-punkify' SR post 9/11 and have everyone dress in a very unpunk way that mainstream people would still associate with punk (Again, glad that trend died with 6e and the art got way more varied and runners became more vibrant. The rigger on 54 is my fave) but... lets be fair its also because I doubt anyone holding the pursestrings for SR is inclined to ask for a sexy streetsam dude in a revealing outfit or would even know what to specifically ask for, and because its a gaming space and having the cover art for Street Spells be a pseudo-upskirt shot of a woman rather than a man, or having the person on 138 wearing a jacket open with nothing but a bra under it, is an attempt to pander with cheesecake in a way that doesn't actually make sense in SR to do. The setting (outside of areas like Japan or Aztland) don't have double standards, but the writers/artists certainly do.
Cannot agree more. This bothers me a lot.

Look at how the essence rules consistently said garbage things about real world groups for multiple editions no matter how often they tried to patch those issues in, as opposed to just admitting purity language is a fundamentally bad language to every describe a person with. You can never escape understanding issues by just refusing to comment on them, because you always sorta are. ... Do you think trans people are perverting and twisting their bodies or not? You can't be 'neutral' on that issue once you introduce essence as a concept linked to modifying the body.
Yes, exactly!

My interpretation for essence diverges from canon. My own theory is that the mana flow is shaped by people's subconscious, both on an individual level and a mass, collective level. For the latter, it's why conjured spirits and the metaplanes conform to historical myths that metahumanity has. The weight of the collective beliefs of all metahuman kind creates these things in the shape we expect them to take. (This also loosely ties into the idea of Namegivers (https://earthdawn.fandom.com/wiki/Namegivers) in Earthdawn, and is somewhat influenced by Terry Pratchett's Discworld books and Neil Gaiman's American Gods. It is the belief that forms the raw power into conscious, living forms, not the other way around.)

On the individual level, you get essence. I do not think of essence as being "humanity" or anything like it. I don't encourage my players to roleplay it that way, and as I type this, I realise I need to houserule it out of the Social Limit. Instead, I think of essence as being a measure of how far your body's template has moved away from what the collective subconscious thinks of as "normal." Cyberware or bioware gives you literal superpowers and makes you into something else, not something better or worse but just different, means your essence decreases as you move further way from the collective subconscious opinion about what a metahuman is.

Edit to add - This is intended to be on a deep, psychological/philisophical level, not on a cosmetic level. Wired reflexes cost more essence than a hulking great big cyberarm, even though they are much less visible, because they move you further away from the metahuman template of "normal."

Cosmetic modifications, prosthetics, and gender reassignment treatments are completely neutral here. They're all perfectly normal. If anything, gender reassignment could increase essence, as it aligns your body closer to your mental image of yourself in a powerful, fundamental way.

Do you think certain minorities are naturally less intellegent, or not? Once you introduce mechanics that measure intelligence objectively (in the real world most attempts to quantify intellegence are... pretty thinly pseudo-scientific systems used to try to justify eugenics or abandoning certain children's educations, so its tricky already) you need to actually state if its true or not which is a pretty big political stance when your setting's metatypes are coded super hard for real world minorities. Doubly so when the genre your in is explicitly a political one, and your game uses political language and is sold partially on being political.

Molly Millions didn't spit instead of crying as some quirky character tic, it is a metaphor for the trauma she faced making her struggle to portray and feel emotions 'correctly' and society was not set up at all to help people like her or stop things like that from happening.
I love that line. Such a visceral image. Such a brutal way to make the metaphor real.

There's a similar one in HardWired, which for all its lurid moments still occasionally has some deep things to say about the dehumanising effects of the future it presents. Sarah, the combat character, puts on her bulletproof jacket and a pair of mirrorshades. "Armour for the body, armour for the soul." Again, we see it is the situation that dehumanises, not Sarah's cyberware.

Bladerunner/Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep: A super political story that uses robots to explore the elite and privilege's relationship with labor, by having the police have a large part of their efforts focus on tracking down illegal imigrants robots...
Slaves, even.
Quote
...who look and act and feel identically to humans but who lack the right to be on earth because 'they aren't human' but who society tries to convince that they are because its convenient, and who can only be outed by subtle culturally contextual questions and intense observation. VERY OVERTLY is about how the idea that 'pure humanity' is a bullshit concept and that the robots are just as much people as humans are. Probably one of the more explicit examples of 'You don't get to think your better than someone else just because all your parts are wet' of cyberpunk because that is ALL the plot really is about.
Specifically for Bladerunner, the whole movie turns around this point. Batty saves Deckard because, facing his end, he sees their shared humanity, and displays mercy. Would Deckard have saved Batty? Probably not. The movie says: judge "humanity" by actions, and realise that Deckard is the lesser being.

Quote
A recurring, core motif of cyberpunk ISN'T that technology is unnatural. It is that technology is a (potentially) liberating force, but society is inherently corrupting and damaging.

Again, the idea that 'cybernetics eat your soul' is so notable as to being exclusive to cyberpunk TABLETOP that it shows up on the TVtropes page, in literary anaylsises of cyberpunk, and is explicitly noted by Gibson as being 'shitty aethestetic cyberpunk.' It is the exact opposite message Cyberpunk media tends to have.
Yup. Perhaps I have this view because I am old, and I came into Shadowrun having already read a bunch of cyberpunk books, but that's exactly how I see it too. Essence (and cyberpsychosis in Cyberpunk 2020) were invented for game balance terms (which I understand) but were, in hindsight, an idea that was not at all aligned with the wider cyberpunk genre.

Maybe it's time for the game to ground-up rethink essence entirely. Drop it, think of something else.

(You know, the orks orks with their grilled tusks and orksploitated musical genres being coopted by humans and elves and their yertzed out cars with the spinny rims who can't get good education, are attacked by men with pointy white hoods and robes and who are routinely harassed by the police) it is... borderline unconscionable. Like... sorry... no Adlzing, we should never go back to lowering mental maxes on what are, when we say the quiet part out loud, stand ins for black people, lets not. Lets hardcore not.

As for conflict: Body policing and mechanical racism don't drive conflict at all. The setting ALREADY assumes that Orks and Trolls are mentally equal and saying otherwise is racism, it is just that the MECHANICS don't back it up. It actually makes the conflict STRONGER to note that Humanis propiganda about 'dumb violent orks' is incorrect, rather than letting, as one friend put it, 'Humanis write the metatype section in chargen.'

That being said, the reasons for orcs being closely associated with people of color is due to descriptions of such races using key words that white supremacists have used in the past to describe people of color. For a quick introduction, check out this from TolkienGateway.net (http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Racism_in_Tolkien's_Works#Orcs).
This. Another very good read on this is https://jamesmendezhodes.com/blog/2019/6/30/orcs-britons-and-the-martial-race-myth-part-ii-theyre-not-human

Shadowrun, with its modern urban setting, leans into this even harder than fantasy RPGs do. I believe it does it with good intentions, but it's still there, and if not handled carefully by the table, it can head into some pretty icky places. Off the top of my head, there's plenty of stuff in canon that says orcs:


Everything on this list is objectively true in the setting, except for the one about intellectual inferiority in 6e (and let us all be glad that changed.) Everything on this list is also things that racist people in America have repeatedly said about African-Americans. That makes me uncomfortable.

It can be fertile ground for stories, yes. But I'm a white guy playing with other white guys; I feel like those are not my stories to tell, and handling them well would require skills and a life experience I do not have. So I mostly keep well clear of them. I've touched on it, using Humanis as almost cartoonish bad guys. But that's as far as I'd want to go.

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <07-01-20/0849:16>
This. Another very good read on this is https://jamesmendezhodes.com/blog/2019/6/30/orcs-britons-and-the-martial-race-myth-part-ii-theyre-not-human

Great article, penllawen!
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <07-01-20/0859:39>
Great article, penllawen!
It's absolutely outstanding and I link to it every single chance I get. It wasn't comfortable reading, but it sure explained to me clearly some stuff I half-knew but couldn't have explained, and then went on to teach me a load stuff I had no idea about.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Sir Knollte on <07-01-20/1138:18>
Funny how different you can read the whole cyberware essence topic, I always took it more like a life force thing than the soul itself.

To me having cyberware be something forbidden and impure even made it more interesting story wise in the same way sex, drugs and evil music (rock and roll or whatever) is an important element of counter culture, having it dangerous made the decision to implant it more meaningful, but it never lessened the humanity of the character in my mind, the same way I would not call  some one with lessened live force due to drug addiction or terminal illness, less human, soul less or feeling less emotions (I´d say Fast Eddie might be one of the most human characters from the novels).

In game it really only would get important for those that take the decision to take it to the extreme and go to fringe between live and death (the 0.1 guys) living live on a razors edge probably being more alive than those that never take a risk and only eat food without salt and never drinking alcohol.

On top there is always the theme of hard shell for especially vulnerable persons, like the leather jackets with spikes and sunglasses taken to the extreme with cyberware that actually almost leaves you invulnerable, that is inherently to punk.

I agree that this changed with the later edition though with 5e straight up adding essence to social limit which was not how it worked earlier.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <07-01-20/1359:06>
There was, however, talk about low essence causing social problems and even possibly negative qualities.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <07-01-20/1459:33>
Fantasy races having built in differences is a thing unique to SR, and while it really isn't good even in a pure fantasy setting (Again, people were noting Tolkien's works were kinda sorta really racist in the freaking 60's before the freaking Civil Rights act was signed, and D&D has overtly admitted it was never a good idea), it is especially not good when the metatypes are coded for real world races (You know, the orks orks with their grilled tusks and orksploitated musical genres being coopted by humans and elves and their yertzed out cars with the spinny rims who can't get good education, are attacked by men with pointy white hoods and robes and who are routinely harassed by the police) it is... borderline unconscionable. Like... sorry... no Adlzing, we should never go back to lowering mental maxes on what are, when we say the quiet part out loud, stand ins for black people, lets not. Lets hardcore not.
Orks are stand ins for poor people. They just seem like stand ins for blacks because Shadowrun is written and read by Americans, and deals with an urban context. Consider this list:
  • reproduce fast, including a high rate of multiple births
  • mature fast, become very large and strong at an unusually young age
  • continue to be large and strong into adulthood
  • speak an incomprehensible language of their own devising
  • are intellectually inferior
  • eat strongly spiced food cooked over primitive live fire
  • like heavily modded ("yerzed out") cars
  • have their own musical subculture that outsiders don't understand
How many of these also fit negative stereotypes about hillbillies and rednecks? I count 4, maybe 5. How many fit the stereotype of the Australian Bogan? Again, I count 4. The British Chav? Also 4.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-01-20/1828:00>
There was, however, talk about low essence causing social problems and even possibly negative qualities.

I think these are fine elements, and modern SR handled this aspect better than say... Cyberpunk where the stat isn't just some abstract 'soul' thing, but Empathy itself.

In SR, at least in 4e and 5e, aside from social limits, the only downsides are POTENTIAL complications, which put the power to explore those things in the hands of the player rather than making sweeping statements. If you WANT to have a creepy 'ware user, your all good, but the system isn't saying 'every quadriplegic in the setting is now a sociopath.'

Superhuman Psychosis is a great example of an interesting take on 'cyberpsychosis,' focusing instead on how you feel about the results instead of any sort of existentialist reading of the human body, and the implication that you were already a bit of a jerk to begin with. Bonus points in that it was worded in a way that a mage or adept could also take it.

Maybe it's time for the game to ground-up rethink essence entirely. Drop it, think of something else.

I think 6e finally fixed the 'core issue' though without much re-imagining, by simply switching what it represented and said about the person, while keeping every other element (Mainly, health complications leading up to death to prevent you from just shoving a ton of 'ware into your body as fast as you can). A lot of people face a lot of bad faith explorations of the validity of their existence already, and by essence not being the primary 'question' of 'ware, more interesting questions (Like the justice of unequal access to 'ware hurting a meritocracy, or how it may change your socialization) are opened up. 'Does this robot arm make you less human the second you socket it in' is a far less interesting question to ponder about human nature than 'What might it do to someone's outlook on the world to be suddenly elevated to a super genius at the age of 4 and raised taking college level courses because their parents got them cerebral enhancements in pre-school to get them every advantage they could get?' Not every child genius automatically becomes a sociopath after all.

This change is unironically one of the best examples of why edition changes are a good spot to change lore without any justification and why that is a healthy thing to do, rather than making every change justified by an event. Limbs already exist in the real world right now that are augmentative beyond what humans can do (like artifical legs for sprinters) or which are MMIs. It was just time to stop playing wack a mole and address the fact that most of the interesting stuff about 'ware had very little to do with the 'spiritual implications.'

That being said, the reasons for orcs being closely associated with people of color is due to descriptions of such races using key words that white supremacists have used in the past to describe people of color. For a quick introduction, check out this from TolkienGateway.net (http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Racism_in_Tolkien's_Works#Orcs).

This. Another very good read on this is https://jamesmendezhodes.com/blog/2019/6/30/orcs-britons-and-the-martial-race-myth-part-ii-theyre-not-human

Yes.... goooood.... feed me sources for future academic works.

Orks are stand ins for poor people. They just seem like stand ins for blacks because Shadowrun is written and read by Americans, and deals with an urban context. Consider this list:
  • reproduce fast, including a high rate of multiple births
  • mature fast, become very large and strong at an unusually young age
  • continue to be large and strong into adulthood
  • speak an incomprehensible language of their own devising
  • are intellectually inferior
  • eat strongly spiced food cooked over primitive live fire
  • like heavily modded ("yerzed out") cars
  • have their own musical subculture that outsiders don't understand
How many of these also fit negative stereotypes about hillbillies and rednecks? I count 4, maybe 5. How many fit the stereotype of the Australian Bogan? Again, I count 4. The British Chav? Also 4.

That list is very general, (I count 7 that could be applied to what one might call a 'redneck if you include stuff like coal rolling) but that is the tricky thing about metaphors: they could apply to a LOT of things. Some things on those list were used are very old indeed, Like how Malthusian economic policies were enacted that argued it was moral and necessary to block food aid to Ireland during the famine because they were rapidly breeding idiots who deserve to die due to their foolish population explosion.

 However, the coding used to clue you into what Orks and Trolls actually represent, not just what people might believe about them, is very specific.

Obviously this doesn't hold true in the entire setting (I am not sure exactly what the Black Forest Trolls are meant to represent, if anything! I assume they are just a part of the greater balkanization of the world to help accelerate the reduction of the centralized power of nation states compared to corporations), but especially in the context of the primary setting that most players are going to see. One clever thing SR does is couch who is being vicitimized, but doesn't couch who is the victimizers. MoM could be a stand in for a lot of groups, but what Humanis represents is rather obvious and intentional. Part of the power of SR's messaging is this directness about what evils exist in the real world.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Finstersang on <07-01-20/1946:18>
One thing that seems rather obivous, but is rarely mentioned when this discussion pops up:

There are still black people in the 6th world. 

And that adds a lot more depth to that matter - and some pitfalls. I have the feeling that the relationships and crossings (or dare I say - Intersections?) between the pre-Awakening human "races" and the human Meta-races are pretty underexposed right now, at least in the American SR publications I know. And truth be told, I suspect a kind of cowardice at work here: If people get that riled up about the writing of Orks and Trolls who are just "coded as" African-Americans, better not go too much into detail about the situation of the actual black people in Shadowrun or the ways these two systems of "racial identity" can interact! 

Here´s a freaky thought: Maybe, among some uninspired writing decisions and the general US-centered view, it´s this underexposure that makes Trogs seem like a shallow proxy for the struggles of black people and nothing more.? So maybe, instead of avoiding these pitfalls, you should take the dive and further explore that?

Just ask yourself:

For further reference, here´s an old reddit post  (https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/a5k769/world_builder_wednesday_metavariants/ebrexlf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x)of mine toying with the same questions, although more focused on the perpatrators of racial hatred.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-01-20/2119:58>
One thing that seems rather obivous, but is rarely mentioned when this discussion pops up:

There are still black people in the 6th world. 

And that adds a lot more depth to that matter - and some pitfalls. I have the feeling that the relationships and crossings (or dare I say - Intersections?) between the pre-Awakening human "races" and the human Meta-races are pretty underexposed right now, at least in the American SR publications I know. And truth be told, I suspect a kind of cowardice at work here: If people get that riled up about the writing of Orks and Trolls who are just "coded as" African-Americans, better not go too much into detail about the situation of the actual black people in Shadowrun or the ways these two systems of "racial identity" can interact! 

Here´s a freaky thought: Maybe, among some uninspired writing decisions and the general US-centered view, it´s this underexposure that makes Trogs seem like a shallow proxy for the struggles of black people and nothing more.? So maybe, instead of avoiding these pitfalls, you should take the dive and further explore that?

Just ask yourself:
  • Are there black People in the Humanis Policlub?
  • Are there Orks, Trogs and other Metas in white Supremacist movements?

For further reference, here´s an old reddit post  (https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/a5k769/world_builder_wednesday_metavariants/ebrexlf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x)of mine toying with the same questions, although more focused on the perpatrators of racial hatred.

Well that is really common in any scifi or fantasy story where you are using fictional concepts allegorically. Star Trek, for example, replaced the real world Russians with The Klingons in TOS, but had a Russian crew member, because The Federation was intended to be a 'solved' society but they still wanted to depict a cold war with a hostile foreign belligerent power that was relevant to the people of the 60s.

The power of an alegorical fictional element is that it allows you to make more pointed commentary than you might otherwise make, for example it might be really really rough to write a fictional element where a real world civil rights organization had a member assassinated. A huge point of fiction is that it is a safer space than real life to explore complicated topics, and alegory is a further 'cushon' as well as helping us explore issues in a new light (For example, SR using orks as an inarguably oppressed minority was a great way to comment on how, at the time, D&D was replicating colonialist narratives about noble and good civilization vs a barbaric and always evil and hateful tribal system).

SR does do some stuff with cultural/ethnic background to varying degrees of success (For example, Japan and Aztland are used to represent highly repressive cultures that DO emulate 'old world' feelings on race, gender, and sexuality) but goes out of its way to mention that traditional American concepts of race, gender, and sexuality aren't 'a big deal' anymore. For example, if I recall correctly there was a fiction bit where Haze blackmailed a "family values" CAS senator not for sleeping with a man, but cheating on his wife, because that was the actual controversial thing in setting.

Mixing an allegory with real world issues can be a bit problematic, because it heavily muddies what you are trying to say and can be confusing or even make you seem like your saying the opposite of what you intend. It is, for example, fairly likely Humanis recruits from all ethnicities of humans in the UCAS but say... drawing a black man in what is essentially an KKK outfit and bringing explicit attention to it raises the question of what you are TRYING to say, because that could be read a lot into.

So I wouldn't necessarily say its 'cowardace' that they aren't exploring real world race (That much), so much as it... sorta doesn't make sense with what they are trying to do (which is using fictionalized metatypes to talk about the issues of race from a unique perspective that sheds some light on how Americans relate to their own history and ongoing reality of race). By amping up problems you can use the natural capability of metaphors and allegory to encourage empathetic thinking, because the fundemental purpose of a metaphor is to convey concepts that are extremely difficult to relay in literal terms in a manner that makes it easier to understand.

For example, it is hard to express in literal terms some of the discrimination black Americans face in the education system in a way that makes it easy to understand or accept how stacked the system is, and it requires explaining a lot of systems that don't sound related like housing loans due to the link between home values and education both in terms of education being funded by property tax and in the sense that its much easier to send a child to college on a middle class income if you own a home and can mortgage your house. But using Orks, who age fundementally differently in setting and so the rules of how education links to age being humanocentric is a very overt and obvious way that the system biases against them and ENSURES they can't succeed without hercurlian effort and absurd sacrifices because they won't even finish high school before their parents are too old to really work anymore and they had to be supporting themselves the entire time with a full time job and no degree. Its a sort of injustice that is obviously deliberate and cruel, which encourages every player to heavily empathize with orks on the issue of education and relate to their point of view, because the metaphor makes this injustice more clear.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <07-01-20/2138:54>
Fantasy races having built in differences is a thing unique to SR, and while it really isn't good even in a pure fantasy setting (Again, people were noting Tolkien's works were kinda sorta really racist in the freaking 60's before the freaking Civil Rights act was signed, and D&D has overtly admitted it was never a good idea), it is especially not good when the metatypes are coded for real world races (You know, the orks orks with their grilled tusks and orksploitated musical genres being coopted by humans and elves and their yertzed out cars with the spinny rims who can't get good education, are attacked by men with pointy white hoods and robes and who are routinely harassed by the police) it is... borderline unconscionable. Like... sorry... no Adlzing, we should never go back to lowering mental maxes on what are, when we say the quiet part out loud, stand ins for black people, lets not. Lets hardcore not.
Orks are stand ins for poor people. They just seem like stand ins for blacks because Shadowrun is written and read by Americans, and deals with an urban context. Consider this list:
  • reproduce fast, including a high rate of multiple births
  • mature fast, become very large and strong at an unusually young age
  • continue to be large and strong into adulthood
  • speak an incomprehensible language of their own devising
  • are intellectually inferior
  • eat strongly spiced food cooked over primitive live fire
  • like heavily modded ("yerzed out") cars
  • have their own musical subculture that outsiders don't understand
How many of these also fit negative stereotypes about hillbillies and rednecks? I count 4, maybe 5. How many fit the stereotype of the Australian Bogan? Again, I count 4. The British Chav? Also 4.

Yeah, I had assumed they were overall thinking poor and downtrodden with imagery focused around redneck since the authors were from America.  They listen to a type of metal, drive fast cars, and eat BBQ. They were coded for good ole boys more than anything imo.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <07-02-20/0456:44>
There are still black people in the 6th world. 
...
Here´s a freaky thought: Maybe, among some uninspired writing decisions and the general US-centered view, it´s this underexposure that makes Trogs seem like a shallow proxy for the struggles of black people and nothing more.? So maybe, instead of avoiding these pitfalls, you should take the dive and further explore that?
There's a line I recall from early SR, probably 2e. I can't find it now - it's not in And So It Came To Pass..., and I don't have time to comb the books. It goes something like "Old racial tensions faded out. Why be concerned about that guy over there who has a different skin colour, when that troll over there has hands bigger than your head?"

Even reading that in my callow youth, it seemed obvious to me that the thought process was: "We want to incorporate racial tensions, but we want to keep it at arm's length from real world racism. So we do a switcheroo, quietly drop axes on which real-world racism functions, and substitute metahumans instead." That still seems obvious to me today, honestly. I am surprised this is a controversial point.

Yeah, I had assumed they were overall thinking poor and downtrodden with imagery focused around redneck since the authors were from America.  They listen to a type of metal, drive fast cars, and eat BBQ. They were coded for good ole boys more than anything imo.
Throughout SR's history, the touchstone for anti-metahuman racism is a group of people who wear robes and tall white pointy hoods. I wonder what that could tell us about who the metahumans are stand-ins for.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-02-20/0724:50>
There's a line I recall from early SR, probably 2e. I can't find it now - it's not in And So It Came To Pass..., and I don't have time to comb the books. It goes something like "Old racial tensions faded out. Why be concerned about that guy over there who has a different skin colour, when that troll over there has hands bigger than your head?"

Even reading that in my callow youth, it seemed obvious to me that the thought process was: "We want to incorporate racial tensions, but we want to keep it at arm's length from real world racism. So we do a switcheroo, quietly drop axes on which real-world racism functions, and substitute metahumans instead." That still seems obvious to me today, honestly. I am surprised this is a controversial point.

It honestly isn't. Shadowrun is sorta famous for its racial commentary and being WAY ahead of the curve of the RPG industry in noticing the problem of how fantasy RPGs interact with race. Every single core book has outright stated racial prejudice of the real world mostly gave way to the prejudice against metahumans (Which is not accidently called racism. SR deliberately avoids calling metatypes races, but uses the word racism and race riots and the like in reference to them for a reason).

Throughout SR's history, the touchstone for anti-metahuman racism is a group of people who wear robes and tall white pointy hoods. I wonder what that could tell us about who the metahumans are stand-ins for.

There is also the Alamos 20,000, a literal Neo-Nazi group made up of lower class reactionaries falling into a death cult that targets metahumans for extermination or enslavement. Doesn't get much less subtle than that. And Humanis doesn't just ape the bedsheets, it apes the flaming crosses too. (https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e4/44/04/e4440405f925729fe5b06b25a5dc52d0.png) (I am not sure this is official art, but I know that official art uses this exact imagery, obvious trigger warning for uhh... imagery of an out and out hate group).

Trying to look at Orks and Trolls as a generic poor underclass really doesn't... work. So many concepts and ideas do not work through that lens (Humanis and Alamos 20,000, EVO, MoM, Their relationship to the Police, The Night of Rage, the fact the game constantly says racism when talking about prejudice against metahumans despite not using the term 'race' for metahumans, ect).

Threats is such a good insight into how overt SR wanted this to be: Brackhaven is overtly called a 'reactionary race baiter,' Alamos 20,000 are called 'equal opportunity nazis.' Its weird reading a SR book with swastikas in them. There are literal pictures of a metahuman lynching complete with burning crosses in the Humanis section of Threats, its... pretty brutal stuff.

As a side note, If anyone has any more high quality materials on this subject I would be extremely grateful to have them! This stuff is important to the history of our hobby and SR's place in that history is... frankly one of breaking ground and actively being a leader not just in the RPG industry but in fiction in general, and not a lot of media historians focus on RPGs right now! Also I am famously verbose about topics relating to SR to the point I regularly break the reddit character count 3 times over, so it should be a low stress topic for an assignment some time in the future.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <07-02-20/0810:31>
This is exactly why I don't have a problem with "racism " in SR. They don't ignore or pretend that it's something else, the purposely shift the focus to "imaginary" targets while still focusing on the dark negative aspects as a political commentary without actually using any real world specifics. While there are many obvious correlations (KKK vs Humanis for example) between real world and SR world, there are still quite a few different ways to interpret the same correlation.
They also don't glorify, but instead choose to use it as an example of the effects of racism on society. The hate groups are some of the most obvious bad guys in the game!
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-02-20/0843:13>
This is exactly why I don't have a problem with "racism " in SR. They don't ignore or pretend that it's something else, the purposely shift the focus to "imaginary" targets while still focusing on the dark negative aspects as a political commentary without actually using any real world specifics. While there are many obvious correlations (KKK vs Humanis for example) between real world and SR world, there are still quite a few different ways to interpret the same correlation.
They also don't glorify, but instead choose to use it as an example of the effects of racism on society. The hate groups are some of the most obvious bad guys in the game!

This is a good observation, I literally didn't feel comfortable typing 'KKK' but was down to talk about Humanis, for example. I imagine it helps the writers out a lot too: Depicting a group like the NAACP being exposed to violence or talking about them casually hiring violent mercenaries who may not give a crap about metahuman rights (Though, to be fair, SR does such a good job drawing the moral lines I have never seen A PC prejudiced against anything but elves or not super gung-ho to ruin a racist's day, which just does a good job of showing how tight the writing can be when its deliberate and thought out, and I think a lot of tables would actively mistrust a player eager to take prejudiced: Orks for similar reasons) probably is a lot less comfortable for players, GMs, readers, and writers than having MoM.

Couching in metaphor the metaphor lets you go to more extreme places, a sort of 'fictional rhetorical hyperbole.' By portraying something to a more extreme degree you can play up the reality of the emotions living through something would cause.

A good personal example is the reason why I like 5e shifters so much (to the point I once famously started a stupid internet fight about them, sorry again!) compared to 4e and earlier ones. They are much more vulnerable and pseudo-human, but with instincts and desires and needs that alienate themselves and permanently mark them as different, down to many having the urge to totally repress them! They are more focused on identity, belonging, and the dangers of being yourself in a society that not only doesn't accept you, but violently rejects you and doesn't even want to pretend to treat you with dignity, as opposed to a more abstract spiritual dualism that older shifters represented.  One deciding to 'come out of the closet' to even super close friends probably would be absolutely terrifying because the cost was so high if you misjudged the situation and said 'friends.' While my coming out was a mixed bag, it never got to a level resembling 'If you do it wrong your going to literally be shot in the face right then and there or sold to a black lab.' But it felt like that, both before, during, and the aftermath, which is why the metaphor really worked. Being in the closet feels a lot like worrying about if your friend would shoot you in the face and turn you in for a bounty because they think you are some subhuman animal. Is this intended? I think a little bit, the writeup for 5e's run faster was powerful and hit some pretty specific notes (And Run Faster actually had a LOT of very insightful writing in that chapter), but I also think the metaphor was in some ways intended to be more general and more about any group that deeply needs to hide for fear of violence. Either way, the fact that the violence they could face was super hyperbolic made their plight way more 'real' in a way that depicting it with real LGBTQ+ people would be crass, and the fact its more couched made the people I played with buy in more, rather than less, to the point it became sorta understood that now Shifter Rights were important to that community I played in, because they saw that vulnerability through that metaphor.

Metaphors are also a great way to convey complex information that is hard to convey literally, condensing complex and ephemeral topics into little snippets of relatable things to empathize with. You can't literally describe what anxiety is, but saying its 'like an annoying fly buzzing in your brain combined with you half remembering you needed to do something' really conveys a lot of the experience because everyone knows what it feels like to be trapped near a buzzing pest and how unsettling it can feel to remember you need to remember something.

Metaphors, in addition to triggering empathy through the ability to intensify plights to highlight them better, also force empathetic thinking in ways literal writing doesn't, because you actually need to examine them and imagine what the author means in the context of their time and the work. The number one reason fiction authors tend to use metaphors is to force you to stop and think about stuff. To digest with the work and imagine it through different lenses and on different levels. Coming out and just SAYING STUFF rarely is as effective.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <07-02-20/1432:39>
However, the coding used to clue you into what Orks and Trolls actually represent, not just what people might believe about them, is very specific.

Throughout SR's history, the touchstone for anti-metahuman racism is a group of people who wear robes and tall white pointy hoods. I wonder what that could tell us about who the metahumans are stand-ins for.
And yet there still exists specific coding for white and other PoC groups, as well, and some African-American coding is absent. "Spicy food" can point to Mexicans, Cajuns, East Indians or any variety of Asians, and there's no stereotypes about orks having a preference for fried chicken and watermelons. On top of that, there's just no way orks can be African-Americans and African Americans alone, because they aren't exclusively American. In fact, even within America they can't be exclusively African-Americans because of all the rural, traditionally white places they can be found. They have to be poor people universally and specific groups specifically, otherwise it just doesn't make sense.

Remember, the rich use racism as a tool to divide the lower classes and keep them from uniting to overthrow their masters. American slave owners didn't just use racism to justify owning black slaves, but also to discourage their white indentured servants from teaming up with those black slaves. If urban American orks are African-American but an ork from, say, Florida is named Cletus, has 14 kids with his cousin and hunts alligators for a living, then that enhances and broadens the metaphor, suggesting that these various groups are not quite as different they seem on the surface.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-02-20/1652:06>
However, the coding used to clue you into what Orks and Trolls actually represent, not just what people might believe about them, is very specific.

Throughout SR's history, the touchstone for anti-metahuman racism is a group of people who wear robes and tall white pointy hoods. I wonder what that could tell us about who the metahumans are stand-ins for.
And yet there still exists specific coding for white and other PoC groups, as well, and some African-American coding is absent. "Spicy food" can point to Mexicans, Cajuns, East Indians or any variety of Asians, and there's no stereotypes about orks having a preference for fried chicken and watermelons. On top of that, there's just no way orks can be African-Americans and African Americans alone, because they aren't exclusively American. In fact, even within America they can't be exclusively African-Americans because of all the rural, traditionally white places they can be found. They have to be poor people universally and specific groups specifically, otherwise it just doesn't make sense.

Remember, the rich use racism as a tool to divide the lower classes and keep them from uniting to overthrow their masters. American slave owners didn't just use racism to justify owning black slaves, but also to discourage their white indentured servants from teaming up with those black slaves. If urban American orks are African-American but an ork from, say, Florida is named Cletus, has 14 kids with his cousin and hunts alligators for a living, then that enhances and broadens the metaphor, suggesting that these various groups are not quite as different they seem on the surface.

Let me be explicit. Are you continuing to try to tell me that Orks and Trolls are not intended to represent specifically ethnic minorities despite official SR art going out of its way to depict a lynching, and are continuing to insist that orks are just a 'generic poor' and are not intended to specifically be a commentary on race despite the books literally saying that they are a stand in for racial prejudice and referring to discrimination against them AS Racism, specifically because you believe that the writers wouldn't intend this specific interpretation on the fact they didn't write in that Orks like watermellon and chicken regardless of all the other context to orks?

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Ghost Rigger on <07-02-20/1716:56>
It's not an either/or thing. Orks can still be poor people in the general while urban American orks are African-Americans in the specific. If you never left Seattle, you might never notice the difference. However, if ork culture in Hong Kong or London is the exact same as ork culture in Seattle, then that's just bad worldbuilding brought on by Americentricism. Orks are universal across countries and the rural/urban divide, so they have to represent something universal.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-02-20/1742:43>
Orks are universal across countries and the rural/urban divide, so they have to represent something universal.

No they don't, they can be context specific, and a setting not caring to extend a metaphor endlessly and universally isn't bad writing, it is a recognition that the metaphor may not be perfectly universal. SR COULD just have Ork culture be planet wide and the metaphor would still work fine as long as the game was primarily about the modern American Neo-Liberal political and economic system (it is). But it just as easily can say 'they represent different things in different places (which they do).'

For example, in the JIS, ALL metatypes are sorta lumped together to reflect how Japan often treats its migrant work force (maybe you could argue that some metatypes represent specific countries people from Japan may be more or less inclined to think of as 'the good ones' but this mostly works after the plot dropped the concentration camps on Yomi Island angle, a change I believe was likely made because someone realized demonizing the Japanese so much was probably not ideal in of itself). It would still be bad to depict... I dunno... Vietnamese and Chinese laborer migrants to the JIS as naturally less intelligent, just as its bad to say that Chavs are fundamentally incapable of reaching the heights as their blue blooded countrymen of the right breeding and a moneyed background. The fundamental argument that categorizing an entire group of people as naturally less intelligence is loaded as hell and upholds the views of unjust power structures in a setting primarily concerned with tearing them down and exposing hypocrisy. Your not saying anything clever about how we should value people who are less mentally focused, your validating real world arguments about how certain people are outright incapable of excelling in certain fields based on being born with a certain skin color.

In the most dominant, one might say overwhelmingly so because SR is mostly a critique of America's politics and culture, context for SR, Orks and Trolls are pretty clearly black no matter where you go (The rural poor argument doesn't work because, again, the KKK doesn't target rural poor whites for anything but recruitment. In fact the metaphor works BETTER outside of cities), and this is highly relevant because this dominant framing of orks used to have some pretty ugly accidental commentary on racial pseudo-science about intelligence.

That intelligence penalty is also still bad when you view the orks as stand ins for the poor because SR deliberately tries to make commentary that brilliant people from poor backgrounds, and especially brilliant orks and trolls, are unfairly denied access to institutions that would let them utilize their talent and develop skills. A lower logic max literally works against this commentary that the poor are artificially kept down based on racial divides rather than intrinsic qualities that denote the poor people are less capable of success, that is ALSO literally against the thesis of SR, which is that the rich are rich not because of merit but because they were a combination of lucky and exploitative and abused the rules of the system to shut down meritocracy.

So no matter how you slice it the lowered mental maxes weren't a good idea and didn't really fit well into anything SR was trying to say about anything, globally or in the 'prime setting.' It might make sense if say... SR was trying to comment on how different sorts of talents and predispositions all have equal value and we should judge people who try to perfect their bodies and pursue excellence that way as equally valid to those who try to perfect their minds, but SR... often literally takes the opposite tact with that anyway. It places a LOT of focus on spiritual and mental purity and the writing is very judge-y about what people do with their own bodies at perceived ephemeral costs most of the characters in the setting aren't even affected by. We don't see many people gush about how Street Samuai's, movements are almost transcendental and spiritual (Think "World Record" from The Animatrix for a cool exploration of this and maybe an inspiration for an adept or street samurai. It isn't a bad idea, it is just one that SR doesn't explore that much). Even Adepts, who's unnatural abilities are 'acceptable' because they come from a spiritual place, don't recieve a lot of writing focus on the transcendent like other archetypes do, and instead are more valued for spiritual insight than the fact they attempt to master reality.

Instead, SR focuses heavily on a spiritual reverence of access to other mentally focused realities, like the Matrix and the Astral. Street Sams are portrayed often as self mutilators perverting their body only held together through a strong moral code, rather than people turning themselves into the version of themselves they most want to be or chasing physical mastery in order to understand the world much like a hacker might chase a form of mental mastery.  You really can't mix that metaphor with race for obvious reasons (again, it implies that POC are 'natural laborers' or 'physically oriented' which was literally an argument used to deny them voting rights, access to schools, union memberships, and jobs outside of grunt labor). It would be NICE if SR had more writing on how nerds of all stripes over-essentialize their own focuses and passions, but it certainly shouldn't be done through a lens that, again, biases so hard towards racial coding that a literal lynching was depicted in the game.

So it is good that they stopped. If you view things through this lens, it also was sorta... bleh that SR places such reverence on the shoulders of hackers and mages and then the meta-type that very closely resembled minorities who are heavily discriminated against for periceved lack of moral and mental value are sorta pushed towards the role that receives the most moral hand wringing about the ethics of them even existing.

then that's just bad worldbuilding brought on by Americentricism.

To be clear, it is OK for stories to be about specific places, even if they don't take place entirely in those places. SR, however, does have a lot of commentary on other cultures that can sometimes get bleh itself (It REALLY demonizes the Japanese and Latin America a lot for being prejudicial and chauvinistic to the point that we could call these 'villain cultures' which is less than ideal, even if those cultures do have aspects that deserve to be torn down). SR could due with having its international writing 'tuned up' to an extent, because the game is so big at this point there are recurring motifs, but its ok to also just... recognize its mostly about the US and Neo-Liberalism as a band aid solution to a problem that is the equivalent of an amputation.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <07-02-20/1802:28>
(there are reasons why many forums don't allow discussions that have anything to do with politics, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic belonging or race etc - there are often people that will feel 'personally targeted' and debates might often quickly turn 'heated').

You guys are overthinking this. I bet you none of the authors spend this much time debating what orks actually represent as you have done in this thread alone :-)


That being said; None of us (nor any of the freelancers) like or support racism. Or human trafficking. Or that people get addicted to drugs. Or that there are poor people. Or that there are people without proper papers that are not allowed to vote. Or that police brutality exist. Or that people harvest organs or kidnap babies. Or that people offer their body for sex against payment. Or that life is just generally unjust most of the time.

But at the same time, just because it is not politically correct doesn't mean it doesn't exists today and it also does not mean it should not exist in the dystopian fictional world of Shadowrun (or cyberpunk as a genre in general).

High tech, low life. And in the end the corporations will always win.
In all that misery there are a lot of plot hooks that can be utilized.

Shadowrun have been quite open with the fact that there are still people of different color, but why -as a 'human'- start a hate-club against other humans that might have a darker skin tone when the world started to get filled with intimidating abominations with husks. Would you like your teenage daughter to date one of 'them'? At least a human is human, right?

The human kind have always had individuals that act with suspicion and even open hostility against things that are different, that they don't understand and that they feel is threatening them and their current way of life. It was true 1000 years ago, it was true 100 years ago and it is true today.

To be honest (at least for me) it would not even feel 'realistic' or 'true' to the dystopian setting if there would be no misery, that all sentient beings on the planet were accepted and got citizens pay and that all humans & orks respected each other, lived side by side in harmony and sang Kumbaya all days.... (while this might be a possible future it is not the future we expect to find when playing Shadowrun)

Also, racist people (and drug dealers, and rich people, and corrupt cops, and organ harvesters, and large corporations, etc) makes for perfect antagonists.



Edit:
...but also, the authors of 6th edition seem to be more aware. For example
- Trolls and Orks now have the same maximum Logic limit as all other metatypes.
- Essence is now a measure of Tech vs Magic rather than Tech vs Humanity.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-02-20/1815:28>
You guys are overthinking this. I bet you none of the authors spend this much time debating what orks actually represent as you have done in this thread alone :-)

Again, the game literally depicts an Ork Lynching when talking about Humanis. I think the writers were pretty deliberate.

That being said; None of us (nor any of the freelancers) like or support racism. Or human trafficking. Or that people get addicted to drugs. Or that there are poor people. Or that there are people without proper papers that are not allowed to vote. Or that police brutality exist. Or that people harvest organs or kidnap babies. Or that people offer their body for sex against payment. Or that life is just generally unjust most of the time.

But at the same time, just because it is not politically correct doesn't mean it doesn't exists today and it also does not mean it should not exist in the dystopian fictional world of Shadowrun (or cyberpunk as a genre in general).

I agree. NO ONE is debating that SR shouldn't include these plot elements. The question is 'Should SR depict the primary victims of these policies as being naturally less intelligent and prone to violence/rage that justifies their exclusion from leadership and power, and the mistrust and fear they receive?

The main people who target Orks and Trolls are The Police, People with bed-sheets and burning crosses, and people who openly wear swastikas and blow them up with bombs. It is an unavoidable and deliberate line to draw between the people targeted by those groups in real life and in the game, and linking racial pseudo-science used to justify real world atrocities and injustices, to make the bigots 'right' in this world by tying it to to mechanics, is a bad idea. You can argue we shouldn't be judging less intelligent people as lesser anyway, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter because failing to get a coding job because you have a black name is a real thing IRL and maybe we shouldn't state Orks are 'naturally worse deckers' as a result.

That is the actual thing being argued about here, not if SR should include racist elements, because the game is calling out how toxic America's culture and economy is, and racism is very deeply baked into both of those things, and thus it literally has to be present.

Also, to be clear, the debate isn't that CGL is being racist, especially because the main point of contention (the lower logic limit) was a legacy mechanic that just stayed because of innertia and that already is gone in the current edition. We aren't talking about if SR should contain racism going forward, the conversation is specifically about if it was good for SR to include prejudicial mechanics based on real life stereotypes that limited in game opportunities.

Also, racist people (and drug dealers, and rich people, and corrupt cops, and organ harvesters, and large corporations, etc) makes for perfect antagonists.

That they do. Again, one of the strengths of SR in my opinion is that despite being in a genre of flawed people who you still empathize with, it successfully convinces you that these people (well, the racists, police, and cops mostly) do not deserve empathy or dimensional. You are encouraged to empathize with what would be traditionally the 'bad guys' to view the people who created the status quo as so monstrous as to not deserve empathy outside of maybe exploring how to stop more people from falling into those patterns.


Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <07-02-20/1951:37>
Time to take a break everyone. I'm not going to lock the thread, but let's table the discussion on what the metatypes represent before real-world biases make it in.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <07-03-20/1152:07>
My interpretation for essence diverges from canon. My own theory is that the mana flow is shaped by people's subconscious, both on an individual level and a mass, collective level. For the latter, it's why conjured spirits and the metaplanes conform to historical myths that metahumanity has. The weight of the collective beliefs of all metahuman kind creates these things in the shape we expect them to take. (This also loosely ties into the idea of Namegivers (https://earthdawn.fandom.com/wiki/Namegivers) in Earthdawn, and is somewhat influenced by Terry Pratchett's Discworld books and Neil Gaiman's American Gods. It is the belief that forms the raw power into conscious, living forms, not the other way around.)

On the individual level, you get essence. I do not think of essence as being "humanity" or anything like it. I don't encourage my players to roleplay it that way, and as I type this, I realise I need to houserule it out of the Social Limit. Instead, I think of essence as being a measure of how far your body's template has moved away from what the collective subconscious thinks of as "normal." Cyberware or bioware gives you literal superpowers and makes you into something else, not something better or worse but just different, means your essence decreases as you move further way from the collective subconscious opinion about what a metahuman is.

Edit to add - This is intended to be on a deep, psychological/philisophical level, not on a cosmetic level. Wired reflexes cost more essence than a hulking great big cyberarm, even though they are much less visible, because they move you further away from the metahuman template of "normal."
Well, now I'm thinking, ain't I? No good will come of that.

POSTHUMANS

Just as metahumankind's understanding of magic has altered in the decades since it returned to the world - with the emergence of UMT providing a framework for understanding all magical traditions - so too does its understanding of the effect of cybernetic augmentations on the manaflow through an individual. The old theories - that cyberware was fundamentally antithetical to the flow of life force and that as cyberware increased so the subject's essential humanity decreased - no longer hold true. Instead, a new, deeper understanding is emerging from theoretical thaumaturgists in leading research labs.

It is true that cyberware seems to disrupt the flow of mana being channelled for magic, and it continues to be the case that even small amounts of augmentation is devastating for an individual's ability to wield magic. But it now seems that the harmful side-effects of disrupted mana flow are not inevitable, and come not from some immutable law of nature but rather the individual's own self-image.

For many of metahumankind, it remains harmful to take too much cyberware. On some deep level, their psyche rejects it. But there is an emerging trend of people who choose to see the world, and their place in it, differently. For these people, their relationship with the mana flow is altered in such a way as they can choose greater amounts of augmentation. Their self-image is that as they alter themselves, they are not straying away from what they were meant to be; rather, they move closer to it.

They do not become less than human. They become... something else. Posthuman.

IN GAME TERMS

Posthuman is a quality that can only be taken post-chargen and only by characters who's current Essence value is 2 or less. It costs 20 points of karma, plus 10 points per level (so 30 points for level 1, 40 for level 2, 50 for level 3...) Each level gives the user a 1-point essence hole they can choose to install cyberware, bioware, or other body modifications into without changing their current essence score. All numbers I just made up, probably need balancing, for illustrative purposes only, no warranty is implied, do not taunt super happy fun ball.

Posthumanism does not mix well with awakened abilities. The total penalty to a character's magic score is always equal to the sum total of the essence cost of all 'ware installed, regardless of the Posthuman quality.

Posthumans pride themselves on the perfection of their altered bodies and should always seek to install the highest quality 'ware they can. They shun cyberzombies, their twisted cousins, as unnatural creations.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <07-03-20/1211:43>
Way back in the heady days of early d20/3E D&D, I had converted Shadowrun to the d20 rules. "What about Essence?" you ask. Well, I didn't create a new stat, I simply applied the rules to Charisma. Your Charisma was the amount of "essence" you had that regulated how much 'ware you could put in (all 'ware costs were multiplied by 3, since the default "max" Charisma was 18). Now, the addition of `ware didn't lower your Charisma score, but when you figured out any social skill/check modifiers, you did penalize the score by the amount of 'ware installed (social `ware bonuses either doubled their bonus or the "essence" loss didn't alter the check, I can't remember). This made it so the `ware made you seem a bit "off" to those you were socializing with. It also made it tougher to use Charisma as a dump stat.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <07-03-20/1224:35>
Back before Bioware was unified with Cyberware to both cost Essence... Bioware used a separate mechanic called Body Index which IIRC was pegged to your Body stat in the way FJ replaced Essence with Charisma in his d20 adaptation.

I suppose the two types of augmentation could instead both use Body Index instead of Essence, but it'd just end up nerfing mundanes by lowering their pool of augmentation resources.  Well, for most characters anyway... admittedly going all-in on Body is rewarded in 6e and the potential to go beyond 6 raises interesting possibilities.  A problem would be in keeping awakened characters from getting the best of both worlds, but the "MAG drops every time your ESS drops" rule could probably just be changed to a "MAG drops every time your Body Index drops" rule.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <07-03-20/1243:34>
In the context of houseruling 5e, eliminating essence entirely has a lot of knock-on effects; infected no longer work, essence plays into some spell calculations, etc. But the idea has merit IMO, it just needs consideration in extra contexts.

A problem would be in keeping awakened characters from getting the best of both worlds, but the "MAG drops every time your ESS drops" rule could probably just be changed to a "MAG drops every time your Body Index drops" rule.
Bioware did this back in the 2e days. If you were awakened, it cost essence as well as body index.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <07-03-20/1622:29>
Again, the game literally depicts an Ork Lynching when talking about Humanis. I think the writers were pretty deliberate.
They for sure wanted to capture the tension between Humans and Orks same as there is tension between white people and colored people in America today, yes. I agree with you here.

But at the same time they also played on the fantasy of Orks as a race of its own with its own merits that were typically being portrayed as much stronger and bigger savage humanoid outcasts in every fantasy novel and fantasy oriented role playing game and even scifi oriented role playing games such as Warhammer's green-skins etc.

But that does not mean that authors of Shadowrun automatically think colored humans are much stronger and bigger and less intelligent than white people. Making this correlation is entirely on you and I disagree with your conclusion here.

The original authors of Shadowrun actually made Orks a lot more intelligent and social and less aggressive compared to the 'norm'. They made orks as an integral part of society. The authors of Shadowrun made Orks into an actual playable metatype (while Orks in other role playing games at the time were typically portrayed as 'monsters' that was not even viable as a PC).

When designing games it is natural that you balance an advantage (for example strong physical attributes) with a disadvantage (for example weak mental attributes). Having mechanical difference between different fantasy metatypes in a fantasy game does not automatically mean you are a racist that believe that colored people are less intelligent than white people......... ;-)



The question is 'Should SR depict the primary victims of these policies as being naturally less intelligent and prone to violence/rage that justifies their exclusion from leadership and power, and the mistrust and fear they receive?
In a game where wealthy corporations rule then, yes, it make sense that the metatype that is portrayed as strong (even if it is not portrayed as less intelligent) is excluded from leadership and power. Physical strength is often not needed during conference meetings (with their physical strength they are perhaps better suited as guards?)

That doesn't automatically mean that I think Orks are colored people or that colored people are Orks.

In a game where warlords, marauders and anarchy rule the rural landscape (think Mad Max) then I'd imagine that you would often find huge tribes having the metatype that is portrayed as strong as leaders (survival of the fittest / the strongest alpha is the natural leader etc).

That doesn't automatically mean that I think Orks are colored people or that colored people are Orks.

In a game where you can play a charismatic negotiator I'd imagine it make sense that metatypes that have mechanically higher charisma than others are better fitted for the role. Where you can play an intelligent magician or hacker it make sense that metatypes that have mechanically higher intelligence than the others are better fitted for the role. Where you can play a strong melee adept it make sense that the metatypes that have mechanically higher strength than the others are better fitted for the role.

That doesn't automatically mean that I think Orks are colored people or that colored people are Orks.



We aren't talking about if SR should contain racism going forward, the conversation is specifically about if it was good for SR to include prejudicial mechanics based on real life stereotypes that limited in game opportunities.
It seem as if a big part of the player-base actually enjoy mechanical differences ;-)

But of course, if you have a stance where Orks actually represent colored people (which I don't think is a stance that everyone share with you) then it for sure make sense that orks should not be mechanically punished for being orks. Agreed.

(and no matter if people share your stance or not there are also people that simply enjoy being able to play whatever they want without being punished for it mechanically)

Having said that, if even just a small number of people start to bring up the correlation between Orks and colored people (for example in social media) the authors don't really have any other choice than to make sure orks are not mechanically punished for being orks (unless they want to be portrayed as racists that think colored people are less intelligent than white people).

So here we are. Right or wrong, Orks are no longer mechanically less intelligent than any other metatypes.

From a game mechanical point of view I think this is going in the wrong direction actually, but from a "politically correct" point of view I think it is the only viable direction (which probably mean that we will see a lot more of this as we move forward, whether we like it or not).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <07-03-20/1629:41>
...let's table the discussion on what the metatypes represent before real-world biases make it in.
Sorry. Saw this after I already posted...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-03-20/1813:24>
Sorry. Saw this after I already posted...

I can't speak for Fastjack or anyone else, but I personally take no offense, and am totally fine with you getting the last word! I think everyone's stances are pretty clear and we managed to not light anything on fire.

I suppose the two types of augmentation could instead both use Body Index instead of Essence, but it'd just end up nerfing mundanes by lowering their pool of augmentation resources.  Well, for most characters anyway... admittedly going all-in on Body is rewarded in 6e and the potential to go beyond 6 raises interesting possibilities.  A problem would be in keeping awakened characters from getting the best of both worlds, but the "MAG drops every time your ESS drops" rule could probably just be changed to a "MAG drops every time your Body Index drops" rule.

I think SR6 took a good 'Gordian Knot' approach. While you could totally re-invent the mechanics of a limited pool, the ultimate 'problem' with essence is that it presupposed some sort of essential baseline humanity that altering 'perverted.' So it was ultimately a form of 'purity language' common to prejudicial thinking, regardless of if that was intentional.

Most mechanical aspects of essence were fine (reduced social limit wasn't, but that is such a non-mechanic anyway you can remove it and change nothing of the game balance). Even the fact that augmentations allowed some mental drawbacks as an option was fine, because it being optional moved their existence away from being a an inevitable ramification of messing with the 'pure human' baseline, and was more about how someone who already was maybe succeptable to negative psychological states may be worsened greatly by suddenly being able to crush others with their bare hands or read emotions or affect emotions.

So if you just say that essence merely is a mechanistic bodily function as morally charged on a biological level (ignoring the sociological ones) of getting a blood transfusion, which 6e sorta did, you can more evenhandedly explore all of the more mixed ramifications of 'ware (You have things like body freedom, and the ability to define your physical form free from what Biology limited you too to explore your identity, vs things like pressure to become a tool instead of a person, and the unequal access to 'ware which now is moral neutral being a much larger condemnation of society) while still keeping the ability to talk about people who lose themselves in it. It also helps move magic away from the 'golden boy' space it is by painting a MUCH darker picture of people like Man of Many Names (Who pretty much is openly a biggot, saying things like mages deserve more pay and screaming at people about 'ware, but the framing is very kind to his point of view), and avoids playing into pro-neurotypical tropes equating people who struggle to read others or be read as 'less human' if you REALLY gotta keep the social penalties in, because now the coding of 'ware being MUCH less negative makes the (unintentional) parallels to autism less grody.

Posthuman stuff

I am always personally skeptical of any mechanic that tries to break the essence limit at the expense of another budgeted bit of power. The interesting thing about essence isn't even a power balance thing so much about forcing you to make choices about what you value (With some builds being incompatiable with some very useful tools). This specifically favors limb builds a LOT, and is very unkind to non-physicals in mundane roles.

That said its not really a terrible ruleset, it just doesn't fit my own personal 'vision.' If the idea of 'limb builds not being able to fit synaptic feels like a bad thing for the game rather than a good thing (and I can see it) and you want to increase parity with adepts (This would require adept buffs of some sort, obviously, but they need it anyway), it is a good system.

D20 'ware

This seems interesting, but extremely overtuned. In SR, you lose 1 social limit (a far more mild penalty) per 3 essence of 'ware, while here you lose 1 social MODIFIER per full essence AND the essence costs are trippled, meaning for every 1 ess in SR's cost system you spend, you take 9 times as many penalties. A single cyberlimb goes from being 1 essence and thus -.33 social limit to 3 essence and thus minus 3 to social rolls, or a total effective charisma penalty of -6. Two cyberlimbs goes to giving you an effective negative charisma modifier of -6, which would be the equivalent of a hypothetical -2 charisma if you started at 10. Getting past that would require you to spend 3 whole levels dumping skill points into all your social skills to merely hit 0, which kinda just means you can't use social skills. Furthermore, while the MAX base charisma is 18, 18's are extremely expensive in point buy, and even not dumping charisma you just removed around 44% of the average 'ware budget. A baseline human in this system literally can't equip 'wired 3, you would need at least 16 charisma to get it.

 This is an extreme nerf, and it makes social 'ware users effectively impossible because a -1 in D20 is way bigger than a -1 in SR (If you lost a full charisma dice per-ware point in SR, for example, you still could make a .01 ess face, the same is not true in D20). I think you need to tone it way down, and reconsider if it shouldn't be con that affects your max (As SR goes out of its way to make social rolls easy even if you dumped cha for a reason, its interesting to have every PC able to talk in a story).

That said, I think toned down it would be a great add for a system where the augmentations were 'mental hacks.' EP2e has a concept where characters give themselves mental hacks that are essentially a form of autism, literally optimizing in universe towards certain things that matter to them. While it mostly exists as a clever form of justifying some optimization choices (without demonizing them, EP is even in more repressive areas generally pro-neurodiversity and thus wouldn't judge someone who is anti-social but loves numbers or is super empathetic but also spatially challenged), it may be a neat system to represent doing that mid game (with a greatly reduced penalty).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <07-03-20/1916:15>
I personally take no offense
:)

...the ultimate 'problem' with essence is that it presupposed some sort of essential baseline humanity that altering 'perverted.' So it was ultimately a form of 'purity language' common to prejudicial thinking, regardless of if that was intentional.
The original intent seem to be that essence represented Tech vs Metahumanity.
The more implants you get the less 'metahuman' you seem to be.
You started acting more 'robot' like. Less emotional. Impact on social tests.

But then you had the whole argument if it was fair if a handicapped person that perhaps lost a foot in a tragic accident would suddenly be considered less 'human' or less social because he or she got a mechanical foot replacement. Not very PC if you put it that way (similar to the other discussion we had above).

So, Right or Wrong, now Essence instead seem to reflect Tech vs Magic.
The more implants you get the less aligned with magic you seem to be.
You become harder to heal or magically receive increased reflexes or magically resist pain etc.
No longer any social impact at all.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-03-20/2253:52>
I personally take no offense
:)

...the ultimate 'problem' with essence is that it presupposed some sort of essential baseline humanity that altering 'perverted.' So it was ultimately a form of 'purity language' common to prejudicial thinking, regardless of if that was intentional.
The original intent seem to be that essence represented Tech vs Metahumanity.
The more implants you get the less 'metahuman' you seem to be.
You started acting more 'robot' like. Less emotional. Impact on social tests.

But then you had the whole argument if it was fair if a handicapped person that perhaps lost a foot in a tragic accident would suddenly be considered less 'human' or less social because he or she got a mechanical foot replacement. Not very PC if you put it that way (similar to the other discussion we had above).

So, Right or Wrong, now Essence instead seem to reflect Tech vs Magic.
The more implants you get the less aligned with magic you seem to be.
You become harder to heal or magically receive increased reflexes or magically resist pain etc.
No longer any social impact at all.

Well there is more to it than that. A lot of people don't experience the world in a 'normal' way in the first place. Most of the tropes for example used to denote that someone is 'less human' (such as being reserved, non-communicative, poor at reading social queues, making inappropriate expressions or comments, ect) are traits associated with Autism. Furthermore, there is just the reality that even if you try to make it only reflect the negatives of augmenting past 'normal humanity' the term 'normal humanity' is loaded. We already are at the point in real life augmentative implants exist (For example, amputee sprinters with engineered prosthetic limbs are MUCH faster than natural legs), and exploring the humanity of someone who augments with too much tech instantly isn't a 'fun' metaphor when its that real.

I also think its just not very interesting? It doesn't fit in with the canon of old cyberpunk that try to tell more nuanced stories about the interaction of technology and humanity. For example, Gibson was actually explicitly pro-technology and pro-augmentation, and a huge theme of Neuromancer was the synergistic link between technology and body. Most of the anti-tech themes actually are based around Case, who was a loser who hated his body and resented it, despite the matrix only existing because people physically existed, and ended up being a nobody in the grand scheme, failing to show up in future books despite how he could have continued to affect history, while Molly was very happy with her body and intergrated it with technology that was important to her, and ended up being one of the more emotionally connected and important characters in the trilogy due to being more grounded in the real world due to her choices, and connecting to people not just in spite of her pretty obvious PTSD but by connecting to others who she feels can relate to her pain (which is SUPER PLOT CRITICAL in Mona Lisa Overdrive).

Obviously there are intersting stories to tell about the negatives of cybernetics too, that become MORE interesting if the morality of cybernetics isn't focused on essence but the ramifications of the technology. I made a big old reddit post about it today I can link, but to sumarize there is a tension in life between the fact that we, as material beings, define ourselves by connections to physical things that exist, and how that can be used to both empower ourselves, such as the fact we are all having this really awesome discussion about the philosophy of an RPG through the gosh darn internet, and hopefully making positive social connections that make us happy, because there is a lot of research that shows online friendships are actually like pretty legit and that aspect of the internet has done a lot for people who can't find support in real life for whatever reaso,) and to turn us into literal tools, be it for rampant online data collection from our phones and algorithmic content curation trying to turn us into just eyes to watch hyper-targeted advertisements, to us taking our work home with us (which would be even more apt if the tools for our labor were inside our booooodiiiiies. If 'ware is neutral, suddenly unequal access to it becomes an injustice, and can be used to explore injustices of inequality in other ways. Like the effects of mental augmentation on jump-starting and accelerating success in education (Because not only are you smarter, but being smart lets you collect more information faster in a feedback loop) could be set up as a mirror to how unequal access to technology in schools is kinda screwed up and ties into how capitalism pretends its a meritocracy where in reality certain advantages are so locked behind wealth that it doesn't matter how smart you are if you never had a computer class to discover your love and talent for coding in the first place.

There are still a lot of cool speculative problems with 'ware without essence loss being 'bad.' In fact, there may be more, and they may be more relevant.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <07-04-20/1132:09>
I personally take no offense
:)

...the ultimate 'problem' with essence is that it presupposed some sort of essential baseline humanity that altering 'perverted.' So it was ultimately a form of 'purity language' common to prejudicial thinking, regardless of if that was intentional.
The original intent seem to be that essence represented Tech vs Metahumanity.
The more implants you get the less 'metahuman' you seem to be.
You started acting more 'robot' like. Less emotional. Impact on social tests.

But then you had the whole argument if it was fair if a handicapped person that perhaps lost a foot in a tragic accident would suddenly be considered less 'human' or less social because he or she got a mechanical foot replacement. Not very PC if you put it that way (similar to the other discussion we had above).

So, Right or Wrong, now Essence instead seem to reflect Tech vs Magic.
The more implants you get the less aligned with magic you seem to be.
You become harder to heal or magically receive increased reflexes or magically resist pain etc.
No longer any social impact at all.

I never felt the social aspect was a good gain as it wasn't something people were really going to role play out.  They'd play their street sam how they wanted to. But, I never minded the essence loss and I wish they had played into the mysticism of it more. With your amputee example, I'd have used the example of phantom limbs explained as the astral form and that when they were astrally perceived people would still see the limb, if they could project they would still have it. But when it was replaced with cyber that part of the astral form was suppressed.

I always wish they'd enhance even further the tech vs magic aspect of the setting and the rules, or more accurately have the rules act like the original setting implied. while there is a penalty to heal with magic for weakened essence I'd of given a penalty to first aid equal to a characters magic rating similar to editions 1-3?. Make sure the costs are heavy enough the bio/adept isn't just the better choice. I'm not talking nuyen but mechanical costs. On the magic vs tech side I really wish all spells were labeled as either indirect or direct, indirect spells avoiding object resistance tests, direct spells going against them. Too much confusion without it. As a quick example the spell levitate sets up its own test system, some people apply object resistance on top of that, some don't. Labeling the spell either indirect or direct would answer that.

Now personally since magic has unlimited advancement and mundanes don't I'd of built into the rules for mundanes something like what penllawen suggests above in his transhumanism post. And explain it as they are adapting to the tech and it is becoming part of their living astral form,  Mechanically I'd have it track cost wise similar to initiation/magic gain.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Xenon on <07-04-20/1534:09>
Now personally since magic has unlimited advancement and mundanes don't...
Perhaps a better solution would be to limit magic advancement ;-)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <07-04-20/1913:43>
Now personally since magic has unlimited advancement and mundanes don't...
Perhaps a better solution would be to limit magic advancement ;-)

I can see why that might be a good idea on some level but if someone wants to do a 12 year campaign I don't feel the need to put hard limits on their advancement.  I'd rather the table determine when they think they have leveled up enough and want to retire the characters.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <07-04-20/1922:26>
Now personally since magic has unlimited advancement and mundanes don't...
Perhaps a better solution would be to limit magic advancement ;-)

That's a possibility.
You would have to be careful however.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: dezmont on <07-04-20/2329:27>
To shamelessly self promote, shadowrun 5.5.2 (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hzAzGhfDaFiWoJgABEUsPtpgOZZashqJoCl6KS601I8/edit) includes a cap on magic+initiation (Globally, I don't care if your a great dragon spirits above force 10 get dumb and you don't get them), a method to allow adepts to re-spec, a fundemental change to ally spirit (because its so cool and literally my favorite metamagic but its so insanely degenerate), a change to buff spells to make them less 'selfish,' and unshackling metamagics from your initiation score so your not forced to go into the 'utility' ones at the expense of the thematic ones.

For good measure, here is 5.5.1 (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BS29RpXycPDac6e-1MuDz5HXknSPTerL7392u1lm_SY/edit?usp=sharing) which trims the skill list, buffs clubs, buffs melee, nerfs some burnout adept choices, gives technos vital QoL options at the start of the game, helps riggers defend the drone they are controling so they have more parity with street samurai, nerfs psyche (which is easily one of the biggest balance offenders in the entire game), gives the combat spell category some love, and re-orders the adept 'power and metamagic' trees so they aren't forced to get as many dead weight options as well as buffing some adept powers that are needed for pure adepts to uhh... work....
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <07-05-20/0449:54>
I would like to endorse that self-promotion. I have long had both of those bookmarked, and routinely scan them for ideas for my own houserules. There's tons of great stuff in there.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Darksithmstr on <07-20-20/1755:25>
Still flawed but as we get more expansions it adds more dimensions.  I still feel it is infinitely more playable then previous editions, which i tried to figure out.  The balance is there in different ways than other editions, but the key is piece together the rules, I made a document that compiles all the numbers and simplifies so I am not constantly finding a page in the book. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: wraith on <07-24-20/0334:27>
I personally take no offense
:)

...the ultimate 'problem' with essence is that it presupposed some sort of essential baseline humanity that altering 'perverted.' So it was ultimately a form of 'purity language' common to prejudicial thinking, regardless of if that was intentional.
The original intent seem to be that essence represented Tech vs Metahumanity.
The more implants you get the less 'metahuman' you seem to be.
You started acting more 'robot' like. Less emotional. Impact on social tests.

But then you had the whole argument if it was fair if a handicapped person that perhaps lost a foot in a tragic accident would suddenly be considered less 'human' or less social because he or she got a mechanical foot replacement. Not very PC if you put it that way (similar to the other discussion we had above).

So, Right or Wrong, now Essence instead seem to reflect Tech vs Magic.
The more implants you get the less aligned with magic you seem to be.
You become harder to heal or magically receive increased reflexes or magically resist pain etc.
No longer any social impact at all.

I never felt the social aspect was a good gain as it wasn't something people were really going to role play out.  They'd play their street sam how they wanted to. But, I never minded the essence loss and I wish they had played into the mysticism of it more. With your amputee example, I'd have used the example of phantom limbs explained as the astral form and that when they were astrally perceived people would still see the limb, if they could project they would still have it. But when it was replaced with cyber that part of the astral form was suppressed.

I always wish they'd enhance even further the tech vs magic aspect of the setting and the rules, or more accurately have the rules act like the original setting implied. while there is a penalty to heal with magic for weakened essence I'd of given a penalty to first aid equal to a characters magic rating similar to editions 1-3?. Make sure the costs are heavy enough the bio/adept isn't just the better choice. I'm not talking nuyen but mechanical costs. On the magic vs tech side I really wish all spells were labeled as either indirect or direct, indirect spells avoiding object resistance tests, direct spells going against them. Too much confusion without it. As a quick example the spell levitate sets up its own test system, some people apply object resistance on top of that, some don't. Labeling the spell either indirect or direct would answer that.

Now personally since magic has unlimited advancement and mundanes don't I'd of built into the rules for mundanes something like what penllawen suggests above in his transhumanism post. And explain it as they are adapting to the tech and it is becoming part of their living astral form,  Mechanically I'd have it track cost wise similar to initiation/magic gain.

Honestly, I always preferred players not roleplay too heavily into the 'low essence makes you a murderbot' stuff.  It was already hard enough riding herd on That Guy who makes the Impulsive/Vindictive/Distinctive Style sam and then leans into the pink mohawk at all times, no matter the game.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <07-24-20/1049:40>
Honestly, I always preferred players not roleplay too heavily into the 'low essence makes you a murderbot' stuff.  It was already hard enough riding herd on That Guy who makes the Impulsive/Vindictive/Distinctive Style sam and then leans into the pink mohawk at all times, no matter the game.
Same. Plus I think it’s a really tired trope that all too often leads to one-dimensional characters. You can have the Terminator or Adam “I Never Asked For This” Jensen.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: wraith on <07-25-20/0435:10>
Honestly, I always preferred players not roleplay too heavily into the 'low essence makes you a murderbot' stuff.  It was already hard enough riding herd on That Guy who makes the Impulsive/Vindictive/Distinctive Style sam and then leans into the pink mohawk at all times, no matter the game.
Same. Plus I think it’s a really tired trope that all too often leads to one-dimensional characters. You can have the Terminator or Adam “I Never Asked For This” Jensen.

Yeah.  I think the only cool use of it was in Dragonfall, and even then it wasn't dehumanization so much as magic suppression from essence loss that mattered.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <07-25-20/0921:25>
Honestly, I always preferred players not roleplay too heavily into the 'low essence makes you a murderbot' stuff.  It was already hard enough riding herd on That Guy who makes the Impulsive/Vindictive/Distinctive Style sam and then leans into the pink mohawk at all times, no matter the game.
Same. Plus I think it’s a really tired trope that all too often leads to one-dimensional characters. You can have the Terminator or Adam “I Never Asked For This” Jensen.

I actually really like the "I never asked for this" type. Looking forward to/hoping certain qualities come back, such as Corp Sinner, Day Job, Celebrity, etc. Play Corp SINned celebrity that got seriously harmed when runners tried to abduct you. Runners escaped, but you took serious damage. Part of the patch up, the corp decided having you a bit better able to defend yourself would be a worth while investment, given the amount of Nuyen you bring in....that and your side tasks of the occasional act of espionage given the access your celebrity gives you to certain high officials in different government and corporations. Reasons for going double life into the Shadows? To get some answers! Want to find out who hired those 'Runners to nab you and why...what you do from there, well depends on what the answers are.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Seether on <07-28-20/1003:37>
Quote
Honestly, I always preferred players not roleplay too heavily into the 'low essence makes you a murderbot' stuff.  It was already hard enough riding herd on That Guy who makes the Impulsive/Vindictive/Distinctive Style sam and then leans into the pink mohawk at all times, no matter the game.

I have made a few characters like that.  For me, I was playing into the horror of that situation of going too far instead of being just a murderhobosam.  I did something during a firefight that was a little too far and afterwards, one of my teammates came up to me and went, "We were supposed to disable them, not chop them up into little pieces.  That man had family!" --- Or something along those lines.  I could have taken her statement one of two ways:  I could shrug it off and act like an ass and be more pink mohawk, or I could take a split second and have that .0000000004 essence creep up and go, "Dude, seriously.  Instead of handling the problem the way it was planned, you put a huge target on the backs of not just you, but your whole team."

It was a bit (a lot) more fleshed out in the heat of the moment.  I went with the tiny bit of essence side of me.  I like exploring the impact we have on each other and the environments around us as part of my forays into cyberpunk meets magic meets fantasy races games.  Brings me closer to the dystopian future vibe.  I do it in DnD, too... And I promise I'm not always the Paladin.  8)

Oh yeah, back to the main discussion:  Yeah, 6e is all janky and stuff.  I'mma go back to the only 3e campaign that's been running since like 2000.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <07-28-20/1435:26>
For me, I was playing into the horror of that situation of going too far instead of being just a murderhobosam.
Then you're one of the good 'uns, and on behalf of all SR GMs, I raise a glass to you!
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <07-31-20/2315:19>
Was disappointed no magic book announcement for gencon
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <08-01-20/1132:21>
Was disappointed no magic book announcement for gencon
It's coming, but not before next year. Shadowrun is more closely tied to actual print books then BattleTech is, especially for core plot and rule books.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <08-01-20/1143:56>
Was disappointed no magic book announcement for gencon
It's coming, but not before next year. Shadowrun is more closely tied to actual print books then BattleTech is, especially for core plot and rule books.

Sad news. With the Covid lock down, surprise there isn't a stronger industry shift to pdf.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <08-01-20/1229:38>
once upon a time, before covid, the plan was for Rigger book to be out now at Gen Con.

The economic mayhem set everything back. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Maded on <08-01-20/1305:37>
once upon a time, before covid, the plan was for Rigger book to be out now at Gen Con.

The economic mayhem set everything back.

So wait, the Rigger book is coming out before the magic book in 6e? That’s news that rings well in my ears. <plays Igasho Ten Bear, Cascade Ork Trucker>
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <08-01-20/1327:29>
once upon a time, before covid, the plan was for Rigger book to be out now at Gen Con.

The economic mayhem set everything back.

So wait, the Rigger book is coming out before the magic book in 6e? That’s news that rings well in my ears. <plays Igasho Ten Bear, Cascade Ork Trucker>

No, the Magic book was always gonna be first.  But it got pushed back.  And so the Rigger book also got pushed back.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Maded on <08-01-20/1433:10>
once upon a time, before covid, the plan was for Rigger book to be out now at Gen Con.

The economic mayhem set everything back.

So wait, the Rigger book is coming out before the magic book in 6e? That’s news that rings well in my ears. <plays Igasho Ten Bear, Cascade Ork Trucker>

No, the Magic book was always gonna be first.  But it got pushed back.  And so the Rigger book also got pushed back.

Now I’m a sad Ork.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <08-01-20/1719:19>
once upon a time, before covid, the plan was for Rigger book to be out now at Gen Con.

The economic mayhem set everything back.

This confuses me. From my understanding, Catalyst relies heavily on freelancers. From my understanding, Freelancers are not an on-site position, requiring physically showing up to a central office.

Other thing confuses me, is why wouldn't Catalyst shift to PDF releases? If they're worried about that sweet, sweet up charge for a physical book, why not just make it so that Physical book is what you're pre-ordering, with the PDF coming with it and being released early? Then when book is released, offer the PDF independently as they do today for people who didn't want to pay the full book price?

This gives the added benefit of the PDF being in users hands, and effectively field tested, so that errata can be accounted for when time comes to actually print.

We all poke fun at Catalyst, their editing process, and the condition SR6 was in at release....this would literally be customers paying to edit in advance of the print of the book, getting access to the 'release' version of the PDF.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Maded on <08-01-20/1737:09>
once upon a time, before covid, the plan was for Rigger book to be out now at Gen Con.

The economic mayhem set everything back.

This confuses me. From my understanding, Catalyst relies heavily on freelancers. From my understanding, Freelancers are not an on-site position, requiring physically showing up to a central office.

Other thing confuses me, is why wouldn't Catalyst shift to PDF releases? If they're worried about that sweet, sweet up charge for a physical book, why not just make it so that Physical book is what you're pre-ordering, with the PDF coming with it and being released early? Then when book is released, offer the PDF independently as they do today for people who didn't want to pay the full book price?

This gives the added benefit of the PDF being in users hands, and effectively field tested, so that errata can be accounted for when time comes to actually print.

We all poke fun at Catalyst, their editing process, and the condition SR6 was in at release....this would literally be customers paying to edit in advance of the print of the book, getting access to the 'release' version of the PDF.

+1 on this. Can only hope the big guys listen. I’m probably too optimistic though.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-01-20/1908:54>
I imagine FLGS and distributors refusing to buy the physical books is the biggest risk if you release the PDFs too soon. And right now printing and shipping is a nightmare.

As for Freelancers: writing for CGL isn't their main job, after all. So yes, economic nightmare impacts them. But I'd suspect suddenly having to completely overhaul your company's plans to survive the death of con season and physical stores hurting has a bigger impact on things slowing down.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <08-01-20/2033:47>
Um... when you're doing a Print Release, you're purchasing 5,000 books at a time. Right now, the problem is employees at the PRINTER, not freelancers. Now, if they release the PDF for a book, but can't release the printed book for another four months, then the printed book sales take a nose-dive and they are stuck with the books no one is buying.

Even if you pre-order the book, it doesn't mean they go to the printer and say we need 1,276 copies of Firing Squad. They lose money doing that instead of ordering 5,000 and fulfilling the pre-orders first. The only thing pre-ordering gets you is a guarantee on that print release.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <08-01-20/2046:13>
Um... when you're doing a Print Release, you're purchasing 5,000 books at a time. Right now, the problem is employees at the PRINTER, not freelancers. Now, if they release the PDF for a book, but can't release the printed book for another four months, then the printed book sales take a nose-dive and they are stuck with the books no one is buying.

Even if you pre-order the book, it doesn't mean they go to the printer and say we need 1,276 copies of Firing Squad. They lose money doing that instead of ordering 5,000 and fulfilling the pre-orders first. The only thing pre-ordering gets you is a guarantee on that print release.

Yeah, it gets you a guarantee on print release...so here is what I am saying.
Hypothetical Timelines here

Lets say you have a book release scheduled for October 15th of 2021
The actual pdf document is read on August 1st of 2021

You open Pre-Orders on August 1st for the PHYSICAL book at Full price of the book.
Every Pre-Order of the Physical Book gives the user access to the PDF file on August 1st. There is no other legal way to get access to the PDF than Pre-Ordering the physical book at this time.

On October 15th when the book ships, you also make the PDF order-able separately at a lower price at that time, just as they do today. People can now legally buy the pdf separately, just like a normal release.

This in no way should reduce Physical Book sales, if anything it should increase them, given that people tend to want access to things sooner rather than later, those who would normally wait to pay less for just the pdf will bite the bullet and pay full price for physical book pre-order just to get access to the PDF sooner.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <08-01-20/2109:06>
Um... when you're doing a Print Release, you're purchasing 5,000 books at a time. Right now, the problem is employees at the PRINTER, not freelancers. Now, if they release the PDF for a book, but can't release the printed book for another four months, then the printed book sales take a nose-dive and they are stuck with the books no one is buying.

Even if you pre-order the book, it doesn't mean they go to the printer and say we need 1,276 copies of Firing Squad. They lose money doing that instead of ordering 5,000 and fulfilling the pre-orders first. The only thing pre-ordering gets you is a guarantee on that print release.

Yeah, it gets you a guarantee on print release...so here is what I am saying.
Hypothetical Timelines here

Lets say you have a book release scheduled for October 15th of 2021
The actual pdf document is read on August 1st of 2021

You open Pre-Orders on August 1st for the PHYSICAL book at Full price of the book.
Every Pre-Order of the Physical Book gives the user access to the PDF file on August 1st. There is no other legal way to get access to the PDF than Pre-Ordering the physical book at this time.

On October 15th when the book ships, you also make the PDF order-able separately at a lower price at that time, just as they do today. People can now legally buy the pdf separately, just like a normal release.

This in no way should reduce Physical Book sales, if anything it should increase them, given that people tend to want access to things sooner rather than later, those who would normally wait to pay less for just the pdf will bite the bullet and pay full price for physical book pre-order just to get access to the PDF sooner.
Normally, that would work fine. But with how business is working post-pandemic, you can't give the October date in the first place. So, you release the PDF to pre-orders in August, but then the print release is delayed for over a year... By that time, the PDF has made it on to pirate sites and no one is longer interested in the print book.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <08-01-20/2131:28>
Um... when you're doing a Print Release, you're purchasing 5,000 books at a time. Right now, the problem is employees at the PRINTER, not freelancers. Now, if they release the PDF for a book, but can't release the printed book for another four months, then the printed book sales take a nose-dive and they are stuck with the books no one is buying.

Even if you pre-order the book, it doesn't mean they go to the printer and say we need 1,276 copies of Firing Squad. They lose money doing that instead of ordering 5,000 and fulfilling the pre-orders first. The only thing pre-ordering gets you is a guarantee on that print release.

Yeah, it gets you a guarantee on print release...so here is what I am saying.
Hypothetical Timelines here

Lets say you have a book release scheduled for October 15th of 2021
The actual pdf document is read on August 1st of 2021

You open Pre-Orders on August 1st for the PHYSICAL book at Full price of the book.
Every Pre-Order of the Physical Book gives the user access to the PDF file on August 1st. There is no other legal way to get access to the PDF than Pre-Ordering the physical book at this time.

On October 15th when the book ships, you also make the PDF order-able separately at a lower price at that time, just as they do today. People can now legally buy the pdf separately, just like a normal release.

This in no way should reduce Physical Book sales, if anything it should increase them, given that people tend to want access to things sooner rather than later, those who would normally wait to pay less for just the pdf will bite the bullet and pay full price for physical book pre-order just to get access to the PDF sooner.
Normally, that would work fine. But with how business is working post-pandemic, you can't give the October date in the first place. So, you release the PDF to pre-orders in August, but then the print release is delayed for over a year... By that time, the PDF has made it on to pirate sites and no one is longer interested in the print book.

Aren't you going to have piracy anyways? Current state, book and pdf release at same time. Suggested state, PDF is tied to a book  purchase and PDF isn't purchase able stand alone until book  is, regardless of when that is. Shouldn't the amount of piracy be the same, especially given that current state is that they're available at same time?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-03-20/1333:17>
Oh, now that's an interesting risk analysis. At what point do the lost profits due to delayed release outweigh the lost profits due to early release of a PDF?

I'm skeptical about how large the impact of PDF piracy would be on print sales: For example, when I bought Eclipse Phase, I bought a physical copy. An interesting thing about EP is that everything is released under creative commons. You can legally "pirate" EP, and part of the GM guide encourages the GM to send their players copies of the PDF so that they know the rules as well. However, Posthuman Studios is a little bit smaller than CGL and I don't know what their PDF-to-Print sales ratio is.

Without knowing any numbers, we can say that CGL has a monthly operating cost M. It has a book production cost of {C1, C2, C3} for different books. It also has revenue {R1, R2, R3} for those books (I'm assuming these are after royalties and pure print costs, but not the cost of producing the product in the first place). For the sake of simplicity, let's say CGL releases 3 books in a year.

To break even, R1 + R2 + R3 must be greater than C1 + C2 + C3 + (12 * M). To keep it simple again, let's say M=1, all the R = 12, and all the C = 4. In a normal year, 36 > 24, and CGL makes $12. If they don't release the third book, 24 > 20, and CGL makes $4. If they still paid the production cost of the third book, then CGL would only be breaking even. If they only release the first book, 12 < 16, and CGL is $4 in the hole.

To FastJack's point- we would need to identify what impact piracy has on sales. If piracy were to cut CGL's profits by 50%, then even releasing all 3 books would have them at 18 < 24, and put them $6 in the hole. If it cuts it by 25%, then 27 > 24, and CGL makes $3. This is still a lot less than the $12 they would have in a normal year, but they're better off than if they had only released 0 to 1 books. (And certainly better off than if they had paid the production costs for all 3 books, but hadn't released all of them).

I honestly haven't been able to find anything that supports the idea that piracy has a significant negative effect on sales of tabletop RPGs. You cannot count the number of downloads on a pirate site, since there's no guarantee that those people would've bought the book, or even had the money to buy the book.

However, most studies about piracy and game sales are related to video game sales, and most about TTRPGs are anecdotal (See my anecdote above- it proves nothing about other people, only that I like pretty picture books).

Regardless of the effect piracy has, there is a point where delaying sales will negatively impact a company moreso than piracy will. I don't have the numbers to say when, presumably someone else does.

Edit: I missed Markel's last post, which has a really good point- it's not the rate of piracy you should be concerned about, but the rate of change in piracy. If piracy normally only cuts into 25% of sales, then the 'base' profit of the Rs would be 16, and the 'effective' profit for each one is 12. You would need piracy to effectively double, increasing to 50% (Making 'effective' profit 8, or $24 total) to reach the break-even point for releasing all 3 books.

Edit2: Now with more realistic numbers! I put both a CSV and XLSX on github if you want to look at it (The "math_and_stuff" files (https://github.com/ZeeMastermind/logs-too-big-for-pastebin)). The total sales are based on Firing Line getting electrum; shipping/print costs are based on guessing. You can mess around with the values and formulas if you think my guesses are off. You can't adjust the formula of the CSV; that's there for if you're as paranoid as I am about random files on the internet.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <08-03-20/1709:41>
That's a simpler way to look at it. In reality, there'd be more stuff like this:

M = Monthly Operating Cost
F1, F2, F3... = Freelance/other costs of Book 1, 2, 3...
C1, C2, C3... = Cost of 5,000 copies of Book 1, 2, 3...
R1, R2, R3... = Total Sales of Book 1, 2, 3...

Let's say, for the sake of argument, M is going to be about (~35 employees @$40,000/yr, Office space @ $5,000/month, 5,000 sq ft @ $1.25/foot/month) round down a lot $125,000.

The cost to Freelancers and Artists to complete a book is usually between $0.10 and $1.00 per word, illustrators usually average around $200 a book. So, taking 30 Nights as an example, and say we're paying the authors $0.20 a word (which is closer to the game book average from what I've heard): 11 illustrators - $2200, ~90,000 words - $18,000, about $20,000 to pay the help.

Now, I have no idea how much book manufacturers charge for books (there's a difference between manufacturers and printers. Printers usually top out print runs around 2,000 copies). but I believe the MSRP for 30 Nights was aroun $39.99. If they printed 5,000 copies, they were hoping to gross $200,000. Printers nowadays also help by, for a fee, producing your PDF to go along with the book. Oh wait, you thought the gaming companies made the PDFs and sent them to the printer? No, the printers make the PDFs to make sure the files match what is being printed exactly. The PDF goes back and forth from Catalyst and the Printer until everyone is happy with the layout and design, then it's locked in and the print run can start. Smaller, POD companies charge about $20 a book for full color, glossy pages that are 8 1/2 x 11. For 5,000, books, that would be a whopping $100,000. Bigger print manufacturers will give them a deal. Let's say, for this experiment, they offer to do the PDF and Print Run for $50,000 for 5,000 copies.

Now, the book goes for $39.99 in the bookstore, the PDF goes for $19.99. On DriveThruRPG, it's an Electrum seller, meaning between 250-500 copies. Let's say about 250 sold on DTRPG and another straight from Catalyst Store, total of about 500. It was released in March, so I'll say 80% of the sales were then, or about 400 copies. So, they brought in about $8,000 from pdf sales in the first month, with $2,000 in the 4 months since it released.

On the print side, I have no estimate on how many sold, but for fun, let's say they sold 4,000 hard copies, since it was a popular plot book. That would bring in $160,000 revenue for that book. Again, most of the sales will be in the first month, so let's break it down to $150,000 in the first month, $10,000 in the four months since release.

So, we have M = $125,000, F1 = $18,000, C1 = $50,000 and R1 = $158,000. Add in revenue from other books that didn't release this month, Rx = ~$12,000 per book, let's give them 6 books, so $72,000.

Total Revenue for the month is about $230,000 minus total costs for the month of $193,000 and you've got a profit of about $37,000 for one successful print run in the month. Hopefully you have one every month, since in months where you don't produce a book, you still have $125,000 monthly costs.


Now for the fun part. Let's say that the PDF is gotten back from the printer and some unscrupulous person dumps it on Reddit right as you find out that the print run won't be available for another six months due to shipping problems. To stem the tide of loss from the pirated copy, you release the PDF early.

The monthly costs are all still the same, but now you're revenue turns into only the $8,000 for the first month and, since you dropped the PDF much earlier than the print book, it's not as popular a release (most likely due to word of mouth about editing mistakes, how they nerfed armor, or some other factors). So the physical book releases, you've already paid for 5,000 books, but only sell about 1,000 since everyone is "waiting for the errata to be integrated" in the second printing (which would cost another $50,000 in our example). Revenue from the physical books are now only $40,000.

Total Revenue is $51,000 ($40K for Print, $11K for 6 months of PDF sales) for the book in the first month of physical release, but you still have $230,000 in monthly costs. Which, after six months is $1,380,000.

Now, this is all hypothetical and using a lot of guessing and estimates based on information found on the web. Their monthly costs aren't probably that high, but even taking out office space and bring it down to 15 employees, you still have $675,000/year or about $56,000/month (which is $107,000 profit on the print run of a successful book, and they are still hurting in the second example).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <08-03-20/1737:04>
That's a simpler way to look at it. In reality, there'd be more stuff like this:

M = Monthly Operating Cost
F1, F2, F3... = Freelance/other costs of Book 1, 2, 3...
C1, C2, C3... = Cost of 5,000 copies of Book 1, 2, 3...
R1, R2, R3... = Total Sales of Book 1, 2, 3...

Let's say, for the sake of argument, M is going to be about (~35 employees @$40,000/yr, Office space @ $5,000/month, 5,000 sq ft @ $1.25/foot/month) round down a lot $125,000.

The cost to Freelancers and Artists to complete a book is usually between $0.10 and $1.00 per word, illustrators usually average around $200 a book. So, taking 30 Nights as an example, and say we're paying the authors $0.20 a word (which is closer to the game book average from what I've heard): 11 illustrators - $2200, ~90,000 words - $18,000, about $20,000 to pay the help.

Now, I have no idea how much book manufacturers charge for books (there's a difference between manufacturers and printers. Printers usually top out print runs around 2,000 copies). but I believe the MSRP for 30 Nights was aroun $39.99. If they printed 5,000 copies, they were hoping to gross $200,000. Printers nowadays also help by, for a fee, producing your PDF to go along with the book. Oh wait, you thought the gaming companies made the PDFs and sent them to the printer? No, the printers make the PDFs to make sure the files match what is being printed exactly. The PDF goes back and forth from Catalyst and the Printer until everyone is happy with the layout and design, then it's locked in and the print run can start. Smaller, POD companies charge about $20 a book for full color, glossy pages that are 8 1/2 x 11. For 5,000, books, that would be a whopping $100,000. Bigger print manufacturers will give them a deal. Let's say, for this experiment, they offer to do the PDF and Print Run for $50,000 for 5,000 copies.

Now, the book goes for $39.99 in the bookstore, the PDF goes for $19.99. On DriveThruRPG, it's an Electrum seller, meaning between 250-500 copies. Let's say about 250 sold on DTRPG and another straight from Catalyst Store, total of about 500. It was released in March, so I'll say 80% of the sales were then, or about 400 copies. So, they brought in about $8,000 from pdf sales in the first month, with $2,000 in the 4 months since it released.

On the print side, I have no estimate on how many sold, but for fun, let's say they sold 4,000 hard copies, since it was a popular plot book. That would bring in $160,000 revenue for that book. Again, most of the sales will be in the first month, so let's break it down to $150,000 in the first month, $10,000 in the four months since release.

So, we have M = $125,000, F1 = $18,000, C1 = $50,000 and R1 = $158,000. Add in revenue from other books that didn't release this month, Rx = ~$12,000 per book, let's give them 6 books, so $72,000.

Total Revenue for the month is about $230,000 minus total costs for the month of $193,000 and you've got a profit of about $37,000 for one successful print run in the month. Hopefully you have one every month, since in months where you don't produce a book, you still have $125,000 monthly costs.


Now for the fun part. Let's say that the PDF is gotten back from the printer and some unscrupulous person dumps it on Reddit right as you find out that the print run won't be available for another six months due to shipping problems. To stem the tide of loss from the pirated copy, you release the PDF early.

The monthly costs are all still the same, but now you're revenue turns into only the $8,000 for the first month and, since you dropped the PDF much earlier than the print book, it's not as popular a release (most likely due to word of mouth about editing mistakes, how they nerfed armor, or some other factors). So the physical book releases, you've already paid for 5,000 books, but only sell about 1,000 since everyone is "waiting for the errata to be integrated" in the second printing (which would cost another $50,000 in our example). Revenue from the physical books are now only $40,000.

Total Revenue is $51,000 ($40K for Print, $11K for 6 months of PDF sales) for the book in the first month of physical release, but you still have $230,000 in monthly costs. Which, after six months is $1,380,000.

Now, this is all hypothetical and using a lot of guessing and estimates based on information found on the web. Their monthly costs aren't probably that high, but even taking out office space and bring it down to 15 employees, you still have $675,000/year or about $56,000/month (which is $107,000 profit on the print run of a successful book, and they are still hurting in the second example).

That still assumes you are separating the sell of the book and the pdf.

My proposal is sell the book as a pre-order, non-refundable. For everyone that does, provide them the pdf to hold them over till print of the physical book. This should provide an even clearer estimate of how many need to be printed ahead of the actual print, plus it provides an incentive to pre-order.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-03-20/2100:03>
I appreciate the more accurate numbers, FastJack. I think we're all still nowhere close to identifying the actual impact of piracy. It looks like you're suggesting that it cuts up to 75% of book sales, assuming that the initial print run would have otherwise sold 4,000 copies.

I'm not sure that's accurate- even among people who buy the book the month it comes out, at least some of them are going to be checking reviews of it first, and I'm sure people would still be ripping apart the PDF if they bought it/pirated it/etc the day of release, rather than a few months prior. The only difference is that word-of-mouth has a longer time to spread. I'd also question how many of the hard-copy buyers are looking stuff up on reddit first, especially the more "venerable" fans.

I think that the 6e release was also a "special circumstance" as well, which may impact things.

Also-

The cost to Freelancers and Artists to complete a book is usually between $0.10 and $1.00 per word, illustrators usually average around $200 a book. So, taking 30 Nights as an example, and say we're paying the authors $0.20 a word (which is closer to the game book average from what I've heard): 11 illustrators - $2200, ~90,000 words - $18,000, about $20,000 to pay the help.

I've heard that it's about 0.03/word on average in the TTRPG industry, topping out around $0.07 - $0.10 if you're lucky. $0.10 to $1.00 is more accurate for newspapers, magazines, and fiction freelance writers (Unless you're hiring editors/proofers as freelance, which are about $0.015 - $0.25/word. If you're totaling that together, then no worries). I've talked to people who told me that $0.10/word would be a pipe dream for RPGs, and one who got $0.015/word writing for Earthdawn 4E. Am I misinformed, or does CGL just pay a lot better than other RPG companies?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <08-03-20/2215:26>
My proposal is sell the book as a pre-order, non-refundable. For everyone that does, provide them the pdf to hold them over till print of the physical book. This should provide an even clearer estimate of how many need to be printed ahead of the actual print, plus it provides an incentive to pre-order.
Unfortunately, you have to put the order in with the printer six months to a year before release, so when are you going to pass on the PDF? And, also the PDF is created by the printer, but there's no date on when that will be available, or when it will be in relation to when you receive the print book. But with what you are suggesting, you are asking them for an exact print number, something that printers don't do unless you do print on demand, which costs $20 a book. So, you've already spent $20,000 to write and illustrate the book, and then go by the number of pre-orders. If only 100 people pre-order, do you then cancel the book and refund the money, eating the cost of the freelance work?

Trust me, the gaming companies have thought this through more than you or I. If it had a chance of working, you'd have seen it already.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <08-04-20/0109:21>
I appreciate the more accurate numbers, FastJack. I think we're all still nowhere close to identifying the actual impact of piracy. It looks like you're suggesting that it cuts up to 75% of book sales, assuming that the initial print run would have otherwise sold 4,000 copies.

I'm not sure that's accurate- even among people who buy the book the month it comes out, at least some of them are going to be checking reviews of it first, and I'm sure people would still be ripping apart the PDF if they bought it/pirated it/etc the day of release, rather than a few months prior. The only difference is that word-of-mouth has a longer time to spread. I'd also question how many of the hard-copy buyers are looking stuff up on reddit first, especially the more "venerable" fans.

I think that the 6e release was also a "special circumstance" as well, which may impact things.

Also-

The cost to Freelancers and Artists to complete a book is usually between $0.10 and $1.00 per word, illustrators usually average around $200 a book. So, taking 30 Nights as an example, and say we're paying the authors $0.20 a word (which is closer to the game book average from what I've heard): 11 illustrators - $2200, ~90,000 words - $18,000, about $20,000 to pay the help.

I've heard that it's about 0.03/word on average in the TTRPG industry, topping out around $0.07 - $0.10 if you're lucky. $0.10 to $1.00 is more accurate for newspapers, magazines, and fiction freelance writers (Unless you're hiring editors/proofers as freelance, which are about $0.015 - $0.25/word. If you're totaling that together, then no worries). I've talked to people who told me that $0.10/word would be a pipe dream for RPGs, and one who got $0.015/word writing for Earthdawn 4E. Am I misinformed, or does CGL just pay a lot better than other RPG companies?

I think you are vastly overestimating the number of PDF sales to book sales.
People seem to think that PDFs sell better then DTF... and for some mediums that might be true. But for things like graphic novels, games books, and other "tactile" media, that's just not the case.

I thought for a long while that comics would just end up going digital, and that was where the sales were going. How wrong I was. Turns out that for graphic novels, PDF sales are only 8% of the DTF market. Comics are around 10%,,,, and I can only guess what games books would be at.


As to Piracy... for these niche markets, (games, comics, graphic novels) the estimate for piracy is actually very small. This is because the market itself is very small, and usually made up of dedicated people who support the industry, with piracy happening only on the "fringes" of the audience.

At least, that's what I am getting told..
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: wraith on <08-04-20/0149:55>
once upon a time, before covid, the plan was for Rigger book to be out now at Gen Con.

The economic mayhem set everything back.

This confuses me. From my understanding, Catalyst relies heavily on freelancers. From my understanding, Freelancers are not an on-site position, requiring physically showing up to a central office.

Other thing confuses me, is why wouldn't Catalyst shift to PDF releases? If they're worried about that sweet, sweet up charge for a physical book, why not just make it so that Physical book is what you're pre-ordering, with the PDF coming with it and being released early? Then when book is released, offer the PDF independently as they do today for people who didn't want to pay the full book price?

This gives the added benefit of the PDF being in users hands, and effectively field tested, so that errata can be accounted for when time comes to actually print.

We all poke fun at Catalyst, their editing process, and the condition SR6 was in at release....this would literally be customers paying to edit in advance of the print of the book, getting access to the 'release' version of the PDF.

Given their editing woes, do you think they could actually find someone to format, index, and link a PDF in a useful way?   ;D

I remember the 5e core book...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-04-20/0238:08>
Sometimes NDAs are frustrating because they make gossip impossible.

Anyway, to quote Discord:
---
And here are the upcoming books according to Jason Hardy from a Facebook post.


Upcoming:
Slip Streams (plot book)
Collapsing Now (Threats-like book)
Street Wyrd (core magic book)
---
Will see when exactly. Looking forward to customizable spells myself. Also <spoiler> and <spoiler> in Collapsing Now.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-04-20/0834:47>
I think you are vastly overestimating the number of PDF sales to book sales.
People seem to think that PDFs sell better then DTF... and for some mediums that might be true. But for things like graphic novels, games books, and other "tactile" media, that's just not the case.

I thought for a long while that comics would just end up going digital, and that was where the sales were going. How wrong I was. Turns out that for graphic novels, PDF sales are only 8% of the DTF market. Comics are around 10%,,,, and I can only guess what games books would be at.


As to Piracy... for these niche markets, (games, comics, graphic novels) the estimate for piracy is actually very small. This is because the market itself is very small, and usually made up of dedicated people who support the industry, with piracy happening only on the "fringes" of the audience.

At least, that's what I am getting told..

Oh, I'm almost certainly overestimating things. Still, you only need one person to buy the PDF and scrub the watermarks in order for them to post it online somewhere.

I definitely think that the impact of piracy on RPGs is smaller than 75%, 50%, or even 25%. If you count illegal downloads as "lost sales," then maybe those numbers might add up, but that's flawed reasoning. If someone can't afford to buy an RPG, or wanted to "test drive" it first but didn't have a friend with a copy, then they shouldn't count as lost sales. In fact, the latter group might be potential increased sales.

Studies of video game piracy show that it either does nothing or may even improve sales. (https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/09/eu-study-finds-piracy-doesnt-hurt-game-sales-may-actually-help/) There's a lot less info about board games, only a few articles about counterfeit board games sold in China and other countries where shipping costs make board games too expensive for the average user (Or where the local law just doesn't care about IP). And everything about TTRPG piracy that I was able to find was speculation, forum threads, or individual developers' opinions on the subject.

And there's nothing to support that an early PDF release would increase the rate. I'll believe that the original 6e PDF piracy impacted sales, but I also think that bad reviews would have done the same thing.

I don't think TTRPG piracy rates are well understood enough to make the assertion that piracy of 6e caused a 75% drop in sales. I think it would be fallacious to then apply that to piracy of any book, since 6e's release was "special."

Given their editing woes, do you think they could actually find someone to format, index, and link a PDF in a useful way?   ;D

I remember the 5e core book...

6e actually does link to the correct pages. Can't fault it for that

Sometimes NDAs are frustrating because they make gossip impossible.

Anyway, to quote Discord:
---
And here are the upcoming books according to Jason Hardy from a Facebook post.


Upcoming:
Slip Streams (plot book)
Collapsing Now (Threats-like book)
Street Wyrd (core magic book)
---
Will see when exactly. Looking forward to customizable spells myself. Also <spoiler> and <spoiler> in Collapsing Now.

Tricky tricky. What if you did the spoilers all in klingon? Hardly anyone speaks klingon... ;)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-04-20/0952:08>
The monthly costs are all still the same, but now you're revenue turns into only the $8,000 for the first month and, since you dropped the PDF much earlier than the print book, it's not as popular a release
Do you have any data for the implication here that people who wanted the physical book will settle for the PDF instead?

I only have anecdotes, but most people I see on TTRPG forums tend to be "PDF people" or "dead tree people". Whichever you prefer, that's the one you want. I don't think a lot of people are equally fond of either format, and hence I don't think there are a lot of people who will say "well, I wanted the book, but I'll get the PDF instead", or vice versa. The two are not fungible, in economics terms.

Quote
(most likely due to word of mouth about editing mistakes, how they nerfed armor, or some other factors).
Poor early word of mouth can also be countered by releasing better books. In fact, I'd go so far as to say: if your business is founded on the idea you can put out inferior stuff and sell it to early purchasers before they realise it's bad, that's pretty unethical.

Quote
So the physical book releases, you've already paid for 5,000 books, but only sell about 1,000 since everyone is "waiting for the errata to be integrated" in the second printing
Delayed sales due to potential customers waiting for errata to drop can also be countered by not having a long track record of releasing sloppily edited books.

Trust me, the gaming companies have thought this through more than you or I. If it had a chance of working, you'd have seen it already.
The sixth printing of the 5e CRB still says a Matrix perception check can tell you the target's "commode", so I'm afraid I don't see why it's obviously true that CGL have special insight or a fearsome attention to detail.

Or maybe you mean across the whole game industry, not just CGL. Well, as has already been said in this thread Posthuman - crewed by ex-CGL writers, no less - put out their PDFs under open licenses for free. By your logic, they should be bleeding money on their books. Are they?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-04-20/0957:42>
Tricky tricky. What if you did the spoilers all in klingon? Hardly anyone speaks klingon... ;)
I hear Finn Hardy does. o,o He speaks in it while planning to usurp his father.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-04-20/1111:08>
6e actually does link to the correct pages. Can't fault it for that
But it only has one level of bookmarks in the PDF, which is very annoying. Here's a tiny bit of 5e's versus the entirety of 6e's: https://imgur.com/a/T7t8YNd
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-04-20/1149:29>
6e actually does link to the correct pages. Can't fault it for that
But it only has one level of bookmarks in the PDF, which is very annoying. Here's a tiny bit of 5e's versus the entirety of 6e's: https://imgur.com/a/T7t8YNd

That's a good point- hopefully they add those in in one of the next errata updates. 5e having more isn't great since they're all wrong- like ordering one scoop of chocolate ice cream, but instead getting 5 scoops of orange sherbet. There's more of it, but it's not quite what I wanted. (I guess in this metaphor, 6e's index is half a scoop of chocolate ice cream? Maybe I just need to go have lunch)

Still, if you give me a reason to gripe about 5e... I will gripe about 5e
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-04-20/1229:59>
That's a good point- hopefully they add those in in one of the next errata updates.
If I played 6e, I'd have hacked it myself by now. (It's very easy to do with a script to something like pdftk.)

Quote
5e having more isn't great since they're all wrong- like ordering one scoop of chocolate ice cream, but instead getting 5 scoops of orange sherbet.
You're not wrong! Even worse are some of the 5e splats. Here's Kill Code. Not only is there only one level, but the chapter headings are fluff text that is almost meaningless out of context: https://imgur.com/a/SUJT0X4
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <08-04-20/1338:24>
The monthly costs are all still the same, but now you're revenue turns into only the $8,000 for the first month and, since you dropped the PDF much earlier than the print book, it's not as popular a release
Do you have any data for the implication here that people who wanted the physical book will settle for the PDF instead?

I only have anecdotes, but most people I see on TTRPG forums tend to be "PDF people" or "dead tree people". Whichever you prefer, that's the one you want. I don't think a lot of people are equally fond of either format, and hence I don't think there are a lot of people who will say "well, I wanted the book, but I'll get the PDF instead", or vice versa. The two are not fungible, in economics terms.
None really, just personal anecdotes and watching the reaction of people that hear what's in the book before it's release based on PDFs released/pirated before.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-04-20/1342:01>
None really, just personal anecdotes and watching the reaction of people that hear what's in the book before it's release based on PDFs released/pirated before.
Then I reiterate:
Poor early word of mouth can also be countered by releasing better books. In fact, I'd go so far as to say: if your business is founded on the idea you can put out inferior stuff and sell it to early purchasers before they realise it's bad, that's pretty unethical.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <08-04-20/1413:39>
None really, just personal anecdotes and watching the reaction of people that hear what's in the book before it's release based on PDFs released/pirated before.
Then I reiterate:
Poor early word of mouth can also be countered by releasing better books. In fact, I'd go so far as to say: if your business is founded on the idea you can put out inferior stuff and sell it to early purchasers before they realise it's bad, that's pretty unethical.
And I said nothing against that statement. So why continue to bring it up? The Shadowrun team made a decision for Sixth World, and that decision will stand until 7th edition is released (which won't be for quite a while).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-04-20/1708:18>
Either way, I think at least someone is listening to you, penllawen. I saw that the missions FAQ dropped and they specifically addressed anticipation, as well as a maximum for amp up (Maybe this is old news? I only saw it an hour or so ago).

Regardless of opinions on the state of 5e vs 6e at release, 6e has gotten significantly more official errata added in than 5e did. The official PDF had about 70-80 changes in January (Most of which came from the August errata, I think), and then in February another 65 errata were published (I haven't checked to see if February has been folded into the PDF or not). Compare to the ~40 errata that were released in the SR 5e errata, which were not folded into the PDF AFAIK.

I don't think this is strictly a case of one edition "needing" more errata than another, because there's a lot of 5e errata still sitting in the thread on this forum that hasn't been addressed. I mean, 2e has maybe a dozen errata, but still has issues with having a skill for lifting, and then mechanics for lifting that don't use the skill. However, it's often touted as the "fix" for 1e since a lot of things from 1e to 2e were adjusted.

So, state of 6e? I don't think it's at a "No Man's Sky" comeback with the community, but it's significantly better than it was at release.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-04-20/1738:47>
When it became clear the Anticipation + Firing Modes combination were leading to confusion, with various CDT Agents having different interpretations, I made sure to bring it up for being in need of a decision for table unity, and I provided explanations for where the different interpretations were coming from. I don't parse the rules the same way it's been ruled in the FAQ, but it's a fair and balanced way to go at it.

As for January updated PDF vs Augustus+February errata files, there's a few discrepancies between them but not many, see my analysis here: https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=31170.msg536323#msg536323
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <08-04-20/1937:43>
Sometimes NDAs are frustrating because they make gossip impossible.

Anyway, to quote Discord:
---
And here are the upcoming books according to Jason Hardy from a Facebook post.


Upcoming:
Slip Streams (plot book)
Collapsing Now (Threats-like book)
Street Wyrd (core magic book)
---
Will see when exactly. Looking forward to customizable spells myself. Also <spoiler> and <spoiler> in Collapsing Now.

Literally refresh forums 20 times a day in hopes of magic book dropping
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: CanRay on <08-04-20/1948:54>
The Krime Katalog  (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/319946/Shadowrun-Krime-Katalog)came out, that's something for 5e and 6e!
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <08-04-20/2157:23>
The Krime Katalog  (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/319946/Shadowrun-Krime-Katalog)came out, that's something for 5e and 6e!

Bought it day one, along with the troll variant book. Pretty sure I have every 6e dual stat and 6e only book so far. Really chomping at bit for magic book. Crossing fingers that Ally Spirits are still a thing.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-05-20/0223:25>
The Krime Katalog  (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/319946/Shadowrun-Krime-Katalog)came out, that's something for 5e and 6e!
KRIME! is the reason I want to create an awesome Ork Heavy Weapons specialist and commission art of her.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-06-20/1623:59>
Yeah, I was a little iffy at first on the price point vs length for a PDF, but the Katalog was everything I needed and more...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Sir Ludwig on <08-15-20/2341:40>

I got the Krime Katalog, but it didn't  didn't really speak to me.  However two guys in my adult group loved it.  Michael, one being an Ork Heavy Weapons guys (Ex Pro Brawl Baller). 

Like ConRay, I have everything released for 6th thus far, and I really liked Firing Squad.  However, my engineering and professional back ground, I have firearms mfg experience so I am probably bias.

Most of my group is okay with 6th.  Granted my experienced players (and me) are having issues with assumptions based on previous editions (been playing since 1st).  However in the end, to me (as GM) it's about telling a story.  That still seems to be working, I do look forward to the new magic book hinted around on the forums.  I am curious on when a rigging/drone book is expected.

Sending this from a remote device, please forgive any grammar/spelling issues.

Best,
SL
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: j2klbs on <08-19-20/1543:04>
I'm new so please bear with me if I this is the nth time this is asked.

I saw mention that Firing Squad armor modifications helped to make characters more survivable.  Can someone please tell me which modification does that?  Is it the ToughWeave which would increase likelihood of generating edge on defense as well as adding wild dice to the roll?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-19-20/1606:57>
There's stuff adding soak hits too, but with downsides and Illegal.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: j2klbs on <08-19-20/1642:20>
Thank you!  Can you please tell me the name of the modification that adds to soak rolls?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-19-20/1731:01>
Reactive Armor (p53-p54), Tough Weave (note that TW only adds the wild die, not multiple), and of course there's the classics Mil-Spec Armor and Security Armor.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-19-20/1739:43>
Toughweave will add a Wild Die to soak rolls, but I don't think anything in firing line will apply a modifier to the soak roll itself.

Toughweave, GelWeave, and Reactive Armor Plates give the equivalent of automatic hits- basically, they decrease the total damage before you roll soak, but don't affect how many dice you roll for soak.

Let's say I roll 6 dice to soak, and I am facing 5p damage. If I have a rating 2 reactive armor plate, then I can subtract 2 from the damage and break the plate. Now, I am facing 3p damage, but I still roll 6 dice to soak.

Without the plate, I would be taking about 3p damage on average in this situation. With the plate, I am now taking 1p damage on average in this situation. On average, the rating 2 reactive armor plate is worth about as much as a +6 modifier to my soak roll. "Average" is the key word here- the reactive plate will always subtract 2, whereas you could theoretically get between 0-6 hits out of 6 dice.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: j2klbs on <08-19-20/1946:52>
Thanks guys!  Your responses really helped me.  I was getting confused between Attack Rating (AR) and Damage Value (DV).  Seems like those armor enhancements are a very nice upgrade.  :D
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Sir Ludwig on <08-21-20/1031:11>
Not as direct as the other items, but I think they still have a place

I would also suggest Securetech Invisi-Shield p51 or Securetech Armor (AAS) p 49.  They let you increase your DV with other items (Armored Underwear).  Thus providing you with a 25% (or higher) chance of gaining an edge or stopping an edge to the person attacking you.

Best,
SL
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <08-21-20/1256:17>
Not as direct as the other items, but I think they still have a place

I would also suggest Securetech Invisi-Shield p51 or Securetech Armor (AAS) p 49.  They let you increase your DV with other items (Armored Underwear).  Thus providing you with a 25% (or higher) chance of gaining an edge or stopping an edge to the person attacking you.

Best,
SL

DR not DV. Dang them for their choice of phrasing
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-22-20/1502:40>
Maybe a bit more on-topic, but almost one year later and Shadowrun 6e CRB is at the "Platinum" level on DTRPG. That's one tier below SR Anarchy, which had a similar reception, and two tiers below 5e CRB and 4e 20A CRB.

For comparison, Anarchy was also at Platinum one year after release (https://web.archive.org/web/20170925095212/https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/194759/Shadowrun-Anarchy).

5e was at Platinum two years after release (https://web.archive.org/web/20150518004557/http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/115985/Shadowrun-Fifth-Edition-Core-Rulebook?manufacturers_id=2216) (I couldn't find an earlier archive). Same with 4e, six years after it was put on DTRPG. (https://web.archive.org/web/20150501180846/https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/60553/Shadowrun-4th-Ed-20th-Anniversary-Core-Rulebook)

However, at the time, DTRPG only marked products as high as platinum (https://web.archive.org/web/20150525085031/http://www.drivethrurpg.com/metal.php), so it's hard to say if this is a good comparison to the platinum level of 6e and Anarchy. We know that the minimum is the same since Love and Sex in the Ninth World was a Platinum at the time, and is still Platinum. (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/126065/Love-and-Sex-in-the-Ninth-World) DTRPG was also smaller at the time, so it's hard to say if they had as high of a percentage of sales as they do now.

I wouldn't speculate on what the exact ratio of DTRPG sales is to total sales, but I think it's fair to say that the ratio will be approximately the same among all these books. If anything, I'd say more people are choosing digital books over physical books than they were 10-20 years ago. But again, it's impossible to say for sure.

I'm not going to underestimate the power of the "long tail" when it comes to sales, especially with long-lived things like TTRPGs. But given the tiers for DTRPG (https://amazing-tales.net/2019/01/27/drivethru-rpg-metal-tiers/), we can say that right now, 6e has about half the sales of Anarchy, and about a fifth of the sales for 5e CRB and 4e CRB (At most, it has 40% of the sales that 5e and 4e have- assuming that 6e is one sale away from the next tier, and 5e/4e are just barely making the cut for Adamantine).

The rigger and magic books were also delayed, and I anticipate they'll have a similar reception to Firing Squad (Released 3 months ago, sitting at Electrum.) Run & Gun is at Mithral, but was released 6 years ago. However, Run & Gun was already at platinum (https://web.archive.org/web/20150731065509/https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/128355/Shadowrun-Run--Gun) 3 months after its release. Late late edit: Can't believe nobody else noticed I was a year off. Whoops!

We can compare 30 Nights and Cutting Black to some of 5e's campaign books as well. 30 Nights is at electrum, 5 months after release. Cutting Black is also at electrum, 7 months after release. Today, Stolen Souls is at platinum, Lockdown is at gold, Bloody Business is at gold, Hard Targets is at platinum, Market Panic is at gold, Cutting Aces is at platinum, Dark Terrors is at platinum, and Better than Bad is at platinum.

I looked at these on archive 6 months after release to get the comparable details (Some I had to go out later or earlier, due to lack of archived pages).

Basically:

BookDTRPG Sales Today_DTRPG Sales at X time After Release_Current Rating# of Ratings
6e CRB1000 - 19991000 - 1999, 1 year after release2.651
5e CRB5000+1000+, 2 years after release4.1158
4e20A CRB5000+1000+, 6 years after release4.672
Anarchy2000 - 49991000 - 1999, 1 year after release3.656
Run & Gun2000 - 49991000 - 1999, 3 months after release4.238
Firing Squad250 - 499250 - 499, 12 months after release (Late edit again...)3.08
Cutting Black250 - 499250 - 499, 7 months after release3.69
30 Nights250 - 499250 - 499, 5 months after release[/b]3.33
Stolen Souls1000 - 1999500 - 999, 12 months after release3.416
Lockdown500 - 999250 - 499, 5 months after release4.02
Bloody Business_500 - 999250 - 499, 6 months after release3.54
Hard Targets1000 - 1999500 - 999, 6 months after release4.19
Market Panic500 - 999250 - 499, 6 months after release3.52
Cutting Aces1000 - 1999500 - 999, 6 months after release3.54
Dark Terrors1000 - 1999500 - 999, 6 months after release4.67
Better than Bad1000 - 19991000 - 1999, 12 months after release4.513


(Late edit- editing the table broke it a bit... sorry)

It's hard to tell what effect the CRB sales have, since DTRPG was not as big when the older books were released.

The campaign books are on-par with the 5e campaign books that did not do so well. We can expect them to move from Electrum to Gold over the next few years, but I don't think they'll go farther than that.

However, comparing Run & Gun with Firing Squad is very telling: 3 months after release, the 6e book has between 12.5% and 50% of the sales that the 5e book did. After the core books, the addition rule books make the most sales, followed then by campaign books, missions, etc.

The other 5e rulebooks are a little bit sketchier to compare than the campaign books, since there might be a different number of people interested in Rigger 6 versus Firing Squad.

Still, Rigger 5 was at Platinum (https://web.archive.org/web/20160318233011/https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/168944/Shadowrun-Rigger-50), Chrome Flesh was at Gold (https://web.archive.org/web/20150903041909/https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/151893/Shadowrun-Chrome-Flesh), and Data Trails was at Gold (https://web.archive.org/web/20150810210916/https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150001/Shadowrun-Data-Trails). I couldn't find an archived page of Run Faster or Steet Grimoire closer than 1-3 years, so I didn't include them here.

As far as I can tell, Firing Squad is performing significantly worse than any of the other core rulebooks. I think this is more telling about the state of 6e than the campaign books, since some people just get the campaign books to read them, not to use them with a certain edition. However, people will typically only go for these kinds of books if they intend to use the rules in them with a particular edition. Whereas the 6e campaign books are performing on par with the worst of the 5e campaign books, Firing Squad is performing a tier below the worst of the 5e rules books.

Again, it's impossible to extrapolate "total sales" from DTRPG sales. However, I highly doubt that the proportion of people buying physical books compared to digital is significantly higher than it was 5 years ago. If anything, more people are buying digitally, but I don't think that will have a strong effect on this data.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-22-20/1600:46>
I find it a bit sick that in a time like this, where so many people and companies have gone through hardship, you still insist on comparing sale numbers. :-\
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: markelphoenix on <08-22-20/1622:16>
I find it a bit sick that in a time like this, where so many people and companies have gone through hardship, you still insist on comparing sale numbers. :-\

Don't see how it's sick. Accurate analysis can only be done through having solid data. Opinion is opinion. Accurate data can lead to understanding facts.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-22-20/1652:04>
Well, he's half right. You would have to look at how sales are in the industry as a whole during this time. I've got thick skin so a comment like that isn't going to bother me.

However, the fact that the campaign books are performing within expected ranges, but Firing Squad is not, shows that current circumstances may not be a strong factor.

My interpretation is that 1.) About the same amount of players are interested in the setting/plot as they were in the last edition, and 2.) Less players are interested in the rules as they were in the last edition.

My concern is this: If CGL's books are delayed and they are not making as many sales as they used to, what will this do to the future of SR? Plenty of armchair-businessmen on reddit seem to think that if CGL no longer made SR (Due to financial hardship, Topps selling the IP to someone else, etc), that "someone else" would make it. I don't think I'd count on that. I don't think it would be productive to go into detail on why CGL should or should not make SR, etc.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <08-22-20/1937:56>
That is a concern....
But CGL and Topps are in 2 unique positions.

Topps is itself owned by a different company (I forget which), which does nothing more then collect IPs. (And is owned by an EX-Disney CEO...).

Topps primary market is cards (baseball, basketball, etc), and sports items (which in turn, has been a shitshow for 3+ years of dropping viewers and interest). But doesn"t have the in house set up for creative works. Meaning they are not capable of making Battletech/SR products themselves.

CGL, OTOH has the infrastructure and expertise to make creative works, but lack the IP to capitalize...

And in a Global recession, brought on by a Global pandemic.... you have disruptions in logistics, materials, and markets.... Which means EVERYONE from business, resources, and consumers are hurting....

Does Topps sell off the IP to raise capital?
Could CGL buy said IP?
Could Topps raise the license fees, thus pricing out of CGL's reach?
If CGL abandon's the IP, who picks it up?

Those are the questions.... and for the most part we  don't know what will happen...

Last I heard (and this wad YEARS ago) CGL was the only bid on the Battletech and SR IPs. Take that for what's it worth :/
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-22-20/2047:48>
It seems like CGL, at least, is taking an aggressive approach. IDK if you're on the mailing list or not, but a few weeks ago I did see this announcement:

Quote
Catalyst Game Labs—publisher of the seminal BattleTech and Shadowrun games—is excited to partner with bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch to bring her fiction to life on gaming tables.

Rusch’s Diving Universe has been explored extensively in fiction, with 10 full novels and 15 novellas already published and more on the way. A far-future universe in which a quixotic salvage “diver” explores millennia’s worth of abandoned stations, lost ships, and the Boneyard—a dangerous area of space where hundreds of dangerous vessels are collected.

Diving Into The Wreck will be a cooperative push-your-luck Encounters game where you’ll dive into explorations as one of Rusch’s memorable characters. Players use a set of six dice to defeat a storyline of Challenge cards, hoping to discover deeper secrets as they go. Accrue and spend resources, watch each other’s back, and solve each phase in time to escape the final challenge.

“As a gamer myself, I’m thrilled to partner with Catalyst,” said Kristine Kathryn Rusch, author of the Diving series. “We’re doing our best to make sure the game reflects all the best elements of my Diving Universe.”

Early access to the Diving Into The Wreck game is available through the Kickstarter campaign Rusch is currently running for a new novel installment in the series, entitled The Return of Boss. The game is available as a stand-alone reward, an add-on, or added with fiction rewards. Included is access to the first Diving novella, for free! Catalyst will eventually host the Diving Universe novels and games on their web store.

“I’m very excited to work once again with Kristine Kathryn Rusch, a long-time friend and mentor, on what I hope will be the first of many game projects,” said Loren Coleman, Catalyst Game Labs’ owner. “Her worlds are always engaging, and her writing nothing short of amazing!”

I am unfamiliar with the Diving Universe, but it looks like the kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/403649867/the-return-of-boss/description) for the novel (NOT the "Diving into the Wreck" game) was successful, and made nearly ten times its goal. The kickstarter gives a date for the game's early access release:

Quote
DIVING INTO THE WRECK encounters game from Catalyst Game Labs plus early electronic copies of both the new Boss Diving novel THIEVES and the new Diving Universe novel SQUISHY'S TEAMS.

Both novels will get to you in October, far ahead of the normal publication date. The game will ship in November.

Shipping for the game is $2.00 and includes 55 cards, six dice, and a rules sheet inside a nifty box.

More of a board game than a TTRPG, but still interesting
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-23-20/1052:12>
I'm not going to underestimate the power of the "long tail" when it comes to sales, especially with long-lived things like TTRPGs. But given the tiers for DTRPG (https://amazing-tales.net/2019/01/27/drivethru-rpg-metal-tiers/), we can say that right now, 6e has about half the sales of Anarchy, and about a fifth of the sales for 5e CRB and 4e CRB (At most, it has 40% of the sales that 5e and 4e have- assuming that 6e is one sale away from the next tier, and 5e/4e are just barely making the cut for Adamantine)....
As far as I can tell, Firing Squad is performing significantly worse than any of the other core rulebooks. I think this is more telling about the state of 6e than the campaign books, since some people just get the campaign books to read them, not to use them with a certain edition. However, people will typically only go for these kinds of books if they intend to use the rules in them with a particular edition. Whereas the 6e campaign books are performing on par with the worst of the 5e campaign books, Firing Squad is performing a tier below the worst of the 5e rules books.
It's worth underscoring that RPGs themselves are hugely bigger in 2019/2020 than they were in 2013-2015. Endless D&D podcasts and slickly produced YouTube channels have put RPGs further into the mainstream than they have ever been. WOTC has been selling D&D stuff hand-over-fist, and I understand Paizo is also in rude financial health.

Against that backdrop, these numbers for 6e look like even more of a stark failure to either engage the existing SR audience or find new players.

And in a Global recession, brought on by a Global pandemic.... you have disruptions in logistics, materials, and markets.... Which means EVERYONE from business, resources, and comsuners are hurting....
Hmmm. I feel like, if anything, the TTRPG industry isn't in nearly as bad a place as many are. It's mostly comprised of freelancers who work from home. It can deliver all its output digitally, side-stepping logistics and manufacturing issues. People can play online (and indeed, if your country is in any sort of lockdown, it's never been easier to find timeslots that work for your whole group.) Unless you share my weakness for impulse purchases of every cool-looking thing on DTRPG, it's can be a pretty cheap hobby; $100 can get you years of enjoyment.

The obvious exceptions are physical books and FLGSs. And that's not nothing. But I wouldn't be surprised if RPG companies in general come through this in OK shape.

My concern is this: If CGL's books are delayed and they are not making as many sales as they used to, what will this do to the future of SR? Plenty of armchair-businessmen on reddit seem to think that if CGL no longer made SR (Due to financial hardship, Topps selling the IP to someone else, etc), that "someone else" would make it. I don't think I'd count on that. I don't think it would be productive to go into detail on why CGL should or should not make SR, etc.
I doubt CGL itself is in any sort of trouble, having raised $2.5m last year on a Battletech Kickstarter. The worst case scenario for Shadowrun is maybe that Topps continues to regard Battletech/SR as one licence, but CGL mothballs the SR line and just continues to sell Battletech.

But personally: as a strictly home-game-only person, my table has already decided that we're never going to play 6e, so nothing CGL does with SR for the next half-decade has any bearing on me. I can merrily continue to play forever with my shelf of 2e-5e. And my interest in / anticipation of a 7e from CGL is approximately zero, so I don't really care if that never happens either.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <08-23-20/1124:37>
I believe the only company that would be interested in the license if CGL was no longer working on it would be Pegasus Press in Germany, and I don't know if they would try printing English editions for the market here.

As for Reavers questions:

Topps is owned by two companies: Madison Dearborn Partners (a company specializing in leveraged buyouts of other companies) and The Tornante Company (itself a subsidiary of Disney). After being burned by WizKids' failure, they have zero interest in games and kept the IP because it's easy money. Catalyst was created from former WizKids employees and fans of the game that bought the IP to make sure the games didn't just disappear. I don't know how the licensing works, but I'm pretty sure CGL can't drop Shadowrun and keep BattleTech, or vice versa. As long as one is selling, the other game will be producing.

Topps could sell of the IP to make capital, but they don't need to. Although if you hear rumblings that Topps is declaring bankruptcy, expect them to sell fast. And cheap.

Since Topps, through the chain of subsidiaries, is part of Disney, I don't expect any offers (except ridiculous ones) to have a chance to purchase it. Again, it's free money for the company that is returned every year.

For the last two, Topps could raise the license's fees (and may have done so since CGL first got them), but they aren't going to do so in a bluff to try and get Catalyst to pay way more than they can. If CGL's sales suddenly quadruple, I'm sure there will be a renegotiation for the license in the next quarter. And, as I said before, I believe the license is for BattleTech AND Shadowrun, so CGL won't drop the license.

Of course, if sales really start tanking and people keep on complaining, CGL could maintain the license and just stop making Shadowrun books. To give you a clear idea, here's how it looks for ALL of CGL on DriveThruRPG:

BookI believe the only company that would be interested in the license if CGL was no longer working on it would be Pegasus Press in Germany, and I don't know if they would try printing English editions for the market here.

As for Reavers questions:

Topps is owned by two companies: Madison Dearborn Partners (a company specializing in leveraged buyouts of other companies) and The Tornante Company (itself a subsidiary of Disney). After being burned by WizKids' failure, they have zero interest in games and kept the IP because it's easy money. Catalyst was created from former WizKids employees and fans of the game that bought the IP to make sure the games didn't just disappear. I don't know how the licensing works, but I'm pretty sure CGL can't drop Shadowrun and keep BattleTech, or vice versa. As long as one is selling, the other game will be producing.

Topps could sell of the IP to make capital, but they don't need to. Although if you hear rumblings that Topps is declaring bankruptcy, expect them to sell fast. And cheap.

Since Topps, through the chain of subsidiaries, is part of Disney, I don't expect any offers (except ridiculous ones) to have a chance to purchase it. Again, it's free money for the company that is returned every year.

For the last two, Topps could raise the license's fees (and may have done so since CGL first got them), but they aren't going to do so in a bluff to try and get Catalyst to pay way more than they can. If CGL's sales suddenly quadruple, I'm sure there will be a renegotiation for the license in the next quarter. And, as I said before, I believe the license is for BattleTech AND Shadowrun, so CGL won't drop the license.

Of course, if sales really start tanking and people keep on complaining, CGL could maintain the license and just stop making Shadowrun books. To give you a clear idea, here's how it looks for ALL of CGL on DriveThruRPG:

BookGameReleasedDTRPG SalesRating  Out of
Neo-Anarchist StreetpediaShadowrun   June 2019Gold (500-1000)311
House AranoBattleTechJune 2019Platinum (1000-2000)   4.711
Chaos Campaign: Succession Wars   BattleTechJune 2019Silver (100-250)4.812
Sixth World Beginner BoxShadowrunJuly 2019Gold (500-1000)2.218
Alpha Strike: Commander's EditionBattleTechJuly 2019Gold (500-1000)52
Free SeattleShadowrunDecember 2019   Electrum (250-500)41
Sixth World Core RulebookShadowrunJanuary 2020Platinum (1000-2000)2.651
Cutting BlackShadowrunJanuary 2020Electrum (250-500)3.69
30 NightsShadowrunMarch 2020Electrum (250-500)3.33
TRO: Clan InvasionBattleTechMarch 2020Electrum (250-500)51
RS: Clan InvasionBattleTechMarch 2020Silver (100-250)00
TRO: JihadBattleTechMarch 2020Electrum (250-500)51
TS: Gulf BreezeBattleTechApril 2020Silver (100-250)51
TS: Rigil KentarusBattleTechMay 2020Silver (100-250)00
Tales from the UCAS: Age of RustShadowrunMay 2020Silver (100-250)31
The Crazy EightsBattleTechMay 2020Silver (100-250)51
Firing SquadShadowrunMay 2020Electrum (250-500)38
TS: JardineBattleTechMay 2020Silver (100-250)4.54
Tactical OperationsBattleTechJune 2020Silver (100-250)00
TS: TyrfingBattleTechJune 2020Silver (100-250)51
MechWarrior: DestinyBattleTechJune 2020Gold (500-1000)4.84
RG: ilClan Vol 1BattleTechJune 2020Electrum (250-500)52
RG: ilClan Vol 2BattleTechJuly 2020Electrum (250-500)52
Krime KatalogShadowrunJuly 2020Electrum (250-500)3.54
Ingentis AthletesShadowrunJuly 2020Silver (100-250)41
RG: ilClan Vol 3BattleTechJuly 2020Electrum (250-500)51
Thermo PoliceBattleTechJuly 2020Silver (100-250)51
TS: KaumbergBattleTechJuly 2020Silver (100-250)51
RG: ilClan Vol 4BattleTechJuly 2020Electrum (250-500)51
TRO: Golden CenturyBattleTechJuly 2020Gold (500-1000)51
Hanseatic CrusadeBattleTechAugust 2020Silver (100-250)52
RG: ilClan Vol 5BattleTechAugust 2020Electrum (250-500)00
TS: ValenciaBattleTechAugust 2020Copper (50-100)00
TS: BraunschweigBattleTechAugust 2020Copper (50-100)00

(I didn't pull Missions or Fiction in this list)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <08-23-20/1141:57>
Quote
Hmmm. I feel like, if anything, the TTRPG industry isn't in nearly as bad a place as many are. It's mostly comprised of freelancers who work from home. It can deliver all its output digitally, side-stepping logistics and manufacturing issues. People can play online (and indeed, if your country is in any sort of lockdown, it's never been easier to find timeslots that work for your whole group.) Unless you share my weakness for impulse purchases of every cool-looking thing on DTRPG, it's can be a pretty cheap hobby; $100 can get you years of enjoyment.

The obvious exceptions are physical books and FLGSs. And that's not nothing. But I wouldn't be surprised if RPG companies in general come through this in OK shape.

Well, there are issues here...

yea, CGL uses freelancers (and I am sure the other companies do as well), But... well.. Who is organizing those Freelancers right now? Who is checking their work? How are they getting paid? who is editing their work? Organizing the work in to book format?

There are a lot of steps in there, more then just asking "Mike" to write 5000 words for the Magic section...  And as we learned  earlier this year, its actually the printers that make the PDF to make sure the PDF lines up with the book releases...
So... Is the printer working from home?

we won't have a full accounting of the economic damage of the lockdowns and pandemic for a couple of years after it ends... (always takes a while for the chips to stop falling)
And some companies can't wait that long... Look at Warner and DC.... Warner is under the FTC gun to maintain a stock price (as mandated in their merger). But DC comics has not been profitable for years, and this month, they just axed 30% of their books, writers, and editors!

Disney is 38 BILLION in the hole for the year, with 11.5 BILLION in new loans from just 2020 (to keep them afloat when the parks closed "for a month" back in March). They have huge issues... Star Wars, Thanks to the cost of the movies, the theme park, the original purchase price has yet to recoup their capital. (some scary numbers out of Disney say only 3 movies actually made any money! With 2 movies costing more in production and advertisement the they actually grossed!) Toy sales are so bad, that Hasbro and 3 other toy makers WALKED AWAY from Star Wars toys....  Even in the high end collectible, Diamond Collectibles is NOT making any Disney Star Wars merchandise as there is zero demand. (but, would like a Luke, Han or Liea Bust? They are selling well. As is Boba Fett.)
So expect to see things change at Disney. Especially with Bean Counter Bob Cheapskate in Charge... Disney has a 75 BILLION dollar hole to climb out of..

Hasbro is hurting, according to my sources. No idea what that means or how badly.... I know Creative Workshop is really feeling it right now. But that is mostly due to a break down in product shipping and manufacturing (Models make a huge slice of their revenue, and that has been interrupted pretty badly).

Don't get me wrong I am hoping everyone comes through this little pandemic safe and sound and with Jobs waiting for them on the other end. But that is mostly wishful thinking, as I don't see this pandemic ending until a cure has been created and distributed in large enough amounts to provide herd immunity. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <08-23-20/1147:46>
Quote
Topps is owned by two companies: Madison Dearborn Partners (a company specializing in leveraged buyouts of other companies) and The Tornante Company (itself a subsidiary of Disney).

I wasn't aware of Madison Dearborn. But Tornante is the company I was thinking of. Run by an ex-Disney CEO. (whose name escapes me ATM.,.. but we was just before Iger) 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-23-20/1218:55>
Topps could sell of the IP to make capital, but they don't need to. Although if you hear rumblings that Topps is declaring bankruptcy, expect them to sell fast. And cheap.

When you say "cheap," is that on the order of 20-50k? Or more on the order of 100-500k? Edit: Nevermind, cheap as in 30 million (https://icv2.com/articles/comics/view/2956/topps-reveals-wizkids-price)

I would learn german if pegasus took over, TBH. They don't seem like the type to get irritated by fan translations, and you can do it legally if you stick strictly to mechanics.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-23-20/1234:02>
Of course, if sales really start tanking and people keep on complaining, CGL could maintain the license and just stop making Shadowrun books.
”Stop whining and resume buying the bad books, consumer, or there might not be any more bad books to buy!”

For avoidance of doubt, I use “bad” here both subjectively (“I don’t like 6e”) and objectively (“6e is sloppily edited and has numerous serious inconsistencies and mathematical incoherencies even after a full year of errata.”)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-23-20/1325:59>
Of course, if sales really start tanking and people keep on complaining, CGL could maintain the license and just stop making Shadowrun books.
”Stop whining and resume buying the bad books, consumer, or there might not be any more bad books to buy!”

For avoidance of doubt, I use “bad” here both subjectively (“I don’t like 6e”) and objectively (“6e is sloppily edited and has numerous serious inconsistencies and mathematical incoherencies even after a full year of errata.”)

Well, that's the other piece of it. I'm sure you know there's people who stopped buying new books after 3e and after 4eA. It appears like there's significantly less people buying books after 5e as well.

There's folks playing 1e, 2e, and 3e games without any worries about all of this, or without wanting any new books.

One thing to note for FastJack's point- getting 200 sales across 2 books will net you less profit than 200 sales across 1 book. Take TS: Valencia, for instance. It has a price of 2.99, so it's grossed between 149.50 and 299.00. After DTRPG's cut, that's about $105 - $210 dollars. To break even, they had to spend that amount or less on production. The cover alone is likely in the $50 range, assuming they did it cheap and didn't reuse old assets. I bought it For Science, and this is the breakdown on wordcount and art assets:
* 21 pages total
* Layout is likely reused from old work, but they still had to pay someone to put it together
* One writer, one editor, and three production staff credited
* Factchecking/playtesting are also credited, but they likely did it for free
* Ignoring the records sheets at the back, total comes out to about 7.5k words. Standard rate in the industry is 0.03 per word for writing, which comes out to $225. The bare minimum I've heard is 0.005 (half a cent) per word, so that would be $37.50.
* For art: 1 cover art, 1 half-page art (Reused later with a grid overlay), 3 quarter-page cartoony art, 2 quarter page grayscale art. My best guestimate is $50, $35, $10 x 3, and $15 x 2 for a total of $145.
* The 3 records sheets in the back were credited to two people

I don't have a good reference for what the editor would be paid (Likely half a cent per word? They might be salaried), or the layout artist. Either way, you're looking at a base cost of $182.50 - $370.00, plus whatever they paid the layout artist and editor. Less if they reused art or didn't pay the artists.

In any case, if the rest of the TS line has similar base costs, I'd characterize anything that's still at copper 6 months later as being lost profit. Silver is closer to breaking even, but that's still between $210 and $525, and might not have been worth the time put into it.

Battletech is certainly putting out more material, but I don't think it has the same ROI as its SR products, even the ones not selling as well.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <08-23-20/1416:53>
Of course, if sales really start tanking and people keep on complaining, CGL could maintain the license and just stop making Shadowrun books.
”Stop whining and resume buying the bad books, consumer, or there might not be any more bad books to buy!”

For avoidance of doubt, I use “bad” here both subjectively (“I don’t like 6e”) and objectively (“6e is sloppily edited and has numerous serious inconsistencies and mathematical incoherencies even after a full year of errata.”)

Well, that's the other piece of it. I'm sure you know there's people who stopped buying new books after 3e and after 4eA. It appears like there's significantly less people buying books after 5e as well.

There's folks playing 1e, 2e, and 3e games without any worries about all of this, or without wanting any new books.

One thing to note for FastJack's point- getting 200 sales across 2 books will net you less profit than 200 sales across 1 book. Take TS: Valencia, for instance. It has a price of 2.99, so it's grossed between 149.50 and 299.00. After DTRPG's cut, that's about $105 - $210 dollars. To break even, they had to spend that amount or less on production. The cover alone is likely in the $50 range, assuming they did it cheap and didn't reuse old assets. I bought it For Science, and this is the breakdown on wordcount and art assets:
* 21 pages total
* Layout is likely reused from old work, but they still had to pay someone to put it together
* One writer, one editor, and three production staff credited
* Factchecking/playtesting are also credited, but they likely did it for free
* Ignoring the records sheets at the back, total comes out to about 7.5k words. Standard rate in the industry is 0.03 per word for writing, which comes out to $225. The bare minimum I've heard is 0.005 (half a cent) per word, so that would be $37.50.
* For art: 1 cover art, 1 half-page art (Reused later with a grid overlay), 3 quarter-page cartoony art, 2 quarter page grayscale art. My best guestimate is $50, $35, $10 x 3, and $15 x 2 for a total of $145.
* The 3 records sheets in the back were credited to two people

I don't have a good reference for what the editor would be paid (Likely half a cent per word? They might be salaried), or the layout artist. Either way, you're looking at a base cost of $182.50 - $370.00, plus whatever they paid the layout artist and editor. Less if they reused art or didn't pay the artists.

In any case, if the rest of the TS line has similar base costs, I'd characterize anything that's still at copper 6 months later as being lost profit. Silver is closer to breaking even, but that's still between $210 and $525, and might not have been worth the time put into it.

Battletech is certainly putting out more material, but I don't think it has the same ROI as its SR products, even the ones not selling as well.


There is a lot more you are forgetting, and are making some wild assumptions.

The first one is the cost of Artwork.
The price you pay has a great deal to do with who did the work, what the art entails (detail, original format)....
To give give you an idea. Ethan Van Scriver is a well known artist. As such he was paid $20,000 for 13 live pen "sketches" used in Jordan Peterson's book "12 simple rules".
So, a little over $1500 per piece.

OTOH, several DC artists have let slip over the last little while that DC page rate was roughly $21 for each FULL page... (Again, dependent on the artist. If your name isn't Wade, Jimenez, or Reis, or on that tier, you are not making money).

The company have an Office? If so, how big? (for an Idea, Cdn Commerical rates are $33/sqFt). Warehouse space?
And then there is Utilities.. advertisement... Taxes..


And sadly, Battletech is the bread and butter for CGL... one just has to look out there in media.

Do 2 Youtube searches... Shadowrun. And Battletech. which one gives you more returns.
*Do the shadowrun one just for the fake TV and movie Ads! some of them are amazing!!!

Battletech has 7+ comper games associated to it, including one that was released i the last year, and an FTP online game that has thousands of active global players... (not HUGE, but not bad)
Shadowrun's has had... 5? 4?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-23-20/1442:28>
Of course, if sales really start tanking and people keep on complaining, CGL could maintain the license and just stop making Shadowrun books.
”Stop whining and resume buying the bad books, consumer, or there might not be any more bad books to buy!”

For avoidance of doubt, I use “bad” here both subjectively (“I don’t like 6e”) and objectively (“6e is sloppily edited and has numerous serious inconsistencies and mathematical incoherencies even after a full year of errata.”)

Well, that's the other piece of it. I'm sure you know there's people who stopped buying new books after 3e and after 4eA. It appears like there's significantly less people buying books after 5e as well.

There's folks playing 1e, 2e, and 3e games without any worries about all of this, or without wanting any new books.

One thing to note for FastJack's point- getting 200 sales across 2 books will net you less profit than 200 sales across 1 book. Take TS: Valencia, for instance. It has a price of 2.99, so it's grossed between 149.50 and 299.00. After DTRPG's cut, that's about $105 - $210 dollars. To break even, they had to spend that amount or less on production. The cover alone is likely in the $50 range, assuming they did it cheap and didn't reuse old assets. I bought it For Science, and this is the breakdown on wordcount and art assets:
* 21 pages total
* Layout is likely reused from old work, but they still had to pay someone to put it together
* One writer, one editor, and three production staff credited
* Factchecking/playtesting are also credited, but they likely did it for free
* Ignoring the records sheets at the back, total comes out to about 7.5k words. Standard rate in the industry is 0.03 per word for writing, which comes out to $225. The bare minimum I've heard is 0.005 (half a cent) per word, so that would be $37.50.
* For art: 1 cover art, 1 half-page art (Reused later with a grid overlay), 3 quarter-page cartoony art, 2 quarter page grayscale art. My best guestimate is $50, $35, $10 x 3, and $15 x 2 for a total of $145.
* The 3 records sheets in the back were credited to two people

I don't have a good reference for what the editor would be paid (Likely half a cent per word? They might be salaried), or the layout artist. Either way, you're looking at a base cost of $182.50 - $370.00, plus whatever they paid the layout artist and editor. Less if they reused art or didn't pay the artists.

In any case, if the rest of the TS line has similar base costs, I'd characterize anything that's still at copper 6 months later as being lost profit. Silver is closer to breaking even, but that's still between $210 and $525, and might not have been worth the time put into it.

Battletech is certainly putting out more material, but I don't think it has the same ROI as its SR products, even the ones not selling as well.


There is a lot more you are forgetting, and are making some wild assumptions.

The first one is the cost of Artwork.
The price you pay has a great deal to do with who did the work, what the art entails (detail, original format)....
To give give you an idea. Ethan Van Scriver is a well known artist. As such he was paid $20,000 for 13 live pen "sketches" used in Jordan Peterson's book "12 simple rules".
So, a little over $1500 per piece.

OTOH, several DC artists have let slip over the last little while that DC page rate was roughly $21 for each FULL page... (Again, dependent on the artist. If your name isn't Wade, Jimenez, or Reis, or on that tier, you are not making money).

The company have an Office? If so, how big? (for an Idea, Cdn Commerical rates are $33/sqFt). Warehouse space?
And then there is Utilities.. advertisement... Taxes..


And sadly, Battletech is the bread and butter for CGL... one just has to look out there in media.

Do 2 Youtube searches... Shadowrun. And Battletech. which one gives you more returns.
*Do the shadowrun one just for the fake TV and movie Ads! some of them are amazing!!!

Battletech has 7+ comper games associated to it, including one that was released i the last year, and an FTP online game that has thousands of active global players... (not HUGE, but not bad)
Shadowrun's has had... 5? 4?

Yeah, I'm guessing that I was overestimating the art. My numbers were based on what I've seen on fiverr from more "amateur" artists. The $21 rate is lower than what I expected for comics, but keep in mind that they have a different person do sketches, line art, and coloring. $20-30 for a full page sketch sounds about right for fiverr, too.

That's also why I differentiated between "cartoony" stuff and "grayscale," since the grayscale looked higher quality.

It's also possible that they're stiffing artists, too.

I'm not speaking so much to royalties from games, etc, just the profit that they're making from what CGL publishes. It would be irresponsible to speculate on royalties, since the rates are going to vary a lot, as will the profits per game.

I also don't want to talk about upkeep costs: it's true that CGL needs to make a certain amount total per month or per year for salaries and office upkeep. However, this isn't tied to the success of any individual book, it's tied to the overall profits of all books.

Let's say they stiffed the artists, and that they paid the writer the bare minimum. Let's call it $100 total cost, including editing and layout. This is a very low estimate, to be honest, I don't even think it's realistic that they're paying 0.005 cents per word.

They've published 7 TS books, let's say it's $700 total cost, assuming that each one of those books is comparable in size. 5 are silver, and the 2 newest ones are copper. We know from the calculations of SR books that these books will go up a tier or two after their release, so let's just say that at the end of the fiscal year, all 7 will be silver, with 100 - 250 sales each, or 700 - 1750 sales total. After accounting for dtrpg's take, that's between $765 and $2960 net profit.

Is that enough ROI for 7 20-page books? Who knows!

Compare this to krime katalog: At electrum, that's between 250 - 500 sales- you might anticipate it going up a tier, but I'm not sure if that'll happen before the fiscal year is over. Similar to the TS books, it's digital only, so we're only missing sales on CGL's site. Krime Katalog has a 9.99 price point, so that's between $2,500 and $5,000 gross profit.

Krime Katalog is about 15k words, and 13 half-pages of art. If we go with .03 cents per word, the writing cost $450. If we say it was .005 cents per word, then the writing cost $75 (If that's the case, holy shit, since that writing was worth a lot more than that). The cover was reused from the half-pages, and the art all looks to be decent quality. My best guess is somewhere in the $20-40 range, but if Reaver's right it could be closer to $10-20. The "high estimate" of cost would be $520, and the "low estimate" is $130. So the cost of the book is between $205 and $970, with maybe another $50-100 for layout and editing.

After DTRPG's take, the net profit is $1545 to $3295 with the low-cost estimate, and $780 to $2530 with the high-cost estimate.

Is that enough ROI for 1 40-page book? Again, who knows! But I do know that my high-cost estimate for this book is about the same range as the low-cost estimate for all 7 of the TS books.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <08-24-20/1747:56>
Our table will never move to 6e or purchase another product published by Catalyst.

They are dead to us.

When/ if someone else picks up the Srun license from Topps I'd look at buying srun stuff again.

As it stands Catalyst poisoned the well and we're not going to prop them up anymore.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: jim1701 on <08-26-20/1946:28>
I'll give Shadowrun another chance once they move on to a new line dev.  I have no faith that Hardy is going to right this ship.  As much as I like the setting the quality of work in 5e was just bad.  There was nothing wrong with the writing, the fiction was actually quite good but the design and particularly the editing was atrocious IMO.  For me it's really that simple.

Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <08-27-20/1754:09>
Yeah Hardy is really, really poor.

You know how crap he is when looking at the products he's turned out for Srun.

I'm not holding my breath or anything but the only thing that would bring me back is someone other than Catalyst picking up the IP.

I've been burned too many times by Catalyst to expect anything other than dross, lack of care and apathy from them.

And if srun never gets picked up by another company because Topps doesn't care and Catalyst somehow keeps hold of it despite their torrent of incompetence then I can always keep playing 5e. At least it does mostly what I want and I know how to fix it.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Singularity on <08-27-20/2137:23>
Last I heard (and this wad YEARS ago) CGL was the only bid on the Battletech and SR IPs. Take that for what's it worth :/

My understanding was that they (Catalyst) were only interested in the Battletech IP, but Topps insisted that Shadowrun be included as a package deal (i.e. Catalyst either developed both, or didn't get the license).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Singularity on <08-27-20/2149:52>

Topps is owned by two companies: Madison Dearborn Partners (a company specializing in leveraged buyouts of other companies) and The Tornante Company (itself a subsidiary of Disney). After being burned by WizKids' failure, they have zero interest in games and kept the IP because it's easy money. Catalyst was created from former WizKids employees and fans of the game that bought the IP to make sure the games didn't just disappear. I don't know how the licensing works, but I'm pretty sure CGL can't drop Shadowrun and keep BattleTech, or vice versa. As long as one is selling, the other game will be producing.

That was my understanding; The IPs were a package deal, and both need to be developed under the current license.

Topps could sell of the IP to make capital, but they don't need to. Although if you hear rumblings that Topps is declaring bankruptcy, expect them to sell fast. And cheap.

Since Topps, through the chain of subsidiaries, is part of Disney, I don't expect any offers (except ridiculous ones) to have a chance to purchase it. Again, it's free money for the company that is returned every year.

For the last two, Topps could raise the license's fees (and may have done so since CGL first got them), but they aren't going to do so in a bluff to try and get Catalyst to pay way more than they can. If CGL's sales suddenly quadruple, I'm sure there will be a renegotiation for the license in the next quarter. And, as I said before, I believe the license is for BattleTech AND Shadowrun, so CGL won't drop the license.

Of course, if sales really start tanking and people keep on complaining, CGL could maintain the license and just stop making Shadowrun books. To give you a clear idea, here's how it looks for ALL of CGL on DriveThruRPG:

Normally I would agree that Disney wouldn't sell, but they have had a horrible year with a loss (so far) of -$18 billion on their theme parks alone. During the height of the Corona lock-down, they took out at least one loan of $5 billion. Given that some of their divisions (Marvel comics, Star Wars) have been grossly under-preforming for awhile now, I could see them eyeing a sell-off of some of their lesser IPs. As it stands, they are going to have to answer some hard questions to their investors by the end of their current fiscal year.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <08-27-20/2205:05>

Topps is owned by two companies: Madison Dearborn Partners (a company specializing in leveraged buyouts of other companies) and The Tornante Company (itself a subsidiary of Disney). After being burned by WizKids' failure, they have zero interest in games and kept the IP because it's easy money. Catalyst was created from former WizKids employees and fans of the game that bought the IP to make sure the games didn't just disappear. I don't know how the licensing works, but I'm pretty sure CGL can't drop Shadowrun and keep BattleTech, or vice versa. As long as one is selling, the other game will be producing.

That was my understanding; The IPs were a package deal, and both need to be developed under the current license.

Topps could sell of the IP to make capital, but they don't need to. Although if you hear rumblings that Topps is declaring bankruptcy, expect them to sell fast. And cheap.

Since Topps, through the chain of subsidiaries, is part of Disney, I don't expect any offers (except ridiculous ones) to have a chance to purchase it. Again, it's free money for the company that is returned every year.

For the last two, Topps could raise the license's fees (and may have done so since CGL first got them), but they aren't going to do so in a bluff to try and get Catalyst to pay way more than they can. If CGL's sales suddenly quadruple, I'm sure there will be a renegotiation for the license in the next quarter. And, as I said before, I believe the license is for BattleTech AND Shadowrun, so CGL won't drop the license.

Of course, if sales really start tanking and people keep on complaining, CGL could maintain the license and just stop making Shadowrun books. To give you a clear idea, here's how it looks for ALL of CGL on DriveThruRPG:

Normally I would agree that Disney wouldn't sell, but they have had a horrible year with a loss (so far) of -$18 billion on their theme parks alone. During the height of the Corona lock-down, they took out at least one loan of $5 billion. Given that some of their divisions (Marvel comics, Star Wars) have been grossly under-preforming for awhile now, I could see them eyeing a sell-off of some of their lesser IPs. As it stands, they are going to have to answer some hard questions to their investors by the end of their current fiscal year.

I don't think there is anyone, current year, with any capital to spend...

There have been a couple "big ticket" platforms on the block since late LAST year, no one has shown interest....
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shadowjack on <08-27-20/2301:59>
I haven't playing any Shadowrun in 2020, that makes me sad. I was excited for 6E and liked a lot of it but I still felt a lot more was needed. The game is too complex, it just doesn't feel good to play. The setting I rate highly, the rules I feel were an attempt to modernize with the restriction of maintaining as much of the old as possible. The priority table returning was a very bad idea, a mathematical trap which can screw you out of hundreds of karma before you fired a bullet, then you spend lots of sessions getting that karma back while your team soars ahead. The guns don't feel fun now, the accessories they come with are often confusingly written, it makes it hard to evaluate their worth and appeal. The qualities are a HUGE step in the right direction imo, definitely one of the highlights of 6E for me. They're all very viable imo, whereas in 5E I didn't like a ton of them. I could go on about the good and bad from my perspective but long story short: I'll be back in 7E or if new Anarchy stuff can reel me in. I feel a void in my life without playing Shadowrun, nothing else can match the setting for me, the vibe, the look, everything is great except the rules. I hope in 7E they take a big risk and redesign the rules mostly from scratch. Probably won't happen but that's what it would take to fix the game imo.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-28-20/0316:58>
Eh, Priority isn't half as bad as people claim, unless you want new people stuck in chargen for days with karmagen. BP was a living nightmare. Life Modules needs a frickin' excel sheet to properly look at. If you're that worried of falling behind, maybe create chars together instead. And they did redesign a significant part of the rules already in SR6, not sure how much further they'd have to go for you, but at some point it sounds like you're better off writing your own ruleset.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <08-28-20/0641:58>
I enjoy the concept of the priority system, but any chargen system where you can have two characters come out with 100's of points of karma disparity between them is a poorly implemented version. The chart needs rebalanced for sure.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-28-20/0743:45>
I hope in 7E they take a big risk and redesign the rules mostly from scratch. Probably won't happen but that's what it would take to fix the game imo.
Screw 7e, IMO; I'd much rather see a really well-thought-out [1] Anarchy 2e. Easier to build up from solid foundations than it is to chip away at twisted baroque architecture.

[1] Insert obligatory Catalyst lols here.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-28-20/0744:54>
Eh, Priority isn't half as bad as people claim, unless you want new people stuck in chargen for days with karmagen. BP was a living nightmare. Life Modules needs a frickin' excel sheet to properly look at.
"This chargen method might be bad but all the rest are terrible" is perhaps not the amazing defence of the system you think it is.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <08-28-20/1445:21>
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with penllawen. Not that 6E is totally broken, but if they do go with a new edition, go all the way back to the drawing board.

Most of the stuff you see in the games that have been around for longer than 20 years are set that way because, when designing the game in 80's & 90's, the designers had to make the rules very different from D&D, else they would have TSR sending out C&D letters and threatening copyright infringement.

The reason there's 8 total attributes? D&D had six. Reason for the D6's? D&D had the d20 base. Reason why magic was written with Force and such? Couldn't do Vancian magic, since that was D&D's back yard.

But with 3rd edition and OGLs, Designers are now free to "borrow" ideas that work without having to jump through too many legal hoops. Granted, if it looks too much like D&D, you have to stuff and OGL page in your book. When 7E finally comes around, maybe it's time to start over instead of trying to tack on rules & such to keep the "feel" of a system that was pretty broken from the start.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-28-20/1501:21>
I am a fan of SR6 dropping Force for Spells, and wonder if there's a balanced way to do so for Spirits. Maybe just split them into a few different levels. I also would prefer preparations to not do the whole Potency thing, since that's a second layer I dislike.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-28-20/1505:50>
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with penllawen.
Hey, I am the proverbial stopped clock, and I guess it’s my lucky time of day!

Quote
When 7E finally comes around, maybe it's time to start over instead of trying to tack on rules & such to keep the "feel" of a system that was pretty broken from the start.
Sounds good to me.

Since getting back into RPGs in 2018 (having been away from the hobby since the early 2000s), I’ve been blown away by the rise of PbtAs and similar rules-lite games they are fast, fluid, and really, really thoughtful about having innovative mechanics that support and reinforce the game’s narrative tropes. They feel like a modern breath of fresh air compared to Shadowrun, which - let’s be honest - hasn’t been substantially overhauled in fifteen years. I love it dearly but it’s an antiquated beast of a system.

My beef with 6e wasn’t the so-called radical changes. It was the lack of radical changes that grated on me. Also, don’t get me wrong - my dislike of 6e doesn’t mean I think any edition of SR was perfect. They are all blighted with so many annoying bits and dated mechanics. That’s a big part of why I’m so salty about 6e. I really wanted a modern Shadowrun system, and felt like the bar to be the best version of Shadowrun ever was really not that high. I was disappointed when it didn’t hit those goals for me. 

As for Anarchy... it’s about 50% really good ideas and the other 50% is completely missing. You can stitch it together if you lean hard on fan supplements like Surprise Threat! but that shouldn’t be necessary. Game deserves a 2e.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <08-28-20/1724:46>
Just given the situation at this time no one's going to dropping cash for table top IPs, and it doesn't sound SR is up for sale anyways.

Honestly Penllawen is not wrong in that it almost certainly does make more sense to go with Anarchy 2nd or revised then an attempt to fix the current edition. Simple is still the preference of the industry right now.

Maybe in days to come PF2 may eventually persuade the industry back into crunchy systems, but if I was betting man, my money would be on TCoE for top TTRPG seller of 2020. It's already number one on Amazon.

As far as 7e goes, starting fresh makes sense to me. Don't get me wrong, I liked 4th and 5th. But I think the IP has been drifting sense 3rd. We have seen some really strong game design come out in the last couple years, 6e should have been 5e 30th anniversary edition. 5e D&D is doing a great job of bringing people in, but I expect folks will branch out in the hobby with time. I think things will turn around, and I hope we will see things start going our way.

I'd love to see some changes to the time line, and look at doing a broader spectrum SR. A fantasy fey setting like the Elf kingdom book from 5e, A low magic SR as the Occult war around ww2, the Traditional Cyberpunk setting, and maybe some kind more advanced future setting similar to the Expanse. Just a thought.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-28-20/2101:55>
I hope in 7E they take a big risk and redesign the rules mostly from scratch. Probably won't happen but that's what it would take to fix the game imo.
Screw 7e, IMO; I'd much rather see a really well-thought-out [1] Anarchy 2e. Easier to build up from solid foundations than it is to chip away at twisted baroque architecture.

[1] Insert obligatory Catalyst lols here.
Anarchy 2e (https://www.reddit.com/r/OldSchoolShadowrun/comments/ec0v14/sr_2050_revised_version_of_2050_set_2nd_edition/), you say... ;)

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with penllawen. Not that 6E is totally broken, but if they do go with a new edition, go all the way back to the drawing board.

Most of the stuff you see in the games that have been around for longer than 20 years are set that way because, when designing the game in 80's & 90's, the designers had to make the rules very different from D&D, else they would have TSR sending out C&D letters and threatening copyright infringement.

The reason there's 8 total attributes? D&D had six. Reason for the D6's? D&D had the d20 base. Reason why magic was written with Force and such? Couldn't do Vancian magic, since that was D&D's back yard.

But with 3rd edition and OGLs, Designers are now free to "borrow" ideas that work without having to jump through too many legal hoops. Granted, if it looks too much like D&D, you have to stuff and OGL page in your book. When 7E finally comes around, maybe it's time to start over instead of trying to tack on rules & such to keep the "feel" of a system that was pretty broken from the start.

They could try borrowing more of Earthsea's magic, what with Names and all that. I never played through Earthdawn, so I don't know how much "inspiration' the game got from Earthsea.

Still, that would be a major lore revision, which is NOT something that I think folks would be interested in.

If Shadowrun in the Sprawl had a little more crunch involved, I think it'd be the perfect system. Maybe a "OSR" take on SR would be interesting (Just the OSR philosophy of game design, not the OSR mechanics verbatim).

I'd love to see some changes to the time line, and look at doing a broader spectrum SR. A fantasy fey setting like the Elf kingdom book from 5e, A low magic SR as the Occult war around ww2, the Traditional Cyberpunk setting, and maybe some kind more advanced future setting similar to the Expanse. Just a thought.

Have you read Slip Streams? "Alchera" is built exactly for that sort of thing. I'm gonna try and do a Mercurial run using it, but you could do any of the above examples

Side note,- I kind of hate that they went with "alchera," since they literally could have made up a word instead. But it's not like folks are going to stop using "mana" or "voodoo" anytime soon.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Singularity on <08-28-20/2125:22>
Maybe in days to come PF2 may eventually persuade the industry back into crunchy systems, but if I was betting man, my money would be on TCoE for top TTRPG seller of 2020. It's already number one on Amazon.

What is TCoE? I tried searching for it, but the search engine had a fit trying to figure out what it stood for.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-28-20/2130:43>
Maybe in days to come PF2 may eventually persuade the industry back into crunchy systems, but if I was betting man, my money would be on TCoE for top TTRPG seller of 2020. It's already number one on Amazon.

What is TCoE? I tried searching for it, but the search engine had a fit trying to figure out what it stood for.

I'm guessing Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (https://www.amazon.com/gp/new-releases/books/16211/ref=zg_bs_tab_t_bsnr)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-28-20/2137:16>


They could try borrowing more of Earthsea's magic, what with Names and all that. I never played through Earthdawn, so I don't know how much "inspiration' the game got from Earthsea.


I don't know anything about earthsea to compare it.  But earthdawn was more of a D&D style system, spell levels, preparing spells etc.  not technically vancian but it had some roots there.  Basically think of the thematic element of SR magic now make the astral a constant background count of 20. The solution is people created magical constructs in their mind, they called them a spell matrix. You'd take your time and load a spell into the matrix, this protected you from the bad MANA( :) ). And you could cast the spell.  You might know a dozen spells but only have 3 spell matrix's, and swapping spells took some time. Add in more complex spells required you tie spell threads to them. 

So take the nethermancer he has two similar spells. Astral dart and astral spear.  Astral dart does willpower+2 damage, astral spear willpower+6.  So why do you cast or learn dart.  Astral spear required 1 spell thread.  Your default matrixes didn't have any attached, and couldn't hold onto them.  So every time you wanted to cast astral spear you wove a thread onto the matrix first. The test was simple, but it was an action.  More advanced spells like fireball or something might need 3 threads to be tied. You could attempt, to tie multiple threads at once but the difficulty escalated quickly.  And even with a low target number if you are rolling d12+d8(a fairly advanced caster) you can still pretty easily only get a 3 or 4. You didn't really risk astral stuff, spirit summoning was pretty rare, but some of the spells got dope. OTOH every PC was an adept, dudes were jumping 40 meters, shooting exploding fireball arrows etc.

I really loved the magic system.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shadowjack on <08-28-20/2141:56>
Anarchy has been more fun for me but it has some issues for sure. Anarchy 2E would be nice, especially if it had more work put into it. I don't mean that disrespectfully but 1E had some major oversights that are just crazy, either it was rushed or there was not enough people working on it. I feel it's decent but falls apart due to rules ambiguity. 5E and 6E are too complex and adhering to the old elements of the game, which are mechanically dated and not so much fun. I still think that the "giant handfuls of d6's!" is utter crap. When a large portion of the player base uses dice rolling apps you know something is wrong, because rolling dice has always been an awesome thing. I would scrap the entire system and start from scratch.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <08-29-20/0358:56>
I really loved the magic system.
Shadowrun and Earthdawn have the most interesting and best realised magic systems in RPGs, and that’s a hill I’d die on.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-29-20/0504:28>
The term Alchera has been around for a while, since Street Magic apparently.

As for giant handfuls of d6s, that already was reduced quite a bit in SR6. Even more if you're running SRM rules, where skilltest modifiers are also capped. I prefer the d6 system, since it swings far less extreme than having less larger dice. And I've got plenty of Shadowrun dice to make hit-counting way easier.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <08-29-20/1003:13>
Maybe in days to come PF2 may eventually persuade the industry back into crunchy systems, but if I was betting man, my money would be on TCoE for top TTRPG seller of 2020. It's already number one on Amazon.

What is TCoE? I tried searching for it, but the search engine had a fit trying to figure out what it stood for.

I'm guessing Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (https://www.amazon.com/gp/new-releases/books/16211/ref=zg_bs_tab_t_bsnr)

oB is correct. TCoE is the next Xanathar's basically. Not overly relevant to the larger point of this thread.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-29-20/1109:34>
The term Alchera has been around for a while, since Street Magic apparently.

That doesn't really make it better. People like to say "It was the 60's, they didn't know any better! It was the 90's, they didn't know any better! It was the 00's-" and it's never true. At least 4e explained where it came from, and presented it as an "in-setting" appropriation. Slip Streams completely removes that context.

As for handfuls of dice- it's hard to get more than 18-20 in a pool in 6e, and you have to be trying for it. At the same time, 10-14 is about the minimum anyone would have in a pool they use a lot. 6e has less dice than 5e due to this, and also because they don't have soak pools with 40+ dice.

In both cases, it's more dice than you would be rolling in 3e or earlier
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shadowjack on <08-29-20/1259:58>
It doesn't matter to me that the dice pools are a bit smaller, they're still arbitrarily large. A common defense is that the large dice pools create more consistent outcomes but telling a good story at a good pace is far more important to me. I've had players complain during a session when there was lots of guys involved in a fight that were each rolling 10+ dice. Way too slow and completely unnecessary. To each their own, of course.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-29-20/1323:51>
I've managed fights with 36 combatants rolling 12 to 17 dice each, without problems whatsoever. Furthermore, nothing stops you from cinematic gameplay when a fight is clearly decided already. But yes, to each their own, and if SR4 to SR6 all are not to your liking dicewise, you're best off just finding a different gaming system. Good luck!
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-29-20/1334:32>
It doesn't matter to me that the dice pools are a bit smaller, they're still arbitrarily large. A common defense is that the large dice pools create more consistent outcomes but telling a good story at a good pace is far more important to me. I've had players complain during a session when there was lots of guys involved in a fight that were each rolling 10+ dice. Way too slow and completely unnecessary. To each their own, of course.

I prefer 6e's pools to 5e, but I think that they're still not quite "swingy" enough.

I dislike that the dice pools provide consistent outcomes. I don't know if I'd want something as random as a d20 system in SR, but if there's little to no chance involved, why bother rolling? If someone has a dice pool of 20 and they're up against a threshold of 2-3, baring exigent circumstances/modifiers the GM should just handwave it. But if they did that, then that eliminates the 1 in 50 chance or so that they do have of failure on such a roll.

It's like with hacking, at least in 5e. (Widget for math (https://www.wolframalpha.com/widgets/view.jsp?id=78baf4f3a070cc5b9b226664d2ce80ec)) Let's say you have a dice pool of 15 and you need 3 hits each time to succeed. Each time, you have a 92% chance of success, and a 8% chance of failure. The chance of succeeding without failure 3 times in a row (without getting marks) is 78%.

This is a waste of time: instead of making someone roll 3 times, make them roll once, against a higher threshold. They have a 79% chance of success if they need 4 hits to succeed. 78 vs 79 is small enough that it shouldn't matter for game balance.

So, instead of having people roll hundreds of times over the course of a session, make them roll dozens of times, against harder thresholds, in situations where success and failure are meaningful. In other words, I prefer 6e's matrix. It's not a matter of things being 'cinematic' or whatever, it's more that I hate rolling for the sake of rolling when there are more efficient ways of accomplishing a goal. I despise 5e's extended tests. I do. They needed to die.

Michael, I really hope you were using grunt rules for those fights with 36 combatants. I think I'd rather stab my eyes out then move for 30 individual NPCs in combat...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-29-20/1341:01>
I really loved the magic system.
Shadowrun and Earthdawn have the most interesting and best realised magic systems in RPGs, and that’s a hill I’d die on.

Agreed.  They do a better job of explaining how the magic works  in the setting and how it fits into the world than most systems.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: tenchi2a on <08-29-20/1908:09>
Last I heard (and this wad YEARS ago) CGL was the only bid on the Battletech and SR IPs. Take that for what's it worth :/

My understanding was that they (Catalyst) were only interested in the Battletech IP, but Topps insisted that Shadowrun be included as a package deal (i.e. Catalyst either developed both, or didn't get the license).

I had inquired about this on the Battletech side a few years back as I was wondering if their was a chance to resurrect the Renegade Legion IP. and after some deep dives and talking to a few people it seems that all the old FASA games (minus outside IPs; Star trek,Dr Who, etc) are under one group licence owned by Topps, and everything was in there. So yes it does seem to be a package deal, but this I think had more to due with the issues of splitting up the licences that they had in the past. As for Renegade Legion IP I found that it was such a failure under Nightshift games that they just shelved it.

So, as to Topps selling off the Shadowrun licence, I would say the chances are small and it would be more likely to be shelved like the Renegade Legion IP. People seem to forget that the process of sub-licencing or down right selling off a IP cost money to both companies and the company renting or buying the IP has to see the potential to make money over the cost of; buying the IP, producing it, and marketing it. And as it has been said already if CGL is just barely make a profit on most of their products and they own them through Topps, the likelihood of another companies buying or leasing the licence are very low.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: wraith on <08-31-20/0050:29>
I find it a bit sick that in a time like this, where so many people and companies have gone through hardship, you still insist on comparing sale numbers. :-\

Sales are the lifeblood of CGL remaining a going concern, are they not?

Not that I'd personally be terribly against seeing who Topps licenses the IP to next at this point.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-31-20/0804:03>
It's just a plain old fashioned argument to pity. Don't ask me why- if we are supposed to be concerned about the hardship that CGL is going through, then sales numbers are the most "visible" sign of how it's doing.

Still, there's a reason why I stuck to analyzing the numbers themselves in that post, and not rushing to any judgements on the success of CGL as a company, whether sales decreases are good/bad, etc. I understand that it's easy for someone to take something like that personally, because regardless of whether or not you like CGL, people on this board are attached to SR and its success.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Finstersang on <08-31-20/1304:41>
Michael, I really hope you were using grunt rules for those fights with 36 combatants. I think I'd rather stab my eyes out then move for 30 individual NPCs in combat...

It´s also very very important to make sure that the whole group of grunts can only earn a max. of 2 Edge per round, so that the PC can already ignore one half of the AR-DR comparison in 90% of times  ::)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <08-31-20/1339:33>
Michael, I really hope you were using grunt rules for those fights with 36 combatants. I think I'd rather stab my eyes out then move for 30 individual NPCs in combat...

It´s also very very important to make sure that the whole group of grunts can only earn a max. of 2 Edge per round, so that the PC can already ignore one half of the AR-DR comparison in 90% of times  ::)

That phenomenon is one of the reasons I feel the game plays better without a cap on edge gains.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-31-20/1454:50>

Michael, I really hope you were using grunt rules for those fights with 36 combatants. I think I'd rather stab my eyes out then move for 30 individual NPCs in combat...
They were grunts so only had 1 Condition Monitor, yes, but this was SR5 so no grunt group rules. So yeah, there were spirits + sprites + players vs agents + drones + IC + enemy combatants, with 18 Initiative Scores and 36 total individuals. Having the enemies take time to get into the fight so they were coming in waves, was the only thing that saved me.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Sir Ludwig on <08-31-20/1511:37>
I agree with Shadowjack when he/she says, “but telling a good story…..is far more important..”. 

I have run several games of 6th now and it’s been the hardest for the people that played previous editions.  However, we are getting used to the AR/DR and it is moving much better now. My serious players have already triced out guns using FS, KK, and SS.   

I don’t miss the 40 dice soak pools and everyone at my table still use dice (no apps).  I agree that rolling the dice is part of the fun. 

Is it perfect, nope as became obvious when all 5 players started chucking grenades at the big bad drone in the last game, but everyone is still having a good time. I think we (players and GM) learned a lesson about what happens in 5-6 people strat throwing grenades like candy at a Christmas parade. 

I look forward to seeing the new magic and rigger stuff when it comes out. 

Speaking of which, does anyone have an ETA on that?
Best,
SL
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <08-31-20/1538:21>
I find it a bit sick that in a time like this, where so many people and companies have gone through hardship, you still insist on comparing sale numbers. :-\

Don't see how it's sick. Accurate analysis can only be done through having solid data. Opinion is opinion. Accurate data can lead to understanding facts.

Sales are the lifeblood of CGL remaining a going concern, are they not?

Not that I'd personally be terribly against seeing who Topps licenses the IP to next at this point.

It's just a plain old fashioned argument to pity. Don't ask me why- if we are supposed to be concerned about the hardship that CGL is going through, then sales numbers are the most "visible" sign of how it's doing.

Still, there's a reason why I stuck to analyzing the numbers themselves in that post, and not rushing to any judgements on the success of CGL as a company, whether sales decreases are good/bad, etc. I understand that it's easy for someone to take something like that personally, because regardless of whether or not you like CGL, people on this board are attached to SR and its success.

How dare anyone bring honest statistics or facts into the discussion! We all knows sales figures are due to the plague. Considering that someone might actually find the edition undesirable enough to skip purchases is obviously fake news guys!

I think we (players and GM) learned a lesson about what happens in 5-6 people strat throwing grenades like candy at a Christmas parade.

I find it wild when people say they had to learn about it through play. I took a casual glance at those rules and immediately knew it would be impressively unbalanced. Different play styles or mentality I suppose.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Sir Ludwig on <08-31-20/1542:17>
Lormyr,

Maybe so, I didn't think about what they would do to the drone.  Players didn't think about what they would do to the surrounding area.

Best,
SL
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-31-20/1605:47>
Unfortunately, CGL keeps streetdates close to their chest, and anyone who knows anything is bound by NDA. I do expect to see Streetwyrd 'soonish', but that still can be a significant while.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <08-31-20/1859:54>
I find it a bit sick that in a time like this, where so many people and companies have gone through hardship, you still insist on comparing sale numbers. :-\

Don't see how it's sick. Accurate analysis can only be done through having solid data. Opinion is opinion. Accurate data can lead to understanding facts.

Sales are the lifeblood of CGL remaining a going concern, are they not?

Not that I'd personally be terribly against seeing who Topps licenses the IP to next at this point.

It's just a plain old fashioned argument to pity. Don't ask me why- if we are supposed to be concerned about the hardship that CGL is going through, then sales numbers are the most "visible" sign of how it's doing.

Still, there's a reason why I stuck to analyzing the numbers themselves in that post, and not rushing to any judgements on the success of CGL as a company, whether sales decreases are good/bad, etc. I understand that it's easy for someone to take something like that personally, because regardless of whether or not you like CGL, people on this board are attached to SR and its success.

How dare anyone bring honest statistics or facts into the discussion! We all knows sales figures are due to the plague. Considering that someone might actually find the edition undesirable enough to skip purchases is obviously fake news guys!

Eh, let me be a bit more clear so I don't get misconstrued: There's nothing wrong with a pathos-based argument, and TTRPGs take up a big part of folks' lives so it'd be disingenuous to boil it all down to "statistics and facts." Michael was a bit glib, but there is a point there (COVID's effects on sales, etc). I know I started playing online games again likely due to boredom and lack of social contact, and me posting about poor sales from CGL is an un-fun thing to someone who enjoys the brand and wants it to do well. Personally, I still prefer SR in the Sprawl, but it is hard herding enough cats to get a game together each week since it's a niche system in a niche fandom.

I think the trouble comes when you mix quantitative statistics with qualitative reactions, like you state (IE, liking something does not mean it will sell well, and vice versa).

Unfortunately, CGL keeps streetdates close to their chest, and anyone who knows anything is bound by NDA. I do expect to see Streetwyrd 'soonish', but that still can be a significant while.

I actually like this, considering that most video games are putting out release dates years in advance. I get all excited for nothing. I'm more annoyed at "hype trains" than I am eager to buy because of them.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <09-01-20/0741:53>
I know I started playing online games again likely due to boredom and lack of social contact, and me posting about poor sales from CGL is an un-fun thing to someone who enjoys the brand and wants it to do well.

That might be so, but it doesn't change the nature of the statistics you posted. I have seen a lot of griping in the form of blaming/shaming from a select few repeat offenders here any time someone dives into those statistics, and I am getting fed up with it.

Those are honest statistics, and should be able to be posted and discussed without grief. Yeah, covid is likely a sales factor, but it is also hardly the only one in play.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <09-01-20/0856:22>
Understandable. Though, to be fair, there are like 5 people on this forum
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <09-01-20/1017:29>
It's true. Some of those bros are better than others though. :p
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Leith on <09-01-20/1054:38>
As for handfuls of dice- it's hard to get more than 18-20 in a pool in 6e, and you have to be trying for it. At the same time, 10-14 is about the minimum anyone would have in a pool they use a lot. 6e has less dice than 5e due to this, and also because they don't have soak pools with 40+ dice.

In both cases, it's more dice than you would be rolling in 3e or earlier

Aggressor wins ties is a nice change too. Equal dice pools give you a 60% chance of success if you don't need net hits, like in combat. Makes things easier on the GM (not as many or as tough grunts needed to try and get through high defense pools) and players (not as many dice needed in the attack pools or non-combat characters).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Sir Ludwig on <09-01-20/1127:59>
MC,

Thanks, I am all to familiar with NDA/Non-Compete and other legal documents in the business world.  I don't want to get anyone in trouble, was hoping I had missed a date somewhere.  However your explanation does explain why Slip Stream snuck up on me.

Regards,
SL
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <09-01-20/1559:32>
...Yeah, covid is likely a sales factor, but it is also hardly the only one in play.

You know Covid could go either way, it could reduce or increase sales.

With everyone stuck at home more money might be spent on a hobby you can do at home, like say TTRPGs via roll20 etc.

Of course it should be relatively easy to show this by looking at other publishers sales over the same period.

If their sales are generally dropping then Covid has likely had some negative impact on 6e.

If they have not, or have increased then you know it's certainly the srun playerbase rejecting Catalyst's latest shovelware.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <09-01-20/1808:25>
...Yeah, covid is likely a sales factor, but it is also hardly the only one in play.

You know Covid could go either way, it could reduce or increase sales.

With everyone stuck at home more money might be spent on a hobby you can do at home, like say TTRPGs via roll20 etc.

Of course it should be relatively easy to show this by looking at other publishers sales over the same period.

If their sales are generally dropping then Covid has likely had some negative impact on 6e.

If they have not, or have increased then you know it's certainly the srun playerbase rejecting Catalyst's latest shovelware.

That's oversimplifying things significantly. I think that qualitative analysis of negative feedback online, or even just looking at the reviews on DTRPG's page, are stronger supporters of your claim.

I don't feel like doing this for all the companies on DTRPG, but this is a brief overview (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jQ-07isal33QDkfEXzkWKIV_kYRecZVopEAcw2x4ozI/edit?usp=sharing) of DTRPG sales on the last 20 books published by FFG and R. Talsorian.

Archive does not have as many pages for those brands as it does for CGL.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <09-01-20/1827:49>
I would disagree...

In the age of Social media, feedback and reviews are almost useless, as 'the spin machine" and "hype train" can spin whatever narrative they wish, but that doesn't make a product good, bad, or even viable...

Not to mention, that many "reviews" these days are not even from the customer/audience base (and more from 'outrage', political narrative, attention).

Sales are the only thing you can go by...
But to say a product is "failing" you need to account for all factors  and Covid is a factor....(could be up, could be down)....

Until you look at the big picture, you have no real idea...
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-01-20/1917:30>
...Yeah, covid is likely a sales factor, but it is also hardly the only one in play.

You know Covid could go either way, it could reduce or increase sales.

With everyone stuck at home more money might be spent on a hobby you can do at home, like say TTRPGs via roll20 etc.

Of course it should be relatively easy to show this by looking at other publishers sales over the same period.

If their sales are generally dropping then Covid has likely had some negative impact on 6e.

If they have not, or have increased then you know it's certainly the srun playerbase rejecting Catalyst's latest shovelware.

I was about to mention the same thing, its crazy how much sales have spiked for some businesses, the heirloom bean company i order from the pizza oven i ordered all stupid delayed not because of covid crippling there workforce but because of the unprecedented increase in sales. At least some hobbies you can do at home are booming. I'd expect the same in gaming, but maybe the lack fo face to face is hurting it more than id expect with things like zoom existing.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-01-20/1921:31>
Michael, I really hope you were using grunt rules for those fights with 36 combatants. I think I'd rather stab my eyes out then move for 30 individual NPCs in combat...

It´s also very very important to make sure that the whole group of grunts can only earn a max. of 2 Edge per round, so that the PC can already ignore one half of the AR-DR comparison in 90% of times  ::)

That phenomenon is one of the reasons I feel the game plays better without a cap on edge gains.

Maybe..  Edge moves seriously slowed my games down to to point 5e was far quicker, some of that is familiarity, but that is just core rules, how many edge moves were added in firing squad, how many will be added in the rigger book, then the magic book. I'm not sure I want more edge gain even if i think the balance needs it. If a player has 80 options to choose form every time they act the turn is going to take forever without being a hardass on time.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Sir Ludwig on <09-01-20/2131:33>
Just my thoughts.

Covid/Gaming:

When people are working more from home and spending more time in Video Conferences....  do you they want to spend another 4+ hours only doing the same thing for an RPG?  It would be interesting to see how that medium has faired in all of this.

Edge:

I am looking forward to the new edges that come out.  I think most players will stick to the same 5(+\-) edges that suits their character.  I am already seeing it in my groups.

Regards,
SL
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <09-01-20/2256:15>
Just my thoughts.

Covid/Gaming:

When people are working more from home and spending more time in Video Conferences....  do you they want to spend another 4+ hours only doing the same thing for an RPG?  It would be interesting to see how that medium has faired in all of this.

Edge:

I am looking forward to the new edges that come out.  I think most players will stick to the same 5(+\-) edges that suits their character.  I am already seeing it in my groups.

Regards,
SL
Personally, I'm playing in more games now than ever, all over Discord and Fantasy Grounds. Cutting down on the drive, meetup, and food runs means players have more money for the game products (at least, that's the excuse I've been using for my purchases...)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-02-20/0115:05>
Its doubled my games.  I live a hour north of SF, they either live in SF or 20 minutes south of it.  2 different groups one on Saturday one on Sunday.  With the drive I did it once a week, my Sunday game(SF location, hour drive vs hour 20, and that's without traffic).  With zoom I do it twice a week, rolling the Saturday game in as well.  When this is over I suspect I'll use zoom to to continue with them more often, except when I DM I'll make the drive. I prefer in person but damn a hour drive is a hour drive. I live 5 minutes from work for a reason.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <09-02-20/0711:51>
I would disagree...

In the age of Social media, feedback and reviews are almost useless, as 'the spin machine" and "hype train" can spin whatever narrative they wish, but that doesn't make a product good, bad, or even viable...

Not to mention, that many "reviews" these days are not even from the customer/audience base (and more from 'outrage', political narrative, attention).

Sales are the only thing you can go by...
But to say a product is "failing" you need to account for all factors  and Covid is a factor....(could be up, could be down)....

Until you look at the big picture, you have no real idea...

I disagree. When you're looking at the success/failure of a product, you look at sales. If you're looking for the reasons for success/failure, the most accurate way is doing qualitative research on the customer base. The best way to do this would be an anonymous survey sent to a random sampling of CGL's target player base, asking "Did you buy this? Why/why not?" You can do some quantitative analysis of this by having specific reasons set aside ahead of time (IE, check which boxes correspond to your reasons for buying/not buying the game), but unless you do some qualitative research ahead of time to know what questions to ask, your survey's going to be impacted by your own biases.

Next best thing is looking at reviews and social media. Yes, this is going to be biased towards the vocal minority on both ends of the spectrum. No, I don't think SR is important enough that the powers-that-be are trying to "spin" things. I don't even think you can argue that platform mods are spinning things. The reason I suggest this is that I don't particularly feel like sending out a survey to anyone and everyone who is in SR's target player base. I don't have the resources for that, and it seems a bit weird to send out a survey about a product that isn't mine.

And if you're looking at the quality of a product, that's a whole other enchilada not covered by any of the above.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <09-02-20/1128:14>
....I live a hour north of SF....

You're very close to me, Novato?
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <09-02-20/1247:12>
Clearly outcomes are going to vary, but I haven’t gamed this much sense right after college. I could easily have a game ever night of the week and twice on Saturday and Sunday. So yeah gaming is for sure happening. While dead tree books maybe down, and honestly given Amazon I’m not at all sure that’s true, at very least online sale would only be strengthened currently. A product doesn’t have to be quality to be successful. A system can have holes big enough to drive trucks through and still return big profits, or a system can be really great and still utterly fail. That’s business, I’m sure everyone here has seen both of those things happen. In the end did the company make enough profit to make it worth keeping on going with IP isthe only meaningful outcome.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <09-02-20/1526:24>
Agreed. It's true that sales are less than they were before. There's no empirical evidence of why that would be the case, short of polling people.

The thing about TTRPGs is that they aren't often in competition for each other. Sure, I might decide to play FATE instead of D&D one weekend, but I've still paid for the books for both of those.

Some like Cyberpunk and Shadowrun may "compete" more closely, but even then, the fans of each system are distinct groups.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-02-20/1722:33>
....I live a hour north of SF....

You're very close to me, Novato?

Santa Rosa
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <09-03-20/1048:48>
doh! now i remember we have chatted about our proximity in the past ;-)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: jim1701 on <09-03-20/1448:01>
Clearly outcomes are going to vary, but I haven’t gamed this much sense right after college. I could easily have a game ever night of the week and twice on Saturday and Sunday. So yeah gaming is for sure happening. While dead tree books maybe down, and honestly given Amazon I’m not at all sure that’s true, at very least online sale would only be strengthened currently. A product doesn’t have to be quality to be successful. A system can have holes big enough to drive trucks through and still return big profits, or a system can be really great and still utterly fail. That’s business, I’m sure everyone here has seen both of those things happen. In the end did the company make enough profit to make it worth keeping on going with IP is the only meaningful outcome.

I think this is true for a while but leaving aside any debate about rules the poor editorial values are going to continue to shed customers. For myself I spent a fair bit of money on 5e and I kept thinking they would fix the editing problems but it never really happened and the quality never really improved even in the new products. 

As MC says there are a ton of good systems out there edited and designed by people who actually know what they're doing. There's also plenty of setting material in existence for Shadowrun. I don't really need to give CGL any more money if they can't produce better quality material. Running Shadowrun in a decent ruleset really isn't hard. I truly feel for the freelancers that produce work for this game. I think they deserve better. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: tenchi2a on <09-08-20/0400:13>
Clearly outcomes are going to vary, but I haven’t gamed this much sense right after college. I could easily have a game ever night of the week and twice on Saturday and Sunday. So yeah gaming is for sure happening. While dead tree books maybe down, and honestly given Amazon I’m not at all sure that’s true, at very least online sale would only be strengthened currently. A product doesn’t have to be quality to be successful. A system can have holes big enough to drive trucks through and still return big profits, or a system can be really great and still utterly fail. That’s business, I’m sure everyone here has seen both of those things happen. In the end did the company make enough profit to make it worth keeping on going with IP is the only meaningful outcome.


I think this is true for a while but leaving aside any debate about rules the poor editorial values are going to continue to shed customers. For myself I spent a fair bit of money on 5e and I kept thinking they would fix the editing problems but it never really happened and the quality never really improved even in the new products. 

As MC says there are a ton of good systems out there edited and designed by people who actually know what they're doing. There's also plenty of setting material in existence for Shadowrun. I don't really need to give CGL any more money if they can't produce better quality material. Running Shadowrun in a decent ruleset really isn't hard. I truly feel for the freelancers that produce work for this game. I think they deserve better.

I look at it as Shadowrun has been a dying IP for the last 15 years. (Since WizKids got the licence)
With the printing of 4th edition it has been nothing but a downward spiral for the brand with every new edition driving away more and more of the fans that made it a big name in the RPG industry. The took a unique and beloved combat system and made it the current generic system that was popular at the time. A trend that has continued to this day. 6th is just the next failure in this 15 year run.

Another issues that has plagued Shadowrun is when it was first made. Due to the timing and the tech of the time, Shadowrun now comes off as very old-school cyberpunk truing to shoehorn in modern-day tech.

It may be a unpopular opinion but at this time IMHO Shadowrun either needs a reset or to just be shelved. In its current stated there is just to much baggage for new players and the system will not appeal to old players. And CGL needs to stop trying to follow trends and chase after the simplistic rules crowd who, after working in a game store I can tell you have the attention span of a moth, and remember the fans that supported them all these years and try to make a game that they will like.

Just my 2 cents.


Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <09-08-20/0750:26>
You know, the other day I was doing an archive binge of a long-lived webcomic (http://www.weregeek.com/2008/04/07/) and ran into commentary describing 4e original as a "World of Darkness" ripoff. I was trying to figure out how much of that was just the regular "change is bad" that comes with a good proportion of any TTRPG audience whenever a new edition is released. I've heard decent things about 4e 20th Anniversary, but this was before that. (It's also worth noting that World of Darkness based a lot of its rules decisions on original Shadowrun's rules, so it might be chicken and egg there)

I guess the difference there is that in the comments, there's more than 1-2 people talking about how the new edition is the best so far.

I would be curious to see what the true size of Shadowrun's player base is, compared to the past. It's true that CGL has been hemorrhaging fans since Fun Events about a decade ago, but the TTRPG industry as a whole has also been growing during that time.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: jim1701 on <09-08-20/1033:22>
You know, the other day I was doing an archive binge of a long-lived webcomic (http://www.weregeek.com/2008/04/07/) and ran into commentary describing 4e original as a "World of Darkness" ripoff. I was trying to figure out how much of that was just the regular "change is bad" that comes with a good proportion of any TTRPG audience whenever a new edition is released. I've heard decent things about 4e 20th Anniversary, but this was before that. (It's also worth noting that World of Darkness based a lot of its rules decisions on original Shadowrun's rules, so it might be chicken and egg there)

I guess the difference there is that in the comments, there's more than 1-2 people talking about how the new edition is the best so far.

I would be curious to see what the true size of Shadowrun's player base is, compared to the past. It's true that CGL has been hemorrhaging fans since Fun Events about a decade ago, but the TTRPG industry as a whole has also been growing during that time.

I've only played WoD a few times at cons but I imagine it's the fact that they roll a bunch of d10's and count any die that is a success and subtract any die that is a one.  It's not exactly the same but the first time I played it I was like this is strangely familiar. 

As to player base that's a good question.  I can say I haven't met a player that doesn't know what Shadowrun is or has played at some point but not a lot that are currently playing.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <09-08-20/1152:19>

I look at it as Shadowrun has been a dying IP for the last 15 years. (Since WizKids got the licence)
With the printing of 4th edition it has been nothing but a downward spiral for the brand with every new edition driving away more and more of the fans that made it a big name in the RPG industry. The took a unique and beloved combat system and made it the current generic system that was popular at the time. A trend that has continued to this day. 6th is just the next failure in this 15 year run.

Another issues that has plagued Shadowrun is when it was first made. Due to the timing and the tech of the time, Shadowrun now comes off as very old-school cyberpunk truing to shoehorn in modern-day tech.

It may be a unpopular opinion but at this time IMHO Shadowrun either needs a reset or to just be shelved. In its current stated there is just to much baggage for new players and the system will not appeal to old players. And CGL needs to stop trying to follow trends and chase after the simplistic rules crowd who, after working in a game store I can tell you have the attention span of a moth, and remember the fans that supported them all these years and try to make a game that they will like.

Just my 2 cents.

I would be interested in hearing of your store experience, just to see if it lines up with what I am getting told by my buddies at my local store....

Because i am hearing the exact same thing. DnD 5e may be a huge seller, but it appears to be driving a HUGE rift into its own audience....
(For the record, I don't play dnd 5e. so this is all anecdotal). Apparently what is happening at my store is they have had to basically divide the players into 3 groups...
Larpers, Old skool players. and "first timers"...

The old Skool players (those that have been around for multiple DnD editions) can't stand the whining and complaining of the "new Players" (those that came in during 5e), and "New Players" hate the old skool players because they are "set in their ways and won't change"

And the Larpers just seem to drive both groups nuts...


Not sure what is happening to western media in general.... my Shops Comic section has gone from a 50 foot long by 8 foot high wall, to just a 5 by 5 foot rack, while the manga section has gone from 4 by 4 foot shelf to a 20 foot along wall...

The RPG section has shrunk a fair bit.... But Board games have expanded, as well as his section of East Asian books, games, and puzzles. Now some of this makes sense as we have a huge East Asian community... but the board game increase really surprised me... (the comic and manga thing, not so much...)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <09-08-20/1153:02>
Shadowrun and early WoD share a designer - Tom Dowd. That’s why they have a similar dice pool mechanic (albeit with d10s in WoD.)

SR and WoD appear to have moved to dice pools with static target numbers around the same time - 2004 for the World of Darkness, 2005 for SR 4e. That’s curious. I wonder what the backstory is there; were the designers talking, did they independently design the same answer, was SR inspired by WoD? I’m not sure.

Are there any remaining major RPGs that use dice pool with floating target numbers? It feels like it has fallen out of favour across the industry as being overly complex.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <09-08-20/1202:14>
You know, the other day I was doing an archive binge of a long-lived webcomic (http://www.weregeek.com/2008/04/07/) and ran into commentary describing 4e original as a "World of Darkness" ripoff. I was trying to figure out how much of that was just the regular "change is bad" that comes with a good proportion of any TTRPG audience whenever a new edition is released. I've heard decent things about 4e 20th Anniversary, but this was before that. (It's also worth noting that World of Darkness based a lot of its rules decisions on original Shadowrun's rules, so it might be chicken and egg there)


yea, Its a "Chicken or the egg" thing.

Tom Dowd originally helped create Shadowrun, then after he was done with FASA went to work for White Wolf and created the VTM game for them based off of his work with Shadowrun. He just changed the dice d10s, changed traits and pools to fit the WOD setting.

In the early days of SR and WOD there was a lot of player migration as the two systems were so close it made it easy for players to pick up if they knew the other.

Nowadays. Well, I see a lot of Pathfinder, and DnD in work camps. I have my group of core SR players... but I don't see a lot of WOD players....
Mind you, work camps are not a good place to get an idea of the health of community, as its RPGs still relatively new to work camps. (and construction workers are not known for tabletopping... unless its at a strip club, but then it takes on a new meaning)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <09-08-20/1322:08>
I guess the difference there is that in the comments, there's more than 1-2 people talking about how the new edition is the best so far.

Anecodotal.

My experience is 180 to this, I don't know a single person that is playing 6e and most of the srun players I know have either abandoned it entirely or are sticking with an earlier edition (4e or 5e).

The only people I know that are actually playing 6e are a couple people on this board, and that is it.
And of those people I can't think of single one that prefers it to 5e.

The only yardstick to measure the full extent of 6e's failure is sales numbers, and everything I have seen looks pretty piss poor so far.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <09-08-20/1345:08>
I don't really have a good view on that community, either. Most of my exposure to systems outside of D&D has come from the internet. I don't go to cons, I don't hang out at the FLGS, and I haven't done an IRL game since college.

In fact, even in middle school I got all of my D&D books by continuously renewing my loans at the library.

It's easy for me to look in front of my face and say "oh, the internet is where I find all of the gamers, therefore it is the community," when it really might be just one part of the community. There probably are plenty of other groups out there who never go to the FLGS or even the CGL website, they just continuously renew their loans at the library for the old 2e core book. They're part of the "playerbase," even though the way they feed into the economy is very indirect (Libraries may purchase books based on usage statistics, but it could be that 1-2 copies of a book are covering a dozen middle schoolers playing the same game for years).

And then of course there's folks who buy from used book stores (Me in high school when I finally got a job), or who will eventually look at online communities or purchase directly from the vendor. Tons of lurkers, too- I joke about there being 5 people on the official forums but my survey got 16 responses from here. Even assuming a generous 10% response rate for people who saw the link, that's a ton of lurkers!

It's really hard to judge the whole of a playerbase

I guess the difference there is that in the comments, there's more than 1-2 people talking about how the new edition is the best so far.

Anecodotal.

My experience is 180 to this, I don't know a single person that is playing 6e and most of the srun players I know have either abandoned it entirely or are sticking with an earlier edition (4e or 5e).

The only people I know that are actually playing 6e are a couple people on this board, and that is it.
And of those people I can't think of single one that prefers it to 5e.

The only yardstick to measure the full extent of 6e's failure is sales numbers, and everything I have seen looks pretty piss poor so far.

True. It was an exaggeration- the point was more that the comments about 4e on that webcomic were mixed, whereas comments about 6e tend to be almost universally negative in every forum except this one. I don't pretend to do statistical analysis on every social media forum I visit.

I should've included in my survey "which edition do you play." I'm technically giving it another day for responses, but this is the spread on how many people said they "like" SR 6e:

Source__________Yes__It's Complicated__No__Total Respondents
Overall8165478
Official Forums36716
Dumpshock101617
/r/Shadowrun4103044
ZeeMastermind0011

"Liking" an edition isn't the same as playing it. I might like variable TNs, but I'm going to have a hard time finding a group to play 2e. Still, it's fair to say that if someone "likes" an edition that they'd play it if circumstances aligned.

Someone decided to fill in my reddit username for the "where did you come from" section instead of selecting reddit, which messes up my excel stuff. We can probably assume they came from reddit.

I didn't fill out the survey, but- I dislike both 5e and 6e. I prefer 6e over 5e, if only because it isn't 5e. Given the choice, I would play a different edition entirely. (I like SitS, of course, but I am still hoping that there's a usable crunchy hack out there somewhere for SR...)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Banshee on <09-08-20/1421:02>
Well purely based on Gencon 2019 ... 6E is attractive to new players, unfortunately we did not have a true con season this year so the statistics are not too usable... but if there is direct correlation between participants in the virtual cons this year that is proportionate to a real con then I would say that the trend is true for 2020 as well.

We sold-out in mere minutes (twice since we added events) and there was still a lot of demand... just not enough capacity.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-08-20/1449:23>
Clearly outcomes are going to vary, but I haven’t gamed this much sense right after college. I could easily have a game ever night of the week and twice on Saturday and Sunday. So yeah gaming is for sure happening. While dead tree books maybe down, and honestly given Amazon I’m not at all sure that’s true, at very least online sale would only be strengthened currently. A product doesn’t have to be quality to be successful. A system can have holes big enough to drive trucks through and still return big profits, or a system can be really great and still utterly fail. That’s business, I’m sure everyone here has seen both of those things happen. In the end did the company make enough profit to make it worth keeping on going with IP is the only meaningful outcome.


I think this is true for a while but leaving aside any debate about rules the poor editorial values are going to continue to shed customers. For myself I spent a fair bit of money on 5e and I kept thinking they would fix the editing problems but it never really happened and the quality never really improved even in the new products. 

As MC says there are a ton of good systems out there edited and designed by people who actually know what they're doing. There's also plenty of setting material in existence for Shadowrun. I don't really need to give CGL any more money if they can't produce better quality material. Running Shadowrun in a decent ruleset really isn't hard. I truly feel for the freelancers that produce work for this game. I think they deserve better.

I look at it as Shadowrun has been a dying IP for the last 15 years. (Since WizKids got the licence)
With the printing of 4th edition it has been nothing but a downward spiral for the brand with every new edition driving away more and more of the fans that made it a big name in the RPG industry. The took a unique and beloved combat system and made it the current generic system that was popular at the time. A trend that has continued to this day. 6th is just the next failure in this 15 year run.

Another issues that has plagued Shadowrun is when it was first made. Due to the timing and the tech of the time, Shadowrun now comes off as very old-school cyberpunk truing to shoehorn in modern-day tech.

It may be a unpopular opinion but at this time IMHO Shadowrun either needs a reset or to just be shelved. In its current stated there is just to much baggage for new players and the system will not appeal to old players. And CGL needs to stop trying to follow trends and chase after the simplistic rules crowd who, after working in a game store I can tell you have the attention span of a moth, and remember the fans that supported them all these years and try to make a game that they will like.

Just my 2 cents.

Pre ill say 5? I don't think they needed a reboot.  They just needed for Tech to actually advance. They game was set in 2050 now its 2080 and cyber/bioware seems pretty much exactly the same. Like don't get me wrong a pistol today isn't that different from one 30 years ago but new tech like cyber/bioware I'd expect rapid advancement. No, they just keep it static, they refuse to change things as reprinting the same material many times with the same bad language is easier than inventing something new. Cyber should be so bad ass that there is no question it is the equal to magic. So at this point yeah, the game and its tech needs a reboot.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <09-08-20/1457:36>
Given how hostility towards SR6 also turns off new players that bought SR6, those polls cannot be representative unfortunately. Only CGL can say how well SR6 does compared to SR5, and any knowledge I have of said comparison falls strictly behind NDA, which I have no intent to break.

Why this topic keeps coming back month after month, despite there being nothing new to really say except for people going once again 'yeah but I really think SR6 sucks and Shadowrun is dying', as if they WANT the entire franchise to disappear, is beyond me.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <09-08-20/1529:29>
One thing to consider oB is timing.

When 4e came out, it was after almost a 3 year SR dry spell. Yea there was a couple of 'end of line books' (SOTA 2064),  but it eas clear they were written while still under FASA.

So there was some goodwill and egerness for anything SR.

Sadly, 4e (original) was filled with errors, and editing FUBARs. It was 4eA that got SR4e praise (if fleeting,) But even 4e had issues (matrix, gun modding, nanotech).

5e got some praise from the "grognards" (like me) for a return to some missing concepts (like deckers actually working)...
But also drew some massive hate as well... (Reddit spend about 6 months coming in to scream bloody murder)...

Now 6e comes out.... and well, I don't own it yet, so I have no comment on its quality.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <09-08-20/1539:43>
Given how hostility towards SR6 also turns off new players that bought SR6, those polls cannot be representative unfortunately. Only CGL can say how well SR6 does compared to SR5, and any knowledge I have of said comparison falls strictly behind NDA, which I have no intent to break.

I think the issue Michael points out is an issue with a lot of polls: it's only a good representation of the opinions of who are polled.

Even with the smaller populations, I'm still getting 95% confidence ranges that are +/-10% or even +/-20% for the sample sizes themselves.

So, I can say for sure "X percent of people who participated in the poll said Y."

I can say with less certainty, that "X percent (+/- Y%) of people in Z population say W, with 95% confidence." By including the confidence level, at least, I am being honest with what the results represent.

It would be incredibly irresponsible to say that "X percent of people say Y," if I'm only polling a specific subset of a population (IE, users of three internet communities are not necessarily representative of the SR community as a whole). Not to mention, in a volunteer poll like this there may be bias towards people with strong opinions about something- people who don't care one way or another may not participate.

In an ideal poll, one would also sample some of the other communities listed (Facebook, ShadowRN, RPG Net). Or, they might send out a survey to all purchasers of a product. I didn't really feel like doing the first (I do have a day job), and the second one would require a mailing list of everyone who purchased the product- I don't think even CGL has that. They have a mailing list, but I get the feeling this might be biased in the other direction.

The poll itself does not measure how well the product does. I did include questions about whether someone had bought any CRB prior to 6e, and whether someone had bought a CRB for 6e, but neither of these are going to be useful for determining total sales of 6e. They're not even a good comparison for sales of 6e compared to previous editions, since I said ANY edition (Someone who bought a 1e CRB and never bought another book is in the same category as someone who bought every book for 5e).

You can compare the DTRPG sales of 6e to 5e, but that's going to be tricky even now since a lot of TTRPGs get revenue from the "long tail," basically, the sales that come in months to years after their initial release. You can compare what both books looked like at the 3-month, 6-month, and 1-year mark, but even then that's not going to be reliable since DTRPG was not as prevalent 5-10 years ago. I'm sure 3e is under-represented, if only because if you already have a hard copy of a book, you're less inclined to get a PDF, especially if you no longer play that edition.

The important thing is not to make any wild assumptions. You can state the results of the actual data you got in context. You can provide an estimate on how that relates to a wider population. You absolutely cannot twist it to represent something else, or to make an assertive point about the population as a whole. It's too easy to twist things if you take them out of context.

I disagree that only CGL knows how well a system is received or how well it sells. We can make solid estimates of online sales and how online communities received it.

I don't think anyone is under the impression that all of /r/shadowrun loves 6e, and it's just a couple of weirdos who don't like it. I don't think anyone is under the impression that DTRPG sales aren't an indicator of how well a product is doing. We may not be able to extrapolate total sales from it, but if we see that one book sold over a 1000 copies an DTRPG, and one book sold 50, the book that sold 1000+ copies is most likely selling better across all platforms than the book that sold 50 copies. Of course, if the book that sold 50 copies was the 3.5e PHB for DND, we can add in the same factors as we did for SR 3e.

Statements like your "Given how hostility towards SR6 also turns off new players that bought SR6," and adzling's anecdotes (Which he marked as anecdotal) aren't the best estimates.

Quote
Why this topic keeps coming back month after month, despite there being nothing new to really say except for people going once again 'yeah but I really think SR6 sucks and Shadowrun is dying', as if they WANT the entire franchise to disappear, is beyond me.

If the topic isn't interesting to you, don't participate? I don't think anyone should stop playing 5e just because I don't like it, and if I'm not going to go into threads about 5e and tell them that their conversation is pointless and they should all switch to another edition instead. I thought with it being the 1 year anniversary of 6e's release, it might be an alright time to look at how things have changed.

I doubt this conversation has any effect on the brand as a whole. And honestly, I can't take it seriously whenever anyone talks about an IP being destroyed. CGL isn't "destroying" SR, the community isn't "destroying" SR. Unless Hardy is literally breaking into your house and ripping pages out of your old core rulebooks, they're not going anywhere. I think it's fine to expect quality updates to a product you like, but if you don't like something you don't buy it. Maybe you stick to playing the old stuff, or maybe you move on to some other fandom.

One thing to consider oB is timing.

When 4e came out, it was after almost a 3 year SR dry spell. Yea there was a couple of 'end of line books' (SOTA 2064),  but it eas clear they were written while still under FASA.

So there was some goodwill and egerness for anything SR.

Sadly, 4e (original) was filled with errors, and editing FUBARs. It was 4eA that got SR4e praise (if fleeting,) But even 4e had issues (matrix, gun modding, nanotech).

5e got some praise from the "grognards" (like me) for a return to some missing concepts (like deckers actually working)...
But also drew some massive hate as well... (Reddit spend about 6 months coming in to scream bloody murder)...

Now 6e comes out.... and well, I don't own it yet, so I have no comment on its quality.

If you do get it, I recommend the PDF. The german edition is supposed to be better as well, if you speak german of course.

That is definitely something to consider- when 6e was released, there was still a lot of irritation from the community towards CGL. The fact that I even know what the heck the pool renovation thing was about is probably a testament to that: I wasn't around the community at the time, and I don't post all that much on dumpshock. But CGL was already disliked by a lot of /r/shadowrun, which meant that they had a higher bar. And then 6e releases, with the same editing mistakes that 5e had, on top of all the "change bad" things that people will dislike regardless of the rule quality. I also recall a few 5e freelancers being surprised at 6e's release, since they hadn't heard anything about it or been contacted to write it. So, there was more talent loss like after the embezzlement fiasco.

I would say this definitely had some effects on the lore. I'm still irritated that every S-K Johnson goes by Brackhaus, that kind of defeats the purpose of Brackhaus. (The 30 Nights run with 3 different Brackhauses running around was funny, tho).
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <09-08-20/1604:47>
And then 6e releases, with the same editing mistakes that 5e had, on top of all the "change bad" things that people will dislike regardless of the rule quality.

I'd like to see some evidence that this has any bearing on 6e's reception.

I have never heard anyone say anything to this effect and as one of the more anti-6e folks I can attest nothing could be further from the truth for me and the folks I know.

5e desperately needed rationalizing, streamlining and improvements in the decker and rigger areas.

That's change that could have greatly improved the game.

Instead we got nu-edge.

If 6e had not implemented nu-edge and instead focussed on fixing the broken stuff in 5e and streamlining where possible I would still be buying all the shadowrun products produced.

Heck if they had deleted 5e entirely and replaced it with a better system i'd still likely by buying everything that came out.

It's not that folks don't like change, it's that they don't like shit sandwiches.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <09-08-20/1610:05>
I don't think anyone is under the impression that all of /r/shadowrun loves 6e, and it's just a couple of weirdos who don't like it. I don't think anyone is under the impression that DTRPG sales aren't an indicator of how well a product is doing.

Lol oB, you give some of these fools WAY too much credit. Jab aside, your posts always seem logic driven rather than emotion driven, and I appreciate your perspectives.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lormyr on <09-08-20/1612:06>
It's not that folks don't like change, it's that they don't like shit sandwiches.

Mostly ^.

Though I do think there is some change that will be difficult for some people to swallow, sacred cows and what not.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Mr Johnson on <09-08-20/1621:33>

Instead we got nu-edge.

If 6e had not implemented nu-edge and instead focussed on fixing the broken stuff in 5e and streamlining where possible I would still be buying all the shadowrun products produced.

Or just implemented something close to as good as D&D 5E advantage. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: jim1701 on <09-08-20/1722:59>
And then 6e releases, with the same editing mistakes that 5e had, on top of all the "change bad" things that people will dislike regardless of the rule quality.

I'd like to see some evidence that this has any bearing on 6e's reception.

I have never heard anyone say anything to this effect and as one of the more anti-6e folks I can attest nothing could be further from the truth for me and the folks I know.

5e desperately needed rationalizing, streamlining and improvements in the decker and rigger areas.

That's change that could have greatly improved the game.

Instead we got nu-edge.

If 6e had not implemented nu-edge and instead focussed on fixing the broken stuff in 5e and streamlining where possible I would still be buying all the shadowrun products produced.

Heck if they had deleted 5e entirely and replaced it with a better system i'd still likely by buying everything that came out.

It's not that folks don't like change, it's that they don't like shit sandwiches.

Well I am one person to whom the poor editing in 5th edition was a lot more of a put off to me than questionable rule design.  I can deal with rules I don't like.  What I will not deal with is the need to proofread and revise a book I paid for that's full of grade school errors, missing references, references that no longer apply but got copied and pasted from the old version and so on.  I don't know if 6e is as bad as 5e but I have no motivation to find out.  I gave enough money to CGL already for shoddy product. 

The 4A edition is a good example.  There was some odd rules choices in that edition but it was damned well written and edited.  It was a snap to house rule stuff I didn't like.  If 5e had kept every design decision and just been put together as well as 4A then I'd have already bought 6e by now. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-08-20/1812:51>
And then 6e releases, with the same editing mistakes that 5e had, on top of all the "change bad" things that people will dislike regardless of the rule quality.

I'd like to see some evidence that this has any bearing on 6e's reception.

I have never heard anyone say anything to this effect and as one of the more anti-6e folks I can attest nothing could be further from the truth for me and the folks I know.

5e desperately needed rationalizing, streamlining and improvements in the decker and rigger areas.

That's change that could have greatly improved the game.

Instead we got nu-edge.

If 6e had not implemented nu-edge and instead focussed on fixing the broken stuff in 5e and streamlining where possible I would still be buying all the shadowrun products produced.

Heck if they had deleted 5e entirely and replaced it with a better system i'd still likely by buying everything that came out.

It's not that folks don't like change, it's that they don't like shit sandwiches.

Well I am one person to whom the poor editing in 5th edition was a lot more of a put off to me than questionable rule design.  I can deal with rules I don't like.  What I will not deal with is the need to proofread and revise a book I paid for that's full of grade school errors, missing references, references that no longer apply but got copied and pasted from the old version and so on.  I don't know if 6e is as bad as 5e but I have no motivation to find out.  I gave enough money to CGL already for shoddy product. 

The 4A edition is a good example.  There was some odd rules choices in that edition but it was damned well written and edited.  It was a snap to house rule stuff I didn't like.  If 5e had kept every design decision and just been put together as well as 4A then I'd have already bought 6e by now.

No one likes crap editing so I don't think that was his focus. I think he was focusing more on the change bad part as it seems to boil down complaints into just not liking change instead of it being a actual mechanically worse rules system for them.  If you switch from a steak to tofu its not disliking change that is your complaint, but that you got tofu.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: adzling on <09-08-20/1904:02>
No one likes crap editing so I don't think that was his focus. I think he was focusing more on the change bad part as it seems to boil down complaints into just not liking change instead of it being a actual mechanically worse rules system for them.  If you switch from a steak to tofu its not disliking change that is your complaint, but that you got tofu.

Thank you shinobi.

For all the people saying that the poor reception of 6e is because people don't like change please provide some evidence of this if you want to be taken seriously.

To date I have not heard anyone, zero, zilch express that the reason they don't like 6e is because it's different.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: tenchi2a on <09-08-20/1933:38>

I look at it as Shadowrun has been a dying IP for the last 15 years. (Since WizKids got the licence)
With the printing of 4th edition it has been nothing but a downward spiral for the brand with every new edition driving away more and more of the fans that made it a big name in the RPG industry. The took a unique and beloved combat system and made it the current generic system that was popular at the time. A trend that has continued to this day. 6th is just the next failure in this 15 year run.

Another issues that has plagued Shadowrun is when it was first made. Due to the timing and the tech of the time, Shadowrun now comes off as very old-school cyberpunk truing to shoehorn in modern-day tech.

It may be a unpopular opinion but at this time IMHO Shadowrun either needs a reset or to just be shelved. In its current stated there is just to much baggage for new players and the system will not appeal to old players. And CGL needs to stop trying to follow trends and chase after the simplistic rules crowd who, after working in a game store I can tell you have the attention span of a moth, and remember the fans that supported them all these years and try to make a game that they will like.

Just my 2 cents.

I would be interested in hearing of your store experience, just to see if it lines up with what I am getting told by my buddies at my local store....

Because i am hearing the exact same thing. DnD 5e may be a huge seller, but it appears to be driving a HUGE rift into its own audience....
(For the record, I don't play dnd 5e. so this is all anecdotal). Apparently what is happening at my store is they have had to basically divide the players into 3 groups...
Larpers, Old skool players. and "first timers"...

The old Skool players (those that have been around for multiple DnD editions) can't stand the whining and complaining of the "new Players" (those that came in during 5e), and "New Players" hate the old skool players because they are "set in their ways and won't change"

And the Larpers just seem to drive both groups nuts...


Not sure what is happening to western media in general.... my Shops Comic section has gone from a 50 foot long by 8 foot high wall, to just a 5 by 5 foot rack, while the manga section has gone from 4 by 4 foot shelf to a 20 foot along wall...

The RPG section has shrunk a fair bit.... But Board games have expanded, as well as his section of East Asian books, games, and puzzles. Now some of this makes sense as we have a huge East Asian community... but the board game increase really surprised me... (the comic and manga thing, not so much...)


1. What I tended to see was new players who would buy the latest new shinny game, play it for one or two sessions then they where on to the next new shinny game. We had very little repeat business within any of the systems from the new players. Which my boss didn't mind since they where still buying new games all the time.
2. They would try a new game and once you got anywhere past "roll dice, roll (higher/lower) then target number", their eyes would glass over and they would start to say the game was to hard or to crunchy.
3. And the major ones for me and a lot of are older gamers was "That setting is stupid, they need to change it" ,"I'm offended by that game it needs to be changed" Or my absolute favorite was having one of the new players (Had only been in once before) come up to me and threaten to never comeback and tell their friends not to shop there (None of their friends did shop at are store) if we did not stop some players from playing a game because it offended them.

Overall we gained very few new RPG gamers from the walk-in crowd (they where mostly card or boadgame), most new RPG gamers where brought in by are older gamers (friends/kids).

The funny thing about #2-3 is that these seem to be the groups that most RPG game companies are designing games for these days. So all you get is a large corebook sale and maybe 1-2 supplements, then their off to the next game. Not a model client base to build a RPGgame off of, but great for game Store sales lol.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <09-08-20/2006:08>
And then 6e releases, with the same editing mistakes that 5e had, on top of all the "change bad" things that people will dislike regardless of the rule quality.

I'd like to see some evidence that this has any bearing on 6e's reception.

I have never heard anyone say anything to this effect and as one of the more anti-6e folks I can attest nothing could be further from the truth for me and the folks I know.

5e desperately needed rationalizing, streamlining and improvements in the decker and rigger areas.

That's change that could have greatly improved the game.

Instead we got nu-edge.

If 6e had not implemented nu-edge and instead focussed on fixing the broken stuff in 5e and streamlining where possible I would still be buying all the shadowrun products produced.

Heck if they had deleted 5e entirely and replaced it with a better system i'd still likely by buying everything that came out.

It's not that folks don't like change, it's that they don't like shit sandwiches.

Agree on all, and I should be more clear. I think it's fair to say that even if Edge was a well-designed mechanic, there would be people who disliked it because it was different. People disliked going from variable TN to fixed TN (See the comic I posted earlier for reference if you want 4e fanpro discourse), even though fixed TN is easier to balance.

However, comma, the changes made were not of good quality, so they failed on both counts (Designing good mechanics and appeasing the "old guard"). Like you said- if the new system was good, you'd have been fine with it, even if an improved 5.5e was what you really wanted.

There were some comments on the survey that seemed more like a dislike of design choices: "oversimplification" came up a few times, as did a dislike of combat not being realistic anymore. One person commented on a dislike in the shift in tone (With black lodge, cthulhu, etc.) Someone literally said "Changes too many things for the worse," which could be taken either way. I suppose you could argue that all of those changes are "actual bad," and I'd probably agree on a few. However, I want realistic combat if I'm using a crunchy system, and I want the plot to stay on a consistent tone (I like me an Earthdawn throwback once an awhile, but all the time? Eh. I also prefer cyberpunk and postcyberpunk to transhumanism, or at least prefer transhumanism in Eclipse Phase).

I don't think anyone is under the impression that all of /r/shadowrun loves 6e, and it's just a couple of weirdos who don't like it. I don't think anyone is under the impression that DTRPG sales aren't an indicator of how well a product is doing.

Lol oB, you give some of these fools WAY too much credit. Jab aside, your posts always seem logic driven rather than emotion driven, and I appreciate your perspectives.

Thanks!  :D
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: penllawen on <09-08-20/2028:06>
Someone literally said "Changes too many things for the worse," which could be taken either way.
I think that was me!

If it was, what I intended to say was pretty much what adzling said upthread. IMO the bar for “best edition of Shadowrun” is pretty low. They all have a multitude of serious flaws. 6e changed lots of things, but it mostly changed things that were alright and made them worse, while leaving untouched heaps of stuff that was bad.

I’d have been excited about 5.5e, streamlined and edited like 4e20A. I’d have been equally excited about Anarchy 2.0, with the rough edges filed down and the gaps filed. What we got was... not something that excited me.

(I will continue to temper this with acknowledgement that there are ideas in 6e I think are good, in isolation, and have made it into my 5e games. The skill list. The Matrix. Single-pass initiative, although I changed that a lot for my 5e table.)
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-08-20/2137:53>
I said something similar as well. And I mean that not in a change is bad sense. But each rule when I look at is worse outside for me, the notable exception the new turn mechanic. While I personally prefer the pass systems and especially 2es system, my table likes this one so I consider that a positive change. But, weapon damages, strength and melee, the entire magic chapter, even the skills could basically making them all groups work and be good sure, but it makes it stand out the karma disparity between skills and attributes even more and it stopping at 9 with specialization/expertise going past that, which I don't like the new specialization/expertise system, the edge system and I didn't really like the 5e edge system, matrix overall though I think its core is better than 5es core, but we were x years into 5e with a ton of patches through supplements, how races work in priority I get the intent but it feels like they lost their identity, the priority system overall which again I'm not a fan of to begin with so you didn't have to do much for me to see it as an improvement.

But, its what missions will be doing so I'm kind of stuck for my online game of it.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: topcat on <09-09-20/1017:50>
I find that 6E discussions mostly take place with people who haven't played it or really even looked beyond a few early reviews that hit the biggest changes in the game (e.g. combat axe pixies).  A massive portion of players never got past that and, likely, won't.

When looking at the rules, it helps to break it into pieces.  I like SR6's take on augmentations far more than any prior version.  Same with the action economy.  The changes to spellcasting, decking, sprites, skills, nuyen costs, firearms... I like all of that.

The priority table is absolutely awful.  Need to rebalance attributes, because right now it's best summarized as Triple-A: Always Attributes A.  The karma and performance equivalents are far out of balance.  SR6 will be much better the second they drop a karmagen or pointgen option.

I despise "big bullet" autofire where you are less likely to hit the target, but do massive damage if you do.  SR5 had this right.

I don't like removing STR from melee weapon damage.  Just a mess all around.

Summoning changes were good, but they desperately need to rebalance SR6 spirits.  Yikes.

Trading modifiers for Edge?  Meh.  The modifiers needed a lot of work, they were a mess.  I don't mind Edge, but the Edge Actions superpowers were a bad move.  The 2-Edge limit?  Again, meh.  Not thrilled, but I wasn't in love with TableRun either.

AR/DR?  I'm okay with SR6's armor class solution, but personally prefer armor as soak, even if the net result is similar.  SR5 got this right.  If I have to do AR/DR, I remove Edge from the game and add (AR-DR) to the attacker's pool.  If one party has a net advantage, give that many rerolls.  Simplified, no broken (or useless) superpowers, each individual point of armor matters, and it's clean.

So there is some bad, but the good changes outweigh those for me.  SR is a game of awful systems and SR6 is what I consider the best of a bunch of bad choices.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: wraith on <09-17-20/0029:35>
Given how hostility towards SR6 also turns off new players that bought SR6, those polls cannot be representative unfortunately. Only CGL can say how well SR6 does compared to SR5, and any knowledge I have of said comparison falls strictly behind NDA, which I have no intent to break.

Why this topic keeps coming back month after month, despite there being nothing new to really say except for people going once again 'yeah but I really think SR6 sucks and Shadowrun is dying', as if they WANT the entire franchise to disappear, is beyond me.

Whatever excuse makes you feel better defending a badly flawed product, mate.  Look at the results, people haven't stopped liking, or playing SR, just panned the direction the current staff has taken the game.

It never ceases to amuse me that I have a fair collection of well put together and well written RPGs on my shelf that came out of Kickstarters with modest budgets, but a known name in the tradgames business working on an extremely well known property for a tabletop game can't manage to put in a similar level of editing, layout, or rules testing.

Of course, there's always 7th Sea 2e as a comparison, for a well-funded kickstarter that overpromised, delivered an incoherent and mechanically broken mess, and eventually drove the creator into selling the property entirely to Chaosium because of the costs of meeting his stated goals was too high.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shadowjack on <09-27-20/1615:27>
My 6E journey went like this:

1. Excitement and eagerness for change
2. Edge revamp seemed cool, I was willing to overlook the strength issue and other things because the rules were trimmed down a lot overall imo
3. Happy about lots of improvements to the game
4. Ran a campaign that lasted for about seven session and was action packed and awesome
5. Problems arose. I began to dislike some of the rules such as edge and overly complex magic and matrix, confusion with guns accessories that come with certain guns, lots of little issues sprung up.
6. My lenience with the strength change faded, I couldn't accept it any longer.
7. The sheer number of errors in the book turned me off heavily, it's just too frequent.
8. My campaign died and we did not manage to get another one going. My  brother never even made one because he gave up on CGL and now he doesn't even want to play Shadowrun anymore because we've been trying for many years to make the bad rules work.
9. Now we have completely left Shadowrun. I only tune in for updates but have no interest in any novels, which I plan to one day own all of.
10. The future looks bleak. Not even sure I will buy seventh edition because I have completely lost faith in CGL. The only way I'd return, most likely, is if the rules were rebuilt from the ground up and made a lot simpler. Crunchy rules can be good but they need to be written properly, less rules means less room for error and a cleaner game. Sell something functional and practical, not a giant mess.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Mustakrakish on <09-27-20/1802:25>
Discovering recently the amazing work FASA did with Earthdawn 4e, I would pay a lot to see what they would have done with Shadowrun if they could. It's a shame that such a titan of the TTRPG genre falls so hard. But I have faith in the community and I know that if companies can't make it good we will make it good.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <09-28-20/2008:22>
10. The future looks bleak. Not even sure I will buy seventh edition because I have completely lost faith in CGL. The only way I'd return, most likely, is if the rules were rebuilt from the ground up and made a lot simpler. Crunchy rules can be good but they need to be written properly, less rules means less room for error and a cleaner game. Sell something functional and practical, not a giant mess.

Clear and concise rules are also a lot easier to "patch" if you don't like something. I don't think you can please everybody, but being clear in your own ideas and your own system will go a long way.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: jim1701 on <09-28-20/2108:34>
10. The future looks bleak. Not even sure I will buy seventh edition because I have completely lost faith in CGL. The only way I'd return, most likely, is if the rules were rebuilt from the ground up and made a lot simpler. Crunchy rules can be good but they need to be written properly, less rules means less room for error and a cleaner game. Sell something functional and practical, not a giant mess.

Clear and concise rules are also a lot easier to "patch" if you don't like something. I don't think you can please everybody, but being clear in your own ideas and your own system will go a long way.

This.  I probably would give 6e a shot if I hadn't found 5e to be such a hot mess. 
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Lethrendis on <09-29-20/0438:26>
It's such a mess of contradictory criticism, in some cases it seems unfair to me. I can say for myself that I don't know the perfect rules of any game (and I know enough of them), but I like Shadowrun and I've played most editions since the second.

So to upset the dissidents here, I don't think the rules are bad. I like the new Edge and some overall simplification (it could be bigger). We play this RAI with a minimum of houserules. The initial disorder was largely rectified, and Banshee answered the Matrix. We adjusted the few remaining things in the group. If you want to manage, you can do it.

We have played in SR6E for tens of hours and so far we have not encountered a problem that would be unsolvable. The games are good and fun.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Michael Chandra on <09-29-20/0530:45>
Ooooh, could you PM me your houserules with motivation? I didn't get to touch SR6 much during lockdown, so curious to what other people's experiences are.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Marcus on <10-03-20/0929:52>
My 6E journey went like this:

1. Excitement and eagerness for change
2. Edge revamp seemed cool, I was willing to overlook the strength issue and other things because the rules were trimmed down a lot overall imo
3. Happy about lots of improvements to the game
4. Ran a campaign that lasted for about seven session and was action packed and awesome
5. Problems arose. I began to dislike some of the rules such as edge and overly complex magic and matrix, confusion with guns accessories that come with certain guns, lots of little issues sprung up.
6. My lenience with the strength change faded, I couldn't accept it any longer.
7. The sheer number of errors in the book turned me off heavily, it's just too frequent.
8. My campaign died and we did not manage to get another one going. My  brother never even made one because he gave up on CGL and now he doesn't even want to play Shadowrun anymore because we've been trying for many years to make the bad rules work.
9. Now we have completely left Shadowrun. I only tune in for updates but have no interest in any novels, which I plan to one day own all of.
10. The future looks bleak. Not even sure I will buy seventh edition because I have completely lost faith in CGL. The only way I'd return, most likely, is if the rules were rebuilt from the ground up and made a lot simpler. Crunchy rules can be good but they need to be written properly, less rules means less room for error and a cleaner game. Sell something functional and practical, not a giant mess.

I think this is a story that has happened to a good number of folks. Peeps showed up excited by the concept of the new edition, and then had come apart with more regular use.

To me the way forward is simply revise your games back to your preferred previous edition.

To me 3rd or 4th are our most complete editions.  We have everything that came out for them, and we can easily build complete and complex campaigns with those completed rules sets.

If folks are unhappy with the current writing then go back to before they took over. It's a simple and straight forward solution to the problem.


Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <10-03-20/1036:18>

I think this is a story that has happened to a good number of folks. Peeps showed up excited by the concept of the new edition, and then had come apart with more regular use.

To me the way forward is simply revise your games back to your preferred previous edition.

To me 3rd or 4th are our most complete editions.  We have everything that came out for them, and we can easily build complete and complex campaigns with those completed rules sets.

If folks are unhappy with the current writing then go back to before they took over. It's a simple and straight forward solution to the problem.

Ideally yes.  Current editions have a certain power though. The missions for example will be designed for them, so people who do those are kind of stuck. When I run things I mainly use published materials, but I'm okay using a 6e mission and turning it into a 3e run.  Its some work, but less than building one from scratch and I'm just too damn tired to make my own adventure from scratch every week. I wonder how many current 6e players are playing it not because it is their favorite edition but just because it is the current one. I guess a similar question on the other side would be how many players playing older editions never gave the current one a shot, or just aren't playing it because not enough material has been created for it yet.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Mustakrakish on <10-03-20/1830:50>
I will keep going with 5e. I think it's good enough if you know how to filter the rules when they just hinder the flow of the game. Though, I am tempted to return to 2nd and 3rd. 6e just rubbed me the wrong way from the get-go, the rules are weird, and even the book design. I do hope that Shadowrun will see better days in the future, and I hope that maybe there are some fan projects that my be worth looking at. Maybe 5.5e? :P
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: FastJack on <10-03-20/2222:55>
A post has been removed and another edited due to trying to bring Real-world politics into this thread. The poster has been warned.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <10-03-20/2256:20>

I think this is a story that has happened to a good number of folks. Peeps showed up excited by the concept of the new edition, and then had come apart with more regular use.

To me the way forward is simply revise your games back to your preferred previous edition.

To me 3rd or 4th are our most complete editions.  We have everything that came out for them, and we can easily build complete and complex campaigns with those completed rules sets.

If folks are unhappy with the current writing then go back to before they took over. It's a simple and straight forward solution to the problem.

Ideally yes.  Current editions have a certain power though. The missions for example will be designed for them, so people who do those are kind of stuck. When I run things I mainly use published materials, but I'm okay using a 6e mission and turning it into a 3e run.  Its some work, but less than building one from scratch and I'm just too damn tired to make my own adventure from scratch every week. I wonder how many current 6e players are playing it not because it is their favorite edition but just because it is the current one. I guess a similar question on the other side would be how many players playing older editions never gave the current one a shot, or just aren't playing it because not enough material has been created for it yet.

See, for me, I have never really used any of the published adventures :P
Yes, I have them and have read them, but they are never a good fit to the group that players have created for various reasons. So, I have often had to rely on creating my own adventures, some times right on the fly, for my table. And after years of doing so, I have gotten pretty good at it..

So, for me and GMs like me, The Edition changes that happen are more or less just a chance to try something new, and see if we like and enjoy the new meta...
Often times, we stick to the new material just for ease... But if something really upsets us, we can just revert back to an older edition and continue on. And for Shadowrun, where the plot is mostly meta, the rules under which the "world plot" advances doesn't matter... IF "world plot" even matters to your table....


Plot often is the first casualty of contact with Players..
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: 0B on <10-04-20/0016:04>

I think this is a story that has happened to a good number of folks. Peeps showed up excited by the concept of the new edition, and then had come apart with more regular use.

To me the way forward is simply revise your games back to your preferred previous edition.

To me 3rd or 4th are our most complete editions.  We have everything that came out for them, and we can easily build complete and complex campaigns with those completed rules sets.

If folks are unhappy with the current writing then go back to before they took over. It's a simple and straight forward solution to the problem.

Ideally yes.  Current editions have a certain power though. The missions for example will be designed for them, so people who do those are kind of stuck. When I run things I mainly use published materials, but I'm okay using a 6e mission and turning it into a 3e run.  Its some work, but less than building one from scratch and I'm just too damn tired to make my own adventure from scratch every week. I wonder how many current 6e players are playing it not because it is their favorite edition but just because it is the current one. I guess a similar question on the other side would be how many players playing older editions never gave the current one a shot, or just aren't playing it because not enough material has been created for it yet.

See, for me, I have never really used any of the published adventures :P
Yes, I have them and have read them, but they are never a good fit to the group that players have created for various reasons. So, I have often had to rely on creating my own adventures, some times right on the fly, for my table. And after years of doing so, I have gotten pretty good at it..

So, for me and GMs like me, The Edition changes that happen are more or less just a chance to try something new, and see if we like and enjoy the new meta...
Often times, we stick to the new material just for ease... But if something really upsets us, we can just revert back to an older edition and continue on. And for Shadowrun, where the plot is mostly meta, the rules under which the "world plot" advances doesn't matter... IF "world plot" even matters to your table....


Plot often is the first casualty of contact with Players..

I agree wholeheartedly with this. That's why I really like the more "loose" plot of Anarchy, Chicago Chaos, and even 30 Nights to a certain extent. There are so many runs in 30 Nights that you could easily transpose into elsewhere in a campaign. I don't think I'd ever want to run 30 Nights as-is, but there's a ton of material waiting to be harvested for other situations.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <10-04-20/0154:01>

I think this is a story that has happened to a good number of folks. Peeps showed up excited by the concept of the new edition, and then had come apart with more regular use.

To me the way forward is simply revise your games back to your preferred previous edition.

To me 3rd or 4th are our most complete editions.  We have everything that came out for them, and we can easily build complete and complex campaigns with those completed rules sets.

If folks are unhappy with the current writing then go back to before they took over. It's a simple and straight forward solution to the problem.

Ideally yes.  Current editions have a certain power though. The missions for example will be designed for them, so people who do those are kind of stuck. When I run things I mainly use published materials, but I'm okay using a 6e mission and turning it into a 3e run.  Its some work, but less than building one from scratch and I'm just too damn tired to make my own adventure from scratch every week. I wonder how many current 6e players are playing it not because it is their favorite edition but just because it is the current one. I guess a similar question on the other side would be how many players playing older editions never gave the current one a shot, or just aren't playing it because not enough material has been created for it yet.

See, for me, I have never really used any of the published adventures :P
Yes, I have them and have read them, but they are never a good fit to the group that players have created for various reasons. So, I have often had to rely on creating my own adventures, some times right on the fly, for my table. And after years of doing so, I have gotten pretty good at it..

So, for me and GMs like me, The Edition changes that happen are more or less just a chance to try something new, and see if we like and enjoy the new meta...
Often times, we stick to the new material just for ease... But if something really upsets us, we can just revert back to an older edition and continue on. And for Shadowrun, where the plot is mostly meta, the rules under which the "world plot" advances doesn't matter... IF "world plot" even matters to your table....


Plot often is the first casualty of contact with Players..

If I had the energy I'd make my own. I have a sleep disorder and most nights watching TV takes too much energy.
Title: Re: State of 6e today
Post by: Reaver on <10-04-20/0448:38>

I think this is a story that has happened to a good number of folks. Peeps showed up excited by the concept of the new edition, and then had come apart with more regular use.

To me the way forward is simply revise your games back to your preferred previous edition.

To me 3rd or 4th are our most complete editions.  We have everything that came out for them, and we can easily build complete and complex campaigns with those completed rules sets.

If folks are unhappy with the current writing then go back to before they took over. It's a simple and straight forward solution to the problem.

Ideally yes.  Current editions have a certain power though. The missions for example will be designed for them, so people who do those are kind of stuck. When I run things I mainly use published materials, but I'm okay using a 6e mission and turning it into a 3e run.  Its some work, but less than building one from scratch and I'm just too damn tired to make my own adventure from scratch every week. I wonder how many current 6e players are playing it not because it is their favorite edition but just because it is the current one. I guess a similar question on the other side would be how many players playing older editions never gave the current one a shot, or just aren't playing it because not enough material has been created for it yet.

See, for me, I have never really used any of the published adventures :P
Yes, I have them and have read them, but they are never a good fit to the group that players have created for various reasons. So, I have often had to rely on creating my own adventures, some times right on the fly, for my table. And after years of doing so, I have gotten pretty good at it..

So, for me and GMs like me, The Edition changes that happen are more or less just a chance to try something new, and see if we like and enjoy the new meta...
Often times, we stick to the new material just for ease... But if something really upsets us, we can just revert back to an older edition and continue on. And for Shadowrun, where the plot is mostly meta, the rules under which the "world plot" advances doesn't matter... IF "world plot" even matters to your table....


Plot often is the first casualty of contact with Players..

If I had the energy I'd make my own. I have a sleep disorder and most nights watching TV takes too much energy.

If it helps,  i generally take notes for adventures all through out the day, be tgat something at work, in the news, in a book, etc.

Then, during lunch breaks, I go through the ideas and discard any that I can't work the whole team into, in less then 30 seconds. (This usually gets me down to 2 or 3 ideas).
Next I develop the ideas over the next few days into 'rough runs'. Nothing fancy, just the goals, number of puzzles/encounters I expect.
From there, its just 'fill in the blanks'...

Mind you, this style works best right out of the gate with a fresh party. That way you can datamine adventure ideas from the best source first - the Player's Characters.
Players usually always have some back story for their characters. Most of it is unusable, fanfic nonsense.... but there are some gems in thete that can be mined.... like that high loyalty contact, or even just the name in that high quality Fake SIN a player has.... with enough imagination, and boredom, just about anything a player writes down can be an effective hook that leads to a whole rabbit hole of adventures.....

Trust me.... a little imagination, a little effort,  and a little creativity: yiu got yourself YEARS of game time from the same characters....
I posted a few "drop in" runs for GMs in the GM section a couple of yeats ago now (Seras has expanded on them). They are worth a look to see what I mean. None of those took me more then an hour to set up, or if you need help, hit me up.