Shadowrun

Catalyst Game Labs => Catalyst's Shadowrun Products => Topic started by: DarkLloyd on (17:32:04/11-21-11)

Title: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: DarkLloyd on (17:32:04/11-21-11)
I'm surprised this wasn't up already.  Those of you that are gonna get this in PDF start spilling and let the "DOOOOOOOOOM"s commence.

Also when is the DTF of this coming out? In time for Christmas perhaps?????
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: JM_Hardy on (18:22:09/11-21-11)
I'm surprised this wasn't up already.  Those of you that are gonna get this in PDF start spilling and let the "DOOOOOOOOOM"s commence.

Also when is the DTF of this coming out? In time for Christmas perhaps?????

I had an announcement in the Official Announcements sub-forum (http://forums.shadowrun4.com/index.php?topic=5456.0)--check out the discussion there!

And it's in the printers hands now, but getting it in stores by Christmas is highly unlikely. If you're looking for DTF Shadowrun for Christmas, look at Artifacts Unbound, New Dawn, and Anarchy: Subsidized.

Jason H.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (19:25:44/11-21-11)
How about "Anarchy in the UK:  Subsidized"?  ;D
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: FastJack on (19:36:27/11-21-11)
How about "Anarchy in the UK:  Subsidized"?  ;D
Linky (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp-92QUPGBE)
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (21:05:27/11-21-11)
I'm surprised this wasn't up already.  Those of you that are gonna get this in PDF start spilling and let the "DOOOOOOOOOM"s commence.

Also when is the DTF of this coming out? In time for Christmas perhaps? ??? ?

I had an announcement in the Official Announcements sub-forum (http://forums.shadowrun4.com/index.php?topic=5456.0)--check out the discussion there!

And it's in the printers hands now, but getting it in stores by Christmas is highly unlikely. If you're looking for DTF Shadowrun for Christmas, look at Artifacts Unbound, New Dawn, and Anarchy: Subsidized.

Jason H.
Don't forget that Wired recommended Runner's Toolkit, which I also heartily endorse.


EDIT: Screw that. Buy MY books: Spy Games, Street Legends, Artifacts Unbound, or the Conspiracy Theories PDF.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: JM_Hardy on (23:48:19/11-21-11)
I was a little worried about how easy Runner's Toolkit would be to find--we sold them out of the warehouse pretty quick. So if you find one in stores, it's not a bad idea to snatch it up …

Jason H.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (03:36:29/11-22-11)
But if you don't, buy mine.

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (06:16:03/11-22-11)
I was a little worried about how easy Runner's Toolkit would be to find--we sold them out of the warehouse pretty quick. So if you find one in stores, it's not a bad idea to snatch it up …

Jason H.
Better order some more, it might be a good post-Christmas Gift.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: JM_Hardy on (08:22:25/11-22-11)
I was a little worried about how easy Runner's Toolkit would be to find--we sold them out of the warehouse pretty quick. So if you find one in stores, it's not a bad idea to snatch it up …

Jason H.
Better order some more, it might be a good post-Christmas Gift.

Yeah, that process was underway pretty much as soon as they sold out, but it's been made trickier by the effort to get everything produced in the States. If we can pull that off, then the reprint becomes available in fairly short order, without having to wait for the dreaded slow boat from China.

Jason H.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: FastJack on (09:21:00/11-22-11)
I was a little worried about how easy Runner's Toolkit would be to find--we sold them out of the warehouse pretty quick. So if you find one in stores, it's not a bad idea to snatch it up …

Jason H.
Better order some more, it might be a good post-Christmas Gift.

Yeah, that process was underway pretty much as soon as they sold out, but it's been made trickier by the effort to get everything produced in the States. If we can pull that off, then the reprint becomes available in fairly short order, without having to wait for the dreaded slow boat from China.

Jason H.
Or worse yet, the overseas shipping from Canada. ;)
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: JM_Hardy on (10:33:58/11-22-11)
Or worse yet, the overseas shipping from Canada. ;)

We find that shipments from Canada tend to get delayed by becoming stuck in the rivers of maple syrup.

Jason H.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: nakano on (10:40:27/11-22-11)
Or worse yet, the overseas shipping from Canada. ;)

We find that shipments from Canada tend to get delayed by becoming stuck in the rivers of maple syrup.

Jason H.

If you were lucky they would return the empty shipping containers back to you with Canadian Beer!

Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (10:53:48/11-22-11)
Or worse yet, the overseas shipping from Canada. ;)
We find that shipments from Canada tend to get delayed by becoming stuck in the rivers of maple syrup.

Jason H.
Yeah, that isn't going to happen again.  We found out that the "Montreal Maple Syrup Party" didn't have as much effect as the US had with the "Boston Tea Party".  It also only held up the Saint Lawrence River, but the backlog of everything...  Well, it was like Research In Motion losing their node in England.  It just ballooned from there.

(BTW:  The "Overseas Shipping To Canada" joke FastJack references is a true story I had to experience once.  PM me if you want the details.  Bring Pepto Bismol).
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: DarkLloyd on (10:56:32/11-22-11)
Ahh, srry I missed that JM. Yeah, I snagged all the print stuff out at Gencon, well my freind did for me, except for Artifacts Unbound, New Dawn, and Anarchy: Subsidized. My GM put the BANHAMMER on those..... lol. So until we get done with the artifacts campagin and do the Horizon one I'll have to wait on those. But I'll pick them up after that.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Digital_Viking on (11:30:35/11-22-11)
"Montreal Maple Syrup Party"

And I just found a new name for my folk/death metal band.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (11:35:27/11-22-11)
"Montreal Maple Syrup Party"
And I just found a new name for my folk/death metal band.
Just remember, they have to sing in both official languages of Canada.  English and Newfie.  ...  I meant French.  I did.  Honest.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Black on (15:40:54/11-22-11)
So when are the reviews going to start coming in?

I've picked up in PDF from from http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/ and have read the opening fiction.  Still keen to read the rest, but alas, this 'work' thing is getting in my way. 

Quick thoughts on the opening fiction.  Interesting stuff, but I did find it a might confusing.  Who was Fastjack talking to?

Anyways, looking forward to reading the rest of the book.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (16:29:53/11-22-11)

Quick thoughts on the opening fiction.  Interesting stuff, but I did find it a might confusing.  Who was Fastjack talking to?


Don't worry about it.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: bobo69 on (16:54:36/11-22-11)
Well as far as I gather, the Bug Spirits get even more threatening...mainly because of the fallout of Crash 2.0 as Ares was experimenting on captured Queen spirits and bugs from Chicago. The Crash messed up the computer systems of the experimental sites. After a few days, Ares sent teams to recover these sites and what they found that many of Ares's top notich black ops agents were missing from those sites and the Queens got away. After that, the Bugs are suddenly more devious and infiltrating areas even more using black ops methods.

So its mainly the fault of Ares that the Bugs are coming back even as a worse threat.

Another big thing in the book is the relationship between dragons as there seems to be a dragon civil war looming due to the actions of Sirrurg and him being branded as a war criminal in the UN due to Alamaise. Alamaise also destroyed Saeder Krupp's arcology in Dubai after one of Alamaise's most trusted people got assasinated presumably under orders from Lofwyr. This ties in to Sirrurg getting kicked out of Amazonia and moving to Roswell New Mexico as Sirrurg is planning some new atrocity on the CAS to get CAS to attack Aztlan. Aztlan and CAS forces are massing on the Aztlan CAS borders.

More info on the Black Lodge and its struggles to control the world governments. The Black Lodge is a scary powerful magical group, probably the most powerful in the world. Fortunately, it is opposed by several groups most notably the Illuminates of the New Dawn who want to create a new magicla paradigm combining magic and tech and putting the metahumans on the next stage of evolution. Unfortunately these guys are preety reckless and dangerous in their experimentations. The black lodge already has influence deep in the UCAS gov. and probably many other govs. around the world but its membership seems to be anti elven. In fact, its elven membership was purged several years ago.

The main difference between the Black Lodge and the Illuminates of the New Dawn is that the Black Lodge seems to be human centric while the New Dawn is pro metahuman.

Another main one is the Corporates getting fucked...their Omega protocols were stolen...the omega protocols detail secret codes, military units and facilities which can would be used in case the corporate court decides the smash one of their members or another corp. Also Ares is starting to go down, their weapons are starting to fail along with that Bug debacle.

A lesser interesting conspiracy are that of True Vampires who supposedly have a space station on the Zurich Orbital axis. True vampries are born between the mating of two vampires. They should be exceedingly rare or even a mutation since vampires are infertile. However True Vampries are the strongest of the breed.

Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (19:04:20/11-22-11)
It was Hestaby that was speaking out against Sirrurg at the UN.

But yes, the rest of that is right. Hestaby's interpreter was assassinated, and she went buckwild on some SK properties (though she made sure the facilities had time to evacuate before obliterating them). Ares is falling to pieces, in no small part due to Knight thinking he can control the bugs, and being very, very wrong. The bugs are getting smarter, and are adapting. The Corporate Court's 'football' has been compromised, and there's all kinds of crazy going down with the dragons, artifacts, and the always tense relations between the Azzies and, well, everyone.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (20:13:21/11-22-11)
*Blinks*  Must.  Have.

On the bright side, Christmas is coming early, so I'll be able to get soon.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (20:13:33/11-22-11)
So its mainly the fault of Ares that the Bugs are coming back even as a worse threat.
It's been their fault repeatedly because they kept half-assing the job in Chicago, which only culled the weak.


Damocles and the Wall going up was one thing, but Operation: Extermination was a joke.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (20:16:16/11-22-11)
So its mainly the fault of Ares that the Bugs are coming back even as a worse threat.
It's been their fault repeatedly because they kept half-assing the job in Chicago, which only culled the weak.
They're soldiers, not exterminators...  How the hell were they supposed to know it would only make them immune to that kind of toxin?  :P

No, you need to call the Ghostbusters when you have bugs that big.  "Someone saw a Cockroach up on twelfth."  "That's some Cockroach."  "Bite your head off, man."
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: bobo69 on (20:58:45/11-22-11)
Forgot:

Shows the Aftermath of the fiction in Artifacts Unbound....well everybody survived except for Aina Dupree. Maybe she is kaput since she absorbed the blast of the rift.

So Ghostwalker has the Sextant, the map and all of the other artifacts...in Conspiracy theories...the other main groups are still looking for them and looks like they won't get it.

Good luck trying to retrieve them from Ghost walker.

Interesting seems like Sirrurg has the coin of luck.

If I were to make a prediction, looks like Sirrurg might get offed. The dragon is a loose cannon, one that the dragons cannot afford to have.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (21:00:25/11-22-11)
Offing a Great...  Makes for a bad precedent amongst the immortals.  One I don't think they'd like at all.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: bobo69 on (21:27:34/11-22-11)
True offing one of the great dragons is actually a major topic in the book since it will bring the Great Dragons together to retailiate against everyone else...unfortunately when one of their number(sirrurg) is acting like a mad dog and killing everyone else,,I think they will make an exception.

Hestaby's speech in the UN was a strike against Sirrurg..I think its her way of saying that Sirrurg went too far.

Yeah the Great dragons are powerful, however are the Great dragons powerful enough to take on All the major countries, the Corporate Court, and the other conspiracies combined?

Maybe but the whole earth would be destroyed in the process...something that the Great Dragons do not want.

As for the CAS, looks like they are itching for a war with Aztlan...the CAS said that any strike by Sirrurg on the CAS will be blamed on Aztlan.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (23:46:23/11-22-11)
And that's ignoring the Immortal Elves, who hate dragons with a passion.

Even Harley and Dunkie who got along were of the idea, "I might have to kill him someday..."
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (02:08:01/11-23-11)
I wouldn't say that the Great Dragons and the Immortal Elves hate eachother with a passion. More like they are two groups of immortal schemers who have plans over the long term that may work at cross purposes. They are all ruthless, and would not hesitate to try and undermine or eliminate a rival if they got in the way of their own plans, but that isn't the same thing as hate. If there is one thing a schemer dislikes above all others, it is an element beyond their control.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: FastJack on (08:12:04/11-23-11)
I remember, back in the day, (that's right kiddies, it's story time!) when I first started tooling around with Shadowrun (1st Edition, of course), my first character was a Human PhysAdept that had discovered, on his own, the elven Paths through initiation. He planned on taking a trip to Tír na nÓg to let them know he was on the Path of the Rígh (although not as a protector of the Tír).
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Black on (15:39:44/11-23-11)
So... how many of these 'conspiracis' can you link into one massive cinemanic story?
 
[spoiler]We have Sirrug causing mathem, Hestaby speaking out publicly and then getting into a (fake?) fight with Lowfry... Aztlan is causing trouble as well, and the most powerful (potentially) tool for keeping the peace, the Corporate Court, just lost their ability to act fast.  Throw in a more organised 'body snatchers' version of the bugs, who may or may not be getting close to taking control of... hmmm... Ares (and maybe they stole the 'football' and are trying to set Dragon against Dragon?)

I think the Dragons are playing things so that they can somehow 'teach' Aztlan a lesson... They may have even organised the 'football's' disappearance... perhaps via S-K.  Lowfry looks like his had a falling out with Hestiby and thus distance himself from the attack on Aztlan while still supporting it.  And the rest of the corp court can only sit by while the info in the 'football' is used to obliterate one of their own.[/spoiler]

Note: so far only up to the 'football' chapter...  Very nice...
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Wakshaani on (22:46:17/11-23-11)
Waiting for the dead tree version is gonna kill me, isn't it?

Grump.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (22:54:00/11-23-11)
Yep.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Neurosis on (01:51:03/11-24-11)
And that's ignoring the Immortal Elves, who hate dragons with a passion.

Even Harley and Dunkie who got along were of the idea, "I might have to kill him someday..."

Let me just say I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembered that toss-off line from so many years ago. : )
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Bull on (01:57:12/11-24-11)
There are theories about that line, BTW...  I even fed the original FASA theory to Jason when I was in Seattle a few weeks ago, and he loved it. 

However, I won't say anything here, in case he decides to run with it down the line.  But remind me later, Devon, and I'll fill you in.

Bull
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (01:59:55/11-24-11)
/grits teeth waiting for reviews of DeeCee
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: FastJack on (09:32:04/11-24-11)
/grits teeth waiting for reviews of DeeCee
Sorry, been trying to read between the lines for more information on PENDRAGON. ;)
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: nakano on (11:55:44/11-25-11)
Finished my first read through of Conspiracy Theories this morning and overall I am impressed.  Very little crunch but a tonne of fluff that makes for an intersting read and gives a solid update of the post Artifacts world.  I very much enjoyed the Washington and London segments and can see trips to both locales for my players in the near future.  Overall the product was money well spent, though I must say personally I hated the style of the cover art. 
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Nath on (10:54:47/11-27-11)
Conspiray Theories is 176 pages long. It breaks down in two 4 pages-long short stories and one 5 pages-long, 68 pages on conspiracy theories proper, 33 pages on London, 45 pages on Washington, 6 pages of "plot hooks" (half a page long adventure resumés) and 8 pages on magic rituals. Current date is now october 2073.

Conspiracy Theories is the kind of book I like: background. I don't care a lot about gear or NPC book, or adventures. The chapter breakdown is good, clearly an improvement over War! and Spy Games (indeed, YMMV). It provides the same kind of background than the old Threats, in a much denser format that I like better, along with major locations. I still missed quite a few things (more on that below). But overall, I'd rate it as good.

CT somehow pairs with Spy Games. SG featured its own small chapter on conspiracy theories (with Skulls & Bones, Number Stations) and a few pages on London, while CT covers Washington, which would qualify as a hotspot for spies. It also a follow-up to Artifacts Unbound: a third or so of CT is basically a follow-up to "All-Seing Eye" adventure and "Praxis" short story (Ewan Corcoran and the United Bank of Panama from "Give the Devil His Due" also receive a lot of attention, to make it clear they're the new bad guys).

The first main chapter on conspiracy theories is about the serious theory: the dragon civil war, bug spirits, the Corporate Court, Ares Macrotechnology, Aztlan geopolitics and the Black Lodge. On dragons, there's nothing new if you read Street Legends. Which I would consider a good thing since some people may not be interest in buying a NPC book to learn about the ongoing plots.
I'm a bit uncertain about bug spirits. CT goes on to explain how they're now trying to infiltrate the world. But depending on how you actually played them (or masters shedim) in the past, it may not look so new. As a gamemaster, I knew Ares experimented on bugs since Threats 2, so the only real news is Snopes is starting seeing a bug infiltrator in every fixer he doesn't know, and that the bugs may get a more prominent role in the following books.

Bugs are far from being Ares only problem. To put it simply, Ares is the new Fuchi. Knight, Vogel and Aurelius each established their own turf within the corp (security, space and media) and fight for power. On top of that, the Washington chapter has UCAS President Colloton clearly opposed to Ares. Like Fuchi, you got to wonder if this is not setting the stage for Ares fall.

About Aztlan, CT keeps on teasing on how CAS and Aztlan will go at war, though not much happen.

Back in the days of Threats, the Black Lodge numbered among the most secret conspiracies. Unlike even the Ordo Maximus or the Bugs, it didn't even have a legal facade, and it faced strong disbelief from the Shadowland users. In CT, the Black Lodge has become a casual topic. People openly talk about it on Hyde Park Speakers' Corner, and it seems everybody in London already knew about it in the 2040ies (one British MP is even "widely reputed" to be a member). Everyone admit its existence, and the Black Lodge now seems about as secret as your average freemasons. It doesn't help that, since there is no Game Information section, every idea the authors wanted to suggest has to be voiced in context, making it like the Jackpoint community knows way too much.

The second chapter is about more silly ideas, like, Dunkelzahn is still alive, or Zurich Orbital is run by reincarnated gnomes. It's still interesting as, it puts things into perspective about what is believable and what is known, and introduces some not-so-crazy ideas, like the reason what harvested organs are still needed to replace those of the leonized people, and how alien intelligence are involved in the building of Aztechnology pyramids (which is not completely wrong wen you think about it). The chapter is fun, but also interesting on how you should introduce Shadowrun actual secrets next to false theories, as a reminder that the people of the Sixth World maybe shouldn't take any claim of immortal beings and magical conspiracies at face value.

London and Washington chapter share a common objective : conspiracy theories and locations description somehow take a backseat to history and power players (don't worry though, there are still more than a decent share of locations description).
There is nothing really new in London since the Sixth World Almanac and Spy Games. What we get are more details on the players and the background. The big plots seem to be the feud between Neonet, HKB and S-K for influence over the new government, and the Lambeth area projects. But it's a bit difficult to tell, as the chapter doesn't put a clear emphasis on them, or at least not one I was able to grasp.
Washington has a fun history section, which pushed back the beginning of Shadowrun modern alternate history to the Irangate, which forced Vice-president Georges Bush to resign (interestingly enough, while Bush was "only" DCI and Vice-president and resigned over such scandal, the CIA headquarters is nonetheless the Georges H. W. Bush Center of Intelligence according to SOTA:2063). And so Michael Dukakis went on to become the next president. Also, Aldrich Ames (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldrich_ames) has been caught as early as 1986. It looks like someone's using SR history to settle some scores.
Washington major plots are related to the usual political struggle and the artifacts. There's a few pages on the New Revolution, but it seems the intent is to establish as canon the New Revolution is mostly dead and gone, that they were manipulated, that General Angela Colloton never ever was a member and that Fastjack will vote for her. And this felt completely out of place for a book called Conspiracy Theories.

I can't help thinking the final chapter on Magic Rituals simply don't belong here. It should have been in Artifacts Unbound. It provides quite interesting information on the use of the artifacts and the reason they're wanted. Did someone got late on delivery schedule? Or AU wordcount got past the limit?


What's not in

Maps. CT doesn't feature any map of London or Washington. It's less of a problem than it was for Bogota in War! or would have been for Denver in Spy Games (where control zones were fairly important and do not appear on Google Maps or whatever). But the lack of map made the reading a bit less pleasant, as I didn't wanted to have Google Earth running in the background to check where 18th Street exactly is. At least I have some memories of Washington general layout (having traveled there in the past, and set several adventures also) but it may not be the case for everyone, especially non-US audience.

Game Information. There's no clear information for the gamemaster to read from an objective point of view. So, as said above, a lot of times Jackpoint users casually gives away critical informations as if everyone on Earth knew.

Matrix conspiracies. Either serious or stupid ones, there are no conspiracy theories about AI or technomancers. Well, that's not exactly true. There is one actually, but in the Shadowtown Showdown short story.

The Ordo Maximus. There are two chapters on conspiracy theories, one on London, but the Ordo Maximus is mentioned exactly twice. Here's the entirety of what CT has on them : "[After 2047] The people began to recognize that the true enemy was British nobility and the secret societies pulling the strings. In the streets, people began to speak openly about groups such as Ordo Maximus, the Illuminati, and the Black Lodge." (page 93) and "This theory is intrinsically tied to the belief that there is some vampiric cabal, such as the Ordo Maximus, seeking to control the world, an idea Mr. De Vries has been pitching to those of us in the shadows for almost twenty years." (page 140).

Immortal elves. The expression is used, but never explained. What and who they are, how many of them there is, what type of immortality (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Immortality) do they enjoy (Lugh Surehand didn't even had Immunity to Age in Street Legends)... the topic has not been touched upon in a sourcebook since Threats in 1996. Authors (and I guess, a lot of forums regulars) assume everyone know about them, but I'm far from sure. Conspiracy Theories would have been the perfect opportunity to give a recap.
It's also assumed the reader know or will bother to check what CID, CAPs and "Dips" are. Washington chapter is akin to Spy Games in this regard (somewhat expected for the alphabet soup capital...). We're told about the HEAD and "blood lust" several pages before getting to know what they actually are.

There is nothing new on the Nightwraith strike, no mention at all of the four assassinations of 2016 (when US and Russian presidents and UK and Israel prime ministers were assassinated a few weeks apart). As SR timeline goes on, those stories starts getting really old, but I can't help not being a bit disappointed for a book called Conspiracy Theories. Not sure if the authors did not care or did not dare.


My usual nitpicking

There are two references to a NBCNN news channel (pages 38 and 46). I guess it's intended to be a merger of National Broadcasting Corporation and SR NewsNet. In the past (Shadowbeat, Corporate Download, System Failure), SR writers were using ABS, CBC and NBS as replacement for ABC, CBS and NBC (however, Emergence already refered to NBC). NBS was an Ares Macrotechnology subsidiary. NewsNet belonged to the Hisato-Turner Broadcasting group, which was taken over by Horizon. If NBS and MBC is the same company, the merger can be explained if NBS/C was part of Truman Technologies holding that Ares sold to Horizon.

Ares called its latest battle rifle "Excalibur". Few people will remember that there already was an Ares Excalibur in SOTA:2063, except it was a self-propelled howitzer, similar to the Steyr-Daimler Kreuzritter. Has nanotechnology gone too far, or has Ares Arms marketing department run out of idea ?

Page 40 - "In fact, from what I have been told, they have yet to be busted by border patrols from nearly sixteen different countries, including the Sioux Nation, which still has the feared Wildcats guarding its borders."
Special forces -more precisely, what all fluff so far described as the most badass special forces in the Sixth World-used to patrol borders? I guess it explains why so many of them end up leaving and signing with Knight Errant.

Page 46 - "Both Aztlan and Amazonia have filed protests with the United Nations, citing that the stolen footage from the UCAS satellite has caused grave harm to their respective countries’ war efforts."
Either the United Nations Charter was rewritten a lot, or the Aztlan and Amazonian governments need to reread it. The UN charter basically makes any war unlawful. There only are UN-sanctioned armed operations to restore peace. In the best case, Aztlan may argue the ongoing operations are the continuation of the operations against the South American cartels, which were sanctioned by the UN.

"Page 91 - The Royal London Police needed the assistance of NDM druids—the so-called Templars—to end the battle."
It mixes up two things. The NDM is the New Druidic Movement, a political party. The Templars was the nickname of the Lord Protector Office agents. The Lord Protector Marchment belonged to the NDM, so there might have been other NDM members in the LPO (especially awakened following the druidic tradition), but those nonetheless are two different things.

London Sourcebook and Shadows of Europe never suggested the "Templars" name of the Lord Protector office agents was anything else than slang (their office is near Temple Church in London). CT insists a lot on a connection with the actual Knights Templars. It similarly insist on a link between the Vatican and Cross Seraphim (if you ask me, I always found such straight use of biblical code name was too disrespectful for devout catholics ; the Seraphim heads being the Quebec lodge of the Black Lodge, on the other hand, considering the Vigilia Evangelica and Knights Templars connection...).

Page 123 - "The Thirteenth Amendment to the UCAS Constitution recognized the right of corporations to demand the repatriation of their citizens under the Business Recognition Accords."
According to the Neo-anarchist Guide to North America, the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 2036. According to Corporate Download, the Corporate Court invited nations to sign Business Recognition Accords in 2042.

Page 129 - "The IRS was one of the keystone agencies involved in the Echo Mirage program for several reasons. First, the U.S. considers revenue collection to be an existential function. Without the Internet, that capability was crippled."
According to rulebooks (1st, 2nd, 3Rd and 4th edition), CIA, NSA and IRS pooled their resources in Echo Mirage before the Crash, before Internet was threatened.

Page 131 - "UCAS Marshals tactical teams carried out enforcement actions against several corporations and a couple of governments."
UCAS Marshals operations against foreign governments? Oh my god, the congressional hearing would have be fun. But I fail to see the reason why the administration would ever use Marshal for such action instead of the armed forces, CIA or NSA.

Page 134 - "In the defense industry, Keruba, Federated-Boeing, and Esprit were the big winners, while Ares was very obviously the biggest loser."
So far, Keruba name has never been used outside of historical reference to Renraku's past. As far as Blood in the Boardroom, Renraku management ditched most of the original Keruba consortium in the late 2040ies (the exception being Izom Armaments and possibly Gaz-Niki). Keruba hasn't been listed as a current subsidiary or brand name of Renraku in Corporate Download or Corporate Guide. But it wouldn't be the first time a corporation resurrect a decades-old brand. On the other hand, a few pages later (pages 147), CT rather has Renraku Asia subsidiary Terracotta Armaments present in FDC.

Page 160 - "The current vice president owes her career to Pritchard, as does Speaker Ellis and many other Republicans."
Notwithstanding the fact -now known by everyone on Jackpoint- that Speaker of the House Joseph Ellis is not only a member of the Black Lodge, but the head of the UCAS Congressmen lodge. Funny how nobody bring that up after the Black Lodge became such a casual topic. That, or the Black Lodge is far less powerful that we were led to believe, and its highest ranking member still need help from some canuck girl help to rise to powerful positions.


Side notes

CT makes no mention of the idea that the Illuminates of the New Dawn could be splitters of the Black Lodge, as it was suggested (but left to the Gamemaster to decide) in Threats Game Information.

18% of Immortals Exposed site users believe Jonathon Reed is the leader of the immortal elves. That's less than Nadja Daviar (21%) but more than Lugh Surehand himself (15%). Funnily enough, I doubt many people even among SR most hardcore fans who Reed was before the release of Street Legends and Artifacts Unbound. It looks like prince Reed is the new favorite NPC of someone.

Harlequin has Excalibur -the sword, not the battle riffle or the self-propelled howitzer- according to Man-of-Many-Names (which I found to be quite out of character in the wording of that particular post, but maybe it's just me).

The Dwight D. Eisenhower International Airport (formerly Dulles) and the area around, now called Eisenhower City, are run by Ares Macrotechnology. Irony intended I guess, considering the "military-industrial complex" address.

Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: All4BigGuns on (11:38:29/11-27-11)
Personally, when I see a new book come out for a game, I want to see a good amount of what I see referred to here as 'crunchy'. If I don't see at least 40%, I tend to write the book off as 'not worth the price' and move along trying to find a book that's more useful when making a character. Story fluff can be good, yes, but I doubt that I'm the only one who determines 'worthiness to buy' by that.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Zen Shooter on (14:50:48/11-29-11)
My reaction to CT is lukewarm. First of all, a lot of the material isn't about conspiracy theories in the sense of "The CIA hired Bigfoot to sell your uterus to the mothership". Sections like "A Great Dragon Civil War", "The Corporate Court: Stolen Protocols", and "Ares: The Beginning of the End?" (which, mysteriously, does not appear in the PDF bookmarks...coincidence?), are just rumors about the usual pushing and shoving that goes on in the Sixth World, albeit at a very high level.

"Magic Rituals" is material that should have been released as a stand-alone PDF supplement to Dawn of the Artifacts. It's useless and unintelligible without DotA, and, frankly, I skipped DotA because I don't like premade adventures and I don't like high fantasy being jammed into my cyberpunk/low urban fantasy hybrid.

I also don't like metaplot. Shadowrun has been using more and more of it, and I wonder why. I've never met a single gamer who ever said, "Do you know what I love? Metaplot. Do you know what I want a second helping of? Metaplot." On the contrary, I used to hear endless complaints about the metaplot in the classic World of Darkness, and then I heard endless complaints when they threw it out the window and replaced it with the new World of Darkness. If the 6th World gets remade by a global bug outbreak, or Dragon War III, or the sudden appearance of extraterrestrial civilizations, then the shark will have been jumped.

And finally, little of the material in CT is confirmed or disconfirmed for the gamemaster. Is this really happening or not? Yes sure, maybe it is, maybe it isn't...it's a conspiracy theory. But as the GM, it would help me a lot if I knew.

Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: FastJack on (15:24:03/11-29-11)
Do you know what I love? Metaplot. From Shadowrun Immortal Elves to the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere to Cormyrian Heraldry of Faerûn to the detailed Lightsaber forms in use by Jedi Masters to the uprising of the Secret Lodge in the Pathfinder Society in Golarion to what the watermelon is for in Buckaroo Banzai.

Ironically, it sounds to me that the detailed setting of Shadowrun is not the setting you want to run your games in. If so, that's fine! There's nothing wrong with buying a game specifically for its rules and use them to tell your own stories. But, speaking for those of us that love this stuff, don't try to say that there aren't gamers that love metaplot. Because there are and we're here.

Edit: Oh, and also the reason they are plot "hooks" and not adventures is because it's totally up to the GM to determine whether or not they are true, or if they even exist as anything more than a rumor in their game.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Patrick Goodman on (15:25:40/11-29-11)
I also don't like metaplot. Shadowrun has been using more and more of it, and I wonder why.
Because an overwhelming amount of noise has been made that we, the writers, and CGL, the producers, have been ignoring metaplot. We've been accused of sacrificing the continuing story and metaplot for at least the past couple of years (which claim is patently ridiculous, but it's there).

We also think it's one of the things that sets the game apart from a number of other RPGs, and we like it. It's been a part of the game for 22 years and counting; there's not a compelling reason to not keep doing it.
Quote
And finally, little of the material in CT is confirmed or disconfirmed for the gamemaster. Is this really happening or not? Yes sure, maybe it is, maybe it isn't...it's a conspiracy theory. But as the GM, it would help me a lot if I knew.
It's your game. Is it or isn't it? You tell us. We're not going to send the Game Police to your door and take your books away if you go a different direction than we do.

It's really not our mandate, especially with a book like this one, to tell you which is real and which isn't. Especially since some of it's not decided yet.

There, I've said it, the cat's out of the bag: There's no Ultimate Big Story Guide to the Future. The metaplot isn't planned out with mathematical precision for the next decade and a half. Typically, we've got a very rough map to about a tenth of that amount of time at any given moment. Even then, if someone comes along and says, "Hey, don't you think it would be cool if we did thus-and-so here?", that map can go by the wayside for a while, to be returned to later, once the cool detour's made.

We can't tell you which ones are real and which are not because, for the most part, we don't know. We haven't decided yet. Always in motion, the future is.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (16:56:03/11-29-11)
There's been metaplot for 22 years. Why change now?
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (17:35:04/11-29-11)
There's been metaplot for 22 years. Why change now?
Because people are buying RPGs that require you buy foil booster packs and tap cards in order to activate powers, and has no storyline aside from dungeon-to-dungeon.  :P
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (19:16:16/11-29-11)
Because you say Role-playing Game to most people, and the first thing they think of is World of Warcraft, Skyrim, or City of Heroes.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Bull on (19:22:32/11-29-11)
One of the Shadowrun products a lot of people really liked was the Denver Boxed Set.  partly because it came with neat stuff (The Border Passes, maps, etc).  And partly because the book actually gave several "answers" to every mystery in Denver, and never flagged any one of them as being correct.

I'm a little confused about the metaplot discussion and complaint myself, because as has been pointed out, Shadowrun has always been metaplot heavy.  And yes, people do love Shadowrun specifically for that.  For many, many years we saw people commenting that they would buy the books just to read the flavor and the background and the plots, but never played.  (Usually, the complicated SR2/3 system was cited as the reason, which was one of the motivating factors behind the rules shift in SR4).

Bull
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Grinder on (19:38:17/11-29-11)
There, I've said it, the cat's out of the bag: There's no Ultimate Big Story Guide to the Future. The metaplot isn't planned out with mathematical precision for the next decade and a half. Typically, we've got a very rough map to about a tenth of that amount of time at any given moment. Even then, if someone comes along and says, "Hey, don't you think it would be cool if we did thus-and-so here?", that map can go by the wayside for a while, to be returned to later, once the cool detour's made.

We can't tell you which ones are real and which are not because, for the most part, we don't know. We haven't decided yet. Always in motion, the future is.

You're kidding, don't you?

Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Bull on (20:10:38/11-29-11)
You're kidding, don't you?

Hehe.  Only partly. :)

Every writer has long term ideas and goals.  And every writer will lay seeds down in their work, hoping to some day grow and harvest those ideas.  But...  It doesn't always pan out that way.  Sometimes you never get to.  Sometimes the develoepr decides he doesn't want the plot to go that direction.  And sometimes a different writer picks up the ball and heads in a totally different direction than you were thinking. 

That's the nature of a collaborative world, sometimes.

Now, there's one other thing that most of us do with Shadowrun...  We're like Johnny Appleseed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Appleseed).  We just wander around and drop ideas into the game, with no firm idea in mind.  Sometimes we'll pick the thread back up later on if something comes to us, sometimes it's just an open hook for Gms to build off of.  And sometimes it's something for other writers to play with.

The majority of Portfolio of a Dragon was written with no real "explanation" for most of the will items.  There were a few things planned out, but for the most part it was just Steve Kenson and Mike Mulvihill (With input from a few others) dumping a box of Legos on the floor, and then sitting back to see what folks built out of them.

Shadowrun is such a vast, open world, that's one of the neat things about the game is that you can do that, without ruining the game. 

So I'd say it's about 50/50...  About half the stuff we write?  There are long term goals.  the other 50%?  Just open territory to play with,

Bull
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (20:42:43/11-29-11)
Because you say Role-playing Game to most people, and the first thing they think of is World of Warcraft, Skyrim, or City of Heroes.
And when you explain the difference, they go, "Isn't that very anti-social?"  "As...  Anti-social as being alone at your computer chatting to people over a microphone, or being with friends around a table?"  "Oh...  Still doesn't sound terribly social."  *Headdesk*
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Patrick Goodman on (00:38:25/11-30-11)
We can't tell you which ones are real and which are not because, for the most part, we don't know. We haven't decided yet. Always in motion, the future is.

You're kidding, don't you?
Not particularly, no. Maybe a bit with the Yoda quote, but not about there being no highly-detailed road map. There's not. There never has been. Signposts, various possible destinations, some more-or-less vague pathways to get to those destinations, yeah...but there has never been a detailed, decade-plus long Super Secret Metaplot Document.

When the game was still at FASA, Mike Mulvihill would occasionally send out freelancer documents with various product specs and the like. One of those documents...and I think I still have it somewhere....was the closest thing to a roadmap of that sort I'd ever seen. It covered about 18 months worth of planned products, and that was it. A year and half, and exactly one of those books was actually carved in stone (that book was Year of the Comet, which as it turned out was a far cry from what Mike had planned for).

A few of the general ideas for books on that document came to pass, but they were nothing at all like what Mike had sold Mort and the other higher-ups at FASA. I'd still like to see what Survival of the Fittest would have been like if it had been made according to what Mike had in mind (at least a three-book arc of stuff), and nobody has any idea what Ring of Fire would have looked like.

The reason, of course, is that FASA closed and Rob Boyle took over as line developer under FanPro, and Rob had his own ideas of what to do with SR and where to take it. The road map Mike had drawn got changed.

That happens all the time. We don't know what the future brings, because the metaplot evolves. A lot. All the time.

So no...I'm not kidding. We don't know what's going to happen next. Ideas, plans? Yeah, those we got. But we don't know, and neither did Mike Mulvihill, and neither did Nigel Findley, and neither did Tom Dowd. And if you believe otherwise for so much as a heartbeat, you're letting yourself in for a lot of disappointment.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (06:21:47/11-30-11)
I've just finished crunching numbers for a character for the last six hour straight.

I hate that shit with the intensity of an exploding sun.

I don't get it. I don't get why people want books full of guns when there's one set of stats for each type of gun with a few trivial differences. Yet that stuff sells like it had the secrets of the universe inside of it. I've spent two decades dealing with people who are a million times more concerned about their characters' shit than their characters, and it leaves me dumbstruck. And then at the same time people want more gun books, they or some other group won't shut up about power creep.

"Look, killing isn't about weapons. It's about the people who use them." Strong words coming from the most notorious arms dealer in the world, Viktor Bout.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (07:12:50/11-30-11)
Indeed. I'll be honest, and say that for a normal character, I'll be using things from SR4A, Runner's Companion, Arsenal, Attitude, WAR!, Unwired, Street Magic (if awakened), and Augmentation (if not awakened/emerged). But the parts of all the books that excite me most aren't the crunchy bits. They're the absolute gold mines of 'fluff' that do so much world-building for you, and help get your head in the mindset of the setting. Makes it infinitely easier to make a deep, compelling character.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: FastJack on (07:42:16/11-30-11)
I've just finished crunching numbers for a character for the last six hour straight.

I hate that shit with the intensity of an exploding sun.

I don't get it. I don't get why people want books full of guns when there's one set of stats for each type of gun with a few trivial differences. Yet that stuff sells like it had the secrets of the universe inside of it. I've spent two decades dealing with people who are a million times more concerned about their characters' shit than their characters, and it leaves me dumbstruck. And then at the same time people want more gun books, they or some other group won't shut up about power creep.

"Look, killing isn't about weapons. It's about the people who use them." Strong words coming from the most notorious arms dealer in the world, Viktor Bout.
Ironically, most of the time I choose the gun based on the artwork attached. ;D
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (07:49:22/11-30-11)
Heh. For everyone except street sammys or weapons specialists, I usually just get the same gun. Yamaha Sakura Fubuki. Sometimes I'll have two of them, one loaded with EXEX ammo, the other with Stick-n-shock. But in general I pick a concept, and then make the stats fit. This is easier in Shadowrun than other settings, because the world is so incredibly detailed. I'll admit that I completely revamped my combat mage after going back and reading the Tir Tairngir book, and I have a Street Samurai that was one of Deus's Blues. And then there's my catgirl. Because, as one Jackpointer said, real, live catgirls are evidence that the spirits want us to be happy. ;)
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: nakano on (09:10:07/11-30-11)
Ironically, most of the time I choose the gun based on the artwork attached. ;D

Having run the game for 20+ years, I would say that half of my players pick their guns based on image.  When they visualize their characters, the gun needs to look right, look cool and project the image of the character they want to play.

As to the crunch vs. fluff thing:

Hi my name is Nakano, and I am a fluffoholic.

Give me metaplot, adventures, source etc over crunch every time.  In my perfect world, all but 1-2 releases a year would fall into these categories, with the remaining releases being SOTA style crunchtastic books.

Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (10:16:11/11-30-11)
I'll also admit that the PDFs that made up Runner's Black Book are favorites of mine. Only thing I've used out of any of them is a drone or two and the houseboat, but it adds options, and gives me horrible, horrible ideas about where to go with a character.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Digital_Viking on (10:38:21/11-30-11)
Because you say Role-playing Game to most people, and the first thing they think of is World of Warcraft, Skyrim, or City of Heroes.
And when you explain the difference, they go, "Isn't that very anti-social?"  "As...  Anti-social as being alone at your computer chatting to people over a microphone, or being with friends around a table?"  "Oh...  Still doesn't sound terribly social."  *Headdesk*
I'm as good of friends with the folks I game with as with people I've known 20+ years. The first person to call me and offer condolences when my wife miscarried last year? A guy I raid with in WoW. When we were at the point of losing our house a few years ago, the people on a forum I'm on organized a fundraiser to help us out. I easily talk as much to my gaming friends as I do anyone in the meat world. That's pretty damn social.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (10:52:08/11-30-11)
Ironically, most of the time I choose the gun based on the artwork attached. ;D
Style is very important!
I'm as good of friends with the folks I game with as with people I've known 20+ years. The first person to call me and offer condolences when my wife miscarried last year? A guy I raid with in WoW. When we were at the point of losing our house a few years ago, the people on a forum I'm on organized a fundraiser to help us out. I easily talk as much to my gaming friends as I do anyone in the meat world. That's pretty damn social.
I know that it can be very social (I've known online folks for almost two decades that I've only met once.), but the idea that a bunch of people around a table joking and laughing together is "Anti-Social" is what gets me.  That was the point I was trying to drive forth, not the "Alone in the basement" as much.  I was just giving it as a comparison.

I mean, hell, look at the people who only X-Box and talk Smack, "Isn't that nice that Little Jimmy has friends?"  "Isn't he a little young for that Saints Row game?  I heard it was worse than that Grand Theft Hooker Killing I heard about on the news."  "He's old enough, I mean, he's almost EIGHT."
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Wakshaani on (10:56:27/11-30-11)
I loves me some Metaplot, but I also love the 'behind the scenes' snippets and details of what life is like in the 6th world. If the big guys would let me, I'd release an entire book of nothing but Shadowtalk. 174 pages of Jackpointers just talking about Things. Maybe three people would buy it, but I'd die a happy guy. Somewhere around here, I have some old stuff I did up for some players, detailing how day-to-day life looks for people at different economic levels based on Lifestyle. I want to do a big writeup for GridGuide (tm) of all things, and do up a big ol' list of gear (including guns) that doesn't publish a single stat... "The following guns are functionall the same as an Ares Predator, but made by different companies. They are..." I dig Shadowrun name brands, flash media, and NERPS.

What can I say? I'm a big ol' social studies nerd. :)
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: nakano on (10:58:28/11-30-11)
The PDFs have become a big favorite of mine, despite that I initially hated the idea of either getting them or waiting 2+ months for DTF releases.

The PDF "only" releases are some of my favorite products in many ways over the years.  The limited page count means a tight focus on what the book is.  This format makes for fantastic crunch. 
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (11:09:29/11-30-11)
Oh, good morning. Look at that. I posted something stupid again in the middle of the night.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (11:23:56/11-30-11)
I loves me some Metaplot, but I also love the 'behind the scenes' snippets and details of what life is like in the 6th world. If the big guys would let me, I'd release an entire book of nothing but Shadowtalk. 174 pages of Jackpointers just talking about Things. Maybe three people would buy it, but I'd die a happy guy. Somewhere around here, I have some old stuff I did up for some players, detailing how day-to-day life looks for people at different economic levels based on Lifestyle. I want to do a big writeup for GridGuide (tm) of all things, and do up a big ol' list of gear (including guns) that doesn't publish a single stat... "The following guns are functionall the same as an Ares Predator, but made by different companies. They are..." I dig Shadowrun name brands, flash media, and NERPS.

What can I say? I'm a big ol' social studies nerd. :)

I would buy all of those products.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Wakshaani on (18:12:48/11-30-11)
Currently working on my first-ever official product (TM) (well, okay, 4000 words of a single part, but still!) ... have to fax the ontract in tomorrow, and get the first draft to Mr Hardy for a look over.

But I'll certainly try and get more stuff made. :)
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Smiley on (20:58:48/12-12-11)
Almost done reading Conspiracy theories and so far I liked it a lot. My GM was there, reading something else, when I shouted "HOLY SHIT!" after reading the last three paragraphs of The Powers that be / Human Nation section. Being so invested in this character I felt bad for what could have possibly have happened to him. Something tells me my GM is going to make my character regret dealing at the Penumbra for years. XD
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (06:01:42/12-22-11)
Going over the thread and thinking about the book itself, I am actually pretty pleased with the fact that DeeCee is not really exaggerated, especially in comparison to the first half of the book. London is about Conspiracy Culture. DeeCee is about The Big Lie. So they serves as fairly open canvases even though there are definitely machinations running.

I also enjoy the response to FastJack's comment about Colloton. Mission: Accomplished.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (09:40:00/12-22-11)
Too bad that joke didn't happen in Shadowrun.  :P

Unless another President did it.  ;)
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (13:19:18/12-22-11)
Haeffner basically did in his state of the union speech in Target: UCAS re: Chicago.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (14:00:30/12-22-11)
Oh, well, there you go then.

And the job was about as finished as well.  :P
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (18:38:35/12-22-11)
Indeed. Also, Target: UCAS also came out in 1997. Another check for the predictive abilities of early Shadowrun.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (19:32:12/12-22-11)
Unless one of Bush's staffers is a gamer...
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (21:45:22/12-22-11)
Unless one of Bush's staffers is a gamer...
Please, that would require imagination, something Bush obviously hated.

I mean, any legit gamer would have also insisted that an escape plan would be required.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: rasmusnicolaj on (02:21:52/12-23-11)
Unless one of Bush's staffers is a gamer...
Please, that would require imagination, something Bush obviously hated.

I mean, any legit gamer would have also insisted that an escape plan would be required.

Then you haven't met my group of players. Normally some pretty sharp heads but from time to time they just do without thinking and just assume that their "Briliant" masterplan is infailable so why plan for anything else?

Rasmus
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (07:47:05/12-23-11)
If gamers really thought out all contingencies, there would be no such thing as TPKs.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on (17:55:48/12-25-11)
There's never been one for my party.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: nightslasthero on (17:43:34/01-02-12)
I like guns and armor and stuff like that. But I got to admit I useually get a gun for the pictures as well. But overall there isn't a lot of differences in guns. Every gun in one category does basically the same amount of damage. The difference might be one of them comes with an internal smartlink where the next one gets an internal gas system. No major differences. You could spend $30 bucks buying a book of guns and get 200 pages of guns with different pictures... but still in terms of stats, the same ten or so guns as found in the main book.

One thing that sets Shadowrun apart from most other roleplaying games is the fact that there is a story going on. I think this is why Shadowrun has become my favorite roleplaying game. It does something that computer/console games can't do...it evolves. The best part is, you get to help it evolve.

I admit, I'd like more official answers...but at the sametime if those answers don't exist, then that clearly gives me the freedom to explore wherever I want, and make the decisions on my own. Maybe down the road I'll end up contradicting the "official" storyline but likely that wouldn't be a big deal. A lot of people I play with wouldn't buy every shadowrun book anyways, so they probably wouldn't have any clue what the official canon answer was.

I don't think shadowrun would be nearly as fun without the metaplot. I want to run Dawn of the Artifacts because it deals with metaplot. I like over arching campaigns that tell a story. If I wanted to a storyless game, I'd spend my cash on WOW or that hack N slash rpg game that seems so popular....

And I can't wait to get my hands on Conspiracy Theories and Street Legends ...For the metacontent they hold.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: JustADude on (18:40:31/01-02-12)
I like guns and armor and stuff like that. But I got to admit I useually get a gun for the pictures as well. But overall there isn't a lot of differences in guns. Every gun in one category does basically the same amount of damage. The difference might be one of them comes with an internal smartlink where the next one gets an internal gas system. No major differences. You could spend $30 bucks buying a book of guns and get 200 pages of guns with different pictures... but still in terms of stats, the same ten or so guns as found in the main book.

And that's why there's a small but significant clamor for them to release SR4 rules for custom weapons like they had for SR3.

Or one could check out Crash_00's excellent fan-port over in the GM Toolbox section.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Zen Shooter on (02:50:12/01-11-12)
Mr. Goodman:

I'm not suggesting that the metaplot be jettisoned entirely. I'm saying it could be scaled back to where it supplies a setting for an RPG, not the plot of a novel that drags the players along the tracks.

The argument that individual GMs can accept or reject the metaplot has always been specious. Yes, I could say that in my campaign Bug City never happened, but then I suffer the butterfly effect. All official SR material since has assumed Bug City did happen, so I would have to ignore or rewrite the Chicago chapter of Feral Cities, the LA chapter of Corporate Enclaves, the Ares section of Conspiracy Theories, etc., etc. It would be a massive amount of work for me that I'm already paying Catalyst to do.

I do not expect and did not suggest that the metaplot should be worked out to the last detail for years to come. I expect that the people who produced the book I just paid for know what they are talking about in that very book. Are the great dragons going to go to war and remake the face of the Sixth World in major ways, or not? If I involve my PCs in this plotline they will want to know the answers, but I have no answers to give them. I do know that one of those options will become canon at some point in the future. Until that day, Conspiracy Theories isn't much use.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: FastJack on (08:31:48/01-11-12)
I'm not sure I understand what you're looking for ZS. You don't like the large metaplot because it's so big and all-encompassing that it feels like your runners are just pawns being moved by outside forces. Yet you'd like detailed metaplot of a smaller level that affects the runners more personally?

Metaplot, in my opinion, is supposed to be those big stories that affect the world. They may directly or indirectly affect the runners, but most of the time it's the news of the big issues. That leaves the street-level/day-to-day stuff up to the GM and how he wants to shape his runner's view of what's going on.

As for the outcome of items introduced in current books; I don't expect them to reveal the details in that book. From the story-telling perspective, the books are taking a snapshot of the world, from that time the book is published. Events like these occur over months/years in the sixth world, and the books reflect that. From the business perspective, this is a great way to sell more books and incorporate the stories into different areas of the sixth world. And, this has been the Shadowrun model ever since Universal Brotherhood, the first of the metaplot adventure/sourcebooks. The sixth world would be a very different place if, at the end of UB, everything was wrapped up and the bugs were "done".
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Zen Shooter on (11:02:51/01-11-12)
Fastjack,

I don't like the metaplot because I'm paying for the pages it takes up, and it's useless to me. Its outcome will be decided by someone other than me and at some point in the future, and according to Patrick Goodman, the people who are writing it and charging us for it don't have any idea how it will resolve, or even what is actually going on.

Take the rivalry between Hestaby and Sirrurg presented in CT. The book doesn't tell me, the GM, what is actually going on, because the people who wrote the book don't know themselves. So in my campaign I say, "Hestaby and Sirrurg are going at it hammer and tongs in a global shadow war!". Then six  months later a new book comes out that says, according to canon, "No, they aren't!" So now I've got an entire plotline that's at odds with the official reality. Yes, if I would like to go and write my own version of the setting, I can do that. But I don't have that kind of time, which is why I pay Catalyst to do that for me.

So  I can't use metaplot except as background and setting. And I wouldn't want to anyway, because the metaplot is Tolkienesque-Wagnerian Comic Book. Great dragons! Bugs take over the world! Undying Machiavellian corporate billionaire puppetmasters! Godlike AIs lurk in your coffee maker! The Black Lodge already rules the world, you just don't know it! It's hyperventilating melodrama.

Metaplot as setting I can use. In region X, Corporation A is fighting Corporation B for political influence. Great Dragon Z often disagrees with National Government Y - shadowruns may result. Thanks. That I can use.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (11:39:43/01-11-12)
You know, it is just possible you are taking things one or two steps further than they were intended. And you're not exercising enough creativity on your own part to work with the plot.

Take the Hestaby/Lofwyr rivalry. You say they're waging an all out shadow war. Unless the players actually get involved in that war, then it was all background info to begin with, yes? Now say your players do get involved, and pick a side. Then later on it is revealed in a book that the 'shadow war' never materialized, or was a ruse. If it was a ruse, your players feel like fools for being the pawns of dragons. Fine, they learn to never make a deal with a dragon, and move on (if they can). If it never materialized, that does not negate events in your campaign, unless for some reason you had them actually chatting with Lofwyr or Hestaby. The simplest way to keep the stuff you did in your campaign, and what the evolved metaplot says in sync is to say that the players THOUGHT they were working for one dragon or the other. When it turns out that wasn't the case, not only have they potentially made a name for themselves with the other dragon, but they have to figure out just who's agenda they were furthering...

That's just basic DMing there.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: nakano on (12:10:55/01-11-12)
Here is the thing about metaplot to me. 

Its always going to be a work in progress, because until the books are printed, there is always oppurtunities to tweak and improve the plan. 

I have played the game since 1st ed, run it since 2nd ed, and there has never been a definitive roadmap of what is to come for the metaplot.  Sure you could get vague hints at Gencon, or on the web, but the details have always been sketchy.

Running a game and making it your own means that there will be times that you will have the "butterfly effect."  Unless you run nothing but published adventures, that is a risk you take with RPGs.

Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Nath on (14:38:40/01-11-12)
Metaplot as setting I can use. In region X, Corporation A is fighting Corporation B for political influence. Great Dragon Z often disagrees with National Government Y - shadowruns may result. Thanks. That I can use.
That's not metaplot then, just plots. The word "metaplot" was coined specifically to refer to plot spread over more than one book. A metaplot is not a metaplot until the release of a second book that modify the initial situation.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Black on (14:47:54/01-11-12)
The way I see it, you could just buy the core books, and take the world presented as being the status quo for the start of your personnel campaign... And just ignore the campaign/meta plot type books that come out like conspiracy theory and the artifacts stories.  You don't have to buy 'metaplot' type books, you can ignore them and thus not waste your money.

Now, my team are running in the 2050s, so the metaplot is whats to come, but I still buy the 2072 setting books 'cause in my opinion they're good reads and I'm enjoying what's happening.  But each to there own....
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (19:29:46/01-11-12)
You know, it is just possible you are taking things one or two steps further than they were intended. And you're not exercising enough creativity on your own part to work with the plot.
My thoughts exactly.

I've started entire campaigns based on a single sentence, even if it was never touched again. I would expect nothing less of other GMs.

We pour the foundation. It's your house to build.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: raggedhalo on (04:27:22/01-12-12)
That's not metaplot then, just plots. The word "metaplot" was coined specifically to refer to plot spread over more than one book. A metaplot is not a metaplot until the release of a second book that modify the initial situation.

I beg to differ (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaplot) - it's not about number of books, it's about scale and purpose.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Nath on (16:56:29/01-12-12)
I beg to differ (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaplot) - it's not about number of books, it's about scale and purpose.
Two books is a minimum. A metaplot, by definition, change the world. It is not change if the situation is exactly the same as it was before. But it's not change either if nobody knew about the previous situation. Change implies a previous description of the world is no longer valid.

Such change can only touch on a single sentence from a sourcebook that was released a decade ago, a full chapter, or entire sourcebooks. However, if you consider scale is an integral part of the definition of a metaplot, it makes sense that important events concern important element of the world, and that important element of the world should get lengthy description.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Wakshaani on (22:50:30/01-13-12)
Fastjack,

I don't like the metaplot because I'm paying for the pages it takes up, and it's useless to me. Its outcome will be decided by someone other than me and at some point in the future, and according to Patrick Goodman, the people who are writing it and charging us for it don't have any idea how it will resolve, or even what is actually going on..

Depends on what plot it is. Some know every nuance of a plot, some don't. I'm mostly out of the loop, for instance, but then, I'm the rookie, so, no big deal. Some of this stuff is mapped out well in advance, some isn't. Some of it's never *intended* to go anywhere, where other stuff gets changed at the last minute because someone finds out that, oh right, person X is dead. We need someone else for that role.

And so on and so forth.

Mind you, I like the sandboxx stuff more than the adventure stuff. Giving you a neat pile of tools and going, "Well? What do you want to do with this?" is more interesting, for me, than pre-packaged adventures, BUT, those also have their place.

SO, uh.

There ya go.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Zen Shooter on (01:08:27/01-22-12)
Mirikon:

Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, I can do as you suggest, and say the invalidated plotline was a ruse of some kind. but what you are offering me is techniques for correcting the damage that my campaign wouldn't have suffered in the first place if the game writers had know what was actually going on in the game universe and then shared a significant part of it with me. When I buy a sourcebook, I expect there to be canon material in it - not material that might or might not be canon.

I beg your patience with the frostiness my tone now takes on in replying to your suggestion that I am not "exercising enough creativity". I was a Shadowrun gamemaster when you were six years old. To quote Roy Batty, I have seen things you people wouldn't believe. Lack of creativity is not the problem.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (01:14:53/01-22-12)
Hell with Roy Batty, I'VE seen things none of you would believe!  And we're a pretty open minded group here!

Reality is always weirder than fiction!
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Black on (02:16:11/01-22-12)
Mirikon:

Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, I can do as you suggest, and say the invalidated plotline was a ruse of some kind. but what you are offering me is techniques for correcting the damage that my campaign wouldn't have suffered in the first place if the game writers had know what was actually going on in the game universe and then shared a significant part of it with me. When I buy a sourcebook, I expect there to be canon material in it - not material that might or might not be canon.

I beg your patience with the frostiness my tone now takes on in replying to your suggestion that I am not "exercising enough creativity". I was a Shadowrun gamemaster when you were six years old. To quote Roy Batty, I have seen things you people wouldn't believe. Lack of creativity is not the problem.

It's not 'damage'.  I think your trying far to hard to adhere to the material in the book, when the material itself is open to interpretation, internal consistency is never going to perfect, and thus things either get 'dropped' or gains greater value then originally presented. 

But to expect that to be clear? is unreasonable.  Writers create as they go, and while most have an idea where they are going, they can change direction due to a piece they wrote (for example, they like the minor character they created and move him into main character status).  Now, when your talking about Shadowrun with 20+ years of published material and a number of writers etc, there is no way you can reasonable expect the material not to change

And that's ignoring the writers perogative to have plot twists.  eg Lowfry and Hestaby situation is got to be far more complicated that what it appears.  But we will have to wait and find out... and maybe the writers will tell us one day, or maybe not?

So either you wait until the Shadowrun line is dropped (and thus you have freedom from metaplot changes), play against the metaplot of an earlier edition (cause at least then you 'know' what's coming), or... heck if I know? Ignore all source material?  Make a 'hourse rule' which says your campaign is canon and source material is suggestion. (Actually, I think a lot of people do play this way.  Why the heck not?)  Um.. play away from source material?  Therefor metaplot events happen 'elsewhere', and can be ignored?

Stop treating the campaign books like they 'must be obeyed!'.  It takes the fun out of the game.  Just enjoy them for what they are, good fiction which should enhance your game, not detract. Either work with or don't.  It should not be a big issue.

Now, my final issue, your response to Mirikon.  I think his suggestIon was a valid.  His not having issues with source material.  You are.  Despite playing for x number of years.  Fact:  "Correlation does not imply causation".  Age does not  equal experience.  Also, you imply that Mirikon and others don't have your 'experience' thus their valid suggestions are not valid and this is very disrespectful.  So what you hope to get by posting here is beyond me.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (02:29:21/01-22-12)
Especially when authors die on us far too soon.   :'(

*Pours a 40 on the curb*
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on (03:13:29/01-22-12)
Where -do- you get all this beer??
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (03:15:18/01-22-12)
Where -do- you get all this beer??
I'm in Canada.  The Liquor Mart.

...

OK, not as good a joke as it would have been back in Ontario where we had The Beer Store.  No, literally, that was the name of the chain of stores.  It's owned by the Province.

I'd prefer it, some of the beer vendors in Winnipeg are in pretty bad neighborhoods.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (10:18:37/01-22-12)
Honestly, Zen, be more like your namesake. You really have only two choices. Either use the most basic storytelling skills to adapt to the changing metaplot as it goes forward, or just throw out everything that has happened since the original SR4 core book was printed, or whatever cutoff point you prefer. Either way, quit bitching about it.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Zen Shooter on (23:59:27/01-27-12)
Mirikon,

I believe I have a third option, which is to expect Catalyst to produce a quality product. Thank you for your suggestion to quit complaining, but I reserve the basic right of the consumer in a free marketplace to evaluate products I'm being offered - indeed, products I've already paid for.

I think other posters in this thread have misunderstood me. I don't expect Catalyst to have every detail of the metaplot mapped out for the next five years. I expect Catalyst to know what is happening in the game world right this minute. Using my earlier example, are Hestaby and Sirrurg locked in a global shadow war? Apparently, Catalyst can't tell me. So why am I paying for this book?
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Black on (00:32:14/01-28-12)
Ok...but I'm still not sure what you want from a book.  The hard definite facts?  Except, in a book titled 'Consipiracy Theories' your not likely to get that.

Not sure a book which actually spelled out the behind the scenes stuff would be like.  Kinda kills the mystery and suspense of not knowing whats actually going on.

Also, the Shadowrun books tend to throw out a 101 plot ideas, but then I don't think the writers can always follow up on every plot.  Just don't have the resources or market for it.  Which would imply, in order to meet the requirement as I understand it, the writers would need to follow tightly woven plots with no loose threads.  Which may or may not work.  I think if everything was factual and accurate, with no mystery or misinformation, then you would also start running into heavy duty contuinity issues.  Because writers arn't perfect, they'll forget that Writer A wrote a piece of minor fluff one way in a book two years ago and that contradicts the current piece being written.  And then the fans, who are often better at picking these things up, would tear the writers apart for the error.  Where if you writer your material from the view point that the Jackpointer's don't have all the information, and do make mistakes, then its less of an issue for the writers if two pieces contradict each other.

What I'm saying, is there is no perfect way to write these books.  You might want everything spelled out in detail, but it not only opens a different can of worms, it may not suit other buyers, such as myself, who prefer the (ironically) the freedom to pick up those plot ideas and run with them, and heck, if the next book contradicts my story, then my story trumps the book.

Quality product is in the eye of the buyer and what you deem not a 'quality product', I like just fine.  Also, and this is just me, but expecting a quality product that suites your individual desires... it just seems slightly demanding.  Its not like the books fall apart or anything.  They are quality products, some of them very nice to have on the shelf.  The books generally have good grammar, lack spelling mistakes, are well presented.  So the 'quality' your talking about, is the 'quality' of the writing, and that, in my humble opinion, is down to the individual reader's opinion, and extremely subjective because of this.

I want Catalyst to sell as many books as possible, more power to them, but Zen, sometimes you just don't buy the book.  Because its not what you want.  You don't buy the book and then go 'its not what I want'.  Its like buying Street Magic and complaining it doesn't cover the Matrix.  If you didn't want a book on 'Theories', then you shouldn't buy it.  Its that simple.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (00:37:08/01-28-12)
Take the rivalry between Hestaby and Sirrurg presented in CT. The book doesn't tell me, the GM, what is actually going on, because the people who wrote the book don't know themselves.
Yes, we do.

You don't.

I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.

Quote
So  I can't use metaplot except as background and setting. And I wouldn't want to anyway, because the metaplot is Tolkienesque-Wagnerian Comic Book. Great dragons! Bugs take over the world! Undying Machiavellian corporate billionaire puppetmasters! Godlike AIs lurk in your coffee maker! The Black Lodge already rules the world, you just don't know it! It's hyperventilating melodrama.
I will mention that everything in the two Threats books were taken, in-game, as mostly lunatic conspiracy theories in those books. As it happens, all of them actually came to pass virtually unchanged from what was presented as paranoid rantings. Some took longer than others. Some were "ended." It would have been a waste of paper for books that are, after all, supplements for other peoples' games.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (00:51:49/01-28-12)
I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.
You mean I have to THINK!!!  How dare media make me think in this day and age!!!
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on (01:13:22/01-28-12)
I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.
You mean I have to THINK!!!  How dare media make me think in this day and age!!!
Well, fortunately for the rest of us, in regards to you they still haven't.  ;D
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (01:15:30/01-28-12)
I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.
You mean I have to THINK!!!  How dare media make me think in this day and age!!!
Well, fortunately for the rest of us, in regards to you they still haven't.  ;D
Thanks Wyrm, care to kick me some more while I'm down?  :P
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on (01:47:16/01-28-12)
Not any more, man.  One jab a night is my limit for indicating being playful instead of serious.  :P :)
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Critias on (02:02:24/01-28-12)
C'mon, fellas.  There's nothing wrong with Mirikon just not being a fan of the book.  He's allowed to say what he does and doesn't like about a product he's paid money for, without getting dogpiled, without being told to stop complaining, and without folks stopping just barely short of calling him an idiot, tip-toeing the Terms of Service line.

Riding his ass about it isn't going to make him magically like CT, and ganging up on him to try and shout him down isn't going to magically make anyone else reading the thread a fan of the book, either.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Black on (02:24:54/01-28-12)
Fair enough Critias.

I like the book.  The conspiracy stuff was gold and I am very much a fan of both Snopes and Plan 9.  The core conspiracies are gripping and you know (or hope) that we will see more soon on all off them.  Me, I particularly liked the Bug stuff.  Missed a lot of fluff over the recent years and thus didn't know about Mr Knight playing around with things that he should not touch, so it was all new and explained a bit about why his KE guy left him so suddenly.  The Dragon stuff was mostly pretty good (the german rifle = Lowfyr seemed a bit to blunt) as was the Corporate soccorball.

Haven't followed the artifact stuff at all (but will get to it soon :) ) and thus was not across the changes in Washington.  Would have liked maps for both capital cities as very unfamilar with them.  Of course, I could google the maps and the images etc, but it would be nice to get a good feel for these foreign cities. 

Overall, a good read.  Useful for my games?  Potentially, but not so much.  It is, in my opinion, written in such a way that my players could read it and enjoy it, but still not know what is really going on.  However, their anticipation would build and they would be thrilled to go against the organisations mentioned in the book.

Actually, would it make sense to an 'Enemy' style books?  You know, a book which provides detailed views of these organisations and how they operate and provide some stated figures and a list of plot seeds?  Anyways, just an idea.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Crimsondude on (03:17:35/01-28-12)
|
I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.
You mean I have to THINK!!!  How dare media make me think in this day and age!!!
Ugh.

My point in all that if it's in the book, there's a good chance that it matters. I'm not trying to be a dick about it, but I probably am because that's just how I come off.

I'm not sure how I feel about the OOC Game Information sections at the end of the chapters, or at the end of the books, depending on the product. I don't want to explain the story material because it defeats the point of telling it. On the other hand, I've heard compelling arguments for stats, but doing that for a sprawl could easily double the length of the material.

The map issue is problematic because earlier maps are not accurate, and I know Bull mentioned issues about London somewhere. But for DeeCee, the maps from NAGNA aren't accurate in the macro scale because it merges and screws with some of the counties. In the micro scale, the map of downtown Washington is no longer accurate because of the changes made in Foggy Bottom because of the Rift Bunker, and in Southwest/Government Zone because of the construction of Kansai Village. But ultimately, and I will keep accepting the blame until I'm blue, the lack of a Washington map is on me. I even discussed it with Jason, but I needed to make the changes to an existing map and send it off in time to be redrawn and put into the book. That didn't happen for various reasons. Even the larger macro map didn't happen for similar reasons.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Nath on (06:45:42/01-28-12)
I'm not sure how I feel about the OOC Game Information sections at the end of the chapters, or at the end of the books, depending on the product. I don't want to explain the story material because it defeats the point of telling it.
On the other hand, telling the story of a secret conspiracy by having dozens of Jackpoint users openly speaking on the Matrix about its detailed membership and goals kinda defeat the point of telling about a story of a secret conspiracy.

My opinion is, Conspiracy Theories fails in places to give the reader a sense of secrecy and mystery (and I say "reader," not "gamemaster," on purpose). Jackpoint users often write the same way and tone they did in Corporate Guide or Vice. Maybe Conspiracy Facts would have been a better title. Old Threats books used up a lot of wordcount for contradiction, like offering several suspects for a given action or role, or call the whole thing bullshit. Game Information allowed the author to narrow down interpretations (or settle the debate down for good when the setting required it, like clearly saying "yes, immortal elves exist"). Wordcount maybe was less of an issue in the 1990ies when there were more sourcebooks released. Such writings is clearly opposite of the idea that "if its in the book, there's a good chance that it matters".
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (10:36:23/01-28-12)
C'mon, fellas.  There's nothing wrong with Mirikon just not being a fan of the book.
I love the book. It was Zen Shooter who didn't like it.

And Zen, the books are quality products. A lot of people, myself included, love them. You don't. That's perfectly fine. But expecting them to reformat the books to suit your whims is childish. So see my two options I listed above. And if you don't like the books, why in the name of Ghostwalker's breakfast burrito are you still buying them? Again, either use basic GMing skill to adapt, or throw out what you don't like. But if you continue to buy the books when you don't like them, then you're probably the kind of person that thinks an embargo on Cuba that's lasted 50 years is going to bring about change any day now.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Nath on (11:19:05/01-28-12)
Then, you'll never get to know if the books ever get better ("better" from your relative point of view) if you stop buying them and if nobody post online what they think of them.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: All4BigGuns on (11:54:45/01-28-12)
Yeah, you can. You can flip through it some in the store before you buy it.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (12:20:50/01-28-12)
|
I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.
You mean I have to THINK!!!  How dare media make me think in this day and age!!!
Ugh.

My point in all that if it's in the book, there's a good chance that it matters. I'm not trying to be a dick about it, but I probably am because that's just how I come off.
Actually, I was agreeing with you, and that was me being sarcastic and pointing out how modern media hand-holds the public so much that it scares them now to think.

I was raised to use my brain as much as possible and make my own theories, and to question them afterwards.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Critias on (13:10:41/01-28-12)
C'mon, fellas.  There's nothing wrong with Mirikon just not being a fan of the book.
I love the book. It was Zen Shooter who didn't like it.
Sorry.  It was late, got wires crossed, got names mixed up.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Longshot23 on (10:29:04/02-16-12)
I'm only halfway through CT so far, but I'm loving it.  Just what SR4 has been needing, IMO.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Longshot23 on (06:14:54/06-02-12)
This is me, following an earlier post of my own.  I'm sure there's a word for that . . .

Perhaps some sort of follow-up would be worthwhile, talking about what the Black Lodge does about their existence being more widely known than they like.  Some more titbits about the Smoking Mirror - honestly, I'm surprised this got left out. Possible signs of Winternight trying to regroup?  Tensions between Sioux Nation and Aztlan have been hinted at before - development? The elven Manitou tribe up north?  Clayton Wilson's maneuverings within Ares? Azzie-controlled tempo? Possible trails of the Big 3 A.I.s?

Also, in my opinion, all SR sourcebooks are conspiracy theory collections to some extent.  It's just part of the nature of shadowrunning.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Mirikon on (12:41:45/06-02-12)
Winternight tried regrouping. And then Friday got killed in Chicago.

Also, some of these things may show up in the magical groups book that is supposed to be somewhere down the pipe. But the AI thing does bear some thinking on. Actually, that ties in with something i'm really wanting to see. Between Artifacts Unbound and the Arcane societies (or whatever the title is) books, you've got two Awakened-centered books. You've got the corps in Corporate Intrigue, the dragons in the upcoming Clutch of Dragons, the high rollers in Jet Set... seems to me it is about time for a Matrix-centered book.

Afterall, there's more than just the Technomancers' beef with Horizon and e-ghosts warily eyeing EVO and NeoNET. Pax is still alive, and still up to no good. There are matrix cults that spring up all the time. Perhaps we'll see Captain Chaos's e-ghost posting on Jackpoint? If the Emergence was like the Awakening, and Dissonance is like Toxics, what's to say there aren't blood technomancers, and a techno-version of HMHVV? What's to say that there isn't some resonance realm home to critters like Insect Sprites and Shedim? How about technomancers getting Ally Sprites? And more Sprite pacts! And then there's the possibility that some of those three original AIs never actually bought it when the worm came through, but, being intelligent beings, have used everyone's belief that they're dead to keep people from trying to kill them.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Patrick Goodman on (12:56:00/06-02-12)
There are plans afoot for Clay Wilson. Whether I get to bring them to fruition or not is another issue entirely.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Wakshaani on (18:21:15/06-02-12)
Quote from: MrBlack

Actually, would it make sense to an 'Enemy' style books?  You know, a book which provides detailed views of these organisations and how they operate and provide some stated figures and a list of plot seeds?  Anyways, just an idea.

Well, in my Current Project (tm), I included a two page "Hey GMs, here's the skinny on some of this"sectionwhichmay or may not make it to print. I'd be happy to have a "Director's Commentary" section, here for example, that allows me to get some info in that word count doesn't allow for, but, it's kind of hard to note what plot seedsare gold and which ones are fallow: that is to say, I wrote it with the knowledge that I'd be tied up for a good six months after it releases and couldn't followup personally on things, so, I left things prepped so that other writers could take things andrun with them, or they could leave them alone and let GMs run with them. I have no idea which seeds will take root, however.

For instance, let's say that I had a story where Bull started dressing in Disco clothing and talking in 70's-era jive. It launches, but it's not the main story that Catalyst is working on. On the one hand, flagging this in some way that "This is a small plot that you can use as you wish" would greenlight everyone to run their games with the story, knowing that a Catalyst book wouldn't come out in a year that would erase the past year of their game's work. On the other hand, those flags mean that no one else could pick it up and run with it, even if they had a great idea for a Disco Spirit that was slowly converting people into Funksters at its private Funkatorium. We'd have flagged it as a dead end, and the thingwould lie there, unloved.

Worse, it would show the cards that Catalyst keeps in a sleeve... ifyou know these seven plots aren't to be followed up on, then that means that these three *will* be, so they're moe important, whichmeans the others are NOT important, which makes people feel like they've wasted money.

So, it'scomplicated.

Obviously, you want every book to enrich games and not trample on people, but, you also have to watch for spoilers for those who like the mystery.

TL;DR, everybody's different and you can't make them all happy.

-- Wak
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Longshot23 on (05:15:03/06-03-12)
Yay . . . discussion!!!
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Nath on (06:59:10/06-03-12)
It reminds me the Heavy Gear RPG featured...

Wait, I can mention Heavy Gear on a Catalyst forums?


...


Oh, it seems I can.


So, the Heavy Gear RPG featured a chess piece icon next to every NPC profiles : kings/queens were major figures who already played a part in history and whose death would be an event in itself ; rooks were playing a major part in ongoing or future events, so killing them would derail a plot ; knights would be involved in future events, but could easily be replaced by another NPC should they disappear ; bishops were only background NPC to be used for flavor ; and pawns were the nameless generic NPC.

For instance, prior to the Renraku arcology crisis and Brainscan, Inazo Aneki and possibly Sherman Huang would have been Kings (the character was alread well established, and the death of Renraku CEO or America VP would be a big event, no matter what), Angela Colloton would have been a Rook (plays a major role in the story, again in System Failure, and ends up President of the UCAS later in the timeline), Vanessa Cliber, Cham Lam Won, Pax and the likes would have been Knights (my opinion, I think you can replace them with similar NPC, including for Pax part in System Failure, and they never show again after), and you had banded and red samurais as Pawns.

Indeed, as Wakshaani said, it gave away hints at what may happen next. When a local manager is described as "ambitious" and flagged as a Rook, while her immediate superior is flagged as a Knight, you can see where it is going. You also had some WTF moment, starring at a seemingly minor NPC with no obvious influence or skill, flagged as a Knight or even Rook.

The system was interesting. But I have no idea how Dream Pod 9 people were handling it during the writing stage.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: JustADude on (08:24:10/06-03-12)
The system was interesting. But I have no idea how Dream Pod 9 people were handling it during the writing stage.

Thinking 5 moves ahead, of course, just like a chess-master. ;D

But, seriously, this is how I'd bet it happened: They would make outlines of where they wanted things to go quite a bit in advance, with notations about which characters would play what roles, and tagged the NPCs with their "rank" last thing before the title they were going to debut in was finalized.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Wakshaani on (10:41:00/06-03-12)
A tad more informal here. The freelancers are often firing email back and forth, asking, "Hey, I want to have person X do Y. Anyone have plans that contradict this?" Usually, everyone handwaves it, but someone might go, "Wait. Before you do Y, check out page # in book Z. That person had a different viewpoint. Maybe you can use this other person instead?" 

Some characters have a plot arc lined up, while others don't, facilitating their use at different levels. Their importantce, however, isn't ranked by a chess analogue (Which isn't a bad way to go, in all honesty).

Keep in mind, there was The Incident, which resulted in the loss of a great number of writers, and plots that they had went with them, so, several storylines wound up getting dropped or changed, while others had to be started anew. This threw a wrench into the works and it'll be a year or three before enough raw work is done to get things back on the "What has come before" building level. There are notes on characters that some people know and others don't, generating a small stumble now and then, but that's again being worked out as everyone settles in.

For example, in Twilight Horizon, I wrote the chapter on new product lines from Horizon. There, I introduced Marionette, a 'runner from the Phillipines who relies heavily on Activesofts (And Knowsoft and Linguasofts ... you get the idea) because, as far as I could tell, no one on Jackpoint has any and I needed to talk about them. It turns out that Hard Exit has a set, so I could have used her and didn't know it. D'oh. On the plus side, we didn't have a Phillipino 'runner, so no one was there to have a good voice if we needed to talk about Masaru or the general situation over there, so, she might come up in the future. (She could also chip in about Yakuza issues, Bunraku parlors, and a few other things based on her background).

Ultimately, the freelancers are in a situation not unlike being a comic book writer: You're working with someone else's intellectual property and, as such, you want to play nicely and leave things where you found them for those who come after you. If you kill a storyline, you should plant a few seeds so that others can have something to work with, and if you plan on a big change, you'd better talk to the boss before pulling the trigger.

"Okay, so, I want to write the ultimate Joker story, where at the end of it, Batman kills him. It'll be HUGE! Sales will be through the roof!"
"Dude, I have a drawer, here, *filled* with 'Batman kills the Joker' stories. Kill him off, and we can never do *any* Joker stories again. Try something else."

Keep in mind, Shadowrun has a lot more change than, say, Marvel comics. People get killed off. Crash 2.0 cleaned house, Dragonslayer was killed later, Fatima went down at the start of the Ghost Cartel saga, and no one has absolute plot immunity. There's a running joke that every freelancer has a story that starts, "Okay, so, we kill off Lofwyr," Fuchi was erased, and Nightmaster the Great Dragon died in a mid-air duel. In every brainstorming session, there're always some big ideas that get floated because, well, everybody has one that they think could be awesome. "WIll this make a good story? Will it create fun for the playerbase and gamemasteries running their local games? How will this effect the metaplot?" ... important questions.

So, take a look at the "Death of Lofwyr" plot. Will removing ol' Golden Snout make the world more interesting or less? We've seen that when a Great dies (Big D!), that big things can happen, but we've also seen that it can kinda vanish (Nightmaster) ... how would it effect Sader-Krupp? Can this generate more stories or less stories than Lofwyr still on top? Obviously, it makes DIFFERENT stories, but better? What about these plots that he's involved with, here? What happens to S-K when he's gone? How do other dragons react? Etc etc etc. I'm not saying it can't be done; I'm saying before you do it, you'd better have a plan.

Nobody in Shadowrun has plot immunity, but some have pretty hefty levels of plot armor. :)
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: CanRay on (11:07:43/06-03-12)
And then you get weirdos like me.  ;D
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Nath on (18:40:19/06-03-12)
We've seen that when a Great dies (Big D!), that big things can happen, but we've also seen that it can kinda vanish (Nightmaster) ...
As a side note, the death of Nightmaster/Nachtmeister happened in US products mostly, if anything, to maintain continuity with German products. In German products, NM death is the trigger to the Shockwellen (http://old.shadowrun4.com/resources/downloads/fanpro_shadowrun_shockwaves.pdf) campaign, an Ares-Proteus corporate war, a Thor shot, and a consortium of AAA and AA megacorporations taking full control of Proteus. It can be also considered as the starting point of S-K current efforts to achieve full control of Germany.
Title: Re: Conspiracy Theories
Post by: Black on (19:15:11/06-03-12)
Thank you very much for posting that link Nath! ;D