NEWS

After 13 SR5 SRM's in 10 days

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Wasabi

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« on: (09:36:24/09-03-13) »
After heavy offline rules discussion my friends and I ran through every mission we could at local game stores and Dragoncon. These are my own feedback on games run by Demo Team GM's.

    1. MOOK POWER LEVEL OPTIONS NEEDED - GM's have remarked to me that only one option for mook stats is present in many missions. On a few missions we were in combat with groups of mooks of similar scale to the SR5 rulebook's Professional Rating 6 Special Forces templates. While GM's are certainly able to scale (per the Missions FAQ) we had many missions where official Demo Team GM's didn't scale. Since we play with the same GM's each year I can say with authority that super nice and forgiving people ran punishing scenarios that could easily wipe a group of players in short order. I humbly suggest multiple statlines of mooks and for the GM to choose a set of mooks per encounter closer to the group power level. The option to scale is present even with multiple statlines for mooks.

    2. MISSION POWER LEVEL MADE PUBLIC - Please consider making the Professional Rating of the mooks (maybe modified if a Prime Runner Villain is included) made known to players before they are facing them in-game. While it may matter less in a home game where the GM communicates more to individual players at a Convention game people are often times paying large amounts for room, food, etc., and may want to avoid (or seek) such games. Having a mission run over players is avoidable with simply sharing the estimated Professional Rating of the mooks as compared to rulebook mooks. Its as simple as starting the Synopsis with "Written as PR6" for a mission roughly equating to Professional Rating 6 then explaining PR ratings in the Missions FAQ.
    For example, one encounter had mooks in Full Body Armor with Chem Seal, 4 Heavy Machineguns, several High Explosive Grenades, a Mage, a Decker (which means a lot more in SR5!) and a couple of folks that must've done something else.

    3. PRIME RUNNER VILLAINS - VARIABLE TACTICS. While certainly appropriate for the mythical Prime Runner Missions running a Prime Runner Villain into a zero karma team is a one sided fight. GM's aren't permitted to change stats on key NPC's making these foes very dangerous. In one case the table behind us was told by an official Demo Team GM that "Its ok to walk away from a Mission if you like your characters". That group of players survived - per one of the the players at the time and later from the Demo Team GM solely because they ran out of time. For that same scenario - duly warned - my team played book archetypes or hastily thrown together new characters and players had to permanently burn Edge just to compete in or survive the encounter. Few players fondly reminisce about such missions. Prime Runner Villains should have tactics for lower power level groups as alternatives to extermination. EG: After dropping a player deliver a threat then leave or appearance of a key NPC to save the day if they succeed on a critical die roll or other harrowing climax as an alternative to exterminating RP-heavy, newer, or unprepared PC's. Again, I recognize that GM's can alter such situations but it isn't happening so I suggest the "Alternate Tactics" be included for when the fight is grossly one sided and the situation clearly made un-fun. 

    4. MISSION SYNOPSIS. One GM remarked that a Mission had been presented for him to run that included no Synopsis. While I can appreciate the numerous SR5 missions available for hungry players like myself please focus on the inclusion of Mission Synopsis when accepting missions from Writers. The "Tell it to them Straight" and legwork results are easier to fill in when the synopsis paints a clear overview. I mention it here since the GM may not want to be the squeaky wheel.

For those that wish to troll a response about how awesome their twinked character steamrolls every mission that's not the point. To those that would say that its the runners fault they didn't have (whatever) that's not the point. The point is some groups are RP heavy or low karma or loaded with support characters and may not have the oomph to have a reasonable shot at accomplishing a mission without compromising what they consider fun.

I mean these suggestions not to make Missions easier but to allow the expectations of fun to be more easily catered to. Players wanting difficulty can seek it and players with characters built more for RP than crunch can have fair warning of deadly situations. With fun as the universal result these tweaks can help bring that fun to the surface. :-)

Wasabi
Missions Characters:
[SR4] Jax - Merc Technomancer
[SR5] Reece - Journalist TM

wepv

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« Reply #1 on: (18:25:06/09-03-13) »
What SR5 mission are available? I've only seen sprawl wilds and firing line. The other 5 are convention only mods? Or will they be available for non-convention play?

Also, I agree that there should be tiers for the mooks. They are sometimes waaaay to hard and most of the time waaaaaay too easy. It would be nice to have three tiers for them so that GMs can adjust to challenge but not needlessly murder the players.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #2 on: (18:25:59/09-03-13) »
Are we talking Converted-CMPs (Sprawl Wilds, Firing Line), CMPs (Dragon Song, the other one) or Season 5?
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The Masked Ferret

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« Reply #3 on: (19:45:50/09-03-13) »
He was talking about this year's CMPs (Dragon's Song and Dangerous Games) Plus the first 6 runs  of Season 5.
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wepv

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« Reply #4 on: (21:09:32/09-03-13) »
When will the first 6 runs of Season 5 be available to us non-con goers? I am too busy running a store to have the pleasure of traveling to play RPGs (any traveling I get to do must include my GF and she won't spend her vacation time playing an RPG  :( )

Wasabi

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« Reply #5 on: (21:10:22/09-03-13) »
He was talking about this year's CMPs (Dragon's Song and Dangerous Games) Plus the first 6 runs  of Season 5.

QFT. Thanks Ferret!
Missions Characters:
[SR4] Jax - Merc Technomancer
[SR5] Reece - Journalist TM

The Masked Ferret

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« Reply #6 on: (21:53:46/09-03-13) »
Also Carbon Copy and Ashes, now that I think about it.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #7 on: (03:44:14/09-04-13) »
He was talking about this year's CMPs (Dragon's Song and Dangerous Games) Plus the first 6 runs  of Season 5.
Yes but which ones had which issues? He talks about really dangerous runs, I know Carbon Copy likely counts as one (I am running either CC or Manhunt depending on the players I get on the 28th, I want 6+ people with some heavy hitters for CC, so if I have to split into two small group it becomes Manhunt.) However, I'd like to know where the Season 5 runs fall in the equation, since I have no access to the CMPs but I do intend to host the Season 5 missions once available.
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Halabis

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« Reply #8 on: (13:15:46/09-04-13) »
The CPMs were universally punishingly difficult.

Dyspeptic

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« Reply #9 on: (01:39:14/09-05-13) »
The CPMs were universally punishingly difficult.

I disagree to a certain extent.  The "Dangerous Games" series was fun and felt like it was an appropriate power level for 0-50 Karma characters.  There were challenges, but the encounters didn't roll right over the PCs.  Now, the "Dragon Song" CMPs, especially 3 and 4, were indeed punishing.  I would have thought them more appropriate to the mythical Prime Runner Missions.  If I had not been paying real money to play them, my PC would have walked away at some point.

The actual Season 5 Missions were pretty interesting.  There *were* a couple of "WTF?" moments, but by and large, they were enjoyable.

Ricochet

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« Reply #10 on: (20:35:54/09-07-13) »
Having now read Carbon Copy, I can see how it could be a killer.  The enemies in that are pretty tough.  I actually thought the fight seemed pretty easy when playing through it, but that's because we sent a wave of drones in first as sacrifices (which was expensive) and we were able to get the drop on the enemies with some pretty heavy firepower.

Ashes absolutely gets nasty, although due to using some remote firing platforms (much like the drone strategy) the fight at the end wasn't as deadly for us as the fire.

Dangerous Games #1 we got through without even firing a shot, so it's hard to gauge the difficulty of the fights.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #11 on: (04:16:48/09-08-13) »
My players didn't have any problem with Ashes, but they did get the drop on the enemies and had set up makeshift barricades so would still have done quite decently without the Surprise.

I dread Carbon Copy however, I'm not playing it unless we get 1 or 2 groups of 6~8 players. Anything inbetween we do Manhunt.
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martinchaen

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« Reply #12 on: (01:53:35/09-16-13) »
When will the first 6 runs of Season 5 be available to us non-con goers? I am too busy running a store to have the pleasure of traveling to play RPGs (any traveling I get to do must include my GF and she won't spend her vacation time playing an RPG  :( )
+1; I would love to start playing Season 5 SRM as a PC before GMing them, and once I've played them I would love to volunteer to GM them as a CGL Agent since there doesn't seem to be all that many Agents in Houston (unless I'm looking in all the wrong places).