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Give me a secret history book!

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biotech66

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« on: <09-16-14/0906:41> »
So there is the Sixth World Almanac, but that only really hits the high point.  That's not bad, but what I really need is a book that hits the shadows of Shadowrun.  Is there a book on the secret history, or do I have to lurk every corner of the internet to build up the background for the game?
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Kincaid

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« Reply #1 on: <09-16-14/0940:07> »
The metaplot is pretty spread out and it really depends on how far back you want to go.  I liked Threats back in 2e, but some of those things are no longer relevant.  I'd look at System Failure and Conspiracy Theories for some of the more recent stuff.  If you're looking for setting flavor, older books like Shadowbeat and Neo-Anarchist's Guide to Real Life remain really handy.  Also, Bug City because everyone who ever plays Shadowrun should read Bug City.
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Wakshaani

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« Reply #2 on: <09-16-14/0945:02> »
Depends on what you mean by the shadows. Dirty Tricks, for example, is *chock full* of stuff that normal people don't know and plot threads, but it seems to be the most overlooked bok of 4th edition.

Dunk's WIll, meanwhile, is the book that launched a thousand campaigns.

Can you more tightly define your need, here?

Crimsondude

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« Reply #3 on: <09-16-14/1424:11> »
What's the point of there being a secret history if it's published?


Sendaz

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« Reply #4 on: <09-16-14/1449:41> »
First rule of Secret History Club......
Do you believe in a greater WIRELESS, an Invisible(WiFi) All Seeing(detecting those connected- at least if within 100'), All Knowing(all online data) Presence that we can draw upon for Wisdom(downloads & updates), Strength (wifi boni) and Comfort (porn) or do you turn your back on it  (Go Offline)?

Parker

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« Reply #5 on: <09-16-14/1453:49> »
Go to DrivethruRPG and start buying the PDFs of older books you don't have and figure will aid ya. :)

     (Oh, and I hope they notice my site-push 'cause I have a wishlist on their site thi-i-i-s long!) :D
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biotech66

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« Reply #6 on: <09-17-14/2224:18> »
My problem is how many old books do I have to buy to be able to really know whats going on.  I liked the basic history in the almanac, but that's only surface stuff.  I'd like to go deeper without having to spend every penny I have.
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Crimsondude

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« Reply #7 on: <09-17-14/2240:37> »
It depends on what you want to know, you can narrow it down. But there's nothing free in this world.

If you want to know everything, you have to put in the work. That's what I had to do.

Mirikon

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« Reply #8 on: <09-18-14/0137:32> »
To get the full metaplot from the start of 1E to now, you're going to have to buy a LOT of books, since Shadowrun is more a 'living world' kind of idea than individual campaign settings like you see with Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Ravenloft, and others for D&D. There isn't going to be a metaplot history book more than what you see in the Almanac. Hell, even getting the full metaplot from 4th edition to now is going to entail several books.

But if you want to get the key points, the things that really matter, then here's a quick list (note that this is not in any particular order).

Older stuff:
Secret of Power Trilogy (novels)
Queen Euphoria
Harlequin
Universal Brotherhood - Missing Blood
Harlequin's Back
Bug City
Threats 1, Threats 2
Super Tuesday
Portfolio of a Dragon
Dragonheart Trilogy (novels)
Year of the Comet
Wake of the Comet
State of the Art 2063, 2064
Lone Star
Wake of the Comet
Dragons of the Sixth World
Loose Alliances
Renraku Arcology - Shutdown
Brainscan
System Failure

4th Edition:
Emergence
Ghost Cartels
Artifacts Unbound
Corporate Guide
Vice
Seattle 2072
Attitude
WAR!
Clutch of Dragons
Dirty Tricks
Storm Front

5th Edition:
Stolen Souls


This is a quick and dirty list, and leaves out a lot. And when you read the Earthdawn material then a LOT of things that were just "Huh, that's neat" become "HOLY F*CK!" But put all that together, and you'll have a fairly solid grasp on the history of the Shadowrun world until now. Yes, that won't be cheap, unless you know someone with the old material that will let you borrow it. Yes, it will take a good investment in time to read through all that. But then, how much do you think you'd have to read to get a history of everything going on in the real world for the last 20-something years?
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biotech66

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« Reply #9 on: <09-18-14/1118:00> »
The problem isn't with the effort, its the time.  For someone who is new to the system, learning enough to really be decent are weaving some secret tales is going to be hard.  Even harder if the only books you have are 5e.  I like whats out there, but I'd like some resource to give me enough to learn a five sentence summary of the major events and back stories and the location of where to really dig in.

Look at Watergate.  If you could give me a five sentences of story, then point me to a useful full book on the subject.  That's what I'm hoping for.  I don't need to know ALL the history, but enough of the big things an the things behind the scenes would make me much better versed in the world.

This even goes to the fiction.  I love whats coming out, but to really be able to enjoy it, you need to know stuff that goes back one or two editions.

Also to try to convince more playing to play in my area and then give them an over 20 book reading list would be a major turn off.  I'll dig in, but I know most, if  any, of my players will walk away.
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Mirikon

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« Reply #10 on: <09-18-14/1218:48> »
No one starts being an expert on the setting and its history, biotech. Everyone starts with the idea "So it's like Blade Runner with magic and dragons?" Maybe they like something in the setting, maybe they go on a few basic runs, and get hooked. New players (and GMs) shouldn't be worrying about the massive backstory. Start with things in the 'here and now', Missions-level plots, and so on. Most of the Missions are low enough in terms of metaplot that you don't have to be a scholar to know the score, so they make a good entry to the game. As you and your players get more comfortable with the system and setting, then you can start delving into the secrets.

And, to be honest, those secrets are so much better when you discover them for the first time in game. Remember, most people don't know what really goes on in the shadows, and only a very few know as much of the metaplot as even I do, much less some of the other posters here like Wyrm.
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