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What is the current general opinion on 5E products?

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Rallen12

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« on: (02:25:43/05-18-15) »
Shadowrun was the first RPGs i found and it was my favorite but i started learning about other systems and only now did i come back and i see that alot of people are unhappy from product reviews and such

 what's the deal?

Marzhin

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« Reply #1 on: (03:16:17/05-18-15) »
Th first books of 5th Edition suffered from numerous editing problems that were due to a bad proofreading process. It has gotten much better on the latest releases.
Apart from that, some people may not like some of the changes to the rules, or the latest plot developments. It's very subjective, I guess.
Personally I love SR5, probably the most fun I've had with Shadowrun since SR3. I like the fact they've gone back to a darker and grittier atmosphere, where things can go south very fast.
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Mirikon

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« Reply #2 on: (12:10:59/05-18-15) »
As Marzhin said, the early books had a lot of problems, that have mostly been resolved now. My main issues with 5E basically all tie into the fact that opportunities for customization have been greatly reduced from 4th edition. As someone who greatly enjoys systems like Champions, M&M, BESM, and the like, being able to tweak things to fit my vision is key to my enjoyment of the game. The main issues I've got with the new system are:

Priority System - I've never liked the priority system, as it basically forces people into certain routes, rather than allowing them the flexibility to choose things how they like. 4th edition's Point Buy system was much more elegant, in my opinion.

Weapon Mods - We haven't had the rigger book yet, but weapon mods got kicked straight in the balls comparing this edition to the last. I liked being able to mod a weapon to my tastes. To borrow from the Marines, "This is my Predator IV. There are many like it, but this one is MINE."

Technomancers - TMs got thrown in a cell with Bubba the Love Troll and sandpaper instead of lube. They went from being the swiss army knives of the matrix, though less reliable in their abilities than regular matrix users to being shoehorned into only being hackers and being substantially both worse at their job than deckers and less versatile than deckers. And they kept all the drawbacks that balanced their utility with a hacker's reliability in the last edition, making them even worse. Hell, there was an entire technomancer Stream (like a mage's Tradition) focused on rigging and interacting with drones, and now TMs can't even jump into a drone without Submerging. Any TM Riggers out there (and yes, TMs made some damn fine riggers in 4th) got the shaft harder than the 'stars' of gangbang porn trids.

Redundancy - Part of the problem with the Priority system and the changes to Hacking/Rigging is that they absolutely murder party redundancy. In 4th, it was easy for each person in the group to have a primary role, and then a secondary or tertiary role that they could step into if need be. When speaking of a Face, for instance, they're always nice to have, but what if they catch a case of dead? What if you have things to do at two places at once? Having someone who can step up, even if they aren't in the same league, can make the difference between a milk run and all hell breaking loose. Most teams usually only have one Matrix specialist. In a standard group of 4-5, you have Magic, Muscle, Matrix, Face, and usually a second gunner, especially if the mage isn't combat-focused. In 4th edition, a Hacker could pull double duty, rigging a couple drones, or a Rigger could hack if need be. That redundancy was utterly wiped out, which means if the Hacker or Rigger takes a case of lead poisoning, the entire run is dead. Before, redundancy allowed you to at least try and finish the run.
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Herr Brackhaus

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« Reply #3 on: (12:29:29/05-18-15) »
I can't entirely agree with everything Mirikon says, but I definitely agree on the customization aspect. SR3 had significantly more options than SR4, and SR4 had (so far, going by Run & Gun) significantly more options than SR5. This is not a good trend to my mind, and though a lot of gear can relatively easily be modified to fit SR5 rules this does mean that one must have the previous edition books.

I also agree with the point made about Technomancers; they are easily the hardest archetype to play, followed closely by riggers simply because of the lack of rules. Players wanting to use these archetypes will have to make sure to talk to their GM in-depth to make sure that they are on the same page where rules are concerned, because there is a lot of potential for interpretation in the rules.

On redundancy, I feel this is only relevant if the table plays a very highly specialized game; if you go by the examples in the book and the sample characters from the main rulebook and the beginners box set, there's plenty of room for overlap between player characters. Magic is the only thing to my mind that can't be compensated for, but a cheap deck and an agent program might be able to do in a pinch and most vehicles still have manual controls or can be remotely operated by someone with a high reaction score and a few ranks in pilot groundcraft. Sure, these characters won't be as good as the dedicated rigger or decker, but I also don't think that's a reasonable expectation given that riggers and deckers aren't supposed to be fully fledged street samurai or spellslingers. Again, unless the table requires high degrees of specialization to the point where players are throwing 18 or more dice for their primary skills, it is quite possible to build in some redundancy in a team.

In terms of books:
Core has a few problems, but nothing that in my opinion cannot be houseruled or worked around.
Run & Gun is mostly straight forward, though the lack of modifications and focus on demolitions is a move I won't understand. I really like the inclusion of Combat Maneuvers, but I don't expect these rules to be used too much, which I feel is a shame.
Street Magic is plagued by a significant amount of odd and arbitrary rules, some of which make absolutely no sense to my mind. Still, it's a decent supplement for the lore and for spellcasters, but it definitely has potential for a significant overhaul.
Run Faster is in my opinion the strongest book of all released so far from a rules perspective. There's a lot of good content (including the return of the Karma character generation method), solid in-game lore, and I found it to be just an all-around good book.

I've enjoyed pretty much all of the supplements so far; Bullets & Bandages is my least favourite because it was mostly a 4th Edition book in my opinion, with Stolen Souls (despite its layout issues) and Lockdown the strongest by far.

If there's one thing I wish Catalyst would do better, it would be to leave rules and lore well enough alone. Keep the two clearly separated, because having to flip four pages to find some vague details about a piece of gear (I'm looking at you, Stolen Souls) is something I find to be decidedly unpleasant. I also didn't appreciate the sheer amount of snark in Run & Gun (some of the descriptions of weapon accessories just felt like the writers straight up lashing out in some sort of way in poor attempts at humour), so I was very glad to see that Run Faster had neither of these issues. I firmly believe that we're in for a lot of good content if Catalyst can keep up the good work evidenced in Run Faster and Lockdown.

TL;DR
Some poor showings early on are more than made up for with recent releases, in my opinion.

Sir_Prometheus

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« Reply #4 on: (18:34:15/05-18-15) »
Quality control has been bad enough it's made me wonder if it's not better to go back and play 4th.  4th was overall a good ruleset but it had a few structural issues -- elemental dmg was too much, I didn't liek the initiative pass system, etc.  The matrix has needed to be redone forever.  The broad, sweeping changes to 5th ed were great!  I think limits (accuracy) work well (largely poorly implemented outside of combat, though), new initiative is better, new matric is WAY better, a lot of well thought out tweeks here and there. 

BUT, there are almost two contradictory rulesets in the main book, and it's like elements of one weren't thoroughly erased, and they cause confusion.  And mostly the new rulebooks have been VERY hard to read, street grimoire had LOTS of cut & paste that was sorta thoughtlessly ported over from 4th without considering how poorly they worked with new changes (and a few times, I've seen bits broken off, still cut&paste, to be in an "add-on" book).  It's clear that often two different people are working on two different sections and no one is making sure the two sections make sense with each other, or follow the same format, or anything, really.  Run Faster is a pretty OK book, honestly, but for instance the sections telling you how to make infected characters, vs those telling you how to make shapeshifters, are laid out completely differently.  Obviously the two types do work differently, but I'm mostly thinking how they chose to explicitly address new vampires not getting regeneration (which is a good change) but dual natured, silver vulnerability and regeneration aren't even mentioned under shapeshifters.  More broadly, I'd like them to follow simpler formats. 

Generally speaking, the fluff has been great.  And that's important!  But this is a crunchy game, rules matter.  I feel like the "state of the rules" is going downhill with every new book.  The amount of errata/FAQ to fix it would be enormous, and Catalyst has shown no will to even do half of it.  (The SG errata, for instance, didn't cover most of what needed).

Chalkarts

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« Reply #5 on: (21:55:23/05-18-15) »
From what I've read here should I hold my plans to collect 5e and scour Amazon and eBay for 4e books? Lol

But seriously, having not read 5e yet I'm very sad to see the priority system come back.  I loved 4e point buy creation.  It gave me perfect customization.  Is it possible, or rather Easy, to create using 4e then convert to 5 for play? 
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DeathStrobe

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« Reply #6 on: (00:27:57/05-19-15) »
You can pick up a lot of SR4 PDFs from the bundle of holding right now. Really cheap when you consider you're getting almost every worth wild expanded rule set.

AJCarrington

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« Reply #7 on: (03:51:23/05-19-15) »
From what I've read here should I hold my plans to collect 5e and scour Amazon and eBay for 4e books? Lol

But seriously, having not read 5e yet I'm very sad to see the priority system come back.  I loved 4e point buy creation.  It gave me perfect customization.  Is it possible, or rather Easy, to create using 4e then convert to 5 for play?
For reference, there are some alternative chargen options in Run Faster. Once you've got your feet wet...might be of some interest. ;)

Sir_Prometheus

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« Reply #8 on: (21:49:02/05-19-15) »
Personally, I think the priority system (or at least the Sum to 10) is awesome.  It would have been nice if Run faster had the old point buy system, updated.  The karma system isn't really a replacement, as its exponential, rather than linear.

Sabato Kuroi

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« Reply #9 on: (17:39:16/05-20-15) »
I really enjoy  SR5


Can't wait to  get my hands on Lockdown

Csjarrat

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« Reply #10 on: (08:23:25/05-23-15) »
some things have been made much better in 5th (Dedicated hackers, combat adepts, mystic adepts), some things have been made worse (TM's, aspected magicians).
Riggers are still left stranded without an expansion book and suffer from a lot of vague or badly worded rules and the car chase mechanics are still not great (though are improved somewhat from 4e)
Weapon mods got axed and the early books were a mess of copy pasted crap from 4e and terrible proofing.
The catalyst guys admitted things weren't up to scratch and have got their heads down and really turned the quality around. the last couple of books have been decent and i'm really looking forward to seeing the new matrix expansion book.
In short, things are fine and improving from there
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Shadowjack

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« Reply #11 on: (07:48:51/05-26-15) »
Pros
- Lower power starting characters (4th was way too powerful)
- Better archetype balance
- Alternative names for vehicles
- Rules feel much cleaner overall
- The book itself is more visually appealing
- Vastly superior initiative system (best change imo)
- Magic is more balanced
- Ware costs considerably more
- Cyberdecks are back!

Cons
- Matrix is slightly better but still very long winded and hard to memorize
- Grenades are still a giant mess though slightly better than 4th
- Rigger rules are extremely confusing and rigger combat is very slow
- Recoil is a nuisance for GM in large battles

Should you play 5th?
Yes. I think 5th is the superior product. It isn't perfect, many books are yet to be released, but I think it's a very fun system.
« Last Edit: (10:30:33/05-27-15) by Shadowjack »
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Rapier

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« Reply #12 on: (11:40:09/06-10-15) »
I think most of us are cheering for Shadowrun and wish for it to do great.

While 5E brought some refreshing improvements to the rule set, it also brought more that its load of quality assurance issues, integral rehash of material from previous editions and fluff to rule ratio is a lot worse than prior editions (No fault to the fluff writers, the fluff IS good but I didn't buy a novel did I?).

Even more distressing to me is that I am guessing there are some severe management issues. No production schedule is publically released, lack of product support through rule supplements is uninspiring, quality assurance is abysmal, edition problems are rampant and incoherence between products suggest lack of a global vision for the system.

As such I have stopped buying 5E products after the magic supplement and wait to see significant improvement before I get back in. I come to the board every once in a while hoping to read that products are improving or that the Brand has been sold.

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AJCarrington

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« Reply #13 on: (13:11:39/06-10-15) »
@Rapier - might be worth taking a look at some of the recent reviews out there. Things aren't perfect, but have improved in the past year (imho).

PeterSmith

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« Reply #14 on: (14:21:45/06-10-15) »
As such I have stopped buying 5E products after the magic supplement and wait to see significant improvement before I get back in.

Check out Run Faster.

I come to the board every once in a while hoping to read that products are improving or that the Brand has been sold.

Ownership of Shadowrun is by Topps. Production of Shadowrun RPG is Catalyst via a license from Topps. Topps can sell Shadowrun without impact to the players.
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