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What is the current general opinion on 5E products?

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Herr Brackhaus

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« Reply #30 on: (12:42:33/07-07-15) »
I can't entirely agree with All4BigGuns on the exact 90/10 thing, but I'd definitely take a look back at Arsenal, Augmentation, and Street Grimoire from 4th Edition. These were significantly more rules heavy than their 5th Edition counterparts, and I personally prefer it that way. So, while I may not agree on the specifics, I definitely agree that the focus should be on rules rather than fiction, as I firmly believe the latter belongs in setting and source books rather than rule books.

I'd also add that I think interspersing in-setting information in the common sourcebooks players buy somewhat lessens the impact on these events because players will have most of the information already. Some people are good at not metagaming, but one of my favourite Shadowrun moments to this day remains the bug reveal in the Universal Brotherhood arc. Not to sound like "one of those guys", but with no internet and no PDFs that story figuratively blew my mind in it's unexpectedness.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't comment on how the lack of a proper table of contents and bookmarks for Data Trails and Chrome Flesh exacerbate this mix of fiction and rules. When I use the PDF bookmarks to jump between chapters I more often than not find myself scrolling through 10 pages of fiction to get to the rules. Recently I've started using the indexed tables in the back to find page references more than anything, but I really can't stress enough the usefulness of good ToCs and PDF bookmarks. Colour me spoiled :)

jim1701

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« Reply #31 on: (12:47:12/07-07-15) »
I don't know exactly what the "correct" ratio should be between fluff and crunch should be but a rule book's priority should be about rules.  Just looking at the bioware chapter of Chrome Flesh and I see 15 pages of pure fluff before even getting to the equipment and rules covering said equipment which consists of another 17 pages which contains plenty more fluff as well.  This seems to me to be a tad out of whack for a book that is supposed to give me the mechanical framework to run a game.  Even then I could live with that except for the fact that in this edition the writers repeatedly fail to state the rules in such a way that are clear, concise, complete and non-contradictory. 

adzling

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« Reply #32 on: (14:10:06/07-07-15) »
Yup, too much fluff is too much in a crunch book ;-)

I still hold by my observation that a new line editor is needed and a new editing process in general.

5e has suffered far too long under poor management despite repeated and constant feedback to that effect from the community management has not gotten to the heart of the problem and just continues to color in around the edges imho.

UnLimiTeD

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« Reply #33 on: (14:33:04/07-07-15) »
The flavor/context makes it a lot more interesting when reading and consumption of the rules easier (for me).
Until you need to read a full paragraph to find a single attribute effect of a Drug or Geneware that, on closer inspection, doesn't actually fit in the fluff sentence because for sure no one in universe would call it that way.
Still waiting on a Vector-Thrust Liminal Body.

DingoSoulEater

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« Reply #34 on: (09:48:37/07-11-15) »
I have to admit; I was disappointed with my last two purchases (Data Trails and Chrome Flesh). While Shadowrun 5th Edition Core Rulebook surely had a few flaws and editing problems, and the followups Street Grimiore and Run & Gun showed a few more of these.. I was thoroughly impressed with Run Faster, and thought the team had found its swing.

The last two books, however, seem to be products of confusion in design, and deadlines (Origins & GenCon). Both had an immense amount of story and fluff text, that while definitely valued; seems to have resulted in a great deal of other things being left out. Data Trails was lacking for a great deal of Technomancer Love that had long been talked about and wanted; and Chrome Flesh felt more like a tome of small stories with some mechanics worked in.

I enjoy the fluff, immensely, and I have to give due credit to the writers; but I feel that for the products being sold, the volume was not appropriate. The fact Data Trails is soon to be supplemented by another PDF just to fill in Technomancers (I surely hope this PDF is free) and the information I feel should have been in the Data Trails rulebook, and Chrome Flesh missing out so much I'm finding myself better suited to rereading Augmentation and adapting it, leaves me frustrated. Especially in the latter; even if Biodrones / Cyberzombies and the like can't be made anymore with the whole CFD problem, I feel having the rules for them is still appropriate. The existing stock may still be manufactured, or even more valuable; but those have to be made up by hand for their lack of coverage.

All this after Street Grimoire and Run & Gun, even with their flaws, had a good ratio of fluff to crunch and plenty of usable material; and Run Faster that surely needed some proof reading but was an all-round good product? I would say ; my opinion of Shadowrun is simply to get the basic books, and do the rest by hand-wave or 4E as inspiration.

And yes, the usual plug about recent efforts in Tables of Contents and Indexes has to be mentioned. While for a player not a problem; being a GM and having to try and find things in a hurry in those books when it comes up is truly a pain.

adzling

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« Reply #35 on: (11:27:35/07-11-15) »
Hahaha you're a funny man!

The fact Data Trails is soon to be supplemented by another PDF just to fill in Technomancers (I surely hope this PDF is free)...

DingoSoulEater

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« Reply #36 on: (12:23:59/07-11-15) »
Allow me my dreams of a cheap fix to a product! But yes. I am wholly aware my dreams are likely a folly.

Sandman2050

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« Reply #37 on: (17:23:00/07-20-15) »
I've run/played all of the editions since first. 5th ed is a blast. I'm currently running two games, one at my FLGS and one at a private residence and I'm also playing in a "Resident Evil" style game using SR rules at the same FLGS. The rules system runs smoother than previous editions. The only problem I have is the publisher of the SR books, well just the core rulebook actually. Mine as well as a friend of mine's core rulebooks are falling to pieces. Just damn shoddy binding jobs. This shouldn't happen. I have tried and tried to get a response from Catalyst but they have completely ignored my several emails. Even my FLGS is hesitant on stocking up on SR products because of the problems my friend and I have been having.

Finn

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« Reply #38 on: (01:04:25/07-22-15) »
I'm definitely in a Love-Hate relationship with the Edition right now. I guess when you love something so much it cuts a little deeper when you're disappointed.
Sorry, I replaced 1/4 of my brain with a VCR, I only speak Rigger now.

I_AM_ZHOUL!!!

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« Reply #39 on: (03:53:45/07-23-15) »
the complete LACK of any crunch at the end regarding Cybermacy, CyberZombies, Cyborgs disappeared entirely
That's what you get for speculating ;)

No need to rub it in... so supposedly Wakshaani did mention another potential Splatbook with that in it. I forgot the goal was to carve out as many Splatbooks as possible. Not that mad about the lack there.... the hideous ToC & heavy Fluff use with the vague unexplained Rules (Modular Connector/Modular Cyberlimbs or Qualities which turned out to be cool just annoying without explanation here... and those dreaded Custom Drug/Drug interactions table!!!) Hard to get that mad about the 13th most annoying thing about the book.

I_AM_ZHOUL!!!

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« Reply #40 on: (04:16:15/07-23-15) »
I can't entirely agree with All4BigGuns on the exact 90/10 thing, but I'd definitely take a look back at Arsenal, Augmentation, and Street Grimoire from 4th Edition. These were significantly more rules heavy than their 5th Edition counterparts, and I personally prefer it that way. So, while I may not agree on the specifics, I definitely agree that the focus should be on rules rather than fiction, as I firmly believe the latter belongs in setting and source books rather than rule books.

I'd also add that I think interspersing in-setting information in the common sourcebooks players buy somewhat lessens the impact on these events because players will have most of the information already. Some people are good at not metagaming, but one of my favourite Shadowrun moments to this day remains the bug reveal in the Universal Brotherhood arc. Not to sound like "one of those guys", but with no internet and no PDFs that story figuratively blew my mind in it's unexpectedness.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't comment on how the lack of a proper table of contents and bookmarks for Data Trails and Chrome Flesh exacerbate this mix of fiction and rules. When I use the PDF bookmarks to jump between chapters I more often than not find myself scrolling through 10 pages of fiction to get to the rules. Recently I've started using the indexed tables in the back to find page references more than anything, but I really can't stress enough the usefulness of good ToCs and PDF bookmarks. Colour me spoiled :)

All of this ^^^^^^^

I found that clicking on the next chapter than the one I want and rolling up to the end works best for this tragedy of a ToC. Just makes it annoying without getting to the wanting to chuck my phone the room like it's the one "who fucked up by not formatting the pdf properly" level
 Bugs were definitely better than CFD.... crazy world where I miss Bugs. Hopefully the Monad build their ships and fly the fuck away never to be heard from again in the next book..... or would that be me "speculating" again?

The Dweller

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« Reply #41 on: (19:44:24/08-25-15) »
In general, I would say that 5th is the best edition I have enjoyed due to the rules design (and I have every edition still sitting on my shelves).  But there are definitely a few critiques that go with it.

My first is the fluff vs crunch others have mentioned.  Previous editon sourcebooks have on average always had more rules than what we see now.  I like fiction, but when I buy a game book I want the game represented in it moreso than the fiction.

To give an example, here's a comparison between Unwired and Data Trails:

Unwired is 207 pages.  136 of those pages have mechanics and game content.  Technomancers are fully detailed and still have all their now-missing goodies (like Paragons).

Data Trails is 183 pages.  74 of those pages have mechanics and game content.

The game content between these two books is also vastly different.  Commlinks in Data Trails seem neglected.  What is defined as the single greatest piece of gear to a runner gets some bland phone apps and the inability to run actual programs.  Rules for Form Factor are light, almost negligible (add to cost/availability, but gain nothing like armor rating, etc like previous edition cases).  The highlight of the book should be the section on modifying gear, but it too comes up light.  Adding Persona Firmware sounds great, except there's no table for what the Persona's stats are (Persona stats are always linked to a device, so what device do you use?).  I think the idea behind some of the new content is good, but I come away with the perception the writer knew what he was envisioning already and didn't think to write all of it out for the rest of us to comprehend (so we're left guessing how some stuff works).

Chrome Flesh.  I don't need to say much here.  Yes it has lots of fluff, but what's included in rules more than compensates.  Its jam packed with old and new goodies.  After Run Faster, it is by far my favorite sourcebook.

Looking back at some other sourcebooks, Street Grimoire and Run n Gun were good, but they could have been better.  Here we come back to customization, which seems sorely lacking in 5th edition.  Street Grimoire had none of the spell creation/modification of previous editions.  The sections on item creation seemed a bit drab, not enough info on using refined, radicals and orichalcum.  The Talismongering chapter went on and on, and then didn't really offer any crunch to make reading it worthwhile.  Oh, and Spirit Mentors.  Guess most of them from previous editions have been wiped out by Horrors, so we're left with fewer choices.

In Run n Gun, the big hole is definitely all the previous gun customization being gone.  Instead, there's a chapter dedicated to the mathematical details of blowing up buildings.  I don't mind the explosive creation part, but I'd say the rest is of rather limited usage to players compared to weapon tweaking.

Last thing I'd say is storylines.  Universal Brotherhood was by far the best.  Followed by love of that wacky Harlequin.  Then all of the interesting characters from the classic modules and campaign books (Mercurial, Euphoria, Deus, various dragons, etc).  Sadly the it-kills-your-characters nanovirus comes in last.  Way too apocalyptic unless your goal was to bring a campaign to an end (and possibly put you on the hit list with your fellow players).  We need adventures with more iconic NPCs and returning enemies you love to hate.  The campaign books are nice if you want to fill in the blanks for your group, but sometimes its hard to beat a good old fashioned module.

The good thing to take away from all of this is that there's always room to add more to the game with future books.  I'm hopeful that maybe there's a Big Book of Customizing out there on the horizon to bring back a big portion of mechanics that are missing.  Or individual pdf supplements that will fill in the gaps.  Either way, 5th edition is a good successor to the previous editions, and on the average I've been pleased by most of the current products.

tytalan

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« Reply #42 on: (14:56:04/09-05-15) »
Funny hearing how other editions have had less fluff than hearing all 4th edition books being named.  Sorry guys but I played 1st-3rd and ran all 3 there fluff level was much closer to 5th than you think.  Less short stories mostly only one a book but the rest was always there and useful.  I just got done going thru my copy of Chrome Flesh and I am impressed not I have many new ideals for my up coming game.  I've played Cyberpunk back in the day and it was a minimums fluff in books game and that one of the reason I jumped to SHadowrun when it came out. 
Come on people this is a RPG here we are not playing D&D the fluff adds to the game.   

All4BigGuns

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« Reply #43 on: (15:00:36/09-05-15) »
Funny hearing how other editions have had less fluff than hearing all 4th edition books being named.  Sorry guys but I played 1st-3rd and ran all 3 there fluff level was much closer to 5th than you think.  Less short stories mostly only one a book but the rest was always there and useful.  I just got done going thru my copy of Chrome Flesh and I am impressed not I have many new ideals for my up coming game.  I've played Cyberpunk back in the day and it was a minimums fluff in books game and that one of the reason I jumped to SHadowrun when it came out. 
Come on people this is a RPG here we are not playing D&D the fluff adds to the game.   

Incorrect. Man and Machine might have a page or two here and there in between sets of rules info, and once getting into the meat of the matter, it has a short blurb of a paragraph for description before giving the mechanical information needed to use the implant/rule (with the exception of the Nanotech chapter, which has 10 pages right at the beginning--the largest amount of pure 'fluff' in the book). Cannon Companion is the same way. Magic in the Shadows probably has the highest 'fluff' percentage of those books, but the magical side of things always has needed more explanation.

Third edition books on par with Fifth in terms of "fluff" would be things like SOTA books and Year of the Comet (mainly 'fluff' with just a few mechanical things here and there).


You are, however, right about one thing. Third edition had a pretty good balance between setting information and mechanics information. They didn't go too overboard on the 'fluffy bits' and they had a decent amount of clear rules information in the rules books. Most 'fluff' was saved for source books outside of the core rules supplements.
« Last Edit: (15:25:31/09-05-15) by All4BigGuns »
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tytalan

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« Reply #44 on: (16:16:32/09-05-15) »
Your name says it all All4BigGuns you happened to mention some of the most useful books in the game there those beginning the SotA books at least on the GM side.  Shadowrun historically does not produce GM books other than a few area source books mostly done towards the end of an edition.  One of the things I love about the current edition is that the fluff helps fill in that gap.  For the most part in shadowrun GM's do not need extra rules but background Fluff can be a great help with setting and adventure ideals. 

Man & Machine came in at 160 pgs  Chrome Flesh is 240 pgs
Man & Machine has half to two thirds the new toys that Chrome Flesh has
So pages to toys you are either running about the same or less

I like the new books for the most part I only wish both the editing and the play test was better so we would get less errata.  Also unless they have it and I missed it we need a Errata PDF posted some were