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Howling Shadows [Animal Price Guide] (Or you lose my support).

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Patrick Goodman

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« Reply #15 on: (13:11:08/06-07-16) »
I speak for myself alone here. My statements are not condoned by CGL. I don't think I'm going to say anything bad, but I want it clear that I own these statements and they're not, nor should they be construed to be, in any way the policy or beliefs of Catalyst Game Labs.

I honestly expected one of the freelancers to fix it up immediately, just to help out the community.
Working on it, actually, but you seem to think that writing for Shadowrun is all any of us do. This is not, in fact, the case.

I base this assertion on the following:
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I know its not a lot of work. It would take no time at all, but I don't want to do it for myself.
See, here's where you're wrong on a number of levels. It's freaking time-consuming to put this thing together. The research alone to find appropriate costs for exotic animals in unbelievable, since they vary wildly. Then you have to figure out how the existing exotic critter compares to the paracritters in SR, and then make some adjustments. Occasionally, the odd Wild-Ass Guess is needed.

You'd be amazed at what mundane guard dogs in the real world can conceivably cost, as a for-instance. Pet-quality Doberman pup from a reputable breeder? Starting at $1,000. Show quality? North of $2K. And on and on.

Exotics...okay. A Bengal tiger cub will cost you north of $3K, depending on the dealer. You can expect to spend in the neighborhood of $60K in meat to feed one on an annual basis (assuming a price for beef of $3.87/lb, and an average 40 lbs daily consumption). That's according to one source; other sources put the cost of the cub closer to $10K. I still don't know if those are show-quality cats. Yes, there are Bengal tiger shows. I didn't know that either.

It's not as simple or as quick as you want it to be.
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I want it in an "official" capacity, so one particular player in our group won't bellyache and nitpick over it.
That sounds like a quality-control issue at your table. It might not seem like the optimal solution to the current generation, but house-rules are as old as the hobby itself, and if your player needs everything in his games to be "official," then he might need to find another hobby.
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Seriously, its as easy as making a list and then writing an availability number and a nuyen cost. Done.
*snrk* You clearly have not done anything like this and tried to get it right.
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Jack_Spade

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« Reply #16 on: (14:40:38/06-07-16) »
For anyone interested, here is my quick'n dirty solution (made in 20 minutes)

AnimalAVAILCOST
Bear16F6,500
Chimpanzee8R25,000
Eagle125,000
Elephant12F55,000
Giraffe16R8,000
Snake10F3,500
Great Cat12R5,000
Wolf12R1000
Barracuda8R250
Dolphin12R10,000
Sea Lion12R6,000
Squid8R250
Killer Whale18F100,000
Horse42000
Dog-100
Domestic Cat-50
Cockroach-1
Crow-25
Ferret-250
Raccoon-25
Rat-25
Spider-100
ENHANCEMENTAVAILCOST
Cloned+4x10 base cost
Cosmetic+25,000
Flore-Pet+2800
Hypo-Allergenic+21,200
Luci-Pet+21,000
Munchkin+1500
Retro+310,000

For the prices of awakened critters, multiply the price of it's closes mundane relative with 10 times it's Aggro Index
For Availability add Aggro Index, rounded up to normal Availability, and increase - to R and R to F

Example: Bandit, Aggro Index 2.1 = 21*25=525, AVA 3R

« Last Edit: (02:59:30/06-08-16) by Jack_Spade »
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Fabe

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« Reply #17 on: (14:59:38/06-07-16) »
only 100 for a dog? what breed of dog? just  one price when there are literally hunders of breeds of dogs  with prices that should range for 100 to a thousands seems like lazy rule writing to me.

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #18 on: (15:17:31/06-07-16) »
What part of "quick'n dirty" didn't you understand?  ;)
Also most of those prices are taken from 4e
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Medicineman

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« Reply #19 on: (15:19:33/06-07-16) »
....oO( and here I thought only Germans aren't happy when they can't complain...)
;)

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Fabe

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« Reply #20 on: (15:38:07/06-07-16) »
What part of "quick'n dirty" didn't you understand?  ;)
Also most of those prices are taken from 4e

just trying to give you armchair developers a taste of your own medicine . if Catalysis put something like that out even as "Quick and dirty" there would half a dozen threads of complaints 

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #21 on: (15:54:22/06-07-16) »
Thing is, you picked a very bad example to poke holes into, since this is actually taken from the 4e rules.  ::)
The 100 are the base price and you are of course at liberty to buy a pure bred with a documented lineage back to the 18th century for ten to one hundred times the price.
« Last Edit: (15:56:14/06-07-16) by Jack_Spade »
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Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

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« Reply #22 on: (20:14:53/06-07-16) »
For what it's worth we will be addressing this issue as part of the Mission's FAQ and we will be basing it on Running Wild, but it will be a few weeks at least if not July before it get's posted since we are off to Origins next week.

Not to dis on your contribution, but once upon a time Errata and Missions FAQ were two distinct things. Now there's only one and it's doing what little it can to act as the other.
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BrysenBlue

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« Reply #23 on: (21:16:24/06-07-16) »
*snrk* You clearly have not done anything like this and tried to get it right.

Actually, I have. I know exactly how difficult it is. But I also know that you are over-thinking it. You don't need exact cost of these animals in real life. All you need to do is set a measuring bar, decide if a creature is more or less valuable than a Ford Americar and by how much. Then list availability accordingly. I understand there are additional costs and all this other stuff, but the beauty of the lifestyle system in Shadowrun is that you do not need to micromanage how many packs of Gum your troll eats in a month. Have creatures with a high body rating increase lifestyle cost and treat pets as a "life-style" purchase. It really is that simple.

For example, a Dog costs 0 modification points for your lifestyle. While Anything with a body of say... 8 or higher (I would need to check the stats but I think 7-8ish is around where it starts) costs 1 and requires a nuyen cost or a lifestyle of High+.

Jack has shown what he can do in 20 minutes, that is all it would have taken. If the prices were a bit off (like "Dog" costing 100 nuyen, what about purebreds, etc.) that doesn't matter. Chalk it up to how easily available or how rare that critter is in the far-flung future of 2075.

As for what you said about "the assumption that this is all the freelance writers do" well, no. Actually, hard to believe, but I too am a freelance writer. I have been going on about 10 or so years now. It is my primary source of income. Gaming is my hobby.  What I assume (because its an expectation of myself) is a certain level of quality. This is clearly an issue and an easy one to rectify no less.

Again, I am not looking to be an asshole. I'm sorry for the "tough love" but in this line of work the quality and standard of your work is more important than your resume. Fortunately, you're not going to be panned for charging 3000 nuyen for a tiger when clearly it should be "15,000 nuyen" (said in his most pretentious voice) but you will cop criticism for something essential NOT being in the product.

Chrome Flesh needs to be the standard. The story content in it was better, the book was organized better and it was easy to navigate. I have not yet taken the time to check the crossover of the creative teams, but given the high quality of Chrome Flesh I was surprised when Howling Shadows had so many mistakes. I can overlook reprinting the same art asset a couple of times, but give us everything essential.

Blaming our anal retentive friend for wanting to "go by the book" isn't productive. He's not a bad dude.

In other news, I got this message:

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Thanks for playing Shadowrun, and thanks for your passion for the game. I hope this response will be useful without being too long.

The first thing I need to say is that while I certainly would rather having people buy and play Shadowrun, I can't make changes simply because someone says they will stop buying products if I have a reason for doing what I did and keeping things the way they are. Which I do.

Before explaining that reason, I'll note that a small table with availability and costs of ten mundane critters has been inserted into the book; it should be put into an update for PDF users soon. It has a brief version of the more full explanation I'll offer here.

And that explanation is this: Including cost and availability for every critter goes against what I want a critter book to be. I do not think paranormal animals should be available for purchase. I realize there are people who disagree with me, but there it is. Look at it this way--how difficult is it, in our world, to get illegal guns? Or drugs? Neither is especially difficult, if you are willing to take a few risks. Now, how would you go about obtaining a lion? Are they commonly sold on street corners? Or anywhere?

Animals are much more of a nuisance than weapons when it comes to illegal deals. Animals need upkeep, leave messes, and are prone to attack when you don't expect it, all of which are things weapons don't do. Animals also tend to be larger than weapons and more difficult to transport. They are just plain way less marketable, even on the black market. Now take a hellhound, which is as sturdy as a lion, stronger, and breathes fire. If a lion is really hard to find--to the point of near-impossibility--then hellhounds and their ilk aren't going to be commonly sold.

But beyond that, there's the question of what I want the book to be. I want it to be a massive collection of plot hooks for player and GM alike, where the GM might send players on a critter hunt, or the players see a critter they would like and take the initiative to go get one. If the book turns into a shopping catalogue, then the missions can often be accomplished through calling a contact and being patient. Too many chances for adventure would be lost, and that's not how I wanted the book to be.

So that's why the book is the way it is. What you do with that book and my explanation is entirely up to you, but I hope that whatever you decide, you have fun in your gaming.

Jason H.

To which, I replied:

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So, you think its perfectly reasonable to be able to buy an antibalastic missile... but you cannot buy a lion on the black market?

With all due respect, this should simply be covered by a high availability rating or making something F.

The fact that they are difficult to obtain means they are valuable. Especially things like lions, tigers and sharks, all of which are commonly seen as status symbols.

In fact, right now I can make a phone call and aquire a tiger cub if I wanted to own one. Maybe this is a bit different in the US (I am in Australia) but the illegal trafficking of exotic animals is a big part of the black market.

More to the point, if a group of players capture and sedate a paracritter, rather than just killing it without a price listing we cannot "fairly" judge how much it can be sold for.

My "complaint" is that I just spent $30 buying a book that my GM will not let us use because it does not have costs for the animals and has references for base cost modifiers.

I am glad to hear there will be at least 10 prices listed, but it should be noted that you are not only required to give us plot hooks but game statistics. The purpose of which is to resolve disputes at the gaming table. You are not a novelist, you are an RPG Writer and these statistics are important.

You can easily cover the "rarity" and difficulty to find these creatures with astoundingly high prices and extremely high availability ratings.

I think (and I am not trying to come off as a pretentious gamer asshole) but I honestly think you do not realize just how big the market for exotic animals really is. There is an entire subculture of people (wealthy people) who will buy a bear, people who would buy wild hellhounds (to breed them and raise their pups).

I'm not trying to bust your balls, it is just when I buy an RPG supplement, I am buying a tool. I do not need rules for people with different blood-types or obscure things, but the value of creatures in the game are important.

I'm not so fucked up as to want to know how much I can sell "Sally" the prepubescent elf to a pedophile ring, but if I can buy the Lurrsen Mobius, I'd like to be able to go full Noah and buy some Giraffes for it son.  Or at least know how much I can sell a Giraffe for to a dealer or eco terrorists who want to "Buy back" the animal's freedom (something else which happens quite regularly).

Thank you to Jack Spade for his efforts. This is a game, its fun, and something as simple as what he "knocked together in 20 minutes" is all we are asking for. It does not need to be perfect or without fault. No one is going to judge anyone if the prices and availability are a bit wonky, so long as we don't end up with a situation like "Tiger, Availability 47, 37,500,000 nuyen."
« Last Edit: (21:28:17/06-07-16) by BrysenBlue »

Herr Brackhaus

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« Reply #24 on: (23:33:37/06-07-16) »
I have to agree with BrysenBlue on this; prices for everything from a t-shirt costing 5 to a VTOL aircraft costing tens of millions are important because it sets the expectation of value. If we know that an Ares Predator costs X nuyen in Seattle on the black market, but Y nuyen in South Africa because guns are more accessible, this gives us an important insight into economics.

If all we know about animals is that they may or may not be rare and/or of some value, we have very little to go on in terms of using those plot hooks that you've just sold us.

And I wholeheartedly agree with the statement about what my expectations are when I buy a sourcebook for an RPG like Shadowrun; unless it says "Setting" or "Fiction" on the front, I expect rules. When the book in question is called a "Core Critter Handbook", I for one expect fully fleshed out rules and not "just" story hooks. Heck, even most of the location source books in previous edition had information about the local variations on the core rules, like the difference in price for weapons and ammunition, or changes to bribes and legality ratings.

To my mind, the biggest issue Catalyst has right now is failing to set and meet expectations. The quality of the product is all over the map (I agree that Chrome Flesh is a high point of 5th Edition, but books like Run & Gun, Data Trails, and Street Grimoire were in my opinion huge let-downs), and the commitment to fulfilling past promises (especially where Errata is concerned) just doesn't seem to be there. Even if the intent is there, there is no action, and that's not a good thing when you're trying to sell a product to customers.

In this case, an updated PDF with a 10-entry table isn't enough to convince me to buy the book when I can convert Running Wild just fine on my own...

Blue Rose

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« Reply #25 on: (00:39:22/06-08-16) »
Also, we already have a book that assumes you can acquire animal friends, and even has fairly extensive additional rules in the form of the Attune Animal ritual, yet it has been deemed inappropriate for the critter book to include rules for acquiring the animal friend you want to bond?  We have a price on pet food, rules for animal training, modifiers for genetically engineered animals, but not a price tag on dogs?

One of my characters right now is a Mongolian druid.  Among other things, she practices falconry.  This does not seem outlandish in the context of a game where one of the core character archetypes is the shaman, a magic user attuned to the natural world who draws power from respect for nature, 'cuz to me, that seems like a core archetype that is naturally drawn to and inclined to work with animals.  Even some street shaman on the streets of the Redmond barrens, I expect to see walking alongside some mutt she fed some scraps, working together to get by in the world.  The fact that I have to improvise so much to get my feathered friend when the critter book is in my hands is very disappointing, the crux of it being the cost table.

I want to like this book.  I really do.  I've been looking forward to it since it was announced because I so wanted to use it in running a druid, but the more I try and use it, the more disappointed I become.

Also, making my druid who's into falconry is when I realized... no Merlin hawk.  That makes me sad.  I like Merlin hawks.

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #26 on: (02:04:06/06-08-16) »
I did a quick analysis of the contents of the book, specifically looking for the word "cost" and parsing through where that word shows up.

  • Results 1-7 are near the beginning in opening descriptions. Mostly in reference to costs of certain things (like how drones are "costly" or there is a better cost/benefit ratio).
  • Result 8 is the mention that supernatural animals cost about ten times as much as mundane ones.
  • Result 9/10 are back to some descriptive text
  • Result 11-13 are in the Genetic Enhancements Sidebar(s)
  • Result 14 is the word "costume"
  • Result 15 is in the description of the Devil Jack Diamond fish.
  • Result 16 is in the description of the Meistersinger
  • Result 17 is in the ShadowTalk of the Unicorn
  • Result 18/19 is the word "Costas" in the description of Chiron
  • Result 20 is the word "costumed" in the description of Jarl
  • Result 21 is in the description of Preta
  • Result 22 is in the opening text of Technocritters
  • Result 23 is in the game information of technocritters, but it is describing their battle tactics.
  • Result 24-29 is in the Drake chapter, talking about Karma costs
  • Result 30-31 is in Drakes talking about costs of using powers and gear for drakes
  • Result 32 is in the ShadowTalk at the beginning of Building man's best friend
  • Result 33-35 is describing the cost of Chimerics "triple the base creature cost plus twenty-five percent"
  • Result 36 is describing the cost of warforms.
  • Result 37 is in ShadowTalk
  • Result 38 is descriptive text in the Biodrones
  • Results 39-42 are in the statblocks of the Biodrones on pages 180-181, which have listed costs (and availabilities)
  • Result 43 is in the critter special augmentations sidebar
  • Result 44 is in Special Biodrone cyberware table
  • Result 45 "Juvenile critters cost twice as much as fully grown ones" pg 184
  • Result 46/47 are in relation to Critter Gear and armor
There you have it, not a long list. About 43 appearances of the word "cost" or other forms of the same word. Not a lot, really, but I'm sure there are other phrasing as well. But there is a very notable use. Five times (at least), the costs of an animal is directly referenced, 4 of these cases it is referencing a special kind of animal as being a multiplier on the normal cost of said animal. Which means without any costs for the base critters, all of these instances are just poorly edited and blatantly wrong. Four Times, in four different chapters, this isn't a single instance of something being added accidentally and overlooked.

As far as getting unique animals goes, of course there are ways to get animals. People do it all the time, right now. Between circuses using trained animals. Zoos being a business (meaning all of the animals are bought and sold), and not just a charity. And private residents owning exotic pets (I mean, Mike Tyson really did own a Tiger). They might be hard to get, and you might need to know the right people to get them through, but it is possible. Heck, just make an entry about buying and selling animals in the same way they did the high fashion armor from Run & Gun. That entry made it sound like the only way to get high fashion armor was by knowing this one particular contact and getting it through him. But fact of the matter is, if someone or some company owns an animal in any capacity, be it as a pet dog or a trained hellhound used for guarding a compound, there is a way for that animal to be bought, traded, and sold.

And the icing on the cake is the Biodrones. There are four example biodrones with full stats and work-ups, including how much they cost and the availability to get them. This means it is listed out, how hard it is to get a Cybertooth Tiger, which I'm just assuming is an augmented Tiger, but an un-augmented Tiger should be beyond the scope of the availability rules? Yeah, right.

adzling

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« Reply #27 on: (13:32:13/06-08-16) »
I'm sorry but Jason Hardy's twitter response and his email response to Brysen just smacks of Cover Your Ass.
It's clear from the many references in the book that costs for critters was anticipated but never implemented.

This is just another of the many examples of Shadowrun's poor line editing.

It feels as though there is no one actually paying attention and / or caring to direct and oversee the freelancers in a competent manner.

I don't know what other explanation there can be besides this.

Lack of errata after 2+ years just sends the message that Catalyst cares so little for their customer base that they can't be bothered to address their concerns.

We're all chumps at this point if we buy anything else Catalyst sells unless and until they decide to finally issue errata and fix the PDFs their horrific process turned out.

BrysenBlue

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« Reply #28 on: (03:11:01/06-09-16) »
Well, that is the nature of capitalism. Shadowrun has changed hands before and we can just stop buying and wait for it to change hands again. Or they can provide us with the basics. I don't know about the errata (other than this I've not encountered anything glaring or disruptive to gameplay). When all is said and done, if they don't provide you with a product you want... don't buy it.

That is how I handle things anyway. What did Jason's Twitter response say?

firebug

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« Reply #29 on: (12:03:41/06-09-16) »
Also, we already have a book that assumes you can acquire animal friends, and even has fairly extensive additional rules in the form of the Attune Animal ritual, yet it has been deemed inappropriate for the critter book to include rules for acquiring the animal friend you want to bond?  We have a price on pet food, rules for animal training, modifiers for genetically engineered animals, but not a price tag on dogs?

While I'm not one of the incensed forum-goers on this matter, what Blue Rose has mentioned is why I find it irritating that there's no animal prices.  I mean, the core book has stats for dogs but no price--  That's fine.  At that moment in time, there was only a poorly defined Animal Handling skill, so prices on something as vague as "dog" was unnecessary.  But as Blue Rose and Kiirnodel have spelled out, Howling Shadows (and to a much lesser extent, Street Grimoire) seems to be written with the mechanics of a player owning and managing a pet as more that a narrative object.

Back when everything else was vague, it made total sense for prices to be unneeded.  But now everything is spelled out, making the lack of base prices for animals seem like a hole.  Especially with things like Chimeric modifications specifically multiplying the "base creature cost".  What's three times an unknown amount?

As a side note, Warforms don't seem to be given a price...  Which, since they're explicitly made for businesses...  I don't see how they wouldn't have a price.  The current motto of 5th edition is "Everything Has A Price".  Though to be fair it never meant only nuyen.

However it looks that they will be adding a price for ten mundane critters, which will be acceptable.  Should be enough for any players of mine to have their own badass animal companions, magic or otherwise.
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Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.