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Have you played/GM'd Anarchy yet? How'd it go?

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HappyTheDwarf

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« on: (12:15:06/09-18-16) »
Hoi, Chummers!

A couple weeks ago, I GM'd a 4-hr Anarchy session (prototype rules) for a group that's been Shadowrunning all the way since 1st edition. 

It generally went well, and the group had a good time.  I'm wondering what the experience has been like for other groups trying it out -- especially for hard core Shadowrun players attempting to get into the mindset of the new system, or for relatively newer players/those that have been reluctant to play SR5 due to the intimidating rules.

What are your thoughts from Anarchy sessions you've played or GM'd?

HappyTheDwarf

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« Reply #1 on: (12:17:45/09-18-16) »
Oh, here are some observations from our 1st session:
  • Even if the world is totally familiar, it takes a bit to get used to the Narrative style of play if it's new to you.  For example, the person playing the decker was very uncertain how much could be accomplished in one narration, with one roll -- especially based on his prior SR5 experience.   To make an opponent's gun eject it's clip, did he first have to hack the firewall of the comm link?  Get access, then a certain number of marks to get control?  Or on an attempt to search for info in an opponent's comm link, did he have to first break in (hacking test, or cyber combat against a program), then search for the file, then download it -- or was this just a single hacking roll with a narration that said he hacks in and gets the file?  He also was uncertain how to go about narrating decking actions, saying "I fell like every narration would be that my character takes cover behind the couch and types furiously on the keyboard." Over the course of the session, he found a better balance so the story flowed, but I think this might be common for players first trying the new system instead of their normal SR5.
  • Once the group got used to the more fluid nature of the story, we had a lot of fun.  It tended to get a little "sillier" than a regular Missions game, with less need to "stay on track".
  • I wasn't sure how/when to award plot points to players, and probably didn't give enough.  If this seems like a scarce resource, players aren't as likely to spend them -- and I think the game is more fun when they are spending more freely to run with their narrations.  It says award them for good narrations -- but it may be people who have a hard time with narrations that need an extra push by having plot points to spend.  I read up on the Valiant Universe rules (they are also based on a version of the narrative Cue system), and there any player without plot points at the beginning of their turn automatically gets one.  The Anarchy prototype rules don't have that, but I'll have to work next session to get these flowing back and forth more freely.
  • As the GM, I had to try not to fall into the pattern of "answering" every narration.  If I did, the players fell into the recognizable pattern from SR5 of describing what they wanted to try and then letting the GM determine what really happened. Unless a roll was needed, I needed to stay back and let one Narration flow into the next, and then just try to keep things on track on my turn each round.
  • The use of Cues needed to be encouraged more.  A few from our group got to try the Dresden Files RPG at GenCon this year (based on the Fate system).  In that, there are things similar to Cues, and if you successfully tie them in to an action, you can get a dice bonus.  In other similar systems, I've heard that you can get awarded a plot point (or something similar) when you successfully tie in your "Cues."  It's fine to say the Cues are there if you need them to help when you can't think of a Narration, but we all felt that it would be good to have a specific benefit to encourage bringing the Cues in. Since the Cues really push the personality of each character, it was fun when they were brought out more.
  • I was worried that the Mission Brief was too lacking in detail, vs. modules I was used to.  (No maps! Just a couple sentences about each scene!) But during the session, the players took the story in a very different direction, and so having just the bare minimum needed to link one scene to the next made more sense.
  • I could go on a lot more, but this list is already long, so I'll leave it at that for now.

Gingivitis

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« Reply #2 on: (02:12:20/09-25-16) »
I'm really interested in this system mostly because 3 of my 5 players are very new to Shadowrun and are intimidated by the Core Rule Book so much I have been using condensed House Rules.  I have some questions for you if you don't mind:

  • How many players did you have?
  • Did you have any players acting like story-derailers?  How did you handle that in a shared-story narrative?
  • How long did each round of narration take before it got back to you (in general)?
  • When I heard of Cues, I immediately thought of Dresden Files.  I plan on using Cues similar to those and similar to D&D 5 Traits, Ideals, Bonds, Flaws.  Do you think those would work?
  • Does it feel like you could incorporate Anarchy into source books like Boston: Lockdown?

Thanks a lot for your observations

« Last Edit: (02:14:04/09-25-16) by Gingivitis »
Shadowrun: Anarchy Resources (GM Screens, Character Sheets, New NPCs, House Rules) at: www.surprisethreat.com

waspeyelad

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« Reply #3 on: (20:10:41/10-03-16) »
Hey there!
Anarchy rekindled my interest for the game, after trying and having tons of fun with 4e and 5e but never getting much far due to being such a hassle to prepare interesting antagonists/scenes that involve vehicles and the Matrix.

Read it, love it, I'm already preparing a Brief for my first session, hopefully it inspires others on my play group to GM as well - but I don't think I "got" the Cue system.


Allow me to pick a Cue at random:
From Reese Frenzy:
"Sandwiches? Anyone want some sandwiches?"

When would this Cue come up, exactly?
How it would influence the story?
When it's the turns of another player to influence the story? I'm assuming when they get to call out something that relates to one of their cues?
How about when it's time to return to the GM?
What are the limits of what a player can narrate?
When should it go "Online"?

Opti

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« Reply #4 on: (22:39:26/10-03-16) »
I'll take that one. For Reese, since he is a caretaker by nature (he is a nurse, and he cares about people), he might find himself trying to calm everyone's nerves at the safehouse by offering them sandwiches. It would go along with his theme, add a bit of flavor and narration to the session, and give everyone else a good handle on what kind of guy he is underneath the anger.

waspeyelad

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« Reply #5 on: (23:22:46/10-03-16) »
I'll take that one. For Reese, since he is a caretaker by nature (he is a nurse, and he cares about people), he might find himself trying to calm everyone's nerves at the safehouse by offering them sandwiches. It would go along with his theme, add a bit of flavor and narration to the session, and give everyone else a good handle on what kind of guy he is underneath the anger.

If a player manages to make a scene connecting with it's character cue, should I award them a Plot Point?
I also got an answer from Reddit that made me understand them a bit better. Thank you for replying.

Opti

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« Reply #6 on: (23:54:15/10-04-16) »
Yeah, that is the way cues are intended to work. The character uses a cue to enhance the scene and the GM rewards them with a plot point. At my table, the cue has to be used well, and not forced into a scene (ie. You find yourself surrounded by bug spirits, what do you do? "Sandwiches?") in order to get a plot point.

Marzhin

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« Reply #7 on: (06:45:42/10-05-16) »
You find yourself surrounded by bug spirits, what do you do? "Sandwiches?"

To be fair, that would be hilarious.
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Noble Drake

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« Reply #8 on: (14:36:18/10-05-16) »
You find yourself surrounded by bug spirits, what do you do? "Sandwiches?"

To be fair, that would be hilarious.
Not only might it be hilarious, but with some characters it isn't far off from absolutely perfect staying in character despite changing situation.

My current crew has a character that has (while playing in SR5, so it's not even as encouraged) said "You guys figure out the plan, I'll bake the cake." on more than one occasion.

So if they got surrounded by bug spirits and she started asking about what kind of cake/frosting everybody wanted that'd just be business as usual. Not to mention a cool way for her to communicate to the rest of the group that she thinks they've collectively "got this" by implying their concern isn't the bugs, but what flavor of celebration follows.

cantrip

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« Reply #9 on: (09:45:10/10-13-16) »
You find yourself surrounded by bug spirits, what do you do? "Sandwiches?"

To be fair, that would be hilarious.

Keep this thread rolling guys - I'm very intrigued by Anarchy.  8)

And agreed on the hilariousness of sandwiches and bug spirits...   ;D

Gingivitis

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« Reply #10 on: (12:21:48/10-13-16) »
https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/56aezr/sra_adventures_in_anarchy/

Here is how our experience went last week.  It was a fraggin blast.
Shadowrun: Anarchy Resources (GM Screens, Character Sheets, New NPCs, House Rules) at: www.surprisethreat.com

Carmody

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« Reply #11 on: (09:35:46/10-20-16) »
Hi all,

I run my first game two days ago. Overall it went well. By well I mean that everyone enjoyed their time, which is the most important!
I had some difficulties to enforce clear turns outside of fights, the players where eager to participate and it was ofter an happy mess!
The main difficulty we had was to understand how much a player can decide during his narration. For example, if he wants to get an information from a NPC, and succeed his test, how much can he decide the NPC knows?
I think it varies from table to table, but being all new to this narativism stuff, we were pretty lost sometime.

By the way, you can find my full review of the game here.