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Reduce Filler in 6th Edition

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jim1701

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« Reply #75 on: <09-16-20/1327:15> »
(It may be a spambot necro, but the discussion interests me anyways)

One of the biggest annoyances in 5e was learning and finding the actual rules. In 6e, this isn't as bad in places, but it's hard to tell what's fluff and what's an actual rule. And then, should the fluff be part of how you interpret RAI?

This.  This is the heart of what I see wrong with the current state of Shadowrun.  This whole you got chocolate in my peanut butter approach.  Except while it may be a great way to make candy it's a horrible approach to game design and certainly points to the poor editing skills of the current dev team.  4E/4A has it's issues with design choices but I'll take that version over 5E or 6E just on the technical merits. 

adzling

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« Reply #76 on: <09-17-20/1703:59> »
but for that you'd need a line editor focussed on rules instead of fluff.
The fluff isn't anything to write home about either.

Unless you live at the Department For They're Ruining My Favourite RPG Again, 1100 W Cermak Rd, Pilsen, Chicago.

Have you read any of Hardy's fiction writing?
The abysmal Hell on Water is a great example if you're feeling masochistic.

0B

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« Reply #77 on: <09-17-20/2041:35> »
(It may be a spambot necro, but the discussion interests me anyways)

One of the biggest annoyances in 5e was learning and finding the actual rules. In 6e, this isn't as bad in places, but it's hard to tell what's fluff and what's an actual rule. And then, should the fluff be part of how you interpret RAI?

This.  This is the heart of what I see wrong with the current state of Shadowrun.  This whole you got chocolate in my peanut butter approach.  Except while it may be a great way to make candy it's a horrible approach to game design and certainly points to the poor editing skills of the current dev team.  4E/4A has it's issues with design choices but I'll take that version over 5E or 6E just on the technical merits. 

You can make it work, but not with crunchy systems. It works better with narrative systems. These are from the Sprawl:

Quote
I know people: Once per mission you may introduce a new Contact. Name the contact, say what they do, then roll Style.
10+: you’ve worked with the contact before; they have talent. Write them down as a Contact
7-9: you’ve never met them before, they’re an unknown quantity
6-: you know them all right. Tell the MC why they dislike you After you’ve rolled, describe how you contact them; the MC will ask some questions.

Quote
I love it when a plan comes together: At the start of a mission, roll Edge.
10+: gain 3 hold
7-9: gain 1 hold
During the mission, spend 1 hold for one of the following effects:
• You have that piece of gear that you need, right now
• You appear in a scene where you are needed, right now
6-: gain 1 hold anyway, but your opponent has predicted your every move; the MC will advance the Legwork Clock

A lot of things are left on the player or MC in the Sprawl (How did the opponent predict their moves? Why does that contact dislike you?) but the results of your actions are clear, and the stylized Move titles enhance player understanding, rather than conflict with mechanics. Even the stylized results are still understandable ("you know them alright" feels different than "you know them," but doesn't change the mechanics. Similarly, "they're an unknown quantity" adds foreboding to the 7-9 result.)

The other key thing here is economy of language- by adding 1-3 words and being careful about word choice, the Sprawl conveys a lot of information.

FastJack

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« Reply #78 on: <09-17-20/2134:01> »
You can make it work, but not with crunchy systems. It works better with narrative systems. These are from the Sprawl:

Quote
I know people: Once per mission you may introduce a new Contact. Name the contact, say what they do, then roll Style.
10+: you’ve worked with the contact before; they have talent. Write them down as a Contact
7-9: you’ve never met them before, they’re an unknown quantity
6-: you know them all right. Tell the MC why they dislike you After you’ve rolled, describe how you contact them; the MC will ask some questions.

Quote
I love it when a plan comes together: At the start of a mission, roll Edge.
10+: gain 3 hold
7-9: gain 1 hold
During the mission, spend 1 hold for one of the following effects:
• You have that piece of gear that you need, right now
• You appear in a scene where you are needed, right now
6-: gain 1 hold anyway, but your opponent has predicted your every move; the MC will advance the Legwork Clock

A lot of things are left on the player or MC in the Sprawl (How did the opponent predict their moves? Why does that contact dislike you?) but the results of your actions are clear, and the stylized Move titles enhance player understanding, rather than conflict with mechanics. Even the stylized results are still understandable ("you know them alright" feels different than "you know them," but doesn't change the mechanics. Similarly, "they're an unknown quantity" adds foreboding to the 7-9 result.)

The other key thing here is economy of language- by adding 1-3 words and being careful about word choice, the Sprawl conveys a lot of information.
One of the reasons I like Anarchy is because it's more narrative, allowing the story to be told instead of rolled.

penllawen

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« Reply #79 on: <09-18-20/0327:53> »
One of the reasons I like Anarchy is because it's more narrative, allowing the story to be told instead of rolled.
Anarchy is a loooooong way away from The Sprawl. If you've never read it, it's worth your time. It's really good, and it might change the way you look at a lot of things in RPGs.

FastJack

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« Reply #80 on: <09-18-20/1042:40> »
Checking it out now, but I'd prefer TechNoir over Sprawl for true narrative storytelling. I brought up Anarchy since it's actually based in the SR universe so you don't have to try and wedge Magic & Dragons into the existing rules.

0B

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« Reply #81 on: <09-18-20/1934:35> »
Have you seen stuhl's "Shadowrun in the Sprawl?" He did it in a way that players could decide how much of the "extra" content to use, it's pretty smooth. However, it is an additional 20-30 pages to read on top of the Sprawl rules

Thank you for the recommendation, I will check it out!

jim1701

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« Reply #82 on: <09-18-20/2337:45> »
I've tried the narrative style a few times but I do want some crunch.  That's why I've gravitated towards Savage Worlds the last few years.  Especially since they got access to the Rifts franchise.  After Shadowrun Rifts is my favorite setting and I've come to love the Savage Worlds system.

I also happened to pull down my 5e rulebook and looked at the page count.  By all that's holy who thought a 500 page core rulebook was a good idea?  Hopefully the 6e core rulebook is slightly slimmer.  Please tell me they at least did that.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #83 on: <09-19-20/0029:49> »
I've tried the narrative style a few times but I do want some crunch.  That's why I've gravitated towards Savage Worlds the last few years.  Especially since they got access to the Rifts franchise.  After Shadowrun Rifts is my favorite setting and I've come to love the Savage Worlds system.

I also happened to pull down my 5e rulebook and looked at the page count.  By all that's holy who thought a 500 page core rulebook was a good idea?  Hopefully the 6e core rulebook is slightly slimmer.  Please tell me they at least did that.

Yeah its shorter.  That wasn't an improvement. It feels like a lot of stuff was sort of left out like as if they were sure you played previous editions and must know what they meant.

jim1701

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« Reply #84 on: <09-19-20/0155:10> »
I've tried the narrative style a few times but I do want some crunch.  That's why I've gravitated towards Savage Worlds the last few years.  Especially since they got access to the Rifts franchise.  After Shadowrun Rifts is my favorite setting and I've come to love the Savage Worlds system.

I also happened to pull down my 5e rulebook and looked at the page count.  By all that's holy who thought a 500 page core rulebook was a good idea?  Hopefully the 6e core rulebook is slightly slimmer.  Please tell me they at least did that.

Yeah its shorter.  That wasn't an improvement. It feels like a lot of stuff was sort of left out like as if they were sure you played previous editions and must know what they meant.

That doesn't surprise me.  They did the same with 5e.  So much confusion due to missing references because they ported something from 4th and forgot to make sure they also ported all the reference material that went along with it.  Pixie vanishing ability was a famous one in our group.  Or course if you didn't have 4th it's not like you'd know that.

penllawen

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« Reply #85 on: <09-19-20/0410:49> »
I've tried the narrative style a few times but I do want some crunch.  That's why I've gravitated towards Savage Worlds the last few years.  Especially since they got access to the Rifts franchise.  After Shadowrun Rifts is my favorite setting and I've come to love the Savage Worlds system.
I like Savage Worlds a lot, it has a middling level of crunch/rules that suits my table. We've run a little Deadlands in it. One day, I might adopt one of the existing Shadowrun/Savage Worlds mashups for my own use, and move my SR campaign to it.

Shadowjack

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« Reply #86 on: <09-20-20/0310:51> »
So now that 6E has been out for a while, what do you guys think, was I right about the filler? Have they reduced it? I only bought the CRB as the novelty of the new ruleset wore off fairly quickly for me, it's still fun but I was hoping for more dramatic changes.
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0B

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« Reply #87 on: <09-20-20/1039:56> »
It did not reduce filler to a level I liked. There are aspects of the fluff/structure that are better than 5e, but I think that's a low bar to measure it against.

For example, it doesn't explain what a TTRPG actually is until the game concepts chapter on page 34 (Or, the 28th page after the table of contents). It might be OK to put setting info up front, but the introduction straight up recommends a new player read a short story and the setting info first. Is this going to be useful to someone who's never played a tabletop RPG before?

Compare this to 3e Shadowrun. It explains what a TTRPG is on page 8, (the 3rd page after table of contents). It directs returning players to the setting and game concepts sections.

This is just organization, though. There are other parts. For example:

Quote
What dice do I use?
Six-sided dice. Period. Sometimes one or two or three, sometimes a small handful, sometimes a large handful. Maybe twenty or more, when you get really good. Throughout the book, six-sided dice are abbreviated as D6, sometimes with a number in front telling you how many dice, so that “3D6” means three six-sided dice

The third and fourth sentences can be cut- we don't really need to go through all the possibilities for dice pool sizes. I'd also get rid of the second sentence, but that's more because I feel the tone is 3edgy5me, rather than being too long. Compare to 3e:

Quote
MAKING DICE ROLLS
Shadowrun uses a number of six-sided dice to resolve any challenge for a character. The gamemaster will not require a
test to find out if a character can open the door, but will prob­ably ask the player to roll dice to see if his character can somersault through the glass sunroof, land on his feet, and smack the detonating switch out of the terrorist’s hands—all without splattering himself on the floor or setting off the bomb.

All the information in 5e's paragraph (Except abbreviation codes) are resolved in the first sentence. The next bit explains how things work for someone new to TTRPGs, and add to the paragraph. (FWIW, 3e never explains what "1D6" means to new players, so it's not the end-all be-all. It's just a convenient example)

I also don't like the structure of this section as a whole, I feel like almost every question & response could be cut down, or shifted into a single paragraph. Currently, it's about the same size as 3e's section, but 3e's rules are more complex and also contain guidance on when certain tests are used that will be helpful to someone new to TTRPGs.

There's other bits of structure I don't like, or that I prefer how older systems did it. Character creation goes over the different classes archetypes in 6e, but doesn't explain what abilities and skills you should choose (Well, street samurai mentions "strength and agility," but that will not be sufficient). Character creation also holds the mechanics hostage behind a few pages of fluff and backstory development. I like fluff and backstory development, but I don't think this is the right place for it, from an organizational perspective.

Shadowjack

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« Reply #88 on: <09-20-20/1543:42> »
Sounds about right. The way I've always looked at it is that the rules should be as simple as possible to facilitate fast gameplay, difficult to remember rules is something I've grown to give up on. The filler I particularly dislike is the banter between jackpointers, especially in rule books. I don't find it worth the space and I'd prefer more focus on information, stats, items, etc. Actual content. I am a huge fan of Shadowrun fiction but I feel like these little exchanges don't belong. This is something I've brought up before and some people disagreed with me. Fair enough.
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wraith

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« Reply #89 on: <09-21-20/0308:08> »
(It may be a spambot necro, but the discussion interests me anyways)

One of the biggest annoyances in 5e was learning and finding the actual rules. In 6e, this isn't as bad in places, but it's hard to tell what's fluff and what's an actual rule. And then, should the fluff be part of how you interpret RAI?

This.  This is the heart of what I see wrong with the current state of Shadowrun.  This whole you got chocolate in my peanut butter approach.  Except while it may be a great way to make candy it's a horrible approach to game design and certainly points to the poor editing skills of the current dev team.  4E/4A has it's issues with design choices but I'll take that version over 5E or 6E just on the technical merits. 

You can make it work, but not with crunchy systems. It works better with narrative systems. These are from the Sprawl:

Quote
I know people: Once per mission you may introduce a new Contact. Name the contact, say what they do, then roll Style.
10+: you’ve worked with the contact before; they have talent. Write them down as a Contact
7-9: you’ve never met them before, they’re an unknown quantity
6-: you know them all right. Tell the MC why they dislike you After you’ve rolled, describe how you contact them; the MC will ask some questions.

Quote
I love it when a plan comes together: At the start of a mission, roll Edge.
10+: gain 3 hold
7-9: gain 1 hold
During the mission, spend 1 hold for one of the following effects:
• You have that piece of gear that you need, right now
• You appear in a scene where you are needed, right now
6-: gain 1 hold anyway, but your opponent has predicted your every move; the MC will advance the Legwork Clock

A lot of things are left on the player or MC in the Sprawl (How did the opponent predict their moves? Why does that contact dislike you?) but the results of your actions are clear, and the stylized Move titles enhance player understanding, rather than conflict with mechanics. Even the stylized results are still understandable ("you know them alright" feels different than "you know them," but doesn't change the mechanics. Similarly, "they're an unknown quantity" adds foreboding to the 7-9 result.)

The other key thing here is economy of language- by adding 1-3 words and being careful about word choice, the Sprawl conveys a lot of information.

Even in a more narrative format, though, those are clear and unambiguous rules text. They are open to interpretation, but only in the way the game designer intended them to be open, not because they are poorly written.