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Core Books you should have

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PixE

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« on: (08:17:20/09-27-18) »
I apologise if this is in the wrong section for a start. I’m new to GM’ing 5th edition and was just wondering what books I needed. I have the core rulebook, alphaware, Run Faster & Splintered State. That should be enough for now? Right?

Fedifensor

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« Reply #1 on: (10:20:43/09-27-18) »
Run and Gun is probably my most-used rulebook, aside from the core rulebook.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: (11:08:10/09-27-18) »
Shadowrun rules have always been partitioned into the "three worlds": Regular/Physical world, the Matrix rules, and Magic rules.  The Core rulebook thoroughly covers only the first, and gives a cursory treatment to the Matrix and Astral.  Even if you don't have any Deckers or Magicians, a GM will still want the rulebooks that are fully devoted to those aspects of Shadowrun (Data Trails and Street Grimoire) just so that you can adequately run that side of the game for the NPC opposition.

In prior editions the "rigger book" has been almost as necessary to understand Shadowrun, but in this edition the Rigger book is really more about giving players more toys/options.  The Core rulebook already tells the GM everything you really need to know about how vehicles/drones/chase combats work.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Finstersang

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« Reply #3 on: (11:42:34/09-27-18) »
Hard to tell, honestly. It depends on which parts of the 6th world you are interested in, if you are looking more for inspiration and game hooks or actually usable rules and stats, and how much you want to moderate what your players can use for themselfes.

Parts of the Core rules are so shoddy that they hardly work without the supplements. This is especially true for Rigging and Matrix Stuff. If you want to feature this kind of content, you should have a look into Rigger 5 and Kill Code. Both are not flawless, but make things a lot better at this end. The first Matrix Supplement Data Trails is really weak when it comes to actual rules, but it came out before Kill Code, so you might have troubles understanding some things featured there without it - Itīs a stinker, but somewhat necissary...
(Thatīs my opinion on the Matrix and Rigging content, though. Donīt want to argue  ;))

When it comes to the other Supplements:
  • Street Grimoire: Solid. Mostly new options and flavours for Magic Stuff, few game-changers.
  • Forbidden Arcana: Second Magic Rule book, more "crazy" and "edgy" options. Cool stuff, but some things are thoroughly broken. Use with caution and prepare to say "no" to your players, especially summoners.
  • Chrome Flesh: Lots of Augmentations, including Nanotech, Genetech etc. My favourite so far. Really crunchy without stuff thatīs too broken. The "edgier" options for augmentations (Cyber Zombies, Cyborgs) and some "classics" are still missing from the game, though. I suspect that thereīs a second Augmentation book to be announced in the future, but thatīs just a bold guess.
  • Run and Gun: Solid. More Guns, Clothing and Accessories, Martial Arts, Combat Options, Rules for Survival. Itīs a players favourite, but I think itīs really not that usefull for GMs. For NPCs, you can just stick to the options in the Core rule book or make up stats.
  • Street Lethal: Run and Gun 2.0 - Electric Boogaloo. Yet more Weapons and Stuff, including Sci-Fi-Prototypes that are not on the open market. Really not worth the money, even for a GM. Adds almost nothing that other Supplements donīt provide better besides the Weapon prototypes, which are meant to be McGuffins anyway. If youīre a reasonably competent GM, nothing stops you from scribbling down some stats for them yourself.
  • Howling Shadows: Good choice for a GM of you want more non-human opponents in the game. Biggest complaint back then was the missing price list for animals, which you donīt have to care about as a GM. Contains a section about AIs that you canīt use without the gruesome Data Trails rule book.
  • Dark Terrors: More eldritch threats to use as a GM. Bit of a mixed Bag, better look into Howling Shadows first and decide for yourself if it satisfies your needs.
  • Complete Trog: Absolute waste of money and time, unless you are really into Orcs and Trolls.
  • Smoking Aces: Face/Social Book. Save your money. Lots of boring fluff, and the few actual rules only make things more complicated. Best part is probably the spy equipment. But seriously, if your players or NPCs need a Pen Knife or stuff like that, just make up a price and some stats. No need to buy this.
  • Hard Targets: Book for Assasins. Pretty much the as with Smoking Aces and Complete Trog: if you are not interested in lots and lots of fluff about the topic, donīt buy it. Some Qualities and weapon mods in the rules section are funny to play around, but thatīs not worth it on its own.

About the Mini-Supplements:
  • Bullets & Bandages: Advanced Medicine rules. Neat little thing, might be worth the small price if you want to make patching up after combat more interesting. Also provides some interesting threats like toxins and drugs to thow at your players.
  • Gun H(e)aven 3: More Weapons, simple as that. The problem with all the Weapon books is that the hardly add anything new, though: Itīs always just some numbers pushed about. As GM, nothing stops you from doing that yourself if youīre not happy with the Weapons in the Core Rule Book
  • Aetherology: Bwahahahahahahaha. No. Absolute Drek. Nothing of value unless you have a group that exists entirely of full Mages and unless you have no grain of creativity on your own.
  • Shadow Spells: Mini-Supplement to Street Grimoire. Some funny new spells and Adept powers for a relatively low price. Iīd recommend it.

These are the ones I can offer an articulated opinion on. My best tipp would be to dip into Chrome Flesh or Howling Shadows next, or into Rigger 5 and Kill Code (and Data Trails *sigh*...) if you want to patch up the "Cyber" part of Magicrun ;)
« Last Edit: (11:54:54/09-27-18) by Finstersang »
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Marcus

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« Reply #4 on: (12:42:02/09-27-18) »
Core book and run & gun. Everything else is nice but not necessary.
The archtype expansion books were generally all not very good in 5th. Magic was terrible, hacking left out too much, rigging is a mess, chrome flesh was good but not necessary. Everything after that is power creep. Nice but not necessary.
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #5 on: (14:15:46/09-27-18) »
To answer the original question, I think the core rulebook and Run Faster give you a solid foundation to start a game. Yes, you can absolutely run a game with just those.

What book to add next comes down to what elements you want to emphasize in your game, or what kind of characters your players want to play.

If I had to vote for a single book to add to your list, I'd probably add Street Grimoire. Personally, I can build a decker without Data Trails and feel fine about it, but trying to build a mage or an adept without Street Grimoire just leaves me feeling  handcuffed to the point where I'd rather play something else. That's especially true for adepts, since Street Grimoire adds so many useful adept powers.

Run & Gun is a fun book, no question, but in my opinion it's full of "nice to haves" rather than "need to haves".

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« Reply #6 on: (15:26:02/09-27-18) »
I'll second what Tecumseh said, and add one thing:. If you don't have Street Grimoire when you are starting the game, get an explanation of background count before anyone builds a mage.  It is a very important constraint on magicians of all kinds, it show up in many pre generated adventures, and it feels crappy to have it explained_after_ you just built a shiny new mage or adept.

Also, Splintered States can be a bit rough on new groups.  Just be aware that characters can apparently die (or close to it) very easily in some early scenes.

And finally, to make sure you know, .pdf versions of all the books are available on drivethrurog.com, at around half the price of dead tree versions.  A lot of people don't like reading .pdf much (I'm one of them) but for supplements where you are mostly looking up some gear or character qualities or a couple extra rules they can be an affordable way to expand your collection
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #7 on: (16:26:35/09-27-18) »
I'll second what Tecumseh said, and add one thing:. If you don't have Street Grimoire when you are starting the game, get an explanation of background count before anyone builds a mage.  It is a very important constraint on magicians of all kinds, it show up in many pre generated adventures, and it feels crappy to have it explained_after_ you just built a shiny new mage or adept.

It's a very minor point, but I'm seconding it as being pretty important.  Everyone needs to be on the same page as to how closely (or not) the GM intends to stick to the examples of Background Count levels given in SG.  You don't want players being surprised at strong BGCs when Mr Johnson meets them at a rock concert or sports arena, nor when they cause their own BGC mid-scene by torturing or killing opposition.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Sphinx

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« Reply #8 on: (17:56:38/09-27-18) »
I apologise if this is in the wrong section for a start. I’m new to GM’ing 5th edition and was just wondering what books I needed. I have the core rulebook, alphaware, Run Faster & Splintered State. That should be enough for now? Right?

You can run a long time on just the core rulebook, and you already have Run Faster. Run & Gun would be a good choice; it has something for everyone. If you have players who gravitate toward magic, you'll want Street Grimoire. If you have a decker or technomancer, you'll want Data Trails and Kill Code (the latter has an excellent "Hacking 101" chapter that does a better job of explaining the Matrix and hacking rules than any other book).

You have the Alphaware box set, which has lots of nifty stuff in it. The "Plots and Paydata" booklet has a number of beginner missions that will help you and your players learn the rules and earn some karma; you should definitely run those before you dive into Splintered State. Be advised that "Plots and Paydata" does cut a few corners; you'll want to read through each mission, make some notes, and sketch some maps before you run them. In particular:

  • Food Fight: The Stuffer Shack location descriptions are incomplete. Use the map key from the SR4 Quick Start Rules (page 16) instead.
  • Milk Run: Look up "Mukilteo Ferry Terminal" on Google Maps and adjust the descriptions to fit that area (satellite view is more useful than the map view, IMO).
  • Steppin' Up: Look up "Twin Ponds Park, Shoreline, WA" on Google Maps, then widen the view to get a sense of the overall shooting location, and decide what if anything you want to change.
  • Workin' the Streets: Again, find Madison and Broadway on Google Maps to get a sense of the area. With the stage in the intersection, you've got Seattle U. on on the SE corner, the Silver Cloud Hotel across the street on the NE corner (a good spot for Paulie and his pals to have their party suite), and a construction site on the NW corner (a good spot for Xue to set up her sniper's nest).
  • Goin' Inside: The suggested "Corporate Research Facility" map doesn't remotely fit the location as described. You'll want to map out the Slater Building with four wings using the research facility map as a reference, or else revise the scenario to fit the map (e.g., leave out the other tenants and use the research facility map for Renraku Components Group by itself).
  • Snatch and Grab: By this point you ought to have a pretty good handle on the personalities and ethics of the players, you might want to modify the moral dilemmas surrounding Lesko and his family accordingly.

Marcus

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« Reply #9 on: (18:30:06/09-27-18) »
Forget that noise Street grimoire is a Waste. If you want some useful magic rules the go with FA, it power creep but at least it actually has useful solutions. SG is both bad and horribly edited. Ways are utterly useless in 5th as is anything it has to say about alchemy. Skip it and save yourself the money.
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adzling

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« Reply #10 on: (18:44:35/09-27-18) »
for core books i'd take run & gun as the first expansion book followed by Street Grimoire as my first choice for "moah magic"  (I'd counter Marcus' input on Ways for Adepts, they are very useful for the right builds, my adept face is far better for taking Speaker's Way).
The rest are nice to have but not needed.
Some are to be avoided altogether: Forbidden Arcana & Complete Trog come to mind.

i'd echo that splintered state is a terrible adventure, and especially terrible for noob runners.

Marcus

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« Reply #11 on: (19:00:05/09-27-18) »
Notice they don’t say anything about alchemy it took two more books to make that work. Warriors way is a disaster, athletic way is a bad joke. Feral way was good for 10 mins before they errataed into crap. Burnout way is just the next level method to waste resources.

20 point you get a lot more out of from spending in FA.
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Beta

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« Reply #12 on: (10:00:01/09-28-18) »
I suspect you have enough information and opinions by now :-)   But when you start talking to players and get a feel for what they might be looking to build, maybe come back for round two.  People can tell you if a particular book really matters for a particular character (spoiler: if someone wants to play a technomancer you a) need to find the most recent errata to the fading codes in the main book, and b) get Kill Code.  Running a technomancer from the main book alone is a fair bit tougher)
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PingGuy

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« Reply #13 on: (11:34:51/09-28-18) »
Just FYI, the most recent printing of the CRB does have the errata'd Fade Values in it.

Seras

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« Reply #14 on: (19:13:08/09-29-18) »
The core Book (which you have )

Street grimoire A must buy. The extra spells are neat, but the real selling point are the rules for Bug spirits, toxic magic and spirits and Blood Magic. The shedim are in there too

Strongly recommended
Chrome flesh ( not just extra augmentations, the info also gives you lots of stuff to make up shadowruns on your own)

Run and gun ( for more guns and specialty gear )

Neat to have

Run faster ( details on all the differnt infected and rules for them, plus the chapter on how the Johnsons of differnt corps and groups differdeal with runners )

Critter compedium ( things that go bump in the night and cybercritters )


I have many other books, but I rarely use them
I apologise for my posts beeing weird to read, I am fluent in english, but almost never write in english anymore :-(