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My own thoughts on the QSR box set

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Moonshine Fox

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« on: (14:14:46/06-29-19) »
Finally got my hands on my QSR box from Origins and read though it, so thought I'd share my own thoughts in one cohesive post.

Box itself is a pretty normal game box, good quality with nice art, but nothing special. The QSR material doesn't take up much space and there's a removable buffer inside so the box will serve to hold a few books and your character sheets. The material inside is printed on solid weight glossy paper with clear type and great art, though admittedly I like more neon colors with my chrome.

One thing I liked when first looking though the books, there's humor sprinkled in. I'm not talking breaking the flow with bad puns, but good quips that fit the flow of the sentence and description. There is a rule on redoing a test that opens with the line 'sometimes the dice don't do what you want. Stupid dice.' A sentiment we have all shared when starting at a bunch of 1s. The write up of the current Big 10 has an extra line about 'What you know them for' that is tongue-in-cheek but yet still is valid for the in world view.

As a friend pointed out, irreverence to the Man and the System is a part of punk. Adding that in gives a bit more focus on the punk part of our cyberpunk, without really breaking the dystopia aspect of cyberpunk. I'm hoping this is something that stays in the books, without becoming too in-your-face.

The pre-built characters seem to be ok and I think will serve fine for the starter runs, but without character creation rules it's hard to tell if they are truly well build or not. I know there's a few things I personally would have done differently, but that's me. Let's face it, pregens in Shadowrun (not just Catalyst either) have tended to not be the best built, or even correctly built. We've all probably got our own character ideas ready to go once chargen rules hit the table anyhow ;D

Rules wise, things seem pretty solid. There are several times throughout were it's stated that there is more to this-or-that rule, but it's not in the scope of the quick start. Being able to see the numbers laid out so I can crunch them and run though scenarios, the system seems to flow a lot better and quicker then it has for a while. Some of the worries, such as if my wire-rider is still going to move like a squirrel on novacoke, are settled. Things may change when the full CRB comes out, but for now the reflex enhanced can still pull off a bunch of actions, without the GM/Other players trying to figure out how you did 4 init passes in 3 seconds or the players who didn't want init boosters going out for lunch while the sammy finishes all his extra passes.

Decking no longer uses marks, vastly improving a deckers use in combat. They now don't have to spend 1 or more turns taking 'place mark' complex actions and can just do the thing they want. Most decking actions are still major actions, but that change really puts them back in the fast lane, rather then the guy who's option is to take an automatic and suppress an area.

I'll admit, I've never been much of a rigger. I'm not a fan of 'pet' types and decking and magic are my primary two loves, so I avoided them back in the early days. In 5th I wanted to delve into them to try something new, but the rules for them were convoluted, scattered all over the place, and were just flat out broken. It's looking like that may be fixed. The stat lines for vehicles are quick and to the point while covering all the bases, and many of the rules (such as when going matrix to jump in) are now more universal across the game, rather then one set of rules for one type of equipment, and a different set of rules (maybe?) for a different piece that is still almost the same thing. The issues with speed and calculating acceleration and crashing seem to have been cleared up as well.

Magic. Magic has always been a tough one in Shadowrun. For as much as people have complained that magic was too powerful in 5th, you aren't wrong. This is a problem that has gone back to at least 3rd, maybe earlier. Build your spellcaster right and you can dance though an area blasting AoE instant death to the beat of the 1812 Overture, all while suffering no drain and having spirits run interference. I can't speak for other tables, but the only reason this never happened to mine is a combination of Gentleman's Agreement that doing so wouldn't be fun for other players or the GM, combined with the threat that the mages foes would return the favor (anything you can do the corps can do better).

It's looking like those days may be over. The spellcasting in the QSR looks robust and versatile as you'd expect a spellslinger to be, but drain is more of a threat then before. This is something I'm still cautious on as I'd need to play a lot more to get a longer term feel for it, but on the surface it's looking like mages has been brought down more in line with everyone else. The QSR only covered spellcasting mages however. Conjuring, Enchanting, spirits, foci, and adepts of all types we'll still need to wait on before making the final call on how well dialed in magic now is.

Now to discus the contentious elephant in the room. Edge. First, yes there is still in just the quick start plenty of instances of +/- dice pool numbers. Those have not gone away, just made more manageable. Personally, I'm liking the revamped Edge system the more I see about it. One thing I found out was that, while you can only activate one Edge effect at a time, you can put multiple points into it to make the effect bigger. The whole 'spend 1 Edge to re-roll 1 die' is more 'spend X Edge to re-roll X dice'. Page 6 has a better detailed descriptions of what the Edge effects can do then just the little reference table that's on the back of all the character dossiers. There is also one not listed on the quick reference table that lets you Re-roll all your failed dice on a roll. Thanks to Emu the Riggers dossier we also know that there is gear and qualities that expand our options on what we can do with Edge.

Getting Edge is a fairly easy task and I really can't see most characters having trouble getting the 2 Edge per round (3 seconds) as a part of a their normal set of actions once they get used to the system. Edge can still change situations like it (or it's early counterpart Karma Pool) did in previous editions, it's just the emphasis has been moved. Instead of big blasts on a few massive rolls emptying the pool out then waiting till a reload, you get a bunch of different boosts that rise and fall in power level as situations and tactics change. It should also help those of us who constantly horde a limited resource as 'just in case' and end up wasting it cause we never used it. Now you're Edge pool refreshes on it's own often enough there's a lot less fear of losing out if used.

And now for the bad. If these have been address already elsewhere, ignore me (and point me to them please).

First all, the editing and layout in these books is vastly improved from the books for 5th. I did find one instance were a paragraph header wasn't bolded like the others around it, but if this is an indication of things to come I'll be very happy.

A few things that I noticed though. First, as mentioned early there's a use for Edge that lets you re-roll all failed dice on a roll. This is in the full list, but not on the quick reference list at the back of the book nor on any of the references in all of the character dossiers. A fairly small oversight overall, but it's lead to a lot of argument which makes it a lot more critical.

There are a number of pieces of gear in the various dossiers that don't have any cards affiliated with them or descriptions. I want to know what Rude's reaction enhancer does, or Yu's rating 4 passkey, but it's never explained in even a quick note. The same applies to the Qualities, no descriptions given. Emu has this in her dossier, so hopefully we can get a quick blurb covering that for the other four runners.

On a similar note, little of the math behind the numbers is given, and some seems wrong at a glance. Rude's armor for example says that it's an armor jacket that gives +2, while the card says an armor jacket is +4. His defense rating (which I believe was listed as armor rating + body?) would be correct for +2, but not for +4. Also in the same vain, the Attack Rating for the various ranges of the guns doesn't often match what on the cards, in several cases saying weapons have longer range on the sheet then what's on the card. Is this were there's math under the hood we haven't seen yet, or is one of the two wrong?

In conclusion, I'm overall very happy with where things seem to be going. I love me some good crunch, but it was getting out of hand in 5th with far to many bonus/penalty filled tables to check each time you wanted to do something. It seems like the system is stepping back to it's old FASA days when some of the rules were a little more loose and subjective. I'm generally optimistic about the future of this edition and hope I see more good things as we make it through the blackout on snippets and arrive at GenCon with full rules in tow. Time to get working on redoing my character sheets again :)
« Last Edit: (14:18:52/06-29-19) by Moonshine Fox »

Singularity

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« Reply #1 on: (14:32:40/06-29-19) »
Thank you very much for the write-up, I can't wait to get my hands on the box set now! That's unfortunate about the discrepancies between the character dossiers and the cards, hopefully there will be some errata and/or clarification about this before I run the adventure in it. I will have to remember to let my players know about the missing edge action they can take. Without giving spoilers, can you give us your impression of the adventure that comes with it, once you have went over it? Thanks!

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #2 on: (14:58:08/06-29-19) »
Nice write up. My game store has yet to let me know that it has arrived. Hopefully next week.

Oddly imo the punk part points to me some of the people shadowrunners should be rebelling against is the jack point crew. Who are a bunch of elitist gatekeeping runners. My not so subtle push for the shadowland style again.

Moonshine Fox

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« Reply #3 on: (15:17:34/06-29-19) »
Thank you very much for the write-up, I can't wait to get my hands on the box set now! That's unfortunate about the discrepancies between the character dossiers and the cards, hopefully there will be some errata and/or clarification about this before I run the adventure in it. I will have to remember to let my players know about the missing edge action they can take. Without giving spoilers, can you give us your impression of the adventure that comes with it, once you have went over it? Thanks!

I just skimmed the adventure, mostly because I've done the various Food Fight games so much I'm sick of them and have my own intro run  :D

That said, they expanded on it to make it more then just 'Rumble at the Stuffer Shack!' to have a bit more of a story, though it could have had more lead in as to why you're runners are even getting involved. Still, not a bad run and a good why to into people to Shadowrun without overwhelming them.

Nice write up. My game store has yet to let me know that it has arrived. Hopefully next week.

Oddly imo the punk part points to me some of the people shadowrunners should be rebelling against is the jack point crew. Who are a bunch of elitist gatekeeping runners. My not so subtle push for the shadowland style again.

I love a lot of the people at Jackpoint and it's nice to have a set of posters you can get to know, but Shadowland will always rest first for me. Captain Chaos was my hero (and who I shamelessly ripped my profile message from). Who knows, with the spoofing that's apparently happening at Jackpoint now maybe it'll shift back to that. Wouldn't oppose some new names posting now and again.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #4 on: (15:18:54/06-29-19) »
It's a real shame some cards are off. We should see if Banshee is allowed to give any temporary errata until we get full ones.

Jackpoint has been introducing new blood in the past few years so we'll see how that trend turns out.
CorpSec when an alarm is triggered;: "This is so sad, Alexa play Shoot The Runner"

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #5 on: (15:25:13/06-29-19) »
It's a real shame some cards are off. We should see if Banshee is allowed to give any temporary errata until we get full ones.

Jackpoint has been introducing new blood in the past few years so we'll see how that trend turns out.

For me itís not about new or old blood. Itís the elitist country club attitude. It goes against my shadowrunner grain to create a invitation only style club of your betters.  And that is what it feels like.


Open non conforming anarchy shadowland. Elitist club jackpoint.

Moonshine Fox

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« Reply #6 on: (15:34:28/06-29-19) »
It's a real shame some cards are off. We should see if Banshee is allowed to give any temporary errata until we get full ones.

Jackpoint has been introducing new blood in the past few years so we'll see how that trend turns out.

For me it’s not about new or old blood. It’s the elitist country club attitude. It goes against my shadowrunner grain to create a invitation only style club of your betters.  And that is what it feels like.


Open non conforming anarchy shadowland. Elitist club jackpoint.

That sounds like it could be a sitcom. 'Old Country Club Runners'

Edit: I’m giggling about this idea far too much and it’s definitely going to be a show in my campaign now
« Last Edit: (15:38:10/06-29-19) by Moonshine Fox »

The Tekwych

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« Reply #7 on: (16:33:45/06-29-19) »
Has the remake of 'The Odd Coven' made it to broadcast yet?

dim

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« Reply #8 on: (02:05:15/06-30-19) »
Thanks!

Editing errors are annoying, but having done some editing for a small publisher, I know how quickly such things can happen.

I primarily bought it because I don't want to wait for the german CRB to introduce my players to SR6.
Also I hope to recruit some new players by having an easy access to SR in general.