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My issues with 6th edition: "suspension of disbelief" vs. "the uncanny valley"

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tenchi2a

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« on: <07-12-19/2023:19> »
OK, One of the main arguments seems to revolve around "reality" vs. "fantasy".
I think this is where the disconnect is happening.
The real argument is "suspension of disbelief" vs. "the uncanny valley"

1st thru 5th had the power of "suspension of disbelief", because they may have been fantasy but they presented that fantasy in a logical way that the mechanics supported.

1. Both the guns and armor are sci-fi, but they fit the world as presented in a globally logical way. (guns do damage, armor reduces damage or makes the player harder to hit, and better armor provides better protection)

2. Trolls and pixies are fictional fantasy beings, but the mechanics give them form in the world and that form makes logical sense in the fantasy world as presented. (Trolls can soak more damage and due to their str inflict more physical damage with fists and melee, Pixies are small and harder to hit and can get into places that large PCs can't, but are weaker so they do less physical damage with fists and melee)

3. Modifiers effect everyone equally and answer the question of how does darkness effect my character or if I have night vision how does this negate that issues.
(a elf human sam (pistol total: 12) and a human rigger (pistol total: 6) are in a warehouse and one throws a smoke grenade, they both suffer a -6 blind fire penalty. So the Sam is at 6 and the rigger is at 0, the same still has a chance to hit but the rigger is out of luck)"suspension of disbelief"

The problem with 6th is it fails to do these thing and enters the "the uncanny valley" when it tries to explain the world.

1. Armor adds to your DV, and that is it, so if the AR is 12 and your armor+body provides a DV of 0-8 it provides the attacker with +1 edge and any any armor+body that provides a DV  16+ provides the Defender with +1 edge? So lets say you have a body of 3, what is the difference between not wearing armor and armor providing a value of 5.
The answer is nothing, so the PC's gain nothing for this armor and "suspension of disbelief" goes right out the window and it gets even worse when you take into account that if you are already 4 over the AR any more DV is just wasted and we enter "the uncanny valley". So what are players going to do, they are going to find a armor that either always gives them a +1 edge or barring that one that keeps the enemy form getting it, and if that is not possible (body of 2 and no armor that can effective stop them from giving edge) they are going to ignore armor altogether as it will do them no good."the uncanny valley"

2. This one is simple, if a pixies can swing an axe and be as effective as a troll we are already in "the uncanny valley".

3. Same scenario as above: In 6th edition since they are both effected by the same effect "it is a wash" so neither are effected, they both roll their pistol skill (12/6) as if their was nothing wrong? And the rigger has the full use of his pistol: 6. Again we enter "the uncanny valley".

All-in-all, 6th edition has made the head first leap into "the uncanny valley".
This is the major problem with 6th edition, and what people have been complaining about.
« Last Edit: <07-12-19/2026:07> by tenchi2a »

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <07-12-19/2040:47> »
Some rebuttals for argument's sake (and you clearly want to argue, so why not?)

1) Armor doesn't help like it used to:
Bullet proof vests don't help at all when you're shot in the leg.  Or the face.  In 5e wearing an armored vest somehow magically gives you full body protection.  Granted, 6e is using an "all over" DR, so this is still kind of the case, but the point remains that this is the same sort of magic that 5e employs.  Anyway, I find it well within my suspension of disbelief that the stereotypical armored jacket provides no protection at all if the attacker is reasonably able to make an aimed shot to a part of my body that's both important and not covered by a jacket.

Yes, armor took a HUGE nerf from 5e to 6e. We not only disagree as to whether this is a terrible thing, we also apparently disagree whether this change is within the bounds of reasonable suspension of disbelief.

2) Pixies can hit as hard as a Troll:
So what. 6e isn't the first game where you can leverage your dexterity/agility into being the relevant stat for determining damage. D&D/d20 has had finesse weapons and various feats/enchantments that allow you to substitute in dex bonuses in place of str bonuses.  That doesn't seem to have proven outside the realm of reasonable suspension of disbelief for those game systems.  In fact, I'd consider SR fortunate indeed to have a fraction of D&D's popularity. 

All 6e is doing that d20 doesn't is presume you don't have to expend any character options to sub in agility for strength when it comes to dishing melee damage.  Again on this you and I disagree quite a bit about what sorts of things lie within the bounds of reasonable suspension of disbelief.

3) this topic got a thread locked, so let's not lock this one too.

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.

Marcus

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« Reply #2 on: <07-12-19/2047:49> »
Some rebuttals for argument's sake (and you clearly want to argue, so why not?)

Discussion is the purpose of the forum SSDR. I fail to see how that post is in the wrong. T2A never called out anyone and nothing in that post was hostile or approaching EULA violation. So are feelings just running high after Combat thread?
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #3 on: <07-12-19/2049:49> »
Some rebuttals for argument's sake (and you clearly want to argue, so why not?)

Discussion is the purpose of the forum SSDR. I fail to see how that post is in the wrong. T2A never called out anyone and nothing in that post was hostile or approaching EULA violation. So are feelings just running high after Combat thread?

I said "argue" in the sense of having a debate, not throwing verbal tantrums. You know, "arguing a position". 

Apologies if it appears I meant "verbal tantrum".  I didn't mean to say OP was in the wrong in any way.  Just arguing with him :)
« Last Edit: <07-12-19/2052:27> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
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.

FastJack

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« Reply #4 on: <07-12-19/2055:59> »
Fair warning: I will be watching this thread like a hawk. A single wrong phrasing on either side will result in warnings.

Marcus

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« Reply #5 on: <07-12-19/2100:14> »

So pretty clearly yes, feeling are running pretty high. I'd suggest coming back to it tomorrow. I don't disagree with your point T2A. The timing is just rough tonight.
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tenchi2a

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« Reply #6 on: <07-12-19/2101:25> »
Some rebuttals for argument's sake (and you clearly want to argue, so why not?)

Discussion is the purpose of the forum SSDR. I fail to see how that post is in the wrong. T2A never called out anyone and nothing in that post was hostile or approaching EULA violation. So are feelings just running high after Combat thread?

Thank you

Some rebuttals for argument's sake (and you clearly want to argue, so why not?)

Discussion is the purpose of the forum SSDR. I fail to see how that post is in the wrong. T2A never called out anyone and nothing in that post was hostile or approaching EULA violation. So are feelings just running high after Combat thread?

I said "argue" in the sense of having a debate, not throwing verbal tantrums. You know, "arguing a position". 

Apologies if it appears I meant "verbal tantrum".  I didn't mean to say OP was in the wrong in any way.  Just arguing with him :)

Just to be clear I don't think you where "throwing verbal tantrums".

tenchi2a

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« Reply #7 on: <07-12-19/2103:26> »

So pretty clearly yes, feeling are running pretty high. I'd suggest coming back to it tomorrow. I don't disagree with your point T2A. The timing is just rough tonight.

I was writing this for the combat thread before it closed, and did not want to lose it.  ;)

I understand feeling are running high and will comeback to this tomorrow.

Finstersang

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« Reply #8 on: <07-13-19/0725:31> »
Man, I really donīt want to defend SR6 right now, because I just couldnīt help it, bought the QSR and got really turnt off by the shere amount of editing blunders. And mostly, the 2-Edge-per-round limit, which looks more and more like an (even somewhat understandable) editing/wording error that will likely be never ever corrected and haunt that edition from day one...

But these 3 common talking points need a little reality check on their own. I see some faults in SR6 as well (the most important one is mentioned right at the start), but these are not part of it, or at least not in they way they are commonly articulated. And since they a) are somewhat contestable and b) rooted in some fundamental disagreements about realism VS gameplay, they lead to these extremely lenghty, repetitive and salty debates that tend to overshadow more pressing (and thus, less contested) concerns. F.i. the 2-Edge-per-round blunder isnīt even a question of realism VS gaming: Itīs pretty bad from both points of view.       
 
1. Armor and defense values
In your first example, the Armor simply isnīt high enough to offer that person an real advantage against a firearm at a certain range. At a less advantageous range or against a lower-caliber weapon or when using cover, its still worth wearing. And in the other way around, thereīs only so much that (worn) Arm can really help. Itīs more all-or-nothing than in previous editions, but is that really breaking suspension of disbelief? Especially when compared to the overblown importance of armor in SR5?

Itīs also worth noting that itīs apparantly mostly worn armor that gets this treatment. Meanwhile, many supernatural and futuristic perks (spells, augmentations) still offer soak dice, greatly improving their value in comparison to "mundane" means of protection. This mechanically strengthens the core themes of Shadowrun.

2. Pixies, Trolls and Combat Axes

AFAIK, there are no Pixies in the Core rules, so thereīs no way telling if a Pixie can even lift an Axe or any bigger Firearm in 6E. Pixies were always contested between Pink Mohawks, Rule Lawyers and Simulationists. Because apparently, you have to exlicitly spell out that a creature thatīs only half a meter in size canīt effectively use heavy weaponry and canīt just rely on the playerīs common sense here. Well, maybe CGL will do it this time once the corresponding supplements come out. Until then, can we please all take a step back and replace the pixie in this overused talking point with a strength 1 BTL junkie?

Now Iīm not too much a fan of the decoupling of strength and melee weapons as well, at least to the extent Iīve heard to far. However, thatīs coming less from a realism PoV and more from a gameplay/balancing PoV. Itīs weird that Strength is apparently becoming such a dumbstat in 6E, with even things like sprinting becoming an Agility test. However, realism-wise, many melee Weapons and especially pointed weapons like knifes just really donīt rely on the strength. At best, you can use strength to overpower you opponent and force your weapon in their soft bits during a clinch (you know, that old knifefight cliche in movies...). From from what Iīve heard, Strength is still used to determine attack values of attacks with a weapon, so that little "Edge" you get from being a strong dude with a knife is still accounted for.

The suspension of disbelief is higher with bigger weapons like Combat Axes, agreed. A Pixie strength 1 BTL junkie that manages to lift one over his/her head mighty rely on gravity doing the rest and smash it down. But itīs obviously a lot less gracefull and easier to dodge, and strength being part of the AR is probably not enough to properly reflect that. However, we donīt know if there will be stuff like minimal strength to use certain weapons in 6E. And maybe, these kind of "heavy" melee weapons wonīt even be used with Agility. 

Now for the part that grinds my gears the most about fixed damage values: Apparently, Unarmed Combat damage is Strength/2. That means that a Strength 10 Troll deals more Damage with his fists alone than with a club, a knife or a combat axe. That is obviously a really big problem both from a realism and a gameplay/balancing POV. Unless you bring in Adept Powers, Bone Lacing etc., being armed should always offer an advantage over being unarmed in melee. 

3. Two girls, one smoke grenade
Iīm sorry, but isnīt this an argument for the exact opposite? In your example, the rigger with the default dice pool of 6 would be disproportionaly afffected by a flat dice pool modifier for the smoke. In fact, she wouldnīt even be able to shoot (or at least, hit) at all, since there are no dice left. Howīs that realistic?

But more importantly (and I think thatīs a key thing to clarify about the edge tossing): Who says that itīs a wash in this case just because both are standing in the smoke? When you defend against a Firearm, you try to keep your head down and try to break LOS. (You donīt really "dodge" bullets in SR, at least not without supernatural perks or aumentations. And even with them, your defense test against ranged attacks is less of a "dodge the bullet" test and more like a "spatial awareness and quick tactical decisions" test). Being in heavy smoke can be a bit of a hindrance when doing so, but it offers also some benefits (breaking LOS) and, most importantly, a shooter is obviously more disadvantaged by the smoke than the shootee defender. So, the defender getīs the edge in this case. case closed.

Things may look different when both are going into melee, if the attacker has thermographic vision etc. Yes, it requires some eyeballing on the GMs part to come to this conclusion. But thatīs hardly so bad compared to sifting through the books for modifiers that, when stacked up, keeps everyone from doing stuff altogether.     
« Last Edit: <07-13-19/0734:21> by Finstersang »
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

Lormyr

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« Reply #9 on: <07-13-19/0908:09> »
2) Pixies can hit as hard as a Troll:
So what. 6e isn't the first game where you can leverage your dexterity/agility into being the relevant stat for determining damage. D&D/d20 has had finesse weapons and various feats/enchantments that allow you to substitute in dex bonuses in place of str bonuses.  That doesn't seem to have proven outside the realm of reasonable suspension of disbelief for those game systems.  In fact, I'd consider SR fortunate indeed to have a fraction of D&D's popularity.

While I understand the general idea you are trying to convey, I still find this comparison to be a pretty false equivalency.

So in SR6, a troll with strength 14 and a combat axe does 5P, while a pixie with strength 1 and a combat axe does 5P.

1). In dnd (I'm going with 3.5 here since I am most familiar), big creatures almost always have more str than small/agile creatures have dex. Using the specific example, trolls have a 23 Str while pixies have an 18 Dex.

2). Assuming both get to use their preferred stat, you then have creature and weapon size to account for. That large trolls 2-handed axe deals 3d6 damage, but that tiny pixie's 2-handed axe deals 1d6. The final damage tally is 3d6+9 for the troll, and 1d6+6 for the pixie.

Comparing the decision to other popular RPGs still leaves the final equation immensely off.
"TL:DR 6e's reduction of meaningful choices is akin to forcing everyone to wear training wheels. Now it's just becomes a bunch of toddlers riding around on tricycles they can't fall off of." - Adzling

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #10 on: <07-13-19/0922:30> »
Also D&D is a totally different type of game. It doesn’t even attempt to be logical. It’s high fantasy where they are more interested in the build working than any in world consistency.

Characters routinely take blows from 6 ton dragons, giants whose swords are twice their size, orbital drops and walk away and then sleep it off.

Hey feel free to change shadowrun into that. I’ll just play d20 modern.

And even if you are not concerned with any of that  because agility must rule all. Strong people do
more damage in unarmed wtf?  Strength becomes a worthless stat, barely useful for even melee characters and only useful for unarmed characters. Just get rid of the stat if you don’t like to give strong people nice things.

Iron Serpent Prince

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« Reply #11 on: <07-13-19/0930:52> »
Yes, it requires some eyeballing on the GMs part to come to this conclusion. But thatīs hardly so bad compared to sifting through the books for modifiers that, when stacked up, keeps everyone from doing stuff altogether.

And this is the biggest fallacy when combined with the pitch that this edition (generic, not Sixth World specific) is needed for new customers.

Counting on experienced and qualified GMs to make the right call to make a system work is lazy and / or incompetent game design.  For clarity, this isn't the same as expecting house rules / judgement calls.  This is requiring them to make the system work.

I'll give two examples of what I mean.  First, a concrete example from Shadowrun 5e.

[Sense] Removal spell, Street Grimoire page 112.
    The effect of the spell is a -1 penalty to Perception checks per Net Hit using the targeted sense.
What happens if you hit a target with Sight Removal in a gunfight?  It is left up to the GM.  I've actually been in a game where a GM ruled it had no effect, because the target wasn't using Perception, and the spell didn't list any other effects.  Needless to say, that game didn't last long.

Now, I'm sure that several regulars around here will want to stroke their ego's, and others, while saying that the spell shouldn't need more clarity and that the GM was [insert derogatory remark here].

What this example doesn't take into account is that not all GMs are experienced.  This should be at the forefront of the designers mind when one reason an edition is pitched is "attracting new blood."  These GMs need extra handholding.

In the case of [Sense] Removal, it should have read -1 penalty per Net Hit to all tests relying on the targeted sense.
That would have prevented the problem.



Now for the less concrete example.

Game design is kind of like writing recipes for publication.
Sure, experienced cooks / chefs will make their own modifications.  That is a given.

That doesn't mean you leave out any of the ingredients because you expect some users will make their own choices.
You provide all of the ingredients, and if you are actually trying to sell to inexperienced cooks, you even go the extra step of pointing out common substitutions and other changes that can be made.
You trust that when the user is ready - if ever, they will make the changes they want to make the recipe their own.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #12 on: <07-13-19/0934:59> »
So in SR6, a troll with strength 14 and a combat axe does 5P, while a pixie with strength 1 and a combat axe does 5P.

This specific phenomenon gets a lot airing, and that's what I was referring to, specifically.  Is it less realistic than a hypothetical (Str/2)+X like it was in 5e?  Of course.  But again, so what. The operative word there is "Less", not "Realistic". Even in 5e what were arguably the most effective (certainly popular, at least) melee weapons, Shock gloves and Monofilament Whip, were already ignoring STR.  When it comes to game mechanics, I literally don't care if that feature in 6e is extended from 5e's most popular weapons to all weapons. It doesn't bother me the way it seems to bother other people who are so vocal about it.

Now don't get me wrong.  I still have my grievances with how 6e is doing armed melee combat. I absolutely am hoping for some errata to some other aspects of armed combat. Like you, I'll have to see what comes of the errata process. But rest assured the hypothetical case of an armed combatant with 1 STR is not something I'm concerned about.  (Spoiler: STR won't be viable as a dump stat for a melee weapon user anyway, so that's part of why I don't care about the 1 STR pixie "problem")
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.

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #13 on: <07-13-19/0941:54> »
This specific phenomenon gets a lot airing, and that's what I was referring to, specifically.  Is it less realistic than a hypothetical (Str/2)+X like it was in 5e?
It was STR+X, not (STR/2)+X. People won't take your defense of 6e seriously if you can't even get basic details right.
After all you don't send an electrician to fix your leaking toilet.

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #14 on: <07-13-19/0946:47> »
This specific phenomenon gets a lot airing, and that's what I was referring to, specifically.  Is it less realistic than a hypothetical (Str/2)+X like it was in 5e?
It was STR+X, not (STR/2)+X. People won't take your defense of 6e seriously if you can't even get basic details right.

And clearly that sort of DV wouldn't work in 6e given the precedent of what other weapons, such as guns, have, neh?

Since you're not getting what I was saying:
"Is it less realistic than a hypothetical (Str/2)+X MORE like it was in 5e? You know, like EXACTLY WHAT PEOPLE ARE PROPOSING (in other threads)"


And if you want to be real, let's be real:
Quote
People won't take your defense of 6e seriously if you can't even get basic details right.

"People", like you specifically, really don't appear to care what I'm saying. What you appear to actually care about is finding ways to disagree with what I say, and I daresay THAT is what makes these 6e threads so toxic.  I could say the sky is blue and you'll find a reason to say no it isn't.
« Last Edit: <07-13-19/0950:40> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
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.