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

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Katanarchist

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« Reply #315 on: <07-29-19/0402:08> »
Out of curiosity, SSDR, for your playtest, was your game using the 2 Edge Gain per round limit?

I ask because you say Edge had such a high impact on making your character effective, and I'm wondering about the amount of Edge generated vs. the amount spent to make your character competent in that manner.

tenchi2a

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« Reply #316 on: <07-29-19/0535:16> »
Well, honest to god realism isn't what we should want, either.

Something I read once about game design that stuck with me is an old quote from L5R RPG game writers... iirc it was a discussion about how the 1st edition was designed.  The game designers, being game geeks with more rule of cool knowledge than actual practical martial arts knowledge, commissioned a real life kendo instructor try to give them a baseline idea of how much damage a skilled samurai could dish out in a 3 second turn (which is a notable coincidence with SR combat, btw).  They learned it wasn't a question of how lethal the damage someone might suffer in 3 seconds, but how many times over a skilled swordsman could kill a foe.  They had to figure what was a playable rules mechanic and let realism take a back seat to playability. I'll look for this source and link it if I can find it... it was a remarkable read. In my case it was one of those things you read 20+ years ago and still remember.

Regardless... the direction 6WE is going is clearly away from one-turn eliminations that were (generally, barring insane soak pools) easier to accomplish in 5e.  Realism is fundamentally going to be fighting uphill here.  The proper location of a "happy middle ground" is inherently opinion based, and you can't convince someone of an opinion.  Not on the internet, anyway :D

This is a misquote of the conversation. (been playing L5R since it released) I believe it was in one of the first few "Imperial Heralds".
The question was how many hits would it take him to kill his opponent, and the answer was one.
So the writers dialed back that to around two to three hits to up survivability with the idea once down most Samurai would end their attack due to Bushido.
As this didn't work since few players played Bushido right and "no rule survives contact with the players"
An optional rule called the "cinematic combat system" was presented first in the "Imperial Heralds" then in the "GM's Survival Guide" changing the wound multiplier from x2 to x3-x5 depending on your game level that majorly increased the wound points a PC had.
Later versions of the game would adopted a scaled down version of this rule only applying the higher mod to first the down level then to the first level.
As the "cinematic combat system" was seen as to extreme in the opposite direction for the setting.

I bring this up because this show the progression of a system trying to find the "sweet spot" between reality and dumb.
To me most of what has been done here with 6th is implementing the "cinematic combat system" which was an overreaction to the lethalness of the L5R combat system.
Which would be fine if it was the first edition (like with L5R) and not the 6th edition of the game.
Everything I have seen so far for this edition has been an overreaction to issues within the 5th edition which is someways (Armor) was an overreaction to issues with the 4th edition. All and all CGL does not seem capable of sitting down to correct issues they seem to want to as Adzling is fond of saying"throw the baby out with the bath water".
It would not be as bad if this was not the second time they did it (5th and now 6th) making it a pattern.
If from what I got from the armor thread all if not most of my complaints were intentional on CGL part and from what I read would have been even more over the top if they had not failed work in practice. (no soak rolls at all) Then I have to say this game is no longer for me. Which is a shame since I have bee playing and supporting it for over 24 years.

Finstersang

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« Reply #317 on: <07-29-19/0828:04> »
Sorry, yeah I meant pixie as a slang term for elf.

As for my thoughts on Adzling's point... I think we both recognize we've just got different perspectives and likes/dislikes.  But, specifically, I presume you mean you're curious about my thoughts on this:

“ It's good enough for RPG purposes”

This is the actual discussion we should be having as it’s clear you can’t argue against physics.

My repose to “its good enough” is “no freaking way, not even close”

Why?

It’s inconsistent internally within 6e itself due to unarmed.
What’s worse is it did not have to be this way.
We can all envisage fixes for this.
So why did they stick with this clearly borked rule that doesn’t even match the rest of combat in 6e?

Taking as read that I DO indeed think static weapon DVs are "good enough for RPG purposes"... I simply don't know the answers as to why the rules got written the way they did.  I'm not a fan of having reasonably-attainable Unarmed DVs that are higher than melee weapon DVs, but like I said in light of my very brief "playtest" I had earlier tonight my concerns are diminished somewhat. I mean, you can build a scarily ridiculous unarmed DV but does it truly matter if a scrawny elf is taking people out with 3DVs as well?

That´s what I think as well. The real problem here is not that some wimp/elf/pixie can be somewhat dangerous with a melee weapon.  It´s the internal inconsistency with the way unarmed Damage is calculated, and the fact that unarmed Damage can apparently be stacked higher than any melee weapon damage. If a Troll with Strength 10+ pulls out a Combat Knife or collapsible Baton or Cyberspurs, that should make him more dangerous. Or at least not less.

This is not going to make SR6 "OMG literally unplayable" (unlike that commie 2-Edge-per-Turn-limit  :P) for me, but it´s definitely an issue that should be adressed. If not by some form of Errata, then at least in the following combat supplement.

(I´m already thinking about a bunch of ways to rectify this issue, but I´ll wait until I have a look at the full ruleset. Apparently, there might be at least some aspects of melee weapons where strength matters which are still under NDA. I suspected it would be AR calculation, but in the QSR, these are all fixed for melee weapons...)
« Last Edit: <07-29-19/0836:48> 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"

Rift_0f_Bladz

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« Reply #318 on: <07-29-19/0953:44> »
@SSDR Cool, glad you enjoyed it, honestly.

@Marcus If it work for them awesome, my group is sticking with 5th and might steal bits and pieces from the New stuff, like possibly Matrix stuff. Otherwise, I am not really impressed overall with CGL's lets jump on the D&D5e simple and gimmicky bandwagon. Honestly, more I hear about the new Edge System and how Everything is tided to it, makes me sad. And then they nuetered the system with weird limits on how much is earned how you can spend it. Granted, am glad for a few things, better movement rules and possibly hell of a lot better Matrix system. What little of the character creation stuff I have seen before that thread was eaten by dissonance was not gel'n with me, honestly. This edition, I am pretty sure, I am just going to skip.
Quote- Mirikon on 7/30/2019 at 08:26:51
Agreed. This looks like a 'training wheels' edition, that you can use to introduce someone to the setting, and then shift over to something like 5E or 4E. Like how D&D 5E is best used as training wheels for D&D 3.X.

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #319 on: <07-29-19/1047:25> »
Out of curiosity, SSDR, for your playtest, was your game using the 2 Edge Gain per round limit?

I ask because you say Edge had such a high impact on making your character effective, and I'm wondering about the amount of Edge generated vs. the amount spent to make your character competent in that manner.

Yes, cap on 2 per round.

The character I tested had 3 edge (the temptation to put some special attribute points in elfy stats was too great to resist). I was able to frontload some edge during the sneaking around before fighting via cyberware and qualities. Rather than rerolling dice or buying hits I was spending edge on some melee options to go for those one-shot eliminations. They're cheap enough I was almost treading water on the edge total.. almost but not quite indefinitely sustainable.  The more significant cost to using these options is the opportunity cost.. since I spent edge in those kinds of ways I couldn't manipulate the dice rolls.  So I gambled on not needing any rerolls or needing to force the NPCs to reroll.  With 16 dice pool (9 agility, 7 skill including augmentations and specialization) against low threat level opposition, in this small sample size I didn't need rerolls anyway.  Obviously the outcomes I described did involve multiple factors that were in my favor, and the same kind of results can't be taken for granted against Red Samurai or such.

The other participants were CDT agents who have had early access for a little while now as well, and as far as I know this was the first time any of us had the chance to actually roll dice in the system rather than mentally theorycraft. The GM, who has been interested in the 6WE threads here on the forum even though he's probably wiser than me because he doesn't say anything in them, came to express an opinion that people can't both complain that armor doesn't do enough and that edge is too powerful. (one of my eliminations was on a 1 edge cost option)

Aside from edge: my character didn't have any wired reflexes or similar, so I was sitting on 1 major and 2 minors. My chameleon suit was great for helping to sneak around but less great for stopping bullets (even by 6WE standards) and with a typically elfy body stat I really couldn't afford having to roll to soak any damage. I was gambling on one-hit eliminations, and that turned out to work but you don't know before you roll. I felt I had to save minor actions for defensive use "just in case", really limiting my options compared to the more wired sammy types. That's a good thing on two counts I think: game design is indeed rewarding initiative-jackers despite 1 pass per round, and I did in fact need to dodge an attack when a looney with a chainsaw came from around a corner! I would not have wanted to try to soak that.
« Last Edit: <07-29-19/1059:25> 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.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #320 on: <07-29-19/1135:42> »
I’m curious as to what you mean by eliminate them from the fight. 3dv would require a minimum of 7 net hits to kill a enemy and that’s assuming they soaked nothing. Maybe you were effectively invisible the entire fight with the chameleon suit so they had no defense test but without buckets of edge being used I don’t see 7 hits happening routinely with a 16 die pool.

Now if by eliminate you are referring to they drop out of the fight early due to a low professional rating I can see it as the needed net hits would drop significantly. Or there is some crazy edge move that doubles damage or something at a low cost. I guess we get to see in a few days.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #321 on: <07-29-19/1200:31> »
Yes, I mean eliminate by filling the condition monitor.

Now granted, the instance where I spent a small number of edge to do that, it was an ability that in effect gave me a bonus to DV, which I then combined with a lucky roll (remember: small sample size).  Base DV plus the boost plus 5 net hits - the soak was a happy circumstance where it worked out to be a one-shot.

In other cases I used another option which costs more, but is brutal in its effectiveness. GM was already thinking it needs a nerf just from my using it twice (but again: small sample size). I haven't seen it discussed anywhere so I'm not going to give details, but basically it's analogous to those times in the movies where the hero just snaps a sentry's neck or slits his throat in one cool move. I built a ninja-type, so of course I was gonna try out ninja drek.

There are things you can do with edge that are melee only, blades only, etc. Things like these that can be done in close combat but not with a gun give a reason to do close combat, even if the melee DVs are bad compared to guns' DVs.
« Last Edit: <07-29-19/1212:15> 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.

Katanarchist

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« Reply #322 on: <07-29-19/1206:10> »
Neat! Thanks for the info.

Much like Fintersang, one of my big concerns is the per round cap on Edge gain. Obviously I want to kick the tires myself, but it's interesting to see a perspective that maybe it's working as intended.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #323 on: <07-29-19/1208:54> »
I tell you what, if you're able to gain 5+ edge per round, it'll become a Superhero RPG.
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.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #324 on: <07-29-19/1220:59> »
I mean going '+2 edge per action max, 1 edge expenditure per action max' is fine as houserule, but it will indeed be the cinematic dramatic fighting style in comparison. That's the point where I walk into a crowd of enemies, dual-wielding assault rifles, and spray them down while evading every attack thrown at me. 8)
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Xenon

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« Reply #325 on: <07-29-19/1223:59> »
There are some iconic archetypes in the Shadowrun universe (found in lore, books, illustrations etc).

One of them being an agile elf adept wielding a magical katana. Very hard to build a viable one in SR5. In SR6 they seem to be viable, even if you only have a strength of 3-4. I like this. I think we will see a lot of highly successful 'ninjas' in SR6.

Another is the street samurai. Perhaps primary using an assault rifle, but still have a katana for close encounters. By looking at the pictures (just Google Street samurai katana) most of them seem to be human or elf, not a Troll with super strength. In SR5 points in katana would mostly be useless and game mechanic wise it would often be better to just continue using his assault rifle. In SR6 it seem as if he would gain a tactical advantage switching to his katana. I like this. I think we will see a lot of street samurai using close combat as a close encounter option, even with mediocre strength ratings.

A third archetype is the big troll. Having super strength. Hitting through brick walls with his bare fists. Also this will be possible with SR6.

You have a few corner cases where things get strange.

Street samurai width cybernetic arms punching through brick wall with his cyber fists. Not clear how strong or how weak cyberlimbs will be in 6th edition. All I seen so far is that they start out at strength 2, but if they stay at strength 2 and a punch from a metallic cyberarm only have a base DV of 1 then i think it will feel strange. Hopefully you can boost them higher than that. Time will tell.

A big troll with super strength dealing more damage with his fists than if he were to wield a katana. But will this *really* be a problem? Why use a katana when your fists deal auto cannon damage? Hulk doesn't wield a katana, he just smash things with his fists. It is possible that the disconnect will be too big for people to handle, but I actually don't think it will be that big of a thing. I need to read the full rules and actually play the game before I can tell for sure.

Another corner case is the physically weak character (such as strength 1) dealing as much damage width a huge zweihander or claymore as someone strong enough to properly wield it (such as strength 4 or 5). I think I would have bigger issues with this case. I think maybe there might be some game mechanic that I don't fully know about. Maybe some weapons have some sort of minimal strength requirement; Knife 1,  Katana 3, Claymore 5, Medium Machine Gun 7, Heavy Machine Gun 9? Time will tell....
« Last Edit: <07-29-19/1226:31> by Xenon »

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #326 on: <07-29-19/1234:35> »
I tell you what, if you're able to gain 5+ edge per round, it'll become a Superhero RPG.

And if you cap at 2 situational modifiers stop representing what they are supposed to represent far too often.

Katanarchist

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« Reply #327 on: <07-29-19/1246:41> »
I tell you what, if you're able to gain 5+ edge per round, it'll become a Superhero RPG.

Well, there's a reason my avatar is cyberpunk Spider-Man.... ;)

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #328 on: <07-29-19/1250:42> »
This is not going to make SR6 "OMG literally unplayable" (unlike that commie 2-Edge-per-Turn-limit  :P) for me, but it´s definitely an issue that should be adressed. If not by some form of Errata, then at least in the following combat supplement.
"Commie" implies that it appears to work on paper and fails in practice because of the flawed nature of the humans practicing it, plus/minus sabotage from rival capitalist governments. This seems to fall apart on paper.

I tell you what, if you're able to gain 5+ edge per round, it'll become a Superhero RPG.
I have to disagree, and not just because Shadowrunners aren't terribly heroic.
After all you don't send an electrician to fix your leaking toilet.

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penllawen

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« Reply #329 on: <07-29-19/1303:51> »
I tell you what, if you're able to gain 5+ edge per round, it'll become a Superhero RPG.

And if you cap at 2 situational modifiers stop representing what they are supposed to represent far too often.
I'm currently favouring the middle ground: you can only bank 2 Edge per round, but excess Edge you earn isn't immediately lost but can be used in (and only in) the action you earn it. I hope that this removes the "clipping" effect of the maximum Edge gain, where armour and tactics start to feel useless, but still means it takes effort and time to "save up" the big Edge numbers you need for the more devastating uses.