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

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Mirikon

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« Reply #375 on: <08-01-19/0849:18> »
Why would you ever want to play the bloated, poorly balanced mess that is 3.5? Play 5e for beer and pretzels night, and 2e for when you want to get in-depth about your dungeon crawling. Or maybe play a system that isn't goddamned D&D. I've been playing Savage Worlds Adventure Edition recently, and I find it runs as a good pulp action system while still being easy to learn and run.

That's an aside, though. The question at hand is how much of a beer and pretzels game does the current player base want Shadowrun to be? I personally find that 5e is plenty beer and pretzels when you run it Pink Mohawk.

For the same reasons I play systems like Champions/HERO System, Mutants & Masterminds, GURPS, and BESM. For the same reason I think SR4A is infinitely better than SR5. I like character creation and customization. I like having the options to do anything I want, if I can find the points for it. I like being able to customize gear, customize spells, customize whatever I'm doing and come up with something new and unique and tell a story about it. I want to get in under the hood, and turn my Roadmaster into a poor man's APC. I want to create an AI Street Samurai. I want to create a Troll Mage. I want to go wild.

If I wanted a 'beer and pretzels' game, I'd just bust out Cards Against Humanity or Munchkin. I want deep customization, and the ability to craft a story that I can call my own, not fitting into one of three slots, almost identical to a few dozen others of my 'class'.
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Mirikon

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« Reply #376 on: <08-01-19/0852:05> »
Have you tried any edition of Mutants&Masterminds? I've personally found it's the best of the d20 systems.
Depends on what you're going for. If you're going for a free-wheeling, comic book experience, like Hulk fighting Abomination in Manhattan, then M&M is your jam. If you want a gritty, tactical experience, that feels more like D&D, you want Champions.
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FastJack

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« Reply #377 on: <08-01-19/0912:01> »
Have you tried any edition of Mutants&Masterminds? I've personally found it's the best of the d20 systems.
Depends on what you're going for. If you're going for a free-wheeling, comic book experience, like Hulk fighting Abomination in Manhattan, then M&M is your jam. If you want a gritty, tactical experience, that feels more like D&D, you want Champions.
The only thing I'll add about M&M (and I love the game), don't go into it thinking about "leveling up". This is a game that is based on a Power Level, so you can design characters that are Street Level (Punisher, The Question) to middle-level (Runaways, Teen Titans) to top-tier (Avengers, JLA). The system works best if you're stay off the idea of making your heroes more powerful and focus on the storylines like the comics that inspired the game.

FastJack

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« Reply #378 on: <08-01-19/0917:13> »
Dang it! Got myself in the trap too...

Let's keep this on topic, if you want to talk Superhero RPGs, message me and I can split the discussion off into another thread.

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #379 on: <08-01-19/1323:25> »
For the same reasons I play systems like Champions/HERO System, Mutants & Masterminds, GURPS, and BESM. For the same reason I think SR4A is infinitely better than SR5. I like character creation and customization. I like having the options to do anything I want, if I can find the points for it. I like being able to customize gear, customize spells, customize whatever I'm doing and come up with something new and unique and tell a story about it. I want to get in under the hood, and turn my Roadmaster into a poor man's APC. I want to create an AI Street Samurai. I want to create a Troll Mage. I want to go wild.

If I wanted a 'beer and pretzels' game, I'd just bust out Cards Against Humanity or Munchkin. I want deep customization, and the ability to craft a story that I can call my own, not fitting into one of three slots, almost identical to a few dozen others of my 'class'.
See, but I don't think any edition of D&D does customization well. Yes, 3.5 had a whole slew of classes, feats, races, gear mods and all that, but they aren't equal. Some options are so bad as to be considered traps, and among the good options some are clearly better than others with no drawbacks or tradeoffs. Having a lot of choices doesn't mean anything when only a handful of them are viable. 5e is at least honest about giving you a small number of viable options. And if I'm to speak beyond just personal preference, it's probably better for the TTRPG industry for modern D&D to be as it is. It's the most well known outside of nerd hobby communities and often babby's first system, so it should be something that doesn't drive people away with complexity and an endless sea of content bloat to navigate, but still deep enough to retain interest. And all that is before I say anything about Caster Edition.

This talk about other systems is an aside, but it's a useful lens to look at 6e criticisms at. For instance, what I just said about it being a good thing that 5e is relatively simple? That doesn't apply here. Shadowrun has always been the deep end of the pool, and I don't see any reason that should change.
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adzling

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« Reply #380 on: <08-02-19/2159:32> »
Shadowrun has always been the deep end of the pool, and I don't see any reason that should change.

It just did, 6e has been released.

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #381 on: <08-03-19/0919:37> »
Which is the issue at hand here. Shadowrun has always been the deep end of the pool, we appreciate it for being the deep end of the pool, and now the devs have seen fit to make it the kiddie pool.
After all you don't send an electrician to fix your leaking toilet.

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adzling

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« Reply #382 on: <08-03-19/1007:48> »
Yup, our table is sticking with 5e

mcv

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« Reply #383 on: <08-03-19/1327:07> »
(Warning! Long and rambling. For the final point, jump to the last paragraph. The rest is just explanation of the jargon I'm using.)

I think the OP's issue about suspension of disbelief vs the uncanny valley might be related to the concept of "verisimilitude". In RPGs, verisimilitude refers to the idea that decisions you make, make sense from the character's perspective in the game world. A game world that may contain cyberware, spirits, magic, etc.

For example, using a skill you've got, casting a spell, wearing armour, shooting a gun, those are things your character does and understands. But what about using Edge? Does the character choose to apply Edge to a roll? I don't think so. It's more of a meta-mechanic. It's not something inside the game world, but it's something that supports dramatic moments in play. (That's not entirely true; in Shadowrun, Edge and karma might actually be real things in the game world, just not things the character consciously controls.)

This gets back a bit to an old-fashioned distinction about different approaches to RPGs: simulationst, gamist and narrativist approaches. Simulationism is about simulating the game world in whatever detail you need, like making meatspace, magic and the matrix feel and behave differently. Gamism is about things like balance and playability, overcoming obstacles, doing the things that are core to the game and getting rewarded for that; it doesn't have to be realistic, as long as it's fun. Narrativism is about the story you're creating, and to what extent do the players have control over that beyond the choices that their character makes? This includes meta-currency like fate-points in Fate, or Edge in SR.

Obviously every RPG needs all of these to some extent; the distinction is in where you find the balance. Shadowrun has always been strongly on the simulationist end, and rather complex as a result. D&D has always been more gamist, with its levels and classes that don't really represent anything concrete in the game world. D&D4 took it further, and had abilities work in a way that was very balanced, but made little sense in the game world: you could make a special attack once a day, with no clear in-world reason you couldn't use it again. When it feels like something that should be under the control of the character, but is inexplicably limited due to balance reasons, that hurts versimilitude. You cannot do a thing that you normally can do, simply because you've done it once before on the same day. That makes no sense.

Pathfinder is also clearly guilty of that. I'll forgive D&D and Pathfinder for the way magic spells work, because, after all, it's magic. There are tons of in-world explanations that people have made up to explain that. But plenty of classes have non-magical abilities that they can still only use once a day, and that's kinda weird. Or abilities that do something that doesn't sound like the character is doing it.

An interesting counter example is Earthdawn, where classes (disciplines) and levels (circles) do represent something real in-game, and where the karma you spend to boost your chances is also a real in-game magical currency.

Anyway, to finally get back to the point: when wearing better armor doesn't improve your survivability, that hurts versimilitude. When instead, it boosts an intangible meta-game currency, that feels weird. (And if you see Edge as something magical that does exist in-game, it's even weirder.) It moves the game out of its simulationist corner towards a more abstract gamist/narrativist style of play. That's not necessarily bad (D&D has been quite successful with it), but I can understand it feels different from what people are used to from Shadowrun.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #384 on: <08-03-19/1359:48> »
Iíd say even the edge system could work for more simulationists a if designed different.

1. Donít put limits on edge gain or spending.
2. Have edge uses tied directly to things they are representing.
3. Have edge gain happen whether or not there is a relative difference.


Like take armor it only goes to edge gain effectively. Okay but have a 1 edge thing be if you gain a edge from armor you can spend one edge so your armor rating is added to your soak pool. This actually would make sense certain levels of protection just get blown through without slowing the bullet down.

Poor visibility target gains one edge. Have a 1 edge thing be gain one auto success on your defense tests against all enemies effected by the visibility.


Sendaz

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« Reply #385 on: <08-03-19/1508:13> »

Like take armor it only goes to edge gain effectively. Okay but have a 1 edge thing be if you gain a edge from armor you can spend one edge so your armor rating is added to your soak pool. This actually would make sense certain levels of protection just get blown through without slowing the bullet down.

Poor visibility target gains one edge. Have a 1 edge thing be gain one auto success on your defense tests against all enemies effected by the visibility.
They do have a little bit of this, so there is some precedence..
If you look at the Rigger Dossier on Emu they have this in two spots:
Flare Compensation
Character gains bonus Edge in glare environment if their opponent doesnít possess a similar enhancement.

And
Juryrigger
When performing a Juryrigging test, character gains a bonus point of Edge that must be used on that test, or it is lost.
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Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #386 on: <08-03-19/1546:59> »
Yeah they have edge gains for things like having flare comp Iím glare.

The thing is it should be the reverse and they need specific edge expenditures not just gains for those circumstances. Basically flare comp should stop the enemy from getting edge gain. And then there should be ways to spend that edge that reflect shooting at you is more difficult.

If I throw down a flash pack itís harder to shoot me. So I should gain a edge when people try to shoot me whether or not I have flare comp but if they have flare comp I wouldnít gain the edge because itís not harder for them to shoot me. And there should be specific ways to spend my edge that show itís harder to shoot me like auto hits on my defense test.

tenchi2a

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« Reply #387 on: <08-03-19/2019:54> »
Well we know that the current version of the edge system was not what was originally proposed.
It was going to be a bonus system that worked with the mod system, but somewhere alone the way, after the original proponent left the group it was changed to become the core mechanic to the system.
We also know that the designers wanted to remove soak from the game altogether.

It is plain to see they where going for a Shadowrun/D&D fusion to cash in on the popularity of 5th edition.
But it seems to be suffering from all the issues of D&D 4th edition,
1. Strange playtesting issues.
2. Move away for the core fan base to try and pull in new players from another playstyle.
3. Silent Devs and overly protective players singing its praises.
4. Major backlash from core fans
5. Needing errata right off the presses.

So that aside, I see this going only a few ways.
1. The D&D 4th ed. way, with CGL putting out a whole lotta low print run supplements to squeeze as much out of this before
    a) then dropping shadowrun for good, Or
    b) pulling a 5th ed with open playtesting
2. Trying to plug the wholes in the system and go from there.
    a) finding a way to make it work, Or
    b) then dropping shadowrun for good, Or
    c) pulling a 5th ed with open playtesting

3. They could get enough old and new players to make it profitable.

The changes to the game where not a mistake, they where a chose by the designers, so the only way for them to see it as an issues is for the game not to sell well.
So that's what me and my players are going to do, not buy anything from the line. If enough players vote with their wallets they may get the idea, orI could be wrong and it just me and my group that don't like it and it does well.

Anyway you look at this I feel we are stuck with 6th for awhile, so I'll keep watching but I don't see any reason to stick around and keep arguing as for now I don't think anything will be changes for the foreseeable future.
« Last Edit: <08-03-19/2035:32> by tenchi2a »

Xenon

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« Reply #388 on: <08-03-19/2306:23> »
If I throw down a flash pack itís harder to shoot me.
Being blinded by glare give you a negative dice pool modifier (similar to SR5).
If you are using low light then you get even more blinded by the glare.
If you are using flare compensation then you get less blinded.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #389 on: <08-03-19/2349:34> »
So glare gives penalties but range doesnít.  If some situational modifiers have penalties whatís the benefit of the edge system. It doesnít sound easier to me.