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Has Shadowrun ever been retconned ? Specifically Corporations....

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Seras

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« on: (12:46:19/08-06-19) »
I was rereading my old 3rd edition and 4th edition basic rulebooks....and Shiawase is never mentioned !! Even MCT is absent in the 3rd edition version...

The ones metioned are Ares, Aztechnology, Fuchi, Evo ( by its old name) and SK...


Has there been a retcon of Shadowrun history between editions ?


Thanks Seras
I apologise for my posts beeing weird to read, I am fluent in english, but almost never write in english anymore :-(

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: (13:12:49/08-06-19) »
Lots of changes, but outright retcons? none are coming to mind.

Shiawase and MCT were both of the original Big Eight, before AAAs became the Big Ten.  They both go back to 1st edition.
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.

Wakshaani

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« Reply #2 on: (13:14:30/08-06-19) »
No, they've been there since the beginning, they just slide under the radar a bit.

(Well, that's not 100% true. In 1st edition, and in the start of 2nd, the concept of the megas and the Corporate Council wasn't actually established yet. That came out … I want to say in '92? I'd have to check. At which point it became the way things are.)

Shadowrun's never had an official retcon, but a few things have been later re-explained or quietly stuffed under a carpet to never be mentioned again.For instance, at one point in time, the entire east coast of North America was a single huge sprawl that ran from New England down to South Carolina. This later became a series of large sprawls that nearly touch in some places but are still distinct entities.

FastJack

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« Reply #3 on: (15:02:26/08-06-19) »
Ares Macrotechnology is first mentioned in Street Samurai Catalog with their winter catalogs. Seattle (FASA7201) lists Ares, Atlantean Foundation, Aztechnology, Federated Boeing, Fuchi, Gaeatronics, Lone Star, MCT, Renraku and Shiawase as the city's main power players.

It's not until 2nd Edition that we got Corporate Shadowfiles that detailed the big 8 (Ares, Aztechnology, Fuchi, MCT, Renraku, Saeder-Krupp, Shiawase, and Yamatetsu), along with info on the the Corporate Court.

In 3rd Edition, Core Rules p. 316-17 lists the big 10 as Ares, Aztechnology, Cross Applied Technologies, Mitsuhama Computer Technologies, Novatech Incorporated, Renraku, Saeder-Krupp, Shiawase, Wuxing, and Yamatetsu.

For 4th Edition, Core Rules p. 42-43 lists the big 10 as Ares, Aztechnology, Evo Corporation, Horizon, MCT, NeoNET, Renraku, Saeder-Krupp, Shiawase, and Wuxing.


Beta

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« Reply #4 on: (16:22:08/08-06-19) »
I forget exactly when/where it was printed, but the classic background piece to the sixth world "and so it came to pass" includes "The Shiawase Decision" of 2001 by the US Supreme Court, firmly establishing extra-territoriality.  Shiawase slips from the spotlight sometime, but it has literally been around since the beginning.
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FastJack

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« Reply #5 on: (16:47:32/08-06-19) »
You are correct, that has been present in the "And So..." intro since 1st edition.

mcv

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« Reply #6 on: (06:23:22/08-07-19) »
Whether Shadowrun has ever been retconned depends on what you mean by retcon. Shadowrun is constantly filling in details that weren't there before, and pretends those details were always there. That's just part of trying to build a complete world despite that being an impossibly big task. Everything that gets introduced new has to have a history that gets inserted into wherever it seems to sort-of fit.

Direct contradictions are extremely rare, though. Not mentioning a major corporation and later claiming it was always there is only a retcon if the list where it was missing claimed to be exhaustive.

If you're looking for retcons, then maybe horrors, and possibly the reason for Dunkelzahn's death might be a better example. And even those are mostly reinterpretations of things that were always vague. My impression is that those reinterpretations happen a lot. Outright contradictions never or almost never.

Nath

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« Reply #7 on: (09:31:31/08-07-19) »
Here's the retcons I remember on the corporate front. Past the two first items, that's is mostly very minor stuff.

In Seattle Sourcebook, the section on the Seattle United Corporate Council wonder if the corporations of the world may be "secretly building a global organization through which they hope to influence, it not control entirely, the planet's governement". While Corporate Shadowfiles barely touched the issue of influence over governements when it introduced the Corporate Court as a global organization whose existence was widely known, Corporate Download has the megacorporation pushing for ratification of the Business Recognition Accords as early as 2042, making the need for a secret organization dubious at best.

In Seattle Sourcebook, Aztechnology and MCT have corporate warships - the Tezcatlipoca and the Izanagi. In Corporate Shadowfiles, Aztechnology is said to have zero military assets and MCT has only a company-sized military force (which would ne be enough to staff a warship). That was completely reverted in Aztlan regarding Aztechnology, whose armed forces were said to be three times as large as the national army of Aztlan, and a number of subsequent books. Overall, Corporate Shadowfiles is pretty much the only book where corporate forces are described as that small.

As a side note, Aztechnology headquarters was said to be in "Mexico City" in Seattle Sourcebook and Corporate Shadowfiles (that is, until the release of the Aztlan sourcebook established the Aztlan capital was renamed Tenochtitlan).

In Seattle Sourcebook and Corporate Shadowfiles, Ares Arms Military Systems Division maintains extensive military asets within the Ares Macrotechnology group. Since Corporate Download and Year of the Comet, Knight Errant Security Services has been providing military forces.

Yamatetsu, Cross Applied Technologies or Phoenix Biotechnologies were completely absent from Seattle Sourcebook, The Neo-Anarchist Guide to North America and Native American Nations.
On the other hand, The Neo-Anarchist Guide to North America mentions Cord Mutual as the largest insurer in the world. The corporation then never appeared for years (that's the case for many other corporation, but Cord Mutual was one of the only ones to be specifically ranked a world leader).

The Atlantean Foundation was listed as one of Seattle ten largest megacorporations in Seattle Sourcebook, as a major player in awakened employment. It was not listed in the similar chapter in New Seattle or Seattle 2072.
The foundation was headed by Casey Williams in Seattle Sourcebook, then founder Sheila Blatavaska in Dunkelzahn's Secrets: Portfolio of a Dragon and Loose Alliances (with Williams as a boardmember) then again by Williams in Dirty Tricks, in which it is said there is no record of him before 2051 (Seattle Sourcebook being set in 2049...).

Weapons World was introduced as an independant company in Seattle Sourcebook. In Corporate Shadowfiles it was a subsidiary of Monobe International. In Corporate Download it became a subsidiary of Ares Macrotechnology. Then in Corporate Guide it was again a subsidiary of Monobe International.

Shin Chou Kyogo produced the SCK 100 submachine gun introduced in the Street Samurai Catalog. In Corporate Guide, it is described as involved "in social research and the creation of a compete (sic) record of human history".

In London Sourcebook, the Fuchi top executive in Great Britain was Charles Nakatomi, an anglo-japanese whiz-kid of the Nakatomi family. Later books, including Corporate Shadowfiles and Blood in the Boardroom, established the Yamana ran Fuchi Pan-Europa and the Nakatomi ran Fuchi Asia.

In London Sourcebook, Zeta-ImpChem owned Hoechst AG, who also became a member company of the AG Chemie consortium in Germany Sourcebook. German-only books retconned the name into Hoechst-Aventis after Rhône-Poulenc and Hoechst merged as Aventis in 1999, a name that was also used in Shadows of Europe. Corporate Guide retconned the name again as Sanofi-Aventis, since Sanofi-Synthelabo took Aventis over in 2004.

The Renraku European headquarters was in Paris, France, according to the Germany Sourcebook. In Corporate Download, the HQ was recently moved to Munich because division head Karl Stadt couldn't stand the anarchy of... Berlin. Also Corporate Download does not list any prominant facilities in Paris.

The Aqua Arcana company was founded by one Jebediah Jones according to California Free Statet. In Hazard Pay, there are three founders, Isabel Madira, Michael Paul and Alexander Greyson.

In Shadows of North America, the Saeder-Krupp North America headquarters were in Charlotte, CAS, and S-K had yet to be allowed to do business in Tir Tairngire. Seattle 2072 mentions that S-K still had no business in Portland. In Corporate Guide, Saeder-Krupp North Am HQ were in Portland, Tir Tairngire. Dirty Tricks acknowledges the existence of the Portland and Charlotte facilities, but says the Charlotte HQ was established after Portland, "when the Tir troubles started," which would imply S-K was operating in Tir Tairngire as early as 2057.

James Haper-Smythe, boardmember of Wuxing, was 32 years old in Corporate Download. Nine years later, he was "the other old man of the board" in Corporate Guide.

Tsuruga International, one of the founding parties in Yamatetsu, was an international shipping company according to Blood in the Boardroom and Corporate Download. In Corporate Guide, it was described as dealing exclusively in road construction.

Trans-Latvia Enterprises was a Latvian company in Shadows of Europe. It was a Estonian company in Corporate Guide.

In Vice, the top five corporations in security were Ares Macrotechnology, Lone Star Security Services, Wolverine, Centurion and Eagle Security. In Corporate Guide, the top ten were Ares, Lone Star, Maersk, MCT and Yakashima Technologies, Renraku, Pueblo Security Enterprises, AG Chemie Europa, Esprit Industries and HKB.
« Last Edit: (12:54:45/08-07-19) by Nath »

Tecumseh

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« Reply #8 on: (13:49:44/08-07-19) »
Good Lord, Nath, do you keep a running file of these things? That can't be off the top of your head... (can it?)

I agree with the others that there are no outright retcons, but there are discrepancies and contradictions that could be attributed to several possible factors. It could be writers deliberately tweaking/evolving things, it could be new writers not having memorized the massive canon that exists.

As a small example, the presence of law enforcement within Redmond's Toursitville. In the early editions it was Security rating C, which was the equivalent of a Low lifestyle neighborhood (reactive policing, infrequent patrols, but not zero). Fourth Edition (Seattle 2072) says "Knight Errant has started patrolling here." Fifth Edition (Emerald Shadows) says, "Since Knight Errant came to town, law enforcement has been non-existent." None of these rise to the level of retcon, but obviously there's some ambiguity there.

Nath

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« Reply #9 on: (16:41:21/08-07-19) »
To be honest, out of 17 items, there were 10 I could really gave from the top of my head, though I had to check for the warship names. The one about Mexico/Tenochtitlan, I noticed while checking the books.

I also remembered there was one thing with a Fuchi familial breakup in a first edition sourcebook, but had to search to find precisely which ones. Then I also reread a review of Corporate Guide I posted online, as I remembered there was a lot of continuity issues in that particular book.
« Last Edit: (16:43:04/08-07-19) by Nath »

knppel

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« Reply #10 on: (06:30:41/08-08-19) »
In b4 Boeing retcons itself ::)

On topic, I've only played actively the past few years, but we've been observing since early 2000's, and got hands on old stuff too. The list above- none of which I could have pointed out- seems quite detailed and in-depth. I've not observed any big retcons- if anything, usually the attempt was to develop the story to fit a new environment in, opposed to retconning (That's why SR had a second crash to introduce WLAN opposed to simply stating "Oh yeah in the early 2000's it quickly turned out wiring everything up would be stupid)...

Last but not least without having the mentioned sources at hand, keep in mind a lot of information in the SR sourcebooks is transported in character too- Again, I've not checked the quoted passages, but it's quite logical that some runner who never digged beyond the surface, thinks Aztechnology has no noteworthy military forces (he'd know off).
The guys publishing their intel in the Aztlan-sourcebook clearly digged deeper.

FastJack

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« Reply #11 on: (07:25:14/08-08-19) »
On a side note, since I'm reviewing a lot of the older books now. How many different flags have their been for the CAS?

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #12 on: (07:45:31/08-08-19) »
As many as there are opinions on where to put their capital. 8) It isn't pretty.
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FastJack

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Nath

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« Reply #14 on: (13:40:32/08-08-19) »
Last but not least without having the mentioned sources at hand, keep in mind a lot of information in the SR sourcebooks is transported in character too- Again, I've not checked the quoted passages, but it's quite logical that some runner who never digged beyond the surface, thinks Aztechnology has no noteworthy military forces (he'd know off).
The guys publishing their intel in the Aztlan-sourcebook clearly digged deeper.
That either is retcon or bad writing.

I think most, if not all published material was with the intent to  describe the actual setting. If an author wanted to suggest Aztechnology is lying about its military forces, he would write that they are lying or at least put some interrogation mark that suggest it.

If an author later wants to change the setting, that's fair game and that's what the retcon word stands for. To point out the previous material was a subjective point of view is one common solution to justify a retcon (whether the retcon was intentional or only comes after noticing a consistency error).

If an author publishes a sourcebook with the intent of making its content false in a later release, that's just bad writing. That's a trick to use in serialized novels or comics. But sourcebooks are published to give gamemasters and players the material to develop their own stories. If you make something false afterwards, you're either betting on no one actually using your material (so you put something useless in the book, which is bad writing) or you don't care about gamemasters and players having to retcon their own campaign with no other help than a lofty "you should have known it was a subjective voice."