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[SR6] How big of an issue is armor class... err, defense rating?

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Finstersang

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« Reply #75 on: (13:23:48/10-09-19) »
While far from nonexistent, I think this problem is pretty overrated.

Even without the GM stepping in and even when playing with a group of level 8 Cheese Spirits, many of the examples here are just suboptimal ways to use your precious actions in a Combat situation. Why should I dataspike random electronics or shoot at unarmored civilians to earn "Free Edge" (because surely, none of these Actions will have any negative consequences at all in the long run...) for a better shot at the real target in the next Action if I  can just shoot the real target twice in the same time frame and probably even get Edge for it as well?

(Oh boi, I can already see the spreasheets rolling up...  ::))

skalchemist

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« Reply #76 on: (13:31:57/10-09-19) »
In response to Skalchemist, your views are fair. I do not have nearly your breadth of gaming time (closer to 14ish years myself), or the depth of your varied systems, so I can only speak from my own experiences.
...
I'm glad your experiences have been better!
Lormyr, my intent was not to claim some kind of superior position due to experience, but simply to claim that I do have wide experience.  I don't think anyone's gaming experience is somehow lesser than mine; I just happen to have played a lot of games, is all.

Also, I'm not saying I haven't played with annoying and awful people.  Oh boy have I!  My estimates of "douche ratio" would not be nearly as bad as yours with respect to convention play, but it would also be clearly nonzero.  I admit, I would have stopped going to conventions if I could expect at least one idiot per session as it seems you do, but I certainly have seen my fair share of idiots. 

I've not done Vampire LARPs, but 2nd hand knowledge leads me to believe that your description might be quite accurate.    But even Vampire LARP designers (that is, the people writing the actual game rules) shouldn't have to write rules to account for unreasonable people  Vampire LARP organizers, absolutely yes, oh god yes.  But not the game designers.

But this is really my only point in my post.  I think there are all kinds of good grounds to criticize a set of rules:

* they literally make no sense when read, the meaning cannot be found
* they contradict themselves
* they are unclear or ambiguous
* they don't seem to achieve the intent that the rules themselves indicate was the intent
* they don't create a play style that the rules indicate they should create

But I don't think the fact that rules don't account for unreasonable people being unreasonable is one of those good grounds.

Lormyr

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« Reply #77 on: (13:59:07/10-09-19) »
Lormyr, my intent was not to claim some kind of superior position due to experience, but simply to claim that I do have wide experience.  I don't think anyone's gaming experience is somehow lesser than mine; I just happen to have played a lot of games, is all.

No worries bud, I didn't take offense to anything you said.

I admit, I would have stopped going to conventions if I could expect at least one idiot per session as it seems you do, but I certainly have seen my fair share of idiots.

Heh, well I have mostly quit going for the last 3 years. Partially for the douches, and partially because I can game for free whenever I want, so why pay to add douches to my rotation?

But I don't think the fact that rules don't account for unreasonable people being unreasonable is one of those good grounds.

You're not wrong, and I don't disagree. That doesn't excuse not just making a rule logical and well self-contained, though. When a game mechanic is too open to interpretation/veto it is probably better served as an optional rule or left to be decided as a house rule.

skalchemist

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« Reply #78 on: (14:22:01/10-09-19) »
But I don't think the fact that rules don't account for unreasonable people being unreasonable is one of those good grounds.

You're not wrong, and I don't disagree. That doesn't excuse not just making a rule logical and well self-contained, though. When a game mechanic is too open to interpretation/veto it is probably better served as an optional rule or left to be decided as a house rule.
I agree. 

I think a rule needs work if reasonable people can't figure out how to make it work or use it or make sense of it or know when it applies or how it fits in with other rules.   I believe many things in Shadowrun 6E (including a lot of the issues raised about Edge in this very thread) meet that test, if only on the basis that I think most people here are reasonable, and seem to have problems figuring it out. 

I don't think a rule needs work if unreasonable people can use it to do unreasonable stuff just because they can without reference to anyone else's fun.

penllawen

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« Reply #79 on: (15:00:42/10-09-19) »
But I don't think the fact that rules don't account for unreasonable people being unreasonable is one of those good grounds.
But 6e does account for that, or at least it attempts to -- the section is literally entitled "Preventing Edge Abuse." If good RPG rules don't account for unreasonable behaviour, why does that section have to exist? This is what computer programmers sometimes call a "smell." It's when you're reading something new and you find some weird, clunky section that isn't immediately obviously wrong but it makes you think "Huh. Why is that there? What underlying problem is it attempting to paper over?"

Every subsystem in every RPG comes with an implicit footnote of "players: don't abuse this. GMs: stop players who are abusing this." So why did 6e's Edge system need that to be said explicitly? The answer, I believe, is because the line between "abuse" and "enthusiastically engaging with it" is wafer-thin and very hard to define. All players should care about Edge, should optimise their characters and their actions to gain Edge, but not too much: too much caring and too much optimising is bad. How much is too much? Nobody knows for sure.

Also: don't get hung up on the idea of knowingly abusive players. I've talked about those because it's easier to write clear examples of broken behaviours I want to highlight. But I think the bigger issue is unknowingly "abusive" ones.

Shadowrun is a crunchy system. It has many sections where players have a wide range of choices, and by making smart choices that line up, they can get an advantage. This can range from blindingly obvious (if you want to buy a deck, choose to have good decking skills to match it) to much more subtle (eg. some pieces of cyberware are much more cost-effective to buy Used than others, and the Used discount can make a massive difference if applied to just one big-ticket piece of 'ware.) Players are constantly rewarded for systems mastery, and culture is the behaviour you reward.

For every example of an abusive player consciously breaking the Edge system, there's another hundred where some player will do something in the grey area, not out of malice, but out of cleverness and a desire to demonstrate systems mastery. The game explicitly sets Edge up as a big fat glowing target. Of course players are going to optimise for it; they'd be fools not to. And some of them are going to push the envelope in pursuit of that, and as Lormyr succinctly put it above, they don't think they're cheating; they think they're playing the rules-as-written and doing a good job of it. Which they are, from one perspective. So as a GM you're set up to have an endless cycle of awkward decisions and awkward conversations about it. Which doesn't sound fun, to me.

skalchemist

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« Reply #80 on: (16:52:25/10-09-19) »
For every example of an abusive player consciously breaking the Edge system, there's another hundred where some player will do something in the grey area, not out of malice, but out of cleverness and a desire to demonstrate systems mastery. The game explicitly sets Edge up as a big fat glowing target. Of course players are going to optimise for it; they'd be fools not to. And some of them are going to push the envelope in pursuit of that, and as Lormyr succinctly put it above, they don't think they're cheating; they think they're playing the rules-as-written and doing a good job of it. Which they are, from one perspective. So as a GM you're set up to have an endless cycle of awkward decisions and awkward conversations about it. Which doesn't sound fun, to me.
Penllawen, first, I had forgotten about the "Edge Abuse" section in the 6E rules.  My reply to that is I really don't think that section was or should be necessary.  But my other reply is that obviously the designers recognize that the attitude you and others point to is a real thing among Shadowrun players and feel they have to manage it.  Which...fair enough?  It still boggles my mind that it is such a big issue, but I'll accept its a real one.

I have two thoughts on the quoted passage above...

* Insofar as a player is engaging with the ongoing story of the game in interesting and fun ways, how does them "optimising" something in the game become a problem?  Like, I make some choices for my character to make my character super-cool, and then I play my character in ways that all the other folks at the table are enjoying, but I happen to be using Edge super-efficiently.  I'm not seeing any problem there.  Up to a point, which leads me to...

* Insofar as a player is inadvertently "optimising" their character or their play in ways that are actively unfun for others, why does that conversation have to be awkward?  Its just a conversation between well-meaning people. 

Maybe I'm not seeing the problem here.  I'll tie this back to Ghost Rigger's earlier post...
Maybe. Or maybe they'll get so good at coming up with excuses for their blatant edge abuse that you can no longer distinguish it from a player thinking outside the box.

"I shoot the random bystander so that they don't call the cops."

"I shoot the scientists first, because they will run away while the guards stay put and we were ordered to leave no witnesses."

"I dataspike the coffee machine in the middle of combat so that the goons are distracted by the smoke and sparks."
I'm honestly not seeing the problem with any of those, here is why.  Either...

* the player is just playing to the scene and the situation, doing cool stuff that all of us think is fun, in which case, enjoy the Edge, player! or

* the player is being a jerk, in which case I throw popcorn at them and say "ugh..boo"

I don't see that as very difficult to handle or discriminate between.  And more importantly, I don't see the fact that its possible to do what Ghost Rigger describes as necessarily a problem with the rules. 

I think there are problems with the Edge rules, don't get me wrong.  But my problems have to do with their clunky construction, the fact that they don't seem to actually streamline much of anything, the fact that who can earn Edge and who can't and in what circumstances doesn't seem to have a whole lot of logic behind it in every case, etc.  The kind of worry Ghost Rigger is expressing above is just not on my radar.

I feel like I have dragged this thread a long way off the original topic, which was specifically about armor and defense ratings.  So I"m going to leave it here and give others the last word if they want to have it on the issue I have raised. 

ZeroSum

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« Reply #81 on: (18:51:53/10-09-19) »
I think there are problems with the Edge rules, don't get me wrong.  But my problems have to do with their clunky construction, the fact that they don't seem to actually streamline much of anything, the fact that who can earn Edge and who can't and in what circumstances doesn't seem to have a whole lot of logic behind it in every case, etc.  The kind of worry Ghost Rigger is expressing above is just not on my radar.
More than anything, this is my issue.

I've built four characters so far for SR6 to get familiar with the system.
The Decker and Street Sam has obvious, concise ways to earn Edge; if your AR is higher than the DR of the thing you are interacting with, barring obvious abuse, you get Edge.

The Aspected Magician/Face? With no combat spells or summoning there aren't many ways for this character to earn Edge; this is why I gave him First Impression, because each time you interact with someone new you gain 2 Edge. Part of the problem solved; the other half of this equation is social Edge, which is entirely up to the GM to decide.

The Rigger? Yikes, this one is far trickier. Barring the obvious drone combat and Analytical Mind quality, I don't really know if Edge will be easy to earn given the relatively samey AR and DR of NPC, drone, and vehicle pilots.

What is lacking, for me, is a more coherent way for the Edge system to distribute Edge; I just think there are too many factors involved for the system to be called even remotely streamlined, and I would have liked to see a less complex approach to this.

Perhaps something like "you beat a threshold, or won an opposed test, you gain edge". Something that applies equally to all archetypes, but still allows GMs to go "Hey, now you're just chatting/shooting/hacking/magicking random passers-by for edge, can we talk about this?" if players start abusing the system. Just my 2 cents.

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #82 on: (19:01:16/10-09-19) »
I don't think a rule needs work if unreasonable people can use it to do unreasonable stuff just because they can without reference to anyone else's fun.
What is "unreasonable" though? Presumably a player's desire to gain edge is not unreasonable, nor is following the letter of the rules of the game. Yet, when the decker says "I will hack this coffee machine in the middle of combat because the rules say I get edge for doing so" or the streetsam says "I'm going to shoot this random bystander because the rules say I get edge for doing so", suddenly they're unreasonable. Why? It's not about realism, there's too much magic and technomancy being slung about to make that argument. Perhaps it breaks verisimilitude because it doesn't make tactical or in-character sense. Fine, I'll just come up with some reason why it does make tactical or in-character sense. The decker has a personal vendetta against coffee machines and intends to distract the goons with the smoke and sparks that the bricked coffee machine will emit. The streetsam is genuine, certified cyberpsycho prone to flipping out and killing people at the drop of a hat, and besides that this whole run would go sideways if that random bystander calls the cops. The real difference between what is reasonable and what is unreasonable seems to be a matter of creativity. You could avoid all this by ruling that all edge must be immediately spent on the action that generated it, but at that point you may as well go back to previous editions.

I'm honestly not seeing the problem with any of those, here is why.  Either...

* the player is just playing to the scene and the situation, doing cool stuff that all of us think is fun, in which case, enjoy the Edge, player! or

* the player is being a jerk, in which case I throw popcorn at them and say "ugh..boo"

I don't see that as very difficult to handle or discriminate between.  And more importantly, I don't see the fact that its possible to do what Ghost Rigger describes as necessarily a problem with the rules.
The issue here is that the difference between "engaging with the ongoing story of the game in interesting and fun ways" and "blatantly exploiting the system" is how the players dresses it up. It's not really a problem so much as it is a very interesting observation that makes you think about the system as whole.
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adzling

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« Reply #83 on: (19:25:55/10-09-19) »
and after all this what exactly does the edge mechanic achieve that is better than the prior system of modifiers?

nothing.

why?

because the edge mechanic was meant to stop you having to flip through books searching for all the relevant modifiers (gosh that's so *hard*) but modifiers are still used in conjunction with edge because even with a 50lb sledgehammer they still couldn't force them all to fit into edge.

now they are spread even more thinly throughout the book without any single place to find them nor any indicator when something will be represented by a modifier or an edge point.

so why did they do this at all?


Iron Serpent Prince

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« Reply #84 on: (00:56:27/10-10-19) »
now they are spread even more thinly throughout the book without any single place to find them nor any indicator when something will be represented by a modifier or an edge point.

It'll get worse.

Because of everything being wrapped up into Edge and with the design decision to forego (most) die pool modifiers, CGL have pretty much painted themselves into a corner of their design space.

Either they will end up introducing more die pool modifiers, or increase the amount of options that gain Edge (promoting the Go-Go-Edge-Bag (GGEB) filled with obscure gear that ensure +2 Edge per turn regardless of situation).

"Gear porn" may be dead for Sixth World - for better or worse.

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #85 on: (09:46:51/10-10-19) »
I disagree. Gear porn will live on in 6e through items that grant more edge and possibly raise the cap on edge gain. After all, 2 edge is not hard to get, and it's not enough to use the better edge moves.
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Hephaestus

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« Reply #86 on: (20:29:17/10-10-19) »
I disagree. Gear porn will live on in 6e through items that grant more edge and possibly raise the cap on edge gain. After all, 2 edge is not hard to get, and it's not enough to use the better edge moves.

The 6th edition system has some of variety in edge gain, but is already chafing against its own limits for the Edge system. The only way to expand is to either break the 2 edge limit, or make gear that grants more Edge/AR/DR than the CRB. My fear there is that new gear will either obsolete older choices completely, or make the method of gains so obscure as to be useless.