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Some comments from Jason Hardy on criticism of 6e

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Reaver

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« Reply #60 on: (19:57:12/10-16-19) »
Not that they haven't tried, what with that sidebar that's still in 'War!'.

What side bar are you referring to?
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

tenchi2a

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« Reply #61 on: (20:38:47/10-16-19) »
The problem that every one including CGL Shadowrun seems to forget it that TTRPGs are a word of mouth industry.
Both the players and the brick-and-mortar stores being the key salesman, that has change only a little with Drivethru coming into the picture.
Yes, you need to draw in new players to keep the boat afloat, but you need to keep players for these new products to reach the new players.
Having worked at a Tabletop/CCG game store for many years, I can say that there a many new game out there every day.
We had a day set aside per month at the store where the owner, myself and the other manager would comb the Alliance catalog to see what was new.
And truth be told if we had not heard about the items listed we didn't buy them unless one of the demo reps or players brought them up or asked for them.
That said, while you have to bring in new player, your main avenue for doing this are the demo reps or players.
You may get some from Drivethru, but the one paragraph intro is not for the most part going to convince players to buy it unless they have heard about it from the demo reps or players. So keeping the players you have is also important. Brand recognition was also a big part of our sales at the store. If a new D&D, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Magic, etc. book/set came out we would buy it right away. This was no indicator of the quality of the product, just that the name would sell it. This is an issues that the sales numbers on Drivethru fail to address.

AS for the sales numbers for 6th on Drivethru. I have no doubt that the game appeals to some members of the RPG community, but the ratings for the game speak volumes about the quality of the game. Editing issues, layout, missing or hard to follow rules, contradictory rule, etc..
While, as has been pointed out, a lot of this can be house ruled or figured out if you are familiar with older edition.
This is not a good look for the brand, and brings into question CGL commitment to the line, as this is not a new thing.
While I like 5th edition (being my 3rd favorite), it was littered with these problem from the get-go, showing a disturbing trend with the shadowrun product line in general.
And from what I have seen, a continual trend in the TTRPG and gaming industry in general (quantity over quality).
And for as much as I like Drivetru, I think it has a lot to do with this issues. The ease (in-relative terms to having to reprint) with which companies can put out a product, and get errata to the players through it has IMHO destroyed quality control throughout the industry, not just with CGL. If you need to get the product out to meet a deadline, just do it you can fix it later. This has also lead to this attitude within the gaming community of acceptance of substandard work and the "just house rule it" position.

All-in-all the response by Jason Hardy, calls into question CGL Shadowruns commitment to the product as anything other then a money grab.
While I agree with his point that it is a waste of time to debate players on the finer points of the game (he not going to change my mind about armor or the all or nothing effect system), failing to address the fundamental issues such as editing, layout, missing or hard to follow rules, contradictory rule, etc. is showing a lack of caring about the product. You can say that the errata team is working on it all you want but their track record for this tends to speak for itself (5th edition errata anyone).

This has been an informative discussion so far. There are many things that I previously didn't know about TTRPG development that I know now. I'm also glad that for the most part this discussion has been very civil and people have been respectful of each others views.

Personally I think all of his comments make perfect sense. If I were in his position I might feel the exact same way. Shadowrun is probably one of the top 5 TTRPG IPs in the world right now so the pressure to perform  from TOPPS, or whomever might be dictating release dates, is probably very high and comes with an expectation of "fast" profit. Under those conditions I'm not unhappy with the product as it is now with errata coming out over time. I just hope the errata is integrated into the pdf as it is released.

I am sorry to put it this way, but this is a relative observation.
I am not saying you are wrong, but Shadowrun is one of the 5 top TTRPG IP because there isn't a top 10.
IF you look at the list for the most part the top five have been the top five for over 20 years and barring one or two going out of business will probable be the top 5 for the next 20 years.
« Last Edit: (20:56:15/10-16-19) by tenchi2a »

wraith

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« Reply #62 on: (22:49:43/10-16-19) »
Not that they haven't tried, what with that sidebar that's still in 'War!'.

What side bar are you referring to?

"Arbeit Macht Frei". The one that suggests a dungeon crawl against the ghosts of murdered Jews at Auschwitz-Berkenhau to find a Nazi mass murderer's favorite scalpel, which is apparently a haunted weapon focus.

The one Pegasus had to cut out to publish the book because that content is illegal to publish in Germany.

When you manage to make a less respectful take on the Holocaust than White Wolf publishing as Black Dog Game Factory, you have hit a new low.

Reaver

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« Reply #63 on: (06:32:20/10-17-19) »
Not that they haven't tried, what with that sidebar that's still in 'War!'.

What side bar are you referring to?

"Arbeit Macht Frei". The one that suggests a dungeon crawl against the ghosts of murdered Jews at Auschwitz-Berkenhau to find a Nazi mass murderer's favorite scalpel, which is apparently a haunted weapon focus.

The one Pegasus had to cut out to publish the book because that content is illegal to publish in Germany.

When you manage to make a less respectful take on the Holocaust than White Wolf publishing as Black Dog Game Factory, you have hit a new low.

I can find no reference to anything by that name in the DTF or the PDF of the North American releases.. I can find "Fleshfinder"... which is similar. But, its not a "Dungeon crawl", nor a weapon foci. It is something much darker, and ties into another book.


Mind you, considering German sensors, I'm amazed the words " Auschwitz II" weren't enough to get it banned considering they have banned "morphine" from digital media in the past.
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

topcat

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« Reply #64 on: (09:21:33/10-17-19) »
I can find no reference to anything by that name in the DTF or the PDF of the North American releases.. I can find "Fleshfinder"... which is similar. But, its not a "Dungeon crawl", nor a weapon foci. It is something much darker, and ties into another book.

You're looking for the section right above "The Fleshfinder." In the NA version, it's titled "Work Brings Freedom" which is a loose translation of Arbeit Macht Frei.  Arbeit Macht Frei is written on the walls of Auschwitz.

It's incredibly insensitive, to the point of appearing intentionally so.  Following that up with the Fleshfinder arc just doubled down.

wraith

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« Reply #65 on: (18:10:48/10-17-19) »
Plus, whoever wrote that thing clearly has no idea how Shadowrun magic items work.

Quote
Deep within the bowels of Auschwitz II during WWII, Dr. Eduard Wirths conducted and supervised thousands of odd experiments on the human body. He tested mustard gas on innocents. He mutilated twins. He held people in tanks of ice water for hours or until dead. He exposed prisoners to malaria. He forced them to drink seawater. One particular implement from his experiments, a rusted old scalpel, was left in the labs. Over many years, it was energized by the various ghosts passing by it, feeding off their death energies. At this point, itís taken on a life of its own. The rusty old scalpel craves death. It only finds itself at home when flush with warm blood. Although this makes it a remarkably effective weapon, anyone holding it is subject to the sounds of its past victims. As a function of this, when the weapon is in hand, the character is considered distracted and suffers a Ė4 dice pool modifier to all Perception Tests. If she attempts to Observe in Detail as a Simple Action, she only suffers a Ė2 dice pool modifier.

Reach: 0, Damage: (Str/2+4)P, AP: Ė2, Availability: N/A (unique item), Market Value: 10,000•

This is a D20 modern cursed magic item, not anything that works in Shadowrun.  Weapon foci are a thing, and do what the author was groping towards, but do not in any way  work like this.

As to the dungeon crawl, how else does one interpret this?

Quote
For your average runner, Auschwitz II is suicide. Only the most enterprising groups will survive the trip. But such a trip can result in great rewards (see The Fleshfinder, below).

The section also goes out of its way to place an arms dealer peddling 'anti-ghost weaponry' in the area, with no details anywhere of what that would consist of, and the intended targets being the haunted spirits of those murdered in the camps.

The whole thing is disgusting.
« Last Edit: (18:12:41/10-17-19) by wraith »

PatrolDeer

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« Reply #66 on: (18:37:17/10-17-19) »

Hephaestus

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« Reply #67 on: (13:29:10/10-21-19) »
The whole thing is disgusting.

As the reality....

That's the point, though. Even though there is a historical character parallel, it is in incredibly bad taste to make a narrative where you would take those events and pit characters against the restless spirits of dead holocaust victims for some loot. The German government told them that was not going to be printed in their country, but in reality it should never have made it into any version of the book.

Duellist_D

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« Reply #68 on: (13:45:41/10-22-19) »


The one Pegasus had to cut out to publish the book because that content is illegal to publish in Germany.


Please don't be so overdramatic.
Nothing on that bar is illegal in Germany.
Would have gotten Pegasus a lot of bad press and maybe a torch-wielding online mob if they printed it, but no problems with the law.

The scenario could be considered bad taste, but that's not enough to make something illegal, especially in about all Western countries outside of Germany and England.

Reaver

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« Reply #69 on: (17:06:25/10-22-19) »


The one Pegasus had to cut out to publish the book because that content is illegal to publish in Germany.


Please don't be so overdramatic.
Nothing on that bar is illegal in Germany.
Would have gotten Pegasus a lot of bad press and maybe a torch-wielding online mob if they printed it, but no problems with the law.

The scenario could be considered bad taste, but that's not enough to make something illegal, especially in about all Western countries outside of Germany and England.

Not mention if you just did a quick search on these forums, people have actually asked what was going with the old concentration camps, and how they interact with the mana scape...
You may not agree with how they handled it, fair enough, but there is interest on the topic.
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Finstersang

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« Reply #70 on: (06:15:09/10-23-19) »
Itīs illegal to deny that the holocaust happened or to desecrate the memory of its victims, but itīs a quite stretch that the sidebar in WAR! is falling under that. Itīs a bit tasteless at worst, and thereīs a still distinction between tasteless and offensive.

Also, itīs canon in the german publications as well that the remnants of the concentration camps are severely haunted, just like other places of mass murder. And that fact has been used as a setpiece/plot hook as well. There is a (btw, pretty damn good) setting/campaign book about Munich for early 4th Edition that lists the KZ Dachau as a no-go-area because of its tainted astral space. In the featured campaign, a radical arnachist Terrorist sets of a series of attacks against the wealthy elite of the city. One of his "actions" involves kidnapping a well-known far-right pundit (I think it was a humanis leader), outfitting him with a camera and releasing him in the concentration camp at night, were he gets hunted and killed by the spirits.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #71 on: (10:07:16/10-23-19) »
I donít have war but from the description in this thread and others. It sounds like the side bar mission was to be hired by a nazi to grab a Nazi scalpel out of the place while killing Jewish holocost victim spirits. 

That seems pretty close to desecrating their memory to me but I donít live there and donít know the rules.

FastJack

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« Reply #72 on: (13:11:36/10-23-19) »
I donít have war but from the description in this thread and others. It sounds like the side bar mission was to be hired by a nazi to grab a Nazi scalpel out of the place while killing Jewish holocost victim spirits. 

That seems pretty close to desecrating their memory to me but I donít live there and donít know the rules.
Actually, it's none of those.

The first part describes Tetsuo Shuumatsu, an arms dealer specializing in weapons against ghosts and his (foolish) attempts at trying to bring down the magical barrier around the town and camp. It expressly says that everything going in there is a suicide mission. No where does it detail any missions to go in, nor any details on killing holocaust victim's spirits.

The second part is more towards desecration, since it details a scalpel the foolhardy can find, if they get in, survive, find it, and get out. It's worth 10,000•, but (as stated above), it's written up more like a D&D cursed weapon and really isn't worth the effort to go in. Which is why it's a bit disturbing in my opinion, and makes me wonder about the author. The little I have found out makes me not so curious to know more.

Duellist_D

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« Reply #73 on: (13:15:48/10-23-19) »
Now you have piked my curiosity, Fastjack.
What did you find out?

Hephaestus

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« Reply #74 on: (13:20:14/10-23-19) »
Now you have piked my curiosity, Fastjack.
What did you find out?

Seconded. I would like to know more. You can shoot us a PM if you're not comfortable posting your findings in public space.