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Firing Squad released

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Lormyr

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« Reply #45 on: <06-09-20/0649:38> »
Yeah the game as whole feels super gimmicky to me which I am not a fan of. I feel more like I'm paying a deck building game with RPG trappings, so if firing squad doubles down on this it doens't help me much.

It really does. Where I will diverge slightly is that I personally do find that Firing Squad was beneficial towards making the system better. Was it enough, no, but we'll see what happens with future expansions. Do to the core mechanics (super gimicky) not being my cup of tea the absolute best view I'll ever be able to have towards it is "The game is alright.".
"TL:DR 6e's reduction of meaningful choices is akin to forcing everyone to wear training wheels. Now it's just becomes a bunch of toddlers riding around on tricycles they can't fall off of." - Adzling

Beta

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« Reply #46 on: <06-11-20/1610:46> »
Is there a Jackpoint page in Firing Squad?  (from the preview on drivethrurpg it doesn't look like it, but just wanted to confirm).  I was curious what game date we were at with this book.

(I'll probably buy Firing Squad eventually, when curiosity overcomes the 'not really needing it currently' factor.  But I'm curious about the date now!)
Tipperman  --
speechthoughtmatrix

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #47 on: <06-11-20/1621:38> »
No Jackpoint page. I'm not clear on the date.

"I opened up the thread on my host to some trusted
posters who’ve handled them. 2080 looks like a
potentially wild new year for arms."
"There was a rumor during Seattle’s sprint for freedom
that the contract would go to Minuteman,
but the firm isn’t big enough to handle a metroplex
of that size."
"Ares Arms announced that
the Mad Mamma would become available for limited
sale to “preferred and qualified customers”
by second-quarter 2081."

If I had to guess, it's end-2080 or barely-start-2081?
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #48 on: <06-12-20/1410:31> »
The most direct reference is on p. 39. When discussing rEVOlution Arms, it says, "2080 looks like a potentially wild new year for arms."

But there are also multiple mentions of things which happened in "early 2080". So mid- or late-2080 are the best fits.

Annoch

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« Reply #49 on: <06-13-20/2255:41> »
Finally got my print copy of Firing Line and gave it a much more in depth read and I figured I would put up my thoughts.

This book doubles down on AR/DR/Edge so if you are driven away by that then save your money.  If you have accepted it at some level and want to play anyway, there are things in here which help smooth some of the issues out a little...not much, but every little bit helps at this point.

Book and layout look very nice as always.  The binding and cover both appear to be solid.  I personally prefer a softcover for these smaller sourcebooks, but that is just a preference.  It certainly doesn't feel like it is going to fall apart any time soon.  I did notice that the paper seems to be noticeably thinner than the paper used in the CRB and the previous print books.  It doesn't appear to be super fragile at this point, but it sure feels lighter.

I didn't notice any particularly glaring errors and the writing (particularly for the rules) appears to be clear and concise.  Overall the quality seems to be getting better.

As for the content I would say that there is a good mix of weapons, armor, accessories, etc on offer here in the gear section.  There are interesting guns, including special 'lines' of weapons that offer different advantages.  The armor is a mixed bag; there is finally armor that reduces DV of incoming attacks, but it is all in the MilSpec realm and not something that you are likely to be using on a day to day basis.  I like the expansion of 'socially acceptable' armor which is nice for role playing. 

I do admit that I am still not happy by the lack of illustrations for the guns and armor particularly.  When there is a picture or drawing then you can buy a piece of equipment because it is 'cool' or matches your characters style.  Without this you are just buying a stat line, which is a lot boring-er IMHO.  Oh well, artists cost money I suppose.

The accessory section is nice and has some solid choices.  Most of them are different ways of affecting AR and DR, but they all seem pretty reasonable and a lot of them could make for interesting role-playing decisions, either visually or as a way to make your favorite gun/armor behave the way you want it.

The 'Honing you Edge' section is a strange one.  The first part is a very basic essay on combat that seems unnecessary, and then it is followed by rule for military style squad tactics and related equipment.  I don't know how often this comes up on the players side, but I guess it is good to have if someone wants to run that type of team or maybe wants to do a merc or military campaign?

'Sharp Combat' follows and it is contains new edge actions and the martial arts rules.  The new edge actions pretty much all fall victim to the core issues with edge, such as why would you use any of these when the 4-edge options in the rulebook exist?  A bunch of them inflict various status ailments, cost 4 or 5 edge, require you to get net hits which exceed the target's Agility, and do no damage.....These are pretty questionable and once in a blue moon they might end up being super corner case. 

There are also two new edge boosts, and they are also both pretty useless...The 4 edge one allows you to use one martial arts technique you haven't learned.  While I sort of like the martial arts techniques, I cannot imagine this ever being better than rerolling all failed dice or adding your Edge to the pool and getting exploding 6's (its almost like they should have nerfed those in one of the errata...hmm)

Martial arts is up next and it is pretty good...they list bunch of styles and then a bunch of techniques you can learn.  On first impression all of the techniques look at least somewhat interesting and none appear to be overpowered...nice job!  The biggest problem I see is that a new style costs 7 karma and new techniques cost 5.  Is it worth it...hmm, could be?

The next chapter is about violence.  The first part reads like an 11th grade essay about violence...ugh.  They do follow that up with some additional codes of honor, add a new pacifist quality, and expand heat and reputation.  This part seems rather good as the heat and reputation section of the CRB were a bit lacking.  More good stuff!

The next section is about the effects of violence and violent trauma.  I dunno what exactly to think about this one.  One one hand I don't hate the idea of bringing up the personal consequences of violence in a game about violence to ground the whole thing.  On the other hand I am not so sure about 'gamifying' things like PTSD with dice rolls and such.  I know several folks with PTSD both from the military and other sources and it seems odd to think that I have a game book saying that their issues are due to failing a 'resilience test'.
They do add some additional negative qualities and such related to this.  I don't know...YMMV.  If this does bother you it is easy enough to ignore, if it doesn't then you can add it in...

Then there is a chapter with additional NPC combatants, which is really nice particularly for the GM to reference.  More the merrier!

They then finish it up with some summary charts.

Overall, if you are still into SR 6E despite the issues I would say that this one is really worth buying.  If you have checked out, then this will do nothing to bring you back.

xthorgoldx

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« Reply #50 on: <06-17-20/2216:39> »
I didn't notice any particularly glaring errors and the writing (particularly for the rules) appears to be clear and concise.  Overall the quality seems to be getting better.

This might just be due to not paying attention... I mean, on the first page alone you have:

  • The Horizon-Flynn Pilum has two weapon codes, neither of which are labelled.
  • The Kami has a "Standard" version, and a "Folding" version which has +1 concealability. There is no difference between the two versions (DV/AR/Avail/Cost).



Michael Chandra

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« Reply #51 on: <06-18-20/0150:33> »
Meh, it's obvious with the Pilum one is a foam replica and the other a real replica.

There's small errors here and there. A weapon not having melee hardened despite its description mentioning it and it making sense with the price, for example. Haven't spotted a really problematic one yet, but still going through things.
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #52 on: <06-18-20/0246:18> »
There are lots of annoyances.

Tomahawks are on page 15 and page 16. Between the two pages, the price goes up 50%, the Availability changes, and the Type changes from Exotic (huh?) to Blades. And don't try to tell me that one is Urban Tribe and the other is Zoé Heritage.

Availability codes are hugely inconsistent. Page 11 is illegal. On pages 12-15, almost everything's legal. On page 16, things start being illegal again. Things are consistently inconsistent throughout the entire weapons section.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #53 on: <06-18-20/0303:46> »
I don't see illegal stuff on page 11?_? Only (L) gear? And I don't understand the complaint in that illegal, licensed and unrestricted gear intertwines, that's the same in CRB, and in previous editions. Run&Gun melee section had a bunch of Restricted, a Forbidden, unrestricted, restricted again, etc. It's due to the organizing based on weapon type and size. Availabilities also seem to quite match the CRB, so they're quite consistent there. Now Tomahawk-skill changing, that is a good point. But demanding that gear is ordered in Availability makes little sense to me.

Apparently all of the Zoé gear requires a license. Interesting. A lot of them sound rather exotic, and some of the mundane versions were unrestricted in SR5 so it's clearly a deliberate choice.
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ZeConster

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« Reply #54 on: <06-18-20/0331:43> »
Availability codes are hugely inconsistent. Page 11 is illegal. On pages 12-15, almost everything's legal. On page 16, things start being illegal again. Things are consistently inconsistent throughout the entire weapons section.
I've been playing since 4th edition, and it's always been like that. Things are typically sorted per weapon category, and then alphabetically. You are complaining about something that's been that way for decades.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #55 on: <06-18-20/0352:45> »
Note that in 2 spots they should have not sorted Alphabetically: Black->Grey->White Knights should have been in reverse order, Charybdis->Scylla also should have been reversed. They're written with references to each other that makes it seem they were written in those reverse orders.
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Hobbes

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« Reply #56 on: <06-18-20/0810:27> »
There are lots of annoyances.

Tomahawks are on page 15 and page 16. Between the two pages, the price goes up 50%, the Availability changes, and the Type changes from Exotic (huh?) to Blades. And don't try to tell me that one is Urban Tribe and the other is Zoé Heritage.


There are a bunch of "Exotic" weapons that look normal.  Combat Boots, Tonfa, Tactical Gladius, Urban Tomahawk, ... I think its done so someone with Exotic Weapons wouldn't have to pick up the Close Combat skill to have a Unarmed/Knife/Sword/Club/Axe option.  Just a guess. 

Annoch

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« Reply #57 on: <06-18-20/1255:16> »
Yes, there are editing errors (I am literally the last person who will defend the Catalyst run of Shadowrun), but unlike the 6E CRB this is a book I can actually use.  I was never left staring at a page just going....'What?'

I mean, I did stare at the edge action page going, 'What?!?' but that was because of how monstrously stupid most of the included actions are.  I mean, anyone want to test the theory that a throat punch does no damage....anyone?

Now, is the book based on a foundation of lightly chewed crackers during a hurricane?  Absolutely!  I would only suggest buying it if you have accepted the many issues with the CRB.

I honestly think I have Stockholm Syndrome after the 6E CRB, which is the worst RPG rulebook since F.A.T.A.L. (come at me, bro!), so when I see a book that is actually halfway competent I cant help but be a bit impressed.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #58 on: <06-18-20/1636:30> »
Availability codes are hugely inconsistent. Page 11 is illegal. On pages 12-15, almost everything's legal. On page 16, things start being illegal again. Things are consistently inconsistent throughout the entire weapons section.
I've been playing since 4th edition, and it's always been like that. Things are typically sorted per weapon category, and then alphabetically. You are complaining about something that's been that way for decades.

I might not have been clear about my complaint, which was not about alphabetizing lists.

I'll back up. I've been playing since 2E. The early editions (1E-3E) categorized weapons broadly. Small bladed weapon vs. large bladed weapon vs. blunt weapon vs. projectile vs. pistol vs. rifle vs. automatic, and so on. Very granular, like everything in the early editions.

4E and 5E simplified things into legal, restricted, and forbidden. The logic behind the categorization largely mirrored the 1E-3E logic. Small blades (knives) are legal. Large blades (swords, axes) are restricted. Tasers are legal. All pistols are restricted unless they have a silencer, in which case they're forbidden. One can quibble but I think the legalities are reasonably consistent.

6E makes some significant changes. I'll start with the core rulebook. Silencers went from being forbidden to completely legal. Melee weapons - large and small - are now all totally legal. Proudly carry that katana like it's Neo-Tokyo. (Monofilament whips are the exception.)

Hold-outs are now legal. A significant number of weapons went from being forbidden in 5E to Licensed (if that's the expression) in 6E, including weapons with grenade launchers (Ares Alpha, Yamaha Raiden) to machine guns (including RPG HMG)! 6E doesn't really draw the line at Illegal until you get to sniper rifles and assault cannons.

That's all in the core rulebook. Significant changes, but okay, new edition new rules. But now let's see if that logic follows through to Firing Squad:

- Many melee weapons now need a License, including all Heritage melee weapons
- Some weapons which seem functionally identical (Cougar Collapsible Staff/Spear vs. Dassault Alpenstock) have different legalities
- The Colt Special Agent light pistol is legal and doesn't need a license
- Some HMGs are Licensed (like in the core book), some are now Illegal
- Arrows need a License but bows are legal (the reverse of the core book)

This is the inconsistency I'm talking about. Chandra is giving the writers the benefit of the doubt by saying, "The legality of the Heritage Line must be intentional." To me it suggests that different sections had different writers and that no single person (an editor, perhaps) read everything and considered it all together, and not just within Firing Squad itself but also between the core rulebook and Firing Squad.

There are a bunch of "Exotic" weapons that look normal.  Combat Boots, Tonfa, Tactical Gladius, Urban Tomahawk, ... I think its done so someone with Exotic Weapons wouldn't have to pick up the Close Combat skill to have a Unarmed/Knife/Sword/Club/Axe option.  Just a guess. 

An interesting thought. My counter-argument would be that Exotic Weapons are not defaultable, so you can't use them untrained. The rule book's description of the skill is, "Some weapons are not like any other, and you need particular training to use them." None of that logic seems to apply to Hobbes' excellent list, which includes footwear, a club, a sword, and a hatchet. I think the Exotic skill is being assigned much too frequently and should be reserved for entanglement weapons (whips, chains) and the real oddballs (like the Charybdis or, presumably, the Scylla, which currently has a weapon type of 'Scylla').

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #59 on: <06-20-20/2320:25> »
There are lots of annoyances.

Tomahawks are on page 15 and page 16. Between the two pages, the price goes up 50%, the Availability changes, and the Type changes from Exotic (huh?) to Blades. And don't try to tell me that one is Urban Tribe and the other is Zoé Heritage.


There are a bunch of "Exotic" weapons that look normal.  Combat Boots, Tonfa, Tactical Gladius, Urban Tomahawk, ... I think its done so someone with Exotic Weapons wouldn't have to pick up the Close Combat skill to have a Unarmed/Knife/Sword/Club/Axe option.  Just a guess.

exotic weapons need to die in a fire.