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Summarize the Editions/Eras

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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #15 on: <06-17-20/1034:11> »
Eh, my first campaign was a slightly-adjusted version of official adventures, and then I kept expanding. If you know what to go for, just do it. Official material is useful for helping you get into things, but not needed if you got your own plans already.

@CanRay: I know 1 person who most likely carries 50% of the blame on that one, and I intend to invent a Sheep cannon and fire at them with it
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Sphinx

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« Reply #16 on: <06-17-20/1234:26> »
If you were tasked to provide an elevator pitch on the Shadowrun Universe...how would you very briefly summarize the timeline? Can you give each edition, or era, of the game a 2-3 sentence quip that would express the major theme/culture/whatnot of the setting at that point?

Back to the OP: when I break in new players at a convention, I give them this quick history lesson:

THE YEAR IS 2081. Magic returned to the world in 2011 — an event called the Awakening. It was the end of the old world and the beginning of a new one — a year early by the Mayan calendar, but what can you do? This was right after the VITAS plague in 2010 killed a quarter of the world’s population. In 2011, people started having elf and dwarf babies. Dragons returned and took to the skies. Old superstitions and rituals revealed potent magical principles. Armed with spells and spirits, American Indians fought a long guerrilla war ending with the Great Ghost Dance in 2017, triggering four simultaneous volcanic eruptions and establishing magic as a weapon of mass destruction. The Treaty of Denver in 2018 recognized the Native American Nations in Western North America. Ten percent of the world population spontaneously transformed into orks and trolls on “Goblinization Day,” April 30, 2021. A second wave of VITAS struck in 2022. The Crash of 2029 signaled the end of the old Internet and the birth of the Matrix. The remaining United States and Canada merged into the UCAS in 2030, and the southern states seceded four years later to form the Confederation of American States (CAS) in 2034. Worldwide metahuman race riots on February 27, 2039, were dubbed “the Night of Rage.” Insect spirits overwhelmed Chicago in 2055. A Great Dragon (Dunkelzahn) was elected president of the UCAS in 2057, only to be assassinated hours after his inauguration. Artificial intelligence crashed the scene in 2059, when a homicidal AI (Deus) took over the Renraku Arcology in Seattle. Halley’s Comet brought magical upheavals in 2061. The Second Crash of 2064 kickstarted the new Wireless Matrix. A pair of earthquakes called “The Twins” hit California on March 8, 2069, flooding parts of Los Angeles. A nanotechnological plague swept the world in 2075, and a major outbreak in Boston had the city quarantined on June 5, 2076. The Yellowstone Calamity on July 27, 2078, opened a portal to the Faerie Court. Prolonged blackouts crippled a dozen major UCAS cities in November 2080. Which brings us to today — the year 2081 — and the world keeps turning.

Shadowjack

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« Reply #17 on: <06-17-20/1458:43> »
One thing that has changed is that works and trolls used to be a lot more monstrous in the artwork, now they look a lot like humans with tusks and horns. I am not a fan of that personally, it's quite a drastic change.
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #18 on: <06-17-20/1606:29> »
Cyberpunk drew much of its power from being a reflection of time it was created, and we no longer live in that time.

This is a good point, succinctly put, and I thank penllawen for making it.

The early editions were very much the "grimdark 1980s future" as one user here used to put it. We're now at the point where about 40% of the U.S. population (to use the U.S. as a proxy but acknowledging that Shadowrun is played globally) was born after the 1980s and about half of the population won't have a functional memory of the 80s or its cultural zeitgeist.

As such, the future is a moving target. There are various reset buttons that the writers can press - like VITAS and Matrix crashes - to make sure the future doesn't get too far out ahead of us, or to explain why 60 years ahead doesn't look as advanced as we might be able to imagine - but the future marches on.

I'm less familiar with the recent SR setting, but have read a lot about how it's a different feel than early editions. I can understand it moving to more transhumanism, but I'm wondering what drove the game to be more about smooth criminals rather than robin hoods?

A lot of this comes from different publishers, which is to say different writers and the worlds that they create and the stories they tell.

For example, take Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun. Here's an answer he gave during a Reddit AMA (link) about 8 years ago:

Quote from: Jordan Weisman
Shadowrun has it's own version of what honor and duty means. While an RPG allows and encourages each GM to create their own version of the world they are playing in, in my version of Shadowrun the runners are classical anti-heroes meaning that they are totally outside the "law" doing things that disrupt society but they do live by an internal code of honor and duty to each other and to the SINless, the poor souls without system identification numbers that live in the slums and are prayed upon by gangs and corps with equal abandon. In my version of the game the runners are often the only hope the SINless have.

So, respecting Better Than Bad, which I enjoyed, the early editions were fueled by the creator who himself envisioned runners as hooders and defenders of the marginalized. Now that Jordan isn't involved anymore, the torch has been passed to others and their vision and the stories they tell.

There's also an aspect of depth vs. breadth. Shadowrun, as it has aged, has grown. There's been more time and ink (and electrons) to explore other topics and other organizations. The megacorps are still there and have their depth of lore, but now a lot of the rest of the Sixth World has been similarly developed. The number of factions and special interests has multiplied, which is great for giving GMs additional colors for their palettes, but also means that corporations aren't necessarily the center of attention anymore.

Beta

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« Reply #19 on: <06-19-20/1044:42> »
I'm currently using Anarchy to run 1e/2e adventures. though Better Than Bad sounds like a good book to read, is it necessary for running official adventures or is it better for GMs and groups creating their own tales?

Better Than Bad is not essential for anything else ... But in some ways might be the most important book published during 5th edition. It basically makes a strong attempt to make 'standing up for the little people ' more central to the ethos of the game.  Add in The Complete Trog and No Future and you can see a concerted attempt to move the game away from the cold blooded mercenary default. (And the Neo-Anarchists Streetpedia doesn't have as much play guidance, but just in bringing the neo-anarchist handle back it makes a statement of sorts)

To some degree 30 Nights continues this trend into 6th, but in that particular case it doesn't do much of a job of setting of character expectations,  so I could see it just tripping up many people from poorly explained assumptions.
« Last Edit: <06-19-20/1720:31> by Beta »
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« Reply #20 on: <07-02-20/2209:35> »
I'm currently using Anarchy to run 1e/2e adventures. though Better Than Bad sounds like a good book to read, is it necessary for running official adventures or is it better for GMs and groups creating their own tales?

Out of curiosity, how easy did you find it to convert over the 1E/2E materials for use with Anarchy? I'm unfamiliar with Anarchy, but recent news has an Anarchy book coming out for that 1E, 2050s era.

tenchi2a

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« Reply #21 on: Today at 00:24:43 »
I'm currently using Anarchy to run 1e/2e adventures. though Better Than Bad sounds like a good book to read, is it necessary for running official adventures or is it better for GMs and groups creating their own tales?

Better Than Bad is not essential for anything else ... But in some ways might be the most important book published during 5th edition. It basically makes a strong attempt to make 'standing up for the little people ' more central to the ethos of the game.  Add in The Complete Trog and No Future and you can see a concerted attempt to move the game away from the cold blooded mercenary default. (And the Neo-Anarchists Streetpedia doesn't have as much play guidance, but just in bringing the neo-anarchist handle back it makes a statement of sorts)

To some degree 30 Nights continues this trend into 6th, but in that particular case it doesn't do much of a job of setting of character expectations,  so I could see it just tripping up many people from poorly explained assumptions.


Their not compatible, but most of the tests are so self explanatory that you can run them in any edition with some upfront conversion work.