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New GM - What game resources are most needed

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Balazar

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« on: (10:58:07/05-30-11) »
I am about to run my very first Shadowrun 4 game. Our whole group is new th shadowrun actially. To start I'm gonna run the season 2 missions to get my feet wet.

I have the 20th anniversary edition core rulebook. I see books like Augmentation, Unwired, Spy Games, and the new runners toolkit to name a few. All look like they could be useful but I cannot justify the cost of getting them all right away.

Are there any SR4 resuurces that are must haves besides the core rulebook?

Cheers;
Balazar

Blond Goth Girl

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« Reply #1 on: (12:11:45/05-30-11) »
To start, I'll say I'm thrifty and only allocate a set amount of money to hobbies.  That being said, any system - I start with the core rulebook and run three sessions to see how I like it, the players like it and and to make sure that the group is solid if a new group.

If all goes well, get two more supplements every two months (on sale of course) until you are comfortable.  I determine supplements by the directions of the players.  For instance, I have a high magic group so I went that direction.

My philosophy is plots and characters over rules and stats so usually 5 books for any system does it for me. 

Hope that helps!

Walks Through Walls

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« Reply #2 on: (13:00:34/05-30-11) »
One thing to be aware of the season two missions were written for SR3 not SR4 or 20th anniversary so there will need to be some tweaking done to the adventures in order to run them. Not always the easiest thing for a starting GM. Personally I find it easier to write a whole new adventure than tweak/update something done by someone else.

A good starter for a campaign is food fight. It isn't so much an adventure as an involved combat, but it does well to introduce the rules and how to make attacks etc. This is what I did with the group I just started. I then give the players to opportunity to tweak there characters if they find there is something they missed or would have liked to have.

As far as other books I like goth girls advice. If you are going to have magic be any sort of center to the game then I would recommend getting street magic. For a bit more bite without the outlay of a new book the digital grimoire has some interesting stuff in it for the price. If you have players really interested in cyber then augmentation is a good get. For those who like weapon tech etc then Arsenal is a good choice.

Well now I've rambled and am done. If you would like any tips or thoughts just let me know
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Balazar

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« Reply #3 on: (15:49:48/05-30-11) »
I thought that season 2 was SR4. At least the first mission "Parliament of Thieves" states that it is created for SR4.  I know season 1 was SR3 for sure. How different are the 20th Anniversary rules vs the 4th edition rules?

I like your idea about starting out with Food Fight to get everyone familiar with the rules and flow of combat.

Regards;
balazar

One thing to be aware of the season two missions were written for SR3 not SR4 or 20th anniversary so there will need to be some tweaking done to the adventures in order to run them. Not always the easiest thing for a starting GM. Personally I find it easier to write a whole new adventure than tweak/update something done by someone else.

A good starter for a campaign is food fight. It isn't so much an adventure as an involved combat, but it does well to introduce the rules and how to make attacks etc. This is what I did with the group I just started. I then give the players to opportunity to tweak there characters if they find there is something they missed or would have liked to have.

James McMurray

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« Reply #4 on: (15:52:13/05-30-11) »
SR4 vs. SR4A is mostly about some necessary tweaks (and some unnecessary ones). The change list is here. It's pretty short.
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Wickidsurfer

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« Reply #5 on: (21:50:42/05-30-11) »
I am a hoarder of shadowrun books!  But I have to say I enjoy the ones with the most fluff!  that being said, I'd recommend Seattle 2072 if that's were your campaign takes place.

CanRay

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« Reply #6 on: (22:18:35/05-30-11) »
For Sourcebooks, it really depends on the make-up of your group, and their preferences and knowledge of Shadowrun.

Arsenal is highly suggested by me for any group.  The gear in that can be used by any character creation from Mundane Hobo With A Shotgun to Magician In A High Lifestyle and everything in between.  I would also highly suggest "This Old Drone" E-Book to support this, as it has drones useful for GMs and PCs in it.  MilSpecTech less so, unless your group is threatening to steal Fighter Jets or something...  The new Unfriendly Skies would be a better suggestion to MST.

For experienced players (Even if they don't know Shadowrun), I also suggest Runner's Companion, which has extra character creation rules, and the Advanced Lifestyle breathes a lot of life into a major and important part of the character's life.

Augmentation is useful with the cybernetics and bioware crowd, and even the information on medical services can be found useful.  May not be an immediate purchase, but one of the top for sure.

If you have a player(s) who love magic, Street Magic is a good buy.  It was the only other 4th Edition for the longest time.  But if you don't have any interest in magic of magicians, it can be left by the wayside.  "Way Of The Adept" gives Adepts some love they've been desperately been needing, and is suggestible if you have one in the group.

Unwired is useful if you want complex Matrix Rules, but is really rules intensive and wordy.  Not one I'd suggest for a new group, but maybe a digital copy.

For Fluff Books:  Attitude, Vice, 6th World Almanac, and Spy Games, in that order.  Perfect for groups that don't know the universe that well, or even experts in it.  Not much in the way of "Crunch" in those books, but a lot of stuff that can be used to flesh out scenes or characters!  (I'd rate Spy Games higher if the Crunch in it was fixed.).

If you're a GM that likes critters, Running Wild is a must, with the Parazoology E-Book supporting it.

I cannot suggest War! at all.

Now, depending on what city you're running the game in, the splat books for the various areas are decent enough, but lacking the info needed from a full supplement.  If you're running in Seattle, then Seattle 2072 is a must-buy.  If your group is in Denver, then Spy Games moves up on the purchase list as it's got a great write-up in it that fills in a lot of details we haven't heard about since the OOP Denver Box Set.

Hope that helps.
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Sentinemodo

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« Reply #7 on: (04:52:02/05-31-11) »
Missions 2 are definitely for SR4 - I know - I GM them here :D

And I can tell they are good starter for GMing SR - I've never run an SR game before, and it went smoothly (that is until the grab mission :/)
Sorry for a small delay ;)

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Denver Doc

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« Reply #8 on: (02:41:12/06-09-11) »
SR4 is all you really need to start.  Depending on your style and reading habits I would suggest the following:

If you are mostly interested in expanding options for players, maybe after you know and love the game, I suggest these in the following order; Arsenal, Runner's Companion, Augmentation,  Street Magic, Unwired.  I chose this order because the first two are usable by all players, the last three go from the simplest to the most complex and likely the most commonly used to the least commonly used, based on person taste of course. These books will give you plenty of background for GM use of those topics and tons of player options. 

If you are mostly interested in expanding your story line knowledge I suggest the regional book for your campaign, Seattle 2072 comes to mind, 6th World Almanac,
Ghost Cartels (which has a whole campaign arc to it as well as several solid adventures/adventure frames)   
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