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Conspiracy Theories

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JustADude

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« Reply #75 on: <01-02-12/1840:31> »
I like guns and armor and stuff like that. But I got to admit I useually get a gun for the pictures as well. But overall there isn't a lot of differences in guns. Every gun in one category does basically the same amount of damage. The difference might be one of them comes with an internal smartlink where the next one gets an internal gas system. No major differences. You could spend $30 bucks buying a book of guns and get 200 pages of guns with different pictures... but still in terms of stats, the same ten or so guns as found in the main book.

And that's why there's a small but significant clamor for them to release SR4 rules for custom weapons like they had for SR3.

Or one could check out Crash_00's excellent fan-port over in the GM Toolbox section.
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Zen Shooter

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« Reply #76 on: <01-11-12/0250:12> »
Mr. Goodman:

I'm not suggesting that the metaplot be jettisoned entirely. I'm saying it could be scaled back to where it supplies a setting for an RPG, not the plot of a novel that drags the players along the tracks.

The argument that individual GMs can accept or reject the metaplot has always been specious. Yes, I could say that in my campaign Bug City never happened, but then I suffer the butterfly effect. All official SR material since has assumed Bug City did happen, so I would have to ignore or rewrite the Chicago chapter of Feral Cities, the LA chapter of Corporate Enclaves, the Ares section of Conspiracy Theories, etc., etc. It would be a massive amount of work for me that I'm already paying Catalyst to do.

I do not expect and did not suggest that the metaplot should be worked out to the last detail for years to come. I expect that the people who produced the book I just paid for know what they are talking about in that very book. Are the great dragons going to go to war and remake the face of the Sixth World in major ways, or not? If I involve my PCs in this plotline they will want to know the answers, but I have no answers to give them. I do know that one of those options will become canon at some point in the future. Until that day, Conspiracy Theories isn't much use.

FastJack

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« Reply #77 on: <01-11-12/0831:48> »
I'm not sure I understand what you're looking for ZS. You don't like the large metaplot because it's so big and all-encompassing that it feels like your runners are just pawns being moved by outside forces. Yet you'd like detailed metaplot of a smaller level that affects the runners more personally?

Metaplot, in my opinion, is supposed to be those big stories that affect the world. They may directly or indirectly affect the runners, but most of the time it's the news of the big issues. That leaves the street-level/day-to-day stuff up to the GM and how he wants to shape his runner's view of what's going on.

As for the outcome of items introduced in current books; I don't expect them to reveal the details in that book. From the story-telling perspective, the books are taking a snapshot of the world, from that time the book is published. Events like these occur over months/years in the sixth world, and the books reflect that. From the business perspective, this is a great way to sell more books and incorporate the stories into different areas of the sixth world. And, this has been the Shadowrun model ever since Universal Brotherhood, the first of the metaplot adventure/sourcebooks. The sixth world would be a very different place if, at the end of UB, everything was wrapped up and the bugs were "done".

Zen Shooter

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« Reply #78 on: <01-11-12/1102:51> »
Fastjack,

I don't like the metaplot because I'm paying for the pages it takes up, and it's useless to me. Its outcome will be decided by someone other than me and at some point in the future, and according to Patrick Goodman, the people who are writing it and charging us for it don't have any idea how it will resolve, or even what is actually going on.

Take the rivalry between Hestaby and Sirrurg presented in CT. The book doesn't tell me, the GM, what is actually going on, because the people who wrote the book don't know themselves. So in my campaign I say, "Hestaby and Sirrurg are going at it hammer and tongs in a global shadow war!". Then six  months later a new book comes out that says, according to canon, "No, they aren't!" So now I've got an entire plotline that's at odds with the official reality. Yes, if I would like to go and write my own version of the setting, I can do that. But I don't have that kind of time, which is why I pay Catalyst to do that for me.

So  I can't use metaplot except as background and setting. And I wouldn't want to anyway, because the metaplot is Tolkienesque-Wagnerian Comic Book. Great dragons! Bugs take over the world! Undying Machiavellian corporate billionaire puppetmasters! Godlike AIs lurk in your coffee maker! The Black Lodge already rules the world, you just don't know it! It's hyperventilating melodrama.

Metaplot as setting I can use. In region X, Corporation A is fighting Corporation B for political influence. Great Dragon Z often disagrees with National Government Y - shadowruns may result. Thanks. That I can use.

Mirikon

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« Reply #79 on: <01-11-12/1139:43> »
You know, it is just possible you are taking things one or two steps further than they were intended. And you're not exercising enough creativity on your own part to work with the plot.

Take the Hestaby/Lofwyr rivalry. You say they're waging an all out shadow war. Unless the players actually get involved in that war, then it was all background info to begin with, yes? Now say your players do get involved, and pick a side. Then later on it is revealed in a book that the 'shadow war' never materialized, or was a ruse. If it was a ruse, your players feel like fools for being the pawns of dragons. Fine, they learn to never make a deal with a dragon, and move on (if they can). If it never materialized, that does not negate events in your campaign, unless for some reason you had them actually chatting with Lofwyr or Hestaby. The simplest way to keep the stuff you did in your campaign, and what the evolved metaplot says in sync is to say that the players THOUGHT they were working for one dragon or the other. When it turns out that wasn't the case, not only have they potentially made a name for themselves with the other dragon, but they have to figure out just who's agenda they were furthering...

That's just basic DMing there.
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nakano

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« Reply #80 on: <01-11-12/1210:55> »
Here is the thing about metaplot to me. 

Its always going to be a work in progress, because until the books are printed, there is always oppurtunities to tweak and improve the plan. 

I have played the game since 1st ed, run it since 2nd ed, and there has never been a definitive roadmap of what is to come for the metaplot.  Sure you could get vague hints at Gencon, or on the web, but the details have always been sketchy.

Running a game and making it your own means that there will be times that you will have the "butterfly effect."  Unless you run nothing but published adventures, that is a risk you take with RPGs.


Nath

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« Reply #81 on: <01-11-12/1438:40> »
Metaplot as setting I can use. In region X, Corporation A is fighting Corporation B for political influence. Great Dragon Z often disagrees with National Government Y - shadowruns may result. Thanks. That I can use.
That's not metaplot then, just plots. The word "metaplot" was coined specifically to refer to plot spread over more than one book. A metaplot is not a metaplot until the release of a second book that modify the initial situation.

Black

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« Reply #82 on: <01-11-12/1447:54> »
The way I see it, you could just buy the core books, and take the world presented as being the status quo for the start of your personnel campaign... And just ignore the campaign/meta plot type books that come out like conspiracy theory and the artifacts stories.  You don't have to buy 'metaplot' type books, you can ignore them and thus not waste your money.

Now, my team are running in the 2050s, so the metaplot is whats to come, but I still buy the 2072 setting books 'cause in my opinion they're good reads and I'm enjoying what's happening.  But each to there own....
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Crimsondude

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« Reply #83 on: <01-11-12/1929:46> »
You know, it is just possible you are taking things one or two steps further than they were intended. And you're not exercising enough creativity on your own part to work with the plot.
My thoughts exactly.

I've started entire campaigns based on a single sentence, even if it was never touched again. I would expect nothing less of other GMs.

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raggedhalo

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« Reply #84 on: <01-12-12/0427:22> »
That's not metaplot then, just plots. The word "metaplot" was coined specifically to refer to plot spread over more than one book. A metaplot is not a metaplot until the release of a second book that modify the initial situation.

I beg to differ - it's not about number of books, it's about scale and purpose.
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Nath

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« Reply #85 on: <01-12-12/1656:29> »
I beg to differ - it's not about number of books, it's about scale and purpose.
Two books is a minimum. A metaplot, by definition, change the world. It is not change if the situation is exactly the same as it was before. But it's not change either if nobody knew about the previous situation. Change implies a previous description of the world is no longer valid.

Such change can only touch on a single sentence from a sourcebook that was released a decade ago, a full chapter, or entire sourcebooks. However, if you consider scale is an integral part of the definition of a metaplot, it makes sense that important events concern important element of the world, and that important element of the world should get lengthy description.

Wakshaani

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« Reply #86 on: <01-13-12/2250:30> »
Fastjack,

I don't like the metaplot because I'm paying for the pages it takes up, and it's useless to me. Its outcome will be decided by someone other than me and at some point in the future, and according to Patrick Goodman, the people who are writing it and charging us for it don't have any idea how it will resolve, or even what is actually going on..

Depends on what plot it is. Some know every nuance of a plot, some don't. I'm mostly out of the loop, for instance, but then, I'm the rookie, so, no big deal. Some of this stuff is mapped out well in advance, some isn't. Some of it's never *intended* to go anywhere, where other stuff gets changed at the last minute because someone finds out that, oh right, person X is dead. We need someone else for that role.

And so on and so forth.

Mind you, I like the sandboxx stuff more than the adventure stuff. Giving you a neat pile of tools and going, "Well? What do you want to do with this?" is more interesting, for me, than pre-packaged adventures, BUT, those also have their place.

SO, uh.

There ya go.

Zen Shooter

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« Reply #87 on: <01-22-12/0108:27> »
Mirikon:

Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, I can do as you suggest, and say the invalidated plotline was a ruse of some kind. but what you are offering me is techniques for correcting the damage that my campaign wouldn't have suffered in the first place if the game writers had know what was actually going on in the game universe and then shared a significant part of it with me. When I buy a sourcebook, I expect there to be canon material in it - not material that might or might not be canon.

I beg your patience with the frostiness my tone now takes on in replying to your suggestion that I am not "exercising enough creativity". I was a Shadowrun gamemaster when you were six years old. To quote Roy Batty, I have seen things you people wouldn't believe. Lack of creativity is not the problem.

CanRay

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« Reply #88 on: <01-22-12/0114:53> »
Hell with Roy Batty, I'VE seen things none of you would believe!  And we're a pretty open minded group here!

Reality is always weirder than fiction!
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Black

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« Reply #89 on: <01-22-12/0216:11> »
Mirikon:

Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, I can do as you suggest, and say the invalidated plotline was a ruse of some kind. but what you are offering me is techniques for correcting the damage that my campaign wouldn't have suffered in the first place if the game writers had know what was actually going on in the game universe and then shared a significant part of it with me. When I buy a sourcebook, I expect there to be canon material in it - not material that might or might not be canon.

I beg your patience with the frostiness my tone now takes on in replying to your suggestion that I am not "exercising enough creativity". I was a Shadowrun gamemaster when you were six years old. To quote Roy Batty, I have seen things you people wouldn't believe. Lack of creativity is not the problem.

It's not 'damage'.  I think your trying far to hard to adhere to the material in the book, when the material itself is open to interpretation, internal consistency is never going to perfect, and thus things either get 'dropped' or gains greater value then originally presented. 

But to expect that to be clear? is unreasonable.  Writers create as they go, and while most have an idea where they are going, they can change direction due to a piece they wrote (for example, they like the minor character they created and move him into main character status).  Now, when your talking about Shadowrun with 20+ years of published material and a number of writers etc, there is no way you can reasonable expect the material not to change

And that's ignoring the writers perogative to have plot twists.  eg Lowfry and Hestaby situation is got to be far more complicated that what it appears.  But we will have to wait and find out... and maybe the writers will tell us one day, or maybe not?

So either you wait until the Shadowrun line is dropped (and thus you have freedom from metaplot changes), play against the metaplot of an earlier edition (cause at least then you 'know' what's coming), or... heck if I know? Ignore all source material?  Make a 'hourse rule' which says your campaign is canon and source material is suggestion. (Actually, I think a lot of people do play this way.  Why the heck not?)  Um.. play away from source material?  Therefor metaplot events happen 'elsewhere', and can be ignored?

Stop treating the campaign books like they 'must be obeyed!'.  It takes the fun out of the game.  Just enjoy them for what they are, good fiction which should enhance your game, not detract. Either work with or don't.  It should not be a big issue.

Now, my final issue, your response to Mirikon.  I think his suggestIon was a valid.  His not having issues with source material.  You are.  Despite playing for x number of years.  Fact:  "Correlation does not imply causation".  Age does not  equal experience.  Also, you imply that Mirikon and others don't have your 'experience' thus their valid suggestions are not valid and this is very disrespectful.  So what you hope to get by posting here is beyond me.
Perception molds reality
Change perception and reality will follow
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