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Conspiracy Theories

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CanRay

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« Reply #90 on: <01-22-12/0229:21> »
Especially when authors die on us far too soon.   :'(

*Pours a 40 on the curb*
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The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #91 on: <01-22-12/0313:29> »
Where -do- you get all this beer??
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CanRay

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« Reply #92 on: <01-22-12/0315:18> »
Where -do- you get all this beer??
I'm in Canada.  The Liquor Mart.

...

OK, not as good a joke as it would have been back in Ontario where we had The Beer Store.  No, literally, that was the name of the chain of stores.  It's owned by the Province.

I'd prefer it, some of the beer vendors in Winnipeg are in pretty bad neighborhoods.
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Mirikon

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« Reply #93 on: <01-22-12/1018:37> »
Honestly, Zen, be more like your namesake. You really have only two choices. Either use the most basic storytelling skills to adapt to the changing metaplot as it goes forward, or just throw out everything that has happened since the original SR4 core book was printed, or whatever cutoff point you prefer. Either way, quit bitching about it.
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Zen Shooter

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« Reply #94 on: <01-27-12/2359:27> »
Mirikon,

I believe I have a third option, which is to expect Catalyst to produce a quality product. Thank you for your suggestion to quit complaining, but I reserve the basic right of the consumer in a free marketplace to evaluate products I'm being offered - indeed, products I've already paid for.

I think other posters in this thread have misunderstood me. I don't expect Catalyst to have every detail of the metaplot mapped out for the next five years. I expect Catalyst to know what is happening in the game world right this minute. Using my earlier example, are Hestaby and Sirrurg locked in a global shadow war? Apparently, Catalyst can't tell me. So why am I paying for this book?

Black

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« Reply #95 on: <01-28-12/0032:14> »
Ok...but I'm still not sure what you want from a book.  The hard definite facts?  Except, in a book titled 'Consipiracy Theories' your not likely to get that.

Not sure a book which actually spelled out the behind the scenes stuff would be like.  Kinda kills the mystery and suspense of not knowing whats actually going on.

Also, the Shadowrun books tend to throw out a 101 plot ideas, but then I don't think the writers can always follow up on every plot.  Just don't have the resources or market for it.  Which would imply, in order to meet the requirement as I understand it, the writers would need to follow tightly woven plots with no loose threads.  Which may or may not work.  I think if everything was factual and accurate, with no mystery or misinformation, then you would also start running into heavy duty contuinity issues.  Because writers arn't perfect, they'll forget that Writer A wrote a piece of minor fluff one way in a book two years ago and that contradicts the current piece being written.  And then the fans, who are often better at picking these things up, would tear the writers apart for the error.  Where if you writer your material from the view point that the Jackpointer's don't have all the information, and do make mistakes, then its less of an issue for the writers if two pieces contradict each other.

What I'm saying, is there is no perfect way to write these books.  You might want everything spelled out in detail, but it not only opens a different can of worms, it may not suit other buyers, such as myself, who prefer the (ironically) the freedom to pick up those plot ideas and run with them, and heck, if the next book contradicts my story, then my story trumps the book.

Quality product is in the eye of the buyer and what you deem not a 'quality product', I like just fine.  Also, and this is just me, but expecting a quality product that suites your individual desires... it just seems slightly demanding.  Its not like the books fall apart or anything.  They are quality products, some of them very nice to have on the shelf.  The books generally have good grammar, lack spelling mistakes, are well presented.  So the 'quality' your talking about, is the 'quality' of the writing, and that, in my humble opinion, is down to the individual reader's opinion, and extremely subjective because of this.

I want Catalyst to sell as many books as possible, more power to them, but Zen, sometimes you just don't buy the book.  Because its not what you want.  You don't buy the book and then go 'its not what I want'.  Its like buying Street Magic and complaining it doesn't cover the Matrix.  If you didn't want a book on 'Theories', then you shouldn't buy it.  Its that simple.
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Crimsondude

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« Reply #96 on: <01-28-12/0037:08> »
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.
Yes, we do.

You don't.

I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.

Quote
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.
I will mention that everything in the two Threats books were taken, in-game, as mostly lunatic conspiracy theories in those books. As it happens, all of them actually came to pass virtually unchanged from what was presented as paranoid rantings. Some took longer than others. Some were "ended." It would have been a waste of paper for books that are, after all, supplements for other peoples' games.
« Last Edit: <01-28-12/0041:36> by James Meiers »

CanRay

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« Reply #97 on: <01-28-12/0051:49> »
I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.
You mean I have to THINK!!!  How dare media make me think in this day and age!!!
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The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #98 on: <01-28-12/0113:22> »
I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.
You mean I have to THINK!!!  How dare media make me think in this day and age!!!
Well, fortunately for the rest of us, in regards to you they still haven't.  ;D
Pananagutan & End/Line

Old As McBean, Twice As Mean
"Oh, gee - it's Go-Frag-Yourself-O'Clock."
New Wyrm!! Now with Twice the Bastard!!

Laés is ... I forget. -PiXeL01
Play the game. Don't try to win it.

CanRay

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« Reply #99 on: <01-28-12/0115:30> »
I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.
You mean I have to THINK!!!  How dare media make me think in this day and age!!!
Well, fortunately for the rest of us, in regards to you they still haven't.  ;D
Thanks Wyrm, care to kick me some more while I'm down?  :P
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The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #100 on: <01-28-12/0147:16> »
Not any more, man.  One jab a night is my limit for indicating being playful instead of serious.  :P :)
Pananagutan & End/Line

Old As McBean, Twice As Mean
"Oh, gee - it's Go-Frag-Yourself-O'Clock."
New Wyrm!! Now with Twice the Bastard!!

Laés is ... I forget. -PiXeL01
Play the game. Don't try to win it.

Critias

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« Reply #101 on: <01-28-12/0202:24> »
C'mon, fellas.  There's nothing wrong with Mirikon just not being a fan of the book.  He's allowed to say what he does and doesn't like about a product he's paid money for, without getting dogpiled, without being told to stop complaining, and without folks stopping just barely short of calling him an idiot, tip-toeing the Terms of Service line.

Riding his ass about it isn't going to make him magically like CT, and ganging up on him to try and shout him down isn't going to magically make anyone else reading the thread a fan of the book, either.

Black

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« Reply #102 on: <01-28-12/0224:54> »
Fair enough Critias.

I like the book.  The conspiracy stuff was gold and I am very much a fan of both Snopes and Plan 9.  The core conspiracies are gripping and you know (or hope) that we will see more soon on all off them.  Me, I particularly liked the Bug stuff.  Missed a lot of fluff over the recent years and thus didn't know about Mr Knight playing around with things that he should not touch, so it was all new and explained a bit about why his KE guy left him so suddenly.  The Dragon stuff was mostly pretty good (the german rifle = Lowfyr seemed a bit to blunt) as was the Corporate soccorball.

Haven't followed the artifact stuff at all (but will get to it soon :) ) and thus was not across the changes in Washington.  Would have liked maps for both capital cities as very unfamilar with them.  Of course, I could google the maps and the images etc, but it would be nice to get a good feel for these foreign cities. 

Overall, a good read.  Useful for my games?  Potentially, but not so much.  It is, in my opinion, written in such a way that my players could read it and enjoy it, but still not know what is really going on.  However, their anticipation would build and they would be thrilled to go against the organisations mentioned in the book.

Actually, would it make sense to an 'Enemy' style books?  You know, a book which provides detailed views of these organisations and how they operate and provide some stated figures and a list of plot seeds?  Anyways, just an idea.
Perception molds reality
Change perception and reality will follow
SR1+SR2+SR3++SR4+hb+++B?UB+IE+W+sa+m-gmM--P

Crimsondude

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« Reply #103 on: <01-28-12/0317:35> »
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I'm sorry that you don't like how we aren't holding your hand, but not fully explaining ongoing secrets and storylines in Shadowrun books is par for the course after twenty-three years.
You mean I have to THINK!!!  How dare media make me think in this day and age!!!
Ugh.

My point in all that if it's in the book, there's a good chance that it matters. I'm not trying to be a dick about it, but I probably am because that's just how I come off.

I'm not sure how I feel about the OOC Game Information sections at the end of the chapters, or at the end of the books, depending on the product. I don't want to explain the story material because it defeats the point of telling it. On the other hand, I've heard compelling arguments for stats, but doing that for a sprawl could easily double the length of the material.

The map issue is problematic because earlier maps are not accurate, and I know Bull mentioned issues about London somewhere. But for DeeCee, the maps from NAGNA aren't accurate in the macro scale because it merges and screws with some of the counties. In the micro scale, the map of downtown Washington is no longer accurate because of the changes made in Foggy Bottom because of the Rift Bunker, and in Southwest/Government Zone because of the construction of Kansai Village. But ultimately, and I will keep accepting the blame until I'm blue, the lack of a Washington map is on me. I even discussed it with Jason, but I needed to make the changes to an existing map and send it off in time to be redrawn and put into the book. That didn't happen for various reasons. Even the larger macro map didn't happen for similar reasons.
« Last Edit: <01-28-12/0320:11> by James Meiers »

Nath

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« Reply #104 on: <01-28-12/0645:42> »
I'm not sure how I feel about the OOC Game Information sections at the end of the chapters, or at the end of the books, depending on the product. I don't want to explain the story material because it defeats the point of telling it.
On the other hand, telling the story of a secret conspiracy by having dozens of Jackpoint users openly speaking on the Matrix about its detailed membership and goals kinda defeat the point of telling about a story of a secret conspiracy.

My opinion is, Conspiracy Theories fails in places to give the reader a sense of secrecy and mystery (and I say "reader," not "gamemaster," on purpose). Jackpoint users often write the same way and tone they did in Corporate Guide or Vice. Maybe Conspiracy Facts would have been a better title. Old Threats books used up a lot of wordcount for contradiction, like offering several suspects for a given action or role, or call the whole thing bullshit. Game Information allowed the author to narrow down interpretations (or settle the debate down for good when the setting required it, like clearly saying "yes, immortal elves exist"). Wordcount maybe was less of an issue in the 1990ies when there were more sourcebooks released. Such writings is clearly opposite of the idea that "if its in the book, there's a good chance that it matters".