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The Sixth World

 
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Wiseman
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:51 am    Post subject: The Sixth World Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Does it bother anyone else that it seems like Shadowrun kind of squanders it's setting? And not in the manner in which you're probably thinking. I was thinking about some of the old metaplots, and it got me thinking. A good number of these sound like they would make for good RPG plots, the problem is just that the way the game is set up, there's no real way or even reason for the central characters to interact with it instead of staying the hell out of the way of them. You have a futuristic cyberpunk urban fantasy setting, and a broad diverse world, yet, it seems to mostly just be window dressing because the game focuses on shadowrunners: people from the bottom rungs of society who commit crimes at the behest of clients for money.

The Sixth World is fascinating and could support an insane variety of stories yet the game seems to have a myopic focus on a very small part of that world. And said part doesn't have much of a reason to interact with a lot of other interesting things in the setting outside of whether it'll earn them a paycheck. This also means that it's generally in their interest to not interact with the big dramatic plots, or if they do, to only really see bits and pieces of it while the real movers and shakers do things off-screen.

I mean, truthfully, it's not like you can't do these things. There's just no real support for it, despite how large and diverse the setting is.

Thoughts?
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kzt
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Joined: 03 May 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You can't run some of that stuff because there is a lot of no there there. It's all sizzle without the steak. Which is exactly what the guy running FASA wanted.

And besides, you can't be allowed to interfere with their metaplot on rails and their "we are so much better than you" developer characters.
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The system is designed for street level characters. It just about scales up to having gear on par with the High Threat Response Team before the numbers get dumb. You can run characters in this power band from walks of life other than SINless criminals scrabbling for food and ammo, which can be amusing, but you can't really play as Mr Johnson, let alone Shareholderrun. The reason the plot NPCs have such absurd character sheets is because the system doesn't really support having any sort of superpower other than being Doctor Doom. If you don't have a dumb sheet covered in two digit numbers, you still die to a couple of chumps with pistols, just like everybody else.
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Koumei wrote:
...is the dead guy posthumously at fault for his own death and, due to the felony murder law, his own murderer?

hyzmarca wrote:
A palace made out of poop is much more impressive than one made out of gold. Stinkier, but more impressive. One is an ostentatious display of wealth. The other is a miraculous engineering feat.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hell, i actually kinda sorta figured out how to semi believeably make a shadowrun / mlp crossover happen . .

Of course, with it being a Shadowrun World MLP Crossover, it's a little bit on the grimderp side <.< . .
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Nath
Master


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Most RPG are written with a specific type of characters to play. D&D wanted you to play adventurers, Ars Magica members of a magica chantry. It follows that most adventures are written for such standard characters. Even Call of Cthulhu, whose type of characters was as non-descript as "ordinary citizens" was pretty consistent at inviting you to play such characters (remember Delta Green came from a different group of people). As the line and the setting expand, most publisher offer the opportunity to play something else.

Some do so by releasing a completely different game: that's White Wolf World of Darkness, or FFG 40K or Star Wars RPG. In such case, you get at least a minimal support with dedicated sourcebooks and adventures. Doing so requires a consequent editorial effort. In that regards, D&D Birthright can somehow fit in that category (I guess it says something about D&D that sticking to the same character class was more important than creating an entire different world to play rulers rather than adventurers).

Some do so by releasing a single book that cover a different type of characters. There may be some related adventures or a campaign released shortly after, but even that is rare. A good option is to write a sourcebook about a significant topic even for the base game, and add a chapter about playing new characters (the examples I have in mind and on my shelves are Warhammer 2nd ed books on skavens and vampires).

But Shadowrun has actually tried to do that in the past, first with Shadowbeat to play reporters. Then one third of Fields of Fire was about playing mercenaries in the Third World instead of shadowrunners in Seattle/North America. And most people failed to notice the offer because the difference between mercs and runners was actually a lot smaller than what the authors seemed to believe. On the other hand, I'm not sure Lone Star even touched the idea you could play LSSS cops. Shadowrun Companion had about ten pages about playing gangsters, and ten more about other alternative type of characters. Corporate Download had only one page about company men proper, but the entire book was providing background equally if not more useful to such campaign than to a typical shadowrunner campaign. It seems SR5 Court of Shadows was also intended to play characters who were not shadowrunners.

So, clearly, people noticed Shadowrun setting could be used to play something else. But the effort was never made to put out more than a few pages, let alone adventures. Because nobody was motivated to do so, or because they thought it wouldn't sell.

The funny part is, as you pointed out, that they put out of a number of books and adventures like Harlequin's Back, Aztlan, Threats or later the Dawn of the Artifacts serie, that would actually work much better if they had been part of an effort to support playing Mystic Crusaders or drakes for instance.


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Wiseman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

That was basically what I was wanting to say, but you beat me to it. It's kind of a shame, and basically makes so many interesting and pontentially useful things in the setting just window dressing at best.

Stahlseele wrote:
Hell, i actually kinda sorta figured out how to semi believeably make a shadowrun / mlp crossover happen . .

Of course, with it being a Shadowrun World MLP Crossover, it's a little bit on the grimderp side <.< . .


Heck, I'm doing a Shadowrun/Touhou crossover right now.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Actually, thinking about it, there are more than one way to make MLPrun happen . . 2 magic and 2 machine ways actually . . interesting . .
First idea was that Equestria is a metaplane like the city of the dead where the shedim live. And they can cross over. But they need fitting bodies to stay in the real world . . and here comes the grimderp, because, of course, Pegasus, Unicorn and Eart/Sea-Pony are bloodthirsty monsters in the world of Shadowrun. Which the Spirit Ponies do not realize. And then it is too late and they are trapped in what ammounts to tainted versions of their own bodies and they now need to consume flesh . .

Second Magic is the easy cop out . . Metaplanar Quest to the Plane of Equestria.

First machine way is basically the same just with a Matrix-Quest or an UV Host made to look like Equestria.

The second machine way would be Kustom built Anthroform Pony Drones.
Like the robot Horses from Galaxy Rangers or Saber Rider and the Star Sherrifs . .

Also, anybody remember that Shadowrun had an actual ROCKER ARCHETYPE once? Aaah good times ^^
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I recall somebody suggesting you could use Gem as the framework for a Shadowrun campaign. I think I could get my wife interested in that.
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Koumei wrote:
...is the dead guy posthumously at fault for his own death and, due to the felony murder law, his own murderer?

hyzmarca wrote:
A palace made out of poop is much more impressive than one made out of gold. Stinkier, but more impressive. One is an ostentatious display of wealth. The other is a miraculous engineering feat.
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virgil
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Biggest issue with that is the fact that I'm unaware of any substantial rules in Shadowrun (any edition) that actually support the rocker.
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think the idea was that everybody at the table is spending a dozen BP on fluffy shit. The idea of spending vertical advancement on fluffy shit is looked down on pretty hard around here, but it's very much a thing that happens at real tables. SR almost explicitly supports it with the whole pink mohawk vs mirrored shades thing.
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Koumei wrote:
...is the dead guy posthumously at fault for his own death and, due to the felony murder law, his own murderer?

hyzmarca wrote:
A palace made out of poop is much more impressive than one made out of gold. Stinkier, but more impressive. One is an ostentatious display of wealth. The other is a miraculous engineering feat.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm pretty sure the issue taken with spending BP on fluff is that you shouldn't have to. As a design rule, you shouldn't punish people for wanting fluff, especially not if wanting enough of it can make you unplayable.
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh I agree. The reason the Gem campaign appealed to me was that your rocker skills directly led to being able to buy snazzy shit to kill fools with, so they weren't wasted BP at all. I played in a play-by-post game where the GM handed out 25 points that had to be spent on shit like Artisan and Knowledge: Wargames, and it made the first "session" go a lot smoother because the characters had things to talk about and act human.
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Koumei wrote:
...is the dead guy posthumously at fault for his own death and, due to the felony murder law, his own murderer?

hyzmarca wrote:
A palace made out of poop is much more impressive than one made out of gold. Stinkier, but more impressive. One is an ostentatious display of wealth. The other is a miraculous engineering feat.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
Biggest issue with that is the fact that I'm unaware of any substantial rules in Shadowrun (any edition) that actually support the rocker.


There was Shadowbeat for 1st edition. My attempts to get a 4th edition book made covering that met with failure. And the post-exodus version Attitude had no rules.

-Frank
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Also, of course, nobody should ever forget Franks Sailor Moon Magic Group.
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TheFlatline
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zaranthan wrote:
I recall somebody suggesting you could use Gem as the framework for a Shadowrun campaign. I think I could get my wife interested in that.


I had to run with it and do a lot of MTP, but I ran a fairly successful campaign that sort of riffed on Entourage before the series came out years ago. It started with a one-on-one game where someone wanted to play a simsense DJ, so we started exploring that. We added people on as time went on. It generally went pretty well. Combat was handled rarely and abstractly and was more about moving through higher society. Things fell apart when part of the group decided murder hobos would be more fun and insisted on making combat monsters in my distinctly advertised non-combat game, then complained about the lack of combat. While it lasted it was a lot of fun and we went through three or four good stories by the end of it.

Other Shadowrun non-standard ideas was the idea of a DocWagon insurance investigator. You go in after a HTR team extraction and see if the terms of DocWagon's contracts were upheld. You had access to some pretty heavy hardware, as well as DocWagon platinum and a special employees' HTR team since by definition you had to like... break into corps to do your investigation and stuff, but 90% of the time I again tried to avoid combat. It was a surreal game and moderately fun. I'd do things a lot differently if I ran it again.

I also would love to run a biker-gang Sons of Anarchy style game. Street level with an emphasis on inter-gang drama. Again, not much to cover in the published books sadly on running a gang that I'm aware of. I've written a few rules on letting the players build a gang up and how to generate influence, income, and resources, specifically between games/stories, but yeah.
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