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So what the shit is so bad about Shadowrun?
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Trill
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Joined: 26 May 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

PrometheanVigil wrote:
Submersion is Awakening.

What? Submersion is literally the TM equivalent of Initiation.
SR4 CRB page 238 wrote:
SUBMERSION
Submersion strengthens the link between the techno-
mancer and the Matrix Resonance. Similar to an Awakened
character’s initiation, submersion is a very personalized and
ego-wrenching experience, a process of growth and awareness,
a chance for the technomancer to better attune himself to the
machine world. Submersion grants the technomancer great-
er abilities known as echoes, grants access to the mysterious
Resonance realms hidden within the Matrix, and allows him
to raise his Resonance attribute beyond his natural maximum
of 6.
Submersion is measured in grades, beginning with Grade
1 and increasing. Submersion has a Karma cost equal to 10
+ (Grade x 3). A technomancer’s grade cannot exceed his
Resonance attribute.


Quote:
If Initiated is shorthand for "supa Mage", there should ideally be an equiv for TMs.

Initiated just means that you have one Initiation, which means a higher upper limit for MAG and a metamagic. You can have a MAG 2 Grade 2 Initiate, who's far weaker than a MAG 6 non-Initiate

Quote:
I didn't know they called TMs Otaku. What a stupid name and ref.

TMs and Otakus are different. Otakus were Children that had the ability to enter the matrix without a computer. But they still needed a datajack or similar.
TMs meanwhile are basically biological computers and don't need any equipment to access the matrix and in fact get weaker if they implant stuff.

Quote:
How does one make good use of drones?

A few drones, kitted out to be absolute murderbots
or dozens of drones as a swarm of flying gun turrets
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, what the spotted one wrote!


Also, Initiation allows you to learn things uninitiated mages and floating TMs can't learn.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The terminology for Technomancers has changed a lot over the years and editions. The original Technomancers were children that had ports drilled into their heads so that they could interact directly with the matrix through wires. They were called "Otaku" because they were shut ins from creepy experiments and were part of a weird and long running plot about super powerful AI that eventually went nowhere because the people writing that plot left the company before finishing it.

Anyway, from 4th edition onwards the Technomancers have Submersion, which is game mechanically similar to Initiation but severely lacks in-world terminology because the big X-Men/Heroes inspired plot around Technomancers in 4th edition also went nowhere because the writers lost interest and/or left the company.

Quote:
If you had to sacrifice Morality to get Endowments in Hunter The Vigil, no-one in their right mind would have used them. So why are they doing it here? I mean, I get it but I don't get it.


You do have to pay Humanity to Diablerize in Vampire: the Either One, and people do it all the time. Whether paying a finite portion of your soul to get an augmentation is "worth it" or not depends on how much soul and how good the augmentation is. In Shadowrun, a Tracheal Filter or chunk of Muscle Replacement is generally not worth a chunk of your soul, while a set of speed enhancing Wired Reflexes or a marksmanship assisting smartgun link generally is.

Obviously it depends somewhat on which edition you are talking about, but there are definitively augmentations that are worth pursuing even in light of the Essence costs involved.

Quote:
Oh shit, only Elves can really use the magic items? Oh no, that HAS to go. Like right now. How the fuck did that not get flagged during design?


Not sure what you are talking about here. Shadowrun magic items can only be used by people who are awakened. Further, it costs XP to bind a magic item, and you can't activate a magic item until it's been bound. So for the most part, magic items are completely worthless to everyone in the whole planet. There is one person who can actually make any particular magic item go. And since the XP costs are far more significant than any other fucking costs, it's generally an insignificant savings to have any magic items you can actually afford to use custom made for you.

Any magic items you find during your adventures are basically just art objects to be sold as mantelpiece or hallway installations in the homes of pretentious rich dudes.

As for the balance of the metavariants, it is highly dependent on the edition you care to talk about. 3rd edition is the edition of the Dwarf, where being a Dwarf costs less build points than the stat bonuses you get and you get some minor Dwarf powers. 4th edition is the edition of the Ork. I don't remember off the top of my head what 5th edition is trying to get you to play, I think it's actually Human if you go by the priority system that comes in the basic book. Trolls are always a weird one, in that how good or bad they are is very strongly dependent on how good being tough is in the edition you are playing and how relevant melee combat is in the edition you are playing. Those were pretty decent in 3rd edition, and led to a lot of Trolls, and they were pretty worthless in 4th edition and you saw very few Trolls.

Quote:
Even summoning is written and built in a way as to quasi-discouraged specialization in it.


Summoning is far and away the most powerful discipline in absolutely every edition of Shadowrun ever. It's not actually that hard to summon a spirit that is individually more powerful than the entire rest of the team.

-Frank

-Frank
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Longes
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In 5e it's human or elf.

If you are a muggle, then you can be Human D (Edge 5) or Elf D (Edge 1 but Cha 3/Agi 2) and not dumpstat anything.
If you are awakened, then you can be Human E (Edge 2) and not have a dumpstat, or Elf D and dumpstat money. The only reason to be an Elf is to have Charisma $TEXAS because you are playing a Charisma tradition magician.

Orks and Dwarfs can only be bought with Priority C, so in most cases you'll be losing more than you are getting (it's sometimes worth it to be a dorf technomancer, but it's not worth it to be a technomancer period).

Trolls are completely shit out of luck. They are Priority B or A. Now, Priority is loosely conceptualized around the idea of putting high priority in what matters most to you - like being skilled or being a badass mage. With trolls it means that your concept is "Troll". Unfortunately Troll is a shit archetype because it has high Strengh and Body. Body is bad compared to just buying armor. Strength is bad because Unarmed Fighter is a full concept by itself, and trolls don't actually have enough priorities left to really implement it without totally sucking.
Catalyst actually released some by-the-rules Troll pregens in "The Complete Trog", and they are laughably bad. "Every single dicepool is below 10" bad.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@Longes
The fuck . . i had actually thought "The Complete Trog!" was a joke title made up by people and not an actual thing that should not exist . .
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Trill
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Joined: 26 May 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stahlseele wrote:
@Longes
The fuck . . i had actually thought "The Complete Trog!" was a joke title made up by people and not an actual thing that should not exist . .

Oh Stahlseele, you sweet, sweet summer child.
Longes mentioned it in the SR5 Review thread.
My personal highlight is that Bull(the CGL goon) introduced a quality that gives Orks human lifespans. Most likely to explain why Bull(the self-insert character) had a human lifespan.
And then he forgot to give it to his character.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sounds about right . .
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've never played a troll for an entire campaign, but it's not because I really have anything against the concept. I simply refuse to pay a giant pile of resources for the privilege of being way strong in a game that doesn't bother to think very hard about the gap between the strongest people around and the weakest.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Trill wrote:
My personal highlight is that Bull(the CGL goon) introduced a quality that gives Orks human lifespans. Most likely to explain why Bull(the self-insert character) had a human lifespan.


That is explicitly the reason. It's been confirmed by Bull himself. And he priced it at $TEXAS (10 karma out of 15 you have) because he wants it to be rare. It's a quality that does literally nothing except limit the narrative space and it's accompanied by the absolute worst explanations for its existence and pricing.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

PrometheanVigil wrote:
If you had to sacrifice Morality to get Endowments in Hunter The Vigil, no-one in their right mind would have used them. So why are they doing it here? I mean, I get it but I don't get it.

I don't get what you're confused by. This is an easy trade in most RPGs. Especially in Shadowrun, where essence isn't... 'morality' or 'soul' or whatever nebulous bullshit you're thinking. Especially since if you're going down the heavy cyber route, you don't have any use for essence and don't give two shits about its limits on the magic stat. A mage might have a reason to spend up to 1.00 points of essence (maybe 2 if they can squeeze a reflex booster in), but going in too far is a bad idea without a really solid plan.

Quote:
Also, any attempt to modify your body like that, in such an invasive manner (which is what bio-mechanical augmentation is at the end of the day) should cost, regardless of utility. Same amount regardless but you do a benefits v drawbacks cost-up like the R&D system from HTV. Makes much more sense.

No it doesn't. It's a cyberpunk game. Having cyberware is a thing the game explicitly needs to encourage. There might be an arbitrary game balance mechanic so they don't completely curbstomp non-cyber characters (which is the point of essence (and money)), but even that is negotiable. Arguably not having cyberware, magic or some other type of personal edge over normals is a reason to go down in a nasty blood splatter. The Detective and Rocker were really terrible ideas.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

PrometheanVigil wrote:
If you had to sacrifice Morality to get Endowments in Hunter The Vigil, no-one in their right mind would have used them. So why are they doing it here? I mean, I get it but I don't get it.


That's because Morality is stupid.

Morality is stupid in a way that no other stat in any RPG has ever been.

And I include Fatal's Anal Circumference in that evaluation. It is, objectively, less stupid than World of Darkness's Morality stats.

Morality is a stat that serves to punish your PCs for doing things that PCs do. It's supposed to function as a storytelling device by basically forcing you to have exaggerated Catholic guilt like Louis from Interview, but no one wants to play Louis, everyone wants to play Lestat. And Morality functions to make Lestat unplayable.

That's it. Morality exists to make the Vampire characters that you want to play unplayable. And in nWOD it was baked into the core system instead of being a Vampire specific thing out of sheer laziness.


In Shadowrun, essence has absolutely nothing to do with your morality. You can easily be an essence 0.01 Saint, (possibly literally if you really impress the Pope) and Adolf Hitler had Essence 6.

Hitting Essence 0 does not make your character unplayable, except in so far as dead characters aren't playable. It's exactly the same as filling up all of your wound boxes. Essence is a damage track, it just tracks a type of damage that you're never going to take in game unless your GM is a huge dick. Essence draining critters and spirits exist, but anything that has you helpless long enough to drain your essence has you helpless long enough to empty multiple magazines of EX-EX into your head.

It's an extremely limited resource, but it's not going to go down in the course of normal play. Unless you meet a vampire in a bar and your buddies give you a thumbs up because you all think that you're going to get laid. But that scenario fucks over mages who survive it more than it does samurai, because the street sam can just shove some cool ware into the essence hole, while the mage permanently loses some of his power.

Basically, for 99% of the population, there is no advantage to having an essence greater than .01. Yeah, having higher essence makes magic healing easier, but your HMO probably doesn't cover magic healing. Mages and Adepts are the only people who actually need Essence.


Last edited by hyzmarca on Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:41 am; edited 4 times in total
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Part of the issue is that many fanboys latch onto a particular cliche or theme that they believe is genre defining and then try to hardwire it into everything. For example, the idea that people need to cash out of the rat race before they're replaced by the next generation of killers is a recurring theme in cyberpunk fiction but that's a bit picture theme that doesn't really scream out for mechanical representation given that most characters are unlikely to be played for in-character decades.
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PrometheanVigil
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Trill wrote:

What? Submersion is literally the TM equivalent of Initiation.
SR4 CRB page 238 wrote:
SUBMERSION
Submersion strengthens the link between the techno-
mancer and the Matrix Resonance. Similar to an Awakened
character’s initiation, submersion is a very personalized and
ego-wrenching experience, a process of growth and awareness,
a chance for the technomancer to better attune himself to the
machine world. Submersion grants the technomancer great-
er abilities known as echoes, grants access to the mysterious
Resonance realms hidden within the Matrix, and allows him
to raise his Resonance attribute beyond his natural maximum
of 6.
Submersion is measured in grades, beginning with Grade
1 and increasing. Submersion has a Karma cost equal to 10
+ (Grade x 3). A technomancer’s grade cannot exceed his
Resonance attribute.


Initiated just means that you have one Initiation, which means a higher upper limit for MAG and a metamagic. You can have a MAG 2 Grade 2 Initiate, who's far weaker than a MAG 6 non-Initiate

TMs and Otakus are different. Otakus were Children that had the ability to enter the matrix without a computer. But they still needed a datajack or similar.
TMs meanwhile are basically biological computers and don't need any equipment to access the matrix and in fact get weaker if they implant stuff.

A few drones, kitted out to be absolute murderbots
or dozens of drones as a swarm of flying gun turrets


I'm using SR5. Don't know about 4th. I'm going to take your word for it that it applies cross-edition.

However, in saying that, that last bit about hidden digital realms sounds very familiar. So if I open my hardcover right now, I will probably see the 5th Ed-ified version of that. Thanks for clearing that up.

Huh... Why didn't they just do it as a second coming style, then? That sounds really wonky otherwise. At least specializing where you have a good shot at beating Magician 1-2 levels above you in that specific arena would be a good design piece. I'm guessing long-term that's not what Initiation is designed to do?

Ahhh... Minority Report people, gotcha. Yeah, totally different concept to TMs. Thank God that died off apparently.

I'm guessing Rigging is completely broken, then? I feel like a pattern is starting to appear...

Stahlseele wrote:
Yeah, what the spotted one wrote!


Also, Initiation allows you to learn things uninitiated mages and floating TMs can't learn.


My bad, hah hah.

FrankTrollman wrote:
The terminology for Technomancers has changed a lot over the years and editions.

Anyway, from 4th edition onwards the Technomancers have Submersion,

Quote:
If you had to sacrifice Morality to get Endowments in Hunter The Vigil, no-one in their right mind would have used them. So why are they doing it here? I mean, I get it but I don't get it.


You do have to pay Humanity to Diablerize in Vampire: the Either One,

Obviously it depends somewhat on which edition you are talking about, but there are definitively augmentations that are worth pursuing even in light of the Essence costs involved.

Quote:
Oh shit, only Elves can really use the magic items? Oh no, that HAS to go. Like right now. How the fuck did that not get flagged during design?


Not sure what you are talking about here. Shadowrun magic items can only be used by people who are awakened.

Any magic items you find during your adventures are basically just art objects to be sold as mantelpiece or hallway installations in the homes of pretentious rich dudes.

As for the balance of the metavariants, it is highly dependent on the edition you care to talk about.

Quote:
Even summoning is written and built in a way as to quasi-discouraged specialization in it.


Summoning is far and away the most powerful discipline in absolutely every edition of Shadowrun ever. It's not actually that hard to summon a spirit that is individually more powerful than the entire rest of the team.

-Frank


Well that sucks about the metaplot, I guess.

Yeah, it's really starting to sound like a benefit v drawback system would pay dividends here. I'm seeing .63s and .22s for ESS as well and I can't say I'm a fan of non-rounded numbers, seems too exception-heavy and fiddly.

The point you made about magic items being useless? Yeah, that. What is the point in including them other than as plot items? It just seems... stupid.

Why are they so scared to just let Trolls be OP beasts? That's how they're written. Sounds fun to me.

That is true about the Diablere thing. Saying that, we're running VTR this Sunday and one of my players has picked the En Bloodline. I imagine you're aware of what this means and if you're not, just have a skim through their blurb in Ancient Bloodlines. It's just... the worst.

Longes wrote:
In 5e it's human or elf.

If you are a muggle, then you can be Human D (Edge 5) or Elf D (Edge 1 but Cha 3/Agi 2) and not dumpstat anything.
If you are awakened, then you can be Human E (Edge 2) and not have a dumpstat, or Elf D and dumpstat money. The only reason to be an Elf is to have Charisma $TEXAS because you are playing a Charisma tradition magician.

Orks and Dwarfs can only be bought with Priority C, so in most cases you'll be losing more than you are getting (it's sometimes worth it to be a dorf technomancer, but it's not worth it to be a technomancer period).

Trolls are completely shit out of luck. They are Priority B or A. Now, Priority is loosely conceptualized around the idea of putting high priority in what matters most to you - like being skilled or being a badass mage. With trolls it means that your concept is "Troll". Unfortunately Troll is a shit archetype because it has high Strengh and Body. Body is bad compared to just buying armor. Strength is bad because Unarmed Fighter is a full concept by itself, and trolls don't actually have enough priorities left to really implement it without totally sucking.
Catalyst actually released some by-the-rules Troll pregens in "The Complete Trog", and they are laughably bad. "Every single dicepool is below 10" bad.


Yeah, I noticed that. That was my issue. Human just seeems to be good regardless (which isn't an issue, you always need an all-rounder) but making it so that you don't get Troll and Ork TMs or Faces or Shaman... like what. But then again, I've never been a fan of racial limits, too much Unfortunate Implications tied up in them.

Longes wrote:
Trill wrote:
My personal highlight is that Bull(the CGL goon) introduced a quality that gives Orks human lifespans. Most likely to explain why Bull(the self-insert character) had a human lifespan.


That is explicitly the reason. It's been confirmed by Bull himself. And he priced it at $TEXAS (10 karma out of 15 you have) because he wants it to be rare. It's a quality that does literally nothing except limit the narrative space and it's accompanied by the absolute worst explanations for its existence and pricing.


What is with the lifespan thing? Orcs dying earlier makes some sense in Shadow of the Demon Lord because they're the result of dark arcane experiments to create super soldiers. In Shadowrun... no reason why Elves and Orks wouldn't live just as long as each other and definitely longer than Humans.

Voss wrote:

I don't get what you're confused by.

No it doesn't. It's a cyberpunk game.


Exactly: it's a Cyberpunk game. Therefore you should encourage both the extreme and the mild. Caution or power, you can't have both and it's another way of encouraging cyborgs/augmented as their own archetype. This way you don't get the apparent stupidity of a system where there's no real drawbacks for the majority of PCs in becoming essentially a robot... but yet not actually being a robot.

This of course now is heavily divering from actual system issues and is more design preference, so yeah.

hyzmarca wrote:
PrometheanVigil wrote:
If you had to sacrifice Morality to get Endowments in Hunter The Vigil, no-one in their right mind would have used them. So why are they doing it here? I mean, I get it but I don't get it.


That's because Morality is stupid.

Morality is stupid in a way that no other stat in any RPG has ever been.

And I include Fatal's Anal Circumference in that evaluation. It is, objectively, less stupid than World of Darkness's Morality stats.

Morality is a stat that serves to punish your PCs for doing things that PCs do. It's supposed to function as a storytelling device by basically forcing you to have exaggerated Catholic guilt like Louis from Interview, but no one wants to play Louis, everyone wants to play Lestat. And Morality functions to make Lestat unplayable.

That's it. Morality exists to make the Vampire characters that you want to play unplayable. And in nWOD it was baked into the core system instead of being a Vampire specific thing out of sheer laziness.


In Shadowrun, essence has absolutely nothing to do with your morality. You can easily be an essence 0.01 Saint, (possibly literally if you really impress the Pope) and Adolf Hitler had Essence 6.

Hitting Essence 0 does not make your character unplayable, except in so far as dead characters aren't playable. It's exactly the same as filling up all of your wound boxes. Essence is a damage track, it just tracks a type of damage that you're never going to take in game unless your GM is a huge dick. Essence draining critters and spirits exist, but anything that has you helpless long enough to drain your essence has you helpless long enough to empty multiple magazines of EX-EX into your head.

It's an extremely limited resource, but it's not going to go down in the course of normal play. Unless you meet a vampire in a bar and your buddies give you a thumbs up because you all think that you're going to get laid. But that scenario fucks over mages who survive it more than it does samurai, because the street sam can just shove some cool ware into the essence hole, while the mage permanently loses some of his power.

Basically, for 99% of the population, there is no advantage to having an essence greater than .01. Yeah, having higher essence makes magic healing easier, but your HMO probably doesn't cover magic healing. Mages and Adepts are the only people who actually need Essence.


MRL is one of the better stats that's come out of any game I've played or hosted. The sheer amount of stupid shit players do and have done in my games over the years because there's no real, tangible, mechanical punishment for doing it is just in-fucking-sane. It has nothing to do with catholic guilt and everything to do with the Golden Rule (i.e. don't fuck with others if you yourself don't want to get fucked). I'm not a fan in the slightest of divorcing reprecussions from choices just because "I AM A CREATURE OF THE NIGHT! I MUST FEAST ON THE BLOOD OF INNOCENTS BLARGH BLARGH!"

So that just screams of bitteness and butthurt out the gate on your end. That said, I can totally understand Essence having fuck-all to do with a character in Shadowrun just being a decent human being. It's more of a literal "humanity" stat in that you literally are becoming more machine than man and your spiritual side is waning as a result. Fine, cool, I can deal with that, no problem.

On a related note, I really don't think mixing EXP with actual morality was a good design choice. And then having two separate stats in Street Cred and Rep. Just stupid. That literally serves as a barrier to the playstyle you're espousing above. In fact, how often do those metadata stats come up in play?

Also, anal circumference rules? Do tell...

Whipstitch wrote:
Part of the issue is that many fanboys latch onto a particular cliche or theme that they believe is genre defining and then try to hardwire it into everything. For example, the idea that people need to cash out of the rat race before they're replaced by the next generation of killers is a recurring theme in cyberpunk fiction but that's a bit picture theme that doesn't really scream out for mechanical representation given that most characters are unlikely to be played for in-character decades.


What's the genre-defining thing you're specifically talking about here?

Appreciate the insight here guys, by the way. Not trying to run into bullshit when I host this because I just could really tell something was up with this system just in how it was written and edited and the focus given to certain concepts, playstyles and gameplay conceits.
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Trill
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Joined: 26 May 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

PrometheanVigil wrote:
I'm using SR5. Don't know about 4th. I'm going to take your word for it that it applies cross-edition.

It does.

Quote:
Huh... Why didn't they just do it as a second coming style, then? That sounds really wonky otherwise. At least specializing where you have a good shot at beating Magician 1-2 levels above you in that specific arena would be a good design piece. I'm guessing long-term that's not what Initiation is designed to do?

Initiation has 4 purposes

  • It raises your MAG cap, letting you reach a higher MAG than you normally could or letting you implant ware without lowering your MAG (if your GM uses the Houserule that makes ware only lower your Maximum)
  • It allows you access to the Metaplanes, which are seen as mystical realms where spirits come from
  • It allows you to learn Metamagics. These are the big things. Many people initiate just for them (e.g. Masking, which allows you to mask your astral signature. Or Centering which gives you extra dice to resist Drain if you do a predefined action)
  • It gives you access to Ally Spirits. Which RAW are bonkers


Quote:
I'm guessing Rigging is completely broken, then? I feel like a pattern is starting to appear...

It is quite powerful. both in 4e and 5e because Drones are dirt cheap. And in 5e especially because you can use them to attack more than once per IP.

Quote:
I'm seeing .63s and .22s for ESS as well and I can't say I'm a fan of non-rounded numbers, seems too exception-heavy and fiddly.

Welcome to Shadowrun

Quote:
Why are they so scared to just let Trolls be OP beasts? That's how they're written. Sounds fun to me.

They simply overestimate the value of STR and BOD.

Quote:
What is with the lifespan thing? Orcs dying earlier makes some sense in Shadow of the Demon Lord because they're the result of dark arcane experiments to create super soldiers. In Shadowrun... no reason why Elves and Orks wouldn't live just as long as each other and definitely longer than Humans.

Eh, it's an old thing from 1e onwards. Mostly it doesn't matter, but I can understand it as a metaphor for "The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long"


Quote:
MRL is one of the better stats that's come out of any game I've played or hosted. The sheer amount of stupid shit players do and have done in my games over the years because there's no real, tangible, mechanical punishment for doing it is just in-fucking-sane. It has nothing to do with catholic guilt and everything to do with the Golden Rule (i.e. don't fuck with others if you yourself don't want to get fucked). I'm not a fan in the slightest of divorcing reprecussions from choices just because "I AM A CREATURE OF THE NIGHT! I MUST FEAST ON THE BLOOD OF INNOCENTS BLARGH BLARGH!"

Eh, that feels too much like "Rocks fall, everyone dies". You should totally be able to do bad stuff in a game where you are playing monsters, and I rather have the world and the people react to that, than to get told "You did bad thing? Here's punishment without in-universe justification"

Quote:
On a related note, I really don't think mixing EXP with actual morality was a good design choice.

In 4e and 5e Karma (the points) and Karma (the concept) have a tenuous, long-range relationship. Yes, in 5e you get extra Karma or Nuyen depending on how evil the run was. But you can do a Evil run and still do good things, or a Good run and still kick puppies on the way.

Quote:
And then having two separate stats in Street Cred and Rep.

Que? There are three stats connected to your reputation:

  • Street Cred: How much the street and the Runner circles respect you. Gives you extra dice to negotiations with people that know about you.
  • Notoriety: How infamous you are. Gives penalties to tests where you want people to see you in a good light or trust you. Gives extra dice when using intimidation or fear.
    In 4e it also tells us that GMs may use it against you by letting you be targeted by police, people out for revenge or people trying to make a name for themselves.
  • Public Awareness: How known you are to the wide public. Bigger means that people have a higher chance to know about you.
    That can be good (if you want to use your Street Cred but the other guy can't remember who you are) or bad (if the police and security forces keep a dossier on you.)


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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh, yes, another flaw of SR as of late and that is purely the actual developers/writers fault:
THEY EXPECT YOU TO KNOW LEGACY STUFF LIKE THE FACT THAT A DATAJACK CAN BE PLACED ANYWHERE YOU WANT IN YOUR BODY.
Because that is mentioned not even once in SR4 or 5 for example.
In SR3, there were eye-socket datajacks and induction pad datajacks.
And you could put them into body compartments, for example, finger-tips.
Or into Cyber-Limbs.
And there are many more of those things.

You think me jesting?
http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=42043
Appearantly not . .

Trolls used to rule combat in SR3, as long as nobody went agent the NO CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS ON THE BATTLEFIELD Gentlemans agreement. A proper specced Troll could shoot a bow and arrow with more damage than a PAC. He could cleave armored vehicles in twain with his trusty dikote covered Polearm. He could take a shotgun blast to the face and simply not take any damage. With a good setup and a bit of luck on the dice rolls, i managed to take 2 boxes of damage from 4 stun grenades rolled under my troll. No chunky salsa. Another Gentlemans Agreement.
Trolls could use 2-Handed weapons (yes, both melee AND firearms) as if they were one handed basically . . There was nothing to stop a Troll from getting into a sweet ass suit of Heavy Milspec Armor with dermal and bone armor and high Toughness and shrug off enough incoming fire to level small buildings.
And then they could shoot back with not one but two PACs because they can use those things onehanded/akimbo style.

In SR4, Trolls became surprisingly athletic.
There were Number-Games of Char-Gen Trolls that could climb up walls faster than anybody else could run in a straight line.
Or Trolls that ran faster than sports cars.
One very min/max Troll concept in SR4 moved slowly, but with how he was set up, he seemed to erode barriers and be able to simply walk through walls because of his unarmed damage against barriers.

And of course that got the usual ZOMGWTFHAXNERFNAO! Response from basically everybody because nobody aside from a small percentage actually likes playing Trolls. Because Trolls are good at Trolling, because they can often take and break the rules-system over their knee . .
See the SR3 DMG and Toughness-Examples i mentioned.

SR3 Trolls used to be 2.5 to 3m Tall weighting in at around 500 kilos of muscle and natural armor and a bad temper to match the rest.
People simply do not understand the reality of what a Troll is and does!

Spoilered because fuck off huge pictures . .
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Trill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stahlseele wrote:
One very min/max Troll concept in SR4 moved slowly, but with how he was set up, he seemed to erode barriers and be able to simply walk through walls because of his unarmed damage against barriers.


Ah, yes. Bear-Who-Walks-Through-Walls. A Bear shapeshifter adept putting everything into barrier breaking powers. A character who could slowly tunnel through a bunker
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yes. A FUN CONCEPT TO ACTUALLY PLAY.
Which is rare enough in Shadowrun.
Because mostly, people want to play black Trenchcoat Sunglasses games ._.
Where is the Bright Green half Meter Mohawk crowd? ;_;

Much to my chagrin, i have to actually admit that i had more ideas for neat systems for SR4 and 5 than i could ever make work under SR3 rules . .
I just refuse to play using SR4 and SR5 rules for obvious reasons.

Technically, SR3 was the most perfect Rules-System for the Game.
Sadly, you'd need to actually make it run on a computer to actually be able to play it using all of those nifty rules because fuck that noise doing 100 pages of speciality rules per arche type by memory / hand . .
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

PrometheanVigil wrote:
What's the genre-defining thing you're specifically talking about here?


It's a moving target because the things that people latch onto about a genre or game can be rather personal and inexplicable. For example, let's take your own comment:


PrometheanVigil wrote:

Exactly: it's a Cyberpunk game. Therefore you should encourage both the extreme and the mild. Caution or power, you can't have both and it's another way of encouraging cyborgs/augmented as their own archetype. This way you don't get the apparent stupidity of a system where there's no real drawbacks for the majority of PCs in becoming essentially a robot... but yet not actually being a robot.

This of course now is heavily divering from actual system issues and is more design preference, so yeah.


I won't really pretend to understand this mindset. This is probably some riff on the "Everything has a price" spiel that the SR5 developers got hooked on, but that's never been as self-evident to me as it apparently is to you and some other cyberpunk fans. I mean, at the end of the day Robocop still chose to call himself Murphy and honestly the whole bit where people are less human because they have super advanced prosthetics is one of the those areas where things get kinda sketchy and ableist. I'd rather treat essence mostly as a build limiter and just support a wide variety of character builds instead.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
This way you don't get the apparent stupidity of a system where there's no real drawbacks for the majority of PCs in becoming essentially a robot

Yeah, no . . fuck that noise in particular.
All that will ever acccompish is making even less people want to use cybernetics.
There ARE optional free to take disadvantages that actually give you some points, if you want to take them. But if you make that shit mandatory?
Nope, only more magic run will follow. Because . . oh look . . it is, again, only the mundanes and augmented being punished . . not the magic people who can tell the laws of physics to get bent. Noo . . of coouursee noot!
Why would they, who are the pinaccle of purity of body, mind and soul need something bad like this happening to them?
Because they can rape people with their mind. Or set them on fire. WITH THEIR MIND. Power corrupts. Magical power corrups way more than being a bit stronger and faster and tougher than ever before.
Same for the matrix types. If you can think at the speed of light and basically control the world with your mind and steer floating gun bots with it, then yes, you too are way further gone than somebody who can blindshot a target at 100m with whatever weapon you give them.
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Trill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stahlseele wrote:
All that will ever acccompish is making even less people want to use cybernetics.

Have to agree. 5e is already Magicrun as fuck, simply because only mundanes get weakened.
I calculated an example, where if you take some hard runs twice a month you can upgrade your Move-By-Wire system from 1 to 2, giving you one more INI and one more initiative die, after 6 months of constantly running. And that's if no unexpected costs come up (in which case the time goes up) and if you don't buy anything else.
Meanwhile the adept will be able to initiate twice, giving him Improved Reflexes 1->3 (+2 INI and +2d6) AND have a lot of cash lying around
And the mage was able to buy himself a nice big powerfocus, increasing his power even more.
And of course this is only if you constantly take hard runs. Normal runs and/or runs that reward more karma? you likely need even more time and the awakened advance even further.


And you are saying that we should penalize the mundanes further?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Archetype balance is complicated in Shadowrun, and is somewhat different in the different editions.

The biggest general issue is that Magic is hard locked. People who aren't a spellcaster archetype cannot cast spells. Anything magic is good at in the edition of your choice is an absolute advantage for Magicians.

The converse of that is that non-magical abilities are soft-locked at best. There is nothing a Street Samurai can do that a Magician couldn't also do. The idea is only that whatever dicepool or number of actions or whatever that a Street Samurai is getting to do whatever it is they are doing is somewhat better at whatever resource point you are talking about. At the limit of infinite karma, the Mage could do everything you can do and also summon a giant fire monster that is immune to bullets - but actual characters in an actual game should find that the Street Samurai can afford higher stats and skills and more cyberware and be the best on the team in their chosen specialist field.

The game balance issues with Riggers are separate and more complicated. The core issue is that the ability to shoot 6 times instead of once is very powerful. Especially in 5th edition, when they made a half-assed effort to keep anyone but Riggers from taking more than one attack in an initiative pass. On the flip side, if fights are tough enough that they lose their toys, Riggers can easily end up losing more money than they make on missions, which is just like not getting to advance at all.

-Frank
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Another big point in favor of Magicians is that you actually have to work pretty hard to build one that's completely incompetent. I've seen newbies produce some pretty sad samurai and unaugmented jack-of-all-trade sheets in my day but virtually any shaman that rolls out of bed in the morning with the ability to cast Heal and summon a force 4 spirit will be a playable utility character irrespective of what else it is they're capable of doing.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

An unaugmented jack of all trades?
I thought that was the Samurai Job Description?
Swiss Army Katana?
Get the Attributes high, get a good Skillwire-Set.
Get two dozend skills. Call it a day?
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PrometheanVigil
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Trill wrote:
Initiation has 4 purposes


Thanks.

Trill wrote:
Eh, that feels too much like "Rocks fall, everyone dies". You should totally be able to do bad stuff in a game where you are playing monsters, and I rather have the world and the people react to that, than to get told "You did bad thing? Here's punishment without in-universe justification"


Too arbitrary. Mechanical consequence is best. Otherwise, it's down to the GM and in my experience, most GMs are shit at or cowards about coming down on stupid shit. At least if you give them this, they've got something to lean on or we've now just confirmed they're a shithead and shouldn't be hosting games at all.

To be clear, "bad thing" here is rape, murder, torture, GBH... to tell me this wouldn't fuck with you unless you were a psychopath means we exist on two separate planes of reality here.

Trill wrote:
In 4e and 5e Karma (the points) and Karma (the concept) have a tenuous, long-range relationship. Yes, in 5e you get extra Karma or Nuyen depending on how evil the run was. But you can do a Evil run and still do good things, or a Good run and still kick puppies on the way.


It's linked. No matter how tenuous, it's still linked. Bad design choice. I mean, this in itself goes against your preferred "do as thou wilt shalt be thine length of thy law" since you'll lose precious EXP because you knocked over a homeless person's tent/shopping cart accidentally.

Trill wrote:


  • Street Cred: How much the street and the Runner circles respect you. Gives you extra dice to negotiations with people that know about you.
  • Notoriety: How infamous you are. Gives penalties to tests where you want people to see you in a good light or trust you. Gives extra dice when using intimidation or fear.
    In 4e it also tells us that GMs may use it against you by letting you be targeted by police, people out for revenge or people trying to make a name for themselves.
  • Public Awareness: How known you are to the wide public. Bigger means that people have a higher chance to know about you.
    That can be good (if you want to use your Street Cred but the other guy can't remember who you are) or bad (if the police and security forces keep a dossier on you.)


Yes, this stuff. I put it all under Rep in my head.

See, there was no need for them to make Karma also be EXP here. Notoriety serves the purpose perfectly. Act like a psycho, get trusted less or get called only for nasty jobs. Great, wonderful, totally cool. Why is there a problem with this being mechanically represented?

Stahlseele wrote:
Another Gentlemans Agreement.
Trolls could use 2-Handed weapons (yes, both melee AND firearms) as if they were one handed basically . . There was nothing to stop a Troll from getting into a sweet ass suit of Heavy Milspec Armor with dermal and bone armor and high Toughness and shrug off enough incoming fire to level small buildings.
And then they could shoot back with not one but two PACs because they can use those things onehanded/akimbo style.

In SR4, Trolls became surprisingly athletic.
There were Number-Games of Char-Gen Trolls that could climb up walls faster than anybody else could run in a straight line.
Or Trolls that ran faster than sports cars.
One very min/max Troll concept in SR4 moved slowly, but with how he was set up, he seemed to erode barriers and be able to simply walk through walls because of his unarmed damage against barriers.

Spoilered because fuck off huge pictures . .


Thanks for spoilering. Also, why is there a piece of Dragon Age concept art in there, I swore the first two characters look like Qunar'ii.

Also, that last pic is hilarious. That is why I can't understand for the life of me why they'd want to N-E-R-F Trolls as hard as they have, apparently. I thought the whole point was that Trolls were essentially they're own archetype? The others being close to the trad racial implementation.

Gentlemen's Agreement? Well, that's just system failure right there.

Trill wrote:
Ah, yes. Bear-Who-Walks-Through-Walls.


Hah hah!

Whipstitch wrote:

I won't really pretend to understand this mindset. This is probably some riff on the "Everything has a price" spiel that the SR5 developers got hooked on, but that's never been as self-evident to me as it apparently is to you and some other cyberpunk fans. I mean, at the end of the day Robocop still chose to call himself Murphy and honestly the whole bit where people are less human because they have super advanced prosthetics is one of the those areas where things get kinda sketchy and ableist. I'd rather treat essence mostly as a build limiter and just support a wide variety of character builds instead.


I appreciate the honesty. This is why this convo as a whole has gone a lot better than if I had, say, did this thread on RPG.net . *shudder*

I agree with you on the ESS stuff. My problem is that the game has inextricably linked morality with stuff core to the system instead of making it its own sub-system like in NWOD or WH40KRP. Either we work with it or we rework it by surgical separation the way I've suggested. But if the designers have done it like this already, obviously they feel these two things are one and the same.

Trill wrote:
And you are saying that we should penalize the mundanes further?


This game just gets more broken the further on your level up your build, jesus...

Direct reply: everyone should be penalized or, barring that reductionist approach (which seems to have happened each edition by the sound of it), simply balance the game systems better by challenging the unintentioned magic supremacy.

I feel like when I host this, after a few sessions, I'll come up with a pretty decent solution. Did it with NWOD, did it with WH40KRP, The Void, pretty much every game I've come in contact with that did something that just held it back from being greater. Shit, I even had to do this with SOTDL to make sure the PCs actually got a basic income every Lvl and their Professions fed into that.

FrankTrollman wrote:
Archetype balance is complicated in Shadowrun, and is somewhat different in the different editions.


So, once again, you're saying that the system is fucked in specific, very grating ways in just that many more words than that?

See the thing is -- and maybe this is my problem, you know, trying to give my players variable and interesting challenges -- I'm gonna want to throw all sorts of stuff at my players in-game. Drones, adepts, SWAT, traps, mages, shaman, rival shadowrunners, gang members, mafia, spirits etc... And I'm gonna want to provide setups rewarding their archetypes and, in those same scenarios, challenge their builds.

Am I wrong for wanting to do that in Shadowrun?
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yes, Trolls are hillarious.
Which is, sadly, very much the core of the Problem.

What do you think, when you see Cyberpunk?
Do you see an urban wasteland, a hellhole where people fight and kill each other for minutes of electricity, some mouldy food, a few mouth full of water?
A world where the law means nothing and money means everything?
A world george orwell would weep to see and again and again proclaim that his book 1984 was not meant to be used as a HOW TO for a world.
Do you see people sneaking around high security laboratories trying to foil megacorporation world wide schemes without leaving a trace and vanish by putting on a long dark grey trench coat and a set of sunglasses?

Or do you see a 3m tall muscle packet that would make rambo envious of his physical prowress in both body and weaponry storming along the streets waving a 0,5m tall birght neon green mohawk while a mage is casting lightning, a shaman is telling a city spirit to go in there and smash some shit up, while a rigger rides a glowing fist physical adept into close combat on a hover bike and all just to try and steal some amenities from a delivery convoy?

That is the Problem for/with Trolls.
People for some fucked up reason do not want shoot outs between Gandalf and Robocop/Terminator in the streets <.<
And Trolls simply do not fit into Oceans 11 and Matrix Style stuff.


As for the Gentlemans Agreements:
They are sadly very necessary, because otherwise there would only be Glass-Cannons and not even who shoots first wins.
If you implement chemical/biological weaponry, then it's more or less assured mutual knock out/destruction.
Same with Chunky Salsa. A simple Grenade can and will reach enormous damage codes and actually be able to blow up parts of buildings . .
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