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    300 KB Shadowrun Edition Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)10:57 No.2383107  
    Hey /tg/

    I've been a fan of cyberpunk for some time, and always wanted to play Shadow Run. I'd like to buy me some core rulebooks and get started on maybe finding some players, but before I do, I was wondering if there was anything I should know.

    Specifically, I was wondering about "editions." A few years ago, when I first started playing D&D, I would have simply assumed that the newest version was the best one--but now I wonder what would have happened if 4e had been out when I started playing D&D. I would have gotten the 4e rulebooks since they were the newest, and that would suck. (3.5 is still my favorite I think, though I'd like to spend more time with AD&D before I make the final judgment call.)

    So with fourth edition Shadowrun apparently being the newest one out there, should I pick that one up? Or does third, or second edition hold a hidden treasure trove of cool stuff that was deemed "too confusing" or "too adult" for later editions?

    TL;DR: Which edition of shadowrun is best, and why?
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)11:53 No.2383449
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    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:00 No.2383490
    Third Edition is best
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:05 No.2383516
    I swear by third edition, though there are many who testify by second.

    Fourth edition looks good, but I never got into it. Nothing against the rules, I just dislike a few decisions they made for the new edition. Although I do like how you can kind of modify magic to fit whatever tradition you're trying to make.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:29 No.2383646
    And, to elaborate: Fourth edition turns everything wireless. Instead of needing to physically jack into the internet. Alongside that, in Third the hacker archetype needed a special computer do to this, but they made an alternate to this hacker that could do it all in their mind. They called this alternate the Otaku.

    The Otaku are an aspect of Third that many players, even those who stick to third, rage over. Internet powered children who serve AIs and stuff. I don't like them simply because they make the Matrix rules even more complicated.

    Anyway, they made this Otaku type a core archetype, instead of adding it into the inevitable supplement, which is a big thing I dislike about 4e Shadowrun. Because, like in DnD core, you usually come off as a jerk when you ban something in the core books.

    Also: They changed magic around a bit. In third there were two types of spell slingers: Hermetic wizards, and shamanic wizards. Hermets learned their spells from books, shamans gained it from very powerful spirits called totems. The differences between the two were mechanical as well as flavorful. Think like the differences between an arcane spellcaster and a divine spellcaster. In fourth, they changed shamans, making the difference be purely flavorful, instead of including flavor and mechanic differences.

    Aside from that, they did change the rules a lot.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:29 No.2383647
    Depends on the feel you are going for. 3rd is a little more classic cyberpunk (Gibson, ect.) 4th has a more GitS feel to it. Personally I love 3rd.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:31 No.2383657
    I say 3e all the way.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:31 No.2383659
    The feel is usually based off the GM you have though. You can easily do Gibson or GitS in either version.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:32 No.2383661
    The one thing that I think 4e did right was basically make decking and magic use the same rules. It's all called different stuff, and some things are different, but for the most part if you grok one you grok the other.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:33 No.2383666
    Does anyone remember the Matrix rules in 2e? It's the classic way to put the party to sleep.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:35 No.2383677
    Though decking will always be clumsy. Hell, any activity only one party member can do, that separates him from a good deal of the action, will be a clumsy affair.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:40 No.2383711
    This is the fatal flaw of Shadowrun (no pun intended).
    Frankly, each member of the team is pretty much suited to doing one thing, and you have to cater to each fucking one of them or have them just sit out the whole adventure.
    A good GM should cater to his players, but I often found myself inserting gratuitous Matrix hacks and car chases to keep my Decker and Rigger from just playing 40K instead.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:41 No.2383718
    true, but I was referring to the wireless matrix and augmented reality being like GitS rather than being something one needs to physically connect to like in classic 80's cyberpunk
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:41 No.2383722
    40k rocks. I'm going to go play it now...CATCH YOU LATER, CHUMMERS!
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:44 No.2383736
    Do they have rules for artificial people yet?

    I wanna do a Bladerunner homage.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:44 No.2383744
    4th attempts to fix that a bit with augmented reality (rather than going full VR all the time) and by streamlining the rules, but yeah, that will always be a problem
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)12:53 No.2383812
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    OP here, thanks a whole lot! Based on this thread it looks like I'll be looking into 3rd edition first--which should save me some money on books hopefully!

    For all your help, I have constructed a robot which fires cookies. Enjoy!


    They seriously have a psychic hacker named Otaku? That's fucking dumb.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)13:08 No.2383934
    I never got around to 3rd, but I played 2nd a LOT and have read over all the materials for 4th in an effort to give my players a new game to choose from (right now we either play D&D or have an NES marathon)

    2nd was clunky. Fun, but hella clunky. As soon as the fight got to 3 PCs on 4 corpsec guys, a single combat round took 45 minutes of real time. 4th (and I think 3rd did this as well, someone want to tell me I'm right/wrong?) uses the easy-mode of generating successes like White Wolf games do.... roll a d6, 5 or 6 hits. Reroll 6's, the more, the better. 2nd had insane target numbers and you had to roll ridiculous amounts of successive 6's to get a hit sometimes. It worked, but took a while (soaking panther cannon damage on an armored car for example, involved *exaggerate* a billion dice.) 4th also allows for Matrix and real combat to happen alongside one another without the decker being a meat-bag/liability. You can try to hack a security system while shooting your gun down the hall. Since the matrix now shows on your AR display, at all times, it makes it more accessible. In 2nd, it was smoke break time as the decker hacked the mainframe. Now he can do it while under fire.

    I can't vouch for 3rd, but 4th has my vote of confidence for well-rounded game mechanics. 2nd is possibly the most elaborate and dice-intensive game I've ever played, but still fun. I'd houserule in 4th ed Matrix if I was going to play 2nd again, for sure.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)13:30 No.2384111
    3rd is the breach between second and fourth. Target numbers varied, with simple things like shooting a target that's standing still on the other side of the room requiring a four, or five if the room is really big, to hit, shooting a guy on the other end of the stadium, while he's dodging at night with poor lighting, and smoke everywhere would be up the alley of second.

    And, anyone who finds it hard to include car chases in for their riggers either has players who are careful to not trip the alarms, or never sends the cops after their players once they're ready to leave the building.

    Plus, anyone can be used as an extra gun.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)13:32 No.2384143
    Not psychic. He just needs a basic datajack to break into computers. Their minds automatically adapt the data into signals the brain can understand, where usually the special computers are what do this.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:04 No.2384373
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    +5 informative.


    Still...they called it an Otaku?
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:07 No.2384393
    Yeah... Dunno exactly why either.. I guess 'cause Otaku means shut in, and they have a hard time dealing with regular people.
    >> ENN EEE ESS !!kWh5qRrO2dA 08/20/08(Wed)14:14 No.2384445
    I've been playing/GM'ing since 2nd. 3rd is damn good but 4th makes the game so much more playable and you don't really sacrifice much.

    2nd = holy shit '80's, ridiculously complex rules
    3rd = tons of minutia, super-detailed, very robust
    4th = great balance of depth and playability, easier to learn for a newcomer, cooler/more modern tech
    >> ENN EEE ESS !!kWh5qRrO2dA 08/20/08(Wed)14:24 No.2384507
    Perfect example of 3rd vs. 4th IMHO:

    3rd has EXTENSIVE rules for car customization, and you can even design a vehicle from the ground up using rules in-game. Unfortunately these are pretty open to abuse.

    Ex: I could buy a sports-car, but then add enviro-seal to the passenger compartment and add a seconday waterjet propulsion system. AQUA-CAR IS GO.

    4th Edition allows for a decent amount of customization, but prefers balance and ease of use for its system over flexibility.

    Ex: I can add weapon systems to a car that shouldn't have any, but the added weight QUICKLY causes the car to move/accelerate slower and handle worse.

    The same could be side for fire-arms. Ridiculously flexible/abusable rules for building/modifying firearms in 3rd have been replaced with balanced yet still-robust options in 4th (though you cant build from scratch).

    One major improvement has been hand-to-hand combat in 4th (via Martial Arts styles). The game has struggled with a way of making melee combat more involved than "we compare scores/successes and the loser takes damage over and over" for a long-time and 4th is the best yet.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:29 No.2384539
    OP here,

    Some 4th ed people starting to speak out--based on the initial response I thought it was more one sided.

    I'll certainly have to think on this. It sounds like 3 is more in depth and customizable--which I like. But with 4th being more streamlined, with modern tech, that sounds nice as well.

    I'm reading all of this eagerly. It's quite interesting! My thanks to everyone contributing.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:31 No.2384546
    3rd had martial arts styles too, see the Cannon Companion.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:33 No.2384568
    My players are, and have been, pros at most RPGs.
    They love the uber-planning shit.
    But I mean it about the car chases.
    I had this whole campaign ark where they had to go out into the swamp to find this shaman before the BBEG did, and it was a disaster. Half the characters were bystanders. At least the rigger had fun with his chopper and drones.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:35 No.2384582
    Oh, I see... I usually stick to the cities, so I can always incorporate a car chase.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:37 No.2384597
    For extra lulz go for 4th edition... you will cause all that old neckbeards playing 3rd and prior editions to RAGE because of your mere existence
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:42 No.2384641

    I'm going to weigh in for 4th ed. I think a lot of the grognards tout 3rd because they're not willing to deal with the massive revisions to the rules.

    No matter what edition you buy, Shadowrun is an industrial strength rules system. It has rules for everything, but it doesn't always play that fast. That being said, 4th ed is vastly superior in terms of playability.

    Reasons to buy 4th ed:
    - Much faster, more streamlined rules. Running anything is quicker and easier now. People moan about chucking larger handfuls of dice, but the actual resolution process is much faster.
    - Unified and consistent mechanics. The same general theories apply across the rules, whereas 3rd edition had a very disparate set of mechanics.
    - The switch to entirely wireless matrix makes the world feel somewhat more futuristic, rather than you sitting wondering why everyone is still using cables.
    - Rules for vehicles and hacking no longer require a masters in pure mathematics.
    - Flexible and open magic rules that allow easy integration of your own traditions.
    - Global setting approach; you aren't just limited to Seattle anymore, the setting is much more broad and open now.
    - Fewer core rulebooks needed (They managed to fold the vehicles and equipment into one book without losing anything important)
    - Magic and the Matrix now run on the same time scale as the physical world, so players no longer sit around twiddling their thumbs. Similarly hackers now have a reason to come along with the party on the run, so they don't just sit at home eating pizza anymore.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:43 No.2384644

    Be prepared to spend around £120. You'll need the following books:
    - 4th Edition Core Book
    - Street Magic
    - Augmentation
    - Unwired
    - Arsenal
    - Runner's Companion

    All have now been released, and they're all fantastic books. They ooze quality, and are packed full of useful rules, cool gear, and interesting fluff.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:44 No.2384649
    4ed rules are better in a way, if you like just ignore the wireless.
    Houserule that AR works over wireless, but VR still needs fiberoptics, due to far more bandwide required.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:45 No.2384669

    Holy shit I love Ghost in the Shell! But some of the characters would effectively be dead according Shadowrun rules. Especially the Major.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:46 No.2384672

    This cash would buy you several Storygames which will provide you fun for greater amount of time than Shadowrun...

    Just stick with corebook, it's enought...
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:47 No.2384681

    Which is another reason to go for 4th ed. The vehicle rules are much simpler, and the game includes a very good set of abstract rules for running chase scenes.

    With wireless matrix and all the rest, your hacker can now try to futz with the autonav on your target's car, or mess with the city lights grid, all from the back seat of the team's sedan, whilst the mage lobs spells and the sammy leans out the window with a shotgun.

    I've run some immensely cool chase sequences in 4th ed. Riggers are good, but not ridiculous anymore. They work best when assigning a few simple orders, or just focussing on one vehicle, and there are some nice checks and balances so that they don't dominate whilst still being the kind of threat that a guy in an armoured car should be.
    >> ENN EEE ESS !!kWh5qRrO2dA 08/20/08(Wed)14:50 No.2384703
    They introduced them there, but they were pretty clunky.

    4th ed improves them, and makes it more fun to play a melee-centric character.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:51 No.2384713

    Fuck no! The Major is full borg. That means she has 6 extra damage boxes straight up, she can raise her body to 10 whilst still being a puny human, and she can add a shit tonne of armour on there as well. If you have the money then full body cyborgs are damn near indestructible.
    >> ENN EEE ESS !!kWh5qRrO2dA 08/20/08(Wed)14:53 No.2384725
    4th ed has rules for full cyborgs. The Major and such can exist just fine, but it's implied that there's at least some mental trauma associated with basically having your whole body surgically removed.

    At least it's not as bad as cyberzombie-ism, and it's funny to note that not only is the Move-by-wire system comparatively affordable now, but it wont require you to get a lobotomy every three months or go insane.

    Lasers are cheaper now, too. PEW PEW PEW!
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:53 No.2384726

    Ah, wait, you mean essence cost. Still totally doable, she just needs to Delta everything. With the kind of budget the government is throwing at her, no problemo.
    Also it's indicated that all full borgs in GitS have organic parts, so you can include bioware for extra goodness at low cost.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:53 No.2384727
    To be fair, third had a good reason why the decker came footslogging with everyone else: Some buildings had their own private networks established, so you couldn't just hack into the gobal net, you had to go down and hack the office's net from the inside.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)14:58 No.2384756

    I have a weapon specialist running on Move By Wire 2. In the last session he killed a dragon. The GM was... a little surprised to say the least.

    Granted, he'd forgotten that my kit bag included a one shot rocket launcher. It also helps that I had Edge 6.

    Oh, yeah. Edge. Another reason to play 4th edition.

    Oh, and for all those that cared, you can still do Priority based character gen in 4th ed. The rules are in Runner's Companion.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)15:03 No.2384789

    The point is that they made it workable now. In 3rd the decker just kept his head down until they found somewhere for him to plug in. In 4th the decker can hack in AR whilst running along with the rest of the party, and even weighing in, in a fight.

    A really cool build now is the merc hacker. Wired 3, hack in AR, keep your assault rifle handy. You can lay down suppressing fire while you hack the building's system to shut the lights off and then switch to night vision, open and shut doors to change lines of fire, take over control of gun turrets, and whatever else takes your fancy.
    >> ENN EEE ESS !!kWh5qRrO2dA 08/20/08(Wed)15:05 No.2384806
    Edge > Dice Pools

    Goddamn if I ever have to portion combat, dodge, and task pool ever again it'll be too soon.

    Somewhat related:

    Encephalon + Tactical Computer+ Orientation System + Wired Reflexes = HOLY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT BULLET TIME in 3rd Ed.
    >> ENN EEE ESS !!kWh5qRrO2dA 08/20/08(Wed)15:07 No.2384816
    You forgot the penultimate: hack your enemies weapons and deactivate them.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)15:10 No.2384833
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    Wow, this is going to be a really tough decision between the two. The 4e supporters are bringing a lot of REALLY good points to the table.

    Perhaps I should acquire digital copies of the basic rulebooks from third and fourth ed. to help decide...
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)15:10 No.2384837

    Doesn't work so well. Smartlinks only have a signal range of 3 metres (they only need to communicate with your commlink), so unless you're standing right behind the guy it's kind of tricky.

    It's like Bluetooth hacking... it works until the guy works out what you're up to and punches you in the hooter.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)15:12 No.2384847
    I've played third edition for a long time. I can't get into 4th.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)15:20 No.2384887
    Oh I forgot, bioware uses essence now also (use the larger of the two costs). In 2nd it went against your body stat, which meant you could have a troll with a shit-ton of bioware.

    I had a melee-centered character that would routinely get init rolls in the high 30s - low 40s. Managed to cross a parking lot, jump over a car, and kill 2 guys while my team-mates were drawing their guns.

    It's not that extreme anymore.
    >> ENN EEE ESS !!kWh5qRrO2dA 08/20/08(Wed)15:22 No.2384899
    PIggyback into their group's shared PAN using a sniffer program on your own commlink. From there you can route your connection into the linked firearm, or you can just sever the connection between commlink and firearm in the link. If they have any kind of safe-target/linked safety in the weapon they become locked out.

    I never really thought about hacking the weapon directly, but I suppose it would be easier since they don't usually pack encryption programs into assault rifles.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)15:24 No.2384911
    I first that was Batou from the thumbnail until I clicked on it.

    Now, what would the Major's stats in Shadowrun be exactly? That would be amusing to see.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)16:08 No.2385152
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    I don't know about the Major, but I did once stat the girls from Gunslinger Girl as part of a campaign. Even assuming pathetic starting stats, on account of being little kiddies, they were absolutely monstrous after I'd burned through 6 essence worth of delta. Move By Wire 3 is terrifying to behold.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)16:19 No.2385211

    Holy crap, I would never have thought of doing that...
    And this is why Shadowrun is freakin awesome.
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)17:14 No.2385562

    How, exactly, does Move By Wire differ from Wired Reflexes?
    >> Anonymous 08/20/08(Wed)17:21 No.2385620
    Am I the only one who experienced a twinge of rage when I saw "mood hair" as a negative quality in the Runner's Companion?

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