log in or register to remove this ad

 

Shadowrun newbie (sort of) question

Zarithar

Adventurer
I have been aware of Shadowrun since it came out in the 80s, and have played the SNES and Sega Genesis carts (which were awesome) as well as both campaigns from the recent CRPG by Harebrained Schemes. That being said, I would love to play the tabletop version of which there are now 5 editions if I count correctly.

Is the current edition the best one to go with if I want to GM the game for my group? Is it easy to pick up and learn?

Thank you!
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Um...

I'm also a Shadowrun player, but I personally would never characterize the game as easy to learn no matter the edition. There's always a learning curve involved.

That said, the newest edition is the one currently supported, and its rules seem to be a bit less confusing than prior editions. So, I would say to go ahead with it and learning it. In my experience, it so far is the one that plays the best... but, keep in mind experience is subjective.
 

Derren

Hero
As Nergal said SR is complex so better go into it slowly, only adding Matrix and magic over time when you are comfortable with the mundane aspects of the game.

Edition is a hotly discussed topic. There is a lot of hate for the current edition from fans, but from a accessibility point of view 5th edition is probably the best.
 

I have no experience with 5th edition, but I've heard it's similar to 4th edition, which I own and played.

For me, the hardest part is the setting, not the rules. The matrix and magic is hard to figure out and use consistently in game. The hacking rules is probably the hardest part for me, which always require that I check the book to remember how it goes. :(

As for magic, going astral is no longer as common as in previous edition. That's a great thing in my book.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
For me, the hardest part is the setting, not the rules

I run a 5e Shadowrun game.

The hardest part of 5e is not the rules, it is the lack of adventure support. Shadowrun, in any edition, has fairly complicated rules, with lots of combat detail. However, that's not what (for most players in my experience) the game is about. Hack and slash in the game gets boring really quickly. The game is really about the baroque interplay between the various major players in the world. The game is about the plot twists and turns. To be blunt, I have yet to see a GM do this nearly as well as the majority of the published adventures for previous editions. I myself, who have no problem putting together adventures for D&D or Deadlands, prefer to use published stuff for Shadowrun for this reason - a writer who has time to do ti right can do a better job with the plot than I can.

However, 5e doesn't have a stock of adventures to use, and more are coming out only very slowly. I an considering having to go back to my stock of 1e and 2e adventures, and retool them for the current edition.

The matrix and magic is hard to figure out and use consistently in game. The hacking rules is probably the hardest part for me, which always require that I check the book to remember how it goes. :(

Well, I skipped some of the middle editions, but 5e has fixed a major part of hackers - they now can play a support role in the physical world, and a great deal of the information gathering they do doesn't need a full matrix run like in older editions. The basic mechanics of what they then do are simple, and easy to remember (or put on a chart) so a good chunk of the time, you don't need to remember the fullness of their rules.

As for magic, going astral is no longer as common as in previous edition. That's a great thing in my book.

I think that's group-dependent. My players do it all the time for scouting.
 
Last edited:

The hardest part of 5e is not the rules, it is the lack of adventure support. Shadowrun, in any edition, has fairly complicated rules, with lots of combat detail. However, that's not what (for most players in my experience) the game is about. Hack and slash in the game gets boring really quickly. The game is really about the baroque interplay between the various major players in the world. The game is about the plot twists and turns. To be blunt, I have yet to see a GM do this nearly as well as the majority of the published adventures for previous editions. I myself, who have no problem putting together adventures for D&D or Deadlands, prefer to use published stuff for Shadowrun for this reason - a writer who has time to do ti right can do a better job with the plot than I can.

However, 5e doesn't have a stock of adventures to use, and more are coming out only very slowly. I an considering having to go back to my stock of 1e and 2e adventures, and retool them for the current edition.

There's a couple of good reasons as to why SR5E has such of a slow publication standard right now.

The first is quality control; Catalyst ran into some quality control issues with publishing books a few months back and has slowed down their publication schedule to address that across the board.

The second is that SR5E's storyline is heavily tied into the plague of people having their identities overwritten. The problem in this area is that it's a multimedia campaign and a lot of the essential campaign elements are tied into Shadowrun Online. So they can't release most of their planned adventures until the MMO is finished.
 

Zarithar

Adventurer
Awesome, thanks for the replies. Looks like I'll be checking out 5th edition. I noticed there is a "beginner's box" for 5e, but the ratings on Amazon are less than stellar. I may just download the quickstart rules and try running the little scenario included with that.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
There's a couple of good reasons as to why SR5E has such of a slow publication standard right now.

That's nice. But it remains that a new GM probably really wants adventure support, and it isn't there at this time, and someone picking up the game should know that.
 

darjr

I crit!
Wait, isn't all the previous editions missions available and isn't there a porting document to update to 5th?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Wait, isn't all the previous editions missions available and isn't there a porting document to update to 5th?

I don't know if all the previous adventures are available - I have most of the stuff from my early days in print form, and haven't had to look.

The only documents I know of take one from 3rd to 4th, and 4th to 5th, not, say, 1st or 2nd to 5th. And they only really handle core rulebook to core rulebook, not supplements. So, if your character was, say, an Magical Initiate, there's problems. And even with a document, converting takes work and time.
 

Zarithar

Adventurer
I picked up the 5e core book and am happy with my initial flip through of it. Does anyone know if there is a bestiary planned? Seems a little lacking in that department!
 

I picked up the 5e core book and am happy with my initial flip through of it. Does anyone know if there is a bestiary planned? Seems a little lacking in that department!
I think so. Every edition puts out a book with magical critters in it.

The main enemies in most games will just be people, though. Lone Star officers and street punks have the same stats as players, give or take. They use the same weapons and spells. Very few of them have any sort of unique powers. One of the abilities that the GM needs to develop is the ability to come up with stats at a moment's notice.
 
Last edited:

Derren

Hero
While previous editions have books about awakened animals those usually come late in an edition cycle unless they make a Threats 3. There are simply more important things to publish first.
As Saelorn said, your main enemy in Shadowrun are usually metahumans. If you need critters not in the book you have to build them yourself.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top