When the New Edition Doesn't Cut It

aramis erak

Legend
No, Shipman wasn't from or based in the UK. He did invent a supposed UK art broker to explain away his thefts. He published what he called a 6th edition.
An edition he pirated from someone else's house rules without their permission. Trollhalla & Trollbridge member Hogzilla, IIRC. I got my PDF of it from the author, not from Shipman.

7th edition was entirely legitimate and published by Fiery Dragon. It wasn't great, but it was authorised.
7th was written by Ken and published by Fiery Dragon under license from Flying Buffalo. The exception being the bundled in "Alternative Rules." See credits for which below.
7.5 was revised by Ken and FD jointly. With input from Trollhalla.

The Alternate Rules in 7.0 was written by FD staff. Hang on, I'll check the PDF...
T&T 7 Alternative Rules said:
Credits
Author: Scott Holden
Design: James Bell, Scott Holden, and Jason Kempton
Editor: Scott Holden
Production: Jason Kempton
Cover Artist: Liz Danforth
Published by Fiery Dragon Productions, 2005. Based on original material by Ken St. Andre and the members of Trollhalla.
 
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Thomas Shey

Legend
HERO, though, has been my favorite system since its initial release (as Champions) in the 1980s. I’d gladly play any version of it…except the FUZION rules.

Fuzion was, as a standalone ruleset, not bad. The superpowers plug-in they did had numerous problems, however and it never worked all that well as a superhero game, and some of the things needed to make it do that were somewhat intractable.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I'm usually pretty stoked when I game I like is coming out with a new edition. And why wouldn't I be? If the new edition of the game is going to improve something I already love then what's not to like. Of course that doesn't happen all the time and on rare occasion I just don't care for the new edition of the game.

The first time this happened was way back in 2000 with the release of Legend of the Five Rings 2nd edition. I had fallen in love with the 1st edition of the game when it was released in 1997 and was excited to purchase the new edition by quickly disappointed when I read the rules. It wasn't all bad. In the 1990s, splat books were king, and a lot of the rules for making characters from different clans was found in the Way of the... series of books, 2nd edition consolidated many of the rules meaning I didn't have to lug around 7 extra books to game night. But, for reasons that escape me to this day, they changed the way you roll skills. In the original version, you rolled your Trait + Skill and kept a number of dice equal to your Trait. i.e. If I had a 4 Strength and a 3 Wrestling I would roll 7 dice and keep 4. For second edition, you just roll the Trait and keep the Skill. So that same character would roll 4 dice and keep 3 of them.

More recently, I had the opportunity to run a Cyberpunk Red campaign, and the generally consensus among my group is that it isn't a very good game. For a little background, I absolutely loved the hell out of Cyberpunk 2020 back in the 1990s, and I had been looking forward to a new edition of the game for a number of years. (Cyberpunk V3.0 isn't something we talk about.) Of course I picked up the video game Cyberpunk 2077, and was super stoked to learn Mike Pondsmith was creating a new version of the classic and moving the timeline along. Probably my biggest problem with Cyberpunk Red is that I don't particularly care for the setting, the economy doesn't make sense, and some of the choices they made regarding rules leave someting to desire.

It's nearly impossible even to have an automobile as they are prohibitively expensive, but if you're character has the role of a Nomad they at least have access to a car. In a game where style is supposed to be more important than substance, having to walk or take the bus to your highly illegal mission is kind of a bummer. And there's a cognitive dissonance between the art, much of which presents your typical cyberpunk cityscape with cars, cyberware, etc., etc., with a setting where you have to go to a special night market (black market) just to buy a regular rifle or pistol. I want to run another game of Cyberpunk, but I'm going to use the rules from way back in 1991.
I feel you about L5R. At least (imo) 3e and 4e did a better job of iterating on the original rules.

For Cyberpunk, you complained about the rules but your complaint examples are all about the updated setting. Why don't you just use the new rules with the 2020 setting?
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I bought the 5th edition of Shadowrun, read it, and promptly decided I'd never run it. It's a great setting, but the rules are such a hot mess that I don't want to bother with them.


I skipped 3.5 because it pissed me off. I didn't think the changes warranted a new edition and then I skipped 4E because I didn't care for the changes.


You are so wrong to post photos of that!
I never skipped an edition of D&D until One, but I regret the time I spent with 4e, and wish I had skipped it.
 


Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
In my defense, I didn't notice the potato head halflings until after I purchased the book.


No, it's not that. The economy just doesn't make sense when it comes to the price of goods. A 50 round drum magazine for your rifle costs 500 eurodollars. A cyber leg also costs 500 eurodollars. A drum magazine for a rifle is something a halfway competent machinest could make in their garage with some sheet metal and basic tools whereas a cybernetic leg requires sophisticated manufacturing infrastructure including a well educated workforce and a robust supply chain. But they're both 500 eurodollars?

The game takes place more than twenty years after the 4th Corporate War which disrupted a lot of the infrastructure meaning it's still difficult to manfucature things. So a crummy sub-compact car, the equivalent of a Yugo, costs about $20,000 euros, and is outside the reach of almost everyone. This doesn't explain why a sophisticated piece of equipment like a cybernetic leg costs the same amount as a drum magazine.

Some people might like the setting, but I don't. I don't like the idea that group of cyberpunks have to take the bus to their next mission because nobody can afford a Yugo let alone a van. I don't like the fact that the special ability of one of the character roles, the Nomad, is that they have access to a car. Their special ability is to be the group's ride? It's just incredibly lame. Combine the bad setting with lackluster combat rules and uninspiring cybernetics and it's just not a worthy successor to Cyberpunk 2020. Cyberpunk Red isn't the worst RPG I've ever played, but it's one of the most disappointing. And I feel bad saying this because I have a lot of love for Mike Pondsmith. Even after 30 years, the stuff he made for Cyberpunk 2020 is still good.
Yeah, loved Cyberpunk 2020. I picked up the whole run at my LGS a few years ago (to replace the books my short-sighted younger self sold) and have been itching to play it again.
 

MGibster

Legend
I feel you about L5R. At least (imo) 3e and 4e did a better job of iterating on the original rules.

For Cyberpunk, you complained about the rules but your complaint examples are all about the updated setting. Why don't you just use the new rules with the 2020 setting?
The basic rules are fine. Like 2020, you roll a 1d10 and add the results to your Skill + Attribute to resolve basic tasks. Some of the big problems were with combat. To their credit, combat is a bit simplier than it was in 2020, which was actually a welcome change, but some of the design choices were odd.

1. Cover: There's no such thing as partial cover in this game. Either you are 100% behind something that will stop a bullet or you don't receive any benefit of cover. Even going prone offers no benefit as it doesn't make it more difficult to hit you and it doesn't provide any bonuses to shooting.

2. There's no modifiers for aiming or moving during combat. Unless you need to close in for a melee attack, you might as well just sit where you are.

3. They got rid of three round burst. Either you fire your weapon in full automatic mode or you're firing a single shot. This just feels wrong to me.

4. Strength doesn't matter for melee weapons. If I have a cyberarm that does 2d6 damage there's no reason for me to grab a knife because it'll only do 1d6 damage. In 2020, a dude with a Body of 10 would do more damage with a knife than a guy with a Body of 5. That just isn't the case any more.

5. Characters with a Reflex of 8 can dodge bullets. Okay, fine, but there's no limit to the number of times they can dodge in a round which gets ridiculous. In 2020, you couldn't dodge bullets at all. You could move, go prone, or take (partial) cover to make yourself a more difficult target, but you couldn't actually dodge a bullet.

So while combat is a bit quicker than it was in 2020 it's also more generic and therefore rather dull. And for a game like Cyberpunk, combat rules are important.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
The basic rules are fine. Like 2020, you roll a 1d10 and add the results to your Skill + Attribute to resolve basic tasks. Some of the big problems were with combat. To their credit, combat is a bit simplier than it was in 2020, which was actually a welcome change, but some of the design choices were odd.

1. Cover: There's no such thing as partial cover in this game. Either you are 100% behind something that will stop a bullet or you don't receive any benefit of cover. Even going prone offers no benefit as it doesn't make it more difficult to hit you and it doesn't provide any bonuses to shooting.

2. There's no modifiers for aiming or moving during combat. Unless you need to close in for a melee attack, you might as well just sit where you are.

3. They got rid of three round burst. Either you fire your weapon in full automatic mode or you're firing a single shot. This just feels wrong to me.

4. Strength doesn't matter for melee weapons. If I have a cyberarm that does 2d6 damage there's no reason for me to grab a knife because it'll only do 1d6 damage. In 2020, a dude with a Body of 10 would do more damage with a knife than a guy with a Body of 5. That just isn't the case any more.

5. Characters with a Reflex of 8 can dodge bullets. Okay, fine, but there's no limit to the number of times they can dodge in a round which gets ridiculous. In 2020, you couldn't dodge bullets at all. You could move, go prone, or take (partial) cover to make yourself a more difficult target, but you couldn't actually dodge a bullet.

So while combat is a bit quicker than it was in 2020 it's also more generic and therefore rather dull. And for a game like Cyberpunk, combat rules are important.
Agreed. I would stick with 2020 then.
 

soviet

Hero
The whole idea of excitement for (and automatic acceptance of) edition changes is baffling to me. Like, here's this thing that I enjoy. I can't wait for some random new designers and artists who work for the existing or new IP holder to make a completely different version of it.

There are a lot of games where the original is simply the best but they seem to just get memory holed for whatever is currently in print.
 

I seldom pay attention to edition changes. By the time a new edition comes out, I've already house-ruled all the issues, so why buy more books?

Of course, I quit playing D&D in the early 80s, so I avoided those debates.
 

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