View Full Version : Who's playing Shadowrun 4th edition?

Inquisitor Tremayne
07-23-2007, 10:24 PM

I've only ever played 3rd edition and am wodering what sort of changes have been made?

07-23-2007, 11:49 PM
I've only played it twice, but there are pretty extensive changes. -Attributes are significantly different.
-Character creation is now a point buy system.
-A drama point style mechanic has been added, and combat pools were consolidated even more.
-Several setting and stylistic changes have been made, including the addition of what were Otaku now called Technomancers, wireless Matrix, hackers instead of deckers, corporate changes, some new tech upgrades, etc.

07-24-2007, 08:13 AM
I'm still back on 3rd edition my ownself, but if I heard correctly, didn't the Matrix go, for lack of a better term, kablooie?

07-24-2007, 11:09 AM
I'm still back on 3rd edition my ownself, but if I heard correctly, didn't the Matrix go, for lack of a better term, kablooie?

Yep, it did, due to an insane A.I. creating the Otaku. Sadly, there are a number of aspects of 3rd that I'm not entirely up to date on. But essentially, it's why the Renraku Arcology is under quarantine.

07-24-2007, 07:41 PM
Yep, it did, due to an insane A.I. creating the Otaku. Sadly, there are a number of aspects of 3rd that I'm not entirely up to date on. But essentially, it's why the Renraku Arcology is under quarantine.

Yikes. Just yikes.

That is an aspect I wouldn't mind using. I have never liked the decker/Matrix part of Shadowrun. It usually resulted in everyone sitting around, bored, as the decker did his/her thing. And the rest of the time we were keeping the decker from being killed by belligerent kittens. :o

07-24-2007, 10:14 PM
The Matrix is still around, but it's become massively more integrated in the setting. Basically, anyone can connect to it now with the right equipment.

I'd like to run a hacker focussed game sometime, where he has to hire other runners to go on real world missions for him and protect him from stuff.

10-23-2007, 10:34 AM
I'm running a game of Shadowrun 4th Edition over Skype. The system is pretty elegant, and is really growing on me.

I was a huge fan of 3rd, and 4th is a pretty big change for a number of reasons already mentioned, but I think that you'll find that they work really well.

You can find a ton of discussion on various aspects of Shadowrun 4th (and the older editions, although less so these days) over on Dumpshock Forums (forums.dumpshock.com). I'm eidolon over there if you need anything.

10-23-2007, 07:56 PM
I am a long time player of Shadowrun. I started with Second Edition, and I liked Third Edition better because it streamlined some of the more confusing aspects of 2E. My SR group took our time with 4th Edition by having a character creation session in which we would all learn the character creation rules, create our characters, and then have a (nonlethal) combat simulation to learn the combat rules.
Unlike the previous editions, all target numbers are 5. Dice modifiers add or take away from the dice you roll. Perception is now a skill, not defaulting to Intelligence as in the previous editions. All skills are linked to a primary attribute, and the skill+attribute rating=the number of dice you roll.
The Matrix has gone wireless, and everyone has a Personal Area Network (PAN) that contains everything about them.
We had one player play a technomancer. It was just as bad as someone playing a decker, usurping all the GM's time while the rest of us just sat around waiting. That is when my character would get us in trouble simply by going to the nearest pub and always finding someone who did not like him, which would end up causing a stir.
My favorite aspect of 4E is the Build and Repair rules. You have a target number to roll for and each roll is a certain time interval to determine how long the process will be, and whether or not you have time to unjam your gun before the goons bust in your door guns blazing, or how long it takes you to put those run-flats on your vehicle and still be in time for the meet.
Overall, I prefer Third Edition, but I am working on a personal hybrid of Third and Fouth Editions (perhaps I will call it 3.5?):p

10-26-2007, 11:57 AM
Shadow: The Running? (little joke about the 4e mechanics)

So its not the Shadowrun I remember. I started with 1st, moved to second and infact in the early days of 3e I owned every rpg book and read most of the novels. 4e has more consistent mechanics and a better layout than any previous edition. The world is more believable than previous editions. However it lost the "punk" and the cheering around the table. Its more like Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex than Blade Runner and there will be no standing around watching a lone die try to hit a target number of 42. Gone are the days of priorities and now character creation reminds me of GURPS lite. For new folks the toughest thing is character creation, having so many options means you may need to opt for the prebuilt characters and hand out some extra points for flavor rather than build them from scratch. For me 4e does not excite me the way 1st or 2nd did however I felt with the exception of magic 3e moved in a direction I did not like.

So if I want old skool gritty cyberpunk I'll stick with a mix of 1e(matrix)/2e/3e(magic) and if I want GITS I'll use 4e. I want to like 4e more but I feel for every thing they fixed they messed up somewhere else making it a very 50/50 game for me. YMMV :cool:

Note: So the biggest GITS factor of 4e is the re-introductions of PANs (they have been around since 1e just not really talked about much) as a normal thing and now that your cyberware is "bluetooth" it screams hacking someones body much like the Laughing Man.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-12-2007, 08:44 AM
So our group is probably going to play Shadowrun next. 3rd or 4th edition? I have a few 3rd edition books and read over them but never played them. All the matrix stuff is like a foreign language to me, is it any simply in 4th?

I think that would be my main motivation to switch, simplified matrix stuff.


11-12-2007, 12:02 PM
If anything, the matrix is massively more complex in 4th for the fact that being wireless makes nearly every shop, every business in your face, but not just businesses all the people around you with rigs come up with information on your system.

There's a scene in the movie Minority Report where Cruise is walking through a commercial area and is pelted with huge holographic ads. It's pretty much like that.

11-13-2007, 12:29 PM
personally I liked 1e matrix for taking something complex and making it easy to understand.


SAN is the Firewall
CPU is the Master Server
SPU is the other application servers
DS database servers
SU a client on the network
IOP a place to plug in

Your going to give each on a color to say how many successes are needed to beat the system and a target number. ie green 6 is a target number 6 needing 2 successes on a deception check to take over.

Dodger wants to turn off a security camera before he breaks in. So he dives in from an outside terminal and finds that the SAN is a green 6 after an analyze check. He runs his deception and gets 2 successes from there he finds an SPU he runs analyze and finds its a orange 6 again he runs deception and gets 2 successes, not enough so hes down to his attack program. After a few attacks he takes over. He has 2 ways he can go from there to an SU or a CPU. Dodger hope the SU is the one for the camera so he goes there first. Runs analyze and finds out its Blue 4, no problem for Dodger. After taking control he finds out it is for the lobby camera and turns it off. He calls the team and they move in. The Decker Razz looks around inside and finds a port to plug in after an analyze the IOP is only a blue 4 boy they dont have good defense from the inside (compare to SAN) Razz moves on to the next node its an SPU. He runs analyze and finds its and Orange 6. He has no reason he needs to take it over so he runs sleeze and moves past it rather than taking it over from there he finds a CPU, an SU, and a DS. Hes looking for some files so he moves to the DS...

Hope that helps

01-21-2008, 10:23 AM
Our group have played Shadowrun from 1e. When 4e was coming out, we were playing a GURPs 40K game, and because of that, we didn't transfer to 4e Shadowrun. We just started playing Shadowrun on a GURPs system. We got to keep the gritty feel to it, and although there are some differences in systems, the runs seem to play out the same. That could be that the GM, though.

We were all skeptical of 4e, when it was just coming out, so opted to do that instead. At the time, we had heard some scary stuff about the Shadowrun world in the new system, but looking back, that could have just been new release gossip.

This works well for us, especially now that the high tech book has come out.
I'll always have a soft spot for Shadowrun.

01-21-2008, 02:09 PM
I've run 1st and 2nd, am playing 3rd now and running 4th.

In the 3rd game, we have a NPC decker and when we need something we let her know and then move on with our run. She'll pop back in with updates as necessary. One of the real problems is with the mages (half the team). When they're doing stuff, we're just sitting around. A couple of weeks ago in a mission, half the group basically sat around for 2 hours while the mages got their stuff together.

In the 4th Ed game I'm running, the two main hackers have broken into systems, changed records, unlocked gates, and failed at shutting off cameras twice :) The game doesn't slow down much more than dealing with any other individual actions. We haven't done much with mages other than simple things so it may also be slow when that happens. But so far, at least with the Hackers, it's going much better.