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Slazarith
01-06-2009, 12:02 AM
Though I'm fairly new to gaming, I started reading up on Shadowrun, and was wondering about a few things. Now, I do know that there are probably people who've asked before, but my questions would be spread out over 6 different threads, and I just don't have the time. So:

What materials would I need to start a basic Shadowrun game, and where could I find them? (Preferably in book form. PDF's don't agree with me, but I can do them if nothing else)

What do you think of the ease of combat in Shadowrun, as opposed to, say, D&D. (When I played, it was D&D Advanced. I couldn't see any other identifying markings indicating an edition.)

Are there any other games you can recommend? (Preferably no traditional fantasy genres, I've seen to much of this in other avenues of my life.)

Also, any other help you may be willing to give. The people I've played with have only as much gaming experience as me, and there's no one else.

Thank you for all the help!

Jacob

Etarnon
01-06-2009, 01:21 AM
Well i've played shadowrun, decades ago.

If you like orcs in your cyberpunk, then go shadowrun.

If you want it hard edged go with decades old cyberpunk 2020, or Iron Crown Enterprises's cyberspace, or d20 modern with the cyberpsace plug in book.

Shadowrun isn't all that tough to play. Lots of people really like it.

Good luck.,

Barrier Peaks
01-06-2009, 07:05 AM
What materials would I need to start a basic Shadowrun game, and where could I find them? (Preferably in book form. PDF's don't agree with me, but I can do them if nothing else)

I'd say to start with your local game stores or comic book shops. Amazon (http://www.amazon.com) is always a good place to buy online, since many products are discounted. If all else fails, go straight to Catalyst Games (http://www.shadowrun4.com/) (the publisher) and buy direct.


What do you think of the ease of combat in Shadowrun, as opposed to, say, D&D. (When I played, it was D&D Advanced. I couldn't see any other identifying markings indicating an edition.)

You were either playing 1st or 2nd edition AD&D, sounds like.

I can't speak for the latest edition of SR, but when I played Shadowrun back in the day, it was the 1st and 2nd editions of the rules. Thus, I can't speak for the current rules or how smoothly they run. I was never all that impressed with the older editions, though; they seemed clunky and ponderous unless you knew them backwards and forwards.


Are there any other games you can recommend? (Preferably no traditional fantasy genres, I've seen to much of this in other avenues of my life.)

I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest Cyberpunk 2020 as a purist's alternative to Shadowrun. If you like fantasy with your dark future, then Cyberpunk might not be your game. CP2020 also has some holdovers from prior years that I don't like (the existence of classes/roles) which I don't like, but which are easily omitted or house-ruled out (follow this link (http://www.verminary.com/cyberpunk/cpmods33.html) for an example). The basic mechanics are robust and simple, combat is a breeze, and the "cyber" is well represented.

Another option for urban fantasy/dark future is d20 Modern using the Urban Arcana setting. It's more or less the last edition of the system used by D&D, so players familiar with D&D 3.5 will find it easy to understand. Availability may be a problem, but you can probably find the books used for reasonable prices.


Also, any other help you may be willing to give. The people I've played with have only as much gaming experience as me, and there's no one else.

It's tough to tell. What are you looking for in a game? Is it the cyberpunk genre, or merely a science fiction setting you're looking for?

MortonStromgal
01-06-2009, 09:59 AM
What materials would I need to start a basic Shadowrun game, and where could I find them? (Preferably in book form. PDF's don't agree with me, but I can do them if nothing else)


All you need is the main core book. The current edition is 4th which is a big change both in terms of rules and setting to previous editions.



What do you think of the ease of combat in Shadowrun, as opposed to, say, D&D. (When I played, it was D&D Advanced. I couldn't see any other identifying markings indicating an edition.)


Its simpler and more complex at the same time. The 4e basic rules are attribute+skill = number of d6s you roll. Every 5+ counts as a "hit", each "hit" is added to the damage of the weapon for a total. The defender may get a dodge or soak roll to lessen the damage.

That said you have tons of gear, magic, vehicals to add layers of complication. So on the surface very simple.



Are there any other games you can recommend? (Preferably no traditional fantasy genres, I've seen to much of this in other avenues of my life.)


Some of my current favorites (non traditional fantasy)
Mongoose Traveller, Witchhunter, World of Darkness, Vampire the Dark Ages, Call of Cthuhlu, Deadlands, SLA Industries, and Obsidian: Age of Judgement

I like them all for various reasons, some of them the rules are not so great but I love the setting, others the rules are great but the setting is not that exciting.



Also, any other help you may be willing to give. The people I've played with have only as much gaming experience as me, and there's no one else.


My favorite game of all time is Shadowrun 2nd edition. At the core of the system it was the simplest version. However it became complicated very quickly, with a ton of supplements adding layer apon layer of complication to the rules if you choose to use them and stuck in the 80s cyberpunk vibe. Shadowrun also moves the timeline forward with each edition so the 2053 2nd edition and the 2060 3rd edition have some big changes to the world. The current 4e year is 2070 and is more like Ghost in the Shell Stand alone Complex than Neuromancer.

Vampire the Dark Ages is my second favorite game of all time, it has tons of flavor and is set in an interesting period of medevil europe 1190. The fiction in each book really gets my Game Master ideas flowing and some of the npcs are brilliant. The rules are a bit dated (they have had 2 editions of the system since) but IMHO way better than D&D or Shadowrun. Dark Ages Vampire is the next edition of the system however they moved the timeline forward so I am not as fond of the setting.

[edit] both of those last suggestions are out of print. Shadowrun 4e is certainly and good game and you still only need the core book. However with the latest Vampire the setting is now Rome and you would need 3 books (World of Darkness, Vampire the Requiem, and Requiem for Rome)

Freejack
01-08-2009, 07:24 AM
Though I'm fairly new to gaming, I started reading up on Shadowrun, and was wondering about a few things. Now, I do know that there are probably people who've asked before, but my questions would be spread out over 6 different threads, and I just don't have the time. So:

What materials would I need to start a basic Shadowrun game, and where could I find them? (Preferably in book form. PDF's don't agree with me, but I can do them if nothing else)

Shadowrun 4th core rules is all you need.


What do you think of the ease of combat in Shadowrun, as opposed to, say, D&D. (When I played, it was D&D Advanced. I couldn't see any other identifying markings indicating an edition.)

I think it's about the same based on my experience. As mentioned, Shadowrun uses Attribute+Skill+mods in 6 siders for attack. Defenders use Skill+mods for dodge type defense. If attacker gets more hits (5's or 6's) than the defender, the extra hits are added to the weapons damage. The defender then uses their body+armor in 6 siders to try and soak or reduce the damage. Damage track is 8 + body / 2 in damage boxes and every three hits is a -1 mod to your rolls.


Are there any other games you can recommend? (Preferably no traditional fantasy genres, I've seen to much of this in other avenues of my life.)

If you're not interested in fantasy, then Shadowrun may not be for you. I call it Fantasy Cyberpunk. Orks, Trolls, Spells, but also Cyberware, and Matrix.


Also, any other help you may be willing to give. The people I've played with have only as much gaming experience as me, and there's no one else.

Thank you for all the help!

Jacob

One important resource to help in GMing are the cheat sheets (http://pavao.org/shadowrun/cheatsheets/) which give you step by step instructions for various tasks. I've also begun using them as a base for creating javascript cheat (http://shadowrun.us/sr4/cheat/) pages. I'm still researching the qualities for more mods.

Carl

boulet
01-08-2009, 08:38 AM
I purchased the 4e core rulebook on december by impulse. Back in the 90s when Shadowrun popped up at the gaming club I was quite appalled by the idea of injecting D&D tropes in a Cyberpunk setting that I felt was excellent on its own. Even noticing that people seemed to have fun with the game I didn't feel like reading the game. Ten years later the book on a B&N shelf was whispering "buy me, buy me" and I answer "what the heck, let's see what it's all about, at worst I could file the serial number and have a different CyberPunk game". I haven't finished reading the book. I was really unimpressed by the settings back story. It's a lot of Megacorp A did this, Indians/elves did that without any significant inspiring theme or color emerging for me. My Gibson, Sterling, Cadigan or Williams books are all the setting sources I need anyway.

What I wonder : if I go for a lobotomy operation and remove dragons, orcs, spellcasters out of the game, do I still have something worth playing and will it fill my needs for a rule system of cyberpunkish anticipation ? Overall the system seems slick and elegant. Morton mentioned once that maybe it's a bit short on the social traits, but it's not a deal breaker for me in itself. What's the opinion of the experienced shadowrunners here ?

MortonStromgal
01-08-2009, 10:25 AM
When you file the serial numbers off and do homebrew with Shadowrun 4e. Its a great Ghost in the Shell style game. For traditional Gibson I would stick to 2020 or something else. Not that you can't do Gibson with 4e just that Shadowrun 4e offers no advantage over 2020.

boulet
01-08-2009, 11:06 AM
Well I don't have any Cyberpunk books anymore and to be honest, if I'm looking at the other side of the fence it's because the grass wasn't very green in the Taslorian field. I liked the treatment of the cyberpunk genre but I wasn't really in love with the game system. I don't care for classes in my games for a start. And their special abilities were kind of trampling my suspension of disbelief. I mean in a Vampire game I can accept special powerz related to your lineage and whatnot. For a cyberpunk game cool powerz distributed by social groups/professions I just can't buy it. For example why couldn't a guy be both a charismatic social shark (rockerboy) and gifted at finding goodies (fixer) ? This categorization felt really artificial to me. Another problem : how many players/PCs did you need to cover the different aspects of the gameplay and have an autonomous group ?

So that's why I was curious about Shadowrun even if I knew I'd have a hard time with the fantasy chunks in it.

Freejack
01-08-2009, 01:05 PM
I think there'll be a problem if you try the modules without the fantasy part but otherwise you should be able to run your own games and just exclude spells/fantasy without much trouble.

The Denver missions modules are relatively fantasy light. You'd have to review them and make the necessary adjustments before starting on one.

Carl

boulet
01-08-2009, 01:16 PM
I usually don't buy modules, unless it's a combo source book/module. So I'll be ok :)

Barrier Peaks
01-08-2009, 03:44 PM
I liked the treatment of the cyberpunk genre but I wasn't really in love with the game system. I don't care for classes in my games for a start. And their special abilities were kind of trampling my suspension of disbelief.

You're not the only one. I got tired of the roles/classes and special abilities a long, long time ago and cut them out of my Cp2020 games. The lack of roles and special abilities only improved the feel of the game, IMO.

I've got the rules posted online. If you're interested, check out this link (http://www.verminary.com/cyberpunk/cpmods33.html).

Gary

boulet
01-08-2009, 03:52 PM
Thanks for pointing at your homebrew ! Looks like a labor of love :)

Barrier Peaks
01-08-2009, 04:16 PM
Thanks for pointing at your homebrew ! Looks like a labor of love :)

You might say that. It's not perfect, but folks have liked using it in the past. At the very least, I hope it provides you with some entertaining reading.

McCummhail
01-12-2009, 07:43 AM
I have found that Shadowrun varies greatly from one group to the next and from one campaign to the next. I have played games that were close to star wars level of fantasy, and I have played some that were almost straight cyber-punk with sub-humans remaining.
Generally, the game is much grittier and more mundane (ie non-magical) in a metropolitan setting. Although the standard urban setting of the game is in Seattle, there are some other locations that might be more to your liking. Atlanta, for example is a rehabilitating urban waste controlled by a totalitarian state and might play better for your classic punk setting.
I also recommend Chaosium's Basic Role Playing as a modular system that is highly adaptable to your tastes or desired setting. It also is home to some rich settings like Call of Cthulhu.