Which Shadowrun is Best Shadowrun? - Myth-Weavers

Notices


Gaming Discussion

For all things gaming related.


Which Shadowrun is Best Shadowrun?

   
View Poll Results
Which version of Shadowrun is the best?
Shadowrun 1e 1 5.00%
Shadowrun 2e 0 0%
Shadowrun 3e 6 30.00%
Shadowrun 4e 9 45.00%
Shadowrun 5e 4 20.00%


Which Shadowrun is Best Shadowrun?

Hey all,

I recently built a character for an application to a Shadowrun game here on Myth-Weavers, and it's reignited my love of the Cyberpunk genre. So much so, in fact, that I'm thinking of building up a homebrew world and potentially running campaigns in it here on M-W. I'm not exactly sure when I would get around to it, or even if I will, which is why I'm not posting this in Game Planning. I hope that's alright.

The world I want to build doesn't have magic in it. I can appreciate the dimension it adds to the world of Shadowrun, and I by no means hate it; I would just rather stick closer to sci-fi in my world. So I figured I would look into R. Talsorian's old 2020 and 203X systems. I played 203X back when it first came out, and it's one of the things that turned Cyberpunk from an interest to a passion for me, so I thought that would be a good system to use.

However, my memory of the system's rules are not kind. I recall the rules system being pretty clunky, even if the lore was outstanding. Eventually, I decided I could just use the Shadowrun rules and exclude magic, which probably isn't any great revelation in and of itself.

Anyway, the goal of this thread is to determined which version of the Shadowrun rules you all think is best. I looked for previous threads on the topic, but was unable to find any, so I apologize if this is oldhat. If you could vote in the poll and leave a comment saying what you like about your preferred version over others, that would be great.

Thank you!

I'm a personal fan of 4E. I really like the idea of the wireless Matrix and technomancers, and I feel like 4E's rules are fairly clean. 5E added in a bunch of fiddly modifiers for wireless stuff. That being said, I would never advocate using any Shadowrun ruleset. The rules are granular and involve throwing whole bags of dice and figuring out the results of an attack can take more rolls than making a new character. I don't think any of those are hallmarks of a good system.

The world is interesting as hell, though.

. . . if CP 2020's rules are took clunky for you I'm not sure any of the shadowrun rulesets will be better: interlock might have a lot of edge cases but the core engine runs pretty smooth for everything but netrunning and I've not found a cyberpunk game that handles that better, just different.

That said, that wasn't the question: just needed to throw R.Talsorian some love for all the good they've done my games over the years

Talking Shadowrun, I'll second Raveled, the cleanest core system is 4E - stipped down to the base mechanics it's a very sleek game which sacrifices some of the nuance of the other editions for math you can eyeball at a glance. It, like all SR, is front loaded with complexity in character gen but once that's done the actualy system pretty much fades into the background: stat+skill+mods in dice, 5 or better counts as a success. Now it gets wonky with edge cases and can crumble under the weight of modifiers if you go bonus hunting, and the decking system seems to swing from being hard as nails to a cakewalk depending on how much nuyen you sink into it, but if you can keep a lid on the former and work with any netrunners on your crew fo the later it's mangable. It's workmanlike and unobtrusive which is sometimes all you need.

The other iterations are . . . well, they're what make Shadowrun Shadowrun but they're so idioscyncratic to Shadowrun I can't really seem them in any other context. Exploding dice pools with floating TNs can work but the math is harder to eyeball so for me there's a lot more prep-time involved. I mean, I love playing it but you couldn't convince me to run a game without a troll-sammy putting a smartchipped ares predator to my head; it's too much to keep in my head all at once and the way the game sprawls into subystems
I can run Shadowrun perfectly fine using SR4 - you lose some gadgets, some spells, and there are fewer playing facing options in the rulebook - but the rules are all there in the first book. Not so much with the other editions.
doesn't help.

The other editions are however, arguably, better at being Shadowrun. 1E-3E had an energy and a verve that made them unique in a way SR4 isn't, and SR5 has moved the timeline towards a more post-punk cyber-dystopia that, while I think
Gibsonian cyberpunk may be antiquated but my heart belongs to that alt-future that never was rather than the sleek plastic now pushed thirty minutes into the future. YMMV, tho.
robs the setting of something, is the new Shadowrun and claims that mantle wholeheartedly.

I've heard the same from SR veterans I know (I only have 4E experience) - SR4 is easier to run than the other versions, except it lost some flavor (eg, the Matrix running exactly like meatspace running exactly like astral space), which IMO makes it more amenable to porting to another setting. YMMV, naturally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirlot View Post
. . . if CP 2020's rules are took clunky for you I'm not sure any of the shadowrun rulesets will be better: interlock might have a lot of edge cases but the core engine runs pretty smooth for everything but netrunning and I've not found a cyberpunk game that handles that better, just different.

That said, that wasn't the question: just needed to throw R.Talsorian some love for all the good they've done my games over the years
I should probably clarify:

99% of my experience was with Cyberpunk 203X. I got what may have been a first-printing book. I was a mess. Whole chunks of paragraphs were missing, the index didn't match the right page numbers; it was hard to cross-reference things. So, when I say 'clunky' I guess I mean more about how it was organized than how the system itself played. I might take a look at the 2020 book and see what it has.

1st edition: I learned to play this in the 80s and the game just oozed personality and drama. I remember thinking the game's mechanics were strange as hell but that didn't stop me from making my first Troll street samurai and being proud of it. I also remember the painful lesson of why sinking your Willpower to a 1 doesn't help you when you piss off the party mage and his mana bolt. So new character. Overall I had some fun with the game but we didn't play it as much as we might of.

2nd edition: I vaguely remember this was basically 1e but cleaned up a bit. It kind of fades into 1e in my memory.

3rd edition: This is the edition we had a great campaign that went on for years. The rules had been streamlined a bit from the clunkier earlier editions but maintained that unique Shadowrun personality. The best of the early editions.

4th edition: We hadn't played Shadowrun for a long time when suddenly this came out with some impressive new mechanics. We played a number of small campaigns with this edition and enjoyed it a lot. As a rule set its still very dense but a bit easier to use and remember. I absolutely hated the rules for technomancers though. Broken as hell. The whole matrix system felt off and unbalanced truthfully despite some improvements and additions that were nice.

5th edition: I've only played this a small amount but I like what I've seen. Basically 4e with some new bells and whistles and it seems like some of the problems of 4e's matrix and technomancers were cleaned up though I can't say for certain.

Overall I'd say give SR5 a chance.

Not really much help here but I too love, love, love the setting but struggle with the mechanics. I would love to see games set in the setting but with a rules light system like fate where you could use aspects and stunts but that's not what you were asking and since I have a lot more experience with cyberpunk 2020 I won't weigh in on the various SR systems. I would love to see more games in this setting with streamlined mechanics.







 

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Last Database Backup 2019-03-22 09:00:07am local time
Myth-Weavers Status