Shadowrun editions

It was quite a while ago that we had a proper firery deabte on the forum about some rpg-related topic with polarised stances, threaths in the message board, runing of friendships… hopefully this topic won’t resurrect these either.

Shadowrun had many editions (fifth is the current one, according to my knowledge), but I’ve played only with the last one. Did the game evolve over the years (like DnD did) or these are just minor adjustments in the original system?

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System matters, woo!

Yeah, you can draw some parallels to D&D. First edition was brilliant, an absolute must-play game. Second cleaned up some of the rougher mecanical edges, and after that the game lost its way a bit, adding elements of transhumanism that don’t really fit and worshipping at the altar of balance, as games do these days. The interesting later ones are the German versions, which go beyond being mere translations.

As with D&D, there are lots of opinions on which game is best, but second is probably the most popular (and unlike D&D, none is truly loathed).

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Our group decided to take a break from DnD and some suggested Shadowrun 5.0.
All i have to say that it took me 2 days to create character and select equipment. Combat took hours, and dozens of d6’s. Rules are super detailed … to extent of using for example square root of explosive charges or smthg for estimating blast area…there is a rule for every darn thing.

Bottom line, unless you know a DM that knows that entire rule book by heart, i would not recommend it for beginners. While the setting was great fun, as were the adventure storylines, the over ruling or our need to luck things up every minute took the fun out of it and everyone at table had about 10+ years of gaming xp.

There is a soft versus of 5.0, forgot the name, reads easy and is not over ruled.

Unless you are totally into detailed rules, give the soft version or 2.0 a go…

Could you please elaborate?

Just as a side note here: This could easily be said about pretty much every other pen&paper RPG that has been published in the form of a book. Every non-trivial system needs a DM that knows the rules to make it fun and it never hurts to have experienced players at the table :wink:

But to add to this - even though not much - I gotta say that I am not the biggest fan of Shadowrun. As H suggested, play the first edition to get to know the core game and if that fits your way of gaming you could dive in deeper.

We’ve played a few games in the form of one of the Monday/Tuesday/Thursday games over the years, so maybe someone might wanna run it again at some point.

I could dm one :slight_smile:
… more non-trivial is me finding time on a thursday these days :frowning:

@SR Edition-Wars ^^
The Edition-Wars in SR were less dramatic compared to D&D
The 1st Edition was fine … later they realized, that people really want to play Elves, Dwarves, Orks, and Trolls
Who could have known?^^
Those were really overpowered, since they were basically part of the Monster Manual from the first draft
(even in 4th Edition there was no reason not to play an Ork, from a math perspective)
… on the path to the 4th Edition … rules got more fiddly rule-crunshy
5th Edition tries to de-crunsh 4th a bit and limit the insane levels of dicepools from earlier editions (esp. the 4th)

Combat Length
The SR 5th sessions I dm-ed, have not suffered from overlong battles (yet^^).
… although I agree, that knowing the rules (esp. what you can do in a scene) helps a lot
I wrote a couple mini-PDFs for SR5th as handouts for players to lower this problem.
If someone is interested PM me.

Oh the Good Ol’ Days:
When I was still in school I did not mind the crunsh a bit … actually I really liked, that I could customize my character in great detail.
Nowadays I favour rules light-systems by far-amount … could be 'cause my free time for the hobby got less^^.

one a nerdish sidenote:
my favorite SR books are the Japanese SR replays
they are sooooo awesome and insane at the same time :rofl:
(once I trolled @Auburney a little too hard with them back in the day)

For Your Reading List:

  1. SR released a “simplified” Version called Shadowrun Anarchy
    but this has so many balancing issues and errors, that if you try to start houseruling the problems, you would have to start to write the book yourself.

  2. If you are looking for a good rules-light cyperpunk RPG, without the urban-fantasy elements, I recommend TechNoir.

@Creating a SR Character

Chummer reaaaaaaaaaaaally helps
I cannot recommend this enough

Sure. Usually, when a foreign publisher picks up a game, they’ll do a straight translation. But in this case, Pegasus added new material, much of it relating to Shadowrun set in Germany. I think that’s pretty interesting.

Now ya tell me … :slight_smile:

(Goes off to actually read some rulebooks.)

Wait, were we supposed to be edition warring? I thought this was reasoned discussion. Are you sure? Hang on a sec …

Hmm … fiery debate … polarized …threats … ruined friendships … darn it, you’re right. I totally missed that. I’m really, really sorry for not contributing in a constructive manner. Here, let me try again:

“As with most RPGs, the ideas contained in Shadowrun are best expressed and best experienced in their original form. First edition was a gaming milestone, second a tolerable revision. There is no reason to play any of the later remakes.”

There, was that better?

here, was that better?

jop :slight_smile:

@Japanese SR 4th Edition Book

See, this is why we can’t have nice things… Walks off

You went to read them newfangled 5e books, didn’t ya?! :older_man:

Thanks for your feedback/suggestions!

Sooo… maybe it wouldn’t make as much sense to play through all the 5 editions like in DnD.
Nevertheless, we might switch the “not-so-groundbreaking” ones with some games from the more-or-less same setting, like “Cyberpunk” or “TechNoir” (thanks @Darthbinks for the suggestion, seems interesting), or make a very exceptional night and play a german SR suggested by @H

What do you think?

In theory you could play a oneshot in “SR 5” and then “SR Anarchy”
I dm-ed both systems (even the same adventure) and the “feel” was the same

btw. another Cyberpunk+Urban-Fantasy (with a focus on Japanese-horror) mashup RPG is the French KURO

Setting is great
Rules are okey^^

Hmm. You probably could make a case that remakes are one of the reasons why RPGs are so woefully uncreative these days.

Also, I take back everything negative I ever said about Pathfinder illustrations.

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Getting back to this … one interesting change is that the game has shifted somewhat from sticking it to the man to working for the man.

I guess this pretty much corresponds to the way the real world has evolved, which probably reflects badly on all of us.

Shadowrun as societal barometer!

(And yes, this is me once again not writing about the tournament.)

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