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Shadow Run, CyberSpace and SpaceMaster

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Shadow Run, CyberSpace and SpaceMaster

Post Number:#1  Postby The Keeper » 06 Feb 2011, 00:10

I have been a fan of FASA's ShadowRun since I first purchased the second edition in 1992. For about a year though it sort of laid around. Finally, for my gaming group I actually learned the rules and decided that with some modifications I actually liked the rules. Dice Pools, rules of one, et all. Now, a lot of people I know don't care for SR2's Dice Pools. I've played 3rd Edition (that's as far as I went) and it caters to the player that doesn't care for Dice Pools. Can't say I cared for that. In any case, we had some House Rules and by the time I really got in to the game I felt I had a handle on it and was starting to introduce things (weapons, equipment, etc) that weren't actually in the rules.

Now, I did have some issues with SR2, but they mainly involved what I saw as plot limitations. I can't see magic coming back in to the world without someone somwhere (espcially Elves and Dwarves) trying to enchant a blade, be it sword or battle axe, or what have you. But no where in the First Edition Grimoire is there any magical weaponry. Which brings up another point. The 2nd Edition Grimoire (which I have) totally destroyed, I think, one of the key factors of the magic system. In the standard SR2 system you can adjust damage up and down based on a damage level threshold, the amount of "successes" you have in the attack, and the reduction of those successes by the amount of defense in your target's appropriate dice pool. In the First Edition Grimoire it listed this the same as with weapons in the normal SR2 books. But by the 2nd Edition Grimoire they had eliminated the amount of successes you needed to increase or decrease a wound level. Your spell (or device) incurred a set damage level and that was it.

To me that's completely unrealistic. Sure, you can expect the same kind of damage each time from a spell given factors being equal. But I believe the randomness of the dice rolls add some aspect of realism. Well, they did away with that in the Second Edition Grimoire.

Some of the other issues I had with SR2 was it's cleanliness. The books talked a lot about the "mean streets," corporate espionage, blah, blah, blah. But when it came to down to actual game balance it was very DIFFICULT to actually KILL someone. I also did not get the feeling like I was in either a William Gibson novel or something akin to Blade Runner. Your character's (sorry, archetype) profession was something he did on the side from his real job. He went out like Batman at night and was back by morning. Compound this by the fact that if you have hard to kill PCs with big guns controlled by hack/slash minded players in a system oriented much more towards shooting versus roleplaying then you develop situations where the PCs have zero respect for any authority and have not a care in the world for the damage they do. Our gaming sessions quickly disentegrated in to strong arm robbery that left whole city blocks decimated. Oh, but it was at night so it's a real cyberpunk kind of thing. /sarcasm

And yeah, I had to deal with the whole situation of PCs sitting around while the Decker screwed around in cyberspace by him/her self. I had actually come up with a 'solution' for that by the time our group broke up.

So there were those limitations. Shortly after this time I got in to Rolemaster so my whole gaming focus changed at this point. But, ever since I heard about Cyberspace (ICE's ShadowRun equivalent) I wanted to try it because of the regard I had for RM.

I was finally able to get the book and I am liking it. It's a simplified version of RM I think, but I have a plan. I'm taking the scenario of ShadowRun with my modifications and that will be my gaming world. Centered in Seattle, WA with all of the 2nd Edition ShadowRun events. So, we have the metahumans return and so on as well as the various things laid out in the SR books. But I am going to use Cyberspace's game mechanics in this scenario. Furthermore, since I am using SRs return of magic to the world, the magic system will be covered by Spell Law (and the RM Companions as they relate to spells). RM weapons will probably come across as well, but I need Cyberspace's rules coverage on modern weapons. I don't have SpaceMaster yet, but I want to get it. I plan to use it's system to cover more advanced technology and weaponry and fill in any gaps where Cyberspace may fall down. Cyberspace will cover the cyber rules for me, which until now I had no way (short of making rules myself) to regulate.

This I believe will satisfy my vision of what ShadowRun should have been. Magic and mysticism meeting modern weapons and technology. I think it will give aspects to each character profession that will make them both attractive and deadly in their own ways. Versus, SRs system where some archetypes were just pointless. The combination of the rules from the different ICE systems will also allow for realism (within this genre of course) and make players think twice about committing actions. You can very easily get killed.

I'm looking at all of this at the moment. Hopefully I can swing a copy of SM soon and then see what I can add with that. In the meantime, any thoughts on this out there?

EDIT 11.6.2011: Just got SM last week! I was fortunate enough to score a 1st Edition box set with the maps (no counters though). So, that included TechLaw and FutureLaw. A friend has promised me his copy of SM Companion II.

I have some additional plans for all of this, but basically I have the third piece now for what I want to do here.

Look for the new SM forum later where I will detail some of the other things I want to do with SpaceMaster.

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