Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Shadowrun 6th ed.

Product– Shadowrun 6th Ed.

System-Shadowrun 6th Ed.

Producer– Catalyst Game Lab

Price– $19.99  here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286850/Shadowrun-Sixth-World-Core-Rulebook?manufacturers_id=2216?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– New but similar.  93%

 

Basics–  Shadowrun is 30 years old!  In honor of this, here is the 6th edition.  What changed?  What’s new?  What’s old?  Let’s dive in together!

Basics- Shadowrun 6th ed. uses the solid base of 5th edition.  Almost all rolls are: take an attribute (the stats of your character that range mostly between 1 to 6), add your skill ranks, and roll that many dice.  You then count the number of 1s and the 5s and 6s.  5 and 6 are successes and used to determine if you succeed, while if you have over half 1s, that’s a glitch and something bad happens.  Pretty simple.

What’s new with the basics-the BIGGEST change between editions is edge.  Edge is the magic cheaty story currency.  You buy pizza?  Get a point of edge.  You roleplay well?  Edge.  You’re the only player paying attention and you catch the plot hook?  EDGE!  What changed is now before every roll we check who has an advantage in a situation.   That side gains edge now.  You see in the dark and the opponent doesn’t? Edge for you!  What’s also changed is edge isn’t just rerolls now.  It’s much more an a la carte menu where you choose abilities, to change dice faces, and other crazy options.  Edge even powers new abilities. 

Combat-combat got more of a face lift with two sizable, but manageable changes.  1st, armor…is gone.  In 5th ed, I would roll to hit you.  You would roll to dodge.  If I got more successes (5s and 6s on the dice) than you then the difference would be added to the weapon damage.  You would then roll a soak roll.  Soak is reducing damage, and it was found by adding your body attribute to your armor value. You would roll that many d6s praying for 5s and 6s so you would not die!  In 6th ed, armor doesn’t provide damage reduction but instead provides a score to compare to guns to gain edge.  It means you roll much fewer dice and weapon damage is also down to compensate.  The second biggest change is actions in combat.  Before, in 5th, you would roll initiative and all characters would act from high to low.  After actions, you would subtract 10 from all scores, and characters with scores above 0 would act again.  This would result in multiple passes for fast characters moving at super human speeds.  Now all characters roll initiative as before, but depending on the number of d6s you roll you may gain additional actions.  Every character gets 1 minor action (things like run ) and 1 major action (thinks like attack and cast spells).  You can spend several minor actions to make a second major action.  This means you get fewer passes at the top of the round, but you also have a more stable initiative action order and action amounts.

Magic- magic changes, but it still follows the basics above.  Before you would choose how hard a spell would hit, now you just roll and if you get more hits, you increase magic effectiveness after the roll doing more damage or being more hidden based on your result.  Magic’s overall power did go down, but it also gained some significant ease of use, especially in regard to healing!

Technology-All the basics you loved before are here except streamlined.   You no longer need to MARC (put a tag on in game) computers or computer programs to take them over.  It’s also streamlined, with all matrix (think futuristic internet) actions being reduced to two basic skill pools.  It’s a lot quicker, and also means that you can do so during a fight rather than having to do all the hard work before a fight.  Also, all the naughty things you do online make the tracking score on your dirty deeds go up MUCH faster.  This means that a whole section of the game tracking how long until the matrix overwatch simply called GOD comes to smack you down now matters a whole lot more!

Mechanics or Crunch– Sixth edition is different, and that’s not bad!  Overall, the mechanics are still the same.  I liked 5th ed’s base mechanics, so 6th ed starts strong.  The changes that have been made are all made in the name of speed.  You don’t reroll init (speed), it’s easier to do hacking (speed), magic is a smaller number of steps (speed), and a whole host of other things.  These I really like.  All the choices here seem to have been really well thought out.  The things you won’t like are the loss of full crunch.  Numbers are smaller and there are fewer fiddly bits.  You can run a whole game of “Lasers and Love” where you do all the things in a Shadowrun game with just 1d6, but there isn’t a whole lot of crunch to that system.  You most definitely don’t hurl a dumpster of d6s at a problem any more.  That feels a bit wrong.  And there is the armor thing…. It’s small.  The logic has been explained to me by both the creator of the system.  It’s mathematically sound.  And it’s wrong.  It bugs me to high heaven that I can’t strap on a tank and take no damage from a pistol.  I gain a point of edge (of the maximum 2 I can earn each turn) for the tank I’ve strapped to my face but still take a crap ton of damage if I can’t roll a dodge worth a crap! 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff– Shadowrun always has good fluff, and this book is no exception.  That’s it.  I’m in Michigan, and despite all the horrors of the 6th World, this is the one future where Michigan has an economy!   5/5

Execution–  PDF?  Yep!  Hyperlinked?  YES! This book is done pretty well.  My main issues are some of the tables and the writing with them.  A key example of this is the table for racial maximums.  As you build a character, you are given extra points that you can put into special attributes like magic, edge, or some racial attributes like orcs are strong etc.  You have to manually find that.  It’s not hard when you jump onto the writer’s logic, but why?  Don’t make me five second logic puzzle out where my extra points can do.  Just put that in the chart!  There are a few times where those small puzzles come out.  Now this is a MASSIVE BOOK, so editing issues will pop up, but those things hurt teaching new players this game.  I live and breathe RPG, so that took me five seconds.  A few of my friends though?  It took multiple passes to make them understand if your score can go above six, then you can put the extra point there.  But, for the majority of the book, this is how you want to make a RPG book.     4.5/5

 

Summary-The sixth sixth world is here, and I like it!  This might not be a complete love affair as some minor things like tables and armor values murky my joy, but the changes together make a game that runs a WHOLE lot faster than before.  The one thing Catalyst can do extremely well is tell a crazy story about orcs with shotguns in downtown Detroit, so the story and fluff of this game is amazing.  The layout is good, with some minor issues that once you get past will work easily.  Is this a perfect system?  No, that can’t exist.  The changes that happened all happened to make the game run on a non geological time scale.  Will this make all fans happy?  No.  It’s got some differences that older fans just won’t grok.  Does it make me happy?  Honestly yes.  I look forward to playing in the sixth world as my decker hacks Elf eyeballs in the middle of combat in Jersey fully as a member of a team even if my armor doesn’t matter much! 93%

Daily Punch 3-9-20 Plating Armor Modification for SR6

My review of Shadowrun 6th Ed is coming, but here is something I think will help.

MODIFICATION   CAPACITY    AVAIL               COST
Plating                   [Rating]        [Rating] x 2   Rating x 2000¥

 

Plating armors up a suit of armor. The armor increases the soak roll  by a value equal to its rating. Each time the suit of armor absorbs damage, reduce rating this modification by one.

 

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report- Shadowrun Sixth World Beginner Box Set

Product– Shadowrun Sixth World Beginner Box Set

System-Shadowrun 6th Edition

Producer-Catalyst

Price– $30

TL; DR-Strong start to the six edition.  95%%

Basics-What’s old is new again!  Shadowrun celebrates its 30th anniversary with its 6th edition. Let’s dive deep into the new edition and see if its wizzer or hot drek.

base mechanics-attribute + skill, roll that many six sided dice, count 5s and 6s for good, over half 1s is bad.  Same dice pool mechanics you know and love and most likely won’t ever change under the current Shadowrun development team.

So What changed?

Edge– Edge is one of the two MASSIVE differences in 6th Ed.  In 5th Edition, you rerolled dice or rolled extra dice at the start of a pool.  Now, edge is more an ala cart menu where a character choices to reroll extra dice, add successes, or even change the critical glitch range of an opponent.  You can only choose one option each round, but now edge begins to flow a lot more. Gear, items, and even differences in ability between you and your opponent will earn you up to two edge an ACTION.  That means some people with impressive defences being fired at by multiple opponents will earn edge each attack, not each round! So edge is gonna flow quickly.

Combat-Combat keeps the spirit of the previous edition but massive changes to how actions work and the nature of killing each other.  For actions, there are two types of actions: minor and major. Minor are smaller actions like moving while major are your spellcasting and attacking.  This ties into initiative. Initiative is still reaction and initiative plus a d6. A character gets two minor action to start and one more minor action for each d6 beyond the first.  This ties into multiple attacks. Four minor actions can be converted to one major action meaning if you have 3d6 or more dice for initiative, you can make two attacks a round.

In addition, initiative isn’t rerolled nor do we ever remove counts as we go through a round of initiative.  Initiative is just rolled once, play moves from high to low, and goes back to the high. Just like most other RPGs.

Killing People– The bread and butter of Shadowrun is shooting people, and this is still strong in 6th Ed.  When you want to kill somebody, you now compare the attackers attack value (determined by the range of the weapon) vs. the defence value of the target’s armor.  If someone has an advantage of four or more in this comparison, that character earns one edge. In addition, both people may earn edge based on situational modifiers such as darkness and abilities.  The target of the attack rolls a number of d6s equal to the reaction and intuition while the attacker rolls a number of d6s equal to their agility and firearm skill with both sides counting fives and sixes as successes.  The side with more wins with ties now going to the attacker. If the attacker wins, the difference in hits is added to the attackers weapon damage. A massive change is now the defender only rolls a number of dice equal to its body attribute with the five and sixes reducing damage as in 5th edition.  Since the defender doesn’t have many dice to reduce the damage, weapon damage is also reduced as well.

Magic– Magic is also revamped.  When you cast a magic spell, you no longer choose a threshold as thresholds are no longer part of the game.  You roll a number of d6s equal to your magic and spellcasting attribute. Each spell has a number of success needed to cast the spell and expressly indicates how a target avoids the damage.  It’s clearly written and I not

Skills-Skills are massively reduced with multiple skills being rolled into one skill

Ok, now let’s look at my thoughts.

Mechanics or Crunch-The crux of the game is the d6 rolling system, and that doesn’t change.  I love the reduced skills and faster flow of the game. The flow of edge is fun as it provides more player control over the game and less like subjective story candy.  The nature of magic and matrix actions also works well. The one thing I’m kind of iffy on is the nature of armor. Armor and weapons having a separate state is ok, but I don’t like that armor is divorced from reducing damage.  That feels off. But otherwise, the nature of quick play becomes central to the gunfight nature of the game. I’m optimistic about the nature of the full game’s mechanics. 4.75/5

Theme or Fluff-It’s Shadowrun.  You like corporate dystopia and Tolken fantasy, you’re going to like what 6th edition still is.  This is more awesome future fantasy in Shadowrun 6th edition. 5/5

Execution-The box set is well put together.  I like the layout of the books. The character sheets teach the game well to new players.  The biggest issue I have with the quick start rules is I would like a few more pages of explanation to some of the materials.  I discussed the materials with a few other Shadowrun GMs and those discussions really helped me solidify the rules. Most people will not have that luxury.  The full rules will clear up those issues, but for now, a few more pages would help tie the material together. In addition the art looks amazing, so that gets me ready for a whole new attitude to play.  If you want to see a full breakdown of the product check out my unboxing here:https://youtu.be/ruxgYe5usLw   4.5/5

Summary-I’m looking forward to this edition.  The changes look good and thought out, for the most part.  I think it’s gonna take me a few games to come around on the armor thing.  It’s not bad, but it is different. Good different? We’ll see. The rest looks like well done, modern game design streamlining the process and avoiding the random crap that really don’t make a game fun.  The physical product is amazing as well. Solid cardboard and writing help get me into this one. I just need more of it to really make my life as a gamer easier. That said, I’m in. I’m invested in the 6th edition of Shadowrun. 95%

Ring Side Report- Shadowrun: Chrome Flesh

Product– Shadowrun: Chrome Flesh

System– Shadowrun 5e

ProducerCatalyst Game labs

Price– $24.99 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/151893/Shadowrun-Chrome-Flesh?term=chrome+flesh?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– Solid book for solid chrome! 95%

Basics– We can make you better, stronger, faster!  Chrome Flesh is the Shadowrun book focusing on our chromed out runners who are more machine than man.  This book provides several options that run the gambit from new metal to shove into your arm, living organism that live inside you, and the dreaded nanites!  This book also builds on the nanite CFD storyline that is forefront in Shadowrun 5e now while building out the world in general.

Mechanics or Crunch– This book is pretty, but maybe a little to pricey regarding your soul.  I like what the book has on offer, but most of the new teck feels a bit too essence heavy or have too many drawbacks such as touching nanites at all.  The newer things suchs the biotech feel like there should be more new tech. I’d like more of the new and less of the old chrome. But, what is here I do like seeing. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff-This is where Shadowrun books have always excelled and keep doing so.  The book reads like a reddit thread with chapters starting with a story, moving to a discussion by one person in the world, and then the hard crunch.  The fluff of the story and the discussion really make the world feel alive. Even details regarding the tech feel realistic. A solid story and character interaction and delivery really makes the book shine.  5/5

Execution–  This book looks pretty, has a good lay out, and has amazing tables that really help you use the old and new tech together and even find it!  But, there are a number of small errors that take away from the presentation like errors at the top of tables mislabeling essence and capacity.  Also, I love the story, but the repeated nature of a few of the stories and character discussion make this book run a little too long. Solid book with a few errors hurting the presentation.  4.8/5

Summary-A chromed out Street Sam is always a fun addition to a team.  Chromed Flesh adds lots of new toys for the metal men in your life.  Also, this book really makes you feel like you’re in the world of Shadowrun reading updates on Jackpoint.  It’s not completely perfect as some of the crunch needs more options to fill out the roster of available tech and some minor issues mare a great book.  However, most of these problems can be forgiving by the fact this this book provides updated tables showing where all the chrome toys are in the books. If you are looking for a solid book for a character who wants to trade essence to punch through an engine block, then this is the book for you. 95%

 

Daily Punch 4-3-19 Osteoblasted nanoware for Shadowrun 5e

Ed, haven’t seen much Shadowrun in a while, whats up?  LET’S FIX THAT!  TIME TO READ AND GET CAUGHT UP!

 

Nanoware                  Rating                 Availability                   Cost

Osteoblasted                1-6                         12F                             Rating x 7,500Y

 

Osteoblasted 
These cultured cells are designed to enhance a users bone structure by further building the hard bones of a user and increasing density and durability.

When installed, the Osteoblasted (TM) increase the armor rating an an individual by provides its rating in Armor.  This increase in armor can be applied to other things such as worn armor and other nanotech such as smartskin, but may not be applied to other bone density increasing armor ratings such as bone density augmentation.

Osteoblasted also provides a second benefit of increased unarmed melee damage.  The melee damage is equal to  (STR + rating/2 (rounded down))P damage.

 

 

Thoughts?

 

Daily Punch 9-12-17 Not Welcome Negative quality for Shadowrun 5e

Let’s flip the Shadowrun coin for being settled in the 6th world.

 

Not Welcome

Bonus: 5 karma

You hate all this magic, tech, and spirit crap.  You just want a simple life where dragons belong in books!  When you resist a power from a creature or person, and the power  isn’t a magic spell, attack in the physical roll, or hacking attempt, you have a -2 dice pool penalty  on the resistance roll.

 

Thoughts?

 

Daily Punch 9-11-17 In the 6th World Positive Quality for Shadowrun 5e

Played some Shadowrun over the weekend, and the players encountered some spirits.  How about being ready to handle the 6th world in all it’s glory!

 

In the 6th World

Cost: 10 karma

You don’t need to be welcomed to the 6th world, you’ve lived here all you life!  You’re ready for what is about to be thrown at you.  When you resist a power from a creature or person, and the power  isn’t a magic spell, attack in the physical roll, or hacking attempt, you gain a +2 bonus on the resistance roll.

 

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 7-12-17 You Got A History negative quality for Shadowrun 5e

I had a friend who wanted to have a character how had a real bad history like a shadowruner hunter for the Azzies in Shadowrun.  I like the idea, but feel bad rep doesn’t go far enough.  How about something new…

 

You Got a History
Bonus: 6 Karma per level
Some people did things that can’t get better.  Some people blow up people on accident.  Some poison the well and don’t look back.  Well you’re looking back, and you don’t like what you find.  And neither do other people.  Whatever you did, your start play with  3 points of Notoriety (p. 372) per level of this quality.  You can remove this using normal karma rules for buying off a quality as you do more and more good out in the community paying out your debts to society.

 

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 7-4-17 Basic Errors negative quality for Shadowrun 5e

How about some shadowrun fun?

 

Basic Errors
Bonus: 5 Karma
Some people  are good at the hard stuff, but choke when they get simple.  A character with Basic Errors suffers no penalties to clutch actions, but attempting to do an action when unhurried such as driving on easy roads or doing a simple computer search for dinner must attempt an edge check.  If  if the character does not get three successes, then the character fails the simple action resulting in a critical glitch.  How often this occurs is up to the GM, but should not occur more than twice per session.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 6-14-17 Muscle Memory spell for Shadowrun 5e

Let’s move onto the active skills in Shadowrun
Muscle Memory

(Mental)

______________________________________________________

Type: M Range: Self
Duration: S Drain: F+1

Coach
(Mental)

______________________________________________________

Type: M Range: T
Duration: S Drain: F + 3
You know Kung-Fu.  When you cast this spell, you can choose one active skill and you gain temporary ranks in the skill for as long as you sustain the spell.  Muscle Memory focuses the spell on yourself, and Coach is the same spell focuses on another individual in range.

Thoughts?