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Pink_Paladin
2008-09-10, 07:07 PM
I started to read Shadowrun and I like it. But I got some difficulties understanding some concepts.

Is the Matrix basically like a world wide wireless web connection? or is it more than that?

What is the Augmented Reality? I don't get it very well.

How the heck there is Elves, Troll and Orc? Do you guys think that replacing the races by clans (or Corp or anything else..) would be not fun at all?

Occasional Sage
2008-09-10, 07:16 PM
I started to read Shadowrun and I like it. But I got some difficulties understanding some concepts.

Is the Matrix basically like a world wide wireless web connection? or is it more than that?

What is the Augmented Reality? I don't get it very well.

How the heck there is Elves, Troll and Orc? Do you guys think that replacing the races by clans (or Corp or anything else..) would be not fun at all?

The Matrix is a world-wide virtual reality web. Wireless access is uncommon, at least at hacker-speed, if I recall correctly.

Augmented Reality is not something I know, but I haven't played since the mid-nineties...

Elves and such are humans; there are parts of the homo sapiens DNA which are dormant until Magic reaches a high-enough level in the world. When that happened in the 20teens or 2020s (again, iirc) about 10% of humanity manifested those extra genes and changed. This is REALLY integral to the whole SR world, and I wouldn't mess with it personally. But to each their own.

Weezer
2008-09-10, 07:21 PM
The Matrix is a world-wide virtual reality web. Wireless access is uncommon, at least at hacker-speed, if I recall correctly.

Augmented Reality is not something I know, but I haven't played since the mid-nineties...

In the new edition wireless access is the main way that people access the Matrix, with landlines only used in special situations or way out in the boonies.

Augmented Reality (AR) is when information from the matrix is placed on a HUD about objects in reality. For example if you are using AR and walk past a pizza restaurant critic reviews could pop up in your HUD etc. IIRC it also gives some bonus to combat, through warning you of threats, opportunities or something like that.

Occasional Sage
2008-09-10, 07:29 PM
In the new edition wireless access is the main way that people access the Matrix, with landlines only used in special situations or way out in the boonies.


Is it good enough for running a corp's system? Back in 2054 or so, a runner needed to be well-set-up to deck wirelessly, but standard use was commonly wireless (see: pocket secretaries, now known as iPhones).

AR: RAD, I want it now!

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-10, 07:33 PM
Is it good enough for running a corp's system? Back in 2054 or so, a runner needed to be well-set-up to deck wirelessly, but standard use was commonly wireless (see: pocket secretaries, now known as iPhones).

AR: RAD, I want it now!

Yeah, now nobody "jacks in" to the Matrix - it's all through wireless connections. I'm sure for certain secure Corp systems they don't leave the Wireless on, but generally :smallsigh:

I may not like GMing Deckers, but gosh darn it, if you're not plugging your brain into a global infoweb, then you're just not Decking :smallbiggrin:

BRC
2008-09-10, 07:34 PM
The Wireless matrix was added because in previous editions (With a land-line matrix) the GM would have to split screen between the decker and the physical world team, so somebody would be sitting not doing anything. The wireless matrix is fairly common in urban areas, and the speed mainly relies on how good your commlink is.

They describe Augmented reality fairly well in the book, it's essentially an HUD, you wear glasses or contacts (Or just have cybereyes) that hook up to your Commlink and show everything from phone calls, to recognizing buddies,to pop-up ads.

Elves Trolls ect are there for the fantasy feel, it's kinda odd how they came about, but no more so than magic in general. Replacing them with "Clans" just wouldn't make any sense. Unlike DnD races, none of the Shadowrun racial bonuses/penalties are cultural (Which, considering metahumanity has been around for less than a century, dosn't give much time for new generations to grow up in an independant culture with independant values). For example, Trolls get a bonus to armor, a bonus in melee combat, and a bonus to strength and body. This is because they have really thick skin, really long arms, and are REALLY BIG. You couldn't cover that with a "Clan".

Thrud
2008-09-10, 09:45 PM
Elves and such are humans; there are parts of the homo sapiens DNA which are dormant until Magic reaches a high-enough level in the world. When that happened in the 20teens or 2020s (again, iirc) about 10% of humanity manifested those extra genes and changed. This is REALLY integral to the whole SR world, and I wouldn't mess with it personally. But to each their own.

It's December 21, 2012, I.E. the end of the Mayan Calendar, that magic returns to the world. Hey, just a couple of years left.

:smallbiggrin:

Anyway, when magic first returned some people spontaineously turned into Orcs and Trolls, through a process called Goblinization. Oddly enough Elves and Dwarves never spontaineously change over, they are just born that way to completely human parents with the necessary genes. After about 30 years or so (I.E. around when the game actually takes place) goblinization very rarely happens any more. It does very occasionally, though, so that can be a good character concept. Kid is born human, lives that way for 15 years or so, then spontaineously changes into an orc or troll, and becomes a kind of second class citizen. Everyone accepts elves and dwarves, pretty much, but Trolls and Orcs are looked down on. Can give good RPing opportunities.

Hawriel
2008-09-10, 10:48 PM
Elves and dwarves where born first. Orks and trolls came a year or two later. They where eather born or 'goblinized'.

Thrud
2008-09-11, 12:27 AM
Elves and dwarves where born first. Orks and trolls came a year or two later. They where eather born or 'goblinized'.

Oh yeah, good point, forgot to mention that.

only1doug
2008-09-11, 04:42 AM
If you wanted to do shadowrun without magic, elves or trolls just play cyberpunk.

Samakain
2008-09-11, 04:19 PM
Dwarves and Elves where born a year or two after the awakening, but there are instances of "Spike Babbies" which happened well before awakening, another nice RP concept. This was called UGE "Unexplained Genetic Expression" basically the scientific communities collective "WTF"

Goblinization happened 10 years later, which turned about 1 in 10 adult humans into either orcs or trolls, some didn't survive, some went made, others where torn apart by angry mobs. Wiki "Night of Rage" for more info.

Haleys Coment in the 2060's really mixed things up with another bump in the background mana level and started producing changelings, these are not eberron changelings but normal "people", all meta races, which further divulged from your normal human stock. Gills and Webbed limbs, tails, cyclops eyes, claws. I could post one awesome interview i found in "Year of the Comet" sourcebook given by a cat-girl pornstar lol but i'm lazy and may get in trouble. Basically this rush of changelings has no real game stat impact, but allows your characters to say "oh yeah, he's bright orange, with small purple horns" "why?" "Comet love bebbe, comet love"

as for Aug Reality. Imagine going to your local store, and you walk into the bookstore. Now every item in that bookstore is electronically tagged. This helps prevent against theft, but also with a few quick hand movements/eye movements/thought patterns, you can open up a run down on the book, reviews, forums etc and these appear as if floating right in front on you IRL.

but you also must know comparing the net today to the matrix is like comparing a rowboat to a aircraft carrier. same basic function, but worlds of difference.

can't take the magic out of shadowrun chummer, it just the way it is.

Pink_Paladin
2008-09-11, 07:20 PM
I like magic...I don't see what's cool to play a Ork or a Troll...

BRC
2008-09-11, 07:34 PM
I like magic...I don't see what's cool to play a Ork or a Troll...
So if you play shadowrun, don't play as an Ork or a troll.

I suppose you could just remove them as races, but they are a big part of the setting, so I say just leave em in.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-11, 07:42 PM
I like magic...I don't see what's cool to play a Ork or a Troll...

Well, Orks & Trolls are some of the most physically powerful of the metahumans, but a good Shadowrun game balances that by the racism and fear that such races typically produce. Plus, there are some people who like playing a brute, and these guys make good ones :smallbiggrin:

But yeah, what BRC said. Keep them as pure NPCs if you want - heck, you can even play a human if you feel so moved :smalltongue:

comicshorse
2008-09-11, 08:18 PM
I don't see what's cool to play a Ork or a Troll...


What's cool is the way they've been integrated into the world. Orcs and trolls don't hide in caves waiting to be slain, they live in your world. You meet them on the street-corner and get served by them in shops. But the world has changed to accept them. Orcs have their own gangs, are the subject of prejudice, have their own political groups ( one of my favourite characters was an orc who was a fervent supporter of O.R.C. the Orc Rights Commitee) they have their own music. They are part of 'Shadowrun' society but in ways unique to each racial group.
I want get started on dem fraggin' daisy eaters, think they're so cool with their own language and country, hates 'em all........

Prustan
2008-09-12, 06:05 AM
I only played a mix of 2nd and 3rd Edition, using Point-based character generation. We very quickly decided that playing a human was a waste of time, as an Elf was better and a very cheap race to pick. Trolls though. Take a Troll PhysAd or Samurai, pump up Killing Hands and/or Strength, and whatever you punch is dead. Plus they're rather hard to kill, drawing fire away from the more squishy members of the team.

only1doug
2008-09-12, 06:10 AM
Hard to kill is a weretiger PhysAdept;

one game i was playing in got to the point where the party tactic was to have tiger shot to pieces, surrender to enemy and keep enemy distracted while regenerated tiger tore them apart from behind.

The Valiant Turtle
2008-09-12, 07:48 AM
For the original posters benefit it should be mentioned that 4th edition made several major changes to the system (I'm assuming the original poster is referring to 4th since he mentioned the wireless). The wireless web was a big one, but there are several others. Be aware that if you've only played pre-4th edition there have been a whole lot of changes.

I can't remember, did they have otaku's pre-4th (people who can naturally access the Net without need for any cyberware or decks)

1of3
2008-09-12, 08:53 AM
I can't remember, did they have otaku's pre-4th (people who can naturally access the Net without need for any cyberware or decks)

They were there back in 2nd Edition.

Pink_Paladin
2008-09-13, 09:48 AM
For the original posters benefit it should be mentioned that 4th edition made several major changes to the system (I'm assuming the original poster is referring to 4th since he mentioned the wireless). The wireless web was a big one, but there are several others. Be aware that if you've only played pre-4th edition there have been a whole lot of changes.

I can't remember, did they have otaku's pre-4th (people who can naturally access the Net without need for any cyberware or decks)

I never played Shadowrun before. Its different. Maybe Im going to do a campaign where the players are professional spies for hire. I don't know yet.

Fri
2008-09-13, 10:06 AM
For me, the most interesting part of shadowrun is the setting. How they can integrate arcane magic, shamanistic magic, cyberware, body modification, the matrix, with mega corporation, and classic fantasy races like ork, troll, dragons, elf, everything. And they didn't asspull everything... much. It's all explained in the setting.

Well, if you didn't like it, you could change/homebrew things. But then, you might be better starting at d20 modern.

Not saying that you have to like shadowrun setting, of course.

TheOOB
2008-09-13, 12:23 PM
If it helps to understand the other metatypes, keep in mind that they are a play on real world race. Shadowrun tries to portray as dark and bleak future as possible (see the punk part of cyberpunk) and one of the ways it does this is by magnifying the problem of racism. Now white and black don't hate each other, but instead team up against green. Elves and dwarves still experiance plenty of racism, but of a different kind.

Really, you should see if you can borrow the 4e core rule book and read the chapters on the setting, they have a lot of good info and explain many things.

horseboy
2008-09-13, 01:04 PM
I only played a mix of 2nd and 3rd Edition, using Point-based character generation. We very quickly decided that playing a human was a waste of time, as an Elf was better and a very cheap race to pick. Trolls though. Take a Troll PhysAd or Samurai, pump up Killing Hands and/or Strength, and whatever you punch is dead. Plus they're rather hard to kill, drawing fire away from the more squishy members of the team.
Pfft, Troll phys-ad archer. Pump up the Str, grab a compound bow and you can be looking at 20M impact armour. Plus, well, it's a bow, they'll be looking for an elf. :smallamused:
As far as 4th goes. If you really must play that edition DO NOT hook everything to the wireless net like they describe. That's BAD IDEA written all over it, as you wind up with deckers being the worst parts of Batman and CoDzilla rolled into one character.

TheOOB
2008-09-13, 01:46 PM
If you really must play that edition DO NOT hook everything to the wireless net like they describe. That's BAD IDEA written all over it, as you wind up with deckers being the worst parts of Batman and CoDzilla rolled into one character.

There are a number of things you can do to make your character difficult to hack wirelessly. Slaving all your gear/cyberware to your comlink and loading it up with defensive software is a good start, as is running in hidden mode. If thats not enough reduce your signal, at the lowest rating it only extends 2 meters, enough to control your gear and access wireless points you are near to, but not enough to be hacked from a distance.

The wireless system was mostly designed so that hackers had a reason to actually come onto runs, that and since wireless is kinda where RL tech is going, they better have it in 2070.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-13, 02:19 PM
There are a number of things you can do to make your character difficult to hack wirelessly. Slaving all your gear/cyberware to your comlink and loading it up with defensive software is a good start, as is running in hidden mode.

So, basically, only people who are stupid enough to not hide their WLAN get hacked?

That's hilarious. And, I suppose, realistic, considering how many people use their neighbor's un-hidden, un-secured WLAN connection IRL...

Edit: Also, all cyberware and gear is basically Bluetooth-enabled and left open? That's even more hilarious. You'd think in 60 years' time they'd stop using the most insecure wireless system ever.

horseboy
2008-09-13, 03:20 PM
Edit: Also, all cyberware and gear is basically Bluetooth-enabled and left open? That's even more hilarious. You'd think in 60 years' time they'd stop using the most insecure wireless system ever.
Pretty much. The book even suggested stuff like deckers hacking samurai's chrome. I'm think "Screw that, hack the semi a block over! Go-go autonav!"

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-13, 03:30 PM
Pretty much. The book even suggested stuff like deckers hacking samurai's chrome. I'm think "Screw that, hack the semi a block over! Go-go autonav!"

Did they give a reason for making a cyberarm wireless? Is it so that they can get the latest Smartlink software patches from Ares on-the-go? :smallconfused:

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-13, 03:51 PM
Pretty much. The book even suggested stuff like deckers hacking samurai's chrome. I'm think "Screw that, hack the semi a block over! Go-go autonav!"

Even the brainhacking in GitS gets on my tits, and at least that makes some sense (after all, these are the best hackers in the world, no doubt with special software and hardware for this purpose, and the brain-wireless is convenient enough that it'd be common). Actually hacking your opponents' guns is just way too powerful. (As a player, I'd pray the GM doesn't allow it, because it'd be way worse for the players!)

It just doesn't make any sense to have a Bluetooth gun or cybereye. (If you've got a general cyberbrain with wireless, it does make sense that the rest of you can be hacked through it, though.)

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-13, 03:59 PM
It just doesn't make any sense to have a Bluetooth gun or cybereye. (If you've got a general cyberbrain with wireless, it does make sense that the rest of you can be hacked through it, though.)

Well, I wouldn't go that far. Letting every member of the team see what the others are seeing can be very, very helpful at times. Ditto with Smartlinks - since not everyone uses scopes :smallamused:

Still, having that stuff wireless by default would be pretty weird. While GitS had the fuzzy barrier between brains and computers as a theme, it was never that strong in SR. Sure, Black IC could fry your body, but it would never be able to take over your brain; ditto with Drone Riggers who may have had a distributed mind, they never a distributed persona.

But what does a cyberarm need to be wireless for? And is the connection between cybereye and brain so intricate that your eye should be able to control your arm via a brain-hack? Seems a bit out-of-place for me.

YPU
2008-09-13, 04:03 PM
Did they give a reason for making a cyberarm wireless? Is it so that they can get the latest Smartlink software patches from Ares on-the-go? :smallconfused:

Yes, one of the books (cant remember which one) has the jackport forum page with one of the posts saying somebody got busted because his cyber arm connected to the wireless and updated itself, in the middle of a arres facility run. then going on that one should make sure to disable the auto update. Damn now I want to play a shadowrun game, pbp if it has to be. Anybody up for hosting one?

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-13, 04:10 PM
Yes, one of the books (cant remember which one) has the jackport forum page with one of the posts saying somebody got busted because his cyber arm connected to the wireless and updated itself, in the middle of a arres facility run. then going on that one should make sure to disable the auto update. Damn now I want to play a shadowrun game, pbp if it has to be. Anybody up for hosting one?

Meh, I'll pass on Shadowrun 4e for the time being. I had a nice SR 3e Fight Club game written up, but I just don't have the time to run it :smallfrown:

But yeah, the best part of SR is the flavor. It is certainly unique in the wide world of RPGs.

YPU
2008-09-13, 04:28 PM
One of the great things about shadowrun is that it has its own lingo thatís really easy to get into. I mean there is even some of it in here. Also, im not sure about the older books but in the newer ones there are these intro pages showing a runner forum in the shadowrun world discussing the topic of the chapter. Being used to reading forums like this one, and all the forum members really having personalities makes you actually feel a little bit of a part of the shadow world. Real cool.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-13, 04:50 PM
One of the great things about shadowrun is that it has its own lingo thatís really easy to get into. I mean there is even some of it in here. Also, im not sure about the older books but in the newer ones there are these intro pages showing a runner forum in the shadowrun world discussing the topic of the chapter. Being used to reading forums like this one, and all the forum members really having personalities makes you actually feel a little bit of a part of the shadow world. Real cool.

Yeah, that's from back in the FASA days. Heck, it was what made the old sourcebooks worth buying. Well, that and ridiculously overpowered weapons - 10D Sniper rifles that shoot APDS rounds? Yes, please :smallbiggrin:

Also: the Blitzen 2050 - the only motorcycle with a hard point. Buy a few, mount Assault Cannons on them and slave them to the Drone Rigger - instant fun :smalltongue:

YPU
2008-09-13, 05:03 PM
yea, what I told my game group whas that i wouldnt GM shadowrun about game balance. No, your criminals for hire, if you find a hole use it.geting past the guards is much more usefull then fighting them. And if you do fight them then blowing them up from behind cover with a grenade or spell or whatever is a smart plan, not powerplaying.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-13, 05:22 PM
yea, what I told my game group whas that i wouldnt GM shadowrun about game balance. No, your criminals for hire, if you find a hole use it.geting past the guards is much more usefull then fighting them. And if you do fight them then blowing them up from behind cover with a grenade or spell or whatever is a smart plan, not powerplaying.

Oh, very true, but a sniper rifle that does as much damage as a rocket launcher (or, for that matter, a PA Troll's fist) can become problematic. You now have an insta-kill weapon that can be silenced. Think on that for a moment - I have.

And let's not get started on using grenades in enclosed spaces - I've chunky salsa'd more than one Sec Team by tossing a HE Offensive Grenade behind me while they chased me through the sewers.

Heh, no SR is a great game, but the GM really does have to keep an eye on the relative power levels of the runners, or he has to make sure they don't have seriously overlapping roles. A melee Street Sam is going to look silly when the Troll PA with a big stick is doing a better job of slicing and dicing than the Sam's 1 million nuyen of SOTA 'ware. :smallamused:

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-13, 05:28 PM
Well, I wouldn't go that far. Letting every member of the team see what the others are seeing can be very, very helpful at times. Ditto with Smartlinks - since not everyone uses scopes :smallamused:

That doesn't actually require a Bluetooth eye, though - in fact, it'd be a bad way to do it. Rather, you'd have software that hooks you all up and gives you marquees of the other characters' visual input (from a cybereye or from regular eyes - doesn't matter since it comes in through the augmented brain and visual cortex).

It also seems clear that if you can hack someone's cyberbrain, you could override their neural impulses, since it all relies on the capability to translate neural impulses into digital data and the other way around.

However, hacking a cyberarm directly... that doesn't make any sense. Why exactly would a cybernetic arm have a CPU or Link-level protocols? It's a bunch of servos and memory plastic and whatnot reacting to electric impulses from your brain. Working through a CPU and some sort of UI would be incredibly inefficient and plain silly.

I guess the people writing this newest Shadowrun edition were a lot more into the magic aspect than the actual cyberpunk? Even Cyberpunk 2020 writers kind of clued in on actual technology around the time they wrote Chromebook 3 (where they introduce the first sensible and realistic aspect of hacking - daemons).

The whole point of writing good cyberpunk is to pick some aspects technology advancement and think about the realistic implications. The best stuff - like Diamond Age - do this. There's consistency and versimilitude. It's usually relatively hard SF, after all.

YPU
2008-09-13, 05:42 PM
Well, some people claim that windows is distributed with deliberate bugs so that you need to get updates. In the shadowrun universe this would be a quite likely scenario, with all the corps trying to get more control all the time.

horseboy
2008-09-13, 06:34 PM
Did they give a reason for making a cyberarm wireless? Is it so that they can get the latest Smartlink software patches from Ares on-the-go? :smallconfused:Well, smartlinks have .25 essense loss instead of the .5. In all due honesty the books are horrible and very difficult to read. I can only get through it at a page and a half before my eye starts with the stabbing pain and I have to sit in a dark room with my head under a blanket to get it to quit with the pain. They've got this horrid matrix scrawl over every page that is, quite literally, a major eye sore. So, anyway I didn't catch any of their reasoning.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-13, 07:08 PM
Well, some people claim that windows is distributed with deliberate bugs so that you need to get updates. In the shadowrun universe this would be a quite likely scenario, with all the corps trying to get more control all the time.

But no runner would use commercial software on their cyberware. Indeed, in traditional cyberpunk, most useful cyberware is installed by "hatchetmen" - street docs - who probably kitbashed it themselves. It'd be a walk in the park to replace existing cyberware's software.

None of that has anything to do with the fact that a gun or a cyberarm would never need any sort of Link protocols. (Unless you wanted some freaky remotely-fired gun that would regularly be used to shoot your foot or hip.)


In all due honesty the books are horrible and very difficult to read. I can only get through it at a page and a half before my eye starts with the stabbing pain and I have to sit in a dark room with my head under a blanket to get it to quit with the pain. They've got this horrid matrix scrawl over every page that is, quite literally, a major eye sore. So, anyway I didn't catch any of their reasoning.

Hah. Try reading the Cyberpunk 203X book. The stabbing pain in my eyes was because I had stabbed myself in the eyes.

YPU
2008-09-15, 10:39 AM
And another way how your cyberarm controls might end up on the matrix. You want your arm to be linked to your personal network, yes you do, as a runner anyway. Why? Well you might not need it for controlling it but having a status report of your arm directly linked in can be quite vital. I mean you would want to know that your arm is fried before you try and fire your gun with it right? And thus, if linked into your personal network it will, perhaps with a few sub steps in your network be linked to the wireless.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-15, 10:44 AM
And another way how your cyberarm controls might end up on the matrix. You want your arm to be linked to your personal network, yes you do, as a runner anyway. Why? Well you might not need it for controlling it but having a status report of your arm directly linked in can be quite vital. I mean you would want to know that your arm is fried before you try and fire your gun with it right? And thus, if linked into your personal network it will, perhaps with a few sub steps in your network be linked to the wireless.

Wait wait wait. There's no hard-wired biofeedback here? No "beamed into your brains" HUD? Now you manage your chrome like it was a server?

I can just imagine Troll Street Sams as Network Admins :smallbiggrin:

HidaTsuzua
2008-09-15, 11:16 AM
I can just imagine Troll Street Sams as Network Admins :smallbiggrin:

That's what makes Shadowrun so great. :smallbiggrin:

As for wireless, it's sad that your first response is to rip out all the new-fangle wireless out of everything. You might be able to get away with it assuming you have a super-badass commlink (like if you're a hacker) to control everything though skinlink. However it's still fairly easy to hack.

Another thing that annoys me is despite Logic being the "hacker" stat, it's virtually useless for the vast majority of tests a hacker does. For running programs, it's Skill+Program. You could be a 1 Logic Hacker and be okay until you had to program your own programs (and considering the time that takes you don't really do that and shadowrun). The FAQ says that most normal computer usage tests should be logic + skill, but it'll be nice if they used that for the main book. They might have fixed this in Unwired, but I'm doubtful.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-15, 11:31 AM
As for wireless, it's sad that your first response is to rip out all the new-fangle wireless out of everything. You might be able to get away with it assuming you have a super-badass commlink (like if you're a hacker) to control everything though skinlink. However it's still fairly easy to hack.

Well, I'm working off pre-4e SR, where we didn't have this new-fangled personal networks. Chrome was strictly plug 'n play - you stick on a cyberarm, and it works just like your old arm; except this time with a built-in Ares Predator :smallamused:

This made it accessible for the illiterate Trog from the Sprawl. Now it sounds like you need to be Matrix Certified just to run a Smartlink. Can you still use this junk without having a BS in Computer Science?

Destro_Yersul
2008-09-15, 12:30 PM
Oh, absolutely. Most of the time it doesn't matter much. A cyberarm is attached, and works like a regular arm with a built-in predator, only instead of being plugged into something directly it uses a wireless connection.

Generally one would simply slave it to one's commlink, meaning that if anyone wants to hack it they have to get through your library of agents, black IC and firewalls to do so.

Of course, wireless functionality can be disabled. By this point in time, almost everyone can use the Matrix well enough anyways, unless they've been living under a rock. Or in a cave. And there's a negative quality you take to represent that.

YPU
2008-09-15, 12:48 PM
I might be wrong, but I think that direct to brain stuff has actually been toned down in 4 e shadowrun. I think that since wireless has turned out to be a big hit and direct to brain is still largely nonexistent in the real world they decided to rework those things a bit. Also as far as the personal wireless goes, any street punk can operate a CD player, even if they donít know what the name stands for or how its works at all.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-15, 12:55 PM
Okay, having spent some time getting into the Shadowrun 4E rules, I totally love the wirelessness and hacking now.

Only complete idiots will be running their gear in Active mode anyway - the kind of chumps you're supposed to clean the floor with because you're way smarter.

Even in Active mode, you need a Electronic Warfare + Scan Test to pick out the right PAN out of all the others in the area (which the city is just freaking full of; at any time, you've probably got hundreds of active PANs in range). If they're running in Hidden, you need 4 hits to succeed - or 15+ if you don't know exactly what you're looking for!

Then you have to hack them, which is probably easier said than done. As mentioned before, only a fool wouldn't have all their equipment and cyberware slaved to their commlink, which has a Firewall. If it's a cheap piece of junk, it'll be easy to get in unnoticed, especially if you're good - and then you can mess with your opponent bad.

And then, of course, some people just run their gear offline, or use jacks.

It's hardly overpowered, though. Only complete chumps are really vulnerable to it, and any pro will be almost invincible to it, unless you're world-class.

What I especially love about all this is that 4E really, really makes it a good idea for everyone to have the Cracking and Electronics Skill Groups, which really advances the cyberpunk feel. If you're not using a computer/the Net all the freaking time, you're not really a cyberpunk, after all.

The way the wireless Matrix is handled is, just by itself, enough to want to make me play or run Shadowrun 4E. Dayumn.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-15, 12:57 PM
I might be wrong, but I think that direct to brain stuff has actually been toned down in 4 e shadowrun. I think that since wireless has turned out to be a big hit and direct to brain is still largely nonexistent in the real world they decided to rework those things a bit. Also as far as the personal wireless goes, any street punk can operate a CD player, even if they donít know what the name stands for or how its works at all.

Yeah, that's what it sounds like. As for the CD point: the scag might be able to a CD player, but I doubt he'll be able to manage a server that links up all of his combat 'ware while he's being shot at and/or hacked by the Combat Decker around the corner. Unless the ICE on these personal networks is ridiculously more powerful than the Corp networks that said Decker routinely raids :smalltongue:

I'm not trying to fight the fluff here, it's just weird going from a plug 'n play cyberware system to a Infowar world where everything is talking to everything else... even your Smartlink.

EDIT:
@Tsotha-lanti - point well taken. I would argue that cyberpunk (esp. William Gibson) has always had an "urban primativist" vibe running through it, where folks would have high tech devices that were so user-friendly they didn't even have to think to use 'em.

I'll have to give it a real look it, I suppose.

YPU
2008-09-15, 01:08 PM
You know how these days you can simply internet wireless at some places, no fuss needed it simply works? Thatís kinda how your personal network works.
How I imagine it, and Iím not nearly familiar enough with it, is that you name your main hub connection thing, say I name mine YPU. Then when I start up a new device it searches for main devices somewhere in two meters or so and asks to connect to which one, so I would choice YPU the main device would then ask to allow the device. Sounds complicated; to a user it would mean they have named their pda. Then when start using another device he only has to hit the name and hit yes on his pda. Not that hard.

And no sweat hunter, were just trying to make sense of a cool setting together. Tíis a good thing.

Destro_Yersul
2008-09-15, 01:12 PM
It would all be in the friendly digital manual anyways. Once the stuff is slaved to the Commlink you don't really have to manage the network. Especially if you have a good agent program with a few nasty tricks.

Besides, the combat Decker around the corner is likely to be on the receiving end of the guns the Scrag's Rigger buddy is controlling remotely. And you can guarantee that the Rigger has an extremely badass counter intrusion suite.

Shadowrun is good for party dynamics. If you can't count on your teammates, you get dead fast.

YPU
2008-09-15, 01:17 PM
A solo run might actually be most effective if you go no-tech, no electronics on you whatsoever. (and elf in a leather cat suit with a bow anybody?) in a word that is run by and trough the net somebody like that would be almost invisible and untouchable to most.
That is until we start getting magic in there.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-15, 01:18 PM
@Tsotha-lanti - point well taken. I would argue that cyberpunk (esp. William Gibson) has always had an "urban primativist" vibe running through it, where folks would have high tech devices that were so user-friendly they didn't even have to think to use 'em.

I'll have to give it a real look it, I suppose.

I love the bit in Diamond Age where you realize urban commoners cannot read or write any kind of alphabet - they just recognize icons and their meanings (which are usually obvious from the icon itself).

The wirelessness isn't that hard to visualize - everything just has Bluetooth, basically. Everything's constantly scanning for other devices around it, and probably trying to access it. (If you run in Active mode, imagine how full of cookies, trackers, and other malware all your systems - including your Image Link! - are.)

Only a complete chump would run their personal stuff in Active mode.

Incidentally, I love the idea of using nothing but your commlink and a bunch of guns on smart firing platforms to set up an ambush and kill a dozen enemies without even being in the vicinity. Now that's class. (Of course, if your victims have a nervous hacker scanning for hidden wireless objects - which would slow them down to a crawl - they may spot the ambush and negate it, and even track it back to your location...)

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-15, 01:21 PM
You know how these days you can simply internet wireless at some places, no fuss needed it simply works? Thatís kinda how your personal network works.

How I imagine it, and Iím not nearly familiar enough with it, is that you name your main hub connection thing, say I name mine YPU. Then when I start up a new device it searches for main devices somewhere in two meters or so and asks to connect to which one, so I would choice YPU the main device would then ask to allow the device. Sounds complicated; to a user it would mean they have named their pda. Then when start using another device he only has to hit the name and hit yes on his pda. Not that hard.

My concern is that these "user friendly" wireless systems are ridiculously insecure. Security is rarely easy even today, and in SR, with crazy Matrix Gods running around, I can only imagine that basic security is a paper wall to most Deckers. If I were a Street Sam, I wouldn't trust my nervous system to Ares GuardDog Firewall if I wasn't damn sure it was secure.

But sure, I'll accept that ICE is now more commonplace (and apparently Firewalls are effective :smallamused:) and that it's bundled with all combat cyberware. Heck, I'll even accept that, for some reason, wireless connections are faster and better than wired connections on a single humanoid body. It certainly does solve the Decker Problem, and for that I have to give whoever owns SR a thumbs up.

Destro_Yersul
2008-09-15, 01:33 PM
WizKids, I believe they're called. That and Fanpro are the names on the front of my books.

Firewalls are effective to a degree. Good Hackers can get past them, and good Agents can counter those hackers. Short answer is if you can't do it yourself, you find someone who can and pay them enough money to do it right. Meaning that your Street Sammy wouldn't be running with Ares GuardDog v2.0, he'd be running with Nonstandard Firewall v4.6, which his aforementioned buddy has assured him is better than all the commercially available kinds.

Hawriel
2008-09-15, 01:45 PM
Yeah, that's from back in the FASA days. Heck, it was what made the old sourcebooks worth buying. Well, that and ridiculously overpowered weapons - 10D Sniper rifles that shoot APDS rounds? Yes, please :smallbiggrin:

Also: the Blitzen 2050 - the only motorcycle with a hard point. Buy a few, mount Assault Cannons on them and slave them to the Drone Rigger - instant fun :smalltongue:

The barret model 121 sniper rifle. 14D APDS rounds with integral silencer and smartlink system. It also comes with a bipod. Great weapon for the teams look out. Personaly I used the Remington 950 sporting rifle. It not as combersome as a sniper rifle and alot more legal. The 9S damage was good enough.

Xuincherguixe
2008-09-15, 01:47 PM
A couple things.

First off, the races. In Shadowrun basically everything is human. Even if it's an elf, or a troll. Or even a Dragon! Well, genetically they aren't homo sapiens, but they think in a pretty human fashion. It's just that they're a lot smarter.

So, why would someone want to play an Ork or Troll? In other fantasy games, those things are "evil" and "the enemy". This is a different take on that. They're oppressed. Even if theoretically they have all the same rights and statuses as any other homo sapien, practically that's not how it works. Is that Troll going to ever be promoted to management? Not very likely. It doesn't matter how smart he is, or how hard she works. Everyone around them considers them an ugly, dumb freak.

But there is hope! There are surgeries that can make you look like someone from another race. And there are organizations that may be close to a cure! (For Elves, Trolls, etc)

That's how to handle racism. Bleak, horrible, disturbing? You bet! That's Shadowrun, and that's how it should be.


As for magic? It's interesting how it integrates with the world. Or doesn't as the case may be. While it has many useful implications, their just aren't that many magicians around. And not only that, but magicians? They're weird man. Like I mean they're really, seriously weird. They'd probably get locked up and thrown in institutions if not for the fact that they can actually do what they say they can.


There's a lot of ways you can go with the game. "Criminals for hire" is the default sort of campaign you'd be playing. Not everything has to be illegal, but most of it will end up being that way. One week you might be stealing some genetically engineered mutant freak pet (no, seriously. I just finished going through one of the source books. They're popular and expensive), and the next you might be putting a bullet through the head of the leader of a civil rights movement. Or I guess through the leader of a racist movement too, but people that care about other people tend not to have as much money.


You can turn the game into something it's really not meant to be, but I wouldn't. Shadowrun is at it's best in range between "kind of dark" where life is cheap and you can get away with just about anything with enough money and "really dark" where the whole world is against you you're doomed and you have absolutely no chance. All you can do is delay the inevitable.


My understanding is that it's a style of game not entirely incompatible with Call of Cthulhu. Burning the house down is a legitimate decision if you can get away with it.


edit: Shadowrun's books are a bit of a confusing situation. FASA fell apart. The game rights to all their stuff went to Microsoft, the Book rights to... Uh, Fanpro I think. They then had Wizkids writing the books. But they just lost the rights to do that. And I understand Microsoft just lost the game rights.

In otherwords? Good news basically. Right now Catalyst writes the books. Interestingly enough though, it's most of the same staff somehow?


And yes, I'm a total fanboy :P

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-15, 01:47 PM
The barret model 121 sniper rifle. 14D APDS rounds with integral silencer and smartlink system. It also comes with a bipod. Great weapon for the teams look out. Personaly I used the Remington 950 sporting rifle. It not as combersome as a sniper rifle and alot more legal. The 9S damage was good enough.

That's the gun! I forgot it was a 14D weapon, silly me :smalltongue:

My elven hitman once used a called shot on a scary PA's kneecap with that sucker. We ruled that the PA was disabled at once :smallbiggrin:

EDIT:
SR isn't quite CoC - in SR you often fight against monolithic megacorps, but they're still run by men (or crazed AI; y'know, whatever :smalltongue:). In CoC, behind every plot is a thing that Was Not Meant to Be.

Plus, SR is a lot more tolerant of blowing crap up when the dreck hits the fan :smallbiggrin:

Xuincherguixe
2008-09-15, 01:59 PM
EDIT:
SR isn't quite CoC - in SR you often fight against monolithic megacorps, but they're still run by men (or crazed AI; y'know, whatever :smalltongue:). In CoC, behind every plot is a thing that Was Not Meant to Be.

Plus, SR is a lot more tolerant of blowing crap up when the dreck hits the fan :smallbiggrin:

I said it's compatible, not the same :P

Also, is there really a difference between Megacorporations and Great Old Ones? I think not. And I bet there's at least one unnameable Horror that's one of Aztechnology's shareholders ^_^.

Destro_Yersul
2008-09-15, 02:03 PM
We don't talk about Aztech's shareholders. It's bad for our health and sanity.

Also, I found the Barret 121 in Arsenal. That's a nifty gun. and with APDS... well, your fancy armour ain't gonna count for much, chummer. :smallbiggrin:

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-15, 02:06 PM
We don't talk about Aztech's shareholders. It's bad for our health and sanity.

Also, I found the Barret 121 in Arsenal. That's a nifty gun. and with APDS... well, your fancy armour ain't gonna count for much, chummer. :smallbiggrin:

It's almost as much fun as the backpack rocket launcher :smalltongue:

YPU
2008-09-15, 02:06 PM
That's the gun! I forgot it was a 14D weapon, silly me :smalltongue:

My elven hitman once used a called shot on a scary PA's kneecap with that sucker. We ruled that the PA was disabled at once :smallbiggrin:

EDIT:
SR isn't quite CoC - in SR you often fight against monolithic megacorps, but they're still run by men (or crazed AI; y'know, whatever :smalltongue:). In CoC, behind every plot is a thing that Was Not Meant to Be.

Plus, SR is a lot more tolerant of blowing crap up when the dreck hits the fan :smallbiggrin:

I agree, tough in CoC not everything is an evil monster from beyond, but it is the default. Of course its even more horror when you find out that this time it actually was a human, all those childrenÖ now thatís horror.
And indeed a friend of me mentioned something along the line of: ďa good guard hopes he never has to fire his gun. A good shadowrunner packs a grenade or two.Ē

Hawriel
2008-09-15, 02:07 PM
Body armor? Hell your engine block is not going to last long.

YPU
2008-09-15, 02:10 PM
Reminds me of one of the tremors movies. Cookie for those who can describe what Iím thinking about.

So, still not enough peeps up for a shadowrun 4e pbp? And no sorry I would not be near good enough to run one.

Destro_Yersul
2008-09-15, 02:10 PM
It's almost as much fun as the backpack rocket launcher :smalltongue:

I'm liking the Enforcer though. Might be less damage output, but it's got more versatility. That and the Gauss Rifle, of course. The Gauss Rifle is wiz.

Arsenal is such a fun book.

EDIT: and I'd totally do a pbp. I'd even run it if you'd tolerate my less than stellar GM-ing. Admittedly it would be better if I had the time to look stuff up in between actions. My biggest problem is that I'm not extremely well-versed in the system.

Xuincherguixe
2008-09-15, 02:12 PM
I'm not big on pbp games myself.

Hawriel
2008-09-15, 02:18 PM
Arsenal? Dont know any thing about that 4th ed stuff. Honestly a smartlink that is open to wardrivers by defalt? No chummer I use the shadowland BBS articles titled Fields of Fire and Street Samari catalog. In a pinch I'll use the data base under the heading The Cannon Companion.

YPU
2008-09-15, 02:23 PM
@Destro; So, we could open a recruitment post in the finding players sub for a shadowrun pbp. Im a decent DM at dnd according to my players. But I have never played shadowrun no matter what edition. So I would happily see you as the GM. Heck, I wouldnít mind if you run pre-writen adventures, I have read a few of them probably (expecting to be the GM if I was going to play it) but forgotten most of it anyway. So that would work out anyway. Shall I make the post or will you?
And I have received a trio of great crib sheets for magic combat and hacking. Should help things along if you need them.

Destro_Yersul
2008-09-15, 02:29 PM
You can make it, cause I need to sleep soon. I'll be writing my own campaign, so feel free to specify only that it's the Standard Shadowrun 4th 400bp game. I've got a lot of books, so most things should be fine, but if anyone has any questions they should drop me a PM. I too have crib sheets, so that's all fine in that department. I got them to speed up the pen n' paper game I'm running for a few RL friends, but they ought to work just as well online.

Also, I can and will hound people relentlessly if they stop posting for a couple days without letting anyone know why. :smallwink:

YPU
2008-09-15, 02:32 PM
You can make it, cause I need to sleep soon. I'll be writing my own campaign, so feel free to specify only that it's the Standard Shadowrun 4th 400bp game. I've got a lot of books, so most things should be fine, but if anyone has any questions they should drop me a PM.

Also, I can and will hound people relentlessly if they stop posting for a couple days without letting anyone know why. :smallwink:
That, my friend, is exactly what I need, as I sometimes am distracted for a while by the littlest things. Iím like a dragonlance kender.

EDIT: here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91114)is the topic, come and run with our crew.

YPU
2008-09-16, 04:12 AM
Any sugestions for a starting group of runners?

Prustan
2008-09-16, 04:31 AM
You know, I'd have been interested in joining if it wasn't 4th Ed. I have fond memories of my (rather heavily modified) 2nd/3rd Edition Monty-Haul campaigns. Really hard for the characters to truely die - let alone lose anything - and every mission ended up with a great big firefight or two. Not to mention all the 'new gadgets' and powers that I made up.

BobVosh
2008-09-16, 05:29 AM
well I am going to try the PbP for it.

Anyway, I just got to say I love the setting and the mechanics are a nice break from the accursed D20.

Most of the technical details have been covered that I know of, so nothing else to say other than any game with the 3 comatose guys sitting in a car a few blocks away being the ones to take the most time with actions is just hilarious. (I say 3 due to the mage in the astral, the rigger in the drone, and the otaku/hacker in the matrix)

Oracle_Hunter
2008-09-16, 07:45 AM
Aw, I'd love to join a nice SR game, but I don't have the 4e books :smallfrown:

I want to frag scags too!

Destro_Yersul
2008-09-16, 07:51 AM
I picked up the 4e book on a whim almost a year ago now. I love my local gamestore. They have so much cool stuff in stock all the time. Not so many Shadowrun supplements though. Those were tough to find.

horseboy
2008-09-16, 02:50 PM
My concern is that these "user friendly" wireless systems are ridiculously insecure. Security is rarely easy even today, and in SR, with crazy Matrix Gods running around, I can only imagine that basic security is a paper wall to most Deckers. If I were a Street Sam, I wouldn't trust my nervous system to Ares GuardDog Firewall if I wasn't damn sure it was secure.
Well, they dropped the power level significantly. Gone are the days that a Shadowrunner is the vetran of Desert Wars XII, now they're just some guy with a degree from DeVry or ITT. Mullet in progress, mullet in progress!

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-16, 03:08 PM
Well, they dropped the power level significantly. Gone are the days that a Shadowrunner is the vetran of Desert Wars XII, now they're just some guy with a degree from DeVry or ITT. Mullet in progress, mullet in progress!

Not really. If you have a natural 6 in a skill you are the best in the world. The best even trained, experienced people should normally have is a 4. A 6 in Firearms is one of the top 5 shots with that weapon in the world. In Social skills it is presidential level (or CEO of a mega). And a 7 is Albert Einstein, James Bond, FastJack, etc. It's "Someone who's expertise outranks all others in all of known history".

If you have the skill spread of the average PC runner then you are veteran level in a wide spread of skills. And thats on top of the 3 languages that you are fluent in and the 2 bachelors degrees you have.

Most GM's just tend to forget what exactly the skill ratings signify. Most professionals have maybe 1 skill group at 3, two other related skills at 2, and maybe 5 skills at 1. Most skills are at 0.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-16, 03:26 PM
I think you're overstating it a bit. SWAT cops, Rangers, pro athletes, published scientists, corporate VPs, politicians, military pilots with combat experience... examples of people with level 5 skills straight out of the book. "Top 5 in the world" looks more like 7, considering that's the level of Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, etc. Looks like there'd be hundreds and hundreds of people with level 6 in almost any particular skill. (Heads of state and CEOs are on that level, and there's plenty of both.)

But yes, 400 BP definitely is enough for an incredibly capable character. 500 BP - the "high-power" suggested in the book - is, obviously, much better still.


As far as Firewall security goes, if you just run in hidden mode, you're fairly safe. A commercial Firewall (Rating 3-4) and a good Analyze program will do a decent job of protecting you unless the hacker is a real professional.

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-16, 03:39 PM
I think you're overstating it a bit. SWAT cops, Rangers, pro athletes, published scientists, corporate VPs, politicians, military pilots with combat experience... examples of people with level 5 skills straight out of the book. "Top 5 in the world" looks more like 7, considering that's the level of Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, etc. Looks like there'd be hundreds and hundreds of people with level 6 in almost any particular skill. (Heads of state and CEOs are on that level, and there's plenty of both.)
And most of those 5's won't be common people. The companies HTR team has 5's in their relevant firearms, their regular guard is a 3. 5's exist and the PC's will interact with them but they aren't anywhere near as common as most GM's make them. And 6's are even rarer. There are maybe 500 people world wide with a 6 in a social skill. And it pretty much means top 500 or so. In a world of 10 billion that is .000000005% of the worlds population.


But yes, 400 BP definitely is enough for an incredibly capable character. 500 BP - the "high-power" suggested in the book - is, obviously, much better still.
Not better at a given skill usually, just that good at a large number of skills.

horseboy
2008-09-16, 06:20 PM
Not really. If you have a natural 6 in a skill you are the best in the world. The best even trained, experienced people should normally have is a 4. A 6 in Firearms is one of the top 5 shots with that weapon in the world. In Social skills it is presidential level (or CEO of a mega). And a 7 is Albert Einstein, James Bond, FastJack, etc. It's "Someone who's expertise outranks all others in all of known history".What edition are you talking about? Cause in 2nd EVERY archetype listed started with multiple 6's. Because pretty much anything but the best got eaten by Darwin in the shadows. Fastjack was a 10.

estradling
2008-09-16, 06:40 PM
What edition are you talking about? Cause in 2nd EVERY archetype listed started with multiple 6's. Because pretty much anything but the best got eaten by Darwin in the shadows. Fastjack was a 10.

I believe Tippy is referring to the chart on pages 108-109 of the fourth ed rule book.

Along those lines I could have sworn I read in passing somewhere that GM shouldn't let the players have programs above 6 (7 and above should be the focus of major power struggles on corp levels)... But I can't for the life of me find it again... :(

Emperor Tippy
2008-09-16, 07:28 PM
I believe Tippy is referring to the chart on pages 108-109 of the fourth ed rule book.

Along those lines I could have sworn I read in passing somewhere that GM shouldn't let the players have programs above 6 (7 and above should be the focus of major power struggles on corp levels)... But I can't for the life of me find it again... :(

The entire hacking/matrix section is filled with problems. You can black box a hacker without any real problem at all.

Comlink:
Response 6 (8,000)
Signal 6 (3,000)
System 6 (3,000)
Firewall 6 (3,000)
Agent 6 (15,000)
All Common Use Programs 6 (4,200)
All Hacking Programs 6 (84,000)

Total Cost: 120,200 nuyen

That comlink can hack as well or better than most every PC or NPC and you can give every PC one for 11k (the agent can crack the copy protection or you can do it yourself).

Now what they should have done was said that you can code any program you want, up to natural skill*2 rating (maxing at 12 normally and 14 in the extreme) but it is a tailored program that only you (the creator) or a program coded by you (a custom coded agent) can utilize effectively and even then only when using a custom OS and with custom hardware. If others try to use said stuff the rating is (6-(rating-6)).

So a PC hacker who really specializes and custom codes all their own ware can crush anyone using off the shelf ware, even the best off the shelf stuff, but they can't just give it too others to use and it explains why people higher hackers instead of just buying a hack bot themselves.

That's not so say that a hack box couldn't be made by said hacker but if you could get him to sell one to you it would cost you millions (196,000 nuyen just for the hacking programs and thats assuming rating*1,000 instead of a much more reasonable rating*10,000).