💯 {Staff Pick} [Shadowrun] A rules light announcement? [It's been released!]

Gentleman Highwayman

Registered User
Validated User
#81
Re: [Shadowrun] a rules lite announcement?

SR3 QuickStart is 64 pages, is only missing creation/XP rules and has 90% of the gear that's actually used. Reap the Whirlwind is a complete VtR game with character creation, the first two dots of all the Disciplines and an adventure in 60 pages.

I have a feeling the page count will be closer to 64 or 96, but still be a "full" game.

Iain.
 

gribble

Registered User
Validated User
#82
Re: [Shadowrun] a rules lite announcement?

Yeah, they need 20 pages just for the lore.
You're probably being sarcastic, but the entire 5e quickstart (not including the adventure) is only 18 pages... and that is not only lore (admittedly just a very brief overview), but full basics of the 5e ruleset, including magic and matrix. So yeah, I'm pretty it could be done in less than 20 pages. Let's see:

One page of general setting overview / intro fiction
One page on meta types and common archtypes
One page on geographic / cultural overview
One page on the megacorps and other main players
One page on magic
One page on the matrix
One "anatomy of a shadowrun" page

That about cover it all for a good overview?

That being said, if it's rules light and around 50 pages... then they could easily dedicate the same amount of space in the book for setting (23 pages) as the current 5e core.
 

Mister Gone

Six Monkey Slap-Slap
Validated User
#83
Re: [Shadowrun] a rules lite announcement?

I am cautiously interested. Shadowrun was my jam back in the second edition era. That blurb though says something about "If you want to try Shadowrun..." which makes me think it'll be a cut-down sampler of the 'full' rules with a light system, a scattershot of backstory, some gear, but no character generation and no options for running an extended campaign. I hope I'm not right.
 

The Fat Hero

Registered User
Validated User
#84
Re: [Shadowrun] a rules lite announcement?

You're probably being sarcastic, but the entire 5e quickstart (not including the adventure) is only 18 pages... and that is not only lore (admittedly just a very brief overview), but full basics of the 5e ruleset, including magic and matrix. So yeah, I'm pretty it could be done in less than 20 pages. Let's see:

One page of general setting overview / intro fiction
One page on meta types and common archtypes
One page on geographic / cultural overview
One page on the megacorps and other main players
One page on magic
One page on the matrix
One "anatomy of a shadowrun" page

That about cover it all for a good overview?

That being said, if it's rules light and around 50 pages... then they could easily dedicate the same amount of space in the book for setting (23 pages) as the current 5e core.
Heh. Yeah, you don't need that deep of a dive for folks getting into a ruleslite system. The SR wiki and online resources can help with that.

Well, looking at the table of contents of 3rd and 4th edition, yes and no.
3rd Edition
Welcome to the shadows starts at page 7 and ends at 13. 6 pages
See how they run is fiction so I am not countin it.
And So It Came To Pass starts at page 22 and ends at page 35. 13 pages.
After that is crunch, so 19 pages of lore.
Shadowrun 4th
The lore starts at 14, and ends at page 50 before we get to crunch. 36 pages in total.

And no thank you for leaving stuff out in favor for leaving it on the internet. I don't have reliable internet.
 

Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
Validated User
#85
Re: [Shadowrun] a rules lite announcement?

I am cautiously interested. Shadowrun was my jam back in the second edition era. That blurb though says something about "If you want to try Shadowrun..." which makes me think it'll be a cut-down sampler of the 'full' rules with a light system, a scattershot of backstory, some gear, but no character generation and no options for running an extended campaign. I hope I'm not right.
Teasing a rules-light Shadowrun and then giving a glorified quickstart would be a huge mistake. I highly doubt that'll happen.
 
Last edited:

Critias

Social Justice Galliard
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#86
Re: [Shadowrun] a rules lite announcement?

All right fellas, here's what I've got from Jason (Hardy, overall SR line dev and my go-to guy for when I'm worried I'm about to violate NDA).

I'm going to quote questions (sorry, just copy-pasting back from an email, so quotes aren't going to be attributed to their original authors), then post my answer, his answer, or the conglomerate answer giving a level of detail he says is okay. Sound good? Here goes.

My primary question is what rules lite means. Are we talking something on the medium-lite end of things like Cinematic Unisystem or Ubiquity or something seriously rules lite like Over the Edge or other similar ultra-lite games? I'm hoping for the first option, but either could be interesting and fun.

I also am potentially interested, but very curious about exactly what, "Rules light," means in this context. Shadowrun has some pretty hefty rules. Light relative to those rules covers a broad range.
Crit: I'm fuzzy on where exactly these games fall on the "rules light" versus "narrative game" spectrum -- I'm not an expert on everything out there claiming to be less crunchy than average -- but some comparisons I can make, which might be helpful, are to CGL's other lighter-than-SR5 games, like Cosmic Patrol and Valiant. We're drawing on some experiences (and have a dev or two) from those other flavors of CGL product, along with brainstorming from out-of-house experiences.

JMH: That sounds about right. One difference that comes to my mind is that in SR5, the rules and resulting dice rolls very much determine the direction of the story; in Anarchy, the story as a collaborative effort carries the game forward, with dice rolls adding spice and flavor to that story.

One, is it using a unified resolution mechanic, or are punchy/shooty things, hacky things and magicky things all handled differently?
JMH: Fine details are still being determined, but the basics in each part of the system should be pretty similar. Just _how_ similar they will be will be determined soon!

Crit's addendum (I was scared to offer an answer, 'cause I don't want to pin us down): I'd, personally, say things are closer to unified than in SR5, myself, just touchy-feely guesstimating.

Two, is it set in a particular time in Shadowrun's universe, or is it going more for the "pick your time, use the main books for that time for narrative detail" approach?
Crit: We've got plans for sample characters to be pretty familiar to fans of SR5 (especially those familiar with the pair of beginner boxes), which is all kind of grounded in the 2070s, but mostly the Anarchy stuff is worried about feeling like motherfraggin' Shadowrun, first and foremost, more than any particular era. You should be able to bolt on whatever edition of fluff you like.

JMH: The goal is that as new plot material comes out, you could use it with either SR5 or Anarchy, so we'll mainly be focused on the current timeline. As always, though, gamemasters are free to adapt at will.

Who/when? I was vague on purpose, When could be 2016 or 2017 or it could be 2050 or 2070 if you see what I mean. Who would be who's writing it. (or publishing it if it out-of-house like Savage Rifts)
Crit: I'm not touching release date estimates with a ten foot pole, just 'cause I'm a big fat wuss that doesn't want to be responsible if anything goes sideways and we miss 'em. I can tell you it is being done in-house, and I'll tell you I am on the core team for it, but nobody else's participation is my place to share. I don't think anybody that's working on it is, like, ashamed or trying to keep it a secret or anything (we were all super psyched to get the chance), but some of 'em are active online or on podcasts or what-have-you, and I guess if they want folks to know they're working on it, they can say so themselves, y'know? I already mostly tackled the era/edition/vibe, but Jason added this:

JMH: The book should be out this year, and the setting will be around 2078.

This might be a bit tricky to answer in preview stage, but what the hell...

One of the glories of SR has been the insane level of gear specificity and customization present in the gear (an Ares Predator is different from a Ruger Super Warhawk from a Colt Manhunter) and the customization of gear.

This has of course been one of the downsides as well as folks get overwhelmed by the fiddliness and customization of their gear. But without the fiddly granularity, it doesn't quite feel like Shadowrun, but with it combat bogs down, etc. etc.

How does Anarchy try to balance this tension?
JMH: In the end, the most fiddle granularity will be in SR5. If you want full customization, it's difficult to do without a robust rule set.

That said, the rules model we are following has some wiggle room for individual adaptation of certain pieces of gear. It's not the full weapon customization of SR5, where you have six different statistical categories to mess with, but you will have a chance to make your character feel like you want it to, within the parameters of the game. Just don't count on getting an extra edge through modifying recoil compensation. That won't happen.

Crit's Addendum: Folks who are into, like, our big pile of "book full of gear for book full of gear's sake," might not be super thrilled with Anarchy, just fair warning. They kind of already have a game, y'know? We don't want people to need big crunchy books full of gear in order to play in the Sixth World we all know and love.

And this last one also kind of tackles that most recent question from up-thread a little (about the length of the book, the fluff/crunch ratio, etc). I told Jason just how many people were reading and posting to this thread, 'cause I'm jazzed that y'all are into it and I wanted to make sure he knew how popular the conversation was already:

JMH: I'm glad people are excited! One thing I would note about the Gamerati announcement of Anarchy is they said the book would be 40 pages; that means about 40 pages of rules text. Then we'll have universe background, characters, campaign info, Gamemaster tools, and other things to make it easy to immediately drop into a game of Shadowrun: Anarchy. I just don't want people thinking we're going to be asking $25 for a 40-page book!

Crit's Addendum: One of the things we're trying to do is make Anarchy a drop-in "mod" (for lack of a better term) that will let people use their existing Shadowrun stuff (setting books and metagame books and the like), and play the game in a rules-lighter way. One of the things we're also wanting to do is make Anarchy a way for new players/GMs to get into the game, by also having all the gorgeous artwork folks have come to expect from Brent and his crew, enough lore to get 'em hooked on the game, and some GM tips to make clear the difference between the crunchier SR5 and the product they've just bought. We also want it to be "enough book" for a reasonable print run, layout size, and price tag. So we're balancing lots of design wants, and are gonna try to get it just right so it's hefty enough to be worth buying, small enough to be an afterthought in your bag instead of a 400 page tome, big enough to lay open on a game table and maximize playability, etc, etc.

Crit's Random Thing: I remember somebody asking about dice. We're going for D6's, yeah. They're too iconic Shadowrunny for us to go anyplace else, those crazy death-pyramid d4s, awkward loner d12s, or those-other-guys' d20s. ;) Sticking with D6s for this puppy.

Crit's One Last Thing: Several of us are big, big, fans of the Shadowrun vidja games that've come out these last few years (some of us even contributed to those projects as Kickstarter rewards, helped with some fiction, etc). We're certainly trying to take some fan input from those games into Anarchy. I won't say we're basing anything ON those games (you won't see percentile dice or anything like that), but the stuff we loved about those games, and the way they managed to maintain a great Shadowrun feel without necessary leaning on all the Shadowrun crunch, were, if nothing else, some of the things that inspired us to once again harangue management for a shot at this sort of game. So don't hold out for huge mechanical inspiration, maybe, but know that we're big geeky fans and liked 'em for many of the same reasons y'all did.

Anyways, hope this all helped, fellas. I think this is about as many details as I can give without rubbing up against NDA territory, and I'm glad Jason carved out some time to gimme this info to disperse. I appreciate everybody's interest (very, very, much), and hopefully this has all been enough to keep those appetites whetted. Future announcements will offer more info, I'd suggest maybe keeping an eye on Randal's SR tumblr posts, if he's gonna go into more detail, he'll likely do it there (I genuinely don't know what announcements are planned, just my best guess).

ETA: And no, Mister Gone, you're not right (in your "I hope I'm not right" post). We've already got stripped-down Quick Start rules (heck, we've already got Quick Start rules that're free to download and play), and boxed sets with no chargen, etc, etc. There's nothing wrong with those, I'm really proud of the character dossiers and fiction and stuff I put into the Beginner Box and Alphaware box, but...that's not what this is. No worries there. :)

And, sorry, had some copy-paste formatting issues, trying to go from here to email and back again. I think I cleaned it all up okay, holler if anything still looks wildly out of place.
 
Last edited:

gribble

Registered User
Validated User
#88
Re: [Shadowrun] a rules lite announcement?

Thanks for the info - really looking forward to this one.

Just nixed a SR campaign about a month back in favour of Mutant Year Zero, precisely because the rules were too complex for most of the group. This could let us get that SR feel without the complicated rules, which would be awesome!
 

beckermt

Registered User
Validated User
#90
Re: [Shadowrun] a rules lite announcement?

I'm torn. With the new Anarchy stuff I'll definitely actually get to play Shadowrun again (finally), but it sounds a little rules lighter than I'd like. But I guess that's a buy. I'll have to eat my crunchies with Dark Heresy instead. :D
 
Top Bottom