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  #1  
Unread 28th of February, 2013, 00:53
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Shadowrun - PBP friendly?

Though, apparently, I risk being lynched for admitting this, I'll say it anyways: I have never played Shadowrun before (a fact which causes most of my friends, online and off, to want to throttle me).

I've always been tempted to give the setting and rulebook a proper look over, especially since my friends passed along a copy of the anniversary edition pdf to me a while ago. But as 90% of my RPGs are run/played in via the PBP format, I ask this before I even attempt to look the game over: how easy is it to run a game of 20th Anniversary Edition Shadowrun over the internet?

Someone I asked sometime ago mentioned that combat would be difficult to incorporate (always a big turnoff for me), but since then I've been told differently. Because of this controversy over whether it is or isn't PBP friendly, I thought I'd turn to you all for your opinions.
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Unread 28th of February, 2013, 00:54
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I've never played Shadowrun either, although I have seen a few games run here over the years.
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Unread 28th of February, 2013, 01:03
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What's really prompted me to inquire is that I've seen pictures for an upcoming PC game set in its universe, "Shadowrun Returns". What I saw portrayed it to be a game that's very Bladerunner meets Fallout (at least in terms of how the PC game would run); but the appearance of the world, and the characters, intrigued me enough to begin this thread.
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Unread 28th of February, 2013, 01:07
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I think I played it once or twice, maybe 15 years ago. A good friend of mine was really into it though - he and his group often played from Saturday afternoon until Sunday morning.

So - no great comments from me. But on PbP combat in general:
My guess is that for most systems you can find a way to have fun combat via PbP. You should be willing to adapt how you deal with things in combat a little though. Much of it depends on how much time the DM has, really.
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Unread 28th of February, 2013, 01:15
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Agreed. There's always a way around combat, but sometimes - in order to make full use of the system, or avoid having to adapt it to suit (without unbalancing) - it's hard to incorporate battles and fights into the story without having to bog everything down to a snail's pace, or without having to include maps and miniatures/icons.
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Unread 28th of February, 2013, 04:27
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Shadowrun uses a dice pool (and exploding 6s), which will be harder to really track on the forum than it would be in F2F games. I don't know that it will be significantly harder than a d20 game, though. I haven't played the newest edition, but I played 1E for awhile and a decently long F2F campaign (about a year) in 3E (I played a Shaman). Frankly, as much fun as it was, I think I prefer reading cyberpunk to playing it, in most cases.
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Unread 28th of February, 2013, 12:35
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Loved the idea of shadowrun, never been fond of the mechanics. Played off and on for years, mostly by converting it to other rules systems. The thing I think I liked about it most was how it and Earthdawn fit together (and I just loved Earthdawn).
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Unread 28th of February, 2013, 21:03
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Thanks for the feedbacks folks, though I'm still uncertain as to how PBP friendly it is.

Exploding dice don't worry me, as it's easy enough to provide one set of rolls, and then post a second time with your re-rolls as required. It takes up space, but provided all your rolls are together, it's workable.
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Unread 1st of March, 2013, 01:02
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It isn't map heavy (or wasn't in the games I played), so that's sort of helpful. The dice pool mechanic isn't terribly hard (you have a rating for an ability that tells you how many dice you have, plus an extra pool you can borrow from, then you roll the whole pool and compare to a Target Number - say 5. Any die that is a 5 or higher is a hit, and you have to have a certain number of hits to actually overcome the obstacle.)

Say a lockpicking attempt with a TN of 5 and you need at least 3 hits. Your pool is 10 (7 from an ability and 3 from a skill) 3 1 4 5 5 1 2 1 2 1

The biggest problem here isn't really all that big a problem at all. You'd post, determine the number of hits and then edit your post.

EDIT - Like this. 2 hits, which means I fail the lockpicking. Lucky for me that I only rolled four 1s. If I'd rolled one more, not only would I have failed, but I'd have botched something bad enough to have a negative outcome like tripping an alarm or something.
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Unread 1st of March, 2013, 07:17
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I get you, Mercutio. But how intimate a knowledge of the setting does a GM need to have before he could run a game?
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Unread 1st of March, 2013, 09:53
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Shadowrun is one of those games that is very setting specific. All of the rules, mechanics, flavor, equipment, abilities and skills, etc. is all intertwined with the setting. You should really try to make yourself somewhat familiar with the Shadowrun setting before running a game in it.
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Unread 1st of March, 2013, 10:27
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I thought so. I don't intend on running a game now - or perhaps ever - but have always been curious.
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Unread 2nd of March, 2013, 04:51
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I ran a Shadowrun game for awhile, here - which died pretty quickly. To me, a GM for a Shadowrun game needs a LOT of time, especially compared to GMing other things. Especially if you have hackers, mages, shamans, and all sorts of people in the party.

If I were to run another, I think I'd forbid hacking for PCs, and make an NPC Hacker readily available to them to help / provide dramatic tension. There is a LOT going on in a Shadowrun game, as it is.
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Unread 2nd of March, 2013, 05:07
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But Technomancers and Hackers are the best part of Shadowrun!

There's nothing quite like playing an infirm, frail, weak shadowrunner who never leaves his home but also happens to be a technomancer controlling groups of battle robots from across the planet to fight for him, and is constantly hacking and weakening enemies and destroying/controlling enemy tech.
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Unread 2nd of March, 2013, 05:45
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Krypton: Why do hackers, mages and shamans make for a truck load of extra work?
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Unread 2nd of March, 2013, 13:58
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Partly because their rules are different. (Yes I know I'm not Krypton)
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Unread 2nd of March, 2013, 18:19
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They require a ton of extra work because they each have their own realm type deal they go into, requiring extra encounters, and a lot more time looking up rules. Casters have the Astral Realm (or whatever it's called), and hackers/technomancers have the Matrix.
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Unread 2nd of March, 2013, 19:47
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Ah, I see. I can imagine that would be a pain over tabletop, but may be easier to handle over PBP.
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Unread 3rd of March, 2013, 02:08
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It's actually worse over PBP because of the way the mechanics work. You frequently have characters taking 3 turns each round while other characters get 1, or have to wait for stuff to resolve in the Matrix or the Astral realm before letting the rest of the party do their stuff in the real world. That means a lot of waiting and doing nothing while you resolve combat scenarios and skill challenges.
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Unread 3rd of March, 2013, 02:23
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Ah. :/ That does sound difficult to manage.
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Unread 3rd of March, 2013, 03:20
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Which means that having these guys as NPCs and focusing on other characters with the PC party might make it much easier to handle. Although I'm not sure how much loss of excitement would go along with this.
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Unread 4th of March, 2013, 03:03
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Great tag team work, guys.

I have nothing further to contribute. That's exactly my PBP experience with Shadowrun.
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Unread 4th of March, 2013, 19:35
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Thanks for the feedback, folks.
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