Monday, January 24, 2011

Runnin' them Shadows

Sunday's session of Shadowrun 4 was great. I had a blast.

It had nothing whatsoever to do with it being Shadowrun 4.
The session had lots of great character interaction, world immersion, investigation, and players being free to do their own thing and motivated enough to actually do so.

I still don't like having to chuck nine or ten goddamn dice every single time I do anything.

The rules for wireless/AR are still simultaneously complicated and vague. Often the GM just gives me an on the spot ruling, but oft-times I feel like I am "talking him into things" with technobabble. He has started planning wireless nodes as parts of the adventure, however, which is good for me.

Many of us in the group agree that our tastes have drifted away from games that are overly complex. I would call Shadowrun somewhat beyond my complexity threshold, but I have endured thus far and will continue to do so because the group, the GM, and the campaign are all highly satisfying.

Oddly enough, I do find that I miss M's RIFTS game a little and hope we actually do return to it one day. Man, these glasses must be seriously fucking rose-colored. (Actually, the campaign itself was a blast, even though we had to sort of keep the rules system in check to keep it from giving us all brain aneurysms.)

We have lost a few people, and potential new players have failed to materialize, leaving the group at five people. I certainly hope we don't lose anymore, though I think we have found the "core" of this group, and I'm comfortable with that.

Long Live Sunday Gaming!


  1. I game with some really smart people, but even a few of them found SR4's rules to be a little vague at times. Also also felt that the rulebook was poorly cross-indexed. Oh well.

    I'm glad you are gaming well and often. Enjoy!

  2. No need to apologize for Rifts...if you can find a way to make it work, it's chock-full of cool ideas for immersive role-playing (and I find Rifts' setting to be a LOT less cheesy AND thought-provoking than SR's fantasy cyberpunk).
    : )

  3. I disagree JB. SR has had a great deal of fiction written for it over the years and none of the plots overlap. I find SR a much easier game to imagine because the premise is much closer to our reality. SR's main detractor is that it's tech is not as advanced as it should be. There is no possible way for a RIFTS universe to exist as a city state economy would never support high tech. There is no way that you could even produce a cell phone without global access to resources. Let alone feed a city with the monsters that inhabit RIFTS. The only reason I continue to play RIFTS is that the GM rocks. I have to admit that Ryan's mention of Beowulf set me off to pining for AD&D 1st ed. I would not mind a 2nd dip into deadlands as well but I think the MIDNIGHT game will take care of those urges.

  4. @ Mick: I will concede Rifts as unrealistic, but I can buy elves and dwarves from other "dimensions" sooner than I can buy people spontaneously mutating into fantasy critters. That's ridiculous in my book.
    ; )

  5. I think pondering which of these games is most ridiculous is similar to me deciding which of my fingers I'd rather have broken with a hammer. :)

    I don't know... the artwork in RIFTS probably awards it the crown in this case.

    I will say this: two games that I find fairly repellent rules-wise have both been made fun and compelling by competent GMs who know how to run a good campaign.

  6. @ Ryan: Wow, dude...that's like the classic argument people trot out for system NOT mattering. "Who cares about the design of the game? MY GM rocks!" Fine. Bully for you...doesn't help anyone else.

    And if it doesn't, should we be supporting it?

    [um...just throwing that thought out there for pondering. Not trying to start an argument or anything!]

  7. Naw, system matters, and RIFTs is a crappy system. Shadowrun 4th edition is clunky and inelegant. However, I like my group, and I like our campaigns... the GM makes them fun. Do I desperately wish we were using other rules systems? Gods, yes.

    A flawed analogy that just popped into my head: I can eat at Taco Bell, which is shitty, or a place here in town called La Mesa, which is totally awesome. If you are in good company when you go to Taco Bell, it doesn't change the fact that Taco Bell sucks, even if you have dinner with friends... and while you're eating, you can be thinking "Jesus, I wish we were at La Mesa..." Not a perfect analogy, but that's where I'm coming from.

  8. @ Ryan: Oh, but what Taco Bell does to the digestive system! Ugh!
    ; )

  9. I would say it's roughly equivalent to what RIFTS-as-written does to my brain...