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Echoes
2010-12-06, 11:13 PM
So, I just aquired a set of Shadowrun 3e core books, and I've been contemplating learning the system. However, I've also realized that 4e is the most modern incarnation of Shadowrun, so I am wondering if I should trade these out for 4e books before I bother learning all of the information. From what I've gathered, it seems as if the 3e/4e conversion is almost parallel to the 3.5e/4e D&D conversion - it seems like the system is massively simplified in the new rules, and magic went from kinda cool to kinda bland... From my brief examination, I have arrived at two questions:

First, does anyone still play 3e, as there are D&D players who still play 3.5e?

Second, what are your experiences playing 3e and 4e, and which do you like better?

DeltaEmil
2010-12-06, 11:31 PM
The far more stream-lined rules mechanic of Shadowrun 4th edition are far more ground-breaking and extreme than D&D 4th edition is compared to its predecessor.

Rules-wise, in almost all aspects, 4th edition Shadowrun is superior to 3rd edition Shadowrun, because of the simple fact that all you need to roll are a required bunch of 5 and 6 on your dice pool.
The prior editions had you make either roll as high as possible, or roll a required number of target numbers that can vary a lot.
Just looking at that aspect alone, you can see that this eliminates asking what sort of test the gm actually wants, which is already good.
Also, by making the target numbers fixed, tasks become a little bit more faisible for characters.
Having a +1-modifier in 3rd edition (which is a bad thing) dramatically reduces your success chances if your prior target number was a 4, and a +2-modifier is of course even worse, but having a +3-modifier (which should be even worse than that) becomes utterly worthless because rolling a 7 is the same as rolling a six. Some groups took it upon them to fix this by making house-rules where you'd need to roll a 4+ on the second die roll, and other shenanigans that shouldn't have happened in the first place.

And there's some streamlining about cyber- and bioware. But that's not so relevant for this discussion.

The only real thing some people complain about is background lore. But average-smart people know that they can easily use older background lore with newer rules, so that's definitely not a problem.

As for magic, there are still differences just in form of choosing your drain attribute (although to be honest, I find this to be a dumb idea). More important is what kind of spirit you can summon and which type of sorcery is tied to which kind of spirit depending on your tradition (which although also giving it more colour, is actually also meh in my opinion). And then there's new types of summoning like possession (voodoo-style where the spirits go take over your body or that of a prepared target), which leads to balancing problems.

Or to say it with less words, magic in Sr 4 has lost nothing of its goodies and baddies on Sr 3, 2 and 1.

If you're into fluff, take whatever you like. If you want my honest opinion about which SR-system is the superior one, then it's clearly the 4th edition (appearently, there's an anniversary-edition that is something like 4.5). At least compared to 3rd edition.

And yes, there are of course still people who play 3rd edition. There are even people who still play 2nd and 1st edition Shadowrun.
When Shadowrun 5th edition will come out (no matter if it becomes the next best thing since sliced bread or might become industrial waste-material), there will be people who will remain with 4th edition. And 6th edition will make some people stay with their beloved 5th edition, and so on...

Crow
2010-12-07, 12:11 AM
Our group prefers 3e. If you like Ghost in the Shell with elves sort of games, go with 4e. If you like more Fantasypunk sort of games, go with 3e.

If you're learning the rules from scratch it's not going to make much of a difference either way.

Echoes
2010-12-07, 08:34 AM
Having started to read both sets of core rules comparatively, it seems like the only things I'm really going to miss are the dice pools. I love the notion of giving players more tactical options with the dice in combat, and it seems like dice pools really allow someone who knows the system to re-optimize their character every round to fit their immediate needs. The augmented reality is a slight sticking point for me too, because while I think there are situations where that aspect of the world really adds depth, I don't want to end up feeling like I'm playing a gritty (but still technicolor!) reboot of Tron: the tabletop RPG.

Is there something in 4e to compensate for the loss of flexibility from dice pools?

And how thinly are casters spread? It seems like they have some serious MAD in the new version...

Swordguy
2010-12-07, 09:33 AM
The big draw for SR3 is the atmosphere. The first 3 editions of SR were heavy into "true cyberpunk", ideally focusing on gritty, humanesque drama and the nascent loss of humanity required to compete in the mega-corp dominated world. Not a mage? Then you almost certainly NEED essence loss to contribute? Technology and the soul are mutually exclusive, and in a high-tech world, not much soul is left. Even if you just have a datajack...you've got to have a hole drilled in your skull to get it. How does voluntarily giving up body parts for a short term gain affect you? Will Gibson and Blade Runner are the primary sources. It's all very "future of the 1980's".

If you like that atmosphere, go with SR3 (plus, getting sourcebooks for SR3 is really cheap and easy these days).

The new edition is a sci-fi game of the modern era, a "post-cyberpunk" system. We've seen, in the real world, that technology isn't inherently harmful to the human condition, and the integration of machine and flesh can theoretically be considered the next logical stage of human evolution (the Technomancer really exemplifies this idea). This is where SR4 excels. It's a much glitzier world, where the megacorps, while massive and powerful, aren't quite as oppressive, and the shadows in the alley's aren't so dark. The whole atmosphere has lightened up considerably. The primary source is really the anime Ghost in the Shell.

I don't especially like the SR4 mechanics (and hate their character-creation system - the priority system, along with handfuls of dice, is one of the main hallmarks of SR - and I will NEVER like point-buy in any system I play due to min-maxers), and so I can't honestly say go play it (and I say this whilst running an SR4A game). I'm too much of a fan of the earlier noir atmosphere, and the SR3 system really supports this well, while the SR4 system supports high-power, over-the-top/Rule of Cool play (and very well, may I add). What I will say is that, should you decide on SR3, you should unabashedly steal from SR4 for concepts, and translate them over to SR3. Wireless Matrix? Not a difficult switch, and it completely changes the "Decker issue".

Still, if you must play 4e, I recommend tracking down the 20th Anniversary edition. It's really something of 4.1e, and incorporates a whole lot of clarifications and errata and are really necessary.

Lost Demiurge
2010-12-07, 12:25 PM
Honestly, both games are good.

SR3's got more complex crunch. Too much for my tastes, really.

SR4's more streamlined, faster. There's a few brainbenders in there, but not as many as SR3. I like it because I can run it easily, adjust on the fly.

Both are lethal as heck, both reward players for thinking creatively and sneakily, and they use the same damn backstory, so you're good either way.

The atmosphere... Well, a good GM and group can adjust that to whatever they see fit. SR4's a little more positive, SR3's a little more dystopian, but at the end of the day you can mix and match to your heart's content.

If dice pools are the big selling point, stick with SR3.

Crow
2010-12-07, 12:31 PM
I gotta agree on the dice pools!

That is one of my favorite parts of the system.

Seerow
2010-12-07, 01:45 PM
I prefer 4e. 3e just had too many things that made me headdesk. The streamlining in 4e makes it easier to learn, faster to play, and has a lot fewer idiosyncracies.


I just find it more appealing throwing 10-15 dice trying to get 5+ successes than throwing 20+ dice out trying to get a single DC17 success.

comicshorse
2010-12-07, 02:37 PM
I prefer 3E because I find the Points Buy system of Character Creation for 4th leads to horribly Min/Maxed characters ( and because I have the 3E books)

Lost Demiurge
2010-12-07, 03:20 PM
I prefer 3E because I find the Points Buy system of Character Creation for 4th leads to horribly Min/Maxed characters ( and because I have the 3E books)

Yeah, I solve that one by asking people to try to restrain themselves from minmaxing. But hey, I know how it goes...

a_humble_lich
2010-12-07, 06:28 PM
The new edition definitely is streamlined, where the basic system is basically the same as White Wolf. They did basically take the "punk" out of "cyberpunk," but some of the changes make it much better as a cooperative game. Namely, it is much easier for deckers to be part of an actual game.

Sometimes it seems people now are spoiled. Sure older editions can be complicated, but if I could figure out 1st edition when I was 13 it can't be that bad.

If I may ask a related question, how different is 3rd edition from 2nd edition? I see discussions about 4th vs 3rd all the time, but 3rd is the one edition of Shadowrun I haven't played.

comicshorse
2010-12-07, 08:07 PM
If I may ask a related question, how different is 3rd edition from 2nd edition? I see discussions about 4th vs 3rd all the time, but 3rd is the one edition of Shadowrun I haven't played.

Only thing that springs to mind ( I may dig my books out later) is Physical Adept powers. In 2nd Adept powers were clobbered ( possibly in reaction to how over-powered they were in 1st). 3rd restored the balance by providing a wider spread of powers, dropping the cost of some and in the vital case of Improved Reflexes ( can't really be a decent Phys Ad if the street-Sam leaves you in his dust) dropping the cost and making it better

JaronK
2010-12-07, 08:14 PM
3e is an older system, and it shows. Deckers are basically unplayable, and there's a huge amount of complexity. However, if you can actually learn the rule set, the fluff is amazing. Furthermore, 3e is cyberpunk while 4e is post cyberpunk (think Nueromancer and Snowcrash vs Ghost in the Shell).

Me, I love 3e, but it took a while to learn the system fully. 4th is definitely newer and more streamlined, but somehow it seems to lack the charm of the old edition. Really, you'd probably be better off learning whatever system people actually play in your area.

JaronK

toturi
2010-12-08, 02:31 AM
Mechanics wise, I feel that SR3 is much more complex and complicated than SR4. This can be good and bad. Gameplay is smoother and and more streamlined in SR4. It is more complicated and complex to min-max in SR3.

Echoes
2010-12-08, 08:59 AM
Ironically, I have had a much easier time wrapping my head around the 3e rules than the 4e rules, from what I've read so far. There are more of them, but for the most part it feels like they make intuitive sense to me. The decks and the matrix, for instance, seemed to closely follow the rules of real computer systems and networks, respectively, and even hacking was recognizable to my (theoretical) knowledge of the real-life skill. Conglomerating most of the hardware attributes into a generic "system" rating may have simplified the system in 4e, but it also means that many other rules now use an arbitrary multiple of the system rating that needs to be memorized. Nodes and nexi made no sense to me at all the first four times I read through them, but I found RTGs, LTGs, and hosts to be kindof a 'well, duh' moment.

Magic took most of the better aspects of both tradition and pulled them into a single one, but a magical character in 4e seems to need to know more rules now, because they have the ability to do both what was once mage-only and shaman-only in previous editions. Gained a little and lost a little, but on the whole it seems basically the same system it was before.

I suppose combat rounds and the core rolling mechanic got a bit less complex by removing dice pools and shifting from a TN to a hit focus, but on the most part the system seems every bit as detailed and specific as before. Why exactly is it considered so much more streamlined in the new version?

Autolykos
2010-12-08, 10:08 AM
Pretty much what they said. The main problem I have with 4e is the fluff, which is easily switched. The world in 3e is dark, gritty and anarchistic, while the 4e world is bright, clean and Orwellian. It's the last point I like the least, because IMHO we already have more than enough of that in reality.
Also 3e rules take longer to learn, but allow for much more customization. Yes, you can spend hours fine-tuning the technical details of your car, drone or cyberdeck or developing new spells - but this is also a lot of fun (at least for me).
The most-criticized point in 3e rules are probably the matrix rules. While they are not *that* hard to learn, they are very different from the usual rules (but they feel very intuitive if you know something about computers and hacking, so they add a lot to the feeling once you've wrapped your head around them). The only 3e rules you should really scrap IMHO are the finer ones about vehicle combat, especially maneuver values. Nothing kills an action scene better than frequent lookups in large tables. Luckily they can be completely removed without causing any major problems.
IMHO one of the strong points of 3e is that it tries to make the rules actually feel like the real thing (with varying degrees of success - IMHO computers and unarmed combat are the best examples, but they are also the ones I know most about, so I might be a little biased there). This was completely lost in the streamlining process to 4e.
Also the fixed target numbers in 4e can be a problem because you might need to reroll when you forget a modifier (which usually changes the number of dice in 4e) - while in 3e you can easily adjust the target number on the fly.
I think the main question is how detailed you want your rules. If you prefer simple and fast you might be better off with 4e, if you like them detailed and flavorful, you should go with 3e.

Echoes
2010-12-08, 11:13 AM
Also, is it just my perception, or do characters advance much more quickly in 3e than in 4e? The rules for granting karma seem to be almost identical, but things seem to have higher costs in the newer version:

3rd edition
------
Improving attributes - new rating x 2 (spread across six attributes)
Improving skills - new rating x 1.5-2.5
New Spell - force rating (~6)
Initiation - (5 + grade) x 1.5-3
Every 20th(/10th) point spent on Karma Pool

4th edition
------
Improving attributes - new rating x 5 (spread across nine or ten attributes)
Improving skills - new rating x 2 (number of skills also seems to have increased)
New spell - 5
Initiation - (10 + grade) x 3
Edge must be bought as per attribute rules

Those are just some of the things karma can be spent on, but it looks like as a whole things were really upped in price. While it could easily be fixed by handing out karma like candy, does anyone else feel like this is the case, and if so understand why the developers decided to retard character growth so ?

Lost Demiurge
2010-12-08, 12:33 PM
Also, is it just my perception, or do characters advance much more quickly in 3e than in 4e? The rules for granting karma seem to be almost identical, but things seem to have higher costs in the newer version:

3rd edition
------
Improving attributes - new rating x 2 (spread across six attributes)
Improving skills - new rating x 1.5-2.5
New Spell - force rating (~6)
Initiation - (5 + grade) x 1.5-3
Every 20th(/10th) point spent on Karma Pool

4th edition
------
Improving attributes - new rating x 5 (spread across nine or ten attributes)
Improving skills - new rating x 2 (number of skills also seems to have increased)
New spell - 5
Initiation - (10 + grade) x 3
Edge must be bought as per attribute rules

Those are just some of the things karma can be spent on, but it looks like as a whole things were really upped in price. While it could easily be fixed by handing out karma like candy, does anyone else feel like this is the case, and if so understand why the developers decided to retard character growth so ?

I'd wager it's because they felt character growth was too fast back in 3rd edition. That's usually the explanation for increasing experience costs in new editions.

Seerow
2010-12-08, 01:47 PM
I'd wager it's because they felt character growth was too fast back in 3rd edition. That's usually the explanation for increasing experience costs in new editions.

Part of it was that, part of it is the system changes. Initiation was far too cheap for the power it granted. An extra magic rating AND a metamagic ability? It was pretty absurd. Of course, they took it a little too far in my opinion. Now initiation costs much more, AND doesn't actually give you the magic point, simply raises the cap so you can spend more karma to get to the higher magic cap. While metamagics are nice, the karma investment into getting them is pretty high. I don't think we've had a single mage initiate since switching to 4e.

Attributes cost a lot more now, but they're a lot more valuable now. You add your attribute to everything in SR4, in SR3, iirc, the attribute merely served as an effective cap to how high your skills could go (or a softcap where it became more expensive to increase).

So in SR3, you might have had Agility of 6 with 9 in pistols, you roll 9 dice. in SR4, you have an Agility of 5 with a 4 in pistols, and you roll 9 dice. Attributes had to become more expensive because upping agi from 5 to 6 gives you basically +1 to every agi based skill in the game.

The changed spell cost for 4e was very welcome. It irritated me to no end buying a spell for my mage, then initiating, and finding out to take advantage of my extra magic I had to spend yet more karma to get a higher grade of the spell. A flat karma cost for access to the spell at any grade is definitely the way to go. Though some spells still seem a bit wonky, especially if overchanneling them. (We had a mage overchannel her stunball to some higher number, almost killed herself doing it, then when we looked back at it, her overchanneling got her nothing, because all it allowed was an increase in maximum successes, and she didn't need that many)

Winterwind
2010-12-08, 01:56 PM
We stayed with 3rd edition. Which had more to do with us having had all the 3rd edition books and no problems with the 3rd edition rules, and therefore us feeling there was no need for us to switch (and end up having to buy all the books again), though, than any actual failings on the part of 4th edition.

Lost Demiurge
2010-12-08, 03:34 PM
Really, from your later posts it sounds like you're talking yourself into sticking with 3rd edition. That's absolutely fine and you don't need our permission to do so, y'know.

Mark Hall
2010-12-08, 03:51 PM
The new edition definitely is streamlined, where the basic system is basically the same as White Wolf. They did basically take the "punk" out of "cyberpunk," but some of the changes make it much better as a cooperative game. Namely, it is much easier for deckers to be part of an actual game.

Really, I think this is a genre thing. Cyberpunk is, IME, slowly being replaced with a lot of transhumanism... the ethos that cybernetics are dehumanizing is giving way to a view that they are inevitable, that everyone will be slinging a bit of cyberware because to not do so is to fall out of society. There's still a heavy dystopian vibe... the corporations are still raping the Earth and its people with the full consent and cooperation of shattered governments... but the effects of body modification are much less.


If I may ask a related question, how different is 3rd edition from 2nd edition? I see discussions about 4th vs 3rd all the time, but 3rd is the one edition of Shadowrun I haven't played.

Quite a bit, though I can't lay it out from the top of my head; the main thing I recall is the introduction of Knowledge skills. Unless someone else knows, you're best off asking around dumpshock or another Shadowrun specific board.

GreyMantle
2010-12-08, 05:10 PM
Really, I think this is a genre thing. Cyberpunk is, IME, slowly being replaced with a lot of transhumanism... the ethos that cybernetics are dehumanizing is giving way to a view that they are inevitable, that everyone will be slinging a bit of cyberware because to not do so is to fall out of society. There's still a heavy dystopian vibe... the corporations are still raping the Earth and its people with the full consent and cooperation of shattered governments... but the effects of body modification are much less.


This.

The pre4E style of portraying cyber as being all dehumanizing is basically retrocyberpunk, as it's quickly losing credibility in the face of current events. This makes 4e a much more plausible game, thematically, to play (excepting the magic, obvz). 3e has become relegated to something like Spelljammer or other steampunkesque settings: it can be fun to play in that "retro" sense, but it's less serious even than 4E is.

Mark Hall
2010-12-08, 05:43 PM
This.

The pre4E style of portraying cyber as being all dehumanizing is basically retrocyberpunk, as it's quickly losing credibility in the face of current events. This makes 4e a much more plausible game, thematically, to play (excepting the magic, obvz). 3e has become relegated to something like Spelljammer or other steampunkesque settings: it can be fun to play in that "retro" sense, but it's less serious even than 4E is.

I don't know if I'd agree with that. In mechanics, 3e is a bit older, as the "adjust size of Dice Pool rather than difficulty" has become more popular in recent years, but I don't know if the "technology will dehumanize us" thing is so much "not credible" as "not popular". As people rely more and more on their commlinks (i.e. smartphones), we discount the dehumanizing aspects of technology... but that doesn't mean they don't exist, or won't be important.

Furthermore, they've really de-emphasized, at least in the first world, the difference between the haves and the havenots in technology. By removing the specialization of a hacking computer (i.e. a deck) and moving everything to commlinks, you actually bring the two sides closer together.

Crow
2010-12-08, 05:48 PM
The pre4E style of portraying cyber as being all dehumanizing is basically retrocyberpunk, as it's quickly losing credibility in the face of current events.

Entirely subjective.

While you may look at a woman walking along with her husband texting on her iphone and see an inter-connected digital web of human social interaction, I see a woman so absorbed by pixels and text from hundreds of miles away that she is oblivious to both her husband, and the environment all around her.

Ever had a date whip out their phone and start texting? LOTS of people have (and hopefully walked out on the date right there). This is basically foregoing face to face human interaction in favor of the electronic device in their pocket.

Or something I am sure many people have encountered...The idiot so absorbed in the many calls he receives over his bluetooth that he can't function and interact with the people and environment directly around him.

avr
2010-12-08, 06:12 PM
OTOH, I think people are less likely to see a pacemaker or an artificial foot as 'dehumanising' now. This is a closer equivalent to most PC cyberware than a cellphone.

Crow
2010-12-08, 06:23 PM
OTOH, I think people are less likely to see a pacemaker or an artificial foot as 'dehumanising' now. This is a closer equivalent to most PC cyberware than a cellphone.

Actually it isn't. A pacemaker or artificial foot is oftentimes not a choice...or at least a practical choice. Cyberpunk is about being *willing* to chop off an arm so that you can have a "better" mechanical one. Or feeling that it is to your benefit to have a portion of *your brain* removed to make room for digital storage.

Replacement limbs have been around since the peg leg. Nobody chose to voluntarily lop off their shins to get one.

Personally, I don't think we've seen a commonly available real-world analog to cyberware yet.

Seerow
2010-12-08, 06:30 PM
Actually it isn't. A pacemaker or artificial foot is oftentimes not a choice...or at least a practical choice. Cyberpunk is about being *willing* to chop off an arm so that you can have a "better" mechanical one. Or feeling that it is to your benefit to have a portion of *your brain* removed to make room for digital storage.

Replacement limbs have been around since the peg leg. Nobody chose to voluntarily lop off their shins to get one.

Personally, I don't think we've seen a commonly available real-world analog to cyberware yet.

Shadowrun doesn't make exceptions for if its a choice or not. If you start out paraplegic, you don't get to take cyberlimbs without losing essence to get them. I'd argue artificial limbs and pacemakers and the like are fine analogues for what Cyberware is intended to be used for. The fact that shadowrunners tend to take that to the extreme is irrelevant.

JaronK
2010-12-08, 06:39 PM
Cyberpunk: A 1980s based vision of the future, where extremely large corporations (usually from Japan) are the dominant force in the world, trampling over individual rights and freedoms and treating everyone as either a worker or a consumer, nothing more, and those who can be neither are relegated to the slums and streets and shadows as useless trash. People must hack out bits of themselves and replace them with corporate made artificial bits just to keep up. The internet is a virtual reality that people travel to and fly around in, and is an escape from the dehumanizing real world into a fake world where one can be free and life can have meaning... but this is tragic too, because it's not even the real world. Fear, of both the dehumanization and the faceless corporations, is the primary motivation, and the heroes are those that fight against the system from the shadows, while the normal people do whatever they can to feel like individuals again. The chances of success for these heroes is extremely low, but even making a dent is worth something. This is the genre of Shadowrun 3e.

Post Cyberpunk: A re-imagining of of the 1980s vision. Corporations still rule the world, but that's a natural state of things and is something to accept. Replacing your body with newer, better parts is a benefit of this future, not a curse. Virtual reality is mostly replaced with augmented reality... it's no longer an escape to freedom, but rather an overlay used by the majority of the population for advertisements and shopping. Heroes fight major villains against humanity (cackling evil bad guys, the an evil executive that's made his way up the corporate ladder, etc) as opposed to the faceless corporations themselves. Fear is no longer the primary motivation, and individuality is far less of a concern. This is the world of Shadowrun 4e.

Me? I actually liked the darker setting of 3e, but I can understand why people like the smoother rule set of 4e.

JaronK

Mark Hall
2010-12-08, 08:20 PM
Shadowrun doesn't make exceptions for if its a choice or not. If you start out paraplegic, you don't get to take cyberlimbs without losing essence to get them. I'd argue artificial limbs and pacemakers and the like are fine analogues for what Cyberware is intended to be used for. The fact that shadowrunners tend to take that to the extreme is irrelevant.

Yes and no, especially since Shadowtech (a 1st edition book, set in '52) and the introduction of bioware. Base replacements don't cost essence, and don't even have a chance of overstress. Furthermore, minimal changes (like a cybernetic replacement limb or an artificial heart) don't carry a huge essence cost... not enough to impact someone's social interactions, especially if they're lifelike replacements.

The Glyphstone
2010-12-08, 08:22 PM
Entirely subjective.

While you may look at a woman walking along with her husband texting on her iphone and see an inter-connected digital web of human social interaction, I see a woman so absorbed by pixels and text from hundreds of miles away that she is oblivious to both her husband, and the environment all around her.

Ever had a date whip out their phone and start texting? LOTS of people have (and hopefully walked out on the date right there). This is basically foregoing face to face human interaction in favor of the electronic device in their pocket.

Or something I am sure many people have encountered...The idiot so absorbed in the many calls he receives over his bluetooth that he can't function and interact with the people and environment directly around him.

Is it just me, or could this be an excellent analogy for how deckers/mages are hampered in interacting with their teammates in 3E?

Crow
2010-12-08, 08:33 PM
Is it just me, or could this be an excellent analogy for how deckers/mages are hampered in interacting with their teammates in 3E?

Well aside from not being sure if that's a knock against 3e or not :smallbiggrin:, I think it's an excellent analogy for the matrix as it exists in 3e in general, and the dehumanization associated with it.

Mark Hall
2010-12-08, 08:47 PM
Actually, a note on something from 4e. Technomancers are noted as being uncomfortable in places where there's no wireless connection. It reminds me of earlier editions, where magicians were uncomfortable in the matrix (where there was no astral component) and dual beings could actually be driven mad by it.

Winterwind
2010-12-08, 09:04 PM
Quite a bit, though I can't lay it out from the top of my head; the main thing I recall is the introduction of Knowledge skills. Unless someone else knows, you're best off asking around dumpshock or another Shadowrun specific board.I started fairly briefly after 3rd edition came out, so my knowledge of 2nd edition is just what I heard, not personal experience, but other things I heard about differences between 2nd and 3rd edition are:
- the setting was even darker and grittier by default. In SR3, a newly generated character usually has so much skill points, attributes, money etc. that they can be considered a highly elite specialist right from the get-go. In SR2, when one started, one really was just a punk from the gutter, and the way to the top was much longer and steeper.
- Mana-spells always dealt stun damage, only physical spells dealt actual damage
- It was possible to "channel" spells out of the astral plane into the physical plane if one had some sort of conduit (which could be anything of a dual nature). So, if you were on the astral plane, and you saw somebody using astral perception, you could basically throw a fireball at them that would then erupt on the physical plane.
- Matrix rules were, apparently, vastly more complex than in SR3 (which is almost impossible to believe :smalleek:).