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View Full Version : Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia



knightMARE
2011-04-11, 07:46 AM
As the title implies, I'm thinking of running 4e Shadowrun with my group, and as such, I have a few questions for the wise Playgrounders out there.

1. Is there any tips/tricks/things to watch out for when GMing a Shadowrun game? General advice is good

2. Are there any supplements besides the core book that are worth getting?

3. Is Australia mentioned/gone into in any detail in any of the supps? And if not, what would you expect to see in an Australian Shadowrun game?

TheCountAlucard
2011-04-11, 12:19 PM
1. Is there any tips/tricks/things to watch out for when GMing a Shadowrun game? General advice is goodPossession mages. Ban these outright. Also, if everyone to the group is new, you might want to put a tentative ban on Technomancers, as they're a tad more complex...


2. Are there any supplements besides the core book that are worth getting?Arsenal is everyone's best friend, but moreso the rigger's - his stuff won't work without it, in fact.

Augmentation is everyone's friend, but moreso the street sam's.

Street Magic is the friend of mages, adepts, and mystic adepts. Doesn't really help anyone else.

Unwired is the hacker's best friend, and worst enemy. Get it if you intend for the game to be even a little Matrix-intensive.

Runner's Companion is decent - it has rules for alternate lifestyles and a few extra positive/negative qualities, plus rules on how to play some of the stranger things. Expect GMs to ban most of said stranger things, either due to potentially-unbalancing factors (like Vampires, for instance), or the inherent strangeness involved (like Sasquatch, for instance).


3. Is Australia mentioned/gone into in any detail in any of the supps? And if not, what would you expect to see in an Australian Shadowrun game?Yes, but it is not a nice place. And that's by Shadowrun standards. :eek:

The Glyphstone
2011-04-11, 02:26 PM
Do tell us more, CA. Australia isn't a nice place already, how could the Sixth Age make it worse?

TheCountAlucard
2011-04-11, 03:04 PM
Do tell us more, CA. Australia isn't a nice place already, how could the Sixth Age make it worse?Wild magic, for one thing... :eek: Basically, Australia is more magically-active than the norm for the rest of the world. Mana storms, mutations, yeah...

Gimme a sec to go through some books and I'll see what else I can find...

The Glyphstone
2011-04-11, 03:08 PM
So, bad weather and everything trying to kill you. How is this different than normal Australia, again?

TheCountAlucard
2011-04-11, 03:10 PM
So, bad weather and everything trying to kill you. How is this different than normal Australia, again?Now, it's magic. :smallamused: Trust me, that's a lot worse than it sounds.

Mark Hall
2011-04-11, 03:38 PM
So, bad weather and everything trying to kill you. How is this different than normal Australia, again?

Australia in the 6th World:Normal Sixth World::Australia in the Real World:Normal Real World.

GreyMantle
2011-04-11, 04:16 PM
I'm going to do my usual plug for Ends of the Matrix (http://tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=48836) as an alternate Matrix system to use. One of the writers for Street Magic and Augmentation wrote it when he realized how dissatisfied he we was with the normal Matrix.

I find the system presented in EotM to work a lot better and be significantly more internally consistent than the Matrix presented in the base book or the one in Unwired. It's also a lot more difficult to break.

That being said, it's a bit on the complex side, and you'd just prefer to wing Matrix interactions, you might find it better just to use a streamlined version of the Matrix as written.

It's also totally free.

comicshorse
2011-04-11, 04:34 PM
One of the Shadowrun novels had a section set in Australia. It indicated that while the coast zones were okay the interior was subject to Mana Storms of raw wild magic that would rip apart anything. The only way to move was in small groups protected by a magician who could shield you from them.
Also Ayer's Rock was a highly magical site that was the prison for many malovelent spirits

knightMARE
2011-04-11, 06:36 PM
Possession mages. Ban these outright. Also, if everyone to the group is new, you might want to put a tentative ban on Technomancers, as they're a tad more complex...


Possession mages? And I've heard about the Technomancers problem before, but how much more complex?

Re Australia: So would these manastorms leave behind or produce any commercial goods that people would want to monopolize? From the sounds of it, though, running a game set in Adelaide or something wouldn't be too far from the norm around the world if the coastal cities are relatively fine

comicshorse
2011-04-11, 06:45 PM
Re Australia: So would these manastorms leave behind or produce any commercial goods that people would want to monopolize?

Can't remember every reading anything about that but its a damn good idea for Runs into the dangerous area's of Australia. Indeed if Orichalcum is perhaps created in the most fierce of the Mana Storms then there are fortunes to be made in the Outback ( provided the Mana Storms don't get you, or the Insect Spirits or the Paranatural Animals or the aboriginals or other Runners or Corp. teams looking to get the stuff first, or.....well you get the idea)

TheCountAlucard
2011-04-11, 07:36 PM
Possession mages?Mages who let the spirits they summon possess them for more power. With such an arrangement, we've had PCs who were slinging more than 30 dice to attacks and such. :smalleek:


And I've heard about the Technomancers problem before, but how much more complex?Being one is essentially like being a hacker, but using the rules for mages in addition to the hacker rules.

BudgetDM
2011-04-11, 07:47 PM
I'm going to second the notion of Mana Storms creating Orichalcum (Or at least valuable Telesma). I can't see a down side to filling the Outback with valuable resource, desperate miners, ruthless corps, crazy mojo, and equipment just waiting to be sabotaged. As for supplements, I'd recommend Arsenal (If for no other reason that the rules for extreme environments) and Running Wild (A source book for animals both magical and mundane[1]).


[1]They even have Drop Bears[2].


[2]Which are incredibly nasty if I recall. They are carriers of HMHVV.

knightMARE
2011-04-11, 08:20 PM
So.. having the players work for a relatively small corporation trying to gain control of the wealth in the centre of Australia and catapult themselves up into the big leagues doesn't sound too crazy?

TheCountAlucard
2011-04-11, 08:29 PM
So.. having the players work for a relatively small corporation trying to gain control of the wealth in the centre of Australia and catapult themselves up into the big leagues doesn't sound too crazy?Not at all. :smallsmile:

The Glyphstone
2011-04-11, 08:35 PM
Call the corp Steve Irwin Industries.

ShadowFighter15
2011-04-11, 09:04 PM
Also, the short-story comicshorse's is thinking of mentioned that Australians use a different name for Johnsons than the States. Here, they're called 'Mr. Macquarie'.

knightMARE
2011-04-12, 08:47 AM
Call the corp Steve Irwin Industries.

Playing up the stereotypes is less fun when you and all your players live in Adelaide

The Glyphstone
2011-04-12, 09:02 AM
Playing up the stereotypes is less fun when you and all your players live in Adelaide

To heck with the stereotypes. It's the only name worthy of a corp (or a group of runners) who are crazy enough to go into Australia's interior and badass enough to come out again.

knightMARE
2011-04-12, 09:39 AM
To heck with the stereotypes. It's the only name worthy of a corp (or a group of runners) who are crazy enough to go into Australia's interior and badass enough to come out again.

Mayhaps. Who knows, maybe everyone will want to play hackers and the entire thing will be based on that instead and I wont get to use my ideas :smallfrown:

knightMARE
2011-04-12, 10:46 AM
Okay, So I found some official Australian material - but it's all 3rd Edition.

How big of a change (setting wise) is there between 3e and 4e? And if theres a big one, does anyone have any clever ideas of things that may have happened in Australia?

Mark Hall
2011-04-13, 11:47 AM
Okay, So I found some official Australian material - but it's all 3rd Edition.

How big of a change (setting wise) is there between 3e and 4e? And if theres a big one, does anyone have any clever ideas of things that may have happened in Australia?

Setting wise, not a huge one on the magic front. There are some differences, but not enough to make a huge difference... and, really, running 3e-style rules in the Outback would make the place feel pretty alien.

Theo Hammond
2011-04-18, 07:25 AM
Is it just me or is Shadowrun (4E) really harsh for a new group, particularly one with a GM new to it, to learn? Its not that the rules are incredibly complex, rather that there just seems to be so many of them covering so many different things (the Matrix and Magic being two huge sections all on their own).

Given that the GM really needs to know his oats across the board (so what seems like the 'core' of main rules, Unwired, Street Magic, Arsenal and Augmentation, possibly the Companion too) particular as none of the group have played Shadowrun before, it seems like one hell of a learning curve. I honestly can't think of any other 'stepping into the new game waters' that seems to compare.

Is that about the sum of it or is it just me not being able to get to grips with this puppy?

knightMARE
2011-04-18, 09:20 AM
I understand your pain. I'm GMing without having played the system before, but I'm lucky enough to have 2 players that have. But it's still a daunting prospect

Viktyr Gehrig
2011-04-18, 12:48 PM
And I've heard about the Technomancers problem before, but how much more complex?

It's essentially like running a decker and a mage at the same time. You still have to understand how the Matrix works for regular people, but then you're interacting with it using a different ruleset with more options. It's like the difference between playing a mid-level Wizard in D&D, and playing a mid-level Gestalt Wizard/Binder. They're both fun characters, but probably not the best for your very first game.

Mark Hall
2011-04-18, 12:52 PM
Is that about the sum of it or is it just me not being able to get to grips with this puppy?

The early editions of Shadowrun (1st, at least, and I believe 2nd) were pretty adamant: This should NOT be your first game. Get some experience under your belt and come back to Shadowrun, because we put the grit into "gritty cyberpunk with magic and trolls ('cause, seriously, frag those dandelion-eating hoop-heads down in the Tir)."

It is a steep learning curve, and I think it is greatly helped by either:

A) Being willing to let go of the rules until you're more comfortable. Throw out reasonable penalties for things, then learn as you go. The players have to be willing to accept that you might not always be playing BTB, but that you'll be playing fair.

B) Assistant GMs. Either one player whose job it is to look up the rules, or several players who master a section of the rules and help you out with that. If you've got one person who LOVES playing magicians, let him be the magic-rules-guy. He's the one who memorizes drain formulas and spirit abilities, so you don't have to check every time. In this case, you have to have players you can trust to do their jobs honestly (mentioning penalties even when they hurt themselves) AND who are willing to let you break the rules sometimes because of things they don't know.

Zuljita
2011-04-22, 05:47 PM
B) Assistant GMs. Either one player whose job it is to look up the rules, or several players who master a section of the rules and help you out with that. If you've got one person who LOVES playing magicians, let him be the magic-rules-guy. He's the one who memorizes drain formulas and spirit abilities, so you don't have to check every time. In this case, you have to have players you can trust to do their jobs honestly (mentioning penalties even when they hurt themselves) AND who are willing to let you break the rules sometimes because of things they don't know.

This is what we did. It helped greatly, but i wont play with players who cheat on purpose, and my players know it.

Mark Hall
2011-04-22, 09:11 PM
This is what we did. It helped greatly, but i wont play with players who cheat on purpose, and my players know it.

I'm pretty much the same way, but it needs to be said, unfortunately.

Hazzardevil
2011-04-24, 03:57 AM
Now, it's magic. :smallamused: Trust me, that's a lot worse than it sounds.

In Australia everything wants to kill you, from the little knowledge I have, in Australia now it has all taken a level in badass. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TookALevelInBadass)