A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    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?
    He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe. And... he's wonderful.

    "What you do is travel around, pitting your summons against other summoners. This gives you the right to compete in tournaments, and to gain more and more powerful summons.

    Just watch out for evil Team Meteor Swarm, who want to steal your Eidolon for no good reason."
    Mark Hall

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    1. Is there any tips/tricks/things to watch out for when GMing a Shadowrun game? General advice is good
    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...

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    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).

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    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.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-04-11 at 03:09 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Do tell us more, CA. Australia isn't a nice place already, how could the Sixth Age make it worse?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    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... 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...
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-04-11 at 03:06 PM.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    So, bad weather and everything trying to kill you. How is this different than normal Australia, again?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    So, bad weather and everything trying to kill you. How is this different than normal Australia, again?
    Now, it's magic. Trust me, that's a lot worse than it sounds.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-04-11 at 03:10 PM.

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    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    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.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    I'm going to do my usual plug for Ends of the Matrix 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.
    Last edited by GreyMantle; 2011-04-11 at 04:17 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    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
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    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
    He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe. And... he's wonderful.

    "What you do is travel around, pitting your summons against other summoners. This gives you the right to compete in tournaments, and to gain more and more powerful summons.

    Just watch out for evil Team Meteor Swarm, who want to steal your Eidolon for no good reason."
    Mark Hall

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    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)
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    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.

    I think by this point everyone expects the Spanish Inquisition.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    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?
    He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe. And... he's wonderful.

    "What you do is travel around, pitting your summons against other summoners. This gives you the right to compete in tournaments, and to gain more and more powerful summons.

    Just watch out for evil Team Meteor Swarm, who want to steal your Eidolon for no good reason."
    Mark Hall

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    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.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Call the corp Steve Irwin Industries.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    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'.
    Avatar of Gnar'tigor - former Star Player of the Hellborn Hooligans Blood Bowl team - by Savannah

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    If anyone can find a better-quality version of that, let me know.

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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Call the corp Steve Irwin Industries.
    Playing up the stereotypes is less fun when you and all your players live in Adelaide
    He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe. And... he's wonderful.

    "What you do is travel around, pitting your summons against other summoners. This gives you the right to compete in tournaments, and to gain more and more powerful summons.

    Just watch out for evil Team Meteor Swarm, who want to steal your Eidolon for no good reason."
    Mark Hall

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    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
    He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe. And... he's wonderful.

    "What you do is travel around, pitting your summons against other summoners. This gives you the right to compete in tournaments, and to gain more and more powerful summons.

    Just watch out for evil Team Meteor Swarm, who want to steal your Eidolon for no good reason."
    Mark Hall

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    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?
    He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe. And... he's wonderful.

    "What you do is travel around, pitting your summons against other summoners. This gives you the right to compete in tournaments, and to gain more and more powerful summons.

    Just watch out for evil Team Meteor Swarm, who want to steal your Eidolon for no good reason."
    Mark Hall

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    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.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    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?

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    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
    He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe. And... he's wonderful.

    "What you do is travel around, pitting your summons against other summoners. This gives you the right to compete in tournaments, and to gain more and more powerful summons.

    Just watch out for evil Team Meteor Swarm, who want to steal your Eidolon for no good reason."
    Mark Hall

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by knightMARE View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Viktyr Gehrig; 2011-04-18 at 12:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Theo Hammond View Post
    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.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post

    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.

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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuljita View Post
    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.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
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    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
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    Default Re: Thinking of running Shadowrun 4e, set in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Now, it's magic. 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.
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