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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Looking for a new edition to learn

    I've been DM'ing (and less often, playing) D&D 4e for a few years now. I'm happy with the system, but I'm thinking I might want to one day run a game in a more modern/scifi setting, perhaps loosely based on Bioshock. What would be a good system to look into?


    DM'ing Trouble In Orlane IC | OOC

    Stick figure character portraits I've made for myself and others.

    "I think most gamemasters would agree that their world functions significantly more smoothly before the PCs ever show up." -

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    Some sci-fi RPGs:

    GURPS Transhuman Space (as a bonus, if you like GURPS, it can run anything from D&D-style fantasy to realistic modern/cyberpunk/scifi to superheroes, etc.).

    Blue Planet, scifi in an aquatic setting.

    Traveller, either the classic or Mongoose's reprints; the classic scifi space opera RPG.

    Eclipse Phase, transhuman scifi.

    Stars Without Number, an old-school-D&D -based scifi RPG with easy & simple rules and a ton of tools for running a sandbox campaign.

    There's tons more, but most of the others I know are hard to come by.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    D.C., U.S., Mortal Plane

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    There's also Shadowrun if you want something between D&D and Sci-Fi, although Shadowrun is more of a dystopian sci-fi.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    Quote Originally Posted by mgrinshpon View Post
    There's also Shadowrun if you want something between D&D and Sci-Fi, although Shadowrun is more of a dystopian sci-fi.
    Looking that over, it seems good. What is a good edition to start with? What books should I get ahold of?


    DM'ing Trouble In Orlane IC | OOC

    Stick figure character portraits I've made for myself and others.

    "I think most gamemasters would agree that their world functions significantly more smoothly before the PCs ever show up." -

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    Quote Originally Posted by shamgar001 View Post
    Looking that over, it seems good. What is a good edition to start with? What books should I get ahold of?
    4E. 5E is a mess and is missing decent rules for riggers, etc. 3E if you want to go retro, but I don't see any reason to recommend that for a new player.

    Get the core book at first, see if you actually get into it. Then get:
    • Arsenal for weapons & armor & vehicles & gear.
    • Augmentation for cyberware, bioware, nanoware, etc.
    • Runner's Companion for more options in PC creation (just ignore all the silly stuff about variant metahumans and the dragon-people etc.).
    • Street Magic for more magic.
    • Unwired for netrunner stuff.


    Pick the ones that you feel will add the most to your game. IMO Street Magic and Unwired are the most "necessary," although none of them are really necessary.
    Last edited by Rhynn; 2014-05-13 at 04:39 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    D.C., U.S., Mortal Plane

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhynn View Post
    4E. 5E is a mess and is missing decent rules for riggers, etc. 3E if you want to go retro, but I don't see any reason to recommend that for a new player.

    Get the core book at first, see if you actually get into it. Then get:
    [LIST][*]Arsenal for weapons & armor & vehicles & gear.[*]Augmentation for cyberware, bioware, nanoware, etc.[*]Runner's Companion for more options in PC creation (just ignore all the silly stuff about variant metahumans and the dragon-people etc.).[*]Street Magic for more magic.[*]Unwired for netrunner stuff.
    [LIST]

    Pick the ones that you feel will add the most to your game. IMO Street Magic and Unwired are the most "necessary," although none of them are really necessary.
    Before even trying the books, you may want to give the computer game a shot. Shadowrun Returns runs on all sorts of computers, is cheaper than the book by a fair margin, and will give you an idea of the feel of Shadowrun. I personally think that the game itself is also pretty good barring some minor foibles but lets' leave that whole can of worms to the review sites. I got it on Steam but there are probably other stores that it's available on, as well.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    Quote Originally Posted by mgrinshpon View Post
    Before even trying the books, you may want to give the computer game a shot. Shadowrun Returns runs on all sorts of computers, is cheaper than the book by a fair margin, and will give you an idea of the feel of Shadowrun.
    I actually really agree. The writing is very specific and matches up with the old editions; the style of the newer editions is a bit more generic and bland, but it's not tied to mechanics. Getting an idea about the setting (and a rough impression of the systems) from the game can be a great idea.

    Also Shadowrun Returns is amazing and everyone should play it.

    Just remember, the mechanics resemble various editions of Shadowrun, but they are not identical to any one by far.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Red Fel's Avatar

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    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    If you do decide to go with Shadowrun, be advised that Deckers (the guys who hack into systems) suffer from a unique problem, which is tantamount to splitting the party - basically, while they're all "I'm in your computers, messing with your stuff," the rest of the party is napping. (I'm told this was somewhat alleviated in 5e, but I haven't played the latest.)

    If you or your players are new to SR, you might consider leaving Deckers as an NPC class, rather than letting PCs do it.
    My headache medicine has a little "Ex" inscribed on the pill. It's not a brand name; it's an indicator that it works inside an Anti-Magic Field.

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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    If you do decide to go with Shadowrun, be advised that Deckers (the guys who hack into systems) suffer from a unique problem, which is tantamount to splitting the party - basically, while they're all "I'm in your computers, messing with your stuff," the rest of the party is napping. (I'm told this was somewhat alleviated in 5e, but I haven't played the latest.)
    I don't know about 5E, but in 4E, much of netrunning is really easy to do on the fly, and in fact is so sensible that almost any character is going to do some Matrix stuff, which just makes sense to me in a cyberpunk world.

    But this is a general problem of all cyberpunk games: the Net is sort of essential to the style of the game, but it's a pain to play when only part of the group is going to go in.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    Quote Originally Posted by shamgar001 View Post
    I've been DM'ing (and less often, playing) D&D 4e for a few years now. I'm happy with the system, but I'm thinking I might want to one day run a game in a more modern/scifi setting, perhaps loosely based on Bioshock. What would be a good system to look into?
    The best generic system around right now is Fate Core. It's simple (the rules will fit on one side) and very powerful and flexible.

    My recommendation for something as modern/near future dystopian as Bioshock in specific would be Apocalypse World - it's dark and Vincent Baker doesn't hold back (even where he possibly should). It's also simple to learn, fast playing, and very very evocative.
    Currently in playtesting, now with optional rules for a cover based sci-fi shooter.
    Games for Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and Silver Age Marvel. Skins for The Gorgon, the Deep One, the Kitsune, the Banshee, and the Mad Scientist

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Looking for a new edition to learn

    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    The best generic system around right now is Fate Core. It's simple (the rules will fit on one side) and very powerful and flexible.

    My recommendation for something as modern/near future dystopian as Bioshock in specific would be Apocalypse World - it's dark and Vincent Baker doesn't hold back (even where he possibly should). It's also simple to learn, fast playing, and very very evocative.
    I'll check those out. Thanks.


    DM'ing Trouble In Orlane IC | OOC

    Stick figure character portraits I've made for myself and others.

    "I think most gamemasters would agree that their world functions significantly more smoothly before the PCs ever show up." -

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