Wednesday, October 31, 2012

That Old School Vibe

Today, this evening I guess, begins the first session of my Shadowrun game. To be honest, I'm very excited about it. The rules are a bit more strict than other games I've played in lately, but that is where part of the fun and excitement is going to come from. I've been involved in Fate systems, L5R, and super hero games for so long that the gritty feel of a crunch heavy combat could be refreshing. There are so many things in the game that are different from the norm for me (i.e. it is less of an action to shoot a gun than it is to slap someone with your hand) and that is totally cool.

In a real way I am also hoping this will help improve my GMing. How? Well, Shadowrun demands a bit more of the adversarial GM to sell the world. This doesn't mean that it has to be GM vs. PC but the world can - and likely is - out to get you, and the GM has to be ready for that. I am hoping Shadowrun will help me find a line a bit closer to "sometimes it is harsh, but I am rooting for the PCs" then I am at currently. Why? Because while I strongly believe that you need the potential of failure for their to be victory, lately - especially in the games I'm in - forcing that failure when the PCs don't grab the victory has been hard. In Shadowrun, that is exactly what I will need to do.

Above and beyond that there is just the fun and joy of playing an old school type game. Shadowrun 4th ed is very nicely streamlined from what I've seen of earlier editions, but it still has it's roots in the late eighties/early nineties culture it was born from. Honestly, I can't wait.


  1. "sometimes it is harsh, but I am rooting for the PCs" - one of my Shadowrun GMs is great at that. He doesn't try to kill us, but if we do stupid things, we get the consequences. and sometimes we're just caught in the middle of events. One of those events almost destroyed the home of our characters, a place the GM had put a ton of work into, and he would have hated it just as much as he had if it had actually been lost. But he didn't go soft on us.

    I hope you have fun playing Shadowrun, it's a great game.

  2. Never played Shadowrun, but would love to try it. Am trying to get into a game of it tomorrow morning at a convention I'm going to this weekend.

    The "sometimes it is harsh, but I am rooting for the players" is an interesting topic. I'm running a game in a similar sounding harsh & rule-crunchy universe (Dark Heresy) and I do my best not to root for or against the players but simply "run it" and work hard to stay true to the world/reduce ludonarrative dissonance. Not sure if that's the best way to go but it's what I'm doing.

    I do have a bias and that is to avoid Total Party Kills. Anything short of a TPK and I'm fine with it.