For well over a year now, I have been playing in a Shadowrun Pen and Paper RPG group on Tuesday nights. The group was introduced by a friend from work and we for the most part have been enjoying the time we’ve spent with it. However, recently one of our members got a job out in Rochester, New York which would put us down to 4 members and so brings an end to the group as we know it.
Fortunately for us, that doesn’t mean that gaming night won’t continue for me. We have already decided to start two games. We are going to start 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons in the Dark Sun Campaign. The other game we are going to start may be a little more up in the air, we have on the plate Scion, though this is dependent on if a few members find anything better at GenCon later this year. To go with this, we are also recruiting a new member to the group so we will get some fresh blood.
In the end, very few of us actually wanted to play Shadowrun again, which is too bad. A couple of us like the world quite a bit and one of us had attachment to it because it was his first RPG that he played. However, the forth edition ruleset is terrible to say the least. It is often badly worded and incomplete which leaves you wondering exactly how to proceed with certain functionality. The Matrix and Rigger rules in particular seem very weak. Throughout the course of the game, we got the feeling that they were designed with future books in mind but these books never surfaced and so many of the rules were just incomplete. I don’t entirely know why this happened. I know that the system has changed hands two to four times within the last ten years. And at least once since the fourth edition rule set was first published. I also imagine the teams working on the game have changed many times more. My inkling says that they initially had an idea of how to take the game and what books to publish, and as the system changed hands the old ideas were thrown out and new ideas were brought in and what was left was a hodge podge of rules. I think it’d almost work better to return to Shadowrun third edition in all honesty.
We also played Pathfinder in the old group and will be ending that game as well. I feel that this one was too bad because the entire group was enjoying the game quite a bit. Because it was based off D&D, the rules were very solid. And we were also just starting level seven or eight, so the game was finally getting to a point where you really were enjoying the characters and their features were starting to really break off from each other. It is a good game and I would recommend it to anyone.
I have been reading the rules for 4th edition D&D and I don’t particularly care for them. They have some good ideas, but I don’t like the new races, the exclusion of old races, that actions and spells are the same thing, that rituals make weak spells even weaker.
Let’s hope at least one of the new games turn out worth playign.