Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shadowrun Websites

{Author's Note:  This is one of my Shadowrun Rants. This is seriously dated, I was talking about websites from the late 90's and early 2000's.  At the time I was an AOL (America Online) user.  Things have changed dramatically since then.}

Well Folks this rant is the result of a recent chat in the AOL GIX section.  A few of us were discussing the quality of Shadowrun Websites on the Internet.  Many are great resources for the game, but there are a quite a few that in my opinion are not worth it.  It seems as though too many of them regurgitate the same stuff.  My main problems with Shadowrun websites are that too many are reprints of stuff that exists on other pages, too many are all graphics and no substance, and finally too many seem to put out the same kind of stuff: spells, guns, equipment, PCs and NPCs.

First the reprints, too many sites reprint or plagiarize content from another sites.  Folks please be original and if you do borrow something, credit the original.  There is a site online that used one of my totems and credited me.  I am glad; it is nice to know people like my stuff enough to use it.  When done like that I see it as borrowing and no problem.  Using something of mine or someone else’s and not crediting them, I see as outright theft.  On my site a few totems are based on other peoples work.  I have changed a few things, but I still credit the original folks.  As to those who mirror what is on another page with permission it is fine, but I would still like to see more original work.

Second the flash but no substance sites, come on folks enough.  There are too many non-Shadowrun sites like this.  One problem in this area is an incomplete site that includes all that the owners wishes to do, but has not gotten around to doing.  When I posted my site, I had tons of stuff ready.  I only posted links that were active, not ones I had planned to have.  Folks, before you post a site try to have a good number of stuff ready.  I have seen too many sites that are just a list of what the author intends to do.  Graphics are great, but they are just window dressing.  The meat of the matter is the source material.

Finally the same old stuff, too many sites post spells guns, equipment, and Characters (PCs and/or NPCs).  Not that I do not like these things, but too many sites are just only that.  Folks be creative.  There are things you can do that are fun.  I posted gangs, Rocker Bands, articles and anything I can think of.  Heck, at one point I was tempted to do a Ultimate Fighting type Federation with Pro-Wrestling type gimmicks.  I still may do it.  Heck someone could update the Professional Sports teams listed in the Shadowbeat Sourcebook (some teams have moved since the book and new teams have been added all together).  What I am trying to say is we need more stuff that is off the wall and interesting on Shadowrun Websites. 

I am by no means saying all Shadowrun sites are like what I am ranting about, but about forty to fifty percent are.  I have seen many good ideas, not all of them will I use or did I like.  However I liked the creativity and that the author was trying to do something new.  So those who are being innovative and having fun, more power to you.  Those who are putting out the same old stuff, try something new and let you imagination and weirdness run rampant.

Well once again is My Not So Humble Opinion.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Secrets & Lies

{Author's Note:  This is one of my Shadowrun Rants.  Some of this stuff is seriously dated}

I love concept characters as do most of my players.  A word for the wise though, if your character has a secret your Gamemaster will reveal it to the other players through a scenario.  I once had a Player get upset because I had several runs related to certain parts of her character’s background that she wanted to be left alone.  First thing if you are in my campaign any part of your character’s Background is fair game for me to utilize as an adventure hook.  Sorry Folks but most Gamemasters cannot leave well enough alone when it makes a good story.

The Character mentioned earlier was a Japanese Ex-Patriot Elf who escaped the tribulations of being interned in Yomi.  She was a Rocker Mage and was an Oyabun’s daughter.  Well I ended up creating the rest of her family including a Martial Artist Adept Ork brother who was a member of the Oni-No-Yoosoo from my Organizations page, a Yakuza Ninja sister who wanted to kill all of the abominations that shared her lineage, and a little Elven girl sister.  Needless to say I had fun with it, but the Player was upset with the Family runs.  She seemed to dislike the fact I let loose most of her character’s secrets.  However those runs were very fun for me, they helped introduce some of my favorite NPCs although now they are seriously altered.  Funny thing about this is as a Gamemaster the player in question created more havoc than I ever thought of.  She would have done the same as I if not worse.

Now I let my players know ahead of time anything they create for their background is fair game (he he he).  If you have an enemy you thought you left moving to Seattle, wrong they found you and have been tracking you down.  If you think your new identity is foolproof, it is not.  As a Gamemaster I will wait for the character to accidentally let it slip, then in comes the enemy.  Remember as a Gamemaster it is our jobs to make things tough and interesting for the characters.  It is all part of what makes Shadowrun fun.  I am not saying that everything is going to be rough.  I will let up, but just to give the characters a false sense of security

 Shadowrun follows the idea of whatever does not kill the character makes them stronger.  As a player I loved it when my Dolphin Kahuna (Hawai’ian) Shaman was hunted down by the Renraku Executive that led to Riptide leaving Hawai’i.  The whole adventure led to Riptide changing his face and his Nome de Guerre.  I thought it was a fun adventure and it made things much more interesting. Realize folks that this is just a game and let even the frustrating parts be in fun. 

That is My Not So Humble Opinion