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Shadowrun: Sixth World Beginner Box
by Pirou J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2019 14:18:51

So, yesterday I gathered a few folks and we had our first game of SR6, by playing the Beginner Box.

I'm not going to delve into the editing and proofreading issues, we all know about them by now. Instead I want to stress that despite these issues, we had a LOT of fun.

Contrary to other games, each new edition of SR has always felt like its own beast to me, with its own philosophy if you like. I got bored of SR4 because it felt too much like a power fantasy. I liked SR5 because of its very brutal, deadly combat, even if it came at the cost of somewhat cumbersome additional systems like the limits (your mileage may vary of course, I only speak for myself).

With SR6, I can see the writers have attempted to make the game faster and more streamlined, while encouraging player creativity through the revamped Edge. While we haven't used Edge's new mechanics to their full potential yet (we have to get used to it, and old habits die hard), the most memorable moment from last night's game was when Rude's player used her 5 points of Edge to push the Stuffer Shack's shelves like dominos, burying a couple of gangers below piles of random stuff. I like that it encourages the players to look beyond what's on their character sheet and try some fun/crazy stuff based on the current situation.

The changes to Armor, Initiative, etc. were a bit confusing at first (again, force of habit), but it didn't bother us in the long run.

Okay, one criticism I have as a GM: I'd say the adventure included in the Box is pretty weak, and I had to change a few things to make it work. To be fair I've always found Food Fight, regardless of its incarnation, to not be such a good introductory scenario for Shadowrun anyway, and this time is no exception. But beyond that I really feel it doesn't work for a Beginner Box. I think it would have been better to have a more traditional shadowrun (even a cliché "steal the prototype" kind of scenario), with situations allowing each character to use their special set of skills.

Another comment I need to make about the writing is I feel it is a mistake to write rules in a tongue-in-cheek / streetwise manner. Rules should be as simple, clear and neutral as possible, rather than attempt to be witty (which only makes things confusing). That's my opinion anyway, again YMMV and all that.

By the end of the night, all my players asked me when we would play again, and when they'd be able to create their own characters. Which I take as a strong sign that despite its editorial flaws, SR6 has appeal and potential. It just needed a couple more months in the oven, but hey, c'est la vie, chummers.

In any case, I'm looking forward to play it some more.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sixth World Beginner Box
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Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Matthew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2019 11:11:51

It's bad, it's really really bad. Some of the core concepts are allright, some are not, but most importantly Catalyst's poor editing process continues. Such a mish-mash of good and poor ideas, with some concepts obviously having gone to press while still in the process of revision. You made metatypes more flexible, but then completely removed the balance between different attributes. Atrributes and skills cost the same to level up in place, but have dramatically different costs in character generation. Melee combat dmg makes no sense. You removed Force from spells, but had to backdoor add in again on many of them, kept Force for spirits, but made it so it was impossible bind spirits but binding sprites in the matrix was fine? Copy and pasted sections have numerous references to elemtents from previous editions that were removed, like grids. Was no one coordinating this?

Advice to Catalyst? Get an editor, get a project manager for all the freelancers you have workign for nearly free. That's two different people by the way. Completely redo this edition, it's barely useable as is, and in no way an improvement over 5th edition, was also riddled with errors, but at least better than this.

But everyone has been telling you this for years, and you haven't and won't, so I really would prefer you hang it up at this point.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
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Shadowrun: Sixth World Beginner Box
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2019 22:10:29

There isn't much more for me to add than what has already been said. This title is bad, really, really bad. DO NOT BUY THIS. There are so many mistakes with the rules, and cards, and pregenerated characters that I cannot run this without re-editing the whole thing. I shouldn't have to do that for something I paid for. Catalyst just doesn't give a damn about this IP. Don't support this kind of incompetence. There are better choices for cyberpunk on this site.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sixth World Beginner Box
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Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Thomas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2019 08:57:31

Shadowrun Sixthworld has been getting a lot of bad reviews and many 1 star ratings. While there are many problems with the system and the missing information in the rule book, I don't feel all the criticism is warranted. With objectivity in mind, I'll list the good, the mixed, and the bad of the book.

The Good: By far, the best thing about the book is that rules are extremely simplified from previous editions. The list of skills has been reduced to 19. This, along with other simplifications, make character creation a lot quicker.

The matrix is much more playable in this edition. Although it can still be complex, you don't have to worry about keeping track of marks like you did in 5e.

Finally the artwork is generally pretty good. Although not all the pieces are great, it generally sets the tone for the game and none of the art stands out as completely goofy.

The Mixed The Edge system is a mixed bag. On one hand, I like it because it encourages fast combat and taking risks, but on the other hand it sometimes simplifies things too much. Essentially, rather than keeping track of all kinds of weapon and armor modifiers, there are just a few modifiers that can give players or NPCs a point of Edge which can be spent on rerolling dice or performing various manuevers. This speeds things up since in previous edition there were so many modifiers that went into attacks that combat could sometimes slow down to a crawl. However, because you can only gain two points of Edge a round and edge can be saved up (rather than spent the round it was earned), combat becomes less about tactics and more about taking big risks (Do you spend the edge this round or wait until later?). This isn't a terrible idea, but it can lead to situations where weapons, armor, and cover become relatively unimportant (More on that below).

The Bad The worst, as has been pointed out is fact that the writers overlooked some important information in their rush to get the book out. How much essence do you start with? The answer is 6 as long time players know, but this isn't mentioned in the book. How much damage do unarmed attacks do? (The answer is strength/2 rounded up, stun damage.) This is also not mentioned. While this missing info is easily found on the internet, the book feels a little rushed because of it.

Th other bad thing is that armor is a lot less effective in combat. Rather than allowing a player to soak damage or giving bonus defense dice, it gives a defense rating which is compared to an attacker's attack rating each round. If the defense rating is 4 points higher than the opponent's attack rating, you get a point of edge which doesn't even have to be spent on defense that round. While this eliminates the problem of "walking tanks" of previous editions ("I don't need cover because I can soak the damage!"), it makes all but heavy armor mostly ineffective.

Conclusion So Shadowrun 6th World Edition is a mixed bag. There is a lot to like. It overall is quicker to make a character and there is generally less to keep track of. This might annoy some veteran Shadowrun players who like the complex rules and fine tuning their characters, but I really like quicker character creation and gameplay. However, the missing information makes the book feel incomplete and the edge system has the unintended consequence of making armor and a lot of tactics much less important.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
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Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Tom D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2019 06:22:09

Yeah, this is pretty bad. Has some really nice ideas and some good changes but, generally speaking, feels only half finished and introduces a few fairly fatal flaws in the system. I'll be sticking with previous editions for now and seeing whether this edition gets fixed in coming months / years.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Nathan P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2019 15:41:33

Alright; Let me get this out of the way in the first place. I'm not a fan of the new mechanics and I much prefer the crunch of older shadowrun versions. That said, I'm not one to judge a thing without understanding it and so wish to approach this with some thought for others who are getting into SR6 with what I assume the design intent was; a less crunchy D&D 5e style simplification of the rather complex and convoluted Shadowrun system. Unfortunately even therein we run into some major problems.

So I'll just ignore all the magicrun, metatype simplification, skill dropping, and armor changes that mostly old shadowrun players care about and just ask "From a new player who seems excited about the mechanics, should I get this game" and I would say at this point, no. Leaning into a 'maybe' to 'tenative yes' once they fix the myriad errata problems.

We'll get the easy one out of the way first. This book is an editing nightmare and somehow the shadowrun team gets worse and worse every time. Even after the 10 page pre-release errata you still can't jump and while they explain that characters have essence, they don't explain how much or how it affects characters. Naturally these are things that editing and errata can fix, but catalyst typically donesn't update its PDFs often, so expect to be using errata for a while.

Lets ignore the character balance like melee & magic changes. I get the feeling the target demographic isn't to mindful of these things, as for the most part they are building reasonable characters rather than trying to work a mechanic to its core. If you don't have to worry about munchkins or Powergamers, you probably won't run into too much issue here from a first readthrough.

However there is one major issue I have with the new system that I believe will heavily affect new players and old alike. The new Edge system. From a conceptual perspective I actually like changing edge from a super-powered but limited stat to a new resource pool, but from an implementation perspective it outright fails. Namely I take issue with how it replaces all conditional modifiers. Yes this very heavily simplifies the game, similarly to how advantage/disadvantage simplified D&D 5e; Unlike D&D however, the new system doesn't just make 'tripping sub-optimal' but makes a good deal of tactical play wholy non-functional.

The Demonstration

Lets look at a pretty basic senario and see how it would play out in both 5e & 6e in general terms. A group newbie shadowrunners get in a shootout with small dispatch of lonestar. They are trading shots back and forth from cover in pretty close conditions and the shadowrunners want two things to occur. First, get their sam into melee range to wreak havoc. Second, Get their decker to a nearby door so he can jack-in and hack it open (the server looks pretty tough and the decker thinks its far safer to just crack the door open through direct connect). Lonestar reinforcments are closing in and the shadowrunners are in a hurry to get up high. The Weapon specialist gets a bright Idea and lobs a smoke grenade in-between the groups. No one on either side has thermal-vision or any other way to bypass the smoke.

Previous Editions: Smoke goes off, the sam charges & the decker moves to the door to start hacking. With the shitty coniditons the officers arn't able to line up a good shot on the decker or sam until its too late. The newbie officer who is a poor shot can't even land a solid hit and is reduced to providing pressure by shooting in the general direction of the enemy rather than actually hitting. Sams in their ranks hacking them to pieces and relying on his armor to soak up their small arms fire. Decker pops the door as the wounded officers make a tactical retreat while shooting at the armored swordsman. the runners move into the open door using the smoke as cover, leaving everyone no worse for wear save the bloodied but alive sam and maybe a pistol round in the nerd.

6e: Well to start, in 6e most players would realise that this serves no purpose given the conditions, but ignoring that, lets say they did try this stunt. Smoke goes off, since no one has a way to see through the smoke, no penalties are given. The Sam or Decker moving up would provide easy targets for shots, leaving them very wounded before they even got to their positions. Further the sam, who normally relied on some pretty heavy armor to shrug off a good deal of damage, now only gets a bonus Edge each combat round, which will likely be wasted given that he's already probably maxing out his edge per round on attacks alone. Meanwhile, since the newbie isn't getting penalties, they can still land some shots. Once the decker pops the door, their previously tatical retreat into the doorway becomes a panicked run as lonestar continues to lay down fire at them through the smoke. All in all at the end of this the shadowrunners will be far more banged up than the previous version.

Even if you reverse the situtation; lonestar trying to delay the runners by throwing down smoke and holding out for backup to arrive, you get a similar problem. Since smoke no longer penalizes shots, it now fails as a stalling / cover tactic; only providing any kind of bonus if you can see through it, it fails as a 'lethality avoidance measure'.

The Crux

This issue stems from one simple failure of the new system, it doesn't consider intent. Rather it just assumes that the point of all engagements is to neutrilize the enemy as fast as possible and in the most direct means possible (I.e. shoot it with bullets). Even if you assume intent, the game intentionally prevents you from maximizing this by way of limiting edge gain to 2 per combat round which a character 'in their element' will likely already be getting (An armored street sam will likely get two edge just from getting shot at or attacking, often both.) thus wasting it.

There is some hope though for those who are willing to implement house rules. While I've yet to test these things in implementation, from an 'on paper' view they may yield results. Namely in altering the edge cap to either

A: A basic raise on edge cap in a round. This may yield some problems with characters being able to max-out their edge bank just by getting shot at and not spending any, but that is rather more likely to really lay on the hurt than spending some of that gained edge to help survival.

B: and likely my favorite. Make the edge cap a 'banking' cap, with the 'residual' draining off after the action that caused it. This really encourages spending edge but may draw out an engagement more. A street sam standing in smoke (lets assume you're granting intent for the bonus edge here) will wind up getting a ton of edge, but can only keep two of it. It both encourages using edge on the action that gives it, and prevents super-banking in a single action. (E.X. Four people shooting at an armored sam with pistols. The sam is running at them in the dark, and only the sam has low light vision. Each attack save the last gets him two points of edge (1 for armor, 1 for darkness), however the last person has armor piercing rounds bypassing his greater armor. On the first attack he choses to spend a point and bank a point. On the second he rolls poorly, and so decides to spend both points as well as the one he just banked. On the third attack he rolls very well, but since he already banked one point of edge, he can only bank one point rather than two, so he spends the extra on a re-roll to further style on the poor goon. On the third attack he only gains one point of edge and must spend it or lose it, he gets injured but comes out with only a minor wound from the pistol and two edge to show for it.)

Assuming the Use of the B house rule in the above senario, you can get a far better situtation. With the sam's charge through the smoke, each attack against them is likely providing 1-2 edge which they can then spend on dodging or soaking better. Rather than the first shot being easy to dodge or soak and the followups not caring about any of their modifiers, assuming them to be a naked pycho standing in a well lit room; They now are able to choose two of their edge points to 'bank', spending the rest on the dodging & soaking actions.

This also works in reverse; with the officers holding out able to spend plenty of edge on survivability as the shadowrunners spray shots.

While this doesn't cure all of shadowrun's woes; I think it goes a fair bit in fixing some of the heavy imbalance with a rather simple change. As I said before however, this is simply on paper and I would need to test it in game. As I also said, I'm not one to judge without understanding (or atleast I try to be) so I'm already planning to run a game with a couple of Grognards and a couple of more crunch-adverse players. I will test the waters and see how it goes from there, then assess the game fully on its own merits and as a new edition to a long-standing ruleset.

For now my score represents what I believe to be the game's current state. Once the errata is fully out and all the myriad technical and editorial problems are fixed, I would up my score more towards a 2.5 ~ 3 / 5. Alright for newcomers but likely to annoy fans of the old crunch and all-in-all not my cup of tea.

P.S

Why the hell do sharks have hardened armor 6. seriously, they just ignore rifles and shotgun blasts like its nothing. And the only other things that really get hardened armor are like dragons. Like I get that sharks are tough and all, but seriously. I'm pretty sure If I shot a shotgun slug at a beached shark it wouldn't just ignore the shot like I tickled it. You have to get like 5 NET hits for it to even acknowledge a pistol shot, and thats before it attempts to soak. Jesus, I'd rather just fight the dracoforms; atleast you expect those to be durable.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2019 10:13:11

A hot mess would be a vast improvement. This is an example of a game dev coming up with what he believes is a really cool new mechanic but it's only half-baked at best. As with most CGL products this was not playtested very thoroughly if at all. Add in major departures from all prior editions and you have something worse than D&D 4e.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Romaric T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2019 03:20:42

interesting new game mechanics have been introduced and it is fun to have new things coming on for SR but this book is full of errors, mistakes and omissions to the point it is not acceptable for a professionnal product it would have been better to take 6 to 12 months to check the book and test the mechanics further some rules are completly broken, the gear section provide stats incoherent with the rules, character advancement may become frustrating, etc. you will find a problem almost in every pages. on the good point the book is really beautyfull - at least the people in charge of the art creation did their job.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Street Magic
by Dustin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2019 16:42:53

The book had some really cool inspiration, but the crunchy bits require so much arbitration to even find a semblance of balance that I wonder why it even included stats. Maybe we just happened to pick the most obtusely broken things from the book? Because even by shadowrun standards, they were utterly absurd. But still, the suggestions for different magic traditions was cool!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Street Magic
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Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Ben T. Date Added: 09/04/2019 14:48:56

Unfortunately this rulebook is a mess of missing rules, unclear interactions, and broken gameplay that assumes you have played a previous edition of the game to understand what is supposed to happen. I was excited about the release of a new edition of Shadowrun after having enjoyed fifth edition, but am very dissapointed to find the state that the sixth edition of the game is in.

What are the pros? I like the condensed skill list, I like how the changes to metatypes theoretically makes it easier to make more varied characters, and thats about it.

The cons are many bu the worst to me is that Character creation is broken, its easy to fall into traps that make your characters severaly handicapped. An example is not getting powerpoints as an adept when you increase your magic rating during character creation. Another is that it is easy to game the system as well, you can lose 5 points of essence as an adept and lose magic but no power points.

There are many issues with this edition and I recommend you do further research before deciding to purchase this game.

My recommendation is to not purchase.



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Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
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Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Mike R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2019 04:00:36

I really enjoy, as others have said, the more narrative aspect of the game. I always found it a slog to deal with 30 dice and a ton of numbers, I know many people with be disappointed that you do not have to employ Theoretical Mathematics to play the game any more but it leaves an opening for simpletons like myself to ease into it. My only real grip is that they entirely gloss over the races, giving a very light touch to make a character but not alot of background info. I assume this is to sell more info later in another book which is irritating but the trend in tabletops, parse out little by little dollar by dollar. I also bought the boxed set and yeah there are some rough edges but it is beautiful and works fine to get a game going, especially with new players to what used to be a daunting game for new people to engage with.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Dean S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2019 20:46:08

For the most part I like the new changes. I understand that a lot of people are annoyed about the 'crunch' or meticulous bonus-grabbing parts have been replaced by a more narrative, streamlined Edge system but for myself and my players that is absolutely brilliant. We get to focus more on our characters/story rather than it becoming a tactical wargame.

If you are new to the game or (like us) found that the meticulous advantage-crawling adjustment bonuses/penalties, the disparate mechanics for the Matrix, Magic and Mundane tasks were getting in the way of enjoying an intriguing and fun setting than this is the edition to play then you will probably enjoy 6E

If you enjoy the crunch of meticulously adding every bonus you can wrench out of your gear and abilities or you enjoy your maximum Force rated spirit replacing every other team member (as you did in 5E) then this might not be the edition for you.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by dan t. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2019 15:13:15

For all that is good, intresting and innovative in this edition it is let down completly by scattered and missing rules.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2019 00:02:28

A much needed improvement over 4th and 5th edition, but the quality of the printing is kinda weak. I know some will expect more and be hurt by disappointment, but the game is still very good despite the flaws, and this edition has changed things way more than 5th did and for the better.

Positives
  • Unique definitive setting. Shadowrun has had great world building.
  • Streamlined (FINALLY). Although this is still a complicated system, the last editions were needlessly difficult
  • Diverse character creation. Classless system that lets players fill a role on a team that the GM can build around. The depth of what you can do unique to you is amazing.
Negatives:
  • Editing/playtesting. At the time of writing this, some rules seem to be left out. In step 3 of character creation, nothing is written about the karma carrying over to step 4, which is obviously whats supposed to happen. Unarmed DV isn't written anywhere, ect. It's a mess.
  • Same old mechanical traps. Shadowrun has always been a game where people min/max a lot, but I can't help but feel sad that it costs so much karma for the Aptitude quality and taking that skill to 10 is so expensive. Certain weapons are just plain better than others. Some people enjoy this, but it's a bit steep.
  • Some art is recycled. Catalyst commissions very good artists but the last few books they've been recycling very recent artwork, it's not like everything is old, but can't help this hurts the quality of the book.

I'm sure the next few core books and an update far in the future to this one will satisfy me, which is why it gets a 4/5, with the positive changes beating the negative editing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/28/2019 18:10:06

The game is poorly constructed, obviously did not go through any serious playtesting, and is not significantly "easier to learn and play" as they put out as a big selling point. Shifting the cognitive load is not the same as reducing it. Would not recommend. 1 star.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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