Interest in [AW] Shadowrun

edited July 2011 in Pitch
Over on Story Games, someone asked about what game systems one could use to run a game of Shadowrun. Somebody mentioned that AW would work rather well for this.

Who would be interested in an AW hack of Shadowrun? I'm thinking of using the rules as written, but in a Shadowrun context and creating custom moves for stuff that we would need. But, I'm still pondering this.

This is less of a pitch and more of a "testing the waters" at the moment.


  • I'd be interested, but I've never actually played shadowrun, so if there's more to it than hacker elves named Tessier-Ashpool, I'd need to be filled in on the finer points.
  • I also never played Shadowrun. D&D was good and Cyberpunk was good, but never got into mixing them. But I'm not some grumpy old bastard who can't do new stuff. So, I'm not dying to play that in particular, but I do like playing things in general.
  • edited July 2011
    Hrm... that's kind of a bummer that you guys never played it as stomping on those grounds with AW rules was one of my interests.

    I appreciate the feedback, will keep stewing on it.

    WTA: This isn't me shutting things down, just readjusting my thought patterns. If anyone else has interest, pipe up!
  • Sounds interesting, though I've never been involved in anything Shadowrun before and don't know much about it beyond hearing it discussed.
  • So far it sounds like there's more interest in more AW than Shadowrun, am I right? Just trying to gauge the interest.
  • I'm definitely interested in Shadowrun, I've been meaning to try it for years. I just haven't played it yet, so I'd need a primer on anything important that falls outside of playbooks/moves/etc. and the very basic setting details.
  • Have you tried Technoir?
  • Now that's good to hear, Max. I'm hoping to play in more of an "inspired by" Shadowrun, so giving a primer and using that as the base is more of my thinking. I'm tempted to declare the 2nd edition the base canon and timeline and roll from there.

    Much like Dungeon World, I'm thinking that the species of a PC wouldn't have a statistical difference. I'm not sure I could do a good job of coming up with a species overlay for the playbooks, just not yet convinced it is an improvement for the game since a +1 is so huge. That being said, giving a troll a +1 Hard and a -1 Hot feels right, giving an elf a +1 Hot and a -1 Hard... ok, that was off the top of my head and more fun than I expected. What do you think? Stats for race or no?
  • Michael, I haven't tried Tech Noir. I bought in on the Kickstarter, but I'm not convinced it will scratch my Shadowrun itch. The Adjective bit of it reminds me of FATE, and neither of them "feel" Shadowrunny to me. Its hard to put in words. AW feels right. Heck, Don't Rest Your Head and even Savage Worlds feels right with some tweaks. But I figure there are some AW lovers here so I'd have help tweaking it for Shadowrun. Or maybe not. We'll see, right?
    When you hack into a secure system, roll+skillz. On a hit, you find what you're looking for. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1:
    *You aren't discovered in the act by system admins.
    *You spoof or redirect your datatrail.
    *You can edit or delete the data.
  • One conflict I see is that in AW, scarcity brings people together in relatively isolated clumps. This means everything and everyone is in your face all the time. In a cyberpunk setting, a couple people out of the multitudes are in your face all the time and everything is abundant if you don't worry about paying for it.

    Note: A possible workaround might be to find other ways to get at isolation driven characterization (everyone is a named character) would be to have things in the context of a company. For example, the whole game could take place in a corporate skyscraper, production factory, or ghetto.
  • edited July 2011
    We played a real life game of Shadowrun (4th Edition I think). The system was pretty awful, but the actual fluff was fun. It was like, "Yeah! This game is awesome. Alright, now I want to hack something..."

    Half an hour later...

    "Oh my god. I'm never hacking again."

    We played 3 sessions then dropped it.
  • Perhaps Ghost/Echo would make for a better springboard? The mechanic is a cousin to AW.
  • Thanks for the suggestion, Rustin. I do see the similarities, but Ghost/Echo is too loose for my tastes.

    Plus, my opinion is colored by the one time I played it... it was a complete mess of a game with no coherent fiction or direction, just people at a con playing crazy. I mean summoning a frog god crazy. Soured me on the game entirely.
  • I think AW would work very well. Just write up some playbooks and steal mostly from the AW playbooks with some minor changes for tech and whatnot.
  • Races should do something, for sure. The players could decide during character creation what the details are.

    What makes Shadowrun? What are the critical elements? What stories get played?
  • I was first thinking that the weird stat would be used for netrunning or hacking or whatever. But there's magic, too; right? Are they related in the source game?
  • Maybe go back to the cyber D&D roots and hack DW to do Shadowrun.
  • Marshall - the AW scarcity vs. Shadowrun default setting is a potential hurdle, agreed. Good point. I dig your suggestion for a company team. I once played in a game of SR where we were a company team, it was pretty fun.

    Chris - in Shadowrun (SR), magic and tech exists, btu the two don't like each other. The more cyberware you have, the less powerful your magic.

    (My SR knowledge wanes after 2nd ed, so if 3rd and 4th are different than above, good for them, but not the SR I wanna play/run)
  • I could hack DW to do some Shadowrun, but our so-so experience with DW and my limited design skills worry me on this pursuit.

    Maybe I should just run Lady Blackbird after GenCon like I planned.
  • edited July 2011
    Here at home, we briefly discussed playing a cyberpunk patch of AW, but ultimately just played AW. It was very quick and dirty, what we were thinking, but came together alright. The main points:

    - add an option to battlebabe custom weapons to get +implanted

    - anyone with access to 2-armor can instead get 1-armor (implanted)

    - a hardholder runs an organization, rather than a concrete place: a security consulting firm, or a local branch of the yakuza, or etc (the population is your employees, the gang is your security, the compound is your headquarters). consider writing some new off-the-cuff hardhold options, depending on what you want to do, since disease and hunger and such might not really work

    - savvyheads and angels with infirmaries really can do cybernetics and such anyhow, even in AW, but explicitly: you can do this

    - there's a psychic maelstrom, I guess, and people with psychic powers

    We didn't play that, so that's about it (well, maybe I'm forgetting something). If we had played it, I would have done hacking as a subsystem with situation-specific moves, very much like the battle moves. Probably with the countdown clock and everything. Or maybe you could just use the battle rules, with different language? I'm not looking at them right now, so I don't know if you could make that happen. And, like battles, you could play through it using a combination of perfectly normal basic moves + optional hacking moves. This would allow everyone to have some hacking ability, which I think would be good: I'm thinking Ghost in the Shell style.

    Software and hardware would count as weapons and armor, and your system could take harm. None of the playbooks come with that kind of weaponry/armor standard, but operators and savvyheads could start with such things, which feels about right. You might also have a hacker/investigator custom playbook, with some relevant gear and moves. Investigation is a thing that no AW playbook is specially good at (without psychic powers, at least), but it's genre-appropriate.

    All that was a pretty rough hack, mostly with an eye toward sitting down and just playing. It's cyberpunk, though, plus psychic powers. Magic is something different, and it'd depend on how magic works in Shadowrun, which I don't know.
  • edited July 2011
    Software and hardware would count as weapons and armor, and your system could take harm.
    Actually, specifically, I think your system might follow the vehicle rules, including rules for harming vehicles, vehicle armor, and harm to the vehicle blowing through to you (assuming this is the kind of setting where you plug your brain into your machine when you're hacking, Gibson-style). That suggests some possible design space where a hacker playbook is mechanically similar to the driver ... in a rush, you could probably directly use the driver, and just replace every instance of the word "car" with "deck".

    Again, crude hack.

    - edit -

    This all assumes, of course, that hacking is a big deal. More the Gibson and Ghost in the Shell than, say, Blade Runner. I understand Shadowrun to be like that, but you could always just ditch it altogether and make hacking work like it does in real life. Which is to say, slowly and without much excitement ... let the savvyhead do it in his workspace, if he has the right stuff.
  • I was just going to say the driver might adapt well but your vehicle is your deck, or whatever.
  • That stuff sounds pretty cool, Michael. A bunch of cybernetic-like tags would go a long way.
  • Posted By: Michael Loyjust replace every instance of the word "car" with "deck"
    Anybody look at the chopper and think "Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!"
  • Would that make a hocus a corporate motivational speaker?
  • Marshall, that is a hilarious idea.
  • Just so it is clear, my passion for this faded and I'm less sure that AW fits Shadowrun without much hacking. I'll be posting up a Pitch for Lady Blackbird to begin mid-August 2011 or so.
  • Yay Lady Blackbird!
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