We like Shadowrun, Fourth Edition. In our minds, Fourth Edition did a lot of things right. The rules were more streamlined and easier to use than ever. Having Attribute + Skill as the basis for dice pools is good. Fixed target numbers are good. And many other things are good. We wanted to be sure the strengths of Fourth Edition remained in place.
Everything has a price. As we talked about Shadowrun, it became increasingly clear that this is a central issue facing shadowrunners. Everything they do is a trade-off of some sort. They trade the safety and security of a corporate job for the freedom of an independent life. They put their lives on the line in exchange for the chance to make a big score. They trade a piece of their soul for bleeding-edge gear to make them better, stronger, faster. All these choices bring them benefits in the end, but all of them have a price. That should be reflected in the rules. Runners should be able to get benefits they need—if they are willing to pay what those benefits cost. Nothing should be free.
Players are the heroes. The success of a player character should be based on who they are and what they can do—the Attributes at their core and the Skills they’ve worked hard to improve. That’s where their dice should come from as much as possible. And when we’re designing plots and adventures, the focus should be on shadowrunners doing awesome things, not being players in someone else’s story.
Amp up the cyberpunk. We love the cyberpunk Shadowrun started with, but we also realize that a lot has changed since the days when cyberpunk first took root. While it’s true that some of the genre tropes are dated, there are pieces of it that still resonate. Like a distrust of authority. The battle of individuals against dehumanizing institutions. Technology as both a tool and a threat. And a dystopian world where it’s a struggle to survive with at least a piece of your soul intact. We want the rules and the setting to reflect this atmosphere.
Make it awesome. Shadowrunning should be dangerous, it should be difficult, but it should also provide players the chance to do impossible and amazing things. There should be dice rolls that make everyone at the table whoop with surprise, excitement, or possibly dismay. These rolls should form the basis for stories told years later. If you want to try something dangerous but just crazy enough to work, the rules should help you find a way to make that happen.
Kurz auf Deutsch (grob übersetzt):
1) SR4 ist die Grundlage, weil man mit dem grundsätzlichen von SR4 zufrieden war (feste Augenzahlen, Attribut + Skill etc)
2) Alles soll einen Preis oder Trade Off haben. Runner sollen tolle Dinge erhalten und bekommen können - aber alles muß entsprechend bezahlt werden.
3) Spielercharaktere sind die Helden, ihre Würfel sollen hautsätzlich von Skills und Attributen kommen. Bei Storys und Plots sollen die Charaktere im Mittelpunkt stehen - nicht andere.
4) Cyberpunk soll stärker betont werden. Auch wenn einige Genrekonventionen schon etwas alt sind, so zählen sie immer noch. Generell soll das Gefühl stärker betont werden, sowohl im Setting als in den Regeln.
6) SR soll gefährlich und schwierig sein, aber die Spielercharaktere sollen coole und krasse Dinge machen können.