Friday, March 4, 2011

Making Characters

Ugh. That's about all we did last night.

I'll admit it...I'm disappointed in my own showing. I meant for this to be a "quick start, quick play" game, but I should have brought friggin' pre-gen characters...or pre-gen equipment/cyber- builds...or abbreviated gear lists.

Unfortunately, I didn't do ANY of this. I printed-out a couple of the equipment charts just before leaving the house, but these were meant for my own benefit. My (rather half-assed) intention/assumption was that I would simply outfit any created characters with equipment lists from the 1st or 3rd edition Shadowrun archetypes.

'Course, I'd forgotten my pet peeves regarding these games: 1st edition archetypes or miscalculated and 3rd edition archetypes have no equipment. Adding these together ended up meaning two and a half hours of chargen...and that's with me hurrying folks through the paces.


It's a testament to my players' kindness/politeness that they didn't complain too fact, a couple of 'em remarked afterwards, "I ENJOY making characters." Well, that's great and all, but I really wanted to play the game...that's kind of why we sit down to do it!

Well, anyway...NOW we have the characters (and I may just write up some "standard builds" over the weekend in case anyone wants to switch 'em out...the game is still mui young, since nothing much got a chance to happen!). Next week we should be able to get down to brass tacks...though two of my players will be MIA, and a couple-four new guys might be showing up.


Okay, pre-gen builds needed. Also, it becomes obvious that I may have too many choices of goody on the equipment list. The original edition had 24 pages of equipment (with illustration) and I only have 13 or so (including the rules for computer hacking), but parsing might still be necessary. Does one really need entries for radio, radio receiver, and sub-vox microphone? Can't these just be combined into one? Shouldn't vision upgrades simply ASSUME replacement with cybernetic eye?

Definitely need to manage and trim the contacts. Part of the problem here is I haven't completed the "monster" chapter (except for the few monsters I'd need for last night's guards and gang members and such).

Hmmm...there's some good things to work on over the weekend for sure. We'll see how much time I have to do so. Man, I am hungry!

[one more thing - more than a couple of my players drew very cool pictures of their characters...Josh, especially, might need to be roped into some illustration work down the line. Check out his troll!]


  1. That is a pretty great troll! Very evocative for the game.

  2. Please tell me he will update his character portrait as he adds cyberware and gear!

  3. Great troll. He looks well fed.

  4. @ Everyone:

    It IS a great drawing...that's why I'm posting it (and demanding it be included in the new book!). In case anyone's wondering...this is the kind of art I'll be looking for.
    : )

  5. Thanks, guys. Fantasy-Cyberpunk is definitely a genre that inspires doodling! I got lucky with this one, though; my scribbles are often not worth looking at.

    I could try to clean it up for publication but it would probably end up much lamer than this; maybe you should go for a scribbly/doodly aesthetic direction with this book and just print this, blue notebook lines and all...

  6. @ Josh: I DO dig the notebook lines, and the smattering of character notes that are visible (like "alignment: Sociopath"). I would definitely throw the image in the character creation section.

    : )

  7. Awesome troll picture aside, this is why we playtest. We need to find out what we are simply assuming, and what we need to actually do.

  8. I have to agree; the troll is brilliant. Full of character, and a bit of humour.

  9. Excellent picture Josh.

    JB any time I start a game I always figure the first session is going to be character gen. I'll bring along a short adventure if things get done early, but usually they don't. Good luck with your Shadowrun game, I still have my first edition books gathering dust for many many years.

  10. I'll echo faoladh here: Despair not. Playtesting sucks, but this is what it's all about.

    I find it can be particularly rough when you're playtesting something built on the foundation of something else so that you figure it should just work. But, of course, it doesn't.

    Last week I started playtesting a new mini-system for running OD&D hexcrawls. This is territory that's obviously been pretty thoroughly covered, so I figured the handful of tweaks I was making to accomplish some unique goals would work out just fine.

    No such luck. The first session was a painful, grinding mess. And it's taken me four more sessions to get things ironed out to the point where I feel like I'm comfortable actually running a session.

    The pay-off is always worth it, though.

  11. @ Faol and Justin: Hey, I am totally down with the It was probably sheer arrogance that made me think I could get away withOUT play-testing; what a joke! My blogging has been light this week because I've gone back and revised much of the character creation rules...ha!

    I'm looking forward to Thursday's game...I'm hoping we'll be able to get into more "rules depth" (hopefully even combat!).
    : )