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Shadowrun: Sixth World Q&A Teases ‘Re-Envisioned’ Game, Changes to Edge, More

June 4, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Shadowrun 6th Edition Shadowrun: Sixth World

Catalyst Game Labs knows you have questions about the upcoming sixth edition of Shadowrun, and they have some answers for you. The company has released a Q&A with Jason Hardy, the developer for the Shadowrun line. It goes into some of the details of what to expect for the upcoming Shadowrun Sixth World, which was announced early last month.

The Q&A goes into detail about aspects like how the system was playtested, changes to riggers and more; you can check out the full Q&A at the link above. A couple of highlights are below:

On whether Sixth World aims to fix problems from Fifth Edition or re-envisions the game as a whole: “Definitely closer to the latter. I wouldn’t say it’s a total re-envisioning—we still have dice pools of D6s, we have the same attributes, and many aspects are the same as previous editions. But we did not want to simply tweak or adjust Fifth Edition–we wanted this to be a whole new edition, with new concepts and a different feel. We also wanted to streamline the game.”

On player concerns about the reduced number of Skills in Sixth World: “First, the goal of specializations and expertise is to give players a way to differentiate characters with this smaller skill set. I hope that will be useful and give characters their own feel. Second, if, in the end, you prefer the longer skill list of previous editions to the list in Sixth World, that’s okay. I long ago came to grips with the fact that no single edition of Shadowrun will be everything to everyone. Everyone will like the things they like, and I just hope Sixth World provides rules and tools a substantial group of players can use to have fun!”

On how Edge is changed in Sixth World: “The process of how Edge evolved is the longest, most detailed process in the whole game. So I’ll try to make a long story short! Ish. So, the first thing I focused on when it came time to move past brainstorming and put rules to paper was combat. I wanted the whole combat process to move smoother and for combat to resolve faster. I saw a lot of things to tweak the process, but in the end, many of them boiled down to one thing: It takes a long time to calculate dice pools. Modifiers can come from a lot of places, and remembering to look at all these places, while also remembering the size of the modifiers, can be complex. I wanted to streamline that whole process. The first step in that was combining a lot of weapon stats into a single number called Attack Rating. That number is compared to a Target’s Defense Rating, and, in the initial system, if your Attack Rating was sufficiently higher than the Defense Rating, you’d get what was called a Chip, which would represent your accumulated advantage in the fight. The idea was that other things, such as good tactical execution, would give you more Chips. Then playtesting showed us that the Chip system had similarities with Edge, and things would work best if Edge was expanded, rather than introducing a new meta-game currency. Once that merger was in place, the work was to find how to implement Edge across the system. So deckers, faces, riggers, technomancers, and whoever else hits the shadows gets a chance to build up Edge and spend it in a spectacular move.”

On streamlining while maintaining Shadowrun’s complexity and detail: “That was a tough one! In the end, I think it’s about making a good framework for the game. The basics of Shadowrun are simple—find a skill for the action you’re going to attempt, add ranks in that skill to ranks in an associated attribute, roll that many D6s, and count how many 5s ad 6s you get. You’re either trying to beat a threshold established by the gamemaster or the number of hits from another character. That part isn’t hard to master. The complications come with all the attachments, which means that in the end, it’s about not overloading the core system with attachments. The way Edge works in Sixth World gives players plenty of opportunities for their choices to have and effect in the game while making it easier to determine what that effect is.”

The Shadowrun Sixth World Beginner Box will be available at Origins Game Fair in June, with the Core Rulebook set to be available at Gen Con in August.

article topics :

Shadowrun, Jeremy Thomas