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Shadowrun: The Dragon Variation Recap – Ep245


We set out to make a love-letter to Shadowrun and a year later we ended up with so much more.

Cast – Shawn, Brandi, Shannon, Mike, Dan, Eric and Jayson plus Brandon (later)

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  1. Joe
    Joe December 22, 2015

    I’ve been running SR5 now for nearly two years, and I can agree with the complaints about combat taking too long. My observation is that what helps to speed that up is knowing ahead of time what your are planning on doing. I can’t count the delays that happen when players of spell casters sit there I their turn debating what spells they want to cast. “Maybe I’ll cast this, no wait, maybe that one.” Same with the combat junkies. I have been getting stricter with “declare everything, then resolve.” Otherwise you end up with people wanting to shoot, see what happens, and then decide to move or dive for cover, and that adds to the delay.

    Another observation regarding Mike’s comment about mages not dishing out the damage. This is true in some regards, but not entirely. I have two mages in my game, one shamanic and one hermetic, and they can dish out massive damage. However, it is not as broken as in 4th edition. Example, one of the casters in my have has a magic of 7, skill of 6, +2 from mentor spirit, +2 from specialization, and +3 from a foci, for a total of 20 casting dice. Now, for a direct spell, where your hours determine damage, and force determines drain, to cast a stun bolt at force 2 (or minimum force to remain at minimum drain) and use 15 reagents to set your limit higher. Then with a lucky roll, you might get 15 hits for 15 damage. Sure you’re hits now exceed your magic for physical drain, but you’re resisting 2 physical drain.

    As for reckless casting two spells, stick with indirect spells. Better chance of overlapping hits for higher damage.

    • Joe
      Joe December 22, 2015

      Hours/hits. Forgive the typos, phone thinks it knows better than I what I meant to type.

      • Gamerstable
        Gamerstable December 22, 2015

        In regards to your comment about Mike’s comment: I think that that is something that was a major flaw with this project. Playing 200+ karma characters that the players are stepping into cold in a system that they are unfamiliar was a mistake on my part. In any complicated game, it’s best to start low and go slow until the players are fluent in the game mechanics before jumping into a super-powerful character.

        • Joe
          Joe December 23, 2015

          Yeah, going in cold can be a problem, or with just experience in sr4. Direct spells used to do Force+ net hits, so dual casting stun balls was broken.

          But it’s like going into anything late in the game, and I’ve heard you guys discuss before. When you start low and grow, you are more familiar with capabilities than if you just start as a badass. Starting with all those toys risks not being familiar with them.

          Overall, I loved this story, and when I heard some of the players complain about the system, I wanted to step in and defend it, because I’ve heard some of the same complaints in my own group, and it just takes time to work out those kinks. And I still struggle with some players delaying combat because they just can’t decide what to do.

          • Gamerstable
            Gamerstable December 24, 2015

            I feel that Shadowrun itself isn’t broken. It was my mistake trying to get green players up to speed with very powerful characters in a very short period of time. Some of the crew feel differently, but that’s how I feel. – Eric

  2. Russell
    Russell December 22, 2015

    I really liked the story. The ending makes more sense. When you post the podcast with all the episodes, I look forward to listening to it again and also for all the clues.

    Looking forward to the next episode!

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