I decided to meet up with my good friend Lucas a few weeks ago and discuss all things Shadowrun.  The conversation was pretty lengthy and it generated even more blog content than I was expecting.  Blah blah blah, I basically needed to break it up into sections.  So here is the first.

Part 1

Hudsonville Michigan.  When you hear this name, you think ice cream.  Not drek.  Not shadow runners.  Underworld activity exactly like this is what took place on July 29th 2013.  My fellow nuyen smuggler and I, Lucas Rose, descended upon Pike 51 brewery to exchange tales of days long past.  Or perhaps tales of days yet to come?  Into the rabbit’s hole we go.  For the ease of your reading, my words are in bold.

I would never call myself a tabletop gamer.  If you look at the overflowing book that contains all of my interests, it would seem to be an area that would be a home run for me.  My experience is extremely limited, to well, mostly with you.

Didn’t you play Dead Lands or something like that back in high school?

No, I didn’t.  My friends at the time talked about it a lot, so I was at least familiar with their campaign and what was going on.  I just never had the interest to jump into it.  I did give Dungeons and Dragons a try,  unfortunately that was in an arena setup.  The group I played with had established characters already, I was able to create one and assign so many levels and skills.  Here is a summary of how experience with it went:

I spent each turn unable to move.  One of my opponents was an archer.  He used some sort of entangling web enchantment on his arrows, which would then hold my team in one place.  

The other character was a mage, who would then set the web on fire.

Burning death.

This instantly generated a reaction of “WOW, this is fun.”

I feel like, well, first off, arena is bad.  Just bad.  Don’t play that.  I had one arena match in GURPS, and it went almost exactly the same way.  I was the strategist.  I just sat back and waited for everyone to kill themselves off.  I would just have to pick off the last guy after the carnage had ended.  It worked until the mage was the only other player left.  He would just cast invisibility on himself, which lasts for one minute.  In the game, each turn is one second. So do the math, that’s a lot of turns.  Waiting for the opportune time for my character to open his mouth to breath and suddenly there was plant growing inside of me.  This would in turn suffocate my hero and bring about my timely death.  How does that even work?

That makes sense….

The rules are too loose.

So I had that initial experience and thought, this is what I’ve been missing?  It just created a huge stigma on the genre for me.  So it wasn’t until we did the Star Wars campaign, I jumped back into things.  It obviously helped that this was game universe that I was very familiar with.

You knew the background, you knew the characters….

Yeah, and even that short-lived game of Dungeons and Dragons we did.  That was fun.  (We played a starting mission in a short campaign that Lucas GM’d.)

It was more of a role playing element than just rolling dice like a board game.

ExactIy.  I really had a sense of who my character was and what he was about.  I would like to get into the new Star Wars game, Edge of the Empire.  

Yeah, I heard that’s good.

I think that looks really cool and I’d like to try that sometime.  But that talk is for some other time.  So, yeah, that’s pretty much it really.  (Referring to my tabletop experience.)

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