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Message no. 1
From: Augustus shadowrun@********.net
Subject: CAS books & UCAS books (A longish bash on Fasa)
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 10:59:17 -0800
----- Original Message -----
From: Adam J <adamj@*********.com>

> I think most of your concerns about Target: UCAS are simply because it was
> named poorly. It wasn't really about the UCAS at all, it was about 3 UCAS
> cities.

Well yes and no... I think the big problem with Target: UCAS was, Fasa
didn't know what to do with it. If you look at the front part of the book,
it covers abit about the UCAS.

So it leaves the impression that it was supposed to be a UCAS sourcebook...
but then the rest of the book is only on the 3 cities detailed (detroit,
boston and chicago). It would have been nice if they went either one way or
the other. They should have either expanded on the UCAS stuff and less on
the cities (making it a UCAS book) or they should have left the UCAS stuff
out of the front and added one more city instead (making it a Target: UCAS
CITIES book)

> As place books are generally poor sellers and smaller books have a much
> slimmer profit margin, I think this is pretty unlikely. I agree that it
> would be really nice, though. But the fact remains that most people run SR
> in Seattle with little side-trips to other places once in awhile.

Yeah... regional books are like gamemaster books... usually only the GM buys
them. So if there were 1 million shadowrun players in the world (this
number is used only for ease of math, I have no idea how many shadowrun
players there are) and 1 in 5 was a GM... that would mean a GM oriented book
would have only 200,000 potential customers... while a new "Big Book O'
Guns" would have 1,000,000 potential customers.

Problem with this though, is you run the risk of catching Palladium's
"RIFTS" Syndrome. Palladium was always on the bubble of either financially
making it or financial ruin... and RIFTS was their most popular series of
games. So when it came time for new RIFTS books... they always threw in a
whole whack of newer and more powerful stuff. Thusly ensuring that players
and GMs bought the books... it was the only way they could keep the company
going... and it was self perpetuating... each book had stuff that could just
beat on the stuff in the previous books... so Kevin Siembieda writes a new
book that can beat on the stuff in the new book... and the cycle

So yes, fasa can make more money by appealing to what everybody will buy...
the rule/tech/gear books... But it leaves the rest of the world standing
still... and lets face it... under the new rules... though great as they
are... there isn't much in the way of new tech/rule/gear books fasa can do
without really upping the power curve of the game.

I enjoyed SR2 more than I did SR1... but it makes you wonder... what was the
real reason they did SR3? It might have been "time for a change"... but
maybe it was also because without upping the power level of the game, they
had nothing else to do.

Whereas if they do a new edition, they can convert and update all the

Lets look at the SR3 products over the last 2 years (not including the 4
adventures they did).

Thus far in 2 years they did 9 books... Of those books "The Companion",
Seattle", "The Matrix", "Magic in the Shadows" and "Man and
Machine" were
reprints (with a couple of new things so that buying them wasn't a total
slap in the face)

Then... if we don't count the main rulebook and the "quickstart" rules...
that leaves us with 2 new books in 26 months! (Cannon Companion and
Corporate Download... BOTH books I am sure some would argue are just
reprints for the most part anyhow)

See... Palladium has a problem with production of stuff... they keep making
more and more powerful stuff (weapons, rules, character classes) in order to
sell books... Fasa has their own problem though... they can't seem to make
anything new... they just reprint/revise old books. We either have 2 new
books in 2 years... or we have 0 new books in 2 years... depends how you
look at it.

What started the bulk of these debates lately was the prospect of a North
America book... will that just be a reprint? There is enough in North
America that they could do 2 or 3 books where it wouldn't be just a whack of

I don't know... but I'm almost afraid of the release of Rigger Redux coming
up... it'll mean that Fasa has put out all its reprints at that point... and
that they are probably going to do "The Fasa Thing" and push all these
potential books aside and start working on SR4... d'oh!

I guess I'll start booking now for GenCon 2002 now... so I can maybe get a
hardcover rulebook this time around.


> I hope that once T:NA is out it will give people enough building blocks to
> make future Target books for countries - "Target: Cities of CAS" a bit
> feasible.
> Adam
> --
> < The Shadowrun Supplemental? ShadowFAQ? Full Count? >
> < Latest news about them all: >
> < adamj@*********.com | ICQ# 2350330 | TSS Productions >

Further Reading

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