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Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

Message no. 1
From: Sommers sommers@*****
Subject: List of Requests (aka slightly unreasonable demands) to
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 21:54:35 -0400
Thanks for the heads up. I scanned it, and it looks like a good site. Its
clean, gets you to the stuff you're looking for quickly, and includes
regular updates for new material. Take this new material, and the best of
it they include in the State of the Art book. It also feeds nicely into the
whole concept of the yearbook, giving different flavors to different
subjects. And probably best of all, it lets them put up material that
otherwise could be lying around for years and get some use out of it,
without cutting off their ability to publish it.

>Excuse me for a minute.
>ho-ho-hee-hee ... ROFLMAO!!!!
>I think it's safe to say that this will NEVER happen.
>Those people that DO playtest are bound by a legal Non-Disclosure Agreement
>to not reveal their knowledge of and FASA product before those products are
>That simply doesn't mesh with the notion of posting playtest material to the

Exactly. That's what I think is part of the problem. There is this
Byzantine set of rules by which they set up the system to playtest, they
don't always follow them, and when they do it seems to take a long time.
Try SJGames approach:

Basically, by looking at the files in the first place, they are agreeing to
the equivalent of a non-disclosure agreement. They also do everything
online, which can significantly save time.

>You are absolutely right that this is all about sales.
>Sure a lot of the fans would still buy the books even if they could download
>everything from the net.
>I still bought a copy of everything I playtested.
>But there will be some people who won;t buy a copy if they get it for free,
>and in a shaky, unstable industry like gamaing, you can;t afford to lose
>even a single sale. That's just bad business.

Its only bad business if you look at it that way. Ever hear of loss leaders
in marketing? Its when you sell something cheap on the idea that you'll get
the customer to buy other stuff at full price. And it works. If they can do
something that costs them 100 sales of a book, but generates 500 sales
later, is it worth it? You've lost 100 sales, but your net gain is 400.

Again, check the link above. That's what I meant by limiting the files. It
plays into one of the other parts I wanted to mention, the lack of a house
organ. Kage lost it. Shadowland lasted about 6 issues. How about an online
version for Shadowrun right on their website? They charge $15 for the year,
and for that you get new stuff every week, and as a bonus you get to look
at the new playtest files for a bit. You don't put all of the files up
there, just the first drafts to get some feedback. Not only do you get some
interesting new ideas, you also whet the appetite of those people to buy
the whole book when it comes out. Not to mention that the files can be a
draw to get more people to sign up for the service, making you more money

>Also, consider this.
>One of the things people like about SR is its unique setting and concepts.
>People enjoy wacky stuff like Move-By-Wire and corporations owned by
>And FASA has made much of its rep by being an innovator, and hitting new
>trends and new markets before their competitors.

If they are such an innovator, why are they so far behind on this? They've
been really good at designing the games, but their business sense has not
always been the greatest. Production slips in any business are not good.
When you do it on a regular basis like FASA does, without any kind of good
feedback to the public, its not good for your rep.

How about marketing? I live in a fairly good sized college town with 3 or 4
gaming outlets within 10 minutes, not counting the major chain stores.
Where was the push when any of their stuff came out? With the introduction
of SR3 at Gencon, I barely heard anything at my gaming store. I was telling
them a few things about when stuff was coming out, mostly because of stuff
I heard here. As abotion_engine commented previously, not everyone has
access to the web. And they are certainly not all on this list. How many
advertisements in computer gaming mags do you see for SR, or anywhere else
for that matter.

Sometimes I get the feeling that FASA is delivering sermons from the mount
and we should be glad to receive them. Now, I love their products and get
most of their new products. But if you want to have a successful line, and
you want to get it to new people, you have to sell it a bit. Even if you
have a great setting and concept, if people don't hear about it, its not
going to do well.

>Now, if FASA puts their potential publications on the internet where their
>competition can see it, and then rip it off, do you think that might affect
>FASA's bottom line? ;-)
>It's just NOT gonna happen.

So why doesn't Pinnacle have their ideas ripped off? Or SJGames? Or even
TSR? Other companies that put stuff on the web aren't so paranoid.

Let's take M&M for example. I haven't seen the playtest files, I only have
the stuff that I've heard here or on their page. First, it covers cyberware
and bioware. Most of it is supposed to be updates of stuff previously
published by FASA. SJGames, Cyberpunk, and at least one or two other games
also cover these topics. There is also new stuff for cybermancy, but again,
this has been covered by both FASA and other companies. The stuff that
hasn't been published yet, mostly rules, will be specific to the SR game
system. How many other companies are going to be able to adapt the rules to
their system? Isn't it just easier to come up with their own stuff? How
much is going to be so groundbreaking that some company is going to be
waiting to rip it off the net?

Yes, technically it is a possibility that their competition could see it
and rip it off. But how likely is it? And more importantly, how likely is
it that even if it happens, that somebody with $20 in their pocket is going
to buy that version instead of the SR version? It doesn't seem very likely.

>You really dying to see the new playtest material? Send Mike a letter and
>offer to help.
>Better yet, talk to him at a con. Pitch him some ideas, instead of rambling
>on about how "kewl SR is"

Unfortunately, I don't usually have the time to get to any of the
conventions that he is attending. I'd love to sit down and talk to him
about all sorts of specific ideas that I have, but its just not possible.
I'd be willing to bet that less people go to conventions than have access
to the net though...

>Once you've done that, be prepared to wait.
>I had submitted items to FASA since the game came out, and it's only been in
>the last few years that I've been priviledged to do any playtesting.

That seems like a common occurrence though. If you want to interact with
FASA at all, you have to play exactly by their rules and then wait a long
time for any kind of response. I hear from business school people all the
time, you need a good product to get customers, and good service to keep
them. It really doesn't take very much effort to keep people happy, and it
will pay off in the long run.

> >> 4: Simplify the web page. While it looks cool and all, with having that
> >> many frames and the actual information taking up about half of the width
> >of the page, tops, is sometimes hard to read.
>Hopefully the merger with Decipher will give FASA the opportunity to use
>Decipher's web resources.
>Decipher's web site is simple, but solid. I'd like to see FASA's go the same

So would I. It would also be nice to see if anything is going on with that.
What was it, 3 months since the announcement? On the other hand, it took
exactly one month from the announcement to the final papers for Hasbro to
buyout WotC. They probably talked about it for a month or 2 in private, and
then decided to do it. I always get a bad feeling about mergers that take
so long to work out.

> >> 5: The new choice Start Here is a good thing to put up there. Its a great
> >> way to guide new customers. But, its really hard to find anything at all
> >> that actually says what Shadowrun IS. How about copying the SR3 preview
> >> stuff right to the front of the page. Between the blurb about the SR3
> >> rulebook, to the Game Concepts excerpts, this would be perfect for
> >> a first time looker who likes the pictures exactly what all of this stuff
> >> relates to. I'd love to be able to print out 2 or 3 sheets like that to
> >> show to people and explain what the games is all about.
>Again this is a great idea.
>I'd like to see things that are "missing" from SR3 added to the websites.
>Little fluff things like the weapon illustrations from SSC, and the Critter
>pictures from PAoNA and PAoE.
>Stuff like that is what helps draw people into SR and make the world come
>alive for them, and that is what makes an impulse buyer look for more SR
>stuff in the future.

That's the bottom line. I'd like to see more ways for FASA to keep the old
fans happy, and at the same time draw in some new interest.

>Steven A. Tinner
>"Half of All Gamers Never Read the Rules, Half of All Gamers Argue About the
>Rules, Unfortunately, Its the Same Half."

Insert witty quote here.

From angelkiller404@**********.com Fri, 29 Oct 1999 22:24:04 -0400
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 22:24:04 -0400
From: Angelkiller 404 angelkiller404@**********.com
Subject: Disguise Skill

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Steinmeijer <dv8@********.nl>
To: ShadowRN Mailing List <shadowrn@*********.org>
Date: Friday, October 29, 1999 12:10 PM
Subject: Disguise Skill

>Hail Runners,
>How would one categorize a supposed "Disguise" skill? Would it be a
>of "Stealth" or would it, since it's partly a charisma-linked skill,
be a
>skill on it's own with it's own specializations?

Well, Disguise was categorized as a concentration of Stealth, which I
think is complete bulldrek, so I revised it. Of course, I still
haven't had the chance to playtest it, but here goes...

Default Attribute: Intelligence. Disguise is the art of well,
disguise. This is a more
advanced version of the Stealth concentration. A character in
disguise can disguise himself as anyone using his Charisma Score but
disguising himself as anyone with a higher Charisma r

Further Reading

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