Monday, November 10, 2014

Shadowrun, or How to Have Fun in Spite of the Rules

Having decided to take a break from my usual Pathfinder shenanigans, I've been running a bi-weekly Shadowrun campaign instead. Although I love the game's setting and adore the 16-bit RPG for the SNES, I've never actually ran Shadowrun before because I'm not the biggest fan of the system the game uses.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good dice pool system. Who wouldn't enjoy grabbing a fistful of dice and watching them bounce across the table as you wait to see if you succeed or fail spectacularly. However, I've always felt Shadowrun adds so many unnecessary elements that only bog the game down. I've tried adapting the setting to other systems before, like d20 Modern and Savage Worlds, but never got really far. However, I finally decided to bite the bullet and run Shadowrun (using the most recent edition) after my players showed interest. 

Although I still believe the system is far from perfect and could benefit from some serious streamlining, I strangely don't hate it as much as I thought I would. I wonder why that is? Well, I do have a theory. I think I enjoy the setting and style of the game so much that I can enjoy running despite my misgivings with the rules. I love its blending of cyberpunk and fantasy tropes, I like how the game focuses more on the criminal aspect with everyone playing scoundrels willing to do incredibly dangerous things for some quick cash, and I enjoy being able to change things up and run something other than your typical fantasy game. 

While I'm currently running a micro-campaign that I plan to end in either January or February, I can definitely say that I'll be running more Shadowrun games in the future. I will probably never be the biggest fan of the game's system, but the cool setting and interesting feel really grab me and allow me to put aside my misgivings with the mechanics. 

Do you have games that you love running despite the rules? What do you find so cool about the game? Leave your answers in the comments below.