How much did losing the Shadowrun connection affect the meta of the game ?

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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IKerensky
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How much did losing the Shadowrun connection affect the meta of the game ?

Post by IKerensky » Sat May 01, 2021 5:21 pm

Hi,

I lOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVE Earthdawn and was a fan of the first hour.
I am also fascinated by the intricated story and the whole 4th-6th world connections. The grand scheme, the fight between the immortals and the dragons.
The horrors. All thoses secrets from Thera island and also the big question : Why didn't magic disappeared ?

It seems 4th edition dropped a lot of that.

Is there still immortals ? what about Thera ?

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Mataxes
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Re: How much did losing the Shadowrun connection affect the meta of the game ?

Post by Mataxes » Sat May 01, 2021 9:04 pm

Welcome to the forum!

The "deep lore" is certainly something that sucks players in, and I am a big fan of it.

The Horrors are still there. They're a notable feature of the "Legends of Barsaive" adventure series.

Thera is still a presence, they've just been militarily pushed out of Barsaive (for the time being).

Why didn't the magic disappear? I've talked about the answer(s) to that question on the Earthdawn Survival Guide podcast, it's just not something that will be important to the vast majority of games. If background details along those lines are relevant to a particular product, they might be included.

Several recent products tie in to dragon and/or immortal elf nonsense: Elven Nations, Iopos: Lair of Deceit, and Empty Thrones.
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Personal Website: www.loremerchant.com

Bonhumm
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Re: How much did losing the Shadowrun connection affect the meta of the game ?

Post by Bonhumm » Sat May 01, 2021 10:07 pm

4th Edition did not really 'drop' anything. It is important to understand that in Earthdawn (pretty much like Shadowrun), new editions don't 'cancel' previous lore. Rules and mechanics might have changed but all the lore developed in the previous editions are still valid; 4th edition just 'moved forward' about 10 years compared to 1st edition. Thus, the fact that 4th edition don't actively 'talk' in much details about stuff like Thera, horrors and 'immortals' are because... there is already content written about those subject and said content is still currently 'valid' and canon.


'Canonicity' of the previous editions is a subject that comes often in discussion in the Fasa Discord forums (which are much more active than this one recently, you are welcome to join us there as well). So overall:

- Everything (lore that is) from 1st edition is canon. The only exception being PARTS of 'Barsaive at War'. Also: The Dragon book, as having never been actually published, is considered non-canon as well.
- The entire Second Edition is considered NON-Canon. Pretty much the only official Earthdawn products being 'disowned' by Fasa.
- Everything (lore) from Classic, Third and (of course) Fourth edition is considered 100% canon.


As for Shadowrun: the links between both games are indeed officially 'cut' since the IPs are not owned by the same companies. This does not really affect Earthdawn as the 'future' as little influence on the 'present'. As for Shadowrun, the 'hints' they made to Earthdawn in previous editions are, as far as I know, still considered canon although Shadowrun is now in no way 'forced' to keep its lore 'in sync' with what 'happened' in Earthdawn.

Another important note, in case you are not aware of this: Fasa released a 'new' 6th Age, the game is called 1879; its a 'Steampunk' game with a game mechanic a lot more 'compatible' to Earthdawn's Step system. Its basically 'Shadowrun happening 150 years earlier'. The game is available in the Fasa website (here) as well. Although 1879 is the 'official' 6th Age now; many fans (myself included) consider both 1879 and Shadowrun as 'alternate reality futures' for Earthdawn.

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Mataxes
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Re: How much did losing the Shadowrun connection affect the meta of the game ?

Post by Mataxes » Sun May 02, 2021 5:15 pm

Your summary of ED4 "canonicity" is a little simplistic, but that's to be expected for a tangled and complex topic.

It's fairer to say that unless something comes out in 4th that directly contradicts something from a previous edition, the previous material is in a Schrodinger's Cat state of "might or might not be true".

And there's a lot of setting material that is presented "in character" anyway, so there's always the Obi-Wan Kenobi "from a certain point of view" excuse.

And, ultimately, "canon" when it comes to a TTRPG is a messy thing to begin with. "Canon" is what happens at your table, with your group. Its agreement with published material is on a spectrum, not a binary.

(He says, glancing at the ruins of Travar in somebody's game.)
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Earthdawn Line Developer, Forum Admin

Personal Website: www.loremerchant.com

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