One thought on “Episode 148 – Sixth World Companion Part 1”

  1. Hey Mr. Johnson,

    Please convey my apologies to your security spider. I had to fork out a ton of nuyen to a technomancer buddy to get this message past him to your inbox. I hope bricking his cyberjack didn’t cause any cranial bleeding. Good help is hard to find.

    I listened to your whole episode. When you prefaced it all with “dark stuff”, I was like “oh no, somebody’s dead”. Nobody’s dead, so I’m glad of that. I am sorry to hear about how rough it all was for you, and I wanted to say something about it, because Opti’s right. We all pull for each other, or else everybody’s an island.

    I want to talk about SR6 first, and I’m going to keep it to one paragraph, because I know about how sometimes things are still too sore to look at right now, so if you’re feeling sore, skip this paragraph and come back later. I don’t mind. SR6 came at kind of a weird time for me. I’d just picked up the SR5 core book and was working my way through assorted podcasts and thinking about maybe dragging some friends into a 5 game with me. Then Sixth World launched, and I kinda felt torn. Here’s this cool SR5 book I just got, never used, and now I need to set it aside? bummer. But I was curious, so I bought the pdf of Sixth World anyway, and I liked a lot the changes. I’d been enjoying D&D 5e for a while, and coming off of 3.5 D&D, I’d seen how simplifying that system had led to a lot of new players as the rules became more accessible. Suddenly D&D was everywhere. So when I started to read Sixth World, I was happy because it looked like the guys at the Catalyst head office were paying attention to Wizards’ success. The skills got whittled down to a manageable list, magic got simpler, the dice pools were all suddenly smaller, and I absolutely love the new “grunt group” mechanic for handling NPCs in combat. And then I read the sections on how prominent the Edge mechanic was becoming, and I was crestfallen. My first thought was “I’m going to need to buy poker chips to play this game, just for edge tracking.” It felt like two steps forward, one step back when it comes to new player accessibility. Honestly, I thought the 5th edition Edge functions were perfect. If I could mash those into 6th World, I think we’d have an ideal system. But you and the other writers should feel proud of the work you’ve done. The things that were good about SR6 were REALLY good. Definitely steps in the right direction.

    Okay, no more commentary on the professional stuff. Though please tell Vox and those other writers you know I’ve been enjoying the short fiction blurbs very much. It really adds to the immersion of the reader in the SR world and sets these books apart from their competitors who just fill pages with crunch. Don’t stop.

    About the personal stuff. I feel you. My own kid came out of the closet at the beginning of Middle School, and boy, has that been a ride. He’s not trans, though as he’s experimenting with wearing a dress in public I’m starting to wonder a bit. Our experience wasn’t quite the same as yours as our family has been pretty supportive, and the ‘burbs of Chicago aren’t Central Wisconsin. My struggle is with what you called “religious indoctrination.” Actually, I feel like that’s a pretty good description of it, even for someone who regularly attends church and identifies as Christian. There are some things that are taught there that just don’t appear in scripture, and some of those things people get very, very passionate about and start saying some very hurtful things very loudly. On television. As somebody who was “indoctrinated” myself as a child, my 40s have led to a LOT of questioning of pretty much everything. It’s…really freaking weird. And damned uncomfortable. Everything I thought I knew is now in question. I’m still very much in the middle of it all. To be completely honest, I don’t know anybody else who’s going through this, and I would like to talk about it.

    Feel free to use the email I’m -not- sharing with the whole world here and reach out. It would be nice to have a pen-pal to commiserate with as we navigate our kids’ developing quirks.

    See ya.

    P.S. my legal advisor (he told me he’s “not allowed” to call himself a lawyer) insists I state that “my remorse for the security spider’s cyberjack in no way constitutes a promise to repay or repair his equipment.” Sorry chummer, I’m too broke for that kind of thing.

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