Hokay so this is my first Waypoint 101 and my first post on the forums! I came into this with very little knowledge of the Shadowrun tabletop game and the HBS titles, so it’s been interesting and fun to get my head around. Apologies if this is a little long, but I really wanted to try and roleplay and get into the fiction as I played. Here’s where I’m at so far:
So I started up my Dragonfall character as a Black, female Elf. Her callsign is Flowtaro. I wanted to at least engage with the sorta fantasy racism stuff they’re probably gonna hit on as Elves being privilegec, but it was important to me that Flowtaro was also a Black woman and so navigates marginalized spaces as well. I’m playing her as a sex worker who led a militant SWer revolt in her home city. They fought first against gangs trying to take advantage of their autonomy, and then against the police who threatened their safety in the power vacuum. Since the police had even more institutional resources and were even more murderous than the gangs, Flowtaro decided to get out of town once the target on her head just got too big to ignore. Monika’s call for help came at the perfect time.
I specced her out as a Street Samurai specializing in Charisma and the Quickness. She knows the streets and how to get what she wants through collective action. The image of her walking down the street with a big honkin shotgun slung over her shoulder, decked out in her leather jacket became a symbol of the movement, and she certainly knows how to not be subtle. Think Omar Little vibes.
Her and Monika were definitely involved at one point, despite having some major disagreements over policy. Flowtaro totally has some strong opinions towards the F-State and Anarchism (hey maybe things would be a little less vulnerable to upheaval with some Democratic Centralism), but she absolutely practices mutual aid in her day to day with the community. It’s nice that you’re constantly able to give time and money to the various folks around the Kreuzbasar (always tip the dancer!!!), even if sometimes the dialogue options feel stuck between completely disinterested in wildly intrusive.
Game & World
So even though I hate the UI, I’ve mostly had a good time with the gameplay. Fights continue to be built around having a bunch of new/unknown shit thrown at you which is totally fine by me. It’s like, even though I enjoy the Firaxis XCOM games and other modern TRPGs, I hate how strong you are and how things rarely surprise you past a certain point. It’s kinda refreshing that this game’s battles are really based around a lot of sloppy back and forth action, with both sides really slugging each other and you having to manage health all while running away and a lot of times staying out of cover. I’m really annoyed by the whole can’t shoot around walls thing though!
So far I’ve had a decent time getting to know the team; Dietrich’s mission with his nephew was especially good and creepy, although it was totally unclear to me (maybe this is my reading comprehension) whether Maxim and the smugglers were in on the job to turn on the Humanis front? Or if they were just literal metahuman traffickers. I thought the latter and cursed my failure to turn on them also at the truck stop section but then you get the email from him after about basically telling off a ton of Humanis locations so I guess he was alright? I just am playing the character as someone who has no qualms killing the shit out of traffickers, even if they don’t know what they’re really doing.
I really liked that Samuel totally pushes back on you if you try and say that his organization is being prejudiced for only having Orcs and Trolls in leadership, as people should really support and get used to marginalized people being in charge of their own liberatory groups. It sucks though that you’re not able to call Paul out when he says Samuel’s xenophobic for doing that; like! that’s! not! what! xenophobia! is! Not trusting privileged people since they have historically subjugated marginalized people is just survival bud!!
- I’m annoyed the Socialite etiquette has basically is basically used to have me take advantage of lower-class folks, for more money. It’s like the game doesn’t conceive of code-switching despite how it is with the other etiquettes where you knowing a specific piece of info or cultural reference to show you’re in the know to other members of that ingroup. So far that hasn’t happened at all with Socialite. I picked it as one of my first ones for Flowtaro since she would know that culture from being a sex worker, despite someone who gladly kills the rich.
- Speaking of, the Black Lodge audition mission was intriguing but also bugged me a little. I was already suspicious because we didn’t know details going in, and as far as I know, you don’t ever get to know that it was a bomb you were planting in the apartment unless you actually go through with the mission. Like I had to look at other people’s playthroughs to get details on that. TBH, it felt like a missed opportunity for some communist political discussion; like if the mission turn was that we’re bombing the apartments of some rich ass fucks with a specific political goal, I think Flowtaro would absolutely sign onto that as someone with ML tendencies. That’s something that’s felt a little missing from this game. it’s definitely down on the corps and how they manipulate and control the world and people, but (so far) doesn’t have any salient criticism for rich people, as if their wealth isn’t an inherently violent/exploitative thing. As if just being a civilian makes you “innocent.” I scuffed the mission and managed to get Jana and the Elf out and I’m happy about that. Even if they’re on the run now, their lives were basically forfeit working for the Lodge.
- Also jumping off of that, the game doesn’t really seem to understand Anarchism/Syndicalism or the like that well?? Even if the character I’m playing as is definitely on the authoritarian side of the left, I think she fucks with Anarchists as their goals often align. I’m happy that there are smatterings of engagement with leftist ideas, it just has made me want something like this game that’s a little more knowledgeable haha.
- Lastly, woof, that soundtrack. The loops are so frequent! I’ve been listening to tracks the first time I’m in an area to get a better sense of the space and then going and turning it off and just putting Ed Harrison’s NEOTOKYO° soundtrack on shuffle and that has immensely improved my experience.