Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ragitsu

How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

Recommended Posts

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

Lawless third-world ones' date=' certainly.[/quote']

 

But that's already a given. I'm mostly envisioning first and second world cities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

But that's already a given. I'm mostly envisioning first and second world cities.

 

I guess I'm having trouble picturing a first- or second-world "frontier city". I reckon they'd fit in any city, really, though as the law level goes up, the samurai will have to have a greater emphasis on concealability and blending in--i.e. less visible military-grade cyberware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

Excellent points. I'd vote for those reasons why Street Samurai are runnung around with swords and hang "realistic" out to dry. Sometimes you have to sacrifice realism for entertainment value.

 

At least someone besides me gets it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go ride a dinosaur through downtown Dallas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

The Street Samurai can evolve out of the gangs that are currently used for enforcers and soldiers for crime now. In most tarnished tomorrow worlds, they are just the street soldier who have evolved to better skills through training or sheer experience. There would be no standard for them and most would be total individuals as they evolved. I personally think the katana is just a standard of anime and other swords or long knives would be used depending of availability and training. The blade is good in close combat, silent and deadly. Why not get a weighted blade or a smaller fast blade? Each would have their own theories just as each would chose different handguns. It would be their choice to decide based on draw speed, damage, durability and effectiveness. The corps would only be paying for results and not style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

If you look at the scientific data generated by the "Deadliest Warrior" program when they compare weapons, you will see a number a very effective real weapons but anime stays to the katana, direklaves and occasionally will do historically classic weapons of other cultures. The biggest issue of most modern games is how poorly they deal with hand2hand or melee weapons since the genre is focused on firearms or range weapons. Fact is that the development of gunpowder and ranged accurate weapons has equalized combat that any fool can kill another.

 

The Street Samurai is a wish to return to the time of the actual samurai before they were replaced by modern weapons. Those who make a living by killing or being a soldier for hire claim a special connection to these ancient warriors but it is all different and the rules have changed. In our literature, we are looking at the romance of the sword and ways of the warrior. This is passed onto the co-operative storytelling we call role playing games. They are not tactical simulations or even sociological simulations as it comes from the mind of the players and gamemaster. It is their bias, therefore can be flawed. Most highly realistic games are too realistic for gamers to actually enjoy. Modern warfare is too deadly and can too easily kill your prized character even if you do everything right. High realism games don't sell well since they don't do well for epic adventure and just pure enjoyment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

At least someone besides me gets it. Now if you'll excuse me' date=' I'm gonna go ride a dinosaur through downtown Dallas.[/quote']

 

You two aren't the only ones that "get it". This thread allows equal discussion of how realistic and unrealistic they are...and not to invalidate the other as thematic choices. Obviously, those that want to run things their way will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

Since the first time I recall ever hearing the term "Street Samurai" was way back when I first played Shadowrun I decided to dig out my (dusty) Shadowrun 1st Edition and look at the pictures.

 

There was a short story in the introduction involving Ghost, the SS, Sally the Mage and Dodger the Decker.

 

The Mage was the only one with a sword and that for magical purposes.

 

IIRC in a later short story Ghost was carrying a "bowie knife" but it was intended more as a tool than anything else.

 

In the cookie cutter pre-made Archtype section the SS has in his equipment list by way of weaponry an Ares Predator heavy pistol, an Uzi III with smartlink, partial heavy armor and a stun baton. The only blades listed are retractable hand razors as part of his cyberware.

 

People tend to associate the katana with samurai but it's not there in the genre.

 

Okay maybe I was wrong about where I first heard the term, there was a reference in one of Gibsons short stories to a "jumped up street samurai" who had a monofilament whip in his thumb and in Count Zero one of the protagonists whose name I can't recall at the moment was also described as a street samurai though he never touched anything with a blade in that story

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

You two aren't the only ones that "get it". This thread allows equal discussion of how realistic and unrealistic they are...and not to invalidate the other as thematic choices. Obviously' date=' those that want to run things their way [i']will.[/i]

 

In my defense, SSGt Baloo's post was the last one I saw when I posted. The other comments supporting his position didn't show up on my screen until I'd posted mine. Thus making me look more dumb than usual. :)

 

Yes, those who want to run things their way will. :rolleyes: And sure, the thread allows equal discussion but it's also obvious that I'm gonna support the people that I agree with and villify those that I disagree with. I bet they kick dogs and sell military secrets to the Russians. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

You two aren't the only ones that "get it". This thread allows equal discussion of how realistic and unrealistic they are...and not to invalidate the other as thematic choices. Obviously' date=' those that want to run things their way [i']will.[/i]

 

Yes' date=' those who want to run things their way will. :rolleyes: And sure, the thread allows equal discussion but it's also obvious that I'm gonna support the people that I agree with and villify those that I disagree with. I bet they kick dogs and sell military secrets to the Russians. :P[/quote']

 

Don't vilify those you disagree with. They might just be your allies in a subsequent thread. Besides, the real question shouldn't be if Street Samurais are a realistic expectation in our world, but if they make sense in the game setting.

 

We really need more details about the setting before we can judge realism. Gunslingers are "realistic" in an Old West setting. "Realistic" samurai only ever existed (as such) in medieval Japan. One setting is a frontier, the other is one where the Samurai are part of the ruling class and have a recognized right to carry their swords as "a badge of office" or "social rank". If the setting is one where the upper classes can bestow the right to openly bear arms, at least to their employees, and others are tolerated as a necessary pool of mercenary labor.

 

Depending on the setting, open carry might be permitted only to certain classes of people, with swords being preferred under most (read: URBAN) circumstances because, perhaps, open firearms carry might signify intent to extend harm well beyond arm's reach, and is thus considered "bad form", declassé, or some other form of socially unacceptable behavior. A sword might be classified as a weapon of defense and discriminate offense, whereas a projectile weapon is often capable of projecting force beyond one's LOS, thus posing a greater danger of collateral damage than a sword.

 

Maybe Street Samurai carry swords precisely because it advertises that they are much more than a simple thug, with combat skills far above those of regular Joes or even a typical gangster. Maybe they're the "special forces" of hired muscle, and carry their swords as a sign that others present no threat that can't be handled by a blade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

Don't vilify those you disagree with. They might just be your allies in a subsequent thread thread. Besides' date=' the real question shouldn't be if Street Samurais are a realistic expectation in [i']our[/i] world, but if they make sense in the game setting.

 

We really need more details about the setting before we can judge realism. Gunslingers are "realistic" in an Old West setting. "Realistic" samurai only ever existed (as such) in medieval Japan. One setting is a frontier, the other is one where the Samurai are part of the ruling class and have a recognized right to carry their swords as "a badge of office" or "social rank". If the setting is one where the upper classes can bestow the right to openly bear arms, at least to their employees, and others are tolerated as a necessary pool of mercenary labor.

 

Depending on the setting, open carry might be permitted only to certain classes of people, with swords being preferred under most (read: URBAN) circumstances because, perhaps, open firearms carry might signify intent to extend harm well beyond arm's reach, and is thus considered "bad form", declassé, or some other form of socially unacceptable behavior. A sword might be classified as a weapon of defense and discriminate offense, whereas a projectile weapon is often capable of projecting force beyond one's LOS, thus posing a greater danger of collateral damage than a sword.

 

Perhaps Street Samurai carry swords precisely because it advertises that they are much more than a simple thug, with combat skills far above those of regular Joes or even a typical gangster. Maybe they're the "special forces" of hired muscle, and carry their swords as a sign that others present no threat that can't be handled by a blade.

 

well reasoned, Sir!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

You two aren't the only ones that "get it". This thread allows equal discussion of how realistic and unrealistic they are...and not to invalidate the other as thematic choices. Obviously' date=' those that want to run things their way [i']will.[/i]

 

Yes' date=' those who want to run things their way will. :rolleyes: And sure, the thread allows equal discussion but it's also obvious that I'm gonna support the people that I agree with and villify those that I disagree with. I bet they kick dogs and sell military secrets to the Russians. :P[/quote']

 

Don't vilify those you disagree with. They just might be your allies in a subsequent thread. Besides, the real question shouldn't be if Street Samurais are a realistic expectation in our world, but if they make sense in the game setting.

 

We really need more details about the setting before we can judge realism. Gunslingers are "realistic" in an Old West setting. "Realistic" samurai only ever existed (as such) in medieval Japan. One setting is a frontier where weapons aren't just used for defense, but to obtain food. The other is one where the Samurai are part of the ruling class and have a recognized right to carry their swords as a badge of office or social rank. If the setting is one where the upper classes can bestow the right to openly bear arms, then their security employees will have that right.

 

Depending on the setting, open carry might be permitted only to certain classes of people, swords being allowed under most (read: URBAN) circumstances, perhaps because open firearms carry might signify intent to extend harm well beyond arm's reach, and is thus understandably considered socially unacceptable behavior. A sword might be classified as a weapon of defense. As a close-range weapon, a sword's threat ends just a few inches from the swordsman's wrist. A projectile weapon can hurl unintentional hurt much further with a miss than a sword can.

 

Maybe Street Samurai carry swords precisely because it advertises that they are more than just a simple thug, with combat skills far above those of regular Joes or even a typical gangster. Maybe they're the "special forces" of hired muscle, and carry their swords as a sign that others present no threat that can't be handled by a blade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

At least someone besides me gets it. Now if you'll excuse me' date=' I'm gonna go ride a dinosaur through downtown Dallas.[/quote']

 

Downtown Chicago -- don't you read the Dresden Files?

 

The idea of the katana-wielding street samurai is iconic for the genre, and particularly for the Shadowrun game world itself. What I am reading a lot of is an entire gauging of the real advantages and disadvantages of a firearm (speed, range, accuracy, often damage and penetration, ammo-carried restrictions, can be loud) compared to the real advantages and disadvantages of a high-tech katana blade (relatively silent, cuts through kevlar, doesn't run out of ammo, no range, etc.). I know the arguments, I've made the arguments, I've taken advantage of the arguments and differences. I've played everything SR has to offer, and then some.

 

The reason for carrying a katana or other melee weapon has nothing to do with efficacy; we developed guns because swords were too damn slow and dangerous to ourselves. The reason is all to do with an unquantifiable which changes from table to table, GM to GM:

 

Honor.

 

While it doesn't often come into play in the middle of a 'run, a street samurai / ronin might -- by indication, implication, or just plain direct challenge -- call out a member of the opposing force in a duel of skill. The call is to honor, not to efficiency. Sometimes it's a stand-in for the rest of the combat; 'if I win, we do it my way' sort of thing, whether that's letting the 'runners go, answering their questions, or turning over the gizmo. Sometimes it's just a classic High Noon moment; sometimes charging four light machine guns and fifty troops with assault rifles while pretty much naked and armed only with katana and wakizashi while the rest of your team is using bullets is the only thing your character can do to cleanse his honor of the taint of the slaughter of the last dozen days.

 

The street samurai / street ronin is a matter of style; there are plenty of other options, from weapons expert to mercenary to ganger, to choose from. A difference in honor is all that really separates one from the other from the last; the katana, whether it's useful or useless, is physically representative of that for the street samurai. It's also recognized by other denizens, of course, helped along by the strong Japanese cultural influence the SR world contains. Everyone immediately recognizes what the sword means, whether it's in the trideo show, on the simchip, or even in the street.

 

 

Which is why it can be damn irritating when some punk who's finally managed to afford the cash to get one challenges you in the street and you barely manage to pull the strike that would have split him from shoulder to hip because he's got no skill...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

This is totally ridiculous.

 

Let's take another Cyberpunk trope, the "console cowboy", does this character carry a Colt SAA? No, because he's a computer hacker.

 

In the movie Ronin was the audience dazzled by Robert DeNiro's fabulous swordplay? Of course not, as there wasn't any sword play.

 

The Street Samurai may fancy making obscure references to the Hagakure and the Go Rin No Sho but there's no need for him to possess a katana for any reason at all besides a wall hanger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

This is totally ridiculous.

 

Let's take another Cyberpunk trope, the "console cowboy", does this character carry a Colt SAA? No, because he's a computer hacker.

 

In the movie Ronin was the audience dazzled by Robert DeNiro's fabulous swordplay? Of course not, as there wasn't any sword play.

 

The Street Samurai may fancy making obscure references to the Hagakure and the Go Rin No Sho but there's no need for him to possess a katana for any reason at all besides a wall hanger.

 

It depends. If you want people running around with swords in a technological setting, you have to provide reasons that make carrying a sword a good idea instead of unnecessary baggage. If you don't want characters to carry swords, then give them plenty of better options, like "that sword weighs as much as six loaded clips for your pistol", or whatever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

Not really sure why this is a discussion about how "realistic" any given genre trope is, anyway. The only questions that need answering for my games are "Is it fun?" and "Does it fit?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

This is totally ridiculous.

 

Let's take another Cyberpunk trope, the "console cowboy", does this character carry a Colt SAA? No, because he's a computer hacker.

 

In the movie Ronin was the audience dazzled by Robert DeNiro's fabulous swordplay? Of course not, as there wasn't any sword play.

 

The Street Samurai may fancy making obscure references to the Hagakure and the Go Rin No Sho but there's no need for him to possess a katana for any reason at all besides a wall hanger.

 

I remember Ronin. Isnt that the movie about mercenaries trying to steal a case from someone. Only the one guy wasn't a ronin at all, was he?

 

Without a setting, it doesn't matter what the purpose of a sword is beyond the ability to cut. If the setting is modern, then a sword is something to be used as a back up weapon. If the setting is without easy access to projectile weapons like Deathstalker, then a sword is a better weapon when added to enhancements.

 

Zolo from one piece could be the greatest marksman ever but uses three swords and is trying to train himself to cut through anything in a world of devil fruit and monsters of every kind.

 

the setting justifies the weapon, not what would be normal reality

CES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: How (un)realistic are Street Samurai?

 

The Street Samurai may fancy making obscure references to the Hagakure and the Go Rin No Sho but there's no need for him to possess a katana for any reason at all besides a wall hanger.

 

There doesn't necessarily have to be a need, but it could still be a possibility.

 

Not really sure why this is a discussion about how "realistic" any given genre trope is' date=' anyway.[/quote']

 

The why: because that's what the thread is about (see the title).

 

And, it's not "any given"...it's one in particular.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×