DR is national larp, where individual chapters buy the licensing rights and run their local games. This leads to a mix of quality- some games are plot heavy and some games are super plot light and its a lot of larp combat all weekend with not much else.
The premise is interesting but having personally tried DR, I don't think it executes very well. This isn't really premise related. It's more that the franchise has been around a few years now and inertia has kind of mired it in its problems.
The three main difficult bars for entry for DR are (imo):
U R Trash Mob: The way XP and sheets work in DR is that older PCs who got into the ground floor start of local chapters have way, way, wayyyyy more skills than people who are starting out. As a result, it in reality takes 1-2 years before your PC can be effective at many things because there are already PCs who are established and way more effective (sheets and points wise) at the thing you want to do. Some people are understandably not interested in sinking 2 years+ of weekends, game fees, and sleepless nights getting rained on for the pleasure of all that. Others? They're not playing for those reasons so they don't care. YMMV.
Starting Solo Sucks: It's possible. People do it. But its harder and its not fun. Survival in the game is a single burden, which can really break your experience in terms of combat and resources. But the way DR functions is that it lends itself and is much more supportive of group concepts. Single/solo players often have a hard time getting integrated into a larger group, which isn't unlike some of the problems people sometimes have on MU*s where group concepts get better returns on their fun and efforts. You can reach out out to DR players and try to get meshed into a group before you start playing which tends to be a little better.
No Sleep Till Monday: DR (and a lot of larps) thrive on boffer combat. DR tends to like to send constant waves of zombie NPC mobs at players all night and through most of the day. The result is - you get very little sleep for 36+ hours. For some people, that heightens the experience but for others, its pretty miserable and especially so if you don't know how to fight, so you're being constantly terrified and relying on other people to save you and not sleeping. It's not a game that's set-up for people with steady 9-5 gigs who have to show up productive and awake on a Monday, unless you're able to take the Monday after off to recover. There are certainly people who manage around this issue but a lot of larping is physical discomfort: wet, cold, no sleep, etc. People who aren't as familiar with weekend larping are less aware of the physical demands and its not really a game that has a lot for people to do who have serious physical or health limitations.
3a. Bonus Mention - Unsafe Combat: I've boffer larped for a long time and I also belong to Amtgard. We hit each other with padded sticks super hard and then take each other out for beers. But we're safe about how we hit each other with padded sticks and DR combat the last time I played was not safe. Even though boffer weapons are foam padded and less likely to do any real damage, you can still fuck up someone's world if you hit them in too hard in the face. There was a lot of charging, shield bashing, machine gunning, full contact swings (you can hear the sword smacking against a shield or a person and in larp combat you are swinging toooo hard if that's happening), and people getting hit in the face, eyes, mouth, and junk which are all places you shouldn't be hitting people. Also, there was cabin fighting and people were falling out of bunks and hitting their heads on surfaces in the adrenaline panic that results. I'm told efforts have been made to stop setting up combats that have people doing this but that was enough to not make me come back.
This is all not to say that you shouldn't try this but I think its better to know what you're getting into at the drop. I think all larping is about managing personal expectations (like MU*ing) where the premise of the game needs some help. I didn't like DR but you may really like it. I love larping, and there are lot of other games in the area if this one doesn't work out.
@Lithium I think that depends on which version of the game you're using. But either way, cyber and magic both obviously give you an edge over someone with neither, but that's true of all forms of combat. I haven't seen melee be any worse off than anything else in that regard. But then, our group came up with these elaborate Shadowrun martial arts house rules that made the rounds way back when, so I might be biased there.
I've never played an SR edition where a physad started out with the ability to be /built/ better than an optimized street samurai.
Is it possible for a physad to beat a starting samurai? Sure, but it really depends a lot on how each player knew the game, how optimized they wanted their characters to be, and where they put stuff.
Yes, availability limits do put a cap on street samurai, but not as much as the 6 magic points to spend on physad powers does imho.
Just played Bring Your Own Book tonight, it was REALLY fun. Think "Cards Against Humanity", but where you've got 60 seconds to find the answer in a book. (Everyone picks out a book. Any book. One of our players tonight used a cookbook.) When you win two cards, you pass the books to the left, so everyone gets a new book.
The only system between 7S1 and 7S2 worth keeping is the former, even though it is bogged down with several little details, yes. Not that these details render it entirely unable to code but they make automation very challenging. Combat should be simple enough to automate if you add swordsmanship techniques as modifiers instead of what they actually do, but do you really want to sift through 40-odd combat styles? Core game has about 5 or 6, then every supplement has 2-3 or 4-5, with the exception of Swordsman's Guild, which has more styles than you can count, some of which are recaps, of course.
I do love sorcery in the game and despite accusations it's OP, they actually open the way for creative uses by just making the stats on those represent your capacity to wield the power itself. El Fuego Adentro can wreck ships from the inside out, you can take all the treasure from a ship by using Porte, Avalon could let you evade Reis' murderboat crew, etc. Only Pyeryem, I think, is more or less useless. Even the supposedly extinct Eisen magical art is more useful.