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I'm currently in possession of the 4th edition of Shadowrun and I have many of the released books at hand if I want to prepare a campaign. I don't have a campaign running right now but I'd like to update to 5th edition as soon as it's available. The problem is that Shadowrun seems to require a lot of preparation or at least thinking ahead before you can jump your players in. Specially if you're new at the game. I consider myself new because I only ran one game and it ended after 3 game sessions (player drama). I'm familiar with 4th edition but I really want to prepare some sort of campaign for 5th edition.

Keeping in mind that the setting is not going to be really much different (compared from 3rd to 4th) and I expect every elements from 4th edition to be valid in 5th: How can I prepare a game for an upcoming new edition?

More specifically I'd like to know:

  • Planning the campaign arc when you don't know if the character progression will be different.
  • Creating NPC. Should I stat them before and convert them or should I simply write the broad strike and note key elements?
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This isn't enough for a full answer, but my advice is to "focus on the setting, not the mechanics." The setting is less likely to change between editions of a game than the rules are, and any setting changes that do happen will probably be explicitly mentioned in the text; The same is not true of rules changes, which you will have to learn the hard way. –  GMJoe Jun 18 '13 at 6:52
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Buy the core and study it before converting.

While it is a different system, this is how I made the jump from 3e to 4e in L5R. I knew it was coming so I told my players that I would definitely be converting when I finished their current story arc. This gave me time to spend with the core and learn the changes to the system and the world and fully see what I wanted to keep and disregard.

Until the book is out, anything you want you should keep abstract because the changes in the mechanic might hit like a cannonball.

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