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I've been reading a lot about Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun, mostly 4&5e for Shadowrun. What I notice is there are large standing armies in Cyberpunk 2020, but in Shadowrun I only see "Security Response Teams" field mostly by Knight Errant or LoneStar. I'm aware that other groups in Shadowrun have inhouse security, but I don't see it very often. I also know about "MET 2000", but that's a standing army for hire, it's not in-house for any of the MegaCorps.

I'm aware about "War!" from 4E shadowrun, but reading over about SovOil, Petrochem, and the others it seems like every MegaCorp has a serious standing army. SovOil has one of the most impressive militaries I've seen so far, with military training, order, uniforms, and weapons.

Why is there a difference between the two settings?

Is war less practical in Shadowrun due to it's era?
Do states have more control over the use of mass conventional violence?
Was it just how the writers made the systems or settings?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour! Are you more interested in one game's setting than the other? I mean, a comparison can possibly be made between the two games because they share a genre, but they're also way different games with fundamentally different settings and themes. It may be easier to just ask two different questions, one like What factors in the Shadowrun setting led to the near-dismantling of national militaries? and another like What factors in the Cyberpunk 2020 setting led to increased sizes of national militaries? Anyway, thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 16 '18 at 19:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, I'm no expert on either setting, but the question says, "[T]here are large standing armies in [one setting], but in [the other are only] 'Security Response Teams'…." And then the question asks Why is there a difference? That sounds like an answer should be able to point to one or more diverging points that clearly led to this dichotomy… when the real answer is They're different settings. It'd be like asking Why is the galaxy's military in Star Trek altruistic yet in Star Wars it's oppressive? Does that make sense? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 16 '18 at 20:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, I'm really not trying to give you a hard time or anything. I'm just saying that if you want to know what led to big militaries in one setting, then ask that question, and if you want to know what led to big military contracting in the other setting, go ahead and ask that question, too! There's no limit on the questions you can ask, and that way a user who's an expert on one setting can answer one question, and an expert on the other setting can answer the other question. (And you can earn rep for both questions!) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 16 '18 at 20:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's probably fine to ask about the in-universe reasons why the setting is the way it is (i.e. about the history of the setting itself). However, if you're curious about why the designers made certain design choices (i.e. why they made one setting one way but made another setting a different way), that sort of designer-reasons question would be considered off-topic here. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 16 '18 at 22:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ RE: "I am asking why corporations are capable or eager of going to war in both settings, but it feels completely different when they do." Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but what gives the impression that there's an answer better than They're different games with different settings to that question? I mean, asking separately about both settings What events in the setting's history gave rise to warmongering corporations? totally is legit, but asking Why are the atmospheres surrounding corporate conflict in these two different settings different? seems—to me, anyway—much less so. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 18 '18 at 15:27