Shadowrun returns how console commands are used

RAW / RAI ??

I have to ask very stupidly: what does RAW actually mean?


That's not a stupid question! It's good that you ask if you don't know the abbreviation.


I found this summary very apt:

Source: https: //rpg.stackexc...iation-raw-mean



RAW stands for "Rule as Written".

In games where the distinction matters, it means "what we can understand about how things work in this game just by looking at the rules themselves". In these games, RAW often turns out to be one or more of the following ...

  • nonsensical (when different rules contradict);
  • impractical (when the result of applying the rules ... as written makes the game unfun);
  • dissonant (when it turns out that the world's physics are not working as we would expect);
  • useless (when the rules say nothing about a specific case).

It is important to define this because people have started using RAW to mean something more bland.

At its heart, indeed, RAW is all about the literal meaning of what is written, driven to the most extreme consequences, without peppering the matter with the slightest dose of common sense.

The concept of RAW as defined above is used for mainly two reasons.

  • proving that your idea about how to rule something in the game and someone else's idea are not incompatible because they both build on the same RAW;
  • building theoretical characters or challenges that almost never see play because they don't take the additional, local rulings into account.

Most people use different definitions of RAW that, as a general rule, include some rulings in order to exclude those things that the authour is highly unlikely to have meant.

This is a source of endless problems, because one person will say something is RAW and a different one will say it is not and discussion will ensue, as it always happens when people use different definitions. Since there's no way to norm where "this is what the author probably wanted to do" and "this is not what the author wanted to do for sure", sticking to the former definition of RAW is safer. (As with every definition on the Internet, expect people to contrast or ignore it if it serves them to prove a point.)

Compare with RAI, Rule as Intended, which is defined as "what the authors said was the intent of the rule", which is often used as "non RAW", including "we don't have the slightest idea of ​​their true intent but it would be nonsense if they didn't mean this ".




RAW = Rule as Written: A rule to 100% without ifs and buts to be applied exactly as it is written. Or the other way around, there are rules for a problem / description / action etc. that handle exactly this in full. A board game / card game requires that all RAW rules apply. House rules chess will be difficult, just as an example. In a role play, however, it is very often difficult to have the right rule available for every described situation. And in crunchy systems (i.e. with many individual special rules that do not follow a general scheme or pattern) it is often the case that some rules partially contradict others. Here is a 1: 1 application of the rule, i.e. the RAW variant is difficult to impossible.


Therefore, RAI = Rule as Intended often helps: So you think about how the rule is meant and what it was determined for and whether it makes sense in the respective context or can or should be interpreted differently.


It is undoubtedly best if you can stick to RAW for a situation / fact. Then there is no basis for disagreement, except on the level: I like / don't like the rules. But there is no argument about whether or not a rule can be used.


Example for paralyzing cars: Here you have to observe several rules.

- How is a device defined as matrix notation? RAW in short: An object with a WiFi interface

- What happens to a device when it is paralyzed? RAW shortened: It's broken, sometimes only partially broken.


And here we are in the area of ​​RAI: ​​Because there is no RAW definition in which it is generally clearly specified for each device type how broken it is when it has been paralyzed. Therefore, one then has to consider how the "paralyzed" state is to be interpreted for a particular device from the formulations. It would be nicer if you had a reference list according to device type from which you could read the RAW directly. E.g. vehicles: offline; Can only be driven manually; Handling -5 until the matrix damage is repaired; Rigger connection and remote control no longer possible. Then everything would be clear.

Edited by _HeadCrash, August 10, 2018 - 10:26 am.

  • 7OutOf13 ,nameless and Konstantin like that

Copyright Avatar: Andreas AAS Schroth
My constantly growing collection:RPG character pictures for SR (and more)
Self-calculating character creation aid:[For SR6] | [Help / questions thread]
(Google spreadsheet: simply create a new copy and use it in the browser)

Contributions as a Shadowrun player and fan are in black and therefore only represent my personal opinion.
Official posts in my role as Shadowrun moderator are in orange.