Tuesday, November 19, 2013

If You Haven't Heard Of It: Shadowrun RPG

Hey guys, Time for another installment of If You Haven't Heard Of It. This time we will be discussing the wonderful RPG named Shadowrun.

Shadowrun is a RPG set in a heavy sci-fi/fantasy version of near-future earth where some time in the near future our world has magic suddenly reemerge from it, causeing humans to transform into all sorts of creatures, and for some creatures to reveal their long hidden selves. It is a combination of some of the best ideas of urban fantasy and cyberpunk I have ever played, keeping the setting humorous yet dark.

The RPG generally places you in the shoes of what are called "Shadowrunners" groups of individuals who, normally, have no way of bettering their lives except to do semi illegal (or completely utterly illegal) things to make money from by messing with megacorps who either hire them to hurt one another, or get in the way of the shadowrunners jobs.

The latest edition of Shadowrun is the brand new released 5th edition, which came out just a couple months ago, and is a wonderful new edition with having both a hardcover and pdf method of getting a hold of the rules (Please do support this company, they worked hard to make this edition happen and they deserve your money). I never played any previous editions but I had heard good things, just never had the opportunity to get involved in a game.

But with the announcement and incoming of a new edition one of my friends started up a campaign and Dreadbeard and myself quickly hopped on! We were interested by the setting as well as how the game was played. We quickly tried a demo, and when the full rules came out, made characters with out Game Master and got into our first campaign. Now a few months in I am loving the game and how different situations can be solved a million different ways, perhaps sneaking will work, but if not maybe smashing the dudes face in will or maybe a good combination of both, or maybe your hacker will do something, who knows... there are endless possibilities.

Dreadbeard and I made brother characters, two big dumb hulking trolls, whos ideas of how to get stuff done is either A.) Shoot it a lot (Dreadbeard's character), B.) Punch it really hard (My character) or C.) do both those things. If it doesn't involve those concepts the Trolls lose interest quickly and will for a time let their party do whatever they do, until it takes to long and then the trolls will just take one of their "grand master plans" and make it work. So far we have been honestly lucky when this happens and it has, mostly, worked out. Yet for our group it provides endless entertainment when their well laid plans fall apart by the Trolls getting hungry and wandering off cause they are bored and then coming back and just doing whatever they want.

Now for a bit on mechanics, first of all the game totally relies on the D6. It uses no other dice, and 5's and 6's are "hits" or "successes" and everything else is a fail. You can roll just a couple dice, or you can roll two handfuls depending on your character's skill level with whatever you are trying to do. Unlike a lot of RPGs die rolling has nothing to do with your character building, which is mostly a point buy system. If you are looking to get involved in the game, I will warn you, it is not an easy or quick character building session, and I would highly recommend your group gets together and works on their characters together to make sure all your bases are covered. Coming in with a random group will do you all no good, you have to have a balance or you are gonna be screwed.

So what about you guys? Anyone of you tried this game in the past or this new edition? If so, what do you think? Are there any RPGs you think we should check out as well?

If you readers have any topic you would like me to cover in a post, or have an article you would like to have posted on the blog, or would like to become an author, shoot me an email at imasentinel@gmail.com

So If You Haven't Heard Of Shadowrun, now you have! Hope you enjoy!


  1. I haven't played the newest edition. My experience has been with 4th, but it uses a similar mechanic. I enjoy the setting very much, it's got a lot to it that really appeals to me. I enjoy it also, because most modern/sci-fi rpgs tend to allow the players too much freedom in character concept so you have a starship captain who never wants to leave his ship, some nut job in power armor who just wants to murder people, and a billionaire who funds the whole thing. It doesn't really mesh well, but this isn't so in Shadowrun. It's very much like a D&D campaign in that everyone is a Shadowrunner. You are however had a lot of latitude in how you perform as a Shadowrunner. You can be the face, the hacker, wizard, or just a big ol'Troll that punches face.

    I think for anyone who enjoys D&D/Pathfinder and wants to see what it'd be like in the future. Shaodwrun is the way to go.

  2. I played Shadowrun back in the 90s, probably the first edition. (Or maybe it was the late 80s?) I'm so glad to see that the street samurai, cyberdeckers, and rat shaman are still running! I was afraid online and video games had squashed all the tabletop RPGs. Thanks for keeping it alive!

  3. SR is, by FAR, my favorite RPG of all time! The rules take a bit of getting used to, but the world that FASA, and later Catalyst Games, created is so deep and rich you can't help but get sucked into it. The layers of intrigue and the vast possibilities that make up the Awakened World make it perfect for a truly open-ended RPG experience.

    However, the best thing about SR is the source books. They cover everything from an entire armory with loads of cyber and bio tech to the political landscape of the Elven nations and where the local smuggler hide-outs are. Each book is written like an online message board. They usually start with an article about a topic then have a space for reader "comments" included. This adds SOOO much character to the fluff of the game, it's incredible. Occasionally you can even pick out characters from the novels or major players from the other source books by reading their comments and online handles. Truly, this is a game that is experienced, not simply played.