We’ve been sharing interior art over on our Tumblr and we’ll continue to do so…but time to unveil the cover!
I’ll admit it—I’ve reached the point where I’m a little intimidated. I know that when Victor Moreno is assigned to do a Shadowrun cover, he’s going to rock it. He’s going to take the art notes and find the Sixth World heart of them, making an awesome piece of cyberpunk goodness that absolutely brings the art notes to life.
Which means if there’s something wrong with the piece, it’s probably because there was a flaw in the art notes. So that’s the intimidating part—I need to raise my game to match Victor’s, or the cover is not going to look right and it’s gonna be my fault. With an artist of Victor’s talent (you can check out his work on the free GM screen wallpapers), that means I need to work hard to be sure I don’t bring him down.
Another challenge with the cover is that there is so much going on in the Run & Gun book, making it tough to select just what should be on the cover. After all, there are new offensive and defensive options, new weapons of all kinds, martial arts, explosives, and more—the kind of things that are tough to fit on a single coherent image.
But this is when the leadership of our glorious art director Brent Evans comes in. Back when we were planning Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, a group of us were gathered with a huge collection of Shadowrun sourcebooks spread out on multiple horizontal surfaces. The point was to look at cover art throughout the history of Shadowrun and decide what worked—and why. As Brent led us through analysis and discussion of the art, one thing that became clear was that character-focused art often leads to great covers. For Run & Gun, then, that meant not focusing on the tools and tricks the book contains, but the people who use them.
So the idea started to come into focus. The cover of Fields of Fire served as a major inspiration. It’s a great image of a tough-looking team ready to do business in a classic Sixth World urban wasteland. Since the cover of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition had more of a downtown setting, having an urban wasteland, Barrens-ish setting would be a nice change of pace. The team should look battered but ready, because that’s the condition shadowrunners are in about ninety percent of the time. And there should be a good cross-section of runners—not just different metatypes, but also different types of fighters. So we’ve got the pistol-toting dwarf, the ork who looks more inclined to hand-to-hand fighting, an elf ready to lay down automatic weapons fire, and a human loaded with explosives. Then we just have to put them in the Barrens and watch ‘em shine.
Naturally, Victor took the ideas in the art notes and made them better. One of the fun things about seeing the art come in after writing the art notes is to see how the artist interpreted the original idea, and also see what details they chose to throw in to make the image come to life. The Run & Gun cover is full of fun things to look at: the elf’s exposed cyberskull, the multiple arm scars on the ork from years of hard fighting, the cigar-and-cybereyes face of the dwarf, the roto-drone flaming out behind the crew, and plenty more. It’s a tough image of brutal people who look intent on surviving no matter what is thrown at them, which makes it pretty perfect for Shadowrun.