Delve into the unknown with Forbidden Arcana, new advanced magic book!

Lots of new Shadowrun thrills and possibilities have erupted into the world today! Like an overcast fireball lighting up the hallways of some corp lab, a new advanced magic book called Forbidden Arcana is now available for PDF purchase at the Catalyst shop and DriveThruRPG.

Now, before we discuss the content of the book, eagle-eyed viewers of the above paragraph and the Catalyst shop may notice that there is, at the moment, no link for a print pre-order. Don’t worry–that doesn’t mean we have forsaken print books! With the new Catalyst web shop and the ongoing work to make our sales and distribution processes function as we’d like them to, at present pre-order will not occur until the book is in the warehouse, ready to be sent out. But we can assure you that Forbidden Arcana is at the printer now and will make its way to game stores and online ordering before long.

That said, let’s take a look at what’s in the book:

Ride the Crashing Wave

Magic is wild. Magic is undisciplined. You can try to impose order and understanding on it, but that’s just surface. Underneath is chaos, an erratic heart beating to a staggering rhythm. You don’t control it, any more than a surfer controls twenty-meter-tall wave; you don’t direct the wave, you ride it, capture a piece of its power, and hope to survive. If you do it right, though, you catch a portion of unimaginable power—power those who control the Sixth World don’t want you to have. All the more reason to push past their boundaries and grab it.

Forbidden Arcana offers dozens of different ways for Awakened characters in Shadowrun to harness that power and make themselves a mana-slinger like no other. From new ways to distinguish spellcasters of different traditions to more chaotic methods for summoning spirits to options for Awakened characters who have mastered their craft, Forbidden Arcana shows players how to break out of conventional molds, use mana in new ways, and become true street legends riding the growing wave of Sixth World mana.

Forbidden Arcana is an advanced magic rulebook for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition; magic concepts from the book can be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy, though mechanics for that game are not included.

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Totally normal, free Mission for Shadowrun released!

Hey, we’ve got a new Mission for all of you today, and we’re releasing it for free! And we’re here to tell you that it’s completely, totally normal in all possible ways. Yep. Nothing weird going on here. No, sir. The content? The characters? All totally normal. Certainly not the products of someone who clearly spent a lot of sick days watching too much television when they were young. Nope. Definitely not. It’s all just as it should be.

And it looks normal, too! Sure, it may not have been laid out by, you know, a professional layout person or anything, but there are words inside a PDF, so hey, it’s pretty much the same, right?

But the important thing is it’s free. Completely free. So even if it were a little weird or something–and it’s not! Definitely not!–it would be worth checking out for the price, right?

You can download the totally normal Mission right here: SMH 2017 Scene It All Before

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New Shadowrun release roundup

So we’ve been busy in Shadowrun-land, working on projects we can’t talk about yet while also getting more books out and keeping tabs on the progress of Catalyst’s new web store. While things were moving ahead, a few new Shadowrun books slipped out that we felt deserved your attention!

First, there’s the new campaign book titled Book of the Lost (Catalyst Shop, DriveThruRPG). Some of you picked up our special Gen Con-edition of the Sixth World Tarot with art by the fabulous Echo Chernik. The full print run of tarot decks will be making its way to stores before long, but in advance of that we have a campaign book that’s your guide to using the images and ideas the deck presents. Even if you don’t have the deck, the book presents dozens of images from the cards, as well as descriptive information that will led you dive into the strange and wild world of quests the tarot opens up. Here’s some more info:

No Longer Hidden

The Bastard, upright. A man in clown makeup stands in a broken skyraker window over another man on the verge of a long plummet. Near the clown’s hand, a white rose. Opportunity, adventure, but also mania and frenzy. 404, upright. A woman crouches on the edge of a rooftop, holding a white rose. In the distance is the image of a woman in a red dress. Destruction, failure, collapse. Queen of coins. A woman in a red dress, lounging amidst luxury. She has material wealth but emptiness of soul. Upright, she is opulence, magnificent. Inverse is suspense, fear.

Opportunity and adventure abounds. Destruction and failure loom. Will the result be magnificence—or fear?

Book of the Lost takes the intricate art of the Sixth World Tarot and turns it into stories and campaigns for Shadowrun players. Full of plot hooks and adventure seeds, this book is a treasure trove of ideas, mysteries, and enigmas that can make memorable games. Open it and explore knowledge that had been lost but is now, here, rediscovered. And waiting for you.

Book of the Lost is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, and can easily be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy with minor NPC adjustments.

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Along with this book, we also have a new Mission! Do No Harm (Catalyst Shop, DriveThruRPG) tests players’ creativity and morality–and while shadowrunners tend to have plenty of the former and something of a deficiency of the latter, they’ll have to find the right balance to pull this job off. Here are the details:

The Finesse Game

Every runner knows there are times when you need to throw grenades at gasoline trucks, and other times when more discretion and subtlety is called for. True pros distinguish themselves with precise operations that are noticed by no one besides their target—but those targets see enough to push them over the edge of sanity.

In this Mission, runners get an assignment that is easy to describe but difficult to execute. The job? Ruin a life. The method? That’s where the runners come in. They’ll have to exercise all their creativity and sneakiness to plan and pull off this job—unless they want the police and some nasty corporate security putting their work to an early end. Do runners have the smarts, stealth, and deviousness to pull this off? As always, the answer is another question: How badly do they want to get paid?

Do No Harm is the latest Shadowrun Mission set in Chicago, bringing a new twist and degree of freedom to runners who take it on. The Mission is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, and plot elements could also be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy.

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And finally, new Shadowrun fiction is in the wild! The novella series continues with Blind Magic (Catalyst Shop, DriveThruRPG) by Dylan Birtolo. With down-on-their-luck characters facing the twists of a merciless world, it’s classic Shadowrun, featuring … well, let’s let the book summary do its job:

Lucas, a gifted shaman and member of the Salish-Shidhe Council, is respected for his arcane talents among his tribe. When he’s blinded during a shadowrun on an Evo Corporation outpost, he’s fitted with a set of cybereyes during his recovery. But upon his return to the Council, the tribe banishes him, saying the cyberware he’s accepted makes him unfit to be a shaman. Distraught, Lucas heads to Seattle and spends time in the Barrens attempting to scrape by.

Wanting revenge against Evo, he teams up with a group of shadowrunners, influencing them to take runs against the megacorporation. During one such run, they determine that Evo is retrieving an arcane artifact from a dig site located in Salish-Shidhe territory. Lucas convinces his team to take the initiative and either stop the dig or steal the artifact. But when a team member double-crosses Lucas and the others, he must race against time to discover the true masterminds behind this shadowrun…and stop the thief before they escape with both the artifact and Lucas’s last chance for redemption…

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So whether you want adventures or fiction, plot hooks or great art, we’ve got you covered! Go enjoy some Shadowrun!

 

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Leap into the holidays with cons and deceit, Shadowrun-style!

The holiday season is rushing forward, and we have some fine new gifts for your favorite shadowrunner, including yourself. We can think of no better way to celebrate the holidays than engaging in some Sixth World underhandedness and deception. We know that may not be a normal thing, but we haven’t aspired to be normal for a really long time. Anyway, the point is, two new Shadowrun books are available for PDF purchase and print pre-order, and you can pick them up on the brand-new Catalyst Game Labs web store, which you should check out if you have not yet.

First up is the third Deep Shadows book for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition. Following on the trail established by Stolen Souls, which covered extractions, and Hard Targets, which covered wetwork, we have Cutting Aces (Catalyst Shop, DriveThru), your guide to everything you need to know about running con games. With details on many kinds of both short and long cons, updates on what Sixth World con artists are up to, and a profile of one of the hot spots for con games—the free city of Constantinople—the book is a vital guide to the art of deceiving others and winning trust you don’t deserve. Here are a few more details:

Hit Your Marks

The hotel bartender who slips you a guest’s room number because he thinks it will help him get lucky. The security guard who lets a team into a top-secret facility because he thinks he’s pitching in on covert-ops training. The business suit who drops ten thousand nuyen on a project because he thinks it’ll earn him fifty thousand.

Marks, all of them, and the Sixth World is full of them. Yeah, blasting your way into a well-guarded facility is fun, but talking your way in, smooth and subtle, might be more rewarding. Almost every kind of shadowrun involves at least a little con artistry, and some of them are full-on long cons. That means you need to sharpen your con game. With tips, plot updates, spells, gear, and more to improve characters’ con abilities, Cutting Aces gives players the swagger and skills they need to swindle the world. It also includes information on one of the Sixth World’s hottest spots for running a con—Istanbul, City of the World’s Desire.

Cuttings Aces is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, and it also contains plot information, story ideas, and characters that can be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy with slight adjustments of character stats.

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Next, we have a Denver-based adventure called False Flag (Catalyst Store, DriveThru) that ramps up the tension and chaos in that city and could put the players in a dragon’s crosshairs. Here’s the rundown:

The Angry Gaze

The ruling powers of Sixth World sprawls are content to let the little people of their cities engage in all sorts of shenanigans and scheming so long as it doesn’t affect their master plans. But when the chaos gets too out of hand—or the little people start acting too arrogant—then those powers turn their angry gaze to the people they would rather ignore, and the everyday chaos of life erupts into something worse, and considerably more dangerous.

Recent attacks on the Paladin Medical Health Center in the Aurora Warrens have drawn the attention of some of Denver’s powers, and they’re not going to ignore the situation. They’re also not going to just send in the police, because that’s not how things are done—instead, they will launch schemes of their own, with the opportunity to create chaos that makes the previous wildness seem like a sunny day in the Rockies.

False Flag is the second in the series of Denver Adventures for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition. Whether played alone or as part of a larger campaign with the first adventure, it will test players’ resources, creativity, and skill, while moving them toward the dramatic plot developments ahead.

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