New Shadowrun fiction out–try the Seattle Gambit!

Nothing gets the holidays rolling like new Shadowrun fiction, I always say! Then my relatives stare at me, and then they go about their normal business. But you know what I’m talking about, right? So dive into the new piece of enhanced fiction, The Seattle Gambit—sequel to The Vladivostok Gauntlet and now available at the Catalyst shop, DriveThruRPG, and Amazon! Here’s more info:

Sucked Back In

Former shadowrunner Yuri Yehzov has discovered that the shadows have long tendrils. Life pushed him and Soren, his new partner in crime (and everything else), to Seattle, where they’ll have to do what thousands have done before them—figure out how to scrape by and attempt to build a life.

If there’s one thing the darker corners of the Sixth World have in common, it’s the tendency to explode into violence at any moment. Yuri will discover that Seattle’s shadows are merciless and unkind, but also full of opportunity for those who can think on their feet and keep flying lead from piercing their skin. Can Yuri move fast enough to stay upright in the worldwide capital of shadowrunning? He’s about to find out.

The Seattle Gambit is new Shadowrun fiction that also includes NPC, gear, and other rules that appear in the story. Read the story, then use the rules to dive into the action! The Seattle Gambit’s rules are for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, though the basic concepts and story can also be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy.

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The darkest time of year brings Dark Terrors to Shadowrun!

The sun recently went down in Barrow, Alaska, and it will not be seen again until January 22. Seems like the perfect time to turn our attention to the things that go bump in the night–the things that freeze us between wanting to turn on the lights to see what’s out there, and wanting to stay in the dark because sometimes, it’s better not to know.

Dark Terrors is a new Shadowrun book looking at many of the terrible things and mysteries that hide in the dark corners of the Sixth World. And it’s available for PDF purchase now (Catalyst shop, DriveThruRPG), with print availability to follow. Here’s some more info:

Piercing the Night

You heard the scream. It’s important to remember that. Sometimes, when it’s late, and you hear something that sounds like a scream echoing through dark alleys, you try to convince yourself that it was something else. An animal. An illusion. Anything but what it sounded like.

But it was a scream. You heard it, and you’ll hear it again, because in the Sixth World, the supply of terror is growing. Bug spirits work to devour corporations from within. Shedim claim dead bodies and mobilize to their own dark ends. And the hidden corners of the metaplanes and the Matrix contain creatures that are best not imagined, because to imagine them is to sever ties with reason.

Dark Terrors is a catalog of the horrors lurking under the surface of the Sixth World. With plot updates and hooks, critter stats, and campaign information presented in an immersive style, it’s an invaluable resource for players ready to stay on the edge of their seats. It is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition and Shadowrun: Anarchy.

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Shadowrun action blasting your way with new adventures!

Two new PDF Shadowrun books have come up, and they’re ready for runners to unleash all manner of chaos on them! First up we have Lethal Forces (Catalyst shop, DriveThru), an adventure that will test even experienced runners. Here are the details:

The Price of Power

Value is not a secret. When something is worth a lot of money, or conveys a lot of power, or both, people of the Sixth World know. They make it their business to know. That means that when you’re tracking down something with a lot of value, be cautious. You won’t be the only one after it.

In Lethal Forces, Mr. Johnson comes along spinning tales about secret research in a highly secure facility, which is definitely the sort of thing that has a lot of value. Mr. Johnson may not tell the runners who else might come calling, but what self-respecting team of runners relies on Mr. Johnson to give them the information they need? They’ll have to stay alert, keep their wits about them, and be ready for any and all opposition—including ones with scales.

Lethal Forces is an adventure for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, especially for experienced runner teams ready for a challenge. The plot elements can also be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy.

Then we have a new Mission for you—Mission 07-06, entitled Windy City Chaos (Catalyst shop, DriveThru). And I’ll tell you this—this Mission more than lives up to its name. Here’s something to whet your appetite:

The Lost Colony

Maybe you might misplace a commlink. Or lose a box holding a few stray bullets. But who loses an entire community? Well, it’s Chicago’s Containment Zone, where a large group of people disappearing is not the strangest thing to happen this month. Or this week. Or today. But even if it’s not the strangest thing, it’s the one someone is willing to pay runners to investigate. So it’s important.

The thing is, a whole group of people doesn’t just disappear easily. Or nicely. Some of the powers that like to stay hidden in the Containment Zone are going to make themselves visible, and shadowrunners need to survive their appearance. And see if they can save some lives while they’re at it.

SRM 07-06: Windy City Chaos is an adventure for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition. Whether you have played a Mission before or are diving in right here, it presents a strong challenge for runners to see if they can survive some of the city’s extremes. Plot elements from this Mission can also be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy.

Shadowrun Missions, Season 7, Adventure 6

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Zero Day: Playing in the Sixth World


Shadowrun: Zero Day will be on sale at Gen Con, in Catalyst Game Labs’ booth 1611.

[This article first appeared in GTM 206; with their permission, we’re posting it here.]

I love great games. Obviously. I’ve been playing hobby games since I was eleven and first tossed D&D dice (thirty-four years ago—oh, my head); and working professionally in the industry for more than twenty years now. So a great game for me is one that is fantastic and cherished and re-played many times.

Just as enjoyable are brilliant universes/settings that captivate and never let go. Dune, Star Wars, BattleTech, Firefly—to name a few of my all-time favorite. And, of course, Shadowrun.

Twenty-eight years later, I still remember walking into Game Depot in Tempe, Arizona and seeing that brilliant First Edition cover by Larry Elmore as a poster on the wall and stopping dead with a “What is that?!”

Our gaming group grabbed four copies of the tabletop RPG the instant it was released, and while I’ve not always played it as much as other games, the dark dystopian universe of the Sixth World has always captivated and fascinated me to no end.

And of course, one of my all-time favorite things to do is mix those up. After all, IMO, the best universes lend themselves to iterations of experiences across a wide range of mediums. Books, movies, comics, video games, tabletop games: it’s always about that new and enjoyable way to experience a universe we love with friends. The Battlestar: Galactica game itself is absolutely amazing, and would’ve been great almost regardless of the skin. But pairing it with such a great and gritty TV series elevated the enjoyment all the more.


While Shadowrun remains a tabletop roleplaying game experience at its heart, Catalyst Game Labs has pushed that envelope into other avenues. First with the critically-acclaimed Shadowrun: Crossfire deckbuilding game, and then with our fast and fun push-your-luck dice game Encounters: Shadowrun. Next up, we’ve got a two-player, dueling hacker card game in Shadowrun: Zero Day.

There’s as many ways to reach a final game design as there are, well, games…and I’ve been a party to so many of those different avenues. However, while I love taking a rough game and developing it into a final version, one of my favorite experiences as a games publisher is to discover a diamond that’s sitting there, all polished and ready to go. The best example I have of that from personal experience is The Duke. While we added a few tiles at the end—as part of our Kickstarter campaign—beyond changing one tile’s name, we didn’t change a single thing about the game design. It was just that good!

Shadowrun: Zero Day is a close second. We’ve made a few subtle tweaks—working with the game designer, Brian Suhre—but by and large, the game we played last year at the Origins Game Fair is the game you’ll be breaking out to enjoy.

In the real-world, a zero day vulnerability refers to a security hole in a just-released software that is unknown to the vendor. This hole is exploited by hackers, which brings it to the awareness of the vendor, who fixes it as quickly as they can. This exploitation of an unknown weakness is called a zero day attack.

In Shadowrun: Zero Day, two players duel as they each launch a zero day attack against the various Megacorporations of the Sixth World. The goal is to determine who has the brains, guts, and gear to obtain the most paydata in trade secrets, credentials, passwords, nuyen and so on, before the besieged corps can shut the vulnerabilities down.

Set-up is quick, with each player grabbing their twenty data cubes and their draw decks of twelve Tool cards—three Decryption, three Sneak, three Exploit and three Guard—while building a communal deck of twelve Countermeasure cards. Each player will also place four different face-up Megacorporation Cards, as well as the deck of eight Data cards and twenty-one corresponding Data tokens, which are placed face down. Players then lay out three face-up Countermeasure cards, randomly drawing and placing one Data token on each Countermeasure, as well as revealing face-up three Data cards. Each player then draws four cards from their draw decks and the game is ready to begin.

Play proceeds with one person taking a turn, followed by the opponent. The game ends immediately if three Megacorporation cards have been fully scored, or if you need to fill a Countermeasure spot and you cannot (because the Countermeasure deck is empty). Players then add up their points to determine the winner!

On each player’s turn, they play a Tool card from their hand. Only one type of Tool card can be played at a time, but the player can play as many of that card type as they have in their hand. After they’ve played their cards, if the player has three or fewer left, they draw two cards from their draw deck, and their turn is done.

Playing a Tool card lets a player place a data cube on any matching Countermeasure card (the colors will match up). Once the total cubes placed by both players equal the card’s target number, the player with the most cubes wins the Countermeasure and the Data token on the card and places both in their score pile (both players put any of their Data cubes on the card back into their reserves). If the opponent had at least one Data cube on the defeated Countermeasure, that player may select a Data card to place into their score pile. Once a Countermeasure has been defeated, a new one is revealed to replace it.

For the Megacorporation cards, there are two ways to score. First, if a Tool from a player’s hand is played and there are no Countermeasures corresponding to that Tool, that player automatically places their Data cube(s) on the Megacorporation of their choice. The second option for scoring is when a player defeats a Countermeasure, any of their Data cubes placed that exceed the target number on the Countermeasure are placed on the Megacorporation card of their choice.

As with a Countermeasure, when the total number of Data cubes from both players matches the target number of the Megacorporation, it is scored. The player with the most cubes takes the card and puts it into their score pile, while their Data cubes are returned to their reserve. If the opponent had at least one Data cube on that Megacorporation card, any of their cubes are then placed into their score pile.

Shadowrun: Zero Day is a fun and quick game that let’s you dip your toes into the brilliant Sixth World in an engaging way that’ll have you exploiting zero day vulnerabilities over-and-over again.

Randall N. Bills has lead the development and publication of hundreds of novels, sourcebooks, rulebooks, box sets, game aides and more. He’s currently the Managing Developer for Catalyst Game Labs, overseeing the strategic development of the perennial BattleTech and Shadowrun properties, while managing the rollout of Catalyst Game Labs’ new line of table top games.

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