Category Archives: Products

Now Available – Shadowrun Sixth World Activity Book in PDF

Hotly anticipated by Shadowrunners of all stripes and beleaguered parents everywhere, we’re proud to release the Shadowrun Activity Book as a pay-what-you-wish PDF ( CGL Webstore // DTRPG)

The book will be available in print-on-demand hard copy in the near future; it’s winding its way through the POD process now.

This 56-page coloring and activity book will provide hours of fun, showcasing art from Shadowrun Sixth World products.  

Draw, Chummer!

And color. And do puzzles. And bask in the wonders of the mighty Sixth World dystopia! If you need something to pass the time, if you’re feeling a little isolated, or if you just want to soak in the Shadowrun setting for a while, this activity book is for you! It has tons of classic black-and-white art you can bring to glorious, colorful life, word searches, a crossword, and a bunch of other puzzles. Pay whatever you want for the PDF, then dive in and pass the time!

The Sixth World Activity Book is for anyone who wants to pass sometime in one of the greatest fictional settings of all time—whether you’re a long-time veteran or just getting your first taste!

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Catalyst Game Labs Offers Support, Discounts During COVID-19 Pandemic

Greetings,

The entire world is struggling with the ramifications of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Family and friends who may be sick. Struggling businesses. Self-isolation.  On behalf of everyone at Catalyst Game Labs, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the outbreak.

As a virtual company Catalyst continues to operate fairly normally. We have game lines requiring our ongoing attention, and at some point (we assume) life will return to something approaching normal. Still, we encourage our employees and our fans out there to practice extreme safety measures. Follow the ongoing advice of health care professionals. Try to socially distance yourselves as much as is practical.

We understand that gamers are social creatures, so this will be hard for us; dealing with the closing of our favorite conventions and our local game stores who may also be self-isolating. Everyone at Catalyst is saddened that we may miss seeing so many friends this year.

At this time, we are anticipating and preparing for a delay of several weeks to the production, shipment, and distribution of our products, for regular release and for the BattleTech: Clan Invasion Kickstarter. We are exploring alternative options to mitigate delays, including domestic U.S. printing. We will keep you updated as we learn more from our production and shipping vendors.

While there may not be much we can do from a health care perspective, Catalyst will be offering a 20% discount store-wide on our online store, with an additional 20% discount on non-BattleTech, non-Shadowrun products, for the next month to encourage our fans to stay home. Catch up on the latest BattleTech novel. Complete your Shadowrun RPG collection. If your family is healthy, maybe try a new boardgame.

(Note: the 20% discount for non-BattleTech, non-Shadowrun products is shown in the store listings; the blanket 20% discount will be applied to all items once they’re in your cart.)

If our FLGS friends have any ideas on how we can help them in this trying time, reach out to us and let us know.

It doesn’t feel like much, but they say every little bit helps.

Be safe, and we look forward to seeing everyone on the other side of this world tragedy.

Loren & Heather Coleman

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New Products On Sale: GM Screen, Cutting Black, Revised Core PDF

Hoi, chummers! We’ve got new Shadowrun, Sixth World products to keep you running hot during the coldest winter months, including the explosive new campaign sourcebook, Cutting Black.

Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook – Revised PDF (PDF only, $19.99)

This re-release of the Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook PDF includes all current errata. Bundled with this release is the form-fillable character sheet PDF, as well as the e-publication “Between a Corp and a Hard Place,” originally serialized in gaming trade publications.

Customers who previously purchased the PDF version of the Shadowrun, Sixth World core book will receive an updated version free of cost via the platform on which they originally purchased the PDF (CGL web store or DriveThruRPG).

Shadowrun, Sixth World GM Screen (Print only, $29.99) – Street date Jan. 22, 2020

Activate your Shadowrun table and experience a gamemaster screen unlike any other! Features include a large outward-facing pocket for the insertion of various scene inserts—included in the pack—to change up the players’ visual experience. A variety of interior card pockets allows the GM to quickly and easily track NPCs, and other reference cards. Finally, a series of Reputation trackers are built directly into the screen, enabling a runner team to track their heat from Ares to Aztechnology, and more, changing up the games as they play.

Cutting Black (Print+PDF, $44.99; PDF only, $22.99) – Street date Feb. 12, 2020

Total Dark

Voices scream in the darkness. Voices of the lost drift through the night. Their sound is despair, sorrow, and terror. The noise grinds at your soul, but only thing worse than listening to the chorus of pain is joining it.

The world is changing. Desperate times require desperate measures, and the ground beneath your feet will shake when those measures are meted out. Hold on, buckle up, and try to survive. Parts of the world are cutting to black—so keep your guard up, be prepared, and don’t let the dark consume you.

Cutting Black is a campaign book to help launch players and gamemasters into Shadowrun, Sixth World. With breaking news and world-shaking events, it provides material to carry players through months of games—if they can survive that long.

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Shadowrun, Sixth World Developer’s Notes

From Jason Hardy, Shadowrun Line Developer:

Shadowrun, Sixth World is coming soon!

Wait, Shadowrun, Sixth World isn’t out yet? But I’ve been thinking about it for years! Playing it for more than a year! How are other people not playing it? Development time can be so disorienting.

There was a time—six years ago, to be specific—when I threatened physical violence to anyone who said the words “sixth edition” in my presence. (The threats didn’t work. No one is ever scared of me. But I digress). Fifth Edition took a lot of effort to produce, and I didn’t want to think about starting that whole process again. But then there were a few years where I didn’t have to think about a new edition, and I could recharge. Actually, that’s not entirely true, because every time I play a game—whether it’s one I worked on or not—I’m kind of thinking of a new edition. I’m looking at what works well, what works differently than intended, and what possibilities might open up with a tweak here and there. So when the time came to envision the next edition of Shadowrun, I had a few ideas, as did the excellent roster of Shadowrun writers and gamemasters I could tap into.

All those ideas needed a framework, of course. As we started our work, we decided the sixth edition of Shadowrun needed to possess three main qualities:

  1. Be no more than 300 pages long;
  2. Use D6 dice pools; and
  3. Feel like Shadowrun.

Those last two points are related, because it’s tough for a game to feel like Shadowrun if you’re not rolling a healthy handful of D6s. But there’s more to it than that. Combat specialists, spellcasters, conjurers, adepts, faces, deckers, technomancers, riggers, enchanters, weapon specialists, and more all need to exist, and they all must have different and meaningful ways to contribute to a run.

In this edition, all that had to happen within 300 pages. Which is a trick. Fifth Edition, not counting the index, is 466 pages; the anniversary edition of Fourth Edition was 351 pages, and Third Edition was 325 pages (minus the sample record sheets). Second Edition is a lean 284 pages, but it had no bioware, no technomancers, no alchemy, and no qualities, to name a few things that have changed in the intervening years. The book that started it all is an even leaner 207 pages, but along with the elements Second Edition didn’t have, it lacks things such as adepts and foci, and it offers only twenty guns—heresy! (Fifth Edition has 52, while Shadowrun, Sixth World will offer 53–we didn’t cut back much on those options!) All this is to say that streamlining the core rulebook back to 300 pages was not going to be easy.

It’s important to note that simply making the book shorter doesn’t, by itself, do any good. You can make any book shorter by simply ripping every third page out, but you end up with a book that makes no sense. Making the book shorter only is useful if the game also becomes smoother to play. In other words, we didn’t just want a shorter game—we wanted one that moved faster and was easier to get into, while still offering lots of meaningful options. We also didn’t want this to be Shadowrun: Anarchy for the simple reason that Anarchy already exists. Anarchy represents a more extreme end of the rules-light spectrum than Shadowrun, Sixth World–one way to understand the difference between the two is that the gear rules and listings take up about seven or eight pages in Anarchy, compared to fifty pages in Sixth World. Did I mention we wanted to offer lots of options?

Anyway, this means that if the rules were changed, they needed to be changed with an eye toward enabling players to do the things that they wanted to do more quickly. Combat should be faster. Hacking should be smoother and more intuitive. Magic should adapt to be just what the caster wants it to be. And so on. So what, specifically, did we do? Here’s a sample:

  • Expanded Edge: Yes, one of the things we did to streamline the game was to make one function much more detailed. But stay with me for a second. The definition of Edge has shifted—rather than being that undefinable something extra you reach for in a tough spot to help put you over the top, Edge now represents the accumulated advantage you get in opposed situations. Whether you’re fighting, spellcasting, hacking, or negotiating, you’ll have a chance to earn and spend bonus Edge. And you should spend it—if you’re not gaining and spending Edge regularly in Shadowrun, Sixth World it might be time to rethink your tactics. Or find less formidable opposition. Gaining and spending Edge replaces a lot of other functions in the game, like calculating situational modifiers, dealing with recoil and armor piercing, and environmental modifiers. Edge also provides a chance for a character to really have an impact when it’s time to spend it.
  • Fewer action types: There are two, Minor and Major. That’s it! You get one Minor and one Major per turn, with an additional Minor for various circumstances, such as reaction-enhancing augmentations or spells. One Major Action may be traded for four Minor Actions, or four Minor for one Major.
  • Simplified initiative: You roll initiative at the start of an encounter and then don’t re-roll it. Certain actions or effects may change your initiative score, though.
  • No limits: Limits served a valuable function of balancing attributes and providing different opportunities for rule effects, but in a streamlined ruleset, they are not needed. Limits on most tests and Force for spells have all been removed.
  • Skill list narrowed: SR5 has 80 skills, while SR6 has 19. That’s a big difference. There’s definite streamlining there, but it comes at the risk of characters not being distinct from each other. To deal with that, players can still select specializations but can also upgrade a specialization to an expertise, giving their character +3 bonus dice instead of +2, and once they  have an expertise they can select an additional specialization. This will provide characters with chances to become truly distinct.
  • More intuitive Matrix: This is an ongoing goal, and it’s always fun to try to make Matrix activities happen alongside and in parallel with the other actions. Deckers will have meaningful things to do and ways to get in, make things happen, and get out—all while trying to avoid the watchful eyes of the Grid Overwatch Division, of course.

Those are some of the major changes, but far from the only ones. We haven’t talked about Attack Ratings, the uses of armor, changes to Knowledge skills, revamped spell design, new vehicle stats, cyberjacks, and more. I hope this gives you a taste of the upcoming changes, and I look forward to you all playing Shadowrun, Sixth World as much as I have and will! And look for more information on this blog each Wednesday in May!

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