Monthly Archives: March 2013

Release bonanza! Three books ready to rock your Shadowrun game now out!

Oh, have we got some fun for you today! Intrigue, double-dealings, addictions, nefarious deeds, secret plots, dark magic, and loads of attitude–all the things we love about Shadowrun spread over three books now ready for your enjoyment!

We start with the final plot book for Shadowrun, Fourth Edition–Storm Front! Not only is this book now available for PDF purchase and print pre-order, (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), but its street date is fast approaching–you’ll be able to get it in print on March 27! Covering the end of the Aztlan-Amazonia war, the climax of the conflict between dragons, intrigue in Denver, a political crisis in Seattle, and more, Storm Front summarizes and updates the major ongoing plots in the Sixth World, while introducing a new thread that will shake the world in the near future. Serving as a bridge between Fourth Edition and Fifth Edition, Storm Front is a wealth of plot ideas and hooks to enliven any campaign.

Here’s the full summary:

All-Shaking Thunder

It’s been a tense couple of years (or couple of decades, if we’re being accurate) in the Sixth World. Aztlan and Amazonia have been slugging it out. Great dragons have turned on each other, testing old alliances and forging new ones. Governor Kenneth Brackhaven of Seattle is facing pressure unlike ever he’s ever seen, and scandals seem on the verge of overwhelming him. In Denver, a powerful dragon and an angry elf are set to butt heads in ways that will shake up the whole city—and provide new opportunities for an old enemy. And on top of that, a new plague is spreading through the world, and the denizens of JackPoint aren’t immune to its effects.

All this tension has been building up, and in Storm Front, it breaks.S torm Front provides background and updates on these and other plotlines changing the shape of the Sixth World. The shadows are shifting, and runners need to move fast if they want to earn a paycheck—or if they want to keep from being crushed as the powers of the world slug it out. The world is changing, but some things remain the same. Power will corrupt. Money will flow to those who already have it. And shadowrunners will scramble to make a living without selling their soul.

Storm Front provides plot information as well as adventure hooks that are compatible with Shadowrun, Fourth Edition while also laying the groundwork for the upcoming Shadowrun, Fifth Edition. As a bridge between the two editions, this book is useful to all Shadowrun players, setting the stage for explosive stories and memorable campaigns.


Next up we have our latest e-book, a dive into the simsense and BTL world called Sim Dreams and Nightmares (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG). Here what it’s got:

Feel More. Do Less.

The Sixth World is full of seductions, and perhaps no siren song is sweeter than that of simsense. Feel the rush of new love without the work of having to date another person. Skydive from the upper reaches of the atmosphere without leaving your couch. Experience every emotion humans are capable of feeling, and do it with a greater intensity than most humans will ever feel. Just don’t spend too much time wondering what it’s doing to your brain.

Alleys and backrooms of every major sprawl in the world are littered with better-than-life junkies who can do nothing but think about their next fix. Reality is nothing more a pale shadow of the vitality and energy they experience with the right chips and downloads. Their need is deep—which, in the hallowed tradition of the Sixth World, means they are ripe for exploitation.

Sim Dreams and Nightmares contains information about the full range of simsense offerings, as well as new qualities and addiction rules to fully reflect the toll that simsense and better-than-life offerings can take on users. Runners can learn how to deal with the addicts out there—and explore how deep into the seamier side of the Sixth World they want to get.

Sim Dreams and Nightmares is for use with Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition.



And finally, we have a classic release for you–that treasure trove of information and attitude, The Neo-Anarchist’s Guide to North America (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG)! Here’s what it packs:

See the Sights!

Take a tour of North America with the slightly warped. Learn the ins and outs of major cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. Make your next vacation an exciting one, one they’ll never forget.

The Neo-Anarchist’s Guide to North America details the countries, states, and politics of Shadowrun’s North America. This sourcebook covers the laws, relative costs of goods, what to smuggle and to whom, corporate activity, who’s bought whom and just what are they really up to, and life in general and how to screw it up in style.

Note: This file is scanned from the original 1991 printing.



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Sprawl Gangers Designer Diary 3

Shadowrun 5 Sprawl Gangers Logo

One of the great things about designing for Sprawl Gangers is that I’m really designing the game that I have wanted to play for decades. Ever since discovering the joy of league- and campaign-based miniature games like Necromunda, Mordheim, and Blood Bowl, I’ve wanted to build my own take on a deep and engaging set of campaign rules.

Sprawl Gangers features a set of robust rules that are ideal for seeing your gang grow and develop over time. Each ganger can develop his own skills and abilities, or he may be distinguished with a particular injury–although, of course, in the cyberpunk future of Shadowrun, many injuries can be solved simply by installing some cyberware!

I designed the campaign rules to allow for short-term and long-term games… short-term campaigns are going to feature a good amount of interesting choices, gear, and developments in the gang’s Turf. Long-term campaigns will see the same, with the addition of quite a few rare and expensive options (such as wired reflexes, among others) that are great rewards for playing the same gang over the course of the league.

Not just gangers are going to improve over time, either – your gang can have a number of specialists who also grow and change over the course of a campaign. These specialists include Shadowrun staples like deckers, mages, and shadowrunners themselves.

The two resources needed to advance your gang should be familiar to Shadowrun fans; karma and nuyen. Karma represents a gangers’ individual experience, and as he gains karma he gains various improvements to his skills, attributes, or special abilities named Qualities. Nuyen can be spent to buy additional gear, upgrade existing weapons and armor, and even to purchase certain rare items—like cyberware, bioware, or particularly restricted firearms—if a ganger is sent to search for these rare items for sale through various black market and illegal sources.

Deckers can acquire new programs and upgrades for their decks, mages can purchase power focuses to help them cast spells and formulae for learning new spells to cast, and any gangers that are developing into first-rate warriors can start on the path of the street samurai with cyberware upgrades, smartgoggles, or better armor.

Everything I’ve talked about so far are just some of the highlights of the campaign system for Sprawl Gangers! This game is going to feature a lot of opportunities for players who enjoy personalizing their gangs and watching them grow into actual street legends.

The Sprawl Gangers playtest is well underway, and I’m collecting information from the first reports to help us refine and tweak the game to make it even better. I’m loving playing the game myself at home, and it’s quite a rewarding experience to coordinate this playtest across all the passionate groups and players who are a part of it. The playtest feedback is invaluable, and so far everyone seems to really like where the game is going. Keep an eye out for more designer diaries from myself and Randall in the future as we get closer to the start of open hostilities between the Ancients and the Halloweeners–this is going to be one gang war you don’t want to miss!

Ross Watson

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A Storm Front Is Brewing

As the Year of Shadowrun moves toward the emergence of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, we have some important tasks to take care of. There is a lot going on in the Sixth World—the Aztlan-Amazonia war, the clash of great dragons, the political pressures mounting on Kenneth Brackhaven, the return of Ghostwalker to Denver—all these plots could use some updates. Updates that could wrap up some plotlines while launching new stories into Fifth Edition. Updates with some big booms, if possible. This is what is in Storm Front.

You may have seen some of Storm Front already in fragments put up on the website. More were just released, so solve the puzzle and track them down! Then get ready for the full data dump—coming very, very soon!


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Catalyst Game Labs And Shadowrun Online Cooperation

As previously announced, Catalyst Game Labs is very excited to be coordinating with Cliffhanger Productions Games on story elements and pooling writing talent. This cooperation will lead to allowing players to directly affect the ongoing tabletop storyline through their game play of Shadowrun Online!

Now, Catalyst Game Labs and Cliffhanger Productions are pleased to announce a new level of cooperation between the tabletop RPG and online experience. The first series of books and box sets released by Catalyst Game Labs—such as Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, Shadowrun Introductory Box Set, Shadowrun: Crossfire, Stolen Souls, and so on—will contain a unique, one-time use code in every book or box that will allow Shadowrun Online players to obtain unique items only available through the tabletop items.

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