Monthly Archives: December 2013

Media Kit


We’re constantly asked by the community whether they can use X or Y illustrations/graphics on their website or in their materials for running a game…not to mention retailers as well.

We’ve put together an SR5 Media Kit zips file of a variety of graphics/images that anyone can grab and use to enhance their Shadowrun games!

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Shadowrun Introductory Box Set: Now Splitting Into 2 Great Box Sets!

We just started to send this material off to distributors/retailers and I immediately wanted to share the details with all of you!

Here’s the letter we’re sending to distributors/retailers:

CAT27101_Beginner Box_1500

To All Retailers,

As part of the Year of Shadowrun, Catalyst announced a Shadowrun Introductory Box Set, which would be the first ever “starter” box for Shadowrun. Unfortunately, as happens to us sometimes, our passion got the better of us, and right as we were ready to send it to print we realized it was trying too hard to do too many things.

Ultimately we came to the conclusion that regardless of how well put together the overall box was, the following elements would damage its ability to achieve its goals of bringing in new players while providing a plethora of useful tools for existing players:

  • The price point was too high for an “introductory” item;
  • There was too much information for new players to absorb;
  • Existing players would potentially have too much material that was not as useful to them, which would lessen the perceived value

After numerous discussions that included talks with retailers and distributor in our industry, we’ve thus determined that the best way to solve the issues above was to create two new items:

Shadowrun Beginner Box Set ($19.99)
Shadowrun Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware ($59.99)

This split allows both boxes to focus on a single primary objective, as opposed to the jack-of-all-trades syndrome plaguing the initial box.

The Beginner Box is 100% about new players, providing an easy-on-the-wallet quick taste of Shadowrun, making the barrier of entry into the game lower than it’s ever been (see the sellsheet for additional details on contents).

Meanwhile the Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware can focus on helping existing players obtain a variety of useful tools for easing into multiple adventures of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, while also acting as the perfect bridge product for new players between the Beginner Box and Shadowrun, Fifth Edition (see the sellsheet for additional details on contents).

Note that because we previously conducted a solicitation of the Introductory Box Set, we felt the only way to eliminate as much confusion as possible was to completely discontinue that name. And the use of the Runner’s Toolkit title with the Alphaware suffix sets up the eventual publication of Runner’s Toolkit: Betaware, the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition version of the spectacularly selling Shadowrun, Fourth Edition Runner’s Toolkit.

Finally, to help maximize retailer (and ultimately the community’s) understanding of this change, we’ve pushed both items back to spring releases to ensure a full 4-month solicitation cycle.

Thanks for your understanding and we hope you’re enjoying the return of Shadowrun as much as we are!

Catalyst Team


I’ll continue to share additional details on those box sets in the coming weeks. Additionally, we’ll be releasing a “Shadowrun Tools Digital Box” that combines both of these print boxes into a single great set of electronic tools for players, for sale in the near future.


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Load up on Shadowrun for the holidays! Two new PDFs out, GM screen on its way!

Do you have some holiday shopping to do this week for the gamers on your list? Including yourself? Well, we’ve got good news for you—two new e-books have been released as PDFs, and the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition Gamemaster’s Screen hits stores this week! Let’s take a look at all the stuff coming out, shall we?

First up—guns, guns, guns! Yes, it’s Gun Haven Heaven 3 (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), and it is, as you may guess, full of guns! With more than thirty firearms, this book increases the options for any Shadowrun player, with weapons ranging from vintage collectibles to heavy-hitting machine guns. And it’s dual-statted, meaning that you can use it whether you are playing Shadowrun, Fifth Edition or Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition!

And if you like the gear cards and spell cards we’ve released for Fourth and Fifth Edition, keep your eye on DriveThruCards in upcoming weeks for cards with all the Gun Heaven 3 weapons on them. We’re planning two decks–one with SR5 stats, another with SR4A stats.

Here are a few more details on the bevy of firearms waiting for you:

Lethal Force

You’re not a noob. You’re not a poseur. You’re a shadowrunner. When you pick a weapon, it’s with a purpose, and 99 times out of 100, that purpose is to bring suckers down. You’re going to choose your weapon carefully, and you know that the more options you have, the better your final choice will be.

Gun H(e)aven 3 is about options. Pistols, rifles, machine guns, even a flamethrower—they’re all in here, ready to take out to the streets. Take a look, check your options, and then pick a weapon that will stop your enemies in their tracks. Because when the guns come out, you want it ended quick and ended right—with you still in your feet.

Gun H(e)aven 3 has more than thirty new firearms, and they’re ready to use in either Shadowrun, Fifth Edition or Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition. So whatever you’re playing, get ready to add more force to your arsenal!


Next up, we have Coyotes (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), a full-featured book about border crossings. Whether you are trying to slip across a contested border like the line between Aztlan and the CAS, or you’re moving from territory controlled by the Seattle government to corporate territory by entering a headquarters, you need to know what security is going to be watching and how you can avoid being noticed. You also might want some help from a Coyote, someone who can help you slip across those invisible lines. With short fiction, tactical information, details on border security, Coyote NPCs, and even a short adventure, Coyotes has a wealth of information to add to your Shadowrun, Fifth Edition game!

Here are a few more details:

Over the Edges

The Sixth World has been carefully divided and partitioned to keep people in their place, living under the thumbs of those who draw the lines. Shadowrunners, though, have never been good at staying where they’re supposed to be. They’ve got goods to smuggle, bounties to avoid, and a host of other reasons to cross the walls and borders the rest of the world has put up.

These crossings aren’t always easy, and that’s where Coyotes come in—trained professionals with nerves of steel and steady hands who can help you sneak, talk, or just blast your way past almost any border. You may have to dig deep in your pocket to pay their asking price, but it’ll be worth it when you see the heavily armed checkpoint fading in the rear view mirror.

Coyotes has a wealth of information on border crossings, including details on Coyote tactics, descriptions of security at a variety of borders, sample Coyote characters, and even a short border-crossing adventure. It’s the complete package for cross-border excitement!

Coyotes is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.


And finally there’s the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition Gamemaster’s Screen (Battleshop pre-order), a vital Runner Resource that is scheduled to hit stores on December 18th. With a fine collection of tables from the book on one side and beautiful art showing shadowrunners inside the legendary Dante’s Inferno nightclub, the screen is the perfect accessory to make playing the game faster and easier—and to keep your players from seeing how you’re planning to make their lives very difficult.



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Crossfire: Mage in the House

Shadowrun 5 Crossfire Logo

Don’t blink . . . I must not blink! I’ve heard that as long as you are looking at a Mage, they can’t do anything to you. And one just walked into the room with me.

Sure, it’s probably all just superstition, but then I’ve seen what a Mage can do. How can they have so much power? Where does that power come from? I just don’t get it.

In Shadowrun: Crossfire, the Mage is the master of deck manipulation and dealing damage. The Face is all about people skills, the Street Samurai is about smashing things in a fight, and the Decker is about hacking (which is what I do), so let’s tap the net for specs on the Mage.

The Mage’s role color is Blue, which are spells that manipulate your deck, allow you to draw cards, and do a ton of damage. Two of these mechanics are combined in one card: Deathtouch.

First, Deathtouch lets you look at the top 3 cards of your deck and then put them back in any order. And second, it does an additional point of colorless damage for each spell card revealed this way. With its base damage of two Blue to begin with, you can crank out 5 damage with this spell! And if you want to know why rearranging your deck can be so helpful, take a look at Stunbolt.

You reveal the top card of your deck and do one Blue damage plus colorless damage equal to that revealed card’s cost. Then you put the revealed card back on top of your deck. So you use Deathtouch first and stack the top of your deck with your biggest card, then reveal that card for maximum damage when you cast Stunbolt.

Next are a pair of cards that allow you to draw more cards to help you get through your deck faster. The first is Clairvoyance, which allows you to draw one card and then discard a card along with doing one Blue damage.


Clairvoyance also has an assist ability, which can be played only during another runner’s turn. The assist is exactly the same as the main ability, except that it will affect the runner you play it on instead of yourself.

The second card of the pair is Guiding Spirit.

Guiding Spirit
This card allows you to discard your entire hand and then draw that many cards. It also does one Blue damage and one colorless damage. Remember that if you run out of cards in your deck to draw, draw as many as you can, reshuffle your discard into a new deck, and then finish drawing the cards you need. Don’t forget, however, that you have to play a Spell card in order to buy Guiding Spirit from the Black Market, making it much harder for anyone other than the Mage to purchase it.

Next are the pure damage spells starting with the powerful Lightning Bolt.

Lightning Bolt
This Spell card clears two entire levels of an obstacle’s damage track. It doesn’t care what the color of those levels are or how many colorless damage is needed; it just clears them. This spell also has a purchase restriction of requiring you to play a Spell card in order to purchase it from the Black Market, meaning that you’d better focus on magic if you want to use a Lightning Bolt.

And finally there’s the Fireball.

It does two colorless damage plus two Blue damage. It also does splash damage of one level to up to three different obstacles, which can really be helpful when the team has already beat down the obstacles facing them. It doesn’t matter who those obstacles are facing, so spread the damage around.

Well, I now understand a bit more about Mages, but they still make me nervous. Maybe after this run they won’t creep me out so much. Who knows?

— Conan E. Chamberlain

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