Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Shadowrun community mourns the passing of Steven A. Tinner

I recently heard that Steven A. Tinner, co-host of the Critical Glitch podcast, gamemaster to the stars, and all-around excellent guy, passed away. So I’m going to talk a little bit about him now.

At Origins Game Fair in 2012, we at Catalyst learned we were going to have the chance to have Felicia Day of Geek and Sundry play a game of Shadowrun. Naturally we wanted her to have as good an experience as possible, so the current conventions coordinator, Steven “Bull” Ratkovich, was tasked with selecting the right gamemaster for the job.

He chose Tinner, and he made an excellent choice. Tinner had been Bull’s gamemaster for a long time, throwing him into the shadows, making life difficult for his characters, occasionally blowing him up, but always making sure all the players had an awesome time.

As a gamemaster, he had all the tools. The rules knowledge, the storytelling ability, the characterization, the enthusiasm—it was all there. Even better, he wanted his players to have fun. Sure, he was tough and would put them through the wringer, but that’s what gave them the stories they talked about years after the games happened. And that’s what happened almost any time you talked to someone who played in a game Tinner ran—they’d tell you a story about the trouble they went into, how fragged up everything got, and how much fun they had.

At conventions, Tinner was one of many great Shadowrun gamemasters who found a way to accommodate any players who came. If people wanted to game, he wanted to make that happen. When he wasn’t running a game, he was an enthusiastic player, throwing himself into his character with energy and glee and daring everyone else at the table to keep up.

Recently, he joined with Tim Patrick to co-host the Critical Glitch podcast covering all things Shadowrun. Listening gives you pure, unfiltered Tinner—smart, opinionated, funny, well informed, and a good interviewer and listener. Quite simply, he had a voice worth listening to.

I knew him through his Shadowrun life, but that wasn’t the only part of his life. He was a family man, active in his faith, and a person of great kindness and compassion. In short, he was the kind of guy we need many more of.

I always look forward to convention season, especially to the chance to walk into the Shadowrun gaming area and see old friends. The fact that Tinner won’t be in that room is a very sad thought; the fact that he will be cackling with glee somewhere as players in that room run into dire situations brings some comfort. I just wish I’d be able to hear it.

Thanks for the laughs, great runs, and good times, Tinner.

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Run & Gun preview #4 up with tactical tips!

Say, that there Run & Gun book  we’ve been talking about from time to time is getting awfully close to electronic release. But before it gets there, we’ve got one more preview for you–this time, you get a look at the Tactics & Tools chapter, which is full of info on how your shadowrunners can work together to get the best results, such as not getting their face filled with flying hot lead. It’s available now at the Battleshop and DriveThruRPG-enjoy!

CAT27003_RunGun Cover_ForWeb

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Check out some Shadowrun: Dragonfall reviews, won’t you?

While we’ve been working away on many projects here at Shadowrun central (we use that term because it sounds better than “the desk by my window”), including the forthcoming Run & Gun, we can’t help but notice the stream of alerts making its way into our mailbox courtesy of Google telling us of the various reviews of Shadowrun: Dragonfall that are filling the Internet. Just the other day, we saw a link to PC Gamer that said “I’m going to remember Dragonfall for a long, long time. When the topic of great RPG stories comes up, I’ll mention it in the same breath as Dragon Age or Knights of the Old Republic.”

Then yesterday, when we were editing the metaplanar weirdness that is the forthcoming Aetherology e-book, we came across this from Kotaku, compellingly headlined “Dragonfall Is the Shadowrun I Know and Love.” And on top of that, Hardcore Gamer said “This is a developer that understands and loves their source material, which very evidently comes out in their work. Consequently, Shadowrun: Dragonfall is another home run for the up-and-coming studio.”

In fact, the volume of alerts coming in started to present a problem. We could just keep finding money quote after money quote, like where Game Informer said “The strongly established Shadowrun fiction is a joy to explore, whether you’re familiar with its intricacies or you’re new to the universe,” or Gamespot saying “The action and storytelling merge beautifully in one memorable experience after another,” or Destructoid’s opinion that “If you enjoyed your first taste of Shadowrun, then Dragonfall should be an immediate purchase.” And we thought about how we could keep doing this for a while, but then we remembered one of the things we like more than reading nice things about Shadowrun is playing Shadowrun. So we’re going to go play.

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Crossfire Character Cards Preview

Shadowrun 5 Crossfire Logo

Thought we’d share a slew of pre-final Character Cards for Shadowrun: Crossfire. Not all of these will appear in the base Crossfire set; some will go into the base set, others will be included in a Character Card Expansion Pack 1.

If you’d like a close-up look at one of the Character Cards, check out our Tumblr.



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