Monthly Archives: October 2016

Missions continue and e-books return with new Shadowrun releases!

Matt the layout guy was quite busy over the weekend while we were obsessing over our beloved Cubs making their way to the World Series, so let’s catch up on the two books now available for electronic purchase!

First, Halloween’s coming up, and if you want to throw players into a shadowrun against otherworldly creatures that will test every last bit of their skills, check out the new Prime Mission, A Holy Piece of Wetwork (Battleshop, DriveThru). Prime Missions are designed for advanced characters, ones who might need a challenge beyond the scope of normal Missions, and this one delivers. Shadowrunners may have come up against the master shedim known as Auslander in other Missions, but the time has come to finish him off once and for all–and that means traveling to his home metaplane. But we’re stepping on the details the web copy wants to share with you, so let’s turn to that:

The Heart of Death

Auslander. If you haven’t heard the name, you’re lucky. If you have heard it, then you know enough to be worried. But not scared, because fear’s not part of the job. Which is good, because the job Mr. Johnson’s got in store for you is a big one—going to Auslander’s home metaplane and talking him out, once and for all.

It’s not safe. Of course it’s not. Even the act of getting to the metaplane will cost blood, and nothing gets easier from there. Every type of assault will be thrown at the runners, and they will need every milligram of their considerable skills if they want to succeed and, somehow, survive.

A Holy Piece of Wetwork is a Prime Mission, a run designed for high-level players whose abilities have grown beyond the challenge provided by regular Missions. The adventure is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, and the plot can also be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy with adaptation of character stats and adjustment to some other mechanics.


We also have the return of the e-book line, with a chance to explore one of the vast sprawls of the Sixth World in a way that has never been presented before. Come on down to Amazonia and make your way through the vast sprawl of Metrópole (Battleshop, DriveThru). Here’s the skinny:

This Is Not for You

Metrópole was not built with shadowrunners in mind. Or even metahumans, for that matter. In the Awakened country of Amazonia, the great dragon Hualpa reigns, critters walk the streets under full protection of the law, and the people struggle to figure out how they’re supposed to fit into this huge mess.

And huge it is. With many kilometers of coastline, thousands of tangled streets, and millions of residents, the city is packed with power, money, and intrigue—everything shadowrunners need to do their work. Yeah, the job might come with a slightly elevated chance of becoming dragon food—if that worries you, maybe the work down South America way is not for you. But if you have enough courage and an appetite for the strange, Metrópole is a great way to fill it.

Metrópole is a guide to a fascinating section of the Sixth World, with information on the city, the powers within it, and the plots that will entangle shadowrunners. With NPCs, critter stats, and even a life module for Metrópole natives, the book has all you need to experience this massive sprawl.

Metrópole is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, and it can also fuel plot ideas and storylines for Shadowrun: Anarchy.


There you go! Hope these act like jet fuel in the engine of your Shadowrun game, or something like that!

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New Legends Epubs Available

We’ve two new Shadowrun Legends available in The Burning Time (BattleShop, DriveThruRPG) and Psychotrope (BattleShop, DriveThruRPG).


    Low-level programmer Roy Kilaro wants nothing more than to become a Seraphim–an elite corporation operative–and experience some real action in the shadow ops between the megacorporations. He gets more than he ever wanted when a routine business trip to Boston lands him at ground zero of a running battle for survival. The combatants: a group of hardened ‘runners trying to finish a job, the ruthless anti-elven terrorists known as the Knights of the Red Branch, and a powerful sorceress who wants revenge upon them all…



    It started out as a simple Matrix run, but now five deckers are trapped inside a nightmarish virtual landscape where jacking out is an impossibility–and what waits has all the hallmarks of the afterlife: tunnels of brilliant light, greetings from long-dead friends and family…and the terrifying sense of being juggled between Heaven and Hell. But in this computer-generated netherworld, there is only one thing that can be trusted. And it isn’t the senses….


    It’s the uncommon experience the deckers have in common: a near brush with death. It has brought them together in this hell-raising realm and under the influence of a twisted intelligence with diabolical plans for the unwary travelers in grid-time. Having their minds and souls extinguished before the Matrix-scape crashdown is only the beginning of the puzzle. Discovering why will be the end. A dead end.

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Thoughts on gamemastering and Anarchy

Shadowrun: Anarchy has been out (Battleshop, DriveThru) for just over a week now, and I’m really pleased by how it’s been received. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed in my Anarchy games is the new gamemaster skills I’ve worked to developed while playing.

I started out my gamemaster life as a kind of novelist/gamemaster, one who had a very definite story in mind for the players to follow. I was stubborn about this, too; I knew what the players were supposed to do, where they were supposed to get information, and things like that, and if they weren’t following the proper path, I had no qualms about stonewalling them until they got on the track. So yeah, I wasn’t a great gamemaster. But when I wasn’t running games, I got to be a player a lot, and I’ve played with a wide range of different gamemasters, with a wide variety of strengths for me to learn from.

Two gamemasters in particular that I’d like to talk about happen to be the stars of the April Fool’s Shadowrun movie we made a few years back (which, sadly, seems to have disappeared from the web). One of the things I noticed about both of them when they ran games is that they were incredibly willing to take the plot in new directions based on what the players did. When we made a choice, interesting things happened. We didn’t hit dead ends—we found opportunities.

This is not to say there was no such thing as a bad or inconvenient choice. There were rash or unwise things our characters did, and that affected the story for many sessions as we lived with the consequences of our decisions. But that was the thing—good or bad, our decisions had consequences and shaped the story. They did not have a planned plot so much as they had a plan to have us shape the plot.

This sort of gamemastering was very much on my mind in developing Anarchy. Not coincidentally, both the gamemasters I’m referring to have significant improv experience. Anarchy refers to improv concepts repeatedly in the book, especially the “yes, and” concept of adding to what the other players are doing, instead of detracting or moving away from it. Anarchy puts the story first, and that’s led to a change in the way I prepare to run games—a change that affects the way I run Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, too. My plot preparations have been reduced; I have a few twists I’d like to introduce, but for the most part I’m gathering interesting people, places, and things, then waiting to see how the players are going to encounter them. The framework will be set by the players’ choices—my job is not to dictate what choices they make, but rather to ensure the choices they have are meaningful.

That’s critical in Anarchy, because the emphasis is more on narrative than mechanics. All the critical aspects of Shadowrun—magic, tech, Matrix, etc.—are there, but streamlined, and some power is shifted from game mechanics to collaborative storytelling. One of the great joys of Shadowrun is finding the exact right tool (whether that be gear, cyberware, a spell, or whatever) to make a job work right. In Anarchy, it’s less about having the right piece of gear (or, in Anarchy parlance, the right Amp), and more about coming up with creative ways to move a story forward, using what you have to inspire invention and creativity. Anarchy isn’t trying to compete with SR5’s wealth of rules, so there won’t always be mechanics for what a given item does in a certain situation (indeed, some pieces of gear have no rules at all). The plot isn’t already determined, with the players just trying to figure out what’s going on in the gamemaster’s head. Instead, they are making it happen together, from the broad strokes to the particulars of how some items work or interact with each other. That flexibility is a key part of the game, and an important way to unleash the creativity of people at the table. I’m excited to play with more people to see just how the Sixth World unfolds in their telling of it.

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