So you want to be a Shadowrunner?

Recently, I was discussing Shadowrun with a friend who had never played it. They were interested, but had no idea where to begin. I gave them some quick recommendations, but it quickly became apparent that Shadowrun is a complicated beast.

What follows are some recommendations on delving into Shadowrun.

The first place to start (and the most obvious) is the developer’s site.
Here you can get the Shadowrun Quick-Start Rules.
Catalyst game labs
, who have the current licensing rights, have a number of resources available for the current edition of Shadowrun, 4th edition.
The game saw  number of errata in the reprinting for the 20th Anniversary of Shadowrun, colloquially referred to as SR4A, so you will want to look at that book for the complete core rules.

One of the best resources for new players and gamemasters is the Shadowrun Missions page. They have info specifically for player, gamemasters, and the missions themselves are pre-generated adventures that you can start with.

The next major resource would be the DUMPSHOCK forums.
There are numerous gems to be found here, such as:
Original PACKS™ by Ancient History, which breaks character creation into more digestible, modular bits.
End-to-end” (and the 2nd) session threads by Malachi, which show adventures from planning to playing.
Don’t be shy about digging around and asking questions, the community is very active and can be really helpful.

If one were to search on Obsidian Portal for “Shadowrun”, you might also find some cool stuff.

When you are filtering through the dearth of material on-hand, I would recommend listening to Danger to help set a solid cyberpunk ambiance.

If you have any suggestions, questions, or comment, drop me a line.

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2 Responses to So you want to be a Shadowrunner?

  1. Neil Denton says:

    I was always more of a Rifts guy than Shadowrun. Probably be better with a better GM than I was playing with. Seemed like it could keep you on your toes :). I also didn’t start reading William Gibson until recently. I probably would have liked it better had I been reading him then.

    • 4649matt says:

      I never quite *got* Rifts. It was filled with awesome things and had heaps of content, but how it all came together never quite gelled for me. Palladium I could wrap my head around.
      I discovered Cyberpunk around the same time I discovered Shadowrun, and coming over from DnD (2nd Edition), the fantasy elements made sense. More so than the crunch, the setting is what draws me to Shadowrun.
      The triumvirate of Physical, Technical and Magical elements to the world means there is always another angle to approach something. This keeps everyone on their toes.
      As an aside, Gibson is not a fan of Shadowrun:

      SHADOWRUN: GAG ME WITH A SPOON
      No relationship. No permission. Nothing. Nary a word exchanged, ever.
      Except that the admixture of cyberspace and, spare me, *elves*, has always been more than I could bear to think about.
      I’ve just been ignoring it for years, and hope to continue to.

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