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.
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.