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Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook: City Edition: Seattle
by Jason M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2022 23:45:12

A vast improvement, and integrated Errata from the original Core Rulebook for Sixth World. This game is great for those who have had a difficult time with the crunch of old Shadowrun. The game is far more streamlined, and now with core support books out this system is gaining some traction, and becoming very viable. The companion book has alternate rules, and helping to relieve some of the original naysayers. I hope more people give 6we a chance, or second chance.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook: City Edition: Seattle
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Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion (Core Character Rulebook)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/23/2022 13:31:32

Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion, is a long awaited book, with the rules for alternate character building systems, meta variants and infected characters, optional and clarified rules, changelings, new qualities and more. It is a needed book but it could have been better with some odd missteps along the way. Even more so than most core books, Games Masters will probably want this just for the optional rules, which address many of the concerns that people have had with the new edition of the rules and players will want it for the wealth of new character options.

Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion is a core character book. It is designed to provide new general options for character building and development. Note this a long review and you can just take the summary above or if you feel you are interested in my detail critique, read on.

As is usual, it begins with a brief introduction about what is in this book. Next is the required short fiction section, and the only fiction section in this book, which shows some unusual runners in action.

The first section is Runner’s World which is just . . . odd. It spends about four pages written from an in-world perspective breaking down the traditional roles in a runner team (muscle, face, techie, rigger, mage) and talks a bit about what happens on runs. Who exactly is this for, anyone buying this book is likely to be into the whole Shadowrun setup and does not need to be told things like “The face’s jobs are to mingle, negotiate, trick, intimidate, and sometimes interrogate.” It just seems really out of place to me. The next subsection is Ways to Play Shadowrun, which talks about adjusting power levels up or down, playing other types of people ranging from Slice of Life to Artifact Hunters or members of a Sports Team or Street Gang (but not DocWagon team, which is another classic non-runner option for some reason). Some fun ideas here but they all could have been further fleshed out to make them easier to play.

Next is Exteriors and Interiors, again, starts with some in-world advice about what you show to people by how you present yourself and how to use that to your advantage, pretty straightforward advice but sometimes overlooked. The next section is about thinking about how your character presents themself and how their choice of qualities and lifestyle affect that. Next, the return of Twenty Questions to help define your character (and suggestions on how to reward players who take the time to help build hooks for the GM).

Then we have Building a Shadow which goes into detail about alternate character generation methods: Sum to Ten, Point Buy and Life Path. Each has its strength, Sum to Ten and Point Buy increase flexibility in character builds while the Life Path helps you to build a story around your character’s background. It is good to see the Life Path version back as it is a fun way to build a character.

The next section is Suit Up which is a variety of PACKs, which stands for Pre-Assembled Character Kit, which are, as you would expect collections of useful gear on various themes (decker, street samurai, drone rigger, vehicles, weapons and so on and so on). While I like the idea of PACKs, especially for quick character generation, I am not sure if this is the best place for them. It takes up a little over twenty pages (more than one tenth of the book). It seems, to this reviewer, that it would be better suited for a PDF and not a main book, where it would be easier to add new PACKs and adjust old ones as new supplements come out. One of the reasons I would advocate for such a strategy in the future is because things like the missing essence costs for the two rigger PACKs (and a missing list of augmentation bonuses for one of those). Also, showing this reviewers age, I remember when being a decker did not eat all of your essence and why does no one have a datajack? Only two out of the eighteen cyber/decker PACKs have them. Also, again just this reviewers personal preference, but what is up with so many heavy weapons on vehicles? Of the ten normal-ish vehicles (i.e., civilian vehicles) that are armed, three have assault cannons (including one on a motorcycle!), three heavy machine guns and two rocket launchers. Not my style man, just way too much, also concealing that level of weaponry on a modified stock civilian vehicle (even in a pop-up turret) strains believability.

Types and Shadows looks as the variants of metahumanity, also what defines a metavariant in world, and at the other sapiens that are recognized in the Sixth World. There are five metavariants of dwarves, five of elves, two of human and four of each for orks and trolls, quite a wide variety from small gnomes to massive giants. Unfortunately, there are almost no illustrations in this section, one of a cybered dwarf that might be one of the metavariants and another of a cyclops. These really, really need illustrations with comparison to something every day, like a standard modern door, so we the readers can really get a good feeling for what it means when a giant is said to be three meters tall. Or how small a gnome or a pixie really is by comparison to an average person. Without illustrations it is really hard to envision what the metatypes and metavariants, especially the larger one, are like. The problem is not quite as bad in the sapients section, which adds centaur, merrow, naga, pixies and sasquatches to the pool of playable beings, with art of pixie driving a motorcycle (cute), a Sasquatch in a suit (but nothing to compare him against size-wise) and maybe a picture of a centaur at the end of the section. But how big is the average centaur? What does a ten meter long (and just under one meter in girth) naga look like compared to a person? How small are pixies (it is not mentioned in their description)? Can a Sasquatch use troll sized items? How can a GM reasonably adjudicate things in relation to the size of beings without useful references? Now, there are a bunch of charts at the end of the section with average height and weights for the metatypes and sapients (which do not always match the written descriptions) but they are not so useful, this reviewer is not good at imagining what a .8 meter tall gnome or 2.7 meter tall cyclops would look like next to a car or what a height of 6.9 meter height even means for a snake-like naga?

Next up, the infected in a section called Darker Alterations, which talks about those who are infected with HMHVV (Human MetaHuman Vampiric Virus) which comes in a variety of strains (three in fact) which effect the different metatypes in different ways, except for the Krieger strain which turns all of those infected by it into ghouls. There is quite a bit of information about what is know about the virus, how it has changed and how it affects its hosts. An interesting read. It is followed by rules for creating Infected characters, along with a note that some GM may not allow infected player characters so ask first, which I suspect (hope?) will get a lot more use for creating opposition for shadowrunners than used as player characters. Nice to have to hand to scare the players with. Also new disease rules, used hear specifically for HMMHV but adaptable to other things, a new “drug” (‘Renfield’), a negative quality, and three new creature powers.

Express Yourself details the effects of the SURGE (Sudden Unexplained Rapid Genetic Expression) on people where it created changelings, people with radically different appearances and genetic makeup, some of which happened in regional clusters. Some of those region clusters are noted here, such as the Egyptian cluster where people changed into being reminiscent of the gods of Ancient Egypt, or the Indus cluster where there were suddenly people with too many arms or tiger heads, the theory being that local belief shaped the manasphere (local magic) which in turn created those clusters of similar changelings. After that, there are rules for the changeling. The ones that come from one of the clusters have fairly predictable changes, enough that they have particular named types that come from those areas, which can be taken as a package. There are also options for random generation of alterations, if you want to go that route. There are a fair number of positive and negative metagenic qualities most of which are physically visible, one of the reasons changelings have had so much trouble, everything from blubber to mood hair (which is exactly what it sounds like), fangs to quills, animal heads, wings and tails. Quite a variety for people who want to have a really unique character. Unfortunately, some of the qualities are unplayable (such as Insectoid Features, Progeria and Nocturnal) the karma you get for them would never be worth the disadvantage of suffering from them. However, nicely, all of the information of the qualities is gathered in charts at the end of this chapter.

The next part is People of Exceptional Quality is a selection of new, you guessed it, qualities (yes, they have gone all out for pun section titles this time around). Twenty-four new positive qualities and twenty-four new negative qualities, nice balance there, unfortunately many of them show that they still have not fully mastered their own system. Many Edge gaining qualities, Relentless Tracker, I am looking at you, are still out of balance and the entire set of qualities still need to be totally rebuilt (which is addressed in the next section but not well). Now, there are some needed positive qualities, supporting leadership, teamwork and alchemy which this reviewer highly approves of. Some of the negative qualities are returns of classics (Borrowed Time, Hunted), some provide interesting limited bonuses with their disadvantage (such as All Business, Finesse or Hooder) which is a nice design and nice way to define a character. Unfortunately, some are, again, so punishing that no one will ever take them (Glitchy and Injury Prone come to mind). Others seem to be ways for players to justify acting like jerks in game (but he is a Combat Junkie! But she is a Killer!) which is always a bad design call to this reviewer’s thoughts on game design. This section ends with four Quality Paths, chains of qualities you can buy based on character arc: Critter Bond, straight forward, though there no way to return the critter to the wild without being penalized for it, which seems odd. Obsession is a cool concept, the character is totally driven to accomplish something, consequences by damned! Favored Weapon does what it says on the tin, not much to say beyond that. Vendetta is really conditional, requiring a Heat Score of 15 or higher to be able to take it, but it does not cost Karma, so it could be an interesting twist but your teammate are not likely to be happy with assassins or bounty hunter popping up all the time, so use carefully. Overall, some really good options, some really poor options, and a lot of questionable design choices.

Ways to Play follows and it is a collection of optional rules that you can use to modify the game to fit your play style. The first two pages are about variant rules for edge gains and use along with a half-hearted fix for the Analytical Mind/Attribute Mastery problems which does not really help, rather those Qualities either need to be fully rewritten or just flat banned (as they are in this reviewer’s campaign). Some of the other Edge related ideas are quite good though, Banking Edge seems worthwhile as it potentially turns Edge into a shared resource. There are some good new optional edge actions as well. Some optional healing rules which can act as a lethality slider bar (add in bleeding and increased overflow lethality of you want to make people fear combat). Then Magicians and Mundanes, which includes rules for Transhumanism (which functionally overwrites two of the new positive qualities, so odd choice), free will, new limits on spirits and a variety of other things including some errata (the spirit types from Street Wyrd get vulnerabilities and Enchanter adepts get known spells at character generation, both important changes), a small change that makes Alchemy much more viable and more minor tweaks. Rules to make area effect attacks less lethal. New armor rules to improve the value of armor and more ways to use the Strength attribute (both major part of critiques of the Sixth World Edition from some quarters). There are extended combat options, matrix and rigger notes, new rules, including trading karma for cash and vice versa, addiction rules, expanding information on SINs and licenses. Social combat rules with new edge actions. Advice on building your own qualities, which the previous products (and even this one) do not fully conform to, indeed, they even have as an example of building your own quality, a version of Analytic Mind (called Logical Problem Solver) which costs 12! (Which in a round about way proves this reviewer’s point about Analytic Mind/Attribute Mastery being undercosted, but they still have not owned up to it in the main rules, very frustrating.) And, lastly, new ways to use wild die, which is a vastly underused mechanic in the game. There is a great deal of really good material in this section but it is scattered and not indexed (though they are noted in the table of contents). A bit of these rules had already incorporated in this reviewer’s house rules from previous discussions which is amusing.

(Meta)Human Resources is all about contacts, providing ways to distinguish between different types (academic, corporate, street and so on, ten types in all), new rules for gaining contacts at character creation, ways to increase contracts and then all of the contacts from the core book are given a suggested connection rating and type or types. The connection rating on many of these strike me as low, the core book says someone who is new to town would be a 1, while a gang leader might be a 4, here a fixer or a Mr. Johnson, people whose profession is knowing the right people to get things done are both put at 3 (and the noble bartender is only a contact of 1!). Then we get a whole collection of new contacts, twenty-six of them, ranging from armorer to store owner, each of which has a list of similar contacts. And, again to show that the connections are too low on most of these, the news reporter has a connection rating of 2, the same as the average soldier. The rules for favors, expanded definition of what the loyalty rating actually means, and the rules for group contacts really make this chapter useful for the GM in working out how to work out what contacts will and will not do and at what price in a campaign.

What You Get breaks down lifestyles into a more granular system allowing the customization of living places and safe houses, with positive and negative qualities for the life styles as well, with positives being things such as houseplants, inconspicious and meta-accommodating: while negatives are quirks such as corporate owned, leaky faucet or spouse (!!). Interesting but it does not seem fully built out, there are no positive qualities for such items as, a garage, solid Matrix connections, secure comms or workshops, no negatives for being in gang or syndicate territory, again, much like the section on PACKs, these seems like it would have been better suited to a separate undatable PDF (and as this reviewer recall, how it was presented for previous editions). But, for all that, an amusing section that some players will enjoy, but it remains as having an unfinished basement.

A Most False Impression contains expanded rules for Reputation and Heat, reputation as set up in the core book, is strange enough, really being a reputation for how visibly violent a runner is and if you are willing to help after violence takes place, yes, there are a few other modifiers but it is mostly about violence, as framed in the core it is more a public perception reputation and has little to do with the runners success or professionalism, though the GM could choose to make it so. The suggestion here that you track it for multiple factions without any good advice on what should shape those reputations (beyond that corporations like to make money). Though they do have a good chart for how reputation affects the runners relation with a Mr. Johnson and other employers. The same suggestion for Heat, tracking across multiple groups, which is an indicator of how much official attention the runners have attracted, tracking it across multiple groups seem challenging, especially as heat from one group can affect others. Additional rules for fencing items, buying items, bribery and ideas on how to tweak these systems for use for other groups.

We end with Anatomy of a Shadowrun, which walks through a brief scene in a game showing the action and how it plays out in the rules. Sometime the rules used are noted with page numbers, but not always. Overall, a nice thing, but, again, does it really belong here?

The book concludes with an index of tables, a repeat of the tables for the metatypes and variants, and the positive and negative metagenic qualities. And that’s that. No full index.

So, what to think about all of this? Honestly, there is a lot of good stuff here and much this reviewer will use in their campaign but there is also lots of, well, what seems like filler, space that could have been used much more productively to expand on the strengths of the product. To this reviewer mind it needed:

• More information, illustrations and size comparisons for the metavariants and metaspaients. What is provided is the bare minimum for using them in a game, much more could have been done. The same for the Changelings from the various clusters. • A worksheet (or better yet, a link to a PDF, this can still be done) with all of the optional rules from Ways to Play so that a Games Master can easily list which rule they are using and the players can know what to expect. • Sorting out the mess that is Qualities currently, especially with them scattered out over multiple books and poorly indexed within those books. That would be another nice PDF, a list of all of the Qualities and where to find them.

My other critiques are embedded in the section notes above. I do apologize for such a long review but there is just some much to unpack in this product.

Read this and other reviews at my RPG Journal here: https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion (Core Character Rulebook)
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Shadowrun: DocWagon 19
by William J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2022 16:40:26

I was recently recommended Jennifer Brozek's work and I picked this up on a Bundle of Holding a while back. So I figured I'd finally get around to reading it.

This novella is told from the perspective as YOU, the Viewer of a popular Trideo show. It quite literally describes camera transitions and what imagery the reporter is able to capture using her cybernetic eye drone, smart glasses, also some footage from a third party VTOL aircraft, and studio cameras. And it even has commercials. Honestly, a tiny bit off putting reading a story like a TV show, but you know what; it grew on me. I really enjoyed the narrative presentation, and thought to myself, without some behind the scenes exposition for us to see behind the curtain, would this work? To put it simply, it does. There are a few questions left unanswered, but overall it wraps up pretty satisfactorily.

So, YOU, viewer, are watching Stories with Hart, starring Simone Hart as she does an investigative report on DocWagon High Threat Response Team 19. We learn about the team, which is honestly a pretty standard and well balanced SR team, see them navigate some corporate politics, save clients, save clients in hostile situations (which is why you'd call in an HTR Team in the first place), and get caught up in an elaborate conspiracy. Surprisingly, it really has everything that makes SR great and told in a very condensed format.

Brozek get's what makes Shadowrun an interesting setting and I'm looking forward to reading her other works.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: DocWagon 19
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PseudoTech: Arcade Operations
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2022 00:23:35

A fun diversion, nothing more or less honestly.

PseudoTech Arcade Operations is CGL taking the old Tactical Operations power ups and then saying "But what if more?" Some might find this a mere silly April Fool's product and to them I say: Yeah so? Personally I enjoyed reading through this because in the Battletech universe they have simulartors, both military and commercial, for basically playing out a Battletech fight in a cockpit. So all those times we played the various electronic games where we rode in a Mech? Congrats on some strange level of canon someone in the universe too did that. So imagine a Patch Day where their precious Clanner PPCs just fizzled out for a fight because reasons.

The product, as a PDF, is probably the better choice but the print copy itself isn't too badly priced. The reason why I suggest the PDF is because the tokens on the last few pages don't come perforated or any easy way to split them out from the print book. So either you get brave with the scissors or use a printer to get those from the PDF. Or get the combo if that's your style.

The contents of the book are the powerups themselves-some pulled from the decade old TacOps powerups just updated (they even admit it on print), scenarios based on video games like Pac-man or Metal Gear (mostly the sneaking around parts), and then there's the achivement and award system.

On the subject of Power Ups, I can see a use for them because they're just silly fun. Some are overpowered, but there's rules for randomly rolling to acquire or setting a power up location for a player only, giving you reasons to compete over map space like the old Deathmatches of Doom. Your group will need to probably vote on some of the more powerful ones but that should be fine.

On the subject of the scenarios: While most are fun, a lot of them are just Mech centric. I get that, the giant robots are the bread and butter. There are some which can be adapted for space (make a bullet hell scenario like Raiden). Eventually you'll be able to get a feel for which can be updated and which would just break horribly.

Last I'll talk about are the awards and achieves: I like them. I like the loose rules on making your own. I like the ones established, some are simple while others tread upon old Battletech memes (Atlas versus a hoard of Stingers anyone?) You can award money and exparience points to players for getting a "level" of a reward; the easier ones dole out a pittance while the harder ones might take time but reward bigger. Now would I put this in a regular campaign? No. Would I set up some crazy Solaris kind of deal where you don't die, you respawn and all that xp and warchest points could take a green pilot and shape them into someting useful? Yeah I'd do that.

Final thoughts: This is a decent fun gimmick to add to the boxed sets just to shake up your standard "dueling robots" moments we all do from time to time. Don't look for super serious things here, but merely look at what's provided and see how you can extrapolate something unique. Case in point, I plan on taking the Patch Day notes and using them for rolls when shady black market dealers visit my players. Did this "amazing" pulse laser they got just work like a normal one, work better, or was it total crap and they got tricked out of their C-bills? They won't know until they install the thing.

A solid buy, not as focused as say Escape from Castle Wulfensteiner (God I love that April Fool's product) but as welcoming and a playground for ideas like Welcome to Nebula California. Worth a buy if you're willing to say "Okay let's not take ourselves seriously tonight".



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
PseudoTech: Arcade Operations
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Shadowrun: 30 Nights (Campaign Book)
by Jean-Michel O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2022 15:18:27

It could have been an extremely interesting single adventure or mini campaign, but it was badly thought out, lacks critical detail and is full of missed opportunities.

Straight up you need to understand that the whole blackout concept potentially cripples any existing character with cyberware, which immediately makes it unsuitable for most preexisting groups to be present at ground zero. As for the 30 nights worth of adventures following the grand event.... I'm sorry but nothing stands out here, it feels like 30 random adventure seeds presented with the barest of detail while only surface level thought has been given to the social, political, or even logistical effects of a protracted blackout as described. You could do this yourself with a handful of d6 and some rolls on a 'random shadowrun generator' table.

Where are the refugee columns and the stories about guiding or protecting them? where is the UCAS equivalent of FEMA? where are the aid camps? You've chosen to set it in winter and turned the heat off - where are the considerations about winter temperatures, what about exposure? The reasons why either A) power has not been restored in at least key areas in 5 or 10 days or B) why the bulk of the population hasn't simply up and left are duvious and unsatisfying.

If you want to see what this could have been like, you could play the computer game 'the division' for ideas and do a lot better yourself - but should you be having to put this effort in? Wasn't this meant to be a precooked campaign? Don't we buy these to save us all that time?

Badly thought out, lacks critical detail and full of missed opportunities - the quintessential 6e campaign!



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: 30 Nights (Campaign Book)
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PseudoTech: Arcade Operations
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2022 14:44:31

All in all, a fun little toy to add to your BattleTech games, and not bad for the price, but the book does have some issues. First and foremost, it is heavily skewed towards 'Mech-only play, which admittedly isn't really a big problem for most players. However, the author seems to have a limited knowledge of aerospace rules in particular, and it definitely shows in the few instances where it comes up; infantry and combat vehicles are better accomodated, but still find themselves dealing with edge cases or highly exploitable setups. Truthfully, if you're just in it for the powerups, you're better off downloading the old April Fools powerup rules for free.

That being said, the achievements and scenarios do provide some entertainment. The achievements seem like a fun, relatively standardized format to award outstanding, creative, or frankly hilariously improbable play. A few of the pre-made achievements have somewhat ambiguous unlock conditions (most are fairly obviously meant to be done all in one game, while others are clearly long-haul achievements to be worked at over the course of several matches, but a few fall into something of a gray area). The book also can't seem to decide if the achievements are meant for players at your local for the sake of bragging rights, or for characters in a campaign as a way to get bonus money, XP, and occasionally bounties. While I understand that they wanted to keep the achievement system to remain somewhat freeform to allow for creativity between players, the result is, unfortunately, something of a lack of focused identity.

The scenarios provided are interesting, and the accompanying art is incredibly charming. The scenarios aren't always very well balanced, well, at all, but they still have all the ingredients with a good time with your local players if things start getting a bit stale. They feel less like proper game emulations, and more like a video game running a weird server-side script to try and emulate the structure of a completely different game (think of old TF2 server mods like TF2Ware and Parkour Fortress). This gives them a charming, if sometimes brow-furrowingly quaint nature.

All in all, if you're looking for the new set of innovative and well-designed and thought out rules to supplement your collection of core rulebooks and sourcebook rules annexes, this isn't what you're looking for. Arcade Operations is more akin to the BattleTech equivalent of a 24-hour Source engine modding competition entry, complete with all the creative reinterpretations, and all of the jankiness. Still, for $3 digital and $20 physical, there are certainly worse deals out there. I'd say it's worth grabbing a digital copy just to peruse the assorted rules and see if any of the new toys are right for your group, either straight out of the book or with some tweaks to suit your own needs.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
PseudoTech: Arcade Operations
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Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion (Core Character Rulebook)
by Jean-Michel O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2022 11:06:02

As others are saying (indeed as most shadowrun players will say, or so it seems), I was not impressed with 6th ed. Not at all. The more time you gave it, the more you were really just giving it rope to hang itself with. In fact my group gave up on 6th ed, we went back to playing 3rd ed - which wiped the floor with 6e when you played them side by side.

Having given up on 6e once already, this book's only attraction is the lure that the section of 'optional rules' might alter 6e to the point that it's playable, possibly even enjoyable.

It's certainly not a cure all for 6e's ills, theres still fundamental issues with 6e, flaws at root level that just won't get cured with tweaks and the fixes are so deep that they'd really constitute a 7e. To name a few.... skill list (I can't be an ace gunner without being mcguyver? ffs!). Still issues with the entire major/minor action system. Still issues with the way AR/DV is an entirely separate sum to do for every action when the things being discussed would be much more economically dealt with as pool modifiers so we are just counting one thing (like earlier incarnations of the game).

I'd have been happier with a 'we screwed up, we're sorry' statement and an open beta on a 7e where player feedback is actually considered (ie the way FFG developed the star wars and L5R games) But the companion is a start and it goes in a much needed right direction. So for me the companion gets 4 stars just for this one section. I'm not convinced it will win my group back to 6e, but it might yours. Worth a look even if it's the only 6e book you buy alongside the core rules.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion (Core Character Rulebook)
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Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion (Core Character Rulebook)
by Rion S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2022 18:54:47

This book has a ton of options in it. Some of the best provide alternate character generation methods, and rule variants to patch some of the issues many SR players find problematic with 6e. For a 210 page book, it pack a lot of options inside. Character creation is definitely expanded to be in line with prior editions, but there are also lots of RP options in here.
As someone who has chosen not to play SR6, this book is the one that could make me take a new look at it. The variant rules make certain issues I had go away or become workable. The editing also appears to have had a lot of attention paid to it. I am happily suprised at the content and quality here. Hopefully the quality here is an indication of future products.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Simon [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2022 18:11:29

Sloppy editing costs it a star but don’t let that put you off. If you want to play Shadowrun, this is a fantastic modern, lite ruleset that keeps the action front and centre. Community created Foundry VTT module means playing it online is a breeze too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
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Shadowrun: Chicago Chaos (Anarchy)
by Simon [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2022 18:05:44

Fantastic addition to Anarchy but has to drop a star for the sloppy editing again. Great opening story introducing Grims Reaper, who is the person on the front of the Anarchy rule book. So I wasn’t shocked by the fact that the name is used for an new pregen who is completely different in every possible way… come on Catalyst you can do better. Anarchy is a fantastic system, if you want to play Shadowrun then pick it up. This fixes up some of the rules, Chicago covered in enough detail too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Chicago Chaos (Anarchy)
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BattleTech: Recognition Guide: ilClan Vol. 4
by Björn [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2022 05:26:16

The following Mechs are shown the updated art: WSP-1S Wasp, WSP-3M Wasp, WSP-3W Wasp, WSP-4W Wasp, WSP-5A Wasp, Wasp C, Blackjack BJ-5, Thresher II, Trebuchet TBT-9N, Awesome AWS-11H, Warhammer IIC, Warhammer ICC2, Wahammer IIC13, Ice Ferret/Fenris Configs T, F, G, I, J, K



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Recognition Guide: ilClan Vol. 4
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
by wade g. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2022 23:30:46

What a pain in the backside trying to get into Forums where, possibly, errata can be found. That's not happening.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
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Shadowrun: Lofwyr's Legions (Shadow Stock)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/19/2022 13:53:28

Shadowrun: Shadow Stock - Lofwyr’s Legions is a book of NPCs and introduces the drake, part dragons, as an optional metatype. It is interesting and useful for a GM. But the drake write up has some very serious balance issues that should make any GM reluctant to allow them for player characters without considerable revision.

Shadowrun: Shadow Stock - Lofwyr’s Legions is one of the Shadow Stock pdfs for Shadowrun, providing both interesting non-player characters and new character options, in this case NPCs associated with the dragon Lofwyr, his corporation Saeder-Krupp and rules for drakes, part dragons.

As is usual for Shadowrun it begins with a short fiction piece to set the mood, which is that drakes and S-K operatives are scary.

Following is Those Who Serve the Dragon, which presents ten different non-player character types, mostly these are the higher end of Saeder-Krupp ranging from veteran security guards to top researchers and assassin, including one mage and one drake. Each is given a history and a background so they can be more than just a cardboard opposition figure but one can be woven into interesting plots and adventures. Personally, this reviewer would have liked to have seen more lower corporate members, the veteran security officer is about as close to normal folks as they come, as even the “middle manager” has half a million in bio/cyber upgrades! Additionally, each should have been giving a connection rating so they could be used as models for S-K contacts.

Next there is a section on drakes, metahumans tied to dragons and able to take on a quasi-draconic form, some background on them as there are “true drakes” which are created by powerful magical rituals perform by dragons (natch) and then there are the weaker “bred drakes” which are (super)naturally occurring. Mechanically, this is express through two new qualities Drake (at a whopping 50 karma) and Latent Drake (a mere 25 Karma) which will, eventually in the later case, open the door to the powers of the drakes! Which is mostly the ability to assume a quasi-dragonic form which has improved abilities, scaled skin, a movement power and the ability to breath fire. Why they all breathe fire as they come from different world traditions, this reviewer is unsure.

But that is just to start, the drake can spend karma to undergo dracogenesis, which is rather like initiation for magic slingers, which unlocks additional powers for the drake. The cost per level is less than initiation and opens access to some amazing powers such as: compulsions, hardened armor, influence and regeneration being the obvious top tier from this reviewer point of view. A charisma-focused drake could take compulsion and influence and mind mages, step aside, this drake is controlling people’s thoughts and actions with no drain. A combat focused drake takes two levels of hardened armor and regeneration and it is going to take the main gun of a tank to put them down. This is problematic at best. The dracogenesis powers really needed a pricing tied to utility. For examples, when you gain a new dracongenesis power you can gain regeneration or wide band hearing . . . they cost the drake the same, one dracogenesis power but are the two abilities even vaguely on the same level of power or usefulness?

The product wraps up with a new magical society, one of drakes run by S-K as an enforcement wing (sorry) and a new martial art, taught by S-K and rumored to have been developed specifically for drakes and is brutally efficient with natural or implanted weapons.

So, what to think about this? There is some useful material for games involved S-K and the drakes . . . while this reviewer likes the idea of drakes and how they fit into the Shadowrun mythology, there are some considerable game balance worries about the dracongenesis powers that need to be addressed before allowing them to be played in a game.

You can find more of my reviews and commentary at my gaming journal: https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Lofwyr's Legions (Shadow Stock)
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BattleTech: Strategic Operations
by Bliss O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2022 18:13:45

Since I purchased this book the publisher removed a good chunk of the book. Dropped from 450 pages to 186 pages.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Strategic Operations
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PseudoTech: Arcade Operations
by Daniel O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2022 08:11:13

Essentially an expanded version of an older April Fools supplement called TacOps PowerUps (an "optional" expansion for Tactical Operations that added MechAssault-style power-ups to the game), this product adds a lot of silly and random power-ups to any BattleTech match, from the somewhat reasonable (repair power-ups or an extra artillery strike) to the truly absurd (ever wanted an UrbanMech to pick up the hammer from Super Smash Bros.?).

But this supplement doesn't just stop at power-ups. There are also rules for achievements (again ranging from the reasonable to the absurd), as well as several scenarios meant to emulate classic arcade and other video games (ranging from Pac-Man to Space Invaders and even Metal Gear Solid).

For proper versimilitude, there are also rules for respawning, as well as a slight nod to the MechWarrior video games by way of the Patch Day rules (will your PPC be nerfed or OP this match? The dice will tell you!).

The supplement gets a slight point deduction (not reflected in the final score due to rounding errors) for not having rules for finishers in the Melee Kombat! scenario.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PseudoTech: Arcade Operations
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