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Shadowrun: Street Lethal (Advanced Combat Rules)
by Timothy M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2018 20:42:25

So, after a series of books about mages or magical threats, we finally get something oriented towards non mages. But, unfortunately, its not really all that useful, though the fluff on mercenaries, corporate security, and such is well written. This book is basically a Gun Heaven + 10 Merc 2 smooshed together. About half the guns are 5e stats for stuff in earlier Gun Heaven books or other 4e products. A few interesting new pieces and a whole bunch of Warhammer-esque "Krime" brand weapons. Shotgun hammers, personal gatling guns, and that sort of thing.

A big section is on 'future tech' weapons in case you want to turn your Shadowrun game into Eclipse Phase with anti grav and personal shields and all that. But with it all being speculative and said to be not really working, so.... okay?

Unfortunately, there is nothing in this book that actually plays towards street samurai or does anything to address the fact that street samurai have real trouble with the hordes of magical threats (bug spirits, shedim, toxic spirits, etc) that are all the rage in the books over the last year. There's nothing in this book that doesn't work at least as well for the adepts and mages in the group. Though the few new mechanics are pretty much just more "small unit tactics" actions that are generally more trouble than they are worth, same as the originals in Run & Gun.

I enjoyed reading the material in the book, but I doubt there's much in it that will ever see a use in a campaign beyond the fluff of someone using an Ares Striker instead of the similar Colt Manhunter. Though if your gameplay style tends more towards the kinds of antics Krime encourages, you'll find more useful stuff than most.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Street Lethal (Advanced Combat Rules)
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Shadowrun: Street Lethal (Advanced Combat Rules)
by Alexandre C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2018 15:02:12

(Note: English is not my mother tongue. So I may have misunderstood some points in the book, misspoken some remarks, or left gross grammatical errors. If so, please let me know)

It is not useless content, far from it, but it is far from being really indispensable

We have a first part devoted to weapons and equipment in general. Not many, but it's mostly déjà vu. Even half a page of fluff each time (well written though), some weapons have the same statistics as already existing weapons or almost so that overall this part is just filling, except for some interesting ideas like daedalus, correction on gatlings or new narcojet weapons.

The second part is on experimental equipment. So experimental there's not even a price / avaibility. Certainly it makes laugh 5mn and it can inspire the game master, but as above it is a lot of space taken for not much.

Then a part on corporate social security and how it works, in action as in the head. Pretty cool, equipment level there's some interesting stuff in this part, even if it's not too oriented for PC. On the other hand, lore level, it is excellent, with a description of the functioning of the security of the largest corpos, of their differences... One can nevertheless reproach that all the equipment of the book is in three different parts, but let us admit.

Then full bg part on the military organizations of the 6th world: mercenaries, pirates, militias... quite nice, not necessarily useful depending on your settings, but always cool to have. I have a downside to the statblock given in this part, which seems to me... not diversified enough. It's nice to have "updated" IHR stats for example but things are presented as if these stats covered both IHR and a veteran mercenary a few years at most.

Finally last part on tactics, maneuvers, small unit tactics... which are well done, which answer problems of the game (like there is one for takedown to several a heavily armoured target, aka big spirit with to much hardened) but which requires... many test. Like a perception test of everyone, then an armory/other test of those who passed, then the small unit tactic test of the participants, then the one of the leader.

Same problem as usual in fact: a lot of interesting background in what the book talks about, but some parts numbers are... hazardous. There is a lot of interesting equipment, but most of it is not really for PC. It is more "experimental" equipment, or equipment intended for corporate needs (defending a position for example, which is rarely what runners do), or even equipment presented in terms of stat but more interesting by the lore that goes with it.

I think it's more of a book for MJ and players have little interest in getting it, except as part of a campaign in close corporatist or mercenary relationship.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shadow Spells
by cs w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2018 16:37:59

While there are new spells and player options, where this book really shines is world building and fluff. It delves into some detail about new magic factions like gangers, political groups, militarty, cults and a few others. While I feel a lot of this content should have been included in street grimoire, it comes across more as afterthoughts that a malicious conspiracy to steal your nuyen. I would certainly reccomend picking it up, particularly if you are a GM looking for new plot hooks.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shadow Spells
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Shadowrun: Chrome Flesh
by cs w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2018 16:17:16

Chrome flesh is an excellent book in terms of new options. It has new bioware, genoware, nanoware, qualities, and life modules among other things players can choose. The fluff and world building are solid but a small bit of it, like cyber zombies, do not have rules. The pdf is a little bit pricey for the size but it is full of enough of content that you likely won't regret spending the nuyen.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Chrome Flesh
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
by Jeff P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2018 12:23:41

The setting is fantastic. But yikes, if this version is supposedly simpler than 4th edition.....I don't want to imagine what kind of a hot mess that edition must have been. I've looked at a fair number of systems, and compare to something "easy-ish" like 5th ed D&D this is a train wreck.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
by Josh W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2018 12:19:17

Good product. Works well on my tablet for when I'm travelling and don't want to lug aroung the massive paper copy I have.

As far as the rulebook itself, it suffers from poor editing and organization and occasionally, poorly explained rules.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech Legends: Prince of Havoc
by Paul E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2018 00:34:26

I have ever loved Stackpole's works, whether with BattleTech, Shadowrun, or Star Wars and, as always, this is an impressive entry to continue the story of the BattleTech universe.

It's too bad there are so many spelling and word errors in the novel.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech Legends: Prince of Havoc
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Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Mr J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2018 22:44:24

Compact rules light version of Shadowrun rules that run very quickly. All special abilities are channeled through a universal Shadow Amp system that seems like a good idea. We made characters in under an hour and played during our first session.

Problems with the game

1) Could be organized better, you can flip all over to find all the rules for a particular subject that really could have been consolidated. 2) Mistakes, some pregens and amp designs violate the rule. 3) Drones and spirits are overpowered as written 4) This doesn't really need to be a round robin narrative game, it works great as a traditional GM run game. Not sure the Cues and Tags really have much use either way. 5) Most importantly, if you're interested in GMing this game, you have to know how Shadowrun is supposed to work already. There are whole subject areas that are just not explained in the rules aside from a quick mentions (Notably astral space, most of the Matrix, good luck if you don't know how technomancers and sprites work together)

I'm not familiar with Shadowrun 5th edition at all, so I'm actually adapting the structure of 2nd edition to create the framework for my Anarchy game. It's really not something that I should have to do, Catalyst should have provided a better built in framework so you didn't have to know how 5th edition is supposed to work. However, it has been a fun way of playing 2050s Shadowrun that doesn't require much player knowledge of crunch to play.
BTW, The systems are so close that once you figure out the way the old damage scale worked, you can rapidly convert NPCs and equipment from old supplements. I am working on converting spells and cyberware/bioware from my old 2nd edition supplements.

Also if you search around a bit a user called Gingivitis on multiple platforms has done excellent work revising some of the problem areas, finding cool uses for plot points, creaitng generic threats and a very good quick reference guide for running the game.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
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Shadowrun: Rigger 5.0
by Martin B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2018 18:54:49

Quick Hits: Good book, but has a lot of fluff

Overall, this is a good accessory. Its greatest quality is the amount of variant rides and such it offers, which is what I wanted out of the book. Readers will be happy with the ways you can customize your rigger; however, the volume of add-ons is more like a chapter or two in the core rulebook as much of the book is dedicated to "establishing the mindset" of a rigger.

That's my main criticism: it has a lot of fiction; “reviews” of the items from “real-life” shadowrunners; etc. Unfortunately, there was probably too much of it – at least half of the text was a setting piece, so it's not much of a real “rules crunch” supplement. I think readers would have been better served with a smaller book with less fluff (and a lower price).

Also, as others point out a lot in these Catalyst books, the editing could have been better, but it did not detract from the overall readability of the book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Rigger 5.0
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
by Martin B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2018 15:45:49

TL/DR: Solid version of the game; hefty, well made pdf with lots of rules crunch.

First off, I've played Shadowrun since the 90s through most of the editions. 2nd was always my favorite, but I really, really like this version.

Second, if you're new to Shadowrun, the rules in every edition are complicated and a tad convoluted. The 5th edition core rulebook has around 400 pages of rules (the rest are neat little fluff pieces to introduce the setting, appendices, and indexes). And yes, like every version of Shadowrun, there's like five have-to-have supplements and another five or so good-to-have supplements. So, all in all, a lot of rules. To make the trip even more fun, as you read through, you probably won't understand most of these rules on your first read-through, and, in my opinion, it's a tough "jump-in" game (unlike, say, a d20 system), but this edition keeps the rules more streamlined and consistent than other editions.

Third, if you're interested in this edition, I think it's worth the $20 sale price, not the $60 cover. Also, I read some reviews that knocked the pdf quality. I prefer pdfs to hardcopies, and the edition that I downloaded reads well on both my surface and my laptop. For the reader on my android phone, the book shows up in a weird default zoom setting that's itty-bitty, but a quick double-tap, and it's perfectly readable and scrollable. The default bookmarks are ok, and the gynormous table of contents is fully hyperlinked. I have no qualms with the quality of the pdf, and the version I downloaded is fully updated with the most recent errata and copy-editing.

All in all, I think it’s a solid edition of Shadowrun. Is it worth moving on from 4th edition and re-investing $100 - $300? I don’t know – if you’re happy with those rules and the versions (hardcopy or pdf) you have of those books, then I can see why some wouldn’t update. However, if all you have are 2nd or 3rd edition books that are falling apart, and you’d really like a version that other people can easily get their hands on in either hardcopy or pdf form, then I think it’s worth the jump.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
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Shadowrun: Shadows in Focus: Morocco
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/18/2018 21:11:39

Shadows in Focus - Morocco is a location sourcebook for Shadowrun and provides useful information on Morocco and its environs that would be useful to the sorts of people who are Shadowrunners. It is the sort of book you need if you are going to run a game set in or around Morocco.

Shadows in Focus - Morocco is a location sourcebook for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book covers the shadow nexus of smugglers, corporations and nationalism that exist in the Morocco of the Sixth World.

Morocco is a gateway to the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds so it serves as a nexus of trade, legal and illegal, as well as a gatekeeper of the Gibraltar straights. In the Sixth World, it suffered heavily during EuroWar II which saw it invaded by European forces driving back the Islamic forces which had used it as a stepping stone to invade Spain. Morocco has rebuilt with heavy corporate aid making many see the government as a puppet of megacorporate interests. The truth is more complex with the Morocco government, corporations, traditional social groups and other factions all vying for power.

With smuggling, corporate power plays and corruption permeating the government, there is considerable work for career criminals such as Shadowrunners. But they have to play the game according to local rules if they want to go far which means keeping magic and cyberware out of sight as much as possible and not offending the Islamic faith when you can manage.

As far as mechanics go there are two new animals (the Atlas Bear and the Barbary Lion), five new Life Modules for that character generation system, and some suggestion on how to model the cultural dislike of cyberware.

Shadows in Focus - Morocco is an interesting resource providing enough information to set missions in Morocco as well as a variety of potential adventures (though some adventure seeds to really spark ideas would have been nice).

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shadows in Focus: Morocco
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Shadowrun: Dark Terrors (Plot Sourcebook)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/16/2018 16:12:45

Shadowrun: Dark Terrors is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and provides a lot of information, a lot of interesting information on the dark corners of the Sixth World but not a lot of advice on how to use or incorporate that information into a campaign, especially an ongoing campaign. I enjoyed the read but, for me, there is almost nothing I can or would use in my ongoing street level campaign. I am not sure who the target audience for this book is, it seems like it should be a GM’s book but there is just not enough here to hang campaigns on, in many cases there is barely enough to hang an adventure or two off of. Equally, players can read it and be scared of the horrible things out there but there are not any tools to help you fight the terrors. So, ultimately, I am not sure what this book is for beyond pushing the metaplot(s) forward (especially on CFD) a little.

Shadowrun: Dark Terrors, is a Plot Sourcebook for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book covers a variety of dangers, threats and evils, primarily magical in nature that exist in the Sixth World.

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then moves into The Heart of the Hive, which provides new information about the insect spirits. There is a fair amount of in-game story in this section that ultimately does not provide a lot of actionable (or adventurous) data, much is implied but very little is confirmed. And when dealing with a megacorp, it is nice to know what is going on. Game wise, there are many new types of insect spirits, a few of which prey on other insect spirits, along with rules for playing a free insect spirit which would be interesting but very dangerous (both from and to the other characters).

Marooned Spirits talks about the fate of the shedim, body possessing spirits, which were a major threat but since the gates to their place of origin have been closed they are less of a danger but still a danger. They remaining master shedim are plotting something, and whatever it is, it is best for everyone on Earth that they are stopped. The shedim section ends with new creature powers, primarily shedim specific ones, and some preconstructed shedim who showcase the new powers.

Paint it Blacker discusses the latest machinations of the sinister Black Lodge, a conspiracy of powerful magicians, and calls out some of their members. Let me just express a personal opinion, I do not have any use for the Black Lodge in my campaign and I do not find them interesting or plausible. Why does the setting need an evil magical conspiracy group that apparently outwits dragons and governments while twirling their mustaches and chuckling? So cliche. Can we just stick with the megacorporations as the villains of the piece?

The section entitled Monads and CFD deals with just those subjects, mostly bringing this long running storyline to a tentative close with “cures” for CFD finally available. Personally, I am pleased to see an end to this plot-line, while I applaud Catalyst for making a technological rather than a magical threat a major plot point, making it one that overwrites people’s personalities, thus stealing player autonomy, was a dead end in playability from my viewpoint.

The Hidden Faction details the latest convoluted political twists and turns of the Seelie Court for those who need more wacky fae for their games. Followers of the Elder God looks into those who are seeking artefacts and magical knowledge tied to the fourth world (the last time magic ruled) from the files of the Ordo Maximus, a secret and massively powerful vampire conspiracy (yes, another magical conspiracy!) but the items, information and creatures are interesting (though not provided with game statistics). This section at least has some explict plot hooks though they do not strike me as being very useful.

Dwellers of the Deep Foundation dips into the hidden recesses and foundations of the Matrix, and my, there are some strange things going on there. Including Matrix spawning beings, called the Null Sect, who have their own agenda for whom and what should be using their “home.” Additional there is a proto-nation of AIs and other strangeness afoot. This chapter relies on the ownership of the Data Trails soucebook and references both the Howling Shadows and Run Faster books. Fascinating setting materia but challenging to incorporate into a campaign and very niche.

The Ghoul Queen and her People takes us to the much talked about the nation of Asamando after a brief tour of how various other nations and groups are dealing with the expanded threat of the infections that created vampires (and their subtypes) and ghouls. Asamando gets a good and engaging travel log from three in setting character viewpoints. It paints an evocative image, very well written, but apart from setting up future survival horror scenarios does not really give the GM a lot of ideas or tools for how to use Asamando in a campaign. The section concludes with new awakened powers (which reference a host of other books), a new magical tradition (Dark Magic), three new metamagic techniques (two for the infected and one for blood magic) and nine infected archetypes, mostly enemies but one or two that might be allies.

The last section is Untamed Metaplanes which looks at several dangerous metaplanes that people might wish to visit or end up in along with some in-game hooks for why characters might want to risk body and soul to go there. Also there is the Hudson Valley which is chock full of astral portals and gateways to the metaplanes for those seeking to travel without all of the ritual rigamarole, while it is light on details the Hudson Valley could be a fun setting for some adventures or even an entire campaign, but the information here is just a starting point.

Dark Terrors is an interesting resource providing lots of tantalizing hints to things happening in the Sixth World but very little solid information or plot hooks to work with making it a very strange book. It is a fascinating and, mostly, enjoyable read but at the end, I am really not sure what to do with it.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Dark Terrors (Plot Sourcebook)
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Shadowrun: Street Legends: Home Edition
by bobby j. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2018 13:12:28

it seemed like one of the shadowrunners was copy pasted by accident



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Street Legends: Home Edition
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Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana (Advanced Magic Rulebook)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 16:16:47

This book will break your game.

It's another example of Catalyst shoveling content into a book as quickly as possible to make some money.

It's clearly not been playtested, is totally unbalanced and poorly thought through from a mechanics perspective.

it also has some bits that directly contravene canonical shadowrun lore on magic.

i.e. it's mostly crap.

There are a few good things in for aspected magicians but that's about it.

if you have any concern about the horrific tilt towards magicrun that Catalyst has purused as part of 5e then this book will break your table.

My advice, avoid entirely.

On a separate note I've read all of "featured reviewer" Sean H's srun reviews and they are totally ill-informed and universally 4 or 5 stars for even the most broken drek. He's obviously a shill to be avoided at all costs.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana (Advanced Magic Rulebook)
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Shadowrun: Missions: Gone Long Gone (5A-03)
by Denise M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2017 14:53:54

This mission is poorly written. It's full of sterotypical tropes: the hypersexualized female contact, an alternate bid for the mission property, a poorly set up ambush that any player could see from a mile away, a 'rescue' from said poor ambush (that should almost never go off because the party avoided the ambush), and an overly deadly final combat with stats that can't actually exist in the game rules. Avoid this mission.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Missions: Gone Long Gone (5A-03)
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