Major differences I noticed: Priority system is back The priority system at character creation makes you take decisions about characters. Each priority level A to E comes with specific benefits depending on where you want to put them. It helps give a certain uniformity to your group but also makes character generation faster for new players. Limits Everybody talked about it and we all know how it affects almost every roll rolls with two attributes are never limited. Buying better gear or having higher attributes will get you a higher limit. Setting wise Not much changed in 3 years.

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Setting[ edit ] Shadowrun takes place several decades in the future in the first edition, currently [note 2]. The end of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar ushered in the "Sixth World", [note 3] with once-mythological beings e. Large numbers of humans have "Goblinized" into orks and trolls, while many human children are born as elves, dwarves, and even more exotic creatures. In North America, indigenous peoples discovered that their traditional ceremonies allow them to command powerful spirits, and rituals associated with a new Ghost Dance movement let them take control of much of the western U.

Seattle remains under U. Megacorporations control the lives of their employees and command their own armies ; the ten largest have extraterritoriality , such as currently enjoyed by foreign heads of state. Technological advances make cyberware mechanical replacement body parts and bioware augmented vat-grown body parts implanted in place of natural organs common. The Computer Crash of led to the creation of the Matrix, a worldwide computer network that users interact with via direct neural interface.

When conflicts arise, corporations, governments, organized crime syndicates, and even wealthy individuals subcontract their dirty work to specialists, who then perform "shadowruns" or missions undertaken by deniable assets without identities or those that wish to remain unknown. The most skilled of these specialists, called shadowrunners, have earned a reputation for getting the job done.

They have developed a knack for staying alive, and prospering, in the world of Shadowrun. Since then, digital rights to Shadowrun IP belong to Microsoft since Shadowrun Fifth Edition was announced in December The hardcover version was released in August It was generally similar to the system that was unveiled in Fourth Edition and modified in the Twentieth Anniversary Edition. The game was released to the public on 26 August Since , Shadowrun Missions SRM has offered fans " living campaigns " that allow for persistent character advancement.

SRM is broken down into "seasons" which are made up of up to 24 individual missions that can be played at home, with special missions available to play exclusively at conventions.

Each SRM season develops an overarching plot focused on a specific city from the Shadowrun setting. Missions settings have included the divided city of Denver, the corporate city-state of Manhattan, and the Seattle Metroplex city-state, and the formerly walled-off wastelands of Chicago. In addition to the main rule book now in its sixth edition there have been over supplemental books published with adventures and expansions to both the rules and the game settings.

Catalyst Game Labs announced that would be "The Year of Shadowrun," and in addition to the release of Shadowrun Fifth Edition that it has collaborated with publishers on the following properties: Shadowrun: Crossfire, The Adventure Deck-building Game; [8] Shadowrun: Sprawl Gangers, a tactical miniatures wargame ; and Shadowrun: Hostile Takeover, a board game designed by Bryan C.

Catalyst had been in collaboration with Nordic Games and Cliffhanger Studios to create Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown online RPG, however it was shuttered 30 November with the producers citing lack of funding and the end of the license terms for use of the IP. Unlike in a purely cyberpunk game, in the Shadowrun world, magic exists and has "worked" since Some of these metatypes take the form of common fantasy races.

Likewise, some animals have turned into familiar monsters of past fantasy and lore and both monsters and human magicians have regained magical powers. By the second half of the 21st century, in the time the game is set, these events are accepted as commonplace.

Man, machine, and magic exist in a world where the amazing is among the most common and technology has entered into every facet of human and metahuman life.

Races[ edit ] Characters in Shadowrun can be humans, orks, trolls, elves, dwarves, as well as certain diverging subspecies known as metavariants such as gnomes, giants, minotaurs, etc. In the early days, when magic returned to the world, humans began to either change into, or give birth to elf and dwarf infants, a phenomenon called Unexplained Genetic Expression UGE. Later, some juvenile and adult humans "goblinized" into other races mostly orks, but also some trolls.

The term " metahuman " is used either to refer to humanity as a whole, including all races, or to refer specifically to non-human races, depending on context. Two of the metahuman races have fictional languages. Additionally, a virus known as the Human Meta-Human Vampiric Virus HMHVV , with many variant strains, has been known to cause further change, far beyond that of traditional vampirism, frequently resulting in fierce abominations that are no longer human and sometimes no longer even sentient: bandersnatches , banshees , dzoo-noo-quas , goblins , ghouls , nosferatus , vampires , wendigos , wild fomorians , and others.

They are not normally available as player characters. Dragons are also present in the awakened world, though not as player characters.

Dragons are very powerful physically, magically, and in some situations, financially; some dragons found the riches they hoarded and hid during the last Awakening. Their great intelligence allowed them to gain a great deal of influence and power quickly and a few have risen to high political and economical posts, running entire corporations or even as heads of state.

Game background[ edit ] The game is set 62 years in the future, [note 2] following a great change that has returned magic to the world. The United States was broken into substates.

Monetary value was lost. The world had to rebuild, and rebuild they did, this time in the image of the megacorporations that seized power. Taking advantage of the laws that had been passed years ago, and using their newfound freedom, the megacorps began impressing their power on the failing governments. Before long the world was transformed. Boundaries were redrawn, and the political landscape was changed forever.

A basic premise of the setting is that as the world endured the string of state-changing events and conflicts, the political landscape fragmented and reformed.

Some, like the California Free State, simply declared independence, while yet others became de facto corporate subsidiaries like Aztlan the former Mexico , the headquarters of the Aztechnology megacorp.

Despite the new role of megacorporations, many nations still hold considerable sway through economic, social and military means. The corporations[ edit ] The monolithic "enemies" of the Shadowrun world borrowing heavily from cyberpunk mythos are the corporations, dubbed "megacorporations", "megacorps", or simply "megas" or "corps" for short. Megacorporations in the 21st-century are global, with all but the smallest corps owning multiple subsidiaries and divisions around the world.

They are the superpowers of the Shadowrun universe, with the largest corporations having far more political, economic, and military power than even the most powerful nation-states.

In Shadowrun, corporations are effectively "ranked" by the amount of assets under their control, including material, personnel, and property, as well as profit. Most corporations in the AA and AAA level are immune to domestic law, responsible only to themselves, and regulated only by the Corporate Court, an assembly of the ten AAA-rated corporations. All AAA-rated and most AA-rated corporations exhibit a privilege known as " extraterritoriality ", meaning that any land owned by the corp is sovereign territory only to the corp and immune to any laws of the country it is located in.

Corporate territory is not foreign soil but corporate soil, just like its employees are corporate citizens, though dual citizenship in a corporation and a nation is common. The AAA corps, as well as numerous minor corporations, fight each other not only in the boardroom or during high-level business negotiations but also with physical destruction, clandestine operations, hostile extraction or elimination of vital personnel, and other means of sabotage.

Because no corporation wants to be held liable for damages, it has to be done by hired deniable assets, or "shadowrunners", invisible to the system where every citizen is tagged with a System Identification Number SIN.

Technology and the Matrix[ edit ] Despite the Crash which caused much data corruption, technology in the game is advanced. Ability-enhancing Cyberware artificial cybernetic implants and Bioware genetically engineered biological implants emerged and has become commonplace.

Characters can also augment their bodies with nanotechnology implants. In earlier editions of the background fiction, direct neural interface technology enabled humans and metahumans to directly access computers and the Matrix, the global computer network restructured after the Crash. After the second Matrix crash in , Matrix technology was moved away from the wired network and led into a wireless technology. The most noticeable difference between the Matrix in the s and the earlier editions is that wireless technology has become completely ubiquitous.

Communications and Matrix access is provided through Wi-Fi nodes placed throughout the infrastructure of just about every city on Earth, fulfilling a service similar to contemporary cell sites —but as these nodes are as numerous as telephone poles, only a tiny percentage of their range is necessary. The nodes of all electronic devices a person carries are connected in a similar manner, creating a Personal Area Network PAN.

Other worn or carried personal devices are linked to the PAN, and this includes smart firearms. The Matrix of the s is thus not only a virtual reality , but an augmented or mixed reality.

Cyberdecks are obsolete, so "deckers" have once again become "hackers". In turn, the otaku of previous versions deckers who did not need decks to access the Matrix have been reworked into technomancers , who possess an innate connection to the Matrix that permits them to access the wireless network without hardware, though the phenomenon is not fully understood even within the setting, and may be partly magical in nature.

Hackers were thus forced to acquire specialized, larger variants of commlinks with better processing power, which were swiftly colloquially named "cyberdecks" after the devices of old. This has resulted in the return of the term "decker" of earlier editions. Meanwhile, "riggers" are people who use datajacks and in most cases a special type of cyberware - called the "control rig" - to interface with vehicles and drones.

Often they also use a remote control deck called the "rigger command console". The term "rigger" may also be applied to others using these machines. Riggers jump in to machines to control them with their mind.

This allows the rigger to control their machines at Matrix speeds and with greater precision. The downside is if the machine takes damage the rigger will have to deal with dangerous levels of biofeedback. Likewise, the rigger may have to engage in cybercombat with hostile parties that may attempt to hijack control of their devices. Magic[ edit ] Those able to actively interact with the magical energies of the Sixth World are known as "awakened".

The Awakened fall into three general Paths: magicians, adepts and mystic adepts. Broadly speaking, magicians focus their magic outward, actively affecting the world around them, while adepts focus their magic inward, passively enhancing their bodies and minds. Magicians are able to cast spells, summon spirits, and create magical artifacts called "foci". All magicians follow traditions that determine their understanding of magic, including hermetic mages whose control of magic comes through study and manipulation of magical energy or mana, and who summon and bind elementals in lengthy and expensive rituals to be called on later and shamans whose magic derives from a connection to nature via a totem spirit, and who can summon the nature spirits associated with a particular place.

Adepts use magic internally in order to accentuate their natural physical abilities. Adepts can run on walls, use mundane objects as deadly thrown projectiles, shatter hard objects with a single unarmed blow, and perform similar feats of incredible ability. All adepts follow a very personal path Path of the Warrior, Path of the Artist, etc. Mystic adepts, also known as physical mages, are part magician and part adept who distribute their magic power between the abilities of both aspects.

Mechanics[ edit ] A 6-sided die with the Shadowrun symbol in place of the 6. The Shadowrun game mechanics are based entirely on a 6-sided dice system. The game is skill-based rather than class-based, but archetypes are presented in the main book to give players and gamemasters an idea of what is possible with the system.

Before the fourth edition, skill and ability checks worked as follows: all actions in the game, from the use of skills to making attacks in combat, are first given a target number that reflects the difficulty of the action which is then raised or lowered by various modifying factors, such as environmental conditions, the condition of the character, the use of mechanical aids, and so forth. The player then rolls a number of dice equal to their level in the relevant skill, and the number of dice rolled that meet or exceed the target number determines if the character is successful performing the action and the degree of success the character has.

As an example, a character with a high firearms skill not only has a better chance at hitting a target than someone with a lower ranked skill, but also is more likely to cause more damage to the target.

Target numbers may exceed 6, in which case any dice that show a 6 have to be re-rolled a target number of, e. For even higher target numbers, this procedure has to be repeated; thus, an action with a target number of 20 like attempting to procure military-grade weaponry will only succeed if three successive dice rolls result in sixes, and the fourth gives at least a 2. For any dice-roll a roll of 1 always counts as a failure. This system allows great flexibility in setting the difficulty of an action.

In addition to this basic mechanic, players can use several task-specific dice pools to add bonus dice to certain tests, though dice that are used do not refresh until the end of a turn. This adds an extra tactical element, as the player must decide where best to spend these bonus dice.


Shadowrun Fourth Edition

Setting[ edit ] Shadowrun takes place several decades in the future in the first edition, currently [note 2]. The end of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar ushered in the "Sixth World", [note 3] with once-mythological beings e. Large numbers of humans have "Goblinized" into orks and trolls, while many human children are born as elves, dwarves, and even more exotic creatures. In North America, indigenous peoples discovered that their traditional ceremonies allow them to command powerful spirits, and rituals associated with a new Ghost Dance movement let them take control of much of the western U.


shadowrun 20th anniversary

Original electronic Scanned image These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background. For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book.

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