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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
by Matt P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2019 07:53:33

There is tons of errata over the past 3 years since this was last updated. The only place it lives is on the Shadowrun forums or Reddit. That's a terrible way to handle errata. At least some of that errata should have been put into this PDF by now. There is no acceptable excuse after this many years, for a still active game. It hasn't been touched since 2016. The separate errata PDF that is posted to DriveThruRPG is garbage older than this PDF and only contains a fraction of the errata.

Also having only the "master index" instead of just an index for the book I own is extremely un-user-friendly. It makes it less useful because if I am looking in a book's index I'm looking for something in THAT book. A master index is a fine idea as a separate PDF that you could maintain more regularly and anyone could download.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
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The Duke: Print & Play Edition
by Clifton B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2019 00:48:10

I have the game so printing this PNP for on the go or to let those I don't trust with my real copy was nice. It made a nice teaching aid and I could give people the PNP cards to use at the end of the night. If they like the game they will buy their own copy. If they don't like it enough to buy a copy then at least they can play it a few times to learn how to play it when they run across it. Nice enough to use as an instructional aid or to use with kids but not a replacement for the real wood tiles.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Duke: Print & Play Edition
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Shadowrun: First Edition
by Felix S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2019 19:26:32

Greetings, I wish to keep this review short and sweet so let's get right to it.

Yes, I purchased the "Black and White" re-print and the PDF bundle from this website. Yes, it is a clean scan with only some light "fuzziness" to each page in the way of text and some drawings.

I received and downloaded the PDF moments after the purchased came through and already had an idea of what COULD appear in the paperback version. Quick-links were already my best friend and I've made characters and locations in a matter of minutes. It's well-organized. Five days later I got my paperback copy and was extremely thrilled because the paperback was in great condition. I knew what I was getting and couldn't be happier!

Bottom line: Extremely happy with the purchase.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I got some classic shadowrunning to do....



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: First Edition
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Shadowrun: Renraku Arcology: Shutdown
by Nathan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2019 20:26:29

First off, Renraku Arcology is critcally important to Shadowrun. This event, and the consequences, leads to a number of future events, as well as how technomancers are treated, CFD, Crash 2.0, etc.

The print on demand is a bit dirty at spots. That being said, MUCH cheaper then the original. Be sure to get this, it's worth it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Renraku Arcology: Shutdown
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Shadowrun: Mission: 04-11: Election Day
by Alexandre D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2019 12:13:48

I was very dissappointed with the last mission of the campaign. It feels more like a comedic act than with a shadowrun mission. No real end to the election. The adventure is not a single mission but several quick missions which are drawn together by a series of coincidences. Really dissapointed by the lack of a general plot. If I had read this adventure before any others, I would never have started this campaign!



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Mission: 04-11: Election Day
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
by Rudy C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2019 17:28:53

TL;DR: The latest iteration of the Shadowrun universe, and arguably the best edition to date. I honestly couldn't finish the book, much less convince my group to play it, simply because the sheer volume of rules was too much.

So I picked up SR 5th edition during a sale and was somewhat disappointed. Yes, the game is at its core the same as always. You'll build a fictional shadowrunner that can either sling spells, hack into the internet, pilot remote controlled drones, or straps chrome to their body in order to become more machine than (meta)human. Nothing has been changed other than an overhaul of the rules from previous editions. At the same time, I didn't like it. Why? For one, I've made three attempts to read this book, and every time my eyes glazed over. This beast of a tome clocks in at over 500 pages, most of which are rules for various one off scenarios. The rules strive way too hard to simulate reality in a world that's anything but reality. Worse, you end up having to do a lot of actual math on the fly. For example, in order to resolve a character firing a gun in a burst or full auto, you first must calculate the recoil compensation you possess (which is your Strength attribute divided by 3), then you have to calculate the recoil penalty (subtract the total amount of bullets fired from your recoil compensation), then if that result is a negative number, subtract it from your dice pool which is a number of dice equal to your Quickness + relevant gun skill, however the max number of successes you can roll is limited at all times by your weapon's quality rating of X. Crystal clear? Yeah, I didn't think so. This has the effect of bogging the game down at times while the GM has to flip through the rules because the players invariably thought of doing something the GM hadn't quite planned for or considered. It's one thing to want to have clear-cut rules in order to prevent arguments at the game table (heaven knows D&D 5e is guilty of leaving some things up to each and every DM), however it is possible to overdo it and have rules that feel more like the game actively fights you than wants to cooperate. For example, in order to determine if your character is able to take one final action before they fall unconscious or die (a dead man's trigger), you literally have to go through a 3 step checklist, and if you fail to meet any of those 3 requirements then tough luck, you don't get to have a really cool moment of dramatic sacrifice before you're down for the count. Everything you love about Shadowrun is still present in this version, it's just become mired in a set of rules that just seem to work against you telling the kinds of stories you want to tell. One wonders what the point of overhauling SR to 5th edition is if the rules become so bloated that its in need of yet another overhaul.

In summary, get this if you're a die hard fan of Shadowrun, or if you're a simulationist freak that demands their games have rules for every single possible eventuality. The rest of us should either stick to previous editions of the game, or even take a look at the superb Shadowrun Anarchy RPG.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
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Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Rudy C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2019 16:19:44

TL;DR: Shadowrun Anarchy is to Shadowrun 5th edition as Dungeon World is to D&D 5th edition. It's rules light and focuses more on the narrative and storytelling while still preserving everything that makes Shadowrun awesome, yet at the same time does have a couple flaws that fortunately aren't deal breakers (for most people anyways).

So I've been playing Shadowrun since 3rd edition was released back in the early 2000s, but after my gaming group grew up and we all went our separate ways (we were teenagers back then) I pretty much stopped paying attention to Shadowrun until just recently when I finally got around to playing SR Returns/Hong Kong/Dragonfall on Steam. I picked up this book and SR 5th edition on sale just to see what I'd been missing. Honestly, SR Anarchy is a pleasant surprise. For one, Anarchy trims down on a lot of the rules in order to focus more on the narrative and storytelling. Players (and GMs) will still roll pools of d6s to resolve various tests, and players have the option of creating cyberware-enhanced (meta)humans or magic users like usual. What really stood out to me was how organic and simple the game is while still retaining everything that made it cool. I've made no less than three (3) attempts to read through the actual SR 5th edition book, and my eyes glazed over every single time because the rules try way too hard to simulate reality (do you really need rules to detail exactly how much damage a rat or character is going to take if you drop them and a grenade into a small enclosed space? They're dead, end of story). With Anarchy, the rules are condensed and much easier to comprehend or teach to new players, which is a huge plus to me. Also, the rules give players a bit more control over the game through essentially plot points that can be used to make minor changes such as taking damage for another character or giving yourself a point of health or armor. In all honesty, if you're familiar with how Dungeon World plays, then you'll feel right at home with Anarchy. If you're wanting something with more rules and crunch, stick with SR 5th edition (good luck though, you'll be constantly trying to look up rules for situations such as how much reach a troll wielding a katana has over a human with a similar weapon and what benefits in combat this confers to the troll).

My only real gripe with Anarchy is that some things could be explained a bit better or in further detail. For example, the rules for creating Shadow Amps (those extra augmentations that give you an edge such as cyberware or magic spells) aren't 100% clearly explained and you're left either looking at the pre-gen characters to try and "reverse engineer" those things or looking at online forums for clarity. Once you get the idea behind how it works though, it's not too complicated to figure out or use. I did take off a star because of this though, the publisher could've put in a little more time and effort to really give Anarchy the polish it deserves before rushing it out the door. Another issue I had was regarding weapon ranges. Pistols by default are only good at short range and start getting penalties if used at medium and long range. The game defines short range as anything within melee range or at most a couple feet away, medium range is pretty much out to 100 feet, and long range is anything beyond that. So according to SR Anarchy, pistols are pretty much only useful in melee combat! This is easily remedied though by giving melee weapons and guns their own separate definitions of "range", such as defining "short range" for a pistol to be say anything 50 feet away or under etc. Still, some people will find this quite bizarre.

Overall, if you're like me and can't stand how overly complicated 5th edition Shadowrun is, or if you prefer more narrative-driven games and are okay with lighter rules that favor moving the story forward over rules crunch a la Dungeon World, then don't hesitate to get Anarchy, it's well worth the price!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
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Shadowrun: Kill Code (Advanced Matrix Rules)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/21/2019 21:32:34

Shadowrun: Kill Code is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and providing a useful (and clearer?) overview of the Matrix and how the rules system for it works, with general technological tools more options for technomancers and more information on the state of the Matrix. However to get best use from Kill Code you will need at least the earlier sourcebook Data Trails and several other source books. Unless you are running a Matrix, and especially Technomancer, focused game, this sourcebook is not a priority.

Shadowrun: Kill Code, is the Advance Matrix Rule book for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book expands ways to interact with and explore the Matrix for hackers, technomancers and others. As well as providing new tools and troubles for all involved in Matrix work.

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then moves into a section titled “So you want to be a hacker?” which begins with a brief (in world) description of the history and current state of the Matrix, the global computer network. Followed by the Manual of the Matrix which redefines the Matrix for game play, referring back to the main rule book with page numbers and everything. Followed by How to Hack 101, which walks through the basic rules systems used for Matrix hacking. Not a good sign when you have to spend sixteen pages of a supplement to explain how the rules in the core book are suppose to work, but nice to have it clearly laid out. Then there is one new rule (reckless hacking) and a section of eleven new matrix actions, including the delightful named Squelch (which stops communications) and Subvert Infrastructure, which cover many of the things hackers need to do as shadowrunners. The Gamemaster’s Grimoire of the Matrix comes next and gives some advice for GM (naturally) on how to present and use the Matrix in play, including a nice chart for Matrix runs and advice on how the different types of hosts work and how to use them. It also answers the big question of the Matrix changeover of 2075 and what the Foundation of the new Matrix is. This is both welcome and surprising at Catalyst has a long tradition of hiding the vital “secrets of the world” in their novels and never explicitly explaining them in their source books. So, well-done Catalyst and please continue including vital setting information in the RPG source books.

Next we have Dips & Chips which includes new gear for hackers, technomancers and non-Matrix types, things for runners and tools for the corporations. There is a lot to digest here and GM will probably want to introduce part of the new runner oriented gear slowly so as not to totally upset the balance of a campaign. But lots of fun things here to provide advantage for, and against, hackers and technomancers ranging from weaponized spam to new decks and the corporations even get three new types of IC (rah?).

Disc Jockeys & Lightstream Riders provides new positive (four) and negative qualities (nineteen!) for hackers, though the writeup on a few (such as Echo Chamber) are not as clear as they should be. A set of life modules, for that variant character generation system, for hackers and technomancers are also provided.

Data Streams follow another fiction section and provides paths for technomancers to follow: Sourcerers, Technoshamans, Machinists and CyberAdepts, each emphasizing a different aspect of the technomancer abilities and each gaining access to a unique complex form; these function in a similar manner to traditions for spell casters gaining advantages, the most game changing is the technoshaman being able to summon great form sprites which have very powerful abilities.

In the Flow adds eleven complex forms for technomancers, new positive (fourteen, seven of which can be taken by non-technomancers and one that can only be taken by non-technomancers) and negative (eleven, six of which can be taken by non-technomancers) qualities, two new sprites (companion and generalist), three new sprite powers, seven new optional sprite powers, and seven new echoes. Paragons allow for a mentor spirit like relationship for technomancers following by following the ideals of various Matrix-based paragons who aid in certain tasks and hinder others but allegiance to the Paragons in a fairly fluid thing and can be gained, lost and switched with comparative ease.

A Million Icon Bloom gives information on technomancer tribes, which are societies of technomancers (and, occasionally, others) who aid each other especially for submersion and advancement. Pretty much what you would expect with some useful bits about how to interact with these tribes for non-technomancers.

Diving Under gives some advice for those having to fight technomancers. This is an odd section, part advice and part commentary but almost entirely devoid of in game commentary. I would have liked to have seen more here especially a discussion of how corporations work to “technomancer-proof” their operations.

Infinite Realms details a few of the weird “resonance realms” that exist in the far corners of the Matrix and can be visited by technomancers. Interesting but of limited use unless you are playing a technomancer focused games. Reversing the Current look at those technomancers who have embraced the “dissonance,” the other aspect of the technomancer’s understanding of the Matrix. Three paths for dissonance users are provided each with their own tricks and abilities.

Null Signs brings us back to the Null Sect, first mentioned in Dark Terrors, which is a Matrix based and created set of being that seek to purge the Matrix of all beings and things with ties to the physical realm. An interesting idea but not sure what can be done with it in play and a lot of effort is spent spinning them into a major threat though to what end I am unsure.

Into the Wild talks about the “wild matrix” the parts that are not overseen by corporation or governments or, sometimes, any structure at all. Not quite the same as resonance realms as these can be accessed by anyone willing to leave the safety of the regulated Matrix. It also talks about who would be interested in paying you to go there or pay for data brought back from the wild.

The final section is The Core of Consciousness which provides more information and variants on the technocritters, animals with technomantic powers, and technosapients, beings of the Matrix, both first seen in Howling Shadows. Some fun creatures here that can be used by or against runners. More information about the xenosapients of the Null Sect is also provided (including some GM only information).

Kill Code is a mixed bag, there is some good information, such as making the Matrix rules a bit clearer but this should have been published as a free PDF for all players of Shadowrun (perhaps with the addition of a flowchart) as it is one of the more confusing subsystems in the rules. But it follows the trend of making magic, in this case technomancy, always ultimately much more powerful than what technology can provide hackers with. For some reason, I find that annoying as no one path should be objective the best when there are multiple paths. But overall a useful book for those campaigns that delve deeply into Matrix but primarily only for such campaigns.

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



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Kill Code (Advanced Matrix Rules)
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
by Jonathan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2019 09:39:48

Shadowrun has been a favorite of mine for years and this edition is no exception. As with previous Shadowrun editions character creation really shines. You can really create the character you want to run and make it unique! The main problem is mechanics during actual play; kinda clunky. I would love to see a D20 version.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
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Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana (Advanced Magic Rulebook)
by Evan L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2018 10:16:58

There's a lot of good, a fair amount of bad, and a moderate dose of ugly, here. The new options for Awakened characters/NPCs run the gamut from amusing to awesome, with lots of great new Traditions to change up the flavor of Mages/Mystic Adepts, lots of new Qualities and options to throw at Aspected Awakened, and the return of some Talent options I'd sorely missed (The Traveler is 5E's version of the Astral Adept, and tons of flavorful fun in my opinion; the Apprentice is able to access some Sorcery and some Conjuring, in a limited fashion, etc.), and some new options that are loads of fun (The Return of optional 'Old-School' Shamanism, the useful-but-restrictive variants on Buddhist, Romani, and others) and some fairly powerful, though none are to the point where they'll make metagamers and optimizers scoff at previous options. The Shadowtalk bits are some of the most humorous and ominous in any 5E product to date, and really impressed me. Also, for the long-suffering players/GMs who keep trying to make Alchemy a fun and feasible option for characters, there's many traditions/qualities/gear in this book that help it substantially.

Now, for the rough parts: Some of the mechanics are just not able to be used. The book included 'rules' for Focused Awakened which looks like tons of fun . . . but neglected to include the cost or other options for selecting them. There's also a ton of tantalizing new options for Blood Magic, some explicitly for players, but they're all locked behind the Sacrifice Metamagic, which is a bit of a tough sell as character development goes, and will likely still be a no-go for players in many games. Additionally, expect the (sadly) status-quo amount of grammatical/referential errors that are the new normal for CGL.

All in all, I love the book. The flavor, the options, all are great. I'd caveat that most of this content requires more GM/Player discussion beforehand before including in the game than most supplements, but almost all of the fiddly bits make for GREAT hooks and motivations intrinsically. Kudos to the creative minds behind a lot of these ideas.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana (Advanced Magic Rulebook)
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Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Larry F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2018 23:54:29

I was excited to see another game with the CUE system and this game being one of my favorite games/settings Shadowrun I was excited. However while it is an awesome streamlined version of Shadowrun it is not like other CUE system games. CUE system is a lot more streamlined than this game is and it has a different type of dice system altogether.

Shadowrun Anarchy offers a streamlined play version of Shadowrun as a fan since 1st edition I can say that this is an amazing addition to the Shadowrun family. I can not wait to see more come out for this version of Shadowrun. I wish they did this with Earthdawn as well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
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Shadowrun: Toxic Alleys (Sixth World Adventure)
by Keith H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2018 10:23:15

well, it took 23 weeks to completely work through the book, and two of the internal events we missed. overall enjoyed it, but had to adjust a few things for our specific group of players ... but what GM doesnt?

enjoyed the book greatly otherwise, and the material gives players (and GMs) a serious case ... "didnt we take care of insert npc here>". it was about time we got some updates on DC and a flavor for what is going on there.

GMs should really polish up on their Shedim information before using those sections involving them, because you will learn a lot otherwise.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Toxic Alleys (Sixth World Adventure)
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Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Mr J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2018 04:52:14

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:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
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Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Jonathan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2018 12:38:00

My party got into Shadowrun 5e, but ultimately did not enjoy the dense rules of the system. We gave Anarchy a try and were overall pleasanttly surprised by the system.

The rules are bit strange, though. They're very dense in some areas and vague in others, constantly requiring DM adjudication for even character creation. As such, I don't recommend it for novice DMs unless it has a major update.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Kill Code (Advanced Matrix Rules)
by Alexandre C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2018 10:02:01

Finally...

This book is everything we've been waiting for. A clear, simple and relatively precise presentation of what the matrix is and how it works.

You can find a lot of things inside: new hardware that can affect the matricial part of a run, like new deck, consumables or even special ammunition and new programs.

Technomancers also have their hour of glory with equipment concerning them, new echoes, complex form... making them finally viable without using hair-pulling processes.

Special mention to the additions on the PI-TAC allowing a beginner team to have one and making their possession much more useful, even for those of index one.

Only four stars nevertheless, because certain points deserve a small rebalancing (light, especially compared to the rest of the range), and that 25$ for 200 pages of which half should have been part of the basic book, it is expensive.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Kill Code (Advanced Matrix Rules)
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