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Shadowrun, Sixth World at Gen Con

By Jason Hardy, Line Developer

Gen Con is a week away, which means we’re really close to seeing lots of people from the Shadowrun community, soaking in Shadowrun games, and indulging in a number of ways to create more Shadowrun fun!

The Catalyst Demo Team will, of course, be running a ton of games during the con, and we’ll also be demoing the new Shadowrun, Sixth World rules at the booth. You can also dive into a demo of the board game Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops!

But the fun doesn’t stop there. It’s Shadowrun’s thirtieth anniversary, so we want to spread Shadowrun joy around. We’ll have a special display case of Shadowrun goodies from across the years for your viewing pleasure, and we’ll have plenty of new products for sale at the booth. Let’s get a look at the Shadowrun items you’ll be able to pick up at the con!

Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Book

The newest edition of Shadowrun will be up for sale! Get ready to dive into Sixth World action, gain edge over the competition, and use it to pull off stunning victories and thrilling escapes. We’ve talked a lot about this edition lately in recent posts, and we’re excited for people to play it!

Shadowrun, Sixth World Beginner Box

Want a quick taste of what the new edition has in store? Try the Beginner Box! With quick-start rules, four pre-generated characters, an adventure, setting information, and reference cards for gear and spells, the box will get you right into the action. Did we mention it has poster-sized maps and some custom Shadowrun dice?

Shadowrun Dice & Edge Tokens

A good amount of six-sided dice is always important to Shadowrun, and in the new edition, tracking and spending Edge is more important than ever. This pack of dice and Edge tokens makes your game easier to play and manage—and they look cool, too!

Rogue’s Gallery NPC cards

Need a runner for any situation? This deck has them—more than fifty, as a matter of fact! With compact game stats, character art, and some flavor to help you get to know the character, this deck will help gamemasters introduce characters on the fly to help or hinder the players.

Prime Runner miniatures

We’ve long wanted to create our own Shadowrun miniatures, and they’re finally here! Featuring Sledge, the ork street samurai, Coydog, the elf shaman, Gentry, the human decker, Hardpoint, the dwarf rigger, and Blanco, the troll weapons specialist, this pack brings Shadowrun action to life.

Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia

Want to know about what Aztechnology is up to these days? Need some info on Asamando, Deus, or Maria Mercurial? Then check out the Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia! It covers topics from Aden to the Zurich-Orbital Habitat, written in the off-the-cuff style the neo-anarchists are known for! Get it and get caught up on the Sixth World.

No Future

What hot new shows are on the trideo tonight? What tunes are shadowrunners blasting into their earbuds as they rampage through corporate security? What sports teams do runners root for in their downtime? No Future has the answers. It’s your guide to the culture of Shadowrun’s Sixth World, helping runners navigate their time off while also sneaking in critical paydata that might help them on a run.

Sledge collectible statue

Sledge, who has appeared in Shadowrun art and fiction over the past six years, is the very model of an ork street samurai. Soon, he’ll be a model you can put in your home.

Catalyst Game Labs is thrilled to announce a new collectible statue of Sledge, produced with the help of our friends at Monster Fight Club. As you see in the pictures, Sledge is fully detailed and ready for action. He is a great addition to any Shadowrun collection and a great way to bring cyberpunk flavor into any home or office.

Sledge will go on sale to the general public later this year, but we were able to fly in a small number of statues for sale at Gen Con. How small? Twelve. Due to the limited availability, we want to make sure they go to some of the most dedicated Shadowrun fans at Gen Con. Here’s what you must do to get one:

One statue will go on sale at the designated times listed below throughout the con. To acquire the statue, you need to purchase our Shadowrun Super Fan package at a cost of $500. That includes:

  • One Shadowrun, Sixth World core rulebook
  • One Shadowrun, Sixth World Executive Edition book
  • One copy of No Future
  • One Shadowrun Dice & Edge Tokens pack
  • One set of Rogue’s Gallery minis
  • One Sledge statue

Purchase of this package will enable you to then purchase a Sledge statue for $150 at one of the following times:

  • Thursday at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
  • Friday at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
  • Saturday at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m.

All this will be at Gen Con along with metal dice, t-shirts, and more! Drop by booth 1611, say hi, and see it all!

Magic in Shadowrun, Sixth World

By Jason Hardy, Shadowrun Line Developer

Gen Con, as people insist on reminding me, is four weeks away, and that’s where the Shadowrun, Sixth World core rulebook will first be released into the wild. To build up to that, we’re going to spend the next few weeks talking about different aspects of the that book, including combat, Matrix, and the ever-present challenge of presenting the deep, enthralling world of Shadowrun to new users and experts alike. First up, let’s talk about magic!

Revising the magic system presents one significant obstacle from the get-go: I really like Shadowrun’s magic system (speaking specifically about spellcasting right now). I think it does what it is supposed to do admirably, in that it gives spellcasters the chance to do big things, do small things, and think about what it’s going to cost them. Want to throw a big fireball into a corp boardroom? You can do that, but be ready to have some cart away your unconscious body afterward.

So if the system works, what needs to change? This was one of the first things I thought about when the very first gears of SR6 were turning. I pondered one recurring request for magic that came up fairly regularly, and that was for spells that players and gamemasters can generate on their own. That can be difficult to do in you want to keep balance right (though there is no such thing as perfect balance in RPG rules—but that’s a topic for another time), but it helps if the system is designed from the get-go to allow that.

So that’s what SR6 spellcasting is–it’s designed from the ground up to (eventually) allow spellcasters to make their own spells. It treats spells in a modular way, so that each spell is a combination of modules, at that combination tells you how much its basic drain will be. For example, the modules that go into Fireball are Combat + Affect living things + Fire + Area effect + Ranged.

Now, this is a bit of a tease, because you won’t be able to design spells right out of the gate in SR6. Doing that would have required putting all the modules and the instructions for combining them in the core rulebook, and we simply didn’t have the space for that. So given that, what are the ramifications for people who will be using the core book? Here’s a few:

  • Force is not declared before casting. With everything being modular, some of the main things you’d use Force for—namely, increasing the area of effect and increasing combat damage—are built into separate modules. Plus, with limits being removed across the board in SR6, it made sense to change the way the rules work in Magic, too. I’d seen many new players struggle with knowing just what Force to use for a spell, so changing this is a way of making it a little easier. You can ramp up the power if you want to, but you can also charge ahead and cast the basic spell without having to worry about it too much.
  • Elemental effects can come in more often. The modular system allows for a great range of elemental effects, and it also allows them to come into play in a variety of circumstances. Cooling Heal, Warming Heal, and Elemental Armor Are particular examples of this.
  • Drain should feel consistent. Since all drain calculations are based on the same modules, it should feel consistent across the line of spells.

Of course, spellcasting is only one area of magic. Adept powers, alchemy, conjuring, reagents, ritual spellcasting, and astral traveling/combat are in there, too. In those areas, a large amount of the changes that were made were to take advantage of the expanded Edge system, as discussed in the Shadowrun, Sixth World Developer Overview post. Various aspects of magic needed to be adjusted and tweaked to fit into the Edge paradigm, which should mean less calculating of modifiers so that you can get to the cool parts of a role-playing game. Spirits, unlike spells, still have Force, since it’s a handy way to measure the power of the individual entities, but Force does not act as a limit on Conjuring dice rolls. Enchanting needed a decent amount of tweaking, since many of its elements were based on the Force of the spell, which no longer exists, so other measures, including base drain value, were used instead. Reagents was one of those areas where good feedback during the development process led to rules that worked well with the larger system.

I hope that provides a taste of what we were thinking when working on SR6 magic, as well as whetting your appetite for that spell creation system you should see next year!

New Shadowrun Beginner Box Dossier and Release Info!

Do you have the Shadowrun, Sixth World Beginner Box Set? Do you want a preview at how characters in that ruleset will look? Do you just want free Shadowrun stuff? There’s no wrong reason to download the character dossier for Emu, the human rigger! It’s now available! 

And it’s a great time to share Beginner Box material with you, because the box itself is nearing release. The official street date is July 10–two weeks from now—but you might want to pay attention to your friendly local game store, because some copies might show up in advance of that. So if you want your first look at the next edition of one of gaming’s greatest settings, keep your eyes open!

Of course, the Beginner Box is the first step of the journey to the release of the full Shadowrun, Sixth World core rulebook, which will go on sale August 1 at Gen Con. We’ll be counting down until that week with more blog posts and information about that book, including the following:

July 3: Magic in SR6

July 10: Combat in SR6

July 17: Matrix in SR6

July 24: How to describe 30 years of Shadowrun history

July 31: Gen Con preview!

We look forward to sharing more about this edition of Shadowrun, and we’re especially excited to get people playing!

Recap: Shadowrun at Origins 2019

Convention weeks are exhausting, but also a good reminder why we love them. Origins and Gen Con are often the first time I get to see physical copies of Shadowrun stuff, and it’s always exciting to open boxes—it’s Christmas in June!

I had already seen a physical copy of the Shadowrun, Sixth World Beginner Box, but this show gave me my first chance to hold the Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia, No Future, and our dice and Edge tokens set. Our art and design people rocked it—they are all beautiful! But in particular I want to share the cover of No Future, with its AR slipcover and gritty reality main cover. Echo Chernik is one of our favorite artists for a reason, and she made a gorgeous, striking image.

The star of the show, of course, was the Beginner Box. The response was tremendous, and we sold more of them than any Shadowrun RPG item at Origins in the past ten years (and possibly longer, but ten years is as far as my personal memory goes). Having lots of boxes to sell means I get to experiment with different stacking styles—this was my beginning-of-day-four stack. It was much smaller at day’s end!

Shadowrun art was everywhere at the show. Our booth featured a large banner with the cover art from the Shadowrun, Sixth World core rulebook.

A staircase leading to the convention hall featured a rogues’ gallery of Sixth World characters, set on a stunning city backdrop.

And the gaming room was easy to find, thanks to this long banner calling attention to it.

And that gaming room was busy! Our demo agents, as always, went above and beyond to give as many gamers as possible a great gaming experience, and more than 1,100 players sat at the tables in the room. We love the enthusiasm for Shadowrun we see at Origins, and we love our demo agents. (And if you’re interested in joining one of the best teams in gaming, send an inquiry to the Catalyst Demo Team Facebook page. We’re looking for a few good people for Gen Con!)

And, of course, this is only part of the overall experience. Talking to friends, teaching people how to play different games, learning new games, rolling lots of dice, seeing how many dice I can fit into our new dice bags, and making unending strings of jokes that are pretty much just funny to me—that’s what a con’s about! And all you great Shadowrun people helped make this one especially memorable!

Now back to working on that character dossier we promise you for Emu the rigger!

Shadowrun, Sixth World to Debut at Origins Game Fair

Origins Game Fair is about to launch, and with it comes the worldwide premiere of Shadowrun, Sixth World!

Kicking off on Thursday, June 13 and running through Sunday, June 16, Origins is your first chance to get your hands on the new Shadowrun, Sixth World beginner box set. Those at the convention also have the first opportunity to try out the new rules.

Available for sale at the Catalyst Game Labs Booth (701, 707, 807) at Origins will be:

  • Shadowrun, Sixth World Beginner Box (Street Date: July 10)
  • Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia (Street Date: June 12)
  • No Future (Street Date: July 10)
  • Mekeda Red (Available now)
  • Prime Runner miniatures (Advance sale; street date TBD)
  • Shadowrun Dice & Edge Tokens (Advance sale; street date TBD)

To celebrate the launch of Sixth World, anyone ordering the above products through the Catalyst Game Labs store in print format will receive the PDF version for free (except, of course, the dice and edge tokens). This promotion will begin with the release of the Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia today (PDF only // Book & PDF).

In addition, any visitors to the Catalyst Game Labs booth will receive an all-new Shadowrun, Sixth World poster, while those playing in Shadowrun games at Origins will walk away with new custom dice or edge tokens. (Both offers good while supplies last.) And we will also be running plenty of Shadowrun, BattleTech, Dragonfire, and more!

Demonstration games of Shadowrun, Sixth World will be available at the Catalyst booth. In the Gaming Hall, the Shadowrun Missions line will continue the Neo-Tokyo storyline started in Season Nine, the final Missions written for Fifth Edition.

Creating Shadowrun Fiction for the Sixth World Game Edition–or, Meet your Editor, Mr. Johnson

(Note: The Rigger Dossier intended for release this week will be made available at a later date. In its place, we present this in-depth look at upcoming Shadowrun fiction.)

By John Helfers

I’ve been editing fiction for Catalyst Game Labs for several years now, and I like to think I’m pretty decent at it. But even though I’ve commissioned dozens of stories and novels, some projects still require a bit more of a hands-on approach due to their unique nature. And along with that uniqueness often comes a deadline that is just as immovable as anything else in publishing.

Just like the one for this article was. How was I supposed to write about overseeing the creation of six interlinked novellas set in the new backdrop of the next edition of Shadowrun, and featuring the new characters from the Beginner Box Set and take you through how that all came about?

While I was staring at my computer screen, trying to get the words flowing, the core idea hit me: for all intents and purposes, a tie-in fiction editor is a lot like a Mr. Johnson in the Sixth World.

Exactly like them, in fact.

I receive my assignment from the corp: It all started when the CGL overlords (well, one of the overlords) Randall Bills started a thread (or perhaps an e-mail) about how to tie our fiction line into the upcoming release of the next edition of the Shadowrun roleplaying game. I assured him that this was a great idea (it is), and of course I could commission a series of six original interwoven (!) novellas, all featuring a team of runners out to score some kind of major run on a corp, and have the first one ready to publish in about 45 days from initial concept (!!), with the next five to follow in two-week intervals leading up to the launch of the new Shadowrun edition this August.

I assemble my shadowrunning (shadow-writing?) team: Next, I had to pull together the group of writers I would hire to handle this trickier-than-usual job. Commissioning six Shadowrun novellas is easy; commissioning six novellas whose plot paths cross over one another and weave in and out as the story progresses is a very different item. I needed to find writers I not only could trust were familiar with the Shadowrun universe, but who were also solid writers that would play well with the rest of the group. If we didn’t have cohesion as each writer turned in their separate plot for the others to tie their stories in to, the whole project could fall apart.

Fortunately, I’ve been editing this IP long enough that I know several excellent writers who can turn in wonderful stories on relatively short notice. I also had contacts on the gamebook side of SR, and Line Developer Jason Hardy put me in touch with a couple writers who had been working hard on the core rulebook, were experienced in writing Shadowrun fiction, and who were also free (and willing) to tackle this project in the limited time frame it required.

So, relatively quickly, I assembled my team: game designer and writer Dylan Birtolo; two Shadowrun, Sixth World writers, Brooke Chang and CZ Wright; professional game guy and Shadowrun enthusiast Bryan CP Steele; former BattleTech editor, and current Shadowrun and BattleTech freelance writer Jason Schmetzer; and to wrap the whole thing up into a nice neat ending, the same Jason M. Hardy (because he didn’t have enough to do with overseeing the creation of the new edition) who gave me his author list in the first place. Once again, no good deed goes unpunished.

I give the team their assignment and turn them loose: I brought the team together on our online Basecamp project managing site and pretty much let them loose on figuring out the who, when, where, why, and how the overall plot would go down while I kept tabs on how things were progressing and weighed in on ideas and answered questions when needed. The authors all came together nicely, and soon the ideas were flowing fast and furious.

I take the results of each section of the overall mission and make sure they work for the parameters I’d been assigned: The novella manuscripts started hitting my inbox, and that’s when I really got to work in editing and shaping each piece to make sure they fit our vision of what the overarching story was going to be. I’m pleased to say that everyone has delivered stellar work so far, and I have no doubt that the rest of the pieces will be up to the high bar of the first three stories we’ve published.

When the last of the stories is completed, I will make sure the runners…er, writers are all paid for their work, and I’ll enjoy the satisfaction of having overseen the completion of another successful mission in media tie-in publishing. The job’s only half done at this point, with me still having to review and make sure the last three stories bring our story to its exciting conclusion. But I have every confidence that the rest of my writing team will do it justice.

Okay, so there was no posturing for respect on the mean streets or last-minute double-crosses among the writers (good thing, too) or betrayals from the corp itself—the closest thing to any obstacles I encountered was that some of the authors needed a few more days to complete their stories (and one time cover art was delayed, necessitating a rescheduling of the publication of one novella). Frag, I even work on a computer for 99 percent of the time, so I don’t even get so much as a paper cut nowadays.

The team I put together worked like a well-oiled machine that gave me the results I wanted, and the final product is a great introduction to the exciting world of Shadowrun, Sixth World. I completed my assignment (or will), making my corp happy and allowing a very talented group of writers to show all the Shadowrun fans what they can do. In short, I executed like a true Mr. Johnson.

But now, as I’m re-reading this, maybe editing tie-in work isn’t all that hazardous, and perhaps I’m stretching that editor-as-Mr. Johnson analogy a bit too far…

Nah…

  • May 1: Initial Announcement
  • May 8: Product Overview
  • May 15: Developer Overview
  • May 22: Setting Overview
  • May 29: Developer Q&A
  • June 5: Fiction Announcement
  • June 12: Shadowrun at Origins preview
  • More to follow

Q&A with Shadowrun Line Developer Jason Hardy

Welcome to this week’s Shadowrun, Sixth World update! For this week’s post, we’ve scoured various internet outposts to find some common questions about Sixth World, and asked Jason Hardy, Shadowrun line developer, to answer.

Is Sixth World an attempt to simply fix the problems that some saw in Fifth Edition, or is it more of a ground-up re-envisioning of the Shadowrun game as a whole?

Definitely closer to the latter. I wouldn’t say it’s a total re-envisioning—we still have dice pools of D6s, we have the same attributes, and many aspects are the same as previous editions. But we did not want to simply tweak or adjust Fifth Edition–we wanted this to be a whole new edition, with new concepts and a different feel. We also wanted to streamline the game—which is the subject of the next question!

In streamlining the Sixth World rules, did the developers take any cues from other game systems and their recent editions on what to do or not do?

Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: I play games a lot, so I’m always looking at lessons to learn from other games. In particular, I looked at a lot of ways of making adjustment to dice and dice pools, to see how the math on each of those work out. Adjusting threshold numbers, adding more dice, adding +1 to a die, re-rolling a die—all of those have different effects, and knowing what those effects are was important in designing the game (I have a lovely spreadsheet with fun stats!).

I also looked at one element crucial to role-playing games, and that is giving a range of characters meaningful choices. Without going into details, I’ve seen games that do a great job of it, and I’ve seen games where some types of characters seem to only be able to choose from a small range of actions, so they end up picking between one or two alternatives most of the time. We tried to emulate the former!

Who did the developers turn to for input on revising the rules for Sixth World? How was the system playtested and what tweaks were made as a result?

Lots of people! The initial phase of development was more of a reaching-out phase—we spoke with people who weren’t in the trenches of day-to-day Shadowrun work to get their thoughts on different ways Shadowrun could reinvent itself, so that we could get fresh ideas. We also reached out to freelancers working on Shadowrun, especially those with lots of in-the-trenches gaming experience.

Playtesting went through several phases (fun fact: the core playtest document was updated and re-circulated 12 different times during the playtest process). Throughout the process, I ran games with a variety of people—Catalyst staff, experienced Shadowrun players, and people new to Shadowrun. The freelancers working on Shadowrun ran several playtests as we were in the early stages of forming the main structure of the game.

Once we had a basic structure in place, the playtest broadened. We have a large group of non-staff, non-freelancer playtesters we use for a lot of different games, and many of them stepped in to run games. This gave us the perspective of people coming to the ruleset with fresh eyes, having not been involved in any of the early development of this game or in any writing of SR5 rules.

The changes from this process are numerous. A few examples:

* The very first set of playtest rules had a lot of what is now part of the Edge in a separate sub-system. Playtesters thought it would be good to combine all the systems into Edge. That was a good idea.

* There were many playtest ideas on ways to reconfigure skills to make them easier to handle while also providing ways to make a range of characters. The Specialization and Expertise system came out of that.

* Early playtest documents focused on the Combat uses of Edge. The intention was always to expand it, but that was given special urgency by playtesters emphasizing that Edge needed to be woven into multiple areas of gameplay.

* Playtesting is also good for making small tweaks—damage values, Karma costs of qualities, drain values of spells, and more were adjusted in playtesting.

How long will it take for the various sourcebooks for all the character classes to come out? Will I have to “downgrade” my character to what’s available in the core rules until those books are available?

The combat sourcebook will come out by the end of this year. As with Fifth Edition, the other core books will then come out regularly as they are developed and written. We will have a character conversion guide that will help with bringing a character into the new edition, but we simply cannot put put rules that covered more than 2,000 pages in Fifth Edition in a single burst, especially since the last books developed for Fifth Edition haven’t come out yet, so I was working on them while also working on Sixth World. Getting all the core books out in a single year would require at least a year where I wasn’t working on anything else, and that’s not something I can do!

When will Missions change over to using Sixth World rules, and will my character have to be reset to use only what’s in the core book?

If all works the way we have planned, the first Neo-Tokyo Missions will be dual-statted for both Fifth Edition and Sixth World. We hope those will start flowing out this fall. That means you should have at least half a year before having to make the conversion to Sixth World to play Missions. If the dual-statting goes smoothly, we can explore extending it.

Have you made any changes to riggers, their rules, or how they’re incorporated in runs? Will rules for riggers come earlier in the release schedule than in the past?

Yes. Vehicle stats are greatly changed—in some ways, they’re one of the ways the rules became a bit more complicated, if only so vehicle movement could be tracked without the abstracted chase rules of previous editions. Matrix rules have been changed, so with them rigging rules have been adjusted, though that level of detail is beyond the scope of this post! Between drone rigging, vehicle operation, and taking over other vehicles and drones, riggers should find plenty to do.

The timing for the rigger book and other books has not been decided yet, though I’ll just take this opportunity to point out that Rigger 5.0 came out more than three years ago, less than halfway through the Fifth Edition cycle!

What would you say to those who are concerned about the reduced number of Skills in Sixth World?

First, the goal of specializations and expertise is to give players a way to differentiate characters with this smaller skill set. I hope that will be useful and give characters their own feel. Second, if, in the end, you prefer the longer skill list of previous editions to the list in Sixth World, that’s okay. I long ago came to grips with the fact that no single edition of Shadowrun will be everything to everyone. Everyone will like the things they like, and I just hope Sixth World provides rules and tools a substantial group of players can use to have fun!

Can you talk a little more about Edge, and why Sixth Edition changes how it is used?

The process of how Edge evolved is the longest, most detailed process in the whole game. So I’ll try to make a long story short! Ish. So, the first thing I focused on when it came time to move past brainstorming and put rules to paper was combat. I wanted the whole combat process to move smoother and for combat to resolve faster. I saw a lot of things to tweak the process, but in the end, many of them boiled down to one thing: It takes a long time to calculate dice pools. Modifiers can come from a lot of places, and remembering to look at all these places, while also remembering the size of the modifiers, can be complex. I wanted to streamline that whole process. The first step in that was combining a lot of weapon stats into a single number called Attack Rating. That number is compared to a Target’s Defense Rating, and, in the initial system, if your Attack Rating was sufficiently higher than the Defense Rating, you’d get what was called a Chip, which would represent your accumulated advantage in the fight. The idea was that other things, such as good tactical execution, would give you more Chips. Then playtesting showed us that the Chip system had similarities with Edge, and things would work best if Edge was expanded, rather than introducing a new meta-game currency. Once that merger was in place, the work was to find how to implement Edge across the system. So deckers, faces, riggers, technomancers, and whoever else hits the shadows gets a chance to build up Edge and spend it in a spectacular move.

How did you balance the need to streamline the core rules against the complexity and detail that many Shadowrun players enjoy?

That was a tough one! In the end, I think it’s about making a good framework for the game. The basics of Shadowrun are simple—find a skill for the action you’re going to attempt, add ranks in that skill to ranks in an associated attribute, roll that many D6s, and count how many 5s and 6s you get. You’re either trying to beat a threshold established by the gamemaster or the number of hits from another character. That part isn’t hard to master. The complications come with all the attachments, which means that in the end, it’s about not overloading the core system with attachments. The way Edge works in Sixth World gives players plenty of opportunities for their choices to have and effect in the game while making it easier to determine what that effect is.

Why should an established Shadowrun player pick up Sixth World?

For the adventure and challenge! Game rules offer structure and limits, with the players seeing what cool things they can pull off within that structure. Just like designing a new character, new rules give you a chance to see what you can make happen with new trappings. In Sixth World, combat should move faster, and your opportunities to do spectacular things should come about more frequently. You also might have an easier time getting people who found the longer Fifth Edition book too daunting into the game!

Shadowrun, Sixth World Setting Overview

By Jason Hardy, Shadowrun Line Developer

While last week’s post focused on the rules of Shadowrun, Sixth World, today I want to talk about the game’s Sixth World setting, which is a key element of its success. It’s not just the unholy hybrid of fantasy and cyberpunk that make it compelling, but also the way the ongoing storyline has evolved over the years. With dragons, spirits, and sasquatches wielding significant corporate power, AIs and other mysterious entities roaming the Matrix, and spell-casting gangs spreading chaos through the world’s cities, the Sixth World is vibrant and exciting—and always throwing challenges at shadowrunners.

Talk to any Shadowrun fan and they’ll tell you stories—maybe about the Universal Brotherhood, or Renraku Arcology, or the death of Dunkelzahn, or Crash 2.0, or the fight for the future of Chicago. The unfolding story over the past thirty years has kept players and readers entertained, as stories play out in both sourcebooks and fiction.

That tradition continues with Shadowrun, Sixth World. Last week I talked about the upcoming plot sourcebook Cutting Black and the campaign book 30 Nights. While I don’t want to spoil any of the upcoming plot details, let me say that they start with Ares making a big move against the bugs, and the various responses to that destruction will reshape the world. The events are big, multi-pronged, and provide lots of chances for shadowrunner involvement. These aren’t events that happen over shadowrunners’ heads—they’ll be right down in it, dealing with world-shaking events and trying to survive while figuring out just what happened.

While these events are important, they don’t cover all the stories of the Shadowrun universe that need to be told. Novels, novellas, and short stories play vital roles in immersing readers in the universe and sharing unforgettable stories. From classics by Nigel Findley, Tom Dowd, and Robert Charrette, to new favorites like Russell Zimmerman, Jennifer Brozek, and R.L. King, Shadowrun has been Home to great stories and storytellers. Which means I’m very excited to talk about the fiction that’s coming up!

We already mentioned the six-part series of novellas called The Frame Job. They’ll cover the four characters included in the beginner box set, as well as a bonus character, then have a Sixth novella wrapping the whole story up. Dylan Birtolo wrote the first one, Brooke Chang wrote the second, and talented writers such as Bryan Steele, CZ Wright, and Jason Schmetzer will take on the other characters. Then I’ll be delighted to wrap it up!

But that’s not all the Shadowrun fiction that will be coming your way! Jennifer Brozek has a new novel called Makeda Red coming your way. It starts with an extraction on a luxury Party Train, and it’s every bit as fun as that concept implies. And more is in the pipeline, so keep your eyes peeled for future announcements!

Word about Shadowrun, Sixth World is starting to spread! EN World has a review up of the Beginner Box, Diehard Game Fan put up an unboxing, the Shadowcasters Network continues to cover the rules and upcoming books, Meeple Monthly and GTM have articles about the game (the latter includes a new, double-sided poster), and more reviews will be coming up—we’ll link to them when we see them!

Shadowrun, Sixth World Developer’s Notes

From Jason Hardy, Shadowrun Line Developer:

Shadowrun, Sixth World is coming soon!

Wait, Shadowrun, Sixth World isn’t out yet? But I’ve been thinking about it for years! Playing it for more than a year! How are other people not playing it? Development time can be so disorienting.

There was a time—six years ago, to be specific—when I threatened physical violence to anyone who said the words “sixth edition” in my presence. (The threats didn’t work. No one is ever scared of me. But I digress). Fifth Edition took a lot of effort to produce, and I didn’t want to think about starting that whole process again. But then there were a few years where I didn’t have to think about a new edition, and I could recharge. Actually, that’s not entirely true, because every time I play a game—whether it’s one I worked on or not—I’m kind of thinking of a new edition. I’m looking at what works well, what works differently than intended, and what possibilities might open up with a tweak here and there. So when the time came to envision the next edition of Shadowrun, I had a few ideas, as did the excellent roster of Shadowrun writers and gamemasters I could tap into.

All those ideas needed a framework, of course. As we started our work, we decided the sixth edition of Shadowrun needed to possess three main qualities:

  1. Be no more than 300 pages long;
  2. Use D6 dice pools; and
  3. Feel like Shadowrun.

Those last two points are related, because it’s tough for a game to feel like Shadowrun if you’re not rolling a healthy handful of D6s. But there’s more to it than that. Combat specialists, spellcasters, conjurers, adepts, faces, deckers, technomancers, riggers, enchanters, weapon specialists, and more all need to exist, and they all must have different and meaningful ways to contribute to a run.

In this edition, all that had to happen within 300 pages. Which is a trick. Fifth Edition, not counting the index, is 466 pages; the anniversary edition of Fourth Edition was 351 pages, and Third Edition was 325 pages (minus the sample record sheets). Second Edition is a lean 284 pages, but it had no bioware, no technomancers, no alchemy, and no qualities, to name a few things that have changed in the intervening years. The book that started it all is an even leaner 207 pages, but along with the elements Second Edition didn’t have, it lacks things such as adepts and foci, and it offers only twenty guns—heresy! (Fifth Edition has 52, while Shadowrun, Sixth World will offer 53–we didn’t cut back much on those options!) All this is to say that streamlining the core rulebook back to 300 pages was not going to be easy.

It’s important to note that simply making the book shorter doesn’t, by itself, do any good. You can make any book shorter by simply ripping every third page out, but you end up with a book that makes no sense. Making the book shorter only is useful if the game also becomes smoother to play. In other words, we didn’t just want a shorter game—we wanted one that moved faster and was easier to get into, while still offering lots of meaningful options. We also didn’t want this to be Shadowrun: Anarchy for the simple reason that Anarchy already exists. Anarchy represents a more extreme end of the rules-light spectrum than Shadowrun, Sixth World–one way to understand the difference between the two is that the gear rules and listings take up about seven or eight pages in Anarchy, compared to fifty pages in Sixth World. Did I mention we wanted to offer lots of options?

Anyway, this means that if the rules were changed, they needed to be changed with an eye toward enabling players to do the things that they wanted to do more quickly. Combat should be faster. Hacking should be smoother and more intuitive. Magic should adapt to be just what the caster wants it to be. And so on. So what, specifically, did we do? Here’s a sample:

  • Expanded Edge: Yes, one of the things we did to streamline the game was to make one function much more detailed. But stay with me for a second. The definition of Edge has shifted—rather than being that undefinable something extra you reach for in a tough spot to help put you over the top, Edge now represents the accumulated advantage you get in opposed situations. Whether you’re fighting, spellcasting, hacking, or negotiating, you’ll have a chance to earn and spend bonus Edge. And you should spend it—if you’re not gaining and spending Edge regularly in Shadowrun, Sixth World it might be time to rethink your tactics. Or find less formidable opposition. Gaining and spending Edge replaces a lot of other functions in the game, like calculating situational modifiers, dealing with recoil and armor piercing, and environmental modifiers. Edge also provides a chance for a character to really have an impact when it’s time to spend it.
  • Fewer action types: There are two, Minor and Major. That’s it! You get one Minor and one Major per turn, with an additional Minor for various circumstances, such as reaction-enhancing augmentations or spells. One Major Action may be traded for four Minor Actions, or four Minor for one Major.
  • Simplified initiative: You roll initiative at the start of an encounter and then don’t re-roll it. Certain actions or effects may change your initiative score, though.
  • No limits: Limits served a valuable function of balancing attributes and providing different opportunities for rule effects, but in a streamlined ruleset, they are not needed. Limits on most tests and Force for spells have all been removed.
  • Skill list narrowed: SR5 has 80 skills, while SR6 has 19. That’s a big difference. There’s definite streamlining there, but it comes at the risk of characters not being distinct from each other. To deal with that, players can still select specializations but can also upgrade a specialization to an expertise, giving their character +3 bonus dice instead of +2, and once they  have an expertise they can select an additional specialization. This will provide characters with chances to become truly distinct.
  • More intuitive Matrix: This is an ongoing goal, and it’s always fun to try to make Matrix activities happen alongside and in parallel with the other actions. Deckers will have meaningful things to do and ways to get in, make things happen, and get out—all while trying to avoid the watchful eyes of the Grid Overwatch Division, of course.

Those are some of the major changes, but far from the only ones. We haven’t talked about Attack Ratings, the uses of armor, changes to Knowledge skills, revamped spell design, new vehicle stats, cyberjacks, and more. I hope this gives you a taste of the upcoming changes, and I look forward to you all playing Shadowrun, Sixth World as much as I have and will! And look for more information on this blog each Wednesday in May!

Preview the Lineup of Shadowrun, Sixth Edition Rulebooks, Sourcebooks and Game Aids!

Hot on the heels of our announcement launching Shadowrun, Sixth Edition, it’s time to take a closer look at the blistering fusillade of action-packed books, games, and swag that will shake the Sixth World!

BEGINNER BOX, $24.99 (JUNE)

The Shadowrun Sixth World Beginner Box is the easiest way to dive into the intrigue, grit, and action of one of the most enduring role-playing settings of all time! It includes everything needed for a game, including quick-start rules, character dossiers, an adventure, gear and magic cards, dice, and more!

NEO-ANARCHIST STREETPEDIA, $34.99 (JUNE)

The Neo-Anarchist Streetpediais your definitive guide to the Shadowrun universe. With hundreds of entries, it covers corporations, shadowrunners, politicians, nations, cities, criminal organizations, and more. Even better, it gets to the point and tells you what you need to know now, so you hit the streets a little smarter than you were when you woke up this morning.

NO FUTURE, $49.99 (JULY)

No Future is the Shadowrun guide to Sixth World culture, including information on music acts, trid movies and series, media sources, and sports, with a look at some of the voices bubbling up from the underground and demanding attention. With detailed setting information and relevant rules, No Future adds new elements and depth to Sixth World role-playing.

NOTE: No Future was originally released in PDF format earlier this year as a sourcebook for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition. The short rules section was updated to the Sixth World system for its print release. An updated PDF will be available upon No Future’s print release, and all customers who previously purchased the book in PDF format will receive a free upgrade to the updated PDF.

SHADOWRUN SIXTH WORLD CORE RULEBOOK, $49.99 (AUGUST)

Shadowrun, Sixth World is the latest edition of one of the most popular roleplaying games of all time.

  • The new edition is easier to play and learn than it has ever been, yet it still offers the roleplaying depth that is a key part of the Shadowrun experience.
  • The rule system is built around gaining advantages and taking risks, building up to spectacular moments that are part of great gaming sessions!
  • Faster gameplay and conflict resolution keep the game moving and plunge players ever-deeper into Sixth World intrigue.
  • More pre-generated characters plus character creation rules allow you to design and select exactly the character you want to use in the game.

Limited Edition, $99.99

Executive Edition, $199.99

  • Details to come!

ROGUE’S GALLERY: AN NPC DECK, $19.99 (AUGUST)

Whether on the desperate streets or in the Machiavellian high-rises of the corporate elite, dangerous people lurk in every corner of the Sixth World. And they’re in here, too, with a quick backstory, a hook, and streamlined game stats. Bring the Shadowrun universe to life by putting these characters at your fingertips and in your game!

DICE & EDGE TOKENS, $19.99 (AUGUST)

Tossing a handful of dice to out-maneuver or out-gun your opponent always brings a rush. Especially when you’re spending some Edge to boost your actions. Add more dice to your Shadowrun game, along with a great way to track your Edge!

PRIME RUNNER MINIATURES, $19.99 (AUGUST)

They’re rough. Tough. Ready for action. And you can fit five of them in your hand. Bring Sledge the ork street samurai, Coydog the elf shaman, Gentry the human decker, Hardpoint the dwarf rigger, and Blanco, the troll weapons specialist to your game table and let them unleash chaos!

GAMEMASTER SCREEN, $29.99 (SEPTEMBER)

Experience a gamemaster screen unlike any other. Features include a large outward-facing pocket for the insertion of various scene inserts—included in the pack—to change up the players’ visual experience. A variety of interior card pockets allows the GM to quickly and easily track NPCs, and other reference cards. Finally, a series of Reputation trackers are built directly into the screen, enabling a runner team to track their heat from Ares to Aztechnology, and more, changing up the games as they play. (Note: the image above is a teaser; the full image will be revealed at a later date!)

CUTTING BLACK, $49.99 (SEPTEMBER)

A new edition of Shadowrun requires new stories, and Cutting Black launches Shadowrun, Sixth World with a bang! Following on the immersive style of classic Shadowrun books such as Universal Brotherhood and Bug City as well as newer successes like Dark Terrors, Cutting Black sets up storylines full of dark dealings and intrigue that will shake the Shadowrun setting and inspire game campaigns for months or longer. Players and gamemasters alike diving into the new edition will need this book as a resource to find out what’s happening in the Sixth World and to keep up with its twists and turns.

30 NIGHTS, $39.99 (OCTOBER)

30 Nights is a detailed campaign book to help players learn and have fun with Shadowrun, Sixth World. It introduces players to new rules and new plot lines, plunging them into the growing chaos in the UCAS as they look into the source of a mysterious blackout plaguing Toronto. The adventures can be played as a single gaming session to introduce players to the new rules, multiple sessions hitting highlights from the adventures, or a detailed campaign propelling the players through each of the 30 nights of the blackout and ensuing chaos. This book includes a laminated, poster map of Toronto, with expanded content.

DEEPER INTO THE SHADOWS

Don’t forget, we’ve released numerous 30th Anniversary items on our website, from hoodies, to t-shirts, to lapel pins, deluxe metal dice, and more. Keep an eye on the Catalyst Store for more fantastic offerings to celebrate where man meets magic and machine.

While we hope that you’ll check out Shadowrun, Sixth World, feel free to continue your Shadowrun, Fifth Edition adventures and adapt the exciting upcoming plotlines to meet your gaming group’s desires.

We’ve got more inside looks at Shadowrun, Sixth World coming—stay tuned! In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our growing website at www.shadowrunsixthworld.com. An all-new News section is now live, and join our mailing list on that site for unique future opportunities.

  • May 1: Initial Announcement
  • May 8: Product Overview
  • May 15: Developer Overview
  • May 22: Setting Overview/Fiction Announcement
  • May 29: Developer Q&A
  • June 5: Rigger Dossier
  • June 12: Shadowrun at Origins preview
  • More to follow

SHADOWRUN: SIXTH WORLD, An All-New Edition of Cyberpunk Fantasy

Catalyst Game Labs proudly announces the sixth edition of the Shadowrun roleplaying game, Shadowrun, Sixth World, debuting this summer.

Are you ready to risk everything?

The Sixth World. One of the most enduring RPG settings ever created, with shadows growing deeper and darker in its latest edition. Dominated by enormous, world-striding megacorporations strangling metahumanity in their clutches, by 2080 most of the planet has surrendered to these corporate overlords.

But from the darkest shadows, defiance flickers in people known as shadowrunners. They risk everything—wrestling magical energies, channeling them into power; putting their minds against the electronic void of the Matrix; trading flesh and blood for chrome and steel.

Stand up, join them, and dare to risk it all!

Shadowrun, Sixth World builds on Shadowrun’s amazingly successful legacy, becoming easier to learn and play while still providing role-playing depth. Welcome to the marquee event of the game’s 30th Anniversary year!

It all starts with the Shadowrun, Sixth World Beginner Box, releasing in June. Here’s an exclusive look at the box’s cover art and contents:

Take your first step into the shadows with a new novella, “The Frame Job, Part 1: Yu” available today. Written by Dylan Birtolo, this exciting new fiction—which ties into the characters from the Shadowrun, Sixth World Beginner Box—is the first installment in a cycle of novellas releasing over the next few months.

You can also check out Shadowrun’s brand-new, future home at www.shadowrunsixthworld.com, featuring the game’s updated look and intense new art. The site will expand and grow over the coming weeks.

Catalyst is also pleased to announce the following localizations of Shadowrun, Sixth World already in the works: Brazilian Portuguese (New Order), German (Pegasus Spiel), French (Black Book), Italian (Wyrd Edizioni), and Russian (Hobby World). More are in discussion.

Need more info? Here’s what to look out for on both www.shadowrunsixthworld.com and www.shadowruntabletop.com, as well as the official Shadowrun and Catalyst Game Labs social media, and on the official Shadowrun forums over the next few weeks:

  • May 1: Initial Announcement
  • May 8: Product Overview
  • May 15: Developer Overview
  • May 22: Setting Overview/Fiction Announcement
  • May 29: Developer Q&A
  • June 5: Rigger Dossier
  • June 12: Shadowrun at Origins preview
  • More to follow

To tide you over until the Sixth World Beginner Box is available, the Sixth World Sprawl Fashion T-shirt is now available for purchase! (As part of BattleTech’s 35th anniversary, the Red Duke Solaris Fashion T-shirt is also now available.)

Additionally, don’t forget about the other 30thAnniversary items we’ve released on the Catalyst Game Labs store, including the t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt, Executive Dice, and the commemorative pin. Look for more great items throughout the year.

This summer, the shadows fall darker than ever, and survival depends on your willingness to risk everything and become a legend!

Executive Dice, Anniversary Pin, Limited Edition Sourcebooks Now Available

Hoi, chummers! We’ve heard your requests for exclusive swag, so we’re proud to offer the following items for sale now at store.catalystgamelabs.com:

Shadowrun Executive Dice ($30 for six dice; $60 for six dice and case): High-end, luxury dice for the Mr. Johnson with everything.

30th Anniversary Pin ($9.99): The perfect accent for everything from a three-piece suit to a leather jacket.

Limited editions of Shadowrun sourcebooks (varies): Many never before released to the webstore; stock of each volume varies.

Note: We expect the dice and pins will sell out very quickly—however, we’re expecting to restock them just as quickly. If you miss out on the first batch, check back for further announcements and availability.

Now Available: New Shadowrun Products and 30th Anniversary Apparel

The celebration of Shadowrun’s 30th Anniversary begins today!

We’ve got all-new products now available to thank our longtime fans and set the stage for the future. Links below!

Want to help us spread the word? Download hi-res versions of the Shadowrun 30th Anniversary logo (JPG / PNG).

  • The PDF version of the Shadowrun sourcebook No Future is now available in the Catalyst Game Labs store. Dive deep into the culture of the Sixth World with information on music acts, trid movies, sports, and new voices merging from the underground.
  • The all-new Shadowrun: Anarchy supplement Chicago Chaos is now available in PDF format, print format, and a combo deal through the Catalyst Game Labs store. Shadowrunners using the Anarchy rules will discover all-new contracts, missions, characters and more!
  • Apparel bearing the Shadowrun 30th Anniversary logo is available for order, including a t-shirt and hoodie. The previously announced pin will be available at a later time.

Shadowrun 30th Anniversary

It’s time to celebrate this year, as Shadowrun marks 30 years of action and intrigue in the Sixth World!

We’re kicking off a year of celebration next Wednesday, January 23 to thank our longtime fans and set the stage for the future. Here’s a preview of what we’ve got in store—check back next Wednesday for full links to all of the exciting products on sale that day:

  • The PDF version of the Shadowrun sourcebook No Future will be available in the Catalyst Game Labs store. Dive deep into the culture of the Sixth World with information on music acts, trid movies, sports, and new voices merging from the underground.
  • The all-new Shadowrun: Anarchy supplement Chicago Chaos will be available in PDF and print formats through the Catalyst Game Labs store. Shadowrunners using the Anarchy rules will discover all-new contracts, missions, characters and more!
  • Apparel bearing the Shadowrun 30th Anniversary logo will be available for order, including a t-shirt, hoodie, and pin.

Shop Shadowrun on Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, or whenever!

Are you shopping for the holidays? For others or for yourself? Or just shopping in general? Well, there’s Shadowrun goodness waiting for you! First, the latest Deep Shadows sourcebook, Better than Bad (Catalyst shop, Drivethru), just came out! Here’s the rundown:

Righteous Fire

Kill or be killed. Eye for an eye. Get yours while you can. Shadowrunners—and most of the other residents of the Sixth World—are told from birth that those are the principles you must follow to survive. Thinking of others is for suckers. Take care of your own and hope you don’t die early.

But some runners think that’s no way to live. They know the world is stacked against them, and they’ve decided they like those odds. They choose to fight for what they think is right. They use shadowruns to take from people who don’t deserve what they have and give to those who need it. They seek hidden information that can right wrongs. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t always pay as well as outright theft, but who do they tell stories about centuries later—Robin Hood, or the jerk thief from a few forests away who only thought of himself?

Better than Bad is a shadowrunners’ guide to hooding, the art of committing crime to help those in need. With plot information, shadowrunning techniques and tactics, and advice to help runners work to bring good into the world, the book is the first definitive guide to shadowrunning with a conscience. It also includes information on a hot spot for working to right wrongs—Pretoria, in the African nation of Azania

Better than Bad is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, and most of the material can also be used with Shadowrun: Anarchy.

Also, don’t miss the recently released follow up to Shadows in Focus: MoroccoShadows in Focus: Casablanca-Rabat (Catalyst shop, Drivethru). Here’s what it has!

Devils in the White City

Casablanca-Rabat is a sprawl with millions of secrets and a willingness—an eagerness, even—to sell them. That means there is plenty of work for shadowrunners, but also a need for care, since revealing the wrong secret at the wrong time can lead to disaster. So get to know the city, get to know the culture, and learn how to play the game. Then take your running to the next level in one of the most vital sprawls of the Sixth World.

Shadows in Focus: Casablanca-Rabat follows Shadows in Focus: Morocco to fill in details of Africa’s northwestern shore, and you can either use both books to build in-game knowledge or focus on this one to help you launch shadowruns in a sprawl with a deep history of intrigue.<o:p></o:p>

Shadows in Focus: Casablanca-Rabat has rules for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, along with world-building that can be used in both Shadowrun, Fifth Edition and Shadowrun: Anarchy.

Shadowrun: Crossfire Prime Runner Now Available!

The long wait is finally over…Shadowrun: Crossfire Prime Runner is now available on store shelves! But don’t worry if you previously purchased Crossfire and just want the updated materials, we’ve got a Refit Kit to fit that bill.

Here’s the full details on both.


Shadowrun: Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition ($59.99)
The shadows of the Sixth World have every kind of danger you can imagine. Ultra-violent gangers, flesh-eating ghouls, mages that summon spirits from toxic waste, backstabbing corporate raiders, hard-nosed police officers, and even dragons. You don’t have much—mainly your guts, your wits, and your friends. But maybe that’s enough. Between you and your teammates, you can sling spells, hack the Matrix, talk a tiger out of his stripes, and bring down a charging ork from a hundred yards away. Will that be enough to face down the worst the mean streets can throw at you? You’re about to find out.

Shadowrun: Crossfire is a deck-building game set in one of the most popular game settings of all time. Crossing cyberpunk with fantasy and plunging players into a world dominated by ruthless megacorporations. Crossfire gives players the chance to dive into the world’s shadows and see if they can survive. The Prime Runner Edition adds new upgrades to make the game even better—with more missions, improved rules, and new character screens, this is the best version of Crossfire ever!

Featuring fast, cooperative game play and stacks of dangerous obstacles and opponents to overcome. Shadowrun: Crossfire will launch you into nonstop action. You’ll even have the chance to get stronger the more you play, tackling harder and harder obstacles as you become more dangerous. Leap into the shadows for deck-building adventure like you’ve never experienced!


Shadowrun: Crossfire: Prime Runner Refit Kit ($24.99)
If you have a Shadowrun: Crossfire set, you might have seen the update to the game called the Shadowrun: Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition, and maybe you’re thinking that it would be good to be able to get something that has only the changed materials—the updated rules, the changed cards, the new missions—so that you’d have all the benefits of the latest edition without having to buy everything again.

You’re right—it would be good! So here it is! The Prime Runner Refit Kit brings all the changes of the Prime Runner Edition to your Crossfire game, including updated rules, adjusted character stats, newly designed character screens, more missions, and a full range of upgrade stickers, including the set from the High Caliber Ops expansion. With this kit, your game will be ready to roll with any Crossfire game out there!

Note: The Prime Runner Refit Kit is for use only with the first edition of Shadowrun Crossfire. If you don’t have Shadowrun: Crossfire or if you have the Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition, you do not need this Refit Kit!

DOWNLOADS
The full rulebooks for both the Prime Runner Edition and Refit Kit, along with the previously available-for-download Missions, have all been fully updated at the bottom of the Shadowrun: Crossfire page.

Catalyst Game Labs at Gen Con 2018

Catalyst Game Labs will be out in full force at Gen Con 2018, offering attendees never-before-seen new releases and one-of-a-kind experiences at Booth 1611 in Hall B. The Catalyst Demo Team will also be on hand to host non-stop action, including demos of Dragonfireand tons of BattleTech action.

If you want to know more about Catalyst’s plans for the coming year, and participate in a Q&A with company leadership, be sure to stop by the “What’s Up with BattleTech, Shadowrun, and Dragonfire” session, Thursday at 8 p.m. at Lucas Oil Meeting Room 7.

Before we dive into all the new games, expansions, and sourcebooks making their world debut at Gen Con, here are two things you can’t miss!

All-New Dragonfire Expansions!

Fans have been clamoring for more expansions to the smash-hit Dungeons & Dragonsdeckbuilding game Dragonfire, and now we’re delivering! Check out the first-ever Campaign Box for the game, as well as three new adventures and an all-new character pack to provide players with exciting new options for their campaigns.

BattleTech Boxed Sets are Back!

Two of the most hotly-anticipated BattleTechproducts in years will debut on the Gen Con floor: the BattleTech Beginner Box and the BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat boxed sets! They’ve been redesigned from the ground up with entirely new content including gorgeous highly-detailed miniatures.

 

AT THE BOOTH

Dragonfire:
• Demos available throughout the convention.
• Two Githyanki promo screens will be available at the booth, in limited quantities.

Catalyst Games:
• Throughout the convention, a variety of other games will be demoed: Master of Orion: Conquest, Shadowrun: Zero Day, Kittens in a Blender, I Would Fight The Dragon, and more.

BattleTech:
• Mega-sized Demo of the A Game of Armored Combat boxed set with 8″+ tall figures played on a 10’x10′ battle map — see below for a few examples!

 

 

THE GAMING HALL

The Catalyst Demo Team wants to introduce you to some of Catalyst Game Labs’ exciting, fun-filled products in the Miniatures and Casual Games Area. Here’s the schedule for the convention–note that some events require tickets or preregistration; consultthe Gen Con events websitefor more information on availability. All events end at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

DRAGONFIRE

  • Demos – All days, 10 a.m. to Midnight, every two hours. (Intermediate level)
  • Gen Con Exclusive Events – All days, Noon to 2 p.m.

BATTLETECH

  • BattleTech Bootcamp – All days, 10 a.m to 8 p.m., on the hour (Introductory level)
  • Alpha Strike Academy – All days, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., on the hour (Introductory level)
  • BattleTech Grinder – All days, 10 a.m. to Midnight. (Intermediate level)
  • Solaris Melee Challenge – Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to Midnight; Finals: Saturday at 10 a.m. (Intermediate level)
  • BattleTech Open – Friday, 10 a.m. (Advanced level)
  • Throwback Thursday – Thursday, 10 a.m. for classic BattleTech, 6 p.m. for Alpha Strike (Advanced level)
  • Bloodname Tournament – Clan Grand Melee, Thursday at 6 p.m.; Tournament, Friday at 6 p.m. (Advanced level)
  • Featured Event – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Advanced level)
  • Alpha Strike Turning Points – Saturday, 10 a.m. to Midnight (Advanced level)
  • Alpha Strike Battle of the Superheavies – Friday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Advanced level)
  • Alpha Strike Wolf’s Dragoons Cadet Program – Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Advanced level)
  • Masters and Minions – Saturday, 8 p.m.

PAINT AND TAKE

  • All days, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the painting area. (No 3 p.m. session on Sunday.)
GAME DESIGNS AND ART PORTFOLIO REVIEWS

Randall N. Bills, Catalyst’s Managing Developer, will be in-booth and reviewing game designs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Brent Evans, the Catalyst Art Director, will be in-booth specifically for review of art portfolios each day from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

ALL-NEW PRODUCTS

The following brand-new games, expansions, and books are scheduled for pre-release at Gen Con 2018!

DRAGONFIRE

Campaign Box: Moonshae Storms ($29.99)

The Moonshae Storms campaign builds off An Ancient Evil Arises from the base game, as your continuing quest takes you to new lands. A brewing conflict threatens to drown the Moonshae Isles, as lycanthropes and their fomorians allies seek to change the balance of power. Will you tip the tide?

Moonshae Stormsis the first DragonfireCampaign Box. Face encounters from the all-new Mountain environment, and get fully equipped with new Market cards and Magic items! Also included are eight new Character screens, introducing the Barbarian Character class, as well as alternate human races—the Ffolk and Northlanders!

Character Pack: Heroes of the Wild ($24.99)

Character Pack: Heroes of the Wildcontains thirty-two new Character screens for Dungeons & Dragons© Dragonfire™, including the Barbarian, and introducing the Sorcerer Class. Additional distinctive races are also featured, such as the Lizardfolk, Tabaxi, Kenku, and Aasimar. Other cards bring new mixes of class and race together to fill out your adventuring party the way you see fit. This pack also includes a bevy of new Market cards, as well as Subclass Features, from Forge Domain to Cavalier, War Magic to Assassin, and more!

 

Adventures: Corruption in Calimshan ($19.99)

The exotic cities and arid deserts of Calimshan hide wonders untold…and terrors unknown! Conquer new encounters, including the all-new Desert environment. In the shifting sands, claim new Magic Items and Market cards, along with Crafting Poisons, in the next chapter of the Dragonfire Adventures!

 

 

 

Adventures: Ravaging the Sword Coast ($19.99)

Your relentless enemy, the hobgoblin warlord Torog-Kaitan, has increased in power, and his new army is wreaking havoc up and down the Sword Coast! Challenge two new Encounter Decks, earn new Magic Items, and gain powerful new Market cards in the next chapter of Dragonfire Adventures!

 

 

 

 

Adventures: Sword Mountains Crypt ($19.99)

In the depths of the Sword Mountains lies a crypt of a mighty Orc Warlord that once raided Waterdeep! Conquer new encounters, including the first Difficulty 4, a Demilich! In the tainted depths, claim new Magic Items and Market cards, in the next chapter of Dragonfire Adventures!

BATTLETECH

BattleTech Beginner Box ($19.99)

The commline abuzz with pre-battle orders.
The pounding rhythm of a metal titan on the prowl.
The shifting glow of your BattleMechs’ controls spread before you.
Then the abrupt tone-lock of incoming fire wails in your cockpit as missiles, autocannon shells, and lasers fall like Thor’s hammer against your armor. Seize your ‘Mechs controls, draw its weapons into line, and unleash a hellish response!

BattleTechis the world’s greatest armored combat game, filled with a myriad of epic stories and gaming experiences to satiate any player: miniatures to RPG play, hobby painting to fiction, and beyond. The BattleTech Beginner Box is the first step on the fantastic journey and includes everything you need to get started: two high-quality miniatures, quick-start rules, a mapsheet, cards to represent your MechWarrior’s unique skills, dice, and more.

Do you have what it takes to plant the banner of victory and become a legend? Leap into the action and find out!

BattleTech: A Game Of Armored Combat ($59.99)

It is the dawn of the thirty-first century. You are a MechWarrior: master of a multi-ton, towering avatar of destruction that is the culmination of more than 3,000 years of battlefield technology development. A precious heirloom passed from parent to child across centuries, an unassailable mark of your station. Whether a soldier-of-fortune or a true-blue patriot, you drop into hot zones across a thousand worlds to expand the star-spanning empire of one of the noble Great Houses.

BattleTechis the world’s greatest armored combat game. Inside this box you’ll discover epic clashes, dynamic characters, and a myriad of gaming experiences for any type of player: miniatures to RPG play, hobby painting to fiction, and beyond.

A Game of Armored Combat includes everything you need to start tossing dice and moving miniatures on your gaming table. Do you have what it takes to plan the banner of victory and become a legend? Leap into the action and find out!

BattleTech: Shattered Fortress ($29.99)

In 3146, the Republic of the Sphere hangs by a tenuous thread. The last fragments of Devlin Stone’s dream to shepherd humankind toward a more prosperous future hide behind the impenetrable defenses of Fortress Republic. As the interstellar communications blackout rages, the ambitious Great Houses vie for military dominance, and the bloodthirsty Clans strive to find a weakness in the Fortress’s armor on their path to conquering Terra and claiming the coveted title of ilClan. When the Wall comes down, will the Inner Sphere plunge even further into the abyss of interstellar war, or will this herald the dawning of a new age?

Shattered Fortresschronicles the twilight of BattleTech’s Dark Age, as nations are thrown into turmoil and predators circle the broken remnants of the Republic of the Sphere. This volume provides a year-by-year look at pivotal turning points in the history of the Inner Sphere, offers a peek behind the curtain of Fortress Republic, and reveals the fateful decisions that will ultimately decide the future of mankind.

BattleTech: A Splinter of Hope/The Anvil, Novella Omnibus ($7.99)

Jump into your BattleMech cockpit, fire up your fusion engine, and charge into the fray with two all-new BattleTechnovellas from Philip A. Lee and BattleTech veteran Blaine Lee Pardoe.

A Splinter of Hope: Violent expansion of the Capellan Confederation and the Draconis Combine has cost recently crowned First Prince Julian Davion both his mentor and countless Federated Suns worlds. To rally his people, he funnels the fires of justice into an ambitious yet risky campaign to retake a vital system: New Syrtis, the occupied capital of the Capellan March. However, the Capellan people have fought dearly for their prize and will do anything in their power to hold onto it. Will Julian’s gamble preserve the future of the Federated Suns, or is the invasion doomed before it even begins?

The Anvil: Khan Malvina Hazen of Clan Jade Falcon is known throughout the Inner Sphere as a merciless, bloodthirsty tyrant. The next target for her scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners tactics is the Lyran Commonwealth world of Coventry: a persistent stain on the Jade Falcons’ history. But not all Falcons follow Malvina’s lead. Ordered to take Coventry at any cost, Galaxy Commander Stephanie Chistu wishes to see her Clan victorious, but no victory is worth the Jade Falcons losing their very soul. To stand up to tyranny and find an honorable path forward for her Clan, she must balance the razor’s edge between duty and honor—or die trying.

SHADOWRUN

Shadowrun: Kill Code ($49.99)

The Matrix is unknowable because it is infinite. There is always one more corner behind which things can hide, one more hole where secrets can be buried. Your job isn’t to know everything about the Matrix—it’s to know more than the people you are hunting. Or who are hunting you.

Kill Codewill help give Sixth World hackers the edge they need to stay alive and get ahead. From a guide to Matrix basics and operations to more ways to build ace deckers to dozens of new options for technomancers, the book can help everyone who tries to make their living on the Matrix, providing something to give them an edge when riding the Matrix’s datastreams. They’ll also learn about who their opposition might be—and how they might be attacked. The Matrix is full of kill codes waiting to be executed. Just as with the Sixth World’s many firearms, your job is to make sure they’re pointed in the right direction when they go off.

Kill Codeis an advanced Matrix sourcebook for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

Shadowrun: Street Lethal ($49.99)

Street fighting is only chaotic for amateurs. When you’re a pro, when you know what you’re doing, you’re precise. You know what your opponents might do, and you know ten different ways to respond. The options give you strength. They give you power. They make you dangerous enough that the smart ones on the street will know at a glance that they shouldn’t test you. The dumb ones will suffer.

Street Lethalcontains the data, tools, and options players need to maximize their characters’ combat skills. With briefings on the security techniques of major corporations, information on major mercenary groups and their operations, and a whole truckload of firearms options, this book has all runners need to make sure they’re the ones left standing at the end of a fight.

Street Lethalis for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, though much of the information on corporate security and other opponents could also be used in Shadowrun: Anarchy.

Shadowrun: Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition ($59.99)

The shadows of the Sixth World have every kind of danger you can imagine. Ultra-violent gangers, flesh-eating ghouls, mages that summon spirits from toxic waste, backstabbing corporate raiders, hard-nosed police officers, and even dragons. You don’t have much—mainly your guts, your wits, and your friends. But maybe that’s enough. Between you and your teammates, you can sling spells, hack the Matrix, talk a tiger out of his stripes, and bring down a charging ork from a hundred yards away. Will that be enough to face down the worst the mean streets can throw at you? You’re about to find out.

Shadowrun: Crossfireis a deck-building game set in one of the most popular game settings of all time. Crossing cyberpunk with fantasy and plunging players into a world dominated by ruthless megacorporations. Crossfiregives players the chance to dive into the world’s shadows and see if they can survive. The Prime Runner Editionadds new upgrades to make the game even better—with more missions, improved rules, and new character screens, this is the best version of Crossfireever!

Featuring fast, cooperative game play and stacks of dangerous obstacles and opponents to overcome. Shadowrun: Crossfirewill launch you into nonstop action. You’ll even have the chance to get stronger the more you play, tackling harder and harder obstacles as you become more dangerous. Leap into the shadows for deck-building adventure like you’ve never experienced!

Shadowrun: Crossfire: Prime Runner Refit Kit ($24.99)

If you have a Shadowrun: Crossfireset, you might have seen the update to the game called the Shadowrun: Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition, and maybe you’re thinking that it would be good to be able to get something that has only the changed materials—the updated rules, the changed cards, the new missions—so that you’d have all the benefits of the latest edition without having to buy everything again.

You’re right—it would be good! So here it is! The Prime Runner Refit Kitbrings all the changes of the Prime Runner Editionto your Crossfiregame, including updated rules, adjusted character stats, newly designed character screens, more missions, and a full range of upgrade stickers, including the set from the High Caliber Opsexpansion. With this kit, your game will be ready to roll with any Crossfire game out there!

Note: The Prime Runner Refit Kitis for use only with the first edition of Shadowrun Crossfire. If you don’t have Shadowrun: Crossfireor if you have the Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition, you do not need this Refit Kit!

TABLETOP

The Duke: Lord’s Legacy ($39.99)

“…this is one of the best abstract strategy games I have ever played.” Tom Vasel, The Dice Tower.
“The most innovative little board game since Chess.” —Michael Stackpole, New York Times best selling author.

In The Duke, players move their troop tiles around the board and flip them over after each move. Each tile’s side shows a different movement pattern. If you end your movement in a square occupied by an opponent’s tile, you capture it. Capture your opponent’s Duke to win!

The Lord’s Legacyedition of this award-winning game includes the complete eight-tile Arthurian Legends expansion, as well as five brand new tiles!

Master of Orion: To The Stars, Fiction Anthology ($7.99)

The Master of Oriongame lets players take their place as one of thirteen different races of the galaxy, each seeking to carve out their own empire from the stars. Now, Catalyst Game Labs and Wargaming.net are pleased to present the first anthology set in the Master of Orion universe.

Ranging from one end of the galaxy to the other, these original stories explore the galactic politics, alien planets, and outlaw bases of the Master of Orion universe. A Sakkra ship duels with a mysterious Meklar vessel near the Race Track, the most dangerous area in space. The leader of a Gnolam merchant empire family discovers that danger can come from any direction—even right next to him. A cargo ship crew stranded by pirates must accept an offer of help from an unlikely source. And a special operations team sets a trap to capture the wily creature that has led them on a chase halfway across the galaxy.

Featuring sixteen stories by Michael A. Stackpole, Jody Lynn Nye, Aaron Rosenberg, Jean Rabe, Robert E. Vardeman, Jane Lindskold, and many others, To the Starsexplores the races, planets, and secrets of the Master of Orion universe like never before. So ready your fleet, take stock of your planets, and prepare to embark on adventures that will take you to the stars and beyond!

RESTOCKS

The following game re-stocks are scheduled for availability at Gen Con 2018!

 

Dragonfire: Character Pack: Heroes of the Sword Coast ($24.99)

Character Pack: Heroes of the Sword Coastcontains thirty-two additional Character screens, introducing the Druid, Bard, Ranger and Warlock Classes into Dungeons & Dragons© Dragonfire™. Additional races are also featured, including Rock Gnome, Tiefling, Lightfoot Halfling, and Gold Dwarf. Other screens bring Classes, genders, and races together in a broad variety to fill out a sweeping range of adventuring parties. Finally, the pack includes dozens of sticker sheets, as well as twenty-seven new Market cards.

 

 

Dragonfire: Adventures: Shadows Over Dragonspear Castle ($19.99)

Evil awaits in the catacombs surrounding Dragonspear Castle. Challenge two new Encounter Decks, and discover new Magic Items and Market cads in the first chapter of the Dragonfire Adventures!

 

 

 

Dragonfire: Adventures: Chaos in the Trollclaws ($19.99)

Chaos brews in the Trollclaws as gnolls, orcs, and goblins clash in conflicts that endanger the countryside. Face new Encounters and claim new Magic Items and Market cards in the second chapter of the Dragonfire Adventures!

 

 

Dragonfire: Treasure Hoard: Wondrous Treasures ($19.99)

Wondrous Treasurescontains fifty-two Magic Items cards to expand your Dungeons & Dragons© Dragonfire™experience. From armor to weapons, figurines of power to staffs: a host of great new game play fun can be yours. Unlock the keys to adding these to your deck as you complete more adventures and build the legend of your character!

BattleTech: Total Warfare ($39.99)

It is the 31st century, a time of endless wars that rage across human-occupied space. As star empires clash, these epic wars are won and lost by BattleMechs, 30-foot-tall humanoid metal titans bristling with lasers, autocannons and dozens of other lethal weapons; enough firepower to level entire city blocks. Your elite force of MechWarriors drives these juggernauts into battle, proudly holding your faction’s flag high, intent on expanding the power and glory of your realm. At their beck and call are the support units of armored vehicles, power armored infantry, aerospace fighters and more, wielded by a MechWarrior’s skillful command to aid him in ultimate victory. Will they become legends, or forgotten casualties? Only your skill and luck will determine their fate!

The product of more than twenty years of gaming experience, Total Warfarepresents the rules of the BattleTech game system as never before. For the first time, all the rules for various units that have a direct impact on the deadly battlefields of the thirty-first century appear in a unified rules set: from BattleMechs to ProtoMechs, Combat Vehicles to Support Vehicles, infantry to aerospace fighters and DropShips. Interwoven and meticulously updated, Total Warfare provides the most detailed and comprehensive rules set published to date for BattleTech–the perfect companion for standard tournament play.

Total Warfareis the single-source rulebook for people who play BattleTech. It is not intended to teach new players the game, but rather to serve as a reference work for people who know the game, while introducing more technologies and expansive rules than appear in the basic box set. The introductory game in the BattleTech line is the BattleTech Introductory Box Set. New players should pick up that product before diving into this one. Construction rules for the various units presented in Total Warfare can be found in BattleTech TechManual.

Note: To celebrate the release of the BattleTech Beginner Boxand BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combatboxed sets, the release of Harebrained Schemes’ BATTLETECH, as well as Piranha Games hotly-anticipated MechWarrior 5, new printings of the core BattleTechrulebooks are coming, with the first, Total Warfare, now available! As each are reprinted, they’ll feature fully-updated errata and receive a vintage cover to celebrate the wonderful history of the BattleTechuniverse!

BattleTech: Legacy, Anthology ($11.95)

A Draconis Combine warrior struggles with immoral orders in the First Succession War. A House Davion MechWarrior participates in a risky heist as part of Operation Guerrero. A history buff battles the Word of Blake during the Liberation of Terra. What do these MechWarriors have in common? Each one pilots the same BattleMech, a survivor that has been repaired and rebuilt countless times throughout its long and bloody 300-year lifespan.

The seventy-ton GHR-5H Grasshopper can outmaneuver and outlast some of the most fearsome enemy ’Mechs, making it an invaluable asset to battlefield commanders. Even an incapacitated Grasshopper will be rebuilt to fight another day, with a new pilot at its controls, because MechWarriors can be replaced, but ’Mechs cannot.

In BattleTech: Legacy, thirteen all-new stories chronicle the fortunes and tragedies of a single ’Mech across several tumultuous points in its wide-ranging combat history. Veteran BattleTech authors Kevin Killiany and Craig A. Reed, Jr. bookend this exciting collection, while other familiar names and new blood explore important moments in this ’Mech’s history of constant, unmitigated warfare that leaves no corner of the Inner Sphere untouched.

BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident, Novel ($11.95)

The battlefields of the 31st century are ruled by the BattleMech; twelve-meter-tall, 100-ton bipedal engines of pure destruction. Piloted by MechWarriors, commanded by neo-feudal officers, owned by national governments and band of mercenaries, these ’Mechs make every other ground combat vehicle obsolete.
This is the warfare of fusion-powered giants.
This isBattleTech.

Allegra Greene is no stranger to the military; her father is a general, after all. But when she enters the Nellus Military Academy, she finds far more than she expected. She finds a group of friends that will keep her going, challenging training, and instructors that push her to the edge and beyond.

Unfortunately, that’s not all she finds, and soon the endemic politics and warfare of the Inner Sphere reach the Nellus Academy. When their spaceship is hijacked and crash-lands on a remote moon, Allegra and her friends find themselves in a life-or-death struggle just to survive!

Shadowrun GM Screen, with new art ($19.99)

Every shadowrunner knows the value of good information. The right fact, the perfect piece of data, can be the difference between success and failure on a run, between life and death. And in the right hands, information can be more than valuable-it can be powerful.

The Shadowrun Gamemaster Screenprovides a collection of useful tables from Shadowrun, Fifth Editionfor ease of reference in game play. With range tables, action lists, combat modifiers, social modifiers, and more, this is a critical game aid to make your Shadowrungames faster and more fun. And to provide that all-important secrecy so that the players don’t know what you’re up to. This screen is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

Shadowrun: Sprawl Stories, Vol. 1, Anthology ($11.95)

The Sixth World is a dangerous place, and nowhere is that more obvious than in Seattle, the so-called Emerald City. Surrounding its neon-drenched heart is kilometer after kilometer of Sprawl, where millions of people scratch out a living among hazardous, slowly decaying neighborhoods and even more dangerous neighbors.

Sprawl Storiescontains four Shadowrunnovellas that explore Seattle through the eyes of the people who live there every day. A burned-out mage detective tackles a missing person case that threatens to spiral beyond his control. A reporter goes on the ride-along of her life with a high-octane DocWagon team, and uncovers a conspiracy on live trideo. A young ex-wageslave is caught between powerful forces while investigating his uncle’s death. And a shaman must deal with a serious injury that threatens his very way of life—but not before taking vengeance on those who double-crossed him.

So take a walk on the true wild side of the Seattle Sprawl. If you’re good—and lucky—you might even come back out in one piece…

MISCELLANEOUS

If you think that list of books/games is awesome, we’ve got even more stuff for you to check out, including new t-shirts, enamel pins, dice and more!

The following additional items are planned to be available in the Catalyst area:

  • All-new energy drinks to keep you sharp during long gaming sessions!
  • Shadowrun Q-workshop dice
  • BattleTech Q-workshop dice
  • BattleTech acrylic and aluminum dice
  • BattleTech and Shadowrun patches
  • Old and new BattleTech and Shadowrun T-shirts
  • Old and new BattleTech and Shadowrun lapel pins and keychains (right)
  • Two BattleTechminiatures, the Waspand the Valkyrie, in verylimited quantities only at the Catalyst booth!

 

Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops board game launched on Kickstarter!

Hey all! I’ve long operated on the idea that however people like to play games, they should be able to play Shadowrun, which has led to games like the deck-builder Shadowrun: Crossfire, the push-your-luck dice game Shadowrun: Encounters, and the two-player hacking duel game Shadowrun: Zero Day. That has led us to this: a full-on competitive board game called Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops. Want to learn more about it? It’s on Kickstarter! But here are the basics: Hire runners, send them into danger, and watch them take on the impossible and see if they can overcome it! Buy upgrades, gain advantages, and occasionally push your luck to take the team over the top!

We’ve been working on this game for a while, playtesting it plenty, and had a lot of fun to this point. We look forward to having lots of you join us in this fun! Thanks for loving Shadowrun, and we hope this will increase your Sixth World fun!

 

“Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops” Goes Live on Kickstarter

Innovative worker-placement game features push-your-luck dice rolling mayhem in the Sixth World

(SEATTLE – May 23, 2018) The magic and high technology of the Sixth World are now open to tabletop gamers with today’s launch of “Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops” exclusively on Kickstarter through June 19.

The innovative gameplay of “Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops” combines worker-placement mechanics with push-your-luck dice rolling for three to four players, evoking the mayhem and split-second decisions of the internationally-loved Shadowrun setting.


Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops” was created by game designer and Shadowrun author Dylan Birtolo; Lynnvander Studios, creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Board Game”; and Catalyst Game Labs, makers of the Shadowrun role-playing game.

“I’ve been a fan of Shadowrun for as long as I can remember and creating a board game for such a compelling universe is a dream come true,” said Birtolo. “I’m excited to help introduce this world to new fans and give them a taste of this one-of-a-kind cyberpunk universe.”

Full details of the rules and mechanics, along with gameplay videos, are available on the Kickstarter page. Backer rewards for various levels of support include a 5-6 player expansion pack and a cooperative play expansion pack. Stretch goals include additional gameplay cards, dice, and a foil game board, with more to come.

The designers of “Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops” will be live tonight, Wednesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. EST, on the official Kickstarter page to introduce the campaign and provide details for prospective backers.

Catalyst Game Labs is dedicated to producing high-quality games and fiction that mesh sophisticated game mechanics with dynamic universes—all presented in a form that allows beginning players and long-time veterans to easily jump into our games. Catalyst Game Labs is an imprint of InMediaRes Productions, LLC, which specializes in electronic publishing of professional fiction.

Lynnvander Studios Inc. is a Canadian based company enhancing existing and developing new creative properties for clients worldwide. Founded in July of 2005 by Thomas M. Gofton, Lynnvander is responsible for the inception of several media initiatives in film and board game design. Lynnvander has created and produced the award-winning fantasy series “Mind’s Eye” as well as the acclaimed Shadowrun parody film “The Gamers: Natural One” and the epic sequel to The Gamers: Dorkness Rising “The Gamers: Hands of Fate”.

Lynnvander is also responsible for projects in board game design including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Galaxy Quest, The Legacy Line, Cowboy Bebop: Board Game Boogie, Dragon Ball Z: The Board Game Saga, Star Trek Attack Wing: The Alliance System, Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Resistance and many more. They are currently designing games for some of the most awesome IPs in the world, including Mega Man, Shadowrun, Reanimator, Red Sonja and Captain Canuck.

Dylan Birtolo is a game designer, writer, and professional sword-swinger. He’s one of the designers for Dragonfire and the developer for both Shadowrun Sprawl Ops and Henchman the Game. On the writing side, he’s written everything from novels to short stories for game worlds such as Shadowrun, BattleTech, Exalted, Legend of the Five Rings, and Pathfinder. He trains with the Seattle Knights, an acting troop that focuses on stage combat, and has performed in live shows, videos, and movies.

Watch this space!

If you are the type of person who likes Shadowrun—and we kind of assume you are, what with you reading this and all—you should watch this space in the next day or two for some exciting news. Even if you’re busy on some kind of complicated operation deep in the sprawl, you might want to make time to check this out!

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