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Create A Shadowrun: Crossfire Mission Contest

Shadowrun: Crossfire is in the wilds, being played and enjoyed by thousands of gamers. Not only has it had great critical acclaim, but it’s rapidly selling out of its first print run; we’re already lining up a second printing, and the first Mission Pack!

With all of that excitement in mind—alongside the wonderful campaign nature of the game in earned karma and stickers—we’re announcing a Create a Shadowrun: Crossfire Mission Contest.

If you love the Shadowrun world and Shadowrun: Crossfire and have a story you’d like to tell, here’s your chance to get in on this action! Design your own mission to have a chance to win!


How do I design a Mission? Well, first of all, play and/or review the three Missions that come with the Crossfire game. Then check out the free Missions we’ve released as PDFs (at the bottom of that page): Ambulators, Close The Portal, and the just releasing now alongside this announcement Into The Ork Underground. All six demonstrate the wide range of experiences you can build for a Shadowrun: Crossfire Mission. And, of course, follow the rules outlined below.

Contest Details:

1. All submissions must use the Shadowrun: Crossfire Mission Template (download the template). All submissions become the exclusive property of Catalyst Game Labs.

2. Anyone can submit a Mission and you may submit any number of unique Missions. At shadowruntabletop.com, under the Shadowrun Play section of the forums, in the Shadowrun: Crossfire section, a new thread called Crossfire Mission Contest Submissions has been added for this contest.

3. There are three categories:

i. Fan Favorite
This will be voted on not by Catalyst, but by the community (see 7., below).

Voters should look at the mechanics, challenge, and storytelling of a Mission and select which one provides the most enjoyable overall experience.

ii. Wildest Ride
This will be voted on not by Catalyst, but by the community (see 7., below).

This category is all about the unexpected. The Mission still needs to be fun and challenging, of course, but it’s the sideways twists in the middle of the Mission taking people by surprise that’ll win this slot.

iii. Inclusion In Official Organized Play
That’s right, we’ll soon be announcing all the details of the Shadowrun: Crossfire Organized Play that we’ll be rolling out in 2015. And one or more of you could have your Mission published and mailed to participating stores as part of the Shadowrun: Crossfire Organized Play program!

The decision for these winners will be made by Catalyst Game Labs, as well as the game designer luminaries that created Crossfire: Mike Elliot, Gregory Marques, Rob Heinsoo and more!

If there are submitted Missions we choose to include in our Organized Play, the author(s) will be contacted by Catalyst Game Labs directly. The author(s) will be required to sign a standard Catalyst Game Labs author contract and will be paid for their work at our standard rate and payment terms; the author(s) will also receive a free copy of their Mission. The contract must be signed before we can include the work in the Organized Play standard development/editorial process, just as with any other written work published by Catalyst Game Labs.

While we’ll work directly with the winner(s) to ensure their vision remains as much as possible within the Mission, it also must meet our normal criteria and pass through our normal processes.

5. While we’d encourage submissions be posted directly to the forum thread noted above, we understand that may not be possible for some. Submissions will also be accepted at randall@catalystgamelabs.com, subject line: Create A Shadowrun: Crossfire Mission Contest.

6. This contest will run until November 30th. The community has until that time to post their submissions, at which time the thread will be locked.

7. While Catalyst Game Labs reserves the final say on those Missions accepted into the Organized Play, the community will choose the Fan Favorite and Wildest Ride categories, as noted above.

From November 30 to December 30th, the community can playtest all posted Missions and then post their choices for the Fan Favorite and Wildest Ride categories.

All questions surrounding this contest should be sent to randall@catalystgamelabs.com.

Those are the details…can’t wait to see what curve balls you runners throw!

Order The Shadowrun Beginner Box & Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware Now!

The Shadowrun Beginner Box Set is the first-ever introductory box set for one of the most enduring and popular role-playing settings in history. The box provide hours of excitement and adventure on the mean streets of the Sixth World, giving players to chance to inhabit enthralling characters and show the world what they’ve got.

With pre-generated characters, a simplified ruleset, a ready-to-run adventure, a solo adventure for one character, adventure hooks, and non-player characters to throw into any situation, the Beginner Box Set has everything players need to dive into the fantasy-infused cyberpunk of Shadowrun. Including, of course, a handful of six-sided dice. Players can take on the role of a powerful street samurai, a spell-slinging shaman, a charismatic troll, and more as they struggle against the mighty powers of the world and look for ways to survive—or even thrive.

With details on the backstory and history that made the setting a legend, the Shadowrun Beginner Box Set is a complete tool for players looking to launch on new and extraordinary adventures. The nuyen and the glory are yours for the grabbing. Go get ’em!

Shadowrun Beginner Box Set (Buy From BattleShop)

Don’t forget, if you purchase the Shadowrun Digitals Tool Box, there’s a PDF contained in the files with a code for $5 off the print order!

If you already purchased the Shadowrun Digital Tools Box, we just uploaded corrected files (if you’ve not already received your email update, you will be shortly), so don’t forget to grab your code!

SCAN THIS, CHUMMERS

  • Have you tackled the Beginner Box Set and are ready to move up in the Sixth World?
  • Are you a game master easy to give Shadowrun a shot, and you want a few extra tools at your disposal from the first toss of your dice?
  • Do you play Shadowrun now, and are you looking for a set of tools that’ll allow you to easily introduce new gamers to your favorite RPG at your local game store or hangout?

Say yes to any of this? Then Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware is the box set for you.

Designed as the perfect stepping-stone between the Shadowrun Beginner Box Set and Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, this box can fill a number of roles. Whether you’re looking for more adventures and options to move beyond the Beginner Box Set, laying the groundwork for your gaming group to move fully onto Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, or providing adventures, maps, and other tools to use in conjunction with the core rulebook, you’ll find this kit invaluable.

Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware contains:

  • Fully detailed character booklets with statistics, background information, preferred tactics, and a solo adventure for each character;
  • Rules of the Street, a rulebook with spells, guns, combat options, and everything that makes Shadowrun great;
  • Plots and Paydata, a book with a collection of fully detailed adventures, a trove of non-player characters, and hooks for future adventures;
  • Eight double-sided maps to help players and gamemasters track the action;
  • A handful of six-sided dice;
  • And more tools to make playing and running the game easier!

Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware (Buy From BattleShop)

Don’t forget, if you purchase the Shadowrun Digital Tools Box, there’s a PDF contained in the files with a code for $10 off the print order!

Or, if you order both the Beginner Box Set and Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware, there’s a code in the Shadowrun Digital Tools Box for $20 off the print order!

Once again, if you already purchased the Shadowrun Digital Tools Box, we just uploaded corrected files (if you’ve not already received your email update, you will be shortly), so don’t forget to grab your codes!

Shadowrun Magic Thursday!

Good news for all shadowrunners who use or encounter magic in some form or another (which covers about all of you, right?)–we have new resources out to boost your magic power! Not only is the Street Grimoire errata now available, but we have released Shadow Spells (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), a new PDF-only book with new spells, adept powers, magical traditions, magical societies and more. Here’s the rundown:

The Universe of Magic

Magic cannot be contained or easily defined. It can barely be controlled. It is large, omnipresent, and multi-faceted. It contains multitudes.

A few of those multitudes are in this book, such as Pierre Dubois, media personality and Psionist researcher; a band of fortune seekers known as Treasure Hunters, Inc.; strange crystalline entities who may be forming a dangerous alliance; a spell to turn an unfortunate victim’s blood into a sludgy mess; and an adept power that temporarily blanks out memory, making an individual immune to interrogation.

These and more are here—spells, adept powers, rituals, and a host of magical knowledge. It may be a single meter would compared to the nigh-infinite length of the full scroll of magical knowledge, but as any shadowrunner can tell you, in a pinch a meter can make all the difference in the world.

Shadow Spells is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

So get out there and make magic happen!

Run & Gun and Street Grimoire errata is happening now

We have errata documents going out for distribution for the two core rulebooks released over the summer, Run & Gun and Street Grimoire. As with other errata documents, these are living works, and will be added to and adjusted as new errata are approved. They also focus on substantial changes rather than typos, and they at present do not include clarifications of some rules–those will be in FAQ documents to be shared in the future. Run & Gun errata can be found hereStreet Grimoire errata is undergoing a last couple of tweaks and will be posted here as soon as it is ready. Hope you find the documents useful!

Hostile Takeover: Designer Blog Part 4

Greetings and salutations! I’m back, grabbing some notes and sharing some information about the upcoming Shadowrun: Hostile Takeover. Last time we took a peek at the Missions and Schemes that the players and their megacorporations will be using to create their stranglehold on Seattle… and it’s a big update for you! Today we are going to talk a bit more about whom the players will be portraying in the game. In this designer’s blog segment we are going to peel back the covers off a couple of the Megacorporation player cards.

Each player chooses or is randomly assigned a Megacorp Card, and it becomes their persona in that game of Hostile Takeover. These cards explain a number of different important “baseline” statistics. For instance where the player starts the game with some territory on the board, what kind of team or cards they begin with, and how well defended against Schemes the player will be before hiring any Wage Slaves to help out. The card also shows the maximum number of team members they can support, any modifiers they might have to Missions or Schemes, and any other special game effects they will have to make playing them unique and interesting.

Also included on each card is possibly the most important facet of Megacorp information – the Sudden Victory Condition. Every Megacorp has a difficult set of unique conditions under which they, at the end of a game turn, automatically win the game. Note – END of the game turn. This is one big strategy playtesters have been using to sneak wins out in otherwise hectic games, and a player getting close to achieving theirs can turn every other player at the table against them! It is a Shadowrun game, after all!

Let’s take a closer look at two of my personal favorite Megacorps used in the game, Ares Macrotechnology and Telestrian Industries Corporation.

ARES MACROTECHNOLOGY
“Big ideas, big business.”

Base Defenses: Combat 5 / Hacking 5 / Charisma 3
Starting Locations: Knight Offices and The Armory
Begins Game With: 2 Shadowrunners, 1 Mission; Notoriety 3

    Mission Modifiers: +1 Combat to active Riggers
    Scheme Modifiers: Re-roll one die during a Combat Defense
    Maximum Shadowrunners: 5
    Maximum Wage Slaves: 4

    Special: Ares Macrotechnology has access to major military gear and vehicular assets. Figureheads for this Megacorp may always add or subtract 1 to the number of segments they move during the Maneuver Phase (minimum of 1) at the cost of 1 Influence per Figurehead.

    Sudden Victory: Martial Law – Ares Macrotechnology wins the game automatically if it can end a game turn with Influence 15 or more, four or more Shadowrunners with a total Combat Ability of at least +12, four or more Wage Slaves with a Combat Defense of 6 or more, and in control of the Capitol Metroplex location.

So just by looking at the playtest card here, you can tell that Ares is all about Combat and downtown board dominance. Their special ability to pay Influence for movement adjustment is very big during game play, and their opening setup of 2 random Shadowrunners and a Mission can allow them a jump start on gaining turf straightaway. Their Sudden Victory condition is quite achievable, but knowing that several others will be watching the Metroplex very closely can easily make enemies out of your neighbors!

TELESTRIAN INDUSTRIES CORPORATION
“Luck of the Elvish.”

Base Defenses: Combat 4 / Hacking 2 / Charisma 6
Starting Locations: Boeing Field and Redmond Barrens
Begins Game With: 1 Elf Shadowrunner, 1 Mission, 1 Scheme; Notoriety 2

    Mission Modifiers: +1 to any dice roll made by a team containing an Elf Shadowrunner
    Scheme Modifiers: +1 Notoriety whenever gaining Notoriety
    Maximum Shadowrunners: 5
    Maximum Wage Slaves: 4

    Special: Telestrian Industries Corporation still has deep connections to the elven bloodlines. Any Shadowrunner or Wage Slave with “Elf” in their description is treated as having an Influence Cost of 1 less (minimum of 1).

    Sudden Victory: The New Shidhe – TIC wins the game automatically if it can end a game turn with Influence 15 or more, a Notoriety 15 or higher, three or more Elf Shadowrunners and/or Elf Wage Slaves, and in control of the Capitol Metroplex location.

The TIC has a completely different feel, upholding the idea of a primarily Elven megacorp. What is also readily apparent is how the company will be enjoying dealing with the darker side of business, rising in Notoriety very quickly (which will make keeping some Wage Slaves around difficult!). Their Sudden Victory revolves around searching out the decks for good Elves to maintain the team as well as—like Ares—grabbing the reins of the Metroplex.

Each Megacorp is different and game play for them will be unique, especially taking into consideration the actions and negotiations between the players. Sometimes you need to keep a smile on your face while you are stabbing your friends in the back! Next time, I think we should get a good look at the turn sequence and my favorite segment within it, the random chaos that is the Sprawl Event Phase! Until then…

Good gaming to you all,

Bryan C.P. Steele

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut now out!

It’s a fine day to play Shadowrun! But then, I always think that. Today’s an especially good day, though, because you can get the Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a standalone version of an expansion to Harebrained Schemes’ critically acclaimed Shadowrun Returns computer game that was even more critically acclaimed than the original. How critically acclaimed? Well, people said things like this:

“This is a developer that understands and loves their source material, which very evidently comes out in their work. Consequently, Shadowrun: Dragonfall is another home run for the up-and-coming studio.” –Hardcore Gamer

“The writing and story remains the same high quality from the main game and feels a bit more cohesive from Dead Man’s Switch; that story took a lot of twists and turns but Dragonfall feels more focused by giving you a personal connection right from the start. If you enjoyed your first taste of Shadowrun, then Dragonfall should be an immediate purchase.” –Destructoid

“I’m going to remember Dragonfall for a long, long time. When the topic of great RPG stories comes up, I’ll mention it in the same breath as Dragon Age or Knights of the Old Republic.” –PC Gamer

You get the point. So the good news is, if you want to jump right into Dragonfall, you can, and there’s extra content added. It’s got five new missions, new endings, revamped combat, and more!

Now, if you already bought Dragonfall, I’m going to assume you’re already playing the new stuff, because the update is completely free. Just go get it! If you don’t have it–well, the best campaign released for the best Shadowrun computer game of the millennium is just sitting there, waiting for you.

At last! New Shadowrun fiction unleashed on the world!

We here at Shadowrun HQ are patient and persistent bunch, and one of the things we have been the most patient and persistent about is getting new Shadowrun novels into the hands of readers. It’s been a long process, beset by many obstacles and delays, but the journey that started when John Helfers and I first convened a “Save Shadowrun Fiction” meeting at Gen Con many years ago has now come to the ending we always wanted: A new Shadowrun novel is out! And better yet, it’s the first in a whole line of planned novels! Fire & Frost is the title, and you can get it in print, ePub, and Kindle-compatible versions at the Battleshop, or just the electronic versions (in one tasty package!) at DriveThruRPG. You can also check the listing at BarnesAndNoble.com (where it’s available for Nook or in print–and be sure to check the review already posted with the print listing). Wanna know what it’s about? Check it out:

The Coldest Shadows

Arcano-archaeologist Elijah knows that digging into the past can be its own reward—or peril. When he’s hired to find an ancient map purported to lead to a mysterious location at the bottom of the world, his professional curiosity is more than roused. But his quest to simply get his hands on the map is more dangerous than he expected—even for a shadow runner.

He and his own team of runners—including everything from a goblin rigger to a troll street samurai—follow a murky trail that takes them from the ruins of Chicago to the jungles of Amazonia. Along the way, they discover that they’re not the only ones looking for this map—and that it may lead to a treasure even greater than anyone could have known. Elijah and his crew plan to get both the map and to its riches first—assuming they survive the very dangerous road trip to get there…

Gen Con week begins with two new releases–a Mission and Enhanced Fiction!

Gen Con is coming up later this week, with all the products and activities that entails, but we have a few things for all Shadowrun fans out there, whether you’ll be attending the con or not. First, we have the latest Mission, SRM 05-03: Gone Long Gone (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), giving runners another chance to dive into the peril and danger of Chicago’s Containment Zone. Here’s the full summary:

The Deadly Now

This isn’t your first run in Chicago. You may not know every street corner and alleyway, but you know the sprawl well enough that when someone tells you they’ve got a job that “should be easy”—well, it won’t be. It never is. So when you’re offered some money to go retrieve personal items left behind in a pharmaceutical office back before the whole town went to hell, you know you’re going to be dealing with more than dust and a few rats. Once you venture into the Containment Zone, something—probably more than one thing—is going to try to kill you. Not in some vague future, but right now. But you know that about Chicago. You’re ready for something to come after you, and you know that part of the fun is finding out just what it is.

SRM 05-03 Gone Long Gone is the latest Shadowrun Mission set in the deadly sprawl of Chicago. Playable in a single night, but able to be stretched out over multiple sessions if that’s what the gamemaster wants, this is a fun adventure for teams just starting to learn how to get around the city, or for those who have gotten their hands dirty in the sprawl several times over.

SRM 05-03 Gone Long Gone is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

Then we have a new Enhanced Fiction story, Nothing Personal (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG, Amazon), from the author of The Vladivostok Gauntlet. With a distinctive narrative voice, it tells the story of a particularly bad day for Mr. Johnson, and what he has to do when he has to rely on a whole different set of skills than he normally uses. Full details ahead:

Johnson Meets Street

Mr. Johnson. You know the name. You probably know the face—smooth, implacable, professional. He’s got the nuyen and resources you want, and he knows it. He may not have your skills, but he doesn’t care. That’s what he has the nuyen for—so he can buy yours. He’s corporate through and through, and you can’t ever forget that, because if you do, that’s when he sells you out for the good of his corp. But he’ll stay professional, of course, right up until the moment he slides the knife smoothly into your back. He’s useful, that Mr. Johnson, but every time you meet him, every time you have to deal with his double-crosses, his condescending put-downs, his smug superiority, you wish that the day would come when the tables were turned, when he was forced out on the street with nothing but his wits and street skills—whatever those might be—to keep him alive.

Well, good news. Sometimes wishes come true, even in the Sixth World. Mr. Johnson is about to meet the street, and you’ve got a ringside seat.

Nothing Personal is enhanced fiction for the Shadowrun universe, with game stats for some of the major characters included in the document or available at www.shadowruntabletop.com. The stats are for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition; the story is for everyone!

Another Week…and MORE Crossfire Action!

Another week already gone! And wait, what, this isn’t Tuesday! I know, I know, but I’m on a plane in mere hours and Tuesday will be filled with first day build at Gen Con, so getting this out of the way now.

We’ve had a slew of Shadowrun: Crossfire goodness over the last few weeks: the running of Crossfire Virtual Run that unlocked the Demo Kit rules & cards to an additional Mission, Ambulators, for running with that Demo Kit, from the release of the entire rulebook in PDF to the announced Street Date for Shadowrun: Crossfire (and allowing for online pre-ordering).

This week? Time for another Mission to use alongside your Demo Kit. Below are the front and back of the Mission; you can also scroll to the bottom of the Downloads page and click on the last link (SHADOWRUN: CROSSFIRE DEMO KIT MISSION: Closing The Portal) to download the free PDF. (If you’ve not yet taken a look at the Shadowrun: Crossfire Demo Kit rules and print & play cards, you can find them at the bottom of that page as well.)

You’ll notice that the Mission makes reference to the “Harlequin’s Shadow” Crossfire card. That’s in reference to the unique card that you can get at Gen Con; as noted in our Catalyst At Gen Con 2014 announcement, underneath “Shadowrun: Crossfire”, the first 50 people that purchase Crossfire at Gen Con each day will walk away with this cool promo card!

Enjoy the shadows!

Catalyst At Gen Con 2014

Catalyst Game Labs will be at Gen Con 2014 in force! We’ve got a slew of great gaming and games to check out at booths 417, 413, 509.

THE SHADOWRUN RPG EXPERIENCE


We ran this last year and it was so fantastically successful, we’re bringing it back again this year!

Dive into gaming in the Sixth World like never before as players step into the infamous Dante’s Inferno club in Seattle’s Sprawl. An 8-foot tall, 30-foot long banner creates an immersive 11 foot diameter room were you can learn Shadowrun, Fifth Edition and run the mean streets in the shadows of the megacorps.

Runs must be made by appointment only with our exclusive Dante’s Inferno concierge, and each player of the Shadowrun Experience will not only have memories of a run like no other, but will walk away with a new, free poster!

SHADOWRUN: CROSSFIRE

“I know I sound like I’m talking about a roleplaying game, and it’s not. But it lends itself well to telling a good story.” – Zee Garcia, The Dice Tower

The hotly-anticipated Shadowrun deck-building game is finally here!!!

    Shadowrun: Crossfire is a deck-building game crossing cyperpunk with fantasy and plunging players into a world dominated by ruthless megacorporations; Crossfire gives players the chance to dive into the world’s shadows to see if they can survive. They’ll have weapons, spells, contacts, and gear to help them out, and they’re going to need those resources. If they play their cards right, they’ll do more than survive—they’ll become legends.

The first 50 people each day that purchase the Crossfire base game will receive the unique, collector’s item in the Harlequin Character Card, as well as the Harlequin’s Shadow Crossfire Card to play in your games!

SHADOWRUN: CROSSFIRE PREMIER EVENT
You think you know the Shadows? You believe you’ve paid the right price to be a Shadowrunner? Think again chummer! Shadowrun: Crossfire will take you down a new path of mysteries and danger. Harlequin has some big plans for the small group of runners who are willing to risk their very souls to beat the objectives. Invitations to Harlequin’s little soiree are hard to come by.

Come on down to the Indianapolis Convention Center, Rooms 125-127 on Thursday, 14 August at 2200 if you dare to take part in the Shadowrun: Crossfire release event. Crossfire designers Rob Heinsoo, Rob Watkins, and Jay Schneider will be running this event!

THE DUKEDOM


“…this is one of the best abstract strategy games I have ever played.” -Tom Vasel, The Dice Tower

We’ve brought it back again! Come play a larger-than-life version of The Duke with 18 inch tiles on a 10 foot x 10 foot board! Or sit down at one of several The Duke tables and give this fantastic tile-laying game a full try.

The game is also back in stock after a 6 month hiatus…grab your copy while you’re there!

OTHER NEW GAMES



We’ve got some fantastic new games coming your way, based on brilliant universes covering comics to online animation to award-winning TV drama.

The Valiant Universe RPG will be available…stop on by, play a game, and walk away with cool stuff!

Our Encounters: Bravest Warriors card game is fun, fast and furious for any age group!


And don’t forget our just announced games for the History Channel’s hit TV show, Vikings. We won’t be demoing them, but stop on by and learn more about these fantastic games coming soon!

THE GAMING HALL

The Catalyst Demo Team will be running an avalanche of events for our awesome players. For all of your roleplaying and Crossfire action, visit ICC Room 125-127 (it’s across the hallway from Hall C, catty-corner to the North West), while all your miniatures/other TableTop action can be found in Hall C (same location as last year).

We will have tons of Shadowrun Missions with Fifth Edition goodness, Cosmic Patrol for rockets, rayguns and robots, become a superhero and battle deadly villains in the Valiant Universe RPG, both BattleTech: Alpha Strike and BattleTech: Total Warfare for all your BattleMech destruction, and Leviathans for domination of the skies in an alternate 1910! We will also be running a wide range of Shadowrun: Crossfire games, as well as a The Duke tournament.

And we’ve some additional games focused on specific games and communities. Shadowrun GM Bootcamp-Basic will provide a GM the tools and advice they need to start running Shadowrun; attend the Advanced Bootcamp to gain insight into solving problem areas of GMing Shadowrun. Dress up as your favorite Shadowrun character and join us in the Shadowrun LARP discovering the underbelly of Chicago. Too many runs have you down, laugh it up with our group of GMs at the Whose Run is it Anyway yearly event.


For The Duke tournament, every participate will walk away with a new, unique tile they can use in any The Duke game, the Lancer.

Finally, looking for pickup games after the Exhibit Hall closes? We will have all of our games available in the gaming hall to play with events starting up as soon as we have enough people to play a round.

Please peruse the Gen Con Event listings: www.gencon.com.

FREE STUFF AND WINNING STUFF!



You can play in almost any game (either in the Exhibit Hall or the gaming halls) and walk away with cool stuff. For example, play in a BattleTech: Alpha Strike or Shadowrun: Mission game and walk away with these enamel pins. Or for other games you might get a button. Not to mention for some games you can win a unique pin you won’t find anywhere else!

GAME DESIGNS AND ART PORTFOLIO REVIEWS

Randall N. Bills, Catalyst’s Managing Developer, will be in-booth for reviewing game designs from 2PM to 5PM Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Brent Evans, the Catalyst Art Director, will be in-booth specifically for review of art portfolios Thursday through Saturday, 10AM to Noon and 2PM to 4PM.

NEW BOOKS/GAMES

As usual, a good chunk of the Gen Con experience is diving into the plethora of new games released just for the show. Below is what we hope to have for our various communities.

(As always, a few caveats: A. We are trying to get all of these items to the show, but there’s a chance some might not make it: simply the luck of the draw when trying to coordinate this many items through five printers from three different countries around the world; B: Some of these items are convention exclusives; C. Non-exclusive items won’t be available in-stores until a later time; once we have Street Dates for any items available to stores we’ll post updates with that data.)

In no particular order, the following are brand new to the show (or only recently released):

SHADOWRUN: CROSSFIRE ($59.99)


Shadowrun: Crossfire is the hotly-anticipated deck-building game in one of the most popular game settings of all time. Crossing cyperpunk with fantasy and plunging players into a world dominated by ruthless megacorporations, Crossfire gives players the chance to dive into the world’s shadows to see if they can survive. They’ll have weapons, spells, contacts, and gear to help them out, and they’re going to need those resources. If they play their cards right, they’ll do more than survive—they’ll become legends.


Oni Character Card
In addition to the rare Harlequin cards provided with the first 50 copies purchased each day (noted above), every copy of the game sold will include the promo Oni Character Card (provided it arrives, of course).

SHADOWRUN: CROSSFIRE CHARACTER EXPANSION PACK 1 ($14.99)

Your imagination and ideas aren’t limited, so the characters you use in Shadowrun: Crossfire shouldn’t be limited either. With Character Expansion Pack 1, you can branch out, creating whatever shadowrunner concept comes to mind, starting them on the path to being a legend!

SHADOWRUN STREET GRIMOIRE, Standard Edition ($49.99)


Magic can burn your brain and sear your soul. It can inject power into every millimeter of your veins, or leave you a lump of ashes at the end of a dark alley. It’s dangerous, but to spellslingers in the Sixth World, it’s worth it. Because magic is power, and power in the Sixth World needs to be grabbed with both hands.?


Spells, rituals, alchemical preparations, adept powers, metamagics—all of those elements and more can be used to help an Awakened shadowrunner move off the streets and get a taste of the high life. Street Grimoire has more options for Shadowrun players, along with information on magical traditions, magic societies, and the dangers and benefits of living as a spellcaster in a world where “geek the mage first” is a common adage. With more options, deeper rules, deadlier threats, and dozens of way to have fun with magic, Street Grimoire is an essential book for anyone playing Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

SHADOWRUN STREET GRIMOIRE, Limited Edition ($74.99)
Street Grimoire Limited Edition book includes a bonded red leather cover with gold foil stamp and a de-bossed graphic.

SHADOWRUN BEGINNER BOX ($19.99)


The Shadowrun 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! Tailor-designed for an easy-on-the-credstick entry, the Beginner Box includes the following:

  • A Universe Primer: A 24-page exploration of the Shadowrun world.
  • Quick-Start Rules: Fast rules and a quick adventure to whet your appetite for more.
  • A pre-generated booklet: Allows for a gamemaster and one person to run a solo adventure.
  • 4 pre-generated character sheets: Details that’ll allow up to four players to play with the help of a gamemaster.
  • Dice: Never forget your handfuls of D6s!

Whether you’re new to Shadowrun or new to roleplaying, this package will get you into the fun of hacking, shooting, and spellslinging your way to the top!

SHADOWRUN RUNNER’S TOOLKIT: ALPHAWARE ($59.99)


Scan This, Chummers:

  • Do you play Shadowrun now and are looking for a set of tools to easily allow you to more easily run your existing group, or that’ll allow you to introduce new gamers to your favorite RPG at your local game store or hangout?
  • Are you a gamemaster ready to give Shadowrun a shot, and you want a few extra tools at your disposal from the first toss of your dice?
  • Have you tackled the Beginner Box and are ready to move up in the Sixth World?

Say yes to any of those? Then the Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware is the box set for you. Designed to provide adventures, maps and tools to use in conjunction with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, or to be the perfect stepping-stone between the Shadowrun Beginner Box and the core rulebook, this box can fill a number of roles. Whether you’re looking for more tools to help your existing gaming group, or adventures and options to move beyond the Beginner Box, laying the groundwork for your gaming group to move fully onto Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, you’ll find this kit invaluable.

SHADOWRUN FIRING LINE ($19.99)


Firing Line collects four Shadowrun Missions developed especially for the large summer gaming conventions, making them available for the first time to the gaming public. The adventures have all the statistics and game information needed for both Shadowrun, Fourth Edition and Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, meaning that a wide range of shadowrunners will have everything they need to dive into the adventures and get themselves in some high-paying trouble!

SHADOWRUN: FIRE AND FROST, NOVEL ($12.95)


Arcano-archaeologist Elijah Knows that digging into the past can be its own reward—or peril. When he’s hired to find an ancient map purported to lead to a mysterious location at the bottom of the world, his professional curiosity is more than roused. But his quest to simply get his hands on the map is more dangerous than he expected—even for a shadow runner.

He and his own team of runners—including everything from a goblin rigger to a troll street samurai—follow a murky trail that takes them from the ruins of Chicago to the jungles of Amazonia. Along the way, they discover that they’re not the only ones looking for this map—and that it may lead to a treasure even greater than anyone could have known. Elijah and his crew plan to get both the map and to its riches first—assuming they survive the very dangerous road trip to get there…

ALPHAWARE 2.0: WEAPONS, SPELLS, GEAR & AUGMENTATIONS ($9.99)


More spells. More weapons. More augmentations. More gear. This deck has more of the things you need to survive the shadows and make your living on the streets. Selected from the gera, spells and weapons in Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware, these cards offer players more optins, with game stats for each item or spell. As in the Alphaware deck, gear items have color illustrations, and some common items are on multiple cards so that more than one player can have easy access to the game information.

These cards can be used with Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware or can also be used by players of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

RUN & GUN CARDS ($9.99)


When the bullets start flying, when you desperately need to bring someone down, you need the right weapon at your side and the right armor covering your hoop. There are plenty of options out there, so there’s no excuse for not having the tool that will get the job done. This deck has fifty-four choices, cards with full-color illustrations and game stats for weapons and armor from Run & Gun. Choose the right one, and live to see another day.

Run & Gun Cards are for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition and the Run & Gun supplement.

MAGIC CARDS: STREET GRIMOIRE ($9.99)


Being a spellcaster is all about taking the inconveniences and problems of reality and making them work for you. But reality is a complicated thing, and if you really want to shape it right, you need plenty of spells at your disposal. And not just any spells—the right ones, the ones that get the job done. Street Grimoire Spell Cards have summaries of 54 spells from Street Grimoire, with stats, a brief statement of what the spell does, and references to help you find more information. Use them to shift reality from the way it is to the way it should be.

Street Grimoire Spell Cards are for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition and Street Grimoire.

BATTLETECH INTRODUCTORY BOX SET, Reprint ($59.99)


Strap yourself into the ultimate suit of armor: the BattleMech. Thirty feet tall and weighing up to a hundred tons, this humanoid engine of destruction is a walking arsenal with enough firepower to level a city block. The BattleTech game system takes you into the world of the 31st Century, where war has become a way of life. You are a MechWarrior. You are in command of the most powerful machine on the battlefield, and hold the fate of empires in your hand!

The BattleTech Anniversary Introductory Box Set thrusts you onto the battlefields of the 31st century. This box contains everything needed to play:

  • 24 unpainted, ready-to-play plastic BattleMech minis
  • 2 unpainted, premium-quality plastic BattleMech minis
  • One 12-page full-color quick-start rulebook will have players into the action in minutes
  • 36-page book of pre-generated BattleMech Record Sheets
  • One 80-page full-color rulebook
  • Inner Sphere at a Glance, a 56-page full-color book of universe background and BattleMech technical data
  • One 16-page full-color Painting and Tactics Guide
  • Two heavy-duty cards of compiled tables
  • Two 18″ x 24″ game-board quality maps
BATTLETECH: ALPHA STRIKE COMPANION ($39.99)

BattleMechs clash, fighters duel, and infantry swarm across the landscape. High above the clouds, mighty WarShips emerge from hyperspace, laden with DropShips filled with reinforcements. A host of new machines, new warriors, and new tactics are unleashed as war rages from the void of space to the earth below. The BattleTech universe is yours to conquer!

Alpha Strike Companion adds legions of new rules and expanded options for BattleTech: Alpha Strike, the miniatures war game. With this expansion, players will unlock new tactical abilities, special warrior options, design quirks, and unit types. But more than that, players will find within these pages an expanded abstract aerospace system that will enable them to wage war from planet to jump point, while a handy conversion system opens the path to translating the stats for any BattleTech unit to its fast-playing Alpha Strike equivalent.

BATTLETECH COUNTERATTACK: BC ANTHOLOGY 5 ($12.95)


A Star League Gunslinger fights against overwhelming odds during a rebellion. A dauntless warrior faces his most painful trial yet, far from home and all but alone. Mercenaries, betrayed from within, lash out at all who threaten them. And the Word of Blake, always present, plots and schemes and maneuvers allies against each other.

Thirteen stories of combat, honor, betrayal and death fill the pages of Counterattack: BattleCorps Anthology Volume 5.

BATTLETECH LANCE PACK: ASSAULT LANCE ($19.99)


Thrown into the thick of the firefight, an assault lance MechWarrior has an ego as wide as a DropShip. That ego was earned in blood, sweat and hardfought victories in the teeth of the enemy across a hundred worlds…

Unleash the Assault Lance Pack on your enemies! Atlas, Grasshopper, Blackjack and Victor BattleMechs—no assembly required. Perfect for BattleTech and Alpha Strike heavy metal action! Contains 4 plastic miniatures (unpainted) and 8 dry-erase Alpha Strike Cards.

BATTLETECH LANCE PACK: PURSUIT LANCE ($19.99)


Whether headhunting or running down recon forces, a pursuit lance MechWarrior is a commander’s surgical instrument. Not deployed for just any situation, these specialists are only unleashed to turn the tide of battle…

Unleash the Pursuit Lance Pack on your enemies! Centurion, Clint, Jenner and Wolfhound BattleMechs—no assembly required. Perfect for BattleTech and Alpha Strike heavy metal action! Contains 4 plastic miniatures (unpainted) and 8 dry-erase Alpha Strike Cards.

BATTLETECH LANCE PACK: SUPPORT LANCE ($19.99)


Support lance MechWarriors are the unsung workhorses of every army. Overlooked by most, commanders know these stalwarts are the glue that binds any military, enabling success for any type of military campaign…

Unleash the Support Lance Pack on your enemies! Awesome, Vindicator, Firestarter and Charger BattleMechs—no assembly required. Perfect for BattleTech and Alpha Strike heavy metal action! Contains 4 plastic miniatures (unpainted) and 8 dry-erase Alpha Strike Cards.

BATTLETECH LANCE PACK: BATTLE LANCE ($19.99)


At a distance, in the thick of it; driest desert, coldest glacier: a battle lance MechWarrior is a jack-of-all-trades. He or she doesn’t need a specialty because they can take the battle to the enemy under any conditions…

Unleash the Battle Lance Pack on your enemies! Zeus, Hatchetman, Banshee and Orion BattleMechs—no assembly required. Perfect for BattleTech and Alpha Strike heavy metal action! Contains 4 plastic miniatures (unpainted) and 8 dry-erase Alpha Strike Cards.

MORE LANCE PACKS
There will be more Lance Packs (Recon, Command, Fire and Striker) on display to show off what’s coming in 2015!

BATTLETECH ALPHA STRIKE AD HOC: UPGRADE CARDS ($19.99)


Alpha Strike is a new, fast-playing form of the BattleTech game of armored combat. Alpha Strike Ad Hoc: Upgrade Cards includes 90 double-sided cards with all the game stats players need to instantly take to the battlefield. Eighty of the cards reflect the Units listed in Alpha Strike, 9 cards feature notable MechWarrior Units and 1 card contains the stats for the Ares “Zeus” and Poseidon tripod Superheavy ’Mechs. Full-color and laminated for dry-erase use, you just need miniatures and you’ll be playing BattleTech like never before!

COSMIC PATROL: BEYOND THE GRAVASTAR ($24.99)


The Metatherions and their powers to warp space and time threaten all life as we know it! And the only way for the Cosmic Patrol to fight them is by braving a trip through the Gern Gravastar, an extradimensional portal leading to the Metatherions’ native plane. Only, the Gravastar is steadily growing in size, and nothing can slow it down. Unless it can be stopped, the Gravastar will eclipse whole systems, the entire galaxy—perhaps even the whole universe!

Beyond the Gravastar! puts players in the thick of the action as the Cosmic Patrol attempts to save the galaxy from total Metatherion domination. Included are detailed looks at the five, mysterious Metatherion races, their strange, extradimensional homeland, and other groups hoping to hasten or stall the Grava¬star’s expansion. Also included are new Patrolmen dossiers, three mini-campaigns that center around the Gravastar and other dangers intent on wiping out the entire solar system, and more!

VALIANT UNIVERSE RPG: CORE RULEBOOK, Standard Edition ($39.99)


No matter the powers, no matter the choices, the price in body and mind may be more than you’re willing to pay. And your choices will lead to heroics…or to villainy. How will you be remembered?

The edge between superhero and villain has never been sharper. In the Valiant Universe RPG, players will immerse themselves in a dark and gritty world where every mission and every battle has deadly consequences. Whether playing X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Shadowman or even the all-powerful Toyo Harada—or any of dozens of characters—Valiant’s most fearless heroes will unite for the first time in a roleplaying game, allowing you to join their stories and create new ones!

Whether you’re a longtime fan or brand new to the Valiant Universe, this is the only source you’ll need to bring Valiant’s?leading characters to life in a fantastic superheroes setting!


This book includes:

  • Cue System: The rules-light and easy to learn Cue System allows a novice or uninitiated RPG player to quickly get inside the head of their superhero and plunge into the action.
  • Title Exposés: Detailed summaries of all the Valiant Universe comic titles allow players to easily determine which part of the universe they want to game in; a perfect companion to the Valiant Universe Handbook.
  • Character Dossiers & Creation Rules: Along with ready-to-play missions, superhero and villain character Dossiers will have players in the thick of the action in no time. Or do you want to create your own superhero or villain and add it to the Valiant Universe pantheon? Quick and easy rules give you that freedom!

VALIANT UNIVERSE RPG: CORE RULEBOOK, Limited Edition ($54.99)
The Valiant Universe RPG Limited Edition book includes a bonded red leather cover with gold foil stamp and a de-bossed X-O Manowar graphic, as well a full-color, double-sided poster.

THE DUKE, REPRINT ($39.99)


The politics of the high court are elegant, shadowy and subtle. Not so in the outlying duchies. Rival dukes contend for unclaimed lands far from the king’s reach, and possession is the law in these lands. Use your forces to capture enemy troops before you lose the chance to claim the land for yourself.

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!

SIEGE ENGINES: MIDDLE AGES ($9.99)
5 new tiles for The Duke!

REINFORCEMENTS: CITY TROOPS ($14.99)
12 new tiles (6 dark, 6 light) for The Duke!

ENCOUNTERS: BRAVEST WARRIORS, Blue Deck ($12.99)


The Space-Time Calliope is vast and dangerous, waiting for courageous heroes to save the day. You’re those heroes! Become the Bravest Warriors and battle your way through a myriad of encounters to heroic victory!

In the Blue Deck you play this fast and fun dice and cards game as Chris, Wallow, Plum or Impossibear! Contains 55 cards, a rulesheet and 7 dice; combine with the Red Deck for up to 8 players!

ENCOUNTERS: BRAVEST WARRIORS, Red Deck ($12.99)


The Space-Time Calliope is vast and dangerous, waiting for courageous heroes to save the day. You’re those heroes! Become the Bravest Warriors and battle your way through a myriad of encounters to heroic victory!

In the Red Deck you play this fast and fun dice and cards game as Danny, Beth, Catbug or Jelly Kid! Contains 55 cards, a rulesheet and 7 dice; combine with the Blue Deck for up to 8 players!

AND MORE!


And if you think that list of books/games is awesome, we’ve got even more stuff for you to check out. Our usual new t-shirts, laser-engraved glasses, clip boards, enamel pins, buttons, bags and more…and there might even be a few more surprises when you hit the floor!

See ya soon for the best four days in gaming!

Another Week Gone By? Time For The Big Shadowrun: Crossfire PDF Release!

Continuing our weekly release of Shadowrun: Crossfire goodness, we started with our Crossfire Virtual Run, then we announced a Street Date (and you can order it online if you don’t have a local friendly game store near you), and last week released the Mission: Ambulators, designed specifically for use with the Demo Kit rules and print & play cards.

But this week…what many people have been waiting a good long time to see…the full rules!

You can also grab it off of the Downloads page (scroll to the bottom) and it is also available on the Shadowrun: Crossfire BoardGameGeek page (as are all the files released to date).

Another Week, More Shadowrun: Crossfire Action!


Last Tuesday we announced the Street Date for Shadowrun: Crossfire and allowed for online pre-ordering, while the week before that we ran a great Crossfire Virtual Run that unlocked the Demo Kit rules & cards.

This week? Time for a new Mission to use alongside your Demo Kit. Below are the front and back of the Mission; you can also scroll to the bottom of the Downloads page and click on the last link (SHADOWRUN: CROSSFIRE DEMO KIT MISSION: Ambulators) to download the free PDF. If you’ve not yet taken a look at the Shadowrun: Crossfire Demo Kit rules and print & play cards, you can find them at the bottom of that page as well.

Enjoy the shadows!

Hostile Takeover: Designer Blog Part 3

Hello again! Yeah, here I am again, filling the Matrix with fresh information about the upcoming Shadowrun: Hostile Takeover. Last time we looked at the employees that the players will be bringing on board to fulfill their grandiose machinations; in this installment of my designer’s blog we are going to look at exactly what those employees—specifically the shadowrunners—will be doing to achieve dominance of Seattle.

Other than specialized victory conditions unique to each megacorporation, which we will look at in closer detail soon enough, Hostile Takeover is won through the accumulation of Influence. Influence comes in many forms; money, power, control… all the things that any good megacorp needs to wrap its fingers around the throat of a city. The very heart of the game revolves around the acquisition, expenditure and accumulation of the Influence resource. This is primarily done through the completion of two very different types of assets for a megacorp, Missions and Schemes.

During each game turn, players will have their chance to add Missions to their megacorp’s queue for later completion. Whether drawn at random from the Mission Deck or chosen specifically from previously discarded Missions on the Message Boards (a cool place to toss discarded Missions for others to potentially take up), megacorps send their shadowrunner teams to go and complete a variety of tasks. Missions are broken down into three different categories of tasks; Conflict, Matrix and High Society. Each Mission can be completed in two different ways based on what type of Mission it is. Conflict Missions use combat skills and brute force to accomplish, Matrix Missions use hacking and technomancy, and High Society Missions are undertaken with words, drinks and general schmoozing. Things don’t always go as planned for shadowrunners, so each Mission has an alternative method on how to fulfil them. Sometimes your ‘runners don’t have enough bullets and might have to just talk their way out of an early grave, after all.

Succeeding at Missions earn the megacorps Influence, adjusts public opinion, and can have several other cool effects. Whether your teams are setting fires in the Barrens, putting on Rocker parties at the Lucas, or running guns for the NAN, Missions accomplish this in your megacorp’s name.

Megacorps can play nice and just look out for themselves, but that rarely pans out in the world of Shadowrun. When a player wants to knock his opponents down a peg, they send their shadowrunner teams out on Schemes. These types of cards come in two forms; Active and Counter Intel. Both are drawn at random from the Scheme Deck, but they do drastically different things. Active Schemes are effectively like Missions, except they target an opposing megacorp directly. Assassinations of corporate assets, underhanded smear campaigns, or downright direct theft of resources can be found within Schemes, and more. Counter Intel is a completely different matter. They are Scheme cards that held back to use as interrupting reactions to specific game instances. When things look bleak in a Conflict Mission, call in an Ork Ganger Ambush for help. Want to screw over the Aztechnology player? Throw a huge PR party making them look like knights in shining armor. Tired of your opponent gaining Influence from the Alabaster Maiden each turn? Burn it down. That is the sort of things Schemes will do for you.

Speaking of Aztechnology, there is a lot more to tell you about Hostile Takeover that will have to wait until next time. Next time we will look at the Megacorporations themselves, and their unique ways of playing the game against one another. Until then…

Good gaming to you all,

Bryan C.P. Steele

Shadowrun: Crossfire Street Date of August 27th

“I know I sound like I’m talking about a roleplaying game, and it’s not. But it lends itself well to telling a good story.” Zee Garcia, The Dice Tower

Shadowrun: Crossfire is the hotly-anticipated deck-building game in one of the most popular game settings of all time. Crossing cyperpunk with fantasy and plunging players into a world dominated by ruthless megacorporations, Crossfire gives players the chance to dive into the world’s shadows to see if they can survive. They’ll have weapons, spells, contacts, and gear to help them out, and they’re going to need those resources. If they play their cards right, they’ll do more than survive—they’ll become legends.

PREORDER & STREET DATE
Visit your local game store to pre-order Crossfire for its August 27th Street Date. However, if you don’t have a friendly local game store, you can preorder it right now online!

Pre-order Crossfire Base Game
Pre-order Crossfire Character Expansion Pack 1

ON SALE AT GEN CON!
Shadowrun: Crossfire will be on sale at Gen Con! We’re not able to bring as many copies as we’d like, but there will be some good stacks to ravage!

TO THE FUTURE
We just finished a Virtual Run that netted the Demo Box Rules and Cards for anyone to play RIGHT NOW (scroll to the bottom of the page for the last two links). In the coming weeks before the game hits store selves we’ll release more Missions for use with that Demo Box, the complete, full rules, and more! Stay tuned, chummers!

Shadowrun: Crossfire Virtual Run Winner!


Thanks to all the runners that scoured the Matrix to dig up the pay data so everyone could start playing the Demo of Crossfire.

For those that weren’t able to participate in the run, you can go grab all of the cards and rules now over at BoardGameGeek.com.

Additionally, congratulations to Vincent Vignola, the winner of the Virtual Run…we’ll be shipping a copy of Crossfire right away!

This was fantastic to orchestrate. Not just to see the enthusiasm of the community tearing through the Matrix. But also to see a vibrant and just as enthusiastic community of gaming news sites instantly step up and be apart of this fun run. A huge, huge thank you to the following sites (in no particular order) that participated…each brings a variety of great news, reviews, interviews and more about the games we love to play…check ‘em out!

Shadowrun: Crossfire Virtual Run

The highly-anticipated cooperative deck-building game, Shadowrun: Crossfire, is currently on a ship heading towards US shores, our warehouse, and ultimately your gaming table in the near future.

In the meantime, we’ve got a Matrix job for the right runner. A runner like you!
We have hidden 15 PDFs across hobby news sites (some are relatively easy…some are gonna require serious skills to track down). Assembling those 15 PDFs will get you access to the 100+ cards, Character Cards and rules for the Shadowrun: Crossfire Demo Box. They’re all prepped and ready to print for those who are too anxious to try the game and do not want to wait any longer.

Now some of you may be tempted to go it alone…but like any good run, you may find a team effort is required to track down all the various urls…but unfortunately, at the end of the day, there can be only one….


Like any good Mr. Johnson, we’re not gonna send you into the shadows without a deal sweetner. Go to www.shadowruntabletop.com, log into the forums, and then take a look at the General Discussion section. There you’ll find a “Crossfire: A Virtual Run” thread. The first person to post a correct set of all 15 urls that allow the download of the 15 PDFs will win a Crossfire core box set. And not some time in the future. Ninety-nine percent of the shipment may be on a ship, but there’s one copy with a winner’s name on it right here and we’ll ship it straight to you. You’ll receive the game before anyone else!

And for those that don’t win … you’ll still have early access to a full demo version of the game you can be running until you can pick up the full game.

Watch your back, conserve ammo, and go out there to win that box!

Shadowrun moving forward

Yesterday we had a post updating Missions; today it’s time to talk a little about the main line.

I’m going to start with a disclaimer: Much of this is going to be vague, perhaps frustratingly so. But that’s because there are some things going on that are simply not for public consumption, as they relate to the personal lives of people involved, and I don’t feel appropriate to share some elements in a business post.

The past half-year has been chaotic for Shadowrun. Chaos and lots of work is not new, but the nature of the chaos was different. Some of it involved different systems that have been set up over time, including the proofing system, not working as they had; others involved trying new types of products, and the inevitable mistakes that come with trying something new. Catalyst is a small company, and there is almost no redundancy built into it. When something breaks down, it’s difficult to fix it on the fly, and repairs don’t always come quickly as time is short.

One of the results of this chaos was that product proofing was not what it always should be. That’s not at all the fault of any proofers—it was a problem of my process and Catalyst’s process. As new processes were being built, I made some mistakes in judging what would work. I learned from the mistakes, and they have led to changes that will make the new processes stronger.

The good news is that most of the chaos has now passed. Systems that were not working right are back to regular functioning, or have been rebuilt so that they will work better going forward. Some of this was discussed in yesterday’s post, so one thing you can expect is more regular Missions. What else should you expect?

  • More regular releases of books;
  • More accurate, more reliable rules documents;
  • Release of errata for Run & Gun and Street Grimoire by the end of summer or sooner.

We hope to use the changes and processes we have in place to provide books and more that will improve your Shadowrun experience and make you excited about the options you can introduce to your game!

The Next Steps for Shadowrun Missions

Missions developer Steven “Bull” Ratkovich put together this post to get everyone up to date on what’s been going on with Missions and what you can expect in the near future. Check it out!

Where We’ve Been

Shadowrun Missions Season 5 launched with great fanfare last fall, released a single Missions adventure, and then fizzled for over six months before the second adventure was released. This has left a lot of fans wondering just what happened? There were a number of issues that cropped up, but the biggest was that I had a number of health issues that sidelined me for several months. This derailed Missions pretty badly, since almost all of the work for it was sitting on my hard drive.

To all the fans out there, I apologize most profusely. It was not my intention to leave everyone hanging for so long, especially with little word as to what was going on. We’re picking up steam again, though, and working to make sure we don’t suffer gaps like that again.

Where We Are

We’re diving forward once more, and we released the second adventure a couple months ago. Of course, then we ran into Convention Season, which is always a difficult time at CGL, because we end up with a handful of print products that need to be ready in time for the conventions as well as a lot of non-book production issues that have to be taken care of, and this diverts a lot of resources. We’re still moving Missions forward, and the next one is close to being finished, but the convention rush has caused some delays.

There’s a good side of the chaos, though—the Missions we prepare for convention are the early forms of what will be released, so by the end of convention season we’ll have several Missions that have made great progress toward completion.

We have several more of the current Missions queued up and ready to go, mostly waiting for final edits, final art, and/or final approval. We have our first Prime Mission finally approaching the launch gate. I call the Prime Mission line cursed, because we’ve hit so many production snags with it over the years. There are eight more Convention Missions that were run at Origins and will be at Gen Con and Dragon*Con, and that are available for members of the Catalyst Demo Team to run at smaller, local conventions. So there are a lot of Missions heading your way.

I’m really excited to have things back on track, because I think we have a fantastic storyline for Chicago, and I think our players will have an amazing time with it.

Where We’re Going

In the shadowy halls of Catalyst Game Labs where we meet and plot and scheme, the way we plan to release the Chicago Missions has been the topic of much discussion and debate. Last season in Seattle, we had two six-Mission story arcs that we alternated between. This worked out okay, but some players didn’t like the layout. It occasionally led to some confusion because the story kept bouncing back and forth, and some players enjoyed one story and didn’t want to play the other, and it wasn’t always obvious which Mission went where.

With the Chicago Missions, we decided to try something a little different. Season 5 was designed as one big story, but it would be broken up into smaller story arcs that would be six continuous Missions long. Some would directly fit into the mini-arc, some would be more stand alone in style, and all would fit into the larger overall story arc. The plan was for Season 5 to run 24 missions, and each arc would be designated by a letter code. So the first Mission released was SRM 5A-01: Chasin’ the Wind. The second arc’s first Mission would have been 5B-01. Unfortunately, this too led to confusion, both internally and externally. It turns out the more letters and numbers you add to a product like this, plus the title and everything else, the harder it is to keep track of things. Go figure. Because of this confusion, the Missions are even numbered weirdly in the Gen Con registration, with what would have been SRM 5B-01 being listed as SRM 5-07 instead. So obviously something needed to be done.

So after even more debate, we’re making another change. The Missions FAQ and other resources will eventually be updated to reflect these changes, but the long and short of it is that the Chicago Missions are no longer considered “Season 5”. Instead, it is simply the Shadowrun Missions: Chicago Campaign. Each of the short six Mission arcs will now be a separate season for purposes of adventure numbering. So SRM 5A-01: Chasin’ the Wind should now simply be considered SRM 05-01: Chasin’ the Wind. The first adventure in the second arc, which would have been SRM 5B-01: 10-57 (And is listed for Gen Con as SRM 05-07: 10-57) will now be SRM 06-01: 10-57. And so on. We have 24 adventures planned for Chicago, so it will encompass four seasons now instead of just one.

The other thing this affects is that traditionally we’ve re-evaluated the Missions rules and FAQ, sometimes done a player reset, promoted characters to Prime Status, etc. at the end of each Season. We will no longer be doing that. Instead we will do that when we start a new Campaign in a new city. So players won’t need to worry about Prime Runner promotion or any of that until Shadowrun Missions: Miami launches (or wherever the next season takes place—we haven’t yet decided when that will be).

This is how we will proceed from here on out. Hopefully this clarifies things and brings everyone up to speed. As always, the latest updates, previews, and discussions for Shadowrun Missions can be found at our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SRMissions) and over at the Missions section of the Shadowrun Tabletop Forums (http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php). Hope to see you all at the table, and remember to always keep a point of Edge in reserve!

–Steven “Bull” Ratkovich, Shadowrun Missions Developer

 

Shadowrun: Crossfire Reviewed By The Dice Tower


Our good friends at The Dice Tower have posted a video review of Shadowrun: Crossfire. Additionally, they provide a thorough review of how to play the game, show off the contents, and more.

Haven’t heard of Shadowrun: Crossfire yet? The back of the box provides a thorough run down of the flavor of the game and its contents.

Don’t forget to check out The Dice Towers’ review! The game is on a ship now heading towards our warehouse…look for an announcement of when the game will be on store shelves in the very near future.

Catalyst Game Labs Website Maintenance

All Catalyst Game Labs websites will be down for maintenance starting at 11PM EST, on July 13th, for two hours.

We appreciate your patience while we get some back-end work done!

Catalyst Team

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