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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.

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

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!

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

Shadowrun Fifth Edition One-Year Anniversary

One year ago a new era of running in the shadows was unleashed as Shadowrun, Fifth Edition PDF and print preorders went live. We wanted the release to be great, but it went beyond our expectations and straight to awesome. The strength of the vibrant Shadowrun community asserted itself, breaking a slew of online sales records and selling out a stunning 15,000 copies of the print book within weeks.

And three hundred and sixty-six days later, Shadowrun, Fifth Edition is still in the top 10 on DriveThruRPG.com! A huge, giant shout out and thank you to the Shadowrun community that have embraced the new edition and brought new players into the fun of the shadows.

We’re starting to hit our stride of fully supporting Fifth Edition, as the last two months has seen Run & Gun, Stolen Souls, and Street Grimoire appearing either on store shelves or in PDF form, with a print book not far behind.

All this has put us in the mood to celebrate! So here’s how we’re going to do it:

First, we’re coordinating with DriveThruRPG.com in offering several sales in the coming weeks. Look for those shortly.

And second, a fully corrected PDF—folding in all official errata-to-date—for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition has just been released. (For those who already purchased that item, you should be receiving a notification via email to download that new PDF.)

It’s been a little bit of a bumpy run to reach this point (and what runs don’t go sideways now and then?), but we believe the next 12 months are gonna be even more fantastic than the first 12 for Shadowrun. That includes the publication of the long-anticipated Shadowrun novels, starting with Fire and Frost; the Shadowrun Starter Box and Shadowrun Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware Box Set; the Shadowrun Online-connected sourcebook Lockdown; the next core rulebook in Run Faster (Echo Chernik’s brilliant cover for this is above), which brings alternate character builds and meta variants, and a slew of other options; the much-anticipated Shadowrun: Crossfire cooperative-deckbuilding game; Hostile Takeover, the Shadowrun boardgame; Shadowrun miniatures; and so much more!

So get out and get running! Join us in the shadows!

Street Grimoire PDF/Print Preorder Available

And the books are really starting to flow…ready for the next Shadowrun Core Rulebook expansion, cause it’s here: Street Grimoire!

    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.

You can grab the PDF off of DriveThruRPG, or review below for a variety of cool bundles that you can order off of BattleShop.

July Street Dates

The following products have a Street Date of JULY 16TH, 2014:

Run & Gun ($49.99)
Guns and ammo cost nuyen. Mastering martial arts takes time. And learning how to use explosives without blowing yourself up takes patience and a steady hand. These weapons and more are out there, waiting for you. You have the chance to use them to become deadlier, faster, more dangerous than the next guy—and more dangerous than you were yesterday. You’ll have to pay the price to get what you want, but this is the Sixth World. Don’t you always?

Run & Gun is a combat core rulebook for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, containing more weapons, more armor, more modifications, and more game options such as martial arts and unit tactics. Break the book open and prepare to raise your game!

Run & Gun, Limited Edition ($74.99)
Guns and ammo cost nuyen. Mastering martial arts takes time. And learning how to use explosives without blowing yourself up takes patience and a steady hand. These weapons and more are out there, waiting for you. You have the chance to use them to become deadlier, faster, more dangerous than the next guy—and more dangerous than you were yesterday. You’ll have to pay the price to get what you want, but this is the Sixth World. Don’t you always?

Run & Gun is a combat core rulebook for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, containing more weapons, more armor, more modifications, and more game options such as martial arts and unit tactics. Break the book open and prepare to raise your game!

The Limited Edition includes bonded red leather, embossed cover, plus a double-sided poster showing off the weapons from both Run & Gun as well as Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

The following product has a Street Date of JULY 30TH, 2014:

Stolen Souls ($44.99)

Not all has been right in our shadows of late. Especially in the dark shadows of my mind.

Those were among FastJack’s parting words to JackPoint when he left, the victim of a condition that divided his mind against itself. And the condition is spreading. Across the Sixth World, people’s minds are in schism, as new personalities emerge and battle the old. The world is in chaos, and there is a dramatically increased demand for extractions, to get infected people out of sensitive positions and to steal the insights of people who might know what’s gone wrong.

Stolen Souls is a Deep Shadows sourcebook for Shadowrun with plot updates and adventure hooks, as well as information, techniques, and gear to help make runners extraction aces. It also contains setting information about Manhattan, where key extractions are taking place. Players will get the chance to dig deeper into a new mystery that has torn through the Sixth World—and discover just how deep the conspiracies and cover-ups go.

Win Advanced Copy of Crossfire at Origins!

The highly anticipated Shadowrun: Crossfire deck-building game is slated for release in late summer and is only weeks away from loading onto a ship to head to our shores. But for those attending the Origins Game Fair, you can win an advanced copy for free!

Thursday and Friday: On both Thursday and Friday, anyone that plays in a Shadowrun: Crossfire demo will receive a ticket for a drawing at 5:30 PM that day at the Catalyst Game Labs booth 601.

Saturday: On Saturday, anyone that has played in that day’s RPG gaming will receive a ticket for a drawing at 7:00 PM in the Shadowrun RPG room.

In both instances above, you must be present to win. If your number is called and you are not present, a new number will be called.

On all three days, there will be one Runner Up and one Grand Prize Winner.

Runner Up: Each Runner Up will receive one free copy of the Shadowrun: Crossfire Demo Box.

Grand Prize Winner: Each Grand Prize Winner will walk away with a complete set of the following:
Shadowrun: Crossfire Base Game
Shadowrun: Crossfire Character Expansion Pack 1
Shadowrun: Crossfire “Oni” Character promo card

See you at Origins for all the excitement!

Look to www.catalystgamelabs.com and www.shadowruntabletop.com in the future for more details surrounding these coming games!

About Catalyst Game Labs
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 and fiction readers to enjoy our stories even if they don’t know the games.

Catalyst Game Labs is an imprint of InMediaRes Productions, LLC, which specializes in electronic publishing of professional fiction. This allows Catalyst to participate in a synergy that melds printed gaming material and fiction with all the benefits of electronic interfaces and online communities, creating a whole-package experience for any type of player or reader. Find Catalyst Game Labs online at www.catalystgamelabs.com.

Bullets & Bandages available now! Medical rules, gear, and more!

We have a new electronic release for you today! Bullets & Bandages (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), the latest book in our Shadowrun Options line, is now out. Packed with fun info about medtech, high-threat response teams, and optional rules to use in you Shadowrun game, Bullets & Bandages gives you the chance to add more details to healing the bumps, bruises, and bullet wounds runners in the Sixth World often take. And it’s got information that will make it usable to both Shadowrun, Fifth Edition players and those using Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition. Here’s the full description:

Sew ’Em Up, Ride ’Em Out

The only reason shadowrunners have scars to show off during their downtime is that when they got hit, someone had the guts, the skill, and the speed to pull them out of whatever drekstorm they’d gotten themselves into. Maybe it was a DocWagon High Threat Response team who rode in to save the day, or maybe a teammate who’d picked up some handy medical skills in the course of their career in the shadows patched them up enough to keep them moving. Either way, having someone who can pull your hoop out of the fire is handy in any situation. Make sure you thank them and buy ’em a drink—assuming, of course, they made it out with you.

Bullets & Bandages is part of the Shadowrun Options line, presenting new rules and background for players and gamemasters who want to add more detail to how medicine works when it’s practiced under fire. With new gear, qualities, actions, spells, adept powers, and more, it will add depth and excitement to your Shadowrun game—and maybe help you keep your chummers alive.

Bullets & Bandages is compatible with both Shadowrun, Fifth Edition and Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition.

Sprawl Gangers (& Miniatures!) Update

Been a number of months since the last update on Sprawl Gangers. Since it has been a while, gonna be a big update here…so brace yourself…

Why the long delay…production issues. We haven’t been able to produce the miniatures and without that, the game simply has been in a holding pattern.

We are excellent at making books. We are just starting to reach a points where we do card games and boardgames. But miniatures, particularly high quality miniatures, have kicked us in the teeth for years. For those that have following our BattleTech problems (which have finally been fixed!) and especially our Leviathans troubles (which are still unresolved), you know this has dogged us for a while.

Despite this, caught up in the enthusiasm of trying to do a plethora of crazy cool stuff for Shadowrun, we moved forward with Sprawl Gangers thinking we had a solution for miniatures. Not only did that burn out, but we’ve since gone through several other aborted attempts to find the appropriate combination of cost vs. quality.

That being said, we do appear to have finally met a team that may just be the ones we’ve been searching for for years. I was waiting to reach a few milestones with this company before I started talking about this. And since we’ve reached those milestones, well, I can start talking.

First, the team we’re working with is Jeff Gracia and Jed Wahl at Green Brier Games. If you’ve not heard of them before, feel free to check ‘em out.

Second, as I’ve previously mentioned, we love being audacious and challenging ourself with aggressive schedules and really cool, big games. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. After spinning our wheels for far too long on Sprawl Gangers, part of this process has been to scale way back on what we want to do “right now”, and instead take the entire process in steady but bite-sized chunks.

What exactly does that mean? We are hard at work on an “experiment” of just a few miniatures to ensure that neither side is taxed too far and there’s not too much of a commitment to get anyone into trouble should things go sideways (its Shadowrun after all). The miniatures ultimately will be released as a “roleplaying game aid” boxed set (no, no dates or anything yet this early in the process).

However, one part of the experiment is to produce a single Sprawl Ganger miniature and move it through the entire process to a rapid prototype.

We just received rapid prototypes of two miniatures, which I immediately shipped off to Peter Wort, one of our fantastic camospecs.com artists, who’ll clean up the burs on the miniature and base coat it so we can really see what it will look like.

While I don’t have photos of that rapid prototype just yet, I can share the details that moved us from concept sketches into a miniature on my table (and when I get the miniature back, have no fear I’ll share photos right away!).

So first of all, the Sprawl Ganger. Here’s the fantastic concept sketches for a Halloweener that I’ve been sitting on for over a year…

And here’s the 70% render:

And then the near final renders came in:

Almost leapt out of my chair with a shout. So amazing…and funny thing is, I think her hair might be the best part…so much motion captured in that hair. Brings the model to life in a fantastic way.

But remember, this isn’t just about Sprawl Gangers at this stage. It’s about those small bite-sized chunks, so it’s about creating a pack of 5 “RPG Game Aid” miniatures. We’ve been creating a cast of characters that will visually bridge between Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, Shadowrun: Beginner Box Set, Shadowrun Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware, Shadowrun: Crossfire and even into Shadowrun: Hostile Takeover and Shadowrun: Sprawl Gangers. So it was logical to start with those images as the basis for our first pack of miniatures.

First out of the gate is our Dwarf rigger, Hardpoint. Here’s the reference art from both the Beginner Box Set and Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware:

Brent then turned that into an appropriate orthographic that Jed could use to start his render process:

Jed took that and turned over an initial render:

Obviously the first attempt to create “smoke” for the drone wasn’t working well, so some good brainstorming resulted in this near final render:

Obviously we are incredibly excited about reaching this place and so far working with Jeff and Jed at Green Brier Games has been fantastic. Can’t wait to see what the final rapid-prototypes look like once they’re cleaned up and show them off (fingers crossed we’ll have them at Origins for those attending…and I’ll share photos as soon as I have them).

“So, those are really awesome looking, and RPG game aid miniatures is a cool idea, but what does this mean for Sprawl Gangers?” It means that we can potentially have an end in sight for production. However, this does not mean we’ll suddenly see Sprawl Gangers by Gen Con. Remember, this is about taking it slow and then appropriately spinning up to the type of production that Sprawl Gangers will require. This will ensure that the game gets the quality miniatures it deserves, while also helping to ensure that once we announce that “this is the date”, we’ll be able to hit it and support it.

Thanks to everyone that have continued to wait patiently for this update. It’s perhaps further out than you’d like, but we are still completely committed to getting this game out and ensuring that not only will it be well worth the wait but that we’ll be able to fully support the game.



Hostile Takeover: Designer Blog Part 2

Oy, chummers! Guess what time it is? Time for Mister Steele to tell you a little bit more about Shadowrun: Hostile Takeover! When last we met, I had told you the general idea behind the game—become a megacorporation and take over the city of Seattle by any means necessary. This time around, let’s look at who is going to be actually turning the wheels and manipulating the pieces of the puzzle.

First off are the Figureheads. Each player gets two of these pawns, both literal and narrative, to represent their influential agents driving, flying and sneaking around the city. The Figureheads travel to and from iconic Shadowrun Seattle locations from the roaring Renraku Omnidome to the smoky atmosphere of Dante’s Inferno. While visiting these locations the Figurehead spreads their megacorporation’s money and influence around town, vying for control over the locations themselves as well as recruiting shadowrunners and hiring Wage Slaves.

Controlling map locations is a key element to the game itself. This is measured by a limited number of Territory Tokens that each player has to spread around; where they have the most tokens they have the most control. Figureheads will be zooming around the board wining, dining and bribing the city of Seattle in order for their megacorporation to create and maintain a stranglehold upon it. Some locations will be more important than others, and players will quickly decide what Influence battles are worth waging—or whose side to back in battles already waging.

While they are planting their figurative flags in the real estate, megacorporations will begin to put together their plans and the teams to complete them. Shadowrunners from all walks of the trade can be hired on to be part of their machinations. The shadowrunners are drawn from a deck of many different personalities; some of which Shadowrun fans will recognize. Putting teams together with the likes of Rigger X and Ethernaut along with new faces like Aargh and Twitch, important Missions can be undertaken to gain power and resources—or vicious Schemes can knock down the competition a peg or three. We’ll talk more on Missions and Schemes in a future blogpost, but rest assured they are a HUGE part of Hostile Takeover.

If Shadowrunners are the tools with which a megacorp manipulates the world, Wage Slaves are the furnishings of the home and the armor it wears for protection. Hiring on a staff of “regular” agents like Mister Johnsons, Security staff and even putting the Mayor on the payroll adjusts the megacorporation itself. They help keep the megacorp safe from outside attack, but also grant special benefits like additional movement for Figureheads, more control over who goes when, and the number of employees a team can have. While not as necessary as a Shadowrunner team to take over Seattle, trying to do so without Wage Slaves would be a helluva uphill climb.

So basically, while you are moving your Figureheads around the map trying to build a powerbase, your opponents are going to do the same. You know what they say about big fish in a small pond… well, in Hostile Takeover, you are all going to be sharks. Your Shadowrunners, Wage Slaves and all the things they do for you will your teeth.

Next time, maybe we’ll look at exactly how you will be taking bites out of the city—and each other!

Good gaming to you all,

Bryan C.P. Steele

Shadowrun Fifth Edition is Now Available for Hero Lab!

The wait is over – Shadowrun 5th Edition is now available within Hero Lab! Battle for survival in the Sixth World, with rules for character creation, combat, rigging, magic, Matrix hacking, and more!

You can purchase Hero Lab on our webstore for $29.99, which includes one game system of your choice. If you’re already a Hero Lab user, you can add Shadowrun 5th Edition to your license for only $20.00.

Read Full Article.

Stolen Souls now available! Plot action, extraction advice, and more!

The latest book in the Deep Shadows line for Shadowrun is now out (BattleShop, DriveThruRPG)! Building on plot threads presented in Storm Front and Splintered State, Stolen Souls details a crisis shaking up all parts of the Sixth World, including the refuges of the richest and most powerful individuals on the planet. People are losing something they can’t replace–themselves. Their minds and their personalities are being taken from them, with few prospects of getting it back. People are running scared, and they want answers. That means the market for people who might have answers has skyrocketed, and corporations are working over time to snatch the best and brightest minds from each other, in order to find answers to the growing problem–and perhaps discover who was behind it in the first place.

Stolen Souls introduces a new focus for the Deep Shadows book. They have always focused on a particular subject, giving tactics, game advice, gear, and rules associated with this area, but with Fifth Edition, each Deep Shadows book will focus on a particular type of shadowrun. Stolen Souls focuses on extractions, providing advice on how to successfully carry them out and gear, spells, and other rules to help you get the job done. With plot information and details on one of the extraction hotspots of the world–the corporate haven of Manhattan–Stolen Souls is full of information to rocket your game ahead and send it catapulting through twists and turns that will make your game memorable.

Need more info? Here you go:

The War Within

Not all has been right in our shadows of late. Especially in the dark shadows of my mind.

Those were among FastJack’s parting words to JackPoint when he left, the victim of a condition that divided his mind against itself. And the condition is spreading. Across the Sixth World, people’s minds are in schism, as new personalities emerge and battle the old. The world is in chaos, and there is a dramatically increased demand for extractions, to get infected people out of sensitive positions and to steal the insights of people who might know what’s gone wrong.

Stolen Souls is a Deep Shadows sourcebook for Shadowrun with plot updates and adventure hooks, as well as information, techniques, and gear to help make runners extraction aces. It also contains setting information about Manhattan, where key extractions are taking place. Players will get the chance to dig deeper into a new mystery that has torn through the Sixth World—and discover just how deep the conspiracies and cover-ups go.

Stolen Souls is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

Shadowrun 5th Edition for Hero Lab Releasing May 23rd

Excerpt from the Lone Wolf Development website:

As many of you know, Shadowrun Fifth Edition has been in Beta testing since mid-April, and in last month’s newsletter, we shared that its development was nearing completion. Thanks to our Beta testers and the hard work of Mathias, the lead Shadowrun data file author, things are looking good for the Shadowrunners!

We’re excited to announce that Shadowrun Fifth Edition will be releasing for Hero Lab on May 23rd!

Once Shadowrun 5 is available, you can buy Hero Lab at our online store for $29.99, which includes one game system of your choice. If you’re already a Hero lab user, you’ll be able to add Shadowrun 5th Edition to your license for only $20 once we release it in the upcoming weeks.

Keep an eye on our website for release news, and be sure to “like” Hero Lab on Facebook, follow @lonewolfdevel on Twitter, or follow Lone Wolf Development on Google+.

New Mission hits the streets! Critic’s Choice now available!

We’re sorry about the gap between Shadowrun Missions, but the good new is the wait is over! The new Mission, Critic’s Choice, is now on sale (Battleshop, DriveThru), and it’s fast-moving fun! Here’s the rundown:

It’s Showtime

When the curtain goes up on a shadowrun in Chicago, you never know who’s going to take the stage. There are all sorts of creepy players out there, ghouls and gangers and more, and once the overture’s done, runners better be ready to dance with whoever emerges, with the rat-a-tat-tat of bullets keeping time.

The cast of characters in this mission includes a good-hearted street doc looking to expand, a pit-fighting elf, a pugnacious gang leader with an historical bent, and one of the oddest tribal gatherings ever seen inside a major sprawl. That’s not all, of course—what would a good shadowrun be without a few surprise guests? Runners will have plenty to keep them on their toes, and hopefully by the end they’ll have moved up a spot or two in the Chicago shadowrunner cast list. Assuming, of course, that they haven’t dropped six feet under.

Critic’s Choice is the latest Mission for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.



Hostile Takeover: Designer Blog Part 1

Designer Blog Part 1

When I got the news that I would be creating the first big Shadowrun-themed board game, I was ecstatic. Shadowrun and I have a long relationship from decades of being a gamer, and my local gaming crew has run RPGs off and on over the course of its existence. Getting the chance to create a milestone event like Hostile Takeover is not only my pleasure, but also truly an honor. Off went the gamer’s hat and it was replaced by the designer’s cap.

Hostile Takeover needed to be epic in feel and execution. Not a game about individual runners sneaking around in the shadows and alleyways, like what happens in the roleplaying game; instead this needed to be a game from the other side of the plot—the megacorporations. This was going to be a game where players were the ones doing all the string pulling, but without losing any of the gritty feel of sketchy missions, random violence, and constant under-the-table double crossing that a good Shadowrun game should have!

That in mind, the initial designs for Hostile Takeover began to take shape.

I knew the game needed to be set in Shadowrun’s iconic Seattle in the 2070s, which gave me a solidly defined base of information to build off of. The map has already been drawn, the megacorporations have already been laid out, and much of the cast of supporting roles exist in the thousands of pages that have been previously written. All we had to do was put all of this together in a fun, exciting game of manipulation and scheming for three to six players.

Many of the best board games in the market combine resource management, a little bit of luck, and oftentimes a set limit on game turns or play time. Mixing all of these things into one game plan, Hostile Takeover will not only require players to think their strategies several turns in advance but also be ready to adapt when the hidden card draws and dice rolls throw unavoidable monkeywrenches—and monkeywrenchers—into the works.

As the game starts to take shape on the designer table, I decided I wanted three major elements in the game to give it the Shadowrun feel: shadowrunners accomplishing missions, players negotiating and manipulating each other for fun and profit, and the potential for an underhanded snatching away of victory from their opponents. The game should have all of these things … and more.

The rough draft of the game started to take form as a badly photoshopped map of Shadowrun’s Seattle, a growing list of shadowrunners, and twelve megacorporation statistic cards to represent who will be hiring them. While the next chapter in Hostile Takeover’s Designer Blog will share a bit more light on how the game is evolving into what I hope will be a fan favorite, I think a great way to close out this segment is with the current list of the megacorporations (you never know what’s going to happen between now, final play testing, development and production) that players of Hostile Takeover will be using to vie for dominance of Seattle: Ares, Aztechnology, Evo, Horizon, Mitsuhama, NeoNET, Regency Megamedia, Saeder-Krupp, Shiawase, Telestrian Industries, Universal Omnitech, and Wuxing!

See you around chummers! Stay tuned for more on this game as it evolves!

Bryan Steele

Sneak Preview: Crafting the Cover for STOLEN SOULS

Crafting a cover for Shadowrun goes rarely the same way twice. Sometimes the magic happens organically, sometimes its the a wonderful recipe combining a variety of ingredients, and sometimes you just need to hit it with napalm. When it came to crafting the title image for Stolen Souls the recipe included all three.

It all started with a plan…

I had an idea in mind that I finally wanted to have the legendary Raven Mimura bring the characters to life. Raven crafted some of my all time favorite character images from the Fourth Edition era, and his amazing character images infuse a range of intensity and storytelling that is among the very best in the industry. I’d long wanted to put him on a cover and as a huge fan of Shadowrun, he was glad for his shot at it.

Next we needed the details, so I tasked Jason Hardy with designing a set of notes that would allow Raven to really work his magic. Jason is a huge fan of Raven’s so he worked up a description for a character wizard to sink his teeth into, which in this case were the frayed ends of forced insanity caused by the dangers in Stolen Souls. Here were the original art notes:

    Setting: Interior hallway of a corporate office. Should be a nice place, with dark wood doors, brass wall sconces, beige walls, padded carpet, that sort of thing. As we get farther in the background, some of the walls look like they have been slashed with an axe…because they have been.

    The focus of the scene is on an executive running down the hallway (toward the viewer) at a full tilt. He is wearing a business suit and tie. His tie is slightly loosened. He is carrying a fire axe. It looks like some of his swings with the axe have been somewhat wild and have cut into his pants, so the lower part of them is looking a bit shredded. His facial expression should be very crazed, to a scary extent—like, say, Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

    Behind him is a runner team. They have been sent to extract him, but they had no idea just how far gone his mind is. They are supposed to take him alive, so they cannot just take him down. They are running after him—we should be able to see a female ork street samurai with a large stun baton, a male dwarf mage getting ready to throw a spell down the hallway, and a female elf shooter lining up a shot with a dart rifle. This team should look like the type you would trust to do a corporate run—not too crazy looking, professional and all, but still looking like shadowrunners.

Raven’s characterizations were right on target from the get go and he did an amazing job bringing these to life.

With those characters in place I then handed off the image to Victor Moreno to build the corporate setting around these characters. Victor has delivered some over-the-top amazing work for Shadowrun settings (like the upcoming Shadowrun: Crossfire box cover) so I tasked him with designing a background which showcased the scene and reinforced Raven’s storytelling. The heavily tilted ‘ground’ reinforced the unbalanced state of the foreground character’s state of mind, and wood panel color palette really sets off the characters nicely.

All told the collaborative result just goes to show how great a team we have here on Shadowrun, and the awesomeness of letting specialists play to their strengths. It’s a great image and does an excellent job illustrating the state of mind one risks in the Sixth World.

Brent Evans
Art Director