Le site officiel Shadowrun RPG

Shadowrun Introductory Box Set: Now Splitting Into 2 Great Box Sets!

We just started to send this material off to distributors/retailers and I immediately wanted to share the details with all of you!

Here’s the letter we’re sending to distributors/retailers:

To All Retailers,

As part of the Year of Shadowrun, Catalyst announced a Shadowrun Introductory Box Set, which would be the first ever “starter” box for Shadowrun. Unfortunately, as happens to us sometimes, our passion got the better of us, and right as we were ready to send it to print we realized it was trying too hard to do too many things.

Ultimately we came to the conclusion that regardless of how well put together the overall box was, the following elements would damage its ability to achieve its goals of bringing in new players while providing a plethora of useful tools for existing players:

  • The price point was too high for an “introductory” item;
  • There was too much information for new players to absorb;
  • Existing players would potentially have too much material that was not as useful to them, which would lessen the perceived value

After numerous discussions that included talks with retailers and distributor in our industry, we’ve thus determined that the best way to solve the issues above was to create two new items:

Shadowrun Beginner Box Set ($19.99)
Shadowrun Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware ($59.99)

This split allows both boxes to focus on a single primary objective, as opposed to the jack-of-all-trades syndrome plaguing the initial box.

The Beginner Box is 100% about new players, providing an easy-on-the-wallet quick taste of Shadowrun, making the barrier of entry into the game lower than it’s ever been (see the sellsheet for additional details on contents).

Meanwhile the Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware can focus on helping existing players obtain a variety of useful tools for easing into multiple adventures of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, while also acting as the perfect bridge product for new players between the Beginner Box and Shadowrun, Fifth Edition (see the sellsheet for additional details on contents).

Note that because we previously conducted a solicitation of the Introductory Box Set, we felt the only way to eliminate as much confusion as possible was to completely discontinue that name. And the use of the Runner’s Toolkit title with the Alphaware suffix sets up the eventual publication of Runner’s Toolkit: Betaware, the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition version of the spectacularly selling Shadowrun, Fourth Edition Runner’s Toolkit.

Finally, to help maximize retailer (and ultimately the community’s) understanding of this change, we’ve pushed both items back to spring releases to ensure a full 4-month solicitation cycle.

Thanks for your understanding and we hope you’re enjoying the return of Shadowrun as much as we are!

Catalyst Team

I’ll continue to share additional details on those box sets in the coming weeks. Additionally, we’ll be releasing a “Shadowrun Tools Digital Box” that combines both of these print boxes into a single great set of electronic tools for players, for sale in the near future.

Randall

Load up on Shadowrun for the holidays! Two new PDFs out, GM screen on its way!

Do you have some holiday shopping to do this week for the gamers on your list? Including yourself? Well, we’ve got good news for you—two new e-books have been released as PDFs, and the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition Gamemaster’s Screen hits stores this week! Let’s take a look at all the stuff coming out, shall we?

First up—guns, guns, guns! Yes, it’s Gun Haven Heaven 3 (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), and it is, as you may guess, full of guns! With more than thirty firearms, this book increases the options for any Shadowrun player, with weapons ranging from vintage collectibles to heavy-hitting machine guns. And it’s dual-statted, meaning that you can use it whether you are playing Shadowrun, Fifth Edition or Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition!

And if you like the gear cards and spell cards we’ve released for Fourth and Fifth Edition, keep your eye on DriveThruCards in upcoming weeks for cards with all the Gun Heaven 3 weapons on them. We’re planning two decks–one with SR5 stats, another with SR4A stats.

Here are a few more details on the bevy of firearms waiting for you:

Lethal Force

You’re not a noob. You’re not a poseur. You’re a shadowrunner. When you pick a weapon, it’s with a purpose, and 99 times out of 100, that purpose is to bring suckers down. You’re going to choose your weapon carefully, and you know that the more options you have, the better your final choice will be.

Gun H(e)aven 3 is about options. Pistols, rifles, machine guns, even a flamethrower—they’re all in here, ready to take out to the streets. Take a look, check your options, and then pick a weapon that will stop your enemies in their tracks. Because when the guns come out, you want it ended quick and ended right—with you still in your feet.

Gun H(e)aven 3 has more than thirty new firearms, and they’re ready to use in either Shadowrun, Fifth Edition or Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition. So whatever you’re playing, get ready to add more force to your arsenal!

Next up, we have Coyotes (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), a full-featured book about border crossings. Whether you are trying to slip across a contested border like the line between Aztlan and the CAS, or you’re moving from territory controlled by the Seattle government to corporate territory by entering a headquarters, you need to know what security is going to be watching and how you can avoid being noticed. You also might want some help from a Coyote, someone who can help you slip across those invisible lines. With short fiction, tactical information, details on border security, Coyote NPCs, and even a short adventure, Coyotes has a wealth of information to add to your Shadowrun, Fifth Edition game!

Here are a few more details:

Over the Edges

The Sixth World has been carefully divided and partitioned to keep people in their place, living under the thumbs of those who draw the lines. Shadowrunners, though, have never been good at staying where they’re supposed to be. They’ve got goods to smuggle, bounties to avoid, and a host of other reasons to cross the walls and borders the rest of the world has put up.

These crossings aren’t always easy, and that’s where Coyotes come in—trained professionals with nerves of steel and steady hands who can help you sneak, talk, or just blast your way past almost any border. You may have to dig deep in your pocket to pay their asking price, but it’ll be worth it when you see the heavily armed checkpoint fading in the rear view mirror.

Coyotes has a wealth of information on border crossings, including details on Coyote tactics, descriptions of security at a variety of borders, sample Coyote characters, and even a short border-crossing adventure. It’s the complete package for cross-border excitement!

Coyotes is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

And finally there’s the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition Gamemaster’s Screen (Battleshop pre-order), a vital Runner Resource that is scheduled to hit stores on December 18th. With a fine collection of tables from the book on one side and beautiful art showing shadowrunners inside the legendary Dante’s Inferno nightclub, the screen is the perfect accessory to make playing the game faster and easier—and to keep your players from seeing how you’re planning to make their lives very difficult.

 

Crossfire: Mage in the House

Don’t blink . . . I must not blink! I’ve heard that as long as you are looking at a Mage, they can’t do anything to you. And one just walked into the room with me.

Sure, it’s probably all just superstition, but then I’ve seen what a Mage can do. How can they have so much power? Where does that power come from? I just don’t get it.

In Shadowrun: Crossfire, the Mage is the master of deck manipulation and dealing damage. The Face is all about people skills, the Street Samurai is about smashing things in a fight, and the Decker is about hacking (which is what I do), so let’s tap the net for specs on the Mage.

The Mage’s role color is Blue, which are spells that manipulate your deck, allow you to draw cards, and do a ton of damage. Two of these mechanics are combined in one card: Deathtouch.


First, Deathtouch lets you look at the top 3 cards of your deck and then put them back in any order. And second, it does an additional point of colorless damage for each spell card revealed this way. With its base damage of two Blue to begin with, you can crank out 5 damage with this spell! And if you want to know why rearranging your deck can be so helpful, take a look at Stunbolt.


You reveal the top card of your deck and do one Blue damage plus colorless damage equal to that revealed card’s cost. Then you put the revealed card back on top of your deck. So you use Deathtouch first and stack the top of your deck with your biggest card, then reveal that card for maximum damage when you cast Stunbolt.

Next are a pair of cards that allow you to draw more cards to help you get through your deck faster. The first is Clairvoyance, which allows you to draw one card and then discard a card along with doing one Blue damage.

Clairvoyance also has an assist ability, which can be played only during another runner’s turn. The assist is exactly the same as the main ability, except that it will affect the runner you play it on instead of yourself.

The second card of the pair is Guiding Spirit.


This card allows you to discard your entire hand and then draw that many cards. It also does one Blue damage and one colorless damage. Remember that if you run out of cards in your deck to draw, draw as many as you can, reshuffle your discard into a new deck, and then finish drawing the cards you need. Don’t forget, however, that you have to play a Spell card in order to buy Guiding Spirit from the Black Market, making it much harder for anyone other than the Mage to purchase it.

Next are the pure damage spells starting with the powerful Lightning Bolt.


This Spell card clears two entire levels of an obstacle’s damage track. It doesn’t care what the color of those levels are or how many colorless damage is needed; it just clears them. This spell also has a purchase restriction of requiring you to play a Spell card in order to purchase it from the Black Market, meaning that you’d better focus on magic if you want to use a Lightning Bolt.

And finally there’s the Fireball.


It does two colorless damage plus two Blue damage. It also does splash damage of one level to up to three different obstacles, which can really be helpful when the team has already beat down the obstacles facing them. It doesn’t matter who those obstacles are facing, so spread the damage around.

Well, I now understand a bit more about Mages, but they still make me nervous. Maybe after this run they won’t creep me out so much. Who knows?

— Conan E. Chamberlain

Additional December Street Dates

The following product has a Street Date of DECEMBER 18TH, 2013:


Shadowrun Gamemaster Screen ($19.99)

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

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

This screen is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

Lone Wolf To Release Shadowrun, Fifth Edition Data Package for Hero Lab

Catalyst Game Labs is pleased to announce that Lone Wolf Development will release Shadowrun, Fifth Edition data package files for Hero Lab in the first quarter of 2014.

“We’ve gotten off to a fantastic start with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition,” said Randall N. Bills, Managing Developer of Catalyst Game Labs. “We’re starting to get out a series of Runner Resources—such as the Shadowrun Gamemaster Screen and Gear and Spell decks—in support of Shadowrun 5 to make the game easier to use than ever. But for digital space nothing beats Hero Lab and its ability to easily customize and upgrade your character during game play…we can’t wait for this brilliant support to be available. “

Released almost a decade ago, the ENnie award-winning Hero Lab includes an easy-to-use, intuitive interface atop a versatile database engine. Data packages for more than a dozen different role-playing games from a wide range of publishers are already available. Users can add their own custom content to existing games or even create data files for entirely new game systems. The combination of powerful, user-friendly software and the diverse RPGs it supports make Hero Lab one of the most successful character management tools ever released.

“We’re thrilled to be adding support for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition to Hero Lab” said Rob Bowes, President of Lone Wolf Development. “We’re very happy to continue our relationship with Catalyst and bring the newest edition of Shadowrun to the world of digital tools. As one of our most popular game systems, we’re proud to give new and experienced Shadowrun players and GMs a way to quickly and accurately create characters for use in their 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.

About Lone Wolf Development
Lone Wolf Development specializes in creating innovative digital tools for the tabletop gaming industry, allowing players to streamline game preparation, eliminate errors, and spend more time playing the games they love. With Realm Works, the company has created an entirely new vehicle for RPG publishers to distribute their material to fans. With an ever-growing suite of tools, including the award-winning Army Builder® and Hero Lab® products, Lone Wolf’s digital tools are the industry standard and are in regular use by tens of thousands of gamers, from miniatures games to role-playing games. Find out more about Lone Wolf Development at www.wolflair.com.

November Street Dates

The following products have a Street Date of NOVEMBER 20TH, 2013:


Splintered State ($19.99)
Federal Agent Seth Dietrich has a secret. Actually, multiple secrets. One of them made him go underground, hiding from the people desperate to learn just how much he knows. And the other is keeping him from surfacing, because he’s found he can’t even trust himself.

If Dietrich were in his right mind, he’d cover his tracks like a pro, and no one would find him. Especially not shadowrunners getting their feel for life on the streets. But he’s not in his right mind, which means a group of shadowrunners finds themselves in possession of some very valuable information—information the highest powers in Seattle want for themselves. What started as a simple job turns into a scramble for their lives, a scramble that could become profitable if the runners play their cards right.

Splintered State is an introductory adventure for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition. Whether you have played previous Shadowrun editions or are new to the setting, this adventure helps players and gamemasters learn the new rules while wrapping themselves in the intrigue, excitement, and danger of running in Seattle.


Shadowrun, Fifth Edition ($59.99)
There are cracks in the world. They’re slender, dark, and often cold, but they are the only things that keep you hidden. Keep you alive. They are the shadows of the world, and they are where you live.

You are a shadowrunner, thriving in the margins, doing the jobs no one else can. You have no office, no permanent home, no background to check. You are whatever you make yourself. Will you seek justice? Sow seeds of chaos? Sell out to the highest bidder? It’s up to you, but this much is certain—if you do nothing, the streets will eat you alive.

You can survive—even flourish—as long as you do what it takes. Sacrifice part of your soul for bleeding-edge gear. Push the limits of your will learning new and dangerous magic. Wire yourself into the Matrix, making your mind one with screaming streams of data. It’ll cost you something—everything does—but you can make it worth the price.

Shadowrun, Fifth Edition is the newest version of one of the most popular and successful role-playing worlds of all time—a fusion of man, magic and machine in a dystopian near-future. With rules for character creation, magic, combat, Matrix hacking, rigging, and more, you have everything you need to face the challenges of the Sixth World.

NOTE: Shadowrun, Fifth Edition is once again available.

Shadowrun GM Screen and Other Runner Resources Preorders Available

Good news, Shadowrun players, especially those of you playing Fifth Edition! We have all sorts of new things available now to make playing with the new rules faster, easier, and altogether more fun, and there are a number of ways for you to get a hold of them. Take a look at the wealth of options below, and make sure you check out the free wallpapers we just put out. What free wallpapers? Read on!

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

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

This screen is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

Shadowrun Gamemaster Screen (Pre-order From BattleShop)

You can download a zip file of a plethora of different sizes of wallpapers:

Shadowrun Gamemaster Screen Wallpapers (Free From BattleShop)

Shadowrun Gamemaster Screen Wallpapers (Free From DriveThruRPG)

Or you can find the wallpapers here.

(Photo of the Shadowrun Gamemaster Screen, with its packaging wrap.)

Shadowrun Gear Cards, Series 1


The right gun, the right vehicle, or the right piece of equipment can be the difference between life and death. Shadowrun Gear Cards provides quick reference to 54 different pieces of gear. Containing game stats and illustrations of guns, vehicles, drones, and more, these cards will help keep the game moving and make sure characters have what they need to come out on top.

Shadowrun Gear Cards PDF (Buy From BattleShop)

Shadowrun Gear Cards Print Preorder & PDF Combo (Buy From BattleShop)

Shadowrun Gear Cards PDF and/or POD (Buy From DriveThruRPG)

Shadowrun Spell Cards, Series 1


Everyone in the Sixth World wants to geek the mage first. Your job is to make sure that won’t happen by being faster, deadlier, and more powerful than they are. Shadowrun Spell Cards make spell casting faster and easier, with easy-to-reference game statistics for 54 different spells. Grab a pack and use it to call down a whole hellstorm of mana when you need it most!

Shadowrun Spell Cards PDF (Buy From BattleShop)

Shadowrun Spell Cards Print Preorder & PDF Combo (Buy From BattleShop)

Shadowrun Spell Cards PDF (Buy From DriveThruRPG)

Crossfire: Decking With Style

In the Shadowrun: Crossfire adventure deck-building game, the Decker is all about data. We hack into terminals to bypass security and search the Matrix for that crucial piece of intel. Unlike a Street Samurai and their ability to protect your back in a fight, the Mage with their arcane wisdom, and the Face who seems to always have “a guy” for anything, I’m the true master of information and technology. You want the latest tune before it’s released? I’m your man! I’m also the guy to get you through the door, disarm the security systems, and retrieve the megacorps’ most prized information.

The Decker’s role color is green and the green cards are all about fun combos. Get the right set of cards in hand and you can do some crazy damage. Some of those combos are easy and basic, such as Icon Grab.


Play Icon Grab with another Hacking card and you get 2 damage out of the card instead of one. Plus that second damage gives you a choice of colors, which can be critical for knocking out pesky obstacles in your way.


The next card, Retrieval Agent, is also fun to combo with.

Using the Retrieval Agent card allows you to bring back Hacking cards you used in previous turns. Remember that cards played this turn don’t go into the discard until later, barring effects that have discard a card as part of their cost, such as Pair Programming.


Pair Programming lets you play with the other runner’s discards. And to combo it with Retrieval Agent, discard a Hacking card to use Pair Programming on an expensive card, and then play Retrieval Agent to put the card you discarded back into your hand.

What was that? You want to play with your own discard pile? For that we have Jacked In.


When you play Jacked In, it just does its damage. But once it’s in your discard, you can get it back by discarding another card from your hand. This is a great way to upgrade the damage from a basic card, or a good option if you only have a red card in hand and you need to do additional green damage. Because Jacked In can provide a constant source of green damage, it’s very popular with non-Deckers that want to interact with the Matrix. Don’t expect to use Jacked In more than once a turn, however, because after you play it you’ll have to wait until the end of your turn for it to be in the discard.

Next we have Backdoor.


Played normally, it does a hefty 2G damage. But play it on another runner’s turn and you get the assist ability instead. Played that way, you can cancel the ability text on any obstacle and deal G damage. It’s perfect for neutralizing obstacles that can heal or that place restrictions on your team.

Finally we have my favorite Hacking card—Hack the World.


You get to reach into the Black Market and play something for free! On top of that, you get 2GG damage as well. The card gives you the ultimate flexibility since you can usually get exactly the card you need for any given situation.

Well, we’re back. Look’s like no one else has shown up yet, so I think it’s time to dig into some ramen!

-Conan E. Chamberlain

Introductory Box Set: Part 1

We announced the coming of an Introductory Box Set way back in February, providing some solid details on why we’re doing a box set and an overview of its contents. So I’m not going to spin our wheels going over that again.

Instead, I’m going to start showing the box set off, as this should be heading to print in less than two weeks. Here’s what the full lid wrap looks like as we send the file to the printer (make sure and click on ‘em for a much bigger view!):

“What? It’s just going to print now?! Why so late!” I’m sure those questions are bubbling and they’re very valid. Primarily we ran into two issues:

1. I’ve said this many times before, but it’s worth saying again…we tend to be too ambitious for our own good. Now, at the end of the day, more often than not, that ambition turns out some really cool stuff…but it often can bite is in the short term. And our ambitions for the launch of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition were almost limitless, trying to do all at once what not even FASA ever did for Shadowrun. So while it took us longer than we expected, I believe the final result will be well worth the wait and provide a fantastic way for new players to leap into the Sixth World. There’s a ton of stuff piled into the box of goodies, after all…

2. Second was manufacturing. Again, I’ve mentioned before, we’ve tried very hard to move as much printing as possible back to the States. Just 5 years ago everything but softcover black & white work was printed outside of the US. Hardcover, full-color books were printed in Thailand, hardcover, B&W books were printed in Canada, and anything with plastic, wood or punch-out components was printed in China. We’ve managed to move all but the very last bit back to the States.

That works absolutely great for books. However, for items such as the Introductory Box Set that have a variety of different types of items, you can’t just pile it all into one domestic company (at least not yet). Instead, you have to take those elements that are all alike and match it up to a domestic printer that specializes in that work to ensure you’ve got the lowest price for best quality ratio.

For example, for the Shadowrun Introductory Box Set, we’re using 5 different printers: All the booklets are printed at one location, all of the laminated maps/character sheets at a another locale, the spells/gear cards at another printer, the dice still sourced from overseas (simply cannot find what we need domestically), and all of that shipped to the company printing the rigid set-up box for final collation and casing to ship to the warehouse.

Now that’s a lot of extra shipping, and even the costs of printing are still slightly higher…but all of that roughly comes out to printing/shipping in from China. Actually, honestly, it still doesn’t. China is still cheaper. However, the price is close enough that it’s worth dumping an extra month off of the shipping time and not having to deal with foreign manufacturing to suck up the difference (yup, that’s right, our experience is all of that coordination across all of those companies is still less of a migraine than dealing with foreign manufacturers).

What does all of that mean? It means some items we’ll publish still have to be done overseas…but we’ve managed to get this one printing domestically It means the Introductory Box Set is hopefully, finally going to print in less than two weeks now that we’ve got everything lined up. When is the Street Date? Sorry, as always, we never give that out until it’s in our warehouse…we’ve learned that lesson the hard way too many times.

However, in the coming weeks I’ll keep posting blogs surround the guts of the box set and how you can use it to introduce new players to the world we love.

Randall N. Bills

New ebook release! The Assassin’s Primer guides you through the work of death

Here at Shadowrun HQ, the leaves are turning and starting to fall, which puts us in mind of falling bodies, which makes us think about assassination, because that’s just how our minds work. So we have a new ebook for you, The Assassin’s Primer (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), to guide you through the challenges and dangers of wetwork. Here’s the rundown:

The Job of Death

Some people call it wetwork. Others call it murder. A small group calls it justice. It’s assassination and it’s one of the jobs shadowrunners might be hired to do. And given that people are, you know, pretty protective about their lives, anyone who takes such a job is going to have to be at the top of their game to pull the job off and collect a payday. Especially if they plan to make it a regular activity.

Assassin’s Primer is a vital guide for assassins in the Sixth World. With tips on tools to use, techniques to employ, and the different kinds of killers you may meet in the field, this is a critical reference for anyone looking to bring an assassination flavor into their Shadowrun games. And it has a new sniper rifle and a handful of new Qualities for Shadowrun characters to boot!

Assassin’s Primer is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

Sprawl Gangers Designer Diary 7


You might be wondering why there’s not been a Sprawl Gangers update in a while…well, I’ve not had my head in it for the last two months. Convention season always swallows up swaths of time, then there’s the work on the Shadowrun Introductory Box Set and Shadowrun: Crossfire, as well as other work, that simply has been swallowing up most of my time.

Add to that that Playtest Cycle 3 was wrapping up, and well…didn’t have my head in the rules/presentation side very much.

Now, that doesn’t mean that work on the production side has not been progressing. I’ve been in numerous meetings with various people that we hope will help us solve the miniatures production issues and give us high-quality miniatures within a time frame that is appropriate. In fact, I’ve got another such meeting this week.

In the meantime, I’ve finally got enough bandwidth to be allocating some time each day to starting to review all the playtest reports from Cycle 3, compiling them, making notes on which issues are brought up by multiple groups and which, despite vociferous arguments, are just an issue with a single group, which issues I immediately see a solution to and which I’m currently at a loss for how to handle…and so on, and so forth. Pretty standard process, but it can swallow a lot of time, especially as I wear a lot of hats (as much of you are well aware).

In the meantime, thought I’d try something a little different. I really enjoy pulling back the curtain, so to speak, and showing off how the whole process works. And at this stage, the easiest way to do that is to share a playtest report. I’ve scrubbed out the names of the individuals involved, but really beyond that, this is a straight report from players: Sprawl Gangers Playtest Report 3-1.

Now imagine about 15 to 20 of these (some much shorter, some much longer; though in the first playtest cycle we got back almost double that number), and hopefully you’ll start to get a sense of the work involved in digesting it all and bringing it into a sense of order that is helpful when making calls on what needs to change and what doesn’t need to change.

Randall N. Bills

Adventure Monday! Two new Shadowrun adventures ready to rock!

So with the PDF version of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition setting sales records and the print version selling out before its street date, we figured there were a lot of people anxious to play this game, and we should provide adventures to help them roll. We brought out the compilations Sprawl Wilds and Firing Line already, but now we have two all-new adventures written specifically for Fifth Edition.

The first is Splintered State available now for print pre-order and PDF purchase (Battleshop, DriveThru). It’s a wild and rollicking ride designed to introduce players and gamemasters to Fifth Edition. Here’s what lies in wait:

It Can Always Get Worse

Federal Agent Seth Dietrich has a secret. Actually, multiple secrets. One of them made him go underground, hiding from the people desperate to learn just how much he knows. And the other is keeping him from surfacing, because he’s found he can’t even trust himself.

If Dietrich were in his right mind, he’d cover his tracks like a pro, and no one would find him. Especially not shadowrunners getting their feel for life on the streets. But he’s not in his right mind, which means a group of shadowrunners finds themselves in possession of some very valuable information—information the highest powers in Seattle want for themselves. What started as a simple job turns into a scramble for their lives, a scramble that could become profitable if the runners play their cards right.

Splintered State is an introductory adventure for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition. Whether you have played previous Shadowrun editions or are new to the setting, this adventure helps players and gamemasters learn the new rules while wrapping themselves in the intrigue, excitement, and danger of running in Seattle.

On top of that, the new season of Shadowrun Missions begins with Chasin’ the Wind (Battleshop, DriveThru), which brings exciting Missions action to the chaotic feral city of Chicago! If you’re brave enough to venture into the wilds of the Containment Zone, here’s what you’ll encounter:

Deadly Cold Wind

It’s been nearly twenty years since disaster struck the city of Chicago, transforming it into an urban hellscape, and some people now believe it’s suffered enough. The Governor of Illinois has initiated and ambitious plan called Project: Takeback to reclaim the feral urban jungle. What’s more, he’s put money into the effort, and that’s the language every corporation on Earth understands. Suddenly, the race is on as the megacorps scramble to claim pieces of the Windy City. They’ll be butting up against the dangers of the Containment Zone and each other, so they’re going to need all sorts of deniable assets. The shadows of Chicago are coming back to life.

In Chasin’ The Wind, what starts as a simple run into the Containment Zone gets more complicated by the minute, and before the night is over shadowrunners might encounter rogue assassins, a feral runaway, and a mysterious massacre in the heart of one of the worst urban areas in the world. But if they survive, there’s more than just pay waiting for them at the end. There’s pizza—Chicago-style.

Chasin’ The Wind is the first adventure for Season 5 of Shadowrun Missions, Catalyst Game Labs’ living campaign for Shadowrun. It is designed for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

So that’s what’s out there waiting for you! Grab some adventures, grab your friends, and hit the shadows!

Shadowrun Fifth Edition First Printing Sold Out


We are thrilled to announce that the first printing of 15,000 copies of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition has sold out from Catalyst Game Labs before the standard edition has hit its Street Date this month. Additionally, well over a month since the book became the best-selling PDF of all time in the more than ten years of DriveThruRPG operations, it is still in the number one slot!


“Every time I think the Shadowrun community can’t surprise me with their brilliance, they surprise me again,” said Randall N. Bills, Catalyst’s Managing Developer. “We were confident we’d sell out by end of the year, but in mere weeks?! Once again, Shadowrun players stepped up in a fantastic way, showing how much life beats within the Sixth World … and how much life yet beats in the tabletop roleplaying community as a whole!”

Catalyst Game Labs is immediately starting a second print run to minimize any chance of a retailer or player trying to purchase a copy and being told it’s “out of stock”. Additionally, we have multiple items all heading to print simultaneously with this second print run so that they can hit store shelves roughly at the same time as the second printing. These include Splintered State, the first full SR5 adventure; Equipment and Spell decks of cards that make for easier game play; and the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition GM Screen.


It’s important to note that while Catalyst Game Labs is sold out, the Street Date for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition is September 25th. This means that orders made through retail stores should be available this week. Additionally, orders through such venues as Amazon have been shipped to those companies (though when those companies will ship to customers is beyond our purview). Finally, if retailers sell through their copies they can immediately start taking preorders again (if a player is unable to preorder your copy through a local retailer, you can preorder online).

Check out shadowruntabletop.com and www.shadowrun.com in the near future to learn more about these fast-approaching additional releases and their specific street dates!

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, while helping fiction readers 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 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.

New Shadowrun fiction available! Run The Vladivostok Gauntlet!

We’ve got a new Enhanced Fiction short story called The Vladivostok Gauntlet out today, and it’s full of the goodness that makes Shadowrun unique and delicious. If you’re not reading this story, then you’re missing out on Russian mobsters, bloodthirsty killers, wolf shapeshifters, decadent nightclubs, and more. You don’t want to miss out on that, do you?

We’ve made the story available in all sorts of formats. First, you can just pick up the story itself as an Amazon single or on the Barnes and Noble store. The e-reader version doesn’t have the game stats, but that’s okay–we’ve made those stats available as a free download, right here: The Vladivostok Gauntlet Game Stats

Alternately, you could buy the whole package from either the Battleshop or DriveThru, and get everything–a Kindle version, an e-pub version, and a complete PDF with all the game stats. No matter which version you choose, you get new Shadowrun fiction for only $1.99! Here’s a full summary:

Rules for the Breaking

Yuri Yehzov has been off the streets for a long while, surviving by following a few simple rules. Don’t stick your neck out. Don’t get involved in something that is none of your business. And above all, don’t piss off the ferocious mobsters of the Vory y Zakone.

Yuri doesn’t have much left from his shadowrunning days except his cyberears, but that’s enough to get him in trouble. When he hears something he cannot ignore, one by one his rules fall by the wayside until he has cold-blooded killers, vicious shapeshifters, and a ruthless Vory leader all after him. His gear is broken, his reflexes are shot, and he’s about to face the toughest opponents he’s ever been against. The streets have one more chance to claim his life—and he has one more chance to break the rules, beat the odds, and find a way to stay alive.

The Vladivostok Gauntlet is a brand new Shadowrun short story. Read it and immerse yourself in the grit, grime, and dirty glory of the Sixth World!

And if you’re looking for more electronic versions of Shadowrun fiction, we have a special bonus for you! Another Rainy Night, which was previously only available as a PDF, is now available in Kindle or e-Pub versions!  If you buy these stat-free versions, it’s the same price as The Vladivostok Gauntlet–$1.99! So go get your Shadowrun fiction fix!

 

New Shadowrun ebooks out for a whole bunch of different editions!

One of the themes running through the Year of Shadowrun is that we want people to enjoy playing Shadowrun in a wide variety of ways, whether you’re playing a video game, a card game, or the role-playing game. And within the role-playing game, we know that people are playing different editions. We’d certainly be happy if people migrated to Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, but we’re also happy when we can provide options for a wide range of players.

Which brings us to today’s releases! We have three new ebooks out, spanning three different editions of Shadowrun! Let’s get to the newest edition first. In the tradition of Sprawl Wilds, we have Firing Line (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG), an adventure compilation that is dual-statted for both Fourth and Fifth editions. While Sprawl Wilds took you to strange and dangerous corners of Seattle, Firing Line offers more globe-trotting. Here’s the rundown:

Danger Zones

Shadowrunning can take you all sorts of different places and give you the chance to have all sorts of different guns pointed at you. Whether you’re exploring mysterious islands off the coast of Seattle, collecting bounties on the tightly guarded streets of Manhattan, or trying to survive the chaos and conflict in Bogotá, you’re likely to find yourself in trouble and in the line of fire. Because that’s where you’re paid to be.

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!

Next on the list is a new release for Shadowrun, Fourth Edition–continuing in the tradition of Parazoology, Parabotany, and Parageology, it’s Parazoology 2 (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG)! From Awakened spiders to giant toxic amoebas, Parazoology 2 has a host of critters to throw into your game and adventure hooks to get your players running! Here’s more info:

Natural Born Killers

Some shadowrunners long to escape the dirt and danger of the Sixth World’s sprawls for the supposed peace and tranquility of nature. Thing is, the ones that actually try it generally find themselves quickly scurrying back to the city once they discover what’s waiting for them out there in the wild. From the sharp-toothed, lightning-fast ammit to the sneaky, venomous greater dancing white lady, nature in the Sixth World is full of ways to kill the unsuspecting and incautious.

Parazoology 2 is here to make sure shadowrunners are prepared for the dangers that lie in wait. With full details on dozens of Sixth World critters as well as firsthand accounts of encounters with mysterious creatures in their natural habitats, Parazoology 2 is a critical book for runners making their way into the wilds—even if that means the dark alleys just down the road.

Parazoology 2 is for use with Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition.

And finally, we have a re-issue now available in PDF format. It’s Rigger 3 Revised (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG)! Last seen coming out toward the end of Shadowrun, Third Edition’s run (natch), Rigger 3 is your definitive guide to rigging, full of vehicles, drones, and all sorts of goodies:

Planes, Drones and Automobiles

Living is rigging, omae. Like burning rubber down the highway at 150 klicks and hour with only your brain to guide you. What about making a drone an extension of yourself, or undermining the security of a whole building, manipulating every camera, motion detector or security door. But the biggest kick is blowing up a car full of goons without even jacking out — weapons of destruction at your mental command … now that’s road rage, my friend.

Rigger 3 Revised expands upon the basic rigging and drone rules provided in Shadowrun, Third Edition and offers advanced rules for robots, ships, security riggers and electronic warfare. Rigger 3 Revised also offers expanded vehicle listings and rules for vehicle design, construction and modification. This revised edition has been corrected and updated and includes a complete set of vehicle illustrations.

 

So there you have it! So much Shadowrun goodness that you have no excuse to not hit the streets of the Sixth World! Get out there, get running, and have fun!

 

Crossfire: Not in the Face!

Why can’t I find a spoon around here? Sure, it’s a beat-up, boarded-up, ransacked house, but you’d think there would be an old spoon laying around. I guess not. I’ll go back to that convenience store where I bought my ramen, and along the way I’ll tell you all about being a Face.

The Face is the Shadowrun: Crossfire role with the people skills. While a Decker hacks into a terminal and searches the net for data and the Mage uses Arcane wisdom to come up with obscure info (and the Street Samurai looks for a fight), the Face is talking to their friend just around the corner to get that crucial piece of intel that will make the difference.

The Face’s role color is Red and playing the role is all about cooperation and increasing your options and those of the other runners. It also has one of the best healing cards in the game—Doc Wagon Contract. It’s such a good card that it works well in anyone’s deck.

It’s usually better to spread Doc Wagon Contract cards around rather than having one runner keep them all. That way no matter which player becomes staggered there always another player that can patch them up.

And speaking of more options, one of the best group cards in the game is in red; it’s called Hero Move.

Hero Move is all about teamwork. It does a lot of damage but more important is the fact that it gives every runner another card outside of their normal draw step. And more cards means more options on what a runner can do on their turn.

And if that isn’t cooperative enough, Coordinated Attack should do the trick for you.

This card allows another runner to not only draw one more card, but then play any card from their hand (even the one they just drew) on your turn. If multiple runners have Coordinated Attack cards in hand, it can do some crazy (and fun) stuff.

Most of the red cards are good for any role, so there is often a lot of competition for them among the team. If you run into the problem of not being able to buy red cards because everyone else is buying them, Press the Advantage is your solution:

This card allows you to draw a bunch of cards (sometimes) and rewards you for building your deck with cards from other colors. One trick is to keep 3 Street Smarts in your hand so your deck isn’t stuffed full of red cards. Then when you play Press the Advantage, you improve your chances of not drawing a bunch of red cards that would cut your card drawing short.

The next two red cards are about Black Market manipulation. If the Decker gets lucky, they can hack into the Black Market and maybe apply the digital five-finger discount. But the Face uses the art of negotiation to get huge discounts nearly every time.

The main ability on this card allows you to buy a red Skill card for cheap. Keep track of how many red cards you play on your turn, and that’s how much you can discount your first Skill card purchase from the Black Market. So a red-heavy deck really makes this work. Negotiation also has a good assist ability, and actually does more damage when you use it as an assist, because it lets the runner you play it on get a discount of 1 nuyen when they want to buy a card.

And finally we have . . .

This card allows you to buy something immediately instead of waiting until the end of your turn. It essentially makes the entire Black Market part of your hand (well, if you can afford it). And on top of that you can play the card you bought during the same turn, which can be really useful for finishing off that pesky store clerk that didn’t give you a spoon with the cup of noodles you bought.

The last thing that I like about this card is its usefulness when you’re in danger of being staggered. Usually that means you end up with money you can’t spend as you get knocked down before you can buy from the Black Market. With Black Market Contacts in hand, you can spend before you bite it. And who knows? That card just might save your hide for another turn!

Well, I don’t have black market contacts, and the store clerk is being belligerent about giving me a spoon. Let me deal with him and then we can go. Oh, and bonus karma for getting the reference in the title.

-Conan E. Chamberlain

Shadowrun September Street Dates

The following products have a Street Date of SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2013:


Shadowrun, Fifth Edition [Limited Edition] ($99.99)
There are cracks in the world. They’re slender, dark, and often cold, but they are the only things that keep you hidden. Keep you alive. They are the shadows of the world, and they are where you live.

You are a shadowrunner, thriving in the margins, doing the jobs no one else can. You have no office, no permanent home, no background to check. You are whatever you make yourself. Will you seek justice? Sow seeds of chaos? Sell out to the highest bidder? It’s up to you, but this much is certain—if you do nothing, the streets will eat you alive.

You can survive—even flourish—as long as you do what it takes. Sacrifice part of your soul for bleeding-edge gear. Push the limits of your will learning new and dangerous magic. Wire yourself into the Matrix, making your mind one with screaming streams of data. It’ll cost you something—everything does—but you can make it worth the price.

Shadowrun, Fifth Edition is the newest version of one of the most popular and successful role-playing worlds of all time—a fusion of man, magic and machine in a dystopian near-future. With rules for character creation, magic, combat, Matrix hacking, rigging, and more, you have everything you need to face the challenges of the Sixth World.

NOTE: Shadowrun, Fifth Edition Limited Edition includes: bonded red leather cover, foild-stamped cover, spine and back with dragon embossed on cover, gold-gilded page edges, and cloth bookmark. Interior is identical to the standard printing. While supplies last.


Sprawl Wilds ($19.99)
You live in any sprawl long enough, you’ll find out that there’s a lot more to it than businessmen and soykaf stalls. Any sprawl worth its mettle has its dark corners, its forgotten places, its spots that are just as wild and untamed as the deepest rainforest.

Seattle, the prime metroplex in the world for shadowrunning, is filled with such places, and Sprawl Wilds gives shadowrunners a chance to tour them. From a fortress-like Barrens farm recovering from a mysterious attack to a dark secret hidden in a clinic, runners have a chance to see the sites most people never encounter, and uncover information that some people want to stay secret at any cost. They’ll meet jaded smugglers, wary police officers, passionate activists, hardened criminals, wounded warriors, and at least one deranged killer. The questions are, will they survive long enough to collect a paycheck—and how much of the sprawl will be nothing more than dust when they’re done with it?

Sprawl Wilds is a collection of Shadowrun Missions developed for major summer gaming conventions. These adventures have been adapted for both Shadowrun, Twentieth Anniversary Edition and Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, and they provide hours of shadowrunning goodness for experienced street veterans and new shadowrunners alike. With complete game information, including NPC stats, these adventures are poised to plunge players into urban chaos!

The following products have a Street Date of SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2013:


Shadowrun, Fifth Edition [Standard Edition] ($59.99)
There are cracks in the world. They’re slender, dark, and often cold, but they are the only things that keep you hidden. Keep you alive. They are the shadows of the world, and they are where you live.

You are a shadowrunner, thriving in the margins, doing the jobs no one else can. You have no office, no permanent home, no background to check. You are whatever you make yourself. Will you seek justice? Sow seeds of chaos? Sell out to the highest bidder? It’s up to you, but this much is certain—if you do nothing, the streets will eat you alive.

You can survive—even flourish—as long as you do what it takes. Sacrifice part of your soul for bleeding-edge gear. Push the limits of your will learning new and dangerous magic. Wire yourself into the Matrix, making your mind one with screaming streams of data. It’ll cost you something—everything does—but you can make it worth the price.

Shadowrun, Fifth Edition is the newest version of one of the most popular and successful role-playing worlds of all time—a fusion of man, magic and machine in a dystopian near-future. With rules for character creation, magic, combat, Matrix hacking, rigging, and more, you have everything you need to face the challenges of the Sixth World.

Note: All online orders have already begun to ship (including all three editions).

Catalyst Game Labs Closed While Attending Gen Con 2013

As happens every year, Catalyst Game Labs is effectively closing down as all-hands are on deck to run Gen Con. Effective from tomorrow and running until roughly August 21st, the usual channels of communications (emails, website updates, and so on) will go unanswered.

Additionally, even once communications resume it’ll be another week or two for us to dig out of the backlog and resume timely responses.

For those attending Gen Con, we’ll see you in five days! For those not attending, thanks for your patience while we’re gone…we’ll have our usual stories and photos to share after the con.

Thanks for your brilliant support!

Catalyst Team

Shadowrun Setting Sales Records; Deluxe Mayan Edition Returns

In less than a month, Shadowrun, Fifth Edition has become the best-selling PDF of all time in the more than ten years of DriveThruRPG operations, while setting the same standard for Catalyst Game Labs online store.

Additionally, the online allotment of the Shadowrun 5 Deluxe “Mayan” Limited Edition sold out in less than a week. Taking that fantastic excitement from the exploding Shadowrun community into account, Catalyst has worked with the printer to make additional Deluxe “Mayan” Editions available. We’ll have a good stock available at Gen Con, and the online bundles that include this book are available once more…while supplies last.

For people who have already bought the Mayan edition and want to make sure it keeps its cachet as a very limited book, here are a few things we considered when making this change.

1. Selling out as fast as we did meant that some hadn’t even heard of it yet before it was all gone. Providing an expanded number gives those fans a small window to grab one.

2. It’s still less than 3% of the first print run, which by any definition is a “Limited Edition.”

3. If current pre-orders are any indication, within the first year it’ll be less than 1% of available books…again, extremely Limited by any definition.

Retailers, while the Deluxe “Mayan” Limited Edition will not be available in stores, the Shadowrun 5 Limited Edition is available for ordering, while supplies last. Additionally, don’t forget our Case Pack Deal of ordering 6 copies of any hardcover edition and receive a free in-store softcover book!

The Street Date for the print version of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition has not yet been announced, but keep watching this space for news in the near future!

Check out shadowruntabletop.com and www.shadowrun.com to learn more about all that’s happening in the Year of Shadowrun!

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, while helping fiction readers 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.

CATALYST AT GEN CON 2013

As always, Catalyst Game Labs will be at Gen Con 2013 in force. In fact, this year we’re taking things to a whole new level!

THE SHADOWRUN RPG EXPERIENCE


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 free copy of the hard-back, full-color Sixth World Almanac sourcebook!

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