Oh, Shadowrun, so near and dear to my heart. I first discovered you as a Sega Genesis game when I was just about to enter high school, and was enamored by your eclectic mix of sci-fi and sorcery, your dark cityscapes, and working hard to make an “honest” Nuyen without getting geeked. It wasn’t until a full year later that I discovered that you were an actual tabletop roleplaying game. I saw the second edition book at my Friendly Local Game Store, instantly gave up my short fling with the Palladium RPG, and never looked back.
Two more editions have come and gone, and now we’re into the brand new 5th edition. The year of Shadowrun happened, and now we’re getting a new card game, a board game, and a miniatures game. Jordan Weisman brought us Shadowrun Returns for our PCs, and now Cliffhanger Productions is bringing us Shadowrun Online.
SRO has a bit of spotty history…
When you’re a Halloweener,
You’re a ‘weener all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin’ day.
When you’re a ‘weener,
If the drek hits the fan,
You got brothers around,
You’re a family man!
My apologies, chummers, I just can’t help myself. I assure all of you that this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. It’s hard NOT to break into song and dance when you have this much Shadowrun stuffed into a single year! The Year of Shadowrun is something of a revival of the franchise, and goodness knows it needed it! Shadowrun is a perfect storm of sci-fi, cyberpunk, and fantasy all rolled into one. There’s a bit of something for everyone, and it has retained a cult following since it’s inception in 1989. This year’s release list is a veritable buffet of dystopian delights that the franchise has slated for everyone! On the video game front, we have Shadowrun Returns, and Shadowrun Online, both slathered in awesomesauce. On the tabletop, we have the Fifth Edition of the RPG, and a healthy helping of Shadowrun: Crossfire, Shadowrun: Hostile Takeover, and Shadowrun: Sprawl Gangers. Top that off with a brand-spanking-new line of Shadowrun novels for dessert, and you have a feast for fans old and new alike!
Great ghostly tapdancing Dunklezahn with dinner, a movie, and a kiss goodnight! All of this shadow-goodness is going to be a real strain on the credstick this year!
I have the singular pleasure of being one of the “lab mice” for Sprawl Gangers, but I’m not allowed to talk about the details. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Quit being a tease, Belmont!” I hear you, chummers, and that’s why I have a little treat for you…
It started as a humble little video game homage that took it’s chances on Kickstarter, with a hope that the Shadowrun brand name still garners at least enough respect and popularity to generate a sum of money large enough to fund it. Harebrained Schemes decided to shoot low for a video game project; $400,000. “Surely,” they tought, “we can produce a small game that will please some old-school fans of Shadowrun?” None of them were prepared for the tidal wave of fan-backing that they received in record time. In just over 24 hours, Harebrained Schemes had it’s $400,000…and the fan generosity did not stop there. By the end of it’s Kickstarter life, Shadowrun Returns had earned a staggering $1.8 MILLION dollars. Read the rest of this entry
The Year of Shadowrun is in full swing, chummers! With even the most scant of information being given about production, Shadowrunners noobie and veteran alike are excited to see their favorite setting experience a new Awakening (or get a full-body Alphaware augmentation, if you prefer a cyber-metaphor). Shadowrun Online and Shadowrun Returns are in full production mode, and we’ve got some sweet tabletop action going with a brand new Edition to the role-playing game proper, as well as several other nova-hot tabletop games.
Starting off this very auspicious year is the Adventure deck-building game Shadowrun: Crossfire from Fire Opal Media. Crossfire is in great hands, featuring some very strong talent in card game design: Gregory Marques, Mike Elliott, Rob Watkins, Rob Heinsoo, Jay Schneider and James “Jim” Lin.
I cherish those moments when I happen to stumble upon an unexpected gem that I never in my wildest GameMastering dreams would think a company would ever put out. I had one of those moments recently.
Let me tell you about a chromed up cyberpunk love affair with high fantasy that I had through high school and well into college. It was with an eclectic grab-bag of awesome called SHADOWRUN.
My first exposure to SHADOWRUN was not actually the role-playing game proper. It started back in the early 1994 with our family’s usual weekly trip to the local video rental store, and while I was perusing the game section like always, a peculiar Sega Genesis title caught my eye… Read the rest of this entry