Category Archives: Shadowrun

What Am I Playing Right Now?

Since my GM hiatus started back in June 2017, I used the opportunity to play in as many games as possible. For a very long time I was basically the go-to GM for many of my friends, but I didn’t get to play as often as I liked. Being the GM is fun, and it’s something very dear to me, BUT sometimes you just need to stay on the other side of the GM’s screen for a while. So, what games have I been playing during these almost 12 months?

Mutant Year Zero & Gen Lab Alpha
my0If you’ve followed this blog for a while you know that I am a fan of post-apocalyptic settings in general and the Mutant games by Free League in particular. Mutant Year Zero is definitely one of the most exciting and immersive games I’ve played so far. Since I am playing one of the bosses in our Ark (which is a derelict aircraft carrier), the game is sometimes pretty political. My character, Washington,  is an idealist, trying to build a new civilization on the ruins of the past. He strongly believes in compassion, reason, and justice. In a way he sometimes feels like an anachronism. I have to admit that Washington shares a lot with myself, aside from the fact that I don’t have the Mind Terror mutation in real life. Zwinkerndes Smiley

MY0 has all the elements I love: drama, politics, intrigue, exploration. Matthias, our GM, is also doing an awesome job running the game. He even manages what usually fails spectacular: while he’s running the game, he also plays his own player character. This is usually a recipe for disaster, but in Matthias’ case it works great.

I’ve already wrote about our Genlab Alpha game in my review of the core rules, so I will skip it here.

Shadowrun 3rd Edition
This is a game I’ve been playing for years now. And even though I think that the rules are a mess, the game itself can be a lot of fun. Planning runs, trying to get to our goals without even raising an alarm is a lot of fun, and sometimes we even managed to have some flawlessly executed heists. But usually things go terribly wrong and everything ends in a messy fight. Since we usually ignore some of the more tedious rules  (like bioware stress etc.), our characters got very powerful, very quickly. While some games might break down with characters that powerful, our GM just raises the stakes a bit. Our Shadowrun campaign is over-the-top and great fun, but all good things must end eventually, so we decided our current adventure will be the last. We’re dealing with dragons and their machinations this time, which is IMHO very fitting for our last bow.

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Actual Play Report: Shadowrun Anarchy

Yesterday I ran Shadowrun Anarchy for my friends. Six of my “Stargazer’s Irregulars” showed up at 2 pm and after chatting, making jokes, and putting way too much snacks on the table we started playing.

Since not everyone at the table has played Shadowrun before I gave them an introduction into the setting and then they chose their characters from the pool of thirty pregens included in the book. Having thirty pregenerated characters is actually a boon and a curse at the same time. It took quite some time until everyone was comfortable with his or her choice.

In the end they picked Gentry (a human combat decker), Sledge (an ork street samurai), Kix (an elf razorgirl), Razzle Dazzle (an ork illusionist), Thunder (a human vigilante), and Wagon (a human combat medic). We decided that the characters already know each other and have already worked together.

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My Thoughts on Shadowrun: Anarchy

Shadowrun: Anarchy is the game I have been waiting for since I first played Shadowrun 1st Edition back in the 1990s. Anarchy is an alternate ruleset for 5th Edition Shadowrun which allows a more streamlined, narrativist approach to the fantasy cyberpunk game. By the way, this is not supposed to be a review. It’s just me sharing my thoughts with a bit of praise and some ranting thrown in for good measure. You have been warned!

Even though the rules have a certain Shadowrun feel to them, Anarchy uses a totally different ruleset based on Catalyst Game Labs’ Cue System. You still roll buckets of six-sided dice and all the Shadowrun tropes are still around, but things have been simplified a lot.

194759-thumb140Everything which makes your character special like spells, cyberware, cyberdecks, etc. are now called Shadow Amps. Characters have only a few skills and just a handful of weapons. Gone are the days where you tracked dozens of various implants, or when you had to keep track of multiple kinds of ammunition. Even money is gone. Mr. Johnson pays you in Karma. Yes, that’s no joke. Armor now works like additional hitpoints. If you are a hardcore Shadowrun nerd who thrives on all the teeny tiny details, you might not enjoy Anarchy. But if you prefer rules-light games, you should give Anarchy a chance.

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