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Shadowrun: Bullets & Bandages
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/04/2014 10:06:17
Sometimes (always?) a shadowrun doesn't go quite as smoothly as you might like. Sometimes, you'll get hurt. What then?

This is an optional extra to the core rules that takes a closer look at the whole area of combat medicine, Shadowrun style. It will suit groups who are interested in bringing the after-effects of being injured into centre stage within their game, rather than leaving treatment and healing as downtime activities that are handled 'off screen' between gaming sessions.

Opening with a piece of fiction describing an injured 'runner seeking help, the work is filled with atmospheric in-character snippets including a run-down of the DocWagon organisation... and even a portion of DocWagon's introductory training module for armed medical response operators. This gives a good run-down of what they do, the personnel that make up their 'High Threat Response' teams and a genral overview of the entire operation. Armed with this information, the next encounter with one should be interesting for the party (and, of course, potentially life-saving if it is a party member who is in need of aid).

Next is an article on creating a 'combat medic' character for Shadowrun. Naturally a group interested enough to start using this supplement might feel the need of one for their team, there is even potential given the previous article for a whole campaign to be developed around a DocWagon team. In the past I ran a campaign which was based on a turf war between DocWagon and CrashCart, and have played a combat medic character attached to a team akin to an FBI Hostage Rescue Team under Shadowrun rules... both concepts worked well, and are worth considering if you want a slightly different slant on your game from regular shadowrunning.

The suggestions made give some good indications as to how to build a 'combat medic' character and the notes cover both Shadowrun Anniversary Edition and Fifth Edition, making this supplement useable with both rulesets. A medic can rely on technical training in emergeny medicine or on magical healing by a variety of routes, or an extremely potent healer could br built by combining both scientific and magical medical techniques and training. There are also notes on the specialist equipment such a character might need and even a range of Qualties that are not just for the potential medic but for any character in a game where ongoing health is intended to be a feature in play rather than a background thing dealt with in downtime between missions. There are even options for female characters to be pregnant or for anyone to have a chronic illness or be suffering the effects of advancing years.

Next come some advanced biotech rules to cover the actions of a skilled medic in diagnosing and treating whatever injuries or illnesses might present themselves. There are also rules to cover the delivery of medical care under fire. There is a lot of detailed information here but it all flows in a surprisingly clear manner once you get your head around it. Both GMs and players with medic characters ought to study this before the game begins, so that gameplay does not stall whilst rules are consulted.

Finally there are rules relating to medkits and a selection of new drugs... also toxins and pathogens, complete with their effects. There are also some new medical-related spells, adept powers and equipment.

If you want to make medicine - particularly emergency field medicine - to feature in your games, this will equip you with all you need to make it happen.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Bullets & Bandages
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Shadowrun: Stolen Souls
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/26/2014 08:41:05
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/05/26/tabletop-review-shadowr-
un-stolen-souls/

Throughout Shadowrun, Fourth Edition, we saw hints and teases that something wasn’t right with FastJack, and perhaps a few other major players in the Sixth World, but it wasn’t until Storm Front where we got some definite confirmation as to what was going on. Apparently FastJack, Riser, Plan 9, Miles Lanier and several other metaplot characters picked up a disease that was somewhat reminiscent of developing Dissociative Identity Disorder. Except that this second personality appeared to be a second individual inhabiting the same body and slowly taking it over. Stranger yet, it wasn’t a disease as we know it, but something that appears to have been transmitted via technological means. Since then, Riser and Fastjack have all but disappeared, while Plan 9… seems to have his/her/whatever’s act together due to the rampant paranoia it has always lived with. Still, this vague threat of body snatching remained even more in the shadows than most runners. Characters and players alike were in the dark as to what was going on – until now.

Stolen Souls is our first real look at not only Cognitive Fragmentation Disorder (CFD for short), but also our first real major plot line for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition. Although I liked the idea, I’m torn on the follow-through. You get roughly ninety-five pages of Jackpoint metaplot fiction on CFD, its possible origins and the many failed attempts to cure it. What, you thought they could fill two hundred pages on a single topic like this? Not hardly. The rest of the pages are on two very different topics. The first is a very nice look at Manhattan and some attempts to tie it into CFD by the very random decision of having a ton of CFD research occurring on the island, which makes absolutely no sense in or out of game because obviously you’d want to have an easily spread, incurable disease concentrated in the most densely populated area in North America. That makes SO MUCH SENSE! I loved the write-up of Manhattan proper, although this piece would have been better two Shadowrun Missions seasons ago, when the focus there was on New York. What’s here is really well written, except for the bad attempts to tie CFD research into Manhattan, because it is flimsy and nonsensical. Otherwise, the Manhattan piece is fantastic. It’s got a great travel guide, all sorts of extremely useful sidebars and it’s one of the better city guides CGL has put out for a location. Now, it could have been better with some maps or if the CFD bit had been excised. Manhattan’s guide would have stood out more (and possibly sold better) had it been a supplement on its own. I’d have rather seen this space go to the Sioux Nation, which would have fit in a lot better with the previous CFD information (no spoilers as to why) and so things would have flowed better thematically instead of feeling like you had three very different supplements crammed into one sourcebook. So, mostly positive thoughts to the forty pages given to Manhattan, and if you’ve ever wanted to run a Shadowrun campaign there, this section alone might be worth the large price tag associated with this. Although it is a hard sell if all you want are forty of the two hundred pages in this collection.

The third section (I know we haven’t covered the first, bear with me) is roughly fifty pages on how to extract someone, be they willing or unwilling. This is divided into two chapters, “Stealing Living Goods” and “The Extractor’s Toolkit.” Now, both sections are really well written, but again, they have next to nothing to do with CFD, and thus they would have been better off as their own supplement instead of creating a patchwork sourcebook like this. Long time veterans of Shadowrun probably won’t find this section very useful at all, but only because they’ve been doing runs so long, all of this is old hat to them. Still, it’s very well written, and even if you “know it all” already, it’s a fun read for the fiction and Jackpoint commentary. Who knows – you might also learn something after all!

Where the extractor bits are really useful are for people new to Shadowrun. Fifth Edition is less than a year old after all, and in theory, it plus the video game that was released in 2013 SHOULD have brought in a lot of new players or returned some out of touch veterans back to the fold. It is for these gamers that the third part of Stolen Souls is written, and it’s something they definitely should read. It’s a great way to learn HOW to do various types of extraction runs, and you even get specific looks at poisons, chemicals, powers, spells and techniques that will help an extraction go a lot smoother than just busting into a joint and shooting anything that moves. Again, these two chapters on extraction are wonderful, and I’d highly recommend them to anyone new to Shadowrun. Again, if the price for this piece wasn’t so high, I’d say newcomers almost NEED this. So once more, we see that Stolen Souls would have been better off as a set of three smaller supplements rather than one large disconnected sourcebook. I honestly think CGL would have made more money going this route, and Shadowrun fans would be a lot happier, as they could have picked one or more that the needed/wanted instead of being saddled with three very different pieces merged into one expensive book.

So now let’s go back to CFD. You’re probably wondering why I covered the other two parts of the book first, rather than the beginning part, which also happens to be the title attraction. Well, the previous two bits are shorter and thus easier to talk about. The commentary is also mostly positive, and I’d rather begin a review on a high note. Which obviously means I’m not quite happy with the CFD section. There are a lot of reasons for this. The first is that CFD is pushed too hard, too fast. From the writing, you know that the disease is unstoppable, incurable and will plow through its victim like Goldberg in an old episode of Monday Nitro. There is no hope. Also, it’s spreading incredibly quickly, no one knows how, and there are huge infirmaries filled with nothing but CFD sufferers. From the text, it’s easy to assume that the disease is so big, like one out of ten or a hundred people has it and it’s only going to get worse. Yet SOMEHOW, the governments and megacorps are hiding it from the general population. The writing, while excellent in style and tone, just isn’t believable. CFD is like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the superflu, Ebola, HIV and the Black Plague rolled up into one massive pandemic. The problem is you can’t actually hide a pandemic. CGL wants to have it both ways – a crazy unstoppable disease plowing through metahumanity, yet the general populace is woefully ignorant of it. It just doesn’t work the way it is written. It’s totally unbelievable, and when this is the thing that, after five editions of playing Shadowrun, breaks my suspension of disbelief, you know something is wrong here.

Now, the idea of CFD is solid, and the original build up to Stolen Souls was really well done, but this was a cluster of immense proportions. If you’re going to devote a hundred or so pages to the idea and then tell GMs “Oh, there is no canon known cure yet, so don’t infect PCs with it unless they specifically ask for it,” you know the idea has not been thought out in terms of actually PLAYING through this sub-plot. This is a regular problem with Shadowrun, and aside from the heavy mechanics, this focus on writing the metaplot over people actually playing the game really is the system’s big Achilles Heel. I don’t think anything showcases this underlying issue with Shadowrun more than the CFD section of Stolen Souls. This could have been done so much better in a myriad of different ways. They should have kept the build slow and subtle. A slow burn on the rise of CFD throughout many sourcebooks, with little hints both in metaplot and mechanics on how to deal with it. Then they should have done the massive sourcebook on it, but also provided GM only information on possible cures and/or fixes. By not providing this information right away, CGL has committed multiple grievous errors. The first is that they are fleecing gamers, who will now have to purchase one or more books to get the canon cure. That is not going to set well with a large percentage of Shadowrun players. They’re going to look at this as bait and switch, more or less. The second is that some GM is going to ignore the books strongly worded advice about not infecting players with CFD and thus screw over a character because they will play it to the letter that THERE IS NO CURE and cite all the possible examples in the book and how they have failed. CGL has forgotten that there are a lot of BAD GMs out there that view a game as Players Vs GM (as some players do) and/or that a game is something to win. By not providing a back door out of CFD immediately, there will be some games torn apart and some players left with a bad taste in their mouth regarding Shadowrun – perhaps bad enough that they stop playing altogether. Finally, vry few gamers are going to even want to touch the concept of CFD and put it into their game since Stolen Souls offers a comprehensive but ultimately incomplete look at the disease. A decent amount of Shadowrun gamers follow the metaplot extensively and tailor their games around it. As such, they won’t want to touch CFD until it is fully fleshed out and defined, because otherwise their group will come up with a solution that doesn’t fit canon and OH NO! More than any other system I have ever encountered, Shadowrun gamers seem afraid to go off the beaten path and not follow the canon metaplot provided. Not this isn’t all Shadowrun gamers. It’s just there is a noticeably higher proportion here than with other systems I talk to people about or play. This is mainly because Shadowrun puts the metaplot over playing the actual game and regularly drives this perception home with nearly every release done for it in the past few years. Sticking to the metaplot isn’t bad, but when you know your players are wont to do that, you can’t just trail off and go “Nanite Boogeymen are going to get you. Pay $25-45 now and more down the road if you want closure!” as this is absolutely the wrong way to do things if you want to keep fans of your product happy. Still, there has never been a better impetus for homebrewing your Shadowrun world than CFD as it is presented here.

What changes needed to be made with the disease? Well, a lot. It shouldn’t be able to pretty much do anything and infect this many people so quickly. The disease should take longer than 30-60 days to fully subdue the original personality of the meatbag it now inhabits. The disease shouldn’t infect some people other than the “undead” of the Sixth World. It would have been nice if it only infected those with Cyberware, making it a better disease metaphor. Sure, you don’t get the enhancements, but you don’t risk CFD. The fact that the disease can infect mages and especially physical adepts (and then use those powers after it has taken control of the body) just makes it too insanely powerful for most people to even think about using. It definitely should be a far slower burn, with less people infected than the text indicates. As I’ve said, you can hide a disease when it first occurs – you can’t hide a freaking pandemic. As the CFD bits go on, the disease goes from a fun concept to creep players out into something that feels like something a bunch of gamers came up with when high or drunk. “Dude, you know what would be cool? If there was X that did Y and Z.” Concepts like blinder, balance and how the end product might actually effect things rather than sound cool are definitely missing here. It would be one thing if this was a brief, cheap supplement that merely highlighted a growing problem starting to reveal itself in the Sixth World. It’s another thing entirely to throw all this at an audience at once without any true insights, ways to really use the concept in an actual game or some sort of end game resolution.

So how could this be salvaged? Well, I’m not sure. Unless you pick up Shadowrun releases just to read rather than implement, the only way to do so is to utterly ignore CFD until CGL has completed the storyline and then go from there. However, this is some pretty pricey fiction if you go that route, and as we’ve seen with things like the Vampire subplots, they can drag out for years without being touched again. Is there another way to CFD could have been tackled in a way that Shadowrun fans of all walks could have used and even enjoyed this information? There certainly is, although I’m not sure if it can work now. That would be to go the artifact collection route. Remember a few years ago when Shadowrun had a series of interconnected adventures about collected ancient magical artifacts and then followed it up with Artifacts Unbound? That’s what they should have done here. With each adventure, the CFD outbreak would grow noticeably worse. Leaving players hanging regarding a cure would have been more acceptable (and perhaps even fun) as readers and players alike would know resolution was coming quickly and that they could actually take active part in the storyline if they chose. Hell, players could even get infected with CFD and not feel like they have been screwed without a lifeline. They would know a fix would be coming in a soon to be published sequel. GMs could actually USE CFD in their campaign without players worrying about contracting it, or conversely, going “Meh. I know I’m NOT going to get this because I’ve read Stolen Souls.” What we have now is a juggernaut of a disease that takes only a month or two to wipe out a person, and that you can only interact with it in your game via NPCs, thus making the PCs little more than window dressing to the entire concept. What we could have had was a whole host of ways to integrate CFD into a subplot or even focal point of a campaign, while still being an entertaining metaplot read. CGL could have printed money hand over fist and reception would have been a lot kinder than what Stolen Souls is getting. This was a great idea, badly damaged by poor execution and follow through, and it will be interesting to see how/if CGL can salvage this or if we have another Amazonia/Aztlan War dud on our hands. Of course, all that said, Artifacts Unbound dropped the ball in some ways too, which leads me to believe that perhaps we have a larger problem at CGL – where ideas are thrown out and partially developed, but no one thinks out a conclusive ending or solution at the very beginning (which can evolve organically over writing and releases) and thus things fall apart big time at the end like this. This no real canon solution or explanation with CGL products would be fine if, like other games that did this, the metaplot wasn’t pushed as hard or as if it was the crown jewel of the system. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case here. So either Shadowrun has to start coming up with decent (or better) endings to their pretty awesome beginnings, or they need to really loosen the grip the metaplot has on the game. It’s one or the other people.

So yeah, instead of pushing CFD slowly in an entertaining fashion that any fan could enjoy on some level, we’ve been given a massive tome that is naught but Jackpoint metafiction, which reinforces the idea that Shadowrun is to be read and not played, and I can’t think of a bigger disservice done to gamers than what we’ve been given here. This is all the more unfortunate considering how good the Manhattan and Extraction bits were. As good as they were though, the execution of CFD just kind of ruins the overall quality of Stolen Souls; perhaps more so when you remember that this was the marquee of the piece. Am I pretty unhappy with the CFD section? Yes and no. The writing is top notch, and I enjoyed it as a fiction piece, but as a player the believability, brief mechanics, development of the idea and the corner CHL has backed themselves (and players) into is total crap. Can the idea of CFD be fixed and perhaps even made enjoyable as a playable component of Shadowrun after Stolen Souls? I’d like to think to so, but I think this was absolutely the wrong way to showcase CFD as well as write about it.

I do want to say that the CFD bit is not ALL horrible. The writing is pretty good, as if the author(s) is making the best of a bad situation left for them to clean up, and if this was straight up Shadowrun fiction like Another Rainy Night or Neat, I’d have been much happier. Novellas don’t change the face of a game I’m playing after all. I really liked how comprehensive things would start out, such as all the tests for cures, Clockwork’s attempt to find Patient Zero and Butch’s commentary on the disease. But then a pattern of dropping the ball begins to emerge. No cure even begins to appear to work. It just kills the victim dead. No patient zero is found. No conclusive leads to any Megacorp is given (However the GM only text at the back of the book names the two corps the canon metaplot will be leaning towards, which is a rather bizarre aside to give after all this page count devoted to a lack of credible findings) and so on. Again, there are so many ways this could have been done better, with plot threads dropped or some quality foreshadowing provided. We didn’t get that though. Instead, we got a concept pushed down our throats so far, that it is impossible to swallow.

Overall, Stolen Souls gets a thumbs in the middle. There are two great sections and one really poorly done one. It sucks that all three are thrown together into one big hodge podge of a book with a pretty high price tag instead of being released as three separate supplements that would have found a larger (and more receptive) audience overall. I can’t really recommend this as a whole, and I can’t think of an aspect of Shadowrun I’ve been this disappointed by, save for bits of Storm Front. I’m really hoping CGL can surprise me, turn the CFD concept around and save it, because right now it’s basically radioactive in a way the majority of Sixth World gamers won’t want to put it into their game until it’s been thoroughly cleaned up. At least the Manhattan and extraction bits are really well done. It’s just too bad they are lumped together with the CFD bit.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Stolen Souls
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Shadowrun: Stolen Souls
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2014 17:30:52
Stolen Souls picks up the metaplot threads from 4th-edition's Storm Front and brings them into the current 5th edition. Once again, there is something weird and creepy happening in the Sixth World (a nanite-carried virus that overrides your personality), which might be bad news for your Shadowrunner down the road, but will certainly offer ample opportunity for profit in the meantime. This book is mostly fluff, but in my opinion it's the fluff that makes the Shadowrun universe so appealing, so that's a good thing.

The book covers what's going on with the nanite-virus (and it's Shadowrun, so theories abound!), but also serves as part settings book and part deep shadows book. The settings chapters focus on Manhattan, whose power structures are in flux. Players who ran through season 3 of Missions will recognize callouts to various runs, which I thought was a nice touch. Additionally, there are various ideas and rules for extractions, which are probably the second-most common type of run out there, after simple theft. The usefulness of this section is probably campaign-dependent, but if you run the "standard" array of Shadowruns, extractions will certainly come up at some point.

The crunch that is in the book (a few drones, some new vehicles and vehicle mods, and drugs/toxins) is handy, but no one would mistake the level of crunch is this book with the 5th edition's Street Samurai Catalog.

Overall, the writing is very good, probably the best writing I've seen in a 5th-edition product. The mood of Jackpoint (a loosely affiliated group of successful Shadowrunners) is dark, sometimes panicky, and it's conveyed very well.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Stolen Souls
by robert l. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2014 23:21:55
overall its not a bad product that is rich in idea but thin, very thin any actually useful material to player and gm alike. The layout for new york was not bad but with only 1 map, it can not be considered a worthwhile source, its lack of source material on utilizing the cfd nanovirus is ridiculously thin and makes many veiled references back to the augmented book in 4th edition without providing any relevant material on nanotech in this book its not worth the money to purchase, just stick with 4th edition shadowrun augmented book and transpose as necessary an save your money. The book is 3/4 filler material that belong in a novelette and some source material for new york without any maps to make it useful and only 2 pages out of 202 pages of the that actually refer to the cfd nanovirus in any sort of way. End result is this product is not ready for prime time. Save your money and DO NOT BUY!!

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Valiant Universe RPG QSR Supplemental: Harbinger Wars: Bloodshot
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/19/2014 08:08:04
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/05/19/tabletop-review-valiant-
-universe-rpg-qsr-supplemental-harbinger-wars-bloodshot/

At the end of April, Catalyst Game Labs released the first of many free Quick Start rules sets for their upcoming Valiant Universe RPG. I reviewed it two weeks ago and liked what I saw. It took aspects of Savage Worlds and the few good things that exist about the Cortex engine and blended them together in what seems like it will be a fun game. The rules gave a quick overview of how to play, provided some PCs to try out and a full adventure comprising the first arc of the Unity comic. Now the second QSR has been released, and this time it focuses on one of the first four characters from the New Valiant – Bloodshot.

This twenty page PDF focuses on the Harbinger Wars event Valiant had last summer, which pitted Bloodshot, The Harbinger Foundation, the Renegades and the Hard C.O.R.P.S. against each other in an ECW style four way dance. There was a lot of death and violence to be had, but in the end, the Harbinger Foundation won. With the included adventure in this PDF, you and your friends can play as Bloodshot and the psiot children he is guarding in an attempt to either rewrite Valiant history or watch the events unfold in the same tragic way.

One thing worth noting is that the basic rules presented in the Unity Quick Start rules are not in the Harbinger Wars: Bloodshot release. So you will need to download BOTH PDFs to play the adventure provided here. Now, that shouldn’t be a big deal as both sets are FREE after all, but it does mean that if you download the Bloodshot set first, you might be left wondering how to play the included adventure.

While we are on the topic of the Quick Start Rules, I should point out that the mechanics in the Unity PDF are definitely less detailed that what you will see in the eventual core rulebook release. I mean, these are QSR sets after all, so don’t go looking for character creation sets or extremely detailed character sheets. What’s here is simply meant to give you a taste of the game and some idea about how the mechanics will work in the end product.

So what do we get in the Harbinger Wars: Bloodshot? Well we substitute out the rules for a longer adventure and more character stats! You get a brief overview of the Harbinger Wars event followed by a half page of commentary by Bloodshot describing his history (or what little he knows of his) and his goals. The adventure is then broken into four pieces, each of which could technically be an adventure on their own. This essentially makes this PDF a mini-campaign depending on how draw-out each of the four sections are. It’s also worth noting that the adventure is designed for four players, which means with four parts, each one will have a chance to play the Lead Narrator in addition to their character. The fact everyone takes turns running the game is one of the more unusual and potentially interesting aspects of the Valiant Universe RPG, so you may want to decide ahead of time the order each of you will run parts. Of course, as always, you can have one set Narrator. It’s totally your call.

The first part “Forced Entry” (like most of the scenes in this adventure) actually takes place before Harbinger Wars proper, and is when Bloodshot tries to save the Generation Zero kids from Project Rising Spirit (Who in the comics…he eventually ends up working for again. It’s a long story). This scene is interesting as the PCs are in two different groups – you have three PCs playing psiot children. (only the selected three are given stats here. The others will probably be in later PDFs) and one playing as Bloodshot. The kids know Bloodshot as a soulless killer and so have a flee or fight response to him. Meanwhile Bloodshot has to convince them he is there to help rather than murder them…as he did their families when he was under P.R.S.’ control. This does mean things can boil down to PvP and leave one side dead, thus preventing the other three scenes from being played. That’s not a bad thing though. You don’t have to replicate the events of the comic.

Part Two is “The Harada Protocol” where the kids and Bloodshot have to deal with the big bad of the Valiant Universe Toyo Harada. Of course, Harada seems himself as a hero, but that’s a story for another time. This is almost pure combat and gives players a great chance to see the battle mechanics in action. Savvy readers will notice the stats for Toyo Harada as a NPC antagonist are ever so slightly different from his stats in the Unity PDF where he was a PC. It’s simply to make running the game easier as NPCs have truncated stats from the core characters. The only real difference is he is missing the Luck stat, but that’s only for PCs anyway. Since you’ll have both PDFs, if someone really wants to play Harada in a PvP situation, just pull out that character sheet and use it instead.

Part Three is entitled “Promises Broken,” and it has the characters looking for an appropriate source of protein to refuel Bloodshot’s nanites. It’s combat heavy, but it’s also very quick. In our test run, Bloodshot got his nanites back by EATING THE CORPSES OF THE FALLEN OPPONENTS. Which is totally a way to get protein. Just a head’s up.

The final part of the adventure is “Showdown on the Steps” is the one piece that actually takes place in the mini-series. Here you again have Bloodshot Vs Harada, but Harbinger students come into play as well. These are generic students rather than the Eggbreakers from the comic. This is done for simplicity’s sake, although you could get Livewire from the previous QSR and have her as one of the Harbinger Foundation members if you choose. Overall, it’s a fun adventure that sticks closely enough to the Bloodshot side of Harbinger Wars while still being loose enough that players won’t feel they are on rails replicating the comics exactly. Another fun adventure as well as a fine way to continue building hype for the eventual Valiant Universe RPG release.

Again, these PDFs are free, so there is no reason not to pick them up. With each release I’m getting more and more excited for the eventual game and this will be the first super hero game I’m considering purchasing a physical copy of since Mayfair’s old DC line. I’ll be back in two weeks to cover the second of the five Harbinger Wars Quick Start releases. This release will focus on Generation Zero and when it hits on May 31st, it will be as free as all the others, so start making a folder on your computer for all these free Quick Start Rules sets!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Valiant Universe RPG QSR Supplemental: Harbinger Wars: Bloodshot
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Valiant Universe RPG Quick Start Rules: Featuring Unity
by Matt L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2014 11:02:14
Have you seen the new quick start rules for Valiant Universe RPG? I have. They made me reminisce on some of my early RPG days. In high school we role-played like it was our life. I can't tell you how much D&D we played. We also played Marvel Super Heroes, Rifts, and even a little bit of DC mingled its way in. We had countless night where we would sneak out of our respective houses and meet up to play in a tent. Yes, I said a tent. Which didn't do so well in the winter, but we managed to find a barn. There wasn't any heat at first but we made it work.

Valiant Universe RPG isn't storytelling, it's more like dating the story.

Read the full review here http://gamer-goggles.com/?p=8207

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Valiant Universe RPG Quick Start Rules: Featuring Unity
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Shadowrun: Run & Gun
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/09/2014 16:21:57
Shadowrun: Run and Gun provides tools and tricks for the working shadowrunner. Do you need this book? Unless you are running a very combat oriented game, probably not, but it sure has a lot of fun toys and options in it. The rule options can be extremely detailed and are not going to be needed for most games and styles of play, but they are an interesting reference and provide interesting ideas and adventure seeds. As a GM, I would definitely put this book on the list of things to have to scare players with.

Shadowrun: Run and Gun, is the first major sourcebook for the 5th edition of Shadowrun providing more toys for the players (and GMs), not just guns but armor, explosives, tactics, martial arts and hazardous environments all get explored in this book. There should be something for just about everyone (but especially the GM).

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then a (in game world) discussion on weapons followed by the weapons themselves, this section is call Arsenal naturally, everything from chainsaws to flamethrowers, crossbows to lasers, something for everyone. Additionally there are rules for customization of weapon and new things to customize them with. Overall, a good expansion of the available options for weaponry including more nonlethal choices.

Followed by a section on Armor & Protection, to keep you from being killed by all the new weapons . . . Much of it is armored fashion which provides some interesting insight into the Shadowrun world with some in game world discussion on how best to use armor and style to your best advantage. Also included are various forms of unusual environment protection (including space suits) and new options for armor. Again, a nice broadening of options.

Next, there is Tactics & Tools, which discussion the place of combat tactics with a basic overview of small unit tactics, how various groups apply them and some rules to give mechanical advantages to those groups that follow trained tactics. Additionally some gear to enhance tactical options, including tactical communications networks is provided. Killshots & More provides options to adjust the combat rules for greater or lesser lethality, expanding rules for called shots and combat actions and new qualities. Rule for martial art styles are provided which in turn allow access to additional types of combat actions and other coolness.

Staying Alive is all about environmental hazards and how to survive them (or not) from extreme heat to bone chilling cold, radiation to vacuum with appropriate new qualities to help runners do one or the other. Then, Blow Up Good provides advanced demolition rules for blowing up everything from people to building as well as rules for making your own explosives (don’t glitch!).

It ends as it began with another fiction piece and then tables, lots of them, covering everything from the earlier chapters and the core book as well. All of the weapons! And a handy cheat sheet for the new combat options.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Run & Gun
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Shadowrun: Run & Gun
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2014 06:30:19
Run and Gun contains many of the same ideas that Augmentation provided in the previous edition. Players always appreciate new gear to use, and the rules for explosives seem appropriate given the setting. I feel, however, that too much space is used on rare scenarios like extreme pollution or radiation poisoning. The book even expresses that these scenarios are rare, so why is it taking the time to explore them? Of course, more material is always better than less, but I think more time spent detailing the particulars of how small-unit tactics function and less on the damage of inhaling toxic smoke would be more appropriate.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sail Away, Sweet Sister (Enhanced Fiction)
by Adrian J. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2014 08:38:13
As it had been a while, I took the opportunity to re-read Another Rainy Night (if you haven't done so, do it) first, to refresh my memory and set the stage for SASS. I think that SASS is an excellent continuation of the story and I'm quite looking forward to the next installment. I really enjoyed how the author has integrated the presence of magic with a sense of the unknown. Despite magic being a pervasive element with the Shadowrun universe, there is still a sense of unknown...something that is truly alien to most people. There were a couple of "logic leaps" that I felt could have been better detailed, but given the size constraints of the story, understood. Character development was solid (though not as strong as ANR) and the stage has been nicely set for the finale. Overall an excellent read and a great addition to the setting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sail Away, Sweet Sister (Enhanced Fiction)
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Shadowrun: Missions: Critic's Choice (5A-02)
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/05/2014 06:20:41
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/05/05/tabletop-review-shadowr-
un-missions-5a-02-critics-choice/

Feetal’s Gizz! Has it really been seven full months between Chasin’ the Wind and the next installment of this season’s Shadowrun Missions? It sure has, but worry not, for it has been worth the wait! As you might recall, this season of Shadowrun Missions is taking place in Chicago. Chi-Town. The Windy-City. BUG CITY. That’s right, you’re smack dab in one of the creepiest locations in the Sixth World for the long haul chummers, so get strapped in and let your paranoia run wild because, when it doubt, it’s probably being possessed, manipulated or controlled by Insect Spirits.

Shadowrun Missions are by far my favorite line of adventures currently being published, and Critic’s Choice is a perfect example of way. The adventures are designed to be played in one or two sessions (generally a four hour block, which is perfect for tournaments at conventions). The format these adventures are laid out in are organized in such a fashion that even a neophyte GM can run one of these with little to no problem. Everything you need, from enemy stats to specific die rolls needed, are listed in each scene. Veterans GMs will also find ways to tweak the difficulty and possibly save the runners if they get in over their heads. I should also mention each Mission is (usually) in full colour, and with a price tag of only $5.95, you’re getting an incredible deal. Why Shadowrun fans don’t pick up each and every one of these whenever they are released is beyond me. You can play each one as a one shot, or you can string the set together as one drawn out campaign. Of course, with the gaps of time between adventures, you should probably wait until the season is complete before going that route.

There’s so much to love about Critic’s Choice. It introduces a fun cast of characters for your players to interact with – many of which will no doubt be showing up in later adventures this season. You have a rat shaman gang leader, an up and coming fixer, an ugly elven pit fighter, a kind hearted street doc who might actually be as benevolent as he seems, and a collection of lunatics who live, breathe and cosplay the vidtrid Neil the Orc Barbarian in overzealous fashion. It’ll be interesting to see which of these turns out to working for the Bugs (ALL OF THEM! ALL OF THEM I TELL YOU!).

The adventure is a pretty unique one as far as Shadowrun affairs go. First, you’re actually clearly wearing the white hat with this run. Your mission is to extract some documents from a long abandoned building so a doctor can claim it as his. Once it is, he can turn it into a new clinic which is closer to the containment zone and can thus help a lot of people in need, especially those living next to a Ghoul warren. There’s also a scene where you can optionally take down a gang who accosts and murders people to feed to ghouls. Yes, lots of ghoul references in this one. Of course, the mission isn’t a cakewalk. Once you get to the building in question, you’ll find it is currently being squatted in by a group of people who mean no harm and, aside from being obviously insane, are just trying to get by in one of the most horrible places on Earth. Is there a way the squatters and the doc can both get what they want/need from this situation? Definitely – as long as your team isn’t the type to shoot first and second. I absolutely loved that you can get through Critic’s Choice without a single shot being fired or blade having to be pulled. Although it’s not likely, this adventure can be 100% combat free. I’ve been playing Shadowrun since the first edition FASA days, and I honestly think this is the first adventure that allows for this. That’s pretty cool. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t planned combat scenes in Critic’s Choice – just that you can avoid them. Most of the combat is pretty straightforward though, and shouldn’t give the PCs much of a challenge. Don’t worry though, this is just the second adventure of the season after all. By the time the PCs are done, they and their players should feel good about themselves and the work they have done for Chicago. It’s rare you get a run that isn’t super murky ethics and morality-wise, but I’m sure down the road we’ll see that the clinic you helped will be implanted bug spirits or be a Technomancer abattoir or something. It’s the Sixth World after all.

Overall, I really loved Critic’s Choice. I thoroughly enjoyed that the setup and each of the eight scenes that comprised this adventure included a reference to a line or song title from the musical Chicago. I loved how unique this adventure was in terms of setup and follow through. I really felt this would make a wonderful first adventure for people to learn Shadowrun with, be they new to the system or gaming as a whole. The scenes are short, and each provides a good cut-off point if you can’t finish the piece in a single session. The dice roll needs are on the low end. Combat is short and sweet, and much of the adventure is talking rather than shooting. All of these things should really help a newcomer learn Shadowrun, Fifth Edition quite nicely. Shadowrun is a pretty mechanics heavy system in the first place, and some other adventures might overwhelm or intimidate a less experienced gamer. So out of everything available for 5e so far, Critic’s Choice is definitely the best option for getting your feet wet with the Sixth World. If you don’t have the core rulebook for 5e, that shouldn’t be a problem, as you can still learn the game via this, the free Quick Start Rules and many a person willing to teach you the ropes at your local brick and mortar store, via Skype or Google Hangouts.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Missions: Critic's Choice (5A-02)
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Valiant Universe RPG Quick Start Rules: Featuring Unity
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/02/2014 08:03:17
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/05/02/tabletop-review-valiant-
-universe-rpg-quick-start-rules-featuring-unity/

Although a lot of gamers got their start with Dungeons & Dragons, my first tabletop RPG was actually a different TSR game – Marvel Super Heroes. The FASERIP system was a lot of fun, very easy to learn (even in single digits of age) and I loved the random character generation process. The game still remains one of my favorites to this day. Another classic Super Hero RPG was Mayfair’s DC Heroes Role Playing Game. It had one of the best super hero character building systems ever and the mechanics were solid. For over thirty years, these two games have been the measuring stick with what I judge other super hero games, be they Champions, Mutants and Masterminds, Heroes Unlimited, later terrible incarnations of Marvel games I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, TMNT and other Strangeness, Villains and Vigilantes and more.

Now however, we have Valiant Universe RPG. I’ll be honest as much as I was DC and Marvel fans as a kid, the 90s brought me Valiant comics and it quickly became my favorite universe. Shadowman by Bob Hall and Steve Englehart. Rai by Bob Layton and David Michelinie. Harbinger by Jim Shooter. X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Quantum and Woody, and more! Valiant picked up the best writers and artists from comics and gave us the best cohesive universe I’d ever seen. Alas, it died off almost as quickly as it was born, for which I personally blame Acclaim Entertainment (Yes, the video game company. It’s a long story) and for more than a decade the characters of Valiant lay dormant save for those owned by Gold Key Studios. You can’t keep a good thing down though and about two years ago, Valiant came back with a vengeance – rebooting everything, but sticking to what made it work in the first place – collecting the best storytellers and artists in comics and delivering a universe full of continuity and characterization. I have pullbox subscriptions for every comic they put out and if you look at my list of comics I picked up in April you’d see it consist of 9 Valiant, 7 DC, 4 Marvel and 1 IDW. So as you can tell, I’ve been a Valiant fan since the dawn of its first incarnation, as well as a long time role-player, so Valiant Universe RPG was something I’ve been waiting a long time for.

Unlike most games, which only put out a single set of Quick Start Rules to entice buyers to pick up the real thing, Catalyst Game Labs is actually doing a set of SIX, which each one covering a different facet of the Valiant universe. This first QSR release covers a very simplified version of the rules and Unity. May through July will see a whopping FIVE QSR releases on the Harbinger Wars event that ran last year, each covering a different faction in that fight: Bloodshot, Generation Zero, The Harbinger Foundation, The Renegades and H.A.R.D. Corps. That’s a pretty interesting way to build hype for a brand new game and it will be interesting to see if it works or not. Besides this set of six PDFs, there will also be a physical Quick Start Rules set available at your local brick and mortar stores on Free RPG Day 2014. If that’s not enough the Core Rulebook for Valiant Universe RPG will be available digitally on July 5th and physically in August (probably later in real life because that’s how our industry rolls). I’m really impressed by CGL and Valiant’s game plan for this new RPG and I can’t deny out of all the new systems scheduled for 2014, this has been the one I’ve been most excited for (Sorry Pirates & Dragons).

Of course just because a game has a license with a large fandom behind it doesn’t mean the game is going to be a good one. For every Ghosts of Albion or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, there is a Know Your Role or Street Fighter RPG that is pretty terrible. So where does Valiant Universe RPG fall? Well, it’s impossible to tell from a twenty-six page set of Quick Start Rules. These are a simplified bare bones version of the real thing after all. I will say that the game looks exceedingly promising. At first glance, the Cue System (the mechanics for Valiant Universe RPG) seems to be a mix of Savage Worlds (Yay!) and Cortex (Boo!).

It’s very interesting that unlike most games which have a designated DM/GM/Keeper/Storyteller/what have you, every player takes a turn at being the Lead Narrator. This is an unusual choice as most gaming groups have one or two people that are good or like to run the game while the others just want to play as characters. The upside to this is everyone gets a chance to run things and at no time will there ever be the threat of “GMs vs Players” which ruins so many games. It also means that the game is unique in that adventures are a group creation where everyone contributes to the storytelling instead of just being along for the ride. There are downsides though, like when a person who sucks at GM’ing is up for the Lead Narrator role. As well, it means that due to the “telephone” like nature of Lead Narration the adventure may turn out totally differently from how it was originally intended. This isn’t a bad thing on its own, but it does mean you won’t see people spend time crafting and honing their own homebrew adventures. I can’t even begin to imagine how published adventures will work with this style of GM’ing. This doesn’t put me off though. If anything, it has me all the more curious for the final version. As well, the text clearly states you can run Valiant Universe RPG with a single Lead Narrator like any other game, so if the new idea doesn’t pan out, go back to basics!

There are no rules for character creation in this set of Quick Start Rules, which is fine. I am curious if there will be any, or if it will be more like the Cortex Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game where you only play as established canon characters. In this set of QSRs, you get four playable PCs, which are the original members of Unity. You have Toyo Harada, Gilad Anni-Padda – the Eternal Warrior, Ninjak (YES!) and Livewire. It makes sense to start with a team based group as a solo character like Shadowman would be a poor choice for a QSR, while an awesome choice for a solo adventure. Choosing Unity also made some of the biggest names in Valiant playable right off the bat, so this was a great choice overall, even if my favorite current Valiant Comic (Archer & Armstrong) won’t have its characters show up in any of the planned QSR sets.

The adventure for this Unity set follows this first story arc of Unity almost to the letter. The team is gathered to takedown X-O Manowar, who has recently taken over Romania and given it back to the Visigoths. Russia is planning a nuclear strike as nothing else seems has even made Aric of Dacia flinch, but Harada knows that will be disastrous for the entire world. As such, he has gathered a powerful group of heroes to save the day. Of course, if you have read the comics, you know that things don’t run smoothly. I won’t spoil the adventure, but I will say it is a lot of fun and that it is one of the best conversions from comic to tabletop I’ve ever seen. Of course, this does not mean you’re on rails to follow the comic storyline exactly. There are some examples in the text of how wildly divergent the adventure can stray from the comics up. This was very well done, but I do admit I hope to see some original adventures for characters down the road. Just following a comic arc makes sense for a QSR set as it is something Valiant fans will already be familiar with and can follow without having to strain their creative muscles too much. It would be dull if every adventure was based on a previously written comic book though.

So let’s talk playing the game. Again, these are not the final rules for the game, but simplified QSR mechanics. Each character has five core stats: Might (Strength and Stamina), Intellect, Charisma, Action (Fighting ability) and Luck. Luck is a solid non mutable number for each character. For example, Ninjak has 9 while Harada has 3. The other four stats are assigned a die. A stat will either have a D4, D6, D8, D10 or D12 attached to it, with the higher die representing more potential power. When a character has to make a roll. The player rolls the die corresponding to that trait and a d12. The two results are added together. The Lead Narrator then makes an opposing roll with a d20. Whoever gets the high result wins. Yes, resolving dice rolls are that easy/simple. So for example, if Ninjak wants to kick through a locked door (he doesn’t have time to pick the lock), he would roll his Might die (d8) and a d12 and add the result together. Then the Lead Narrator would roll that d20. If the player wins the roll, the action goes exactly as planned. If the Lead Narrator wins…it does not. Now a LN winning the roll doesn’t mean failure – it simply means they get to decide what happens. So for example, if Ninjack gets a 12 and the Lead Narrator gets a 19, the LN could say Ninjak does indeed kick through the door, but that it leg goes right through it as the door was brittle and old and he has to spend his next turn pulling his leg out of the hole he just made. If a player decides to use a power for an action, they get to roll the die associated with that power, the stat die and the d12. They don’t get to add all three results together though. Instead, they drop the lowest die and add the two remaining results together before the LN makes the opposing role. So let’s look at that scenario again. This time it’s the Eternal Warrior trying to break down the door with a sword. He would get to roll his Might die (d10), his power die of Weapon Mastery (d12) and the regular d12 die. So that’s two d12s and a d10 and then he would drop the lowest of the three. The LN would then roll its d20 and see who wins. Looking at it though, GIliad has a better chance of getting through the door than Ninjak, doesn’t he?

There is one exception to the above scenario and that is where luck comes in. If a player rolls his dice and one comes up with his luck number, it is an automatic success. So if any of Giliad’s three dice came up showing a 10, the LN doesn’t even need to roll – the action is a success. There can also be modifiers to die rolls just as in any game, chosen at the Lead Narrator’s discretion. Combat between two characters is a straight up Action Die vs Action Die with Modifiers. I should point out that ranged combat, at least in this QSR set has a pretty big advantage over melee. It’ll be interesting to see how much that holds up in the core rules once they are released, but for right now, distance is king.

There are a few other areas to cover. Health is similar to Shadowrun or World of Darkness games in that characters have a set amount and as it goes down, they receive penalties to die rolls. Each character also has an armor pool which is deleted before Health starts to go. Plot Points are similar to GM intrusions from Numenera mixed with the Doom Pool from the Marvel Cortex game. So on and so forth. It’ll be interesting to see how the rules change with each Quick Start release and what the final version eventually looks like.

So overall, Valiant Universe RPG is looking like it is off to a great start. It’s definitely looking like a game long time tabletop gamers and newcomers can sit down and have fun playing. The rules are very easy to learn and are pretty instinctual once you start. I have no idea where CGL is going to take this game and how supplements, published adventures and character creation will work, but I’m very eager to find out. Who knows – maybe we’ll see a line of Valiant Universe RPG miniatures down the road. I’d love a Vincent Van Goat. Anyway, this Quick Start Rules set is free, so if you’re remotely interested in Valiant or tabletop RPGs, you should download this right away. Again, this is the first of many free samples Catalyst Game Labs will be giving out online, so you’re going to want to pick up the whole set for a better look at how Valiant Universe RPG is shaping up. I’ll be taking a look at each of the releases as they are made available, so join me back here every few weeks to see what’s new!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Valiant Universe RPG Quick Start Rules: Featuring Unity
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Shadowrun: Sail Away, Sweet Sister (Enhanced Fiction)
by William M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2014 19:13:14
I will start out with the negatives.

First, there is the missing rules information for personalized grips. I understand why the information is missing; it still is something that can be a problem for some games. But, it can be easily resolved.

The greatest negative... the length. This is a very good story, but it has underpinnings that suggest that as good as it is, it would have been far better if Patrick Goodman had been allowed to write it as a full-length novel. That is not to say it is not a worthwhile read; even as a novella, this work of fiction is well worth the money. I would even suggest it, and its predecessor, for those who are not Shadowrun players and have no interest in playing.

Okay, I think I've spent most of my negatives section praising this work.

The positives are the fact it is so well-written, and the fact it allows you to actually get to know the characters. Even the heartbreaks and triumphs. And this takes characters who were previously a tiny bit flat (I suspect they wouldn't have had any flatness if the prior work had been allowed to be longer) and gives them depth that serves them well. And you may even be surprised at the decisions they make.

Well, anyway, I can't say more without spoiling the story. Read it for yourself.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sail Away, Sweet Sister (Enhanced Fiction)
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Shadowrun: Missions: Critic's Choice (5A-02)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/01/2014 10:57:09
A delightful ramble through the Chicago Containment Zone where there's always something to do even without the plethora of Johnsons seemingly lining up to hire the 'runners. There are places to visit and contacts to make, as well as nuyen to be made... and even the chance to be Good Samaritans along the way.

Most times, the 'runners get a job then others approach trying to hire them to do it differently. Not this time - they get one job and are then approached to do another job that'll work in tandem with the first. Not bad, one run, 2 paychecks!

There are plenty of contacts, useful contacts, to be made during this adventure: it's well worth keeping track of them (as player or referee). Some interesting locations that you might want to use again too.

Everything is very clearly laid out, making it very easy to run this adventure. It's broken down into discrete scenes and each scene has information to give to the 'runners, background for you, all the game mechanics needed to resolve likely situations and sections called 'Pushing the Envelope' (extra challenges if required) and 'Debugging' (for use when the 'runners do the unexpected). A 'Legwork' section at the end gives you loads of things that the characters can find out, should they take the trouble to do some research or go rumour-hunting. There is also full details on everyone they'll meet during the adventure to supplement the summary information in the body of the adventure.

There are no maps or plans, but the adventure doesn't really need them. There's plenty of descriptive material and if/when a brawl breaks out it is likely to be in close quarters and all you'll really need to know is how people are arrayed with respect to each other.

Overall, a fun adventure that gives the feel of poking around the CZ well.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Missions: Critic's Choice (5A-02)
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Shadowrun: Sail Away, Sweet Sister (Enhanced Fiction)
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2014 22:32:16
Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Story- Sail Away, Sweet Sister
Author- Patrick Goodman
TL;DR- Great Shadowrun story, but not a great introduction to Shadowrun story. 83%

Basics- Thomas McCallister is back! This is a direct sequel to "Another Rainy Night". In this story, a picture of Lenore, Thomas' vampiric sister, is found as she is running across the fractured America of Shadowrun. Can Thomas save his sister before she falls to the monster that lives insider her? Who else is manipulating things behind the scenes....

Story-The story is pretty good. It's an ensemble cast with the story being told from the sister, Thomas, his friends, and several other's points of view. Each character has a different, well defined view of things, and, that variety makes the story come off the page. Some of the story elements are kind of brushed over, but in a short fiction, that is a necessary evil. 4/5

Characters- The characters are also well defined. Each one has their own goals and motivations, and that comes through in the story. I felt the characters were real, not one dimensional caricatures. You won't get all the pieces as this is part of a trilogy, but where there were gaps, I felt that was mysteries for later, not poor writing. 4.5/5

Setting-Here things are interesting. If you know Shadowrun, the story is an good story in the Shadowrun World. Lots of locations and idea live and breathe as you know they should. However, if you don't know Shadowrun, you will be completely lost. Terms are thrown around that your average read off the street won't know. A little bit of introduction to the more Shadowrun-esque element of the story would make things a bit better for all the readers out there. 4/5

Summary-This is a good short story. It's pretty long for the price you pay as it's over 30 pages. AND, you get some Shadowrun 5e/4a stats for your games. That right there is worth the price alone for how starved for Shadowrun content I and most of the community are. I haven't read "Another Rainy Night", but if the same writer wrote that one as well, I feel that I would be in good hands for that one. Also, as soon as the sequel to this story comes out, I plan to buy it. I like how this story turned out and I can't wait for more! 83%

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sail Away, Sweet Sister (Enhanced Fiction)
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Shadowrun: Sail Away, Sweet Sister (Enhanced Fiction)
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2014 03:55:37
I liked this continuation of the story, and it does leave me anxious to see a third installment. The character development is excellent, and the enhanced fiction part means that you get stats for the characters in both SR4A and SR5 formats, as well as having some weapons and equipment stated out. You do not need to have read Storm Front to really understand what's going on with the HMHVV, as it's fairly evident in the story. You will need to read Another Stormy Night first though, as the characters and plots continue from that.

My only complaint was that the customized grip weapon mod does not have a price on it; the author stated that he was expecting it to be listed in Run & Gun, which left out many items that its SR4A predecessor (Arsenal) had (such as the vibro blades, which happily are fully listed in this enhanced fiction). While perhaps not unique in vampire stories, I did enjoy the sister's brief inner swinging between her original self and her new existence (which she dubbed "The Monster"). Unlike the other review, I do not feel this is indicative of any swing towards a World of Darkness style morality, as the other vampires we have seen in the two stories so far have appeared to fully embrace their natures with no inner turmoil regarding an inner beast. Hopefully this remain true.

With the ending opening the way for another in the series, I look forward to the next in the series. I look forward to reading about the main characters again, and am even eager to see what the response will be from their primary adversaries.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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