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Shadowrun: Howling Shadows
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2016 18:50:42

Another m'eh supplement from Catalyst.
They're just horrific when it comes to editing these books (Street Grimoire was the worst with extensive copy-pasta from 4ed that was nonsensical due to missing items), heck some of them (see Data Trails with nothing for Technos) were just planned poorly to start with.


Howling Shadows is better edited, for the most part, compared to previous catalyst works but thats a pretty low bar to exceed.


Once again however the editing fails at a critical juncture. Specifically the lack of a critter/ animal cost table even though those base costs are referenced elsewhere in the book by calling for multipliers of the missing base costs.


When this was pointed out to Catalyst by many people in the community the line editors response was "this was a conscious choice!". Which is obviously just CYA nonsense as there are base cost multipliers in the book for various animals/ critters but no base cost to apply them to!


All of this points to failure at the Line Editing level.


Really sad stuff.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Howling Shadows
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Shadowrun: Shadow Spells
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2016 11:32:38

Catalyst's Shadow Spells is a fun secondary source book.


An adequate amount of content for the price, nothing revolutionary, and there are a few spells that first time storytellers should think carefully before allowing into their campaign (rot, petrify etc) but for a module to add some bang to your dry spell list, it serves its function. There are more listed traditions, but they all seem bland compared to the existing ones, there are a few that might pique the interest of someone who wants a pre-generated tradition that was not laid out in the Grimoire, and it provides some good flavor for the 6th World, but this will not make or break anyone's collect of SR5 pdfs.


Ultimately a fun buy for the mage of the group but ultimately missable.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shadow Spells
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BattleTech: DropShips and JumpShips
by steve r. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2016 20:19:53

this is a must for true battletechers . my original copy got destroyed in moving about 10 tears back . i'm just estatic to have a copy back . for the black navy advocates of battletech this is one of 2 publication of FASA's that are the main primers of space combat and civil space commerce . if Catalyst ever republishes the BattleSpace Manual in a PDF format i will be one of the 1st to purchase a copy . so much of my battletech collection was either destroyed outright or damaged so bad as to be useless . it has been a struggle to rebuild that collection , but now that i found your site things are slowly changing .
keep up the good work your doing .
s. rogers



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: DropShips and JumpShips
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Shadowrun: Market Panic (Campaign Book)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/03/2016 15:55:33

Shadowrun: Market Panic lets you know what is going on with the megacorporation at the top of the business food chain in the Sixth World of Shadowrun. It is an interesting read and has a lot of background material that with work, could be leveraged into interesting game sessions but there is very little support for the actual game of Shadowrun in this book, it is almost entirely background material. While a fascinating read, how much use it will actually be for a campaign depends on how tightly your game is tied into higher level corporate politics.


Shadowrun: Market Panic, is a Shadowrun Campaign Book for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, so what does that mean? It means that this book all about the top tier megacorporations, the movers and shakers in the Shadowrun world.


The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then it looks into what life is like for the average corporate worker via a heavily noted “day in the life” report on a corporate drone. Some interesting perspective on how life is lived among the corporate masses. For the average game masters, this is probably the single most useful section.


Next, Courting Disaster, discusses the Corporate Court that oversees sorting out “disputes” between the major corporations. It gives a brief history of the court and how it has become a major power in its own right even as serving as a tool of the top megacorporations. The current judges each get a brief description but mostly this serves as a framework for the current corporate power struggles.


The rest of the product is looking at the Big Ten megacorporations in detail starting with Ares and ending with Wuxing and each starts with a one page fiction piece that tells you something about the corp followed by their corporate ranking, list of major shareholders and divisions. While each is done in a slightly different format, generally each corporation’s history, corporate culture and current plans and troubles are examined along with a short section on typical runs for and against that megacorp are covered.


These corporate profiles are the bulk of the product, filling more than 170 pages of the 210 of the book. There seems to be some minor editing problems as the information within each profile sometimes conflicts with those presented in others, but arguably some of that can be written off as the idiosyncratic views of the various section presenters. But it is a bit strange to read one section about how Mitsuhama is now number one, pushing down Saeder-Krupp to the number two ranking while the NeoNet section is all about how they are almost number two. It also assumes a fair amount of familiarity of the setting name-dropping people and places with little context that could be confusing to a new arrival to the setting.


Market Panic is an interesting sourcebook but it is essentially all deep background material. Which is interesting reading and all unless you are running a campaign with really high powered characters, the politics between this CEO or that board of directors is really not important. Especially not to the street level shadowrunner trying to earn the money for their next meal. A discussion on how corporate politics affect shadowrunner and runners would have been helpful and made this book more than just an interesting read.


Consider my rating of this to be 3.5, rounded up to 4 for the RPGNow system.


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



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Market Panic (Campaign Book)
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Shadowrun: Howling Shadows
by Oliver S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2016 11:13:37

This book is a good and surprisingly well structured catalogue of all kinds of critters that can be used in various runs. And while some may complain that not every previously mentioned critter has been updated to the 5th edition, there are more than enough mundane, magical, mutated and technological beasties with a wide assortment of powers to surprise your runners.
I was pleasantly surprised by the well made index that groups the critters both by region and another that groups them alphabetically.
The only resaon I am not giving this product 5 stars is the anoying fact that it is impossible to add further bookmarks into the barely marked, but otherwise stellar pdf.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Howling Shadows
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BattleTech: Isle of the Blessed
by Trevor R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2016 13:31:30

Excellent compilation novel, one of the best I've read from the BattleTech universe in a long time. I like the conflicting view points of the Fed and Wobbies forces.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Isle of the Blessed
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BattleTech: First Succession War
by John W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2016 12:46:50

Just as destructive as we knew it would be. Massive warship battles and massive dirtside brawls that wipe out worlds. The deployment section is excellent and finally seeing which SLDF commands stayed behind and what they became is a real treat.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: First Succession War
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BattleTech: First Succession War
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2016 08:12:25

A great book! Learn how the Great Houses nearly destroyed themselves in nuclear fire and set the stage for the following centuries of BattleTech lore!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: First Succession War
by Trevor R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2016 21:47:52

Excellent piece of work, much better than TRO: 3150, actually worth the money to buy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Ghost Bear's Lament (Part One)
by Alex E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2016 17:09:57

Having followed battletech for thirty years I was looking forward to reading a new book about ghost bears on my kindle. I am happy to support new works and thought the price was good for an electronic version. Suffice to say, I was deeply dissapointed to find it is not a novel. Even calling it a novella is pushing it. This is a short story when compared to classic battletech books and should be made clear as such in the blurb. I would have been far happier if I was aware that the part one and part two I am purchasing, combined, would still be pressed to be as long as one of the legends novels. It is for this reason I gave the bad review.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Ghost Bear's Lament (Part One)
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Shadowrun: Seattle Sprawl Digital Box Set
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2016 22:07:39

Grok this, Chummer.


Seattle's been the scene when it comes to the down and dirty of the Sixth World. Since the Awakening, its been where every runner who's any runner comes to get regular work. Sure, it's dirty and polluted, the politicians are corrupt, the streets are soaked in acid rain and blood - but hey, it's still home, eh?


Seattle Sprawl is a pretty hefty product, and not bad for the nuyen. It goes a bit old school, calling back to the days when you call the full battleplan in a box. Let's break it down for the kiddies.


General Overview: Like everything in the SR5 line, the stuff we get is pretty. It's well laid out, tightly packed and very evocative of the setting.


The Emerald Shadows: 87 pages, this book is pretty much a tour of Seattle. It provides a broad overview of several key locations in the Sprawl, with the typical sidebars and in-setting discussion indicitive to Shadowrun. This is a great primer for providing the feel of Seattle. It might be a bit daunting for new players to try to absorb the city in a large book like this, but you could have a player reach the section associated with one district and they'll get a feel for the part of Seattle they know.


Ruling the Queen City: This is clearly designed for the GM. It gives a brief history of the city, particularly how it stands in the Sixth World. It's also peppered with NPCs and plothooks across about 50 pages.


Tangled Threads: 30 pages. If Ruling the Queen City is NPC focused, this book is location focused. But it's not really specific locations as much as a collection of generic location types within the city and then it provides, as a secondary function, how these locations relate to Seattle. Tey's are clearly designed to be quickly and easily dropped into a campaign. It provides 3 adventure outlines as well, which can be easily expanded.


Map Cards: While this is 55 pages, its actually a set of 11 cards repeated 5 times, which is redundant for a PDF - but given this was clearly designed to primarily be a physical product, that's fine. Its reminicent of "Dungeon Tiles" for fantasy RPGs, but with a Shadowrun bent. Offices, Labs, Bars, etc. They're generic and useful - but not necessarily directly related to Seattle.


Seattle Sprawl Map w/ Gang and Map reference: This is three different PDFs, and while the map is beautiful, it's more an art piece than anything. While it's great to look at, you'll be looking from the reference cards to the map itself to get a sense of what district you're in and who controls it.


Character Cards: 24 two-sided cards (48 PDF pages) gives you a nice spread of NPCs to grab and go for encounters in Seattle, or any other urban location in SR. While this is pretty standard for "box set" style products it makes them no less useful.


Bottom Line: Is Seattle Sprawl Digital Box Set worth it? Well that depends. If you're a casual SR player and don't really ever GM it, I'd say its a pass. Now if you're a big fan of Shadowrun or run it with any regularity, I think the product is well worth it. It its reminicent of the halycon days of box set settings, and there's a lot of useful content here that's flavorful. Now, admitedly the physical product is pricey but if you're just using it to get inspiration and a sense of SR's most iconic setting I'd absolutely recommend the PDF.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Seattle Sprawl Digital Box Set
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Shadowrun: Seattle Sprawl Digital Box Set
by Dan A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2016 16:50:27

PROS:
-The Seattle map is cool.
-The books and material are full color and have a good layout and illustrations.
CONS:
-Repeated cards: the PDF with the city map segment cards includes 55 cards, but there´re 11 diferent ones, repeated 5 times, and not big quality drawings.
-The total amount of text in the books is less than 170 pages. The price per page is HUGE.
-Even being cool, there´s no written references in the map, so it may work better as a poster than a game prop.


I Will update this review as soon as I read all the content, but This suplement may work perfectly as a guide than a boxed set. Even if the writting is good, I will definitely don´t update this set to print version.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: FedCom Civil War
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2016 14:06:46

This was always a great book.
However the scan is a bit off - words are a touch blurry and the maps are useless.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: FedCom Civil War
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BattleTech Legends: The Way of the Clans (Jade Phoenix Vol. 1)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2016 08:17:01

This is the book that introduced me to the BattleTech Universe and the Clans. I highly recommend it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech Legends: The Way of the Clans (Jade Phoenix Vol. 1)
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BattleTech: Objectives: The Clans
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2016 08:15:35

If you want to know where a certain mech or vehicle is made or you want to plan out your next border raid, then you will need this product!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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