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Shadowrun: Runner's Toolkit $25.00
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Shadowrun: Runner\'s Toolkit
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Shadowrun: Runner's Toolkit
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/02/2012 22:46:17
Runner’s Toolkit contains a considerable number of useful tools for any Shadowrun GM. Especially for a new GM the toolkit is an excellent addition to their arsenal of tools and for any Shadowrun GM it has a considerable amount of useful information and things to make Gming easier. My only concern is the price, as it contains much less than the physical box set it is based on, it would be nice if its cost as a PDF reflected that as well.

The Runner’s Toolkit for Shadowrun written by a cast of thousands and published by Catalyst Game Labs.

The Runner’s Toolkit consists of several parts (each its own PDF):

Anatomy of a Shadowrun, a 30-page guide to a shadowrun told in fiction and then the same told in game terms, complete with the rolls used and page references for the skills used. This is a useful example for new players and GMs (and reminder for experienced ones) of how things can play out during a run.

12 Full Color Cheat Sheets for the major actions of the game (magic, combat, hacking and even character creation) including the stats and skills used, page references and a walkthrough of the sequence of the event. These are extremely helpful for those new to the system. Though a printer friendly version of these would have been appreciated.

47 pages of compiled tables from Arsenal, Augmentation, Street Magic and Unwired (plus the main book) everything gathered and organized in one place with page references for which book the full item listing is in for easy detail lookup.

Contacts - Adventures - Sprawl Sites, which contain what it says: A wide variety of contacts, from club owner to snitch, taxi driver to bodyguard, all useful and as they are statted out you can use them for instant NPCs. Adventures, which include a set of nice adventure frames and a random adventure generation. Sprawl Sites, four well detailed maps for potential runs. These should be excellent resources for any campaign.

Pre-generated Auxiliary Character Kit System (PACKS) is an alternate character creation system using modular packs to quickly assemble characters. This provides a useful set of tools for rapidly constructing both player characters and NPCs.

On the Run, a complete adventure aimed specifically for new players and GM. It is a solid introduction to the world of Shadowrun with ancient tech, rockers, magic, gangs, and betrayal all playing a role in the adventure. It is designed to be easy to run for a new GM with advice and page numbers for the rules/situations encountered.

Everything is well put together and useful for a GM and most will find them quite useful to have to hand when running a game. I know I have.

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.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Runner's Toolkit
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/09/2011 23:13:53
As far as introductory adventures go, ‘On the Run’ is absolutely excellent. As always, they have stuck with the formatting that veteran players will easily recognise (‘Tell it to them straight’, ‘Debugging’ and the like) which makes each scene self-contained and very easy to run. For this module only, though, the authors have gone one step further in providing page references to all the rules required for each scene so that a GM can easily cross-reference and arbitrate rules calls without endlessly thumbing through SR4. Even GMs like myself who have a decent handle on the rules will appreciate the opportunity to brush up on their knowledge.
The run itself is well-developed, with a nice blend of free choice and set plot; as well as showcasing a wide range of the types of encounters that make Shadowrun a unique setting. The authors should be commended for their attention to making the setting come alive and ‘showing, not telling’. The NPCs are interesting and have a wide range of motivations which is ample fodder for creative GMs. There is a good ratio of Legwork and action and the ending gives the characters a chance to move in their own direction, rather than simply going through the paces. This would be a great starting point for a campaign.
My only criticism is that as a ‘first run’ it would have been nice to see some pregenerated characters in the back of the book. I feel that this addition would have made it a little more attractive to new groups wanting to try out the game – but even without these, the module stands up well by itself and should be on every Shadowrunners bookshelf (virtual or otherwise). Oh, and whilst this is written for newcomers to the game, there are some very nice nods to previous editions of SR that will make veterans of the game smile.

The rest of the kit is exceptional, with some really high-quality, attention to detail pieces. The ‘Quick Reference Charts’ will not leave my side at any game, and will save me tons of time; whilst my players are already fighting over the complied ‘shopping list’ that happens when you take all of the tables from Arsenal, Street Magic and Augmentation. One of my gripes with the SR4 books is the distributed nature of the tables, so these will be a very handy resource.

Overall, this is worth it just for ‘On the Run’, but the extra goodies make this worth having.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Runner's Toolkit
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 20:48:43
As all Shadowrun stuff, the Runner's Toolkit is very well done. There's not really too much that can be said about it, it's pretty much exactly what it says on the tin and all the things are pretty self explanatory.

Lots of tools, good for GM's and players, worth a grab if you play SR4 often.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Runner's Toolkit
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by John T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2011 22:56:57
Obviously, like many lovers of Shadowrun; we've been avidly awaiting the release of the Runner's Toolkit back when it was a mere blip on the radar. Now seemingly out of nowhere it hits and I couldn't be happier.

To begin with this package comes with two things that most 4.0 fans already are familiar with: The Contacts and Adventures booklet (that was packaged with the original GM screen) and On the Run. The newly updated Contacts and Adventures book is pretty much the same as before, but the SR3 to SR4 conversion info has been replaced by a new section called sprawl sites which is, for me as a GM, instantly useful! This contains descriptive locations for scenes in-game as well as a few maps.

As for "On the Run" it is without a doubt a great sourcebook that was already available and is a simple adventure for a group of beginning Shadowrunners--a small note this mission can go a little haywire. If your players aren't the kind of people who ask questions and stick to the goal of doing what they were hired to do then they may finish this mission in one sitting. A great way to keep the mission going the entire book is to have the Johnson be killed before they get their payoff. Easy fix. Otherwise, you may need to ramp up the difficulty for the NPCs if your players are already experienced. Still for the value of what else is in this pack think of getting this mission as a nice bonus.

So what makes this a 5-star product for me? Well, lets start with the cheat sheets. Every person whose played Shadowrun knows that there are some mechanics that need to be fully researched to implement into game--this isn't a simple roll a dice and know your result game. There are often multiple rolls and effects that augment said rolls. These cheat sheets break a lot of it down and I fully expect to buy the Toolkit when it hits stores just to have a physical copy of these (how-to's of things like ranged combat, casting spells, banishing, etc) sitting at my table. Then there is the addition of the Compiled Tables. Essentially, the organized data of anything the characters may wish to buy with their hard earned nuyen all in one booklet WITH page references for the books they originate from so you look up the flavor/fluff text and extended rules of such items. These alone are worth the money and 5-star rating!

Toss into this the Anatomy of a Shadowrun (that gives both players and DM's ideas of what to expect from a well run Shadowrun session) as well as the interesting new take on character creation found in what is titled PACKS (Pre-Generated Auxiliary Character Kit System) which I intend to give a whirl. However, until then the last page of the Cheat Sheets has the original rules for character creation lined up on one page!

Great job, Catalyst!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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