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.