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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition) $59.99 $19.99
Average Rating:4.1 / 5
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Jennifer B. B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2019 17:10:04

I'm literally going through this book with a black sharpie crossing out sentences. This book badly needs an editor. Apparently Catalyst Game Labs owners' are a bunch of criminals who decided to not bring charges after their leader embezzled money (for an extenson on his house), and then kept that guy on at the company anyway (name of Loren Coleman, google it). http://ogrecave.com/2010/03/18/catalyst-monetary-trouble-rumor-gets-official-reply/

Other things I don't like:

  • The core rules sections are very difficult to read. Players would hugely benefit from some structure and an editor to cut out the drek. Put in some diagrams.
  • They literally reuse art in the book.
  • A lot of the art is not "new", it's from older Shadowrun editions. This leads to the sense that 5E completely lacks a visual language/style.
  • Apparently 6E doubles down on these mistakes and introduces lots of copy pasting.

Yes, I still play this game with my friends, but without the technical depth I'd like. Basically I handwave a ton of stuff. The publisher doesn't care and/or has the worst company culture, the kind that would produce this doorstop.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Matt P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/08/2019 07:53:33

There is tons of errata over the past 3 years since this was last updated. The only place it lives is on the Shadowrun forums or Reddit. That's a terrible way to handle errata. At least some of that errata should have been put into this PDF by now. There is no acceptable excuse after this many years, for a still active game. It hasn't been touched since 2016. The separate errata PDF that is posted to DriveThruRPG is garbage older than this PDF and only contains a fraction of the errata.

Also having only the "master index" instead of just an index for the book I own is extremely un-user-friendly. It makes it less useful because if I am looking in a book's index I'm looking for something in THAT book. A master index is a fine idea as a separate PDF that you could maintain more regularly and anyone could download.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Rudy C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2019 17:28:53

TL;DR: The latest iteration of the Shadowrun universe, and arguably the best edition to date. I honestly couldn't finish the book, much less convince my group to play it, simply because the sheer volume of rules was too much.

So I picked up SR 5th edition during a sale and was somewhat disappointed. Yes, the game is at its core the same as always. You'll build a fictional shadowrunner that can either sling spells, hack into the internet, pilot remote controlled drones, or straps chrome to their body in order to become more machine than (meta)human. Nothing has been changed other than an overhaul of the rules from previous editions. At the same time, I didn't like it. Why? For one, I've made three attempts to read this book, and every time my eyes glazed over. This beast of a tome clocks in at over 500 pages, most of which are rules for various one off scenarios. The rules strive way too hard to simulate reality in a world that's anything but reality. Worse, you end up having to do a lot of actual math on the fly. For example, in order to resolve a character firing a gun in a burst or full auto, you first must calculate the recoil compensation you possess (which is your Strength attribute divided by 3), then you have to calculate the recoil penalty (subtract the total amount of bullets fired from your recoil compensation), then if that result is a negative number, subtract it from your dice pool which is a number of dice equal to your Quickness + relevant gun skill, however the max number of successes you can roll is limited at all times by your weapon's quality rating of X. Crystal clear? Yeah, I didn't think so. This has the effect of bogging the game down at times while the GM has to flip through the rules because the players invariably thought of doing something the GM hadn't quite planned for or considered. It's one thing to want to have clear-cut rules in order to prevent arguments at the game table (heaven knows D&D 5e is guilty of leaving some things up to each and every DM), however it is possible to overdo it and have rules that feel more like the game actively fights you than wants to cooperate. For example, in order to determine if your character is able to take one final action before they fall unconscious or die (a dead man's trigger), you literally have to go through a 3 step checklist, and if you fail to meet any of those 3 requirements then tough luck, you don't get to have a really cool moment of dramatic sacrifice before you're down for the count. Everything you love about Shadowrun is still present in this version, it's just become mired in a set of rules that just seem to work against you telling the kinds of stories you want to tell. One wonders what the point of overhauling SR to 5th edition is if the rules become so bloated that its in need of yet another overhaul.

In summary, get this if you're a die hard fan of Shadowrun, or if you're a simulationist freak that demands their games have rules for every single possible eventuality. The rest of us should either stick to previous editions of the game, or even take a look at the superb Shadowrun Anarchy RPG.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Jonathan B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/19/2019 09:39:48

Shadowrun has been a favorite of mine for years and this edition is no exception. As with previous Shadowrun editions character creation really shines. You can really create the character you want to run and make it unique! The main problem is mechanics during actual play; kinda clunky. I would love to see a D20 version.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Jeff P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/11/2018 12:23:41

The setting is fantastic. But yikes, if this version is supposedly simpler than 4th edition.....I don't want to imagine what kind of a hot mess that edition must have been. I've looked at a fair number of systems, and compare to something "easy-ish" like 5th ed D&D this is a train wreck.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Josh W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/11/2018 12:19:17

Good product. Works well on my tablet for when I'm travelling and don't want to lug aroung the massive paper copy I have.

As far as the rulebook itself, it suffers from poor editing and organization and occasionally, poorly explained rules.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Martin B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/20/2018 15:45:49

TL/DR: Solid version of the game; hefty, well made pdf with lots of rules crunch.

First off, I've played Shadowrun since the 90s through most of the editions. 2nd was always my favorite, but I really, really like this version.

Second, if you're new to Shadowrun, the rules in every edition are complicated and a tad convoluted. The 5th edition core rulebook has around 400 pages of rules (the rest are neat little fluff pieces to introduce the setting, appendices, and indexes). And yes, like every version of Shadowrun, there's like five have-to-have supplements and another five or so good-to-have supplements. So, all in all, a lot of rules. To make the trip even more fun, as you read through, you probably won't understand most of these rules on your first read-through, and, in my opinion, it's a tough "jump-in" game (unlike, say, a d20 system), but this edition keeps the rules more streamlined and consistent than other editions.

Third, if you're interested in this edition, I think it's worth the $20 sale price, not the $60 cover. Also, I read some reviews that knocked the pdf quality. I prefer pdfs to hardcopies, and the edition that I downloaded reads well on both my surface and my laptop. For the reader on my android phone, the book shows up in a weird default zoom setting that's itty-bitty, but a quick double-tap, and it's perfectly readable and scrollable. The default bookmarks are ok, and the gynormous table of contents is fully hyperlinked. I have no qualms with the quality of the pdf, and the version I downloaded is fully updated with the most recent errata and copy-editing.

All in all, I think it’s a solid edition of Shadowrun. Is it worth moving on from 4th edition and re-investing $100 - $300? I don’t know – if you’re happy with those rules and the versions (hardcopy or pdf) you have of those books, then I can see why some wouldn’t update. However, if all you have are 2nd or 3rd edition books that are falling apart, and you’d really like a version that other people can easily get their hands on in either hardcopy or pdf form, then I think it’s worth the jump.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Simon S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/19/2017 15:45:40

No problem with the PDF on Android 7 or latest iOS. I use the built in PDF viewer in Dropbox without a problem. As much as I love the printed books, PDF is so much easier to search.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Thomas B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2017 23:12:10

the file was corrupted. If I recive a refund I many consider raising my reivew



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Ashlyn C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/12/2017 15:21:19

Completely worthless, won't open on mobile or tablet with either Adobe or Google pdf viewers. Won't ever be using drivethruRPG again.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Donald B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/10/2017 13:12:52

The rules were well organized and clearly written. I liked the examples and stories. I am very glad I have the PDF because it is over 500 pages. This is a complex rule system that can create a wide range of characters. I want more information about the Native American Nations and other political entities beyond the big 10 corporations. It would help me in developing character back stories. It would provide more motivation for developing ideas for campaigns.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by notKlaatu L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/02/2016 14:36:59

Shadowrun converted me from hating the cyberpunk genre to loving it, and loving especially Shadowrun for its originality and unique take on a technological wasteland combined with magick and fantasy. The 5th Edition is my first edition, so I have no history with the game to compare this to. Compared to other rulesets, I'll definitely say that this one is complex, but that's not necessarily a bad thing and, in fact, can be a really great thing if part of the reason you enjoy RPG is for stat management and rule parsing. I happen to enjoy that quite a lot, so the intricacy of the Sixth World and its rules is just a further excuse to keep exploring it.

My only complaint: I would love for this rulebook to be released as an epub. The PDF format is great for pre-press, but for everyday reading and reference, it's just too big and the text, of course, is not resizeable. There's a lot of information in this book, and while the book is very attractive and nicely designed, I'd much rather be able to just read the text, instead of zooming in on the pdf and scrolling around the screen to follow the columns. It makes a leisurely read-through difficult, and as a refernence book it's basically useless. Realistically, you're probably going to need to buy the physical book whether or not you own the PDF, because the PDF is just not convenient. An epub version would solve that, and while I have extracted all the text from this book in an effort to convert it to a hand-rolled epub, there's A LOT of text to deal with, and proofing it and fixing all the tables just isn't really worth my time. PDF is a horrible format for a digital lifestyle, and how ironic that a game about the tech elite should have no clue how to cater to modern technologists.

Aside from format issues, this is a great rulebook and a great game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sam B. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/18/2015 18:00:12

Amazing setting! However a little more editing would have gone a long way as a book that sets you back $60 for hard copy really shouldn't have as many spelling errors as this one has.

Also no one likes being told "more info on this in another book you can pay us for!!" Really, info on running your own host and other matrix stuff really ought to have been included in this book instead of Data Trails. It's fairly obnoxious something that fundamental to matrix play was left out.

Other than that, wonderful intro to an older setting that has been vigorously and wonderfully revived for a whole new generation! I'll raise a cup of soycaf to the designers for that!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Carl L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2015 11:25:02

I skipped around this book to see if some of the problems I had with 4th Ed. had been addressed. So when I came across the Gear section and saw how they had added even more tedious BS involving the PAN, including how you could change the color of some guns if they were inked to said PAN, honestly I put the tablet down and haven't looked at it since.

I did see something of how they added in benefits for Adepts having Totems, which has been a want for SR fans since 1st Ed., so good on them for that.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Mark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/24/2015 16:13:34

I do not like the SR5 core rulebook. It is poorly organized, poorly edited, assumes you already know Shadowrun, and is filled with esoteric rules and bolted on mechanics that are unnecessary in a core rulebook. This blog summarizes much of my dislike http://lookrobot.co.uk/2013/10/14/ten-things-hate-shadowrun/. A few of my favorites flaws are that to find out what happens when your condition monitor is full you need to look in the character creation rules instead of the combat/damage resolution rules, wireless rules are scattered about the matrix, rigger and equipment sections, and matrix programs add more complexity to an already arbitrarily complex set of custom rules for deckers.

I've never played SR4, but SR5 feels like a big step down from SR3.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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