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Urban Shadows $19.99 $11.99
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Urban Shadows
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Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Alejandro V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2019 20:09:41

While other games in the genre feel more like "dark superhero games", Urban Shadows brings the political tension of Powered by the Apocalypse to supernatural fantasy.

Urban Shadows really makes use of its base engine to hone in on the tension of horror and the political landscape. The system is easy to learn, and has a gritty feel in its combat and consequences. Lastly, the PBTA mechanics help you create a living city with interesting characters and lore behind each of the different supernatural factions.

By far the BEST feature has to be the "Corruption" mechanic, which summed up simply is a double edged sword that gives the players access to very powerful moves all while nudging them down the spiral into becoming irredeemable monsters. This really captures the inner drama that many other games seek to emulate but mostly often overshadow with action and power fantasies.

The newly added Debt system is hit or miss. While its integral to the games leveling system, the amount of use it gets really depends how antagonistic your players are with each other. A competitive group will constantly badger each other for favors, while a group who actually enjoys working together might find their characters are progressing slowly by comparison.

Overall however, the games mechanics are too good to be overlooked, and I strongly recommend anyone looking for a narrative modern system to pick this up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Nick H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2019 07:53:41

I'd picked this off the shelf of my local games emporium in London multiple times. It called out to me. Finally I grabbed the PDF and discovered that it was a superbly written dark urban fantasy game that played out with as much or as little grit as you wanted...from Buffy-eque fun to darker, deeper politically driven opus's. It appealed to the D'n'D heads as it does fantasy but with a refreshingly real-world twist, and to the Palladium heads as it can escalate to gonzo, and to the Monsterheart emo's as it allows for personal interplay and emotive play...in fact it thrives on it.

The winning streak here is it's soooo flexible and so evocative that it draws you in if the thought of rain soaked streets and dark alleys makes you grin. I boght the book in the end as it's beautifully presented too and is a pleasure just to read.

One thing I must say is that this is modern gaming for modern mentalities. I've seen at least two negative reviews here which I cannot fathom the angle of. They speak of agendas hidden in the game. I've read and played this game repeatedly and just cannot understand where this is coming from. I'm going to go out on a limb and take it that it's the liberal urban viewpoint (this is very London/NYC/Lisbon-esque) somehow jars with them. The game deals with enclaves of minorities and threatened peoples fighting for their worlds against the odds and a system stacked against them. This appears to upset people. I'd ingore them, this is not a US-cenric game (YAY!!) and can be reskinned to anywhere really!

Bottom line: fun, imaginative, exhilerating, deep but quick, and inspiring. Get it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/13/2019 14:43:09

The following review was originally published in Mephisto 69 and translated from German (find orignal German review below). More reviews can be found in the Mephisto 69 Online Add-On (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/261389/Mephisto-69-Online-AddOn).

Urban Shadows

Urban Shadows could briefly be described as the role-playing game that results when you combine the World of Darkness with the rules of Powered by the Apocalypse. The setting revolves around a supernatural world lurking behind the facade of a modern metropolis. Vampires, magicians, occultists, hunters and others who get entangled in intrigues and open fights.

The ten archetypes can be divided into four large groups: Mortality, Night, Power and Wild. Mortality are people who have come into contact with the supernatural. Night includes the typical monsters like vampires, werewolves or ghosts. Power is the group of people with special abilities like oracles or magicians. Wild is the name of fairy creatures and demonic powers. Of course the different archetypes have their special abilities, which are illustrated by moves and special rules. The archetypes are relatively broadly arranged, and many details are left to the individual gaming group - in particular myths or stories of origin of these creatures or further backgrounds remain deliberately open.

Besides the standard moves there are special classes of moves. The Intimacy Moves come into play when two characters come close to each other. For example, the wolf builds a bond, through which he always knows where the other character is for a while. Often these moves have a price for one or both sides. Then there are the Corruption Moves, with which a character can play out his special abilities the hard way. This also corrupts him and makes him more and more an uncontrollable monster. Corruption Moves are good to live out the special nature of the character, but always carry the risk of losing control. There are also the End Moves, which are used when a character dies.

Debts are a central rule element. Urban Shadows is about who owes whom a favor. Not only does this already play a role in the character creation, but especially in the game the collection of favors, their exchange and of course the collection is covered by rules. Thus, a character who owes a favor to another character has a certain power over them. Of course, you can resist this situation, but that also has consequences.

The position of the characters within the four different factions also plays a role. These factions don't form fixed power blocks, but it does matter how the characters are viewed by them. Of course, there is also potential for conflict between the players. Complex situations in which the loyalties come into conflict are an important plotter element.

For the gamemaster, the focus is on building stories or mini-campaigns called storms. They are a roughly described threat that players have to deal with, and they are free enough to claim that the game should follow the ideas of the players.

Urban Shadows is a truly engaging PbtA-based role-playing game in a modern world full of monsters, intrigues and threats. From my point of view a big advantage is that the details of the game world are left to the gamemaster and players. For players who want to play a world full of monsters based on the rules of Powered by the Apocalypse, Urban Shadows is a must.

Deutsche Version

Urban Shadows könnte man kurz als das Rollenspiel bezeichnen, das herauskommt, wenn man die Welt der Dunkelheit mit den Regeln von Powered by the Apocalypse kreuzt. Das Setting dreht sich um eine übernatürliche Welt, die hinter der Fassade einer modernen Großstadt lauert. Hier tummeln sich Vampire, Magier, Okkultisten, Jäger und andere, die sich in Intrigen und offene Kämpfe verstricken.

Die zehn Archetypen lassen sich vier großen Gruppen zuordnen: Mortality, Night, Power und Wild. Mortality sind Menschen, die mit dem Übernatürlichen in Berührung gekommen sind. Night umfasst die typischen Monster wie Vampire, Werwölfe oder Geister. Power ist die Gruppe der Menschen mit besonderen Fähigkeiten wie Orakel oder Magier. Hinter Wild verbergen sich Feenwesen und dämonische Mächte. Natürlich haben die verschiedenen Archetypen ihre besonderen Fähigkeiten, die über Moves und Sonderregeln abgebildet werden. Dabei sind die Archetypen relativ breit aufgestellt, und viele Details sind der individuellen Spielrunde überlassen – insbesondere Mythen oder Entstehungsgeschichten dieser Wesen oder weitere Hintergründe bleiben bewusst offen.

Bei den Moves gibt es neben den Standards besondere Klassen von Moves. Die Intimacy Moves kommen dann zum Zuge, wenn sich zwei Charaktere nahe kommen. So baut z.B. so der Wolf eine Bindung auf, durch die er eine Zeit lang immer weiß, wo der andere Charakter sich aufhält. Oftmals haben diese Moves einen Preis für eine oder beide Seiten. Dann gibt es die Corruption Moves, mit denen ein Charakter quasi auf die harte Tour seine besonderen Fähigkeiten ausspielen kann. Das korrumpiert ihn aber auch und lässt ihn immer mehr zum unkontrollierbaren Monster werden. Corruption Moves sind gut, um die besondere Natur des Charakters auszuleben, bergen aber immer das Risiko des Kontrollverlusts. Außerdem gibt es noch die End Moves, die dann zum Einsatz kommen, wenn ein Charakter stirbt.

Ein zentrales Regelelement sind die Gefallen (Debts). Urban Shadows dreht sich darum, wer wem einen Gefallen schuldet. Nicht nur spielt dies schon bei der Charaktererschaffung eine Rolle, sondern gerade im Spiel wird das Sammeln von Gefallen, deren Tausch und natürlich das Einfordern regeltechnisch abgedeckt. So hat ein Charakter, dem ein andere Spielfigur einen Gefallen schuldet, eine gewisse Macht über diese. Natürlich kann man sich in dieser Situation widersetzen, doch auch das hat Auswirkungen. Auch die Stellung der Charaktere innerhalb der vier verschiedenen Gruppierungen spielt eine Rolle. Diese Gruppen bilden zwar keine festen, in sich einigen Machtblöcke, aber es spielt eine Rolle, wie die Charaktere bei ihnen angesehen sind. Natürlich ist hier bewusst Konfliktpotenzial auch zwischen den Spielern vorgesehen. Komplexe Situationen, in denen die Loyalitäten in Konflikt geraten, sind ein wichtiges Plotelement.

Für den Spielleiter im Fokus steht der Aufbau von Geschichten bzw. Minikampagnen, die als Storms bezeichnet werden. Sie bilden eine grob beschriebene Bedrohung, mit der sich die Spieler auseinandersetzen, und sind frei genug gefasst, um dem Anspruch gerecht zu werden, dass das Spiel den Ideen der Spieler folgen soll.

Urban Shadows ist ein wirklich gelungenes Rollenspiel auf PbtA-Basis in einer modernen Welt voller Monster, Intrigen und Bedrohungen. Aus meiner Sicht ein großer Vorteil ist hier, dass die Details der Spielwelt Spielleiter und Spielern überlassen werden. Für Spieler, die einmal eine Welt voller Monster anhand der Regeln von Powered by the Apocalypse spielen wollen, ist Urban Shadows eine unbedingte Empfehlung. bl n

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Arthur W. L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2019 14:47:19

Originally published on my blog: https://www.wharthur.com/single-post/2019/01/27/Urban-Shadows-Review

I should start with how I got into the game. Like most people who got into tabletop RPGs, I started with D&D. I always have a soft spot for urban fantasy settings, more so than the high fantasy setting of D&D. Fast forward to free RPG day, and a friend of mine was running Monsterhearts. I instantly fell in love with the Powered by the Apocalypse system, especially with the character sheets/playbooks. One of my pet peeves of D&D is the unwieldiness of character creation. Things are never in just one place, and I have to flip through the player’s handbook multiple times and copy paragraphs onto my character sheet. (While the DM can hand out pregens, I find it detracts a lot from the role-playing experience.) In PbtA, there is usually a two-page playbook that each player goes through, ticking boxes and answering questions. While Monsterhearts is a great game, I prefer a game with less PvP and sexual content. (While I still haven’t read it properly, I know Monsterhearts has a really good section on consent and setting boundaries, but that is a discussion for another time.) After some searching, I found Urban Shadows (written by Andrew Medeiros and Mark Diaz Truman, and published by Magpie Games), which has everything I wanted, a more PvE focus, and the sex moves are replaced with intimacy moves. I read through the book and ran a number games, and every Urban Shadows game I ran had been a blast.

Mechanics

I guess I should go through the mechanics of Urban Shadows, which is similar to other PbtA games. Urban Shadows has narratively driven mechanics, rather than one focused on simulation. You makes moves in the game, which usually has the variation of “If you do a certain thing in the story, roll 2d6 plus a stat. It is a hit on a 7+, and you choose from one of the following options. The results are more favourable if you roll a 10+.” There are 4 stats in the game; Blood is for both fighting and running away; Heart is one’s charisma and passion; Mind is intelligence and wisdom rolled into one; Spirit represents a character’s connection to the supernatural. I have a minor gripe with stats in PbtA game, and I will talk more about it later. The wonderful thing about PbtA is that the MC (Master of Ceremonies) never have to roll dice. I love the simplicity of it, and it is just one less thing for the MC to worry about, so they can focus on the story instead.

Aside from the standard moves, there are moves that deal with social aspects of the game, including the aforementioned intimacy moves, debt moves and faction moves. Your deal out debts in character generation, either between player characters, or between PC and NPC. A player’s action in the game can either make them more indebted or they can hold new debts on other characters. The advantage of it is two-fold. The PC-PC debts bring the PCs together. They are not random characters who just met in a pub, but they have histories with each other, and those histories have a mechanical significance in the game. The PC-NPC debts serve a similar purpose, making the NPCs more “real” to the story and giving them influence over the PCs. In Urban Shadows, the PCs “level-up” by interacting with various factions. There are 4 factions in the game; Mortality for characters that are mostly human; Night for your typical monsters of the night, such as vampires and werewolves; Power for Illuminati-ish individuals who want control of the city for themselves; Wild for beings who came from, or draw power from places beyond. The beauty with the whole faction mechanics is that it encourages the players to populate the city with interesting NPCs. Yes, in Urban Shadows, the players have as much initiative in creating the world and its inhabitants as the MC. The MC does not have to prepare a bunch of NPCs in advance.

Another two mechanics I want to talk about are corruption and end moves. Every PC has a corruption track, and they are taken out of the game when it gets filled up. You gain corruption by choosing certain options in the basic moves, by meeting certain playbook specific criterion, or by using your corruption powers. You may think it is just a bad thing, but no, since you also unlock more corruption powers as your track advances. The PCs can succumb to their darker nature to gain more power and risk losing themselves to the dark side, or they can control themselves and suppress the beast within. People tend to see character death as a negative thing, and it should not be. (Well, unless a PC dies at the beginning of a session and the player has nothing to do for the next few hours.) Like other games, PCs in Urban Shadows can be taken out of the game via injury, as well as through corruption. When a PC gets taken out of the game, they have access to their end move. The end moves have powerful effects specific to the playbook, and they can be a heroic sacrifice to bring one’s allies closer to victory, or a vengeful curse to bring down those who wronged them. When a PC dies in Urban Shadows, they have a lasting impact on the world instead of just fizzle out of existence (and they can even come back as a threat if they were lost to the dark side).

Prep-less and Player Centric

Another thing I love about Urban Shadows is that a MC does not have to prepare anything prior to the game (other than knowing the rules). I just give players a map of the local city, and have them reference points of interest on the map. I do not prepare any plot nor create any antagonists beforehand. There is a session start move in the game, which requires each player to provide a rumour of what is happening in the city. I then combine the rumours with the character backgrounds to form multiple threats that are inter-linked. Coming from D&D, I was really worried about not having a pre-made adventure ready for my first Urban Shadow game, but everything worked out in the end. Some people are put off when I told them character creation takes an hour to an hour and a half for a one-shot, but character creation in Urban Shadows is not a solitary activity. Answering individual background questions only takes ten to fifteen minutes, and most of the time is spent divvying out debts. Each playbook has three debts to assign (either those they owe or own), and the players work together to find out how best to distribute them. In the process, everyone has an understanding of everything else’s character, and a camaraderie (as well as rivalry and sometimes animosity) is formed between the PCs. (For the record, none of the players complained that character creation took too long. Only some random haters on the internet.) One of the PbtA philosophies is “play to see what happens”, and I embrace it in my Urban Shadow games; every game I run is unique because I use my players’ ideas instead of forcing mine onto them.

Playbooks

I said in the beginning how the playbooks drew me into PbtA. Urban Shadows has one of the best PbtA playbooks in my opinion. Each playbook can be printed onto a single piece of paper, double sided, and folds into a three-column leaflet. The whole thing is in black and white, with amazing black and white character portraits that portray the grittiness of the setting (and prints very well on a printer). Every section is well organised and I do not have to flip back and forth in order to fill in the stats (looking at you here, Monster of the Week). I just love the design of the playbooks so much.

Themes, Setting and How I Run the Game

I guess I still have not actually described the setting nor theme of the game. Urban Shadows is an urban fantasy RPG, where the world we live in is actually inhabited by supernatural monsters that vie for control of the city. Since I mainly run one-shots, the game is often fast paced and action packed. At the start of the game, the PCs would be going on with their normal lives, but they are interrupted by the villains’ machination. Sometimes, the characters choose to fight the goons head on. Other times, they talk their way though or run away. In the process, they learn more about who the villains are, and what they hope to gain before a final confrontation. One of the MC principle I love in Urban Shadows is “Push the characters together, even across boundaries”. (What I do not understand is how some other PbtA games want the MC to split up the party.) As I mentioned earlier, I have already created inter-linked threats that concern more than one PCs. I would further nudge the PCs so that they would face the threats together, even if they have previously parted ways. (It is kinda like the Avengers reconvening in New York to fight Loki.) Sometimes, I think my way of running the game may not be as dark and as political as the authors have intended, but the table always have fun.

Minor Gripes

While I love Urban Shadows, I still have some minor gripes with it. The game itself is US-centric. Even though there is the Dark Streets supplement that contains advice for running games in different cities across the world, the core rules are not changed by it. The major thing that sticks out is how prevalent guns are in the playbooks, as well as the big freaking swords. (I am not sure if you can carry a katana openly in New York for that matter.) I wish there are less firearm options and more concealed weapons as choices for the characters’ gears, so it would be more plausible for them to blend in UK cities (and other non-US cities across the world). The other gripe I have is on the stats, which also applies to other PbtA games. In the games I run, there is sometimes that one power gamer who complains they cannot use their best stat on a move. While I would tell them to focus on the narrative rather than the mechanics, I can understand some of their frustrations. The names of the stats in PbtA are more abstract compared to traditional RPGs, which made it harder to gauge which stat to choose for the character they envisioned. I think many PbtA games would be better with stats that say what it is on the tin.

Overall, I cannot express how much I love Urban Shadows and how much I enjoy running it. I would recommend everyone into tabletop RPG and urban fantasy to give it a go.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by jeremy g. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2018 00:43:54

Paid for an urban themed RPG with fantasy elements. Got a smattering of roleplaying elements and plenty of unsolicited political posturing. There are echoes of World of Darkness, but the gothic angst has been replaced by whining agendas.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Skip O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2017 13:00:57

Whoa.

I have never seen an RPG push a political agenda as hard as Urban Shadows. Oh, there have been hints of political agenda in other RPGs, but whatever, that never stopped me before. Urban Shadows takes all of those other RPGs combined and doubles down, hard. And the thing is, I consider myself a liberal, so you’d think it would jive with me. But nobody likes being preached to, especially when it’s so thinly veiled in the case of US. Seriously, I am embarrassed to show this RPG off to other people, both veterans and novices to RPGs, because a lot of the wordage makes US come across as less of a game and more of a political manifesto. As it stands, I’ve been directing players to just ignore any and all advice and fluff sections and focus entirely on how to make rolls.

I like the core idea of US – a modern urban fantasy setting. I don’t like what US turns my gaming hobby into, that being a vehicle for a specific political agenda, even if it’s one that I might agree with. Because of that, I can’t recommend this game.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/22/2016 07:50:27

Urban Shadows is a grand attempt at making an urban fantasy / dark fantasy / World of Darkness game with the Powered By the Apocalypse engine. The social and political ties and consequences feel real and heavy. The enviroment (a dark, living city) also feels real, moving behind nearly every move and character. If you love Apocalypse World, Monster of the Week or Monster Hearts and want to take that game to the next level of complexity and political-maneuvering, this is the system for you.

All that being said, this game is very move-heavy. There are moves for every character, playbook moves for each different "class," story moves, and faction moves. The story moves a few and infrequent, but it's still a lot to remember and even muddle through, especially if your players are new to gaming or used to a game like Dungeon World or Monster Hearts. I would recommend this game if you are really into the Powered By the Apocalypse game engine, indie games, or dark fantasy titles. If you're looking for your FIRST PbtA or dark fantasy game, I would probably recommend Monster Hearts first.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Fraser S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/11/2016 16:29:49

Urban Shadows is a tremendously good vehicle for urban fantasy. It has mechanics that dribe the players and the NPCs together, focusing on interpersonal dynmaics rather than the sometimes minutia of barter and goods that can happen in the genre. It's highly quality, well written and includes tons of examples. There's a long play example to add even more clarity as well as the narrative examples sprinkled without. Very impressed with the quality and price point, love the game and hope to see more from the publisher. Loved finding a very active community for the game on G+, a very helpful resource in which the publisher responds very quickly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Alan S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/08/2016 09:26:35

I really wanted to like this game. As a fan of the good old World of Darkness and lover of drama and easy systems, I loved the idea of a quick and easy approach to those types of characters especially with some story balance included...but Cest la voie. The Vamp is the main thing I have a problem with but unfortunately as the iconic character type of the genre it is the crumbling corner stone that brings down the entire edifice for me. To sum it up the creators tried to make the game a deconstructionist metaphor for social interaction rather than a dramatic tale of monsters and monster hunters. The Vamp has almost no vampire abilities but lots of vague social manipulation abilities, no shape shifting, no mind control, no supernatural fortitude. Some of the other characters by contrast are perfect with gobs of iconic stuff Weakend by silver ect. Anyways. It ruined everything for me and I have no desire to play or run it as a result. I dont think this degree deconstructionism is a valid approach to rpgs or much for fiction. It is frequently taken too far and often ruins the gravitas of a story in fiction, and in RPGs.... Lets just say I wish I had my money back. "its a metaphor" is not sufficient excuse for why your game is running with a gaping hole in its tire. Other good aspects give it a 2 instead of a 1 but they are just not enough to warrent playing this little "experement".



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/05/2016 14:36:26

Urban Shadows ist ein politisches Urban Fantasy Setting, geschrieben von Andrew Medeiros und Mark Diaz Truman, das von Serien und Romanreihen wie Supernatural, True Blood und Dresden Files inspiriert wurde.

Vier Fraktionen ringen in einer von der Spielrunde gemeinsam gestalteten Stadt um weltliche und übernatürliche Macht: Sterbliche versuchen sich gemeinsam gegen Monster zu behaupten, deren Absonderlichkeit sie kaum begreifen. Die Fraktion der Macht umfasst Menschen mit übernatürlichen Fähigkeiten wie Magier oder Medien, die durch ihren bloßen Willen die Realität verändern können. Kreaturen der Nacht sind die Monster, welche die Straße der Stadt unsicher machen – Vampire, Werwölfe, Geister. Schließlich gibt es noch die Fraktion der Wilden, die verschiedene ausgestoßene Kreaturen umfasst wie Feen aus Arcadia oder Menschen, die ihre Seele einem Dämon verkauft haben. Jeder Charakter beginnt das Spiel als Teil einer der vier Fraktionen, kann diese aber im Laufe des Spiels verlassen und Teil einer anderen Fraktion werden.

Eine interessante neue Mechanik ist Korruption. Die Korruptionsleiste spiegelt wider, wie häufig ein Charakter seiner dunklen Natur nachgibt oder sich dunklen Mächten öffnet, um an mehr Macht zu gelangen. Jedes Playbook verfügt über einige Korruptions-Moves, die es den Charakteren ermöglichen, recht schnell recht viel Macht zu erlangen. Wen ein Magier beispielsweise schwarze Magie nutzt, ein Vampir problemlos einen Sterblichen jagt oder ein Sterblicher selbst übernatürliche Kräfte erwirbt, um im großen politischen Spiel eine Chance zu haben, schreitet ihre Korruption weiter voran. Je mehr Korruption ein Charakter angesammelt hat, desto mächtigere Möglichkeiten stehen ihm zur Verfügung, aber desto eher wird er auch zu einem Teil des echten Bösen, das in der Stadt lauert.

Darüber hinaus haben die Autoren das Beziehungssystem weiter ausdefiniert und zu einem noch zentraleren Bestandteil des Spiels gemacht. Beziehungen werden in Urban Shadows durch Schulden definiert, die jeder Charakter bei anderen Charakteren und Fraktionen hat. Diese Schulden können beispielsweise genutzt werden, um Würfelwürfe zu verbessern, Antworten zu bekommen oder Gefallen einzufordern. An das Schuldensystem sind verschiedene Moves gebunden, die abbilden, dass eine Schuld eingefordert wird, dass sich jemand weigert, eine Schuld zu begleichen, dass ein Gefallen getan wird oder dass jemand in einer Auseinandersetzung einen Namen fallen lässt. Das Schuldensystem passt sehr schön zu den korrupten, intriganten Ränkespielen der Fraktionen und ich bin sehr neugierig darauf, wie sie sich im Spiel machen.

Fazit: Politisches Intrigenspiel in der Welt des Übernatürlichen

Mir gefällt die Idee von Urban Shadows gut, auch wenn sie mich nicht so begeistert wie die anderen PbtA-Systeme. Das liegt vor allem daran, dass in den literarischen Vorlagen meist Teile einer Fraktion – also Jäger, Magier, Vampire – gemeinsam gegen die Anhänger anderer Fraktionen vorgehen und dabei in Intrigen und Korruption verwickelt werden. In Supernatural lassen sich die Winchester-Brüder natürlich immer wieder auf einen Handel mit dem buchstäblichen Teufel ein und haben zweifelhafte Verbündete an ihrer Seite; im Zentrum der Geschichte steht aber immer der gemeinsame Kampf der Jäger gegen eine monströse Bedrohung. In Dresden Files gibt es Werwolfs-Gangs und Feenhöfe, im Zentrum stehen aber immer Harry Dresdens Ermittlungen und damit nur die Ausschnitte, welche der Protagonist von diesen Welten wahrnimmt. Ich bin mir nicht sicher, wie sich eine solche Geschichte stattdessen mit mehreren Protagonisten und damit mehreren Einzelinteressen spielt. Da ich Urban Shadows aber bislang noch nicht selbst ausprobiert habe, kann ich dazu noch kein fundiertes Urteil fassen. Es wird aber sicherlich schwieriger als bei anderen PbtA-Settings sein, gleich von Anfang an einen gemeinsamen Vorstellungsraum zu entwickeln.

Sehr gut gefällt mir der Korruptions-Mechanismus, der vor allen den von Anfang an weniger Korrumpierten – den Sterblichen und menschlichen Magiern – Gelegenheit gibt, in eine düstere Spirale von Macht, Verführung und Verzweiflung zu stürzen. Ich kann mir vorstellen, dass dadurch eine schöne spieltechnische Balance zwischen den verschiedenen Gruppierungen geschaffen wird. Ein Vampir, der seiner Blutlust nachgibt, ist schließlich weniger dramatisch als ein alter, idealistischer Jäger, der nach Jahren doch einen Handel mit einem Dämon eingeht, um seine Liebsten zu retten.

http://wp.me/p1Hoys-6Ro



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Noel W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/14/2016 13:58:48

Without a doubt, Urban Shadows is my favorite Powered by the Apocalypse game out there (besides the original). The mechanics are brilliant, with Corruption in particular reinforcing the themes of giving in to one's darker self so prevalent in urban fantasy, and it contains some of the best running-the-game advice out there. Highly recommended for fans of the Dresden Files, PbtA games, and good games in general!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Shaun N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2015 00:37:15

Great book, very well refined and written rules with lots of really good advise. It seems the team has taken all of the learnings from the years of Apocalypse World hacks and combined it into a single source on how to run the game well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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