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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition) $59.99 $19.99
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.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
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