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Shadowrun: Cutting Black (Plot Sourcebook) $22.99
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Zhivko Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/21/2020 11:54:39

This book is pretty much what Storm Front was for 4th edition - a wrap-up of some storylines from 5th edition and a setup for 6th edition. It would be logically better suited to be part of the 5th edition line, but a user somewhwere mentioned that the book was delayed, which is why it is coming up now. Being a plot book, it has minimum crunch, so don't have high expectations. The book could have gone through another editing pass as there are a few irritating things here and there, but it is fine when compared to recent Shadowrun releases.

My biggest issue with the book is structure, as a major event that is part of the first major story arc ("Detroit Rupture") is sent to its own chapter ("Ghost Army") after that arc wraps up, which makes the story confusing at first reading. Given that this separate chapter is a) not very good and b) relatively short, I really don't see the point why it wasn't simply inserted within the main story arc. Another issue I have is that the first story arc is repetitive (read: Chicago all over again, but at a lower scale). The resolution is still better, presented in the "Detroit Now" chapter, and I enjoyed reading that one. "Blackout" felt somewhat protracted and not terribly captivating. Still, since it sets up the next chapter, I guess it was necessary.

So here is the really good bit - the "UCrASh" chapter. It is probably the best one in the book and makes this book worth it. It brings a lot of changes to the metaplot (and national borders, though nothing world shattering) and it sets up a lot of future books and story hooks, as well as wraps some of those (hint: Seattle). There is also a new big player in global politics, only hinted in previous books, which was a pleasant surprise. The two follow-up sections, "Detroit Now" and "Atlanta Now" are also very good, and also provide a lot of potential storylines. "As the Dust Settles" is a good chapter, but I wished it was much bigger, as it finally deals with some parts of the world that haven't seen a lot of attention, like the UK, the Algonkian-Manitou Council and Quebec.

All in all, I gave the book 4 stars mostly because of the UCAS chapter and the two follow-ups. Still, it could have been much better. I bought it at full price because I guess I am too impatient, but if you are not terribly eager to catch up with the latest metaplot developments, you can wait for a discount. I don't believe it is a waste of your money, but again, it could have been much, much better.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Shadowrun: Cutting Black (Plot Sourcebook)
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