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Shadowrun 4th Edition: 20th Anniversary Limited Edition

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The year is 2072. Magic has returned and creatures of myth and legend walk among us as megacorps bleed the world dry. You're a shadowrunner - a deniable asset, a corporate pawn - using bleeding-edge science and magic to make your meat body and mind better-than-flesh. Stay on the edge, and you may survive another run on the mean sprawl streets. Shadowrun, Fourth Edition offe The year is 2072. Magic has returned and creatures of myth and legend walk among us as megacorps bleed the world dry. You're a shadowrunner - a deniable asset, a corporate pawn - using bleeding-edge science and magic to make your meat body and mind better-than-flesh. Stay on the edge, and you may survive another run on the mean sprawl streets. Shadowrun, Fourth Edition offers a completely new rules system that is simple, integrated, and accessible. The state-of-the-art has also been advanced, introducing a new level of augmented reality, new gear, and new magical discoveries. This full-color rulebook contains all the rules gamemasters and players need to create characters and ongoing adventures set in the popular Shadowrun universe. Celebrating over two decades of shadowrunning, Catalyst Game Labs is pleased to announce this limited edition of the Shadowrun Fourth Edition 20th Anniversary Core Rulebook. Limited to 1,500 copies, this special edition hardcover comes with a full-color, heavyweight slipcase, a leatherette cover with silver imprinting, two cloth bookmarks, and an 11" x 34" double-sided poster of the Seattle skyline - one side blue, the other red.


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The year is 2072. Magic has returned and creatures of myth and legend walk among us as megacorps bleed the world dry. You're a shadowrunner - a deniable asset, a corporate pawn - using bleeding-edge science and magic to make your meat body and mind better-than-flesh. Stay on the edge, and you may survive another run on the mean sprawl streets. Shadowrun, Fourth Edition offe The year is 2072. Magic has returned and creatures of myth and legend walk among us as megacorps bleed the world dry. You're a shadowrunner - a deniable asset, a corporate pawn - using bleeding-edge science and magic to make your meat body and mind better-than-flesh. Stay on the edge, and you may survive another run on the mean sprawl streets. Shadowrun, Fourth Edition offers a completely new rules system that is simple, integrated, and accessible. The state-of-the-art has also been advanced, introducing a new level of augmented reality, new gear, and new magical discoveries. This full-color rulebook contains all the rules gamemasters and players need to create characters and ongoing adventures set in the popular Shadowrun universe. Celebrating over two decades of shadowrunning, Catalyst Game Labs is pleased to announce this limited edition of the Shadowrun Fourth Edition 20th Anniversary Core Rulebook. Limited to 1,500 copies, this special edition hardcover comes with a full-color, heavyweight slipcase, a leatherette cover with silver imprinting, two cloth bookmarks, and an 11" x 34" double-sided poster of the Seattle skyline - one side blue, the other red.

30 review for Shadowrun 4th Edition: 20th Anniversary Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kirstin DeGeer

    While I have never owned any previous Shadowrun material and have only played a previous edition once long ago, I can tell that this edition rulebook is very comprehensive. It also seems to have an excellent layout that makes enough sense that I can generally figure out where to flip to without too many trips to the index. The book lays out the rich history of the Sixth World and imparts a pretty clear understanding of the rules (if only I could actually remember them). The anniversary edition i While I have never owned any previous Shadowrun material and have only played a previous edition once long ago, I can tell that this edition rulebook is very comprehensive. It also seems to have an excellent layout that makes enough sense that I can generally figure out where to flip to without too many trips to the index. The book lays out the rich history of the Sixth World and imparts a pretty clear understanding of the rules (if only I could actually remember them). The anniversary edition includes some good short stories that help set the mood. I often find rulebooks a difficult read, but this one was enjoyable.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I still remember the ads I saw in Dragon Magazine for Shadowrun. They made it sound like the coolest thing ever to middle-school-aged me, to the point where I built my conception of what a shadowrunner was using the class creation rules in the Dungeon Master's Guide. I only had what I saw in the ads, though, so it was a fighter/thief who killed people for money. I didn't understand the broad scope of the Shadowrun world or the William Gibson crossed with J.R.R. Tolkien appeal. Though truth be tol I still remember the ads I saw in Dragon Magazine for Shadowrun. They made it sound like the coolest thing ever to middle-school-aged me, to the point where I built my conception of what a shadowrunner was using the class creation rules in the Dungeon Master's Guide. I only had what I saw in the ads, though, so it was a fighter/thief who killed people for money. I didn't understand the broad scope of the Shadowrun world or the William Gibson crossed with J.R.R. Tolkien appeal. Though truth be told, that's not the beginning. The beginning was an office, a copy of Borderland thrown down on a desk, and the words, "I want elves on motorcycles." Don't we all. The first edition I played was 2nd edition, back when the Shadowrun metaplot was the most interesting, but mechanically it's not my favorite edition. That honor goes to this edition and all the changes it made. A fixed target number of 5 instead of variable target numbers. Bonuses and penalties from changing dice pools. A standardized Attribute + Skill method of building die pools to roll. It was much different than what came before and it upset a lot of people, but I didn't care because I had played a ton of Vampire: the Masquerade and Exalted, so making die pools that way and counting successes was as natural to me as breathing. That's the unified mechanic that drives Shadowrun 4e and powers all of its subsystems. And what subsystems there are. The main complaint about Shadowrun, and the reason that Shadowrun: Anarchy exists, is that Shadowrun is extraordinarily complex. At its core it's a heist game, so it's generally played as a group of competent professionals coming up with a plan to break into a secure facility. Shadowrun's approach is to detail all the individual parts of that heist, from the specific means to bypass the lock on the side door (Maglock passkey, rated 1 through 6), to the various nodes and programs in the virtual world of the Matrix that the team deckerhacker has to navigate to crack the security system and edit in the team as new guards, to the spells the mage casts to get past the tame hell hounds, to the individual types of ammo and guns the team uses when their meticulous plan goes to hell and they have to shoot their way out. The chapter on equipment, cybernetic enhancements, weaponry, vehicles, drones, and so on is almost 50 pages with charts galore. Whether your runner uses a Colt Manhunter or an Ares Predator is a decision with mechanical consequences. The 4e system is Attribute + Skill, plus or minus modifiers, but its in the modifiers that the devil lies. Which is to say, it's Shadowrun as it's always been. The fluff has changed quite a bit, though. Shadowrun was always rooted in 80s cyberpunk, and it became increasingly dated as time advanced forward, with one-kilogram brick cellphones and everything needing clunky wires. But after an overcomplicated event involving an AI, an apocalyptic cult wanting to bring about Ragnarok, and a megacorporation's IPO destroys the Matrix, it's rebuilt as the new Matrix. Sleeker. Omnipresent. And wireless. On the one hand, this is a great idea. "The Decker Problem" is well known among Shadowrun players, in that the decker was in the Matrix playing essentially an entirely separate game from the rest of the team, and it was a sometime practice to just run the decker's part of the adventure separately and then bring the group together for the main run, or ban PC deckers entirely. Replacing them with hackers who can tap into the wireless Matrix opens up a ton of new options for PCs interacting with the Matrix while traveling as a group. Get the hacker to the door so they can open it while under fire? Hack the cameras on the fly? Hack the enemies' guns and force them to eject the clips? All options! It does require some suspension of disbelief in deference to genre conventions, though. Why does the guard's gun even have wireless capability if that makes it hackable? Why is the door accessible though even an internal network? With the modern Internet of Things and the massive security holes it contains it's not as unbelievable as it once was, but the GM will probably want to have an answer available if the players ask why all these obvious security holes haven't been closed. A casualty of the standardization is magical traditions. Previously, mages and shamans cast the same spells but were otherwise very different, summoning different spirits in different ways, and shamans had totems whereas mages did not. Now all magicians are the same other than the attributes they use to resist Drain. It's a pity, since it added flavor to the world that a magician's worldview affected their practice of magic. Despite those small quibbles, this is my favorite edition of the game.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elton

    Shadowrun 4th Edition, 20th Anniversary. I was 14 when this game came out, 2 years into learning Dungeons and Dragons, the one game that challenged what I thought about fantasy RPGs changed everything. 20 years after, the fourth edition of the game came out. For the purposes of the review, one needs to understand where was one is coming from. In 1989, there was a group of Science Fiction pioneered by Philip K. Dick and William Gibson. The idea is high computer and biotech technology and a bleak f Shadowrun 4th Edition, 20th Anniversary. I was 14 when this game came out, 2 years into learning Dungeons and Dragons, the one game that challenged what I thought about fantasy RPGs changed everything. 20 years after, the fourth edition of the game came out. For the purposes of the review, one needs to understand where was one is coming from. In 1989, there was a group of Science Fiction pioneered by Philip K. Dick and William Gibson. The idea is high computer and biotech technology and a bleak future. In this fiction, you can get style and chrome, and also in this fiction, you can get new organs. It's a future were being a criminal is where the freedom is. Most people slave their lives for what they want, and spend their time enslaved to corporations. Criminals have all the freedom -- freedom from the Government, freedom from big brother, and freedom from social pressure. The sub genre of science fiction is called Cyberpunk. This was glorified in the movie [i]Bladerunner[/i] in 1982. A movie that struck a young novelist named William Gibson with it's profound, gritty world. He was writing Neuromancer at the time, and he saw it how Bladerunner brought the world he was envisioning. Soon after Neuromancer came out, Cyberpunk 2015 from R. Talisorian Games, and GURPS Cyberpunk came out. Then Iron Crown Enterprises came out with their own Cyberpunk RPG. Then came Shadowrun. The man who made it must have been a D&D player and a Tolkien Fan. Nevertheless, he designed his own Cyberpunk RPG called Shadowrun, and it is a what if. What if the magical world is sleeping and it awakened at the end of the Mayan Long count (2012)? What if we added Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, and Trolls to the mix of humans? What would we get? The result is the Cyberpunk Fantasy RPG [i]Shadowrun[/i]. This game challenges everything you know about D&D. There are deckers, mercenaries, street samurai, riggers, medics, and magicians. The World is controlled by corporations rather than governments. And Magic -- with dragons and other magical creatures -- have returned to the world. In this backdrop, players play Shadowrunners -- criminals who have slipped through the system. And it makes for exciting game play. FASA Corporation published the game back in 1989, but things changed in 1992. I started with 2nd Edition, which didn't have much to change from the first. The game is still exciting to play, and through the years, it changed hands. Now Topps Card Company and Microsoft jointly hold the rights to Shadowrun. Catalyst Game Labs now makes the tabletop RPG for Topps. The tabletop game is currently in it's 5th edition, but this is the fourth edition of the game. The game introduces the following concepts: Shadowrun relies on a Build Point system -- much like GURPS does. -- The only thing definite to choose is your race. -- There are no classes. An RPG like this one doesn't need them. -- You can create any character you like, just know that there are limits. -- A good Shadowun team relies on characters filling the following rolls: the Face (think A-Team conman and scrounge, Faceman), a weapons expert, a magician, a hacker, and a rigger. -- You use hexagonal dice, or craps dice, to play Shadowrun. The number of dice you roll is based on adding your rating in a skill with your rating in the corresponding attribute. The most dice you can roll is ostensibly six, but it can be higher. -- The GM can adjust the lethality of Combat. From the dark and grittiness of realistic combat to the high antics of toon or anime. -- If you buy Cyberware and have it installed, it reduces your Essence. This means that there is a metaphysical limit as to how much metal and chrome you can put into your body. If you go over the limit, you might have problems. One of this is Cyberpsychosis -- a condition where you are so out of touch with reality you go into manic episodes of violence. Reducing your essence also affects your magic rating, at least in prior editions. -- Any one Magician can cast any spell, from healing to combat, but the game has put a limit on Magic. One of these is teleportation, the other is time travel. -- In the core book, Magicians come in two flavors: a Hermetic Magician and the Shaman. A Hermetic Magician takes a clinical, scientific approach to magic. A Shaman takes a holistic approach. With the addition of [i]Street Magic[/i], you have added flavors -- or traditions -- of magicians. -- There are Hackers and then there are Technomancers. Hackers use technology to navigate the Matrix -- which in 2050 was the new version of the Internet. In 2070, the Matrix 2.0 had become wireless. Hackers use technology, while Technomancers can navigate the Matrix using their consciousness. -- Magical creatures have come back. Again, there is a mixture of the Gothic Horror and the Wonderful beliefs of beasts from yesteryear. Dragons, are of course, the most powerful of these and come in different flavors as well. The Western Dragon is all those dragons we are familiar with. Then the Eastern Dragon, the Feathered Serpent, the Sirrush, and finally leviathans (sea dragons). -- the book ends with the gear you can purchase and how the world of Shadows work. Conclusion: I can't reveal the history of the universe, that is covered in the first part of the book. But for an alternate world (its the 6th World), its a game that covers the exciting world of Shadowrun. Of the two latest versions of the game, I recommend buying 4th Edition. The 5th is great, but there is little changes in the rules; plus the 5th has too many rules for a rookie new to Shadowrun to start out with according to the game's concept. For a rookie Shadowrun GM, I recommend picking up the 4th Edition and then getting the 5th Edition.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gary Pilkington

    The 20th anniversary edition is my fav of this particular game. I know a number of groups that use 5th edition, but I'm not a fan. This particular version is relatively easy to understand and use. While I prefer a less 'fantastic' version of the Cyberpunk genre, this particular game is a good introduction for people who love a bit of fantasy mixed in with their SciFi. Recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    An excellent edition of a complicated game, but wrapped in a book that is barely accessible to people who have been.playing for years. Shadowrun is a great game with a lot going on: cyberpunk, fantasy, political conspiracy, and the occasional flat-out weird thing. The book is outstanding as a reference manual, but using it to introduce someone to the game would be like trying to teach history with a copy of Burke's Peerage.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Yocom

    A combination of cyberpunk and fantasy, Shadowrun creates a unique world for role-playing. I played this game years ago. That group broke up as jobs moved people away. It was fun being able to pull a new edition that was sell written and updated for the game world and the real world. I was able to write a review for Utah Geek Magazine, which I then posted on my own blog, [email protected]

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Piedra

    Really well done guide. Most Player's Handbooks just list information in neat charts which makes it difficult to read/understand. Well placed stories and entries make this almost seem like a book with a gaming system that is developed alongside. I cannot wait to actually play a Shadowrun game one day.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Astralnature

    Great universe. Absolutely WORST rule book ever written in the existance of RPG rulebooks. But still an good system to play, IF you can figure it out. Basically find some poor shmuck like me who for some idiotic reason decided they HAD to read the rulebooks for their friends and get THEM to help you because you will NEVER find or figure out any of the important rules otherwise.

  9. 5 out of 5

    david roberson

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bugmaster

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dax

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Oriley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ian

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary ~*Sweary McCoffeehound*~

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jay Harmston

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  19. 4 out of 5

    Phillip

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maria Spalding

  21. 4 out of 5

    César Sánchez

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  23. 5 out of 5

    Johnny Dunlap

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michael Manthey

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

  26. 5 out of 5

    selena gomezzz

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Schwager

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joey

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephen M. Weber

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tim Razler

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