New Shadowrun Rulebook Marks The Game’s 20th Anniversary

Geek Culture

Catalyst Game LabsCatalyst Game Labs

Catalyst Game Labs

Last year I reviewed the fantastic Shadowrun 4th Edition roleplaying game. The game posits that in 2012 the Mayan calendar resets, and magic returns to Earth. (FWIW, the calendar thing is also the topic of the new end-of-days movie 2012.) Combining cyberpunk cool with magic, Shadowrun has survived a long time while competing games fell by the wayside — twenty years, in fact.

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.

At the Gen Con game convention, which concluded last week, parent company Catalyst Game Labs released a fantastic new version of the core rulebook honoring the game’s twentieth anniversary.

While essentially the same book as the regular 4th Edition rulebook, the 20th anniversary tome is full color throughout and packs awesome new illustrations, twelve additional pieces of short fiction and a master index that covers all core rulebooks.

Catalyst offers six PDF excerpts of the book for those who want a taste:

* Welcome to the Shadows, which describes the game world

* A portion of the The skills chapter

* A sample of the aforementioned master index, indexing not only the new book but also core books Arsenal, Augmentation, Unwired, Runner’s Companion, and Street Magic

* Part of the magic chapter

* Fresh Meat, short fiction by Jennifer Harding

* An excerpt from the gear chapter

If you like what you see, be sure to pick up the print version on Amazon (it’s currently sold out on Catalyst’s online store) or pick up the PDF version if that’s your thing.

Not only is it a neat product for Shadowrun fans, but best of all, it’s completely backwards compatible with older 4th Edition rulebooks so other players aren’t obligated to buy one as well — unless they want glorious color and awesome new content!

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