Shadowrun: Anarchy

I first heard about Shadowrun: Anarchy a month before Gen Con 2016 when I joked about a rules-light Shadowrun on Twitter. I was shocked to discover there as such a thing nearly ready for publication. Shadowrun: Anarchy is a roleplaying game that is based on the system Catalyst Game Labs used in their Valiant Universe (Comic Book) and Cosmic Patrol roleplaying games. A 48-page “prototype” version was available for purchase at Gen Con and the full 218-page pdf went on sale just recently.

I’m debating running Shadowrun: Anarchy or The Sprawl next time I run a Shadowrun-like game. This post, I’m laying out my take on Shadowrun: Anarchy.

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The Next Shadowrun Game

I love Shadowrun.

See, there was an illustration of an elf hanging off a helicopter’s skids. The elf was shooting a submachine gun at someone. The guy looking at this illustration – Jordan Wiseman, if I recall correctly — said, “I want a game where I do that.” And Shadowrun was born.

That happened a few years after I discovered William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, and Max Headroom. This game was introduced to me when the in-game clock was 2056, and it hit me with the full force of a hurricane. This was the game I wanted to play. A future dystopia with a band of people working together to fight the system and get rich while trying. It’s twenty minutes into the future, but what a future it was: magic had returned.1

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  1. And it wasn’t that Vancian magic system that D&D and its clones ran. I hated the “you cast a spell and now you don’t know how to cast it again” systems. I never read those books Gary and his friends did. []
Freakshow: MCU Gotham in the Marvel Universe

Freakshow: MCU Gotham in the Marvel Universe

One of the funnest RPG campaigns I ran was MCU: Gotham, basically a police procedural drama set in Batman’s Gotham City. Now, thanks to the imminent release of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying and a misheard line on this week’s Castle, I want to run a similar game, set in the Marvel universe: Freakshow. Where MCU: Gotham’s villains were nicknames that the cops or press used for more-or-less ordinary criminals, the cops in Freakshow know that they’re not just dealing with men in tights. A simple bank robbery could just be a standard call, but there’s always the possibility that the perp can breathe fire. We’re talking more like Bendis’ POWERS comic book than Rucka’s Gotham Central.

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