Kickstarter or Nonstarter? Shadowrun Returns

Verdict: Kickstarter!

I don’t know a lot about Shadowrun, the tabletop game or any of the video game incarnations. I know that a lot of RPG people I like and respect, love, love, love the license. So when I saw that the game’s original creator at FASA, Jordan Weisman, has licensed back the rights to make an old-timey RPG for PC and tablets and is looking to fund it via Kickstarter, I took notice. After watching the video above (the moment at 1:32 is priceless, by the way), and reading the description, I’m sold.

So my list of projects to contribute to now includes FTL, Banner Saga, Wasteland 2, and Shadowrun. At this rate I’m gonna need an app to help me keep track of the projects I’ve either contributed to or to which I plan to contribute. Anyone want to get on that?

A description of Shadowrun for noobs (like me!):

According to the Mayan Calendar (and lots of tabloids), the world will end on December 12, 2012. It’s part a 5,200 year cycle of death and rebirth that, in Shadowrun, actually charts the ebb and flow of magic from the Earth. So, on 12/12/12 magic will return, end this world, and wreak holy havoc while starting the next. Aboriginal cultures, who maintained their mystical traditions, are the first to feel the return of magic and use their newfound power to reshape the political, financial, and physical world around them. As the magic increases, Elf and Dwarf babies are born to very surprised parents who carry the right combination of long-dormant genes. But all of these events pale in comparison to the horror of “goblinization”, which painfully reshapes the teenage bodies of those unlucky enough to carry dominant Ork or Troll genes. And then the first Great Dragon rises from its 5,200 yearlong hibernation and circles over Tokyo, signaling that the world has truly AWAKENED.

Fast forward two generations, to a world transformed not only by the growth of magic but by the acceleration of cyber technology—a continual effort to improve upon the gifts that nature gave humanity; by the inevitable maturation of the World Wide Web into the Matrix—a network directly accessible by the human brain; and by the near elimination of governments as they are replaced megacorporations—monolithic entities who see only customers, not citizens.

And moving through the dark shadows cast by the gleaming towers of the corps, are Shadowrunners – disposable assets and corporate pawns scratching out a living using a combination of technology, magic, and street smarts. Shadowrunners live between the cracks and operate outside the law, doing the dirty work that corporate wage-slaves won’t soil their hands with and occasionally acting as the only protection the citizenry can turn to.

Welcome to the world of Shadowrun, where man meets magic and machine.

Yes, please.



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Todd Brakke

Todd was born in Ann Arbor, with a Michigan helmet in one hand and a mouse in the other. (Never you mind the logistics of this.) He grew, vertically anyway, and is a 20-year publishing veteran as an editor of books on consumer tech and professional development for educators. Because that wasn't enough of a challenge, Todd was a 20-year part-time snob about video games, writing reviews, features, and more for multiple outlets from 1997-2015. Follow him on Twitter @toddsfoolery.

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