Sunday, May 15, 2016

Games I am Excited About: Shadowrun Anarchy

I saw a post on my Twitter and Google+ feed from Catalyst Game Labs.  It mentions a product called Shadowrun Anarchy.  The post does not have a lot of details but it did have this text:
Shadowrun: Anarchy is a new way to get into the best cyberpunk/urban fantasy action around. Based upon a rules-light and easy-to-learn mindset, Shadowrun: Anarchy is a narrative-focused game experience that allows even an uninitiated gamer to grab some gear, load up on spells, and quickly get to throwing the dice. Immerse yourselves in the Sixth World!
I love the Shadowrun universe.  I remember being a scruffy teenager and seeing the first edition Shadowrun book on the Waldenbook shelf and I knew I had to own it.  I had read everything William Gibson had ever written and now here was a game that mashed that up with D&D?  I have played the computer game Shadowrun Returns but I have never actually played the tabletop game.

The classic Larry Elmore cover of the original Shadowrun rpg

One critique that I have heard over and over on the internet is that the Shadowrun rules are too complex and/or of sub-par quality.  Having never played it I cannot comment on this too much.  I have read through the 5th edition quickstart and the basic mechanics seem sound.  I do believe that the more options you add to your game can make it more complex, but I think the same is true for Pathfinder.  It seems that Catalyst Game Labs has listened to some of this criticism and is creating a product to address it.  I do love rule-light narrative games.  My hope is that this is a streamlined version of the rules that allows for fast and fun play, while still using the base mechanics.  This way players can convert material easily between games and can use Anarchy as a springboard for Shadowrun.  Maybe Anarchy will be the BX version and Shadowrun will be AD&D?  We shall see.