Introduction: Sprawl Survival Guide
by Rob Boyle
Sprawl Survival Guide touches upon the basic aspects of the world of Shadowrun: society, travel and life as a shadowrunner. This book is intended to be a primer on what the world in 2063 is like-and in particular, what being a shadowrunner is about. The details it provides on the world and how technology and magic have shaped it will allow gamemasters to establish rich, vibrant and realistic futuristic settings. This book will also assist players in figuring out how their characters fit into the scheme of things and how they live their daily lives.
Sprawl Survival Guide is presented as a series of electronic documents posted by Captain Chaos, sysop of the vast Shadowland archive and data haven-the number one source for shadowrunners on what's going on in the world of Shadowrun. The documents come from a variety of sources, underground and mainstream, but are directed towards an audience of shadowrunners. These sources are each unique in outlook and perspective, influenced by their own particular prejudices and interests. Each article is marked up with a running commentary by shadow denizens who add to, revise and contradict the original post. These inserted comments add innuendo, allegations, opinions, rumors, misconceptions, misinformation, lies and sometimes even the truth to the information presented. It is left up to the gamemaster to decide what information is correct and which is just filling, as appropriate to his or her game.
The first document, Living in the Sixties, delves into various facets of society in 2063. First it describes the modern home, with all of its technological conveniences and security vulnerabilities. Then it explains nightlife and various forms of popular entertainment, from music to shopping to trideo and simsense. This includes an overview of modern sports and how they have been affected by the Awakening and science. The chapter then goes on to detail various ways people interact with government/corporate systems: SINs, credsticks, accounts, law and jurisdiction. Finally, it discusses a number of far-reaching societal aspects, such as as racial intolerance, sexuality, techno-social networks, fashion, omnipresent surveillance, religion and education.
The next section, It's a Small World, provides an overview of the state of travel in Shadowrun, with a strong emphasis on what shadowrunners can do to bypass legalities and smuggle contraband. It also includes a Global Report section that quickly runs down the current events and socio-political-economic climates of each continent, highlighting a few cities and places of specific interest to shadowrunners.
Folowing this, Life on the Run gives a ground-level introduction to life in the shadows. It follows the development of a "newbie" who takes to the streets and learns the basics of how things work in the underworld. A number of interviews with different shadow denizens are included to offer differing viewpoints and perspectives.
Finally, the Game Information section explains how home telecoms and daterms work in detail and includes a number of new common-use drones. Some basic costs for everything from bus fare to sports tickets are included as a reference guide. The use and abuse of credsticks and credstick readers is explored, including a few Edges and Flaws for fake IDs. Finally, a complete set of optional rules for expanding on a character's Lifestyles is presented, including a wide range of Lifestyle Edges & Flaws.