Introduction: Corporate Download
by Michael Mulvihill
Corporate Download focuses on the ten most important characters in the Shadowrun universe—the AAA megacorporations that dictate what happens in the shadows and the world at large. The year is 2061, and the dust is settling on a corporate war in which one of the mightiest megacorporations fell. In the aftershocks, three new megacorps rose to prominence, each taking a different path to the top and showing the other megas that they do not have the market cornered on deception and power.
Corporate Download is presented as a series of electronic documents posted by Captain Chaos, sysop of the vast Shadowland archive—the number one source for shadowrunners on what’s going on in the world of Shadowrun. The documents are written by various runners, each with their own prejudices and points of view, and marked up with a running commentary by other runners, each adding to, revising or contradicting the author. These pieces of black information add innuendos, allegations, opinions, misconceptions, misinformation, lies and sometimes even the truth to the information presented. It is left up to the gamemaster to determine which facts are correct and which are just filling.
The first document is Nothing Personal, Just Business and it addresses what megacorporations are and how they make their money. The second piece, They Got The Whole World In Their Hands, discusses their political, economic and social power, and how they maintain it in a fractured world. The Corporate Court addresses the entity that controls the megas from their catbird seat orbiting the Earth. Surviving the Corps provides information on how runners should handle employment by the corps, and what to expect from a Mr. Johnson, the representative a corp uses in the shadows. It also discusses the concept of the company man, shadowrunners who work exclusively for a corporation. Following these sections, each megacorporation is given its own chapter, outlining the corp’s structure, players and history, as well as defining its business interests and agendas.
Wrapping it all up is a Game Information section, which introduces a system of giving Attributes and Ratings to a corp, and how to use these figures during gameplay. It also includes details on how to use each megacorp, defining personal agendas, security and how the corp deals with and pays shadowrunners.
Corporate Download requires Shadowrun, Third Edition and the revised Shadowrun Companion. Other Shadowrun sourcebooks, such as Rigger 3, Matrix, Critters (part of the Shadowrun Third Edition Gamemasters Screen and Critters Sourcebook) and Magic in the Shadows may also be helpful.