Introduction: State of the Art: 2063
by Rob Boyle
State of the Art: 2063 is a new style of Shadowrun sourcebook that takes a look at the latest hot new developments on the cutting edge. The Sixth World is always changing and the shadows need to change and adapt to new technologies, new magics and new ideas or they’ll be swept into the dustbin as relics who couldn’t keep up with the double-time march of progress. This book covers new advances in five areas of particular interest to shadowrunners: genetics, metamagic, mercenary ops, corporate security and mainstream culture.
State of the Art: 2063 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 section, Genetech, delves into the manipulation of metahuman DNA. A range of genetic therapies, processes and substances are detailed, from environmental microadaptation to ebola plus. This section updates gengineering material previously presented in the out-of-print sourcebook Shadowtech.
The second section, Charmed Life: New Metamagic, covers a wide variety of new metamagical techniques. These include symbolic links for ritual sorcery, psychometry, arcane duels, geomancy and more.
Soldiers of Fortune is the third section, providing an overview of how modern mercenaries operate and the jobs they take, as well as some mercenary outfits and hot spots. This is an update and expansion of material previously presented in Fields of Fire. This section also includes new military gear and vehicles.
Following this is the fourth section, Keeping the Rabble Out, which explores all of the security methods that corporations use to keep uninvited guests out. This section updates and expands on material previously presented in the out-of-print sourcebook Corporate Security Handbook and also includes some new nanotech and biometric security systems.
The final section, Culture Shock, provides an overview of the latest developments in the music, art, entertainment and sports industries. It also describes several top nightclubs and travel locations, and includes a wealth of plot hooks. Gamemasters can use this section to fill out the world of Shadowrun in their campaigns and construct adventures around some of the plot lines presented.
Artwork: Top Left - "Toxic Gas" by Steve Prescott. Bottom Left - "Dagger" by Klaus Scherwinski.