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Introduction: Shadowrun Companion
by Michael Mulvihill

The Shadowrun Companion: Beyond the Shadows is a universal rulebook—its focus is greater than a single theme or topic. This book covers multiple aspects of the Shadowrun game and universe, providing new and expanded information for both gamemasters and players. In addition to offering more flexibility in character creation and campaign design, it provides new optional rules and creative ideas and solutions to common problems that plague game play.

Many of the ideas presented in the first edition of the Shadowrun Companion were incorporated into Shadowrun, Third Edition. It was thus necessary to revise the Shadowrun Companion to reflect the new rules and to include fresh material.

The Shadowrun Companion takes players through the life of a shadowrunner, from character creation to character retirement. The Character Creation section helps you create more well-rounded characters by offering hints and help for creating a complete background story. We also include a point-based approach to character generation, with options for creating otaku, ghoul, shapeshifter and metahuman variant characters. This section also introduces Edges and Flaws, a mechanic that offers a wide variety of personality traits to help players make each character unique.

The Skills and Training chapter focuses on using the Athletics Skill and many of its specializations, including swimming, jumping, running and even being an escape artist. Rules for training to improve both Attributes and skills are also included.

Player character contacts have always been an important but under-used part of the Shadowrun universe. Contacts and Enemies suggests ways to expand the role of these non-player characters, from creating NPC personalities to exploring the distinction between what a contact knows and what he’s willing to reveal, to staying on a contact’s good side and maintaining confidentiality. Players also can network their contacts through Friends of Friends, an option that adds new depth to characters’ sources for information. This section also describes several non-traditional contacts, including the Shadowland BBS. Contacts and Enemies provides rules for creating enemies, non-player characters with a more sinister reason for interacting with player characters, and tips for how to effectively present such NPCs in the game.

The Advanced Rules section offers optional rules for Karma. These variations include favors and markers, and guidelines for character advancement in an amoral (Karma-less) campaign. This section also offers a system for creating workable statistics for famous NPCs, threats and other opponents of shadowrunners. Following this material are state-of-the-art rules, which allow gamemasters to control the technology curve in their campaigns; rules for DocWagon; and more security systems to use against runners on a run.

Running the Game offers gamemasters a framework and outline to use in designing their own scenarios, adventures and campaigns, including baseline payments for various shadowrunning activities. Alternate Campaign Concepts shows gamemasters how to develop and run alternative campaigns and includes examples of player character groups such as Doc Wagon EMTs and Lone Star teams. This section also provides rules for creating street gangs and designing gang-member characters, suggests campaign hooks for drawing street gangs into a Shadowrun game, and describes five Seattle gangs in detail to demonstrate the possibilities of running gang story lines.

Developer's Say

The Shadowrun Companion is one of my favorite books.

When this book was first introduced, it created options for and interest in areas that no one really thought existed, such as alternate campaigns and metavariants. It introduced one of my favorite characters—Lord Torgo—and it included Edges and Flaws and Enemies; each of which have made the games I run much more fun and exciting as a gamemaster. It also appealed to the fans who asked me all kinds of questions regarding rules, theory, gamemastering and problem-solving.

The Shadowrun Companion was the first salvo in my quest to invigorate Shadowrun by opening up new horizons for the game world. Thankfully, it succeeded. It satisfied both new players who were presented with a number of new options for their characters, their gamemasters and their campaigns, and long-time fans who were provided with rules and revisions that they had been requesting for years. As I stated in the original Introduction, the Shadowrun Companion was not intended to be Shadowrun, Third Edition, but rather a way to answer all the fans in a quick and efficient manner.

In retrospect, we did an even better job than I had expected. When it came time to create an actual

So as it stands the Shadowrun Companion is now updated and ready for action in the shadows … .

As always … Have Fun! Play Shadowrun!

WizKids GamesFantasy Productions