Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Character Called On Account Of Box Of Awesome

I was planning to roll up another ICONS character tonight.  But I happened by Nan's Comics and Games at lunch today, ostensibly to grab the last issue of Detective Comics, which I'd missed yesterday.  As it turned out, they've started getting in some of the stuff released at GenCon, which led to a rather abrupt impulse purchase.

I'm such a sucker for boxed sets.

Like it says right there on the box, that's the Shadowrun Runner's Toolkit.  Before I even got to the back cover copy, I noticed how heavy it is.  This thing is packed to the gills.  How packed?  Let's take a look.

First up is the obligatory GM screen:

GM screens seem to come in two flavors: lightweight and heavy-duty.  This one is definitely in the latter category, being mounted on heavy cardboard. It won't stop a bullet, but it definitely can hold up to a breeze or a sneeze.

Next in the box were five sourcebooks:

"On The Run" is a classic SR adventure, updated for SR20th.
"PACKS" stands for Pre-Generated Auxiliary Character Kit System, a new set of modular character creation rules.  Creating a character in Shadowrun is not a quick process.  There's lots of points to fiddle with, things to buy, and it's only slightly less complex than the HERO System.  PACKS takes a page from HERO's Champions Powers, providing modular character components, already built, with the cost pre-determined.

"Anatomy of a Shadowrun" is an example of gameplay, with fiction in one column and mechanics in the other.  Nothing I haven't seen plenty of times.  Except this example is THIRTY PAGES LONG and covers the entire course of a difficult run.  Color me impressed.

"Contacts, Adventures, Sprawl Sites" is just that: a book full of NPC archetypes, adventure seeds and suggestions, and useful locales for your own runs.

Finally, "Compiled Tables" is a 48 page book of tables from SR20th, Arsenal, Augmentation, Street Magic, and Unwired.  A game data goldmine.

But that's not all...

Seriously, how much would you pay?
It also includes a set of color rules summary cards, each printed on an 8.5"x11" sheet of plasticized cardstock (for extra durability).  Each card covers one important aspect of the game (Character Creation, Defense, Matrix Combat, Astral Combat, Compiling, Autonomous Drone Combat, Spellcasting, Indirect Combat Spells, Melee Combat, Ranged Combat, Summoning, and Banishing).  Along with that, you also get full-color maps of each of the locations from the Sprawls booklet above.  The maps are on heavy glossy stock, not as durable as the summary cards, but not light weight.

And finally, there are these fun bonus items:

A Seattle skyline poster and a Shadowrun sticker.  Whee!

And the price?  $39.99.  Seriously.  Considering all the stuff in here, it's an absolute bargain.  Between this and Lone Wolf coming out with a Shadowrun module for Hero Lab, I may have to get my armored duster out of storage, crank up the Soundgarden, and stage a raid on Aztechnology.

The only downside?  Trying to make room for it next to all the other SR stuff my wife and I have accumulated over the years.

I should note that at least a third of this stuff is hers. Shadowrun is the only game she'll GM.

1 comment: