Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Shadowrun & Me
My favorite Table Top Role-Playing Game of all time is Shadowrun. My history with it is storied. First, I need to explain what the Shadowrun setting is. Shadowrun mixes two genres Cyberpunk and Fantasy. For the uninitiated Cyberpunk is a genre of Science Fiction. Cyberpunk is in the near future usually less than a hundred years. Key elements are cybernetics/bionics, the ability to directly connect the human mind to the internet and the power of Mega-corporations usurping the power of nations. It uses elements from Hard Boiled Detective stories, Film Noir and Nihilism. Shadowrun is set in the 2060 to 2070’s where magic has also returned. People are born Elves and Dwarves or suffer Goblinization, which results in becoming Orks or Trolls. The Mega-Corporations are the true power in this world. When magic came back cultures that had magical traditions regained power. In
North America this
meant the rise of Native American Nations who break off from the US
and Canada. The game is primarily set in Seattle,
which is part of the remainder of the US
(they unified), however it is surrounded by the Native American Nations. The game is Cyborgs, Elves, Dragon, Hackers
(called Deckers in the game), Wizards, Shamans, and Bio-Tech. It is a brave new old world.
The game first came out in 1989 and I was into it from the start. My first campaign however was in the setting, but not the rules. My roommate at the time preferred Hero System rules, same rules as those used in the Superhero RPG Champions. He used other settings but always used those rules. I played in that campaign from 1990 till 1991. When I moved from
and back to the Portland area, I
ended up with a new gaming group. This
is when I starting using the rules that came with the setting. Our main Gamemaster and I alternated running
the game so each of us got to play.
Generally, I was the head Gamemaster for Shadowrun. My areas of
expertise were Metahumans (the catch all term for non-human humanoids), Magic
(specifically Shamanic Magic), and the Native American Nations. I loved the research, which lead me to
discover Neo-Paganism and Shamanism as personal spiritual paths. I did not like dealing with the personal
politics. At one point my players
decided to try to get rid of an annoying character. When the plan failed and the Player of said
character got upset, everyone turned on me.
This pointed out some of my social limitations. I had players that wanted their character
histories to be hush hush, and they became upset when I fleshed it out in
scenarios. I was with that gaming group
for four years. When I left, I was made
to feel I was stabbing people in the back.
I left for the most part because going became a chore. It was no longer fun.