Shadowrun Fourth Edition, by Catalyst Games, is a cyberpunk role-playing game where magic, cybernetics and virtual reality coexist. Player characters are known as shadowrunners. They act in the shadows and outside the law, doing the dirty work of the megacorporations and other powerful forces that ...

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How can I make my game more “noir” as a GM?

I ran a couple of Shadowrun games at Dexcon, my first time GMing at a con. It's not my first time running Shadowrun; I based the games off of a couple jobs my players did in a then-ongoing campaign. ...
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11answers
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Justifications for the existence of cyberpsychosis

Several games (Cyberpunk, for one) have an effect like cyberpsychosis (defined here as "a psychotic aberration suffered by excessive users of cyberware"). Others, such as Eclipse Phase, consider ...
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How do you make hacking useful without excluding other players?

My Shadowrun group has a reasonably typical composition: "face", technomancer, rigger, mage, adept, and street samurai. The problem I have is making sure that the technomancer can use her skills ...
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How does Shadowrun 4 differ from the previous editions - from an Actual Play viewpoint?

I have the old versions, and played the heck out of them. I don't have version 4. If I buy it, what can I expect?
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How do you make the PC scream: “I wish we had a mage!”?

My girlfriend would like to join our Shadowrun game. She witnessed the first two game sessions and realized how cool the game and the setting is. She would like to make a mage and will start playing ...
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Can you bring a sword to a gun fight (and win)?

My wife also wants to try out the Shadowrun game I am joining, but she really prefers using swords over guns. So she was wondering if there is any way (with either skills, items, implants?) that she ...
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Are there any official guidelines for Shadowrun payouts?

I'm trying to figure out how much to pay Shadowrunners for a job, and how to balance the NPCs. I couldn't find anything in SR4A (though I could've missed something). I've only played in a couple of ...
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How do I handle astral security?

When a shadowrunning team tries to break into a facility protected by magic, it seems to me as a GM like the team's biggest liability is getting past magical security. If a mundane B&E character ...
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How do I deal with a Technomancer who uses a *lot* of sprites?

We have a Technomancer in our party who has a bunch of registered sprites. When something interesting happens - let's say the characters fight some attackers off and send them running away - he simply ...
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Since there are actually Trolls in Shadowrun, is there another word used for “Trolling” a forum?

I didn't even think about the racist meaning of "Troll" when replying to someone who was Trolling my forum. I remember some Shadowrun Glossaries, but I'm trying to come up with some "in period" ...
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Is there any good reason not to kick people?

The Kick Attack maneuver in Arsenal p160 reads: A staple of many martial arts, kicking has a greater range and power than punching. The attacker receives +1 Reach on Unarmed Combat Tests when ...
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Players who want a dayjob for a megacorp. Should I allow it?

A player wants to work for EVO knowing the corp has a great reputation as an employer (according to Corporate Guide) and they have a great tolerance of technomancers. As part of the day job ...
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How can I run games in Shadowrun, without going overboard?

I've recently picked up my SR4 20th anniversary edition rulebook and I'm interested in running a game for some of my friends. The issue I'm facing is that....well, I don't want to spoil my players too ...
13
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2answers
522 views

Do Technomancers need a commlink?

So I had never heard of Shadowrun before one of my players brought it up and asked if we could play it. I got the book, and have been perusing it for a few days. One of my players says he wants to be ...
13
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5answers
914 views

How to deal with intimidating amount of rules in Shadowrun

I started to read about Shadowrun as a setting and I'm currently reading the rules and they are really intimidating. There's a lot to know as a player since every aspect of the game as it's own set of ...
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2answers
505 views

What programming languages are used in Shadowrun?

I'm looking for Shadowrun 4E fluff information on programming languages. What are the names of canon programming languages in 4E? C+++? SuperPython? etc? Please let me know where in what book you find ...
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What are the differences between Shadowrun 3rd and 4th edition that I should know about?

I've played a decent amount of Shadowrun 3rd edition, and recently joined a group of players who play 4th ed. I know I'm going to get confused and turned about- In summary, what's changed that I ...
12
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1answer
411 views

Shadowrun Road Trip

So I've been in a Shadowrun campaign and my group has fallen afoul of both Aztechnology and some powerful Seattle organized crime people. I've been scouring all the books I can think of, but I can't ...
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Can my Hacker have an army of robots?

I am just about to start a Shadowrun 4th ed game and I want to play a Hacker (Decker?) and I was just wondering about their use of robots (small or large). Can I have a bunch of small robots to ...
11
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3answers
341 views

How can I send magicians into space?

I am the GM in a SR4 game, and am considering setting my PCs' next run in space (interesting + dangerous + unique = perfect location). However, as far as I know magic is impossible in space, and I ...
11
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4answers
484 views

Any canon Shadowrun material related to NY/PA/NJ areas?

I'm looking for specific, canon (i.e. official, published) references to material for the Shadowrun game-world setting. My game setting is based around the Philadelphia area; I've turned New Jersey ...
11
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2answers
434 views

Why and how to force people to turn their PAN in active mode?

I just read about the Personal Area Network (PAN) for Shadowrun and they mention that some areas like airports, corp buildings or major metropolitain centers, require you to have your PAN turned ...
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585 views

Do Technomancers experience any strange effects from being in UV nodes?

In Unwired(p.171) they talk about the legendary UV Nodes. These nodes are overwhelmingly potent, and have addictive qualities to all users. There is a technomancer playing in my game who may have ...
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Shadowrun: Do Lightning Bolt/Ball Lightning spells do physical or stun damage?

The Setup The Lightning Bolt and Ball Lightning spells both have their damage type listed as P for Physical (as opposed to S for Stun, such as Knockout). However, the rules also state (emphasis ...
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How do I increase resistance to drain?

My Aztec shaman character, Chimalli, is primarily a spirit summoner, using Willpower (5)+Charisma (7) to resist drain. He has one level of the Focused Concentration quality (+1). Is there any easy ...
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568 views

How effective are spirits (bound or unbound) as security patrols in Shadowrun4E

How much attention do spirits (bound and unbound) patrolling a facility typically pay to non-astral threats? It probably depends on the orders given to the spirits, but what is typical in Shadowrun ...
11
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217 views

Does an adept leave an astral signature when using his powers? How long does it last?

I am trying to figure out whether adepts using their magical powers leave an astral signature. So far, since checking the core rulebook and Streetmagic, I have found a few forum discussions on the ...
11
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1answer
232 views

Rules for a Hong-Kong based game

I am considering running a Hong-Kong based Shadowrun campaign in the future, and even though I have found plenty of material regarding locations and NPCs (mainly in Runner Havens), I have yet to find ...
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How to use a Minigun effectively

So Shadowrun has a number of machine guns and assault cannons, but we still have the iconic minigun variant that allows us to shoot red hot death-lead at things. However, our resident heavy weapons ...
10
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2answers
994 views

What is the SURGE event in Shadowrun?

The Shadowrun 4E background material mentions an event called SURGE, which seems to be similar to UGE or Goblinization. SURGE is mentioned twice in SR4A, and at least once in the Sixth World Atlas. ...
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520 views

How to convey the tone of Shadowrun

Reading the core book I realized how different Shadowrun is from my usual game of Dungeons and Dragons. We usually play the good guys saving a village from a tribe of goblins. Most of the time we play ...
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1answer
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Is there any way to reduce the Essence cost of cyberware?

Is there any option at character creation I can make to reduce the Essence cost of cyberware besides just buying higher quality (Alpha/Beta..) implants? I am thinking of specifically a race or ...
9
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1answer
449 views

Do sustained spells need constant line-of-sight, or just for the casting?

When I cast Stealth or Invisibility on a teammate, do I need to keep him in sight (following him everywhere) to maintain the spell, or is LOS required only for the initial casting?
9
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814 views

Creating and researching new spells in Shadowrun

This is a two part related question: The combat spells in Shadowrun cover fire, electric and acid elemental attacks, but not cold elemental attacks. Considering that the direct-attack spells all ...
9
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1answer
251 views

Any rules or fluff around a technomancer infected with HMHVV?

I've been toying with the idea of making a campaign's antagonist an HMHVV infected technomancer (AKA techno-ghoul). Is there anything in the various sourcebooks or official fluff that describes this ...
9
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1answer
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What are the exact rolls and totals for a direct combat spell?

As a Shadowrun 4E GM, I have had a couple of arguments with players about exactly how the magic system works. Suppose a player goes to cast a spell like a Force 6 Powerbolt at an enemy. Exactly which ...
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How does “Do It Yourself” deck creation work during character creation?

I noticed in Chummer it allows you to set "Do It Yourself" when putting together a deck during character creation, but I can't find the rules regarding this aside from talking about hardware tests ...
8
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6answers
687 views

How to fit Shadowrun into a one-shot

I want to run a shadowrun game, but alas, I don't think my players or I have the time or the commitment to have an on-going campaign. So, a one-shot it is. Or a series of one-shots interspersed ...
8
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2answers
612 views

Can you throw back grenades in SR4?

If a character throws a grenade in Shadowrun 4th Ed., what rules are there for another character trying to pick it up and throw it back? Is this covered somewhere in the book? I know it's in SR3, but ...
8
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Is magic, hacking, or rigging vital for balance in SR4?

I play Shadowrun now and then but ignore magic, hacking, and rigging in my games. Every time I mention this to others they tell me that I should just play Cyberpunk or d20 Spycraft. I ask why, and the ...
8
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4answers
433 views

Can a hacker/technomancer turn a gun against his owner?

So I was thinking about this story for a run where the players must catch a target who, according to the Johnson, turned his weapon against him. So I want my players to be chasing this ...
8
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2answers
533 views

What makes Shadowrun 4e different? What are its defining tropes and features?

As a player who has a background in Mouse Guard, D&D 3.5 and 4e, oWoD, Call of Cthulhu and Fallout, what should I know about Shadowrun 4th edition? What is different about it in comparison to the ...
8
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1answer
357 views

Shadowrun history across the editions

Truth be told, I've lost track of Shadowrun's in-game "future history" when 3rd edition came out, which we've never got around to play. However, I do know (thanks to various gaming blogs, etc.) that ...
7
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2answers
237 views

When players have settled into “routines” for runs, how to break them out of the rut?

One way or another almost 95% of all the Shadowruns I either played or was GM in, somehow got to the point where the players would either: gather building plans and/or use their existing collection ...
7
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2answers
336 views

Is there a google earth style map for Shadowrun 2050?

I started a campaign in Shadowrun 4e 2050 and would love to be able to send my players to a geography source without having them wade through the books. It occurred to me that a custom Google Earth ...
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401 views

How challenging is “challenging” in Shadowrun?

I'm reading the core book about the mechanics and I see that a Success threshold of 4 is supposed to be challenging. Here's the exact wording. The standard threshold is 1 (so only 1 hit is ...
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Why are certified credsticks 'banded' in shadowrun?

The source material indicates the banks can issue certified credsticks up to their maximum limit, which is indicated by their band. Why? from what I can tell: All certified credsticks, regardless ...
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How do you handle (critical) glitches if both parties have one?

The rules state that the character suffers from his mistake and may even injure himself in the case of a critical glitch. But the rules doesn't cover the case if both involved parties of an opposed ...
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Is glass transparent to Astral Perception?

In a Shadowrun 4e game I play in, an adept with the Astral Perception power wanted to sit in a bar and astrally spy on something behind the window. SR4A p.191 states : Non-magical and non-living ...
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1answer
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Shadowrun dice pool size

I am new to both Shadowrun and GM in general. I want to run a one-shot of Shadowrun with four players. In that aspect I was asked, how many dice should be needed for a basic run. Based on the examples ...