Ok, I am on a roll with this blog thing. So I am going to continue with another entry.
This time, I want to talk about ShadowRun. For those of you who do not know what SR is... Allow me the pleasure to be the first to enlighten you.
Before I begin, it is NOT the game released last year for Xbox 360 and PC. That is a great game in it's own right, but it isn't ShadowRun. Not by a longshot.
SR takes place in the future, about 80 years from now. Well it does now I think. The world has been jacked up by natural disasters, Megacorperations forming and countries taking a backseat to politics of Megacorps and nations that were formed within their borders. What nations? Well, the Native-Americans finally got some land back, and hold a prominant amount south of Seatle, the Elves have their around near there as well and pretty much own Ireland. Along with other natural inhabitants.
Elves? Did I say elves? Yes. But never trust and elf. There was a virus that broke out Virally Induced Toxic Allergy Syndrome or VITAS. It rewrote the individual's DNA and changed them very painfully into something. Most became Elves, Orks (yes that is spelled correctly), Dwarves, while some turned into Trolls, fewer into Gouls, and rarer yet Wendigos, and other humanoid monstrousities. Animals turned into other creatures as well... along with the emergance of Dragons. Dragons are rare, and few are actually recognized by society as a citizen. Some are even heads of Corporations and have jobs within, but never deal with a dragon and never turn your eyes from one.
With this happening, there was a Ghost dance conducted by the Native Americans that is rumored and believed to have brought magic into the world and disrupted the non-redman enough for them to reclaim their lands. With magic came about the mages who bent those forces to their will and those who lived in harmony with their land, be it a forest, swamp, sewer, city or whatever, and these shamans were equally as powerful and rare. All mages are rare, and if you have a mage as a friend, you are in great shape.
Keep in mind, this is the future. You have VTOL aircraft, complex weaponry to include hand held railguns, and cybernetics. Yes, this is where the term Street Samurai came from. These warriors have so much meat taken out of their body and replaced by the cyberware that they are faster, quicker, stronger and can see and shoot with deadly accuracy.
Cyberware didn't only enhance the physical attributes of the person, but it also enhanced their perception. Have you ever loved your car so much that you wish you could talk with it? Well in Shadowrun ,you can. These people are known as Riggers. They interface directly with their vehicles, be it an aircraft, unmanned drones, car, van, whatever. And some powerful weaponry could be attached to these drones.
On the flip side, you had a computer internet like nothing you have ever seen before, where you could actually jack in and see what happens inside. The Matrix. And no, nothing to do with the movies, this came before the movies. Enter the Decker. The decker is a hacker extrordinaire who prides themselves in breaking into security systems within the Matrix by defeating ICE (Intrusion Countermeasures). These can be deadly to the Decker, fry their brain, their cyberdeck, or trace the owners of the system to his meat and have a team terminate or capture him on the spot, defenseless while in the Matrix.
Wow, that is a lot of info isn't it?
Where is this coming from? Well, I got a bug crawling up my butt and ordered a ShadowRun novel, started reading it and ate it up fast. Then I started to look around for more ShadowRun. Why? Duh, because the world is so expansive, and so many different layers of things that could happen. Deckers hacking through the Matrix, battling deadly computer programs or other Deckers. Riggers fighting remotely alongside their comrades. Street Samurai moving with an inhuman quickness and laying waste to anything they want dead or disabled. Mages shifting their vision to enter the Astral plane highly vulnerable, but able to see what things truely are, and shift themselves back into their bodies and cast spells or conduct rituals of summoning or whatnot...
Oh , but you don't know what a ShadowRunner is do you? Everyone is issued a System Identification Number or SIN in the future. There are some individuals that do work that the MegaCorps don't want traced back to them. Some want to steal information, others to kidnap another company's worker, or you are extracting a worker because they wish to defect, and all sorts of other things. These Runners do not have a SIN, and live in the shadows waiting for a Mr Johnson (the guy who is paying to have them do the Run) to need some work done.
Anyhow, this tabletop game isn't really printing anything anymore. Everything is virtual as far as sourcebooks and whatnot, and with MicroSoft trying to maintain a grip on the IP, only to have it slip through their fingers, it made things all that more difficult for this game to thrive like it should.
I have even gone as far as contacting the current owner of the IP about my thoughts on a MMO for ShadowRun. Haven't heard anything at all back them... Not surprised.
Anyhow, what are your thoughts on ShadowRun?
Some novels you could read if you are interested. Most are out of print but still good reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Shadowrun_books#Novels