Man. Machine. Magic.
Shadowrun. The Sixth World. Orks in pinstripe suits with uzis; mohawked dwarves jacked into vehicles racing through megasprawls at breakneck speed; humans casting fireballs at corporate-trained paracritters; elves hacking the Matrix for a datasteal of the latest tech or working to topple an upstart corp. It's where man meets magic and machine.
Dive into a cyberpunk dystopia and become a shadowrunner, a deniable asset who does the jobs no one else can--or will--do. It's not an easy life, but it beats selling your soul to the megacorps. You'll break into top-secret labs, stand up to gangs bent on destruction and chaos, encounter dark spirits hiding even darker secrets, and come face to face with some of the infinite dangers the Sixth World can throw at you. And you'll come out on top--because if you don't, you don't get paid.
Shadowrun: Anarchy is a new way to get into the best cyberpunk/urban fantasy action around. Based upon the rules-light and easy-to-learn Cue System, Shadowrun: Anarchy is a narrative-focused game experience that has everything you need to quickly grab some gear, load up on spells, and get to throwing the dice. With loads of characters and missions, the book makes it simple to get up and running. Immerse yourselves in the Sixth World!
Anarchy serves as a complement to Shadowrun, Fifth Edition; while SR5 offers opportunities for detailed simulations of your character’s choices using rules with significant depth, in Anarchy the story comes first. There are still plenty of opportunities to throw dice, because we love doing that, but those opportunities exist to help the story move forward.
Anarchy is the new release by Catalyst which offers a passport to the Sixth World via the Cue System rather than the 5th Edition of the core rules. Cue has previously appeared in Cosmic Patrol and Valiant, so the basics of the system are well-tested, but Anarchy itself is a new take on it.
What is Cue?
Cue is a system which sticks to the basics so the players can focus on description and where things are going. Unlike how Shadowrun has been played up to this point, the game is set up to have the full group collaborating on how scenes take shape so that a story is brought out. The GM has a definite job to do, and I feel that the game is better for it, but more of the people are going to be involved more of the time in more things than experienced Shadowrun players might expect.
To facilitate the intended style of story-focused play, Cue offers players the opportunity to maximize the nature and structure of a run, while distilling the time and word count of characters down to an evocative minimum. Cue takes its name from how characters created with the system are set up with catch-phrases, clearly-defined reactions to specific ideas or situations, and a distinct outlook on life. When in doubt in a scene, or when looking for a way to involve a character in a scene, their Cues will be there to help point the way.
The core rules for Shadowrun, in their depth and breadth, could be said to offer groups the opportunity to explore character at the level of each aspect of a decision, and each fragment of a moment. Story can be allowed to take a backseat to character without a loss in a player’s sense of time, place, or motivation. In Anarchy, this is inverted. While character is an important aspect of the game, the system places its focus on using characters to complete stories, with the emphasis being on using characters to demonstrate who they are as people as a way of allowing the players to tell those stories. Strongly envisioned and defined characters will allow for strongly envisioned and implemented stories. The game helps further this by providing a structure for runs called Contract Briefs which serve up a framework for action either as a script for a GM to riff off of, or for a group to navigate.
Anarchy retains the iconic D6 of Shadowrun but in most ways the Cue System, even the parts given familiar Shadowrun names, is different from what a previous player will have encountered from Shadowrun before. Action and Combat resolution is straightforward and players old and new should have no trouble learning what is required. For those with established views on how games in general and Shadowrun in particular should run, learning how to apply those rules may take much more effort than learning what they are and how they work. For newcomers looking to explore the Sixth World either as a brief foray in this beloved survivor of a setting, or as a means to learn the lore and attitude before delving deeper into the core rules themselves, the ride will probably be a lot smoother. Like each edition of Shadowrun before it, Anarchy puts the setting up front and challenges players to make a daring and dramatic mark on it… and probably die trying.
It may not be possible to ship very heavy items outside of the Mainland UK.
Released: 10 January 2017