Product– Run & Gun
Price– PDF $25
TL;DR– What fans have been dying for! 93%
Basics– Time for the first hardcover expansion for Shadowrun 5e. This book focuses on physical combat. It starts off covering several new weapons ranging from swords to laser guns. Next, the book presents new armor and clothing options. From here, Run & Gun begins to focus on combat heavily starting with small squad tactics and new teamwork combat maneuvers. After team combat, the book spotlights called shot locations, special attacks with different ammo types, and more combat options. Following general combat, the book introduces martial arts with new combat maneuvers specific to each art. The last two sections of the book focus on environment hazards and demolition.
Fluff or Story- This book is full of stories. Catalyst takes great care to build story in across all the levels of the book. Each section of the book is introduced with a story building the world of Shadowrun. Every weapon is treated with some banter between different characters as they review the items as if they were talking about items in an internet forum. Even major rule sections get snark like summoning fire elementals underwater (spoiler-it’s a bad idea!). Every inch of the book builds 2075 America into a living, breathing world. 5/5
Crunch or Mechanics- This book is also full of mechanics. The book introduces armor pieces, new armor/weapon types, martial arts forms, rules for all sorts of things from casting spells in a space suit to explosive decompression underwater. Even better, the book emphasizes and re-presents small rule sections that players and GMs may have forgotten. I really enjoyed quick rule summaries of these important, minor rules in sidebars. Building on this, the book provides examples of how to do the math that makes the game work. And as I said before, the book has lots of fun with its own rules and seriousness. A perfect example is explosive decompression. You fail a little, and it’s bad. You fail a lot, and it’s really bad. You completely screw-up, and you summon a kraken and die (most likely). It’s an excellent way to meld rules, the world, and theme. 5/5
Execution- I’m reviewing a digital copy. What I saw, I liked. The text is nicely divided so you don’t have solid pages of block text. The whitespace, side bars, tables, and pictures makes this a pleasure to read. The book has lots of pictures, but could use a bit more. In Gun H(e)aven 3, each gun got its own picture. This book doesn’t have the space for that, but I think more pictures of the items would have helped me with my mental pictures of the game. Also, this is the first printing/release of the book, so there are a few errors that are being compiled to help with future releases of the book. Honestly, it’s a fun read, but I felt like I wanted more to see and a bit fewer errors. The faults are by no grind them to a halt, but they are noticeable as you dig deeper into the book and system. 4/5
Summary- This isn’t the book I thought it would be. That is not a bad thing, but I don’t know if this was what I thought I was going to get. But, I am happy with the end product. I feel like I’ve learned a bit more about the world of Shadowrun. I love the new abilities that were carried over from forth edition or created for fifth. The last two section of the book are not as useful if you just play in the urban sprawls and want to gun down any go-gangers you see, but if you ever need to blow up a space station, there are well-done rules that will help you and your GM carry out whatever pyromaniac dreams you may have. Yes, plan B can be twice as much explosive as plan A. The Shadowrun community has been dying for some new Shadowrun 5e content, and this product delivers. While this product has a few flaws, if this is the quality of the next books, then I will happily buy each and every one. 93%