Daily Punch 9-12-17 Not Welcome Negative quality for Shadowrun 5e

Let’s flip the Shadowrun coin for being settled in the 6th world.


Not Welcome

Bonus: 5 karma

You hate all this magic, tech, and spirit crap.  You just want a simple life where dragons belong in books!  When you resist a power from a creature or person, and the power  isn’t a magic spell, attack in the physical roll, or hacking attempt, you have a -2 dice pool penalty  on the resistance roll.




Daily Punch 3-20-17 Rapid Exit Interrupt action for Shadowrun 5e

Been a bit since I wrote about Shadowrun.  Let’s fix that!


Rapid Exit

Interrupt Action (-5 initiative score, 1 Edge)

Sometimes, when you gotta go, you gotta go.  And sometimes, you want that to be before GOD tells you you gotta go!  Taking this interrupt action  immediately causes you to perform the Jack Out (P.240 SR5) action.  You suffer dump shock as normal if you are link-locked.



Daily Punch 11-10-15 Ankle Bracelet negative quality for Shadowrun 5e

Prison are overcrowded in the real world.  Why wouldn’t they be even more overcrowded in the fake?  And why wouldn’t money hungry companies charge the state to manage the care of someone, and then charge the person for their freedom?  Let’s do this!

Ankle Bracelet
Bonus: 8 KARMA

You are a known commodity, Omae.  You got caught, and now you pay the price.  But, the gods, or more specifically the corporate court shined down on you, and now for the low, low price of your soul, you get out a little early.  You also got a nice new fancy foot gear, that you can never touch, never take off, and if you play with will land you back in the slammer!  You’re a marked man!  Individuals attempting to shadow or physically locate a character with this quality in a populated setting receive a +2 dice pool modifier on all tests related to their search as you can now be tracked via the matrix.  Also, if a crime occurs near you, any forces sent into the area will be aware of your presence and bring countermeasures specifically designed to neutralize you.  You may attempt to disable to device, but it is a rating 6 device or rating 8 host.  Any failed attempt instantly results in the police being called.  As an added bonus, you must also pay an extra Street-life style each month as a cost to be free.


Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Data Trails

Product-Data Trails

System– Shadowrun 5e

Producer– Catalyst Game Labs

Price– $25  here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150001/Shadowrun-Data-Trails?affiliate_id=658618


TL; DR– Great flavor, but almost no crunch! 82%

Basics-Want to ride the matrix?  Want to be a digital cowboy?  This is the new book for you covering how the matrix of 2076 works and the new toys to play on this matrix. It also provides a brief history of AI.  The book adds new cyberdecks, add-ons to all the matrix toys out there, new qualities, and even has a section on how to play an AI character.

Theme or Fluff-Let’s start things a bit different than most of the reviews I write.  Let’s focus on the theme first.  Of all the things Catalyst does, covering the story of their world is the absolute best thing they do.  This book has tons of world building elements: all the fiddly bits of the 6th World’s wide web, covering how the matrix works, how it’s made, how to interact with it, its history, and providing me with extra story bits for any games I run.  Every aspect of the world gets a bit built on it.  For the SR vets out there, this book might be a little overkill.  However, for anyone who hopped on in Shadowrun 5th edition, this is an absolute essential to provide some much needed history and context to how people use the internet of the future. 4.75/5

Mechanics or Crunch-I started with theme, but theme shows how much this book is missing from its crunch.  The book adds an impressive amount of story but doesn’t really have the mechanics to back it up.  For your average decker, what’s here is good.  You get new toys and add-ons to all the old toys to keep you fairly happy.  However, even there you don’t get near as much as the other gear books.  Technomancers get even less.  For the rest of the 6th world, it’s not entirely worth it aside from a good reference on how the basics of the matrix work.  But the best example of how mechanics don’t back up fluff is in how different matrix hosts work and defend themselves.  A good chunk of one chapter is spent on how different companies defend their hosts.  But, no real mechanics are given either identifying what type of ICE is used or how they attack.  Furthermore, I’m glad I got a good briefing on how AI altered the matrix, but including a section on how to play them is pretty much useless for the majority of GM and players.  If they included that as its own small book, I’d buy it in an instant.  As a section in a core book, it’s just not a  great use of space. 4/5

Execution– The thing Catalyst doesn’t do well is format their books.  First and foremost, a book by Catalyst is only useful if you’ve completely read the book before and memorized the general locations of things in the book.  As a quick reference to thumb through, you will be lost.  The chapters are not named in a way that helps the reader, the book doesn’t have an index, and none of the new additions have a quick reference area to speed use later on.  Catalyst knows how to write fiction, but their fiction bleeds a bit too much into their mechanics.  In sections discussing how to create an AI or a host, the first part of the chapter will be the world story of it, and the second part will be the mechanics of it.  But, nowhere in the middle will it give the firm shift of when one section ends and the other begins.  All of those things are hard negatives, but what is here does read quickly and is enjoyable.  The back and forth of the characters is fun while drawing the reader in deeper.  This isn’t the best book I’ve read, but it’s a decent overall book. 3.5/5

Summary-Here is the quick question to help you decide if you need this book: do you spend most of your Shadowrun time in the matrix?  If yes, then you buy this book.  If no, maybe you’re good with what’s in the base book.  As someone who’s deeply invested in the 6th world, I loved learning about the new wireless net.  I just wasn’t overwhelmed by some significant parts of the book.  I’m glad I know how to run an AI now, but odds are good I never will, especially as someone who almost exclusively focuses on Shadowrun Missions.  I’d also like Catalyst Game Labs to overhaul their books a bit and really change some aspects of production to help the readers find what they need more quickly.  Making those changes will really make me love their books. With that said, as someone who loves Shadowrun and the matrix in particular, I’m glad I got this book, even if I can’t use chunks of it. 82%

Daily Punch 9-29-15 Mana Jolt positive quality for Shadowrun 5e

If you can get a hit from the physical and the matrix to gain a bit of speed, let’s add one to gain a bit from magic as well!
Mana Jolt
Magic runs in your veins.  Sometimes, it weights you down as you keep pushing yourself to pull more from the wide magic world.  Sometimes, that jolt out of the astral pumps you up like no other drug could.  Every initiative pass, once per initiative pass, when you are dealt stun or physical damage from a failed drain roll your initiative score increases by +2.


Daily Punch 9-27-15 Masochist positive quality for Shadowrun 5e

I saw Pain is Gain in Data Trails.  Let’s make that happen for the real world!

You’ve met them.  Some people just like to get hit.  Maybe its their viking berserk family history.  Maybe it just wakes up up after a bad soykaf.  Maybe their some freak in the bar who really into getting into fights.  Either way, they come alive when the fists hit their face.  Every initiative pass, once an initiative pass, when a character with this quality is dealt stun or physical damage, their initiative score increases by +2.


Daily Punch 9-9-15 Constant Concentration positive quality for Shadowrun 5e

I have a lot of players asking about concentration.  Let’s build on that.

Constant Concentration

Cost: 25 karma

You constant stress your mind like any muscle with magic.  And like any muscle you’re finally starting to see results.  When you sustain a spell/complex form, the penalty to your dice pool is only -1 for each spell/complex form.  If you give the form to another creature/sprite to maintain, the penalty reverts back to the -2 dice pool modifier.


Daily Punch 9-3-15 Hopper program for Shadowrun 5e

Bull mentioned a program in Data Trails, but it didn’t make an appearance.  Let’s make it happen here!


Hopper:This program exploits a communication loophole between different grids to give you a superposition in both. You may work on one grid and perform actions on another without any penalties to your dice pool. However, any time your GOD score increases, it increases by 1.5 times as much as several demigods on both grids are working against you.

Daily Punch 9-1-15 Your Fu is \/\/34k! Interrupt Action for Shadowrun 5e

I haven’t seen a ton of the interrupt actions since Run and Gun, but I think there should be more. How about one for the decker?

Your Fu is \/\/34k!
Interrupt Action (-7 Initiative Score)
We’ve all seen a drek head who think he’s nova hot when he gets his first Erika. And sometimes, just sometimes, Mommy needs to step up to the plate and tell this little fart where he ranks in the pecking order. When your deck or an object slaved to your deck is attacked via the matrix, you are aware of the attack, and your willpower + firewall or intuition + firewall beats the attackers dice total, you may immediately respond with your own complex matrix action. You gain a bonus to your dice pool for this matrix action equal to the difference between your defense successes and the attacker’s successes.


Daily Punch 8-31-15 Cunningham’s Law quality for Shadowrun 5e

How about a new quality for Shadowrun.  My Deckers pull double duty as the legwork person.  Let’s build on to this using Cunningham’s Law.

Cunningham’s Law

Cost: 5 karma

You know how to make the g33ks fr33k.  Nothing like hitting the spectrum with your faux-knowledge fab bat to really get their blood pumping.  When learn about a subject using only the matrix, you don’t spend edge, and don’t glitch, you get a free reroll of all the dice that rolled a 1.  You only gain knowledge about the subject of your search and may not spend edge to reroll the total result of your search.  This quality can not be used for any other matrix related task.