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The Hunters Hunted II
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/23/2013 17:32:09
The original ‘Hunters Hunted’ was one of my favourite oWoD books. Never a fan of ‘Hunter: the Reckoning’, my preference always ran to a gritty game where survival was never assured. The game focused on humans trying to take back their world (albeit there were Numina rules and some fairly overpowered Merits, though). Picking up ‘Hunters Hunted II’ seems like a natural continuation. The writing flows seamlessly, and the mood has been perfectly captured. It’s very easy to see the bleak, lonely existence of the Hunter as portrayed by the many voices throughout the book – and there is a wealth of practical advice for the Storyteller.

The heart of the game lies in playing the Hunt very cleverly, and the developers reward smart players with a new mechanic called ‘Plan Dice’. These are dice (additional to the regular pool) which can be accessed during a Hunt, but are built through the quality of the players Plan. Obviously no plan survives contact with the enemy (the chapter actually begins with this quote), so the characters need every edge they can get. Overall, the mechanic is a nice bit of flavour with in-game benefits that might be the thin red line between victory and defeat in some situations, but I think it is a very reasonable inclusion to the game.

The Storyteller section is par excellence. There are so many good ideas in here, whether you want HH2 as a one-shot, or as a long-running chronicle. The practical considerations of the Hunt are discussed, usually by ‘hunters in the field’ speaking from experience. These include, ‘why attacking the police is stupid’, ‘why you don’t want to be labelled a terrorist’, and lots of material about equipment and misinformation in the game. Social media and the recent craze for vampire fiction were welcome additions, and there is some very intelligent discourse about how a viral video of hunters in action is a vampire’s best weapon. Anecdotes are liberally sprinkled throughout these sections, and could be easily woven into a game as plot hooks, or NPC dialogue.

I can’t speak highly enough of the work the authors have done on this book. At every point, I felt as though I was simply reading an extension of the classic oWoD book – just with some updates for the ‘modern world’. The feel, mood, and theme have been perfectly bottled in this title, and like a fine wine, the ‘Hunters Hunted’ duology has proved that is simply gets better with age.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Hunters Hunted II
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KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 5
Publisher: Kenzer & Company
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/08/2013 22:54:38
Once again KotD provides the perfectly pitched gaming humour that we have come to expect. In this instalment, the Knights tackle the new FBI-style game 'Men in Hack' and deal with the inevitable fall-out from passing notes with the GM. Woven into the rest of the collection is the ongoing saga as Bob tries to get an even break (and fails), and the party deals with the disastrous results of leaving a Bag of Holding unattended.
Brilliant stuff all round, and highly recommended. Can't wait to read the next one in the series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 5
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Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/08/2013 20:07:14
Reviewing a core rulebook is always fraught with difficulty; usually because it invites discussion on whether it is 'better' than previous editions. Rather than go into the rules and the mechanical changes in any great depth, this review will focus on the general use and production values of the book.

One of the key questions about a core book is whether it can stand on its' own. We have come to expect over the years that gaming companies will provide an endless supply of expansion books, but in my opinion a game should be playable with only one book. In this, Catalyst delivers.

The designers have been very clever about the content, and made some really intelligent decisions. The book is very well-suited to engaging with a new cadre of SR players. There are very good sections which flesh out the world, give readers an overview of what it is like to live in the Sixth World, and then explain why shadowrunners exist and what they do. It gives a breakdown of how you should approach a shadowrun, the sorts of activities that might be involved in a mission, and what roles exist in the average group. Added to this is a decently detailed section on the corporations. Were I not reviewing this, I would be tempted to skip these chapters (I've been playing for a while), but this would have been a mistake. Even the most veteran player or game master will take away something from these sections.

There is plenty of fiction that serves to reinforce the themes of the book, and illustrate 'how it all works'. A GM can gain a lot of insight into the world simply from this fiction - which shows that the developers understand to to not only produce and display mechanics, but make the world accessible. Shadowrun's greatest strength over the years has been the depth of immersion possible in the world, and this book continues that fine tradition.

The rules are all explained in very easy-to-understand terms. Most of the rolls are broken down into small diagrams, which I can see being very useful for reference purposes. Whilst SR tends towards being a more complex system historically, I don't think the designers have made this edition unnecessarily so.

The artwork is uniformly of a high standard, and most is in full colour, which makes this book a true pleasure to read.

The only two negatives for me are around editing and language, especially if this is something that a new player to the system will pick up. Firstly, more attention should have been paid to grammatical, spelling and layout. There are a enough to be annoying, and I'll be waiting for a second printing before buying my hard copy. Secondly, Shadowrun has a long history of creating in-game words to add colour and flavour to a conversation, and this includes swearing. I see no point to use fol language in the book, especially given that the authors could have used in-game words to add to immersion. This has been a disappointing trend throughout Fourth Edition and seems to now be the staple for the game.

However, this is a great book overall. Generally speaking, I'd recommend it as an entry point to the SR game, especially for the explanatory chapters at the beginning. Veteran players should get equal value from the book, too.

This has definitely kept my interest in the game, and I'll be keen to see where this new edition takes one of my favourite game lines.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook
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KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 4
Publisher: Kenzer & Company
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/01/2013 01:14:12
I was introduced to KODT through the printed 'Dragon' magazines, and following their exploits was always the high point of the month. The eternal dilemma was whether to read it as soon as you bought the current issue of 'Dragon' or leave it until last.
Now with these bundles, that dilemma is solved.

It's great to see that these have not just been digitised, but also have internal links which make reading this so much easier. There are also some added features such as Player Advantage Codes (I'll be on the lookout for these), a Random Flavour Text/Encounter Generator and a full write up of each character's history (which was extremely entertaining, as I'd not seen it before).
I'd highly recommend this collection to any gamer - the humour is spot-on, without a single page of worthless content.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 4
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Shadowrun: Euro War Antiques
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/01/2013 01:06:35
EuroWar Antiques will fill a story niche in your SR collection, but individual use and value for the material in this book will vary wildly from group to group. This period of history has not (to my knowledge) been adequately explored by any previous sourcebook, but references to the EuroWars have cropped up in every edition of SR to date.
The book presents a history of the Wars, and the usual insider insights from the JackPoint community, and there is aplenty of fodder here for good character backstory, NPC (and PC) motivations, and the capacity to add real depth to your current Shadowrun stories. Whilst the EuroWars started in 2031 (so they are bordering on ancient history in 2074), there are geopolitical ramifications even for North America. A few of the JackPoint regulars provide the rationale for the book in its’ opening lines, which I thought was a nice touch.

It definitely feels as though there is a lot more here than just 92 pages, and I did have to take this in over a few sittings. The information, whilst very readable, has a lot of substance and subtext. I found myself putting the book down for extended periods just to think about a particular idea, and how I might work it into my current campaign. All of these were story ideas, as the hard mechanics don’t come along until the last part of the book.
Speaking of this, fans of MilSpecTech will love the extra gear presented in the latter part of this title. From AK-97's to tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets, there is something here for everyone. I could honestly see a lot of synergies between the material here and the SR4 War! sourcebook. The vehicles and materiel in EuroWar Antiques would find a great home as military surplus on any battlefield; and I know any of my current group would love to own any of the equipment in this book (where they’d house it is a question for another time…).

Overall, this is well worth reading as it gives you a solid appreciation for how much work has gone into creating the Sixth World. Along with the Sixth World Almanac, it fills the great niche of more setting material. As a GM, I can weave in some of these plot elements to help bring the world alive, but my players could just as easily mine this for character backstory.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Euro War Antiques
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Convention Book: Progenitors
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/07/2013 00:51:24
White Wolf is doing a remarkable job of capturing the zeitgeist of ‘Mage: the Ascension’, firstly with ‘New World Order’ and now with ‘Progenitors’. It is challenging to tap into the mood of an out-of-print game, almost pretending that the intervening years did not exist; but the writers have successfully tackled this project.

‘Progenitors’ is blessed by simplicity. By that, I mean that the authors have very astutely chosen a single theme to apply to the Convention and examine their role in the World of Darkness from that theme. The primary them is one of healing, with a subtheme of ethics woven through it. The advantage to selecting this single theme is that the authors can focus purely on this exploration – and they do so with skill, bringing a richness to this Convention.

In this treatment, the Progenitors seek to heal the Union, and the subtleties employed in bringing together disparate Conventions is explored very well through the opening and closing fiction. The style of writing conveys a sense of empathy with these Technocrats, and a reasonableness of purpose that could be adapted by a Storyteller in chronicles where recruitment is a possibility (or objective).

Likewise the Avatar Storm (edit: Dimensional Anomaly) is used to great effect to humanise the experience of both the Progenitors and their closest allies – the Void Engineers. Again, this is part of a great effort by the authors to move away from a depiction centred on mass-cloning mad scientists, and towards a serious exploration of the Convention and how they would operate on a practical and strategic level.

There is a section detailing new gear like grafts and enhancements, as well as materiel from the Pharmacopeia Division, and this is icing. The real substance lies in the descriptions of the Methodologies, the current agendas and a few intriguing mysteries that could easily be used as the basis for entire chronicles.

Overall, the authors have captured Ascension’s feel once again, and given Mage fans like me a real treat. As with NWO, I’ll be ordering a print copy for my shelves as well this digital copy – and my collection feels just that bit more complete.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Progenitors
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Shadowrun: Storm Front
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/23/2013 20:39:52
When one door closes…

This phrase sprang to mind after reading one of the best Shadowrun books of this edition. The Shadowrun gameline has always excelled at creating an internally consistent, believable world and love it or hate it, the metaplot has been a big part of constructing an evolving world. This book differs from many SR titles in that almost all of the page count is dedicated to narrative. Each chapter covers a single metaplot point, shows how the issue developed, who the main players are, and the resolution. The sections are styled as JackPoint entries, with each of the ‘Pointers offering some insight, commentary or sarcastic reply to the events.
At over 200 pages, this isn’t something you can digest in one sitting. I found that I could read a chapter and then take some time to ruminate and let the content settle in my head before moving on. It is a very dense book, and Catalyst should be congratulated on cramming so much good material into one title.

The main metaplots covered include the Dragon Civil War, the Amazonia/Atzlan War, the recent Seattle election, Denver (and the return of our favourite elf in motley), Ares market problems, the changing nature of the Matrix (including the current status of Dodger), and the state of play for the Japanacorps. I could appreciate the complexity of all of these plots, as I’ve now read almost all of the Fourth Edition releases. This book may be somewhat inaccessible to a newcomer to the setting (I’d recommend that new players read the Rulebook and The Sixth World Almanac to get their bearings).

My recommendation for those who have a cursory understanding of the metaplots is to buy this book and then seek out supplementary titles for the events of interest. In this way, you have all of the main plot points in ‘Storm Front’, but can explore in more detail those plot points likely to make an appearance in your campaign.

My favourite sections in the book covered the Seattle election (including Prop 23) and the Japanacorps chapter. For the first, the election has been the focus of the last season of ‘Missions’, and this provides a lot of plot ideas for ‘runs both during the election and in its’ wake. There is plenty of fodder about the scams, underworld powerplays and political manoeuvring that could be developed by the GM into a full-blown campaign. The Japanacorps section was great as we don’t see Japan covered often in SR supplements. I’d like to see this develop into a separate supplement (or maybe a new ‘Shadowrun Missions’ season set in San Francisco). I can see a lot of parallels between this plot and material from White Wolf’s ‘Kindred of the East’, so I’m breaking out these titles to support any ‘run in ‘Frisco.
My least favourite was the Dragon Civil War, mostly due to the content. Pages upon pages are given over to a first-hand account of the final battle between Alamais and Lofwyr, and it does not make for interesting reading. The rest of the chapter was fine, but I skimmed this section with no regrets. Also, not to sound like a broken record, but this does suffer from numerous typos, as with previous titles. Given that there are eight Proof-Readers listed in the credits, this is a glaring oversight (especially considering the price point). These titles are so well developed that these errors really mar the overall experience of reading the product which is otherwise fantastic.

Lastly, ‘Storm Front’ lays the groundwork for Fifth Edition by showing massive changes to the Matrix and the retirement of a legend (but in a way that introduces a new ongoing plot – excellent play!). The changes to the Matrix make me think ‘plus ca change’ (incidentally the name of the opening fiction in second edition, which is a nice link). This is a fantastically written chapter, and it really had me feeling sentimental and nostalgic by the end. I really felt that this book closed the door on an era of Shadowrun, but gave us hope that good things were going to happen in the future.

This should be an auto-include for any fan of the setting. I’m excited to read this wrap-up of Fourth Edition, and even more excited to see what lies ahead. The only reason it doesn’t get one of my five-star ratings is because eight people let down the team. I’ll gladly and enthusiastically revise the rating when I hear about a new copy being made available. Aside form that, I cannot recommend this title highly enough.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Storm Front
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Advanced Fighting Fantasy Quickstart
Publisher: Arion Games
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/02/2013 00:50:57
This is comparable to many of the quick-start products available for free at Drivethru. The premise here is to give you enough rules to play at least one game, to include said game, and to showcase the general feel enough to entice gamers to purchase the full product.
I picked this up as I loved the ‘Fighting Fantasy’ series as a child and teenager and haven’t revisted the series for many years. I recall that it was easy to play, didn’t take itself too seriously, and had a definite old-school feel akin to ‘Dragon Warriors’ and first edition D&D. In reading over this title, I found nothing to contradict my fond memories.

The rules take up 2 ½ pages of the seventeen allocated to this product, and you’ll also find eight pre-generated characters, and a short adventure. This would easily serve the purpose of filling in a regular game night, or acting as a promotional games days product at your FLGS. The average person should take about five minutes to master the rules (which does make me curious as to the longevity of AFF campaigns), and this would suit new players very well. The art is consistent with the older FF books and suits this very well. I will be most pleased if this is the standard for the rest of the AFF books (which I am now tracking down).

The adventure is a very standard dungeon crawl, that can be run with little preparation and includes many of the familiar fantasy tropes from evil spellcasters, hidden treasure (and traps!) and magic chalices. The map is very rough-drawn (it looks like the author designed it on a napkin whilst at the local pub), but does inventively leave space for the Director (AFF’s name for the GM) to draw in some of their own details. The adventure is not to be taken too seriously (when you meet the two dwarves, you’ll see my point), but does promise a lot of fun.

There certainly wouldn’t be a lack of material to draw from when running this game – I’d consider grabbing an old FF novel and adapting it for a night’s play. As a free tester, the title does well and it has enticed me to dust off my ‘Fighting Fantasy’ novels once more, and also look at the newer products in the range.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Fighting Fantasy Quickstart
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Shadowrun: Sim Dreams & Nightmares
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/02/2013 00:04:04
‘Sim Dreams and Nightmares’ essentially has enough content to stand on its’ own as a product. It will be interesting though, to see what other like titles are eventually bundled together for this years’ ‘Runners Black Book’. I mention this as Sim Dreams reads very much like a chapter in a much larger sourcebook. The writing is generally clean and concise, and the approach taken in the JackPoint conversation is a very clever one. The JackPoint posts add a lot of value to the mechanical and story information by showing how this industry is viewed by Sixth world inhabitants. Additionally, it alludes to other occurrences within the metaplot, but does so in a way that would not confuse a newer reader.

I do say ‘generally clean and concise’ as there are still the consistent typographic errors that have become the hallmark of Catalyst products. I do wonder if digital publishing has lowered editorial standards for some companies as they can simply release a ‘corrected’ version if enough people complain. Spelling errors are something that I don’t recall seeing very often when I was buying my SR books exclusively in print (from FASA). This has been a problem for well over a year and it does need some attention - I'd add a star to my review rating in a heartbeat if more attention to detail had been paid.

The front cover art is fantastic; the designer should be commended for this choice as it so perfectly captures the simultaneous appeal of Simsense and its’ contrasting systemic social problems. Again, a very clever choice.

The book is 17 pages long and covers simsense, BTL, moodchips and personasofts (this last one giving you all the tools you need to run ‘Dollhouse’ as a Shadowrun game). Each is given a thorough discussion, as well as an in-world rationale for their use. Shadowrun has always excelled at internal consistency, and this book is another prime example of how to do this well. The last few pages dwell on the mechanics behind Simsense, such as some new Qualities, rules for weaning off Addictions and a table which summarises all of the Simsense with their Addiction Ratings and Thresholds, and a price list at the end.

This is a well-developed discussion of Simsense in the Sixth World, and this will be valuable to both GMs and players alike. Many modules deal with Simsense stars, the effect chips have on NPCs, and even Simsense in sporting events. Reading through this will give GMs in particular a much better handle on how to weave this industry into the game credibly, and even offer some hard choices to player-characters.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sim Dreams & Nightmares
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Hero Kids - Supplement - Coloring Book - Threats to the Brecken Vale
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/08/2013 03:24:37
The next instalment of colouring-in books for the 'HeroKids' features a range of villains such as werewolves, pirates and skeletons. The images are all basically fine and my children are already engrossed in colouring in the latest volume.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Supplement - Coloring Book - Threats to the Brecken Vale
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H1 Keep on the Shadowfell & Quick-Start Rules (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/08/2013 03:21:55
As a starting point for new players of ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, this module is nothing short of brilliant. In my experience, beginner modules tend towards superficiality, focusing purely on combat mechanics as a way of introducing new players to roleplaying. Cordell Mearls take a far more balanced approach, blending a story with all of the iconic elements of good fantasy with a varied plot requiring the PCs to think, fight and talk their way to through the adventure. There are hidden cults, a range of helpful NPCs (including the retired sage, the gruff but hilarious blacksmith, and the quisling), the discovery of knowledge once forgotten and a tale of redemption woven into this story – which will leave parties (new and old alike) feeling as though they have firmly experienced a fantasy roleplaying game.

The material is presented in a logical format that flows well and provides the novice DM with enough charts, quick-start rules and stat blocks to make this as non-threatening an experience as possible. For the players, you’ll find pre-generated characters and a streamlined set of 4e rules. The last 46 pages of the book are devoted to all of the encounter maps, which aren’t strictly required and are rendered so well that they could simply be used to set the scene for encounters.

Overall, the production values are high, the story is sound and provides ample opportunities for customisation (you could simply change the names of gods, etc and place it into your favourite campaign world), and there are plenty of avenues to expand this adventure. The town of Winterhaven captures the border-town feel extremely well, and is generic enough that the principles could be applied to any town in any campaign setting.

If Wizards of the Coast were seeking a 4e product to showcase the line (given that this is free), then they have chosen wisely. As an AD&D player, this has given me the final push to buy a 4e ‘Players Handbook’ and find out what all the fuss is about.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
H1 Keep on the Shadowfell & Quick-Start Rules (4e)
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Deities & Demigods (1e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/08/2013 03:21:08
‘Deities & Demigods’ is a classic D&D sourcebook which gives ideas and statistics for incorporating a range of real-world and notable fantasy mythoi into a ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ campaign. Most of the entries follow the same format, being an exploration of the pantheon, their aims and history, and then the statistics and descriptions of each member of the pantheon.
Usage will vary with this book depending on what you need. Primarily, it is a book of gods, so those DMs building their own campaign worlds will benefit most, as it can be a little difficult to insert these characters into established settings (although, if you’re playing a ‘Planescape’ campaign, it will be relatively easy).

What impressed me was the quality of the scan and the inclusion of additional functionality such as the bookmarks and Table of Contents. The text is extremely clear, the pages white and clean (unlike the slightly yellowed appearance of my physical copy). This is a really nice PDF, and if it is indicative of the attention to quality of other out-of-print TSR products, then Wizards of the Coast should be commended.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deities & Demigods (1e)
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Shadowrun: The Way of the Samurai
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/17/2013 18:21:45
A large of part of this product will be managing the expectations at the table. According to the JackPoint post which introduces this book, the Options line will be some play-tested experimental rules that aren’t sanctioned in tournaments and may not suit everyone’s game. It’s recommended that you talk with your GM before applying these rules to your character.

As such, the usefulness of this title can be extremely varied.

The product is laid out with a longish piece of fiction at the front (good stuff, featuring Saber – remember him from ‘Dirty Tricks’?), and then leading into a JackPoint discussion led by Slamm0! About a new MMO from Ares. This premise acts as the vehicle to discuss a few of the archetypes commonly found among Street Samurai, with usual sniping, one-upmanship and good humour.

The rules section gives you a single Edge for each archetype; only characters with an Essence of 2.99 or lower need apply. Honestly, the Edges are useful, and I can see players wanting to build characters around these. The next section kits you out with cyberware packages from a range of suppliers, and concludes with some sample NPCs based on each application. It was nice to see the artwork from a couple of SR2 products being re-used in this section, but really, I do question whether the information was all that useful.

I may be missing the point here, but to me this reads like a long gaming article. Yes, there are interesting and useful pieces of information, but you could make the fiction more succinct, drop the stats at the back and you’d have a standard gaming magazine article with some optional rules (which is what this series is). You get this for $4.99, and whilst the concept is good, the price point isn’t. I’d prefer to see a range of roles in SR4 treated to this, but in a more streamlined and aggregated format. A short sourcebook with a range of Options (like White Wolf’s Mirrors series) would be a great format to pursue, and I feel, give more value for money.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Way of the Samurai
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Shadowrun: Montreal 2074
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/03/2013 19:06:47
As far as setting books go, this is a nice follow-up to the Tir Tairngire guide published in late 2012, and goes a long way to establish a new locale for shadowrunners. Whilst there are the north American staples of Seattle, New York and Denver, Montreal has a distinct flavour that makes it worthwhile.

In a scant twenty one pages (including almost two pages of fiction and three pages of stats at the back) the authors do an admirable job of presenting an extremely useful book. Montreal is presented as a city which has seen deep decline, and currently a renewed interest in rebuilding form almost all the AAA megacorps.

Into this mix are thrown the powers of biker gangs (including a local chapter of the Ancients was a nice touchstone), the Mafia and Triads, as well as spy agencies, the local equivalent of Lone Star (La Gendarmarie Corporation) and the NAN. I especially enjoyed reading the section on the Native American Nations, as it answers a number of logical questions about traditional land ownership and how it mirrored the experience of the rest of North America post Daniel Howling Coyote. The evolving situation is both an intelligent exploration of the meta-game, but offers heaps of plot hooks for enterprising runners to exploit (or be exploited by). The threats are rounded off by a discussion of the native fauna (as if you didn’t have enough to worry about without Wendigos and Piasma).

This is a book of exciting opportunities and I’m amazed at the authors’ abilities to present a fully-functioning, intriguing and usable setting into the page count with which they were assigned. Montreal is very much a city on the cusp of significant change, and there are far too many different vested interests for this transition and progress to run smoothly. And, as the Jack Pointers say, turmoil breeds job opportunities.

I’d like to see some modules developed for Montreal, although my immediate desire is for it to be the location of the next season of Shadowrun Missions. Given the scope of events, a group of writers could have a lot of fun using this city as their sandbox, and the Missions-style would allow the fans to see some change enacted.

This is a top-notch source book all round, and the pricing and length similar to ‘Land of Promise’ – which is to say good value. Like another reviewer, it was an opportunity for me to crack open my old Black Dog ‘Montreal by Night’ and there are some great synergies between the two books. When I start my new Shadowrun game soon, I’ll definitely be including a trip to Montreal – and given the quality and depth of content in this book, I’m hoping it will be an extended stay.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Montreal 2074
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Silent Knife
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/02/2013 23:29:55
I tend to judge gaming fiction very differently than 'regular' fiction, but this is due to the difference in use. For me, gaming fiction brings the world alive, moves the game beyond mere mechanics and shows the reader how the game world works. It should show the reader the nuances of the game world and offer a potential Storyteller insight that is useful for future games.
I own almost every oWoD novel White Wolf produced and there was certainly a mixed bag in there, ranging from the truly atrocious ('Masquerade of the Red Death') to very enjoyable ('Clan Novel: Setite'), so this is the yardstick against which 'Silent Knife' will be measured.

I found it to be extremely average. It wasn't a trial to read, there was enough variance between the characters and the overall plot was fine. But that was it. There was nothing that stood out to me as exceptional, but likewise nothing that made me want to walk away either. If you are running a game of Requiem, it is worth looking over, and the characters' motivations and mannerisms will be something worth taking away from the novel.
At this price point the ePub version (which rendered wonderfully on my Android tablet) is a low investment, and the page count long enough to tell the story, but you can knock this over in a day or two. Whilst I can't really fault it, there isn't anything extraordinary about this novel either - hence the clear 'middle of the road' of three stars.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Knife
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