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Shadowrun: Jet Set $24.99 $18.00
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/18/2012 21:12:00
‘Jet Set’ from the outset is a GM book only. Whilst the first chapter may be of interest to players, I’d suggest that they stop reading there. The book aims to introduce the concept of the ultra-elite, those with the wealth to literally change the course of human history. Whilst traditionally, Shadowrunners wouldn’t be calling these folk omae, they certainly do offer the temptation of ‘the one big job’. The first chapter gives an overview of the jet set from a Shadowrunners’ perspective, as moderated by FastJack. It covers some of the key personalities and offers some setting-enhancing material (spot the SOPA reference) with echoes to our world. This in particular is quite well-done and continues SR’s fine tradition of making the world a lot more than just rules – there are diverse agendas being explored, and the writers have paid careful attention to ensuring that each NPC offers something distinctly different from their counterparts. A ‘run working for the Villiers should be different to working for Johnny Spinrad, and it does show in the flavour text.

The rest of the book is given to a new format of story ideas, and there are plenty of these to suit the palate of almost any shadowrunning group. The basic structure is a BBS-style intro with a little backstory, followed by an overview and a series of plot points. Each point serves to walk a GM through the key events occurring in the story, and does so in a very loose fashion. Strung together, the plot points do tell a story, but it does require some planning and fleshing out by the GM to work properly. As said, there are a wide variety of scenarios from Matrix-runs, to mad aeroplane bombers to a story which makes use of the material in the Shadowrun War! supplement. On the whole, the writing for these is concise and again attention has been paid to making these distinct experiences for the characters, and keyed to a range of play styles. However, the link between the jet set and the plot points in some cases was quite tenuous, and I felt that some had a much more generic SR feel than the authors may have intended.

On the note of War!, the introduction to the book does note a few titles which would be useful if you intend to use the material in Jet Set. I’d agree that whilst those books are not absolutely necessary, you will have a better feel for the source material if you do own a copy. I’ll leave it up to individual readers to determine if this dependency is a problem.

The final section of the book contains stats for all of the major NPCs mentioned in the book, and whilst interesting, isn’t an essential part of the book. I might refer to it from time to time, but the preceding chapters is where my attention will be firmly placed.

In summary, Jet Set does offer up new material and background for the Sixth World, but it may not be to everyone’s taste. The Plot Point structure is interesting and I could see some solid development work which could be done to extend this through other titles. My main gripe was that I would have liked to see less of these ‘adventures’ and more of the type of setting information found in the first chapter. If the book had focused exclusively on setting info, with a GM Advice chapter on designing games revolving on the influence of the Jet Set, this would have been a stronger product.

That said, I certainly enjoyed it, and this title has more than enough ideas for me to loot and pillage for my own Shadowrun game.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Shadowrun: Jet Set
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