||Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/04/06/tabletop-review-shadowr-
Free Taiwan is the latest in this season of Shadowrun Missions. I’m a big fan of this series, as you get extremely high quality adventures in full colour that can easily be run by a GM of any skill level or experience. If you’re new to Shadowrun or at least the Missions line, Free Taiwan is a great place to start. Not only because it’s an extremely well done adventure, but because it’s free and thus there’s no monetary risk to check it out.
Free Taiwain is a little on the short side compared to other Shadowrun Missions, clocking in at only 19 pages. This is probably because he adventure is free, but if you’ve been following this season of adventures, then you’ll probably recall that Smuggler’s Blues was only twenty pages and you had to pay $3.95 for it, so at least there is precedent for an Mission being this short, and don’t forget – it’s free!!! Okay, I’ll stop harping on that point now.
Free Taiwan is a really fun adventure and it makes sense that it was released on April Fool’s Day along with Street Legends Home Edition. That’s because this adventure takes place on April first. It appears the holiday survived the Awakening and is still in full force in the 2070s. In fact, an April Fool’s joke is the crux of the entire adventure – it’s just that the PC’s aren’t in on the “joke.”
Free Taiwan takes place over seven scenes, although one of them is optional. In the adventure, the players are hired to reclaim a ship known as the Free Taiwan, which was captured by pirates. The goal is to get the boat headed back on course before Knight Errant notices something is amiss and also to ensure that the special cargo on board is destroyed so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Well, of course, nothing is what it seems and the PCs will actually have a pretty easy and somewhat comical adventure on their hands. In fact there are scenes in the adventure that read like they are almost sitcom-esque, a nice change from the overwhelming dark and grittiness of the Sixth World.
Characters will have to hijack a boat unless they actually own one, and will then encounter all sorts of strangeness from a possible ghost ship to some curious Meistersingers. There’s even a bit of a hilarious in-joke if you’re into tabletop games or god forbid have personally been involved in the design (and inevitable delays that come with it) end of things. The end of the adventure involves a comedy of errors and will more than likely leave the PCs annoyed or angry in-character but amused out of it.
Free Taiwan is an adventure you can easily play in three hours or less and unlike a lot of published Shadowrun adventures which are designed for the experienced player and/or powerful characters, this one can easily be played by brand new shadowrunners starting out. It might even make a good adventure to people brand new to tabletopping as they get a taste of what the Sixth World is like, but without being shoved face first into how bloody dark it usually is.
Whether you think of the latest Shadowrun Mission as a light hearted adventure, an easy romp for characters after a long and bloody adventure or as the metaphorical equivalent of the shallow end in the pool that is Shadowrun, Free Taiwanis an extremely enjoyable throwaway experience that all Shadowrun fans should enjoy…unless they are seriously lacking a sense of humour. The fact this thing is free just makes it all the better and leaves you, the reader, with absolutely no reason as to why you shouldn’t download Free Taiwan as soon as you are done reading this. What are you waiting for? Go pick it up!
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