Featured Product: Shadowrun 5th Edition – Support (Part 3)

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Shadowrun 5th Edition – Support (Part 3)
By Aaron T. Huss

Welcome to Part 3 of the Featured Product series for Shadowrun (5th Edition) published by Catalyst Game Labs. Part 3, Support, discusses the Shadowrun brand and how Catalyst Game Labs supports it.

PUBLICATION MODEL

Shadowrun is not a new role-playing game. It’s very well-established and has a huge following. With that in mind, Catalyst Game Labs has a very new age publication model that is in contrast to many other well-established systems and settings. Their major releases are available in PDF and print with a chunky hardcover core rulebook. Small releases are available in PDF and come out quite often, and exhibit very favorable prices. Products are delivered quickly from development and Catalyst Game Labs utilizes an outlet with thousands of followers (DriveThruRPG). Their development team is very approachable and they always seem to support their fanbase.

With this new 5th Edition, Catalyst Game Labs has even decided to grow the brand with a new wargame, card game, and online video game. The Shadowrun name has become quite explosive and there’s no shortage of great content out there for a great price. I asked Jason Hardy, the Shadowrun RPG line developer, a question about their publication model, and he assured me it wasn’t going to change. To me, this is a sign of a company that plans to continue evolving with the times and promises to deliver their products through all favorable mediums and thus supporting all of its fans and potential fans.

PRODUCT SUPPORT

Some big name role-playing games are interestingly supported poorly from a product perspective. You may get lots of supplements with few adventures and even less campaigns. You may get lots of adventures and supplements with no campaigns. You may get a big campaign with few supplements. Shadowrun isn’t like that.

If you peruse the Shadowrun catalog on DriveThruRPG, you’ll find a huge collection of supplements, adventures, and campaigns (or rather missions that tie together to form a campaign). No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it. New character supplements, new setting material, new equipment, and plenty of missions to take your players through every aspect of the system and setting.

The best part of this all? Shadowrun 5th Edition is compatible with 4th Edition and all its supplements and missions. This is extremely important! Tabletop role-playing games need to be flexible and their publishers need to support what people want or potentially want. Shadowrun has been around a long time and there’s lots of great releases out there, and new ones come out quite often. Catalyst Game Labs has definitely assembled a great development team and they are dedicated to keeping you playing.

Part-time publishers don’t have these same luxuries, so you can’t fault them. But full-time publishers shouldn’t be so quick to disregard certain aspects of their popular brands, constantly looking for “the next big thing”.

Shadowrun is more than just another setting and system, it’s a whole gaming universe that always keeps you interested and wondering what they’ll come out with next.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4

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