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Shadowrun 5e: Splintered State

Splintered State

Designed as an introductory adventure for Shadowrun 5e, this can meet a myriad of needs. Your group (indeed, you too) may be new to Shadowrun, or you may just wish to have a structured introduction to the changes brought in by the Fifth Edition - it's a lot more enjoyable to play through them than merely read about them, after all. Hence it is designed to be adaptable to suit the group you have in front of you, and yet provide excitement and adventure, challenge and sheer fun, however much they know about the game mechanics and/or the setting.

At its most basic, the adventure concerns information and the lengths some people will do to get their hands on it. This will mean that the party of shadowrunners will meet a range of different factions, many quite powerful, and they'll have to pick their way carefully to come out alive, never mind on top and with bulging credsticks. The opening chapter, Politics and Paydata, lays out all the background to what is going on: read it carefully and see how it all fits in to the background of Seattle life at all levels. Run well, this adventure will also provide a comprehensive introduction to Seattle and its movers and shakers, setting up a successful shadowrunner team for a potentially profitable future there, if that's your long-term aim for your game.

It all begins with the 'runners being arrested for something they didn't do (however many offences could actually be laid at their doors). From then it's a sequence of unfortunate events as they come into possession of potentially explosive, not to mention valuable, information and have to decide what to do with it... and the delight is, that it is very much up to them what they do. The whole adventure is open-ended, full of options provided in such a way that you can react appropriately to whatever they get up to - a real treat to run (unfortunately I cannot tell you if it's a treat to play, but they looked as if they enjoyed it!).

Open and flexible it may be, but it is structured enough that you are not left waiting on your players, there are plenty of events to run that will keep them moving - if they do not go out to find the adventure, it will come and kick their door down. There are at least five factions who would dearly love to get hands on that information, and not all are prepared to pay for it. Time to make friends and enemies, with repercussions that can echo on for the rest of your campaign.

An added bonus is an opening scene which is designed to enable you to actually form the shadowrunner team if your players have newly-generated characters who do not know each other yet. This is helpful if you are using this adventure as a campaign-starter. From then on, things move fast but well-structured, with plenty of advice on how to portray places and people and how to deal with whatever problems arise... or even make more problems if you think the 'runners are having too easy a time of it!

The adventure should appeal to all types of players with opportunities for interaction, investigation and role-playing as well as enough combat to keep anyone satisfied, with plenty for hackers to do as well. Multiple routes lead to the exact same key events, giving the players the illusion that they are in control of their own destinies whilst actually keeping the adventure firmly on track.

Overall, a cracking adventure perfect for getting your Shadowrun 5e campaign off to a flying start.

Return to Splintered State page.

Reviewed: 20 February 2015