Tabletop Review: Shadowrun Missions: Assassin Nation
by Alex Lucard on August 16, 2012

Shadowrun Missions: Assassin Nation
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Page Count: 41
Cost: $3.95
Release Date: 08/10/2012
Get it Here: DriveThruRPG.com

I’ve said for some time that, pound for pound, Shadowrun Missions is the absolutely best gaming deal out there. For only $3.95 you get a complete one-shot adventure in full color. Best of all, the adventure is laid out in such a fashion that even someone completely new to Shadowrun can run the adventure for his or her friends and have a pretty positive experience. The Shadowrun Missions systems has sections for making each scene of the adventure easier/harder, depending on the players’ play style and character stats, as well as a troubleshooting section for when players go off the rails. All in all, these adventures are designed for a single four hour session and really highlight how to have a blast in the Sixth World. For those looking for more than a one-shot experience, the full season of Shadowrun Missions has several recurring characters whose relationship with your characters will ebb and flow based on the actions you take throughout the series. I can’t think of any other company putting out this level of consistent quality – and for a fraction of the cost of what adventures usually run to boot!

Assassin Nation manages to blow away even previous Shadowrun Missions from this season, clocking in at a full forty-one pages of PDF goodness. Most Shadowrun Missions clock in between the high twenties and at very low thirties, so you’re getting at least ten more pages than the average SM product. You’ll see why once you play the adventure as it’s ten full scenes of nonstop action and more intrigue and political machinations than a Vampire: The Masquerade LARP!

So what goes on in Assassin Nation? Well a lot actually. The PCs are hired to do a simple break-in for a client. Seems the Seattle district attorney has a cyberdeck with incriminating evidence the client would like to see disappear. He’s paying a lot of money since he needs the job done lickety-split. Unfortunately, when the PCs arrive, they find more than they were bargaining for – the corpse of the district attorney for one. The PCs are blamed for his death and they have to clear their name. Unfortunately, they are also framed for the killing of a lot of activists who want the Ork Underground to become an official district of Seattle. Now the runners are set on by two very large and power factions within the city and find themselves with a 50,000 nuyen bounty on their heads – EACH. Oh, bother. It’s up to the PCs to figure out who is behind the frame job and what the end game is. The end result is an exceptionally fun combination of detective work and extreme violence that is sure to make this adventure one of the most memorable Shadowrun excursions your group will play through. Add in the potential of a new big bad recurring villain for your party and this adventure has practically everything you could ask for. Hell, it even has a donut and coffee shop that might not as good as the Double R/Twedes a little outside of Seattle, but I’m sure you’ll get some Twin Peaks quotes from your more esoteric players while in that location.

Assassin Nation is well balanced, providing players with equal amounts of role-playing, rolling dice to simulate wanton violence, and testing the team’s thinking skills. Only eighteen of the forty-one pages make up the scenes, so what are the other twenty-three pages for? Well, it’s all GM/Keeper/Storyteller/whatever aids. You get a full synopsis, a two page introduction on how to run the adventure (remember, it’s extremely friendly to newcomers), post adventure bits like faction, money, and reputation modifiers along with charts, NPC stats, a lot of maps, and a debriefing log for those of you playing through the entire season of Shadowrun Missions. It’s all high quality stuff and with a price point of only $3.95, it costs less than a comic book.

If you’ve ever been curious about trying Shadowrun, picking up a copy of the Quick Start Rules is a great way to start. Likewise, the Shadowrun Missions are the best way to jump into running a game or story for the first time. Long time vets of Shadowrun or just roleplaying in general will also have a blast running Shadowrun Mission adventures and they are laid out perfectly and allow as much flexibility as a GM or party wants/needs. Assassin Nation is my favorite out of the season so far, but even if you start with this, trust me when I say you’ll want to go back and collect the whole season. What are you waiting for people? Go purchase this and get ready for some Sixth World hijinx with your friends!



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