It’s no secret… Shadowrun (any edition) has not exactly been a rules-lite game. It’s a meaty cyberpunk-fantasy dystopian setting with a very solid fan-base, and it also comes with a hefty set of rules for a very “simulationist” feel. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing (I have my favorite edition and have played many, many hours of it); I’m saying that that type of game isn’t for everyone.
Enter Shadowrun: Anarchy
Shadowrun: Anarchy uses the Cue System (from the same company, Catalyst Game Labs). It’s a rules-light RPG system that is all about getting started quickly and creating a story.
Using Cues, you’ll create a plot and narrate your character’s way through the story. Your character sheet has stats, gear, and abilities, and you still throw lots of d6s to resolve things, but there’s less dice-rolling and much less rules. It’s a simpler, faster, and more narrative system, and it still carries part of the Shadowrun mechanic (throw a bunch of d6s… 5s and 6s count as successes).
Most importantly, everyone is a player at the table, and everyone takes turns as the gamemaster throughout the session. It’s a collaborative type of narrative story-telling, as opposed to the traditional RPG setup. Included in the mechanics are Plot Points with which one can spend to do extra things, but more importantly to further the story.
I imagine that this is definitely not something where you’d be sitting there at the table, waiting for your turn and getting bored, because you’d be too busy leaning forward, engaged in the scenario with your friends. Actually, I don’t think I’d be doing it justice by saying that it’s a rules-lite game (it is); it’s better served to be called a rules-narrative game.
This post is in no way a review; I’m simply blabbing about something that seems cool that came out recently, and I think it could be a lot of fun. Currently, the PDF is $14.99. If you think this could be your thing (this version of Shadowrun), then check it out – I think I will…