In which I codify my homebrew rules for Encounters: Shadowrun, hopefully making the game more satisfying for solo play while adding a fun narrative layer to make it more immersive.
Remember the "This is the world liberals want!" meme? Subversion is the game they'd be talking about, and I mean that as high praise. While it has the requisite cyberpunk trappings of economic dystopia and extreme power imbalances, it flips Shadowrun's integration of fantasy on its head, imagining a world that a) always had magic and fantastic lineages (aka, races), and b) building upon Babylonian mythology as its foundation instead of the usual European inspirations. In Neo Babylon, magic has ruled for eons and technology is trying to level the playing field, disrupting the balance of power while crushing the underprivileged between them. In this world, the cops (Lawjacks) are implicitly a gang.
I've had an itch to write something in this ridiculous and ridiculously cool world since I finished Shadowrun Returns a couple of months ago, like I used to for D&D, and have started sketching out my first character's backstory.
I honestly don't know how Shadowrun escaped me all these years, but its combination of D&D, The Matrix, and Mission: Impossible is 100% my shit! Imagine: fantasy races, magic, cyberpunk, and elaborate heists sitting atop an intricately fleshed out near-future world that uses the Mayan Long Count calendar and corporate greed as its main pillars. It's as problematic, corny, and compelling as you'd think — and I'm totally digging it.