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emo samurai
I was thinking Mr. Johnson's Black Book was one of them. Is it? Are there any others?
I would have to say most of the Target:XXX books, but mainly for site specific information and organizations/threats. The locales that got the snot kicked out of them in '64-'65 obviously aren't the same, but you know...
Except for Target:Matrix, that is.
All of them. All of the previous editions too. The rules might be different, but the history and fluff is invaluable. Know the game. cyber.gif
It's also good stuff to have because, in many cases, it's stuff your characters should/could/would know. The opening timeline/info in SR4 is all well and good for an opening timeline/info, but... setting-specific books (Seattle, especially) in particular would be great resources. It's not like every character has only been around for the 5 year gap between editions, y'know?
Sprawl Survival Guide is so fluff-heavy that it's worth using in SR4. Also DotSW and Threats 2.
All of them, if for nothing more than history.

For the current timeline, I refer to all of the "Shadows of..." books pretty often. Also, a lot of those books had intriguing things mentioned in passing that have never been touched again...could make interesting adventure hooks....
emo samurai
I have Dragons. It's a great book.

What about Mr. Johnson's black book?
MrJLBB is the closest thing SR has come to a gamemaster's guide. It has a chapter on the basics of preparing and managing a run, advice on how to tailor a campaign to your style, it fills this out further with a bunch of contacts/NPCs (SR3 stats), ready-to-use locations, a bunch of one shot runs/adventure seeds, some random encounter charts and quick resolution(SR3) systems for Decking and Vehicle Combat.
If you don't go 4th ed, then all of them still work.
QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
If you don't go 4th ed, then all of them still work.

Here, here!
If you want a short list of recent books, you can not go wrong with Mr. Johnson's Little Black Book, and the Sprawl Survival Guide. My initial reactions on reading both of them were along the lines of "why wasn't this book released shortly after the original first edition core rule book back in '89?"

Keep in mind, I'm saying that despite the fact that a good portion of the content in both of those books I probably already had somewhere in my five feet of Shadowrun Sourcebook shelfspace. What was impressing me about those two books was the fact that all that useful information had been pooled together, organized well, and presented so that someone who'd never even heard of SR could come up to speed on how the setting works in no time flat.

In fact, while I never was a fan of the fact that the Street Samurai Catalog got a hasty second edition remake (with pages blacked out for the few items that were intended to be patches of the first edition rules that weren't needed for the second edition), and only grudgingly bought the third edition Shadowrun Companion after having already bought one for second edition, I feel the opposite about these books. If Fanpro were to re-edit MJLBB and/or SSG, updating the relevant sections to 4th edition, and re-release them, I'd snap them up again in a heartbeat.

As is though, the books are already quite applicable to either 3rd or 4th. If you understand how the matrix evolved between the 2060s and the 2070s, then you can easily apply these books to 4th.
emo samurai
Cool. I'll be seeing my comic book shop by the end of the week.
What a tactful thread topic! Keep them coming...

I'd have to agree with everyone who's said "all of them" and for the same reasons. They are all 90% valid if you allow 10% error margin for all the errata and contradictions. The availability of a few 4th ed books doesn't invalidate a plethora of 3rd ed books.
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