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I have moved to Austin since the time I was a regular on these boards and, after a long time of being distracted by life-type things, I've had an itch to do some gaming again. I'm really liking the idea of running an Austin campaign since I know the area so well now and since there's so many neat plot hooks.

However, before I do this, I'd like to get my duckies in a row and figure out exactly what CANON info is out there for Austin, TX, CAS. I know the basics and I don't expect anyone to quote entire books at me. In fact, I'd prefer if you'd just point me in the directions of what books to dig through to find info.

Right now, all I remember is that Austin is divided along the Colorado River with the South side (where I currently live) being Aztlan and the North side being CAS. And with LA having their own problems, NYC still recovering from an earthquake after a few decades, Chicago overrun with bugs, and Austin as it is, most simsense production has moved to Nashville rather than Austin. The only reason I mention this is that I was wanting to do a big media angle for one arch and it popped into my head.

Once again, I've got pretty much every Shadowrun book in existence except a few of the less metaploty novels, so you don't need to give me an entire history lesson but merely point me at which books I need to look in. Thanks.

The Abstruse One
From what I recall there is one OOP book that very briefly details events in Austin. But from what I recall FASA put the Steve Jackson facility right at the border between UCAS/Texas and Aztlan. Ie directly in the line of battle. smile.gif IIRC the dividing line went directly thru the SJ place. smile.gif

If it's a FASA or FanPro book pre-4th Ed, I've got it. I've even got one of the limited edition 4th Edition books.

I'm pretty sure the Colorado River was the border between CAS and Aztlan. Steve Jackson Games is actually located a few blocks away from my apartment according to Google maps (though I've never noticed them or I would've I had to walk RIGHT past the location on the map every single day on my way to work at my old job and I never noticed it) and it's basically a residential area until you hit AMD or so, then it's all industrial. There's a ton of side-streets and if they were to put the border there, it'd make no logical sense. The river, on the other hand, only has eight bridges -- Congress Street, First Street, Lamar, Mopac, S. Pleasant Valley, Hwy 183, and Interstate 35. There's also a bridge used for rail travel. It would be easy to put border checkpoints on these bridges and, if necessary, destroying the bridges. The river would be much easier to defend and make a stand for the CAS troops than Ben White Blvd. Of course, this would mean giving up the airport...

You know what? I might just write a little netbook about this once I can pin down the canon info on the subject...I figure I know enough about this city and enough about the setting in general to give it a shot. Anyone have book titles for me so I can get started on the research?

The Abstruse One

PS. I'm not 100% behind you on the SJG border issue (if you're right, I'll eat crow on this one), but I do know that the address listed as ground zero for the Carmack Blast in Chicago was the address of the old FASA HQ in Chicago.
Well it was during/when FASA was doing Shadowrun.

But if may have been on the Genie FASA boards, it may have been talked about there.
The FASA crew were fairly talkative on the boards there, all kinds of things were talked about.

Find me the book and I'll bow before you. Seriously, no sarcasm, I really want to know what the canon info on this is. Please?

The Abstruse One
rotfl.gif Well it may be in my hard copies of the FASA Shadowrun Forums from Genie, let me "dig" them up and read thru them.

I have looked in all of my copies of the published Shadowrun materials, my collection is fairly complete.

Bowing no, I just want to see if my memory is failing......or not!!! smile.gif
Hmm have found a conversation about something bad happened in Lake Geneva, Paul says tragic mass-driver misfire in '18, Tom says tragic Great Dragon dumping in '22.
Neo-Anarchist's Guide to North America?
Neo-Anarchist's Guide to North America?

No that one details the DFW area, nothing on Austin. But by that book, where I live now is defined low rent. biggrin.gif
There's some stuff in the Lone Star sourcebook, although probably not what you're wanting. Lone Star's HQ is in Austin, so the book skims over the city to focus on LS.
There's about half a page worth of information and shadowtalk about Austin in the Games of State/Espionage section of State of the Art 2064. Shadows of North America lays out the basic situation as well - Colorado river divides the two halves of the city with the I95 bridge being the only connection left.
If that's true, then whichever side blew up the South Congress bridge would be in BIG trouble. The country (or continent or maybe the world's) largest (or second largest, I can't remember off the top of my head) urban population of bats lives under the bridge, and they've developed a little cult. There's usually a hundred or two hundred people every night on the south bank of the bridge ready watch the millions of bats fly out about sunset. One of Austin's nicknames is even Bat City. And traffic is nuts as it is...I'd hate to see what it'd be like with the Mopac bridge gone...then again, something tells me population density would have gone way down so maybe they'll help...

Any other books I can check? Thanks for the help guys. And yes, I am looking on my own too but with little luck.

The Abstruse One
Big D
Considering the circumstances, far worse had already happened.

I've always wondered... is the Alamo still around? Or did it get blown up or vandalized as an azzie psyop?

Also, who holds the flood control dams upstream, and the major dams around Austin?
I don't think any of those questions are answered in canon, but if I had to guess...

I'd say based on Aztlan and Aztechnology's habit of encouraging loyalty similar to a dictatorship, they probably either razed the Alamo or else turned it into a museum blasting Texas in general and the glorious victory that the Mexican army gained at the battle.

As far as the dams, I'd say Aztechnology runs them. They're on the border and frankly, Aztechnology would have better staffing and personnel than the CAS government would. In my opinion, it would've been hammered out in whatever treaty stopped Aztlan at the Colorado River. It might also be a joint force, or the dams might've gotten split up between the two with one taking the dam near 183 and the other taking the one upstream. They also could've just said screw the lake and just opened the things up.

So far, all I've been able to determine as far as canon info on Austin:

1) The film industry moved here from Los Angeles when trouble broke out there, then hightailed it to Nashville when Aztlan invaded or vice versa. Source: Target UCAS

2) Zilker Park is still open to the public and Aztlan allows much more access to the park than other places on their side of the border while still appearing to enforce their borders in order to allow listening posts and bugs all over to overhear secret intelligence meetings which were apparently commonplace there. Source: SotA 2064

3) Lone Star was founded in Austin, even though their first contract for municipal law enforcement was Corpus Christi. Source: Lone Star Sourcebook

4) The dividing line between CAS and Aztlan is the Colorado River. Source: Various.

Does anyone have anything else they can add? Thanks.

The Abstruse One
Big D
You're missing a lot of dams. There are a half dozen major dams upstream of Austin, any one of which could be blown up and probably wipe out the others downstream, along with anything near the river. On top of that, there are lots of smaller flood-control dams that feed into or sit on the Colorado.

Control of the dams is probably a fairly important issue for surviving Austinites.

I have one note to add to your list... there are rumors that Texas built a spirit-based ABM system back in the '50s. No details on how the spirit would be guided to the inbound, however.
Heck with the damns and such who got Hippy Hollow? smile.gif

Also power generation facilities will be high on the list also, wonder if Comanche Peak is still in use by this time?
Big D
It's well behind the lines. But isn't fusion widespread?
The LCRA runs the dams in Texas currently so anyone who has control of the LCRA facility on Lake Austin Blvd would own the dams. The rest of Texas power is controled from Tayor, TX (close to Austin) by ERCOT.

Big D: are you talking about the 2050 or 1950? If 1950 then no, the silos at Beecave containing were decommissioned a few years back and the site went up for sale. Also Bergstom AFB was turned into an airport so no missiles there either. I wouldn't doubt that we had more stuff here but, unless the interceptors were getting tracking info from Ft Hood or San Antonio we don't have the radars for that kind of work.

Not to derail the topic but, the Austin/Texas info from FASA is wack. Due to the amount of Military & Mil/FED research sites in Texas we'd be nuked before any portion of the state was given up. Now I may just be a tad pissy as the thought of any portion of Texas going back to Mexico fills me with hulk like rage (remember the alamo & all that), but, it seems to me that the troops, NBC, and armor in Ft. Hood alone could wipe out anything Mexico had at the time. If you add in the stuff in San Antonio, El Paso, Corpus, etc...
QUOTE (GrepZen)
Not to derail the topic but, the Austin/Texas info from FASA is wack. Due to the amount of Military & Mil/FED research sites in Texas we'd be nuked before any portion of the state was given up. Now I may just be a tad pissy as the thought of any portion of Texas going back to Mexico fills me with hulk like rage (remember the alamo & all that), but, it seems to me that the troops, NBC, and armor in Ft. Hood alone could wipe out anything Mexico had at the time. If you add in the stuff in San Antonio, El Paso, Corpus, etc...

That's pretty universally true of the background. I'd guess it was put together while the author was drunk, smoking crack, and chewing peyote.
IIRC the UCAS military stripped the UCAS military bases prior to turning them over to the CAS/Texas military. So most of the neat hardware/vehicles are gone.

That leaves CAS/Texas with bases that have material issues(tanks etc) and features missing.

I do not think CAS/Texas had time to restock/rebuild those bases prior to the Aztlan invasion.

The Mexico of today and the Aztlan Empire are vastly different forces. From what I have read of the Aztlan, they are a first tier military organization in the world of Shadowrun 4th ed.

Also the Aztlan invasion is what caused Texas to succeed from CAS, due to they did not give immediate aid(military etc) to Texas in fighting against the invaders.

For a state militia to fight and hold a first tier military like the Aztlan, speaks loudly of the Texan fighters.

Once Texas rejoined CAS, they did get some aide from CAS, but then the Aztlan had a foot hold in Texas.

IIRC the front lines are static now, due to some treaties etc. Does not mean that independent Texan resources are not engaged in a low intensity conflict with Aztlan forces. Such forces for some reason, are below the CAS/Texas radar so to speak.

I view the front line between the two sides to be rife with independent thunderbirds making runs of various types. Also the various methods of smuggling people/goods by the coyotes of today will be in use going both directions across the front lines.

I know the author of the DFW area was/is from that area.
Big D
err... they didn't have spirits in 1950 to make a spirit-based ABM system with. smile.gif

One thing on the Azzies... didn't they pack an awful lot of mojo for 2035? I was under the assumption that spirits, mages, and trained critters gave them an enormous advantage at a time when A&M&M was still working on the second M.

One of the downsides to basing a setting in reality is that some things will *always* be whacked, and those will be noticed by people who know those things.

Don't even mention LA on here. Just don't. smile.gif
LA rotfl.gif LA rotfl.gif LA rotfl.gif LA rotfl.gif
Texas AMM got it in 2025, along with UCLA and MITT by the Shadowrun Timeline wiki.

Aztlan has its forces occupied in other places, so in Texas they are more than likely having a wait and "we will kick your hoop as soon as we take some irons out of the fire."

Aztlan hot spots

Denver or the lack there of.

Yucatan Peninsula

Colombia and Venezuela
QUOTE (WearzManySkins)
LA rotfl.gif LA rotfl.gif LA rotfl.gif LA rotfl.gif

He told you not to do it. Everytime someone tries to fix the LA storyline they end up making it worse. It's not good.


Anyhow, the war between Texas and Aztlan happened at a time when Texas had just pulled out of the Union. By force.

What that means is that you've got a series of secessionists doing urban commando stuff and setting up improvised explosive devices and such until the rest of the country decides that it is no longer worth the mounting cost in dollars and lives to even try to administer the place. Kind of like Baghdad if the people at the top were any good at risk assessment and cost analysis.

But then what? The surrounding areas are all really hostile, having just been on the receiving end of a guerilla war from the Texans. Not only is the UCAS pullout gradual and hostile (presumably taking everything that they could fit into a santa sack before leaving for good), but the period afterwards was filled with the fledgling Texas finding themselves bereft of allies and even trading partners.

Indeed, Texas could almost pull a California and revert to sea-based trade, except that all such trade coming into and out of Houston also had to go through the territorial waters of a hostile Carribean League (as opposed to California's trade which could go straight through international waters until it hit Hong Kong or Tokyo). Instead, the post-Ghost Dance Texas found itself unable to even feed itself and was unable to be provisioned from the rich agricultural lands of the Confederacy as they had recently just pissed in that diplomatic well.

So yeah, Texas has millions of people who are, per capita, better armed and more hard core than pretty much anyone except Alaskans. But when it came time for Aztlan's invasion they found that all meant precisely dick in the face of a devastated economy, a disunified people, trade sanctions, and shortages of food and supplies. It's pretty hard to hold territory in the face of determined partisan activity. The take-home lessons of Iraq, Lebannon, and Sudan may be that it is functionally impossible.

But war is still a logistics game, and the Texans in the Shadowrun history had the Logistics against them in 2035 when the Aztlaners boiled over the Confederate border.


Remember, when the Aztlaners came to take parts of Texas away, the Texas legislature protested the lack of response by the Confederate Assembly by severing ties to the Confederacy. The entire CAS was less than a year old at the time, and it's entirely possible that it would have been able to mount a counter attack given some more time to pull its shit together. Of course, once Texas took its ball and went home the rest of the Confederacy wasn't going to do shit for them.

And then when Texas turned to the UCAS for the help that the CAS "wasn't giving them", the UCAS told them to go find a rat hole to die in. Unsurprising when you consider that Texans had been roadside bombing federal agents just 14 months ago.

is there any info on the texas rangers? are they in any source books? do they even still exist in sr?
I seriously doubt the Texas Rangers are going anywhere, and I believe I remember reading a reference to them somewhere. They fill pretty much the same role as not I believe -- not so much a standing army but a state-wide law enforcement service similar to the FBI.

Now, from what I've read, the Austin info is horrible basically because Austin's changed a LOT since it was written. For one thing, South Austin has become the playground of the middle class now instead of being the seedy slums they once were. It's all about being retro trendy. South of Hwy 71 and east of 35 up to about Oltorf is all nice pretty apartment complexes meant for middle class and rich college kids (the ones north of Oltorf up to Riverside start getting ickier and ickier). Bergstrom AFB is now Bergstrom International Airport and the airport that was at Hwy 71 and I-35 (the one up north, not the one down south...honestly, I think the Aztlan army was stopped because they kept getting lost...did you know there's THREE fifth streets here?!) was closed and the area turned into a shopping mall (which now means that Airport Blvd goes nowhere near the airport).

Also, Texas A&M is in COLLEGE STATION! The University of Texas is in Austin. The only thing that can get you in more trouble on the drag than mixing that up is wearing maroon and white during the OU game.

So, since the info on Austin is so fubar, I'm thinking about writing a small netbook sorting it all out a bit. Of course I've started such projects before but gotten bored with them halfway through, so if anyone wants to help me out or take charge and let me help, send me a message.


PS. There seems to be a lot of Austin SR players...anyone interested in a 3rd Ed game?
Big D
One other thing that isn't clear is what Azzie motives were.

Did they just want a land grab? Rape, pillage, and plunder?

Or were they after a big enough chunk of land that they could be certain they had control of a few places they were looking for, but hadn't found at the time?

I've had my suspicions for some time that the whole war was primarily to grab Aquareena Springs, with the rape/pillage/plunder being gravy.
As for the Texas Rangers they would revert back to the days of Pecos Strip. They were not so politically correct back then.

Lets not forget Devil's Sinkhole either.
Abstruse: I've been dying to get something going in this city since I got back...I'd love to help with the Netbook and could go for a game or two as well. Drop me a mail at if you want to get something started. I may know of some people who want to game.
First off - thank you Abstruse for wanting to do such a book. Heck for just wanting to pull together the information. As a Texan I've been wanting to do something similar and since Austin is my favorite city (I do plan to move there with in the next few years) in Texas I to was looking for information on the city.

I'd be willing to support you on this project as well, as I've tried to put together such information but I'm lacking the physical books (Got frustrated back in 3rd Ed and sold EVERYTHING off) as well as the first hand knowledge of the city save for the weekends away during the year. I'd be willing to help "flesh" out details so even if you just wanted to just brain storm some ideas and thumbnail them before you're completely bored I could feel in all the text that make such a book interesting. Feel free to e-mail me as well ( we could all get a thread going.
cool ideas
I live in Houston (Nassau Bay area specifically) and Ive been wanting to find out Texas related SR info as well.

I thought Lone Star came out of the Texas Rangers privatizing? Or am I thinking of something else?
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