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I hopped down to the local Hobbytown USA; it hasn't got the widest selection, but the one here tends to get stuff sooner than anyone else (living in Mississippi sucks for getting latest-and-greatest gaming stuff; flip side is that used and old stuff tends to be easily obtained). I started to get Threats 2, but having flipped through SSG, I felt that for a beginning group, it'd be wise to get their feet wet with some local flavor. So, I lay out the cash and head home for some light reading.

I must say, without a doubt, that this should be considered an essential sourcebook, and not just for GMs. There's plenty of extras that players should read up on, for a number of reasons. There's lots of real juicy stuff, not about secrets, but about how the average Joe in the Sixth World lives their life. Aside from the price lists for various goods (household appliances/devices, forms of entertainment/dining, and fashion tidbits), there's a lot of time spent explaining the world of the 2060's.

There's just enough detail about daily life to explain things more or less globally, while leaving regional and geographic details blank for further explanation in other supplements. I kinda like it, because I don't really feel compelled to buy a dozen other sourcebooks; I just use SSG and wing it on what I know about various locations as best I can. But the part about how society views shadowrunners, and how they actually operate, was the best. That's a great "how-to" for gamers who are fine with nearly any other game (in which they are usually the "good" guys), but have never tried to role-play the criminal archtype before.

My only real complaint was that I felt it needed just a bit more detail on surviving on the street. The sample "news article" by a reporter-turned-shadowrunner was fine; the commentary from various shadow-folk helped fill in some gaps. But a bit more variety would have been welcome. Still, the expanded rules for credsticks/IDs and lifestyles more than makes up for this; now my players can enjoy giving their residences a bit of personal style, while sweating their ID checks using the cheap 'sticks.

I definitely feel I got my money's worth, and urge anyone who ain't got this one to do so when they can. GMs can make great use of the rules, and the price lists when the players want something that most sourcebooks don't really discuss (they even have a rough price for prostitutes). Players, however, get the most out of this book: an introduction to everyday life in the setting, and information on how to be a shadowrunner (and not look stupid or mess things up too much).

That's all I wanted to say; just sharin' the experience. Now, to save up for Threats 2, once my players are done runnin' BTLs across town, and other small-time stuff...
Damn you. And I just sunk a wad of cash into this game.

Threats 2 is freaking scary. One of my GMs had nightmares after that.

Especially those Master Shedim... Those scared the drek out of me by just reading it.
I hate you too, tanka.

I wanna buy a good computer but buy Shadowrun books at the same time! All while not working!
I just picked up the SSG too and I really enjoyed it. I generally like my books to be either flavor or crunch and SSG was a great example of a flavor book, something Shadowrun really needs to help flesh out its world. In contrast, I liked (but not as much) SOTA63 since it tried to strike a balance between crunch and flavor and ended up leaving me unsatisfied in both departments.
Only disappointment was that crappy artist they brought in for SSG, the guy who makes those CP2020-looking barfs; It made me realize how high the standard for art in Shadowrun has really been through the years, and I'd be very unpleased to see more of that illustrator in future SR-publications.
Err.. since multiple artists were used for SSG, you might want to be a bit more specific than "that crappy artist". . .
QUOTE (Dogsoup)
Only disappointment was that crappy artist they brought in for SSG, the guy who makes those CP2020-looking barfs

That doesn't seem very negative to be - but IMHO the CP2020 artwork (in the mid-90ies books) is quality-wise way above most SR artwork, especially that terrible 3rd edition comic/carricature-style...
You're talking about Prescott, right?
Guys, please leave the artists alone. Its always horrid when people start geting personal. If you don't like an artist, tell the company. If lots of people agree with you they'll contact them as well. Slagging them off on a public bulletin board they may well frequent just isn't right. Please?
Or to put what spotlite said into somewhat different words: better to write a constructive critique so that, if the artist in question even just lurks here, he can understand why you don't like a particular piece or his style, and if need be make modifications in the future.

(This is not me speaking as Moderator, just me speaking as me, giving a suggestion so as to make the whole discussion better for everyone.)
You ought make a "secret" username, kinda like God doing that thing, where he's not God but the dude?
My CP2020 collection consists only of several adventure modules that may very well have been made by 3rd parties. Anyhow: Their common denominator is IMO dull, sketchy artwork.
I think I've also flipped through a couple of "gear-books" in stores, but they didn't impress me in the artistic area either.

Hahahaha, no actually; I hold Prescott very dear. I do know that he's not loved by everyone on these boards though smile.gif.

I'd rather come with constructive criticisms than not, but in this case I just could't come up with anything to improve; The illustrations I adressed looked just dead to me. I pondered over this a moment and came up with the following explanation:
I've always thought that darn near every picture in any given SR-product have conveyed a message, a history or a slice of living, breathing everyday life.
Enter images that (remember this is, as with all art, subjective) don't tell me anything. Not a sentence, where everything else has stood up to the old wording "a picture says more than thousand words". This made me very disappointed.
The only illustration I could flip past without frowning, were the one with a troll killing time in his rented coffin with some trid and beverage.
So basically, you're saying that they struck you as fairly static. Fair enough. I liked most of what I saw, personally, and felt most of it was pretty dynamic, but taste is subjective.
Honestly, the art didnt bug me. But, Im not an Artist. Overall, Im still finding it to be one of the most USEFULL books I have in my libary of SR stuff. Its the book thats got 'all that other stuff' in it. Now all I need is a half decent map...
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