At the very end of 2011 Catalyst released a new addition to their Shadowrun brand : Shadowrun Corporate Intrigue. Building on information provided in Corporate Guide, this sourcebook filled with adventure plots, NPC-s and the internal and external machinations of the megacorporations.
At 2011 December 27 Catalyst Game Labs announced the release of Corporate Intrigue, their new Shadowrun sourcebook. Building on information provided both in Corporate Guide and in several other previous sources, this excellent sourcebook consist enough adventure seeds to keep most Shadowrunner-teams busy for months.
Corporate Guide is divided into three distinct parts. Knives Out is a section about the recent events around the ten largest megacorporations, including their recent activities, and it’s connection to the current plotline. The background provided here is a really good connection point to the adventures in the book. The biggest part of this 150-page book is taken by not less than 17 different adventure plots, some of them in close connection to each other why some are not. The last part is the Character Trove, filled with dozens of NPC characters, both usable for these adventures, or for entirely different settings or campaigns.
I think most of the content in this book is really good. for example the Knives Out section in itself could give inspiration for dozens of adventures, and the Character Trove is truly a gift to those Game Masters (myself included) who like to have dozens of ready to use generic NPC-s at hand.
The adventures themselves are really interesting, and are connected to at least a dozen different corporations. Players could leave their mark in Bogota, Seattle or even in space. I think the motivations and the NPC-s in the adventures are really in place, which is very important in a book about intrigues. In most cases players really making a difference in the world : enormous corporate projects and innocent lives depend on their actions. Of course, they are compensated accordingly.
However I think these adventures are far from perfect. most of them feels really linear with a predetermined course of actions, so it’s possible that players will feel that it’s their actions and not their decisions which makes a difference. In several cases I think it’s entirely possible that the players try to do something against their original targets (hint : they have good reasons to change direction or simply abandon some quests), but there is no ideas provided for the GM about what to do in this case. For example, in one instance the players gets captured, interrogated and then followed by Saeder-Krupp, but the adventure assumes the players continue their work against the corporation regardless.
in the end I think Shadowrun: Corporate Intrigue is a very good book, and with some work from an eager Game Masters most adventure plost could be real gems on their own. I give 4/5 as a final score.
The book is available for purchase on RPGNow, here.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros