Review – Shadowrun Mission : Free Taiwan
Free Taiwan is a 19 pages long free adventure, for the Shadowrun Twentieth Anniversary Edition. If you would just try the Shadowrun 4th edition, here is the Quick Starter from the publisher’s website : link
You can download freely the adventure from DriveThruRPG here.
The first 3 pages are for the DM’s technical support, advices, and notes. It’s enough to read at once. After that, begins the real adventure. The Adventure has 6 scenes, from the job interview, to returning to Seattle for the payment. The main goal is to occupy a stolen ship, namely the “Free Taiwan”, and then return to Seattle. I don’t want to spoil the story, so for more information see the adventure.
Every Scene has a logical structure, which includes :
• Scan this – Short sentences about the scene. In other hand it’s a summary.
• Tell it them straight – This is the red coloured sentences in other games: read it loudly to your party. It’s what they have to know.
• Behind the scenes: Most important part of the episode. Motivations, secrets, and solving options are revealed are here.
• Pushing the envelope: If you have an expert team, use these instructions to harden the episode. (Not just “one more orc, and +2 hps”, but sudden actions, unsuspected crimes, unprepared attack, secret alliance, etc.) It’s a good part for evil DMs.
• Debugging: Do you remember, when you had a good story, but the party always wanted to go to the other way? This part is for “the unwanted players’ options”, when they don’t remember, need, or like something. Inspirations for you to motivate your players, and suggest the “right” way.
In the end of the publishing you can find the list of NPCs, a detailed tactical map, and a Debriefing Log for the DM. In the other pages’ you can find illustrations of water-vehicles, and a whale.
Nearly in the whole adventure approximately one page is used per scene. It helps for the DM, to handle the adventure easily.
The story is twisted from the first page, but simple enough to handle it. There are 2-3 power groups not counting the players, who can react in different ways. It could be a 4-10 hours playing session – depending on the players’ motivations, activities, and experiences. While your players create their characters, you can read the adventure. It’s an easy, short, exciting, and “hitting” story.
I suggest to try Free Taiwan in a silent Saturday night with your friends.
Jeremy A. Wylie