About 2 weeks ago I mentioned that Catalyst Game Labs released a new adventure for Shadowrun Twentieth Anniversary Edition titled Damage Control. Thankfully, now I had the chance to take a look, and write a review about it.
For those who missed the previous article here are the basics : Damage Control is a Shadowrun adventure which is starting a new product-line of adventure modules called Boardroom Backstabs. As the name implies, the main topic for the series is top-level corporate machinations and politics.
In this first adventure the story starts with a very important event : Hestaby the great dragon leveled Saeder-Krupp‘s archology in Dubai. Many corporations big and small thinks that it’s an opportunity to snatch clients and information from the giant corporation. It’s the player’s job to prove that they are wrong.
Damage Control is a well-constructed 58-page long adventure, featuring information gathering, sabotage, assassination and even more tasks, often involving opposition far below the power of the runners.
The adventure itself (with spoilers !)
In Damage Control it’s the players job to stabilize Saeder-Krupps position in the region after the devastating attack by the rival dragon. As you may guess, that means conflict with several different factions including megacorporations and maybe even worse.
I think the adventure is mainly for experienced players and characters, as at the end at least 2 or 3 factions want to eliminate them. Honestly, I think if the Game Master want to play things realistically the player group will be wiped out in a seemingly endless stream of attacks. Do you think it’s an exaggeration ? Well, enemies include : two AAA corporations, fundamentalist groups with connection to a great dragon, smaller but locally strong corporations like the Desert Sandstorm, and maybe even the local police and army (based on the players actions). And all of this on unfamiliar ground with possibly no well-established local contacts.
Regardless, I really like that the adventure offers a great variety of tasks. First the players have to gather information, then they have to make some wetwork (assassination and sabotage), capture terrorist leaders, and covertly disrupt a business meeting between Israel and Ares. As you may guess the two later is the most dangerous, as both could rise the anger of many powerful factions. This includes Saeder-Krupp, if the shadowrunners are making some big mistake (like they enable Ares to take the 750 million Nujen contract with Israel), or they decide the players know to much. (they DO know much)
In the aftermath the runners have to find their own way out of Dubai, with multiple bounties (up to 1 million Nujen !) on their heads, with many local enemies, any maybe with a blown up cover.
I think Damage Control is a good Shadowrun adventure with many pros : interesting locations, scenes and challenges all around. A good start for the new series! On the other hand a total party kill is a very real possibility if the Game Master plays out all opposition the players could face, and some parts seems underdeveloped. All in all I give it 4/5 points.
If you are interested in Damage Control is available for purchase on DriveThruRPG on this link.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros