Catalyst Game Labs recently released a new supplement to their Shadowrun roleplaying game – State of the Art: 2073. This excellent 41-page book is filled with many different kind of material, from current politics to new equipment, so it could be a great resource to game masters.

  State of the Art : 2073 is a new sourcebook for the Shadowrun 20th Anniversary Edition, featuring many different elements. It’s hard to pinpoint what’s the focus of the book, but I may say it’s about staying current in 2073 : from actual politics, through new information about awakened plants to new and innovative technologies available, the book is a great resource for Game Masters.

  The pages form 3-11 are dealing with the possibility of a dragons against metahumans war, and the politics involved around the subject. I think Game Masters could get inspiration for multiple adventures or even an entire campaign from this part alone. There are many information provided on the background, as well as many rumors, so it depends on the Game Master what is the truth behind.

 The next pages are about the new products of Ares, which are mostly military vehicles this time. I guess most players will face these as enemies, or as a target for industry espionage if an opposing company want to take a look at the design. I think the inclusion of military vehicles is very appropiate, as the war between Aztlan and Amazonia could be featured in many current campaigns. (for example, if you play Colombian Subterfuge)

  In the character corner we receive information about Samantha Roth, somebody with a lost of connections and with an extensive experience in espionage. I think the character presented very well, and I can think of at least five or six different ways to include her in a campaign.

  Next we receive a two page description about Taiwan, and it’s current state in 2073. Albeit this part is very brief (only 2 page) it could provide an interesting background for several missions.

  From the page 26 to 35 receive statistics and background information on street legal vehicles. I really think that this part of the book is very useful. Most of the vehicles could appear in any campaign, and even may be purchased by shadowrunners, while others are quite surprising to appear here. I think not much runners will meet heavy mining vehicles, with a top speed at 3 cm/minutes.

  On the last pages we get to know some of the awakened fauna of Chicago. It’s an interesting addition to the game, and maybe some Game Masters will include these plants in heir campaigns, but somehow I didn’t feel this part as good or interesting as the previous parts. Well, the could be useful if you plan to have a mission in or near to Chicago by the way.

Summary :

  I think State of the Art: 2073 is a very multifaceted addition to the Shadowrun RPG. My only complaint is the total lack of Table of Content,and that the book seems a little bit unstructured. For example I would put the two chapters about vehicles next to each other. As a final score, I give this book 4/5.

The book is available for purchase at DriveThruRPG, here.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros