Here we investigate the overlooked, the underappreciated, the Shameworthy titles of the world. Jump in to an existing mission thread and give your thoughts, or start your own to kick off a discussion.
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Calin Kim

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Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut

by Calin Kim » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:41 pm

Shadowrun: Dragonfall is my current top choice for game of the year, and I think that a lot of the people here who haven't played it yet would get into it. Before that, though, we should talk about how this game came to be and provide a bit of context. I know a lot of folks feel intimidated getting into Shadowrun because it has a long history tracing back to its roots as a pen and paper RPG in the 80's. (It was also made into a FPS on the Xbox 360 and PC in 2007 that the less we talk about the better.)

Welcome to the shadows chummer.

The latest version of Shadowrun is a PC RPG that was Kickstarted back in 2012 under the name Shadowrun Returns. Shadowrun Returns was an attempt to actualize Shadowrun as a PC RPG. It was also considered an apology for the horrendous piece of shit that was Shadowrun the FPS. This thread also would not exist if the aforementioned Kickstarter hadn't hit a stretch goal to create an expansion in Berlin, because that expansion eventually became the standalone piece of brilliance I am here to discuss.

Shadowrun itself has been around since the 80's, which I mentioned I'll let Wikipedia take over at this point, because I'm lazy. So, so lazy.

Shadowrun takes place several decades in the future (2050 in the first edition, currently 2076). The end of the Mesoamerican Long Count ushered in the "Sixth World", with once-mythological beings (e.g. dragons) appearing and old forms of magic suddenly re-emerging. Large numbers of humans have "Goblinized" into orks and trolls, while many human children are born as elves, dwarves, and even more exotic creatures. In North America, indigenous American tribes discovered their traditional ceremonies allow them to command powerful spirits, and rituals associated with a new Ghost Dance movement let them take control of much of the western U.S. and Canada, where they formed a federation of Native American Nations. Seattle, Washington remains under U.S. control by treaty as a city-state enclave, and most game materials are set there and assume campaigns will use it as their setting.

In parallel with these magical developments, the setting's 21st century features technological and social developments associated with cyberpunk science fiction. Megacorporations control the lives of their employees and command their own armies; the ten largest have extraterritoriality, such as currently enjoyed by foreign heads of state. Technology advances make cyberware (mechanical replacement body parts) and bioware (augmented vat-grown body parts implanted in place of natural organs) common. The Computer Crash of 2029 led to the creation of the Matrix, a worldwide computer network that users interact with via direct neural interface. When conflicts arise, corporations, governments, organized crime syndicates, and even wealthy individuals subcontract their dirty work to specialists, who then perform "shadowruns" or missions undertaken by deniable assets without identities or those that wish to remain unknown. The most skilled of these specialists, called shadowrunners, have earned a reputation for getting the job done. They have developed a knack for staying alive, and prospering, in the world of Shadowrun.


I like the tabletop game a lot, but it wasn't the tabletop game that introduced me to the series. What really got me into the series is this thing right here Image

I'm sure some of you also played this thing right here: Image

Both of these games were great and got me into the world and the lore of Shadowrun.

Alright, Calin, why is Dragonfall worth playing?

Dragonfall takes the best parts of the Shadowrun universe and makes them the tactical, turn-based RPG that should have existed years ago.

Shadowrun is a classless RPG system, which means that, unlike D&D, you can build your character in any direction that you wish. Dragonfall continues this tradition, and it makes for a hell of a good time. Want to play a mage who can also pull out a minigun and blow suckers away? Do it. Want to play a charismatic troll who can punch someone through a building? Not a problem. How about a hotshot decker who will suppress security systems and help you access areas of building you didn't even know existed? That can be arranged.

Shadowrun is also a lot of fun. You take your party and, like Syndicate, access areas you're not supposed to be to engage in illegal and sometimes shady dealings. Stealing from megacorporations. Extracting clients and valuable data. Knowing that your existence will be denied if you're killed. You exist on the other side of the law, and the only folks watching your back are on your team.

Dragonfall takes place in Berlin, in the Kreuzbasar. Berlin is what is known as a Flux State. Here's some more on that:

Berlin is one of the biggest cities of Germany and Europe (population: 4.2 million citizens in 2062).
It was the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1990 to 2023 when the government and parliament escaped escalating riots and relocated to Hannover.
In 2039, after a small-scale civil war that had started with the Night of Rage an organization called "Anarchist Movement Berlin" (AMB) gained control of the city and declared Berlin the "Greatest Experiment in Anarchist History".


This is the world that your character will be inhabiting.

I don't want to spoil too much, but the writing for this game is really sharp. It feels like a long lost gem from the good old days of PC RPGs.

Anyone else played this thing?
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Re: Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut

by Alex Connolly » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:39 pm

As winter approaches, and the bastard of a month that is October comes to a close, I shall get on board the Dragonfall train, sir.

You sponsored the ticket, I shall ride to the end of the line.

As an aside, loved the Genny/MD Shadowrun game, and used to collect the novels. Even had a few of those massive Shadowrun Duels figurines. So good.
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Re: Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut

by Angry Jedi » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:19 pm

Sounds great! I don't know a lot about Shadowrun generally -- aside from the times you've enthused about it -- but this sounds most intriguing.
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Calin Kim

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Re: Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut

by Calin Kim » Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:29 pm

Angry Jedi wrote:Sounds great! I don't know a lot about Shadowrun generally -- aside from the times you've enthused about it -- but this sounds most intriguing.


I think you're going to like it Pete. The writing is sharp, and it gives you characters that you really end up feeling for and caring about, which I know you and I talk about all the time. This was the biggest problem with Shadowrun Returns before the expansion actually. The characters were all just random people you could hire on for runs, and you didn't get a consistent party. Dragonfall fixes all of my complaints on that front. It will take you back to the glory days of reading a whole, whole lot while you play your RPG. :D
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Re: Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut

by Raven2785 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:31 am

Welp, looks like it's time to get back in the saddle then, I started a playing this a while back before I stopped cause of my own mistakes, I basically worked myself into a corner with a mission I cannot finish due to having way, way too many enemies to deal with.

As an aside, anyone played the tabletop version? I am currently starting my 3rd campaign after the first 2 campaigns fizzled out. I am bringing this up cause the part of this game being classless is taken right over from the tabletop books, the closest thing to classes you will have are more archetypes than anything else (The Street Samurai, The Decker, the Mage, The Face, The Infiltrator, etc.) in Shadowrun tabletop you are encouraged to come up with a character concept instead of choosing a class or even mix up the archetypes, an Infiltrator could be a Sam Fisher type who can do some computer hacking on the side (the role of The Decker) or you could be an Infiltrator that specializes in social situations (The Face's specialty) essentially becoming Michael Westen. The possibilities are endless in the TRPG, and while they don't really translate a lot to the PC game, the game really gives you a lot of flexibility with how you can build your character, which is one of the things I love about the TRPG so very much.
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Re: Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut

by Calin Kim » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:12 pm

I mentioned in the first post that I like the pen and paper game a lot. Been using the 20th Anniversary book to get some interest going in a game. It's hard when everyone wants to play board games and Magic, though.
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Re: Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut

by Raven2785 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:01 pm

Well, might as well get started on this, meet Ironsight

Neckbeard elven street sammy with a lot of charisma to his name, so far, only did the intro mission when I took this screencap but already I am liking the UI changes they've done to the battle screen, you have everything in a single layer now instead of having to scroll over your weapons/skills/spells/etc. having gone thru the first part of the game beforehand I don't expect a lot of changes, so I'll probably breeze until the point I got stuck on beforehand, hope to see more of the board hop in on this.

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