10 thoughts on “Episode 016 – Game Mastering Shadowrun Part 5: Session Prep”

  1. Hello archology. Thunk here again, sorry to be a pain but I believe I have the semi-final draft of my character worksheet (minor tweaks aside). I am posting the reddit link and the dropbox link. Any questions or comments either e-mail me directly, or drop a message on the reddit. Don’t care about reddit and want the paydata? the dropbox link is there too. The only problem is this works best on excel and the quality of the product falls of if you use Microsoft works spreadsheet or Google Docs.

    Dropbox download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jh8nlgxrxk3sy4u/Shadowrun5%20Worksheetv4.xlsx

    Reddit Thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/1vg6re/character_worksheet_5th/

    1. If there is an error on the dropbox link, please check the reddit thread. It will have the fix more then likely within an hour of you posting the problem (assuming im awake).

        1. the Dropbox link is now out of date. I have applied updates to the reddit version Contains the new and updated version. I have closed all the errors I know about now. (I had my party use the sheet so i had eight sets of eyes tell me when something went wrong). So Please take the updated version by either following the link in my name. or copying it here. Any errors in the math please let me know. So i can fix it ASAP. Thank you for you patence, and my inability to keep the spelling of the word “Ork” and “Orc” in line. (one of the bigger problems.)

          Again, if you dont like reddit. Here is the dropbox link:


  2. Nice podcast. I especially liked the NPC Contact you outlined. Loved the details you added to the character. Nice job, Vox.

    Once again, I’d like to see an episode (or two) where you and Mr. Johnson profile your characters. You could use them as examples of character generation and development, explaining how you chose their attributes, skills, contacts, etc., and the in-world rationales for them.

    1. Thanks! We’ll get into our own character builds in a future show, I promise. πŸ™‚

  3. I enjoyed the podcast and I was inspired to respond with my thoughts. In general I think the most important advice is to know your players and what they are looking for out of the game. In no particular order:

    I think that how you handle maps, etc. needs to be driven by the players. In my case, I tend not to use metered maps for combat. I usually like to give a quick sketch, we usually play on a college campus to I will throw something on the chalk board, just to give me and the players a general idea of where things are.

    Generally for any kind of infiltration. My players try to get maps,blueprints, etc. so they can plan. Because of this and because I tend to want these when I play, I try to have some kind of maps for them if they ask. You don’t have to draw these yourself.

    STEAL. What I mean here is, there are tons of Maps spread thoughout the prewritten adventures, use them. They don’t have to be the same edition you are playing, you are just using the maps. You don’t even need to spend any money on this. There are entire seasons of shadowrun missions scenarios to draw from, free to download from Catalyst’s site, unfortunately newer seasons we are now being charged for.

    Another place to find maps, the internet. I’ll start with the most surprising, at least to me, the other day my wife looked at the Mall of America on google maps and zoomed in. If you zoom in close enough you get the layout of the mall, including the layout of the department stores like Nordstroms. So if you know of a Mall where your game is set and you want to use it as a site in the game here is a good place to start, the mall you want may not have a map like this, but you can always fake using a different map. Obviously, the stores would be different but really you are just after the outlines most of the time. Other places, using your favorite search engine search floor plans, if it has the option switch over to an image search. You can be more specific and add keywords like, office or warehouse to hone in on what you are looking for. Doing this you should be able something close to what you want.


    I like to include some innocuous
    details in room descriptions, specifically details tailored to the characters. If you have a character who has dedicated some of their points on a knowledge skill of Beers with a specialty in Microbreweries, then occasionally include a mention of them. Maybe the bar they are meeting the Johnson at is featuring a rare/exclusive brew, maybe their target has some empty bottles in his trash when the runners go to extract him, that kind of thing. Making the non-combat/”useless” skill choices matter adds to the immersion in the world. As an added bonus acknowledging those choices encourages the players who make those choices to keep making them while hopefully prompting players who haven’t made those choices in the past to consider them in the future.

    As an aside I am not saying that you have to make mechanically poor choices to make an interesting character, but no real person is without flaws, interests, etc. Everyone has aspects of themselves that do not directly contribute to their primary skills. These are represented by the choices you make for you character that seem odd. Knowledge skills are a great place for this kind of customization in SR.

    1. Nice – you’ve got some great points there. I particularly like the details custom-revealed per characters. Most of us spend some time, I imagine, figuring our characters out (what exactly is my character into?) and it’s nice to have that time and effort rewarded.

  4. Ack Wall of Text. Not used to the formatting necessary here. Is there any way to edit that post for paragraphs and such?

    1. Not sure how to edit as a user rather than as an admin – no worries, though: it looks fine to me. πŸ™‚

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