When the game session ends your thoughts are still in the game and particularly on the next game if you are a game master. Where is the story going, how can I develop my character? Why was the GM grinning he told us that we are going in Chicago? Where can I get inspiration?
In the days of the mighty Internet there are plenty of sources to choose from but if you don’t have the time or want to dive into the rat-hole of Shadowrun forums (like the official one and Dumpshock) and you want something digestible and condensed you might want to try some Shadowrun themed podcasts.
My list might not be the most comprehensive but it includes some very well made podcasts that offer content and are in general very well produced. If you play or run Shadowrun, have a listen to these podcasts. They are free and all you have to lose is your precious time.
The Arcology Podcast
This podcasts is made by a couple known by their street names Mr. Johnson and Vox. Their podcast is all about giving helpful ideas and tips to players and game masters as well as give some background info about the Shadowrun’s Sixth World setting.
The show started analyzing what is Shadowrun and what a typical session of Shadowrun is like. They then go into player characters and specifically how to build one of the basic archetype characters of Shadowrun : Street Samurai, Decker/Technomancer, Rigger, Adept, Mage/Shaman and Face. Shadowrun does not have a class system like D&D or strict typing of characters but it does have archetypes that are at least a helpful starting point when designing a character.
There are also basic show segments in the show like the critter corner that covers paranormal critters of the Sixth World and listener stories.
The show is well produced. It has a consistent structure and it does its best not to overwhelm the listener with Shadowrun trivia. Shadowrun is an old game and it has accumulated a lot of backstory and history. This can be a bit daunting for new players. So its easy to make a new player scared out of their minds if they hear veteran players talking about the game.
The audio quality of the podcast is good. This is a very important since it’s far too easy to drive away listers with poorly recorded audio even if the topic is interesting. If the audio is tiring to listen then there is a good chance that only those who absolutely can’t live without the podcast will start unsubscribing.
I’m not going to give a grade or stars to this podcast. I think it’s sufficient to say that I’m always very happy to see a new episode of this show in my podcatcher feed.
The podcast can be found at http://arcologypodcast.com and its feed url is http://arcologypodcast.com/feed. You can find it also from the iTunes’ Podcasts section.
Critical Glitch, a Shadowrun Podcast
Critical Glitch’s name is reference to a rule in Shadowrun where the number of ones in dice rolls exceed over half of the dice and there are no dice with the result of five or better. This means your character has just failed horrifically.
However Critical Glitch is not a horrible failure. They should have named it as Success or Critical Success. It is hosted by Steven A. Tinner, the “GM to the Stars” and Tim Patrick “The Most Dangerous Man in Gaming”.
This podcast is more for the veteran players of Shadowrun or at least to those who have played a few games and know what the deal is. The hosts are often joined by well known members of the Shadowrun community such as Steven “Bull” Ratkovich, Jason Hardy and others close(r) to the development of the game. This means that the hosts and guests have a lot of insight how the game works, what are they working on and what’s in the pipeline.
The topics varies but the theme is constant: Shadowrun.
The show is well produced. There used to be a clear structure but due to the recent special episodes this has wavered slightly. Structure keeps shows consistent and keeps them from turning into hours of random ramblings. However, even with the late loose structure the hosts have held together nicely with out noticeable ratholes.
The audio quality varies. The more loose structured NERPS-episodes tend to have adequate sound quality and the more structured episodes a good sound quality.
If you are interested what’s going on in the Shadowrun development and in the community listen this podcast. You can find it at http://criticalglitch.com. Their feed is available at http://criticalglitch.com/?feed=rss2 and you can also find them at the iTunes’ Podcast section.
Neo-Anarchist Podcast: A Shadowrun History
I mentioned that there is a lot of backstory and history in Shadowrun. It’s first edition was published in 1989 and so it has nearly 25 of development behind it. No wonder that so many players get overwhelmed by Shadowrun…well at least I did (but I also got intrigued). There is enough material to make a whole podcast about it.
Neo-Anarchist Podcast did just that and in an interesting way. The podcast is made in-character, that means that the host has taken the role of an neo-anarchist shaman named Opti that is doing a pirate radio type broadcast and getting the truth out there about what has happened. It’s a low barrier, easy to consume way to introduce players to the story of Shadowrun.
At this point Opti is taking a hiatus or he is just laying low. Maybe the bugs have finally gotten him or worse…the Knight Errant. Yes, I think that Opti might think that being gotten by the Man is worse than being gotten by soul consuming bugs.
The show is very well produced. It tells about event in some span of years or focuses on some important topic such as on a mega corporation or a major phenomena.
The audio quality is top notch and it has a very fitting theme music.
This podcasts are for everyone who is interred on dystopic alternative past and future of Shadowrun’s Sixth World. The Neo-Anarchist Podcast is available at neo-anarchist.podomatic.com, it’s feed is available at http://neo-anarchist.podomatic.com/rss2.xml or you can find at the iTunes Podcast section.
Orher Podcasts About Shadowrun
I’m sure there are other podcasts about Shadowrun. I found the Hidden Grid podcast but I have not heard enough of it to write about it in this post. I might do an update to this post if it ends up in my podcathers top list. You can give me suggestions in the comments if you have found something you like.
More general info and books can be found from the official site at www.shadowruntabletop.com.