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Review – Shadowrun: Sim Dreams & Nightmares

27 December, 2013

Shadowrun: Sim Dreams & Nightmares is a brief guide to the use and abuse of sim sense technology in the Shadowrun setting.  Sim Sense and BTL (Better Than Life) chips, and the addiction caused by them, are a major part of the Shadowrun setting so, good to see them get some more detail.  However, this product does not provide nearly enough mechanical information, rather just enough for an overview, which may be enough for most games but it creates more questions than it answers.

Shadowrun: Sim Dreams & Nightmares, is a short piece on sim sense and related technologies (Better Than Life -BTL- chips, moodchips, personasofts) and their place in the Sixth World of Shadowrun.  While made for the 4th edition, the background information remains applicable to the setting and the limited additional rules should be easily convertible to 5th.

The discussions of sim sense and its uses (“opiate of the masses”) are interesting.  But the really interesting chips are moodchips (choose your emotion) and personasofts (act like someone else with skills to match) and they are not given enough information to properly integrate them into a game as their mechanical effects and limits are not even discussed and they have so much potential as plot hooks and in game devices.

Additional mechanics for addiction as well as new sim and addiction related edges and flaws complete the product along with a complete list of addictive substances (including skillwires now) in Shadowrun along with prices for various sorts of sim programs.

The subject really deserves more space and clearer rules though it does do a good job of providing an insetting look at sim sense, it is lacking the mechanics to back them up properly.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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