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Review – Shadowrun: the Complete Trog

24 October, 2017

SR: the Complete TrogShadowrun: The Complete Trog is a runner resource for Shadowrun and this makes it unusual at it is a player facing book in many ways, providing world information to make playing orks and trolls deeper and more tied to the setting. It provides considerable, if scattershot, information for ork and trolls and how they fit into the Sixth World. For any campaign that features orks and trolls (and their struggles) prominently, it will prove to be a vital resource.

Shadowrun: The Complete Trog, is the first of the Shadowrun Runner Resources for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book is all about how orks and trolls, and their variants, fit into the Sixth World of Shadowrun.

After a short introduction to what is in the book, we get two fiction sections, and then starts with a section entitled What Are You? Which is an in-game look at being a trog with commentary from others. This gives an interesting, and fairly nuanced, view on what life is like in the Shadowrun world, at least the American section, for those who are orks and trolls.

Living as a Trog in . . . looks at how orks and trolls are treated in various places across the Sixth World. Starting with the Black Forest Troll Republic (in what used to be Germany), life in the Native American Nations, Chicago, Dubai, Seattle, Neo-Tokyo and Nagasaki, and many more. Mostly providing information about places that have not had their own sourcebooks recently. These provide useful snapshots of places for characters to be from or visit. It would have been nice to see more information on the variants of orks and trolls and how they fit in, this is done a bit for the giants in Scandinavia, but other metavariants get a sentence or two at best.

Working as a Trog in . . . talks about what roles and what challenges are faced by those who work for the various megacorporations. This is useful for playing characters who are former corporate employees and for interacting (and infiltrating) those same corporations when you have orks and trolls on the team. I would have liked to have seen a little more expansion on the government employee section (they only covered Seattle). What is life like for those who join a national military in North America for example would have been exceedingly useful.

Trog Heroes is about the orks and trolls who have made it in the Sixth World whether by talent (such as rock star Orxanne) or birth (such as King Alphono XIII of Spain), a dozen successful people who can be inspirational (or not). Mostly this is interesting world background but there are some potential plot hooks woven in but you have to disentangle them. There is also a very short (page and a half) section on Or’zet, the Orkish language with some useful words and phrases.

Trog Enemies is just that, various groups ranging from political organizations to terrorist cells and powerful individuals that are oppose to ork and troll rights at the least and seek to eliminate them entirely at most. In many ways, this is one of the more useful sections, it gives you instant enemies but it is also states that there is a racist conspiracy of vast proportions that is manipulating the megacorps and governments . . . While I have no problem with an anti-meta-human conspiracy, the megacorps should not to be reduced to patsies of racist creeps, the corporations are the true villains of the Shadowrun world. (Also amusing, one of the enemies is a UCAS Senator, never once in his description, it is mentioned which state he is from.)

Trog Runners provides history and statistics (for both Shadowrun and the Shadowrun Anarchy rule sets) for sixteen well-known Ork and Troll runners, including 2XL, Bull and Clockwork. Followed by nine example starting ork and troll runners. Useful for many campaign uses: contacts, mentors or even rivals or enemies.

United We Stomp: Trog Groups & Societies is just that, starting with three groups based out of Sweetwater Creek area of Atlanta (CAS): Southern Guard (security), Trog Rock Recording (entertainment), and Big Tech (guess). All good and interesting companies, but they read a bit like the characters from someone’s campaign, which is not all bad but they have a bit too perfect of a shine to them. But good to see some more information on MoM. (Mothers of Metahumans) and the ORC (Ork Rights Committee) which have been around as long as the setting has.

It concludes with Everything Trog, new quality (mostly ork or troll only), new gear (just a little, one new piece of cyberware, one new vehicle, one new weapon and some interesting utility items), and some life modules for people who use that character generation method. Sadly, there is no index but the table of contents is fairly complete.

If you are playing an ork or troll, this is an excellent resource, it will give all you to build a solid character foundation. If your campaign is focused around orks, trolls or the struggle for metahuman rights, get this book. If neither of these are true, it is still a worthwhile reference but not a must have book.

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