Review – Shadowrun: Shadow Stock – Lofwyr’s Legions

19 April, 2022

Shadowrun: Shadow Stock – Lofwyr’s Legions is a book of NPCs and introduces the drake, part dragons, Lofwyr's Legionsas an optional metatype. It is interesting and useful for a GM. But the drake write up has some very serious balance issues that should make any GM reluctant to allow them for player characters without considerable revision.

Shadowrun: Shadow Stock – Lofwyr’s Legions is one of the Shadow Stock pdfs for Shadowrun, providing both interesting non-player characters and new character options, in this case NPCs associated with the dragon Lofwyr, his corporation Saeder-Krupp and rules for drakes, part dragons.

As is usual for Shadowrun it begins with a short fiction piece to set the mood, which is that drakes and S-K operatives are scary.

Following is Those Who Serve the Dragon, which presents ten different non-player character types, mostly these are the higher end of Saeder-Krupp ranging from veteran security guards to top researchers and assassin, including one mage and one drake. Each is given a history and a background so they can be more than just a cardboard opposition figure but one can be woven into interesting plots and adventures. Personally, this reviewer would have liked to have seen more lower corporate members, the veteran security officer is about as close to normal folks as they come, as even the “middle manager” has half a million in bio/cyber upgrades! Additionally, each should have been giving a connection rating so they could be used as models for S-K contacts.

Next there is a section on drakes, metahumans tied to dragons and able to take on a quasi-draconic form, some background on them as there are “true drakes” which are created by powerful magical rituals perform by dragons (natch) and then there are the weaker “bred drakes” which are (super)naturally occurring. Mechanically, this is express through two new qualities Drake (at a whopping 50 karma) and Latent Drake (a mere 25 Karma) which will, eventually in the later case, open the door to the powers of the drakes! Which is mostly the ability to assume a quasi-dragonic form which has improved abilities, scaled skin, a movement power and the ability to breath fire. Why they all breathe fire as they come from different world traditions, this reviewer is unsure.

But that is just to start, the drake can spend karma to undergo dracogenesis, which is rather like initiation for magic slingers, which unlocks additional powers for the drake. The cost per level is less than initiation and opens access to some amazing powers such as: compulsions, hardened armor, influence and regeneration being the obvious top tier from this reviewer point of view. A charisma-focused drake could take compulsion and influence and mind mages, step aside, this drake is controlling people’s thoughts and actions with no drain. A combat focused drake takes two levels of hardened armor and regeneration and it is going to take the main gun of a tank to put them down. This is problematic at best. The dracogenesis powers really needed a pricing tied to utility. For examples, when you gain a new dracongenesis power you can gain regeneration or wide band hearing . . . they cost the drake the same, one dracogenesis power but are the two abilities even vaguely on the same level of power or usefulness?

The product wraps up with a new magical society, one of drakes run by S-K as an enforcement wing (sorry) and a new martial art, taught by S-K and rumored to have been developed specifically for drakes and is brutally efficient with natural or implanted weapons.

So, what to think about this? There is some useful material for games involved S-K and the drakes . . . while this reviewer likes the idea of drakes and how they fit into the Shadowrun mythology, there are some considerable game balance worries about the dracongenesis powers that need to be addressed before allowing them to be played in a game.

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