Shadowrun on the high seas

Cyberpirates: A Shadowrun Sourcebook - Michael Mulvihill, Jennifer Brandes

This was one of those sourcebooks that as soon as I had discovered that it had been released I purchased it and suddenly discovered that for the next week and a half I was officially broke. Roleplaying books have never been cheap (and they still aren't, which is why it is better to purchase them secondhand, if you can find them that is) and the relative price goes up when you realise that either you don't need them, or you can simply make the rules up for yourself. In another sense it sort of promotes laziness, because (at least where I am concerned) I simply fumble around with rules until they release a book that details a specific rule set for the circumstances that I want, and then I purchase the book.

Cyberpirates takes the Shadowrun world out onto the ocean, though the setting is mostly around the Caribbean. The book is split into two sections, with one detailing sea combat and oceanic adventures, and the smaller, rear section, looking at the Caribbean in the 2050s (though the book itself is set in 2059).

I guess the reason that I was so excited about this book was because a part of me liked sea adventures, and in a way I liked the Shadowrun world as well because it was close enough to our world that I could make adventures that ran like Hollywood ,ovies, but it was different enough that one could add a number of fantasy elements into the story as well (machine guns and magic). However the problem with Shadowrun was not so much that the rule system made it deadly (and yes it could actually be quite deadly, if run properly) but that the amount of detail that had to go into the enemies made creating the modules difficult at best. Mind you, I am partly to blame because when I created my adventures I would write them up as if to publish them.

I guess the other difficulties that came out with Shadowrun was the idea of the Astral Plane and the Matrix. The thing is that if a character went into one of those two regions (and only certain characters could venture there) then the rest of the group would be left twiddling their fingers. I did attempt to run one game where one of the players dragged me out of the room to do his matrix runs which left the other ten people sitting in the room doing nothing, and, surprise, surprise, they all ended up leaving. Okay, this particular guy was an attention hog, but I was also partly to blame for letting him drag me out.