Shadowrun released two supplements this weekend, and I took a look at both of them. All-in-all, Catalyst releases content at a somewhat rapid rate, and while they haven’t been releasing the sort of content I’d like to see most (namely a Runner’s Companion for 5th Edition), they did actually answer a question I asked on Stack Exchange, so I can’t complain too much. Also, Gun H(e)aven 3 (which I will just refer to as Gun Heaven from here forth) adds sport rifles and more weapons to 5th Edition, giving more flexibility in characters’ loadouts and gear.
Coyotes is an interesting piece. It’s perhaps more for GM’s than for players, but it answers the question of border crossings in Shadowrun nicely, while also providing an adventure and some guidelines for how players can get passage between places.
My main gripe with Coyotes is that it doesn’t cover “unofficial” border crossings, like those done through tunnels or using thunderbirds, in very much detail. Fortunately, it gives a good idea of what to expect at border crossings, providing a good framework for roleplaying the events and actually turning crossing the border into a component of an engaging session.
Typesetting and graphics wise, I enjoyed Coyotes. There’s a little bit of art repetition from prior works (I recognized one piece from SR4’s Runner’s Companion), but that’s not a deal-breaker given the general high quality of previous works. Each page has the same header art, but it’s subdued enough not to be too grating and distracting.
My only caution to people who would buy Coyotes is the price; for a short fiction, bit of fluff, and a short adventure you might do better for $8, but it’s still a good product all-in-all, and if you’re looking for that crucial travel information there’s no better place to look.
Moving on to Gun Heaven 3, I have a little less to say. It’s a well-done piece, with gorgeous guns throughout. There’s even a good old Springfield Model 1855, should one want to go back to black powder weapons, and several other interesting guns. Sporting rifles are added back into 5th Edition, which is, in my opinion, a good thing.
A few weapons in this are archetype breakers, such as the Rain Forest carbine, a solid option for a runner with high Automatics who needs a more solid single shot weapon that hits more like a sniper rifle, and there are interesting historical weapons throughout. It also includes a good glimpse of a civilian weapons catalog, with a chunk of easy to get weapons that would be just as much in place in a homeowner’s gun cabinet as in a security guard’s hands. Other weapons such as the Monsoon include features and applications that we haven’t seen before, even though they were supported in the previous rulesets (it uses six barrels that hold the ammunition, akin to the somewhat famous Metal Storm concept weapon).
For $8, you could go worse than Gun Heaven 3; it’s got a lot of new art, the witty banter and fluff with each weapon is good, and it’s got a lot of interesting guns. Of course, at the same time, it doesn’t really introduce any new rules that are likely to see use in play (unless someone violates the rules of magic and time travels back to the Civil War).