In the world of 2063, the metroplexes are monsters that cast long shadows. And in the cracks between the giant corporate structures, shadowrunners find their homes. Entire societies live and die in a black-market un- derworld, exploited and abused, yet powerful in their own way. The Mafia, Yakuza and other crime syndicates have grown explosively as their networks provide anything that people want to buy.
Shadowrunners are the professionals of this culture, where self-sufficiency is vital. When the megacorps want a job done but don’t want to dirty their hands, they turn to the only people who can pull it off: the shadowrunners. Though only the most confidential government or corporate databases even know of a shadowrunner’s existence, the demand for his or her services is high. Below is a list of archetypal shadowrunners and their skills.
- Deckers can slide like a whisper through the databases of giant corporations, spiriting away the only thing of real value—information.
- Street samurai are enforcers for hire whose combat skills and reflexes make them the ultimate urban predators.
- Riggers can manipulate vehicles and drones for a variety of purposes.
- Mages, those rare folk who possess the gift of wielding and shaping the magical energies that now surround the Earth, are sought after to spy on the competition, heal and buff their allies, sling spells against an enemy, commit magical sabotage, and any other purpose that their employers can dream up.
- Shamans are specialized mages whose attunement to the natural magical forces allows them to support themselves and fellow shadowrunners with a variety of defensive spells, as well as summon spirits in combat.
- Physical adepts, who use the awakened magical energies to refine their bodies to the point of absolute perfection and become the ultimate fighting machines.
Not every shadowrunner follows these archetypes. In fact, few focus exclusively on what they are supposed to be, leading to everyone being unique in their own way...
Shadowrun and classic gaming[edit | edit source]
Most of the classic Shadowrun archetypes map to classic roleplaying conventions.
- Street samurai are warriors/fighters.
- Mages are a combination of mages and clerics.
- Shamans are druids combined with summoners.
- Physical adepts are more or less berserkers, a very melee-focused class.
- Riggers are more or less rangers with a bonded (robotic) companion.
- Deckers, thanks to their ability to move through the Matrix unhindered, have no traditional equivalent.