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Shadowrun: Mission: 04-03: Rally Cry $3.95
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Shadowrun: Mission: 04-03: Rally Cry
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Shadowrun: Mission: 04-03: Rally Cry
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/06/2012 19:56:14
Shadowrun Missions are part of Catalyst Labs’ Shadowrun Missions campaign which can be run as part of this ongoing evolving campaign or used as standalone adventures. The theme of Season 4 is conflict over magical artefacts by various interested parties and the politicizing of the Ork Underground and it primarily takes place in Seattle.

Shadowrun Missions: Rally Cry (04-03) is more of the politics of the Ork Underground as the characters are hired to kidnap a politician and make him look bad by inserting him into a radical political rally. The characters have to grab him and then plant him to make this all work. Challenging but possible and they can end up with some favors owned from both sides of the political fence if they play their cards right.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Mission: 04-03: Rally Cry
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/26/2011 05:08:03
'Rally Cry' does work best when combined with the other organised play modules for SR4, but does stand alone well enough to offer a great nights' play. The 'Missions' style of play is very well-executed idea, especially when used outside of convention play. The modules, this one included, are written very tightly with a keen eye to keeping the plot moving and reasonably achievable in a short time.

The overall plot for 'Rally Cry' is classic Shadowrun - it looks easy on the surface, but plenty can go wrong for a group that is not organised or lacks a grasp on the subtle. There are enough twists to keep a one-night module interesting and enough leeway for the 'runners to get creative and take the plot in a direction which interests them. There is the return of a few characters from previous 'Missions' in this season so opportunities exist for character development too.

The one stand-out section for me occurs at the rally, and was written such that I had to re-read it a couple of times to make sure that I hadn't jumped to the wrong conclusion (which I had). If you can get this to play in the same fashion in your game, the PCs will have a moment of pure, complete terror. Enjoy it.

Stylistically, this is a great addition to the Shadowrun line and should offer an enjoyable play experience. In the tradition of other 'Missions; modules there are lots of tips and design elements which make GMing a breeze.

Highly recommended.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Mission: 04-03: Rally Cry
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Fernando G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/08/2011 11:18:55
From a quick read, the story is absolutely well organized, including several actions the characters may take according to the situation and possible outcomes from the poorly-planned actions of the characters. Highly recommendable as well as a template to prepare future adventures.
The artwork is generally good, although it doesn't reach the levels of Tim Bradstreet times. Too obvious use of computer. That said, the actual computer graphics are very good.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Mission: 04-03: Rally Cry
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/04/2011 06:58:59
It seems that politics in the Awakened World is just as dirty as it is now... at least if the opening flavour text about a plot to make it appear as if a congressman supports an organisation he actually has no time for is to be believed. This opener is followed by the standard boilerplate of how to run a 'Shadowrun Missions' adventure, especially if you're at a convention, before providing an overview of what this mission is all about. You guessed it, political dirty tricks! At least 'runners are honest about it, they do what they do for a nice fat credstick.

Earlier adventures in this, the fourth season of the shared campaign, have suggested at political undertones and manoeuvering behind the scenes. In this one, the characters become more directly involved. This could prove interesting, especially for those who have already thrown their lot in with one or another faction in Seattle (which, as it happens, includes one of my players...), who may find themselves faced with supporting group activities, going after the money or doing something that they might find repugnant personally - or a deed that they embrace for personal reasons, never mind the pay! Interesting times, and the chance for some interesting role-play - but to be handled with care lest the entire adventure be derailed.

The whole thing starts, as these things do, with meeting a Mr Johnson in a nightclub. For those developing their own Seattle the club will make a good addition to the scene, as ever, and is worth including as a location after this adventure... or even before, if you have other things going on in your own campaign for which it would be suitable! Anyway, it's a straightforward hiring, with a little side action for those who wish to develop the scene.

Of course, as the 'runners go their merry way to set up the operation for which they have been hired, it becomes apparent that they are not the only ones to know that something will be going down! As usual, there's the chance to play this to their advantage, and maybe make some nuyen or earn a favour in the process. They must tread carefully, though: do they really want to be associated with political dirty tricks, however peripherally?

The next few scenes are for use depending on how the 'runners wish to approach their task... and again may provide little snippets of background colour for other adventures even if they don't get used this time around. This then culminates in a political rally replete with all the heavy security you'd expect when two opposing groups are staging demonstration and counter-demonstration in the same place. Throughout, there are suggestions for coping with set-backs and escalating the situation should you feel that the 'runners are having it too easy, although this adventure is possibly more linear that others in this series by its very nature. Some critical things need to be accomplished or the whole thing will fall apart, but there are suggestions for how to ensure that they are achieved even if the characters' tactics are poor or they are unlucky with their die rolls... nicely, ways that ought not to appear as outright manipulation provided that you are ready to bring them into play if problems arise.

Mission accomplished - and, as I said, this adventure relies on it happening even if you have to help it along a bit - there's a twist in the tale that leaves some interesting future potentials set. Neat.

While this adventure needs to run its intended course, there is sufficient here for you to be able to conceal any railroading of events... and it is a fascinating way to embed your characters deeply into the current politics of Seattle, whatever - if any - their own opinions might be! I look forward to my group meeting this one!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Mission: 04-03: Rally Cry
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/19/2011 07:04:05
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2011/07/18/tabletop-review-shadowr-
un-missions-srm04-03-rally-cries/

If you are a long time reader of mine from the video game side of things, than you know I am a big fan of Shadowrun in both pen and paper and electronic form. The SNES and Sega-CD both had their own unique and incredible Shadowrun video game, but the one for the Sega Gensis still remains the best ever conversion of a pen and paper game into a video game. It’s also one of the greatest video game RPGs of all time and I keep hoping and praying that the video games will someday make it onto the virtual console or that all three will be released as a compilation. Notice I am pretending the Xbox 360 tactical shooter game does not exist…

My love for the Shadowrun video games has no doubt grown as the Shadowrun tabletop game slinked further and further into obscurity. FASA died in 2001, WizKids horrible mismanaged the property and for a while stuff simply wasn’t being produced with the Shadowrun label. In 2005, things started to turn around thanks to Fan Pro USA. Their fourth edition version of the tabletop game brought Shadowrun back into the forefront. Things went quickly awry however due to their inability to meet deadlines or their own production schedule and for some time, Shadowrun went silent once more. Now though, we have Catalyst Game Labs, who gave us the wonderful 20th Anniversary Edition of the game (which I happily own). This particular mission, Rally Cry, is part of the current “Season” of adventures for the game and when I was offered a chance to review it, I leapt at the chance. After all, it gave me a chance to return to the world of Elven Deckers, Dwarven Street Samurai and Troll Riggers. How could I say no?

Rally Cry, and all Shadowrun Missions are meant to be short stand-alone adventures that together, create one overarching campaign. This is quite different from the adventures I used to play or buy back in first and second edition days, where an adventure could almost be a campaign in and of itself due to how long they were. Rally Cry is only meant to be four hours long, which a gaming troupe should be able to finish in a single evening. The more I ruminated on this, the more I realized I like this. There was no more keeping notes of where you left off the last time you played, no more trying to recreate the mood if you left off at a climactic moment, and so on. Now the streamlining of things does kind of force the GM to hand hold his players at time (in fact, the adventure even suggests this in the form of “be more generous”), but part of any storebought adventure is limiting what directions the players can go off in. It’s checks and balances.

Rally Cry is laid out very nicely and even a person who has never GM’d an adventure of any kind before will find this extremely user friendly. I loved the “debugging” section, for example as it gives ways that the adventure might be derailed, accidentally or purposely, and how to get things back on track. The adventure also gives a nice set of rules for running the adventure, which are not only ones that can be applied to any tabletop game, but are ones any good GM should memorize and take to heart. Remember, this is a game, not SERIOUS BUSINESS.

The plot of Rally Cry revolves around a Congressman named James Grey. The goal is to get him to appear at a Humanis Policlub (think racist bigots who don’t like metahumans) rally and alert one of the two news outlets to his appearance there, in order to cause a massive scandal. Sounds like a pretty simple drag and drop, but it isn’t. This is primarily a stealth mission, at least at first, so depending on your runners, it can be a simple as an invisibility spell or as complicated as trying to figure out how to get a whole group of Orcs that are more metal than flesh through the adventure.

Rally Cry is divided into ten short scenes, each of which are pretty tight and streamlined to prevent players from going off an unwanted tangent. Each scene is well laid out, gives the GM all the information they need to run things correctly and gives you the stats of all important NPC that might be dealt with. A few of the scenes are optional, based on how the team wants to go after Congressman Grey, which is nice as it prevents things from feeling extremely linear and set in stone – at least for the GM. Players won’t have any clue. The fact the adventure does provide all these options helps the actually playing of Rally Cry to feel organic and lets the players successfully complete the adventure without feeling like they were pushed in a specific direction. I remember I had that exact problem as a kid with a lot of 2nd AD&D or V:TM adventures which led me to write my own. The adventure also gives ways to increase or decrease the difficulty characters will increase, which again, is a great thing for a GM just starting out and who wouldn’t be able to think up stats for instantly needed backup on the fly.

The layouts are nicely done and the entire adventure is beautifully laid out. It’s easy to read, looks nice and it’s hard to believe this only has a price tag of four dollars, especially in this day and age. About the only downside I can say about the adventure physically is in regards to the artwork in the back of the adventure with all the NPC information. Some of it just looks really off, especially the human portraits. They look like late 90s CGI.

Although the adventure booklet is thirty-one pages long, the actual adventure itself runs from pages five through eighteen. The rest of the booklet is setup, NPC character data, information and rewards charts, a somewhat blurry map and a “Season Four Debriefing Log.” That’s a lot of nice extras to be included in the adventure, but it also shows just how short “missions” are on actual content. That’s not a bad thing as these are meant to be adventures played through to their completion in a single evening and the price point kind of clues you in on the length. Still if you’re looking for an adventure that can be played out over several weeks, consider running something longer (and more expensive) or running the whole set of Season Four adventures.

Overall, this was a really nice adventure, especially for the price point. If your players are more combat oriented or into hack and slash play, this might not be the adventure for them. There is the potential for combat, but the adventure really focuses more on schmoozing, thinking and stealth than anything else. It’s a good idea to have at least one magic user on the team and because the adventure revolves around an anti demihuman rally, a team that is mostly (or all) demihumans will have a bit of trouble getting through this thing successfully. The adventure does help provide the GM and players with an array on NPCs and factions to become friendly/antagonistic with, and even if this is the only Season Four Mission, you pick up, there are a lot of potentials leads and future hooks you can pull from this. For only four dollars, this adventure reminded me why I love Shadowrun so much and why I miss playing it so, so that alone lets me give this a strong recommendation. Now if only we could get CGL and Topps to reissue the 16 bit era video games. PLEASE?

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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