‘Sprawl Sites’ could very well be a time-poor GM’s best friend, although if you do have the temporal resources to invest you’ll find a wealth of great ideas which could be extrapolated for full-blown runs. The design of the book is very simple – there are eight varied sites (from the Barrens to a Lone Star Precinct to a Trideo Studio and more) complete with a bit of descriptive flavour text and relevant history and then a host of plot hooks. Those familiar with the 2e ‘Sprawl Sites’ book should feel a sense of familiarity here. There is clear evidence of some forethought into the breadth of plot hooks and there is specific reference to covering a spectrum of moral choices- some are simple protection jobs, whilst others involve wetwork with civilian collateral damage. There are plenty which play on characters’ existing contacts; a simple effort of changing names and filing off serial numbers will suffice. An effort has also been made to provide hooks which leverage unique atmospheric elements to each location – it is very difficult to translate them to another locale (I’m thinking of the No Tell Motel section in particular).
The actual text of the book is half (16 pages) of the total page count; with the second half given to two full-colour maps of each location. The first copy is for GMs and has a full key of rooms and the like, whilst the other is clearly for players. As someone who very rarely uses maps with the players (and miniatures even less than this) I didn’t get a lot of value from this section. Individual value will vary on this section, dependant on group play preference.
I’ll be integrating this into my standard GM kit for Shadowrun, and have already printed a copy and attacked it with a highlighter for future reference. Given the price point of other recent small-size SR products though, I question whether this should have been indexed at the same cost. In terms of quality, ‘Sprawl Sites’ is clearly the equal of ‘Magical Societies’, ‘Safehouses’ and any of the Shadowrun Missions series, yet has a starting price quadruple that of these titles. Bringing the price to an equivalent level would be a sensible move for this otherwise sound and useful product.
[3 of 5 Stars!]