Call me naive, but I went into this episode with very different expectations. Given the title, I expected a tale of tragic, doomed love (and possibly a corporate extraction), but nothing could be further from the truth.
The plot hinges on some familiarity with a convention exclusive module offered a few years ago, which is not easily accessible anymore. To be fair, there is a sidebar summary of the events in that ‘run, but it is no substitute for the full module. I’d still like the opportunity to run the preceding module to give this story more context, and the release of this SR Missions instalment would be a good case for a ‘reprint’ (or whatever the correct term is for digital publishing). I noted that ‘Assassin Nation’ suffered from poor editing, and this is even worse. There are a lot of typographical errors and there are some layout concerns which make the end product look less polished. As with ‘Assassin Nation’ I’d like to see Catalyst invest some time into rectifying these errors and re-releasing a better copy.
That out of the way, let’s look at the plot. To be honest, it is very simple and straightforward, and it does lack the flair I’ve come to associate with this season of ‘runs. The plot meanders through various scenes, and the general story is disjointed by two scenes in particular which seem to offer a new direction, but fail to deliver anything meaningful to the resolution of the game. The choice of antagonist, whilst billed as ‘creepy’ by the authors, actually has more potential to turn the game into a slugfest more reminiscent of a first person shooter than an RPG. It felt at many turns as though this was a missed opportunity for highlighting the really sinister nature of the magic-infused Sixth World.
An enterprising GM with time on their hands can turn this around, though. The structure exists for a basic plot which could be reworked and remixed to create something memorable. Given the framework is there, plus NPCs, stat blocks and some interesting locales, it is worth the $3.95 as ideas fodder. I’d never consider running this ‘as is’, but have covered my printed copy with sticky note alterations for when it does see play. I’m not a fan of writing ‘runs from scratch, so even though this isn’t ideal, it does give me a starting point, and for that, I’m happy to pay the nominal price tag.
Shadowrun has a lot of potential to showcase the horror genre without resorting to zombie hordes. There are far richer sources of more intelligent, sinister horror, and I’d encourage any GM with this module to seek them out.
[3 of 5 Stars!]