Shadowrun Street Game

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Step One: Concept

Choose a character concept. This often consists of a role and an origin.

  • Role: Shadowrun doesn't have specific classes. You can build characters of just about any allotment of abilities, with a few limitation. By and large, though, most runners fall into one of several types of characters.
    • Faces are social characters, focused on cons, negotiations, contact networks, and often leadership.
    • Spellcasters are magic-users, with the ability to cast spells and summon spirits. There are several "traditions" of spellcasters, drawn from a variety of cultural, religious, and esoteric practices.
    • Deckers are computer whizes, skilled at hacking networks and hunting up information and paydata to make a shadowrun succeed.
    • Technomancers are like deckers, except that they have a strange power to mentally merge with the Matrix, doing with their raw nervous systems what deckers do with expensive equipment.
    • Riggers are wheelmen, incredible drivers and masters of drones used for the benefit of their team. They usually use cyberware that lets them merge mentally with their vehicles.
    • Street Samurai are gun-havers and violence specialists. Though they deliver it in a hundred different ways, street samurai all specialize in delivering lots and lots of injury and death when the time comes for it.
  • Origin: You should also at least have a vague idea of where you come from. In this kind of game, most characters probably come from the streets proper, although having a different answer to that - and the story about how they ended up on the streets - can make for an interesting character.
    • Street characters grew up poor and probably even SINless. Their educations come from rough lives, not schools, and whatever they've got, they fought for or stole, by and large. Characters who come from gangs, who survived as urchins, or as barrens-dwellers all come from this origin.
    • Underworld characters are closely tied to the streets, but they may have grown up in tremendous wealth. Violence and the potential for violence is endemic to the lives of such characters, and many street characters may have started off life as minor cogs in an underworld's machine, or as the family members of underworld figures that were killed.
    • Corp characters also usually have interesting stories about how they end up on the streets and SINless. Someone who saw too much, someone who was mercilessly cut out of corporate employment and association due to cutbacks, a child born outside of corporate sponsorship, or any number of other factors.
    • Tribal characters usually come from one of the Native American Nations around Seattle, or even from the elven lands of Tir Tairngire south of Seattle where Oregon used to be. Exactly why they've come to Seattle should be considered: the small town kid that wasn't ready to deal with life in the hard city, the man on the lam from tribal authorities, the spiritualist drawn by visions and omens to the horrors of the city for some higher purpose.
  • Karma: Each character has 13 points of Karma.
    • You can only have a maximum of 28 points of Karma (extra is gained by taking Negative Qualities).

Step Two: Priority Table

The next step is determining just what is most important to the design of your character, using the Priority Table.

  • Categories: You have five categories of traits for this process: your Metatype, your Attribute points, whether you have Magic or Resonance or not, your Skill points, and your financial Resources.
  • Priorities: You have five "grades" of priority: A, B, C, D, and E. You must assign one of these letter codes to each of the five categories.
Priority Attributes Metatype Magic or Resonance Skills Resources
A 20 Human (9) • Elf (8) • Dwarf (7) • Ork (7) • Troll (5) Magician or Mystic Adept: Magic 4, two Rating 4 Magical skills, 7 spells
Technomancer: Resonance 4, two Rating 4 Resonance skills, 2 complex forms
36/5 75,000¥
B 16 Human (7) • Elf (6) • Dwarf (4) • Ork (4) • Troll (0) Magician or Mystic Adept: Magic 3, 5 spells
Technomancer: Resonance 3, 1 complex form
Adept: Magic 4, one Rating 2 Active skill
Aspected Magician: Magic 3, one Rating 2 Magical skill group
28/2 50,000¥
C 14 Human (5) • Elf (3) • Dwarf (1) • Ork (0) Adept: Magic 2
Aspected Magician: Magic 2
22/0 25,000¥
D 12 Human (3) • Elf (0) - 18/0 15,000¥
E 10 Human (1) - 15/0 6000¥

Step Three: Metatype

Each metatype has its own built in basic abilities, and Attribute maximums.

  • Humans: Attributes start at 1, with a maximum of 6, except for Edge (2/7). They have no other abilities.
  • Elves: Attributes start at 1 (max 6), except for Agility (2/7) and Charisma (3/8). They have Low-Light Vision.
  • Dwarves: Attributes start at 1 (max 6), except for Body (3/8), Reaction (1/5), Strength (3/8), and Will (2/7). They have Thermographic Vision, +2 dice for pathogen and toxin resistance, +20% increased Lifestyle cost
  • Orks: Attributes start at 1 (max 6), except for Body (4/9), Strength (3/8), Logic (1/5), Charisma (1/5). They have Low-Light Vision.
  • Trolls: Attributes start at 1 (max 6), except for Body (5/10), Agility (1/5), Strength (5/10), Logic (1/5), Intuition (1/5), Charisma (1/4). They have Thermographic Vision, +1 Reach, +1 dermal armor, +100% increased LIfestyle cost

Step Four: Attributes

  • Divide the number of points gained for Attributes from the priority table among the character's Attributes. May not go above the listed maximum for that metatype.
  • Attribute Points: Divide the attribute points gained from the Attribute column of the priorities table among the eight standard Attributes (Body, Agility, Reaction, Strength, Charisma, Intuition, Logic, Willpower). Attributes start at their minimum rating for metatype, and can only be raised to their listed maximums.

Step Five: Special Attributes

  • If a character has Magic, they are a magic user; if they have Resonance, they are a technomancer.
  • Characters gain a number of Special Attribute Points, as listed after their metatype, in parentheses on the priorities table. This amount is divided among the character's Special Attributes (Edge, Magic, Resonance).
  • Magic Users have a Magic rating and come in four types:
    • Adepts channel mana into their bodies to achieve heights of natural talent and skill undreamt of by mundanes.
    • Magicians channel mana into spells, summon spirits, and enchant items.
    • Aspected Magicians are limited magicians, capable of one type of magical skill: sorcery, conjuring, or enchanting.
    • Mystic Adepts are rare combinations of magicians and adepts.
  • Technomancers are capable of immersing themselves into the Matrix without cyberware, drawing on their natural abilities to hack.

Step Six: Qualities

  • Characters may purchase Positive Qualities (Core p71) to gain certain advantages by spending Karma; they may also gain additional Karma by taking on Negative Qualities (Core 77).
  • Character may not take more than 13 points of Negative Qualities.

Step Seven: Skills

  • Skill points from the priorities table are listed as two numbers, separated by a "/".
    • The first number is how many points a character has to divide among individual Skills.
    • The secon number is how many points a character has to divide among Skill Groups.
  • Skills can only be raised to a maximum of 6 at character creation.
  • Specialization: Gain a specialization for a Skill (not a Skill Group) for 1 Skill point. (+2 to rolls involving that specialization)
  • Skills are listed on Core p90, and detailed on Core p98

Step Eight: Resources

  • The Resources column in the priorities table provides a certain amount of nuyen, the currency of Shadowrun.
  • Equipment begins on Core p421.
    • Availability is limited to 8 or less.
    • Device Ratings are limited to 4 or less.
  • Karma: You may spend 5 Karma to gain an additional 10,000¥.
  • Lifestyle: Do not purchase any Lifestyle to start with. You may choose Street, Squatter, or Low Lifestyles.

Step Nine: Karma

  • You may now spend any Karma that remains.
  • Refer to Core p107 for costs for increasing Attributes and Skills, as well as other Character Improvement.


  • Everyone starts with (Charisma x 3) in free Karma that may only be used to buy Contacts.
  • Contacts have two ratings: Connection and Loyalty. Each Contact must have at least a 1 in each category.
    • Spend Karma at 1 Karma per Connection or Loyalty point, to a maximum of 7 total points per Contact.
    • There are no limits to the number of Contacts a character may buy.
Seattle in the Shadows
Districts: AuburnBellevueCouncil IslandDowntownEverettFort LewisOutremerPuyallupRedmondRentonSnohomishTacoma
Corporations: AAA MegacorpsAA MegacorpsA MultinationalsNational Corps
Organized Crime: Yakuza, Mafia, Triads, Vory v Zakone, Seoulpa Rings, Laésa
Gangs: International Gangs: The Ancients • The Cutters
Citywide Gangs: 405 Hellhounds • Blood Mountain Boys • Chulos • Crimson Crush • Disassemblers • First Nations • Halloweeners • Red Hot NukesRusted Stillettos • Skraacha • The Spikes • Wraith Masque
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