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Jackpointers are (as it says on the tin) members of the fictional forum Jackpoint, sharing their insight in the in-character sections of splatbooks for the 4th Edition. Jackpoint itself is a successor of earlier such forum, called Shadowland, of which Fastjack, Jackpoint's founder, was a long-standing member. In-universe, Jackpoint is considered to be the stomping grounds of proven, "elite" runners (as determined by Fastjack).
Jackpoint has few rules, but chief among them is that members do not sell each other out - this rule, combined with the quality of information on Jackpoint, is sometimes the only thing keeping its members behaving with any civility.
Born in 1999, Fastjack is a veteran hacker who survived both global network crashes. Founder and moderator of Jackpoint, he is the de facto elder statesman of the shadowrunning community.
- Badass Grandpa: He's a Shadowrunner and he's in his late 70's.
- Cool Old Guy: He's been around since first edition, and wasn't very young then (hell, he still remembers the United States of America).
- Papa Wolf: towards Jackpoint and its members. But betray him and...
I will hammer you back to the Stone Age myself if I find out my trust has been misplaced.
- Also to his daughter. Despite the fact they are somewhat estranged he damn nearly died helping her out with a nasty virus.
- Could be his own fatherhood, or just a basic sense of decency, but he doesn't limit his protection to immediate family and associates...
> I don't know how you got close enough to see him, but you leave my son out of our feud, Clockwork. Or I will kill you.
- Old Master: Why he's one of the best hackers out there. He got his start on old command line interfaces. He has gone through every single Operating System and generation of the Matrix. He knows all the old tricks that have been carried through each generation. Occasionally he has to remind young upstarts exactly how he earned his rep.
[Casanova] Please, old man. What are you going to do, have a stroke in my general direction? This isn’t JackPoint, and I don’t care if you boot me.
- Take Up My Sword: For Captain Chaos, founder of Shadowland, who died in 2064. Passes the sword to Bull, Glitch and Slamm-O! in 2075 so he can deal with an insidious multiple personality without endangering the other users.
The youngest member of Jackpoint, /dev/grrl is still in high school and living with her parents. Despite this she is a programming genius and helps out on runs. Fastjack treats her like a kid.
- Brilliant but Lazy: She doesn't really do her homework she just writes a program to do it for her. This bites her in the ass when Fastjack makes her compile a document on safehouses and she doesn't have any real research skills.
- Child Prodigy: She's still in high school but is a better hacker then most shadowrunners.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Fastjack once made her write out a report with a number 2 pencil.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: /dev/'s first act to establish herself as a shadowrunner? Tracking down and capturing Kane, something adult bounty hunters have been failing at since before she was born. Kane was so amused he actually took her in as an apprentice/partner.
- Just a Kid: tends to get this from some of the other Jackpointers like Slamm-O. She usually hacks their accounts in response.
- Muggle Foster Parents: Well, they are her biological parents, but they're wage slaves while she is a shadowrunner. She had to bite her tongue when they were stuck in the bad side of Las Vegas and they thought that every person was a blood-stained Shadowrunner.
- She did mention her father had Corporate blood money, so he is at least a company man in secret.
As one might guess, there's virtually nothing known about the person or persons who can somehow access Jackpoint and leave posts with a blank signature. The continued existence of these rare mystery posts are something of a thorn in the side of Fastjack and crew, but the fact that the anonymous poster/s don't seem to intend any harm have kept Fastjack from taking any drastic actions against him/her/it/them. The posts themselves give nothing away about the party responsible for them, as they're usually little more than a correction of someone else's misinformation.
Baka Dabora Tetsuro Yamada
A male Japanese Changeling with amphibious features. He is the most public of the Jackpointers in that he makes no attempts to hide his identity. Due to the nature of the Shadows in Japan he can operate openly if very carefully.
- Bilingual Bonus: His handle is Japanese for "tall tales of idiots"
- Cool Old Guy: While not as old as Fastjack he's in late 40's.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Doesn't own a fire arm.
- Omniglot: Native Japanese speaker, but also speaks English, Korean, Cantonese, and Mandarin fluently. Also knows a little bit of Russian.
- Super Drowning Skills: You would think his changeling features lets him swim, he admits he can't even with the gills.
An ork decker, and one of the original Shadowland posters. Did well enough to retire from running for a time and settle down with his family, but his daughter's death at the hands of a serial killer copycat, and increasing involvement with Seattle politics, has brought him tiptoeing back to the shadows now and again.
- Berserk Button: Do. Not. Bring. Up. His dead daughter.
- BFG: His preferred "sidearm" is a Panther cannon.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Is all too happy to remind people of the advantages of sturdy 2050's tech over all the wireless junk the world's into now. His faithfulness to old tech hasn't hampered his decking skills any.
- Embarrassing Nickname: His old Shadowland posts had a signature reading "The best ork decker you never met!" Veteran runners poke fun at him now and again for the ego he used to have (even though he really was, and remains, pretty damn good).
- Famed in Story: He's the star of an in-universe series of video games, including Bull the Ork Decker: Escape from Bug City, Bull the Ork Decker: Ancient Terror, and Bull the Ork Decker vs The Jabberwocky, circa 2057.
- Hero of Another Story: He was one of the Player Characters in the Harlequin's Back scenarios. He doesn't mention details aside from the whole thing feeling like a drug hallucination, and the end in which a friend offered himself as a sacrifice. Still has a grudge against Harlequin to this day because of the whole "surprise sacrifice" thing. In the published scenario it's meant only a symbolic test of courage, but don't count on your gamemaster to follow instructions.
- Nintendo Hard: In-universe, the games about him are this, according to dev/grrrl, at least. Apparently you can be killed on the start screen.
- Shrouded in Myth: By the 2070s he's become this, with a lot of his runs being legendary to the point of comedy in the shadows; it's not at all helped by the video games that use him as a main character.
- You Are in Command Now: Along with Butch and Glitch, he takes over Jackpoint when Fastjack goes off the grid.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Again, the games based on him are both extremely overblown and extremely unflattering, given that they were made by a rival to embarrass him.
A hobgoblin rigger and mechanic from Sarajevo, Clockwork is also a jerkass
of monstrous proportions whose actions gave him quite a few enemies on Jackpoint.
- Boomerang Bigot: Somewhat. He despises technomancers. Problem is that he's an ork, which are still widely discriminated against and were the last group subject to attempted genocide. It's like a Holocaust survivor in 1949 doing everything in their power to kill homosexuals.
- The Cracker: On top of being a skilled rigger, he's also a pretty damn good decker.
- Character Shilling: Indirectly praises newly introduced character Quietus by ranting how Quietus refused to allow Clockwork to commit mass murder during a job. At the end of the rant Clockwork looks like a tool, Quietus looks like the consummate professional. The weird thing about this being that Quietus ends that particular source book on a Bolivian Army Ending and is assumed to be killed.
- Dead Person Impersonation: In Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall, it's stated that the real Clockwork was killed by a rogue A.I. (possibly twice!) and that someone else assumed their Matrix identity, though the game is of dubious canon.
- Fantastic Racism: Against technomancers, to the point where he betrayed Netcat to one of the megacorporations and has threatened to have her "freak-baby" shipped to a laboratory.
- Gadgeteer Genius: he specializes in modding various easily available items for more... specialized uses. Then he sells prototypes and blueprints for a living.
- Jerkass: And that's putting it lightly. His default attitude comes off as "If you're not a mercenary asshole like me, you're a fucking idiot." (This is particularly notable when other Jackpoint members exhibit either a code of ethics or what most people would consider "positive" emotions.)
- Case in point: during his profile of Slamm-O! in Street Legends Supplemental, he seemed as disgusted with Slamm-O!'s compassionate streak as he was with his loud, showboating antics or his romance with Netcat, and finally flies into a tirade when Slamm-O! reacts to the criticism with thoughtful appreciation.
- Just to make this clear, when you make Slamm-O! look mature and Kane look principled, there's something really wrong with you.
- Jerkass Has a Point: When tracking down info on the CFD Virus, he came upon a potential source for the affliction and hired a few other deckers to go in and investigate it; two started developing symptoms so he geeked them, just in case. When called out and accused of hiring others to do something he was too afraid to do, he simply countered that if he were infected, he could do a lot more damage than they could have, to both the world at large and Jackpoint, specifically. The other person has no counter for this. Also, even Fastjack agreed that he had a point regarding Slamm-O! being too reckless of a hacker.
- Karma Houdini: Let's repeat that. He betrayed a fellow runner, and has suffered virtually no consequences on Jackpoint.
- Moral Myopia: Generally has no problem with innocents getting caught in a runner's crossfire, but any time a technomancer activist kills a bystander, he starts raging against their barbarism and bemoaning the tragic loss of life.
- Our Orcs Are Different: he's a hobgoblin, an ork variant whose hat is being a vindictive asshole.
- Pet the Dog: It took a long time coming, but it comes at the end of the Storm Front plot book. His farewell to Fastjack comes in the form of backhanded compliments, but they're genuine and remorseful nonetheless.
- Technician Versus Performer: The technician to Slamm-O!'s performer, Clockwork believes that hacking should be done in a subtle manner and has disdain for Slamm-O!'s flashy, noisy style.
A longtime veteran of the shadows who has expert knowledge of surviving almost anything and everything the world can throw at a runner, from corp security to insane magicians. Currently working semi-legitimately as a freelance security consultant.
A particularly bookish, academic magician who's made a career of peering into things man was not meant to know, yet hasn't Gone Mad From The Revelation
. Not yet, at least.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: He's by no means a violent man, but it'll be a long time before you sleep soundly again if you threaten him.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Unlike many, he's careful and logical enough in his thinking that he can be very convincing.
- Ancient Conspiracy: He believes an ancient mystical force has been actively pushing humanity's scientific and technological development, but he can't figure out why. He's probably right with Harlequin and Dunklezhan trying to prepare Metahumanity for the Horrors, and other such things.
- Eldritch Abomination: The spirits he summons look like something out of an alien horror story, all tentacles and weird proportions.
International Man Of Mystery, suave superspy and another Cool Old Guy
, Fianchetto's history is pretty much unknown - few more or less certain things about him is that he worked for various governments under numerous covers over the previous forty years.
- Crazy-Prepared: He sleeps with his cybereyes open and recording.
- Rogue Agent: Once, he compromised an operation he was hired for to retrieve a collection of stolen art from a Russian Mafia boss.
Jane Foster, a platinum-haired elven woman most notable for her unique command of magic, learned under Harlequin. A broadly capable person, she tends to contribute most to matters of elven politics and unusual magical phenomena, becoming heavily involved in the Artifact Rush of the early 2070s.
- New Rules as the Plot Demands: In some adventures where Frosty is featured, her magical capabilities are left wholly undefined, except to say that they're vaguely similar to the hermetic tradition. The gamemaster is encouraged to let her do whatever she needs to cover the player's weaknesses without overshadowing them.
- Rage Against the Mentor: She makes it clear that there's little love between her and Harlequin. While she respects and appreciates what he taught her, she takes a dim view of his personal morals and ethics, and openly resents his habit for manipulating and deceiving others.
- Wound That Will Not Heal: Has a limp that only becomes noticeable when she has to exert herself. No doubt a residual effect of her thighbone exploding when Harlequin tampered with a magical seal carved into it. Though some of the blame for that lies on her father, Ehran The Scribe, who chose to use it as the focus for a high-powered lethal area-effect spell in response to the aforementioned tampering.
An elf shaman, and a broad expert on magic. Best known among Jackpointers for using his powers to influence women into sleeping with him without their consent, and even driving one woman to suicide after manipulating her into falling in love with him so he could get information out of her.
Kane John Kastle
Rigger, pirate and mercenary with a grudge against Aztlan, Kane is known as a loose cannon and a team killer and wanted in at least twenty countries.
- Ax-Crazy: Or so the people say.
- Berserk Button: Aztechnology is on his to kill list, he refuses to work for Azzie in any way.
- Cosplay: The intro story of Safehouses tells of how he infiltrated Comic Con dressed as an Imperial Stormtrooper. He was not amused.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Several of his plans.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His girlfriend and partner, Kat. Everything he's done, everything he became since diving into the shadows, he's done for her.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Blood magic is a little beyond the pale for him; he'll engage in human trafficking and organ-legging, even he finds blood magic rituals to be sick.
- Evil Mentor: To /dev/grrl.
- Famed in Story: In the 4e Vice supplement, he offhandedly mentions that the story of one of his prison escapes is scheduled for a major trideo production. /dev/grrl states that several of his adventures have been adapted into straight to trideo movies, though the biggest budget one screwed him out of the royalties.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though he's definitely a rough customer, apparently the thing that drove him to running in the first place was losing his girlfriend to Aztlan during the Yucatan Wars. When he discovered she was alive and in an internment camp, he dropped close to one hundred million nuyen to rescue her by hiring nearly an entire private army.
- Playing Both Sides: According to him, this is how he's managed to survive over twenty years on the most wanted lists of 19 countries and corporations; he always makes sure the people who want him dead have bigger fish - which is to say, each other - to deal with to worry about coming after him, and if any of them ever get too sore at him, he'll turn his activities towards their rivals, thus turning himself into an asset.
- Pragmatic Villainy: During a discussion about how to steal a stealth submarine, he says that while he could do it, he wouldn't on the off chance it had nukes in it. If it did, every corp and country would stop at nothing to stop him.
- Refuge in Audacity: He's the most wanted man in the C.A.S. /dev/grrl caught him playing poker with a C.A.S. senator from Louisiana.
- Token Evil Teammate: Although not the worst.
Kat o'Nine Tales
Vocalist and bass player for Grim Aurora, Kat's a physical adept who uses her band's touring schedule to form contacts and find jobs as a Shadowrunner.
- Really Gets Around: Self describes as promiscuous; she's hinted that she's even had at least a one night stand with Damien Knight. Several of her comments regarding various vehicles in such source books as Jet Set and Used Car Lot are about her sexual exploits in said vehicles.
Kay St. Irregular
A longtime political mover and shaker, Kay served extensively with the UCAS congress, selling up-to-date inside political information to the shadow community in order to further his own political aspirations and remove his rivals. Has recently become involved in Denver as well, possibly trying to get into Ghostwalker's good graces.
A wuxing magician operating out of Hong Kong. Created his own gang, the Sons of Thunder, in direct opposition to both the Hong Kong police and the Red Dragon Triad, having a personal vendetta against both. Has diverse interests and knowledge, primarily in magical research and organized crime.
A dwarf wolf shaman and enchanter heavily involved in the marketing of magical goods. She's been known to swindle shady customers, while going beyond the call of duty for her more faithful clients.
A human adept who follows the Way of the Totem, specifically Cat. One of the world's premiere thieves and stealth operatives, she has a famous rivalry with Mika.
- Classy Cat-Burglar: Her stock and trade. She even used Celina C. Kyle as an alias once.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Mika. Eventually Fastjack gets fed up with it and tells them to fuck already.
- I Work Alone: Prefers this for a number of reasons; first and foremost she doesn't have to split the profits. Secondly, her jobs revolve around stealth, and numbers become a liability in that situation more than a strength. Third, few teams are willing to put up with her "curse", see below.
- The Rival: With Mika, her main compitition.
- Stealth Expert
- Theme Naming: All of her known aliases refer to cats in some way; most likely this is her way of honoring her totem.
- Walking Techbane: Her "curse"; technology doesn't like her and tends to malfunction around her; it's how she earned her street name(means "trouble"). She also considers this the main reason she's better than Mika; she's able to perform on his level without relying on technology at all, while he loves gadgets.
Man of Many Names
Mysterious, white-haired shaman said to be incredibly powerful back in the 2050s, and there's no doubt he's grown even more impressive since. He serves as Jackpoint's most senior expert on all topics of magic. Perhaps ironically, nobody seems to know what Many Names' other names might be.
- Cryptic Conversation: His age is vague, his shaman tradition is vague, and many of his comments are vague. On the rare occasion he makes a clear, unambiguous statement, other Jackpointers are left feeling a mix of confusion and alarm.
- He claims he's perfectly capable of normal conversations outside of Jackpoint, where he merely "chooses his words carefully." His definition of "normal" doesn't quite mesh with anyone else though...
MAN-OF-MANY-NAMES: I did not pick you. I only happen to be the one talking to you.
HAZE: Would it do me any good to ask who did pick me?
MAN-OF-MANY-NAMES: There is often a benefit to asking questions, even the ones that aren't answered.
HAZE: Son of a bitch.
- Magical Native American
- Older Than They Look: most probably. His age is the subject of mass guessing by Horizon analysts who broke into Jackpoint to gather information on him.
- The Stoic
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Can speak with authority about battling bug spirits, but only with great reluctance.
An elven technomancer, who later gets married to Slamm-0.
- Depending on the Writer: For her metatype at least. At least one piece of artwork shows her as an ork. Unlike her counterpart Turbo Bunny, she isn't exactly as pretty as her as Runner's Companion shows, though that artwork doesn't show her at her best, being hooked up to an I.V. for some unspecified medical condition.
- Opposites Attract: When discussing method acting as a way of hiding one's online movements as a technomancer, she claims that she envisions herself as someone "disgusting" and "as opposite" as herself as she can be. Everyone guesses Clockwork, including Clockwork. Turns out it's Slamm-O!.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: This is apparently the entire basis of her relationship with Slamm-O!; she finds his hobbies insufferable, his antics immature and groan worthy, and himself to be "disgusting", but at the end of the day, he's still good man who uses his skills as a decker for the good of others.
- Ship Tease: A lot between her and Slamm-0!. One of the 20th Anniversity Rulebook stories had her going on a date with Slamm-0! as the result of losing a hacking competition.
- As confirmed above, they're an official couple now; they've got a baby boy. Slamm-0! even based an attack program on some of his 'fatherhood experiences'. He called it 'Diaper Bomb'.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The hot wife. Depending on the artist, of course.
A hacker living on one of the orbital habitats, apparently hiding from a corporation without space assets. She serves as a security consultant, while her underlings make data steals that she sells to other spacebound runner teams.
Picador Carmen M. Lopez y Cabrera
CO of the Seventy Seventh Independent Rangers fighting the war against Aztlan in Bogota, she was the protege of the deceased Matador, Juan Pereya who was a long time Shadowland user. Her mercenary unit swears an oath of absolute professionalism in a field where morality is completely cast aside.
- Being Good Sucks: Stormfront reveals that the cause she was fighting for had the unit taking a heavy blow and Amazonia losing the war against Atzlan
- Berserk Button: Speaking out of line about Matador, and bringing up the below mentioned Dating Catwoman incident.
- Dating Catwoman: Matador had an intense rivalry with with Psycho for Hire Navarre and Navarre in turn seduced Picador literally as a way to insult Matador.
- Foil: To Clockwork, who lacks any kind of morals and would gladly sell his soul to Atzlan if he could.
- Heroic Bsod: Matador's death still leaves her on edge to this day.
- Take Up My Sword: She became the leader of the 77th after Matador's death at the hands of his rival.
- We Help the Helpless: Her unit lives on a strict code of conduct, absolutely no looting, no intentional harm of civilians or atrocities of any kind. She had made a couple of examples of killing potential psychos for hire.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Her love for Cervantes was one of the major reasons why she holds such a high value on things like honor.
A combat hacker with a grudge against the Tempo-trade.
- Arch-Enemy: Hates Haze with a fiery passion; the feeling is mutual.
A conspiracy theorist.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: He's one of the people who refuses to believe that Feuerschwinge died in 2012. Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall shows that he's right about that. Whether or not he's right about her surviving into the 2070s depends on the actions of the player.
A technomancer who appears to have the same playful, mocking mischievousness of his Shakespearean namesake, which tends to irritate other Jackpointers. Shows little knowledge of anything other than the Matrix, but often contributes to topics regarding AIs
, the Deep Resonance, and the like. Even more than most runners, he has some secrets he really
doesn't want Jackpoint to know about - secrets worse than formerly being one of Deus' highest servants, or directly causing Crash 2.0.
- Living Emotional Crutch: One reason Fastjack lets Puck post at Jackpoint is because he's genuinely worried about what Puck might do if he lost this last remaining constant in his life.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He somehow thought that releasing the Jormungand virus and wiping out the Matrix would somehow absolve him of his past actions, instead of adding exponentially to the suffering he's caused.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Unlike most of Deus's servants, Puck was deeply disturbed by the AI's horrific actions once he became aware of them, and actively worked to oppose them.
- Token Evil Teammate: His role in compromising the Denver Data Haven is only the most recent thing that's earned him a near-universal enmity on Jackpoint.
Genzo Watanabe, a former security rigger for Mitsuhama, and accidental witness to a yakuza boss killing a prostitute. Went into the shadows soon after a yakuza hit squad came to his apartment (and got slaughtered by its defenses).
- Crazy-Prepared: Installs cameras and guns everywhere, just in case something sensitive/dangerous happens by.
- Leave No Witnesses: Routinely kills anyone who interferes on a run, as well as anyone nearby who might potentially interfere.
- Properly Paranoid
- Sinister Surveillance: Makes much of his living by spying on people and selling the information.
- The Mole: Information on former teammates is no exception.
Riser Jonathan Riser
A former orphan street thug, now head of the Smoker's Club, a group of cigar-loving assassins. He's said to have extraordinary charm and interpersonal skills that seem inconsistent with a rough-hewn killer. His mind may have been compromised the same way Fastjack's has, and he's apparently developed a charitable conscience while selling out information on other runners. He was banned from Jackpoint after Fastjack revealed this.
Slamm-O! Patrick Mckenney
A human male decker known for his dreadlocks, sports fandom, and extremely juvenile behavior and the son of two other former Shadowrunners. He may be one of the most skillful deckers around, but has a fast and loose attitude toward his work, and life in general. Married to Netcat and quickly adapting to fatherhood.
- Geek Physiques: Oh very much so, the official Street Legends depict him as a overweight cybered-up nerd if anything.
- Man Child: You'd never think he was a grown man, let along a father, if nobody explicitly said so.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He's done a lot of good work fighting against anti-metahuman organizations; unfortunately, while made no secret he was behind this, he also never revealed that he, himself, was human, which lead to these organizations targeting meta-hackers in their quest for revenge.
- Not So Different: He hates Puck about as much as Clockwork hates Netcat, maybe more. While he's perhaps a bit more justified than Clockwork is, he's still considerably hostile towards Puck than just about anyone else on Jackpoint, blowing up at the mere mention of his name.
- Technician Versus Performer: The performer to Clockwork's technician; Slamm-O! has no sense of subtlety when it comes to hacking, going about it in a flashy manner.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Overweight, no sense of style(by modern or sixth-world standards), and a god-awful mustache, married to a smoking hot elf girl.
Deals with debunking urban legends. Has at least one kid.
- Action Dad: Somewhat. While he hasn't had to come to the rescue of his kid, he is a shadowrunner.
- Meaningful Name: Snopes is a famous urban legend site in our world. Due to the alternate history of Shadowrun it can be assumed that the site never existed in its original form in the Shadowrun verse or was lost in the crashes of the pre-Matrix web or the old Matrix.
An investigative reporter who trawls the media to bring up-to-date reports on just about everything to Jackpoint, including plenty of his own findings. He's particularly responsible for a lot of the information that came out on technomancers.
The Smiling Bandit
A decker with a profound knowledge of scientific subjects. Keeping with the theme, he uses a persona of a man in a cowboy hat, bandana, and long coat, and proved his decking skills way back in the Shadowland days by altering the system so the timestamp for his posts would read "—strikes again! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
- Catchphrase: "—strikes again! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
- Famed in Story: Apparently he's something of a cult hero for neo-anarchists - he isn't one, himself, but his history of sticking it to the man and sticking up for the little guy has inspired them. His Matrix Persona is one of the most copied in the Sixth World.
- Hot Scientist: A 50 year-old man with the physique of a fit 21 year-old, and with no leonization either!
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Specializes in genetics and its subsciences, and has quite the knowledge in other fields of science.
- Science Hero: Oh yea. He is very, very cautious about science being used to harm people and the world, as he believes it should only be used for the betterment of the world.
- Science Is Bad: He takes this angle when it comes to anything from the corporations and is seen as a hero of the downtrodden.
- Technobabble: Generally handles the genetic fluff of Shadowrun.
A Latina elf hailing from Pueblo, she was forced to escape to Seattle after an incident involving an illegal diamond shipment and a police chase all the way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
Alexander King, a human magician, who openly adopted the name "Winterhawk" as a personal brand. Prefers to take temporary jobs that allow him to wander and explore. Probably Jackpoint's most frequently-appearing magical expert.
Dragons in the Shadowrun
-verse are the iconic supernatural life-form and exist in all types and sizes
. Most dragons fall into one of three types: Western dragons, eastern dragons or the south american feathered serpent. They are the setting's most profilic chessmasters (though plenty would dispute that
) and constantly jostle with each other for power, authority and wealth by any number of (unseen to the average citizen) ways. The oldest and most powerful dragons are known as Great Dragons; most Great Dragons are Time Abysses
that survived the fall of the fourth age
by falling into hibernation, awakening again at the dawning of the sixth. Canonically there are less than thirty Great Dragons in the world, though many would argue that's more than enough.
Tropes common to the Great Dragons
- The Ageless: None of them seem to age.
- Time Abyss: With the exception of Masaru, every Great Dragon known is a bona-fide survivor of Earthdawn - which took place in the Fourth Age; 5000 years in the past. On top of that, they were born in the Second Age - 5000 years earlier.
- The Chessmaster and Manipulative Bastard: Goes without saying, really.
- Dragon Hoard: Taking Dunkelzahn and Lofwyr as examples (Dunkelzahn being a self-admitted extreme), it seems probable most Great Dragons hoard gold, treasure and magical artifacts to different degrees. Don't expect any runs to involve stealing from one, though, unless the Johnson is intentionally trying to get you (and probably himself, his associates, family and little dog) killed.
- Lord British Postulate: Great Dragons have intentionally not been statted in 5th edition. Earlier editions had splatbooks with some guidelines that did not include their social networks, political influence, active spells or their Edge and what they'd do to you upon recovering. Long story short: Great Dragons in Shadowrun are not killable unless the GM specifically intends for you to.
- Meaningful Name: Each of them carries a draconic name, an epithet which presumably describes their nature or achievements in the previous age, and which are generally used only with one another, kept secret from mortals. Several of them, however, have taken to using these same names as their Matrix handles.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Occasionally, Our Dragons Are PRESIDENTS: Lofwyr's the big shot at Saeder-Krupp (BMW after a few good buyouts), Dunkelzahn was President of the UCAS for a little over 10 hours before the bomb in his limo tore open a Negative Space Wedgie and Hestaby is one of the members of Tir Taingire's ruling Council.
- Besides fitting themselves snugly into the world of politics and economics, the great dragons have proven to be quite net-savvy, showing up in the commentary chatter in older edition Shadowland postings: Dunkelzahn as "The Big D," Hestaby as "The Orange Queen," Ghostwalker as "Ghost in the Machine," and Celedyr as "Stone-Diver" or "Script-Diver," while a host of others briefly came out of the closet after Dunkelzahn's death in order to bitch about being left out of his will. Also, Dunkelzahn hosted his own talk show for a few years. The great dragons are nothing if not adaptable.
- Shadowrun's dragons may be the only dragons you actually run away from. They aren't fightable: they're stronger, tougher, bigger, and smarter than you (human average stat: 3 (max 6), dragon average: 8, great dragon average: 13—except body/toughness and strength, those are 35+). Oh, and unlike every other NPC, they have Edge (the Luck Stat, only PCs have it) and great dragons can do some nasty things with it that you can't. There's a damn good reason why you never deal with a dragon.
- Alamais, a Great Dragon who operates in Europe, was hit with an orbital weapon system intended for use against military targets and survived.
- They burn some Edge (permanently decrease the stat by a bit in exchange for something like a guaranteed critical success or surviving certain death) and let you THINK that you killed them, and then when you get home you discover that your entire family has been eaten, your SIN has been revoked, and there is now a bounty on your head that is so large that every shadowrunner in the time zone is now after you.
- Maybe that's the reason for this entry in Dunklezahn's will:
For a period of ten days beginning on 14 February 2057, Lars J. Matthews will cease to possess any legal status. He will be stripped of all evidence of legal existence, including SIN, credsticks, DocWagon contract, bank accounts and so on. To the individual or group who ends Lars J. Matthews' physical existence during those ten days, I leave all of Matthews' assets and 1 million nuyen for a job well done. If Mr. Matthews survives and can prove his identity, his legal status and all possessions will be restored to him. Haven't you heard? Never deal with a dragon, Lars.
- The Voiceless: In Dragon form, Great Dragons only communicate telepathically, at least to humans. This lead to the post of the 'translator', a trusted metahuman the dragon communicated to who then spoke the words out loud.
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: All Great Dragons can take human form.
The only known Great Sirrush, a middle-eastern dragon, who lairs in Turkey. He claims most of the Holy Land and Middle East as his domain and aggressively rebuffs European influences onto it, especially those of Lofwyr. Most renown/reviled for razing Teheran to the ground in response to a Fatwa called upon metahumans and the Awakened. This has not made him a lot of friends amongst the world's muslims.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He seems to like being angry and hateful. When Dunkelzahn bequeathed him the Shroud of Shadows, a magical artifact that induces peace and tranquility, Aden promptly had it buried in the ruins of Tehran without ever accepting or even touching it.
- Gender Bender: Biologically male, but in human form will prefer to appear androgynous, as either a beautiful man or a handsome woman. Some dragons think he likes doing it to mock metahumanity's limited imagination and need to classify things.
- Pet the Dog: Despite somewhat radical methods, Aden seems to be watching out for the Middle East's Awakened and magical beings. One of the main reasons why most of mainstream Islam has laid off on persecuting magic is because what happened to Teheran.
Alamais (Night Master)
A Great Western Dragon of Gold colour, native to Germany and lairing in Spitsbergen. Lofwyr's brother and arch-rival.
- Faking the Dead: Got shot with an orbital laser during the early-to-mid 2050s and survived, but pretended to be dead to obfuscate his attackers. He got outed in Dunkelzahn's Will when the latter gave him back the fruitcake the two had been exchanging every Christmas for 37 years, adding "Unlike you, I'm really dead".
- Fantastic Racism: Against mortals. Almost all dragons consider mortal meta-humans short-sighted pawns, but most of them draw the line way before the "hunting them for food" stage.
- Killed Off for Real: A coalition of three Great Dragons (Lung, Lofwyr and Arleesh) pooled their resources to take him down and apparently killed him for good in 2075.
- Political Hero: 'Hero' is stretching it, but his modus operandi is to manipulate political movements, underground groups and terrorist organizations (as opposed to his brother, who prefers associating with the Megas). Amongst others, he was behind the Winternight cult that destroyed the second Matrix.
- The Rival: To Lofwyr, who also happens to be his brother.
Celedyr (Stone Diver, Script-Diver)
A Great Western dragon of silver colouring, lairing in Wales, fascinated by the Sixth World's technology and especially the Matrix. CTO and major stock-holder of NeoNET. Known to be the only Great Dragon with a datajack.
- Ambiguously Evil: Is strongly hinted to be behind the CFD virus, though whether or not the outbreak was intentional is up in the air.
Dunkelzahn (Far Scholar, The Big "D")The
dragon of the setting during the first two editions, Dunkelzahn was a great black dragon of European stock. He awakened in North America and quickly established himself as the most personable of the Great Dragons. He became famous through works of charity and by hosting his own talkshow, Wyrm Talk, as well as being an active user of Shadowland. After running for — and becoming — the President of UCAS, Dunkelzahn was assassinated by unknown means (blood magic was believed to be involved, as was a humongous bomb) scant hours after his inauguration. He left behind a massive will full of adventure hooks, in-jokes and generally interesting reading.
- 100% Adoration Rating: Dude was insanely popular. He has cults dedicated to him after his death, and there are even conspiracy theories that believe that while dragons at large are trying to take over the world, Dunkelzahn was a Token Good Teammate Defector from Decadence. It's to the point that there's in-universe Hype Aversion to the guy, calling the fan worship of him outright idolatry.
- It should be noted that even amongst Great Dragons Dunkelzahn was notable for not feuding directly with any of them. Considering most dragons in the series go together like a house on fire (you know, fire, burning, structural collapse, people dying...) that's fairly impressive.
- The Ace: Good natured, rich, popular, fond of metahumanity and had practically no enemies (apart from whoever assassinated him of course). His will consists of practically 50% Pet the Dog moments, though one might argue the death and destruction caused by the 10% most calculated donations more than made up for this.
- Ancient Keeper: The keeper of the Jewel of Memory, a gem that stores the memories of dragon kind. The Jewel passed to Lofwyr, who used it to survive an assassination attempt by Alamais.
- Apple of Discord: His will was full of them. In one masterful act of posthumous trolling he caused wars both open and covert, the collapse of a triple-A megacorp, the rise of several new ones and enough conflict to basically run the entire metaplot of the setting for several years.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Definitely the most human-friendly of the Great Dragons... but not above completely incinerating with a single look the assassin who killed his first translator.
- Faking the Dead: In-universe, it's a very popular belief among Conspiracy Theorists; while it's generally suggested to not be true, the books do provide a few plot hooks just incase a given GM wants to have this be the reality.
- Fiction 500: His will underlined just how insanely wealthy he was, with insane amounts of money and valuable artifacts being given away in the short curated extract released by the creators. He was able to give away billions of nuyen on a whim to fulfill a 2000 year old debt for someone's ancestor once buying him lunch. Although given how that particular repayment ultimately panned out and the laws of genetics, it seems likely he picked that particular descendant for another Gambit Roulette.
- Gambit Roulette: His will amounts to this.
- Posthumous Character: By the time 4th edition starts, he's been dead for 13 years. He is still fully capable of providing adventure hooks and screwing players over through his will.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Shame about his assassination, since he would have made an awesome president. Besides possessing millennia of wisdom and a perspective that sees across generations, he had a humility that no other Great Dragon could match.
"To Lofwyr, I leave the Jewel of Memory and a bit of advice: consider your works and the possibility that, in the eyes of the Universe, you are no more or less than any of the Earth’s creatures. I tried it, and it works wonders."
- Riddle for the Ages: Who killed him or how has never been revealed.
- Our Presidents Are Different: Became President of the UCAS... for little over 10 hours.
- Thanatos Gambit: Whether the bomb that killed him was his idea or somebody else is still not quite certain, but he did use his own death to empower a magical device intended to "defuse" mana spikes. And also to ensure that some part of him would survive as the free spirit Lethe.
- Worthy Opponent: He considered Sirrurg to be this; they never agreed on anything, but Dunkelzahn admired Sirrurg's conviction. In his will, he left Sirrurg only his respect, knowing the other dragon valued none of Dunkelzahn's material possessions. He also apparently had considerable respect for Lofwyr, as he left him the Jewel of Memory, arguably the most important item in his will.
A red Great Western Dragon that Awakened in Germany 2012, and promptly went on a destructive rampage across Europe that cost thousands of lives before being shot down over the Benelux lands by the Luftwaffe. Holds the dubious 'honour' of being the first Great Dragon to be killed by metahumanity.
A conspiracy formed around her death forms a major part of Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall
- The Berserker: Feuerschwinge is noted to have taken no translator, had no known lair, and never said a word to anyone. She spent her awakening killing anything she came across. Her attacks seemed unplanned and had no rhyme or reason to them.
- Never Found the Body: Due to being shot down over a radioactive waste, her body is unrecoverable. Officially she's dead. Unofficially no-one can confirm, and there are rumours of toxic shaman cults in the SOX worshipping her.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A four-month long one, against anyone and everything, before she was finally killed.
Ghostwalker (Doll Maker, Ghost in the Machine)
A white Great Western Dragon native to North America, laired in Denver, and the last Great Dragon who awakened to the sixth world in 2061. He is believed to be Dunkelzahn's brother.
- The Rival: To Lofwyr and Harlequin. A battle between Harlequin and Ghostwalker threw Denver into chaos in the 2070s.
- Magnetic Medium: More than other great dragons, Ghostwalker has an affinity for spirits and the astral plane.
- The Lost Lenore: Since his awakening, his highest motivation was to restore a fractured great spirit, which was heavily implied to be the spirit of someone or something he dearly loved long ago.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Appeared on the site of Dunkelzahn's assassination and beelined straight for Denver with an army of spirits, before chasing Aztlan out of North America.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Free spirits have long been granted citizenships in some nations, but Ghostwalker recently upped the ante by declaring that the binding of spirits in Denver was equivalent to slavery and would be prosecuted as such.
Hestaby (Orange Queen)
A Great Western dragon of copper colour, laired in California. She sits on the Council of Princes of Tir Tairngire.
- Nature Hero - Known for her green agenda and interest in preserving the environment.
- Punny Name: Her chosen name in the sixth world is based on a soft drink marketing slogan. Her lair is on Mount Shasta, California, and the classic slogan of the Shasta soft drink company is "It Hasta Be Shasta". This is just one example of her rather idiosyncratic sense of humor.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech - one she gave Aztlan (publicly, at the UN Assembly) in the intro story to SOTA 2073. A great dragon thoroughly wrecked your shit? That's because you asked for it for at least a decade.
- Take Up My Sword - she is considered Dunkelzahn's successor as the "Keeper of Mankind".
A Great Western dragon, laired in Feldberg, Germany. He is the largest and most physically powerful of the Great Dragons and awakened in 2012, right after Feuerschwinge's rampage began. His metahuman form is strongly suspected to be Berthold I, troll king of the Schwarzwald troll kingdom.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In 2012 he fought a duel with the dragon Nebelherr in the airspace above Germany shortly after Feuerschwinge was shot down, and completely dominated the smaller dragon until Lofwyr entered the fray. The two of them subsequently repulsed him.
- The Hunter: He seems to make it his business to single out Toxic Shamans for termination, especially those that come out of the SOX where Feuerschwinge fell. No-one really knows why.
- Super Strength: Even by Dragon standards. His published stats put both his body and strength stats at over 30.
- Unholy Matrimony: According to Harlequin he was Feuerschwinge's mate and may have attempted to save her when Nebelherr and Lofwyr interferred.
Lofwyr (Gold Master)
The second definitive dragon of the setting. A European Great Dragon, coloured gold. His lair was located inside Germany. After single-handedly taking over BMW/Krupp and restructuring it to form Saeder-Krupp, he moved said lair to a gigantic arcology that serves as corporate headquarters. His metahuman form is a white-haired human called "Hans Brackhaus", who commonly poses as Lofwyr's Mouth of Sauron
to the unaware.
- Ancient Keeper: Was bequeathed ownership of the Jewel of Memory, the gem that holds the ancestral knowledge of all dragon kind, by Dunkelzahn upon the latter's death.
- Bad Boss/Benevolent Boss: He can be either. On one hand, he's very demanding of his employees, but that's because he only hires the best. He punishes failure harshly (according to in-game rumor, by eating the person), but rewards success and dedication equally generously.
- Berserk Button: Being Locked Out of the Loop where his own company is concerned. Lofwyr personally monitors and manages every aspect of Saeder-Krupp from the bottom up, and woe be to anyone who attempts to undercut him.
- The Chessmaster: Even by dragon standards. He is known to actively feud with half of the other dragons on this page, and yet he's able to deal with them all and run Saeder-Krupp day-to-day on top of it.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Took control of his own Megacorp, Saeder-Krupp, in a hostile takeover.
- Dragon Hoard: His hoard is a corporation and a lot of stock options. It's possible he also owns the traditional piles of money and artifacts on top of it as well, but his best-known asset is Saeder-Krupp itself.
- The Dreaded: Ever heard the term "never, ever, cut a deal with a dragon"? Yeah, he's the cause.
- Fiction 500: With Dunkelzahn's death, officially the richest being in the Sixth World.
- Pet the Dog: Lofwyr uses Saeder-Krupp's PR departments to actively quell public fear and prejudice against technomancers. Granted, this is mainly because he sees them as worthwhile assets to be exploited rather than lab rats to be cut open, but still.
- Social Darwinist: He may be an asshole but he respects those who are willing to be strong. As far as a dragon respect can go for a metahuman.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: In his human form.
- Worthy Opponent: Wilhelmina Beloit-Graff, the last human CEO of Saeder-Krupp before his hostile takeover, attempted to have him assassinated as revenge for stealing her husband's company. Lofwyr was reputedly so impressed that he returned the assassins to her, intact, with the addendum that he was willing to forgive her once out of sheer respect for her audacity (or perhaps out of Cruel Mercy). Beloit-Graff would live on past it for at least two decades before dying of a stroke in 2063.
A Great Eastern Dragon and principle dragon of China. The former mentor of Ryumyo and attempts to do with China what Ryumyo did with Japan, but his more careful and reclusive approach has yet to bear the same fruits.
A Great Eastern Dragon who ascended to "Great" status in 2042, and therefore the youngest Great Dragon known to exist. He makes his lair on Vancouver Island outside Seattle and is interested in topics of social justice and speaking up for the downtrodden, following in the footsteps of Dunkelzahn and Hestaby.
- Arch-Enemy: He seems to have made the Japanese Empire his main foe, what with fomenting rebellions in the Phillipines.
- Nice Guy: By great dragon standards.
Mujaji (Rain Queen)
A Great Feathered Serpent of Africa, very ecologically-minded and protective of her domain. Though powerful, she tends to keep to her own affairs and tend only to the land under her control.
Based in Denver, Perianwyr is a Great Western Dragon who prefers owning his own record label and driving a music club before all the politicking and jostling for position most other Great Dragons do, making him fairly unique for his kind.
- Awesome Music: Perianwyr's In-Universe driving passion.
- Graceful Loser: Probably the only great dragon in the Sixth World who can make this claim.
- The Hedonist: By dragon standards. Not presented as an entirely bad thing, all things considered.
- King Incognito: Didn't want to scare away musical talent with the whole "dragon" thing.
- Nice Guy: By dragon standards? Oh hell yes.
- Record Producer: Perianwyr's chief vocation and occupation.
A deep red Great Western Dragon who awoke in Wales. He took to the Sixth World rather well, involving himself in business investment, politics, and music, though preferring to keep a lower profile than Lofwyr, Dunkelzahn, and Perianwyr respectively.
- Fantastic Racism: A mild case, but he has a noticeable distrust of elves with positions of power. He's strongly suspected of initiating or funding operations against nations, corporations, or other entities run predominantly by elves.
- Gentle Giant: As dragons go. His brief post-awakening rampage took over a hundred lives and filled Wales with utter terror, after which he issued a formal apology and offered substantial sums of treasure as reparations for victims' families and to rebuild the damage he caused. Since then, he's been described as "a good neighbor" to the Welsh.
- The Rival: To the enigmatic Sea Dragon, for reasons unknown.
A Great Eastern dragon of red colour. Awakened in 2011, he was the first dragon that revealed himself to mankind. He has taken an active hand in the well-being of the Japanese Empire and is one of the main reasons for its resurgence.
A Great Western green dragon, Schwartzkopf awakened in the Czech Republic in 2012. He generally stays out of dragon affairs however, and seems to be contenting himself with teaching sorcery at the University of Prague (in full dragon form). He's currently working on devising a Unified Theory of Magic, to explain how magic of different traditions all manage to function.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: In the early editions of the game, the magic of mages, shamans, and spellcasters of other traditions all worked somewhat differently. Since 4th edition however, they all follow largely the same rules. Progress on the Unified Theory, perhaps?
Sea Dragon, the
The only known Great Leviathan, a water-bound dragon. Unlike her airborne kin she uses no name pronounceable by metahumanity and has at least three confirmed lairs in different seas across the world. Very little is known about her.
- Fantastic Racism: She is known to eat any metahuman unfortunate enough to cross her path.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: She is noted to have practically no allies amongst either dragons or other major powers like nation-states or megas.
- Nature Hero: Like with Alamais, 'hero' is stretching it, but she despises polluters and funds ecoterrorist groups.
- The Rival: To Rhonabwy, for reasons unknown. She's also feuded with Lofwyr and Hestaby.
- The Unpronouncable: Hence why she's just called "The Sea Dragon".
A Great Western dragon of green colour, making his lair in the nation of Amazonia (which he helped form). Known best by his epithet "the destroyer" for his tendency to go on indiscriminate rampages. May well be responsible for more metahuman deaths in the Sixth World than all the other great dragons combined.
- Killed Off for Real: Executed by Aztechnology forces during the Amazonia-Aztlan war of 2074. Rumours claim he somehow escaped before the sentence could be carried out.
- Person of Mass Destruction: He possessed a spell - apparently unique - that would cause everyone within a radius of several miles to die from whatever physical or genetic problems they already had. A single use of this spell took nearly ten thousand lives (in addition to the other five thousand he already killed that day).
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Night of Rage (a series of anti-metahuman riots) caused him to go on a rampage, destroying a charter flight and several cities worldwide.
The Mega Corps
The major players of the Sixth World, though there are plenty who dispute that
. Megacorporations are graded as A, AA or AAA-level
: To reach AA level, a corporation needs to have the power to possess and enforce extraterritoriality
, and to qualify for AAA level a corporation must have have representatives on the Corporate Court, a regulatory organ over the world's Megacorps. The Corporate Court arbitrates all conflicts between corporations, functioning somewhat like a free-market U.N. with access to orbital weaponry, and has the ability to impose sanctions and Thor Shots
on other corps and citizens who step over the line. Members of the Corporate Court also own shares in Zurich-Orbital, the successor to the World Bank.
Currently, ten AAA-megacorps are known to exist: They are known as the Big Ten and consist of the seven original founders of the Corporate Court (and their successors) who have permanent seats (and therefore permanent AAA status), as well as three non-founding members whose AAA-status is tied to their representation. The Big Ten are detailed below, ranked by size (as of the fifth edition of the game), followed by a few other well-known megacorps in the Shadowrun
Tropes common to the Megacorps:
Saeder-Krupp Heavy Industries
"One Step Ahead"
The largest Mega Corp.
and (through BMW) one of the founders of the Corporate Court with a permanent seat. It's located in a massive arcology in Essen, Germany that also serves as the lair of their CEO. Formed by an amalgam of European industrial giants around the core of BMW, Saeder-Krupp is involved in practically everything but especially in energy, heavy industry, finance and aerospace. Owned by the Great Dragon Lofwyr, who considers the company his Dragon Hoard
and works tirelessly to keep it #1, dominating its entire corporate culture from the bottom up.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Is the bigger fish in this case. Not even Aztechnology, owners of the entirety of Latin America, can stand up to Saeder-Krupp. They own their own carrier fleet.
- Bad Boss: Lofwyr zigzags this. On the one hand, the rewards for success in S-K are second to none. On the other hand, failure is not tolerated. And worst of all, you can never truly know whether your failure was intended from the start, because Lofwyr isn't accountable to anyone, seldom reveals anything about his actual plans, and has a Berserk Button about being undercut at any level. That job you thought was sanctioned may turn out to be the result of an over-zealous middle manager taking too much initiative, and if the results aren't good enough (and in some cases even if they are) your entire operation may end up axed. Or eaten.
- Control Freak: Unlike all the other Megacorps, Saeder-Krupp's operations are heavily centralised and Lofwyr minute-manages everything. Cutting him out of the loop is not a good idea.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: All of the Megas are evil or at least extremely morally ambiguous, but racism, fantastic or otherwise, isn't one of Saeder-Krupp's sins. There are no strong biases against any race, metatype, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or awakened status in Saeder-Krupp; perhaps most notably, while other Corps have active bounties on them and are looking to cut them open and see what makes them tick, Lofwyr sees technomancers as worthwhile assets, works to integrate them into his corporate machine.
- The one exception being A.I.s/S.I.s, as Saeder-Krupp has no synthetic intelligences as employees or citizens, and holds a serious mistrust for them, though they'll occasionally hire one as a freelancer. This is apparently because, as synthetics don't require food, money, vice, or anything else the corp could offer them as benefits, buying their loyalty is virtually impossible, and enslaving them is dangerous; as explored in Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall, where a rogue A.I. they created was used in a plot to wipe out dragonkind - and once freed, started its own plot to enslave a Great Dragon.
- Germanic Efficiency: Saeder-Krupp was already in the running for most powerful mega before Lofwyr bought it. Combining most of the German post-war industry giants, all highly profitable corporations in their own right, may have something to do with it.
- You Have Failed Me: 'Disappointing Lofwyr' and 'survival' are usually exclusive propositions. There's a reason most experienced Shadowrunners avoid S-K jobs like the plague.
NeoNET (formerly Novatech, Fuchi Industrial UCAS)
"Tomorrow Runs on NeoNET"
NeoNET began its existence as the UCAS branch of the Mega Corp.
Fuchi Industrial, creators of the original Matrix. After being torn from the failing giant, it took the name Novatech and became the largest UCAS corporation. Novatech itself was almost destroyed piecemeal by ex-employee Art Dankwalther and forced into an IPO that led to the matrix crash at the end of the third edition. Back for the fourth edition after merging with two foreign AA-corporations and renaming itself NeoNET, the corporation is now the second largest Mega Corp.
and owns the Court founding member JRJ International. No matter its name, its focus has always been on the Matrix, responsible for practically every innovation over the game's editions.
- Back from the Dead: Twice. It survived the fall of Fuchi and then survived its almost-destruction at the hands of Dankwalther.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Novatech IPO set the stage for the matrix crash.
- The Dreaded: For hackers, Grid Overwatch Division is a force to be feared.
- Even more so for technomancers; NeoNET has bounties active on them so they can cut them open and find out how they work.
- Wild Card: Considered this by Shadowrunners. Jobs by Neo can be a grab-bag.
Mitsuhama Computer Technologies
"The Future is Mitsuhama"
Third largest Mega Corp.
(formerly the fourth) and a founding member of the Corporate Court, formed in Japan as a Yakuza
front that went horribly right
. As their name implies, heavily into computer hardware and robotics, but also involved in entertainment, magic and heavy industry. Known for their "zero-zone" policy: Mitsuhama shoots first and doesn't bother asking questions.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Mitsuhama was founded by the Yakuza as a laundering front. It ended up being worth magnitudes more than all of Japan's criminal enterprises combined, leading to most of its founders to go legit since they make way more money that way.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The zero zone. Intruders are killed with excessive force and no exceptions.
- Yakuza: It's hard to say where the criminal syndicate ends and the mega corp starts. What is well-known is that Mitsuhama has no trouble getting criminal aid when they need deniable subcontractors or less-legal avenues of aid.
- You Have Failed Me: Towards Shadowrunners. Failing or abandoning Mitsuhama runs is not a good idea.
Aztechnology (formerly ORO)
"The Way to a Better Tomorrow"
Formerly the second largest Mega Corp.
, now the fourth, Aztechnology is based in the nation of Aztlan (a united Latin America, owned by the corporation). It was a founding member of the Native American Nations, but split from them after it turned out giving The Cartel
sovereignty made them less Magical Native Americans
and more a Modern Mayincatec Empire
- which immediately became one of the founders of the Corporate Court, with permanent representation. Specializes in magic and consumer goods, but are one of the most inclusive Triple-A corps with involvement almost everywhere.
- Blood Magic: One of their specialties, although a highly classified one. Any Shadowrunner who publishes, reveals or (gods forbid) practices any part of it will be terminated with extreme prejudice.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Possibly topping MCT. Aztechnology formed out of a front for a conglomerate of drug cartels.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Its combined military might, with the help of top-secret anti-dragon bioweapons, took down Sirrurg the Destroyer in a single day. The only other metahuman power to kill a great dragon without assistance was the German military, and it took them a lot longer to do so. And only mostly killed it - see Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Even before this, Aztechnology was on the great dragons' shit list for trying the feathered serpent Dzitbalchén on flimsy charges of war crimes, executing him, and later autopsying him, all of which was broadcast live over the Matrix.
- The Dreaded: Aztechnology's response to runner intrusion (shoot first, shoot second, shoot some more), nasty blood magic, and general disregard for anyone who isn't Aztechnology makes them a boogeyman for many runners and others in the know.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Their attempt at nationalising all non-Aztechnology industry in Aztlan, their forays into the First Nations, the Yucatan rebellion and snubbing the Catholic Church hasn't left Aztechnology with a lot of friends on the Corporate Court or on the higher echelons of power. Of course, Aztechnology is powerful enough that they don't really have to care, and all the above ones are too busy fighting each other to gang up on them anyway.
- Modern Mayincatec Empire: Aztech tries to put up this facade and has plenty of the trappings, but that Aztechnology is a pretty bog-standard Mega Corp. underneath and that most of its elite are of pure Spanish descent is one of the world's worst kept secrets.
- One Nation Under Copyright: Aztlan is, officially, an independent country, but Aztechnology's rights and privileges are written into the constitution.
- Path of Inspiration: Runs a state sponsored religion as a means of social control (and to fuel blood magic on a nationwide scale).
- Religion of Evil: There's plenty of evidence in the shadows that the state religion of Aztlan is being used to empower Eldritch Abominations of some degree. What remain unknown are the identities of those responsible, and what exact purpose they're trying to achieve.
- The Theocracy: Has outlawed Christianity. As you can imagine from Latin America, this has not gone down too well.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Worth mentioning a second time. Aztechnology has done a superb job of avoiding public scrutiny of its more sinister operations, and most people know them as the ones who own or make most of the world's processed food, chemicals and furniture(would you expect Wal-Mart to practice human sacrifice? Regularly?). Privately is another matter, and most shadowrunners consider them Card Carrying Villains that only the worst among them would work for.
Renraku Computer Systems
"Today's Solutions to Today's Problems"
Fifth largest Mega Corp.
, created through a takeover and transformation of Corporate Court founder Keruba International by Renraku Holdings. Renraku are heavily into computer systems, especially software, telecommunications, servers and databases. Founded the infamous Renraku Arcology in Seattle. Renown for their heavily militaristic corporate structure.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: They created Deus to test their ability to create and control A.I. It went horribly wrong.
- Elite Mooks: The Renraku Red Samurai internal security corps. Woe be to any Shadowrunner who attracts their attention, unless they're elite themselves.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The Renraku Arcology was taken over by the A.I. Deus that turned it into its private 'testing ground'. The results were not pretty.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The company CEO (aided by a group of Shadowrunners) infiltrated the Arcology to kill said A.I. He died in the process of delivering the kill command.
- Senseless Sacrifice: ...Or so the official story goes. In reality he committed Seppuku upon realising the A.I. had been counting on their mission and had really manipulated them into freeing it from the Arcology.
- Out-Gambitted: Briefly took over the #2 spot from Fuchi during the mid-2050s thanks to The Mole in their ranks, until it turned out he was a Reverse Mole and sent the company stock plummeting.
- Secret Keeper: Practically every local area network in Asia is owned by Renraku. They hold so many intercepted or stored corporate secrets that messing with them is generally seen as a bad idea.
EVO (formerly Yamatetsu Corporation)
Sixth largest Mega Corp.
, granted AAA-prime status by vote. Began as a Japanese corporation known as Yamatetsu in the early editions of the game until they switched their corporate HQ to Russia and took on the name EVO. Focuses on biotech, nanotechnology, and consumer goods for metahumans: Most specialist devices built for trolls or dwarves are of EVO make and they also own offworld colonies, including one on Mars.
- The Alliance: Part of the Pacific Prosperity Group, a confederation of non-Japanese corps trying to break the Japanese economic stranglehold on Asia.
- Heel-Face Turn: The switch from Yamatetsu to EVO; while they're still as morally flawed as most other megacorps, Yamatetsu was an intensely racist institution, with a strong human centric focus and anti-meta policies. While some old habits die hard, the switch to EVO was part of a general shift towards acceptance and equality.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: EVO's board of directors is... strange, even by Shadowrun standards. Their majority stockholder is called Buttercup and is a spirit. Their CEO is an ork.
- Transhumanism: A major part of their corporate image.
"Making the World a Safer Place"
Seventh largest Mega Corp.
and the currently largest UCAS corporation, also a founder of the Corporate Court. Focused on arms, aerospace (they bought NASA), vehicles and entertainment. Amongst other things, owns Knight Errant, Seattle's privatized police force.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: By Mega Corp. standards, they're this towards their Shadowrunners. Which isn't saying much.
- The Chessmaster: CEO Damien Knight took a controlling interest in the company over 63 seconds of intensified stock-trading, ruining two other corporations in the process. He is also a chess grandmaster and is rumoured to have beaten Dunkelzahn in the game on several occasions.
- Death from Above: Is rumoured to have the highest number of Thor Shots in orbit, possibly matched by Saeder-Krupp.
- Eagleland: Actively promotes this image. An image is, of course, all it is: Ares is as international as any of the other triple-A corps.
- Millionaire Playboy: Damien Knight.
- Private Military Contractors: Own several of these.
- War for Fun and Profit: Their modus operandi.
The eighth-largest Mega Corp.
(formerly the third) and also the oldest, being the first Mega Corp.
to gain extraterritoriality back in 2001 and also a Corporate Court founder. Based in Japan, Shiawase is owned entirely by the Shiawase family and is extremely diversified: its main focuses used to be nuclear, biotech and environmental tech but they've got fingers into practically everything much like Aztechnology.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Shiawase is a family-owned zaibatsu and all their employees are considered part of the extended 'family'. Naturally, Shiawase is one of the most infighting-prone megacorps.
- Cloak & Dagger: Shiawase's Marketing Information and Forecasting Department is renown as one of the most thorough intelligence analysis teams in the Sixth World, working like a corporate version of the NSA and one of Shiawase's most potent assets.
- The Heavy: The Shiawase Decision played a major role in creating the world of Shadowrun.
- Long Runner:
In-Universe The oldest of all the triple-AAA corps.
- Rags to Royalty: Well, hardly rags, but one of the Shiawases married into the Japanese royal family and became Empress.
- Naturally, the first thing she did with said power was to start working against the corporation, in revenge for her father using her as an unwilling guinea pig for some experimental vaccines.
"We're Behind Everything You Do"
The largest Chinese Mega Corp.
and the only Chinese AAA-ranking, ninth in rank on the Corporate Court after being inducted by popular vote, Wuxing is the most silent-running of the Big Ten. They're into banking, shipping and magic... and that's about all anybody knows about them.
- The Alliance: Wuxing founded and leads the Pacific Prosperity Group, a confederation of non-Japanese corps trying to break the Japanese economic stranglehold on Asia.
- Inscrutable Oriental/The Quiet One: In Mega Corp. terms. They're quiet and nobody seems to know much about them.
- Rags to Royalty: Went from being all but unknown outside of China to a AAA mega with a seat on the Corporate Court, thanks largely to a hefty bequest from Dunkelzahn's will.
"We Know What You Think"
The final of the big AAA-corporations and the smallest and newest member of the Corporate Court, having gained their seat at the cost of Cross Applied (see below). Horizon is headquartered in Free State California and is all into social media and entertainment, as well as some pharmaceuticals, property and consumer goods on the side. Renown for their flat corporate structure, transparency and the extreme
cheeriness they show to the world; never having been caught doing anything actually immoral has left Horizon with probably the most positive PR of all the megacorps. By the fifth edition, however, some cats are beginning to slip out of the bag...
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Certainly gives off this impression, given their focus on "people first". Their employees are remarkably well-treated, as are their shadowrunners.
- Affably Evil: CEO Gary Kilne is this. If he is even evil. Which nobody seems to be able to confirm. Which leads to...
- Ambiguously Evil: What, if anything, Horizon is doing that is sinister is completely unknown. Casual digging by Shadowland has completely failed to turn up anything nefarious. Which in turn has led to...
- Arc Villain: A series of fourth edition adventures showcase the bad side of Horizon, including a number of social media devices Gone Horribly Wrong and culminating in a mass slaughter of technomancers. As well as executing POWs they rescued as PR fodder.
- Assimilation Plot: What they're into.
- Equal Opportunity Moral Ambiguity: Horizon's transparent and apparently flat corporate structure means they make it a point of pride about hiring anyone without prejudice if they're good enough at their job, and a lesser focus on hierarchy means that the individual's abilities is held in much higher regard. They employ several divisions that specifically deal with race relations, and have at least two A.I.s on payroll. Technomancers need not apply.
- There Are No Good Executives: Averted. Seemingly. Creepily.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Used to be kings of this until the above-mentioned cat-releases, as expected by a public relations firm turned Megacorp. They waged a PR war with Aztechnology during the Yucatan uprising and won.
Fuchi Industrial Electronics (defunct AAA)
One of the original Mega Corps and one of the big names of the first three editions. Fuchi Industrial was a Japanese-American collaboration, the second biggest Mega Corp.
, owner of Corporate Court founder JRJ International, and responsible for much of the early Matrix. Formed from an alliance of several powerful families and their respective corporations, Dunkelzahn's will (via some very finely planned 'gifts' from the dragon's hoard
) proved the catalyst for the families to tear themselves apart and the corporation with them. The UCAS branch turned into Novatech and finally NeoNET (above), while its Japanese holdings were consumed by Shiawase and Renraku.
Cross Applied Technologies (defunct AAA)
Formerly the ninth largest Mega Corp.
in the world, headquartered in Quebec and owned by Dr. Lucien Cross, Arch-Enemy
of Ares CEO Damien Knight. The corp enjoyed a brief surge to the headlights after becoming the tenth member of the Corporate Court in 2064. After Cross' death in a plane crash during the second Matrix crash four years later (between third and fourth edition) the corporation was rapidly torn to shreds by Ares and EVO and lost its Corporate Court seat to Horizon. It focused on information- and biotechnology and was renown for the Seraphim, a security and intelligence gathering spy corps that matched that of Shiawase and made the company independent of using Shadowrunners.
Zurich-Orbital Gemeinschaft Bank
The bank of the megacorporations and private successor to the World Bank, based in the space station that also serves as the headquarters of the Corporate Court. All of the Big Ten own an equal share in the bank to ensure its neutrality. As the owner for practically every loan made to every Mega Corp.
in the setting, Zurich-Orbital is a sacred cow that conserves the balance of power between them.
Lone Star Security Services
An AA-ranked privatised police
, security and prison firm that bought much of US law enforcement wholesale following the disintegration, Lone Star serves as the police force for many cities in the CAS, UCAS and First Nations, as well as being Seattle's
police force during the first three editions of Shadowrun. This made them disproportionately well-known to most players of the game as the Arch-Enemy
of most of the city's native Shadowrunners, and "Lone Star" is still synonymous with "police" in general to many players. They lost their Seattle contract during the switch to the Fourth Edition, which afterwards went to Ares-owned Knight Errant.
- Dirty Cop: Endemic. Bribing Lone Star to look the other way will let you get away with most crimes that don't involve corpses and explosions, and even some that do.
- Fantastic Racism: Having bought most local police forces means they inherited most of the old officers and their prejudices. Anti-ork and -troll prejudice is common, especially in the CAS.
- Police Brutality: They have quite a reputation for this.
Knight Errant Security Services
A subdivision of Ares, Knight Errant began as corporate- and private security for hire, dispatching heavily armoured response teams to corporations and individuals in case of emergencies. They then began dipping into privatised police, gaining contracts with most European cities and some UCAS ones. They rose to prominence in the Shadowrun
zeitgeist when, following metahuman riots in Seattle, they got Lone Star's contract as the city's official police force from fourth edition onwards.
- Dirty Cop: Just as corrupt as Lone Star. Most settings you encounter Knight Errant in do not call for bribes however.
- Elite Mooks: Knight Errant high-threat security response teams are not someone you want between you and the door out if you botch a run.
- Private Military Contractors: Much more militaristic than Lone Star. Think of the difference between beat cops with a SWAT Team or two vs. National Guard with Special Forces units and you've essentially got it.
- The Rival: To Lone Star.
An AA-ranked private health company, renown for revolutionising the private health sector by introducing armed response teams to recover policy holders in high-risk zones, a subscription-based service that guarantees prompt service for a reasonable cost, and their devotion to policy holders' privacy. Most shadowrunners without a death wish tend to have a DocWagon contract, as their response teams can be found patrolling anywhere and any time, ready to pick up policy holders whose life signs go critical.
A mysterious elf mage who's existence is widely known among the shadowrunning community, but whose history and motivations remain largely unknown. In his early adventures he's explicitly given no stats because he's meant to be a plot device beyond the players' control - he can do anything the gamemaster needs him to do, and can't do anything the players are needed to do. By the time of 3rd edition however, he's lost a great deal of his power performing a ritual of global magnitude (and thus, now has stats), but his power is still on par with a great dragon. Posted on the old Shadowlands board under the username "The Laughing Man." He has a tendency to support the Player-Characters from video games. First, he helps out Joshua near the end of the Sega Genesis game. Then, he helps the Player in Shadowrun Returns against the Universal Brotherhood.
- Bad Ass: He doesn't get out much anymore, but he is most certainly this. He's the sole survivor of the Knights of the Crying Spire from the Fourth Age. Dunklezhan considered Harlequin his personal knight.
- Badass Grandpa: Is (or was) an immortal elf, who was born in the Fourth Age. He may not look it, but he's at least five thousand years old.
- Enemy Without: Gwynplaine, a spirit of tremendous power once bound to Harlequin, but who's since lost control of it. It's developed a love for inflicting fear and pain for its own amusement, is spoken of in whispered terror by other spirits as The Jester, and may have begun masquerading as Harlequin.
- Monster Clown: Played with, his appearance in the cover art of the original Harlequin campaign book certainly suggests the trope. He turns out to be more of a Jerkass Clown, however (at least in his early appearances).
- The Nudifier: Buried in a long list of favored spells (his list of known spells being essentially infinite), one might notice the oddly-specific "Demolish Pants" spell.
- Older Than He Looks: Comes with being an Elf in the Shadowrun 'verse.
- Our Elves Are Different: More than most!
- Really 700 Years Old: Immortal elf. Born in the Fourth Age
- Walking Spoiler: To one, if not several, of the metaplots from FASA's run on the game. How much he remains under the new publishers remains up for debate.
- Wild Card: He tends to drift from allegiance to allegiance, as his goals really aren't dependent on any other factions.
A decker who starred as the hero of the SNES game. He returns as a major NPC in the Shadowrun Returns
- Cool Shades: Distinctive round ones that he took from a dead Lone Star. In Shadowrun Returns he continues to wear them, despite no longer needing to avoid frightening the morgue workers.
- To be fair, the fact that he kept the shades on after he had no more use for them in the SNES game indicates that he liked them.
- Master of All: In the SNES game; he can become incredibly skilled in marksmanship and hacking, cast a wide variety of spells once he earns the favor of the Dog Spirit, equip the best guns and armor available, and have himself fitted with all manner of cyberware without the usual penalties this would cause in the Shadowrun-verse.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In the SNES game, he is a decker with a lot of implants (at least including a datajack, cortex bomb, and info safe) who also becomes a dog shaman. In Shadowrun Returns he is more of a pure mage.note
- Overrated And Underleveled: In Shadowrun Returns he's only at or slightly above your party's level, despite being a veteran runner who once soloed a dragon.
- Previous Player-Character Cameo: He is an important NPC in Shadowrun Returns. He also makes an appearance of sorts in the 5th edition adventure Splintered State as a copy of his personality sometimes takes over FBI agent Seth Dietrich.
- Running Gag: In the SNES game, he wakes up in the morgue. In Shadowrun Returns he wakes up in the morgue again, except this time, on purpose. Apparently he's taken a liking to it, and it's cheaper than a pod motel.
- Suddenly Voiced: Somewhat. He goes from Heroic Mime to actually talking to the PC. Of course, it's a text only game.