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Characters can be one of five races: human, elf, dwarf, ork, or troll with each having a number of subspecies. The latter four races are commonly referred to as "metahumans" and first appeared in the 2011 "Unexplained Genetic Expression" shortly before the return of magic to the world.
Tropes in General
- Fantasy Axis of Evil/Five Races:
- While no metahuman race can be considered overall good or evil, Shadowrun features two races from the first (orks and trolls) and three races from the latter (humans, elves and dwarves). Seen as an example of the latter Shadowrun has two 'stout' races and lacks a 'high men' race (unless you count the immortal elves.)
- This was changed up some time after the introduction of 3rd edition. First came the alternate metatypes, which basically were mostly regional variations of the original axis. For example, trolls were given alternatives such as Giants, Minotaur, and others. Orks could be Satyrs, Oni, and Ogres among others, etc.
- SURGE, introduced near the end of 3rd edition, basically broke the trope completely in pieces: it introduced mutations that let you be everything from a cat-girl to a fish-man and everything in-between. Just for kicks, they also threw out drakes (metahumans who shapeshift into draconic forms) and allowed you to play Infected (metahumans infected with a strain of HMHVV, which basically forces you to consume living tissue of various types in order to live, assuming the torturous infection process doesn't fry your brains so much you turn into a gibbering monster).
- By the end of 4th edition, you can also play an AI, and there are twice as many metatype variations (you can even play an alternate form of human from India that has pastel-hued skin and multiple arms). As far as game mechanics are concerned, the "axis" is really more of a generic holdover from Shadowrun's fantasy roots; in practice, the only time metatype matters is due to in-game bigotry by groups like the Humanis policlub, or if a troll or other large person needs to buy a tuxedo or armored longcoat.
- Half Human Hubrid: Thoroughly averted. If one metahuman procreates with another of a different metatype, the children would be one of their parents' metatypes. Meaning no halvsies, and an elf could be the biological sibling of a troll, and half-sibling to a human.
- The Magic Comes Back: Metahumans appeared in two waves: The "Unexplained Genetic Expression" (UGE) births of 2011, where babies were born as elves and dwarves, and the "Goblinization" of 2021, where adult humans, elves and dwarves morphed into trolls and orks overnight. Also, SURGE (Sudden Recessive Genetic Expression) in 2061 brought changelings, which aren't exactly a specific sub-species, but more of a collection of odd mutations.
- Square Race, Round Class: In Shadowrun, characters are not bound to any specific archetype due to their race.
- It should be noted, though, that for game balance purposes, picking a race with cool stat bonuses means you have to give up stats, skills, money, and/or magical ability. In practice, though, there's literally nothing stopping you from acquiring stats, skills, money, or more magical ability. You can do practically anything within the scope of the game mechanics.
Humans (Homo sapiens sapiens)Humans in Shadowrun need little introduction, being much the same as they've always been. They still make up the majority of the Earth's population and are majority demographics in most of the mainline nations in the fluff (with some, like Japan, being almost rabidly pro-human). Despite the appearance of a lot of subraces, many of the dividing lines of "baseline" humanity (skin color, social class and nationality) are as powerful as they've always been, and in many cases also override any racial animus towards other metahumans.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: The one acknowledged human metavariant, the Indian/Hindu themed Nartaki, come in red, blue, or gold skin colors.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Nartaki suffer from this; they've got all the advantages of humans, plus an extra set of arms. But their extra arms and unusual skin colors make them very distinctive, and there are less than ten thousand of them in the world, and the vast majority live in India, where most of them are documented and registered. Meaning that a Nartaki shadowrunner - especially one operating outside of India - would be relatively easy to track down.
- Born Lucky: Human characters start with an additional point of Edge in most editions of the game.
- Fantastic Slur: "Norm," among others.
- Five Races: The "mundane" race.
- Humans Are Average: Human stats (with the exception of Edge) are ranked from 1-6, this being the "baseline" for stats and making them competent at everything, but excellent at nothing. Playing a human also requires no priority or karma investment at character creation, freeing up points better spent elsewhere. Fluff-wise they're still the majority species on the planet and are in effective control of most of the political (and economical) climate, human-run or -majority countries being far more common than the alternatives.
- This is averted with the Nartaki, the only known metavariant of Humans, as they have at least one extra set of arms and distinctive skin hues. They arose out of India and the game devs clearly intended them to resemble Shiva. Otherwise, they're practically identical to humans other than missing that extra point of Edge.
- Humans Are Special: All that said, at least in 5e, it's possible to take a human with a load of Special Attribute Points at character creation, making them capable of taking Technomancers, Wizards, and Adepts with the maximum in raw power and have Edge to spare right out of the gate.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The Nartaki metavariant all have an extra set of arms.
Elves (Homo sapiens nobilis)Elves first appeared on the scene in the 2011 UGE phenomenon with a rash of unexplained births (although there are confirmed cases of so-called "surge babies" being born in the decades prior), with the "shock" of their introduction being drowned by the Awakening and the VITAS plague. Physically they resemble tall, thin humans with sharp ears and have a slowed aging and metabolic processes. They're also stereotypically magical, and tend to be physically pretty. Elves are perhaps the most societally distinct from baseline humans, having created a very strong racial identity based upon writings recovered from the fourth age. This includes a recreation of an old Elven language (Sperethiel) and a pair of elven nations: Tir Tangire from former Oregon, and Tír na nÓg from Ireland. Rumors persist of actual immortal elves, survivors of the Fourth Age much like the dragons, who puppeteer Elven society behind the scenes.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The various elf metavariants have cool abilities, qualities, looks, and concepts behind them, but for one reason or another are all very impractical to play. Dryads, Nocturnals, and Xapiri Thepes are all suffer from Kryptonite Is Everywhere, most Xapiri Thepes and Wakyambi live in very specific areas of the world (the Amazon and South Africa, respectively) and rarely leave those locations and Wakyambi, especially, are distinctive in appearance. Combined with their rarity, this means a Wakyambi shadowrunner would be pretty easy to track down.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Dryads possess a connection to their natural surroundings that manifests physically, reflected in their health. Xapiri Thepe have patches of chloroplasts that allow them to photosynthesize in order to supplement their diet. Nocturna are covered in fur similar to big cats and are vulnerable to sunlight and UV rays.
- Charm Person: Dryads have a natural ability to come off as incredibly charming, enthralling, and beautiful to people in their physical presence, even when objectively they're rather mundane. What's weird about this is that no one knows exactly how this works; it's not pheromones and, as far as anyone can tell, it isn't magic, either.
- Fantastic Racism: Not as openly as against orks and trolls, but elves get a lot of Real Life Anti-Semitism stereotypes (i.e. they secretly run society) slapped on then by racist humans and are often distrusted as a result.
- Some elves, especially those from the Tirs, tend to be racist back against the "lesser" metahuman variants.
- Fantastic Slur: "Keeb," "Knife-ear," "Dandelion eater," are some of the most 'popular' ones.
- Five Races: The "fairy" race. They tend to be taller and thinner than humans, and tend to have a cultural sense of mysticism. There's a stereotype that they Awaken more frequently, but it's actually untrue. A handful of incredibly rare elves do fit the trope straighter, being immortal survivors from the fourth age.
- In Harmony with Nature: A frequent stereotype (and, like most stereotypes, generally untrue). Many of the slurs for elves are variants on "tree hugger."
- It does accurately apply to the Dryad and Xapiri Thepe metavariants, however. Their physiologies are actually tied to their natural surroundings, and a polluted area makes them physically ill.
- Kryptonite Factor: Of the four metavariants, three have one. Dryads and xapiri thepes are especially vulnerable to environmental pollution, and nocturna/night ones are harmed by UV light. Given the nature of the setting, Kryptonite Is Everywhere.
- Long-Lived: Elves have delayed aging processes and they don't seem to age in the same way humans do. With the timeline only having advanced 50 years since their first appearance, there has yet to be a confirmed case of an elf dying of old age. There's also the incredibly rare Immortal Elves, who are the only beings confirmed to have a life span on par with a dragon.
- Our Elves Are Better: While many elves certainly believe so, it's averted, actually. Elves and elvish nations are just as liable to be immoral or corrupt as humans. Just don't expect Elf supremacists and nationalists to hear that out.
- Trans Nature: Elven wannabees are other metatypes (most of them humans) who want to be elves. Some may believe they are actually elves trapped in other bodies, and surgically alter themselves their ears and facial features in order to become elven. Real elves often look down on them and they face discrimination from other metatypes in addition to anti-elven racism, much like transsexual folk do in real life.
- Veganopia: Most, but not all, elves are vegetarians. Considering most people live on soy products anyway (supplemented with krill and zooplankton), this is less impressive than it sounds.
- Weakened by the Light: The nocturnal/night ones metavariant is harmed by UV light, forcing them to adopt a nocturnal life style.
- Witch Species: Again, just a stereotype that some Elves like to perpetuate, but broadly untrue. A Dryad's natural Charm Person effect does fit the bill better.
Dwarves (Homo sapiens pumilionis)Dwarves first appeared in 2011 alongside the elves. In sharp contrast to elves, dwarves are the most 'integrated' and least noticeable of the metahuman races, as they resemble 'baseline' humans with medical dwarfism if you add in pointy ears and a tendency towards chiselled, angular facial structures. With the exception of the physical needs that has created a burgeoning market for dwarf-size furniture, cars and other consumer goods, dwarves are more or less short humans, stereotyped as quiet and reliable and not interested in "rocking the boat".
- Elves vs. Dwarves: Played for laughs; while no such rivalry exists, there's a popular conspiracy theory that the immortal elves and a group of immortal gnomes are in a heated shadow war, vying for control of the world across the cycles of magic.
- Fantastic Racism: Present, but dwarves face on average much less because they don't have a subculture of their own and integrate with humans, and because they resemble people with medical dwarfism.
- Fantastic Slur: "Halfer".
- Five Races: The "cute" race. Dwarves tend to be played more comically rather than for their toughness.
- Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: Dwarven subculture is closely interconnected, with just about 75% of the dwarf population being within six degrees of separation from each other.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Generally averted. Shadowrun dwarves are short, but that's just about all they've got for them. Out of all metahumans, they're the ones without their own subculture, who fit the best in with humans. The predisposition towards facial hair exists, but it's a cultural thing so that they're not confused for children. They do have strange geographical variants, such as:
- Gnomes: Central European dwarves.
- Harumen: Indian dwarves with a monkey-like appearance.
- Koborokuru: Japanese dwarf
- Mene'hune: Hawaiian dwarf
- Querx: Dwarf variant from Saxony in former Germany
- Witch Species: Gnomes have an inherent magical resistance.
Ork (Homo sapiens robustus)Orks first arrived on scene in 2021 during the goblinization panic, when a number of adult humans suddenly morphed into orks and trolls overnight, sometimes out in the open. Physically, orks resemble slightly larger, heavier and muscled humans with pronounced noses, pointy ears and enlarged canines in the lower jaw, which they refer to as tusks. Due to the nature of Goblinization and the appearance of orks, it was believed they were caused by breakout of some horrible new plague or magic spell and metahumanity responded with fear and disgust, and it would take years until the newfangled orks would be guaranteed equal rights under the US constitution. Orks have responded mainly by creating their own subculture, taking some inspiration from the elven efforts (which the elves are only too happy to disparage), including their own language (Or'zeth) and living in their own ghettos where they often exist as a permanently disenfranchised underclass.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Oni come in red, orange, or blue.
- The Charmer: Satyrs are more charismatic and empathetic than other orcs.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ork civil rights activism of the 2070's bear a distinct resemblance to that of the African American equivalent from a century earlier, though the culture resembles Black culture of the 80s and 90s.
- Explosive Breeder: Downplayed example. Triplets and twins are the norm amongst orks, not single births, and their generation time is shorter than humans. Add to their general lower socio-economic status (which means more unplanned pregnancies) and orks are the fastest-growing metatype.
- Extreme Omnivore: Ogres can eat just about anything; while there's a stereotype that they're cannibals, this has been debunked.
- Fantastic Racism: They get the worst of it. Ork racism is a (rather thinly-veiled) allegory for racism against African-Americans and Latinos in the US. Orks face open discrimination (especially in the CSA) and are stereotyped as lazy, under-educated thugs who are going to outbreed pure humanity and take over the world. Orks tend to live on the lower end of the economic spectrum and amongst themselves.
- Fantastic Slur: "Tusker" and "Trog". The orks have begun using them amongst themselves as a way of defanging it, and they feature heavily in orkish music as a way of expressing their frustration. You may be beginning to notice a theme here.
- They have their own slur for humans, elves, and dwarves - "Squishy". They also use "breeder" to refer to humans, specifically.
- Five Races: Share the "stout" race with the trolls.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Hobgoblins tend to be very foul tempered; for a long time it was debated as to whether this was a physical or cultural trait, being that they were far and away the most abused of all the ork metavariants. By the 2070s it's been put to bed that it's actually due to hormonal differences.
- The Hedonist: Satyrs have this reputation, and often play it up, being fun loving and free-spirited, but are also hard working.
- Horned Humanoid: The oni and satyr metavariants always have a pair of horns.
- Lean and Mean: Hobgoblins are smaller and more slender than baseline orks, and tend to have foul tempers.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Except for skin tone, they look like Warcraft orcs physicallynote , but that's where the similarities end. Shadowrun orks are humans mentally, with their subculture having a mixture of blue-collar/working class traits and African-American traits, including the stereotypes and discrimination against both. They also have a number of subspecies such as Hobgoblins (Middle-Eastern and Balkans), Oni (Japan) and Ogres (Northern European).
- Pretty Fly (For a White Guy): Ork culture sometimes attracts young elves, dwarves or humans who dressand acting like orks and hang around ork crowds to fit in with them. (Unlike elven wannabes, body modification is rare.) "Ork posers" receive mixed reception from orks (ranging from "pretty orky for a norm" to "beat his ass and toss him in a dumpster" depending on how good they are at the fitting in) and are disparaged by anyone who looks down on actual orks.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Spelled with a "K" rather than a "C."
- Stout Strength: Ogres are shorter than standard orks, but just as strong, and tend to have a fair bit of fat along with their enhanced muscle mass.
- We Are as Mayflies: Orks reach maturity at twelve, and commonly live to about fifty.
Troll (Homo sapiens ingentis)The second goblinized race and also the rarest metahuman variant, trolls appeared at the same time as orks and got much the same reception. Physically, they resemble gigantic humans or orks (commonly topping eight feet) with disproportionally large arms and upper bodies compared to their legs. They have dermal deposits on their forearms and chest areas that create natural armour plating. Their most noticeable feature are their horns: All trolls have horns on their heads, which can take forms from circular ram horns to bull horns to multiple smaller, straight ones. Similarly to Orks, Trolls face heavy discrimination. Trolls are usually depicted as included in the Ork subculture by common cause. Like dwarves, though, they have tended towards racial integration rather than standing out.
- All Trolls Are Different: Essentially human, though very tall and muscular with tusks, horns, and bone plate growth on their forearms and chest areas. Then there are the Metavariant subtypes:
- Cyclops, a slightly larger, less intelligent, one-eyed version native to the Mediterranean.
- Fomorians, Irish Celtic Trolls who look less monstrous due to being less gargantuan and lacking the dermal deposits, and have a degree of magical resistance.
- Giants, Scandinavian variant that's even taller (average of 3 meters), more slender, bark-like skin, and no horns. Oddly, one-in-four of their daughters are human.
- Minotaurs, another Mediterranean variant with a slightly wider body, bovine-like face, a pronounced pair of goring horns, and consistently outgoing personality.
- Cute Monster Girl: Fomori tend to be this; both males and females are more attractive than baseline trolls given their lack of dermal plating. Other Trolls can be depicted as this if the artwork isn't playing up the their monstrousness or the punk aspect of the game.
- Dumb Muscle: Stereotyped as this, which are sort-of supported by the game mechanics. Trolls have the same base intelligence as humans but the cap for most of their mental stats is 4 or 5, not 6. This means that while your average troll has about as much smarts as an average human, there are few troll MENSA members.
- Fantastic Racism: In addition to being stereotyped as dumb, nasty, violent brutes, trolls get a downplayed version of the ork package. While discriminated against socially and economically, most people tend to avoid physical violence against someone who's eight feet tall and strong enough to suplex a motorcycle.
- Interestingly, cyclops, minotaurs, and to a lesser extent, fomori all avoid the worst of this. Cyclops and minotaurs have integrated well into Mediterranean society due to their strength and strong work ethic, with the worst minotaurs get being a reputation for stubbornness. Fomori, meanwhile, being more attractive and charming than baseline trolls, are largely more accepted by other metatypes than the baseline trolls, which has lead to them facing more racism from other trolls than, say, humans.
- Fantastic Slur: They share the Orkish ones.
- Horned Humanoid: Most trolls grow horns; baseline and fomori trolls can have as few as two and as many as six horns in random patterns. Minotaurs always have just the two bull like horns. Cyclops will sometimes grow a singular horn, but the majority of the subspecies (especially females) are hornless. Giants don't grow horns at all.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: Giants are the largest of the troll metavariants, standing upwards of nine feet tall. They lack the troll's horns and tusks, and have skin similar in texture to tree bark.
- Transformation Horror: Goblinization was extremely painful for trolls due to the horns and sudden size changes. Despite as much as 10% of humanity transforming into trolls during goblinization, many of them died or were driven insane by the trauma. Natural-born trolls (most trolls by the start of 1st edition, and almost all of them by 5th) avoid all these problems.
- We Are as Mayflies: Trolls have a shorter life-span than humans and tend to live to about fifty.
- Witch Species: The fomori metavariant has a higher percentage of awakened individuals than any other troll subspecies, and whether awakened or mundane, possess a natural resistance to magic.
Types of character occupations that tend to pop up. While a character with a certain occupation isn't limited to certain types of skills, some types of skills and abilities work well together so similar combinations keep appearing.katana in one and a submachinegun in the other, but even those that break from the popular trends will still be well-versed in multiple weapons and forms of combat.The company man is their counterpart, working as elite corporate agents and security. While street samurai tend to be loud and proud of their individuality, company men are more subtle in their augmentations and methods.
- Anatomy Arsenal: It's not uncommon for street samurai to have cyber-limbs with weapons installed. While often swords or claws, this
- Badass Normal: It is possible to play an unenhanced Sammie, usually a troll, depending entirely on skills and high stats (and, usually, drugs). While you'll never be as good as a chrome-addict or an adept, it can often lead to people to underestimate you because you never set off any "this guy's cybered to the gills/has an astral signature the size of the Statue of Liberty" alarms.
- The Big Guy: In general, you can expect the street samurai to be handling the physical combat.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: In Shadowrun, getting cybernetics lowers your essence, which is a measure of a person's life force or soul. Street samurai often adopt bushido-like codes of honor as a way of holding onto the humanity that they are constantly exchanging for weapons.
- Cyborg: Street Sams are stereotyped as having weapons and cybernetic enhancements grafted onto their bodies. While not always true, there's a very good basis for the type.
- Honor Before Reason: Can be the result of adopting a code of honor.
AdeptsOne of the few born with magic infusing their bodies, adepts learn to harness this power to enhance a few of their natural abilities beyond any scientifically-accepted limitations. While adepts can use their power to excel at any endeavor, from painting to oratory to safecracking, the majority become supernatural athletes and hand-to-hand fighters. A sub-group is the Mystic Adept, who can use magic like a magician as well as adept powers, at the cost of having to split their Magic Attribute between the two.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: A viable build, since they can bring a personal mana shield and a power to punch through armor.
- Magic Knight: Use magic but mostly as a way to enhance their physical combat capabilities. This leads to the following tropes:
- Mundane Utility: While a lot of adept powers are aimed at combat, some instead boost skills and attributes. Meaning they can get a boost to things like mechanic work or artistic pursuits.
- Post Modern Magick: One supplement put forward the idea of using trodes, rather than a datajack, to establish a device link with decks to use an adept as the basis for a Hacker build. While magic and tech are stereotyped as not mixing, it's a valid build within the rules, and certain adept abilities can make it surprisingly viable.
HackersWorking with a direct neural interface and a powerful portable computer — the cyberdeck — deckers hack the Matrix to bend all things electronic to their will, and ensure that no information can stay secret forever. Things got a little weirder with the emergence of the deckless Otaku and their successors in the Technomancers after the Crash 2.0. This is more true than ever in the wireless world that emerged after Crash 2.0, as poorly-guarded device networks and archives may find themselves under the control of a hacker at almost any time.
- The Cracker/Playful Hacker: Which one a hacker fills is dependent on their personality, and they're not necessarily mutually exclusive.
- Cyber Space: A hacker could hook up to a computer system to could get into a fantastical digital world which could be accessed with a direct neural interface, which was essentially Virtual Reality. After the Crash 2.0 the devs introduced hacking from AR, which is a step down from the "jumping in" of cold-sim VR. This was also a step-down from the full-sensory spectrum of hot-sim, which was achieved by closer neural connection, which meant faster reaction but also higher risk from biofeedback.
- Hack Your Enemy: To steal their drones, security systems, and information. With the rise of the Matrix 2.0, you can hack things like armor, guns, and even melee weapons.
- Hollywood Hacking: Very much so.
- Long-Runner Tech Marches On: Cyberdecks were huge and bulky pieces of equipment bigger than most contemporary desktops, and plugging into a deck was the means of interacting with the Matrix and locked computer systems for deckers. While it looked futuristic in 1989, the real life rise of laptops, smartphones, WiFi and Bluetooth, and the wireless internet meant that the deck was looking more dated by the year. The writers compensated with the Crash 2.0, which led to a wireless Matrix that operated primarily through AR, meaning hacking could easily occur without plugging into a deck, and could be achieved with a good commlink: the equivalent of a high-end smartphone, and compact enough to be parted out and then safely implanted in the skull, if a Hacker so desires. By the time of 5th ed rolled out, however, the corps tightened their grip on the Matrix, installing groups like the Grid Overwatch Division to ensure no one did anything illegal; which hackers countered by reviving the cyberdeck, retooled as a primarily wireless device about the size of a tablet.
- Machine Worship: Some subgroup of Otaku called Technoshamans believe they gain the ability to interface with technology from machines' spirits. While it was perhaps an idiosyncratic delusion, it was possibly the basis for the quasimystical abilities of Technomancers and their relationship to the Resonance.
- Magic from Technology: Technomancers access a deeper layer of technology called the Resonance. One explanation of the Resonance is that it appears to have arose naturally from Matrix infrastructure, another is that it may have always existed and Matrix technology is allowing metahumanity to access it, and there are about a dozen other ideas as to what it is exactly and where it came from. It's something that has never been touched by coders and is practically incomprehensible to most other tech specialists other than technomancers. As such, Technos function much more like magicians then regular deckers, and even can summon Sprites, which is the Matrix analogue of spirits.
- Technopath: Later versions of the game introduced the Otaku, who didn't need a cyberdeck, and Technomancers, who didn't need any tech.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: The connection between the brain and the device means that nasty feedback from offensive actions taken against a hacker can cause them to suffer some debilitating results which can cause them to eventually pass out. There's also the much more unrestricted hot-sim VR (which feels "more real than real"), which has a more direct and intimate connection to the brain. If a hacker is in hot-sim or if they take damage from programs purpose-built to cause harmful biofeedback (such as Black Ice), hackers can take some nasty biofeedback which can be lethal.
- Technomancer's abilities which can cause "Fading" damage, which is less pronounced in that it can be slept off without trouble.
- Zeerust: The idea of connecting a physical wire to a high-tech portable computer larger than a present-day desktop reflects the fact that First Edition came out in back in 1989.
RiggersThrough the use of a control rig, a specialized and powerful piece of cyberware, riggers can project their perceptions directly into any linked drone or appropriately equipped vehicle, controlling them as intuitively as their own bodies. Riggers are often the drivers for their teams, and can maintain a network of drones for combat support, surveillance, or other more creative tasks.
- Badass Driver: Their abilities allow them to expertly drive pretty much anything.
- Drone Deployer: Often use drones for combat.
- Mecha-Mook: Drones in a nutshell.
- Universal Driver's License: A Rigger's defining piece, a piece of headware called the control rig, which makes the vehicle feel like it's the Rigger's actual body. This makes it much more natural feeling when they feel like they're actually soaring through the air or sprinting down the highway.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Damage to the vehicle or drone they're using often results in harmful biofeedback.
- Zeerust: Another example of real life practically overtaking fiction.
MagiciansMagicians (otherwise known as mages) are those with the natural ability to not only perceive the astral plane, but to travel through it by temporarily separating their minds from their bodies. With this gift comes the ability to learn spells and communicate with spirits, and while magicians may learn to cover many different functions for a team, they are usually the primary defense against hostile magic. They first appeared during in-universe 2011.
- Astral Projection
- Druid: One type, the shaman, gains their power by being chosen by a powerful totem, usually in the form of an animal. (In the real world, the term comes from Siberia.) The name "druid" itself refers to a type of shaman generally found in the British Isles.
- Functional Magic: A combination of Inherent Gift, Rule Magic, and Force Magic.
- Hermetic Magic: One of the main traditions of magic.
- Magical Native American: Native Americans were among the first to regain magic because, unlike other cultures, they never fully left it behind. This gave them an edge in retaking much of their old territory.
- When we say "edge", what we really mean is that the Great Ghost Dance ended up being a ritual that can cause as much natural disaster as a nuclear stockpile.
- Religion Is Magic: Supplements provide traditions for several different religions: Christianity, Satanism, Islam, Buddhism, Shinto, etc.
- Summon Magic: Calling up spirits to fight for you or bolster your magic.
- Con Man: One of their primary uses.
- Do You Want to Haggle?: Often meet with potential clients and negotiate prices.
- Guile Hero: Primarily use their wit and people skills rather than combat.
- Magic Versus Science: Many faces tend to play both sides, being minor Adepts for Social Adept powers while shaving off a point of Essence for some tailored pheromones without leaning too heavily towards either side.
- Manipulative Bastard: Your job. While the decker is usually the one who has to dig up the dirt, the face is the one who will have to play it up for all it's worth and making that treacherous Johnson back off (or blackmail him for all he's worth).
- The Pornomancer: One of the common nicknames for this archetype.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: If a face's Contacts list isn't at least as big as the rest of the party's combined, you're not playing a Face right.
B&E expertSometimes you need someone who can shadow a mark in person, track someone through the Barrens or get the party past that non-wired lock or chain wire fence without the use of high explosives. Enter the B&E expert, usually a secondary archetype dipped into by the adept or street samurai, who depends on a varied skill set and a large set of non-decker-related toys to defeat fingerprint sensors, locks, alarms, and to scout out ahead when the rigger's drones won't cut the mustard.
- Badass Normal: Because of the high skill and stat investment, B&E experts usually have to put low priority on money for expensive toys or magic. On the plus side, many of the stats used for B&E also help in combat, so you can probably shoot straight with a cheap pistol.
- Magic Knight: B&E experts are sometimes low-level adepts, taking powers like wall-walking and acrobatics skill boosters.
- Master of Unlocking: Non-electronic locks are still very much in use in the Shadowrun-verse, and if you want past one without a kaboom this is the B&E expert's job.
- Stealth Expert: Your primary use.
- Utility Party Member: As the least clearcut of the archetypes, the B&E expert usually ends up picking up whatever odd-job skill the party needs that aren't covered by the others.
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 BBS, 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 at times the only thing keeping its members behaving with any civility.
FastJackBorn 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 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.
> 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.Netcat> What she said.FastJack
- 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...
- 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.FastJack Ghostwalker probably doesn't know that you’re sitting on the third floor of the Tower of Babel drinking martinis right now any more than he knows that you helped fix up the team that’s tearing his city apart. But Diane the waitress you've been hitting on does. She thinks you’re cute, tagged you as such on her MeFeed. And since she knows where you are, so do I. Should I clue Ghostwalker's Liaison Office in? I'm pretty sure the ZDF has a headquarters just two blocks from there. Not to mention you’re violating curfew. Oh, don’t bother getting up—I can see you looking around on the club’s security feed—I'm not in the room. I'm not even in the sector.[Casanova] Fuck me like a goat.
- 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.
/dev/grrlThe youngest member of Jackpoint, /dev/grrl is a Boston native who started her career as a 'runner while still in school at the age of 13 (she's age 21 as of 2077). Despite her young age, she is a programming genius and helps out on runs. FastJack treats her like a kid.
- Adult Fear: Amazingly, Inverted; her parents get trapped in Boston once the city goes into lockdown and she's stuck on the outside; she's an accomplished shadowrunner who has to worry helplessly about her wageslave parents with no way of contacting them or knowing if they're still alive.
- 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 at the time of her introduction, but is a better hacker then most shadowrunners; it's strongly implied that she's actually the second best decker on JackPoint after FastJack himself.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: FastJack once made her write out a report with a number 2 pencil (the aforementioned Safehouses supplement). And as punishment for her bad penmanship, he tried to make her write "I will make my handwriting legible" 100,000 times. Slamm-O! was able to talk him into letting her chose between writing the lines or tagging 100 transit vehicles the "old fashion" way (i.e. spray paint).
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: /dev/'s first act to establish herself as a serious 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.
- Electronic Eyes: Admits she had her original eyes replaced with cybereyes.
- Leads to a hilarious example of When I Was Your Age... in the Chrome Flesh supplement; she went to visit a friend of her's from school who's since become a grade-school teacher, herself. Her friend's students were completely weirded out by her cyber-eyes; in less than ten years since she's gotten the upgrade, they've become rather uncommon due to advancements in bioware; this flabbergasts her as, when she was growing up, they were the most common thing in the world. Her ranting about this leads to a So Proud of You moment from Bull.
- The Fashionista: She's one of the resident experts on fashion in the Sixth World on JackPoint; several of her comments on armor and equipment regard fashion tips and/or complaints.
- The Gambling Addict: She's always been a bit of a gambler - she could kick Kane's ass at poker when she was thirteen - but after her parents got caught in the Boston Lockdown, her habit started flaring up as a coping mechanism; Chrome Flesh has her placing bets on everything.
- The Jail Bait Wait: Glasswalker mentions this in 4e's Vice!. He did an interview with her for a school project because he found her cute and it was "only" two more years until she was legal.
- 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.
- Pink Means Feminine: In 5th edition she keeps her cyberdeck in a pink holster, decorated with a unicorn and sparkles.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: She did most of her runs during high school in her NeoNET school uniform, which a few JackPointers - notably the vampire Red - consider fanservice. Though in Data Trails we see her wearing a more traditional shadowrunner getup.
- Southies: She's from Boston, though she hasn't specified what part of Boston. She starts to embrace some aspects of the Southies stereotype after Boston goes into lockdown as a show of pride in her home town.
- Statuesque Stunner: Goes with being an elf, although how tall she is has never been revealed. She was pretty damn short when she caught Kane, granted she was 13 when she did it and Kane is around 5'6" tall.
- Spear Counterpart: There is, apparently, a /dev/boi in her native Boston, though it's unclear which came first.
- Youthful Freckles: According to Glasswalker, she has them.
_________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 YamadaA 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, but he's in his 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 would let him swim, but he admits he can't even form gills.
Bull William McAllisterAn 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.
- Author Avatar: Of Steven Ratkovich, long-time Shadowrun writer and current developer for the Missions living campaign.
- 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.
- Not So Different: Often gets onto /dev/grrl and Slamm-O! for not getting dated references; fails to get Man-of-Many-Names' metaphor about broken clocks being right twice a day due only being familiar with digital clocks.
- 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 Slamm-O! 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.
Butch Dr. Carol HowardA relatively new poster on JackPoint, she's a physician who's taken to running in the shadows. She most often comments about medicine and medical affairs.
- Back-Alley Doctor: Possibly averted. She appears to actually be in practice at an actual medical facility. Then again, she is a Shadowrunner, and openly talks about the shadow work she does, at least on the runner forums.
- Badass Pacifist:
- Averted. When Kane asked her if she followed the Hippocratic oath to the extent of "cause no harm", Butch mentioned that she simply protects her patients; if anybody threatens them with harm, Butch will, in fact, shoot them - though she'll also patch them up if they live. She comments that being a doctor means many things, but pacifism is a personal choice.
- She still has a very strong ethic and code of honor: she reacts with horror to the evidence and testimony about what MCT is doing to technomancers ( which basically amouts to surgical Nightmare Fuel), even though she previously expressed no small amount of fear and paranoia about them.
- The Butcher: A possible source of her street name, probably with a degree of self-deprecation.
- Combat Medic: She's a medical expert in the shadows, and possibly runs in the field, too.
- Defeat Means Friendship: She'll fix somebody up if she shot them in her clinic for free. Some of them she even trained to be nurses or orderlies.
ChainmakerA runner out of London. Not much has been revealed of her yet, though she has expressed a strong social conscience, particularly a disgust at the plight of the working poor of the Sixth World.
ClockworkA hobgoblin rigger and mechanic from either Montenegro or Sarajevo, Clockwork is also a jerkass of monstrous proportions whose actions gave him quite a few enemies on JackPoint.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Clockwork was the one to expose FastJack's CFD infection; he was the only one who noticed Jack's strange behavior and, instead of being concerned for Jack's well being, was concerned for his own, prompting him to dig into it.
- Boomerang Bigot: Somewhat. He despises technomancers. Problem is that he's an hobgoblin, 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: Maybe. The Shadowrun Returns campaign Dragonfall features a Shadowland user going by Clockwork who goes dark after an encounter with the APEX AI. If you free the APEX, then it attempts to pass itself off as Clockwork during the epilogue. However, it may be an in-universe case of Name's the Same as a Shadowland thread in Shadowrun: Hong Kong brings up the fact that there have been cases of runners sharing the same alias.
- 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 the 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.
- 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.
- Finally subverted in the novel Dark Resonence. He once again tried to kidnap Netcat as well as some other Technomancers, but this time ended up with a bullet in the head for his efforts.
- 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 vs. 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.
DangerSenseiA 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.
ElijahA 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.
FianchettoInternational 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 "Frosty" FosterA 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.
- This is because she learned magic from Harlequin, who is a living embodiment of this trope.
- 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.
HazeAn 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.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Was driven into shadowrunning to support his mother and get her into a comfortable life.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He argues that it's no worse than the killing that every runner is responsible for at some point. Most JackPointers stridently disagree.
- The Sociopath: Has no regrets about anything he's ever done, and really doesn't understand what everybody else's problem is.
- Token Evil Teammate
- Karma Houdini: According to Quietus in The Assassin's Primer, the only reason he didn't kill Haze yet was because there was always someone else who needed to be killed even more than Haze. Even if Haze ends up killed, this trope may still apply, depending on the circumstances of his demise.
Kane John KastleRigger, 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 ComicCon dressed as an Imperial Stormtrooper. He was not amused.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Several of his plans.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Happened to him on an extraction at the beach one time. The target's body guard pulled off her bikini, distracting him while the other bodyguard kicked sand in his face. Turned out they were wearing "Second Skin"; invisible, skin tight armor, making the ensuing fight more difficult than he anticipated.
- 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.
- This seems to apply to /dev/grrl, as well; he may think of her as a surrogate daughter.
- 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.
- Papa Wolf: When vampire runner Red shows some interest in /dev/grrl, Turbo Bunny foresees Kane having something to say about it. Sure enough, he does; that woodpulp bullets are cheap.
- 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.
- This trope is actually a good tactic in the game, by using the "corporate extra-territoriality" laws to good effect. Long story short, it's just a matter of dragging rival corporate forces through each others' property, which is treated as sovereign to the company that owns it. You can also do it with rival nations (since so many hostile factions are bordering each other now), and rival crime outfits (who often just need a good pretense to kill each other anyway, out of habit).
- 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.
- Your Mom: His retort to Slamm-O! heckling him about the Distracted by the Sexy incident above.
Kat o'Nine TalesVocalist 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. IrregularA 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.
Lei KungA 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.
LyranA 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.
- Properly Paranoid: Is frightened of the possibility that the Insect Spirits might be creating armies of infested humans in third-world countries, away from the public's eye so that they can build their forces up to unstoppable numbers before anyone's aware of their plans. When asked, Snopes said that her hypothetical situation is entirely too plausible.
Ma'fanA 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 competition.
- Stealth Expert
- Theme Naming: All of her known aliases refer to cats in some way; most likely this is her way of honouring 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 NamesMysterious, 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.
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.
- 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...
- Fingore: He's missing the ring finger on his right hand.
- Magical Native American: The two things everyone can agree on is that he's native american and that he's a shaman. Sources can't agree on his tribal heritage (Hopi being the best guess), and his mentor spirit may be the Bear, the Owl, or the Horned Man. In 5th edition he confirmed that his totem was Wolf.
- 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.
- Waxing Lyrical: Not exactly, but a response he gives to /dev/grrl's post on Safehouses is essentially the song Horse With No Name. Kat is the only one to notice.
Matt WrathA brief contributor, Matt Wrath is an elf adept who seems to exist in order to defy elvish conventions. Besides being significantly ugly, he's also a hulking brute who makes most of his earnings in prize fights.
- Storyboard Body: He has a single tattoo spelling "Wrath" in sparkling golden letters across his back.
- Third-Person Person: He is always "Matt Wrath," no matter who's speaking. And yes, you always use the full name.
NetcatAn elven technomancer, who later gets married to Slamm-0.
- Cargo Ship: In-universe. One of the stories in the 5th edition Run Faster handbook features her coming across an erotic fanfic pairing her with a toaster, due to the technomancer slur "toaster lover".
- 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: disheveled after an all-night hacking binge with an I.V. in her arm for dehydration.
- 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 himself. 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 Anniversary 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.
Orbital DKA 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 CabreraCO of the Seventy Seventh Independent Rangers fighting the war against Aztlan in Bogotá, she was the protégé 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 Aztlan.
- 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 Aztlan 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 honour.
PistonsA combat hacker with a grudge against the Tempo-trade. This is partly due to the fact that her friend (and former lover) Fatima was killed in a fairly bloody street battle involving the drug.
- Arch-Enemy: Hates Haze with a fiery passion; the feeling is mutual.
Plan 9A conspiracy theorist.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: As of 5th edition, he's a Head Case, infected with CFD - an artificially intelligent nanotech virus. He's still allowed on JackPoint on probationary status, partly to provide insight into the virus and partly because it ultimately didn't change him that much.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Full on tinfoil hats. However, sometimes...
- 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.
- The Fashionista: Along with /dev/grrl, he's one of the major consultants on fashion on Jackpoint. Understanding life on both sides of the gender barrier helps with this.
- Functional Addict: He isn't addicted to standard drugs or BLTs; he's addicted to augmentation, getting a new implant or procedure done up to once a month. FastJack theorizes this made him more vulnerable to CFD infection with nanites becoming more common in surgery.
- Gender Bender: Plan 9 has had so many sex change procedures, going back and forth between male and female, that he claims he can't remember what he started out as. This has less to do with being an actual transsexual and more to do with Plan 9's addiction to augmentation and surgery. Still generally referred to with male pronouns.
- It should be noted that by 2070, transsexual identity is a non-issue in the world, due to the proliferation of advanced medical technology. In perspective, it costs about as much as a semi-decent vehicle, and is considered legal in just about everywhere, with no real legal complications other than updating your ID and such.
PuckA 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.
- He doubled down on this trope in Storm Front, helping Harlequin turn Denver into a warzone in 2074. By this point, Puck is either horrifically stupid or terribly insane, or both.
- 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.
- Precision F-Strike: Out of all his appearances, he only swears once: when Kane suggests that losing FastJack to SEARCH might be "a fair trade.""Fuck you, Kane."
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Slamm-O! in Data Trails."Some of us want to blast through the horrific pain and limitations of what we call the world and find a better mode of existence. Others of us want to play with remote-controlled toys and watch grown-ups chase little balls around a field."
- 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.
QuietusA professional assassin from Greece who found his calling after an assassin killed one of the Alliance For Allah members who was responsible for the Second Ottoman Jihad that killed his family, Quietus was allowed onto Jackpoint in his final hours to post his manifesto: The Assassin's Primer. He posted and even participated in the running commentary on his work during his last 48 hours, which he figured was how long before his former employer would come to eliminate him as a loose end. Despite working as a professional killer, Quietus was largely motivated by a sense of justice and need to eliminate the evils of the world.
- Being Good Sucks: Invoked in Hard Targets Blackwing mentions Quietus' fate is one expected from assassins with a moral code. That said he throws him a posthumous bone by saying that despite how having a shred of morality as an assassin they are feared for being some of the most dangerous assassins as well in order to survive.
- Bolivian Army Ending: He posts for the first time and signs out for the final time in the same source book, with armed thugs looking in his windows before he logs out.
- Boomerang Bigot: He was the target of the ire of some shadowrunners who fit this trope, as a paid killer was derided by some of the runners (who are, let's not forget, street mercenaries who sometimes kill on their jobs), one of which was Sticks, who aids in sex trafficking.
- Consummate Professional: Quietus was one, even to the end, refusing to harm anyone who wasn't his target or protecting the target. He even refuses to talk about any of his previous work, even when he knows he doesn't have much time left.
- Hitman with a Heart: He's a nice guy in his personal life, and entered into his career when he saw that removing a single choice target can remove a whole lot of trouble all at once.
- Knight Templar: Very brief stint being a religiously motivated assassin after his training, going after Alliance For Allah targets to a religous zeal for the deaths of the people during the Second Ottoman Jihad in Greece. After the experience he sworn off that path and one he never wants to take ever again.
- Pastimes Prove Personality: He mentions that he centers himself by taking up cooking and karaoke as pastimes between jobs and actively avoids any violence related hobbies (like watching Urban Brawl or playing trid games). Slamm-0! calls him out on the discrepancy, but Nephrine steps in and clarifies that it sounds like he prefers to keep in touch with his humanity by separating the violence of his profession and his personal life as much as possible.
- Professional Killers: He goes out of his way to differentiate between "hit men", who's preference would be to kick down a door and spray the room with machinegun fire, and "assassins", who are precision killers who emphasize professionalism and discretion.
RespecA female elf Technomancer and former decker. Idolizes Netcat, maybe a bit too much.
- Bag of Spilling: Lost sixty years of hacking skills when she Emerged. No, she never really explains how that makes sense.
- Berserk Button: Don't make fun of her ears.
- Cool Old Girl: Born in 2011, making her one of the oldest non-immortal elves in the setting.
- The Cracker: A decker since before they called it decking, later a Technomancer.
- Defector from Decadence: Doesn't speak Sperethiel or buy into "elf culture," being raised by humans and spending most of her life on the Matrix, besides.
- Hemo Erotic: Very interested in helping a vampire learn what Technomancer blood tastes like.
- Geek Physiques: Very tall, but rail-thin and flat-chested.
- Logging onto the Fourth Wall: Did a Reddit AMA along with several other Jackpoint characters.
- Meaningful Name: Took the name "Respec" after becoming a Technomancer, in reference to the gamer slang for Skill Point Reset "back when it didn't cost money to advance your character."
- Muggle Foster Parents: Raised by humans, like all other UGE elves.
- Older Than They Look: Comes standard with being an elf. She's at least 66 years old but looks like a young adult, and doesn't feel any of the usual signs of old age.
- Running Gag: Her stalker-like crush on Netcat.
Rigger-X Genzo WatanabeA former security rigger for Mitsuhama. He went into the shadows after he witnessed a Yakuza boss killing a prostitute, and became targeted by Yakuza hit squads (the first of which getting slaughtered by his apartment's 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 RiserA 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.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He apparently disagrees with this; in the 4e Street Legends supplement, he argues against Haze being bashed for using his mind influencing powers to commit rape, reasoning that "getting some action" isn't really any worse than using his powers to kill people for a living. Several of his fellow JackPointers disagree with this assessment.
- Divided We Fall: He uses this against one gang leader out to kill him by divulging on many secrets he had behind their back and invoke a sense of bitter irony.
- Enemy Within: Riser was revealed to be one of the first known victims of CFD, with his new conflicting personality having a weirdly charitable conscience. It's eventually revealed that the new personality subsumed the old, resulting in a Riser who's still a killer, but not quite the cold-blooded bastard he was before.
- Put on a Bus: When he was outed as a CFD victim, he was immediately banned from JackPoint
- Back for the Dead: The Hard Targets sourcebook begins with a 30-page infodump, courtesy of the "new" Riser, with the hope of being allowed back onto JackPoint. At the end, Glitch says there won't be any vote about restoring his access, because the information came via Rigger-X, who sold Riser out to the Smokers' Club - the implication being that he's now quite dead.
- The Sociopath
Slamm-O! Frederick McKenneyA human male decker known for his dreadlocks, awful mustache, sports fandom, and extremely juvenile behavior and the son of two other former Shadowrunners. He may be one of the most skilful 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.
- At least one bit of fiction, however, described him as attractive.
- Manchild: 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.
- Technician vs. 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. Though some depictions of him simply have him as being average weight and appearance, with only his mustache and horrible sense of fashion making him unattractive.
SnopesDeals 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.com 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.
SunshineAn 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 BanditA 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 <hour:minute:second/month-day-year> timestamp for all his posts on the Message Board would instead display "<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 man in his 50s 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.
- Pastimes Prove Personality: Loves to go out for a jog as a hobby, mentions that most Runners live focused on their job and needs a hobby to get their minds a much needed break"Get a serious hobby and don't neglect yourself. Too many runners live like hobos saving up for their next augmentation/drone/focus. This will burn you at just as quickly as any drug habit."
- 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.
Turbo Bunny Clarisa Odalis Soto(UCAS)/Moon Bloodrun (Ute)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.
- Badass Driver: It's one of her talents.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Would you believe that she's a VR junkie looking at her picture in "10 Jackpointers"? Then again, given how she was a favorite of the crime boss it wasn't too hard to get restorative surgery done.
- As a counterpoint, there's no actual evidence that BTL addiction has any noticable physiological signs, aside from neurological ones. I know it's popular to think every drug strings you out like meth does, but in actual reality, not every drug, even the hard stuff, will do that to you.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: At least she thinks so. One of her ex-boyfriends was a Biggus Dickus.
- Bodyguard Crush: She acts as a driver for one of Horizon's celebrities and hinted to be engaged in a romantic relationship with him.
- Drives Like Crazy: And how! The "incident" in Vegas ended up with Bunny crashing her Ferrari on a DataTerm booth at presumably high speed.
- Famed In-Story: Somewhat. At least one of the other posters had heard about the Ferrari incident. Leads to her and Kat hanging out in real life as they found out they live near each other.Kat: "Wait that was you?"
- Law of Inverse Recoil: Averted. When talking about older but still useful guns Turbo mentions she fired one of them. Problem is that the thing nearly broke her nose as she's maybe 90 pounds soaking wet.
- Metatype Lift: Was originally listed as a human with the elf-poser negative quality in one book, all subsequent books have listed her as an actual elf.
- Oh, Crap!: Her reaction when she finds out that a locket that she accidentally crushed was a stealth tag.
- Wrench Wench: Her other main talent.
WinterhawkAlexander 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.
- Adventurer Arcanoarchaeologist
- Gentleman and a Scholar: He certainly looks the part, with his creased brow, prematurely grey pointed beard, and neo-Victorian garb with cane and monocle.
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 prolific 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.
- 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 Tír 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.
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.
- 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:
- 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.
- The reason they don't just telepathically communicate with people anyway? That voice in someone's head is utterly inhuman and psychically "loud". Few people enjoy the experience at all; some are permanently mentally scarred by the event.
- The other reason they don't just telepathically communicate with people is that they can't telepathically communicate through a TV camera. (Or, rather, the 2077 equivalent.)
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: All Great Dragons can take human form.
AdenThe 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 renowned/reviled for razing Tehran 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 tranquillity, 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 Tehran.
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. Formerly employed and mentored a dragon named Eliohann, the only known dragon with a datajack, who died in Crash 2.0 and whose consciousness persisted as the e-ghost named Cerberus.
- Ambiguously Evil: He's primarily responsible for creating the CFD virus, though whether or not the outbreak was intentional is up in the air.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: A comment on Jackpoint by Miles Lanier confirms part of the Lockdown supplement's plotline: The CFD virus was created to put Eliohann (and possibly other e-ghost Crash victims) back into a living body, which was successful - but along with it came the "head cases," Monads, unholy nightmares going on in Boston, and the possibility that Eliohann no longer is as he once was.
- You Are in Command Now: After being injured in battle, Lofwyr stepped down from his position as Loremaster and passed it to Celedyr.
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 in case 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.
- Lucky Rabbit's Foot: One of the items in his will is his lucky prece's foot. Considering that preces are giant, magical, meat-eating rabbits, it is a rabbit's foot scaled up for a dragon.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: His will has been the plot-driving element of the Sixth World ever since his death.
- 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.
FeuerschwingeA 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.
- Gaia's Vengeance: Dragonfall revealed this to be the cause of the above - according to Hans Brackhaus, she was actually the kindest of the dragons in previous Ages, but seeing what humanity had done to the environment caused her to go on the warpath upon waking up.
- 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.
- Jerkass: He's viewed as a dictator by much of the shadow community, and is described as "kind of a dick."
- 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.
- Magnetic Medium: More than other great dragons, Ghostwalker has an affinity for spirits and the astral plane.
- The Rival: To Lofwyr and Harlequin. A battle between Harlequin and Ghostwalker threw Denver into chaos in the 2070s.
- 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 Tír Tairngire.
- Attention Whore: While news of Hestaby tends to get overshadowed by what her kin get up to, she's been one of the most proactive dragons, after Dunkelzahn, in initiating with the rest of the world. Some think this is because she like the attention, or she might simply be working tirelessly to craft positive public perception.
- 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".
- Villainn With Good Publicity: One of her Alternative Character Interpretations is that, as much as she's seen being an arbiter between humanity and dragons, she's still a dragon, and can't be trusted entirely.
KaltensteinA 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.
- Hunter of Monsters: 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 interfered.
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. Also, don't tell him that he is a corrupt, self-serving corporate headmaster; otherwise he'll come after you personally and devour you whole.
- 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. However, don't go telling him that he is this, lest he'll gobble you up.
- 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.
- I Am Spartacus: The name Hans Brackhaus has been used by a number of SK Johnsons to keep runners guessing or to give the impression that they're dealing with Lofwyr directly (to motivate them to do the job perfectly). Elements outside of SK have taken advantage of this fact, and have used the name to set up a false flag on occaision.
- 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.
LungA 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.
- Meaningful Name: 'Lung' is Chinese for 'dragon'.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Ryumyo's red.
- The Rival: To Ryumyo.
MasaruA 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.
PerianwyrBased 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.
- White Sheep: Considering most Great Dragons tend to be vindictive, ambitious power-aggregators, Perianwyr's choice of being a nice music exec is a bit odd for a dragon.
RhonabwyA 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.
- This is probably a case of Properly Paranoid, as a number of Immortal Elves tend to fall into positions of power in the world, and many of them are, or back, dragonslayers.
- 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.
RyumyoA 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.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Dunkelzahn devoted a piece of his will to (jokingly) cuss him out for stealing his spotlight by being the first dragon to be seen in public.
- Meaningful Name: "Ryu" is Japanese for "Dragon".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Lung's blue.
- The Rival: To Lung, his former mentor.
SchwartzkopfA 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?
The Sea DragonThe 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".
SirrurgA 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.
- Not Quite Dead: Stormfront confirmed that Sirrurg was captured by the other Great Dragons and has since been imprisoned by them in an unknown location.
- 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 world.Tropes common to the Megacorps:
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: They didn't get their enormous power by being saints, that's for sure.
- Gambit Pile Up: Keeping runners employed since 1st Edition!
- Mega Corp.: Obviously.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Lots of money.
- There Are No Good Executives: Averted. There are some executives with good intentions, but they can cause as much harm as anyone else.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The Megacorps have control over most media outlets and tremendous resources are devoted to spin control.
Mitsuhama Computer Technologies
- "The Future is Mitsuhama"
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Played with.
- Mitsuhama was founded by the Yakuza as a laundering front. The actual business side of it was wildly successful, and 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 than run-of-the-mill street crime.
- And on the other hand, many of the old Yakuza bosses are still on the board and still use Mitsuhama assets to support illegal Yakuza operations. This isn't exactly profitable, but it's tolerated because Mitsuhama is a very traditional corporation, and so throwing out the old bosses, by buying them out or ejecting them from the company, would be seen as a betrayal. In the meanwhile the more straitlaced executives are playing the long game, relying on young, potential Yakuza to be vacuumed up into the legit enterprise and waiting for the old Yakuza bosses to die out.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Downplayed. The 5th edition supplement "Complete Trog" revealed that in the notoriously-racist world of Japanese megacorps, Mitsuhama is actually a pretty okay place for trolls and orcs to work, because their focus is primarily on profit, not on what your metatype is. Fridge Brilliance when you consider that their origins are the Yakuza, who frequently employed ethnic groups that Japanese society was biased against over their history.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The zero zone. Intruders are killed with excessive force and no exceptions.
- Yakuza: Something of an Old Shame for many members of MCT that it started out as a front for the Yaks, and eventually mostly outgrew them. Yakuza still have a small standing, though it's hard to say where exactly the criminal syndicate ends and the mega corp begins. 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.
Saeder-Krupp Heavy Industries
- "One Step Ahead"
- Always a Bigger Fish: Is the bigger fish in this case. Not even Aztechnology, owners of the entirety of Central America (and holding the biggest share out of South America's economy), 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.
Renraku Computer Systems
- "Today's Solutions to Today's Problems"
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: They created Deus to test their ability to create and control A.I. They were wildly successful in creating it, but as it turns out, controlling it didn't go as planned.
- 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.
- 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.
Aztechnology (formerly ORO)
- "The Way to a Better Tomorrow"
- 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/Religion of Evil: They run a state sponsored religion that appears to be a revival of Aztec paganism. it's used as a means of social control and to secretly fuel blood magic on a nationwide scale, which may or may not being used to deliberately 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.
- "Advancing Life"
- 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 renowned 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-UniverseThe 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 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.
EVO (formerly Yamatetsu Corporation)
- "Changing Life"
- 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 a free Spirit called Buttercup. Their CEO is an ork.
- Transhumanism: A major part of their corporate image.
NeoNET (formerly Novatech, Fuchi Industrial UCAS)
- "Tomorrow Runs on NeoNET"
- Back from the Dead: Twice. It survived the fall of Fuchi and then survived its almost-destruction at the hands of Dankwalther.
- In fact, it was designed by it's main shareholder Richard Villiers that he intend for the corp involved to crash and burn only to resurge every single time, in universe it is called the Villiers Manuever. If anything this is Moore's Law applied at the corporate level in that nothing can really take down the premier Matrix tech corp.
- 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
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Novatech IPO set the stage for the matrix crash..
- Right Hand vs. Left Hand: More than usual. NeoNET is a result of multiple mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and reverse takeovers, to the point where there really isn't a single NeoNET so much as a confederation of independent fiefdoms with interests in the Matrix.
- Wild Card: Considered this by Shadowrunners. Jobs by Neo can be a grab-bag.
- "Making the World a Safer Place"
- 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.
- "We Know What You Think"
- 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 Kline 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 renowned 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 BankThe 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.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Why the Megacorps took over the bank and shares its shares equally.
- Team Switzerland: Obviously.
Lone Star Security ServicesAn AA-ranked privatized 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 ServicesA 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.
DocWagonAn AA-ranked private health company, renowned 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.
HarlequinA 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.
- 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.
- Crazy-Prepared: Whoo boy... is he ever. One fan told the developers a story about how the group attempted to kill Harlequin with a suitcase nuke, to which the developer replied that given how well he knows humanity and the kind of guy he is, Harlequin would have dropped everything he was doing to create an anti-nuke protection spell within 10 minutes of the first test in 1945 and kept it active ever since.
- 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 (one of Jake Armitage's two major foes in the SNES game), and may have begun masquerading as Harlequin.
- Excalibur: Current owner of the sword, courtesy of Dunkelzahn's will. Or, rather, he would be had Big D not managed to misplace it.
- Lord British Postulate: He had no stats in his original appearance solely for this reason. By the point in the Harlequin campaign that the PCs get to him, some of them are likely to be seriously considering ventilating his skull in repayment for all the games he's been playing with them. However, it's simply not possible for them to do so. The 4th edition Street Legends supplement finally gave him stats, but the guy is still as powerful as the Great Dragons.
- 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).
- My Greatest Failure: He put together the ill-fated shadowrun to destroy Thon's magic source that claims Michael's life in the Sega Genesis game. Harlequin underestimated Thon, who in turn had a Renraku strike team kill all but Stark. When Joshua confronts Harlequin, Harlequin deeply apologizes to Joshua, and asks for his help in completing Michael's mission and end Thon's menace once and for all.
- The Nudifier: Buried in a long list of favoured spells (his list of known spells being essentially infinite), one might notice the oddly-specific "Demolish Pants" spell.
- Neutral No Longer: When Hestaby's speaker was assassinated, possibly sparking a dragon civil war in the near future, Frosty heard from Harlequin that "It’s time for me to take a side.”
- New Rules as the Plot Demands: For the most part, in that he is specifically given no stats of any kind, and GM's are told to basically "wing it" if the PC's actually try to act against him directly. He basically knows a magical tradition nobody knows ( except Frosty), and can do whatever a story requires of him.
- 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.
Jake ArmitageA decker who starred as the hero of the SNES game. He returns as a major NPC in the Shadowrun Returns video game.
- 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 armour 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 note . 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. Explained in the Shadowrun Returns Anthology novel: Drake was relatively young as far as Great Dragons go. He lost his deck during a run gone bad and his magic from Dog not being happy with how technologically dependent he was. The fact that Jake even has magic now is due to him "getting his act together" so to speak.
- 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 after being Left for Dead in an apparent hit. 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.