LARPs RPGs - Available Now @
Oct 232013

At Con on the Cob Jason Hardy ran a seminar on the Shadowrun universe.   He covered the following  What is Shadowrun, Shadowrun 5 overview, what’s next for Shadowrun, writing and drawing for Shadowrun, what kind of character to play, and philosophy.  I hope you enjoy it.


Shadowrun Seminar

If you listened you are as excited as I am about Shadowrun’s future.


Shadowrun 5th ed Review

 Catalyst Game Labs, Featured, RPG System Review  Comments Off on Shadowrun 5th ed Review
Aug 052013



Shadowrun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the gang at Catalyst has redesigned Shadowrun and released 5th edition. We managed to get our hands on a PDF copy to look at. But before we get into this review I have to let you know that this is a re-visitation for me of the Shadowrun world. I haven’t played SR since about 1986. I have dabbled with a little bit of the fiction here and there, and I even picked up an almanac or two for reference material. With that being said I asked the powers that be (Jason Hardy) a lot of questions about the changes. I even purchased the 4th ed book as reference material. So you’re going to get the impression of an individual who took a crash course on the two game systems. It’s my hope that you can see how simple the system is.


With all of the above taken into consideration let’s dive right in. The very first thing I noticed was that the table of contents is huge – five pages. Before going any further I jumped right to the back of the book to see if there was an index; my favorite tool in most gaming books. Along the way I discovered an intricate bookmark system built into the PDF. Needless to say I found the layout of the book to be impeccable. The book is riddled with tables that make it easier to use. Did I mention this book is huge!


The art is not quite what I expected. Don’t get me wrong it tells the visual story of Shadowrun very well. I was just expecting something a little darker. I will admit I want prints of every night city scape they have in the book. There is something very alluring about the light pollution.

Continue reading »

Alpha Strike Preview 1

 Battletech, Catalyst Game Labs  Comments Off on Alpha Strike Preview 1
Jul 262013


Alpha Strike Preview 1


For centuries, the armies of the Great Houses have fought to reclaim the glory of the fallen Star League, sending regiments of their elite MechWarriors into battle across hundreds of worlds as humanity slid inexorably toward a new Dark Age. The coming of the Clans—descendants of the lost Star League army—did little to stem the slaughter. It only raised the stakes.

Full Article at Catalyst

Alpha Strike Preview 1 free PDF (Download From BattleShop)

Alpha Strike Preview 1 free PDF (Download From DriveThruRPG)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leviathans Ship Quirks and Crew Abilities Deck

 Board Games, Catalyst Game Labs  Comments Off on Leviathans Ship Quirks and Crew Abilities Deck
Jul 212013

Ship Quirks and Crew Abilities Deck

There won’t be new ships or the Captain’s Box at Gen Con. Still trying to work out a new process in production that will finally allow the line to move forward in a way that will be both profitable for Catalyst and a regular release schedule for players.

In the mean time, we’re trying to see if we can’t get something to Gen Con for Leviathans players. I’ve talked about this concept before. That we’ve been working on and off on these things forever, but we’re pushing to see if we can’t have a deck of Ship Quirks and Crew Abilities for sell; they won’t be for sell in stores anytime in the near future, but we’ll look at putting them on sell online after Gen Con.

So…what would these cards entail? Why would we want these in the game? Well…as any good miniatures game progresses…well, you add to it. Simply the nature of the beast. And for me, right from the get go as I was designing the game and then polishing it up through endless playtests, a slew of fun rules would come into my head and I’d jot them down. Ultimately, however, any of these rules do not work as “standard” rules…in fact, they won’t even work within the Captain’s Manual “enchanced rules”. Instead, they’re perfect for players to add some unique flavor to a ship in a given scenario to mix up game play.

Taking directly from the rules text that introduces both the Ship Quirks and the Crew Abilities:

Not every ship is the same, even among ships of the same class and Type. Anyone that has served on board a vessel knows the complexity of their construction creates unique design quirks that bring a flavor all their own to each ship. This is all the more true for leviathans that are still relatively nascent technologies.

The following is a series of positive and negative quirks, each with a numerical value that determines the relative strength or weakness of a given quirk. It is strongly recommended that if a player chooses a positive quirk for his ship, he or she should give it a negative quirk of equal as well. However, each playing group can decide if negative quirks must balanced positive quirks.

A ship is far more than the nuts and bolts and electroid that holds it together in the sky. The men and women that bring their skills, passions and blood are what elevate each ship to be far more than the sum of its parts, turning a ship into a legend. The following rules allow players to bring the crew of a ship to life.

“Just show me some of the rules!” I can hear you saying…so here here we go.

First up, the current look of the Ship Quirks and two of many, many cards that’ll be apart of deck.

Right out of the gate, note that these were test layouts done…well…a good while ago, so the rules have progressed in playtesting since then. For example, the current final rules for “Superior Armor” are:

A particularly superlative batch of materials results in superior armor.

All Armor Slots on the ship provide an additional +1 modifier to any Slot Numbers in its Location.

The value for this quirk is based upon the total +1 Breach modifiers provided by all Armor Slots on the ship. For example, the HML Raven has five +1 Armor Slots and so the value of this quirk assigned to that ship would be 5. However, the HML Beagle has five +1 Armor Slots and a +2 Armor Slot, so the value of this quirk assigned to that ship would be 7.

As for “Accurate Weapon”, the final text will have a point value of “+2, +2, +3, +4, +4? to reflect the fact that this helps smaller dice more than larger dice, while it also won’t be able to be used with Bracketing Fire (just too sick).

Next up, the Crew Abilities. You’ll notice no point values on either of these cards…that’s because when these were given a test layout, the points were not yet assigned.

All-Weather is pretty much as is, still, just getting a 1 point cost added.

As for Lady Luck…it’s one of the most powerful of the Crew Abilities, and so will be priced at 5 points. Even then, we’ll be folding in a change to curb it down..a “own ship only” text will keep it from being too sick…but it’s still a great ability.

Anyways…there ya have it! Please note, we are ‘trying’ to have this at Gen Con, but no promises. Regardless, after Gen Con, we’ll move to get these released in PDF format for purchase. They’ll add a wonderful variety of play to any style of game.

For those attending Gen Con, see ya then!



Enhanced by Zemanta

German Ship to play:SMS Wolve in Leviathans

 Board Games, Catalyst Game Labs  Comments Off on German Ship to play:SMS Wolve in Leviathans
Jul 212013

From Catalyst Game Labs

German Ship To Play: SMS Wolve

Hey all,

Sigh…once again, have to start with an apology. The launch of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition has been an all consuming project that has sucked up most of Catalyst’s bandwidth and all of mine almost across the board. For those that don’t follow such things, the PDF & Print Preorders went on sale yesterday. Still a ton of SR-retaled stuff to do moving forward, of course, but SR monopilizing so much of my time is finally near an end.

Course, as an aside, the more fantastic Shadowrun does, the better it is for Leviathans as it gives us a better war chest to deal with the production issues still nagging at this game’s heels.

Nevertheless, I will be getting a swath of my time mostly back, which means more regular updates of various things, including getting PDF releases back on line.

As an apology for the dry spell of the last month or so, thought I’d give you the German SMS Wolveto play, along with the rules for the two new slots on this dangerous destroyer.

You can click here to download the PDF for this destroyer.

And the rules:


      Whenever a Breach Roll for any type of aerial torpedo is made against a Location containing an undestroyed Chaff Slot is about to be made, the defending player first rolls 1DRed, adding in a die from any standard Crew Slot (i.e. Screening Crew, Bracketing Crew, and so on, cannot be used) that is undamaged and in that Location (even if there are multiple Crew Slots, only a single Crew Slot die is added).

On a result of 8-10 the torpedo is shot down, causing no further damage or effects; on a result of 7 or less the chaff does not shoot it down and a standard Breach Roll is now made by the attacker to determine if the torpedo strikes the target.

A Crew Slot with a white diamond icon is known as a Screening Crew Slot.

A ship containing a Screening Crew Slot need only spend 1 MP to either Defensive or Offensive Screen (as opposed to the standard 3 MP).


To get a sense of the German vibe, feel free to field the Wolve with the HML Leviathans or HMLMedusa.

See ya next duty shift!


Enhanced by Zemanta

EN World Launches “RPG Spotlight”: Shadowrun First Up!

 Catalyst Game Labs, Shadowrun  Comments Off on EN World Launches “RPG Spotlight”: Shadowrun First Up!
Jul 212013

EN World Launches “RPG Spotlight”: Shadowrun First Up!

By RANDALL | Published: JULY 12, 2013 | Edit

EN, one of the premier online sites for news and reviews for tabletop games, is launching an “RPG Spotlight” program next Monday. Each week will feature a different RPG, where publishers/designers will interact with the EN World community, answer questions, and more.

With the wildly successful launch of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition PDF & Print Preorders yesterday, Catalyst Game Labs is pleased to see Shadowrun first up in this great new program.

“I’m very excited to have the chance to interact with the EN World community!” said Jason M. Hardy, Shadowrun Line Developer. “They are a passionate, knowledgeable group, and I’ll do my best to be ready for whatever questions and thoughts they fire off.”

The Shadowrun RPG Spotlight will run from July 15th to July 21. One participant from next week’s Spotlight will be chosen to win a free Shadowrun, Fifth Edition Limited Edition book!

“I’m really excited to launch our weekly spotlights with Shadowrun, a game which has so much history,” said Russ Morrissey, of EN World,” and which was voted by EN World members into the Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2013.”

Check out to learn more about all that’s happening in the Year of Shadowrun, as well for the spotlight program and great news and reviews for all things gaming.

EN World?
EN World ( has been reporting tabletop gaming news for over a decade. Originally the world’s largest Dungeons & Dragons fan site, it has evolved into one of the world’s leading tabletop gaming new sources and covers the whole gamut of roleplaying and board games. EN World also maintains the premier RPG awards program, the ENnies, at Gen Con every August. The SPOTLIGHT GAME program is a new initiative to highlight game systems and for fans to discuss their favourite games with the publishers, designers and creators to make them.

Catalyst Game Labs?
Catalyst Game Labs is dedicated to producing high-quality games and fiction that mesh sophisticated game mechanics with dynamic universes, all presented in a form that allows beginning players and long-time veterans to easily jump into our games, while helping fiction readers enjoy our stories even if they don’t know the games.

Catalyst Game Labs is an imprint of InMediaRes Productions, LLC, which specializes in electronic publishing of professional fiction. This allows Catalyst to participate in a synergy that melds printed gaming material and fiction with all the benefits of electronic interfaces and online communities, creating a whole-package experience for any type of player or reader. Find Catalyst Game Labs online at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Crossfire: Why I like to play the Street Samurai: Simplicity with Versatility

 Card Games, Catalyst Game Labs, Shadowrun, Shadowrun Crossfire  Comments Off on Crossfire: Why I like to play the Street Samurai: Simplicity with Versatility
Jul 212013

Excerpt from Catalyst Game Labs


Sure the Street Samurai can deal a ton of damage—it’s one of the top damage dealing roles in the game. But the role also has many other tools it puts at your disposal.

So how do you deal damage as the Sammy? By playing Katanas with other weapon cards. A simple combo that’s fun to play. Katanas also stack with each other, so buy lots of them if they show up.

The problem is that your damage is all black and colorless and there are very few obstacles you can defeat with just that type of damage. This color-focus is the Street Samurai’s weakness, but you can do something about it and still stay in your color.


Read more and see some of the cards at Catalyst Game Labs.

 Posted by at 12:08 PM

Box Breaking 72 Balance of Power from Catalyst Game Labs

 Board Games, Catalyst Game Labs, Featured  Comments Off on Box Breaking 72 Balance of Power from Catalyst Game Labs
Jul 122013

catalyst-logoWatch as Matt Breaks open Balance of Power from Catalyst game Labs.  balance of Power is a game of world conquest.  That is players create kings and try to gain territories.



Thanks for watching , we hope to have a demo up in a week or so.

Shadowrun Crossfire – No Deck Thinning

 Card Games, Catalyst Game Labs, Deck Building Games, Shadowrun  Comments Off on Shadowrun Crossfire – No Deck Thinning
Jul 102013

Shadowrun-5-Crossfire-Logo1Deck-building games have a tradition of allowing you to remove cards from your deck (“trashing” them) during the course of the game. That allows you to remove the least significant cards from your deck and therefore gain greater access to your best cards. Shadowrun: Crossfire doesn’t have trashing, and I’m here to explain why.

1) No drawback. In games like Dominion or Thunderstone, the ultimate goal of the game is to fill your deck with cards that are worth victory points. These cards dilute your deck as the game nears its end . . . and they dilute your deck the most if you’ve made it small by trashing! ButShadowrun: Crossfire is about adventuring, and there is no end-game dilution effect. Trashing under these conditions would be incredibly powerful.

2) Loss of identity. In Shadowrun: Crossfire, each runner gets a different starting deck, depending on your role. These cards aren’t strong, and you’d sure like to trash them after you’ve bought a few replacements, but they define your identity! So instead of trashing, we added various black market cards that key off your starting cards—either by enhancing them, or by depending on their presence for best effect. Your starting cards end up staying relevant throughout the game.

3) Variety. It’s cool in Dominion if you can draw and play your whole deck every turn, but it wouldn’t be quite as cool in Shadowrun: Crossfire, where you’re supposed to be facing new and unpredictable challenges and situations every turn. Instead of letting you draw your whole deck every turn, we went for making each individual card powerful and significant.

—Sean McCarthy


You can read more about Shadow Run Crossfire at Catalyst

Enhanced by Zemanta
Jul 022013

The Duke is the newest “abstract” game I have seen.  It has a chess like feel to it – that is if chess can be a hyper squirrel doing back flips. Check  it out as Matt shares his box with you.



In a few days we hope to have some sample games up for you or a tutorial.  Hope you have had fun.


Music found at Music Alley

Zantlop was performed by Alexander Jenkins

Print and play version of The Duke

Enhanced by Zemanta