Shadowrun Tone Guide

Black Trenchcoat
Black Trenchcoat



You are professionals. Immaculate yet gritty. You know the Sixth World and you survive. The world is paranoid, racist, dumb, panicky, dangerous and you know it. Corporations are greedy, manipulative, near-untouchable and can never be truly beaten. You simply survive, prosper and try and get one-up on the guy above you while staying one step ahead of those below. Planning is meticulous and mandatory if you're going to stand a chance in the sprawl. While the occasional lighthearted moment may break the gloom of a grim and gritty Sixth World, it by no means becomes a regular occurrence. Situations are close to realistic, and so are the consequences. NPCs act realistically (for the day and age) and are tempered by that same dark world, only that most of them can't hope to thrive in the world the PCs remarkably excel in. Enemies are deadly, but so are you.

Media Examples: Blade Runner, Johnny Mnemonic, Terminator, The Dark Knight


Brown Business Suit
Brown Business Suit



You're good, you know it, and you have a damn good time doing it. You know the Sixth World well enough to get out of the fraggin way of the lumbering Corporations whenever possible, but that doesn't mean you can't give them a bloody nose once in awhile before departing. Your exploits are methodical and even sometimes daring, possibly even landing you on the news that night as you sip your favorite flavored soycaf beverage. You know that the corporations can't be beaten forever, even if you do hurt their bottom line enough to cause a few 'downsizing' or 'shakeups' to happen, but then again, such is only going to mean more work for you as the corporate drones try futilely to climb their management ladders and balance their books. A lighthearted undercurrent is usually visible in game, with leanings to the serious and more humorous being common at times. Situations and their consequences are framed in more cinematic terms with a nod to realism in the end, though who could complain about the occasional moment of levity. NPCs act realistically but also contain a host of 'characters' in the wings to allow access to lighthearted side activities. Enemies are usually lethal, but you've got the advantage.

Media Examples: Iron Man 1 & 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, James Bond


Red Bodysuit
Red Bodysuit



You're the best in the business, and damn if you aren't going to let the world know. The Sixth World is a treasure trove of opportunity and you've got the map to find all the right spots. The thought of taking on the heavy hitting AAA Megacorporations isn't so much a 'risk' for you but an opportunity to profit that you look forward to. Characters might be more style over substance and revel in their fame at being captured on the trid, waving to cameras and taunting the ineffective law enforcement that permeates the city. Perhaps even cultivating a small fanbase they draw from across the Matrix who pay attention to their exploits. Everything is flavored in a more 'we know this is a game, lets rock' mentality with a constant lighthearted tone taking control of the narrative with a select few dramatic moments reserved for 'boss fights' and climactic story moments. NPCs are semi-realistic, leaning heavily on tropes and stereotypes to keep the narrative flowing from one big action scene to the next. Enemies are a bit cartoonish, and you're ready.

Media Example: Iron Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean Series, Marvel's Animated-Deadpool


Pink Mohawk
Pink Mohawk



You're the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever damn well will be, and by god you're going to ensure the Sixth World knows about it, even if you have to fire it up their nose with a narcojet pistol. Outlandish concepts, big action and video-game worthy set pieces ensure there's little time to plan, and more time for door-kicking and lead-flinging. Limbs fly in all directions and explosive use is not only encouraged but expected. Corporations are almost literal punching bags with security barely able to keep their pants up without a special forces detachment nearby. Consequences for your actions are almost non-existent, short of killing the president or blowing up an entire town. Players and the GM work of the premise that the characters are the heroes, allowing them to shine brightly with whatever particular quirk or irregularity their player wishes to flex. Anything can happen, and often does, and while a few of you might fall, there's always another character waiting in the wings to take their place. Enemies are dumb, and you're the main characters.

Media Example: Marvel's Comic-Deadpool, Most Action-Comedy Anime, The Muppet Movies