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A Shadowrun cyberpunk cRPG set in 2056's Magically Awakened Hong Kong by the developers of Shadowrun Returns & Dragonfall.
A Shadowrun cyberpunk cRPG set in 2056's Magically Awakened Hong Kong by the developers of Shadowrun Returns & Dragonfall.
31,497 backers pledged $1,204,726 to help bring this project to life.

Original e-novel author announced! And a peek behind the curtain at some crunchy bits...

Posted by Harebrained Schemes LLC (Creator)

Hey there! We've got great news! As you may remember, Backers at the $25 STREET CRED reward level and above receive an original e-novel, based on the characters and situations in Shadowrun: Hong Kong.    

So who's writing the book? 

Mel Odom. Mel's got street cred too. You may remember him from the three Shadowrun novels he wrote in the 1990s:

Here's Mel's official bio:

Mel Odom lives in Oklahoma and is the author of several dozen books in licensed worlds/television shows, including four Shadowrun novels (Preying for Keeps, Headhunters, Run Hard, Die Fast and the forthcoming Deniable Assets). His novel The Rover won the Alex Award. In 1995, he was inducted in the Oklahoma Professional Writers Hall of Fame (at a very young age for such a prestigious award!). Master Sergeant, the first book in his newest trilogy, The Makaum War, just hit the shelves. He can be reached at, @melodom,,

Mmmm... crunchy...

Today’s peek behind the curtain contains some crunchy bits! For us, “crunchy bits” are specifics we can tell you about a process, design, or feature we’re working on. Trevor’s going to tell you about some additions to our magic system that weren’t part of our Expanded Magic funding goal.

Have a great weekend!  


Trevor King-Yost here. 

I’ve worked on the design of all of our Shadowrun games here at HBS, most recently as Design Lead on the Director’s Cut of Dragonfall. Today, I’m going to spill some our newest additions to Magic for the trip to Hong Kong - “Dual Effect” spells and Dragon Lines.

Dual Effect Spells

Until recently, spells could only really work “one-way”. They were either an attack, a buff, or a debuff. During our pre-production phase, we prototyped some new features for magic spells and cyberware that will create more interesting effects and outcomes. Spells can now have an affect on both the caster as well as the target.

For example, we had the “Slow” spell in previous games, which reduced the target’s AP. Now we can make a similar spell that also adds that AP to your character, acting much like the “Haste” buff. This also lets us create enemies like Blood Mages who can steal HP from their enemies to heal themselves.

With the limited number of spell slots a character can bring on a given run, more spells can now pull their weight by providing dual effects. This functionality allows us to make more unique character abilities for your crew as well.

For instance, Gaichu, the ghoul Runner, has a Bite attack. After biting an enemy, he gains a healing effect, his strength increases, and his melee damage is boosted. This functionality is also used in a more behind-the-scenes way to create Gaichu’s stance-based sword combos, where each attack leads to a different one in sequence. The feature lets us add a “marker” effect to Gaichu to track which attack was performed last.

This work also gives Gobbet, our crew’s Rat Shaman, the ability to manipulate spirits, adding more tactical options to each fight. On her Spiritualist advancement path, she gains the ability to steal control of enemy spirits and turn them against their former masters. This path culminates in an ability to consume spirits, removing them from play in exchange for a buff.

Ley Lines vs. Dragon Lines

In Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall, Ley Lines had certain effects on spellcasting - reducing cool down and increasing the power of spells while standing in that tile. In Hong Kong, Ley Lines are known as “Dragon Lines” - powerful paths of magic that some say hold the secrets of the great dragons themselves.

Dragon Lines work differently than Ley Lines did in our previous games. We’re planning to have a bit more variation and different types of lines. Some lines can heal you when you successfully cast a spell while standing on them, while others amplify the effects on your targeted enemy. We’ll see what other kinds of variations we can come up with when the feature is fully implemented.

There’s still more new magic to come that we haven’t built yet, as well. We hope you enjoy these new magical abilities in Shadowrun: Hong Kong, whether you are playing as a Mage, a Shaman, or just running with Gobbet in your team.


MS, Steve Hayes, and 84 more people like this update.


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    1. TKC on

      *grumble, grumble*

      Fine, have some more of my money... ;)

    2. Matthew Dimalanta

      I loved the Preying for Keeps Trilogy. My only regret on this is that due to time constraints I only get to "read" audiobooks these days and my guess is that if this will only be an e-book that it will never get picked up by Audible unless a bunch of kickstarter people all put in requests for it, even then I am not sure.

    3. Felipe Machado on

      I'm on the same boat as @Ber... For some reason, I've never played a mage (probably, that reason is that I love to be a decker so much and tried to make a rigger work, since I never wanted one in my team)...

      I really think I'll have to play through the game twice non-stop... So I can play a cool mage and get to know fully this new Matrix...

      Soooooo... It could be August already... =/

    4. Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on

      Mel Odom? Awesome, I really liked his novels! Hmm. I should read all SR-novels again...

    5. Missing avatar

      RainPally on

      And all of that and I forgot to say Mel Odom! What's wrong with me! Shadowrun novels get me so freaking nuts! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Mel Odom!!!!!!

    6. Missing avatar

      RainPally on

      I can't believe this. Nigel D. Findley is who originally won me over and Caroline Spector's writing is so awesome... Tom Dowd is absolutely top shelf too and so hard core raw Shadowrun :D. I can't believe how amazing this is.

    7. daskindt on

      Dual Effect abilities are awesome! This was one of the features I most wanted to see in the Editor. We spent some serious hours working on weapon mods and ability mods that really needed dual effects and we couldn't get the original Editor to accommodate us. Dual Effect abilities will add a ton of flexibility to abilities.

    8. RC on

      "Of course we are. :) We don't skimp on rewards to our Backers."

      Glad to hear it! Having backed 2 previous HBS projects, I gotta say...that's chip-truth, Chummer!

      They do produce great rewards. The Shadowrun Anthology from Shadowrun Returns was AWESOME, and just on a lark..for fun...they created the Fluff 'n Smoke tumblr. When it comes to the novel, I have confidence they've got us covered. Their Golem Arcana rewards and fiction are pretty wiz, too! ^_^

    9. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      >>>are we talking a PROPER novel here?
      Of course we are. :) We don't skimp on rewards to our Backers.

    10. RC on

      Hoi Chummers!

      If you have a question for HBS / the developers, start your comment with, "HEY HBS!" so they can spot it more easily!

      And, ust a reminder you can find lots of info about this AWESOME Shadowrun Hong Kong Kickstarter and other fun Shadowrun related intel @ (requires the www)

      Useful Info on the project:

      HBS answers to community questions in the comments:

      An Introduction to Shadowrun fan-created web comic:

      And a 38 page Shadowrun fan-made web comic by Blade!

      Enjoy, omae. ^_^

    11. RC on

      HEY HBS!

      Read the post prior to this one. I'm curious to know more about the novel too ^_^

      "When you say "novel", are we talking a PROPER novel here (i.e. similar word / page count to the old Shadowrun novels)?"

    12. TKC on

      Damn, I was hoping for another Jack Slater novel. To upgrade pledge or not...?

      When you say "novel", are we talking a PROPER novel here (i.e. similar word / page count to the old Shadowrun novels)?

    13. Vryl

      @HBS: will deckers be getting some of these dual effect 'spells' for Matrix runs?

    14. Ber on

      Heya Trevor, I somehow haven't played a mage or shaman yet, but these features sound awesome, so maybe SRHK is time for me to change that :) Thanks!

    15. Missing avatar

      Tim Maughan on

      I loved those books growing up. It was great reading about Argent some more. I loved him in 2XS and Lone Wolf.

      When I was trying to get Eiger some cyberware, I was always thinking of the lines from Preying for keeps, where Elvis was always described with Arnie awesome cyberware lol.

    16. RC on

      @drow Ahahaha ^_^

    17. drow on

      no worries, eiger has a bite attack too. :D

    18. Russell Gill on

      That was perhaps the series that best captured what shadowrun was in the whole novel line. I still have them in my bookshelf. They still hold up for genre fiction.

    19. RC on

      "Gaichu, the ghoul Runner, has a Bite attack. " I'm really gonna havta see what motivates our crew to run with this chum. o.O?

    20. RC on

      Curious about Mel's work and how well received it is? You might be veeery surprised in a good way once you see what he's worked on, Chummers! Check out Mel's Good Reads list and reviews! ^_^

    21. Jesse Dylan Watson on

      Man, I loved those Shadowrun books in the '90s. I don't remember who wrote it, but in 6th grade, I thought one called Shadowplay was about the best thing I'd ever read.

    22. Vryl

      I never actually found any of those books, but I've only been looking in physical stores. I may have to give up and go to Amazon.

    23. Julien Pirou on

      Unfortunately, I only know Mel's work through his Might & Magic novel, The Sea of Mist, which is the most atrocious book I've ever read...
      But I'm willing to give him a second chance.

    24. Sabin Figaro on

      Are you serious!? Mel's three books are amongst my favourite list of SR novels. This is great news! <3