The following rules can be used to run a Shadowrun game with the Leverage RPG. Unless otherwise noted, this conversion uses the standard Leverage rules.
Shadowrun features several unique races (and SURGE variants). Races are best modeled with a simple distinction, such as Orc or Troll. The advantages and disadvantages of such distinctions should be pretty obvious, such as a Troll having an advantage when bulk or strength is in question and a disadvantage when trying to act nimbly or in a suave manner.
Distinctions can also be used to model especially prevalent SURGE qualities, be they positive or negative. Try to keep the distinctions short and focus only on the qualities which are most important. If a SURGE quality would particularly help a single role, it can also be modeled as a Specialty.
Characters without a racial distinction are considered to be humans.
Cyberware and Bioware can be modeled with signature assets. Such assets follow all the normal rules for signature assets, save for the fact that they cannot be lost or stolen (except in dire and messy circumstances). Characters with extensive ‘ware assets should consider taking a Distinction that signifies their modified nature (such as Chromed Up).
Magic is modeled with custom talents that have a few special rules. Once a character takes an awakened talent they are considered to be an awakened character and are subject to a few special rules.
- All awakened characters are required to take a distinction related to their magical paradigm and outlook (such as Rat Shaman). The player and Fixer should outline just how the magical paradigm can come to a characters advantage and disadvantage.
- An awakened character can perform a special assensing notice action. Unlike a normal notice action, the stakes are set by the character being assensed (use Intelligence + Willpower as a default). If the awakened character is successful, he immediately learns if the character possesses any awakened talents or ‘ware-based signature assets. At the Fixers discretion the assensing player may also learn the target’s current mood and physical health.
- A fully awakened (defined as any character with both the Spellcasting and Summoning talents) can astrally project. While doing so the character’s body is inert and the only actions the character can take are Notice Actions, as they have no physical form. The upside is that the character is completely hidden form unawakened characters and they can pass through non-warded physical objects. The downside is that the Fixer gains a shiny new Comatose Body (d6) asset to play with.
- Any complication that arises from the use of an awakened talent is considered to be magical in nature. Perhaps the character makes a great deal of noise, or suffers spell drain. Or maybe that spirit they just summoned isn’t quite as obedient as it first seemed. Fixers are encouraged to get creative with awakened complications.
An awakened character can use magic to enhance their roles. Whenever an awakened character uses an awakened talent they are using their magic to cast a spell or summon a spirit. In terms of game mechanics nothing changes, but any player of an awakened character is encouraged to describe just what spell they are casting and how it helps. As a general rule of thumb, the primary role of an awakened character can be used to describe their magical style.
- Grifter: The character is skilled with Illusion spells that can confound an enemy or mask his true appearance.
- Hacker: The character is skilled with Detection magic that can ferret out hidden information.
- Hitter: The character is skilled with Combat magic that can blast foes and alter the physical world.
- Mastermind: The character is skilled with Health and Manipulation magic that can enhance his team and deal with unforeseen obstacles.
- Thief: The character is likely a bit of a magical generalist who focuses on spells that make him harder to spot or that get him past physical obstacles.
You use magic to augment your already impressive skills.
Activation: You are performing an action that includes your Primary or Secondary role. You can activate this talent only once per scene.
Effect: Add an extra d8 to your roll.
You can cast spells to aid you in a task. But be careful: such spells can sometimes have unintended effects.
Activation: You’re performing an action and wish to cast a spell; spend a Plot Point for extra effect.
Effect: If you wish, add an extra d6 to your roll – but if you do, you must also add a d4. If you spend a plot point you can step the d6 up to a d8.
You can summon spirits to aid you or your companions in a task. This sounds great, but sometimes the spirits are a bit uncooperative.
Activation: Spend a Plot Point.
Effect: You can spend a Plot Points to give a spirit-based asset to any other member of the Crew (including yourself). If this asset is used in a roll that results in Complication, the resulting Complication is automatically stepped up by 1 die. Fixers are encouraged to flavor the complication to the type of spirit summoned.
Technomancy is modeled with custom talents that have a few special rules. Once a character takes a Resonance talent they are considered to be in resonance and are subject to a few special rules.
- All characters in resonance are required to take a distinction related to their stream and outlook (such as Infomancer). The player and Fixer should outline just how the stream can come to a characters advantage and disadvantage.
- Characters in resonance can interact with the virtual world without the need for a commlink asset.
- Characters in resonance can sense the presence of each other with a standard Notice test.
Like an awakened character, a character in resonance flavors their hacking with the tools of a technomancer. Most of the time this will simply be flavor, but with the proper talents a technomancer can often find a distinct edge when in the matrix.
You can compile sprites – living programs that can aid you in the matrix.
Activation: You are in full VR and the Fixer gives you an Opportunity.
Effect: You can create a sprite asset to aid you in your next roll taken when in full VR. If this asset is used in a roll that results in Complication, the resulting Complication is automatically stepped up by 1 die. Fixers are encouraged to flavor the complication to the type of sprite summoned.
You can compile new complex forms on the fly, letting you adapt to changing situations.
Activation: You may activate this Talent at any time when you are in full VR, once per scene.
Effect: You may replace one of your existing Hacker Specialties with a different one. The change last for the duration of the scene, at which point the Specialty reverts back to its previous form.
The Shadowrun universe contains a massive digital world known as the matrix. Any character can enter full VR with the right equipment (or mentally if they are a technomancer). While fully immersed in virtual reality, characters can perform almost any action they could in the physical world, with one difference. When performing a non-hacking action a character replaces any Attribute die with their Hacker die. This represents the importance of skill when interacting with the matrix.
While immersed in full VR, most of the roles can be used for additional digital actions. The following list details some of the most common actions by role.
- Grifter: Spoofing, Redirecting Traces, and other acts of digital subterfuge.
- Hacker: Most digital actions should default to the Hacker roll. Even when the Hacker roll isn’t being used, it is used in place of the default attribute when using other roles.
- Hitter: All forms of Cybercombat.
- Mastermind: Analyzing a system, encrypting files, and other forms of digital analysis.
- Thief: Decrypting files, cracking hidden files, or other acts of digital subterfuge.