Alpha v0.088 - Adversaries, Advancement, and Dev's Thoughts

Dev's Thoughts

As it turns out, you can cram 6 months of notes and drafts within the span of three hours if you've got the right setup. Thank you RainyMood and Jon Everist, composer for the Shadowrun Returns series soundtrack, very cool. This is an important one for me because it's one of those things that I've been trying to tackle for a long time and it's been requested more than a few times because it's such a basic thing that was missing from the game. And that's ADVERSARIES! I've tried different approaches to this and ultimately came up with the one that met the middle ground better than the rest, with the piecemeal building I want to do from the get-go but with small tables of basic stats that you can use to create the more mechanical side of monsters, mixed with the freeform flair that I've been using to boost creativity and breaking the mold throughout the game.


Even though these monsters and stats are based on my own monster designs and stats from past playtests, I have NOT playtested any of the things you can create with the current monster creation templates, or the Example Adversaries you can find within this update. I'm getting this out there so you can play around with it and give me your thoughts while I playtest them myself, but there is no sense of balance, fairness of mercy to be found in these pages. What awaits you in the hands of the Arbiter? I have no idea.



  • Added the first full draft of the Adversaries template creation chapter, alongside some example monsters.

Adversaries are created through a series of properties: Importance, Size, Kind and Nature, and are later customized through the design of Weapons, Special Abilities, and other stuff that makes them different and interesting. Importance gives you the basic stats that you can build around, such as how many attributes and skills you get, weaknesses, weapons, etc, and they also let you know when they act during a Skirmish. Size defines the inherent toughness of an Adversary, as well as things such as how hard they are to hit and track down. Kind is an illustrative categorization that gives you some extra tips on how monsters work. Nature defines behavior of the monster, and Special Abilities are freeform active and passive things that monsters can do that set them apart from Vagrants. There's also Weak Spots. Too much to cover in a single paragraph, just go read the thing and make your own monsters.

If you've got monster designs you'd like to share and review, feel free to drop by the development discord and post them on #feedback!


  • Increased Skill Advancement Steps to 20, and tweaked Path and Language difficulties accordingly.

With the coming of Skill Advancement becoming Passive, I decided to tweak around some numbers to reflect the change and make skill learning a bit less hasty. Language and the first Path in a Practice are no longer double the time needed: Languages are the same length as any other skill (the modifiers are, however, unchanged), and learning the first Path of a Magic Practice takes 10 extra steps. Is this bit done? Never. I'll have to playtest a long campaign thoroughly to truly know if the pace of Skill Advancement needs any further tweaks, but i'm happy with it right now.

Other Stuff

  • Removed Archetypes. 

These didn't really add anything, and took up valuable space. I might re-add them in the future in a more polished and thought-out way.

  • Polished up the Death Spiral to be a bit smoother. 

The Death Spiral rules were a bit too dry and convoluted. The way they work now is less rough (the entire page went through a small rewrite), and there's a bit of added flavor. The rules should be clearer, too.

  • Reworded Ammo to be a proper Resource. 

Since "Tracking Ammo" was implemented before Resources were a thing, I never actually formatted Ammo as a Resource. Now it's clear and out there instead of being a footnote.

  • Added a missing snippet to Exo-Suit piloting. 

People kept asking me about Exo-Suit piloting, and I was unaware that I hadn't actually written the one line that it takes to explain how they're handled. Spoiler: Not unlike other vehicles.

  • Added a missing snippet to Rest and Recovery. 

Since the very beginning, any degree Recovery heals all your Minor Wounds, and I was convinced that I had actually stated this. I had not.

  • Minor tweaks and fixes across the board.

There's always a bit of rewording and polish here and there that isn't worth breaking down. Typos and whatnot.

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