Character Generation

We have a set of sample characters.

Skills and Edges

Starting characters get two Good (+3), three Fair (+2), and four Average (+1) skills and one Fair (+2) and two Average (+1) Edges.


Characters start with 6 refresh and can spend up to 5 of it on stunts; at least three stunts are expected. Stunts of particular note:

You only need to take stunts you plan to use. Your character is a troll if they have Troll in their High Concept. If your character is in a combat role, you probably want to take Troll and maybe even Very Troll, but your Gentle Giant Troll Technomancer may have better ways to spend refresh.


High Concept

Your High Concept includes your species/metatype, e.g. Elven Decker, Sasquatch Gearhead, Orkish Snake Shaman. There is room for more flavor in an aspect; for example, Bull is The Best Ork Decker You Never Met. See Aspects for ideas there. If you want to get even weirder than the options there, ask your gamemaster about prospects for your character being Surged!


Your Trouble is as standard for Fate Core: a personal struggle or a problematic relationship. Shadowrun-flavored Troubles include In Debt to the Yakuza, You Can’t Truly Retire from Shadowrunning, Can’t Walk Away from a Magical Enigma, Rivals in the Matrix, Family Obligations All Over the Planet, Unpaid Student Loans, Magically Delicious. Traditional ones like Curiosity Killed the Cat..., Sucker for a Charming Smile, Uncouth Boor, Elitist Snob, and Backpfeifengesicht are also fine.

If you aren’t interested in playing through a character’s Trouble, you can make this a Plot Hook aspect instead; what matters is something that gets your character into the action. If you really want to free up aspects for your character concept, talk with the GM about whether your Karma aspect can be your Plot Hook:


Karma has metaphysical existence in Shadowrun in a way that experience points in other gaming systems do not. Character progress will follow the standard Fate milestones, but karma will still be used to quicken spells, bribe Free Spirits, and so on.

Your character’s Karma aspect represents their calling, their purpose, their destiny, their raison d'être, at the level of the subconscious or the soul; they may not be consciously aware of this aspect at all, but the aspect can be invoked and compelled at the player level. Fate points received by compels on the Karma aspect can be spent like other Fate points, or they can be banked for later use for in-game metaphysical purposes.

The Karma aspect can change at significant and major milestones if a character has a life-changing realization.

Some sample Karma aspects, not all of them appropriate for player characters: Build a Better World, Learn the Secrets of the [Universe/Metaplanes/Matrix], Survive at Any Cost, Pay It Forward, Meet Every Challenge, Draw Every Breath for Spite and Vengeance, Become the Best [Warrior/Decker/Parent/etc.], Disinfect By Sunlight, Protect My Loved Ones, Make Strange Friends in Strange Places, Uncover Hidden Truths, Frag Around and Find Out, Hold My Beer and Watch This.

Being Havenly

For this campaign, characters are troubleshooters for the Havens, so they have some form of relatively sane day job that they do when they aren’t dealing with adventuring conditions. (They aren’t crazy risk-takers like shadowrunners!) Haven jobs include:

Depending on your character, your day job may be reflected in your High Concept, or may be a separate aspect; for instance, your character may fundamentally be a Glamorous Troll Fashionista who just happens to be the sort who Brings Out Everybody’s Best as an Auntie.

Being SINful

System Identification Numbers identify people in a network of global databases, each belonging to a different country or megacorporation, with protocols that don’t always mesh quite right. Due to this balkanization, tracking down a random person from biometrics can take nontrivial amounts of time and money. SINs flagged for debt collection or a criminal record are easier to query. It’s possible to have multiple SINs associated with fake IDs, though they’re not cheap to maintain and, from a data integrity perspective, fragile.

One question to ask, which may inform your Trouble, is: are you in the system somewhere? Characters born in Havens or other Z zones are likely entirely SINless. Those born in the SINful world may have arranged for a friendly decker to fake a death certificate or just delete their record, in which case it’s necessary to go digging in offline backups. Anyone arrested without a SIN is given one that’s flagged as a noncitizen criminal. Extraterritorial megacorporations have company town environments where citizenship is with the corporation (and pay is in corporate scrip) rather than with a national government.

People often wind up in the Havens because they have nowhere else to go, due to bankruptcy or other troubles.

It’s rare for someone from the outside world to join the Havens if they aren’t in trouble of some sort, but it does happen: government and corporate agents stationed in Havens can go native. People who joined the Havens under a cloud reach out to their friends and relatives and tempt them into joining up. Scientists and magicians who want to pursue pure research without a corporate agenda decide that they would rather spend half their time teaching so they can spend the other half pursuing their own interests.


You get two Contacts, in addition to your usual aspects.

Contacts are a classic part of Shadowrun. They usually have a High Concept, a Trouble, and an aspect describing your Relationship to them. A snippet of storyline can be good too, or a few quotes. If your contact is being compelled and you come to their aid, you get the Fate point for helping them; if your friends show up to help out as well, the Fate point multiplies, loaves-and-fishes style. You can invoke your Relationship aspect with them to bring their expertise into the story.

Confer with the other players on contacts to avoid overlap. Feel free to invent a name and a heritage for each of your contacts, and to make up entirely new ones; the sample ones below are examples of the sorts of contacts it’s plausible for a Haven resident to have.

Detailed Contacts rules in the source material can be found in (3rd ed.) Shadowrun Companion p59, (4th ed.) Shadowrun, Fourth Edition p286, Runner’s Companion p123.

Feel free to use any of the pregenerated Haven Contacts or Mess Contacts, or come up with one of your own.


Stress, Consequences, and Concessions

Characters have three types of stress track:

Appropriate Concessions for Shadowrun include: