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John Wick inspired fantasy RPG Urban Shadows gets a second edition

Metropolitan magic.

Stalk the streets of a supernatural city in Urban Shadows: Second Edition, the latest entry in the tabletop roleplaying series that’s now on Kickstarter.

Inspired by the likes of The Dresden Files - a book series about a police officer who deals in the otherworldly - television series The Wire and the graphic novel universe of Constantine, Urban Shadows 2E sees players living in a world inhabited by vampires, imps, ghosts and other strange beings. The second edition of the fantasy RPG introduces several new mechanics to the series, including a downtime phase that enables players to move across the city and find new rumours to pursue.

Urban Shadows 2E also features a brand new element in city hubs designed to encourage player characters to interact with one another more often. Considering the size of cities in the roleplaying game series, these hubs - taking the form of places such as community spaces and institutions - are each connected to a different type of supernatural character. Aside from fresh mechanics, such as two new playbooks for The Sworn and The Imp characters, Urban Shadows 2E is also releasing with revised playbooks for The Hunter and The Oracle.

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Just like the original Urban Shadows, this second edition is based on the Powered by the Apocalypse roleplaying system - which has also been used to create horror RPG Zombie World and the upcoming Root roleplaying game - that has players rolling 2d6 and adding a modifier from a relevant trait in order to perform various actions. For example, a player might apply their Mind trait if they’re attempting to find clues in a crime scene. Depending on the resulting total of a player’s roll, they could succeed or fail in what they’re trying to do.

Each player character in Urban Shadows is part of a circle that represents how they became a part of the supernatural community and what kind of connections that PC might have. Whilst some characters in the RPG might be creatures who have been turned by another - such as vampires and werewolves - others could have acquired magic through learning or via a relationship with a fae creature. Alternatively, players can create a mortal character whose duty is to protect innocents from the threat of the supernatural.

Urban Shadows 2E RPG artwork 2

Urban Shadows 2E was co-designed by Mark Diaz Truman - creator of Cartel, an RPG focused around the trade drug in Mexico - and Marissa Kelly, who are the founders behind publisher Magpie Games, a company known for releasing Masks: A New Generation and Bluebeard’s Bride.

The Kickstarter campaign for Urban Shadows 2E is live until November 19th, with a pledge of $39 (£30) getting backers a physical copy of the core game that’s set to be released next December. Alternatively, backers can pledge $19 (£15) to gain access to the PDF version in September 2021.

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Urban Shadows: Second Edition

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About the Author
Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.