Shadowrun General > The Secret History

Dating of the Early Material

(1/4) > >>

 Okay, this has bothered me for years - the dating of certain of the early material, revolving around the initial book trilogy.  Part of the problem is that there are significant events in the Shadowrun universe - the birth of the AI Morgan, the death of the Great Dragon Haesslich, the Second Great Ghost Dance and the real death of Howling Coyote.

 Never Deal With a Dragon is meager.  Sam Verner arrives in Seattle in "2050" and the bulk of the book happens in "2051".  One of the plot points is that a person whose SO died in the shadowrun in "2050" commits suicide just before the anniversary of her death, making it almost exactly one year between the sections.   And there's an offhand comment that Sam met his girlfriend Hanae at "last year's Independence Day" celebrations (presuming it's the old US holiday).
  Choose Your Enemies Carefully is a little better.  It specifically puts the previous book in the "summer", and has two exact dates - a raid on the Hidden Circle's ceremony on the Winter Solstice, and the date Sam was taken to Tir na nOg, Jan 29th.  So that would put it in the winter of 2051-2, presumably.
  Find Your Own Truth has almost nothing other than an implication that it's summer.  Again, presumably in 2052.
  Never Trust an Elf, involving a minor character from the original trilogy, also has virtually no dates (apart from 'autumn') but mentions on the summary it's "2053" and in the story that the events of FYOT were "last year", which would seem to confirm the date.
  Finally, the events of the short story collection Into the Shadows is set in "2050" and linked to the first book by offhand comments in the prologue.  The story "Free Fall" is set a little prior to July, which would seem to fix the dates of the first book to Jun 2050/Jun 2051.

  So far, so good.  But the game material itself is where the contradictions arise.

  The early modules often would have references - DNA/DOA gives a date for "Free Fall" as Dec 11, 2050.  The adventure Total Eclipse has the biggest contradiction - the end newspaper is set in Nov 2051, but it revolves around a spirit released by Sam Verner's meddling at the start of Find Your Own Truth, and it's been out at least 5 months.  And Matrix gives 2050 as the date of Morgan's creation, not 2051. 

  The irony is that the next book, Nigel Findley's 2XS not only gives us exact dates but perfectly matches the game material (probably because he wrote that too).  (Although there's a related minor timeline issue there as well - the next bookChangeling is set simultaneously in Chicago, in Nov/Dec 2052, but the news report in the adventure One Stage Before puts it in Aug 2053)

  So, does anyone have solutions to this mess?  Does the Almanac of the Sixth World have anything?

Trying to 'date' novels is a task in any game setting with book tie-ins. Mostly because products may be in production at the same time, so there's no way to match up information in the two unless the same author is writing both.

Regarding Morgan, the Sprawl Survival Guide has Dodger (p. 87) mention that if Sam Verner had not left Renraku, Morgan would not have awakened. So we can narrow it down to around the time shortly after he left.

  It wouldn't be so frustrating if there weren't the major events, though - I'd like to be able to pin down when Howling Coyote died, for instance.  Most of the later game material has been frustratingly vague if they do refer to the events of the early books.  (Case in point, the interview with Sam Verner you referred to, which is his only appearance I'm aware of after the book trilogy).  The later material (beyond Book Seven) is almost always coordinated better, I just wish they had also fixed some of the earlier timeline issues as well.


The first thing you have to remember is that all this happens in the Shadows, omae. Most of the time, no-one but those involved even knows it happened. Most of the world's population doesn't know what happened to Howling-Coyote (including some of the 'Bigs'), because he dropped off the grid.

 Ah, but the impossible tasks are the only ones worth doing.   ;)

 Howling Coyote's death was probably a bad example.  Specifically, the ones where there are public, newsworthy events have conflicts - mostly the early adventures that reference events from the novels in the newspaper stories at the end.   

  I've been going through Dragons of the Sixth Age recently, and Kham confirms the events of Never Trust An Elf happened in 2053, so there's that...


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version