Dragons Cast a Long Shadow (DCaLS) is a free unofficial extension/add-on to Jeremy Keller’s tabletop roleplaying game Technoir, intended to adapt the game to settings that mix cyberpunk and/or transhuman elements with magic. This seed had been originally slated for release near the end of 2019—and you’d think the working from home would make it easier not harder to get out the door—but it is now as ready as I am likely to make it. As with all DivNull Seeds, it isn’t entirely finished, but I’m comfortable sharing it now.

You can find other attempts to mix magic into Technoir, including some official advice on doing so in Morenoir and, evidently, Hexnoir, official supplements created as part of a kickstarter. (I backed this kickstarter, but have never received a draft of Hexnoir, in spite of several requests for it.) All of the attempts I’ve seen, however, handle magic by adding a specific verb for it (e.g. “Evoke”). As I explain in the book, I have problems with this approach (as well as the use of a single “Hack” verb for all things in virtual reality), so DCaLS doesn’t do this, instead using a more expansive approach involving “venues” and “forms”. This makes the game a bit more complicated, but in a way I find useful.

This seed was not as much about experimenting with things I haven’t tried before as some prior seeds have been. DCaLS was more about getting an idea that was pounding in my head out. The one learning experience on this one was making use of stock art for the first time. I was lucky to find a number of works from the same artist, Tithi Luadthong, giving a cohesive look to the whole thing. This runs the risk of using art that is also used by some other random thing, but so be it.

As you read DCaLS, it will come as no surprise to you that the main impetus for its creation was to bring the Technoir rule set to bear on cyberpunk/magic mashup settings from other games, particularly the setting of Shadowrun. More testing will tell, but I think this is the rules light(er) Shadowrun-esque game I’ve been looking for. I hope it is yours as well… or that you tinker with it until it is.

Note that DCaLS makes no attempt to be a complete game; it still requires Technoir to play, being more a replacement for the Technoir Player’s Guide, rather than repackaging the whole game. This is what I intended from the beginning, but also happens to be required, because the Player’s Guide is Creative Commons, while the main Technoir rules are not.

The expansion is now available for free on itch: Dragons Cast a Long Shadow.

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