Ancient History's Ancient History

Earthdawn and Shadowrun are roleplaying games originally produced by FASA. Shadowrun came out first, and was littered with hints and clues regarding a secret history, a previous age of magic and metahumanity, and of odd survivals from that age in the form of artifacts, ruins, and incredibly powerful ancient beings. Earthdawn came out later; a high-fantasy-and-horror counterpoint to Shadowrun. The settings possessed similarities that caused many patrons of both games to assume Earthdawn was the secretive past that Shadowrun had always hinted to. Arguement erupted among players over whether the two settings really were connected, or if they should be. Over the years, the crossover material between the two settings-now divided into the Shadowrun 4th edition game, the Earthdawn Classic game, and the Earthdawn 2nd Edition game, has grown and the connection has become a recognized and accepted fact by most fans.

That said, this page is here to address the common elements and crossovers between the two settings. Theoretical crossovers with FASA's Battletech and Crucible settings will not be addressed, though you're more than welcome to look into it if you so desire.

Common Elements

Besides elements common to most settings labelled Fantasy, Shadowrun and Earthdawn possessed certain easily-noticed commonalities. The player character races of each included dwarfs, elves, humans, orks and trolls, as well as the varied species of dragon; with physical features more or less identical in the two games. Certain words and thematic elements, notably orichalcum, Sperethiel and insect spirits are apparent. Furthermore, certain characters, often referred to as immortals, are recurring, notable various dragons, elves, and named Horrors.

Less obvious connections and correspondences abound, such as the isle of Thera, the nature of adepts, the astral and other planes, elemental spirits, blood magic and any number of creatures. Connections between the two games almost always center on magic, which is at once the most common element between the two and the most disparate-as in most fantasy games. Still, the terminology used in each game to describe various facets of magic is typically compatible, if not identical, in both settings.

The Theran Empire, particularly the isle of Thera, has been taken by many to be the origin of the Atlantis myth, and in Shadowrun many references to Atlantis are instead references to the Theran Empire. As such, all references to Atlantis in-text are noted.

A list of connections between Earthdawn and Shadowrun, going book-by-book.


7101 (Shadowrun, 1st Edition)

7102 (GM screen)
7103 (Sprawl Sites)
7104 (Street Samurai Catalog)
7105 (Paranormal Animals of North America)
7106 (The Grimoire: the Manual of Practical Thaumaturgy/14th Edition, 2050)
7107 (Virtual Realities)
7108 (Rigger Black Book)
7109 (Shadowbeat)
7110 (Shadowtech)
7111 (DMZ boxed set)
7112 (Paranormal Animals of Europe)
7113 (Corporate Shadowfiles)
7114 (Fields of Fire)
7115 (Lone Star)
7116 (Prime Runners)
7117 (Bug City)
7118 (Corporate Security Handbook)
7119 (Cybertechnology)
7120 (Awakenings: New Magic in 2057)
7121 (Threats)
7122 (Portfolio of a Dragon: Dunkelzahn's Secrets)
7123 (Underworld Sourcebook)
7124 (Cyberpirates!)
7125 (Corporate Download)
7126 (Man & Machine: Cyberware)
7201 (Seattle Sourcebook)
7202 (Native American Nations: Volume One)
7203 (London Sourcebook)
7204 (Germany Sourcebook)
7205 (The Universal Brotherhood)
7206 (Neo-Anarchist's Guide to North America)
7207 (Native American Nations: Volume Two)
7208 (The Neo-Anarchist's Guide to Real Life)
7209 (California Free State)
7210 (Tir Tairngire)
7211 (Tír na nÓg)
7212 (Denver Boxed Set)
7213 (Aztlan)
7214 (Target:UCAS)
7215 (Target:Smuggler Havens)
7216 (New Seattle)
7219 (Target: Matrix)

7901 (Shadowrun Second Edition)
7902 (Gm Screen)
7903 (The Grimoire: The Manual of Practical Thaumaturgy/15th Edition, 2053)
7904 (Virtual Realities 2.0)
7905 (Shadowrun Companion)
7906 (Rigger 2)
7907 (Magic in the Shadows)
7908 (Cannon Companion)
7909 (Matrix)
7910 (Rigger 3)
7001 (Shadowrun 3rd edition)
7002 (GM screen)
7003 (Shadowrun Quick Start Rules)
7301 (DNA/DOA)
7302 (Mercurial)
7303 (Dreamchipper)
7304 (Queen Euphoria)
7305 (Bottled Demon)
7306 (Harlequin)
7307 (Dragon Hunt)
7308 (Total Eclipse)
7309 (Imago)
7310 (Elven Fire)
7311 (Ivy and Chrome)
7312 (One Stage Before)
7313 (Dark Angel)
7314 (A Killing Glare)
7315 (Celtic Double-Cross)
7316 (Eye Witness)
7317 (Paradise Lost)
7318 (Divided Assets)
7319 (Double Exposure)
7320 (Harlequin's Back)
7322 (Super Tuesday)
7323 (Shadows of the Underworld)
7324 (Predator and Prey)
7325 (Missions)
7326 (Mob War)
7327 (Blood in the Boardroom)
7328 (Renraku Arcology Shutdown)
7329 (First Run)
7330 (Corporate Punishment)
7331 (Brainscan)

10650 (Year of the Comet)
10651 (Target: Awakend Lands)
10652 (Threats 2)
10653 (Target: Wastelands)
10654 (Wake of the Comet)
10655 (Shadowrun Companion, 3rd Edition)
10656 (Shadows of North America)
10664 (State of the Art: 2063)
10665 (Survival of the Fittest)
10666 (Dragons of the Sixth World)
10667 (Sprawl Survival Guide)
10673 (Character Dossier)
25002 (Shadows of Europe)
25003 (Mr. Johnson's Little Black Book)
25004 (State of the Art: 2064)
25006 (Loose Alliances)
25007 (Shadows of Asia)
25014 (System Failure)
26000 (Shadowrun Fourth Edition
26002 (SR4 GM Screen/Contacts and Adventures)
26003 (On the Run)
26004 (Street Magic) The Family Jewel

A list of connections between Shadowrun and Earthdawn, going book-by-book.

6000 (Earthdawn, 1st Edition)
6002 (Earthdawn GM Screen, 1st Edition)
6100 (Barsaive Boxed Set)
6101 (Denizens of Earthdawn, Volume One)
6102 (Denizens of Earthdawn: Volume Two)
6103 (Legends of Earthdawn: Volume One)
6104 (Parlainth Boxed Set)
6105 (Creatures of Barsaive)
6106 (The Adept's Way)
6107 (Horrors)
6108 (Sky Point & Vivane Boxed Set)
6109 (The Serpent River)
6110 (Legends of Earthdawn: Volume Two The Book of Exploration)
6111 (Throal: The Dwarf Kingdom)
6112 (Earthdawn Survival Guide)
6113 (The Blood Wood)
6114 (The Theran Empire)
6115 (Secret Societies of Barsaive)
6116 (Crystal Raiders of Barsaive)
6117 (The Ork Nation of Cara Fahd)
6200 (Earthdawn Companion)
6201 (Magic: A Manual of Mystic Secrets)
6202 (Arcane Mysteries of Barsaive)

6301 (Mists of Betrayal)
6302 (Terror in the Skies)
6303 (Infected)
6304 (Parlainth Adventures)
6305 (Shattered Pattern)
6306 (Sky Point Adventures)
6307 (Blades)
6308 (Throal Adventures)
6401 (Prelude to War)
Living Room Games/WizKids

100 (Path of Deception)
101 (Barsaive at War)
200 (Earthdawn, Second Edition)
201 (Earthdawn Companion, Second Edition)
202 (Barsaive in Chaos)
203 (Earthdawn GM Screen, 2nd Edition)
204 (Scourge Unending)
205 (The Way of War Makers of Legend Volume One)
206 (The Book of Dragons Revised and Expanded)
207 (The Wanderer's Way Makers of Legend Volume Two)

A note: this is the last book FASA put together for the Earthdawn line, but FASA closed before it ever saw any actual, physical existence. So they were incredibly kind and put the PDF file of it onto the internet to satisfy al us die-hard ED fans. Living Room games, who currently produced ED under license from WizKids, are coming out with a new, expanded version in hardcopy. Can't wait.

All the novels contain those few basic of SR/ED similarity: magic, metahumans, dragons, blood magic, magical cycles, etcetra.

The Earthdawn Novels
A Note: Please also see the Lost Earthdawn page.

The Longing Ring
Mother Speaks
Poisoned Memories
Shroud of Madness
Lost Kaer

The Shadowrun Novels

Never Deal With A Dragon (Secrets of Power Volume I)
Choose Your Enemies Carefully (Secrets of Power Volume II)
Find Your Own Truth (Secrets of Power Volume III)
Never Trust an Elf
Into the Shadows
Note: There were two versions of this, one of which contained the short story A Plague of Demons, and another which instead contained Into the Shadows. Streets of Blood
Night's Pawn
Striper Assassin
Lone Wolf
Fade to Black
Burning Bright
Who Hunts the Hunter?
House of the Sun
Worlds Without End
A Note: This novel, alternately loved and despised by everyone who's ever read it, was to be the third in the Immortals Trilogy written by Caroline Spector. However, Worlds Without End was the only book in the trilogy published in the United States or in English. The others, Scars (Narben) and Little Treasures (Klein-Schwarze) were published only in Germany and France. I am pleased to tell you that the novels are forthcoming from Per Aspera Press. Just Compensation
Black Madonna
Preying for Keeps
Dead Air
The Lucifer Deck
Steel Rain
Stranger Souls (Book One of the Dragonheart Trilogy)
Clockwork Asylum (Book Two of the Dragonheart Trilogy)
Blood Sport
Beyond the Pale (Book Three of the Dragonheart Trilogy)
Wolf and Raven
The Terminus Experiment
Run Hard, Die fast
The Forever Drug
Tails You Lose
The Burning Time

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