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From publisher blurb:

The streets bleed shadows as the supernatural politics of the city threaten to swallow you whole. Will you die a hero—a savior for those who have never had enough—or live long enough to become the villain? Will you fight the darkness...or give in for power?

The choice is yours.

Urban Shadows: Second Edition is an urban fantasy tabletop roleplaying game in which mortals and monsters vie for control of a modern-day city, a political battleground layered just under the reality we think we know. Vampires, faeries, hunters, and wizards fight to carve out a piece of the streets and skyscrapers, ready to make deals with all those who have something to offer.

Urban Shadows: Second Edition is based on the Powered by the Apocalypse framework, with all new rules designed to help you play a game of political urban fantasy.


Over the past five years, Magpie Games has developed and created multiple games that broke boundaries and redefined what PbtA can do. Now, we think it’s time to apply the lessons we’ve learned to Urban Shadows, making a game that’s tighter and easier to run, but also filled with new ideas and improvements, including new tools for players and GMs. We’re also excited to create a beautiful new book with visionary art and fantastic graphic design. In short… we’re making Urban Shadows 2E because we’re thrilled to revisit and refine our work!

Here’s a quick list of the major changes, many of which are already available in the quickstart:
  • revised basic moves, including new versions of turn to violence and let it out
  • revised playbooks, including rebuilt versions of The Hunter and The Oracle
  • two brand new playbooks: The Sworn (Power) and The Imp (Wild)
  • changing Factions to Circles—see below—and adding Circle Status to represent standing
  • a new downtime phase of the game focused on player-facing city moves and rumors
  • replacing Storms with a new MC-facing faction turn, including new faction moves
  • expanded MC tools for generating your city and Circles at the start of play

We’re also adding a new mechanic to bring PCs into contact more often with each other: City Hubs. Cities are enormous spaces, and we found (in US1E) player characters could sometimes retreat to their different corners of the cityscape, interacting only with their own worlds and not with each other. With City Hubs, we want to create smaller, expandable environments to focus play and create drama. These Hubs—described below—position characters in neighborhoods, institutions, and community spaces in which they interact more frequently and avoid sessions in which PCs rarely come into contact and conflict.

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