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> Lab Rat's Diary: Deuxième Partie, Emo's campaign begins!
FanGirl
post Apr 24 2006, 12:39 AM
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Sunday, April 23, 2006
This is the continuation of this thread, my diary of Emo’s campaign. To recap: I and three other newbie players have been roped into participating in a campaign run by your very own Emo Samurai, and I’m keeping a diary of my experiences to give you an insight into Emo’s mind. Once again, I am not reading his Dedicated threads, so don’t give me any hints about their contents. The three other players will be called by their first initials (K, G, and C), Emo will be called Emo, and I will use the personal pronoun to refer to myself. All characters will be referred to by their “proper” names.

Yesterday was, of course, the first session. C, whom I believe is going to be our PhysAd, couldn’t make it, and G, K, and I were all late for various and sundry reasons. G and K spent the first couple of hours writing up their character sheets—despite their lack of familiarity with the game, they both insisted on building characters from scratch instead of tweaking with the sample characters listed in the book—while Emo and I answered their questions to the best of our abilities and gave them some input. G created Vranton, a mage who also happens to be an expert in “bear studies.” K created Johann, a heavily-cybered sniper from Europe (tellingly, K didn’t say where in Europe he was from). I, of course, had already created FanGirl, a young ingénue of a TM, so I pretty much just sat around and waited for them to get finished—BTW, we’re an all-human team so far :biggrin: . During the wait, Emo kindly provided sustenance for us by ordering some pizzas, and after munching on a few slices we were ready to begin.

Emo had drawn a simple floorplan on a small blackboard in the room, and explained to us that it was of a kind of special mall in the Redmond Barrens designed just for shadowrunners. The mall had been built by various megacorporations in order to cater to runners; this was a sort of anti-theft measure, for the mall offered a wide selection of all sorts of gear sold at the same cut-rate prices provided by fixers and fencers.

It was the grand opening of the mall, Emo told us, and we had each come individually without knowing each other. In the center of the mall was a lowered platform, in front of which a bunch of corp executives were standing. with one exec giving a very insincere speech. At the end of the speech, the exec pulled the switch to elevate the platform. Upon the platform was a very surprising thing: instead of the flashy display we anticipated (Emo said, “You’re expecting something like fireworks, or a giant cake with a fifty-foot stripper in it”) a group of flesh-form insect spirits rose up and proceeded to wreak havoc.

Vranton and I both dove for the exits with the rest of the crowd, only to discover that that there were more bugs waiting for us just outside. We opted instead to run for Saeder-Krupp’s store, where the mana barrier cast on it was able to protect us from the onslaught. Meanwhile, Johann had kept his wits about him and gone to the Ares store to loot the merchandise, which was very easy for him with all the extra initiative passes he had. Shoppers had been banned from bringing weaponry, and evidently the ban was well enforced, for most of the crowd was quickly slaughtered by the bugs and their ringleaders. The ringleaders were, of course, four insect shamans who stood on the platform and supplemented the bugs’ attacks by slinging spells at the crowd.

Vranton and the clerk in S-K cast their own spells at the attackers, I was able to hack into Ares’ anti-theft guns and put them to good use, and Johann even paused in his looting to snipe one of the shamans (a troll). Another of the shamans (a human) was able to flip the platform switch and allow the troll and gnome shamans to escape to the lower levels with many of their minions. The human was quickly blown away by Yours Truly, and because the fourth (an elf) was already dispatched, we were safe—for the moment.

Vranton and I joined Johann in his looting for a while, while Mr. S-K healed the few survivors. Then KE showed up, scaring all the outdoor bugs inside and down into the opening left by the platform. The cops used their super-loud speakers to offer us three a deal: clear out the mall, and we would each get :nuyen: 20,000, plus all the swag we could carry. Vranton was able to get an extra :nuyen: 40,000 store credit at S-K (it would have been difficult for him to loot that place, what with the clerk to deal with), but other than that we found the terms acceptable. (That was our first mistake that I can spot, because I later overheard Emo mentioning that KE pays :nuyen: 50,000 in death compensation per fallen officer.)

Because G had to leave early, Vranton quickly bought some foci and went to the mana lodge out back to conjure up a spirit. While he was thus occupied I hacked into Mitsuhama’s system, gaining access to all their drones, and sent out four Steel Lynxes as guards—two for Vranton and two for Johann. Johann went and destroyed the Cinnabon to prevent the bugs from getting at all that nourishing sugar, but he was then attacked by two true-form spirits. Fortunately, Johann and the Lynxes (great name for a band, huh?) took them out easily, and at point the session ended—it was getting late, you see. We'll most likely pick up where we left off in the next session.

Will our heroes defeat the insectoid menace?
Will Johann reveal his mysterious past?
Will Vranton reveal why the frag he likes bears so much?
Will C actually show up next session?
Tune in next time for the answers to these and other pointless questions! Same Rat Time, Same Rat Channel!

Questions? Comments?

EDIT (April 24, 2006): I'm adding in FanGirl's character sheet as it is at the beginning of the campaign.
[ Spoiler ]
Any and all changes to this sheet as of the end of each gaming session will be reported in future updates. Also, details on FanGirl's backstory will be provided upon request. :biggrin:
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emo samurai
post Apr 24 2006, 12:43 AM
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Life will only get more difficult for you; you'll see, you'll see.

The reason you won this time was because you had three drone heavy machine guns at the front of the Ares supermart shooting at the insect spirits and a force 9 ward blocking Vranton and the hermetic mage clerk for the S-K magic store, with the mage, a grade 3 initiate, laying down counterspelling. I didn't think you'd do this well; good job.

You survived the true forms because they were only force 6 and Johann's got Agility 9, 4 initiative passes, and a machine pistol.

I was rather proud of my description of the insect spirits dying; "Instead of collapsing to the ground, their remains just sort of float there, as if they were clouds of mist that just happened to look like insect spirits, and like clouds, they quickly deform and disappear." Same with the one spirit that stayed behind, chewing on the force 9 ward that it had no hope in hell of getting past. "If it wasn't a freak of nature that wanted to drag you off to its masters to be killed in some horrible, arcane ritual, the sight of it gnawing on the ward with its unsettling combination of rotten human teeth and malformed mandibles would almost be cute, like a dog pressing its nose up against a window and leaving a mark behind."

I also should have hit FanGirl harder; she rolled Logic+Skill+Form rather than just Skill+Form. She was hacking a rating 6 server, which should NOT be that easy to log on to. Oh, well. What happens, happens.

Here's hoping she checks out other stuff in the mall. There's lots of stuff besides consumer electronics for her to look into.

I should have put in more details; like, when Johann ran into the Ares store to loot it, there should have been an AR overlay with a faux-friendly computer voice asking him how it may help him while insect spirits dragged people off to be killed.
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FanGirl
post Apr 24 2006, 02:07 AM
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QUOTE (emo samurai)
I was rather proud of my description of the insect spirits dying; "Instead of collapsing to the ground, their remains just sort of float there, as if they were clouds of mist that just happened to look like insect spirits, and like clouds, they quickly deform and disappear." Same with the one spirit that stayed behind, chewing on the force 9 ward that it had no hope in hell of getting past. "If it wasn't a  freak of nature that wanted to drag you off to its masters to be killed in some horrible, arcane ritual, the sight of it gnawing on the ward with its unsettling combination of rotten human teeth and malformed mandibles would almost be cute, like a dog pressing its nose up against a window and leaving a mark behind."

That was awfully cute.^_^ Too bad we had to kill it and all.

QUOTE (emo samurai)
I also should have hit FanGirl harder; she rolled Logic+Skill+Form rather than just Skill+Form. She was hacking a rating 6 server, which should NOT be that easy to log on to. Oh, well. What happens, happens.

Ooops, I did not realize you don't add Logic. :oops: Perhaps we should chalk it up to the intervention of the Deep Resonance?

QUOTE (emo samurai)
Here's hoping she checks out other stuff in the mall. There's lots of stuff besides consumer electronics for her to look into.

I think I'll hit the building's security system, and possibly the giant robo-arms you mentioned in the storage facilities. What's their range of motion and stuff?

BTW, where is everyone? This is what you've all been anticipating, people! :mad:
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James McMurray
post Apr 24 2006, 02:14 AM
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If you've got someone with high negotiations, always always always negotiate. :)

Other than that it sounds like fun was had by all, the hallmark of a good game. :)
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emo samurai
post Apr 24 2006, 02:28 AM
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And the Novatech server; hack it!!!

I gave Vranton that single point in Bear Studies for free; he gave his "raised by bears" thing as a way to avoid characterization.
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MaxHunter
post Apr 24 2006, 01:58 PM
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Hello, I am kindda new to this eagerly anticipated thread. Welcome to the shadows Fangirl!

Now, a "shopping mall for runners", "the S-K clerk a initiate mage", "bug spirits"... Boy, I knew this one would be fun! I am only waiting for the Drop Bears to appear...

Cheers,

Max (sanity still intact)



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UndeadPoet
post Apr 24 2006, 03:14 PM
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QUOTE (FanGirl)
BTW, where is everyone? This is what you've all been anticipating, people! :mad:

If I recall correctly, there were just three or four people trashtalking in your thread. :twirl:

Anyway, that's some serious action. What about your powerlevel, by the way? That question bothers me since I read:
QUOTE
Vranton quickly bought some foci[...]

and:
QUOTE
You survived the true forms because they were only force 6[...]

and:
QUOTE
Johann's got Agility 9, 4 initiative passes[...]
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Ryu
post Apr 24 2006, 03:21 PM
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I´d rather say sanity unimpaired :P

Sounds like a fun action game. Whats the status of your team so far? Everyone unharmed? You could basically test the defenses of any server present - Novatech is on the top list of course. Call it a hunch...

Even if you decide on not looting something, the search will be less dangerous with disabled defenses. And faster with an inventory list at hand.
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hyzmarca
post Apr 24 2006, 03:29 PM
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Yes, those quotes are slightly concerning when taken out of context.

All things being equal, I only facefaulted at shopping mall in the Redmond Barrens.
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NightHaunter
post Apr 24 2006, 04:16 PM
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That was not entirely what I was expecting but the power level does seem far too high!!
If i'd have put that against my group they would have died. (Dice Permitting of course)
At least it is that high on both sides.
One question what is there to advance your character to?
However I do like the idea of a "shadow mall", tho I would have it run by a group of fixers.

One more thing what sort of bugs?
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James McMurray
post Apr 24 2006, 04:26 PM
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I would definitely have the corps working through fixers instead of out in the open. It's cheaper (you don't have to hire tons of security), easier (the fixer does most of your work for you), and more deniable (no buildings with your logo on them).
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emo samurai
post Apr 24 2006, 04:28 PM
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They're all 450 BP with all caps off. They can advance as many things to level 6 as they want, but skills cap outside of character creation at 8 with 11 for Aptitude. So even if they hyperspecialize, they'll still have lots of places to spend karma.

Johann's the only mundane in the party; his Will and Charisma are very low. He'll want to increase those. Vranton's hyper-specialized and he'll want to branch out, too. FanGirl's a technomancer, so submerging will be a huge priority. All the other people in the party will have the opportunity to initiate and be awesome.
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Waltermandias
post Apr 24 2006, 04:37 PM
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Could we see the other character's stats sometime? (with their permission of course) I would like to see what people do under a GM that encourages power-gaming as a necessity for survival. As with Nighthaunter, I suspect my group would have gotten torn up.
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emo samurai
post Apr 24 2006, 04:41 PM
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I shouldn't have allowed my players to get in extra damage with auto-fire on the spirits; that was a mistake. Then again, if I hadn't, they would be dead. So I'm conflicted.

Maybe I'll have Johann use different guns; machine pistols kind of suck. He would have been able to get damage through with a Predator or a rifle.
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James McMurray
post Apr 24 2006, 04:47 PM
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The extra damage still happens, it just doesn't help to bypass their immunity.
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emo samurai
post Apr 24 2006, 04:50 PM
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Oh; then Johann kicked their asses.
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hyzmarca
post Apr 24 2006, 05:45 PM
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There is already a canon Crime Mall in Puyallup. Its where all the posh criminals go to buy their illegal drugs and military-grade weapons but I don't believe it has any official corporate backing.
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Lagomorph
post Apr 24 2006, 05:59 PM
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congrats on a sucessful first game, it sounds pretty crazy! I look forward to hearing more about it!

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mdynna
post Apr 24 2006, 06:13 PM
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emo I just had a funny image/description you could use during this run: "Just for one moment, the horrific screams of the victims can't be heard, the vicious crunching of the Insects dies away, and everyone is stopping to reload their weapons, you hear the (now mockingly) pleasant tones of the mall's muzak softly hum through the ever-present speakers (hum 'I Dream of Genie' here)."
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emo samurai
post Apr 24 2006, 06:19 PM
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Sounds great! I should mention muzak constantly playing in the background. It would be fun. And I failed, utterly, to talk about the other survivors of the onslaught.

FanGirl? You've removed me from you sig! I've never been more insulted... *sob*.
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mintcar
post Apr 24 2006, 08:44 PM
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It's fun to see some of the crazy ideas come to life. Now I can never tell stories about my game here; because these incomprehensible characters and this here surreal story, it's just slightly more stupid than what any of us gets from time to time :) (Or is it just me? :-| I knew I should have kept my mouth shut!)
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emo samurai
post Apr 24 2006, 10:02 PM
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My game's stupid? More like AWESOME!!!
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Dissonance
post Apr 24 2006, 10:53 PM
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More like YOUR MOM.

OH NO I DINNT JUST GO THERE.
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Valentinew
post Apr 24 2006, 11:03 PM
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:rotfl:

Emo, dood, you've got to learn to stop rising to the bait....

And really, who can't recognize the inherent absurdity of starting a campaign with the appearance of a horde of bug shamans & minions? I appreciate the fact that you prefer high-powered romps, but....

FG - sounds like you guys had some fun! Also, I'm fairly certain that you DO roll attribute+skill+CF. At least that's how my team's been playing it...if anybody can find me a book quote that contradicts this, I will willingly concede the point....
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James McMurray
post Apr 24 2006, 11:10 PM
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If you start with bug shamen, there's still plenty of stuff to move up to.
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