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> Get a clue!
Icebird
post Oct 6 2006, 10:52 AM
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I've discovered the CLUE files some days ago, and wanted to contribute to it. Since its apparently not updated anymore, I put this here, in hope you like it.

This is tales of my firsts shadowrun games (2nd or 3rd edition?) from a long while back. Since my memory isn't so great, I forgot a lot of details, including the names of the players. So please excuse any creative rewriting I would have to make. Also, I'm french, and my english may not be the best, please ignore any blatant mistake I could make.


For my first ever game of shadowrun, I was invited in a group of experienced players and jumped in their campaign. At the time, I was quite new to roleplaying, and I didnt talked a lot, just following the action. I made a sturdy dwarf with as much constitution and armor possible, so I was at least assured to survive the game and make it to the next run... Well that's what I thought...

The other players were obviously powergamers, tweaking their characters to make them insane combat machines, taking the bigger, deadlier, weapons and equipment, etc...
There was a troll armed to the teeth with heavy weapons, the combat mage, the million-nuyen guy with luxury car and highest possible wired reflexes, and two other guys I dont remember really well (but in the same vein: big expensive stuff, big weapons, etc...).
So here we were, in the middle of the run (wich I dont remember the objective, sorry) , parking our cars (the luxury one and another more classic) in front of a select club where we needed to find info. Soon earlier, we got our hands on a girl wich was supposed to have critical infos we needed, but the other players said we didnt had time to interrogate her immediatly, and we needed to find the infos in the club first. So we go to the club entrance, leaving the girl handcuffed in the luxury car. Meanwhile, the troll was in another part of the town, looking for other infos.

Halas, the troll bouncers refuse to let us enter. So, what to do.... Easy! We just have to find the backdoor and enter there unsuspected by the bouncers! And indeed there is a backdoor, leading on a long corridor with intersections here and there, and a big double door at the end, with music and flash of lights coming from there. Too bad we didnt thought to check for alarms at the backdoor...
We didnt make 10 meters in the corridor when the double doors open on a bunch of trolls, and a gunfight start!
In the first seconds, I take some nasty bullets and hit the dirt. Another player grab me and pull me on the bed of a nearby room.

And its here the madness really start, when, in the gunfight, two players announce their action at the same time:
Street Sam: "I throw a grenade at them!"
Combat Mage: "I create a physical shield across the corridor!"
GM: "ok, wich one of you have the higgest initiative already?"
Combat Mage: "err... me? uh, I dont cast the shield in fact."
GM: "too late! you announced it, you do it!"
Street Sam: "oh crap..."

After this little "oops", the gunfight continue, but it became obvious its a stall. The trolls dont go down, and the players neither, even if they are suffering quite some wounds (mainly from the "oops"...). So, what the players do? Fall back and try later? Make a cunning plan to override the trolls blockade? Go into a blazing (and suicidal) charge to try overwhelming the trolls? None of the above, they.... continue the gunfight.... and as minutes pass, it became obvious the cops will come soon, but the players still stay where they are, hoping to have a lucky shot on the trolls.
But its not the cops who appear first, its the PC troll, coming back from his info gathering to help his buddies (after a radiocall from one of the player at the start of the "infiltration"), and who park his car to the back of the club. Seeing the gunfight from the open backdoor, he goes to the trunk and grab.... an auto missile launcher, with his full 6 missiles magazine...

Troll PC, shouting: "Behold!! Here I come! I will clean this for you guys!"

The other players, hearing this, look back with wide eyes, and see the troll taking position, missile launcher ready, pointed toward the corridor, and thus toward themselves... They immediatly start to fall back, at full speed, running like death was after them, and indeed it was... Well rather in front of them, but anyway.
The troll fire FIVE missiles in chain, while the players are not even out of the building.
The first hit the trolls at the double door.
The second hit a pillar in the club.
The third hit some crap a little further (a table or some peoples I guess)
The fourth hit the FRONT club doors!
And the fifth hit... the luxury car parked in front of the club...

The building, suffering from several shocks and the destruction of a part of his internal structurl supports, start to collapse, with me still inside and inconscious (they forgot me...).
The other players managed to get out before that and are contemplating the mindless destruction they caused. At this moment, they hear an ambulance coming, since my doc wagon plate was broken (no kidding??)
Then the troll, annoyed to still have an ammo in his launcher and no more ennemy target, put the final straw in all this madness and fire at the ambulance, blowing it...

Conclusion?
The million-nuyen man is crying all tears when he see his beloved car shred to bits.
The other players are crying too when they remember the girl, their last chance to get solid info, was still in the car when it got blew up.
The troll is laughing, happy of all the destruction he caused.

And the GM is crying, when he show to the players the title of the chapter of the scenario they were in: "The players gather some infos discreetly"


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To finish, here are two little story of stupid death happening when I was mastering Cyberpunk, some years later. Sure, its not shadowrun, but the games are similar, and it could have perfectly happened in SR.

-In an old building, one player find his way on top of an elevator full of ennemies. Considering the opportunity he have to get rid of a whole bunch of foes in a single strike, he open the hatch and quickly throw in a whole belt of grenades!
Happy with his genius idea, he suddenly note that I'm grinning, and then he notice he's on top of a moving soon-exploding elevator cabin, 10 floors high, with nowhere to get away...

-Coming back from a top-secret mission for a top level corp (in space, they desactived and shot down an orbital laser before it was used on the corp assets) the players are payed top-notch credits and warned to shut the hell up and to NEVER mention the events to anybody.
One of the players, thinking he got some hot info he could sell for a nice sum, disregard the warning entirely, and rush to the first phone he see.... while he was not even out of the corp building.... No need to say I asked to hand out his character sheet and to start building a new one...
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Critias
post Oct 6 2006, 11:49 AM
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It sounds like, while you had an un-subtle group of players, it was your GM that needed a clue. Sorry. The "shooting at the ambulance" there at the end was the only remarkably stupid thing that happened. The ridiculous escalation of firepower (IE, a rocket launcher being involved) was actually just a natural extension of the old SR1 bulletproof Trolls that the GM threw at the group. The "chain of five missiles" and the "oops" were both just him being a dick that doesn't understand the rules.
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BRodda
post Oct 6 2006, 01:05 PM
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QUOTE (Icebird)
I've discovered the CLUE files some days ago, and wanted to contribute to it. Since its apparently not updated anymore, I put this here, in hope you like it.

Any chance people want to resurrect the Clue files here on Dumpshock. I really miss those stories. There HAS to be a lot more new stories with the new edition of SR4. :grinbig:

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Dissonance
post Oct 6 2006, 07:39 PM
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I swear, that the CLUE files are cursed. Any attempt to revive them seems to end in downright failure.
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DireRadiant
post Oct 6 2006, 08:01 PM
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The success of the CLUE files was because there was a single source for collecting and publishing the stories in such a way that there was not an immediate feedback of "What a dumb gm."
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GrinderTheTroll
post Oct 6 2006, 08:27 PM
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QUOTE (Icebird)
For my first ever game of shadowrun, I was invited in a group of experienced players and jumped in their campaign.

I don't that word means what you think it means...

Oh btw, do you happen to have 6 fingers on your left hand?
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Kyoto Kid
post Oct 6 2006, 08:47 PM
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...I still like the the time the mage with Improved Invisibility ran ahead of the sammie set to fire the airburst Grenade, and didn't announce it over his trasnsceiver.
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Zeitgeist
post Oct 7 2006, 12:38 AM
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My group has had some crazy moments in our short span, but I think one of our favorites (or mine, at least) was as follows.

Long story short, we found out that an uber-troll adept was sitting in the security office of an apartment comlex we did business in (that is, got shot at and chatted with the shooter over a few beers). I hack the system to keep him in the dark, and my partner and I figure out the best plan of action. I got an Alpha who's grenade launcher remained unchristened, and a handy-dandy flashbang. My partner will push open the door, I'll fire, and we'll get the hell out of Dodge. So I lay down a little suppressive fire to keep Mega-Troll away from the door for a few second, take aim, fire, and critical glitch! My gun is in ruins, and I'm dazed as hell. I'm surounded by smoke, I'm mostly deaf (I had to get cbereyes with flare comp but I couldn't spring for the cyberears with sound dampers?). Thinking that it was a good plan aside from the misfire, my partner tosses his OWN flashbang, which of course lands right at my feet. It goes off, and my only reaction is "I THINK HE HAS GRENADES!"
And let me add to the glory of this little incident: a little earlier I had defused a bomb while defaulting, and then knocked a sniper out with a gel round from my Alpha at the maximum range using only the vision mag in my eyes. I guess the Universe felt the need to balance my improbable successes with two flashbangs and a troll the size of 'Jersey.
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toturi
post Oct 7 2006, 01:36 AM
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What kind of moron GM was that?! Yes, that deserves a place in the CLUE, not because of the players but because of the GM.
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Cirlot
post Oct 7 2006, 01:54 AM
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QUOTE (toturi)
What kind of moron GM was that?! Yes, that deserves a place in the CLUE, not because of the players but because of the GM.

I'm sorry, but I disagree. Did the GM pick an adventure that was perhaps a bit out of line for the group? Maybe. But the players performed, at best, poorly, and at worst they were deliberately disruptive and pig-headed. Destroying an ambulance because the player wanted another target? Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should, and lacking any actual reason . . . it reeks of juvie hack and slash more fitting a MMORPG than anything else.

A GM has a responsibility to run a game that everyone, including him or herself, can enjoy. Likewise players have a responsibility to play appropriately within the framework that the GM constructs. If one or the other abuses their authority, freedoms and the like, everyone suffers. Did the GM overestimate his players? Yes. But the players made no attempt to even try and meet the GM's expectations. Both are at fault, and frankly, the brainpower of 2-3 PC's should be able to equal that of 1 GM.
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Backgammon
post Oct 7 2006, 04:31 AM
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It's not cause it's teenage hack&Slash SR that it's not necessarely funny. Yeah, it wasn't "realistic" shadowrun. Take the context, uber power game, and take the event: salvo of missles shoot right through building to destroy car. See, funny. I wouldn't play in that game either, but no one is asking me to.
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imperialus
post Oct 7 2006, 06:59 AM
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QUOTE (Backgammon @ Oct 7 2006, 04:31 AM)
It's not cause it's teenage hack&Slash SR that it's not necessarely funny. Yeah, it wasn't "realistic" shadowrun. Take the context, uber power game, and take the event: salvo of missles shoot right through building to destroy car. See, funny. I wouldn't play in that game either, but no one is asking me to.

It actually reminds me of some of the games I played when I was a teenager. Christ at one point we ended up getting into a full scale gang war with the Star, attack choppers, citymasters, multiple FRT's and all that jazz against us and a troll streetgang we had equipped holed up in a housing project with anti tank weapons, panthers, vulcan mini guns, motars, you name it. To be fair we had just gotten our hands on Fields of Fire so we were itching for an excuse to use it. I like to think I've matured beyond that as a gamer, but damn we had fun.
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eidolon
post Oct 7 2006, 07:58 AM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant)
The success of the CLUE files was because there was a single source for collecting and publishing the stories in such a way that there was not an immediate feedback of "What a dumb gm."

Exactly.

And here, 9 times out of 7, the people crying "dumb GM" are doing so based on not nearly enough information, and are basically mentally filling in the gaps as they see fit and pre-judging just so they can spout off about how much more Teh Awesome of a GM they are.

Exceptions occur of course. That's why there's a chiche about it. ;)
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Critias
post Oct 7 2006, 08:10 AM
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I think that's because, most of the time, it is the GM's fault. No one defines a game like a GM does. The player characters control four or five or six individuals in the universe -- everything else is in the GM's hands (and, in fact, the GM has to okay those half-dozen characters, in the first place).

So normally when stupid shit goes down it's totally rational to point the finger at the GM. He okays the characters, then either makes up scenarios that do or don't fit those characters. He lets people sit down at the game table, then either does or doesn't know the players well enough to make a game they'll understand and enjoy. The GM needs to be the one that knows the rules (moreso than any one player), and needs to understand (and then describe well) the setting.

So, yeah. When a game goes well, everyone gets credit but the GM gets the most. When a game goes poorly, the same holds true. It is normally the GM's doing, more than any other single person's, whichever way the game swings.
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Fortune
post Oct 7 2006, 12:50 PM
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I think it usually comes down to the GM not taking the time to clearly outline his specific view of exactly how the game world works. One GM's Sixth World is not like any other (even if both stick to basic canon), and problems occur when the players are left to fill in too many blanks about how the GM's world actually reacts to certain things and/or actions.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 7 2006, 01:42 PM
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QUOTE (Critias)
I think that's because, most of the time, it is the GM's fault.  No one defines a game like a GM does.  The player characters control four or five or six individuals in the universe -- everything else is in the GM's hands (and, in fact, the GM has to okay those half-dozen characters, in the first place).

Be that as it may - after that, the GM has nearly no direct control about the actions the players take... or at least should not have, because there is no point otherwise; better write a story.

That means that the players are responsible for the actions of their characters, and if they decide, against all common sense, to go nuts, the GM is only to blame if trying to steer them back.
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Glyph
post Oct 7 2006, 09:32 PM
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I think the Clue files are kind of a mix as to whose fault it is.

If a player hears on the news that there is a reward being offered for his character, and his reaction is to call them up to correct them because they got his name wrong, then that's a player cock-up.

Other times, though, it seems like the GM being an asshat. "Sorry, I guess none of you guys remembered to bring flashlights with you when infiltrating via the sewers." "Whoops, you said you had a grappling hook, but you didn't say you attached the rope to it before you threw it. Too bad!"



Personally, I think GMs should make an effort to convey things to the players that their characters (professional criminals who have grown up in the game world) would know. Point things out - don't simply let the player walk into an AA security area and then have the SWAT team show up because he's carrying a missile launcher. Remind him of how the security zones work, because it's something the player might not remember, but that the character would be aware of. On the other hand, if he still takes that missile launcher uptown, let the logical repercussions of his actions fall where they may.
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WhiskeyMac
post Oct 8 2006, 01:13 AM
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I agree with Glyph. A lot of the original CLUE files were stupid players and the GM just went along with it to see what they would do, i.e. The Nap incident or the Invisible Tree incident. The rest were GMs being assholes, i.e. The Oil Pipe incident. A lot of the CLUE files involve over-powered characters who thought they could do anything they wanted because they had X cyberware or X focus, etc. I think that if the GM told the players about how their version of the 6th World worked and then the players did stupid shit anyways, the GM should have free rein to teach said players how the world works. Pain and suffering are excellent teachers.

I disagree with Glyph in that the GM shouldn't have to babysit the players and tell them what they, as professional shadowrunners, should know. The Darwin Awards would have never come to exist if GMs babied their players. If you're stupid enough to use a welding torch to burn through a crude oil pipe, then you should reap the rewards of your decision.
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Jaid
post Oct 8 2006, 03:20 AM
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QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
I disagree with Glyph in that the GM shouldn't have to babysit the players and tell them what they, as professional shadowrunners, should know. The Darwin Awards would have never come to exist if GMs babied their players. If you're stupid enough to use a welding torch to burn through a crude oil pipe, then you should reap the rewards of your decision.

welding your way into an oil pipe is not a good example: that's something the player should know, most of the time (we all know that oil is flammable, right?)

the examples given where the GM is being a jerk are more situations where the character would notice but the players wouldn't. for example, if the player missed the GM mentioning that they were in the barrens and the player is relying on the cops to show up or something like that.

or if the team is running in Hong Kong, and the players don't understand the importance of the social network thing, but the characters are supposed to be locals... something the character would know, but the players might not know, is something that the players should not be punished for not knowing. now, on the other hand, if the players know (for example, the GM has stressed the importance of it several times, the players have been using HK as their setting for a long time, or whatever) then it's another thing entirely...
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SeekerOfPeace
post Oct 8 2006, 05:07 AM
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QUOTE
And here, 9 times out of 7, the people crying "dumb GM" are doing so based on not nearly enough information, and are basically mentally filling in the gaps as they see fit and pre-judging just so they can spout off about how much more Teh Awesome of a GM they are.


Wow. Didn't I would agree with you in this lifetime. But hey, that's pretty much spot on.

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Icebird
post Oct 8 2006, 11:25 AM
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Concerning the example I gave, now I can see why the GM obviously made some mistakes or was a jerk. Sure the grenade bounce on the shield, or the five missiles salvo should not have been handled that way.
But well, at the time, it seemed logical (but hey, I was a noob), and it really marked me. It was about 10 years ago, and if I even forgot the names of the players I was playing with, I still remember the core events vividly.
The group WAS playing stupidly, and if the GM made it only worse, I actually glad he did it, because it made an epic story I still remember after all this time.

Its why I love the CLUE files. Sure, some situations are silly, and its obvious the GM is at fault. But its great story anway.

Now, I think you cannot say the other two little examples I gave are GM fault... Tossing a bunch of explosive under your feets without thinking of escape, or double-crossing a corp by phoning with a public phone while INSIDE the corp building...
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Icebird
post Oct 8 2006, 11:27 AM
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QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll)
QUOTE (Icebird @ Oct 6 2006, 03:52 AM)
For my first ever game of shadowrun, I was invited in a group of experienced players and jumped in their campaign.

I don't that word means what you think it means...

Oh btw, do you happen to have 6 fingers on your left hand?

Sorry, but I really don't understand what you say.
Wich word?
And what about my fingers?
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Fortune
post Oct 8 2006, 01:47 PM
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Think 'Princess Bride'. ;)
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Tarantula
post Oct 8 2006, 06:32 PM
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And I think the word he was referring to was "experienced." Since if the players were experienced, you wouldn't have a CLUE like story to share with us about them.
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James McMurray
post Oct 8 2006, 07:12 PM
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I wonder if this was a case of the players getting peeved at the first "ha ha! you said it so you did it" incident. A GM that has a PC throw a grenade at a glowing wall because actions were called in reverse order is a GM that will sometimes find everything he crafted going to hell in a handbasket because the players say "screw this noise."
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