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> Crossover Episodes, Looking for ideas.
FrankTrollman
post May 22 2007, 08:20 PM
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I run three very different Shadowrun campaigns with 3 very different groups. They meet at different places, have different methodologies, and different social dynamics, and they've expressed interest in having a "crossover episode" where the different groups can actually meet.

That's difficult from a purely social calendar aspect, but I'm sure something can be worked out. From a character structural standpoint, however, it proves more tricky. Here's a brief run-down of the groups, which I will imaginatively call Groups A, B, and C:
  • Group A is a group of mercenaries for hire based out of Hong Kong. They are very powerful and concentrated in blowing things up. Their financial schemes are complex and most of them are buying up corporate stock and/or raising children in an attempt to "go legit".

    Their last major caper involved working for a group of insect spirits associated with Ares - something that they have done several times now even though some of them complain about it from a moral standpoint. The major caper before that involved a raid on the palace of the Nagaraja in NagaKampuchea (the Naga dominated portion of Cambodia) at he behest of Esprit industries. The two Street Samurai actually became knighted in Tir na nOg after demonstrating heir skills at jousting and archery.

    "Noone out-crazies El Mechador! Beep Beep!"
  • Group B is a group of Anarchist Do-gooders who perform piracy and credit fraud in the Indian Ocean. They plan things down to extremely elaborate detail, and have an insanely good and meticulous hacker. They cover their tracks extremely well and live in elaborate fear of "The Man" (several of them are part of a magical group and have sworn a mystic oath to never work for The Man).

    Their last major caper involved a daring daylight raid on a slaver camp in Madagascar, and are currently working on a multi-pronged effort to destroy the life of a member of the Turkish Royalty who uses up Armenians in his unventilated paint factory. They wage a tireless, and completely player generated war against coercive labor practices, environmental destruction, and aristocratic rule. Seriously, they don't even talk to Johnsons, they just vote amongst themselves what part of the world they hate the most today and start Ocean's 11 style monkey wrenching.

    "And then we arrange the datatrail so that the money was spent on an air strike on their location - which I will point out was in fact delivered."
  • Group C is a group of Aztlan Sun Warriors. They look through Equis Files of the Aztlan Military Police and take over juristiction, solving problems with blood and fire. Torn slightly between loyalty to Aztlan and loyalty to Aztechnology, they are committed to killing the greatest warriors amongst those who disrupt the Aztec way of life and sanctify their deaths to Chicomecoatl in order to guaranty that the sun rises tomorrow.

    Their last major caper was tracking down an Onaqui in the Tikal wildlife refuge and beating it to death. The caper before that was the investigation (and ultimately firebombing) of a haunted house that they had been directed to by a group of ghouls who they occassionally feed bodies to.

    "We need to show the people that cutting your feet off in order to fly around eating babies is not acceptable civilian behavior."

-Frank
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DireRadiant
post May 22 2007, 08:48 PM
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Can't be done....

What combination are you expecting? All three at once. particular pairs?
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Lorka
post May 22 2007, 09:05 PM
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A & C are easy enough A are hired to help or destroy C.

B is the hard one but they wouldnt be above hiring A to help them take out C maybe?

Or you can have them all cut off on and island with different objectives.
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ornot
post May 22 2007, 09:07 PM
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You want them working together? Or against each other?

It'd be easy enough to poke the PCs in group B to go and do some work in Aztlan, thus bringing them into conflict with group C, and finally have group A hired to take out these meddlesome anarchists. Kinda tough for poor old group B though.
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DireRadiant
post May 22 2007, 09:48 PM
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Well, if it's conflict, the simple one is that whatever group B next targets will turn out to be a joint venture owned by both group A retirement fund and Aztechnology. Let the fireworks begin.

Working together is trickier, but similar, Joint venture restoring the tropical Aztlan forest is running into problems, all three groups are roped in through contacts, issues and need to co operate to solve it. Of course the project might be a cover for something darker....
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PBTHHHHT
post May 22 2007, 10:01 PM
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If you want them to work together?
Yeah, it seems like it'd have to be partially coincidence that gets group B involved with the others.

Then again, I can see B somehow hiring A if they need the muscle for one part of their plan, though that's sort of tricky since I'm trying to imagine how group B would be able to contact a group of A's caliber who seems to be part of the 'The Man'.

Similar to what Ornot has said, maybe what B does brings attention to C, and maybe they have similar goals. Such as destroying a particular organization, person, item, etc. since it's not only bad for Aztlan/Aztechnology, it's bad for the common people (which would appeal to B). And maybe C can hire/bring in B for extra muscle.
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knasser
post May 22 2007, 10:03 PM
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Wow! This could be one of your best games ever. The potential for fun is enormous. :)

A couple of questions... how will you organise the cross-over? Is this RL or online? Are you basically just going to assemble them into a super group and GM them all at once or are you doing interweaving missions? The latter would be nice foreshadowing. Set up the monkeywrenchers to do an operation on the mercenaries. Obviously they don't meet at this point, but their actions are apparent to each other. Then the Aztecs are called in to resolve things. At that point, they are all set up ready for the cross-over game when they meet and you can either have them all working at cross-purposes or bring in some unifying goal that's big enough that they all suddenly need to work together.

As a rough outline... Mercenaries hired to provide protection to a small facilty in South America. Make it something suitably capitalist and despicable so that the monkeywrenchers really want to lay waste to it. Maybe a nice profitable merrow harvesting operation on the coast or a storm dolphin vivisection program. If the mercs have some honour then they could be misinformed as the nature of their employer and find out later. This is good as it gives them more motivation to team up with the monkey wrenchers later on.

With a bit of GM support (though it sounds like they don't need it), the monkeywrenchers could pull off a mission against the corp by bypassing the mercs altogether. Ideally, they could set up some sort of double cross or distraction run so that the merc team has a good time defending the corp against the perceived enemy only to find that they were infiltrated completely unawares and the central data files are wiped or something. That's the monkeywrenchers and mercs both up to the starting line with their separate pre-missions. In both of these, some clues as to the grand evil plan of the corp should have been planted. Enough to worry the monkeywrenchers and make the mercs suspicious and doubtful. Probably give the mercs reason to suspect that they've now seen too much and the corp wont let them leave alive.

In the meantime, the aztec party have had an idea as to what the facilities evil goal really is and were sent to stop it (they may only have a hazy idea, though). Their pre-mission game was them arriving to foil the evil plan and finding that the enemy was very much better prepared and dangerous than they thought. Their game is a survival game. Set it up so that they can find some safe way-point, but not actually escape or communicate. In the jungles of South America, this should be easy to set up. However, although the aztecs can't stop the facility, they do have the mystic device / destruct codes / spirit formula whatever that is necessary to defeat them. But they don't have the resources or the man-power to pull it off.

And then the cross-over begins. You start with mercs who suspect their employer might kill them, aztecs who are critical to success but need help and monkeywrenchers who have stumbled into something much bigger than they realised.

There's the whole range of standard plot hooks - ancient spirit free blood spirit formula, new strain of HMHVV or VITAS-II. Personally, I would go for the blood-magic corrupted great feathered serpent myself, but that's just because how often do you get to use one? Maybe the serpent is going to unleash VITAS-III as part of a massive blood magic sacrifice. Overkill is good.

I'd really go to town on the opposition and the maps. This could be a really big and good game. You'll need to add in some twists such as rescue of hostages with critical skills / knowledge and safe-guards to make sure that the three teams don't immediately trust each other.

Anyway - my immediate thoughts. Any use? Sounds like a great game, Frank.
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hyzmarca
post May 22 2007, 10:19 PM
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Mutual enemy.

A group of rich Eurpoeans and North Americans are running an international black magic cult. Very few of them are magically active and none have any real power. For the group, it is nothing more than an excuse to vent their perverse hedonistic desires.

One of the things that this group does is baby farms. Wether it be sexual abuse, ritual human sacrifice, or both, a fresh clean baby with no records is the very best stock that you can buy. For a bunch of perverse rich white mundane folk who are pretending to be satanic witches, raping and killing babies is pretty much a required daily chore.
So, they kidnap young women, teenagers mostly, and pump them so full of fertility hormones that they're popping out ten brats at a time.

Normally, they take SINless trash that no one will miss. But, they fragged up this one time. You see, the Aztlan Ambassador the Belgium (or some other European country) has a daughter that is somewhat of a wild child. She has a biker boyfriend, does drugs, and hangs out with street thugs and whores. They just assumed that she was another worthless SINless beetlehead whore when they took her. Her father is, of course, upset. More importantly, many important people owe him many big favors.

This is where the Aztlaner group comes in. They have been "requested" to investigate this crime and return the ambassador's daughter if she lives. If not, the killers are to meet justice Aztec style. But, they can't appear to be violating Belgium's sovereignty.

Now, group B is easy enough. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of women are being enslaved so that they can produce hundreds, perhaps thousands, of babies for rape and sacrifice every year. It is a major human rights violation.

The Mercenary group is the Ambasador's contingency plan. He isn't sure that the Aztlaner force can find his daughter when they are theoretically restricted by Belgian law so he hires the mercenary group to cut a swath of death to those responsible for his daughter's disappearance and recover her alive.

The three groups are pretty much working towards the same purpose, but they are unaware of each other and may end up fighting it out.
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Big D
post May 23 2007, 01:13 AM
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Enemies.

Company X is developing a MacGuffin. Said MacGuffin could eat into Azzie profits (it goes after markets they dominate, like barely-legal chips), or make any number of other companies rich. It also involves questionable production practices, or data about its development would otherwise ruin it.

A is hired by Company Y to retrieve it. B hears rumors about it and decides to expose it. C is sent to make sure that it never reaches market, by any means necessary.

To make things even more fun, MacGuffin is in some sort of restricted weapons zone, (maybe a country, arcology, or something) where lethal or F-rated weapons are not allowed. Alternatively, there is some external reason why killing anybody or being caught with lethal weapons would be a really bad thing.

Thus, all three teams can go at it however they like. Since there are loopholes that allow all three teams to complete their missions (A recovers the MacGuffin, but B blows the secret wide open across the Matrix a few days later, thus ruining Company X and the MacGuffin's value, accomplishing C's mission with full plausible deniability for AZT), they can choose to cooperate, but in the confusion, they'll most likely be fighting each other.
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Big D
post May 23 2007, 01:38 AM
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Mutual goal.

A fringe group is working on something nasty. Really nasty. Like invoked blood spirit nasty. After a few test runs, in which whole remote villages are wiped out in really brutal fashions, rumors start going around.

A number of corps and governments are looking into this, but C has a lead, because the Azzies recognize the magic involved, and want to put an immediate stop to it--can't have anyone exposing the secrets of blood magic, after all, much less showing just how nasty it can be.

Meanwhile, B starts hearing rumors, and decides to investigate.

A gets involved because some Johnson offers to pay them to find the killers and exterminate with extreme prejudice. Johnson can be anything from another Azzie branch to a GD to a local government or corp. Anybody sufficiently threatened by what they're seeing.

The fringe group has a Matrix presence, but the whole thing is a front, and the real secrets are hidden on unrelated servers that will require significant legwork (and maybe some ops) to find. Most members won't know much in the way of details, and the leadership (the summoners themselves) will be hidden and mobile.

The group itself should be well-armed and supplied, but not with top-tier gear or major corporate backers. They probably got a lot of their money by fraud, theft, and Scientology-style shakedowns, and most of their power is centered around a few dozen mages, only a few of which are the high-powered summoners. However, there should be enough danger and firepower out there to set everybody's teeth on edge... everybody remembers where they were when the Crash hit. The group should probably be supported by a small number of gangs whose enemies were the first tests, and who aren't necessarily aware of the group's involvement in the destruction of the villages. The group's goal should be over the top, but just a little stupid--like copycats thinking they actually *can* destroy the world, or nuts who worship blood spirits and want to summon, invoke, and then release a "god" into a major city so that they can worship it.

For extra optional fun, the real leader of the group is actually a free blood spirit, either one that founded or took over the group, or one that was invoked and released in the earlier tests. Since it's high-force and therefore as smart as it is evil, it leads its worshippers on a series of plots designed to work out a plan to kill an entire city in a ritual that gives it a zillion karma to play with.

EDIT: Oh, for even more fun, depending on how the teams interact, Team C may or may not decide that Teams A and B Know Too Much™.
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Big D
post May 23 2007, 01:43 AM
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Temporary Allies.

Any of the above, only all teams are organized by a manipulative party (which, given B, would almost have to be a GD) into a position where they are assigned to work together to accomplish the mission.

The good side is that you can use pretty much anything as the mission, as long as it involves a payout, hurts somebody evil, and helps AZT (or hurts a competitor), and you have the three groups working together from the start, interacting like actors in a buddy cop B movie.

The downside, of course, is that it's blatant GM manipulation, and probably the clumsiest way to do it (why *these* three groups, again?).
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Magus
post May 23 2007, 04:17 AM
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FrankTrollman
post May 23 2007, 07:09 AM
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QUOTE
A couple of questions... how will you organise the cross-over? Is this RL or online? Are you basically just going to assemble them into a super group and GM them all at once or are you doing interweaving missions?


These are all real life games. Currently what we're looking at is interweaving missions with characters from other games showing up as guest NPCs in the other games leading up to the players who can make it showing up as actual guests in the other games.

Update on Group B:
    After destroying the paint factory and pinning the blame on a racist rock band called Crescent Rage, they shipped the Armenians off to Firenze in containers that were marked as toxic waste that was slated to be illegally dumped in Bulgaria (thus ensuring that the Ottoman soldiers wouldn't inspect them). Then they had the money delivered from a Tehran bank to a pickup point in Rome and absconded with the money to Azania to get outfitted by Elven Cybersurgeons. The man who actually owned the factory survived, having somehow escaped from the reprogrammed cyber-bear that they set loose on his property while they were leaving the country.

    Now they have decided to go to New Orleans because one of them has family there. They intend to eat ribs, throw rocks at aligators, and posibly right some wrongs before they move on to their next big project - which is to steal a submarine from one of the pirate factions in the Indian Ocean or from a relatively incompetent government like Argentina (opinion is divided within the group).

Honestly that's great news, because they could plausibly get drawn into just about anything at the the old family farm and group A is actually also looking in to the prospect of getting themselves a submarine (as one of them purchased an island in Micronesia because he had inside information that it had some sort of ancient magical site and it turned out to have a really deep lake in the middle).

-Frank
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toturi
post May 23 2007, 07:52 AM
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I think I'd grow mad(der) if I had to GM all 3 of your groups at once, Frank.
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Slump
post May 23 2007, 08:51 AM
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I think the obvious solution is to have both A and B go after the same submarine, which is actually owned by aztlan , who sends a certain group C to retrieve it.

So some port authority-type figure sees that a submarine registered to [smallfry company X that is actually owned by aztechnology] has just been sitting in the docks, awaiting a relativly minor repair (maybe the comm system went down, or something suitably lame). The parts and crew needed to fix the sub are delayed for an unknown reason (unexpected fallout from group B's actions?), and so the submarine is in basically working order, and will be virtually abandoned for the next few weeks. The port authority sees the chance for profit, so he calls a fixer buddy of his to try to 'liberate' the sub pretty quickly. The fixer calls in the A Team to run off with the submarine, and since they'll probably ask if they can buy it, then the fixer just killed two birds with one stone.

Team B hears through the grapevine that a submarine is about to hit the market. If they decide to try and buy it, then great, if not, have the rumor mill churn out that some human trafficers are looking to pick up the sub to make their slave trade a bit safer. Heck, this might not be a rumor, but, in fact, true. Either way, both the A Team and the B team are seeking to liberate the submarine from the port. The port can be in such a location that both Oceans 11-style hijinks and mercenary tactics are valid for liberation. Even better, no matter which team gets there first and ganks the sub, the other team will probably still end up chasing it -- Team A because they were hired to grab it, and Team B because they will think the slavers already got it.

Team C gets dragged into this, possibly as the team assigned to recover the sub (it's owned by aztechnology, I'd be willing to bet there is something there that the azzies don't want to hit the open market. If nothing else, the logs will say where the sub has been (which might be a super-secret undersea lab). Team C can get there early by being assigned as the bodyguards of the tech team sent to repair the sub and extract data from the main computers.

For even more hilarity, have multiple shadowteams show up at the same time, or have another shadowteam make off with the sub first. :rotfl:
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Rotbart van Dain...
post May 23 2007, 09:21 AM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
They meet at different places, have different methodologies, and different social dynamics, and they've expressed interest in having a "crossover episode" where the different groups can actually meet.

So, basically, they want to end those campaigns with a big dose of PvP action?
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MaxHunter
post May 23 2007, 04:49 PM
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I do not think PvP action is any good, particularly if the characters come from different groups.

I'd rather have some guest appearances of characters in different games and some social runner + runner interaction. Or a meeting...

I imagine the three groups interested in something -a submarine?, the location of an abandoned missile base in Cuba? keycodes to database X which contains hot data Y, etc... - that someone -a dragon? -is going to sell in a restricted bid at a meeting in Singapore, Lisbon, New Orleans or Caracas.
The characters meet there and some opponent bidders while the negotiations take place. They even get involved in some cloak and dagger maneuvering while negotiating. Just before/after the bid is resolved a group of military spec ops hired by a third party who also wants the thing hijack the place...

Comments?

Cheers,

Max






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