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> That first session, Or, How to introduce Shadowrun
Degausser
post Mar 2 2009, 10:42 AM
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Okay, so I will be starting a standard Shadowrun campaign soon, with a bunch of guys new to Shadowrun and almost everyone is new to SR4. I have decided to restrict char gen to the core book for starters, and I may (probably) will bring in a few things from the expantions in down the line (such as new guns and cars from arsenal, initiating rules from Street Magic, and fluff from runner havens, so on and so forth.) If anyone is SUPER interested in going off book at character creation (making a martial artist or non-hermetic/shamantic mage) I may introduce them to some expantion material on a one-on-one basis.

I have the general idea of my campaign set up for the first while. Set in Seattle, the PC's primary Johnson will be a dude from the Gianelli family, and will document their attempt to regain their stature in the city. Runners will be hired to hijack Yakuza drug shipments, stop Vory smuggling routes, and so on and so forth. (I am HOPING they will be smart enough to be discrete, or they may have a few sessions simply running from syndicates. I won't kill them outright-that's no fun, but I will make them pay for stupidity.)

The problem is that damned first run! I have been racking my brain for an easy, 'introductory' run to get all the players used to the system of shadowrun. This would also story as the Gianelli aren't going to hire some off-the-street people who call themselves runners, they need a mission to show they have the stuff first.

I've run a few ideas through my head, but most of them have problems.

1) A Local Go-Gang scrounges up enough cash to hire some newbie runners to supplement their forces in a gang war.
-Positives: Introduces combat, low scope, introduces social skills.
-Negatives: Doesn't introduce Legwork, what fixer in his right mind would pass this run to a team?
2) The residents of the Plastic Jungles hire the runners to drive off the gang that's been exploiting them for food.
-Positives: Introduces combat, low scope, introduces social skills.
-Negatives: Squatters can't realistically pay. May or may not involve legwork.
3)Ork Underground resident hires runners to take down a suspected encleve of Human Nation guys planning on bombing portions of the underground.
-Positives: Introduces combat, social skills, and legwork.
-Negatives: Scope may be too big for starting runners, I'm not sure if a fixer would pass this to a team (even a newbie team.)

Ideas, thoughts?
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Browncoatone
post Mar 2 2009, 01:20 PM
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I'm kinda in the same pickle barrel. I've gonna be mastering a campaign (not really even written yet) with a group that I really don't know that well (that is, I can't predict their stupidity in advance) and I just hate that whole "you meet in bar" introduction.

I'm gonna try the Star Wars approach. In Media Res - in the middle of things. I'm gonna throw the group into combat right out of the starting gate and see what happens. I'm hoping that by skipping the uncomfortable introduction and putting them underfire immediately I can foster a sort of team spirit from the beginning and get them to do something that will give me something to react to.

As for your problem, I'd go with option #3. It gives you an interesting location and culture to describe and an opportunity to draw a distinction between Tolkien orcs and Shadowrun orks.
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Sir_Psycho
post Mar 2 2009, 01:37 PM
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QUOTE (Degausser @ Mar 2 2009, 06:42 AM) *
1) A Local Go-Gang scrounges up enough cash to hire some newbie runners to supplement their forces in a gang war.
-Positives: Introduces combat, low scope, introduces social skills.
-Negatives: Doesn't introduce Legwork, what fixer in his right mind would pass this run to a team?

First of all, the runners don't need to know where their money is coming from. Maybe the gang has a benefactor, such as a larger gang or a syndicate. Even a corporation might have some interest in a particular gang going down.

Second of all, Fixers aren't just intermediaries between runners and johnsons. They have their own agenda. Maybe the fixer is sending some runners to help the gang in exchange for some street level security outside his place of residence. Maybe they stole a truckload of goods and the Fixer has offered the runners as a bargaining chip.
QUOTE
2) The residents of the Plastic Jungles hire the runners to drive off the gang that's been exploiting them for food.
-Positives: Introduces combat, low scope, introduces social skills.
-Negatives: Squatters can't realistically pay. May or may not involve legwork.

Again, you can fairly easily justify squatters having some money or backing. Maybe the squatters grow some weed or poppies as well and who-ever buys the product is pissed off that their bottom line is being cut by some lowly gangers. Same mission, different justification.
QUOTE
3)Ork Underground resident hires runners to take down a suspected encleve of Human Nation guys planning on bombing portions of the underground.
-Positives: Introduces combat, social skills, and legwork.
-Negatives: Scope may be too big for starting runners, I'm not sure if a fixer would pass this to a team (even a newbie team.)

The trick here is scaling it down, rather than up. At the heart of it, this run is about runners teaching some human supremacists a lesson. Human Nation are at the higher end of human supremacist groups. For a change, maybe these are just some blue collar card carrying racists who wear white hats in their spare time, and they've been cooking up this plan and collecting equipment for this job for years.

The trick is picking a setting. What races are the runners? If they're presentable non-orks/trolls, maybe they can get closer than the Underground's operatives. Perhaps the target will be the ring-leaders family home, where they are planning the job in the basement.

Maybe the ringleader owns a business where they're staging the operation. A shipping company or delivery service would be good, because then you'd have a warehouse with lots of entry points and cover to work out your tactical combat.
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Draco18s
post Mar 2 2009, 02:25 PM
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1) Plan Nothing

2) Rent Johnny Mnemonic

3) Have them watch Johnny Mnemonic

4) "ShadowRun is like that, but with magic, dragons, and trolls."
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Wesley Street
post Mar 2 2009, 02:44 PM
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My very first adventure in my current campaign was Food Fight (though I converted the old 1st ed. version to 4th). The PCs entered the store on their own to buy snacks or supplies and shooting began. When the dust settled, a fixer, who just happened to be in the store, suggested they all band together and work for him. Fade to black.
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Sir_Psycho
post Mar 2 2009, 02:57 PM
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This is not exactly what you want, but I thought I might show you how I acclimatised my Shadowrun PBP newbies to the game.
My crash course on Shadowrun and the Sixth World.

Part 2. Some basic rules examples.

Part 3. Basic rules continued.
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WeaverMount
post Mar 2 2009, 05:47 PM
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I actually wouldn't start with legwork. I would start with the run that shows them why the need to do leg work and let them figure it out from there.
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Kanada Ten
post Mar 2 2009, 05:54 PM
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I like the Ork Underground one. Deals with all sorts of aspects of the world.
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Stahlseele
post Mar 2 2009, 05:57 PM
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well, there's allways the good old foodfight . . or first run, if they are advanced beginners O.o
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Bai Shen
post Mar 2 2009, 09:22 PM
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QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 2 2009, 09:25 AM) *
1) Plan Nothing

2) Rent Johnny Mnemonic

3) Have them watch Johnny Mnemonic

4) "ShadowRun is like that, but with magic, dragons, and trolls."


Personally, I'd go with Ronin instead. That movie is Shadowrun without the magic and matrix. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

I have a "Milk Run" that I like to use to start my campaigns off with. I guess I should post it for other people to use.
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SincereAgape
post Mar 2 2009, 09:34 PM
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QUOTE (Kanada Ten @ Mar 2 2009, 12:54 PM) *
I like the Ork Underground one. Deals with all sorts of aspects of the world.



/Signed. The Ork Underground setting has the potential to get the ground running with your campaign and if all else fails you can break it down into two sessions. Starting off on the right foot and setting a good pace for your stories might be important for the survivability of your group. If I was a PC, and I read the three ideas, I'd def choose Ork Underground.
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lordnth
post Mar 2 2009, 11:51 PM
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I've just started a SR game (SR3 becuase that's what most of us have), and I have gotten the players into the game. My biggest complaint (even about the ones that have played before) is the lack of contacts.
How would players expect to do legwork with just two contacts? And none having a Fixer or Dealer. Ugh.

For the first game, make them characters. Aproach each one or two seprately. Have everyone run for the same thing (file, prototype item, extraction, etc.) and see what happens. After they all get the hang of the game, and hopefully no grudges over shot characters, have them make thier own persona in your Seattle.

That's what I did but no one got shot or killed. (Last time I tried something like this only 2 out of 9 players lived -only 1 got paid)
They ended up negotionating with each other or tailing each other to make sure no one double crossed the Johnson.
Now they are starting to work together.
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Adarael
post Mar 3 2009, 12:30 AM
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QUOTE (Browncoatone @ Mar 2 2009, 05:20 AM) *
I'm gonna try the Star Wars approach. In Media Res - in the middle of things. I'm gonna throw the group into combat right out of the starting gate and see what happens. I'm hoping that by skipping the uncomfortable introduction and putting them underfire immediately I can foster a sort of team spirit.


I firmly believe that in media res is probably the best way to start just about anything - just about.
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Dream79
post Mar 3 2009, 08:59 AM
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Well I think the easiest way to have the runners meet is to have them assembled by the fixer who needs a team with each of the PCs talents for a job. For new players the first run should be simple but at the same time give a general introduction to the SR world and allow the new PCs to use there specialties. A quick one-shot with pregene runner characters seems best.
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