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> Encounter Setup, Best way to set up an encounter so your BBEG can get a round in or two
Henraldo
post Oct 25 2009, 08:30 AM
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So I have problems setting up encounters so the PCs dont take out my BBEG in an initiative pass by concentrating all fire.

Tonight I had an Vampre Phys Adept 3rd level initiate that the Gun Bunny obliterated in the 2 nd init pass. it was quite frustrating,
Just curious how you guys set up to compensate. She had minion mage who had a couple force 4 spirits on their side. Gun Bunny used apds to fry fire spirit and the next IP concentrated full auto on the vampire. Kerflue.

So pointers and real game examples are quite appreciated.
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Ravor
post Oct 25 2009, 08:35 AM
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Set up a mexican standoff.
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Ravor
post Oct 25 2009, 08:51 AM
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For instance, if I understood your example correctly, why didn't the spirits have held actions that would kick in and superceed the PC's attack?
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kzt
post Oct 25 2009, 09:17 AM
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Mexican Standoff's are really hard to do in SR due to mechanics.

Mechanically: I have someone held at gunpoint. I can choose to shoot him at the top of any phase, before he can move, But if I'm waiting for him to move to decide that I'm going to shoot him I can only shoot at the start of next phase. Probably after I'm dead.

Did I miss something?


The issue with the BBEG in SR is that they either die rapidly or kill the PCs in a fight. If the PCs can hurt them the PCs can typically kill the BBEG in a phase or two. If they are able to stand up to the team for several phases they will kill most of the team.

The only good example I've seen of really well put together BBEG fight in SR was a Magic 8 dragon (16 points of hardened armor - yikes) that held off our fully loaded out team for at least two turns and was approaching a TPK when the 4th or 5th AVR hit dropped him. He only killed one PC with the force 8 manaballs due to his overconfidence, our dispersion, countermagic and GM mercy.

I've found even the NPCs I've designed as recurring foes need to be pretty cleverly played to avoid getting wasted in the first fight. The Grade 3 adept combat machine got dropped by the starting mage who fastdrew his warhawk when she was expecting him to just pay her off. Her countermagic didn't help against bullets, she only lived because she rolled under a car as her minions attacked.

In general it seems to work better if the BBEG doesn't try to stand up to the entire team. Just like in real life, the guy pulling the strings doesn't show up at the fight. The Don probably isn't the toughest guy in the Mafia, but he's the one everyone agrees is in charge and has tough guys who will protect him.
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Ravor
post Oct 25 2009, 09:50 AM
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Awhile back there was a thread that dealt with mexican standoffs, so I don't really agree that they are hard to pull off, all you really need is for whoever who has "the drop" on the other party is not to have a reason to open fire at will. And after getting shredded by foes with held actions of "shoot whoever busts down this door" the Players should start learning not to bust down doors as a first resort.
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Red-ROM
post Oct 25 2009, 12:11 PM
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hey, at least it's not 3rd edition. Where every encounter is started with the phrase,"Called shot to the head". Leaving your baddy a headless pile of cyberware in 3 seconds.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 25 2009, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE (Red-ROM @ Oct 25 2009, 06:11 AM) *
hey, at least it's not 3rd edition. Where every encounter is started with the phrase,"Called shot to the head". Leaving your baddy a headless pile of cyberware in 3 seconds.



Wow, Brutal...
Odd, I was never able to relaibly pull of that maneuver in 3rd Edition...

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Henraldo
post Oct 25 2009, 06:06 PM
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Yeah this is just the BBEG for the adventure not the campaign, so she was meant to fight. I am just trying to find a way to ease the frustration that it takes longer to create a baddie than she lasts on the table
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 25 2009, 06:23 PM
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QUOTE (Henraldo @ Oct 25 2009, 12:06 PM) *
Yeah this is just the BBEG for the adventure not the campaign, so she was meant to fight. I am just trying to find a way to ease the frustration that it takes longer to create a baddie than she lasts on the table



There is that... unfortunately, I have no pearls of wisdom in this regard... as many have said, they are either made of Glass (tend to die quickly) or they are made of Stone (Tend to wipe out the opposition)... not much of an in-between without a lot of planning, especially if they are meant to interact with the team in any meaningful way...

Had that problem in A Vampire game... had a great antagonist; for 6 sessions he was a continual thorn in the vampire's sides, and yet, when they finally managed to confront him (on his own turf even) he did not last to do anything of any real consequence at all, did not even give any damage to the party... what a let down... Story still ended good, but it was definitely not the way I wanted it to end...

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Faradon
post Oct 25 2009, 06:28 PM
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Faradon
post Oct 25 2009, 06:28 PM
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"Bosses" are not just a product of their own statline but of the environment in which they are placed and the minions which surround them...

A party should really never encounter a boss in neutral territory with no outside factors and no backup... unless that is how you want it to be. The boss should usually have some form of environmental advantage. Music blasting with hidden undertones to counter ultrasound, flashpacks from behind him blinding those facing him, smoke, automated defenses, traps.

Heck, when he/she actually makes themself seen for the first time maybe do it from behind a bulletproof wall. Don't expose yourself to the AK-97 bursts.. play smart like the PC's would.

Oh and make sure you have cover... if you are a melee physad evil guy... have lots of lanes in the fight that block line of sight and smaller guys to tie up people.

Unleashing the full party's fury on just one target (when they most likely will all use an edge to up the damage) is a sure way to die in 1 Init pass.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 25 2009, 07:05 PM
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QUOTE (Faradon @ Oct 25 2009, 12:28 PM) *
"Bosses" are not just a product of their own statline but of the environment in which they are placed and the minions which surround them...

A party should really never encounter a boss in neutral territory with no outside factors and no backup... unless that is how you want it to be. The boss should usually have some form of environmental advantage. Music blasting with hidden undertones to counter ultrasound, flashpacks from behind him blinding those facing him, smoke, automated defenses, traps.

Heck, when he/she actually makes themself seen for the first time maybe do it from behind a bulletproof wall. Don't expose yourself to the AK-97 bursts.. play smart like the PC's would.

Oh and make sure you have cover... if you are a melee physad evil guy... have lots of lanes in the fight that block line of sight and smaller guys to tie up people.

Unleashing the full party's fury on just one target (when they most likely will all use an edge to up the damage) is a sure way to die in 1 Init pass.



QFT...


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trechriron
post Oct 25 2009, 11:13 PM
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Perhaps a good encounter challenges the runners in various ways BEFORE the combat (if it ever comes to that). I personally don't mind the PCs being very capable, but I would also make the bad guys smart.

Once I knew a run was contracted on me, I would initiate my "plan". Any criminal or corporate organizer boss person would have a "I am being targeted" plan. It should involve mercs, automated defenses, magical defenses, multiple safe houses/places, travel, and ultimately - a counter-run against the runners. If I was a boss person and I wanted to make a contract against me way more trouble than any sum of Nuyen (read: Dragon), I just need a healthy body count of dead runners.

I would call in favors, lay traps to gather intelligence, then research the team gunning for me, then plan out their demise.

Also, creating challenging encounters shouldn't always revolve around combat. There are contacts, allies, and enemies. There is street cred and notoriety. Smoothing over a botched job with your contacts and Mr. Johnson could require all kinds of favors and jobs. A kidnapping or escort run may not involve any direct conflict if planned correctly. And this is a good thing, IMO. If the team can figure out a way to bypass all violence (read: Unwanted Attention), then kudos to them. Let them take the cred and move on to the next job.

Also, if a team can just walk into a place to "execute plan A" the bad guys need cerebral upgrades. In the magically delicious corporate-centric world of SR you can't really just rest on your laurels hoping your AAA security and Metro (contracted) security is going to keep you safe. ESPECIALLY if you have any particular reason you might be targeted for execution/kidnapping/theft. You hire a mage to magically protect your interests. You have automated heavily armed drones patrolling the inside and outside of your domains. You have a highly skilled, well paid spider. Or two. Systems will be redundant.

1) Rail drones inside on a separate security WIRED system. Only the security room and spiders can access this system. All access panels to the guts of a building would be hardened, monitored, and secured.
2) Multi-node security with several layers of IC waiting for any hackers. The more firewalls they have to breach, the better chance you have of them triggering an alert. Create several systems ahead of a game to use when the hacker goes a hacking. Shorthand out all the numbers ahead of time and let the fun begin. If a player wishes to gripe about the outcome (and you tolerate that kind of thing), just hand them the one-sheet of your system with notes.
3) All auto drones should have the basic terminate system integrated. It should be programmed to only respond to direct laser communication. You target any hijacked drones with laser antenna, and turn them off. This of course for the drones patrolling the outside of a building, but it could come in handy for police drones, etc. and the airborn human response team.
4) Every security entrance should be a small hallway that can be closed at both ends with metal rolling doors made of some strong bullet-resistant material. Insert Gas, contact toxins, electricity and when that fails, remove the oxygen. Walking in the front door should be so damn horrifying that only the most insane and skilled criminals would dream of attempting it (read: Your Shadowrunners). Also would explain why researching your run THOROUGHLY seems to be the SOP for successful runners. Penetrating a hotel should be easy (since who would stay in a hotel with such security measures), but everything else should be hell.
5) Wards and Barriers. Guardian spirits. Promise the pack of Fire Elementals that you will let them purify with flame 50% of any subdued intruders, and I am sure they will at least reluctantly enjoy their term of service.
6) Surveillance and Intelligence! Bad guys should have solid security to at least inform them something is amiss. Unless the runners do some serious planning, strategic cunning, and execute said plan with tactical excellence, the security should inform the bad guys more often than not. You want combat encounters to be challenging? The bad guys are prepared for the team.
7) Security teams use encrypted communications and have a system of verbal codes and methods so they can't just be taken out by one hacker with a sense of humor. Trained security professionals don't hesitate and give anyone a second chance. They are not paid to be humanitarians, they are paid to keep unauthorized people out of places they don't belong. In the world of SR any Yahoo strolling around the hallways is not a lost delivery person. it's a Shadowrunner. Corporate lawyers can easily protect you if you accidentally kill a real delivery driver (don't these guys use drones now anyways?).

Unless the runners circumvent the bad guys plans, home terf should be an advantage. Why are runners paranoid about just crashing into a place? Because more runners than not are killed that way. Devise the bad guys strongholds/holdings to basically kill a team of 6 runners if they walk in the door. In the first turn. There is a reason runners notoriously plan out runs. Know when you're planning was spot-on? The runners retreat. Then they swear they will never just barge into a place again. OR, they do their research, learn about the bad guys contingency plan and say - "we can't just go in there willy nilly, or were dead meat sacks". Ding. Ding. GM job well done.

If any yahoo could run, it wouldn't have become the bull market it is "today". Combat SHOULD be a scary prospect. Trained soldiers don't just run around shooting crap. They have tactics. They use those tactics to give them the best chance of living. Challenging encounters should test all the team's strengths and should only reward teams that work well together and can intelligently plan out a run.

Just my two cents (or buck fifty as it were...)
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trechriron
post Oct 26 2009, 12:03 AM
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Also, I would create "information maps" or "clue maps" for an adventure. It should outline various pieces of critical information with numbers and thresholds. Those pieces COULD be connected to specific people, but I would consider making them somewhat flexible. There is some great advice for adventure design in the Gum Shoe system and GURPS Mysteries. I highly recommend both for ideas designing SR adventures. Basically the research and planning leading up to the run IS a mystery. The runners are collecting Intel to create the best informed plan. You can structure your information map accordingly.

1) Give each piece of Intel several vectors to the runners. This way, if they screw up finding a piece of Intel, it simply takes more time (and perhaps Nuyen) to ferret it out. If you look at the default presumption for complex tasks and retries in SR, the penalty is usually just more time/resources. Resource management is an important aspect of the game.
2) Give each piece of Intel two links to another piece of Intel. Create a web. Again, this builds in flexibility to your "mystery" so the players can still experience your idea (and plan for the run) even if they take different paths to get there.
3) Note the numbers on the map (Nuyen, thresholds, et al). This will be a handy quick reference for the game. You can put check marks next to the ones the players discover.
4) Create 3 x 5 cards or handouts for each piece of Intel. Give them to the players when the figure something out.

What does this do for you and the BBEG?

First, you can design your BBEG in the spirit of what you imagined for your story. Even if it is a pretty decent threat to the runners, the Intel you offer should give them sufficient warning and planning opportunity. After thinking about the "Glass Cannon" problem, I don't think addressing "The Game System" is the desired approach. I think the solution is in the execution. How you plan an adventure or even the campaign is going to be paramount, even more so than the stats on the BBEG. Since there are no real "encounter balance" rules, I think this is line with what the designers felt the game will support. After all, the BBEG wasn't born in a vacuum and then engineered to be a specific "threat level" for the PCs. It (he/she) should have a natural place in your setting.

Secondly, in the spirit of "natural placement of BBEGs" you should then design your BBEG encounters with this mind. Not really tailored to any specific running team, but in line with what you think your BBEG would have regarding resources and power. SOME of this information should be available for the PCs to find.

NOW, this is not in spirit with the resources I listed above. I don't think SR was designed with "encounter balance" in mind BUT you can use the mystery planning advice above to your advantage in presenting encounters and events.

Some people will approach the design of an adventure as "realistically" as possible. The bad guy IS going to murder the clone on April 14th at 7pm and the runners either get there or they don't. This is a valid adventure idea. Racing against the clock (especially when the runners KNOW when the clock runs out) can be an awesome adrenaline surge capped by exhausting victory or crushing disappointment. What if the runners DON'T know about the clock? Then it's just blind luck followed by cheesy angst. The players WILL think you're a twinkie ass hat, even if they don't say it.

I would suggest the bulk of BBEG events and encounters to be planned in a similar manner to the "Intel Map" with some flexibility built in. What's the point of an awesome event or encounter that takes place without the runners present? How are the players going to experience your awesome? Exactly. How does this help our "Glass Cannon" problem?

First, you can plan out encounters to take place after events that set up the runners to be in a state that makes the encounter more challenging. If the runners just got ambushed by a pack of hungry ghouls and are down ammo and energy, the REAL encounter will be just that more challenging. If encounter A (infiltrate bad guy safe house 2) takes place after the Intel is gathered on the safe house then create an encounter B (bank robbery gone bad) across the street to be triggered before the runners arrive. More police on scene could cause the runners to abort or at least modify the plan. What are the stats for my bank robbery? Who cares? I just changed the whole playing field and I didn't have to crack open one book to do it.

Second, if accomplishment A triggers event C that then triggers an opportunity for the BBEG to be alerted to shenanigans, you have the "BBEG knows you're coming" scenario I spoke of in my previous post. NOW, make sure that then triggers a piece of Intel the runners can learn so they KNOW the BBEG KNOWS about them, and then the planning and ultimately the encounter becomes that more challenging.

So, you start out planning the adventure with circles on a piece of paper with your plans, events that then create circles for encounters (adventure map). Use those to create pieces of Intel for your information map. Then create little circles for triggers that generate optional pieces of Intel you note on the information map and link them back to your adventure map. Give your circles multiple ways to be triggered/found and you can remain flexible to your runners' actions. Plan ahead to make the run challenging before, during, and after combat and I think the "Glass Cannon" thing can be a feature versus a defect.

Why a feature? Because combat is deadly. NO ONE goes into it unaware or foolhardy. Bad guys aren't going to directly confront a heavily armed Shadowrunner team head on. Nor should the runners be eager to confront their targets in a like manner. Challenging encounters require more than the BBEG having the right stat distribution. Like real like, the situations presented in the game should factor in everything that real soldiers/criminals use to their advantage.

Just my (now) three dollars...
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 26 2009, 01:41 AM
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QUOTE (trechriron @ Oct 25 2009, 05:13 PM) *
Perhaps a good encounter challenges the runners in various ways BEFORE the combat (if it ever comes to that). I personally don't mind the PCs being very capable, but I would also make the bad guys smart.

Once I knew a run was contracted on me, I would initiate my "plan". Any criminal or corporate organizer boss person would have a "I am being targeted" plan. It should involve mercs, automated defenses, magical defenses, multiple safe houses/places, travel, and ultimately - a counter-run against the runners. If I was a boss person and I wanted to make a contract against me way more trouble than any sum of Nuyen (read: Dragon), I just need a healthy body count of dead runners.

I would call in favors, lay traps to gather intelligence, then research the team gunning for me, then plan out their demise.

Also, creating challenging encounters shouldn't always revolve around combat. There are contacts, allies, and enemies. There is street cred and notoriety. Smoothing over a botched job with your contacts and Mr. Johnson could require all kinds of favors and jobs. A kidnapping or escort run may not involve any direct conflict if planned correctly. And this is a good thing, IMO. If the team can figure out a way to bypass all violence (read: Unwanted Attention), then kudos to them. Let them take the cred and move on to the next job.

Also, if a team can just walk into a place to "execute plan A" the bad guys need cerebral upgrades. In the magically delicious corporate-centric world of SR you can't really just rest on your laurels hoping your AAA security and Metro (contracted) security is going to keep you safe. ESPECIALLY if you have any particular reason you might be targeted for execution/kidnapping/theft. You hire a mage to magically protect your interests. You have automated heavily armed drones patrolling the inside and outside of your domains. You have a highly skilled, well paid spider. Or two. Systems will be redundant.

1) Rail drones inside on a separate security WIRED system. Only the security room and spiders can access this system. All access panels to the guts of a building would be hardened, monitored, and secured.
2) Multi-node security with several layers of IC waiting for any hackers. The more firewalls they have to breach, the better chance you have of them triggering an alert. Create several systems ahead of a game to use when the hacker goes a hacking. Shorthand out all the numbers ahead of time and let the fun begin. If a player wishes to gripe about the outcome (and you tolerate that kind of thing), just hand them the one-sheet of your system with notes.
3) All auto drones should have the basic terminate system integrated. It should be programmed to only respond to direct laser communication. You target any hijacked drones with laser antenna, and turn them off. This of course for the drones patrolling the outside of a building, but it could come in handy for police drones, etc. and the airborn human response team.
4) Every security entrance should be a small hallway that can be closed at both ends with metal rolling doors made of some strong bullet-resistant material. Insert Gas, contact toxins, electricity and when that fails, remove the oxygen. Walking in the front door should be so damn horrifying that only the most insane and skilled criminals would dream of attempting it (read: Your Shadowrunners). Also would explain why researching your run THOROUGHLY seems to be the SOP for successful runners. Penetrating a hotel should be easy (since who would stay in a hotel with such security measures), but everything else should be hell.
5) Wards and Barriers. Guardian spirits. Promise the pack of Fire Elementals that you will let them purify with flame 50% of any subdued intruders, and I am sure they will at least reluctantly enjoy their term of service.
6) Surveillance and Intelligence! Bad guys should have solid security to at least inform them something is amiss. Unless the runners do some serious planning, strategic cunning, and execute said plan with tactical excellence, the security should inform the bad guys more often than not. You want combat encounters to be challenging? The bad guys are prepared for the team.
7) Security teams use encrypted communications and have a system of verbal codes and methods so they can't just be taken out by one hacker with a sense of humor. Trained security professionals don't hesitate and give anyone a second chance. They are not paid to be humanitarians, they are paid to keep unauthorized people out of places they don't belong. In the world of SR any Yahoo strolling around the hallways is not a lost delivery person. it's a Shadowrunner. Corporate lawyers can easily protect you if you accidentally kill a real delivery driver (don't these guys use drones now anyways?).

Unless the runners circumvent the bad guys plans, home terf should be an advantage. Why are runners paranoid about just crashing into a place? Because more runners than not are killed that way. Devise the bad guys strongholds/holdings to basically kill a team of 6 runners if they walk in the door. In the first turn. There is a reason runners notoriously plan out runs. Know when you're planning was spot-on? The runners retreat. Then they swear they will never just barge into a place again. OR, they do their research, learn about the bad guys contingency plan and say - "we can't just go in there willy nilly, or were dead meat sacks". Ding. Ding. GM job well done.

If any yahoo could run, it wouldn't have become the bull market it is "today". Combat SHOULD be a scary prospect. Trained soldiers don't just run around shooting crap. They have tactics. They use those tactics to give them the best chance of living. Challenging encounters should test all the team's strengths and should only reward teams that work well together and can intelligently plan out a run.

Just my two cents (or buck fifty as it were...)



Wow... Well said...

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tisoz
post Oct 26 2009, 01:42 AM
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I hope this is adaptable to 4th edition, but I have lately been having fun with the spirit power Confusion. The shaman/magician(I guess is able in 4th) gives the order ahead of time to "Confuse any being who attacks "the group". "The group can include PC's, their spirits their drones/vehicles whatever, just make sure to have enough spirits to handle the load and/or enough services if each new attacker/Confusion use gets called a new service.

I see it isn't as awesome in 4th edition as previously, but it should cause some modifiers. In previous editions, victims needed to make a willpower test to even take an action, then did so with modifiers. As the group would attack, then start wandering around, the rest of the group catches on pretty quick that attacking leaves you stupid for a while.

In the spirit of making them not want to attack, perhaps have the environment not gunfire friendly. A fireworks warehouse. An flammable compound that they walk through or somehow get on themselves that they would rather not see start burning. A drug lab with ether in the air. Deadman's trigger. I'm sure there are more ideas along this path. Or the deadman's switch is hooked to destroy something the PCs actually need or desire, instead of just putting everyone in danger if the big guy buys it.

Another approach would be having the minions attack and the brains behind it where he can't be attacked, maybe seen and heard to add to the frustration, but out of reach. Maybe behind a bulletproof barrier, or just using trideo and speakers. Above a pit containing the PC's and several sleeping beasts they would as soon not wake in close confines.

Just stuff off the top of my head.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 26 2009, 01:45 AM
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QUOTE (trechriron @ Oct 25 2009, 06:03 PM) *
Also, I would create "information maps" or "clue maps" for an adventure. It should outline various pieces of critical information with numbers and thresholds. Those pieces COULD be connected to specific people, but I would consider making them somewhat flexible. There is some great advice for adventure design in the Gum Shoe system and GURPS Mysteries. I highly recommend both for ideas designing SR adventures. Basically the research and planning leading up to the run IS a mystery. The runners are collecting Intel to create the best informed plan. You can structure your information map accordingly.

1) Give each piece of Intel several vectors to the runners. This way, if they screw up finding a piece of Intel, it simply takes more time (and perhaps Nuyen) to ferret it out. If you look at the default presumption for complex tasks and retries in SR, the penalty is usually just more time/resources. Resource management is an important aspect of the game.
2) Give each piece of Intel two links to another piece of Intel. Create a web. Again, this builds in flexibility to your "mystery" so the players can still experience your idea (and plan for the run) even if they take different paths to get there.
3) Note the numbers on the map (Nuyen, thresholds, et al). This will be a handy quick reference for the game. You can put check marks next to the ones the players discover.
4) Create 3 x 5 cards or handouts for each piece of Intel. Give them to the players when the figure something out.

What does this do for you and the BBEG?

First, you can design your BBEG in the spirit of what you imagined for your story. Even if it is a pretty decent threat to the runners, the Intel you offer should give them sufficient warning and planning opportunity. After thinking about the "Glass Cannon" problem, I don't think addressing "The Game System" is the desired approach. I think the solution is in the execution. How you plan an adventure or even the campaign is going to be paramount, even more so than the stats on the BBEG. Since there are no real "encounter balance" rules, I think this is line with what the designers felt the game will support. After all, the BBEG wasn't born in a vacuum and then engineered to be a specific "threat level" for the PCs. It (he/she) should have a natural place in your setting.

Secondly, in the spirit of "natural placement of BBEGs" you should then design your BBEG encounters with this mind. Not really tailored to any specific running team, but in line with what you think your BBEG would have regarding resources and power. SOME of this information should be available for the PCs to find.

NOW, this is not in spirit with the resources I listed above. I don't think SR was designed with "encounter balance" in mind BUT you can use the mystery planning advice above to your advantage in presenting encounters and events.

Some people will approach the design of an adventure as "realistically" as possible. The bad guy IS going to murder the clone on April 14th at 7pm and the runners either get there or they don't. This is a valid adventure idea. Racing against the clock (especially when the runners KNOW when the clock runs out) can be an awesome adrenaline surge capped by exhausting victory or crushing disappointment. What if the runners DON'T know about the clock? Then it's just blind luck followed by cheesy angst. The players WILL think you're a twinkie ass hat, even if they don't say it.

I would suggest the bulk of BBEG events and encounters to be planned in a similar manner to the "Intel Map" with some flexibility built in. What's the point of an awesome event or encounter that takes place without the runners present? How are the players going to experience your awesome? Exactly. How does this help our "Glass Cannon" problem?

First, you can plan out encounters to take place after events that set up the runners to be in a state that makes the encounter more challenging. If the runners just got ambushed by a pack of hungry ghouls and are down ammo and energy, the REAL encounter will be just that more challenging. If encounter A (infiltrate bad guy safe house 2) takes place after the Intel is gathered on the safe house then create an encounter B (bank robbery gone bad) across the street to be triggered before the runners arrive. More police on scene could cause the runners to abort or at least modify the plan. What are the stats for my bank robbery? Who cares? I just changed the whole playing field and I didn't have to crack open one book to do it.

Second, if accomplishment A triggers event C that then triggers an opportunity for the BBEG to be alerted to shenanigans, you have the "BBEG knows you're coming" scenario I spoke of in my previous post. NOW, make sure that then triggers a piece of Intel the runners can learn so they KNOW the BBEG KNOWS about them, and then the planning and ultimately the encounter becomes that more challenging.

So, you start out planning the adventure with circles on a piece of paper with your plans, events that then create circles for encounters (adventure map). Use those to create pieces of Intel for your information map. Then create little circles for triggers that generate optional pieces of Intel you note on the information map and link them back to your adventure map. Give your circles multiple ways to be triggered/found and you can remain flexible to your runners' actions. Plan ahead to make the run challenging before, during, and after combat and I think the "Glass Cannon" thing can be a feature versus a defect.

Why a feature? Because combat is deadly. NO ONE goes into it unaware or foolhardy. Bad guys aren't going to directly confront a heavily armed Shadowrunner team head on. Nor should the runners be eager to confront their targets in a like manner. Challenging encounters require more than the BBEG having the right stat distribution. Like real like, the situations presented in the game should factor in everything that real soldiers/criminals use to their advantage.

Just my (now) three dollars...



Sounds like a hell of a lot of work, but I can see this paying off in heavy dividends...

Thanks

Keep the Faith
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RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 15th April 2024 - 03:35 PM

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