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> GM needs help., What makes a run interesting?
Kohake
post Nov 12 2009, 01:32 AM
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Though I have a lot of experience as a GM, I'm relatively new to Shadowrun. My players are new to Shadowrun aswell, we have played for about 5 session. As we were just getting used to the system, the first runs have been pretty straight forward (structure hit, abductions and ofc some leg work) but by now, whatever I come up with feels redundant.

I've tried giving them interesting NPCs to interact with,(I don't think I'm a good enough actor though) I've made them choose between saving civilians or finishing the mission right away.(A waste of effort. Obviously they didn't give a damn about civilians) I've tried giving them many ways to solve the problems(which ended with the mechanic building siege weapons) and I made them face other shadowrunners.(I was hoping they would negotiate, but they attacked and got luck enough to survive without injury)

I'm running out of ideas. So I decided to request help from other GMs out there. What makes a run interesting? What do you do when you run out of ideas? What gives you inspiration? How do you challenge the players without trowing a bunch of enemies at them?



If you are willing to help me with my next run there are a few things you need to know. My shadowrun group is a lesser army. I'm almost ashamed that I let it happened, we have about 7 or 8 players. Being this many means that they don't really fear combat. Since the PCs recently started running, I don't think it would make sense to have them fighting mega corps already. (Maybe after this run I'll have them chased by a mega corp or something) I think I should challenge them by making the information harder to find and setting up traps, making sure they always have to be careful. But that is troublesome for me as I have not yet mastered all the rules of Shadowrun.
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Generic_PC
post Nov 12 2009, 02:12 AM
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I would say that you have to incentivize them to do things the way you want. Get the johnson to give them a bonus if they steal the paydata without anyone knowing. If the targets walk in on a bunch of dead secguards, they'll probably figure out that somethings wrong, and they won't get a reward. I've found that PCs, and runners even more, won't do something unless it's got a reward attached. Shadowrunners even more because the game is basically putting you into a criminal anyway.

However, this is just first thoughts, and I'm no GM of any system, so I'm sure others will have better ideas.
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Kohake
post Nov 12 2009, 02:27 AM
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Thanks for your reply, I shall keep it in mind for the future. Since I this would let me put restrictions on the players, at least I won't have to worry about them being over powered.
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Generic_PC
post Nov 12 2009, 02:36 AM
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Another idea: Change the run halfway through.

Have the Johnson give the PCs some data. Say, steal a crate from a warehouse. You have until 10 tomorrow, when the crate will be leaving. Get the johnson to give them a contact number.

Make it leave at say... 930 instead.

When they get to the warehouse, the crate is gone. They might go complain to the johnson, but if they don't get the crate, they ain't getting paid. They'll phone him, he'll act surprised, then tell them to steal the crate off the truck. The PCs won't have prepared for it, but they'll get it anyway.

A second idea, related to the first: Give them a time limit. A short one.

Have the johnson act very flustered. Give them a job which needs to be complete within 4 or 6 hours. See how they deal with it.
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Generic_PC
post Nov 12 2009, 02:36 AM
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Take my ideas with some salt. I'm just throwing 'em out there. They have no basis in any game I've ever played, since I haven't played many SR games.

1: Change the run halfway through.

Have the Johnson give the PCs some data. Say, steal a crate from a warehouse. You have until 10 tomorrow, when the crate will be leaving. Get the johnson to give them a contact number.

Make it leave at say... 930 instead.

When they get to the warehouse, the crate is gone. They might go complain to the johnson, but if they don't get the crate, they ain't getting paid. They'll phone him, he'll act surprised, then tell them to steal the crate off the truck. The PCs won't have prepared for it, but they'll get it anyway.

2: Give them a time limit. A short one.

Have the johnson act very flustered. Give them a job which needs to be complete within 4 or 6 hours. See how they deal with it.
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Jericho Alar
post Nov 12 2009, 03:14 AM
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Your first mistake is thinking about the player characters as heroes (not your fault, it's common in RPGs for players to be THE heroes, in shadowrun they're almost without exception *not* heroes at all). - stop giving them moral dilemmas unless they're directly related to the run: e.g. "if we kill the courier we'll get to keep his vehicle too but then the johnson might be mad at us.." is probably the highest level you'll get to unless someone has an overriding interest in doing something particular in-characterwise that would negatively affect how much money they make. (like, a hacker and a technomancer captured a dissonant techno in my game recently; the hacker wanted to sell her, the technomancer wanted to kill her to prevent the risk of dissonant corruption of any wells by her in the future. there was alot of tension there.)

Generally the best way to give interest in shadowrun is to make sure the plot twists at least a little on every run, provide puzzles with open ended solutions, and try to provide opportunities for observant or smart players to make some extra money on the side with a little bit of extra poking around.

if you want to force negotiation you have to have it set in a venue where combat isn't an option (say, bumping into the other team in the middle of a baseball game while tailing the extraction target who happened to have tickets there.) or by presenting them with a negotiator who has overwhelming force backing him up (like, the stereotypical mafia meet in the middle of their restaurant-front fortress..)

I mostly challenge my players by giving them novel problems to solve - the environment in shadowrun is your friend (the GM's, anyway..) some of the more novel problems I've thrown at players involved things like stealing an ice sculpture out of the glass onion during a party, in the middle of the summer, and delivering it across town intact (no bullet holes, no visible melting, etc.) and extracting the star player of a baseball team in the middle of the fifth game of the world series...

problems *can* include the typical super large security force; something that's much too large to actually fight through - but with 8 players you're going to be on the razor's edge between challenging and crushing.. (which I think you may have noticed.)

I'd recommend watching movies like Ocean's Eleven and Sneakers to see how larger groups of criminals will work together by splitting up and each handling a smaller but integral task.

which brings me to another point, I would *guess* your runs have mostly been smaller targets based on the fact that they didn't have security forever (your team was able to kill them all) a Johnson is mostly going to hire teams this large to hit large, hard, targets... so have them steal something out of a bank vault in the AZT pyramid or somewhere similar where there *isn't* any end to the reinforcements and the firefights all have to be running firefights or they'll get pinned down, overwhelmed, and killed. etc. (stealth challenges + chase scenes, etc etc.)

if the PCs are an organized shadowrunner team, they're ready to run against megacorps. the mega's own *Everything* : push over a stuffer shack? that's Aztechnology (AZT) - just because it's a corp building doesn't mean the security is scare-your-pants-off impossible. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) -but-, a team of 7-8 runners who are all already established professional criminals (look at their skills and compare to the baseline average ganger/wageslave who is mostly 2s and 3s) absolutely can and should be going against bigger targets.

anyway, I hope that helps: 8 players is alot (most I've ever run myself and that was after *years* of experience) so you have my respect for sticking with it (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) - I recommend if you still can't engage everyone after another 2 sessions or so to consider breaking the group into two groups of 4, it'll make it alot easier to handle and if you're especially lucky, maybe one of them will step up to GM the other game and you can get some experience playing (Which will help you learn the rules)
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AKWeaponsSpecial...
post Nov 12 2009, 03:39 AM
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When my group gets too unruly, my GM tells me to "get creative" with 400 BP and a suggested number of enemies, to make a squad for scare the fear of teh Game Overview Director back into 'em....I could help you out, if you so wish. I can also help you set up some simple traps that'll make them think twice before just charging in, guns blazing. Nothing quite says "THE HOLY HELL IS THAT?!" like a modified fully-automatic laser cannon drone on a tripod, with the exception of two. Advanced Safety, pilot upgrade, Large Firing Selection Change, and a blind corner can be lots of fun.
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Creel
post Nov 12 2009, 03:51 AM
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The thing you need to latch onto here is that unlike your basic fantasy/adventure RPG, in shadowrun actions have consequences.

Your boys are getting a rep for being heavy-handed and brutal, that can and should impact the jobs they get. In another thread someone mentioned having a team hit a place where there's a run in progress next door, turn it around on them. Have the johnson be another team of runners that need a distraction to cover an exfil. Time it so that while the other team is on the way out nice and quiet-like, your guys come in loud and clumsy to pull off the heat. From the johnson's point of view they get a nice big cover action and if a few of your guys bite it...they were giving people in the biz a bad name anyway. Also, every guard they geek could be the favorite nephew of the director of security for Ares getting first-hand experience as part of grooming him for more responsibility.

Sounds like the biggest thing they need is a stronger sense of cohesiveness between runs. If they start to fear how there actions will come back to haunt them, they'll put more thought into what they're doing.

Also, as stated above, a team that large is pulling serious money. Make them earn it. Bigger, higher profile targets. Bigger, better armed opfors. It may be time for the proverbial troll with a minigun to step out of scripture with a holy vengeance.

Another thing you could do is split them in 2 groups and run them opposite eachother for a night. Half are running escort on a doohicky in transit, the other are hitting it. Split the players up so they don't know what's up until the bullets start to fly...nothing personal it's just biz chummer.
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Kohake
post Nov 12 2009, 03:55 AM
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@Generic_PC

Thanks for your post, it really made me think up some awesome ideas.

QUOTE (Jericho Alar @ Nov 12 2009, 04:14 AM) *
Your first mistake is thinking about the player characters as heroes (not your fault, it's common in RPGs for players to be THE heroes, in shadowrun they're almost without exception *not* heroes at all). - stop giving them moral dilemmas unless they're directly related to the run: e.g. "if we kill the courier we'll get to keep his vehicle too but then the johnson might be mad at us.." is probably the highest level you'll get to unless someone has an overriding interest in doing something particular in-characterwise that would negatively affect how much money they make. (like, a hacker and a technomancer captured a dissonant techno in my game recently; the hacker wanted to sell her, the technomancer wanted to kill her to prevent the risk of dissonant corruption of any wells by her in the future. there was alot of tension there.)

Generally the best way to give interest in shadowrun is to make sure the plot twists at least a little on every run, provide puzzles with open ended solutions, and try to provide opportunities for observant or smart players to make some extra money on the side with a little bit of extra poking around.

if you want to force negotiation you have to have it set in a venue where combat isn't an option (say, bumping into the other team in the middle of a baseball game while tailing the extraction target who happened to have tickets there.) or by presenting them with a negotiator who has overwhelming force backing him up (like, the stereotypical mafia meet in the middle of their restaurant-front fortress..)

I mostly challenge my players by giving them novel problems to solve - the environment in shadowrun is your friend (the GM's, anyway..) some of the more novel problems I've thrown at players involved things like stealing an ice sculpture out of the glass onion during a party, in the middle of the summer, and delivering it across town intact (no bullet holes, no visible melting, etc.) and extracting the star player of a baseball team in the middle of the fifth game of the world series...

problems *can* include the typical super large security force; something that's much too large to actually fight through - but with 8 players you're going to be on the razor's edge between challenging and crushing.. (which I think you may have noticed.)

I'd recommend watching movies like Ocean's Eleven and Sneakers to see how larger groups of criminals will work together by splitting up and each handling a smaller but integral task.

which brings me to another point, I would *guess* your runs have mostly been smaller targets based on the fact that they didn't have security forever (your team was able to kill them all) a Johnson is mostly going to hire teams this large to hit large, hard, targets... so have them steal something out of a bank vault in the AZT pyramid or somewhere similar where there *isn't* any end to the reinforcements and the firefights all have to be running firefights or they'll get pinned down, overwhelmed, and killed. etc. (stealth challenges + chase scenes, etc etc.)

if the PCs are an organized shadowrunner team, they're ready to run against megacorps. the mega's own *Everything* : push over a stuffer shack? that's Aztechnology (AZT) - just because it's a corp building doesn't mean the security is scare-your-pants-off impossible. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) -but-, a team of 7-8 runners who are all already established professional criminals (look at their skills and compare to the baseline average ganger/wageslave who is mostly 2s and 3s) absolutely can and should be going against bigger targets.

anyway, I hope that helps: 8 players is a lot (most I've ever run myself and that was after *years* of experience) so you have my respect for sticking with it (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) - I recommend if you still can't engage everyone after another 2 sessions or so to consider breaking the group into two groups of 4, it'll make it alot easier to handle and if you're especially lucky, maybe one of them will step up to GM the other game and you can get some experience playing (Which will help you learn the rules)


A lot of what you said went very well hand in hand with what I thought myself, but reading it helped me see it from another perspective. I've already thought about spiting the group, as long as the groups don't get a session each, it should work.(As I said, I have a lot of experience(with large groups), just not with SR.)

Btw, I understood later that they really didn't give a damn about the civilians, but since I knew the players form before it wasn't what I expected. But at least I could get something out of it by letting the civilian return later with cyber limbs or something. (maybe even pay them to get back at the people who caused it. That being the person who ordered the first run)




Yeah I want to thank the rest of the people who responded as well, great feed back. It really seems necessary to have a plot twist for each run to avoid making to easy.
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Joe Chummer
post Nov 12 2009, 04:45 AM
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I've found what makes runs interesting is to make them personal. Have a PC's sister show up as the Johnson, with some sob story about how she's fallen into trouble with a syndicate and needs the PC's help -- and thus his team's guns, expertise, and whatnot -- with helping her out of the jam. She'll pay good nuyen of course.

Or have some dark part of a PC's past come back and bite them at the worst possible time. That bit of the past can either be from the character's backstory or the consequence of an actual run the team pulled off several gaming sessions ago.

Some of the most effective complications and twists -- and the roleplaying opportunities that follow -- all come from your players' characters. If you're stuck for something or just feeling uncreative in general, read over your PC's backgrounds (assuming they've written something out for you). There's always an orichalcum mine waiting to be discovered.
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kzt
post Nov 12 2009, 06:35 AM
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Runs that require stealth and cleverness are interesting. For example, if there are alarms or shooting the prototype gets rolled into the time-locked vault. And a 3 hour rated vault really does takes at least 3 hours to get into, which the security/HRT/SWAT teams are unlikely to provide.

The other aspect is what are the players looking for?

My personal idea of a good time is to smoothly accomplish whatever mission we have set out. If it can be done without shooting etc that is fine with me. To me the ideal fight is one where the opposition doesn't have a chance because we planed and executed the job correctly. Fair fights are for idiots and children.

Other people really think a game without a lot of combat is important and they won't be happy without it.

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PBI
post Nov 12 2009, 11:34 AM
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Sometimes you have to smack the PCs down hard in order for the players to get the idea that they need to look at changing their MO.
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Ascalaphus
post Nov 12 2009, 11:44 AM
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Maybe they're hired to hit a place where some PC's relative works? They might want to avoid total annihilation/traumatization of the relative by killing all the coworkers then.


But generally, think about this:
* "Don't Eat Pork": If a local corp is getting attacked by brutal slaughter psychos, they call the cops. If you kill the cops, they'll bring more until the PCs are all dead ("There was no reasonable way of arresting them without heavy weaponry.")

* "Something Must Be Done": there'll be pressure on Knight Errant to deal with the terrorists. Killing guards isn't good, civilians causes escalation. The PCs may be sought out.

* "Too Hot To Handle": employment opportunities begin to dry up. No friendly corporation will protect them from extradition (the press would be awful)

* "Priority Investigation": a lot goes down in the 6th world, and resources are tight. But when you're the baddest meanest group, you get prime attention. See how long it takes for authorities and corporations to build a file on the PCs and develop specific tactics against them.

* "Do Unto Others": Security personnel that realizes the PCs are a No Mercy outfit will respond in kind; they'll put away the tazers and grab their guns.

* "Fastest Shot In The West": other criminals might want to make their name by taking down the feared and infamous PCs



If you play nice, avoid excessive casualties and limit your weaponry, you won't stick out; you won't receive priority. Maybe show them that a SOP=Stun runner outfit is plausible? (It takes some work to figure out the weaponry, but it exists)
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Kohake
post Nov 12 2009, 02:52 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Nov 12 2009, 07:35 AM) *
Runs that require stealth and cleverness are interesting. For example, if there are alarms or shooting the prototype gets rolled into the time-locked vault. And a 3 hour rated vault really does takes at least 3 hours to get into, which the security/HRT/SWAT teams are unlikely to provide.

The other aspect is what are the players looking for?

My personal idea of a good time is to smoothly accomplish whatever mission we have set out. If it can be done without shooting etc that is fine with me. To me the ideal fight is one where the opposition doesn't have a chance because we planed and executed the job correctly. Fair fights are for idiots and children.

Other people really think a game without a lot of combat is important and they won't be happy without it.


I think that both me and my team prefers less combat heavy gameplay. (That's actually one of the reasons I love SR) I just have a hard time making up runns so that the players need to be smart. I guess I could just up the risk.


QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Nov 12 2009, 12:44 PM) *
Maybe they're hired to hit a place where some PC's relative works? They might want to avoid total annihilation/traumatization of the relative by killing all the coworkers then.


But generally, think about this:
* "Don't Eat Pork": If a local corp is getting attacked by brutal slaughter psychos, they call the cops. If you kill the cops, they'll bring more until the PCs are all dead ("There was no reasonable way of arresting them without heavy weaponry.")

* "Something Must Be Done": there'll be pressure on Knight Errant to deal with the terrorists. Killing guards isn't good, civilians causes escalation. The PCs may be sought out.

* "Too Hot To Handle": employment opportunities begin to dry up. No friendly corporation will protect them from extradition (the press would be awful)

* "Priority Investigation": a lot goes down in the 6th world, and resources are tight. But when you're the baddest meanest group, you get prime attention. See how long it takes for authorities and corporations to build a file on the PCs and develop specific tactics against them.

* "Do Unto Others": Security personnel that realizes the PCs are a No Mercy outfit will respond in kind; they'll put away the tazers and grab their guns.

* "Fastest Shot In The West": other criminals might want to make their name by taking down the feared and infamous PCs



If you play nice, avoid excessive casualties and limit your weaponry, you won't stick out; you won't receive priority. Maybe show them that a SOP=Stun runner outfit is plausible? (It takes some work to figure out the weaponry, but it exists)


Good ideas. I've been thinking about a few of them, but as they are new, and none of them have a sin, I thought I'de wait a while befor using the big guns.
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Cheshyr
post Nov 12 2009, 03:25 PM
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QUOTE (Jericho Alar @ Nov 11 2009, 10:14 PM) *
Generally the best way to give interest in shadowrun is to make sure the plot twists at least a little on every run, provide puzzles with open ended solutions, and try to provide opportunities for observant or smart players to make some extra money on the side with a little bit of extra poking around.

I think this is the best advice so far. The only thing I might add is that killing the PCs isn't the only method of failure. My troll sam isn't going to go down to gunfire or armored vehicles (short of ramming him), but as my GM pointed out... drowning doesn't care about your soak dice pool, falling is unkind regardles of your height, and toxins ignore a lot of the standard armor. That doesn't mean he can afford to ignore a teammate being blackmailed, as assault on one of his contacts, or an opposing runner's smear operation on his reputation.
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Kohake
post Nov 12 2009, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (Cheshyr @ Nov 12 2009, 04:25 PM) *
I think this is the best advice so far. The only thing I might add is that killing the PCs isn't the only method of failure. My troll sam isn't going to go down to gunfire or armored vehicles (short of ramming him), but as my GM pointed out... drowning doesn't care about your soak dice pool, falling is unkind regardles of your height, and toxins ignore a lot of the standard armor. That doesn't mean he can afford to ignore a teammate being blackmailed, as assault on one of his contacts, or an opposing runner's smear operation on his reputation.


I don't really get what you mean by that.(the bold text)
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kzt
post Nov 12 2009, 04:15 PM
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The first time you leave a pile of bodies behind is when the cops put a major crime team on your ass. They don't need to wait until you've killed 100 voters or their kids.
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Ascalaphus
post Nov 12 2009, 05:06 PM
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Not having a SIN isn't necessarily an advantage. It means you have less to no civil rights. Your rights to due process are pretty limited for example.

And just because someone doesn't have a SIN doesn't mean they can't "earn" a case file...
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Kohake
post Nov 12 2009, 05:11 PM
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I'm not saying I'm not going to send the corps after them, I'm just tellign you why I thought I should wait. As a case file with a lot of information isn't made over night.
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Jericho Alar
post Nov 12 2009, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE (Kohake @ Nov 12 2009, 10:54 AM) *
I don't really get what you mean by that.(the bold text)


I think he meant that there's alternatives to killing them: you can kill or dry up their contacts, you can wipe out their bank accounts, you can yank their SIN, you can arrest them, you can deport them, you can incapacitate them with poisons, etc etc.

he also addressed that there are effects other than bullets that you can use to even the playing field a little between Trolls and beefy orks and everyone else in terms of punishing failures (drowning / toxins / falling being the big three).

concerning case files; if your runners have SINs at all, (even fake ones if they only have one) the data will compile really fast. the only ones close to being safe are characters with the Erased edge or No SIN at all.. and no SIN at all is very much a disadvantage as it is an advantage - they can't buy pretty much anything, if they get picked up by the cops at all they're immediately issued a criminal SIN and are second class citizens, etc..
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Kohake
post Nov 12 2009, 05:40 PM
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QUOTE (Jericho Alar @ Nov 12 2009, 06:36 PM) *
I think he meant that there's alternatives to killing them: you can kill or dry up their contacts, you can wipe out their bank accounts, you can yank their SIN, you can arrest them, you can deport them, you can incapacitate them with poisons, etc etc.

he also addressed that there are effects other than bullets that you can use to even the playing field a little between Trolls and beefy orks and everyone else in terms of punishing failures (drowning / toxins / falling being the big three).

concerning case files; if your runners have SINs at all, (even fake ones if they only have one) the data will compile really fast. the only ones close to being safe are characters with the Erased edge or No SIN at all.. and no SIN at all is very much a disadvantage as it is an advantage - they can't buy pretty much anything, if they get picked up by the cops at all they're immediately issued a criminal SIN and are second class citizens, etc..


Okay, that makes a lot more sense. Thanks.
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Cheshyr
post Nov 12 2009, 06:12 PM
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I was just suggesting that it may be more fun to torture your players instead of kill them. The players are expecting you to try and kill them, and they've prepared for it. Shadowrun tends to have a heavy 'elite spec-ops' overtone, but that doesn't really cover everything involved in being a runner. There are plenty of ways to make things interesting and personal, without it turning into a slugfest. Unless, of course, that's what your players want. If that's the case, I'd suggest larger scale battles, and more tactics and NPCs. And yeah, Jericho hit the nail on the head regarding my first post.
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Jericho Alar
post Nov 12 2009, 07:40 PM
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A great example of 'what else you can do' is actually the Bourne Series. Enemy of the State is pretty good too.
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kzt
post Nov 12 2009, 09:00 PM
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Neurostun and then hot VR without an off-switch or access to the RAS override. Acquire all sorts of cool quirks.

"So, Mr. man with no name, have you ever though about how painful it to burn to death? No? Well, let me show you."

"Wasn't that fun. Now, what is your name again?"
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Drraagh
post Nov 13 2009, 05:38 AM
Post #25


Moving Target
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The ideas mentioned in here are great and a lot of what I would suggest. I like throwing curveballs at my team, because it makes them think. Too many times do people create a run and everything goes off without a hitch, they shoot stuff and get away. At least in the movies, sometimes in the video games.

Combat is a distraction, it is a filler in the movies and games, because they needed a way to expand the game and add challenges for the player. I am not knocking combat; I play FPS games, I play RPG games with their random encounters. However, I do love the Ultima series.

For those who haven't played the Ultima series, the first three games were your standard 'Go here, fight this guy and save the world. Oh, by the way, kill all these monsters on your way'. After the third game, Richard Garriot was getting a lot of feedback about the immoral actions in these games, like stealing and killing all the innocent villagers, and decided to shift the focus. He then created the virtues and in the fourth game, it was the quest for the Avatar, an embodiment of these virtues. They were based off Truth, Love and Courage, in different combinations, forming Honesty (Truth), Comassion (Love), Valor (Courage), Justice (Truth/Love), Sacrifice (Love/Courage), Honor (Turth/Courage), Spirituality (Truth/Love/Courage), Humility (None).

The player had to try to live up to each of the virtues in all of his actions, which sometimes meant having to go out of the way to do things and prove yourself worthy. For example, to cast magic, you needed to use reagents which you could buy from shops. One of these shops was run by a blind man. You could buy as much as you wanted, and as long as you paid a couple gold, you would get away with it. But you lose honesty for doing that, and then you have to make it back up. If you run from a random encounter, you lose valor, etc.

So, one example the game system had to determine what type of character you start playing as was a quiz. You can find an example test here. It was full of hard moral choices for people. Might not work much for Shadowrunners, but some of t he choices in the test and in game make for choices that could put the palyers to thinking.

They put the player in a room with all sorts of switches, gates on all sides which opened to rooms with more gates and so on. Each switch changed the state of some pattern of gates, and the object was to open a path to the exit. In some rooms were feral children who would attack the player's group. You could kill the children, which hurt some virtues, but you didn't deal with them attacking after that. Someone even tenured a resignation because they didn't want to work for a company that supports child abuse.

But as Richard Garriott said in an interview: "They could reload the room and not pull the lever; they could put the children to sleep and walk out; you could charm the children and make them walk away; they could drop their weapons so they wouldnít hit them and attack them until they went below a quarter hit points and the kids would run away; they could use a fear spell and make them run away, etc. There are lots of options that donít involve killing children. But the point is, I provoked an emotional response, and thatís so hard to do in games that I was proud to have done this."

Anyway, just putting characters in a lose-lose situation is definately a great way to do it. The problem is trying to get the connections required to make things work. The death of Spock in Star Trek films to save the rest of the ship was a sacrifice he was willing to make because he was saving his friends and many innocent people. PCs don't usually get that connection to virtual people, so what you need to do is come up with some terrible options either way; think the Train Job episode of Firefly; if you do the job, your reputation will be showing you as a heartless jerk and certain contacts will no longer associate themselves with you, but you'll get paid, and if you choose B, you will make an enemy but you'll still have your reputation.
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