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> First time running Shadowrun, This is it...
Androcomputus
post Feb 17 2010, 03:33 PM
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So the gaming group has nominated me to be the GM... anyway, after looking through some pre-made adventures I noticed that shadowrun has an episodic feel to it as a GM....

Basically, take a job, complete the job, get paid... Sure there are moments of legwork, preparation, inter party role play and there could be an a Large Story Arc...

There is an old thread called "Security!" that I am going to review... and I was wondering if that is all I need to prepare for the next game.

Does this sound right? Is there any other threads that are great to review so I can prepare games easier.
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DireRadiant
post Feb 17 2010, 04:02 PM
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The most important thing to do is to talk to and listen to your players before starting.
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D2F
post Feb 17 2010, 04:23 PM
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QUOTE (Androcomputus @ Feb 17 2010, 04:33 PM) *
So the gaming group has nominated me to be the GM... anyway, after looking through some pre-made adventures I noticed that shadowrun has an episodic feel to it as a GM....

Basically, take a job, complete the job, get paid... Sure there are moments of legwork, preparation, inter party role play and there could be an a Large Story Arc...

There is an old thread called "Security!" that I am going to review... and I was wondering if that is all I need to prepare for the next game.

Does this sound right? Is there any other threads that are great to review so I can prepare games easier.


Whent comes to adventures/Runs/Missions in Shadowrun, it is like a good TV show. Some episodes are stand alone events, while others tie into larger plotlines. And just as in these great TV shows, the trick to never allow the players to know which kind of "missions" they are currently on. Seemingly stand alone adventures can thus tie into large and complex plot storylines, if you are so inclined.

To get a good feel of how to run things and how to approach your players and their expectations it would be wise to start off with a series of stand alone adventures. You might even go as far as assigning each adventuire to a particular rule set dominance. So you could have one adventure focus almost exclusivel yon combat, another focus on Vehicle combat, chases and hacking, yet another could use magic as its center point... That way you and your group can step by step familiarize yourself with the rules, rather than having to deal with them all at once.

Once you and your players are familiar and comfortable with the rules, you can start to mix up stand alone adventures with adventures that tie into a larger plotline.

For starters, I could recommend the TV show "Burn Notice" to see a combination of stand alone and plot line episodes put well together in a Shadowrunesque fashion.
Alternatively, I could also recommend "Firefly" or "Supernatural". These two are not Shadowrunesque, but they provide a great excemple of how to tie stand alone episodes and larger plot episodes together.

Hope that helps.
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AndyZ
post Feb 18 2010, 02:20 AM
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This is very important but often overlooked:

Make sure that your PCs are the right people for the job.

If you have an infiltration specialist, have stuff that's best for sneaking. If you have a mage, there should be magical stuff.

You can do this or not do this, but it's more important NOT to do the opposite.

Don't send an infiltration specialist on something impossible to be snuck into, or a mage into a place where they just can't cast anything, or a hacker into a completely-impossible-to-hack place.

There can be challenges, sure, and places where someone can't do something after a while, but let people get used to their abilities and feel confident in what they do before you start throwing the heavy wireless paint and things like that.
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Professor Evil O...
post Feb 18 2010, 10:02 AM
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First off, welcome to the wonderful world of the GM! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Shadowrun is different from a lot of other RPGs out there both in scope and style. And it can be run a number of different ways. Make sure that everyone at your table is comfortable with the kind of game you intend to run so they know what to expect, and can build appropriate characters.

There is a recent thread that has a lot of good advice here:
http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=29647

Here is some more quick advice:

1) Decide up front how much money you want each character to make from an average job and let your players know the base line. There are several threads on this, but it really is up to you and your players. Vary the pay out between jobs based on difficulty. Throw out an occasional windfall run that is high pay high risk. Have some jobs with non monetary rewards such as information or contacts.

2) Changing a few names here and there in a published adventure can customize them to fit your group. Plug in your players contacts whenever appropriate. Using your own NPCs both helpful and harmful can make an off the shelf module fit right into your campaign.

3) Draw whatever connections between jobs that you want. It's the players' job to find discover them, so don't just hand it off to them. You don't even half to think of them in advance, a connection won't be clear to the players anyways until several runs into a story arc. So don't sweat it if you don't have a firm idea up front.

4) Don't get intimidated by the amount of info out there. There are a ton of books for shadowrun. Nobody expects you to have read and memorized all of them. Don't expect your players to know everything either, especially if they're new to the game. Spoon feed players basic information early on, especially if it's something their character should know (that's partly what knowledge skills are for).

5) Decide on a style and tone early on. Some groups like to play shadowrun as an action movie, others prefer to play it as a secret conspiracy driven investigative game. Some prefer a dark and gritty game, others a more light hearted approach. The only right way is the way that your group enjoys.

6) Good luck and have fun.
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cndblank
post Feb 18 2010, 04:16 PM
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The Denver Missions are perfect to introduce a group to Shadowrun. Very focus and quick to run.

Use an NPC hacker as your voice to the party. It really speeds up play. Even if you have a hacker or a hacker/rigger in the party, having a second one that always works remote is very useful to both the party and to the GM.

If you want to go old school, run your game in 2050. Some of the best adventures are still there and if your players are new to SR.... You still have all the wireless stuff but to get true VR you need a hard line to the Matrix. Plus the valuable stuff isn't sent over wireless connections just fiber optic. Also cuts down on Nanotech and Genetech. There is that stuff out there but it is bleeding SOTA. Also cuts down on the 24 by 7 Big Brother surveillance.

Explain to your players that they don't get the cred they get without being expected to deal with things when they go wrong so expect things to go wrong. Plus it would be boring if they didn't.

Also once your group is comfortable with the system, remember that there will be enough simultaneous action that the team will not be able to always have their expert handle it. Maybe the Face is chatting up the target while the muscle acting as his driver gets asked a few question by the target's chauffeur.

You also need to be real clear on what type of game you are running as far as Pink Mohawk (very cyberpunk like Escape from New York) vs Black Trench coat (Total professionalism like Bourne Identity/Mission Impossible with lots of Big Brother is watching). Talk to your players to find out what they want and make sure they are on the same page.


With RFID, cameras, drones, and every thing else the total surveillance aspects can really be overwhelming. A runner has to know how to stay under the radar or he wouldn't be a runner for long. Different areas can have different levels so you can have both Pink Mohawk and Black Trench coat elements in the game.

Just as long as the PCs are clear on what they can get away with and what will bring the hammer down depending on the location. An example would be how much heats would the team be in if they gunned down two Lonestar officers. Some games it wouldn't matter that much cause it is just another Corp security drone while others it would make the team too hot to handle for a while. Do it in the Barrens and no one saw anything. Do it down town and they will have concern citizens sending in cybereye vid feeds and surveillance photographs of the shooters plaster every where with a fat reward big enough to make your "chummers" turn in their mother let alone little old you.


Also on just how dark a game you and your players want it to be. Just how moral/immoral are the PCs. I tell my players each PC should have one socially redeeming quality. Everyone has to be on the same page. Plus it is fun to tempt them over the line. It is even more fun to find the line the PC won't go over.
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