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> Night at the Museum, When a simple B&E goes horribly wrong
Elfenlied
post Aug 2 2010, 02:06 PM
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Hello all,
Our last session was rather messy, and I think Iíll need your advice on how to handle it properly. Hereís what happened:

The group was hired to retrieve an antique vase from a museum in Hollywood (AAA zone) by one of their contacts, who in turn received the mission from an unknown Johnson. Their contact, a technomancer, accompanied them on the mission. The legwork part went pretty well; they visited the museum during regular opening hours, took notes of the security (the place was guarded by relatively inexperienced graduates from a Knight Errant academy), and swiped a couple of ID badges. The PC hacker was able to retrieve a blueprint of the building, detailing a drain pipe at a nearby river leading into an abandoned sewer system which in turn allowed access into the museum courtyard.

They decided to hit the museum at night. After commissioning some Knight Errant uniforms, they travelled to the drain pipe with their submarine. After disabling the security on the grate, they got into the museum courtyard, and snuck into the museum. With their swiped ID badges, they managed to get into the security bureau, and took down the guards. With lethal ammo. Lucky for them, their hacker intercepted the alarm signal from the guardsí biomonitors. Their contact hacks into the security system, and provides them with a live feed from the cameras into their AR.

Now, before they went into the central exhibition hall (accessible only through the courtyard), where their vase was kept, they decided to hunt down the remaining guards. Again, with lethal takedowns. They then proceeded into the exhibition hall, dispatched the guards there, and disabled the alarm system on the showcase. After acquiring the vase, they begin to mutilate the corpses of the guards, the details of which I shall spare you.

Examining the vase, they discover that it is dual natured, and a map pointing to a treasure spot is painted on it in astral paint. At the same time, the doors to the exhibition hall seal shut, the alarm is triggered, and they hear the sound of their NPC technomancer collapsing. The hacker, who stayed outside of the exhibition hall, attempts to rescue their technomancer, but is sedated by an unknown assailant. In the meantime, regular cops arrive at the courtyard (response times for law enforcement are pretty fast in AAA zones), but are slaughtered by the Sam from the second story window, who brought his easy breakdown sniper rifle.

Realizing that they canít get out of the room conventionally, they use a couple of thermite rods, and make a run for their two teammates. By now, SWAT has arrived, and a helicopter equipped with speakers demands that they surrender, lay down their arms and the usual police stuff. Well, the players didnít think so, and gunned down the first squad while escaping the helicopterís suppressive fire. Entering the security room, they notice that the scene has been rigged to make it look like the hacker and the technomancer attempted to kill each other. The hacker is still alive, but the technomancer is dead.

With their teammate in tow, they flee towards the sewer, but in the ensuing shoot-out, the groupís face and hacker are incapacitated, while the sam and the mage managed to flee. The captured characters are brought to a secure holding facility, where they are kept in isolation.

Now, how should I handle this? The original plan was for them to either escape, or surrender to the police. In the latter case, a high-ranking contact would have been able to bail them out, provided they didnít kill anyone. Right now, about 20 museum guards and 15 SWAT members are either dead or severely wounded, so that option is right out. On the other hand, I am reluctant to simply kill them of, since the third party disrupting their mission was part of the original scenario. A rescue attempt mounted by the rest of the players would likely result in failure, since theyíre down to 2 members, and the other 2 players wouldnít be able to participate in the scenario.

So, how do I handle this gracefully? I donít want to permanently gimp anyoneís character, but I donít want them to get off with a slap on the wrist.
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Starmage21
post Aug 2 2010, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Aug 2 2010, 09:06 AM) *
Hello all,
Our last session was rather messy, and I think Iíll need your advice on how to handle it properly. Hereís what happened:

The group was hired to retrieve an antique vase from a museum in Hollywood (AAA zone) by one of their contacts, who in turn received the mission from an unknown Johnson. Their contact, a technomancer, accompanied them on the mission. The legwork part went pretty well; they visited the museum during regular opening hours, took notes of the security (the place was guarded by relatively inexperienced graduates from a Knight Errant academy), and swiped a couple of ID badges. The PC hacker was able to retrieve a blueprint of the building, detailing a drain pipe at a nearby river leading into an abandoned sewer system which in turn allowed access into the museum courtyard.

They decided to hit the museum at night. After commissioning some Knight Errant uniforms, they travelled to the drain pipe with their submarine. After disabling the security on the grate, they got into the museum courtyard, and snuck into the museum. With their swiped ID badges, they managed to get into the security bureau, and took down the guards. With lethal ammo. Lucky for them, their hacker intercepted the alarm signal from the guardsí biomonitors. Their contact hacks into the security system, and provides them with a live feed from the cameras into their AR.

Now, before they went into the central exhibition hall (accessible only through the courtyard), where their vase was kept, they decided to hunt down the remaining guards. Again, with lethal takedowns. They then proceeded into the exhibition hall, dispatched the guards there, and disabled the alarm system on the showcase. After acquiring the vase, they begin to mutilate the corpses of the guards, the details of which I shall spare you.

Examining the vase, they discover that it is dual natured, and a map pointing to a treasure spot is painted on it in astral paint. At the same time, the doors to the exhibition hall seal shut, the alarm is triggered, and they hear the sound of their NPC technomancer collapsing. The hacker, who stayed outside of the exhibition hall, attempts to rescue their technomancer, but is sedated by an unknown assailant. In the meantime, regular cops arrive at the courtyard (response times for law enforcement are pretty fast in AAA zones), but are slaughtered by the Sam from the second story window, who brought his easy breakdown sniper rifle.

Realizing that they canít get out of the room conventionally, they use a couple of thermite rods, and make a run for their two teammates. By now, SWAT has arrived, and a helicopter equipped with speakers demands that they surrender, lay down their arms and the usual police stuff. Well, the players didnít think so, and gunned down the first squad while escaping the helicopterís suppressive fire. Entering the security room, they notice that the scene has been rigged to make it look like the hacker and the technomancer attempted to kill each other. The hacker is still alive, but the technomancer is dead.

With their teammate in tow, they flee towards the sewer, but in the ensuing shoot-out, the groupís face and hacker are incapacitated, while the sam and the mage managed to flee. The captured characters are brought to a secure holding facility, where they are kept in isolation.

Now, how should I handle this? The original plan was for them to either escape, or surrender to the police. In the latter case, a high-ranking contact would have been able to bail them out, provided they didnít kill anyone. Right now, about 20 museum guards and 15 SWAT members are either dead or severely wounded, so that option is right out. On the other hand, I am reluctant to simply kill them of, since the third party disrupting their mission was part of the original scenario. A rescue attempt mounted by the rest of the players would likely result in failure, since theyíre down to 2 members, and the other 2 players wouldnít be able to participate in the scenario.

So, how do I handle this gracefully? I donít want to permanently gimp anyoneís character, but I donít want them to get off with a slap on the wrist.


Provide them with an "opportunity" to mount a rescue. Such as the prisoners being transferred using a SWAT van which is now understaffed because they killed most of the team (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Elfenlied
post Aug 2 2010, 02:19 PM
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Well, they are already at a secure holding facility, and I doubt that even an understaffed prison transport will be an easy target for 2 people. Especially not in high security areas where police response times are <1 min.
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Inpu
post Aug 2 2010, 02:30 PM
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One option is to have the people who captured them, or another party, offer a run to the group in exchange for their lives with a possible bonus attached. If you make it especially difficult while also giving long standing punishments for failure (such as Criminal SINs for the ones that were caught) then they probably won't feel it is a slap on the wrist. You can even have the new Johnson really push them around for this and potentially gain an edge on them in the future. If you want it to really sting, you can have the Johnson request more than one run. These people are resources, after all.

It can build up to something really memorable if, in the end, they get the chance to get back at both the one who screwed them in this Museum run and whoever lorded it over them after all is finished, making a few people in long term antagonists that your group would love to put six feet under.
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CeeJay
post Aug 2 2010, 02:31 PM
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QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Aug 2 2010, 04:19 PM) *
Well, they are already at a secure holding facility, and I doubt that even an understaffed prison transport will be an easy target for 2 people. Especially not in high security areas where police response times are <1 min.

Ouch! That sounds like "game over" for these two runners... And given the kind of slaughter they did at the museum, getting caught usually means at least lifelong prison sentence.

One thing I could imagine they could use to get out of this mess. And that is the treasure map on the vase. Did one of them see it and did the Mage and Sam succeed to steal the vase? Now, I don't know the rest of your plot, but if the map points to something important, they could try to make a deal with authorities.

-CJ
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DrZaius
post Aug 2 2010, 02:31 PM
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QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Aug 2 2010, 09:19 AM) *
Well, they are already at a secure holding facility, and I doubt that even an understaffed prison transport will be an easy target for 2 people. Especially not in high security areas where police response times are <1 min.


I think if they want to mount a rescue that's their business; however I think most professional criminals would feel bad about it but just try and save their own asses. The players with the two characters in lockup probably should roll new guys. It sets a bad precedent if you let the characters who killed 20+ guys and got captured someone make it out. Anything you do in that regard will feel like Deus Ex Machina, and the 'danger' of the setting and the game will go away.
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Ragman
post Aug 2 2010, 02:33 PM
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You can let them hire two other runners and let the imprisoned players play them for the rescue.
Just create two 400BP runners, make them expensive and and make the players pay them before the run
(otherwise they will probably die tragically before they are paid....)
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sabs
post Aug 2 2010, 02:37 PM
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Isn't response time under 1 minute a little fast?
Even for an AAA

As for how to get them out of it.

What if someone needs a group for a suicide mission. Implant Cranial bombs, and they're given a mission, etc.
Preferably somewhere out of Logos, or down south between Amazonia and Aztlan.

They're going to need new SiNs. though they have a submarine, they can afford em, heck they should already have new SiNs. They'll need to try and get the cranial bombs taken care of, and relocate.

Honestly, I would give them all the 'hung out to dry' negative quality. They slaughtered a small army. They're /hot/ noone is going to want to talk to them anytime in the near future. Knight Errant is probably building a strike force to go after them. The Sam killed what, 30 people? If they have SiNs, give them criminal SiNs.
Who ever is holding them is going to want to interrogate them and then have them die in a horrible accidental stabbing. Cops go crazy over cop killers, and given Knight Errants reputation of being hard on Runners, I doubt they'll be all fluffy bunnies and protective custody.
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Elfenlied
post Aug 2 2010, 02:40 PM
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QUOTE (CeeJay @ Aug 2 2010, 03:31 PM) *
One thing I could imagine they could use to get out of this mess. And that is the treasure map on the vase. Did one of them see it and did the Mage and Sam succeed to steal the vase? Now, I don't know the rest of your plot, but if the map points to something important, they could try to make a deal with authorities.


As a matter of fact, yes, the sam escaped with the vase still intact. The map on the vase was seen, and it points to a place somewhere in Atzlan territory. They also managed to translate the inscription, which refers to the treasure as the Spear of Destiny.
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Inpu
post Aug 2 2010, 02:46 PM
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QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Aug 2 2010, 04:40 PM) *
As a matter of fact, yes, the sam escaped with the vase still intact. The map on the vase was seen, and it points to a place somewhere in Atzlan territory. They also managed to translate the inscription, which refers to the treasure as the Spear of Destiny.


Heh, the Draco Foundation would be happy to hear that.
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Tanegar
post Aug 2 2010, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE (DrZaius @ Aug 2 2010, 09:31 AM) *
I think if they want to mount a rescue that's their business; however I think most professional criminals would feel bad about it but just try and save their own asses. The players with the two characters in lockup probably should roll new guys. It sets a bad precedent if you let the characters who killed 20+ guys and got captured someone make it out. Anything you do in that regard will feel like Deus Ex Machina, and the 'danger' of the setting and the game will go away.

Seconded. The two who got picked up are gone, or as good as. Either they'll "commit suicide" or otherwise die in custody, or they'll rot in a supermax prison for the rest of their naturals. Either way, time for a couple of FNGs. Hopefully the whole group will be a little smarter about body counts next time around.
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Inpu
post Aug 2 2010, 03:26 PM
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QUOTE (Tanegar @ Aug 2 2010, 05:20 PM) *
Seconded. The two who got picked up are gone, or as good as. Either they'll "commit suicide" or otherwise die in custody, or they'll rot in a supermax prison for the rest of their naturals. Either way, time for a couple of FNGs. Hopefully the whole group will be a little smarter about body counts next time around.


Honestly, I agree with this assessment. My advice is solely if you really do want to keep them alive. Otherwise, it does underscore the mortality rate, as well as consequences for every action.
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CanRay
post Aug 2 2010, 03:35 PM
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Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah... They wasted Cops. Gracefully is not giving them a cell with Bubba the Love Troll.

Unless there's a way for a smart lawyer to make the evidence legally "Go Away" with loopholes and such, they're going to go away for a long time.

One option, if there's a Hacker contact remaining, pay him to move their prison sentence from a High Security Facility to a Minimum Security Facility ("Hey, Datawork screw-ups happen all the time!"), and that will make extracting them all the easier. Also, the White Collar Criminals are much less likely to shank them for their ration of "I can't believe it's not Gruel.".
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Doc Chase
post Aug 2 2010, 03:41 PM
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It's a tough place for the two to be in, but about the only way I could see for those two to not disappear into Guantanimo for the rest of their (blessedly short) natural lives is for them both to permaburn all their Edge and the transport taking them to their new home will horrifically crash and leave them the sole (rather injured) survivors. For all intents and purposes, these two are dead so I'd give them the option of either doing the Edge burn or rolling FNG's.
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KarmaInferno
post Aug 2 2010, 03:42 PM
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Yeah, I'd have to agree. As dystopian as Shadowrun is, the regular city streets, ESPECIALLY in a AAA area, are not a warzone. Actions should have real consequences.

I'd say kill 'em.

Heck, have the other runners find the bodies in their own apartment to underscore how pissed off the cops are, and how vulnerable the surviving runners can be. These are not the same cops of today with all the oversight and regulations. They're a private company and are perfectly willing to kill your ass and make up a story later about how you accidentally fell onto a bunch of bullets. If you want, have them narrowly escape their apartment being blown up after finding the bodies, if it's in a less than nice neighborhood. Later the news reports a gang-related shootout gone horribly wrong at the location.

Then have the players of the dead characters roll up new ones. Hopefully the players will feel a little less invincible-murder-happy.




-karma
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CanRay
post Aug 2 2010, 03:45 PM
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QUOTE (KarmaInferno @ Aug 2 2010, 10:42 AM) *
Hopefully the players will feel a little less invincible-murder-happy.
-karma

Oh, right, like that's ever going to happen! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Inpu
post Aug 2 2010, 04:13 PM
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QUOTE (CanRay @ Aug 2 2010, 05:35 PM) *
Unless there's a way for a smart lawyer to make the evidence legally "Go Away" with loopholes and such, they're going to go away for a long time.


Assuming they have rights! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) If they're SINless, they might not even get a trial. Or make it to jail, even if they weren't cop killers.
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sabs
post Aug 2 2010, 04:14 PM
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SiNless would probably have died right there in the sewers. "They resisted arrest"
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Elfenlied
post Aug 2 2010, 04:23 PM
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As luck would have it, they both have SINs, though one of them is a deserter from the Ares corptroops. The reason why I want to give them a chance at survival is because an encounter with law enforcement was more or less unavoidable. It's just that packing lethal ammo is an insanely stupid idea in such a scenario, and the contact who accompanied them told them so before the run.
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Inpu
post Aug 2 2010, 04:25 PM
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Well, if he told them so, then they knew the consequences ahead of time I would think. There are plenty of good ways to help them, plenty to harm them, and a few good suggestions on use of Edge.

At least they had the SINs. I don't give the former Ares fellow much of a chance.
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sabs
post Aug 2 2010, 04:29 PM
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Wouldn't that mean that his Ares SiN is a criminal SiN?
or does Ares really not care about deserters?
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Doc Chase
post Aug 2 2010, 04:34 PM
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QUOTE (sabs @ Aug 2 2010, 04:29 PM) *
Wouldn't that mean that his Ares SiN is a criminal SiN?
or does Ares really not care about deserters?


Ares is a military-themed corp. According to Corp Guide, they call their entry-level drones Privates.

Given such, I'd say they care very much about AWOL employees. Especially one that had a hand in offing 20 of his people. That's a hanging offense. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

They knew the risks, and they went ahead with lethal takedowns anyway. The point of a robbery is to get away clean and it seems they forgot that. I reiterate that if they want to survive, they burn their Edge or they roll new characters that will gently scold these two veterans hiring them, with all of their...Nororiety...Oh hell.

What kind of neophyte would hook up with those two after they shot up a museum? Crazy ones. It's a recursion.
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post Aug 2 2010, 04:42 PM
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You have a face AND a hacker in a jail?

Heck with getting them out.

Imagine this. Nathan Ford and Alec Hardison are in jail. They should be breaking themselves out AND getting information and leads for a future mission. Who else is in in there? Someone with influence that the rest of the world thinks is dead? Someone who knows some very expensive secrets? An enemy of an enemy? A friend of a friend?

They're in a place where people don't usually try to go and where the security to get in is huge. This is a great opportunity for them to get a lead on something that isn't coming from Mr. Johnson.

It's Burn Notice/Leverage time.

Edit: Seriously, if you were just going to kill them, you should have killed them, not hauled their butts off to jail. Personally, I wouldn't want to show up at a gaming session and find out I should have spent the week working on a new character.
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sabs
post Aug 2 2010, 04:42 PM
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They got a hold of the hacker right?
So they have his commlink.
Do these guys run Tacnets? Is the in charge of their encrypted channels?

If I was the GM and they went off mission this badly. I'd start throwing what I call Ares Valkyrie squads. (think Red Samurai but for Ares) With access to their tacnet, and feeding it bad info. So they know where they are, and the sam and mage keep getting dicepool negatives, instead of positives from their tacnet.

Do a private session where the first 2 characters are tortured for information, and then killed.
Then they go after the other 2 until those two guys die, or vanish into new identities in a different city.

They made Knight Errant look bad.. in AAA LA.
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Troysome
post Aug 2 2010, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE (suoq @ Aug 2 2010, 04:42 PM) *
Imagine this. Nathan Ford and Alec Hardison are in jail.

It's Burn Notice/Leverage time.


I've not watched Burn Notice, but Leverage (which I love) is a modern day Utopian (rather than Dystopian) Shadowrun. I think that's why I like it so much. For the Shadowrun aspect, not the Utopian.
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