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treehugger
post Aug 10 2010, 03:53 PM
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Hi all, coming back to those forums after quite a long break (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
I'm planning to start a new SR Campaign, and want to try out a totally different setting.
The idea is to have player characters all part of the same pirate crew, operating mainly around the caribean, but possibly going quite farther.
Usually when i make up a campaign, i first think about a story, but this time, i'm thinking first about the setting, and i'll think about the story after.
After all, the good thing about having players be pirates is that they are already bound together, have a headquarter, and could possibly move to anywhere on the globe.
I'll create the whole crew and let my players choose their character, possibly giving a few CP to customise them according to their wishes (or not) (my players are used to play premade characters, and have no problem with that. Actually, i believe that when you give out characters, the players will be more focused on the story, the role play, than about powergaming ...)
Another thing is that i really like the SR4 rules, but i HATE the timeline and the whole wireless matrix, so the story will take place between 2050 and 2064 i'd say.
Characters would be built with around 600 points, as they'll all have seamanship and swiming/diving skills, as well as military skills, and will be more balanced than powergamer 400 point builds.
Currently, i'm thinking about those characters :
- The Captain, a face/sam concept. I'm thinking about giving him some hidden background, like links to an organisation (corp/nation/sect or something like that) : he'd have higher purpose than just maning his ship and getting good shares of plunder. Right now, i dont have a clear idea. Any idea would be welcome (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
- The First Master, phys ad/sam, weapon and martial arts expert. Probably a former military, i'm thinking navy seals, but that'd be too oldschool. According to his origins, i'll give an appropriate background. Any idea of a good military or organisation background for such a character to make it more than just a "fighter" ?
- The Pilot, Drone Rigger. I have no ideas about this one, but see below some thoughts.
- The Doctor. A mage. Again no idea.
- The Quartermaster. Weapon technician/Heavy weapon expert. Orc or Troll (but troll might be difficult for the tech skills).

That's just a start, working around this.
I'm thinking about adding a colourfull char or two : since the players wont be shadowruners working in a big city, but freelancers with much less laws and limitation, i'd probably put inside the group "special characters". By special, i'm meaning charcter options that where alowed with the companion but that would unbalance or be really touchy as far as background is concerned to introduce in a classical campaign (i'm thinking about Drake, AI, Freespirit, Ghoul, Shapechanger etc ... ie : things a lot of GM would not allow in their campaign)
So, if you guys could help me out with ideas about characters, stories, readings (SR or other), or anything else that could be usefull for such a game setting, i'd be delighted.
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Traul
post Aug 10 2010, 03:58 PM
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You need a cook with a parrot and a cyberleg.
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kzt
post Aug 10 2010, 04:20 PM
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These kind of campaigns have a tendency of getting really ugly really fast.
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Ascalaphus
post Aug 10 2010, 04:26 PM
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Have you watched Black Lagoon?
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Stahlseele
post Aug 10 2010, 04:26 PM
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How's this really that much different from playing a group of hoodlums in a tricked out van boarding and raiding trucks?
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Vertaxis
post Aug 10 2010, 04:37 PM
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What? Where's the Professor and Mary Anne?
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Vertaxis
post Aug 10 2010, 04:41 PM
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You may wish the expand their repertoire beyond just traditional piracy. Smuggling runs into the Everglades, getting telesma for your friendly neighbourhood voodoun in Haiti, or doing the "hijack and ransom the ship" like todays Somali pirates do, for example.
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kzt
post Aug 10 2010, 04:52 PM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 10 2010, 09:26 AM) *
How's this really that much different from playing a group of hoodlums in a tricked out van boarding and raiding trucks?

Well, for one, when you kick the truck driver out they don't drown.
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Mesh
post Aug 10 2010, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 10 2010, 12:20 PM) *
These kind of campaigns have a tendency of getting really ugly really fast.

I once encouraged one of my young players to try his hand at GMing Shadowrun so I could play with our group for a change. He eventually agreed and said, "Shadowrun is so cool, but I'm not sure I'm keen about the story or the setting. I'll do it, but I'm going to create my own world for the campaign."

Me, "...?" Suffice it to say that never panned out.

It could be worse, but if they enjoy playing cyber-pirates of 2050, there's not much else to say other than, "Argh?"

Mesh
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Stahlseele
post Aug 10 2010, 07:30 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 10 2010, 06:52 PM) *
Well, for one, when you kick the truck driver out they don't drown.

No, they just hit the asphalt while moving at considerably unhealthey speeds and may just be rolled over by the rear tires or the following vehicle O.o
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CanRay
post Aug 10 2010, 07:34 PM
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"Yarr, we be taking your booty! And all your software!" "Software?" "Aye, modern Pirates we be!"

Just don't steal a ship from Aztechnology... Shadowrun: Vice will give you a reason why not.
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TommyTwoToes
post Aug 10 2010, 07:45 PM
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You could do the Black Pearl with an all ghoul cast.
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CanRay
post Aug 10 2010, 07:52 PM
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Yeah, but where are you going to find a black sailing ship with black sails?

Unless you steal the HMS Victory, paint it black, and dye the sails black too?

...

Actually, stealing the HMS Victory might be a great way to blackmail some money out of the British Navy.
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Stahlseele
post Aug 10 2010, 07:55 PM
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Do one better:
lift the Yamato, the biggest fucking battleship to ever have crossed the seas.
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CanRay
post Aug 10 2010, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 10 2010, 02:55 PM) *
Do one better:
lift the Yamato, the biggest fucking battleship to ever have crossed the seas.

I see your Yamato, and raise you a Toxic Shaman of Doom Captain and Officers with Harrow Spirits crewing the ship!
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TommyTwoToes
post Aug 10 2010, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE (CanRay @ Aug 10 2010, 02:52 PM) *
Yeah, but where are you going to find a black sailing ship with black sails?

Unless you steal the HMS Victory, paint it black, and dye the sails black too?

Build one out of soy....
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treehugger
post Aug 10 2010, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 10 2010, 12:20 PM) *
These kind of campaigns have a tendency of getting really ugly really fast.

I dont really understand ... why should it get ugly ?

Clearly, i want to keep the background, and actually, my players never got passed 2054 ... and have no clue about the events going on after this date. The only thing i'm changing is that they dont play shadowrunners ... even if a Pirate could get involved in stories quite similar to a shadowruner's story. The main difference would be that they'd work for themselves, not for a Johnson.
For some reason, sarcasm is the only answer for such ideas. I know that quite a few SR books contain some story material about pirates.
What i'm thinking is that 80% of the story contents are not related to shadowruners, wont affect shardowrunners life and no shadowrunner will get involved in this content. That's sad, as players, and GMs, misses out quite a lot of content.
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sabs
post Aug 10 2010, 08:44 PM
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What makes this a weirder concept than playing a Merc unit in Logos?
Or a DocWagon extraction unit.
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Reg06
post Aug 10 2010, 08:46 PM
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Are you going to restrict the gear they can take because of the year? Certain things, like Low Oxygen Adaptation, would be extremely useful to a pirate (of course, gills would be even better but very obvious).
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Dakka Dakka
post Aug 10 2010, 08:50 PM
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If you have a mage anyway, just have him cast physical (vehicle) mask on whatever ship you do have.

A ghost ship plowing through the sea at 30+ knots without wind would be awesome. You would have to muffle the engine sounds though.

Arrr!
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crash2029
post Aug 11 2010, 07:11 AM
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This sounds like it will be a fun game. Ah, to be in area with more than 2 other gamers...
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Tiralee
post Aug 11 2010, 11:26 AM
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God, get "Cyberpirates" ASAP. I know it's older info now, but it's going to save you sooo much headache.

Things to remember:
1: Pirates are thieves.
2: Thieves gotta get paid. "Shakespeare better get paid, son."
3: That means you've gotta sell what you've got, at the best price you can drive.
4: Contacts! Contacts! Contacts!
5: Instead of "single uber skills" you need to multiclass (for lack of a better word) for safety. Two people able to fix an ailing boat is better than one, especially if one is also in charge of the smartlinked gunnery weapons. This goes for the meeting/greeting/selling/buying as well. Fair enough, the c'ptn can and does make the hard sale, but your crew is your family, they can help do the groundwork. "C'ptin, a man wan's 'ta see ye about a dog..."
6: Base! Where is a good spot for a ship suspected of various illegal acts? (Groundwork, lots of it)
7: Repairs, upgrades and rest. Your crew aren't nailed to the vessel, but the vessel is their home, someone's got to stay on board and make sure it's not stolen underneath your feet.
8: Magic! You need it, oh god do you need it. Movement bonuses, guard, search. Get a shammy and a Mage. And maybe a Houdon. Oh, wait, 4th ed...
9: Buy Cyberpirates, it's dripping with good stuff

BTW: We're planning a Carib Caper shortly. If we manage to survive, I'll let you know how it went.

-Tir.
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treehugger
post Aug 11 2010, 01:02 PM
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QUOTE (Tiralee @ Aug 11 2010, 06:26 AM) *
God, get "Cyberpirates" ASAP. I know it's older info now, but it's going to save you sooo much headache.

Things to remember:
1: Pirates are thieves.
2: Thieves gotta get paid. "Shakespeare better get paid, son."
3: That means you've gotta sell what you've got, at the best price you can drive.
4: Contacts! Contacts! Contacts!
5: Instead of "single uber skills" you need to multiclass (for lack of a better word) for safety. Two people able to fix an ailing boat is better than one, especially if one is also in charge of the smartlinked gunnery weapons. This goes for the meeting/greeting/selling/buying as well. Fair enough, the c'ptn can and does make the hard sale, but your crew is your family, they can help do the groundwork. "C'ptin, a man wan's 'ta see ye about a dog..."
6: Base! Where is a good spot for a ship suspected of various illegal acts? (Groundwork, lots of it)
7: Repairs, upgrades and rest. Your crew aren't nailed to the vessel, but the vessel is their home, someone's got to stay on board and make sure it's not stolen underneath your feet.
8: Magic! You need it, oh god do you need it. Movement bonuses, guard, search. Get a shammy and a Mage. And maybe a Houdon. Oh, wait, 4th ed...
9: Buy Cyberpirates, it's dripping with good stuff

BTW: We're planning a Carib Caper shortly. If we manage to survive, I'll let you know how it went.

-Tir.

1 : They're also Smuglers, traders, kidnappers, arsonists etc ... they're criminal in a lot of ways.
2 : I want that aspect to be a leading point of the campaign. I want all players to be looking out for cash, even if they dont need some for ware, guns or stuff like that. I'm trying to figure out some mechanism and driving goals to make them look for cash for something else than "leveling" their character.
3 : That also will be a major point. I'm thinking about having a system where the "brotherhood" has a pool of contacts, and then each character would have their own specific contacts, but with ties that they'd like to stay hidden (like some mobster, government or corporations ... people pirates would not like to be associated with)
4 : Definately (see above)
5 : I should have 8 players, with 4 out of them playing occasionaly. That'll be perfect for a crew of pirates. I'm thinking about creating around 15 characters, the whole crew (including the cook with a cyberleg) and not all will be players. They'll all be skilled sailors and have their own speciality. Each one should be also minimaly skilled in combat, atheltics and stealth (lets say around skill level of 3), as well with some technical skills. Since i'm designing those characters, they'll have a broad range of skills instead of very high specility skills.
6 : Clearly, i'm thinking about it. It'll be defining for the whole campaign.
7 : That'll depend on the whole setting.
8 : Actually, i was thinking about having a houngan on board ... but still not very sure. Anyway, only one mage, no decker, makes the game very different. Probably a phys add in the group, but right now, i'd prefer not to add more magic in the group.
9 : Looking into it (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Aint Target : Smugler Heaven also a good sourcebook for such a setting ? (or do i make that one up ?)

I'm still looking for a story base for the whole mini campaign (I wont go for something much longer than around 10 games or so, as i prefer shorter finished campaign than unlimited unfinished ones, even if i go afterwards for a "second season")
Tell me, what's happening in the Bermuda Triangle ?
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CanRay
post Aug 11 2010, 01:25 PM
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"Hello, I'd like to thank you for being our Victims today. I'm Dread Pirate Roberts, of the Dread Pirate Corporation. We provide a service to our customers in a polite and timely manner that answers all issues..."

"That guy stole my pants!"

*Blam* "But you're not our customers. The people that buy your cargo is. Now, if you don't want to end up like this fellow here, you'd better not argue with my crew, and take off all those non-counterfit jeans you're somehow able to afford to be wearing. Been nicking a bit from your cargo hold, I see..."
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