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Socinus
post Sep 14 2010, 03:45 AM
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This is something I've been considering for my players but I was wondering if others had tried this and had any advice.

We've hit somewhat of a lull in the storyline and our team is a little stretched for resources at the moment so I had considered basically letting them come up with a heist or crime themselves to make money and then I construct an on-the-spot run based around that. Essentially, a quick non-Johnson initiated operation.

Has anyone tried this kind of spontaneous style run before?
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Method
post Sep 14 2010, 03:52 AM
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Sure. Player-directed runs can be great fun, but you have to stay on your toes as the GM. You'll never know what they'll come up with. Also, make sure their objective isn't too far reaching. If they decide their characters can make more money doing the side work, they might loose interest in returning to your original story line.
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CanRay
post Sep 14 2010, 03:58 AM
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Hey, when the jobs Mr. Johnson has for you dry up, you can always go back to stealing Ford Americars. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Yerameyahu
post Sep 14 2010, 04:02 AM
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I feel like player-instigated runs are what inevitably happens during legwork and planning. If the team decides they need X gear, etc.
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Mayhem_2006
post Sep 14 2010, 05:07 AM
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I've always wanted to do this (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) . I recommend reading the original book of "The Taking of Pelham 123" and also "The Great Train Robbery".

Both are somewhat dated (TGTR more than TTOP123) but still have some nice ideas about what might go into planning and executing a crime. Films are less useful IMO since the planning and legwork required is generally not exciting enough for Hollywood...

This sort of thing works best if they have a deadline and/or very solid motivation. If they merely drift into it out of boredom they will have little incentive to raise the excite-o-meter and pull off something flashy.

How strapped are they for cash? Do they have any old financial debts that can suddenly be called in?

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Alternatively, if they are rather flush at the moment, let them get caught up in somebody elses crime. Maybe your temporarily well-off runners decide to spend a night at the casino or dog-track only to find themselves right there when a robbery goes hideously wrong - and the end up in a hostage situation, with the players mixed up inside a crowd of moderately (or very) wealthy hostages. Can they extricate themselves before the SWAT teams turn up? Will the gear they have inevitably smuggled in with them get noticed, or can they use it to take out the hostage-takers? If they save the day, do they stick around for fame and rewards or do they slink away into the shadows?
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Neurosis
post Sep 14 2010, 05:15 AM
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QUOTE (Socinus @ Sep 13 2010, 11:45 PM) *
This is something I've been considering for my players but I was wondering if others had tried this and had any advice.

We've hit somewhat of a lull in the storyline and our team is a little stretched for resources at the moment so I had considered basically letting them come up with a heist or crime themselves to make money and then I construct an on-the-spot run based around that. Essentially, a quick non-Johnson initiated operation.

Has anyone tried this kind of spontaneous style run before?


I always kind of hope my PCs who are perpetually hard up for cash will try and alleviate their problems by knocking over a stuffer shank or even making a plan and robbing a bank.

They never do.
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Master of Malfea...
post Sep 14 2010, 06:57 AM
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What you might consider doing is inundating your players with stuff to do. Create bounty screamsheets for your players to go hunt down, have their Fixer send a mass email stating that so-and-so is offering a reward for hellhound carcasses, one of the runner's ex girlfriends called and needs help, tell your players you're going to start assessing stress-based penalties if their players don't go the hell out and do something fun, then have trouble follow them everywhere.

My point is this: try to give them some structure instead of letting them call the shots.
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Angelone
post Sep 14 2010, 09:31 AM
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Robbery and smuggling are the two big ones my group falling back on. We'll hit a place in Seattle and take the loot to Portland, LA, or where ever to sell. Also when we get an out of town job we put out feelers to see if one of our contacts has something that needs to go in the same direction.

Vice and the other crime books have ideas that you could bring up or your players could try. Hackers and TMs can always to whatever the hell it is they do, Sams and other muscle types can do strong arm stuff, and Mages and Shaman have all sorts of magical mischief they can get into. It's basically limited to the imagination of your group.
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nezumi
post Sep 15 2010, 02:11 PM
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Depends a LOT on your players. I would *LOVE* to see a long con run by players, but I've never seen it done before. Most players say "I want to work this sort of job. What's in the classifieds?" and that's as far as they'll go.
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Paul
post Sep 15 2010, 04:15 PM
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With great luck actually. One of my favorite campaigns to this day was when several PC's decided to usurp their Yakuza connection, and take over their block, and the surrounding neighborhood. The PC's worked hard to not only subvert his connections, and people, but they set him up-add in the assorted commitments of running a neighborhood, and protecting themselves from incursions, crooked cops, rivals, etc...
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CanRay
post Sep 15 2010, 04:30 PM
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I'd love to run a campaign where the group is trying to set up something like the ShadowSkool.
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Alpha Blue
post Sep 15 2010, 10:56 PM
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but how do you rob a bank in matrix wireless society!? what do you steal? account codes?
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Nifft
post Sep 15 2010, 11:28 PM
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I'm hammering out the details for a gang-level game (starting out gang level anyway, planning on the PCs eventually being world-tier movers & shakers), and the idea I have for DIY crime is that they can support themselves in a Low lifestyle if they spend all their downtime pursuing gang-related criminal activities.

They do the "hard" missions -- the stuff we play out during a session -- in order to buy free time in which they can train up their skills, or to get extra cash for 'wares, or for whatever else they want to better themselves.
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Neurosis
post Sep 15 2010, 11:48 PM
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QUOTE (CanRay @ Sep 15 2010, 11:30 AM) *
but how do you rob a bank in matrix wireless society!? what do you steal? account codes?



If the bank in question is Zurich Orbital...you don't.
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jakephillips
post Sep 16 2010, 01:31 AM
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QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 15 2010, 06:48 PM) *
If the bank in question is Zurich Orbital...you don't.


I like the idea, can be fun.
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CanRay
post Sep 16 2010, 03:16 AM
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QUOTE (Alpha Blue @ Sep 15 2010, 05:56 PM) *
but how do you rob a bank in matrix wireless society!? what do you steal? account codes?

People still have to make physical deposits of Cash. Money and Corporate Script still exist.

And, of course, there are always Gold Reserves, as well as stockpiles of other easily tradeable goods.

Oh, and Safety Deposit Boxes. I think we just talked about those not so long ago.
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Megu
post Sep 16 2010, 04:22 AM
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QUOTE (Alpha Blue @ Sep 15 2010, 04:56 PM) *
but how do you rob a bank in matrix wireless society!? what do you steal? account codes?


The bank manager.
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Yerameyahu
post Sep 16 2010, 04:23 AM
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"Let's go steal us a bank manager." (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) Ahh, Leverage. Although, more likely it'd be, "Let's go steal us a bank." Didn't that happen once?
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CanRay
post Sep 16 2010, 04:27 AM
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What HAVEN'T they stolen in Leverage?
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nezumi
post Sep 16 2010, 02:41 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Sep 15 2010, 11:23 PM) *
"Let's go steal us a bank manager." (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) Ahh, Leverage. Although, more likely it'd be, "Let's go steal us a bank." Didn't that happen once?


If I recall correctly, the largest successful IRL heist ever revolved around kidnapping a bank manager and his family and holding them until he paid out large sums of cash.

The problem with EFT is that it makes it possibly to simply 'undo' the crime. If corporation A can prove malfeasance, in theory the bank the funds were sent to would, voluntarily or by force, send those funds back or, at minimum, deny them to the crooks. Even if you stored the money in Bank of Fakistan, who refuses to comply with corporate orders, if you stole enough of it, the corporate script/nuyen from the bank will be backtraced or marked and unusable outside of Fakistan.

Ultimately what it comes down to is either:
a) nuyen is created because the banks say so. They require little, if any support to issue new money. If this is the case, they have a license to print money and the only corporations permitted to have that much power will be the big ones who will crush shadowrunners if it becomes clear they're mucking about.

b) nuyen is trackable, because it's all eletronic funds and somehow 'created' by a centralized authority. Each nuyen is uniquely identified from its sisters, and because it's electronic, this identification can be tested in a trivial amount of time. All nuyen stolen is immediately blacklisted as such, and becomes worthless.


What you need to keep the cash is a long enough window to launder the money while it's still legal tender. That means either any bank robberies need to be pulled off such that they don't appear to be a robbery until well after the crime, or that you need to con people out of the money and make sure the person who willingly handed over the cash doesn't realize the mistake until well after the exchange, if ever.

I'm of the opinion that bank jobs are more in the realm of hackers, lawyers, politicians and con men (which of those items does not belong?) than it is of stick-up men.
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TommyTwoToes
post Sep 16 2010, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi @ Sep 16 2010, 10:41 AM) *
<snip>
b) nuyen is trackable, because it's all eletronic funds and somehow 'created' by a centralized authority. Each nuyen is uniquely identified from its sisters, and because it's electronic, this identification can be tested in a trivial amount of time. All nuyen stolen is immediately blacklisted as such, and becomes worthless.
<snip>

Emphasis mine..

This requires nearly infinite data storage and processing power. Think about it, you would be storing the serial number for every bill (and by extension every coin), and tracking every time it changes hands. This storage would need to be done simultaneously in every Bank (not every branch, just in each corp), and updated realtime. Tracking the movement of blocks of money, sure, we do that now. but tracking each buck seperately is beyond the pale.

This completely eliminates the Shadows. All corps would have near Godlike intelligence gathering as every (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) spent by each runner could be individually tracked through each set of hands it passed through.

Much like an assumption that every square meter of the Earth is under constant, real time, satelite surveilance, this kind of omnicience makes the game unplayable as anything other than a law abiding corp citizen.
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Doc Chase
post Sep 16 2010, 03:11 PM
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Mmm. 1984: The RPG.

Roll BOD to be crushed under the bootheels of the Party. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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TommyTwoToes
post Sep 16 2010, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (Doc Chase @ Sep 16 2010, 11:11 AM) *
Mmm. 1984: The RPG.

Roll BOD to be crushed under the bootheels of the Party. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

Roll Initiative to determine who can volunteer to be crushed the fastest, they are the winner (IMG:style_emoticons/default/twirl.gif)
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Dwight
post Sep 16 2010, 03:24 PM
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QUOTE (Socinus @ Sep 13 2010, 08:45 PM) *
This is something I've been considering for my players but I was wondering if others had tried this and had any advice.

We've hit somewhat of a lull in the storyline and our team is a little stretched for resources at the moment so I had considered basically letting them come up with a heist or crime themselves to make money and then I construct an on-the-spot run based around that. Essentially, a quick non-Johnson initiated operation.

Has anyone tried this kind of spontaneous style run before?

Have any of your players watched Drugstore Cowboy before? Hopefully yes. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Anyway, do the players have specific equipment in mind? I suggest that you encourage them to go after equipment rather than actual cash. Again, Drugstore Cowboy. They aren't doing it for cash they are doing it gear. That keeps it far more personal, far less likely for the players to "overreach" (due to greed) and blow up the campaign.

Really, just have the players use their contacts to look for specific gear. Then go from there.
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Doc Chase
post Sep 16 2010, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE (TommyTwoToes @ Sep 16 2010, 04:15 PM) *
Roll Initiative to determine who can volunteer to be crushed the fastest, they are the winner (IMG:style_emoticons/default/twirl.gif)


A Party official is approaching. Roll for Oppression.
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