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> Corporate Runs (how do I do it?)
Relecs
post Oct 19 2010, 09:38 PM
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Ed, Matt, Brendan, Sam, and Coral if you are about to read this DON'T

Hey Dumpshock

I'm preparing to run a game of shadowrun this weekend and I have started planning. In past shadowrun campaigns we've done a lot of street level runs with very little corporate interaction. This is about to change. I am fairly new to GM'ing shadowrun but after last weekends character creation I can see that most of the group has built runners more suited to the corporate world. So that said...How do I do it? How do you do it?

That said this is also a thread for general tips for planning games. I have planned the meet with the Johnson and the major goals they need to achieve. I know that if I have any plans for fights I should plan the enemies and I should plan out important npc's as well as maps of where the actual run will take place. Anything else?

The first run isn't going to be corporate but the next two I have planned will be the first will be extracting an ex-mitsuhama employee's daughter out of the enclave and the second is a data steal from inside an aztechnology pyramid. Any thoughts?

-Relecs
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graymagiker
post Oct 20 2010, 02:46 AM
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QUOTE (Relecs @ Oct 19 2010, 09:38 PM) *
How do I do it? How do you do it?

That said this is also a thread for general tips for planning games.


Here is my advice for what it is worth:

Do background planning. What are the J's motivations, is he just a cog in a corporate machine, is he personally invested in the run, would he personally rather see the run fail? Instead of planning events for the characters, make events that are taking place in the world. Events that involve the characters, but events that also involve other parts of the world.

The point is to make things seem real for the characters, as The Game is shared storytelling. Also it is a given that your players will direct their characters to act in ways you don't expect. If you just have a series of maps, bad guys, and missions for them it will be harder for you to figure out how the world reacts to the characters actions. On the other hand, if all major npcs have a background and their own motivations and story archs, it is usually quite easy to see the natural result.
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Juggler
post Oct 20 2010, 04:09 AM
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Plan for specifics to come up, like floorplans, matrix details, on-site security (magic, guards, electronics), even stuff about the employees. Have an idea for things like - how far away are the cops? Are there things there that can side-track the team (extra paydata, employee with a gun, etc.). If you want it to really stand out, think of things that add to the description (sights, sounds, etc.).
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Relecs
post Oct 20 2010, 04:27 AM
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Taking notes gentlemen, please keep the advice coming.

-Relecs
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Manunancy
post Oct 20 2010, 06:07 AM
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One usefull thing is to have a sampling of non essentials NPCs to put scenery, extra clues or problems into the PC's way.

As an example, the first run is in a residential enclave - then it's nice to have some NPCs around : it could be as simple a a few curious 6 years old kids or a grumpy grandma who spends her time observng what's going around her house. Or maybe a bossy young exec who mistake them for employee and orders them around. Or just the hispanic orc poolcleaner.

There's no need for complete stats on them, but a few lines prepared about who they are, what they look like and their mindset will provide a firm ground for improvisation.

A few locations can help too, things like a few bars/clubs - ranging form barren dive to rather high class - will help when the PCs decide they'll park their backside somewhere to plan.
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Neurosis
post Oct 20 2010, 08:04 PM
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I'm kind of an "expert" in planning these kinds of runs to the last detail. If you'd like to see a detailed breakdown of a corporate facility and it security as an example, just let me know.
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Doc Chase
post Oct 20 2010, 08:23 PM
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I'm certainly not the OP, but I'd like to see it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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deek
post Oct 20 2010, 08:24 PM
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Most of the runs I've done have been of the corporate variety. What I always try to do is keep the main objective very simple. Something like "Get the XYZ from Location A" or "Plant the XYZ at Location A". Sometimes it can be "Follow XYZ for X hours/days" or "Kill XYZ". Keep that really simple and let the players make it more difficult. They are likely going to want to get floorplans or security information, so a lot of your session will be around them doing that sort of footwork.

If you plan everything right, 80% of the game will be your players sneaking around, asking questions, getting information, planning, 10% getting there and 10% executing their plan. If combat ensues, it better be stealthy or all hell will break loose and they'll need to be running and shooting their way out, hopefully after completing their objective.

After those simple concept runs get boring, then you can add modifiers, like "Kill XYZ, but make it look like an accident" or "Follow XYZ, but make them call ABC during the evening" or "Get the XYZ from Location A and deliver it to Location B in 4 hours". Putting time limits on simply objectives really makes things harder.
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Neurosis
post Oct 20 2010, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE (Doc Chase @ Oct 20 2010, 03:23 PM) *
I'm certainly not the OP, but I'd like to see it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)


Egads, I fear I've left myself vulnerable to some harsh criticism.
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Doc Chase
post Oct 20 2010, 08:28 PM
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Nonsense. This isn't background theory, this is mission planning!
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Daddy's Litt...
post Oct 20 2010, 08:31 PM
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What we found works is to have a timeline running of stuff that WILL occure whether the group acts or not. That way it is an organic situation and not something that just sits there like a corpoate dungeon waiting to be raided. I do not mean just stuff like guard making the rounds or Herbie in 4-D working late, but like by day 3 the file will be mailed or Janet Tenaka is going to be transfered to the Milan office or the water pipes will burst.
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Ryu
post Oct 20 2010, 09:03 PM
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Methodīs thread on adventure design.
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Neurosis
post Oct 20 2010, 09:11 PM
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That's a good idea, DLN. A piece of general advice I'd have is to design all security systems so that they are strong in most areas, but have one or more weakpoints, and then make the goal of legwork/preparation to find out what that weakpoint is. The weakpoint can be something general (Magic, Matrix, Physical) or something very specific (the Eastern wall of the Warehouse is very structurally unsound).

Anyway, here is the crunchy part of one of my adventures. I am not (knock on wood) particularly embarrassed of this. While I wouldn't mind some feedback, I am posting this more to help out the OP and/or to satisfy Doc's curiosity than to get any hardcore critique. I am sure that I made some factual errors, rules glitches, bad arithmetic, etcetera.

Check it out.

Some Caveats:

0. This assumes a structure hit run because that is what it was part of. Obviously not all corporate raids are structure hits.
0.5. In terms of the story of my campaign, this run was ACTUALLY cover for a datasteal, but that's neither here nor there and the PCs did not know.
1. Note that this is more detail than you probably need. I tried to cover all possible approaches and every detail of every approach. There is also a lot of cases where the same info is in two or three places...this was to minimize page flipping.
2. This is probably WAY TOO HARDCORE for a starting, undermanned, or low power team. Note that my own PCs (who were undermanned at three runners) who I ran this for did not succeed this run, and did not even "really" make it out alive. They failed to blow up the facility (the fuel tanks went off with a nice bang but it didn't do enough property damage to fulfill the requirements) but they did run like hell and make it to a safehouse. Unfortunately for them, they failed to erase or remove the Tracker Rounds that were peppered into their person and their armor by the smartguns on the MCT-Nissan Roto Drones before they went to sleep. When they woke up, a team of MCT Zero-Zone trouble shooters was standing over them. (If not for whacky metaplanar nonsense resulting from a long-standing but ultimately unrelated plotline, that would have been TPK right there. As it stands, it resulted in a permanent 'game over' for one PC.)
3. I can include stat blocks later if anyone is curious.
4. The map is pretty terrible. I have made better ones before and sense. And note that when I say the map is terrible I mean my DOODLING on the map is very sloppy. If anyone can guess where I stole the base map from, they get a cookie.
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Aku
post Oct 20 2010, 09:15 PM
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Based on the background texture, i'm going to guess it's from one of the original SR games.
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Neurosis
post Oct 20 2010, 09:23 PM
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I am not sure what you're referring to, Aku. Like, I have no idea what the thing you just said means.
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WhiskeyMac
post Oct 20 2010, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE (graymagiker @ Oct 20 2010, 03:46 AM) *
The Game


We all just lost it.
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Aku
post Oct 20 2010, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE (Aku @ Oct 20 2010, 04:15 PM) *
Based on the background texture, i'm going to guess it's from one of the original SR games.



QUOTE (Neurosis)
4. The map is pretty terrible. I have made better ones before and sense. And note that when I say the map is terrible I mean my DOODLING on the map is very sloppy. If anyone can guess where I stole the base map from, they get a cookie.


I'm trying to win a cookie!
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Neurosis
post Oct 20 2010, 09:40 PM
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Ah! Thank you for explaining.

Sadly, no cookie for you. : )
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Doc Chase
post Oct 20 2010, 09:47 PM
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Hmmmm. I've given it an initial and I like what I see; I'll give a closer read when I don't have Corporate breathing down my n-no guys, I got this go aw--

edit: Is the entrance to the perimiter on the west side, assuming up is North? I see...One or two possible ways to accomplish sufficient damage - in broad daylight no less - and could draw enough guards away from the facility to get a team to sneak in to take care of the rest.
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Neurosis
post Oct 20 2010, 10:18 PM
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You'll have to expand on your thoughts when you get a chance, as I'm not sure what you're saying/asking but it sounds intriguing.

IIRC, up is indeed North.
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Doc Chase
post Oct 20 2010, 10:43 PM
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There's several ways I would go. Plan B is to stuff a stolen garbage truck with explosives and drone-rig it through the eastern wall into the Microtronics facility. Once detonated, it would create some mindless destruction. I also have half a hope of making a rudimentary trebuchet, loading a thermobaric barrel, and lobbing it at the gas tank.

I love my plan B.

Plan A depends on the legwork. Scheduling would be the most important - when do they get their raw materials? Can I create a delay for the shipment? Can I commandeer the truck? Do catering vans make appearances?

If I can swing it, I would get the team hacker to try and make the delivery delay to near end-of-day, get the container there with the explosives in sealed boxes and the runners in smuggler's boxes if necessary. Container is released at the loading dock and the truck leaves, preferably drone rigged with a return code once the container is signaled 'empty'.

The employees may also be a weak point. Everyone has to eat, and if their food supply can be altered to incapacitate them (Troll-strength hot sauce could alone do it, hello chili-day!) then I'd lean in that direction. If they have a cafeteria on site it may be more difficult, but if they don't then perhaps the roach coach idea is workable. God, if I could nail the spider with that trick it would make it so much more fun. That would rely on my hacker making it into the 2nd public node. If he's got that and can cajole the system enough, then either entry plan could work.

I'll do more on this later as I think. It took me longer than I figured to consider this. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Neurosis
post Oct 21 2010, 07:43 AM
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Well, glad you got some enjoyment out of it, love to hear what some other people think. : )

Edit:

Like the OP.
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Daddy's Litt...
post Oct 21 2010, 03:17 PM
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Part of the trick is to determine what sort of run it is at the corp. Guns blazing? Sneak in ninja style? or Bluff your way right through the front door? some of our best momments have come from Snow Fox and my husband talking their way into places, with appropriate matrix back up for their stories
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Relecs
post Oct 21 2010, 04:01 PM
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Thanks to everyone who has been posting, I've definatley taken away some inspiration from here, as well as a little worry.

@Neurosis I took a look at your adventure, while it seems well planned and thought out I have only one complaint...too much work for me. I wish I could design adventures like this but I am just to lazy. That said it did give me some food for thought and even if I don't plan out something that complex there are certain parts of that I should explore.
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Neurosis
post Oct 21 2010, 07:33 PM
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Yeah, like I said it probably went way overboard on the detail. I enjoy this kind of thing. If you REALLY don't enjoy it, you might want to stick to adventures where runners just shoot a bunch of guys w/o any infiltration or planning. (Published adventures seem to be going this way.) But if you only kind of don't enjoy that kind of thing, then feel free to use a toned down version of same. : )
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