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> Campaign line and twisted metaplot, Horros will come and take us into EP
EuroShadow
post Jan 27 2011, 08:52 AM
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Hi everyone,

I would like to ask some comments and critique on my idea how to take my game's campaign to quite different direction (long term grand turn... thinking about the game plan for 1-2 years in RL (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) .

Background info:
After many runs, my players seems to loosing motivation for runs, monetary rewards are all ok, but 10k nuyen for 20th time are loosing the appeal. I would like to make the storyline more dramatic/more survival oriented and on more global scale. I talked with players and they were fine with me throwing metaplot out of the window and moving into different direction (but that's all that we talked about)


My take on future developments:
As our DotA adventures finish, I plan to change finish to one where the artifacts found are used to some epic ritual, where (thanks to cartographic instruments) correct spot is found, (assumingly with huge mana levels), and great astral spike is created in effect opening doors to Horrors. Horrors come and after a few encounters with modern world, they go into the Resonance realm. They corrupt some of the greatest AI, and from that basically I would move to the Eclipse Phase storyline of [Fall] (something like Judgement Day from Terminator, if you don't know the eclipse phase) global wars, ingeneered biological weapons, sapient nanoswarms, and many cataclysmic events for several years, that in the end take surviving population into space and makes Earth uninhabitable.

I imagine many shadowruns during this Fall and also creeping doom/survival runs, where again and again PC place of residence gets attacked...

Issues that I expect to solve:
Technological development - my take would be that after arrival of Horrors anyone of research capacity would throw a lot of money at research and I expect to prepare for players (each time between sessions) news reports of technological developments...
Magic - I would expect global background count increase and increae that would make Magic increasingly rarer and harder. While this would be disadvantage for the one mage in the party, I expect to agree OOG with player, and his services would be increasingly rewarded.

What do you think of this?
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PoliteMan
post Jan 27 2011, 09:26 AM
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Sounds like a lot of fun, honestly. In the fluff you're gonna run up against three problems:

#1 The Tech/Magic barrier. Break that at your own peril but the moment you allow magic to influence technology you open a whole host of crazy possibilities, including the danger of tech being able to influence magic, which honestly is a lot scarier.

#2 Dragons, IE, a whole host of groups will violently oppose any attempt to open the world to Horrors and throw everything (which is a lot) into stopping it and if that fails, building kairns (sp).

#3 There really are no uber AIs anymore and most of the weaker AIs that do exist have no ready way to access the Resonance Realms. And since the Matrix is heavily decentralized, the odds of any group of AIs or Technos have the hacking power to do what you're talking about is slim. There's only two theoretical entities which could pull it off: the Resonance Realm itself and the Dissonance. The problem is, if either of them are actually sentient entities then the Horrors are basically screwed. A sentient Resonance Realm basically knows everything that anybody has ever known, including the existence of the Horrors (after all, Dunkie and others discussed them in private chat rooms), has had years to prepare, and can command any and every piece of technology basically at will. So yeah, the power level of Matrix entities post Deus are such that either they aren't powerful enough to do what you're suggesting or they're powerful enough to resist and possibly prevent it.

I would wonder why you're using the Horrors instead of, say, Insect spirits.

Also, the further down this line you go, the less it will become Shadowrun and more a post-apocalyptic game. If you intend to stretch the destruction out and play that period, that makes a ton of sense and is awesome but at some point your meta plot will have to progress and at some point it's going to be really weird to be making a run against MCT while the Horrors are chewing Seattle to bits. Who's really going to be making runs as the broken survivors of Earth flee to the stars? This meta plot, and therefore your campaign, have a definite end point. That's not a bad thing but be aware of it.

I think some tweaking is in order. I think there are better antagonists to use than the Horrors and they need a new plan of conquest. The basic concept, however, of roleplaying the chaos of the end of the world is awesomely awesome sauce.
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EuroShadow
post Jan 27 2011, 10:25 AM
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First, thanks for your excellent answer (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

QUOTE (PoliteMan @ Jan 27 2011, 11:26 AM) *
#1 The Tech/Magic barrier. Break that at your own peril but the moment you allow magic to influence technology you open a whole host of crazy possibilities, including the danger of tech being able to influence magic, which honestly is a lot scarier.

#2 Dragons, IE, a whole host of groups will violently oppose any attempt to open the world to Horrors and throw everything (which is a lot) into stopping it and if that fails, building kairns (sp).

#3 There really are no uber AIs anymore and most of the weaker AIs that do exist have no ready way to access the Resonance Realms. And since the Matrix is heavily decentralized, the odds of any group of AIs or Technos have the hacking power to do what you're talking about is slim. There's only two theoretical entities which could pull it off: the Resonance Realm itself and the Dissonance. The problem is, if either of them are actually sentient entities then the Horrors are basically screwed. A sentient Resonance Realm basically knows everything that anybody has ever known, including the existence of the Horrors (after all, Dunkie and others discussed them in private chat rooms), has had years to prepare, and can command any and every piece of technology basically at will. So yeah, the power level of Matrix entities post Deus are such that either they aren't powerful enough to do what you're suggesting or they're powerful enough to resist and possibly prevent it.


#1 Well, I do not plan to break Tech/Magic barrier, besides this one exception of Horrors moving into Resonance realms - assuming that they represent completely alien powers that are actually capable of such adaptation. But no one else besides Horrors would have such possibility..

#2 This is actually problematic issue for me: how these powers to be didn't see that coming, and I have yet to create plausible storyline leading to opening doors for Horros that would not be stopped by the current Powers to Be. However, I think that after the arrival of Horrors the opposition by earthly powers to the Horror brought onslaught will be the main theme of campaign. Also the party will be one of those resources thrown at the problem...

#3 I view Resonance realm more like Astrap space but for technology, definitely not sentient being. I think that Horrors operating from Resonance realm and exploring the Matrix nodes may find sufficiently powerful AIs (at least close to level of Deus) that may be corrupted. I mean, creating and upgrading the most powerful AIs to the access of Resonance realms with the help of Horrors would make them unstoppable in the Matrix. And through the Matrix they could move onto the world.

QUOTE (PoliteMan @ Jan 27 2011, 11:26 AM) *
I would wonder why you're using the Horrors instead of, say, Insect spirits.

Also, the further down this line you go, the less it will become Shadowrun and more a post-apocalyptic game. If you intend to stretch the destruction out and play that period, that makes a ton of sense and is awesome but at some point your meta plot will have to progress and at some point it's going to be really weird to be making a run against MCT while the Horrors are chewing Seattle to bits. Who's really going to be making runs as the broken survivors of Earth flee to the stars? This meta plot, and therefore your campaign, have a definite end point. That's not a bad thing but be aware of it.


I am not very well informed about ED universe, but I chose Horrors as something (a) very alien motivations, (b) very powerful, to be able to push such global apocalyptical scenario.

Well, of course my main idea of this turn is to progress the new metaplot onto the definite continuation. And I plan to make the runs really around it. I think it would make sense to make run against hidden Aztlan biolaboratory ('in the hands on Enemy, making deadly biovirus soon-to-be unleashed, that could turn whole cities into graveyards' (and in such turned campaign I would freely unleash, if the party's run failed)), even if Seattle is subjected to daily bombings (by drone aircraft launched somewhere from Enemy-taken-mobile-underwater-drone-factory).
Basically player's campaign would be deeply intervined with everyday struggles (between Corps/IE/Dragons/Governments and the Enemy/supposed Enemy), and while becoming more desperate the total evacuation would come only the end (also long event)...


Thanks for the comment and ideas/issues to consider
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Mardrax
post Jan 27 2011, 12:23 PM
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Have fun with Humanis making sure no metas get on board the escape ships, to finally have that ethnic cleansing ^^
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PoliteMan
post Jan 27 2011, 12:57 PM
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Ok, here's what I'd recommend.

First, there are (or were) widespread rumors of an AI hidden in a glacial UV node deep inside the Azzie grid (back when an AI was literally a Deus ex Machina). In fact, given the chaotic and secretive nature of Azzie's board, there were even rumors of it being a majority stakeholder. If it in fact existed, it would have been the AI best positioned to survive Crash 2.0.

That's where I'd start. Lets call this AI Harbringer for simplicity. Harbringer was created back in the days when Darke/Obscuro had pull with the Azzies. For some reason he decided to work with Darke and the Horrors (tons of potential reasons). Take it to present day. Harbringer is the last great AI, in charge of the Azzies, and he's just got an artifact that could bring the Horror apocalypse. Because of his association with Darke, he's aware of Harlequien, IEs, Dragons, etc. He then carefully arranges global events with Azzie resources and his unqiue control over the Matrix to weaken the various forces that would oppose the Horrors. Once the Dragons and various elves are weakened to the point where they can't challenge Aztech, he has his blood priests create the astral rift to bring the Horrors to Earth.

There's your big AI, no magic-tech crossover, and a way to get around the Dragons and IEs.
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