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> The third session.., It continues.
hyphz
post Aug 6 2011, 10:45 PM
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So, one of the things that irks me about Shadowrun is how all the NPC stat sets just list the weapons and spells each NPC has, without saying what they do. So yesterday night I made up quick-reference sheets for all the NPCs I thought I might get to today - namely, the Devil Rats in the Carrion building, the BTL-heads outside Delphia's, and Risa's gang. I couldn't finish the Shangri-La runner team as I was too exhausted by that time! I did however also do a couple of standard Lone Star officers in case I happened to need them.

The next matter was to think about tactics. Last session, what threw me (and let to me underplaying the Shangri-la guys) was the PCs coming up and fighting from inside their car where basically the car's stupid Armor value (Armor 20 Body 10) makes them immune to most standard weapons. Several of the NPCs are armed with grenades, but I know they're useless because of the Scatter rules, so I decided instead that it might be a good idea to have an NPC dash up to the car and plant a time-bomb on the back of it. The only problem with that is that in order to break through that much armor it would need to be a pretty big ol' bomb, which a) would be difficult to explain, and b) would probably blow up most of the surrounding area as well. Still, as it turned out, it didn't come up in the session...

Another thing I might mention is that before this session we had a barbeque. It was good. Several players drank several bottles of beers. One of these was Zod's.

So, after pointing out to Zod that having chameleon coating on his vehicle did not make the turrets invisible, he removed them from the car and replaced them with ramplates (of which we shall see more later) and the session began with the runners headed over to Carrion Studios to find out about the disk. They come up to the building and check out the front, and Dawg then decides to turn Kane invisible in order that he can explore unnoticed. Kane walks through the door (with the receptionist distracted by simsense I figured she wouldn't notice the door flapping around), and starts rooting around the studio, walking past Stanley without disturbing him - and forcing me into quickly ad-libbing a layout for the place. He heads down the back corridor to where a band is playing and considers sneaking into the soundbooth itself in search of equipment that might be able to play the disk, but I tell him it's all been ripped out and replaced by now. He also asks about posters or platinum disks or anything similar that might indicate the bands that played here, and I mention a few posters. He then sneaks back past Stanley and into the break-room.

Meanwhile, outside the other players have decided they're getting bored standing around and decide to go into the studio hoping to create a distraction for Kane. Mr. Happy Punch asks the girl at the desk about the disk, but amazingly manages to avoid mentioning "Carrion Studios" for several attempts - he starts by asking about "JB" and "Absent Friends", which the girl mistakes for band names.. they eventually mention Carrion and get the contact with Stanley, who leads them down to the break room - where, unknown to him and the group, Kane is still waiting, invisible.

The runners, figuring that Stanley is an old studio engineer, ask him if he might have any equipment that would play the disk. I figure this is a reasonable lead for them to follow up, and he offers to go and get an old audio player, although Mr. Happy Punch insists on going to his house with him. He also points the runners at the upstairs room, which Kane rushes off to search, barging his own way in and starting to shift the boxes around.  Dawg decides to drop the invisibility spell, and Kane is promptly attacked by one of the devil rats, which tries to bite him but doesn't break his armor. Kane hits back with his bayonet, twice (due to his high IPs), but misses. The rat tries to escape, but Kane intercepts it successfully, so it tries to bite him again and again fails to break its armor. Kane then pulls out his monofilament sword and chops the rat in half.

At this point the other players are growing bored and frustrated, so I decide there are no more devil rats and allow Kane to find the chips in the box, while Mr. Happy Punch and Stanley get back from his apartment with the audio player. Kane comes downstairs with the chips, and Stanley tries to play the disk, finding it encrypted. I rule that Stanley can also connect the player to Kane's comlink, and he manages to decrypt the first layer. Stanley also gives them the lead to Delphia, and an address for her. Kane, oddly, doesn't attempt to slot or read the chips he took from the storage room, and they head off.

Kane calls up his fixer to get information on Delphia, and Smiley gives him some details including her address. He also asks about selling the stuff they've gathered so far. Smiley says he'll take the weapons, but he won't take the ripped-out cyberware, and that if they want to take it to Tamanous themselves they _might_ get something for it, but probably not too much. And also, they're fricking evil. Zod's player suggests that perhaps they should try to take them down. That could be interesting.

Because the other players are clearly wanting some action to get them involved, I decide to tweak the Delphia scene by toughening up the BTL-heads outside her place a bit, making them adults instead of teenagers (to reduce the moral issue) and making them belligerent. So, they drive up to the apartment and see them.. whereupon Zod announces he's going to ram the car into the wall of the apartment!

This takes a fair bit of rules checking, and brings up some confusion too. First of all, it's stated that the damage from ramming must be resisted by passengers and vehicle separately, but it isn't clear if this means the damage from being rammed or the damage from doing the ramming or both. Secondly, it's not clear if the passengers benefit from the protection of the vehicle's armor in resisting the damage. Based on how I ruled it, though, the ramplated car hit the wall, turning the 5 BTL-heads into pavement pizza and knocking a 2m hole in the apartment wall while the vehicle was undamaged and several of the PCs took several boxes of Stun. (And I'm not sure yet what it would have done to Loomis, who is still in the trunk. Since he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, does that mean he'll take P? Zod's player claimed that the car is wi-fi shielded so Loomis' commlink wouldn't be any use, though.)

Delphia panics and runs for the back door, whereupon Zod announces he wants to shoot her full-auto in the legs. I give him a called shot penalty as well as the one for shooting out of the car, and he manages it, dropping her to the ground and leaving her bleeding out. The mage rushes out of the car to stabilise her while Zod attaches her to the winch of his car (groan) and they, um, talk to her. At this point she thinks they've been sent by the Triads or some similar group in relation to BTLs, and as soon as they announce they're looking for information about JetBlack she's shocked they'd do such a ridiculous thing - but she states that she'll help them only if they get her treated, get her a new apartment, AND do the "side mission" for her. At this point, some of the players started to complain about a random girl not just caving in out of fear, but it turns out that Zod doesn't actually have Intimidation. Eventually, Dawg just casts Mob Mind on her to get the lead to Marli, and then spends a few turns erasing the astral signature. They untie Marli, call DocWagon on her behalf, and head out.

Arriving at Marli's, Kane heads over to hit the speaker button but doesn't mention the disk, so gets told to come back with an appointment. The team attach a hook to the iron gate and use the car to pull it off the hinges. This immediately sets off the alarm, and also alerts the ghosts in the house - some of whom leave the barrier and thus show up on Dawg's Detect Enemies spell. The runners are a bit unsure what to do about the alarm, and eventually decide to just - drive the car towards the door of the house. As the car is heading up to the door, one of the ghosts hits Zod with a fear effect. Turns out his Willpower is 1, so he immediately turns the car around and drives a block away, shaking and panicking about something horrible around the house. Once they've calmed him down, Dawg summons a Spirit Of Man at Force 1 to go and astrally scout the house, and he comes back with reports about the ghosts and the wards.

At that point, the session ended because it was getting late and Zod's player had apparently fallen asleep.

So, some interesting twists and some interesting hooks, and generally it didn't seem quite as bad as the previous session, but I'm surprised how quickly some of the characters are forgetting their own abilities...
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TeknoDragon
post Aug 6 2011, 11:14 PM
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Yet another example of, if you don't have Intimidate skill, you _will_ screw up the interrogation. Attempts at torture just multiply the screwup. Otherwise, looks like everyone's having a great time!
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Angelone
post Aug 7 2011, 01:07 AM
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Didn't seem so bad... They are quite direct aren't they?
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Crazy Ivan
post Aug 7 2011, 01:43 AM
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Being direct is effective. That's why people do it.
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Angelone
post Aug 7 2011, 02:12 AM
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I agree, however there are times that call for subtly or atleast not outright violence.
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Erik Baird
post Aug 7 2011, 02:44 AM
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QUOTE (hyphz @ Aug 6 2011, 03:45 PM) *
Zod's player claimed that the car is wi-fi shielded so Loomis' commlink wouldn't be any use, though.


Is this a standard feature of the vehicle? If it's a modification, does he have this written down somewhere? If not, you prolly shouldn't let him off that easily.
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Traul
post Aug 7 2011, 02:53 AM
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QUOTE (Angelone @ Aug 7 2011, 02:07 AM) *
Didn't seem so bad... They are quite direct aren't they?

Not sure Direct is the right word: the direct way to a house is usually through the door, not the wall (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Angelone
post Aug 7 2011, 03:05 AM
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Usually yes, but sometimes walking all the way to the door is such a hassle.

I do agree on the shielding double check that. If they have been using their commlinks so can Loomis.
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Angelone
post Aug 7 2011, 03:06 AM
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Double post! Oh no!
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PeteThe1
post Aug 7 2011, 03:32 AM
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If the car is wi-fi shielded, how does the team make any comm-calls when inside it?

Also, who was Stanley calling "fricking evil," Tamanous or the PCs? Just curious. This is certainly interesting reading.

I wonder how long it will be before KE turns Zod into a Shadowrunner poster boy in a media blitz to prove how evil they all are. Manufacture a big public outcry, pull lots of runner shows off the trid, justify a crackdown on the runner community.
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Tanegar
post Aug 7 2011, 04:25 AM
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QUOTE (PeteThe1 @ Aug 6 2011, 10:32 PM) *
I wonder how long it will be before KE turns Zod into a Shadowrunner poster boy in a media blitz to prove how evil they all are. Manufacture a big public outcry, pull lots of runner shows off the trid, justify a crackdown on the runner community.

Two nights later, Zod turns up with two bullets in the back of his head. It's not wise to piss off people who shoot other people professionally.
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PoliteMan
post Aug 7 2011, 05:51 AM
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QUOTE (hyphz @ Aug 7 2011, 06:45 AM) *
Because the other players are clearly wanting some action to get them involved.. whereupon Zod announces he's going to ram the car into the wall of the apartment!

I think that pretty well defines a mohawk group.

"I'm bored, let's punch holes in buildings."

Edit:
Just for consideration, Pink Mohawk does have a home, LA and P2.0. There's are millions of bored wageslaves eagerly awaiting the adventures of Zod and the Psychopaths, and it would explain why KE doesn't make them Public Enemy #1 in a month.
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Manunancy
post Aug 7 2011, 07:22 AM
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Wall ramming... there's definitvely going to be a GTA XVI - Evil Shadows in the making if they keep going that way.... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/twirl.gif)

Something you can do if Zod ans his ram-machine keep trashing walls angd generally make a pain of himself with his uuber-armored car : place a regular, drywall-on-woodframes house with a basement. He'll punch right throug hthe wall and drop into the basement.

Of course if he takes a bit of time to do some legwork or look seriously at the house he'll figure out the walls aren't strogn enough to deserve the car and that there's a basement, but if goes straight for it... that will hopefully convince him to vary his attack style.

Extra comment : 5 BTLheads in one ram ? a car is only two meter wide, how did he manage that one ? The only way I see would be to make a sharp turn to drift and use the car's side to catch them with the car's full length, meaning the car's side and not it's ram plate would hit the wall.
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Blitz66
post Aug 7 2011, 08:17 AM
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Maybe the chipheads are standing in a circle?

Wi-fi inhibiting paint on the inside of the trunk is a good idea, if this is how these guys operate normally. Only sensible, since some guests keep their comms in their heads. Harder to confiscate.
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Cakeman
post Aug 7 2011, 08:29 AM
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I enjoy reading about your experiences at GMing SR. Seems you did alot of right things with your group: prepared NPCs, felt the mood of the group and adjusted the scenario on the fly and it seems you had a good experience. Did you have fun too? When GMing I often get joy out of being able to make the others have a good time aswell as plotting the story.

About the ramming thing - you wrote that it included some rules-checking. My advice is to wing it if unsure, then check up the rules for next time. I do this when I know that checking now will detract from the pace of an action scene, it's not that bad downtime when everyone sits planning or talking within the group, but when there's focus on action I try to keep checking the books at a minimum even if it means making arbitrary decisions.
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Rubic
post Aug 7 2011, 01:17 PM
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I have to give props on having different threats attack different ways, specifically the ghosts casting fear. You need to do this, and mix things up; just as brute force shouldn't be the solution to every problem, it also shouldn't be the problem for every solution. To be good at one thing in Shadowrun, you compensate by not being as good at other things.

As for the wifi shielding, I have to agree with some of the other posters: make CERTAIN it's in writing, and that they actually paid for it. It's like claiming you're king because some watery tart lobbed a scimitar at you! Make sure it's written down, and make sure it's paid for when it's written down.

Accounting or it didn't happen (NPCs somewhat exempt).

Also, as has been recommended, they're going to be having increasingly large police response against them due to their destructive, criminal, and seemingly sociopathic rampages. It's the main reason runners need to be discreet, and if they're too much of a problem, other runners will be seeking to put them down so they don't ruin business.
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Traul
post Aug 7 2011, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE (Manunancy @ Aug 7 2011, 08:22 AM) *
Extra comment : 5 BTLheads in one ram ? a car is only two meter wide, how did he manage that one ? The only way I see would be to make a sharp turn to drift and use the car's side to catch them with the car's full length, meaning the car's side and not it's ram plate would hit the wall.

All it takes is an extra mod: (look at 4:20)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bBpDNRP5qQ
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Glyph
post Aug 7 2011, 08:31 PM
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QUOTE (Rubic @ Aug 7 2011, 05:17 AM) *
Also, as has been recommended, they're going to be having increasingly large police response against them due to their destructive, criminal, and seemingly sociopathic rampages. It's the main reason runners need to be discreet, and if they're too much of a problem, other runners will be seeking to put them down so they don't ruin business.

Keep in mind that this is the same universe where a bunch of molotov cocktail-tossing pyromaniacs are a downtown gang. Not saying that being over the top won't get you attention, but Shadowrun has a bit more of a wild west feel to it, despite the everpresent surveillance. Also, it depends on where they go on their rampages, and whom they rampage against. Some parts of town, you can walk down the street with your LMG slung over your shoulder. Other parts of town, even your holdout needs to be well-concealed.
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Psikerlord
post Aug 8 2011, 11:06 AM
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Sounds like a fun session. My players tend to be mohawks too and if nothing else, the game is usually exciting and has plenty of comedy.
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