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> I just improvised my characters into taking another Run., What kind of security are the Vory likely to have on something mobile?
ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 4 2012, 10:56 PM
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Okay, here's the situation. My group needed guns for reasons those who browse my threads out of boredom should know. Basically, they need to arm the Plastic Jungles' denizens. Rather than (as I had feared) coming up with some hare-brained scheme to home-build cheapass machine pistols, they decided to do the sane thing and contact their Friendly Local Ancients Captain. (One of the characters was an Ancient some forty years ago who parted ways with them amicably when they started to become more militant and he just wanted to smuggle goods and make money.)

They passed along word that they wanted to buy or, preferably, trade goods (produce from the Jungles; though they were ambiguous about the source, they gave enough clues to the Fixer who made the connection that the Ancients put two and two together,) for guns and ammunition.


Anyway, the Ancients captain offered them a good deal: 18,750 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) for a pallet (50) AK-97s, 28,125 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) for a pallet of 50 Colt M23 rifles, or 37,500 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) for a pallet of 50 AK-98s. He also suggested that he'd be willing to trade 20 AK-97s for a pallet of produce, 15 Colt M23s, and 10 AK-98s.

Then he revealed the McGuffin in the fourth crate: An AK-147 that came to him 'by way of Bogota'. He explained that an AK-147 Nanofax was also coming to Seattle 'by way of Bogota', but was not coming to him: rather, it was being smuggled in by the Vory, along with some tagless feedstock. He explained that if they acquired the nanofax for him, he'd be willing to crank out a production run of guns and ammo - using regular, tagged feedstock - that he believed would be 'adequate for their application.' He also said he might see his way to knocking out a few for their own use - out of the untagged, clean, military feedstock - and would also owe them one.


I was expecting this to trip all of their 'too good to be true' senses, and that they'd just trade food for AK-97s. Silly me, of course they want to knock over a 600,000 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) piece of hardware that's basically a printing press that prints guns and give it to the Ancients.

Arguably they'd be doing more good than harm in the world, too, since the Ancients will just sell them to random bangers, whereas the Vory were probably preparing for a gang war with the mob or something. Still, they're planning to rip off a Vory shipment in transit now. What kind of security would a syndicate have on something they're moving that would need roughly a tractor-trailer to move? Obviously the tractor-trailer and it's going to be customized, probably a security hacker and a mage with bound spirits.

Can you have a Possession spirit possess a mage and issue orders to that mage's spirits? Hrm...
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 4 2012, 11:14 PM
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Definitely not, for that last question. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 4 2012, 11:23 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 4 2012, 06:14 PM) *
Definitely not, for that last question. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


That's a shame. "Go directly to Denver and kill Ghostwalker" would be an awesome way to get rid of someone else's Spirits. It would also be a good way to kill him and his entire crew. Just remember to erase all astral traces of it and administer a large of Laés afterwards.
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 4 2012, 11:28 PM
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As if Possession weren't unhinged enough already. Anyway, AFAIK, mages have unique mystic connection to their bound/summoned spirits; possession wouldn't spoof that. Man: spirit hacking…
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ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 4 2012, 11:29 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 4 2012, 06:28 PM) *
As if Possession weren't unhinged enough already. Anyway, AFAIK, mages have unique mystic connection to their bound/summoned spirits; possession wouldn't spoof that. Man: spirit hacking…


And now I have a reason for the group's AI to be able to participate if the mages ever go a metaplanar quest or something. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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kzt
post Mar 4 2012, 11:31 PM
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The obvious answer it to use a fully manually controlled truck, with no hackable control systems. A small security (mage plus shooters) team inside the cab, both the tractor and trailer warded. Have a large spirit inside each, plus a couple of minor ones outside to spot astral threats. Escort it with 4 warded armored SUVs full of guys with heavy weapons (again, vehicles modified to not be hackable) that proceed, trail and pace it, each with a large spirit. Overhead with a couple of flying drones that the 4 vehicles can use to overwatch everything.

Oh, and a totally decoy convoy that is all automated, with nobody on board and leaves first.
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 4 2012, 11:38 PM
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Can they do that? Smugglers usually are trying to be stealthy, not tanky.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 4 2012, 11:39 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Mar 4 2012, 06:31 PM) *
The obvious answer it to use a fully manually controlled truck, with no hackable control systems. A small security (mage plus shooters) team inside the cab, both the tractor and trailer warded. Have a large spirit inside each, plus a couple of minor ones outside to spot astral threats. Escort it with 4 warded armored SUVs full of guys with heavy weapons (again, vehicles modified to not be hackable) that proceed, trail and pace it, each with a large spirit. Overhead with a couple of flying drones that the 4 vehicles can use to overwatch everything.

Oh, and a totally decoy convoy that is all automated, with nobody on board and leaves first.


I don't want it to be completely impossible. I figure the convoy has to go through Downtown, so the Vory need to balance their security versus being so obvious that Knight Errant pulls them over and has a look inside.

The AI should also probably have something to do, too, so I don't want to run completely manual everything. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) Hrm...
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 4 2012, 11:57 PM
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Well, even if the vehicles aren't wireless, you'd expect some comms. Or, he can always hack *other* things: vehicles and things around the convoy. Matrix chars always have something to do.
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Froggie
post Mar 5 2012, 03:39 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Mar 4 2012, 06:39 PM) *
I don't want it to be completely impossible. I figure the convoy has to go through Downtown, so the Vory need to balance their security versus being so obvious that Knight Errant pulls them over and has a look inside.

The AI should also probably have something to do, too, so I don't want to run completely manual everything. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) Hrm...


From the sounds of your previous threads your AI player has had little to do.

Well, do your runners know where the convoy is yet? Probably not, right? So run some surveillance on the Vory, let the AI go nuts with whatever he can hack into to find out the when/where and maybe the how.

If the vehicle has it's wireless disabled then just get the commlink of the driver who's plugged into it directly.
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kzt
post Mar 5 2012, 04:05 AM
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The Vory have guys who, just like the Mafia, make their living by hijacking trucks full of valuable stuff. They know all the obvious tricks, and most of the not so obvious ones, and will have them countered or bobby trapped. Unlike a street gang, these guys are professionals, they will have decoys, plans, backup plans and will react in a coordinated fashion with heavy firepower.

There are good reasons why smart runners don't casually choose to tangle with organized crime. They have both the ability and willingness to make examples out of people who choose to screw with them, and long memories.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 5 2012, 04:30 AM
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QUOTE (Froggie @ Mar 4 2012, 10:39 PM) *
From the sounds of your previous threads your AI player has had little to do.


Sadly true. Of course, it nicely worked out that my AI's player has had real-life troubles recently that distracted her, so that worked out well.

QUOTE
Well, do your runners know where the convoy is yet? Probably not, right? So run some surveillance on the Vory, let the AI go nuts with whatever he can hack into to find out the when/where and maybe the how.


The Ancients gave them a data chip* that they took off a dead Vor. Many Bothans Brothers died to bring them that chip, so they think it's the genuine deal, with details of the transfer, but they're also reasonably suspicious that it's booby-trapped to high heavens and none of their Matrix guys felt confident enough to try cracking it.

*It's actually a miniaturized device; basically a data vault with high System ratings and no signal so it can run some nasty IC, so if anyone who's not a Vor slots it, they get their ass flatlined and then it launches an Agent to sniff their system and squeal for recovery. Of course, whatever IC they loaded probably would have been anticipating a metahuman hacker, not an AI. Do Blackout/Black Hammer do anything to an AI?

QUOTE
If the vehicle has it's wireless disabled then just get the commlink of the driver who's plugged into it directly.


That's a thought. Cybercombat him into paste, then the AI (took the 10 point rigger thing) can jump through him into the truck. And since this is my trigger-happy AI, these are some guys you can unambigously flatline. This being a 'no witnesses' thing, I'm expecting it, followed by pawning the corpses off to Tanamous.


QUOTE (kzt @ Mar 4 2012, 11:05 PM) *
The Vory have guys who, just like the Mafia, make their living by hijacking trucks full of valuable stuff. They know all the obvious tricks, and most of the not so obvious ones, and will have them countered or bobby trapped. Unlike a street gang, these guys are professionals, they will have decoys, plans, backup plans and will react in a coordinated fashion with heavy firepower.


Yes, but I need to find a balance between 'these are the Vory, they're hard-ass motherfuckers' and 'this is literally impossible.' Hence why I'm thinking that taking it through Downtown should be a necessity at some point, and going through the heard of Knight Errant territory should necessitate that the security slacks off some. My players were already talking about bridges/tunnels/underpasses, so that's a thought...

QUOTE
There are good reasons why smart runners don't casually choose to tangle with organized crime. They have both the ability and willingness to make examples out of people who choose to screw with them, and long memories.


Which is why I expected them to say "Cross the Vory? Forget it. Let's talk trade - maybe you can do twenty-five AK97s for a pallet of fruit?"

They didn't. They didn't even try bringing out their little tiny neotenous Glamour with tailored pheremones. They just jumped straight on the "Let's fuck with the Vory and grab us a nanofax!" wagon.
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kzt
post Mar 5 2012, 04:44 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Mar 4 2012, 09:30 PM) *
Yes, but I need to find a balance between 'these are the Vory, they're hard-ass motherfuckers' and 'this is literally impossible.' Hence why I'm thinking that taking it through Downtown should be a necessity at some point, and going through the heard of Knight Errant territory should necessitate that the security slacks off some. My players were already talking about bridges/tunnels/underpasses, so that's a thought...

No you don't. If the players agree to do something really crazy dangerous and don't come up with an actual effective plan that would, in your opinion, really work, they don't deserve to win. They deserve to get beaten like a drum if they ignore the risks and expect the GM will bail them out.
QUOTE
They didn't. They didn't even try bringing out their little tiny neotenous Glamour with tailored pheremones. They just jumped straight on the "Let's fuck with the Vory and grab us a nanofax!" wagon.

Which is why I'd say it's time for them to learn why people don't casually screw with serious professional criminals and killers.
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Malbur
post Mar 5 2012, 06:18 AM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Mar 4 2012, 11:44 PM) *
No you don't. If the players agree to do something really crazy dangerous and don't come up with an actual effective plan that would, in your opinion, really work, they don't deserve to win. They deserve to get beaten like a drum if they ignore the risks and expect the GM will bail them out.

Which is why I'd say it's time for them to learn why people don't casually screw with serious professional criminals and killers.


That's the thing about Shadowrun, you have to play a lot smarter than other RPGs (*cough* D&D *cough*). The world that it exists in isn't one where the adventurers are the pinnacle of what people can be, its a world where the runners are those little people that bigger people use as pawns in chess. Sometimes, pawns get taken, sometimes runners die. If they don't know that yet, they need to learn that this isn't one of those "we will always win!" games.

Shadowrun is a game I love because there is that element of "if I screw up bad, I don't make it out" that D&D never had in my experience. They made a bad choice to pick that fight, so even if they initially win, they likely will lose (As in the Vory can track them down later). Either they get killed, or they get chased out of town with only the clothes on their backs and a couple certified credsticks and need to get somewhere where perhaps the Vory don't have as much of a reach... Hong Kong perhaps?
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The Jake
post Mar 5 2012, 06:37 AM
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I second the subtle idea. Vory are likely to use trucks with forged IDs, paintjobs to look like a Stuffer Shack food fan carrying goods, but filled up with bad guys and probably two other cars - one as a a forward scout and another to follow up the rear to tag anyone eying off the truck. Rolling Ares Citymasters for this one item doesn't make sense for numerous reasons.

Don't forget that Vory are highly distrustful of magic and thus loath to use it without a damn good reason or unless they've got a good tight grip on the mage in question. A single spirit under orders to obey the Vory lead (who is probably sitting in the vanguard vehicle) is probably the most magic they are likely to use in a hurry. They'd offset this with lots of goods in the trucks and cars, armed to the teeth and probably at least one aerial drone with chameleon coating/ECM & ECCM, following the truck at all times and outfitted for bear.

Finally, whether or not they use decoys would depend on its relative value to the Vory vs the Ancients. If the Vory can get these things easily they are far less likely to use a decoy because they don't care as much as the Ancients. The value of this item is not necessarily equal to all parties. This goes double if they are not anticipating trouble.

- J.
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kzt
post Mar 5 2012, 06:44 AM
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Good point. If it's trivial for them to steal another one then they won't protect it heavily. It they actually PAID 600K for it they are going to have a rather different approach to how they handle it. And will be rather annoyed at anyone who takes it. 600K is half of what a large jet costs in SR, so consider how a drug lord would likely react if you stole a $20 million load from him tomorrow.
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Manunancy
post Mar 5 2012, 07:50 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Mar 5 2012, 05:30 AM) *
Yes, but I need to find a balance between 'these are the Vory, they're hard-ass motherfuckers' and 'this is literally impossible.' Hence why I'm thinking that taking it through Downtown should be a necessity at some point, and going through the heard of Knight Errant territory should necessitate that the security slacks off some. My players were already talking about bridges/tunnels/underpasses, so that's a thought...


Ther's nothing that forces the whole bunch of Vorys to move through Downtown - the escort's size can be adjested to the area, with part of it moving through a less nosy area and meet up the truck once it's out of Downtown again. Depending on the area they may have a local gang acting as extra muscle.

But in keeping of the Vory's tone, whatver escort they have is likely to pack some heavy firepower.

a note about hacking the truck thought the driver's comlink : if the driver is using is 'link in AR mode and has a wire link to the vehicle (to be able to rig it if things gets dicey), there will be no way to frag him and take control - cybercombat doesn't work if the target isn't in VR. Which still give the hacker a very important role : neutralize the Vory's communications and drones, but will prevent 'let's frag and steal through the matrix withotu ever exposing our meat hides'
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kzt
post Mar 5 2012, 07:59 AM
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Would an experienced PLAYER rigger have wireless enabled on the comlink they used to rig a critical vehicle? None that I know, they would run it on cables. NPC riggers who steal trucks for a living probably have some ideas about "how not to get hacked" that will work pretty well and should be played that way.
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Seriously Mike
post Mar 5 2012, 08:25 AM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 5 2012, 12:38 AM) *
Can they do that? Smugglers usually are trying to be stealthy, not tanky.

They're Russian. I believe their methods are "roll heavily armed and have bribes handy."
If you want the AI to do something, have him hack... the traffic management system. It will be hard, of course, but if you bury the rig at the end of a traffic jam, quickly hijack the nanofax (how large is it again?) and wheel it out, there's a chance. There's an even bigger chance if you get the truck to stop right in front or right behind an overpass and hit it from above.
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Blade
post Mar 5 2012, 09:12 AM
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The best security is secrecy. If nobody knows when and where the transport will go, they don't need much more. If there's a risk of a leak, they might try to spreak false information and have different convoys, with only one having the gear.

If secrecy is not an option, I'm pretty sure they can get some help from Knight Errant. Corruption goes a long way and they'd rather have the Vory have the guns than the Ancients anyway. In that case, they can plan an itinerary that goes through secure areas, and might even be able to block off some streets for a few minutes (provided they don't do it during rush hour).

If they expect a move from the Ancients, they can get some rival gangs to hit the Ancients' territories at the same time.
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Shortstraw
post Mar 5 2012, 11:45 AM
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Instead of using a decoy use the second convoy to transmit the real feedstock and instead of feedstock with the nanofax have a high rating explosive in feedstock shaped rods that way even if they take it if they don't find the hook as well then both the vory and the ancients will be pissed (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 5 2012, 12:53 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Mar 4 2012, 11:44 PM) *
No you don't. If the players agree to do something really crazy dangerous and don't come up with an actual effective plan that would, in your opinion, really work, they don't deserve to win. They deserve to get beaten like a drum if they ignore the risks and expect the GM will bail them out.


If you actually played the world of Shadowrun realistically, then Shadowrunners wouldn't be able to exist because of all the security and wi-fi connectivity in the setting.

Shadowrun is an RPG first and foremost. That means it exists to be fun. Throwing an impossible mission at my players isn't fun.


QUOTE (The Jake @ Mar 5 2012, 01:37 AM) *
I second the subtle idea. Vory are likely to use trucks with forged IDs, paintjobs to look like a Stuffer Shack food fan carrying goods, but filled up with bad guys and probably two other cars - one as a a forward scout and another to follow up the rear to tag anyone eying off the truck. Rolling Ares Citymasters for this one item doesn't make sense for numerous reasons.

Don't forget that Vory are highly distrustful of magic and thus loath to use it without a damn good reason or unless they've got a good tight grip on the mage in question. A single spirit under orders to obey the Vory lead (who is probably sitting in the vanguard vehicle) is probably the most magic they are likely to use in a hurry. They'd offset this with lots of goons in the trucks and cars, armed to the teeth and probably at least one aerial drone with chameleon coating/ECM & ECCM, following the truck at all times and outfitted for bear.

Finally, whether or not they use decoys would depend on its relative value to the Vory vs the Ancients. If the Vory can get these things easily they are far less likely to use a decoy because they don't care as much as the Ancients. The value of this item is not necessarily equal to all parties. This goes double if they are not anticipating trouble.


Oooh, this is good. The Vory don't like magic? My players really like magic. They can hit them at the intersection of "Our strengths" and "your weaknesses" with that. (They could probably even talk one of the Jungle's Shamans into providing some extra spiritual support for this one, because he really wants to arm his people.)

The Vory don't think the Ancients are likely to make a move because they still think their data is secure. The Ancients went to a lot of trouble to make the theft of the datavault look like a random attack by a random fly-by-night go-gang on some schmucks using their roads; they took the datavault from the man who was carrying it and put in a physical duplicate before they shot him straight through the datajack (from the other side of the head.) They didn't wear (their) colors, used disposable bikes (which are now somewhere in Hong Kong,) and took their dead, of course. They probably won't do anything crazy like changing the shipping schedule (this is not the kind of thing you want to leave sitting in a warehouse on the docks,) and there might be a surprise or two (like a 'Stuffer Shack' panel van full of goons with guns,) but for the most part they're going to have genuine, and mostly-complete data.
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Chinane
post Mar 5 2012, 12:56 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Mar 5 2012, 01:53 PM) *
If you actually played the world of Shadowrun realistically, then Shadowrunners wouldn't be able to exist because of all the security and wi-fi connectivity in the setting.

Shadowrun is an RPG first and foremost. That means it exists to be fun. Throwing an impossible mission at my players isn't fun.


But, but...you're NOT throwing that mission on your players, you gave them some options and they specifically picked the deadliest.
That's something else entirely than throwing the worst the system offers at them without giving them any chance to avoid it.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 5 2012, 12:56 PM
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QUOTE (Shortstraw @ Mar 5 2012, 06:45 AM) *
Instead of using a decoy use the second convoy to transmit the real feedstock and instead of feedstock with the nanofax have a high rating explosive in feedstock shaped rods that way even if they take it if they don't find the hook as well then both the vory and the ancients will be pissed (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)


While that's an idea, the Ancients have already said that if they can't get both, they care most about the nanofax, less about the feedstock. Getting more feedstock is easy, even getting clean feedstock isn't so difficult you normally have to do a run on the Vory. They'll still be pleased enough to throw the players at least some guns, and getting a pile of high-grade explosives as part of the deal wouldn't hurt. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 5 2012, 12:58 PM
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QUOTE (Chinane @ Mar 5 2012, 07:56 AM) *
But, but...you're NOT throwing that mission on your players, you gave them some options and they specifically picked the deadliest.
That's something else entirely than throwing the worst the system offers at them without giving them any chance to avoid it.


Even so, I'm not going to throw a ridiculously deadly chestnut at them on the fifth session of our campaign. Sure, it's not gonna be easy, but it should be doable.
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