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> Suggestions please! A Run on generic corporate cube farm, No peeking, Boomer1985 & -A- !
TeaTime
post Mar 6 2012, 07:54 PM
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So the crew is going to hit an unimportant Ares sub-corporation, MACROscale Logistics (handles and coordinates 3rd party transportation, warehousing, shipping). Its a cube farm. No fancy research. Little to protect.

There's a MacGuffin in the subbasement the team has been hired to retrieve.

Security is pretty typical, a few sleepy rent-a-cops, a couple of security drones following programming, and offsite rigger who will eventually be alerted once the body count starts racking up. The team will hit the building at 11pm (building runs 24hrs, so there are employees, but it is a skeleton crew), stealth or social engineer their way in, eventually get confronted and a few bullets will fly. But let's face it, it's a cake walk (as it is meant to be).

I'm looking for advice on taking a dull office building a make it interesting, specifically, some non-standard obstacles for them to overcome. Nothing fancy or preposterous... just trying to capture some soul-grinding corporate weirdness.

Thoughts:

"Ninja" Malone- A single high-threat Homicidal security guard who's watch too many anti-Runner trids decides it is time for some much-unearned bloodsoaked PAYBACK with his trusty LMG.

"They moved my Cheese!"- The generic looking MacGuffin has been moved by the janitorial staff.

"Wanta do some biz?"- A promotion minded Employee offers the runners something extra to spare him, but target his boss.

"Another Drill?" - Employees to Runner team respond as if it was yet ANOTHER Code Green live-fire simulation.
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Abstruse
post Mar 6 2012, 08:07 PM
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Personally, having worked the overnight shift at a cubicle farm, I can tell you that the types that take those jobs are not the most normal or mentally balanced of people (myself included). Have fun with them. Have someone try to join the team, have someone play out Die Hard trying to stop them, have someone be all meek and submissive until they try break a random object (like a printer or coffee maker, something notorious for being a finicky machine and have the employee shout "I FINALLY GOT IT WORKING RIGHT YOU BASTARD!!" while charging the group).
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Blog
post Mar 6 2012, 08:17 PM
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If they do the infiltration in a manner that they look like they should be there (more social). Have some middle management do the. "oh hey, you must be the new guy could you run and get me a coffee"

Now as for random office occurrences...
Someone refilling toner on a printer and ends up getting it everywhere
Person walking with stack of papers/boxes/etc comes too fast around a corner and runs into the runners sending the objects flying.
That guy whom feels the need to drum on any object they can while moving from location A to B
One panel of lights has a faulty ballast and is pulsing at a frequency that is almost nauseating to look at (had this one IRL)
a Cubical that is a hommage to the chia-pet gods.
a Cubical so full of boxes and papers it has grown to take over much of the surrounding walkspace
The loud thud of someone beating/tipping a vending machine that has the product visibly stuck
Terminal power supply blowing (loud bang, followed by smell of ozone; possibly swearing)
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thorya
post Mar 6 2012, 08:28 PM
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The company puts low doses of long haul or some other stimulant in the air system to keep the night shift active and alert. The team can't sleep after the run and they don't know why.

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TeaTime
post Mar 6 2012, 08:29 PM
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This is great stuff! Thanks!
Very useful to have some options if they decide to go in Guns Blazin' or the "hey. yeah. we're here snake the commode." route.
Keep it coming!

(I bet they'll opt for the guns blazin' route, though. Don't you? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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TeaTime
post Mar 6 2012, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE (thorya @ Mar 6 2012, 02:28 PM) *
The company puts low doses of long haul or some other stimulant in the air system to keep the night shift active and alert. The team can't sleep after the run and they don't know why.


Agh! I always forget about how easy it is in SR to convert the forms of drugs. I foolishly assumed LongHaul were pep pills.

But you're 100% right.

Every corp office in the world has been spiking the air supply. All the time. Its a no brainer. And it is smart business!

Can't believe I missed this for freakin' YEARS!
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Froggie
post Mar 6 2012, 09:15 PM
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QUOTE (TeaTime @ Mar 6 2012, 03:32 PM) *
Agh! I always forget about how easy it is in SR to convert the forms of drugs. I foolishly assumed LongHaul were pep pills.

But you're 100% right.

Every corp office in the world has been spiking the air supply. All the time. Its a no brainer. And it is smart business!

Can't believe I missed this for freakin' YEARS!


I'd rather not see what happens when people start developing tolerances or suddenly crash if the system breaks.

Can't sleep. TPS Reports will eat me.
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Froggie
post Mar 6 2012, 09:23 PM
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Some ideas:

1) Late night employees take turns hacking the abused Ferret security drones, changing their paths to conduct races and bet on the results.
So the runner's intel on the security routes are all messed up as the employees keep diverting the drones off their paths.

2) The sub corporation suddenly gets downsized by a cost cutting young Ares exec looking to improve his standing. A moving team moves in some time while the runners are moving in or are already inside to put all the companies assets into storage for future liquidation.

3) Someone else is hacking the matrix node for this place to re-route a shipment somewhere. The team's hacker and the other intruder might help each other out or think the other is a security rigger.

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Blade
post Mar 7 2012, 10:35 AM
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1) The Mc Guffin has been put in (or next to) the trash container outside of the building.

This has happened in real life to someone who was sent to solve a problem on some important mainframe/server. He had to sign tons of papers, walked with armed security personnel, went through an airlock and so on... but they couldn't find the machine he was supposed to work on. Turned out it some people thought it was completely broken and had put it outside for garbage collecting.

2) "Surprise!" Some employees have planned a surprise party for another employee. That employee has been called for a fake emergency requiring his presence, so that when he arrives everyone pops out and yells "surprise". The PC arrive just when he's supposed to.

3) The PC start hearing gunshots coming from elsewhere, and seeing recently dead bodies. An employee who's borderline psycho has gone over the border when something went wrong (the alarms went off, he'd been told that there are armed people here, or even something unrelated to the PC). He started shooting/hitting his boss and the co-workers he doesn't go along with.

4) Stolen from another Dumpshocker (can't remember who): they come accross someone wearing a security guard's uniform. They shoot him and realize after that she was a pregnant woman (even if they just shot her with gel rounds or SnS, it might not go very well for the baby). Later on, they find a half-naked security guard, who's hoping that the pregnant woman he gave his armor to is fine. This can be done the other way around, with the PC facing a half-naked security guard and discovering later that this guard had given his armor to a pregnant woman.

Or if it's in France, you can have a strike going on during the whole operation.
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Shortstraw
post Mar 7 2012, 11:06 AM
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It's a pity about the "no research" thing Better Off Ted is full of corporate weirdness and science that makes for fun encounters - you know weaponized pumpkins, aerosolized vector of cousin it syndrome, spider madness that sort of thing.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 7 2012, 01:52 PM
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Damn, now I want to run a run in a late-night office environment. I did that for a week and wish it hadn't ended. Let's see... Some Characters they may find.


1: The Newbie. He's young, enthusiastic, it's his first night on the job, and he's never had access to coffee (or soy-kaf) this strong before or in this much quantity before, and he's been hitting it hard. He's completely wired and resistant to stun damage, and being bright-eyed and full of youthful naivete, may confront the runners if he suspects something off, or try to go Stealth on them and tail them or sneak/hide away to call for security/the cops with his commlink. He's also committed some important passcodes to his commlink's memory because he hasn't yet memorized them.

2: The Grandmother. This kindly old woman is in a slightly-elevated managerial position over the pack of bottom-rung drones and has the unenviable task of keeping a bunch of teenagers, twentysomethings, and twentysomethings who still behave like teenagers in line. She likes them all, but if she feels things are going too slow/not being taken seriously enough, she restores order by picking someone who's doing everything the way they're supposed to (if there's no obvious cut-ups, that is,) and laying into them, telling them that if they aren't going to take everything seriously and do their job, she'll send them home then and there. She might mistakenly pick the runners for this. How do you deal with a kindly old grandmother getting stern with you and telling you to get into the pool and do some work?

3: The Joker. He's entertaining the other bottom-rungers by weaving a freeform tale of complete drek while everybody but the bosses is around one table, working on their links. He's loud and has everyone's attention as he spins a tale about the 'mongols of the deserts of southern Florida' or whatever. Runners may need to make a composure test to not stop and listen to his captivating tale of complete nonsense; he might make a good distraction, but there's a chance that the Grandmother will spot them when she goes past them to tell him that story time is over.

(The Newbie was me, by the way. I was soooooooo wired on coffee that night I achieved a chemically-altered state of perception on the 60-mile drive home. Thank goodness the highway was empty at 4 in the morning. I will neither confirm nor deny the based-on-a-true-storyness of the others.)

Other than that, I like the suggestions that have come before, especially if you consider that this late-night graveyard shift is packed full of cut-ups and jokesters that the company can't quite come up with justification to fire and so consequently they get away with damn-near everything under the sun. Depending on how much oversight they have, it could be anything from a corporate powder-keg where a much-reviled boss is on the 'frag list' should anything actually occur - and thus the 'runners will actually be aided by a storming mob of angry office workers ready to take any excuse they can to shoot their boss and blame it on outsiders - to a virtually-uncontrolled late-night madhouse where the official policy is 'we see nothing and hear nothing as long as all the work assigned is done by morning shift's arrival.' So you might have employees racing hacked Ferret drones down the corridors (with or without office workers astride their overworked and much-abused steeds,) or the gun nut from security who spends his every free moment either watching action trid flics, on the range, or customizing his personal gun and is just itching to go John McClane on someone's ass.

The security spider might be bored and hate his job and his first action upon seeing an intruder in the system will be to offer to sell them an admin account he made and caused to look as if it were hacked... Or he might be a sociopathic, homicidal Bastard Operator from Hell who already has a significant body count to his name, consisting of employees and superiors (and executives, and insurance agents, and investigators,) who refused to see things (like the budget) his way and who won't tolerate outsiders breaking into his castle like this. Expect lift doors to open onto empty shafts and ridiculous booby-traps, or any lift they use will take them to his personal dungeon in the unused sub-basement and lock-down, forcing them to try to navigate a hellish booby-trapped nightmare, and of course he has an up-amped, highly customized version of the most powerful melee stun weapon in the books sitting in the drawer of his desk... And a claw hammer. He'll also try to lock them in the backup safe (which has a faraday cage installed,) or trigger the Halon-equivalent fire-suppression systems. Of course, he's always susceptible to bribery, in nuyen, electronics goods, sex, or booze, but his price will go up the more angry he is with them (and the more he has them in his clutches.) He might not care if they off the Helldesk assholes who are thorns in his side, and the beancounters who are always trying to get rid of him, but he has a good working relationship with security, based on mutual bribery and backscratching, and his current boss is an idiot with a bad memory and a fetish for farmyard animals who can be easily bamboozled into signing anything or believing he approved of something some time ago, or blackmailed if bamboozling doesn't work, and the BOfH will be extremely upset if they kill him and thus make him need to break in a new boss, which usually involves the discrete murder of three or four intermediate bosses who aren't quite so rubbish and easily-fooled and easily-blackmailed.


You could also throw in an Undercover Boss scenario; either the CEO of the subsidiary company (who is himself a mid-level executive with Ares Macrotech), or even Damian Knight himself, is undercover in the office pool under an assumed name. This might lead to trouble later-on if they go in with guns and act like the Pink Mohawk Gang (unless they successfully convince everyone it's another Code Green Live Fire Drill and that they're not in any genuine peril,) but if they pull the job with professionalism and cleverness, it might lead to further job opportunities. Or they might shoot Damian Knight right in the god-damn face and completely change the face of the game world. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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SincereAgape
post Mar 7 2012, 02:22 PM
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Two Words.

Cyber Zombie.
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Seriously Mike
post Mar 8 2012, 11:40 AM
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QUOTE (SincereAgape @ Mar 7 2012, 03:22 PM) *
Two Words.

Cyber Zombie.

Four Words: Cyber Zombie Security Rigger. Or other four words, as mentioned above: Bastard Operator From Hell.
I believe he'd be a truly sick bastard. From HELL!

Oh, and I just recalled one story from my previous workplace. The graveyard shift guys once caused a fire alarm there, and how? Here's how.
We had offices on both sides of the lobby - the graveyard shift guys' office was on one side, rec room with a microwave on the other. They put some pop-tarts in the microwave, set the timer to AN HOUR and happily went off to play some Quake 3 over LAN. Pop-tarts burned to charcoal, triggering a fire alarm and causing my side of the office to stink of burned food for three days of near-constantly open windows. And we needed a new microwave.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Mar 8 2012, 02:42 PM
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@Seriously Mike: Why the hell would they do that? Did they hit the '0' key a few too many times, or did they just want to see what would happen?



Also, as regards the Bastard Operator from Hell? Have him offsite and working in AR, but his attack comlink is behind a chokepoint which is simply an IC-holding no-holds-barred beast of a Nexus. And he has like, three dozen admin accounts to all the systems in the building; so, while fragging his icon shouldn't be too difficult for a hacker, he just keeps coming back, and attempts to get at him result in a murderous ambush by a ridiculous suite of IC.
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jaellot
post Mar 8 2012, 03:24 PM
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You could have some sort of reality trideo show being filmed there. One of those gag ones, where they set up a fake Run against the place, and film it all. Hilarity ensues (and the ratings rocket through the roof!) when the fake shadowrun team runs into a real team of runners inside! More after these commercials, brought to you by Soy-Lent Greens Salad Mix!
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Notsoevildm
post Mar 8 2012, 04:41 PM
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As nobody else has mentioned it yet, the two (or more) office workers having sex in a random office, in the cupboard with the power cables or possibly even on top of the McGuffin.
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Murrdox
post Mar 8 2012, 04:47 PM
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Back in the 90's the late shift always kept installs of Quake or Doom on the PCs for when the manager wasn't around...

Have the late night office staff engaging in a full AR shooter game. The equivalent of having a NERF gun battle in the cube farm. In AR all of the office drones have their game avatars superimposed over them, in full tactical gear with a variety of weapons, indicators saying what team they are on, etc. When the Shadowrunners arrive, the staff are all engaged in full blown tactical war that spreads across the office from the bathrooms to the cube farm to the break room. Wherever the Shadowrunners go in the office, they never know when they're going to run into an employee who's hiding somewhere to ambush his fellow co-workers and take them out.

Also, the employees haven't bothered filtering out the AR game. It's been put up publicly on one of the office geek's Commlink with good Signal. As soon as the Shadowrunners enter the building and get in range of the Commlink, it prompts the Shadowrunners to choose their Callsign for the game and pick their weapon / armor loadout. If the Shadowrunners click "OK" then they get the same AR treatment as the employees, appearing as their game avatar.

The employees might wonder why these strangers have suddenly joined the game, and either welcome them in or suddenly wonder who they are and why they're in the office (Oh no, it's management that's arrived to secretly spy on them and make sure they're doing their work! Quick shut down the game!)
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Seriously Mike
post Mar 9 2012, 08:36 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Mar 8 2012, 03:42 PM) *
@Seriously Mike: Why the hell would they do that? Did they hit the '0' key a few too many times, or did they just want to see what would happen?

I don't recall if we had keys or dial on that microwave, but I do believe they planned to leave the poptarts only for a few minutes, take them out and reset the timer back to zero. Well, ciao Darwin, guys.
Fun fact: I left the company first, a year or so after that incident.
QUOTE (Murrdox @ Mar 8 2012, 05:47 PM) *
Back in the 90's the late shift always kept installs of Quake or Doom on the PCs for when the manager wasn't around...

Heheh, that's true for the late '00s. And I like the AR game idea as well.
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Kolinho
post Mar 9 2012, 11:07 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Mar 7 2012, 01:52 PM) *
The security spider might be bored and hate his job and his first action upon seeing an intruder in the system will be to offer to sell them an admin account he made and caused to look as if it were hacked... Or he might be a sociopathic, homicidal Bastard Operator from Hell who already has a significant body count to his name, consisting of employees and superiors (and executives, and insurance agents, and investigators,) who refused to see things (like the budget) his way and who won't tolerate outsiders breaking into his castle like this. Expect lift doors to open onto empty shafts and ridiculous booby-traps, or any lift they use will take them to his personal dungeon in the unused sub-basement and lock-down, forcing them to try to navigate a hellish booby-trapped nightmare, and of course he has an up-amped, highly customized version of the most powerful melee stun weapon in the books sitting in the drawer of his desk... And a claw hammer. He'll also try to lock them in the backup safe (which has a faraday cage installed,) or trigger the Halon-equivalent fire-suppression systems. Of course, he's always susceptible to bribery, in nuyen, electronics goods, sex, or booze, but his price will go up the more angry he is with them (and the more he has them in his clutches.) He might not care if they off the Helldesk assholes who are thorns in his side, and the beancounters who are always trying to get rid of him, but he has a good working relationship with security, based on mutual bribery and backscratching, and his current boss is an idiot with a bad memory and a fetish for farmyard animals who can be easily bamboozled into signing anything or believing he approved of something some time ago, or blackmailed if bamboozling doesn't work, and the BOfH will be extremely upset if they kill him and thus make him need to break in a new boss, which usually involves the discrete murder of three or four intermediate bosses who aren't quite so rubbish and easily-fooled and easily-blackmailed.


This guy is my new hero NPC! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif)

I've got a few runs lined up, will have to see which one to put him on. Loving it!
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Kolinho
post Mar 9 2012, 11:20 AM
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QUOTE (jaellot @ Mar 8 2012, 03:24 PM) *
You could have some sort of reality trideo show being filmed there. One of those gag ones, where they set up a fake Run against the place, and film it all. Hilarity ensues (and the ratings rocket through the roof!) when the fake shadowrun team runs into a real team of runners inside! More after these commercials, brought to you by Soy-Lent Greens Salad Mix!


This is a braw idea also!

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Kolinho
post Mar 9 2012, 11:41 AM
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QUOTE (Murrdox @ Mar 8 2012, 04:47 PM) *
Back in the 90's the late shift always kept installs of Quake or Doom on the PCs for when the manager wasn't around...

Have the late night office staff engaging in a full AR shooter game. The equivalent of having a NERF gun battle in the cube farm. In AR all of the office drones have their game avatars superimposed over them, in full tactical gear with a variety of weapons, indicators saying what team they are on, etc. When the Shadowrunners arrive, the staff are all engaged in full blown tactical war that spreads across the office from the bathrooms to the cube farm to the break room. Wherever the Shadowrunners go in the office, they never know when they're going to run into an employee who's hiding somewhere to ambush his fellow co-workers and take them out.

Also, the employees haven't bothered filtering out the AR game. It's been put up publicly on one of the office geek's Commlink with good Signal. As soon as the Shadowrunners enter the building and get in range of the Commlink, it prompts the Shadowrunners to choose their Callsign for the game and pick their weapon / armor loadout. If the Shadowrunners click "OK" then they get the same AR treatment as the employees, appearing as their game avatar.

The employees might wonder why these strangers have suddenly joined the game, and either welcome them in or suddenly wonder who they are and why they're in the office (Oh no, it's management that's arrived to secretly spy on them and make sure they're doing their work! Quick shut down the game!)


Are you familiar with the work of Christopher Brookmyre? This is absolutely the sort of thing you would find in one of his novels. Fantastic stuff.

I'd like to think (hope) that the runners would join in the game, and the current player-employees are too carried away with the game to notice them joining in. Excellent stuff.

Apologies, should have multi-quoted rather than spamming.
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Shortstraw
post Mar 9 2012, 02:11 PM
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QUOTE (Notsoevildm @ Mar 9 2012, 02:41 AM) *
As nobody else has mentioned it yet, the two (or more) office workers having sex in a random office, in the cupboard with the power cables or possibly even on top of the McGuffin.


The runners hear singing from a storage room its an albino female giant clerk and 7 dwarven laborers.......
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