IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

4 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> How to ease players into a runner's mindset?, GM help request
Lionhearted
post Oct 14 2012, 05:01 PM
Post #1


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,929
Joined: 9-April 05
From: Scandinavian Union
Member No.: 7,310



Been a very long time since I last came here, but you never truly leave the shadows do you?

So here's the rundown.
I play biweekly in a mostly D&D centric group but lately they've showed an increased interest in giving SR another shot.
Most of us are quite enamoured in the universe but thus far every attempt at starting a campaign have devolved into BTL fuelled killing sprees, Players constantly trying to backstab eachother, Pimping schemes trying to sell other PCs and the like.

Personally I think these breakdowns are caused by giving to much creative freedom to a group conditioned by linear dungeon crawling.
That and an unfamiliarity with the rules which inherently limits the group.

So Im currently trying to come up with ideas on how to step-by-step introduce my players to the system without completely overloading them.

Here's the current idea Im working with, Im open to any and all suggestions on how to improve and elaborate on it.

Im thinking of starting them off with very basic characters with little combat capability and mostly mundane abilities
- Little to no chrome or magic
- Most likely greatly inflated karma gain. Partly to get used to the system, partly to let people grow into their characters rather then start out with toys they don't know how to use.
- Would appreciate feedback on how to do this in a sensible manner

Structure the first few runs around introducing the players
to specific concepts like hacking, legwork, negotiations and the like... Im fairly confident they already get the jist of wetwork
- Hacking in particular is something we handwaved alot in the past, but its a major part of the game and one of the biggest steps in moving away from D&D with guns.
- again with the intentionally low combat capacity to force them to think their way out of the situation
- Possibly a run that introduces magic and the option to become awakened.
- Any ideas welcome! I have very little experience making my own missions and tend to improvise alot rather then keeping alot of notes.

So... how can you make clearly unsuitable runners like these plausible?

My thinking is that the characters grew up on one of the orbital/extraterrestial colonies, that don't exist... This alleviate alot of the inconsistentencies with the characters, like why they know so little about the world (outside of corp propaganda), why they have no combat training, chrome or magical experience (I hear the background count of deep space is quite hindering), why they're effectively SINless (Officially they don't exist).
But most of all it gives a way better justification for fish out of the water elements then group amnesia...
Only thing that stumps me is how and why they left the cosy comfort of the colony, and how they ended up in the sprawls of wherever.

Finally as a small towner from Sweden I usually have a hard time picturing the structure or layout of a metroplex like Seattle... any tips on how to deal with that?

Sorry for the wall of text, atleast tried to section it.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Medicineman
post Oct 14 2012, 05:45 PM
Post #2


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,748
Joined: 25-January 05
From: Good ol' Germany
Member No.: 7,015



Do they have to be Runners ?
Why don't You start a Cop Campaign or a Doc Wagon Campaign ? Maybe in the NAN or in the CAS, outside of the big Metroplexes in the Rural Areas .
The Chars (and the Players too) would have a controlled, regular environment, a Clear structure.
They could start with little or no Chrome and work their Way up. You could create a Campagne where they start as norrmal Citizens than something happens and they have to survive as Runner (I hope I made myself clear ? )

with a different Dance
Medicineman
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lionhearted
post Oct 14 2012, 06:02 PM
Post #3


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,929
Joined: 9-April 05
From: Scandinavian Union
Member No.: 7,310



The last one was a bit like what Im already aiming for... cop campaign is an interesting idea although, gives opportunity for more investigation oriented missions and you can lay it thick with Noir (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Medicineman
post Oct 14 2012, 06:15 PM
Post #4


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,748
Joined: 25-January 05
From: Good ol' Germany
Member No.: 7,015



You could also get the Ghost Cartell Campaign and play it from "the other Side" the Cop Side.
Let them Start as Lone Star Cops outside of Seattle in the Suburbs or in the NAN.After a couple of Sessions, when the Players get the Hang of the Rules and the SR World start with the Ghostcartell campaign and at the End They'll all loose their Jobs because Knight Errant takes over and the Chars end up as (Full Fledged)Shadowrunners.....

JahtaHow
Medicineman
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lionhearted
post Oct 14 2012, 06:54 PM
Post #5


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,929
Joined: 9-April 05
From: Scandinavian Union
Member No.: 7,310



The more I think of the more I like the idea.
Blue eyed rookies still convinced that they can make a difference slowly realising the cold harsh reality of it all.
Especially if you lead them to believe that the Stars are generally good guys, heck you might even take them in other directions after that PI, Vigilanting or straight up corp sec until they get hung out dry.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cabral
post Oct 14 2012, 07:04 PM
Post #6


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 733
Joined: 30-August 05
Member No.: 7,646



Since I'll likely get stuck with GMing, for my next game, I was thinking of requiring all PCs have at least one contact in common with at least one other PC and suggesting that NPC-related flaws (ie, dependent) are shared (ie, joint custody of a child). I'm hoping that creating connections like that will help the players bond to the other PCs and it might help you avoid the pimping scenario.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
KarmaInferno
post Oct 14 2012, 08:12 PM
Post #7


Old Man Jones
********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 4,415
Joined: 26-February 02
From: New York
Member No.: 1,699



Getting them in a SR mood?

Have them watch movies and TV of the appropriate genres.

Heist movies, Ronin, Leverage, Burn Notice, etc.




-k
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Glyph
post Oct 15 2012, 12:21 AM
Post #8


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 7,115
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,449



Lowering the power level is a solution that doesn't have a lot to do with any of the problems. The problem with trying to lower the power level now is that the players have already played decent characters who have augmentations and magic. They won't be enthusiastic about starting out with sucky characters.

If the players are backstabbing and pimping each other, then tell them that their characters all have to be friends, with shared backstories and contacts in common (maybe you could reward them for this by giving them a high connection/loyalty fixer contact that they all know, for free).

If the players are going on killing sprees, then explain to them, either IC or OOC, how shadowrunning is supposed to work - negotiation, legwork, planning, stealthy infiltration, quick and often violent exfiltration. Give them plenty of information presented to them as things that the character would know, even if the player is ignorant. Things like - "You know that the cops will probably show up armed for bear in five minutes or so now that the alarms are blaring." "If you shoot the mayor, the cops will just put the heat on everyone in the shadows until someone narcs you out to them." "Stealing the prototype is just biz, but if you blow up the place, the corporation will have to send a strike team after you to save face."

Let them know that as tough as they are, there are equally tough people out there, and that numbers and tactics can also make even mooks dangerous. Let them know that there are unwritten rules out there, that they violate at their own peril. Let them know that they depend on other underworld types for the fake IDs, safehouses, illegal weapons, and everything else that lets them work under the table and then fade into the shadows after the job is done.

Once you have let them know this, start punishing blatant stupidity. Don't be vindictive, just have logical consequences happen to them when they shoot too much or think too little.


Also - while Shadowrun lends itself to open sandbox play, it can actually be fairly linear. After all, the group basically gets hired to do specific jobs, which can involve plenty of constraints (no witnesses, make it look like a certain other company/group sabotaged them, infiltrate a party where the most they can get through the door will be small arms, bring back a certain party unharmed, etc.). If the group is running amok because they don't have a lot of direction, you might make the Johnsons a bit more stringent in what they want.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
All4BigGuns
post Oct 15 2012, 12:26 AM
Post #9


Former Member
**

Group: Members
Posts: 814
Joined: 15-July 12
Member No.: 53,042



Do nothing. If that's what they're doing, then that's what they enjoy doing in games. Making all those arbitrary changes just because they aren't doing things how YOU think they should be done is getting dangerously close to railroading.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Udoshi
post Oct 15 2012, 02:02 AM
Post #10


Runner
******

Group: Members
Posts: 2,782
Joined: 28-August 09
Member No.: 17,566



QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 14 2012, 12:02 PM) *
The last one was a bit like what Im already aiming for... cop campaign is an interesting idea although, gives opportunity for more investigation oriented missions and you can lay it thick with Noir (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


One of my friends ran a Docwagon campaign. The team were all HRT specialists.

So they alternated between being really really bored, trying to make extra cash on the side and doing paperwork and drek, and going HOLY SHIT WE GOT A CALL WOOP WOOP.

a docwagon game is kind of like a cop game, except you have an excuse to take part in all facets of the setting - fuggen everyone uses docwagon, wheras a cop game puts you firmly on one side of the shadows. I also bet they have a crime/forensic division for high profile gold/platinum subscribers, because, hey, sometimes figuring out who's gunning for your subscriber so you can press charges is cheaper than free/heavily discounted surgery.


QUOTE (Glyph @ Oct 14 2012, 06:21 PM) *
If the players are backstabbing and pimping each other, then tell them that their characters all have to be friends, with shared backstories and contacts in common (maybe you could reward them for this by giving them a high connection/loyalty fixer contact that they all know, for free).


one of the pick up games I played in had an excellent starting premise, though the game itself was shortlived.
The idea was that all the players had just got fuggen LUCKY on their first run and hit gold grade a paydirt. The rules were pretty simple: everyone just got max cash, but a slightly reduced BP total to compensate. (a little leeway was talked in by our groups mage, if they didn't want *quite* near 50 bp in nuyen.)

It worked really well for setting the atmosphere in having a team of newbie runners who didn't know each other very well(yet), but had already bonded somewhat and established/implied teamwork, and were less likely to frag each other for dumb shit. At the same time, they didn't really know what they were doing in the shadows yet. There was also nice improv going on, and playing off each other as the players figured out the details and views of the other characters that their character knew, but the player didn't quite.

You may want to steal the idea. Though I would probably not go MAX CASH, and tone it slightly down.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
EKBT81
post Oct 15 2012, 09:54 AM
Post #11


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 195
Joined: 7-July 08
From: Germany
Member No.: 16,124



QUOTE (All4BigGuns @ Oct 15 2012, 02:26 AM) *
Do nothing. If that's what they're doing, then that's what they enjoy doing in games. Making all those arbitrary changes just because they aren't doing things how YOU think they should be done is getting dangerously close to railroading.

I'll disagree here. It seems to me that the OP isn't enjoying the group's current style of playing much. IMO the GM should have just as much fun GMing as the players have playing the game. Especially since in my experience the GM generally invests much more time and work into a campaign than the players do. The GM's fun shouldn't come at the expense of the players' fun, but neither should it be the other way around.

I'm not a fan of the low-power approach, but I believe a discussion about what they expect from the game is in order. Great if they manage to work out something that's fun for all people involved. But if there's no common ground at all, as GM I wouldn't bother to spend considerable time and effort preparing a game that turns out to be no fun at all for me.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dolanar
post Oct 15 2012, 10:58 AM
Post #12


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 651
Joined: 20-July 12
From: Arizona
Member No.: 53,066



I think the discussion idea is a good one, since your group is primarily of the dungeon smash variety, they very well could expect something of a similar nature, hence the mass slaughter you mentioned. If this is something they expect, perhaps turning them into a hit squad for hire is the best idea until they settle in. Introduce Legwork by having them research the target they are hired to kill & slowly add new concepts in as they adjust.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Raiden
post Oct 15 2012, 11:11 AM
Post #13


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 755
Joined: 8-August 12
From: Geogia
Member No.: 53,120



could always convert them to a merc group with a tie to a corp CEO or son of the CEO, doing big boy missions with some heavy fire. WOOHOO!. this way, they get the BOOM BOOM, but if they dont spend time planning and the like, gaining intel, maybe sabotaging, stuff like that, they wont do well for long, perhaps wont live to long, this way they start to gain the shadowrun mentality of, maybe we shouldnt just go in guns blazing O.o
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
sk8bcn
post Oct 15 2012, 11:59 AM
Post #14


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 696
Joined: 21-August 08
From: France
Member No.: 16,265



I don't like a low level approach neither. Ironically, not for a group unfamiliar to the game.

You want them to be interested in playing Shadowrun, so they need to be shadowrunners.

If they are unfamiliar and find the options too complex, the better option is to keep it simple at the start and introduce aspects slowly with lighter rules.

Like for exemple, start only with spellcasting for mages, for samourais, create sets of cyberware.


They're about dungeon crawling and ply SR like DD with guns? Ok just please them.

Start with straigths gunfightings adventures.
For exemple: invest a research complex and find something.
Dirty work at eliminating a Mafia boss.

With those steps they should be rounded with combat.

Then introduce slowly new aspects. Like investigating. Like magic.


IMO, trying to enforce hard a new code of conduct to the players isn't likely to get them satisfied with the game.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Medicineman
post Oct 15 2012, 01:26 PM
Post #15


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,748
Joined: 25-January 05
From: Good ol' Germany
Member No.: 7,015



QUOTE (EKBT81 @ Oct 15 2012, 05:54 AM) *
I'll disagree here. It seems to me that the OP isn't enjoying the group's current style of playing much. IMO the GM should have just as much fun GMing as the players have playing the game. Especially since in my experience the GM generally invests much more time and work into a campaign than the players do. The GM's fun shouldn't come at the expense of the players' fun, but neither should it be the other way around.

I totally agree with Your disagreeing (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
QUOTE
I'm not a fan of the low-power approach, but I believe a discussion about what they expect from the game is in order. Great if they manage to work out something that's fun for all people involved. But if there's no common ground at all, as GM I wouldn't bother to spend considerable time and effort preparing a game that turns out to be no fun at all for me.

Low Power Approach ?
I didn't notice that !
I'm against a Low Power approach too !
That (ImO) could lead to min/maxed Chars and or dissapointed Players .
A normal 400 GP Char with fewer Points in Resources ( for lesser Chrome) would Result in a Char with more Contacts or Skills which is preferably better than a "Bonzaied" Char with less Points than Normal

with a Normal Powered Dance
Medicineman
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lionhearted
post Oct 15 2012, 03:12 PM
Post #16


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,929
Joined: 9-April 05
From: Scandinavian Union
Member No.: 7,310



Working hours tend to limit response ratio, alot of excellent stuff here.
I think I didn't explain myself very clearly. The total chaos was often sparked by a lack of direction when faced with legwork, I wasn't the GM at the time... in hindsight not the best situation since I was the only one that had played SR with an experienced group before.
neither me or the players enjoyed the derailing and we probably matured alot since then.

Im mostly trying to find a way to introduce them to the open approach of legworking without completely railroading the process and without leaving them stumped on what to do.
Having a talk about is a great idea, not sure how to give them a runners mindset although..

The low power was mostly to avoid minmax streetsam bobs with negative stupid essence, you think it will have the opposite effect?

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lionhearted
post Oct 15 2012, 03:39 PM
Post #17


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,929
Joined: 9-April 05
From: Scandinavian Union
Member No.: 7,310



Well it seem I can't get five minutes without interruption.

Anyhow while the group is mostly of the dungeon crawling variety they have expressed a desire to try something completely different.
As a sidenote I did GM a oneshot of On the run, but put the campaign on ice due to lack of time to be able to GM.
It was fairly railroaded and lighthearted, but didn't collapse on itself to much.
After the trainwrecks there was no one left to GM and I didn't have the time to properly prepare, so we stuck to D&D for the most part (where people got over their PK, campaign crashing ways... for the most part). People have been asking for a long time for someone to start a new campaign, but no one wanted to take the lead.

Now I know the players enjoys a more involved playstyle, it worked out (with some coaxing) in the past, however I want to give them the right tools and a good foundation to blossom into beautiful paranoid runners...

If I seem a bit rambly, it's because I am
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Medicineman
post Oct 15 2012, 03:41 PM
Post #18


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,748
Joined: 25-January 05
From: Good ol' Germany
Member No.: 7,015



QUOTE
The low power was mostly to avoid minmax streetsam bobs with negative stupid essence, you think it will have the opposite effect?

YES
Wellll It can happen...
a better aproach would be to talk with them and modify the existing Rules for a normal 400 BP Char
and only crank down the "Resource-Screw"
Maybe max 20 or 30 BP for Resources ,or 1 Pt in Resources is only 2000-3000 ....

He who dances with lesser Resources
Medicineman
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lionhearted
post Oct 15 2012, 03:57 PM
Post #19


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,929
Joined: 9-April 05
From: Scandinavian Union
Member No.: 7,310



I've been playing around with the idea of having predetermined characters so the players can try out a face, mage, hacker or rigger without the daunting task of building one.
It seems to me that you end up with a 90% brute population everytime you try something new since they're generally the easiest to build and learn.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
EKBT81
post Oct 15 2012, 04:15 PM
Post #20


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 195
Joined: 7-July 08
From: Germany
Member No.: 16,124



QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 15 2012, 05:12 PM) *
The low power was mostly to avoid minmax streetsam bobs with negative stupid essence, you think it will have the opposite effect?

Like Medicineman, I'd say it's not a certainty but quite possible. If you reduce BP, some players may be inclined to put it all into a narrow selection of skills/qualities/gear that they perceive as important (probably combat-related) and let "flavor" stuff fall by the wayside.

If you want to avoid minmaxing I'd rather keep the standard amount of BP and clearly state what characters you want to see in your campaign. For example, if you want them to be socially capable, you could require all characters to get the Etiquette skill at least at rating 1. The Karmagen rules might also be worth a look for building more broadly skilled, less specialized characters.

QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 15 2012, 05:57 PM) *
I've been playing around with the idea of having predetermined characters so the players can try out a face, mage, hacker or rigger without the daunting task of building one.
It seems to me that you end up with a 90% brute population everytime you try something new since they're generally the easiest to build and learn.

That seems like a very reasonable idea to me, though I'd leave some BP available for customizing stuff like hobbies and knowledge skills.

QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 14 2012, 07:01 PM) *
Finally as a small towner from Sweden I usually have a hard time picturing the structure or layout of a metroplex like Seattle... any tips on how to deal with that?

When running a Seattle campaign I actually found Wikipedia and Google Maps quite helpful.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lionhearted
post Oct 15 2012, 04:30 PM
Post #21


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,929
Joined: 9-April 05
From: Scandinavian Union
Member No.: 7,310



Karma gen rules are in RC are they not?
Definetly need to get my hands on some more books, currently we only have Core, Arsenal, Augmentation and Street magic.

Recommendations?
Currently thinking of Unwired and RC

Excuse my lack of quoting, editing on a DS is rough
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Medicineman
post Oct 15 2012, 04:38 PM
Post #22


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,748
Joined: 25-January 05
From: Good ol' Germany
Member No.: 7,015



QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 15 2012, 12:30 PM) *
Karma gen rules are in RC are they not?
Definetly need to get my hands on some more books, currently we only have Core, Arsenal, Augmentation and Street magic.

Recommendations?
Currently thinking of Unwired and RC

Runners Compendium !
Definitely !
But be carefull and read it first.
There's plenty of really good Stuff in it (more Qualities, Surge,Metavariants, extended Lifestyle and Connections)
but there's also a ....Dark Side. Options that are (ImO) not suited for Beginners or certain Playstile (like Free Spirits and HMMVV or Sentient Critters as Player Char options
If you allready have Player that prefer Powermonger Chars they'll love this Book too
I consider the Runners Compendium as the second most important SR Book
But Yo have to...Handle it with care

With a carefull Dance
Medicineman
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lionhearted
post Oct 15 2012, 04:43 PM
Post #23


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,929
Joined: 9-April 05
From: Scandinavian Union
Member No.: 7,310



Aye I found the lack of qualities in the corebook disturbing especially after playing SR3 with 25 pages of homebrew qualities, With everything from Immortal elf to Weirdness magnet
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dolanar
post Oct 15 2012, 05:35 PM
Post #24


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 651
Joined: 20-July 12
From: Arizona
Member No.: 53,066



ok with this new information about the group.

Mindset, take a game night & turn it into TV/Movie night, tell them its a "prep" night so to speak to get the feel of Shadowrun, so they know a little more about what to expect, get a couple movies, TV shows on Netflix (if available) or the like & let the players watch a few things that have very Shadowrun-esque concepts.

for the legwork & Role responsibilities, Look into Leverage. you have Elliot the streetsam, Parker the B&E stealther, Hardison the hacker/rigger, Sophie & Nate the Faces.

for some of the ingenuity & SHHTF moments, watch Burn Notice, there are a lot of options, but this will be something fun for your group also gives them something to compare things to.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Raiden
post Oct 15 2012, 07:19 PM
Post #25


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 755
Joined: 8-August 12
From: Geogia
Member No.: 53,120



I still throw my vote in for the Corp merc group. after they get used to it, you can have the Corp leave them hung out to dry, so they could get "thrown into" the shadows when they feel they are more prepared (or you feel they are, they do not have to know they are getting hung out to dry :3) either way, it would be a good process to set some foundations for the legwork and BnE stuff they will be doing as runners the firsts merc mission maybe give them some hints on what to do/ find out about the target(s). give some slack in the 2nd mission but start to punish stupid mistakes around the 3rd session.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

4 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 9th December 2019 - 10:11 AM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.