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> 3rd edition smuggler campaign writeup, Narrative write up of games - feedback welcome.
Kren Cooper
post Oct 2 2017, 11:16 PM
Post #1


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I've been running another Shadowrun campaign for some time now - we started in December '16, playing 3rd edition once a week, for a few hours.. the curse of growing up and having families - it's been getting harder to get free time at mutually convenient points.

Still, we're making progress, and the team are coming along nicely.

The characters were all built using the BP system from the Companion. They each had 135 BP to give a slightly more advanced start, but were told not to take any gear or goodies as at the start of the campaign they would begin play "captured" and wouldn't get to keep them - and stood a very good chance of not being able to get them back. On the other hand, this meant there were more BP for skills, stats and internal ware.

They manged to escape captivity, and steal a truck, and since then have been grubbing their way up the ladder, doing jobs where they could find them, upgrading their gear and chipping away at random bandits along the way.

At the end of each week's session, I do a narrative writeup of the events, as part of my notekeeping. There are occasional embellishments on events or changes in emphasis to help the story flow, but on the whole it's a pretty accurate representation of what happened to the players. I normally post these weekly to my FB account (Kren Cooper - there aren't that many Krens on FB, and my profile is open if you want to look). I've not posted them here up to now, as I wasn't sure if people would want to read them - but I have a bunch of people that wait for their weekly episode now on FB, so I figured - why not.

So - here is a link to a PDF that contains the writeup to episodes 001- 134: via dropbox
The document was getting quite unwieldy and causing MS Word to choke - which surprised me as the file is still less than 2MB in size.
So, instead I've broken this down into "books" by grouping a bunch of chapters together that seem to fit in an arc, and trying to keep them as a more manageable size:
Book 1, Chapters 001 - 050, 172K words, 252 pages
Book 2, Chapters 050 - 078, 182K words, 270 pages
Book 3, Chapters 079 - 102, 194K words, 294 pages
Book 4, Chapters 103 - 127, 191K words, 296 pages
Book 5, Chapters 128 - 154, 251K words, 385 pages
Book 6, Chapters 155 - 183, 265K words, 410 pages
Book 7, Chapters 184 - 209, 236K words, 364 pages
Book 8, Chapters 210 - 242, 259k words, 400 pages
Book 9, Chapters 243-xxx, 145k words, 229 pages

It is quite a long read, and obviously rising on a weekly basis. If anyone does read through it, I particularly welcome comments and criticisms. And if anyone wants to appear as an NPC - just drop in a bio or NPC description as a response, and I'll fit you in somewhere.

In addition, the story can also be found at two fic sites which might be easier for mobile reading or to download all in one go:
The story at FanFiction: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13718688/1/Smu...Shadowrun-Story
The story at Achrive Of Our Own: https://archiveofourown.org/works/26978617?..._full_work=true

The characters (and links to the PDF character sheets as of 06/10/2017) are:
Kai (face) the team leader - a Mongolian Elven physical adept specialising in social skills working as an art smuggler
Aswon (samurai-sharpshooter) - a human Nigerian physical adept, with a talent for sharpshooting
Shimazu (samurai-bodyguard) - a human Japanese physical adept specialising in melee combat and security related skills
Tadibya (shaman) - a human Nenet tribeswoman from near the arctic circle, on a "walkabout"
Marius (rigger) - a human German pilot, particularly skilled in rotorcraft management
Hunter (samurai-smuggler) - an ork smuggler / scout, with an extensive set of body modifications

Character sheets have been updated after the karma awards at the end of session 90 - here are the updated PDFs, so you can compare them with the originals above
Kai 01/05/19
Aswon 01/05/19
Shimazu 01/05/19
Tads 01/05/19
Marius 01/05/19
Hunter 01/05/19

And after another karma award and a good amount of training time around session 131, the character sheets got updated again.
Aswon 18/05/2020
Hunter 18/05/2020
Kai 18/05/2020
Marius 18/05/2020
Shimazu 18/05/2020
Tads 18/05/2020

Characters were updated again at the end of session 183, but haven't changed that much, so I haven't relinked them. If you are curious about the sheets though, do let me know, and I can put them up.
Hope you enjoy!
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post Oct 4 2017, 09:14 PM
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Moving Target

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Thanks, I look forward to a good long read. We play 3rd too, although rather less often - we also have issues with RL getting in the way of our group's highly deserved murder and mayhem at the tabletop (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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post Oct 4 2017, 10:44 PM
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Neophyte Runner

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I did something similar for a campaign that ran three years, although my weekly summaries were more succinct. I applaud the effort.

One of my favorite characters was from a low-powered campaign that began the same way. ("Don't buy anything because you're starting off naked and afraid.") I appreciated how I could round out the character with points I would have otherwise spent on gear.

I might chip away at this. What are you looking for in terms of comments or criticisms? Plot? The write-up itself? Obviously you're not entirely responsible for the action.

I don't suppose the character sheets are posted online, are they? What are the group dynamics like OOCly?
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Kren Cooper
post Oct 6 2017, 12:57 PM
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I have created PDF files of the character sheets and put them on Dropbox, and added links to the initial post.

In terms of feedback - anything really!
It would be good to hear if people enjoy the story (or if they don't, but can offer constructive criticism - that's helpful too)
If people have comments on the plot, the NPCs, the descriptions or locations, suggestions on consequences for things they think are dumb, if you found a plot mechanic or twist interesting, or have a suggestion for an NPC, corporation or piece of tech - I'm all ears.

As to our "Group Dynamic":
Aswon is played by Jez, a civil servant, coming up on 40, and our original GM - been playing Shadowrun for 20+ years. Really into the SR lore, has read all the novels and we constantly exchange messages about house rules, new drones, new metamagics etc
Marius is played by Lee, a production clerk, just over 40, been playing for 20+ years from SR1-2 at Uni, and met Jez when a student. Also very much a "lore monkey"
Kai is played by Fozzy, a graphics designer, around 40, been playing for 10 years, but plays just for the social part of the game - not really into the background so much.
Hunter is played by Justin, a clinical worker, around 45, been playing for 10 years, but is more of an action / combat than deep RP player, and also not so much into the lore.
Shimazu is played by Tom, Justins son, and a student. He's only been playing about a year, but seems to enjoy the RP side more than his dad.
Tads is played by Ali, another civil servant, also coming up on 40. She enjoys playing support characters and not being in the limelight, and has also played for about 10 years. She loves the RP side, but isn't into the mechanics (which is why her character sheet tells her how many successes she needs to soak...)

Jez is very proactive, and normally ends up being saddled as the "leader". Fozzy normally plays the wild and unpredictable "Murdock" style characters - so making him the team leader is a nice stretch for him. Lee likes to have a long term goal to work towards - at the moment he wants to get rid of the truck and get a nice cargo helicopter to do proper smuggling in. Justin wants lots of action sequences and to "win" situations. Tom is pretty quiet, and I think is still finding his feet with RP (and it's very funny to see him telling his dad's character he's being a dick - really messes with the normal social dynamics) and Ali likes to stick to her moral compass and play a white hat, or at most a murky grey.

And me? I'm about 45 ish, an IT infrastructure engineer, have been playing about 10 years. I met Jez through live roleplay, we ended up living near each other, and he introduced us to SR3 and we started a Seattle based campaign which ran for 6+ years in the end, playing weekly. We had a break from SR and moved to Pathfinder for a few years, and have just come back to SR again after I started running Pink Mohawk drop in games and getting Jez all keen again. I love my RP, and like to have stories relating to character background and lots of personal development, as well as some cool toys and some nice action sequences. I also like to make sure that everyone in the team gets a "hero" moment every now and again, to give them a lasting memory. And sometimes, the brain weasels attack, and I seek outside validation for what I'm doing.... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Kren Cooper
post Oct 13 2017, 06:31 AM
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You can lead a horse to water – but you can’t make it drink, or so the saying goes.

The events described below took place in the writeup from 24/12/2059 to 30/12/2059.
The team were given the job to observe another team gaining entry to a temple, and spy on them, gathering lots of intel for their boss, back in Tashkent.
The enemy team were statted quite highly – they were to represent a “prime” runner team, with lots of gear and resources, and the players soon realised this, and that a frontal assault was likely to end in them all getting killed, and that they needed to be very careful.
The temple team (the diggers from here on) had the following details:
• Truck – Ares Grand Canyon (P169 R3, see Conestoga Trailblazer, imp off road handling 6): 12m trailer, heavy cab, 4 points vehicle armour, off road tyres, rigged, otherwise basic
• 2 X Ares R (P173 R3) series with twin heavy mechanical arms (Str (IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif) and cargo bins – for excavating, low encryption network
• 2 X Ares Arbiters (P173 R3 – see Doberman) – patrol drone, rigger adaption and fully comp LMG with pilot shooting 5 dice autonomous, low encryption network
• 2 X Ares EIS-200 (P173 R3 – see Condor, but with sensors 3) – long endurance surveillance drones, low encryption network
• 4 X tripod mount sentry guns – Ares Firestorm, in foam rocks which will be painted up, mounting fully comp HMGs with fibre cables back to master control unit (sensor 5, autoshot 5), one turn for catalyst to melt away cover – highly encrypted rigger network
• 1 X Ares Sergeant-II (P177 R3 – see Dalmation, extra load) – VTOL UAV armed with Panther cannon with AV – highly encrypted rigger network
• 1 X Ares Dune Master (p165 R3 – see light strike) – highly encrypted rigger network
And the diggers had the following timeline sketched out for them:
1. 25th Set out drones+camo
2. 26th Start to excavate
3. 27th more excavation, roof secured
4. 28th explore and document, recover some artefacts – 1 X refined mercury in vial, 2X refined silver bar, 1 X copper ingot
5. 29th explore and find stairs down a level, generator at night
6. 30th Drop to sub level and make safe, set up 3rd sentry gun facing temple entrance, Blaster acid trap
7. 31st More excavation. Wee-woo m+ Spangles perform magic ritual
8. 1st – Excavate behind negated magical barrier
9. 2nd – more excavating and shoring up
10. 3rd – more excavating, find alternate way down to bottom level
11. 4th – reach bottom level
12. 5th – another magic ritual to find passphrase for magical barrier
13. 6th – release the horror
I’d got a table for random encounters whilst they were set up:
D6, per 12 hours: 1-2 = encounter, 3-6 none, then roll 1 D6 again:
1 = minor earthquake
2 = wandering shepherds
3 = mana storm
4 = drone patrol
5 = corp patrol
6 = critter attack
The team were originally briefed that is was the Atlantean Foundation doing a dig for historical artefacts. In fact, it is not AF / DIMR, instead it is a team of 10 runners, searching for ancient power stones. The stones are buried deep in the temple, behind strong wards and traps.
Team consists of
1. Rocket, human, male, 29, face / sam, average face, good leadership, loves rocket launchers, skillwires+drivers, low reaction buff, blond, desert tan shirt and trousers, digger hat
2. Spangles, dwarf, female, 33, concealment and defensive wizard, hermetic, g4, sorcery only, selection of R6-8 spells, some extended, mostly non-lethal, hippy tie dye outfits - hermetic
a. Ex-area, Trid phantasm 6, Cure disease 6, Heal 8, Chaff 6,
extended quickening for the trid phantasm, improved masking on the spell, spell specific power focus – trid phantasm – it’s ALL about the hiding
3. Mamma-bear, ork, female, 23, rigger, drives the heavy transport fitted with off-road tyres, r2 rigger, general skills, mid quality deck and systems, work overalls, blue denim
4. Spotlight, troll, male, rigger, drone specialist, good at surveillance and also doubles as HtH combat, has a bunch of aerial and ground support drones with up to LMG armed with ex-ex/HP, and one with AV for heavy use.
5. Digger, dwarf, male, 50s, mining and construction expert – was semi-retired, called in for expert support, skills slipping and mostly here for knowledge, jeans, suede jacket
6. Wee-woo, human aboriginal shaman, 18,female, conjurer, not initiated, headstrong and can be a little foolish, spirits to F7
7. Topshot, elf, female, 45, sniper specialist, good concealment, has a macmillian 50 cal with apds and smartlink, good wires and all vision mods, ex-forces (france) now running as a merc – digimax cammo fatigues, ghillie suit, ruthenium R4, massaging liner
8. Blaster, ork, male, 16, heavy set ork, with deluxe gyromount and hmg with max recoil comp and +2 from strength, heavy padded jumpsuit in
9. Slapdash, human, 23, phys-add, g3 initiate, lots of great leap and fall, wall running and improved skill martial art – very high quickness and lightning fast movement, but not reactions
10. Geo, human, 25, female, decker, info support and comms specialist, also fixer, jeans and fleece, baseball cap –combat biker team
The team are digging down into the ruins and will take 13 days to discover the treasure. They have tents set up outside and a strong perimeter defence.

As Hunter was the only person with eyes on, and was monitoring them via a laser microphone, he would be in a position to pick up bits of chatter and information. Some of it would be germane – progress on the dig for the day, what they found, what they suspected. Some of it would be background information – the names of the digger team, what they did, what their skills were, how they would react in an attack. And some would be background fluff – lovelife, musical tastes, stories of the past, jokes etc.

So, what I did was make up half a dozen different “snippets” about each of them, and then separated them out into lines, printed them and cut them up. Every period of observation, I got Hunters player to make a perception check, adding in his complementary skills like surveillance and depending on how many successes he got, he would get more or less snippets of information.
Before the session, I took the player aside, and told him what the plan would be – that I would feed him these snippets, and it was up to him to expand upon them and put them in the context of the story he reported back to the rest of the team. He could free-roam with his story, and I would try to make their background fit – essentially, this was his chance to RP his little heart out, and weave a convincing tapestry for the other players. And the better he did this, the more Karma he would get for the RP.


What actually happened was that he made the tests, got the snippets, read through them. Giggled or sniggered at a few of them. Looked confused at some. But, then instead of describing what he had seen to the rest of the team, just handed the snippets out and passed them around the table for the other players to read.
What I was hoping for as a way to really let him RP and develop his character and approach, and betray some of his character traits by how he told the story of the digger team, instead became a non-event. And instead of getting a big juicy Karma award, Hunter came away with one of the lowest rewards from the mission.

Here are the tidbits, in case anyone is curious:
Rocket - likes a good drink, but has a thing for sourmash. Has a cyber-eye with laser designator. Loves dogs, can't stand cats. Has worked in France, did some kind of art theft. Is ticklish. Once fired a rocket straight up in the air, then ran over to the bad guys, surrendered to them, gave them the empty launcher and told them he was going to get them the bag of jewels, then took cover for when the rocket came down homing on the launcher.
Spangles - shys away from confrontation. Loves practical jokes. Partially colourblind. Believes in free love. Once blew a job because she was getting jiggy with a guard and couldn't concentrate on the trid phantasm and huge cocks appeared everywhere. Was saved from drowning by Rocket some time way back. Once tried to have sex with an earth elemental. Has a forge on the truck, and is an amateur blacksmith. Responsible for magical defences for the team, and makes jewellery for them.
Mamma-bear - comes from Oz, and turned up with Wee-Woo. Used to drive road trains. Thinks petrol engines are rubbish. Thinks American trucks are over-rated, and would prefer a Volvo. Once picked a fight with 8 gangers over the tuning of an engine and stabbed 2 of them to death with a screwdriver. Loves hot-chocolate. Exceptionally fine motor control and a whizz with a soldering iron - and needle and thread. Nobody will play cards with her because she deals seconds from the bottom of the deck.
Spotlight - from Germany, but no trace of accent. Is afraid of the water. Names all of his drones and talks to them. Gluten intolerant, but had to eat some bread on the job in Rome and was violently ill all over the Johnson’s shoes when they handed over the info. Took out the other 6 gangers and covered Mamma's back. Thinks Tae-Kwon-Do is better than Karate.
Digger - was retired, but came back to help out Geo. Has worked globally, and speaks at least a dozen languages like a native. Does Dad jokes. Has been involved in a big gold mine heist at some point. Skilled medic, he specialises in toxicology - and once had to deal with someone with an overdose of chilli extract to the eye. Has stories about diamond dealing in Antwerp, and mining stories from all over the world. Missing the two smallest fingers on his left hand, following a machinery accident.
Wee-woo - recently joined team, but knows Mamma-bear from the past. Didn't have any cold weather clothes. Doesn't trust snow. Doesn't understand why you can't eat yellow snow. Expert survival / hunter skills, and a tracker. Can't understand why Spangles doesn't talk to spirits. Is starting to emulate Spangles, and is trying to learn more magic from her, but doesn't get the concept of practical jokes - once left a deadly scorpion in someone's bed because "it was funny like the itching powder, yes?"
Topshot - French, but born in Norway. Has served in the norwegian army. Doesn't like jerky. Once waited for 2 days in the ceiling void and then shot a guy in the nuts with a 50 cal and killed him with hydrostatic shock whilst he was having a crap. Should never be allowed to drive - ever - for any reason. Is absolutely awful at shoot-em-up games and gets owned repeatedly. Once killed 8 targets by shooting out a chain holding a heavy container being loaded onto a ship, from a moving powerboat in the harbour. Rumoured that she happily drinks her own piss - but no one has ever had the nerve to ask her to her face. Regarded as asocial, but completely reliable.
Blaster - south african orphan. Used to work in a gold mine as a slave. Surprisingly softly spoken and gentle, was attacked by a bunch of toughs in Oz for being a poofter. Has never deliberately killed a person, though has caused deaths by sawing vehicles in half with his HMG. Loves astronomy and quite knowledgeable about star positions.
Slapdash - Loves cats, hates dogs. Has a tattoo of a dildo on his left ass cheek. Once rode a tiger in Korea after a roof gave way and he fell into an enclosure. Loves spicy food and adds hot sauce to just about everything, but won't touch chilli. Loves to spar against Spotlight, because of his reach advantage. Thinks Karate is better than Tae-Kwon-Do.
Geo - loves urban brawl and combat racing. Spent her cut of the gold mine heist buying a partial share in a combat biker team. Refers to Blaster as her baby brother. Has a degree in electrical engineering from Boston University. Served 2 years as an EW officer in the CAS navy before a "misunderstanding" involving the admiral’s sloop and 4 male petty officers and a jar of industrial lubricant.
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Kren Cooper
post Oct 18 2017, 09:44 AM
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Added writeup #37 to the master story, and updated the link in the first post. Ran session #38 last night, so going to start writing up the story at lunchtime - but the team are starting to move in on the Dekita assets and planning some demolition.
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Kren Cooper
post Oct 23 2017, 07:16 PM
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Added session 38 to the master story and updated the PDF and link in the top post.
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Kren Cooper
post Oct 27 2017, 07:38 AM
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Well, I didn't expect that.
Players getting ready to start the strike against the oil pipelines and well. So threw in the "distraction" - a spirit using the search power came and battered through the ward, found one of the team, then went back to its summoner. Shortly afterwards, Spangles and Wee-woo turn up in astral form (the two mages from the temple recon job back in Tashkent), asking for help. Something was released from behind a ward, and half their team is trapped underground.

The players *should* have said no. They're in the middle of a job. But they didn't.... they said "sure, we're on the way". And after a mad nights driving with a spirit using its movement power on the truck to increase the speed, they made the 1600km drive in just over 10 hours. Now they've had the story, they know some kind of spirit, with immunity to normal weapons, has been let loose by their tampering and has captured half the team, down on the 2nd level - and started to plot a rescue mission.

Now just how nasty a horror can I throw at them?
One of the thoughts is to have the horror/wraith/shedim/other creature having been released has feasted on the fear / pain of the team members there to regain strength, and will then escape. We're in 2060, so it could even be the catalyst for Shedim sightings and the eventual possession of Ibn Eisa. Then there is that knowledge that they "let something out", and sometime later in the timeline they will see what events they acted as a catalyst for...

I can also potentially throw a bit of treasure in there for them - they've already seen some alchemical materials come out, so maybe a few grams of Orichalcum wouldn't go amiss. The tech types are already salivating over the HMGs loaded with AV.

Should there be kickback from going on a sidequest do you think, or reward? Or a little of both?
Oh, and session 39 writeup uploaded, and top post edited with link.
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Kren Cooper
post Nov 7 2017, 07:35 AM
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Session #40 added - hooray, they managed the rescue, and got everyone out alive (so far).

The sentry gun should keep the horror at bay, at least long enough for them to set Demo and blow the entrance, trapping it inside the mountain.

The team also found a magic item - a bronzed spear. I got a standard weapon focus, and thought that as this is a 4th world artifact, it might have a a unique little twist, and some backstory (which I need to work on and develop, and work into play in the future)
"Right hand room, there is a bronzed spear hidden (2 successes at 8 on perception) in the dirt and refuse in the back corner – this is a F1 R2 weapon focus, that will cost +5kp over normal to bond, but also gives the wielder the equivalent of Shielding 1, active when held."

The team didn't get chance to investigate the well room fully, so they didn't pull up the bucket and find the magical tome hidden in there:
"Well room, there is a book hidden in the bucket, with 3D6 random spells, all at D6+5 level." Poor Tads, never mind...

And, due to the frantic nature of the fight, they didn't get chance to hoover up the ancient artefacts from the lair:
"In the summoning room there is some old coinage, pottery and artefacts of a general nature, worth up to 100k to the AF/DIMR, that will take at least 5-10 minutes to collect and scavenge."

The players at the moment are heading round the corner to get the Heavy sentry gun to cover them:
Ares Firestorm Heavy Machine Guns (DPV = 1290, FCU = 2.5, Weight = 18
Tripod mounted (RC6), belt fed (200 round box), High power, Recoil Comp 2, Heavy Barrel, Weight decrease 7. Damage = 11S base, Recoil Compensation 3(9). 9 round full-auto burst adjusted damage = 22D
Cost = 6450, SI=3, Availability 19/21 days, Legality code 1-H

As a reward for Hunter, assuming they RP appropriately when they get clear of the temple, I think I'm going to have the leader hand over one of their custom Ares top of the line guns - an updated version of the Ares Alpha Combat Gun:
Ares Alpha Combat Gun GL v2
Conceal 2, Ammo 30©, Mode BF/FA, Damage 9M, Weight 6, Avail 8/48hours, Cost 2000, SI 4, Legal 1-G, RC 2,Gas venting 2, Smartlink-2, Underbarrel Mini-GL, Top mount range finder, Safe target system

After fighting against the creature from the black lagoon, Shimazu is also going to complete his "attunement" to his sword, so he'll get the benefit from that.

As they've pretty much saved the hoop of the other team, they're going to be pretty grateful, so as a general reward, I think that Rocket and his team will also hand over a "guest card" to a smuggler stop.
I'm thinking this will be something that looks like an old baseball trading card, something pretty rare, but the batting averages" are a set of co-ordinates and an ID code to enter a smuggler base up on the Russian boarder. The card will act as a letter of recommendation to the crew there, and let the team get an "in" to a permanent base and set of smugglers, fixers, dealers and suppliers to boost their career a little.

Now of course, I need to design a smuggler base, a pot of contacts and work out what their next set of jobs might be...

As ever, C&C welcome, as are suggestions for NPCs - got a favourite runner of yours that would make a nice contact? Feel free to post some details!

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Kren Cooper
post Nov 14 2017, 11:06 PM
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And another writeup added to the story - they managed to drive back the horror for long enough to rescue the prisoners, and escape from the temple, setting off a large quantity of explosives behind them to bring down the mountain and seal off the complex. After that, they had to do surgery to get out the horrid creature that was infesting the prisoners (think a cross between a Go'uld and a larvae from Star Trek II). They got a bunch of goodies from the other team as a thank you, and then went all the way back to their actual mission.
Much planning and then on with the job. Some of the team went to plant some explosives on an oil pipeline - climbing up an escarpment and then onto a desert plateau to reach the pipeline.

Two things got in their way - both critters. The first were "cannonball goats" - goat critters with the movement power and a high run modifier that can move at truly ridiculous speeds on the charge - they also come with a hardened armour skull to allow them to headbutt like you would not believe. Shimazu got hit by one, and the knockdown test saw him thrown 18m back across the desert - there was no laughing after that impact!

Then, as they were planting demo on the pipeline, their rythmic footsteps triggered an attack of poisonous nova-scorpions. They managed to beat them off, but in the process Aswon was stung and has a potentially fatal dose of venom coursing through his system. They're now tranqing, stunballing, and using some date rape drugs (which they got from a bad guy in episode 2) to bring his heart rate down to <200 and stop him from burning out.

Lets just say that now the security team from the enemy corporation is not the only thing they're worried about any more!
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Kren Cooper
post Nov 20 2017, 03:06 PM
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And episode 42 is now up (https://www.facebook.com/notes/kren-cooper/smuggler-session-042/10155630242618964/) and added to the master story.
I think Aswon will be getting a point or two of stress on his body, just as an after effect of the venom. Nothing that should gimp him long term, but just to make him take things a little steady for the next day or two - of course, that also coincides with the high-stress break in to the compound and setting off explosives.

But, he also has his magic spear.
At the moment, I have this specced as a F1 weapon foci, with Reach 2 (which is nice!). Sure, it's not high force, so not that strong in combat - but it does let him hurt spirits, and bypass immune to normal weapons / critter armour. It also keeps the cost reasonable for bonding.
However, as a very old relic, I thought it should have a tweak - so I'm thinking of it having an extra power, which duplicates the "shielding" power when held, as if it was a grade 1 mage. That is, the spear gives him an extra dice to resist incoming spells with, and the casters target number is one higher. I was thinking about raising the karma cost to bond this by +5 for the "special nature" of the enchantment. Does that seem reasonable to people?
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Kren Cooper
post Dec 9 2017, 09:03 PM
Post #12


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Episode 43 now up (https://www.facebook.com/notes/kren-cooper/smuggler-game-session-043/10155679659273964/)
Aswon did get enough stress points that he ended up suffering attribute failure on his quickness - but fortunately that was quickly healed by the medic and the shaman. Lots of planning on this one, and it all went a bit wrong at the 11th hour when the spirit carrying the last explosive was spotted as it closed on the compound - forcing an early and unexpected "go" on the mission.

We've got one more session before we break for Christmas, so hopefully we can clear this one down, get some karma awarded and leave it in a good place for a break for a few weeks!

C&C still welcome, of course.
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Kren Cooper
post Dec 15 2017, 07:49 AM
Post #13


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Episode 44 now up (https://www.facebook.com/notes/kren-cooper/smuggler-game-session-044/10155693351733964/)
Marius ended up getting some stress on his drone, even with the spirit helping to carry the cargo - but got incredibly lucky on his stress roll, and only got 2 points.

The team also don't really understand what went on - but "Hans" from Maersk arranged for an incursion into Espirit territory, with his attack force leading them back towards Dekita territory. When they were close, they stealthed up and used their mage to conceal their fleeing vehicle, just as they crested a ridge, leaving the Dekita chopper as the only thing visible, which was radiating all kinds of sensors and targeting systems - and then just let the Espirit troops add 2+2 and get 5.

Our game group is on a break now until after christmas is done, so no more updates until about 12th January. I'll let you decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing....
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Kren Cooper
post Jan 14 2018, 10:44 AM
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Episode 45 now up - the team have hit the big time, with a very lucky and well played stock market bid - managing to buy at the low, and sell at the high purely by chance. They made nearly 700k from the deal, so it will be interesting to see what they do.

In case anyone is curious, I have put my notes taken in game below, along with the timeline of events and my plans for them, so you can see what the game mechanics were behind the narrative:

Back in the defile, an hour or two before dawn
Marius wants to respray the truck, desert tan
Shimazu and Kai both get a success, Aswon fails and has to have his redone, takes until 8am
Hunter calls Julius to warn him the run went down and to watch the area.
Johanna calls Kai – asks them to stay put for a day, maybe two – then she’ll be out to debrief them and pay them. Kai agrees.
Discussion – stay here or relocate, Aswon checks water levels and food – about a week if they are conservative
Aswon – raises idea of going back to the TCL to go paracritter hunting near Baku.
Discussion about where to go, decide not to go anywhere as too much time lost in transit, or involves going to kum-dag which they were told not to do.
Aswon learn cooking 1, make cookies from ingredients made by Tads
Tads decides to “teach” Shimazu and Kai how to do wards, as the truck was getting low on duration
Day passes uneventfully
Aswon tries to attune to spear to determine bonding cost for the spear – gets wibbly feeling from it, nothing useful. Tads has a look, good roll – picks up on extra damage effect and lower karma cost to bond.
No one else does anything in particular, next day also uneventful.
Aswon practices with spear and gets used to it.
Morning of the 16th – J calls K, asks for cover from spell casting
Johana tumbles from vehicle, tads casts imp invis, 6 success F5, she walks in 15 mins, met by team
Kai bluffs that they had been watching the share price. J agrees to give them the top end 50k, then offers 25k or the travel papers
Team decide on travel papers, get encrypted with teams thumbprints to activate.
Aswon jokingly asks if they can get a lift to Baku – J says “sure”, after checking with M about weight of vehicle, next ship is in 4 days.
Head into Kum Dag – order parts for truck, do maintenance, Tads finishes meditation for initiation, Hunter checks the news for share prices etc
Tads initiation, wasnt' aiming for anything in particular, left it to her totem– D6 rolls, 1-2 Masking, 3-4 Invoking, 5-6 Warding specialist - rolls a 5
In Kum-Dag until the 21st , relaxing, get to 18th, prices down to 57 Ny per share
Team now discussing buying into shares – discussion about how to do it, via the charity?
On the 19th - 10:37, shares hit 17 nuyen. Team decide to buy in
Kai etiquette and negotiation to find online brokerage, use charity company, Marius doing the trading. Find broker that will take 3.5% commission on buys and sells, 5.5% on shorts and longs
Buying 1000 shares @19665 (inc fee)
Next day, load onto the oil ship, see price climbing
Put in order to broker – sell @ over 100, or under 85, will pay fee after. Etiquette check – gets two >10, adviser says they may want to rethink. During call it goes to 114, they agree to sell if it drops more 10%
Next morning, price up to 274 on checking. By lunch 342, by 21:00 691 – frantic sell orders!
691,000 nuyen, 24,185 fee, all good
Drop to 490 by the morning – random encounter rolled!
Assuming that, roll 2 X random encounters –
1. Nova Scorpion attacks when someone out of the truck
2. Wandering boy with goats – curious
3. Free desert spirit, only F1
4. Sandstorm
5. Manastorm
6. Eloping lovers – Karim and Tushoon from Kum Dag (one Espirit aligned, one Dekita)

Debrief / Pay
Operating costs for the truck = 15K per month
Agreed pay was 30-50K for the team. In light of performance, Johanna will agree to pay either 75K in credsticks, or 50K+ a set of Maersk documents that should allow the team to get away via a Maersk freighter / cargo carrier in the future.

News reports / timeline
Day 1 – 14th - Dekita Oil shares plummet from 528 down to 396 amidst news of continued production delays. Morning of the job
Day 2 - 15th – Dekita Oil trading suspended after they hit automated stops in the exchanges. Trading continues after lunch, but further reports from Kazastan shows a number of pipeline fires and broken wells force the price down from 396 to 297
Day 3 – 16th – Trading suspended again following further losses in share price
Day 4 – 17th - Contamination suspected in the Dekita processing plant in Baku, 200,000 barrels embargoed, price hits 3rd strike speed bump at 148.5. Johanna pays team. Team to KD
Day 5 – 18th - Trading sees shares slump to 57 Nuyen each
Day 6 – 19th - Shares hit what appears to be a low of 17 Nuyen, and start to recover
Day 7 – 20th - News of the contamination appears to be false, independent assayers confirm that oil is pure and of good quality. Sharp rise in price amidst rumours of black ops and price fixing, as shares climb back up past 100
Day 8 21st - Frenzied trading sees shares climb and peak to a high of 691, before a small collapse again down to 492. Team getting on boat
Day 10 – 23rd – Maersk announces it has taken over Dekita as of 4 days ago, by purchasing 61 million shares at a price of 4,484 Million, with 75% in leveraged debt and the rest in operating reserves / cash in hand, giving them an additional 24% share in the company. Hidden investors and voting blocks take this to 58.31% of total share issue, and they have called a board meeting to propose a new chairman. Shares climb to 556 and steady there for the foreseeable future.

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Kren Cooper
post Jan 21 2018, 05:22 PM
Post #15


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And another update done - for just this weeks story, see https://www.facebook.com/notes/kren-cooper/...55787172788964/

A page of notes, one single page unfortunately just seemed to grow and grow. Bad guys took over their oil tanker. The team captured the bad guys boat and got into basic negotiations. There was a single shot fired, and one gas grenade went off. But it still turned into 7K+ words and 11 pages of write up, and could have had more detail in it.

I guess pitch black corridors are scary when you don't have the layout maps and the party is split.

Next week, I'm really unsure if this is going to end amicably, or in a massive gun fight / magic brawl when someone looks at someone funny. Planning for both eventualities.
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Kren Cooper
post Jan 28 2018, 07:05 PM
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And this weeks update is done and published: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kren-cooper/...55808113318964/

My notes for this week were fairly brief - they were starting in a constrained position, and although I had no idea which way it would go, there was a fairly small decision tree to consider (at least at first).

So, what I had was:
Get the Bravos off their ship (or dead)
Get into the harbour at Baku and ensure offloading of the oil
If they go into Baku,
and try to meet with Germaine – G is annoyed with the team, so will add a 15% GAT tax to all deals
and try to meet with Turul – he is in Russia on a business-trip, for another 10 days.
Spook (Sing Wan) still after a killed-by-hand tiger

Along with that, was the stats of the 4 strong team that had borded, in case it came to a fight. They were roughly equal opponents - light security armour, a decent street sam, rigger, phys-ad and hermetic mage, optimised for water combat - flotation aids and scuba gear built into the armour, colt water carbines for firing underwater, waterproof vibro-knifes, that kind of thing. If it had come to a fight, they were going to trip the ships fire system and floor everywhere with sea-water or fire-fighting foam, and play that to their advantage...

Geraldine has a task: steal a painting from a Zeta-ImpChem management office in their local HQ – reasonably easy data steal, 15 story tower block on the south side of baku, just off the sea. If they don’t / won’t do this for her, then have her pull strings in baku and make life difficult for them all over.

If they stayed in the town, they were almost certain to call one of the two fixers they had dealt with. Germaine got Aswon his hunting rifle, which she did a very reasonable deal on because she liked him, and then set up a meet with a talismonger for them - but the team did not show up, which is the height of rudeness as far as she was concerned (hence her being frosty with Aswon). I put Turul as out of town to try and make sure the team saw him as the small businessmen with a side venture in black market stuff he is, rather than a big-time smuggler operation. Being able to send them to his very misogynistic and patriarchal brother also gives them a bit of social thinking to do.
Germaine is the local fixer - so they need to get her on side, and giving them a nice simple B&E job in the local area will be a nice break from all the driving around they have done, and give them chance to explore the city a bit more, and for me to add some local colour and flavour.

These are the notes I ended up taking during the session, that generated the narrative writeup:
Bravo calls, says “is this how its going”. Describe that several of the team are not in the bow. Kai says they should be. Bravo describes where they are, Aswon pulls back to bows. Shimazu spends 30-45 seconds looting the mage room (1 X 5 on magic background – some elemental materials)
Everyone pulls back except Kai, kai checks “has everyone moved?”, all feed back yes,
Tads asks “do we need to make sure they don’t sabotage our ship”. Kai asks how they are going to do the transfer
Physad out and great leap back to their boat, general perception – elf
Rest of team out, levitate Kai over, tads gets astral signature of enemy mage, they zipline back to boat and disappear
Check ship over for booby traps, Aswon takes gas grenade to reuse. All find the ship is fine, no damage.
Trying to work if they were eco-terrorist, mercs or runners
Search on the high roller – registered in Monte Carlo, won in a gambling game, currently owned by Fuchi
Query the crew on why they were there, trying to work out what was going on. Mindprobe the crew – no info – team was an “unknown quantity”
Shimazu has stolen 5 X F6 water elemental summoning materials
Kai goes to check captain – 7+4 X 1s, wakes captain up by tripping and landing on his cock+balls
Crewman fills in on activities, captain chills. Goes to report in to Maersk via radio – late arrival, boarders but repelled, no mention of team
Tads analyses spear, 3 @10 or more, gets that it’s a f2 with some unique enchantment
Discussion about setting up permanent base somewhere, plans of where to go / what to do
J recommends they find a nice hotel to rest up in, no danger
Drive towards Baku – to go shopping, get med supplies, get cover from civies
Discussion about staying in TCL for 3-4 months to get established – not dense population, some wildlands, corp enclaves, should be a shadow scene, Tads suggests mountain camp they were capture in to take – general disruption that it was too remote, others say no more than 1 hour from a town.
Call Gemaine “oh it’s you”. Germaine agrees to meet at the “Waterview Bar and Restaurant”, 8pm tomorrow, do a search, book tables. Book under name “Hai Rolla” with guest “Angora”, Aswon confirms details to Germaine, very curt response.
Where do we stay – we’re loaded for bear!
Shim called Turul – asked for somewhere safe to stay for 1-2 nights, with “good parking”
Turul call back to offer they can stay with his brother, just don’t touch his wives or he’ll cut their dicks off.
Goto turuls truck, old fashioned patriarchy

So, that's a more true (but brief) representation of Tuesday nights game session, but hopefully shows the essence of the adventure flow.

As ever, feedback is welcome!
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Kren Cooper
post Feb 5 2018, 11:17 AM
Post #17


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And this weeks update is live at https://www.facebook.com/notes/kren-cooper/...55829502898964/

Continuing on from the previous week - they were back in Baku, and getting ready for the meeting with the fixer. This meant that there was an opportunity for shopping. So, I didn't have to prep a huge amount this week. It's a continuous source of amusement for both myself and Ali. She's the only female at the table, but is very dis-interested in shopping, both in game, and in real life. Most of the guys are gear freaks however, and are willing to spend hours getting themselves new shinies - it's a bizarre role reversal to the usual stereotypes.

Anyway - here are the notes taken during the session to create the narrative:
  • Wake up at Nadims – chance of a stray woman causing a problem / aggro
  • Hunter and Marius wake up, aswon hears nothing. Something touching Marius. She asks “help me”. Marius sits up and wakes Aswon. Aswon “you can’t be in here”, Marius gets dressed
  • Nadia wants out, Marius “has a nice face” Who is your uncle? Establish this is Turul daughter. Marius face palm
  • Nadim is in the common area, Shimazu wake up, goes to the toilet. Others go “SHUSH!”
  • Marius explains they can’t take with them – but if they bump into each other. She asks for number, gets Marius personal comcode.
  • She thanks, hugs, kisses, then sneaks to door.
  • Nadim gets one of the women up to make coffee for Aswon, Aswon decoys to back door, Nadia gets back to room just in time.
  • Tads summons spirit – gets sassy one that answers her back “can’t go in the house, wrong domain”
  • When everyone is up, Aswon/Marius explain to Tads that he had to act like a patriarch to keep Nadim on side, ask her to explain to them why he said what he said
  • Everyone breakfasted
  • Aswon+ all other guys, buys suit, gets tie in Oxford Blue. Tads gets a long sleeve evening dress.
  • Goes looking for talismongers and bookshops (Russian and psychology for Shimazu), Kai buys Financial Times etc to watch on local stock market – stuff about the buyout still in the news, attacks on Fuchi. Also look for info on legal systems, mostly westernised and permit driven
  • Marius searching for encryption gear. White noise generators, etc – trawling boutiques – no more than encrypt/decrypt 2 in general. Get stuff with high flux ratings and power boosters – up to 8/9, no problem. White noise / jammers up to rating 4, 130% base price for local area.
  • Marius R4 jammer, R4 white noise, under the counter
  • Tads looks for talismonger, not found in Baku at all.
  • Hunter looking for anti-coags, old hospital in the centre of town, newer one closer to the oil fields - Apixaban, med quality, 4k for 1 month. Warfarin, 2k for 1 month, poor quality.
  • Aswon light wound gone, but detected odd tremors on biotech test ((IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif) – leftover from stress from toxin attack
  • Goto meeting at 8pm
  • Kai + Aswon start with Germaine, rest on table 3 away
  • Tads makes check to find out why germaine angry – failed meet in Shirvan.
  • Looking for gift for germaine – look for English stuff, failed (1), getting Kai to look for Antiques – not find any, fallback on the vodka as it’s at least authentic
  • Germaine arrives, Kai fluffs antique roll – “costume jewels”,
  • Dismisses Aswon, orders drinks, get sat down. “So you wanted a meeting”.
  • Apologise for missing meeting, quiet sincere, very humble.
  • Get drink, offer Russian Vodka. “HEEEENRY!”, chauffer take drink to the car. Pro bodyguard, but too far from germaine – team thinking he may not be alone
  • Kai and Germaine talk, then G asks K to do a job for her, slides over the datapad
  • Finish dinner, then do a drive by on the target, end session

I rolled randomly for the target of the young girl to account for tastes, and it worked really quite well as an encounter - I was particularly pleased with the response from the player of Marius, as he really engaged with it, and didn't just ignore her - if anything, he made the rest of the team facepalm when he started to help her. Definitely karma worthy next time we award.

What's to come:
I have two links prepared for the burglary:
Frame: http://www.skateglasgow.com/ornate-picture...picture-frames/
Picture: http://astridstoeppel.com/wp-content/uploa...m_-1024x812.jpg

I have a simple floorplan for the tower block, showing a basic layout that they will be able to obtain from the matrix to help with planning, and some simple details for the heist:
Gәncәli Plaza Baku
  • 15 story building. Zeta Imp Chem have the top floor.
  • Below is Baku Exploration (precious metals). Other tenants in the tower are SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic), Harris Pye group (pipe manufacturers) Interpipeline, Transneft and Unev pipeline. Similar companies being in the same place is a legacy from the soviet model.
  • Reception has armed guards, double height mezzanine with many drilling / land based artworks.
  • Tower has sealed windows on all levels. There is a lift access block on the top of the building, along with 2 X stairwell exits. Building has Type III maglocks, with rating 5 locks with AT1.
  • The emergency stairwell is sealed from the offices by push-bar doors, with no external locks. The building is not rigged. CCTV covers the two stairwells, and the reception areas.
  • ZIC has about 25 staff working in here, bursting at the seams, along with lots of the other companies.
  • The artwork is hung in the office in the NE corner, and is 1m X .75m canvas in a gold frame
  • Each floor has its own ward, contracted for separately. The ZIC ward is rating 4. Ward below (SOCAR) is 5. Common areas – stairwells and mezzanine has a 2

Pretty much this is going to be a very simple job for them - it's more a way of Germaine getting something she wants and proving a point than an actual mission with any risk. I'm expecting a bit of social engineering and then some simple B&E stuff - and I'm going to just let it flow.
Once they are done here, I'm going to see if they do want to set up a semi-permanent base in the area, and have a couple of options ready for them to pick from, and then see if they want to go para-critter hunting. With the score from the oil shares, they've got over half a mil sitting on a credstick, so they can afford some downtime, and some big stuff - it'll be interesting to see if they want to take a month off and get an enchanting workshop set up for Tads to make some stuff for the team.
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Kren Cooper
post Feb 12 2018, 06:39 PM
Post #18


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A fairly brief update this week - only about 2.2k words. There was lots of OOC chat at the start of the session on where the group was going, the type of work they were looking for etc, and then lots of discussion once they had done the scouting about possible plans. I could have added a lot more detail about the chatting and planning, but I also caught nurgle's rot, and lost 5 days this week to a dose of flu, so it's a bit bare bones this week. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif)

The notes for the session were also brief, based on the relatively low amount of action:
Aswon, Tads and Shimazu go for a scout to the target building, Hunter and Marius stay in the truck, parked in a side street
Checking security and such like – get a list of the companies, spot basic security and get an assessment. Find fire escape
Tads does astral scout and sees checkboard of different force wards around the outside, F1 ward over the top of the tower, covering all HVAC
Area = AA equivalent
Aswon plan – line to roof on drone, secure, levitate 2 X people up, breakin, loot onto drone, levitate down and away
Marius – call Milo, level 2, ID manufacturer in Istanbul. ID check, told him going freelance. 6 clean IDs, that would pass most civilian and low grade government checks – banking and credit. Marius offers to come to Istanbul to get the IDs. Milo warns it could be a month. No Trolls. Milo asked for basic specs on size/weight/race/sex etc to start filtering down database
Check roof for cameras – none
Sleep in the truck, recon run in the morning and shop for a deck

Hopefully, next week we can do the break in, get the painting and get back to Germaine to hand in, and have a Karma award. From there, Germaine can send them off to see the talismonger, and give them the location of 2 of the possible safe houses I have in mind for them, and they can encounter the third on the way to the talismongers:

1) ranch in the hills - the team will spot some Mafia heavies setting fire to the place, and have the opportunity to intervene to save the lives of the horses and families - and earn their friendship. They will offer the use of the ranch to the team, and it makes a nice rural getaway with lots of grounds and large outbuildings for doing "stuff" in.
2) concrete factory in north west Baku, big silos, echoing concrete halls, lots of space, cold, some background count areas from slave / child labour
3) the old Odeon cinema in northern city centre, lots of peeling gilt and faded velvet, end of the golden era of 2d - a musty mausoleum to film. One free spirit – old man, smells of popcorn, died in the audience and became a (benign) ghost - no matter what radio station or trid channel they are watching, it will flick over to "old time" music and content.
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Kren Cooper
post Feb 20 2018, 10:32 AM
Post #19


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Just about finished the writeup for this week - just needs to be SPAG checked, posted and then added to the master writeup. But, here's the notes from the run:

Go back to building for about 05:30, park about 5 streets away in a car park, empty enough this early
Tads – put your burka on!
Vending machine guys at about 6:30-7am, Security guys at 7:30, first office staff at about 08:30
Send watcher spirit to observe doors, instant response – ward is tied to doors
Wait 20 mins for stun to go on Tads. Marius checks for rigger systems and wireless / matrix control – lots of conflicting wireless, thick walls, faraday cage – surface mounted cable, outages will not be noticed possibly
Kai gets jammer from Marius. Tads goes for a scout, checks for alarm wards – nothing, Stairs unwarded, including getting out into the roof space – door is not warded
Call Germaine to see if they can get some auto-lockpicks – busy. Auto service calls Kai back, says he wants “stuff”.
Plan to put a fake in – check for print shops etc. Germaine calls, arranges to meet kai for lunch at the restaurant – prawn salad! Marius checks, finds the junction box – real mess, no records, no labels
Hunter checks on frame – bespoke, old fashioned, hand crafted, well-constructed
Fozzy botch check on antiques. Meets germaine at lunch, gets “old” lockpicks in velvet wrap, go to hardware store and purchase locks to practice on, get box and packing materials.
It’s a Tuesday, Shimazu practiced lockpicks all day and night to get to 2
Wait overnight, infiltrate about 5am, Aswon plants det cord on comms lines – success, Tads gets successes on levitating Shimazu – all ok, not spotted
Invisibility infiltration of kai at 08:30, tailgates someone in, waits 10 mins by security desk, checks around, knocks over a display piece drill, then gets into rec room and plants first smoke
Sets smoke 1 for 16:07, second one in the gents loo in the ceiling time 16:09, go up to 10th floor. Plants 3rd smoke for 16:04.
Marius finds parking spot for deploying condor later – covered as a vehicle delivery company, Aswon and Hunter find spare clothes for Shimazu
Call G, arrange to meet G in 30 mins in suburbs
Get in, get painting and bag/ laptop, back to the roof, put onto the drone. Get shooed away from the parking area. Jammer and WNG on, escape and evade, for 1 hour. Kai checked painting – appears genuine. Painting has no tracker, stolen laptop does – disabled.
Germaine slashes and checks new painting, well done all, they say they want safehouse
Nadia to call, she is shopping with her brother, but he often goes to the bar and lets her wander, so she has an hour, maybe two when she won’t be missed.
Marius agrees to meet with her

Expanded out, this turned into 7600 words of Narrative - it's amazing how much fluff this is around the events that needs to be covered off.
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Kren Cooper
post Feb 28 2018, 04:14 PM
Post #20


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From: Leeds, UK
Member No.: 18,740

No update this week - or next week - due to real life shennanigans getting in the way of our gaming.

So instead, a few questions to throw out there, and a couple of observations.

Question 1.
How many people enjoy the writeups, or get any value from them? In fact, do people read the actual write up - or just read the post here?
I see the page read counter going up, but after the first two responses, I've not seen anyone else posting on the thread, but I assume that people must be interacting with the page in some way for the number to be going up like it does.

Question 2.
Since episode 45, I've been starting to post up the notes I make during the session, and some of the prep / stats / background information about the game. Is this as interesting as the main story? More interesting? Surprising? Does it give you ideas for your own games, or make your teeth itch because you would want to see it done differently?

I would genuinely like to see more feedback - or any feedback - on what I'm doing here. Whether that be questions about where I'm going, or how I do things, suggestions to make things better, observations on gaming / GM style, or ideas to throw into the mix. Partly, I would have to admit is a certain amount of narcissism - it's always good to see people responding to your posts, and to have your work acknowledged. Balanced against that is the fact that not a single one of you owe me anything at all, and I have no reasonable expectation of anything from you.... hey, I live in the real world too! But I also think that things like this can be genuinely more useful when there is a melting pot of ideas and some kind of feedback loop - and you never know when you will get a really great idea or a line on how to handle something around the the table from something raised or responded to.

I love entertaining my players, and try to add aspects to the game to throw things in - like getting on of our former players who moved to London 2 years ago to Skype into the game session as his character to act as a Johnson, with a soundtrack of a gunfight getting louder and louder in the background until they "had to go now", or rolling out an A1 sized map of a warehouse for the players to plan their mission on. Equally though, I love when I get to throw in a description of a room, a character, a situation - whatever it is - that takes the players on a journey and makes them feel immersed in the world. And if you can throw out a plot twist or situation that makes the players gasp or feel that they really have uncovered some mysterious conspiracy, then that's fantastic. But that's a lot of hard work to achieve and pull off. If I can help supply inspiration, ideas or a kernel of an idea to someone else to help them do that, then it makes these worth doing. Equally though, it's really good to get feedback on plot that makes you look at the situation with a fresh set of ideas and a different headspace, and consider new ways to take the campaign, adventure or even just a scene that could help to achieve that goal.

So please folks - if you have feedback, feel free to share. I'd much prefer this thread to be a melting pot of ideas that are more useful to everyone, rather than a monologue from me.

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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Mar 1 2018, 05:20 PM
Post #21

Prime Runner Ascendant

Group: Members
Posts: 17,568
Joined: 26-March 09
From: Aurora, Colorado
Member No.: 17,022

Quick Reply - I love these, they are awesome.
Read them when they go up. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Keep up the good work
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Kren Cooper
post Mar 12 2018, 09:05 PM
Post #22


Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 468
Joined: 21-June 10
From: Leeds, UK
Member No.: 18,740

And another update posted, first post updated with new page/word count, and PDF updated in the dropbox. Hopefully back to weekly updates after a bit of a gap due to RL stuff.

This week, the players had to deal with the runaway daughter of one of their contacts who has got a crush on the rigger, and then decide if they were going to get involved in a strong-arm operation on the local horse ranch. Fortunately, the incredibly moral shaman was the one that actually saw the man being doused in petrol, so intervention became inevitable at that point. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Here's the notes from the run, that led to the story:

  • Nadia is browsing in a department store, in the middle of town.
  • Driving to centre of town to collect Nadia – call her to advise her to get to car park
  • Tads trid phantasm truck to look like a removal van before getting to store – 8 success F6. “Nadia Removals”
  • Nadia climbs into the front and snuggles Marius, Aswon goes into the back, Shimazu ignores her.
  • G calls, says she has found two places, brief description, sends top picture through to team
  • Kai asks Nadia where she is going – “staying with Marius”, oh – “ok”. Nadia is 19. Marius does not physically respond to her presence as he is jacked in.
  • Nadia and Tads discuss “witch”, she says to call her “shaman”
  • Kai gets tea and a biscuit for Nadia, story time. Hunter sends location of turnoff to a village to Marius and asks for a turnoff. Marius ignores
  • Nadia not religious, bitter about her life, mostly due to her uncle. Chatting with her about her life, uncle, her father, the business…
  • Discussion about how to get a message to her father to say she is safe, take her seriously, but at the end of the day – Marius problem. What? Eh?
  • Tads notices mob hit on farm, they detour, massive stunball drops 5/8, marius rams with truck, shimazu slice, hunter shot, last one gives up, Shimazu check the barn – BGC=5, Aswon take man in to wash off petrol, dog in kitchen, rest of team deal with the mobster.

The farm they have found should end up as an alternate safehouse for them (unless something goes really weird):
Safe house one – horse ranch, at Shirvan, Mob hit, needs a rescue, pledge eternal loyalty etc. Large horse barns, in the hills, off the main road. Small family –Rusudan Avaliani (Male, father, 41, Orthodox), Naena (wife, 39), Eteri (daughter, 19) and son (Vardo, 16). Lost money for a while, facing shutdown – they have a dozen horses left.
Attacking are 8 members of the local mafia, a mix of orcs and humans, armed with 4 X KS23 Shotguns (7S), 4 X SMERSH-4 SMGs (6M, BF) and some Marakov MP71 pistols (5M) and about a dozen incendiary grenades and some fuel cans. Between them they have some registered SINs, keys for a pickup truck and a sedan, some PAYG phones with half a dozen names and numbers, and a certified credstick with 2K on it. Hamad Dejeti is the leader of the local mob and one of the thugs.

The photos sent through of the other possible locations are:
The concrete factory and the cinema

Hopefully this week will be the interrogation of the mobsters, and then probably them ending up in shallow graves, then pressing on to meet the talismonger and get some magical supplies for Tads. After that deciding which safehouse to go with (or which combinations), and I imagine that will take up a week or two as they go mad on "base building" and kitting out. They may even settle long enough to do a bit of enchanting and training!
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Kren Cooper
post Mar 19 2018, 10:19 PM
Post #23


Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 468
Joined: 21-June 10
From: Leeds, UK
Member No.: 18,740

Just made it under the wire with this one - game night tomorrow night.

6007 words added to the story - a lot of notes on this one, mostly due to the magical shopping trip. However, the players have now hit an important break point as far as I'm concerned. They now have an enchanting shop, and one place where they can have a permanent base. They have two other locations to check out. I can see them wanting to stop, for a month now, to allow the enchanter to get to work and make some stuff, sometime soon. The other major thing is that they've discovered what the spear is called that they found in the horror lair, and now have a name to follow up on. Be interesting to see if they do, or if they put that on the back burner like they did with the top trump card they got from the Ares team.

The reason I've had a hard time getting this one done - I was at a LRP event over the weekend, so spent most of Friday-Sunday running around in the snow, doing photography and monstering. We also filmed a cool "Lady in the Lake" scene (it was a rehash of the Camelot plotline - see this youtube clip if interested!

Anyway, here is the notes for the session:

  • Get the guy woken up, cold shower
  • Go out, get the guys family safe, pledge eternal fealty to kai
  • Initial talking, azerbaijaini, hard to explain, ask about horses, crying
  • Aswon goes to make T, dog attack, latch on, no damage, guy calls it off when Aswon emerges from house.
  • Get the story – trads, translate spell, 7 success
  • Get family inside
  • Shimazu and Hunter drag bodies to side of house. Guy defaulting on pistols and serious stun – shoots in buttocks etc. Hunter helps him execute mobsters with Tads “supervising”, Kai and Aswon are inside along with all of team except Marius
  • Marius, talks to Nadia by the truck while rest of team are occupied – what do you want to do. We’re going to Constantinople – do you want to build a new life there.
  • Nadia flirting, Marius finding it hard to resist – Nadia wants to be free and have self determination.
  • Team conflab near van, move vehicles out of the way
  • Kai suggest they tell the guy they will stop by from time to time – use him as a bolthole.
  • Advise him not to tell neighbours or anyone else
  • Tads donates some oats. Learn they are ranch holiday owners
  • Give him the number of one of the mob phones – text, call in emergency.
  • Kai says they need an ops manager for the base they are about to set up – Nadia agrees and shakes on it.
  • They say they will teach Nadia to shoot, and defend herself.
  • Tads advise Nadia to think about changing name
  • Team takes the 2k credstick, leave him the 3 vehicles
  • Drive towards the talismongers – old oak growth, straight lines, clear ground, feels like a bit of England,
  • Top of the rise, see a windmill, turn near it and park up. Kai, Tads, Shimazu go in. Aswon, Hunter, Marius Nadia in truck
  • Tads assenses Aslick – mage with a weird side, Shimazu feels like a Shinto vibe, bows to building, Aslick notices and likes.
  • Nadia snuggles with Marius and strokes his hair lovelingly…
  • Shinmazu drops masking and lets him assense – he says nothing directly useful, but will keep eye open.
  • Purchase 1) shamanic lodge, F10, 9800 – two sets, 19,800
  • Purchase 2) warding materials 20 Force points, 35K
  • Purchase 3) create water, Force 3, 4.5K
  • Alleviate allergy – F6 available, not wanted
  • F8 mind probe – too high
  • Influence – F6 and F9 available – taking the F6 and 9k
  • Sterilise - F3, .45k
  • Vehicle mask – F5 and 7 available – takes the 7 after negotiation
  • Physical mask F4 - .6k
  • Examines – Shimazu sword – at least 1000 years old, hand mined and made
  • Enchanting shop – 100k, not yet, changed mind for the package deal
  • Do you need a courier to constantinople? No, no need
  • Aswon enters, smiles, Aslick freaks, tells him to go. Shimazu works out from the smile
  • Consultancy, 1k for analyse rock lizard blood. Needs to be kept cold
  • Offers all spells for the rock blood, will buy critter parts for 5k of lodge materials
  • Agree 150k, spirit to make windmill turn to get power to provide power to charge up cred reader
  • Look at spear, get full details from a magic test – told him the story of where it came from.

And the NPC, with the most unfortunate name, was described from:
Aslik Mustafan
Talismonger, contact of Germaine / Tads
Grotesquely fat man in a wheelchair – no legs, following an auto-accident. Morbid fear of cyberware
Grade 2 mage but down to Magic 3 following some horrific accidents / astral combats – now does not actively run, just talismongers a little and deals with magic supplies.
Category Force 3 Force 6 Force 9
Combat 5/6 4/6 3/6
Detection 2/6 2/6 1/6
Health 5/6 5/6 4/6
Directed Illusion 3/6 2/6 1/6
Indirect Illusion 5/6 4/6 2/6
Control Manipulation 2/6 2/6 2/6
Elemental Manipulations 4/6 4/6 4/6
Telekinetic Manipulations 5/6 1/6 1/6
Transformation Manipulations 6/6 4/6 3/6
Magic gear, available up to F5, all at 180% book price. Enchanting shop available at base cost.
Fetishes available at 75% base
Ritual sorcery materials at 80%
Spell formulas at 150%

The spells were rolled as requested, on a D6 with the first number being the chance of him having them in stock at each band of force, just to keep things interesting. Interestingly enough, the players didn't bat an eyelid at the 180% base price on the materials...
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Kren Cooper
post Mar 27 2018, 09:36 PM
Post #24


Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 468
Joined: 21-June 10
From: Leeds, UK
Member No.: 18,740

And the latest session writeup is up - a little late due to being on holiday for 5 days, but can be found here

Background notes for this week:

  • Plan to go to Tbilisi, 450 klicks
  • Call to Georgi Kolarov, talislegger, going to be coming through town tomorrow, heading to Constantinople, nothing to take there, something to bring back – about two weeks. Georgi warns cargo may be hot – very hot. Needs decent wards. Asks about Anatoli Chevenny – he did a dodgy deal, had to lay low for a week or two, agree to meet for lunch
  • Trip to Tbilisi, about 96kph, 450km journey, about 5 hours
  • Aswon goes to hammock, full of guns from hunter, Nadia taken his place in the front
  • Aswon, Kai, Tads, sleeping, Hunter and Shimazu awake, Marius driving
  • Nadia tries to make smalltalk with Shimazu, he tries to avoid convo, passes her lock picking book, he reads psych.
  • Nadia moves to talk to hunter, makes small talk – gets practice with Azerbaijani, gives advice on disguise. Hunter learns Azerbaijani 1.
  • Aswon gets up, Shimazu goes to bed, Nadia curled up to sleep next to Marius
  • Uneventful journey, arrive in Tbilisi, out of town retail park, McRonalds, get breakfast
  • Plan to do meeting, then shopping.
  • Aswon and Tads on bike, going for a look around, steep hills around, interesting air landing
  • Limited route choices due to hills and terrain
  • Aswon and Tads do a drive by of café, south side of Tbilisi centre, trams with conductors, no busses, plenty of cred readers, spot military unit passing through. No parking near the café, about .25-0.5 mile walk
  • Kai gets hunter to check for heists in local area – nothing moving they spot.
  • Kai checks on the borders – low level war zone, kurds vs turks, avoid travelling as the military truck
  • Manic traffic to Tbilisi, mental traffic / driving. Journey takes longer than expected
  • Georgi – heavy set man, late 40s, black curly hair and a beard, leather jacket and jeans, chain smokes cheap cigars.
  • Park in car park, tip the attendant to look after truck, nothing heavier than a pistol.
  • Order coffee for all, after handshakes, low levels of magic activity, fairly busy area, Georgi checks everyone out with a good long stare.
  • Sava stew for lunch, decent meal, checks team over – who is the muscle, who is the shaman etc
  • 50-100nuyen per head for bribes. Target will be hot, large, magically active
  • Georgi goes to buy more cigars, leave the team to discuss the job – generally no problem some concerns over the ward / lodge being high enough force.
  • Pay for the shipment is offered at 50K, can offer some wiggle room in 2 X F1 sustaining foci
  • Georgi wants a golem… goes to 65k. meeting in the hills, can offer some cover – e.g. dropping trees behind him, F1 sustaining foci thrown in if a hot pickup.
  • Gets a new number for Anatoli

Fairly straight forward this week - an uneventful journey to the capital, then a meeting with a contact. No unexpected complications, no surprises. They've taken a job to do to fund their trip, and it's all good. Most amusing was that Jez (Aswon) failed his magic background check, and thus Aswon doesn't really know anything about Golems. Jez knows plenty, and is wondering if the team has taken on a job that will be too hot...
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Kren Cooper
post Apr 3 2018, 12:37 PM
Post #25


Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 468
Joined: 21-June 10
From: Leeds, UK
Member No.: 18,740

And the next installment is up on Facebook as a note and saved into the master document - though not added into the PDF linked in the top post yet, that will have to wait until I'm home tonight.

One of the players was absent (Lee / Marius the rigger), so the session was a little less busy. Still got a little side quest dropped in, and this will get them a tie back all the way to sessions 1+2 - the militia that helped them out of the Chechen prison they had been detained in.

This was the notes file that generated this weeks writeup - a pretty simple encounter with bad weather, and a random act of suffering they could either help or ignore.

  • Go looking for market, random 1,6 – market day, delivery of new stock – low cost, get variety of fruits, get basic story (Hunter, Russian)
  • Team buys outfits to fit in with local populace, from market stall
  • Kai goes looking for porn, finds some with an 8, buys 10 “publications” for 500 nuyen
  • Shimazu buys 500 NY of booze as well – 20 bottles of clear spirit
  • Tads finds talismongers in tblisi – lots of expendable spell foci in the form of straw men
  • Heading north out of tblisi, catch the rush hour,
  • Go up the mountains, all make body checks ok, up to height, start seeing snow and ice, get about half way to border, hit blizzard, eventually pull over
  • Blizzard stops at about 2am, -10 with windchill, -2 without, drive on, 1 success, lots of buried cars
  • Get about 3 miles, find a large pile up – truck jackknifed and blocked the road, wedged inbetween the barrier and cliff
  • Aswon checks cars, first ok – though scared by dreds
  • Second car, person with hypothermia, frozen to steering wheel, peel first hand off, some damage
  • Tads checks people in the truck, both fine, as well as other vehicles
  • Biotech – person near death, treat for hypothermia +shock, get out of cold clothes, start to warm, tads makes survival check, starts to work, tads heals their hands
  • Tads mountain spirit, F4, 2 successes – clear the road
  • Hunter – navigation check, fails for finding alt route
  • Tads, air spirit, F4, success, clear the road
  • Road clear about 10-12m about an hour before dawn
  • Raid wallet of the man in the snow, Nikolus Harid, tool company employee, lives about 10 miles to the west, south of the main road – Hunter finds info
  • Tads goes to scout village / town, gets feeling of being watched, can’t find the mans house
  • Goes back and looks for tiger – finds it, it spots her, compulsion come to me, tads breaks free and heads back to truck.
  • All get out to go speak to truck driver except nadia and marius
  • Kai rolls a 1 on Russian talking to truckers
  • Wake up the people in the cars on the other side – kai banned from talking
  • Get all the cars moved, tow out the damaged car, truckers ready
  • Truck stuck, try to pry free, Tads new summon F6 mountain, 2 success
  • Get truck pushed out of the way ok – truckers scared shitless
  • Last service – get mountain spirit to help get them down the hill

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