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> Printed runs' adversaries no real challenge
James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 05:04 PM
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Has anyone else had the problem that a printed run's adversaries are no real problem for their group?

As an example, in a recently published set of runs the team is to make a run against a place, and the gaurds (three of them) have stats that even a decker could take them out in combat: Body 3, Willpower 3, Pistols 4, unarmed 4, etc. The entire run's opposition is along those lines.

Combat should be the punishment for a run gone bad. But when the gaurds can't hurt the runners unless they get incredibly lucky, combat is just a minor distraction where the runners lose 3-6 seconds of their escape.

Has anyone else had the problem where they have to add more gaurds or beef up the existing ones in order to use a run as it is written?
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Ancient History
post Feb 1 2005, 05:10 PM
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You've never played Harlequin's Back and had the players attempt to attack the NPCs for their foci, have you?
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Pthgar
post Feb 1 2005, 05:11 PM
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Hmm... I found it to be more of a mixed bag. Sometimes the advarsaries are too weak other times they're just right.
The opponents in the "Survival of the Fittest", were OK.
In the 4th mission of the "Shadowrun Missions", in the "Joey Cruise" section, two of the team (out of four) nearly bought the farm.
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James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 05:19 PM
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No, I've never run Harlequin's back. I know people who have played it, but have no first hand knowledge of my own.

Pthgar: I was specifically referrring to the gaurds in the second run (Cunning) in Survival of the Fittest.

[ Spoiler ]
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Solstice
post Feb 1 2005, 05:25 PM
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What do you expect? They are just your average joe schmoe guards. Uber skilled and attributed people don't work as crappy sec guards. This is one thing that some people don't get in RPGs. Not everything that walks the land can kick your ass and vice versa.
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James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 05:27 PM
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I don't expect everything to be able to kick the teatm's ass. But it should at least be a challenge. As written that particular run will have very little challenge to a team of combat capable runners. So why not just say "ok, you did the run, here's your karma. Now let's move on to a run that would actually be fun to play."
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algcs
post Feb 1 2005, 05:31 PM
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These guys aren't their to stop full blown runners. They are there to:

1) Make people feel safe. And make crooks think twice.
2) Keep the employees in line. Don't let the employees walk off with a new computer and stuff.
3) Handle minor things, Keep people from snooping around, chase off skateboarders, escort people to cars, and search repairmen and contractors.
4) Alert the big guns if something goes wrong.
5) Help secure critical items and assist in evacuate the building. Make sure vault doors get shut and the VP is in his safe room.

Depending on the company that order may change.

I'm not saying they won't take a shot at a runner if he turns his back. But if there are 5 trolls armed with HMGs running down the hall. The security guard is going to hide in the broom closet and call for the HRT team.

The runners can't really ignore the guards. That just gives them the chance to get up to the security office and get geared up, Body armor, gas grenades, assult Rifles and possible some combat drugs toughen people up.

Getting in and out with out being IDed from an low security facility should be the big concern for the runners.
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Kanada Ten
post Feb 1 2005, 05:31 PM
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It varies from module to module with levels of difficulty. I've heard that SotF is rather easy on the runners, while I consider WotC to be fairly deadly in some places (while the Ares infiltration is rather easy).
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Backgammon
post Feb 1 2005, 05:33 PM
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I'm pretty sure every single module comes with the disclaimer that you should adjust based on your group's strenght. Do you really expect someone to write NPCs that will be universally "just right"?
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Demonseed Elite
post Feb 1 2005, 05:33 PM
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From an author's perspective, the stats for adversaries are always the most difficult part for me to write. I mean, I don't know who exactly I'm shaping them towards. The opposition might be insane for a group whose GM generally gives out small karma rewards and is strict about acquiring gear, but the same opponent would be a pushover for a group that's been building up karma for over a year and is all SOTA.

Basically, the stats usually are a guideline, which the gamemaster has to tailor to his specific group.
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James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 05:47 PM
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Thanksfor the insight folks. I'm glad it isn't just me. :)
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Garland
post Feb 1 2005, 06:01 PM
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Then again, there are the Tir Ghosts in the Corporate Punishment book...
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BitBasher
post Feb 1 2005, 06:02 PM
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I do want to agree with the above poster who said the average sec guards shouldn't be a challenge for any competent shadowrunner.
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mfb
post Feb 1 2005, 06:02 PM
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some modules hit the opposite extreme, as well; a team of Piston's Tir Ghosts will mop the floor with just about anybody. (which is as it should be.)
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BitBasher
post Feb 1 2005, 06:06 PM
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And I thought the printed stats for the uber badass pimp of all pimp Ares Firelance teams were woefully pathetic considering their status and affiliation with a corp that has a rating of 11 (The corp is God) in weaponry.

In fact with the exceptionof the Tir Ghosts I think most special forces are really pathetic as written.
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Nikoli
post Feb 1 2005, 06:18 PM
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One thing to keep in mind.
Guards know the area better than the runners (or they should).
Use cover, cut the lights, work the defensive areas. Those desks are not supposed to just be decorative.
Put emergency gear in a more readily located position, like a "Oh Drek" bag under the guard's desk, where they can slap on another layer of armor, grab a shotgun and a gas grenade or three.
Give them headsets for the radios.
Most should have laser sights, those with the better skill should have smart links and the HTR teams should have SL-2.

Also, you'd be amazed what can be acomplished with a bucket of water and a bottle of glycerine based cleanser, especially on a fancy, polished marble floor that is ever so popular with corporate america.
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The Grifter
post Feb 1 2005, 06:35 PM
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Ya know, I work as a security guard, and I personally know there's no way in hell anyone is going to just put shotgun under my desk, just in case. What if I have to go to the bathroom, or go to grab a cup of coffee. Anyone who knows (and there WILL be people who know) where that shotgun is located is going to grab it and take off the econd I turn my back.
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hahnsoo
post Feb 1 2005, 06:37 PM
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Another point: Shadowrun USED to use a Threat Rating/Professional rating system. So every single roll would have 1-6 dice added to them, making even the most mundane enemies more of a challenge. Also, most of the printed runs in the SR1/SR2 era predate a lot of the fancier tech toys.
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The Grifter
post Feb 1 2005, 06:40 PM
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I always liked the Threat Ratings. Basically gave a karma pool to the goons.
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algcs
post Feb 1 2005, 06:40 PM
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One fun thing to do is take those NPC sheets and give them to some of your players. If your sneak guy is doing recon of a site and sets off an alarm then security guard A and B can go investigate. Let some of the players that are just sitting around play A and B. You need a good group to do this but it is fun.
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The Grifter
post Feb 1 2005, 06:42 PM
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Also good for the new guy you bring over who wants to check out the game, but doesn;t want to roll up a character yet. That way they can learn the rules, stay entertained, and give your group a more diverse challenge.
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algcs
post Feb 1 2005, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE (The Grifter)
give your group a more diverse challenge.

The players always seem to pay a lot more attention when someone other than the GM plays an NPC.
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The Grifter
post Feb 1 2005, 06:52 PM
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Indeed. Because even though the GM may have a soft spot for the PC's and may fudge rolls to protect them sometimes, someone just playing as the bad guys will feel no such compulsions and will happily wipe the group out, even sacrificing themselves if need be.
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TeOdio
post Feb 1 2005, 06:53 PM
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In most cases, a Shadowrun Team has much of the deck stacked in their favor when it comes to combat (ie Magic, higher skills, more Karma, etc). As a GM, any B&E run that turns confrontational because of a flubbed Maglock Passkey attempt shouldn't be considered a "Red Alert!!!!". Sometimes, a security force that responds and sends the Runners running (hehe) have done their job. Even a mediocre security force can be challenging if they use cover and just try to do what they get paid to do (defend the site). Time is never a friend for a Shadowrun Team when an alert is raised. Having the guards do things that increase the target numbers of their opponents can drag the combat on to the point where the Runners may just want to get out of there before an FRT team shows up. Flashpacks, smoke grenades, cover, lighting. These can make it difficult for a guard in a firefight, but it makes things just as difficult for the intruders. Most of my Sec guards are pretty scrubby, but I use them to maintain the tension of the run. I don't use them as cannon fodder. If you have players that routinely shoot first when confronted by security and never try stealthier means, then change up the adventure a bit to suit their tastes. Also, if your players are a bit wonton in their destruction, have the Corp that was hit hire some runners to exact some revenge later on.
:nuyen: :nuyen: :nuyen:
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Pthgar
post Feb 1 2005, 06:54 PM
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Hmm... Youknow they say that in a court-martial, enlisted defendents prefer officers on their juries. Enlisted juries know better than to cut an enlisted defendent any slack.
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