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Lord Ben
Okay, so we are hired in an art heist to provide a distraction for a group of professional runners (we're more up and commers). We're supposed to provide a diversion while they steal an ancient Aztec mask that is magical of some sort. Of course our diversion involves stealing some gold statues, and other valuables.

Our plan involved a clever mix of stolen docwagon ambulances, epileptic hookers, submachine guns, and no small amount of plain greed. We got out of there with a large collection of gold coins from Alexander the Great, Mayan jewlery, and of course the 200lb solid gold coffin from Ancient Egypt which turned out to contain a mummy (vampire?) in stasis which was astrally active.

We sold the misc stuff, kept Vlad the Impalers sword, and wanted to sell the Coffin & Mummy to someone who cared about the magical significance. We figured Dunkelzahns Institute of Magical Research (DIMR) would want the coffin. I rolled my street knowledge, got fair successes and was told that DIMR dealt with runners with objects of dubious origin and was fairly honest. We called them and wanted to meet them somewhere to discuss a sale. They said it was safest at their location since in case something got free they could deal with it there with wards in place, etc. We said we were afraid of doublecrossing and wanted to do it elsewhere but with DIMR's reputation as honest people we accepted.

We got to DIMR, unloaded the coffin, and let them look at it. The negotiator on their side was Mr Kennedy who works for Mr Nixon, etc. I'm sure there was probably a Carter and Ford in there somewhere too. They first said how rare it was an how they were really interested in it and came up with an opening bid of 1.4 million, based on the gold content it'd be worth 2.5m melted down into ingots but with the illegality and hassle of doing that we'd set a goal of 2.1m for it all (300k each for 7 party members). Now since I'm Carlos Pepes the street thug and I knew that they REALLY wanted it I said I needed 2.5 mil for the gold and we'd toss in the mummy for free or we'd walk out of there and try to sell it elsewhere for more. I figured this would be a good negotiation tactic since they really wanted it badly (and said so) and they'd be backed into a corner and forced to pay premium. Then the Johnson just tells us that we'll accept 1.4 or we won't leave the place alive. Of course Carlos (me) and Webay, the two Ork Street Thugs don't like to be treated like pu$$y's and are ready to throw down and take the coffin with us, of course we figured this would be yet another good negotiation tactic. The rest of the party doens't mind getting rolled and doesn't care if their street rep suffers and rolls and takes it like a bunch of gimps. We take our 1.4 and leave.

So now what? Personally I'm ready to start setting off car bombs in front of DIMR because I don't like to get screwed. The DM has made all our efforts at finding Mr Kennedy impossible so personal revenge won't work. Would you just ignore the insult or get revenge even though the DM has threatened OOC to kill off all the characters if we do anything to DIMR and said it'd be impossible to live.
Dude. You're Carlos Pepes the street thug, getting offers in the millions?

Take the money. lick.gif
Lord Ben
Yeah, that was a mistake. The DM had the gold coffin at the museum but when we drooled over it he said it'd be impossible to carry out during a theft. I think to discourage us he said it was a 200lb solid gold coffin, it had the opposite effect he intended. That's where the epileptic hooker and doc wagon ambulance came into play. We threw the coffin on the troll sized crash cart and wheeled it out while under fire.

He wasn't planning on us getting it (the 40k in jewlery was what he figured (divided by 7).

I think part of the reason he screwed us is to compensate for us taking what he put in the module as "impossible". While I agree we don't deserve that kind of payout, I'm trying to respond IC when dealing with DIMR.
I would have flat lined the Johnson's bodyguards, took off the jonhsons right hand with a katana, and then told him that if he didn't pay you 3.4 million, you'd start taking more limbs. You worked hard for that, damnit, and if he thought he was gunna screw with the real deal, he'd better be willing to pay the consequences. You also take his hand as an astral link in case he gets uppity.

If you have the advantage don't take crap like that from some two bit doublecrosser.
QUOTE (Xenith @ Nov 23 2005, 05:58 PM)
If you have the advantage don't take crap like that from some two bit doublecrosser.

I'd agree, except these weren't two-bit people (DIMR! 1.4M!) and the supplied IC knowledge was that they're supposedly honest folk.

Clever thinking on the crash cart, by the way. GMs should be careful about letting "unattainable" things on camera because the PCs will figure out a way to attain them. smile.gif

Personal anecdote: My group just took down this year's edition of the Halloweeners (an annual tradition) and made off with about five dozen of their motorcycles. Basically they sneaked around invisibly during a big 'Weener powwow and reprogrammed the bikes' Pilot systems to drive off to a secured location. After the invisible troll airbursted half of her MGL-12's clip into the gathering area, there weren't too many ambulatory gangers around to chase down the riderless bikes.

The team's face ended up selling the bikes to the Ancients, which amused me. The vehicles weren't intended as mission loot, but hey, runners will be runners. biggrin.gif
When they get desperate enough to threaten you with "take it or we kill you", I feel they've crossed the line from honest and respectable, to two-bit. That doesn't mean they'll be pushovers, but they've gotten desperate and/or don't have the cash. In which case, just bloody negotiate. 1.4 mill plus a (small) percentage of profits; 1.4 mill plus an ace in the hole if they need it (don't underestimate having a big time friend, its worth more than the mill in many cases); 1.4 mill plus an experimental new toy "worth" the difference (a fun new way for the GM to mess with the PCs if he so wishes).

Threaten anyone with "take it or die" and you have crossed the line from a "legitimate" deal to a "rule of the jungle" situation.

That said, perhaps the GM just didn't have the time to think up the above negation tactics.
200lbs of solid gold is about the size of a dictionary. You may have found a mummified polecat.
Just fyi, a solid gold coffin would weight significantly more than 200 pounds, just based on the weight of gold as an element. I'd wage it'd be more in the 500-750 pound range, depending on thickness.
Lord Ben
I should say a coffin containing 200lbs of solid gold as opposed to gold-alloy or something. IE, when melted down we'd have 200lbs of gold.
QUOTE (Xenith)
Threaten anyone with "take it or die" and you have crossed the line from a "legitimate" deal to a "rule of the jungle" situation.

That said, perhaps the GM just didn't have the time to think up the above negation tactics.

Yeah, that part was definitely uncool. Death threats aren't really DIMR's style (typically).
Be glad that your GM didn't realize that a Solid Gold Coffin that size would weigh 2-4,000kg and take the money.
He should have called the game session just after you guys got out and then figured out what he wanted the Johnson to do. Prolly the best option he could have thought of was for the Johnson to just tell you that he couldn't come up with those kind of funds.
If you wanted to try to sell it to someone else go ahead. If The Johnson really wanted to screw you over all he would have to do is set up a buy for you with the local authorities investigating the theft.
Lord Ben
The Street Sam half of the party also wants to whack the Mage half of the party that didn't have our back while we were trying to negotiate from a position of strength. As soon as they start proclaiming "Take the money or we'll all die, aiieee!!" it's time to just end negotiations and plan revenge. Then kick the wimps out of the group.... smile.gif
Lord Ben
Well, it was a week between the theft and the sell to DIMR. And DIMR wasn't the orginal Johnson. We sought them out purely because of their honest reputation.

Another thing that bugs me is that when we were trying to set up a meet somewhere neutral the DM told us that we'd look dumb not trusting DIMR and it'd insult them because they're the most honest group ever, blah blah blah. But I wanted to keep the "what would you do" IC since that's how I'm responding to it.

The worst reaction when PC's start looking at too much loot is to increase the amount of gold in an effort to make it seem impossible. Then OOC tell them DIMR is honest before springing your nefarious trap to get it at a lower cost. Then when the PC's are insulted and want to get revenge against one specific guy in DIMR instead of letting them he tries to warn us off AGAIN by making the guy in DIMR the top ranking guy in Seattle instead of a low level mewling trying to impress his boss. Carlos WILL get his revenge, the DM is just afraid it will torpedo his plot and instead of lowing the importance of the double-crosser and letting it happen he's making it harder and harder not to declare war on DIMR and let all hell break out.
I'd thwack your GM's his game & all but DIMR has been portrayed in cannon as a paragon of virtue compared to the corps. Going to the DIMR HQ and having Mr. Pres demand you hand over the goods doesn't doesn't seem like a very well thought out situation on the GMs part and smells of a pissy fit.
As to your orig question: If you want to play with your current GM you will have to drop the subject as it seems like (from what you've said) the guy has his view of the SR world and thats that...if you RP and do as your ganger character would do (correctly so IMHO) yer gonna get squashed. I'd say try it and if you are instantly killed by the hand of doom...look for another GM.
It looks as though the GM screwed up and can't see a good way out, so he is trying to railroad the PCs back into the type of game he would like to run instead of running a higher end game, giving the team tougher runs and giving them a rep boost with all the perks and downfalls that come with it.
Perhaps you could sit down with your GM sometime outside of a session and ask him," What gives?"
Lord Ben
Or if you want to railroad players at least let us get revenge on the NPC that screwed us. Even if we get no more money revenge is the most important thing. Getting screwed by a rogue element of DIMR and then the institute granting us permission to bump him off would be great.

"I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with a rogue element of our company. I'll have to talk to Mr Kennedy and have a meeting after he gets back from Starbucks tomorrow where he'll be at 12:10pm getting coffee without his guards.
QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Nov 23 2005, 05:19 PM)
Or if you want to railroad players at least let us get revenge on the NPC that screwed us.  Even if we get no more money revenge is the most important thing.   Getting screwed by a rogue element of DIMR and then the institute granting us permission to bump him off would be great.

"I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with a rogue element of our company.  I'll have to talk to Mr Kennedy and have a meeting after he gets back from Starbucks tomorrow where he'll be at 12:10pm getting coffee without his guards.

Sounds good to me only his guards would be; driving the car around, in the loo, getting more coffee or tasty snaks, or otherwise far away from client to give a good gun and run opportunity.
Unfortunatly, I am not the one you have to convince. frown.gif
IMHO the GM should just cough-up the money if you really did get away with it scot-free. If the GM didn't want you to get away with the coffin then it was his fault for putting such lousy security somewhere guarding such valuable items.

Seriously, I'd expect constant protection by elite (initiate grade at-least 5) security mages, top of the range defense drones, and drek-hot security hackers on-par with far beyond what are available at chargen. If he's gonna put such lax security on there that 7 small-time runners can walk away with several million nuyen worth of stuff then he needs to learn his lesson.

Denying you something which you took great risks to get and obviously put time and effort into getting is hardly fair. Does he really think that 100k more each will make the game unplayable on-top-of the 200k you're getting anyway? The players are going to take a phenomenal power jump anyway so how can he really say that he wants the players to jump to power level 200k rather than 300k, especially when realistically the coffin would be worth more anyway.

The DF hand-out 1M nuyen.gif for killing a blood mage with proof. Here they're getting something extremely rare and unique (which even by my reckoning would definately increase the value by a factor of around 10) yet giving you less than the raw price of the materials for it.
I would kill all your mothers for 1.4 million.
Take the money and Run.
QUOTE (Lord Ben)
The Street Sam half of the party also wants to whack the Mage half of the party that didn't have our back while we were trying to negotiate from a position of strength. As soon as they start proclaiming "Take the money or we'll all die, aiieee!!" it's time to just end negotiations and plan revenge. Then kick the wimps out of the group.... smile.gif

Did the mages sense something the mundanes did not?

Also, IC, the fence meet is over. If the IC reputation of the DF didn't pan out, let people know about it IC. Ruin their Rep! Tell how they set the site for the meet and then their heavy handed tactics. Either the GM is going to continue to screw you or he is going to play it as you suggested - that a bad apple turned up and needs thrown out. Then you get your revenge on the guy without the DF's power to back him up.
Actually as a negoation if it comes down to take the 1.4 mill or die, the end result will be the same for thier side, they'll cack you either way, so settling for 1.4 is a silly thing.

Also, there probably would of never been any cash on hand in the first place with a threat like that.

Second, DIMR? They could of killed you anyhow =p
Gothic Rose
Seems fairly bull. Your GM made the mistake of putting a SHINY™ out. SHINY™'s are things that you THINK are cool, and ARE cool, but they're meant to be scenery. However, the problem is, when you put out a SHINY™ all players in ANY game will inevitably find a way to acquire the SHINY™. It just happens. Gamers are naturally attracted to SHINY™ objects.
the very MOMENT he says 'or die' is when you quickdraw and called shot. Either he can kill you all and end the game, or he can let you have the money and you keep playing.

if your gm yanks your chain like that, smack him upside the head. ESPECIALY after he goes so far to say one thing, then does the exact opposite. and making revenge imposible is just rubbing salt into the wound. hit him AGAIN for that.

and when you all die horrible deaths of blazing glory, kick the gm from the group, and have someone else gm without him. Because you have 3 options here- surrender and let the GM lead you by the nose, teach the gm his lesson, or get a new GM.
actually your gm would be very keen to remind the runners of "word on the street" etc, getting even HALF the value of a item from contacts a normal shadowrunner has access to is too much.

not to mention that you got 1.4 mil for a single item of the grab, and all the other items you hauled out, plus the job pay, I'd be like a pig in sh*t after that score.

But I understand about the DIMR thing, I would feel the need to get revenge, but it seems like your GM has railroaded you, and might use that person later one, just remeber, that you might need a favour from DIMR later on, and all you have to do is ask about how is the mummy doing btw...
Talk to him and explain what is happening from your point of view. Even ask for an OOC explanation, if he has one, and ask exactly why he believes that he could've given you 200k each and not 300k each.

I personally hate restrictive railroading to the extent that I'd be tempted to walk away from some games. I'm in an almost railroaded game right now where the GM has chapters and events and stuff written-up. We go from place to place following the plot, but as we're allowed to go off on a tangent if we want to then it's fine. We follow the plot because our characters want to.

I was in a game a few years ago where our characters were shunted from pre-determined scene to pre-determined scene, they were sometimes literally demiplanes with no exits, where our characters could do practically nothing which was highly infuryating.
Indeed. If your GM can't handle a little on the fly BSing like that, he needs to start praticing. I also suggest throwing wacky curveballs at him now, so that he does get practice. Either he'll give up or he'll learn from it and become a better GM for it.

Flexible game play is the whole reason for a GM rather than just playing a pre-hashed video game.
Offered 1.4 million and you question this? I get Carlos "Long Haul is the road to Immortality" Los Pepes questioning it, but don't as a player. Your selling point is it is possible there is unknown-to-you magical significance of a coffin with a freaking ancient mummified corpse in? Well that pretty much becomes the reason you are going to unload it.

That's a 40% fencing cut for a hot, normally easily tracabe item? You don't even know yet if you can melt it down [safely] (stupid magic items).

It is (or at least should have been) quite likely security tagged out the ying-yang. How you got it out was creative, but IMO i think your GM might have dropped the ball a bit there. But hey, the museum was sloppy (and the GM hopefully learned a valuable leason about putting things into play). *shrug* Carlos wins! Now take the money and run....preferably to a different continent (at least till things cool down). Launder the money fast, i mean as soon as you are out the door (or before) have the hacker move that cash to make sure it isn't a forged cred stick. Preferably to fake account of an ID you will no longer use once the money is laundered again from there. If it is a direct transfer have it go said ID only. Obscure your trail as best you can. If it really is worth that much people are going to come looking. Very nasty people. People you don't want to ever meet.

EDIT: If it is a magic artifact it'll have a sig to try find it with. Maybe the museum didn't know about the magic qualities, unless it recently awakened while on display that's a hard one to buy. Admittedly until Street Magic the SR4 rules don't cover tracking by aura that well, a high Force spirit has damn good searching abilities.

If i was the GM and the team tried to just walk away or got violent? Reps with a few million dollar cash signing authority don't just show up with a couple of henchmen. Shit gets covered. Or the rep has to call someone with the signing authority who will then want to know what the hell is going on and who in the mean time is deploying a HRT to start covering shit. Things can get very bad for the team from there.

P.S. DMIR reps shouldn't normally get threatening like that. Maybe this isn't DMIR. Maybe it's a DMIR guy on a bad day. But either way it likely isn't a good thing for the team to get directly involved in. Go.
You got paid. That's not half bad. Maybe your character doesn't like to take shit from anybody, but you might be best off using this as an opportunity to roleplay some frustration, etc. For example you could be trigger happy the next few games - or punch some people that tick you off. Better yet, just grumble about it constantly in character. Make sure you *SWEAR* to just waste the next guy who pulls that shit (in character). That way the GM will be forewarned.

After all, he's got a whole world to plan and with seven PCs probably a lot of players to manage. Your GM doesn't necessarily know how you feel or how your character thinks about every little thing. Also - you kind of started the hardball negotiation tactics, didn't you? It was in character and all, but DIMR won't like getting pushed around any more than your average street sam - they just have different ways of showing it.
I'll add here is that you might be punishing the GM a bit too much for his error. 7 characters is a lot, i personally prefer 5 at most, though 6 is ok sometimes. That makes a GM's job really tough an best. Cut him a bit of slack, that sort of stuff tends to even out over time.

As for the GM railroading, he could have handled it a lot worse. Just had ninja mages track you down and drop out of nowhere and take it from you, or offer you the equivalent of a bag of dirt and a used condom.

He did let your character try figure out who to unload this on, and you made the choice (and you're keeping some other haul too, right?). On price he's at least ballpark to what you expected. Sure it's 100k less in Carlo's pocket. A 1/3 less than you had hoped for. But 200k is definitely way up from the 6.5K original haul.

How advanced are you characters? Are these fairly new characters? What's the typical haul you've been seeing? Another thing to keep in mind with 7 PCs is the enormous sums of money that have to cross the table to keep all the PCs in business. That's the real reason music bands break up and people go solo. I'm a member of a band and it sells 3 million records? If the band has 6 people in it compared to a solo act, if i manage only 1 million records by myself i'm still giggling all the way to my private mansion.

EDIT: On DMIR, it is possible that this magical item is something VERY BAD, or at least very powerful, that they consider important enough to kill to keep it out of the possession of things that would use it in a VERY BAD way. You are looking at something possibly dating back to nearly the last magic up cycle, and that's just the corpse...if it is only as old as archaeologists/anthropologists guess it is.
LOL, yeah. When you next talk to the DIMR, tell them that the deal goes down (at a reasonable price) with them or you might approach aztechnology.

Aztechnology, they own the largest food chain in the world (nuke-em-burger IIRC) *and* support your friendly neighbourhood horrors!

Incedentally, approaching aztechnology is a good way to write your character out of the story smile.gif
for my say, first off, you GM screwed you. Twice over. Don't smak him/her, just have him/her take a look at this thread to get some other non-biased points of view. Perhaps it will open his eyes.

Second, put that money to work. For starters, like others have said, ruin their rep. DIMR and the Draco's in general love their shadow rep. Ruin that, and pin Mr. K's name on it, so people know where to direct their hubris. Anyone in the group have an eyecamera that was running during hte meet by any chance? iF not, go out and buy one, and some head ware memory, and record every secomd of every run in case you need it later. You can always delete when the run is over.

Also, if you're going to a meet with someone you don't kow, and hardware yyou're off loading that is as good broke as fixed, wire it w/ explosives. If you can't have it....

Third, IC, take that cash, and hire Aegis Cognito to track down Mr. K. Once you have, jsut sit on your hands for six months to a year. Let them think that your bad mouthing was your revenge. Then whack Mr. K. Even better, hire runners to do it. Deniability is the key. Or have someone extract him for you. THen get all his passkeys and codes, hack his bank account and cash it out, and sell his passkeys for the draco's system to Shadowland. Then feed him to a cerebrus hound. After feeding him an immortal flower. smile.gif
Look up the GM in the Shadowrun world, and cap him/her (if still alive) and all of his descendants smile.gif
I personally don't se why so many people would get upset by the strongarming aspect of the original complaint. I can see why someone would be upset if it was due to extreme railroading, but hey think of it this way

1)You lived
2)You completed the run succesfully, getting full pay
3)You made it away with tons of valuable artifacts, which is in a way, free nuyen
4)You sold a One Of A Kind, Stolen, Very Hot, Magical Artifact that could have only come from one place, and made 1.4 million off of ONE ITEM!!! This type of item can, and more often than not, end up with you dead because of it, and you lived to sell it and spend the money

I personally wouldnt care about the strongarm tactics, hey, you didn't get betrayed, no one ratted you out to the original owners, and you walked away with 1.4 million made in 30 seconds, I would be extremely happy if I was the player. And send my character off for a few months to temporarily retire till the heat went down (say 2-3 months).
My character (alcohol-addicted ork streetsam) would just swear vengeance to the guy at the Dunkelzahn Institute, take the money and spend it in a two week rampage on drugs through clubs, brothels, expensive designer stores and luxury hotels. After that he would have forgotten that someone screwed him and simply go back to his miserable allday life.
Drace: there's two problems with that
1 - as you said the GM railroaded/ screwed the characters. He out right told the players OOC that the DIMR has a good rep and is trust worthy. So they went to them. Then he turned around and screwed them. IF he had not told them, they likely would have found some neutral ground to meet on. But the GM's OOC suggestions put them into a situation that they could not win in.

2 - IC, Mr. K was bargaining, and when the price got to high, droped it down to his original offer, and threatened the teams lives. "Take what I offer, or we will kill you all." more or less. This said to people that steal, kidnap, and kill for a living. You can't expect such people to smile and say "why thank ya' govna'! Thanks fe' doin' bizness wit' ya'!" They know that they can get more from someone else, so they are effectively being robbed at gun point for about 1 million nuyen.gif .
guys, i discussed this with one of the other players in my group today, and asked him what he thought our group would have done in a similar situation.....

1. We wouldnt have met in their offices. Its SR, everyone is a double crosser.
2. Mr K. would not have walked away from the meet
3. Once he and his body guards were dead we would have called up for another negotiator and said that if he tried to strongarm us like the previous one had he wouldnt survive either and we would go elsewhere to sell it. Mention to them that the atlantean foundation would probably give us full price cause they deal with hot items all the time.

thats what he and i came up with within about 2 minutes of me relating the situation

and you know what, our GM has tried pulling the same junk on us and thats exactly how we've handled him in the past
QUOTE (warrior_allanon)

and you know what, our GM has tried pulling the same junk on us and thats exactly how we've handled him in the past

Sounds like you guys may need to rotate GMs a bit more . We switch off pretty regularly. What I've found is that the GM has a better appreciation for a situation like that when it can be their turn next week. Not to say you'll never be double crossed, but they're not going to pull that kind of railroading BS .
Psynix Varis
Carlos peppes is nut's guys. Don't let him fool you. 1.4 million nuyen. King Trog says, "take the cash, kill the bastid later."
The GM says "No one messes with the DiMR"
Carlos Peppes says "We're not messing with the DiMR, we're messing with Mr. Johnson"
The Gm says "No one messes with the DiMR."
We get paid, yet something is still missing.

like the GM paying attention?
Ah, that's overrated. biggrin.gif
I had a guy running a game once that had the misfortune to fall asleep while running the game in my garage... while lying on a tread mill. Needless to say, we woke him up. wink.gif
I have a player who usually falls asleep after three or four hours of gaming (regardless who's the GM or which game we play), but a GM falling asleep? biggrin.gif
Psynix Varis
I'm usually the player people think is asleep. The GM isn't bad to be honest, he just hasn't thought out things all the way. And he is falling into the Favored NPC trap.
IMO if you want to see a real case of GM railroad screwage, and as far as i could tell well intentioned, look back at this thread in the main forum. EDIT: It even has a happy ending, so far, because the GM and the player(s) talked and worked things out.

On the ever relative SR scale generally DMIR sits at "good". But that doesn't mean they are going to take it in the ear and thank you for the moisturizer, especially from someone they have no relationship with. It just means that if you are dealing level with them the chance of them ganking a midling level team as they walk out the door with over a million cash is quite low.

EDIT: As a runner i might also see it as a good opportunity for some "business development" for work sometime in the future.
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