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I was chatting with a friend last night, and we moved from the topic of his computers resembling corporate servers, to him being a "shadowrun corp", and then the thought of playing a character who's the head of this "datacom" corp, but is doing the runs because the computers he's installed to do most of the work has become sentient, and he's got the runners in to basically get him back "In power".

Anyway that aside, we was going through about how it would be set in England. I've not read the european sourcebooks yet, but i can't imagine England changing much from it's policies and ways.

The ideas thus are this.

As England is pretty small, there's not enough "room" to set up separate corp controlled areas, and thus to keep things "Polite" they have an agreement of no open-street warfare. In some areas (london, for example) some of the smaller Corps even share buildings. It's pretty neutral, with this quaint air of englishness, where rival corps might plot and try to ruin the others through blackmail, information and campaign hijacking, but going to and from work, these employees will exchange the time of day, chat, swap stories and so on. It doesn't mean the corps are less dangerous, it just means that they like to put on this front, a charade that they are civilised, or more so than their American "cousins".

The police force in charge, is pretty strict. Dropping a loaded cred-stick into the top pocket of a cop, and suggesting he didn't see anything will most likely result in getting any soft fleshy part of you tazered, and your ass thrown into a cop car, and they have cyber detection gear in their vehicle, but on the flip side, most officers will not carry guns (a stun baton, an improved form of Mace, but no firearms) and are quite civil if treated right. They are trained in the arts of "Getting A Suspect Under Custody" (which looks very amicable, but involves several elbows in the ribs, knees in the throat etc, whatever it takes to slap cuffs on you), as well as "Bodyform Observing", if you are walking around with a remington under your coat, there's a good chance that a cop will walk up and ask you just why you have a concealed weapon (possibly after calling for backup, and tazering you to the point of unconsciousness). They basically take no sh*t. You knock his helmet off, he'll smack you one with his baton (roll to see how good a mood he is, and if he turns the stun part on), you start a firefight, he'll run for cover, call in backup, and then assist as an ARV is sent to the location. You treat him civil and polite, he'll nod to you, or even chat briefly before he goes about his way.

Cyberwear is somewhat frowned upon too. There's the acceptable medical cybers, you got your arm "removed", back before cloning was acceptable, and thus you have a cyber arm, and documentation to say it's legal. Maybe some jobs will apply for licences for cybering their employees, a reporter with cyber eyes/ears is expensive, but makes for great stories. "why yes, i'll put my camera and recorder away, please, tell me about your story..." If you go around sporting obvious cyberwear, the cops (or corp guards) will decide to question you. If you cannot produce documentation for it, then it's back to the station for questions (or if you are hassling corp security, they will issue a mandatory beat-down, before calling the cops), and suggestions that it "Might Be a Great Idea to Get it Removed". They will end up taking down your details (checking of course, via the DNA database, and the English version of SIN), and call on you every week or so, to see if you have taken their advice. Bio-wear is the new "fashion" though. Nothing too extensive, eye changing, hair colours, fangs, facial changes and colour-changing skin pigmentation at the limits, but also ((stolen from a book called Kromosome from the Amazing Engine D&D series)) body modification for "combat". Bone replaces metal, and you can get claws done, slide-out bone spurs (it's just the same principle of cyber, but with bone instead of metal), even things towards the extreme such as fangs (poison glands are extra) or the ability to exhale poison/gas. (just don't breathe in when you release it from the roof of your mouth). As it's difficult to spot most "useful" biowear, it's the new underworld "weapon". Gangs get spurs and spikes, to go with their cat-ears and eyes, while mob henchmen get bone strengthening, and a buildup of bone around the knuckles of the hands (saves on knuckledusters).

Guns are a no-go. Like today, you can *get* a gun, but it's not worth the trouble usually. Most guns used in crime are either modified from things like blank firers or disarmed weapons, or smuggled in from the US or China, and are hot as hell to handle. Special branches of the police are armed, so are the police who guard certian areas (airports being one of them), and some corps have guns for their security teams, but these are mostly locked away in a cabinet, awaiting an emergency (that tazers and such can't deal with). Any gun-crime is chased up with the full weight of the law, and people are made examples of, especially those "americans" who come over here with their "Guns and Glory and Ruin the Peace". It's up to the players to think of ways past situations without using a firearm. If they want to kill, they can use the regular assortment of melee weapons or biowear, not to mention a nice array of "public defence" equipment, which is lower-voltage hand tazers (non ranged) and low quality pepper spray, but they have to be creative with it. Stunning/drugging guards, might seem more hassle to the regular Sammie, but it's doing them favours in the end. Players who manage to get hold of firearms and start gunning people down, will have their faces plastered all over the place, and their details sent to the major corps with a request to "Handle the Situation". It's even worse to kill someone, because what do you do with the corpse? British Forensics are pretty drek-hot, not to mention ritual shamans in their team, which means if you go and "kill" someone, you better be ready to dispose of the corpse too (or at least make it look like an accident).

The whole meta-human thing is accepted, but in a more "if we ignore it, it will go away" sense. There are "trogg-haters" and various groups who will try to make their life hell, but for some reason, it just seems easier to live in England as an ork or troll. Various highstreet shops now do "Troll-wear", and there are a few "new" busses on routes, which are "Customised for Troll Use" (the back of the buss has a few seats removed for a couple of larger seats, and a rear entrance, like the old trams). Employment is starting to rise for the meta-humans, although it is very stereotypical work. Bouncers, security for trolls and orks... and a few "Adult Entertainment Places" have large request for elven women, as well as a large selection of PA and Secretary jobs. (People want a hot elven girl to try and molest in their daily work place i guess)

Generally, the whole "Merry old England" thing is in force.

Problem i think is, would lack of "shootas" ruin the feel of Shadowrun? From my view, it adds to the whole interaction and fun, but then i live in the UK, and have never handled a real gun.
There are sourcebooks for England. The London Sourcebook and Tir Na Nog are good. They are both out of print but you can pick them up through filesharing. I mean not that I use that stuff. wink.gif Shadows of Europe might also have some info too.

I don't live in England so I don't really want to comment on developing ideas for the UK.
I do remember the london sourcebook. I've been ebaying up a bunch of shadowrun books, but not found that yet though. I'm sure i'll get a copy for now, but hey what's Roleplay without creative licence?
Also I think if you can find them there are a couple Shadowrun adventures set in the UK. One is Celtic Double-Cross and the other is... Imago I think.
Ooh Imago's on Ebay!
Your approach to the UK is surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, given that Brits were involved in writing the canon material) consistent with canon as depicted in the London sb and Shadows of Europe. However, London was written in the early Nineties, during the Thatcher-withdrawl years, and builds up the regime in power as a neo-fascist oligarchy with masonic undertones (and a secret police), a Green public image and neo-druidic trappings. Enhance the role of nobility in the higher eschelons of political and economic power and have a couple of nuclear meltdowns up north and everything else pretty much matches your ideas.

Going into Shadows of Europe that was what the writers had to play with when updating the situation 10 years after the original London sb, so we gave it a good twist or two and through a spanner in the works. Add the Ley War, the Pendragon Underground, schisms in the ruling oligarchy, the Merseysprawl Black Ork Collective, Princess Caroline preggers out of wedlock, secret government meddling in the economy through a corporate front, mix throughly and you have the UK in 2064 (SoE).
I've got the London Source Book, it has soome interesting things, but now i lay them to reast all in the name of 4th.
I have to admit, I like your version of England. I'm not English, but a dane though, but your version of England suggest, that not all of the world has changed totally and is utterly controlled by the iron grip of the Corps. The whole setting and attitude you describe fits very much with the image (though slightly biased) that I have of the British today.

The unlethal approach to things is something my group never bothered to consider, since "dead men tell no tales" and then you have to worry about storage of unconsious men and so on. But the way you describe things leads to a whole new set of unique challenges.

Now, how do I get all my players to drop their "super changed" cyber gear and run to your version of England ... ?

A few questions though - What is the view on magic and so on, if you plan on continueing the development of your unique approach to the British Isles?
Kyoto Kid
Pretty good assessment on the UK. I have the London Sourcebook and SoE and made extensive use of both during my last campaign. A good portion of the Rhapsody Arc is set in and around London and Cambridge. Granted as is the case with most Shadowrun books the maps were woefully inadequate & like with the Balkans, I ended up getting actual roadmaps of both cities & southern England. Overall though, I found the London SB to be the most valuable of the two due to the social and cultural detail and colour it offered. The UK profile in SoE was valuable mostly for the current political setting & relations with the rest of the NEEC.

Of course I also took a bit of personal license such as still having "the Yard" being the major headquarters for special investigators (it is not mentioned in wither SB), the ubiquitous London Bobbies (who are an arm of the national police force designated to patrol the streets), and details for classic locations like Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, the E & C (Elephant & Castle pub), the Museum of Antiquity, and King's College.

True, one has to be more careful (as several of the characters discovered) in the way things are handled. Besides firearms, slinging off high power spells is not a very good idea either. Doing either are an good way to earn a one way trip to "The Stone" (Stoneham Prison).
Doh! Just realized that Celtic Double-Cross is set in Ireland or Tir Na Nog to the elves. My bad. That adventure is not set in the UK proper. Thought I should clear that geographical flub up before the Dumpshock geography cops show up.

Kyoto, i think if i get down to running a "Shadowrun: England" campaign, i'll do the same with buying in streetmaps. We have a tendency to reject mass change, so i imagine alot of the streets will still be there, etc... just need to get a bit creative with placing corp buildings and such. I mean, down the road from me is some amazing industrial park areas that would make for a great shadowrun area... giant warehouses, low security (wire fences that's rusted around the poles so you can lift it up, and the occasional faded "Beware the Dog" sign) and uneven concrete/gravel/tarmac flooring from the years of trucks going in and out.

Pixel, yeah me and my friend want to try and make it water-tight, so magic has to be covered. I think for now it will be very similar to cyberwear, and like Kyoto said, firing off big, flashy spells will get the attention of the police force pretty easily. The populace (and cops) know magic exists, the cops even have their own magical divisions in the police force to deal with rogue mages etc, but it's frowned upon to actually draw people's immediate attention to it. It's fine to visit a bar and watch someone's illusion of a simsense star dance around the stage, but it's not fine to start firing off powerballs or lighting people up. I would imagine the police are trained to deal with mages (one will distract, while the other attempts to slap an inhibiter onto the mage), but would prefer to get their own mages in. It's one thing to risk death/damage to neutralize a mage, another to have your own mage waggling his/her fingers and counterspelling anything that happens.

(The inhibiter would basically consist of a collar that has several things built in. The outer-surface of it is made from ballistic grade rubber, which is somewhat resistant to cutting, with a space for a key-stick and a nub which reveals a data-jack blocker. The collar emits various sounds at different frequencies, along with vibrations, which is enough to distract most mages to the point where they cannot focus enough to call up their powers. It's also got a shocker built in, radio-controlled via the key-stick, and also will go off if the victim tries to pull it off. (it's temperamental on the more "used" models, and the police take great care to warn the wearer that "Any Slight Jolt Could Cause an Unfortunate Accident". The data-jack blocker simply fits into the victim's data-jack, and feeds static though it.)
Kyoto Kid
Actually In my campaign the Yard has a special division set up solely to deal with awakened threats.

Another tool to deal with spellcasters is the MageMask. I believe it is described in SOTA 64. The last two teams I have run have for some reason been heavy on the Mage side, (and therefore difficult to deal with since I tend to write more of an intrigue based adventure), so I have to get a little tougher on the spellcasters. I have played the UK restrictions on magic very tightly so the team had to get inventive when they need to hop across the channel to the continent (which happened rather frequently). Having any spell above power 3 is basically illegal (save for curative spells). Basically, only licensed individuals (such as the Magical Threats Division of the Yard) are permitted to use spells of higher power. Oh, & yes, they do have astral patrols "walking the beat" as well.

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