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This was an idea I had while watching Law & Order (one of their crossover episodes with Homocide: Life on the Beat.)
(Also, this story is certainly inspired by J.D. Robb's "in Death" series of books (All the books are titled "something in death", for a good one I reccomend Conspiracy in Death).)

How about putting the Runners firmly on the side of justice, but on the wrong side of the law. Specifically, here is what I had in mind (modify as you feel appropriate.)

The runners will have to become policemen, or at least behave like them, to pull this one off.

The situation is as follows; late at night, a young (14) Elf girl from what could charitably be called a "lower class" family (Mother had a Criminal SIN, somehow scraped up enough money to give birth in Seatle General; daughter had a full SIN, no father of record,) collapses in dire pain. Her mother tries to ressusitate her, but she dies before the local charitable street shaman can rush to her aid. Lone Star is called and performs a loose investigation, but abruptly calls the case "Death by misadventure" and cold-files it for lack of interest. Lost and with nowhere to go, the mother asks the street shaman for help; the shaman knows some people, one of those people is the player's Fixer. Bam, Shadowrun.

The haps: with a little investigative work, such as possibly digging up Lone Star's files, or hiring (or otherwise getting) a street doc to perform a post-mortem on the girl, it becomes clear that the girl died of toxic shock syndrome. Specifically, someone raped her, tore her up inside, and she died of complications of the untreated abrasions. The rape took place roughly two weeks ago in undetermined locations, so ritual sorcery and other divinations will be unable to aid in the search. Additionally and inexplicably, it also appears that the girl's body has been "sanitized" by Lone Star magicians, deliberately wiped clean of any possible astral traces. All the Lone Star files inexplicably cut off at this point; the last record is the scheduling of their M.E. to examine her, but as far as the record is concerned, that examination never took place.

How does this sound like as a story seed to you guys? Should I keep writing about it?

child of insanity
hell if you don't i will. mind if i steal it? this sounds like a really interesting run. my only problem is whether or not the characters will take the bait.
Not all rewards need to take the form of cold, hard nuyen.gif

This run, for instance, would probably have a poor payout in terms of accounting reward. But then, it can have a large pay-out in other areas.

I suggest the following:

A higher Karma reward than usual. This is the Universe's way of paying someone back for doing right by it.
Contacts: Being in tight with a shaman who's magic is powerful enough to save your life when you're an inch from death and have less than a whole point of Essance to your name should have rewards that any idiotic newbie Shadowrunner should be able to see. Additionally, a local gang could well have liked the girl and her mother, looked up to them for example. The characters take any heat on their turf, and the players have instant, no-questions-asked backup.
Gear: Let's face it, hackers need bones thrown to them. Perhaps the mother, during or after the run, approaches them and says she found a foreign storage device when she was going through her daughter's things. It has some kind of program on it but she dosen't know what it is; if they'd like to have it, it's theirs. It should, of course, be some kind of program the hacker in particular lacks, and at a high enough rating that they'd otherwise have to toss down a buckoo of nuyen.gif for it.

Plus, of course, to continue weaving my story,

The haps:

Through whatever machinations you devise (Hey, I'm not out to write something to rival On the Run (Though that's not a bad idea), the players find out what's going on. The girl was raped by a high-class late teenager/early twenties. Human most likely, and sporting a Mr. Studd (Probably by 2070 this is bioware, not cyber,) to have caused her such damage. Either that, or he Goblinized into an orc.

Either way, this kid knew the girl, though she didn't nessessarily know him. She fit his desires perfectly; underaged, slender, elf, and vunerable. He stalked her and raped her and left her behind. When his parents found out that Lone Star's own investigation was turning towards their son, their connections, high-priced lawyers, and even checkbook stepped in. The detective/s working the case were told in no uncertain terms that it was "Not pursuant to the interests of Lone Star Security Services, Incorporated, to pursue and prosecute this matter. Case closed."

They could certainly be one of the hooks; Officers frustrated by the fact that they work in what is first and foremost a for-profit corporation, where carrying a badge means being primarily an officer of the bottom line, secondarily an officer of the law. After all, the 'Star's files may be destroyed, but they're not about to go to the expense of brainwashing their detectives and siezing their home records. And of course, Detectives have memories.

So where do they go from there? They could arrange a beating, a warning, even take it upon themselves to deliver some Texas justice. (Ironic, considering Lone Star's origins, that they deliver precisely zero justice,) they might retaliate by employing their hackers to wipe the parent's accounts clean, and otherwise make them miserable.

To make this achievable for starting runners, the parents should be well off, but they're not living in a mansion in a AAA neighborhood by any means. They're not so overly wealthy or connected that the player's actions against them or their son or both would be retaliated for by a Mega, though they might be furious enough to hire a low-grade hit man if the runner's identies become known to them through some means (and the Runners don't have enough Street Cred and Noteriety for them to think it might be a Bad Idea.)

But hey, it's all up to you. It's just an idea. Feel free to harvest it, tweak it, and so forth, as much as you like.
child of insanity
i'm defintly going to use this one soon.
hmmm... this could actually be 2 runs. first is finding out what happened, second is "dealing" with the rich kid. where's the Mr. Studd thing? it's sort of a cyber/bio prince albert or something?
It's sort of a running joke on Dumpshock. As far as I can tell, it's a cyberware/bioware form of replacement penis. Supposedly offering sexual stamina and performance, you know the drill.

It's the latest tech applied to the ages-old game; preying on the male psyche by offering him a bigger penis. This one actually works, (in the stated goal of enlarging your penis,) but I doubt it's any more useful or anything.

Actually, I can imagine that Mr. STudd and other things would have a use - females with a desire to swing a penis, but who aren't sexually male by gender-identity.
Ice Hammer
In my game, my players would find ways of getting the media involved and making it a huge public relations issue for Lone Star, eventually forcing Lone Star to investigate and arrest the perp. I don't care which corporations own the media outlets, if you get enough public interest involved, you will create enough pressure to force their hand. True enough it is an elf and some people may be willing to look the other way if its an elf, but its also a 14 year old girl. And if she has a SIN, that certainly changes things for Lone Star. a SIN essentially means their a legitimate citizen, and the politicians in Seattle won't stand for a poor investigation of someone who has a SIN. And if you have the mother on the ten o'clock news crying about how there's no justice and there's a cover up, then you could get Lone Star to act. In my game, it would be up to the runners to convince the reporters and the news stations to put her on the 10 o'clock news. cool.gif

And yeah, I really like your idea. Very cool.
That's certainly an option, Hammer.

But really, I don't think D-zone citizens are given as much effort as A-zone ones. SIN or no SIN.

Still, if the Runners try to get the Media in on it, that would be one way to help resolve the situation. On the other hand, it would also earn them Lone Star Security Services, Incorporated, as an Enemy, for blowing the whistle. And that still woulden't deliver much justice; the courts would find him guilty of aggrevated rape, and assign some B.S. sentance of community service, throwing out murder by citing that the girl could have sought medical attention at any time (Nevermind the fact that she was far too poor to seek medical aid at any hospital or medical center, and was too terrified and ashamed to talk to her shaman or mother.)

Some Runners might be satisfied with that. Then again, some might not - and some District Attourneys, whom I hope are still UCAS officials who fight for justice, and not lackeys or corporate lapdogs might still want justice.

So then the Runners have segued themselves into a more difficult Shadowrun; exact justice without it being painfully obvious that "anarchic vigilantees decided that the appropriate action of the courts was insufficient and took matters into their own hands".

Still, you never know. Maybe the prosocutor is finding all of his search efforts hindered at every turn - the parents are calling their Contacts to have the case stymied, they're throwing up a media smear campaign trying to paint the kid as a saint and say that an innocent boy is being persecuted for his privileged position, and Lone Star isen't exactly putting it's best effort into gathering evidence. This could put the runners in the position of needing to search out the evidence and "anonamously submit" it straight to the DA.
Crusher Bob
Here's another possible twist:

The perp was mind controlled into doing it. Lone start knows there perp was mind controlled, but can't get any further that that and don't want to make a big media event out of the case (since it would highlight the scariness of magic, how the cops can't do anything, and so on). So, if the characters string up the perp, they aren't really serving justice, as he is just another victim.

Serial crime by control thought, with a bit of alter memory and influence thrown in.
CB, that's just sadistic. The kind of thing worth sending against a 100+ Karmic group. I like it. smile.gif
I love this idea. It would be really good for most any runner team too, because it gives everyone something to do. How are you planning on connecting the dots BTW to the perpetrator? Follow the Lone Star/disgruntled cop with a conciense angle? Would they even have an idea of what's going on either? Or would it be more a matter of following the influence trail?

I like the idea of them trying to go to the media, because if they're making that much noise, it's likely the Star would be watching them. They can arrest the PC's without cause since they're SINless, and probably carrying lots of illegal goods. You can make it even more sinister by having the media contact murdered, and top it off by having the Star investigate it. Maybe even pin it on the runners. Really emphasize just how bad an idea it is to cross the cops , and play up the mother's anguish to appeal to the runners morality/conciense (SP?) assuming that they have one. This group would have to be people that would go along with this though.

In the end, it could be fun to finally get it out so that the public does the whole 'outrage' bit, so the corp throws them the sacrifical lamb, the exec in the corp that was "caught taking bribes for suspected persons" and "used his position to interfere with an ongoing investigation". Basically caught iwth their hands in the cookie jar, so they give up one of their own to the fires. It'd be neat seeing this guy that was supposed to represent the corp in it's entirety tossed to the wolves by the faceless powers that be.

EDIT: Crucher BoB - could be even more twisted if the rich kid in question is magically acitve, or perhaps a SURGE 'victim' that is capable of astral perception and was possessed by a mage or shadow spirit. Add another level.
child of insanity
with the media angle that will work perfectly with my group. the face happens to be a reporter trying to get the scoop on shadowrunning by becoming one for awhile. every so often she feeds a story to her editor, and gains a paycheck.
If you really want to mess with the PCs talk it over with the player of a magician in the party so that his character is the perpertrator but forgot because "these things just blur together after you do so many of them".
I would like to register my motion to all that Hyzmarca be stripped of the title "Neophyte Runner", and given the custom title of "Damned-Clever Sadistic B**tard DM".
Eh, that's giving too much away, IMO.

Now, him finding out later that he's been doing it? That's classic.
Reminds me of a game we just played a few weeks ago . We were going after bugs. We weren't positive, but we suspcted. We were right. The rest of the NPC's that we suspected to be bugs (but weren't sure) turned out to mostly be bugs. What we weren't suspecting was one of the PC's to be a bug as well. Sure as hell didn't see that coming, since he was like a 200 karma character that had been around for frickin' ever. Almost blew up the whole damn group with CXII tied to his biomonitor.

Sadly, this is like the third time that not acting upon our suspicions without proof has almost killed us. We decided that from now on, if we suspect, a bullet to the head is a good way to do away with suspicion.

Back on track, maybe if the rape attacks continued after the group started investigating, and it comes up later that it was one of the PC's. But that doesn't come up until after the rich kid's life is already ruined and he's publically roasted.There's not even a hint of magical manipulation until after. Let the PC sweat it. Would have to be a pretty solid player though to be able to roleplay finding out that he raped a young kid while under possession.
My only comment would be to change the methods in which Lone Star was made to look in the other direction. Something that LS as a company could not be held responsible for.

Otherwise, in my thinking, this is something that could get their service contract totally obliterated. They're contracted to provide law enforcement type services, sure they're corrupt as hell, but if they take too much of an overt "screw UCAS law we're taking money from corpers" they could lose their contract. Especially if this gets back to the guys contracting for their service smile.gif

So I'd adjust it a bit, either a corrupt and in this case more-greedy-than-smart division that could ultimately be "surgically replaced" than say the whole Seattle contract getting revoked. Otherwise, if your game world has no problem with it, I say let them suffer the consequences and have KE take over.

I can see where Fistandantilus3.0 is going, and a sacrifical lamb at the end might work, but given the severity of the situation I think it might have more consequences unless you did make it a more easily 'repairable' situation, as in when the details are actually discovered, it does turn out to be more in line with readily identifiable culprits. If its too convoluted, even such a mea culpa might be 'too small'.

This differs much from real life law enforcement stuff, since you're not contracting corporate services you can't just fire all your cops and replace them with another agency, but in the SR world, you could. Lone Star, in this situation, would have to have a way that it would be able to demonstrate to the UCAS that they wouldn't just be better off chucking Lone Star and going KE or something. Cause you can bet KE will smell the blood and push hard for it.
That's why I think it would make such a great game. LS would literally kill to keep it quite. The fact that she has a SIN means that they can't just brush it aside. I don't think that one cover up would kill an entire contract, although it is damn certain a very abd hit. Remember what LS's edge has always been. In everyone's mind, they are the cops. And KE is a security compnany. That mind set is a big difference. The yreal big bosses, seeing this situation, would set up a CMA plan.

The CMA (Cover My Ass) would be to make a very careful data trail linking one person to the 'conspiracy' , as well as a few other cops that they may want to jettison anyways. That way, if the situation does get out of control, they can do a little house cleaning with an "internal probe" and look good for the press.
"Yes , this person did wrong. Now we are ruthlessly cutting out this cancer among our ranks. The general public can be assured that the people behind this heinous event will see jail time."
Which, for LoneStar cops and corpers, is basically a death sentence. Of course, they'd bribe a few inmates with cigarettes and porn to make sure a couple key people never even make it to the stand. Standars LoneStar CMA Policy.
Sorry, I did not read the whole thread. I stopped here:
How about putting the Runners firmly on the side of justice, but on the wrong side of the law. Specifically, here is what I had in mind (modify as you feel appropriate.)

It grieves me to see so many of you fraggers latching onto the idea that SR is all about being criminals, like the quoted bit is some kind of weird anomoly. And that FanPro seems to be sliding more and more into the same stand. It almost seems like they would go totally this way, if they could justify parents letting their kids buy such a product (those parents that even try to censor what their kids do.)

I see the dilemma of becoming an actual criminal for criminality sake as being one of the conflicts PCs get to roleplay. But I always thought that Shadowrunners, as opposed to professional criminals, were fighting the system like modern day Robin Hoods. (Forgive the DoH You may say that there are many pre-made adventures that just presume the players are being hired for industrial espionage, but from the 'runners POV, this is still fighting the system by getting the information disseminated. That way one corp doesn't have a monopoly on the information and get to exploit their monopoly position by overcharging.

I'll get over it. Something tells me my view will be vehemently opposed by those that want no restrictions on their indulgences.
If you can find it, you might want to check out Missions. It was an SR2 publication, if my memory serves me correctly, and had several "alternate" adventures - characters as cops, reporters, DocWagon employees, Special Forces - as well as suggestions on how to set up entire campaigns based on these other career choices.
The majority of the published adventures tend to assume that runners will take a more moral choice when presented with an issue. Check out Brainscan for a few examples of this. I think the point of that part of the post was to quell the usual "there's no way my PC's would do this because of... [insert amoral campaign reason here]". That comes up a lot on DS simply because there are so many different view points and players here. No style is right or wrong, just preference. Well... technically the style is the choice between choosing between right or wrong.. if that makes sense. He was just making it clear which type of group this was set up for.
Thanks Fisty. You said that a lot better than I could have.

Anyway, the frank fact of the matter is that the impression that Dumpshock and 2/3rds of the SR players I've talked to has given me is one of mercenary characters only - players who will shoot a kid down in cold blood for the "crime" of being witness to something they did.

I'm not going to say that Shadowrunners are saints by public standards, but I will say that they should, in my opinion, hold and be held to a standard of morality that can let someone sleep at night without being so inhuman as to be metahuman in name only.

Frankly, those are not the kind of characters I want to Run with or run the game for. Those are the kind of soulless bastard that exists primarily for the players to overcome and kill. Do the players have to do illeagal things? Certainly. Immoral? That depends on their actions, what they do. If they kill armed guards who are about to open fire on them, or could otherwise raise hell for them, that's one thing. If they start geeking every janitor, secretary and wageslave because they don't want any witnesses, that's another.

Some runs are corporate espionage. Some don't really involve any big boys at all (see On the Run). Some are just jobs, with no moral areas involved as long as the runners don't do anything stupid like trying to intimidate people or decide that their Ares Predator constitutes the best bypass to the obstacle of a physical guard who isen't ready to kill in the line of his job. (Perfect example in the On the Run adventure is when the characters have to sneak into an oversold rock concert in a warhouse in the barrens. All of the suggested plans to gain entry involve convolutions, aireal acrobatics, and so forth. Some wag is garunteed to look at the map they get drawn up by scouting the sight and determine that the best way to get in is by jimmying the back door and geeking the single guard in the back, who happens to be right next to their paydata.)
Perfect case in point -

Our target worked at a paper forms processing facility. You know, for those things you need to keep, but cannot/will not store electronically? Yeah, so the documents were way more important than the people working there, so it was protected by a Halon system -- displace all the oxygen to kill the fire.

Well, we snuck in (as a cleaning crew, of course), and replaced all of the emergency oxygen supplies with a bad mix. Next day at work, the fire alarm went off, everyone died. It was very sad. Too bad the valves were sticky and all the gas in the tanks leaked out, making it impossible to tell if they actually had oxygen in them or not....

This is a perfect example of the line between a Shadowrunner and a cold-blooded killer. The group committed mass murder to geek one guy.

Now, I'll accept that one guy may need to be geeked. There's no telling what he's done, he could certainly well deserve it.

But this is not the way to do it. There is a fine line between criminal and evil, and this group ran shodrough over it on their way to pitch-black Evil, without a guilty look back.

How many innocent people died in their wetwork run here? They probably geeked what, 20, 40 people to get one of them? This is the kind of thing that, as a DM, makes me tear my hair out, and fight hard to resist the urge to send a group of Superhumanly comparitive Shadowrunners after the PCs.

Edit: This was one of the entries on my "Funny ways to off someone" thread.
HoTay's wisdom spreads far and wide, Nick. But how is that relevant to the discussion at hand? I don't think that opening fire with antitank rifles in an A-zone is going to earn a runner any brownie points.
QUOTE (child of insanity)
...where's the Mr. Studd thing? it's sort of a cyber/bio prince albert or something?

As far as I know, and I don't know too much, it is not a canon Shadowrun cyber/bioware. Rather it's taken from Talsorian Games' "Cyberpunk 2020", and it is basically a "male enhancement".

On the story idea, I like it a lot. Recently I was talking with a friend of mine about
run ideas where the runners are posed with dilemma, money or morals, this would be an excellent run for that.
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
But this is not the way to do it. There is a fine line between criminal and evil, and this group ran shodrough over it on their way to pitch-black Evil, without a guilty look back.

Mass murder is only evil if the victims are from Sinanju. Everyone else is just lucky that the Master let them live at all.

I'm not going to argue about moral realitivism but if one is being offered wetwork then one is already running in an amoral campaign. Beyond that any tactic that lets you go home alive and free is a good tactic.
Ed Simons
The problem with the original idea is there is no reason for Lone Star to suppress evidence. As written, they don’t have enough evidence to know who did it; they barely have evidence at all.

There is no forensics evidence, not two weeks after the crime, even if the victim never bathed in the meantime. There’s no astral evidence left after that long, either. There are no witnesses to finger the perpetrator. That gives Lone Star a stone-cold whodunit – no suspects, no leads. Of course they’ll file it ‘Death by Misadventure’ and move on to cases they have some prayer of solving, like the 12 year old ork girl who was gang raped, but survived and could identify some of her attackers.

Lone Star probably doesn’t even have enough evidence to prove there was a crime. Yes, those injuries strongly indicate rape, but perhaps the girl liked it rough or her new troll boyfriend got too enthusiastic. Certainly any halfway competent defense attorney could bring those points up, not that there was ever enough case to ID a suspect, let alone have it see trial.

A far more likely miscarriage of justice is that some Lone Star out of a desire to pad their record or even legitimate rage that such a crime was committed focuses on someone who knew the victim, like Mom’s latest boyfriend. They then browbeat and/or beat the boyfriend into confessing and he’s going to get put away unless the runners can prove the confession was false or show who really did it.
That is a good point. Perhaps change the backstory so that she did report the rape to Lone Star but they were already expecting her complaint and had orders to stonewall her. They went through the motions at first but refused to let her recieve any medical attention. After keeping her waiting at the police station for several hours they began to change their tune and began accusing her of making the story up. Since the police act like they don't believe her and she is both tired, hungry, and traumatized, the victim just gives and and goes home but writes about the rape and the police apathy in an "IxAl" (matrIx journAl).
Ah, yes, Mr Studd... "All night, every night, and she'll never know. Also available in the Midnight Lady variant."

One of my players asked me once why having a cyberwang would give his player +1 Seduction. I replied, "Confidence, my man..."
Kremlin KOA
That and the whole DNI means you only get hard when you want to
God, you people with your cybernetic genitalia!


We only wish, FanGirl.
It's hard enough keeping control of the real thing... why the heck would I really want a cybernetic replacement!

Besides, then we couldn't make jokes about Bobbit.
QUOTE (tisoz)
Sorry, I did not read the whole thread. I stopped here:
How about putting the Runners firmly on the side of justice, but on the wrong side of the law. Specifically, here is what I had in mind (modify as you feel appropriate.)

It grieves me to see so many of you fraggers latching onto the idea that SR is all about being criminals, like the quoted bit is some kind of weird anomoly...

I'll get over it. Something tells me my view will be vehemently opposed by those that want no restrictions on their indulgences.

Tisoz, I see where your coming from, especially when it comes to some dumpshockers around here, but the fact is that shadowrunning IS criminal by definition. Of course there isn't any one linear morality for shadowrun overall, all of our games are different. But I would agree that the PCs should almost without exception be on the lighter side of that spectrum. This is how movie goers can route for the protagonist in crime dramas, and similar anti-hero flicks. Because however vicious the pcs are, their opposition should be worse. I know that's how I GM. If the pcs will eliminate the occassional witness, the opposition will commit mass murder. If the PCs will detonate a city block to prevent their opponents success even if it kills dozens of innocents, the enemy's success should have cost even more lives.

If people want a dark game, give it to them.. But I do think that the PCs should also be the lighter shade of grey. Even for those who adore their "mercenary, heartless" character, should end up doing good, even if they didn't intend to.
I'm not one for trying to guide players' characters into a different morality than they've got... but at the same time, I don't enjoy running games populated by sociopathic PCs. Besides, the bizarrely lethal ones have a habit of eventually annoying some NPC (or occasionally PC) and getting set up or stabbed in the back. So, it all balances out eventually cool.gif
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