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Here's the set-up for the adventure I am running this Thursday, I would appreciate any comments or advice anyone cares to give. I'm just giving the general synopsis, details can be provided as needed.

The team will be contacted by their fixer through usual channels. He will let them know of a Johnson looking for a team, and warn them that this particular J is known to pay very well, but be less then forthcoming about certain details when it suits his purposes. I am relying on my players insatiable desire for phat bank to (once again) override their common sense and they'll take the job.

The job: Extract a scientist named Manuel Murciťlago from an Aztechnology bio-research facility. They have one month to case the facility, come up with a plan, and do the extraction. I'm working on creating the security now. The plan is for security to be pretty tight, but to have several exploitable holes that should be revealed with diligent legwork. The only hitch will be a surprise visit from a member of the Leopard Guard, who is doing a surprise inspection, but I have confidence that they will be clever enough to adapt to this. If all goes to plan (HA!) then they should, with extensive legwork, be able to get in, get the guy, and get him out with no gunfire, violence, and/or retaliation from the Azzies.

That's part one.

Part two begins when they get the guy back to a hideout and call the Johnson. He praises them for their awesomeness and arranges the final drop off two days hence. If asked why the delay, he will tell them that they need to insure that the Azzies are not tracing the team and want to wait until that is demonstrated. The J will stress that the team has to keep the scientist hidden, and that he must not come in contact with anyone so the Azzies won't find him. After a day it will be clear that the Scientist is getting sick, apparently just a cold, but something to consider. After two days the team will start feeling under the weather. Nothing too serious, but like a bad cold or flu is starting to set in. This is when the Johnson calls back. He will ask about the character's health, and learning that they are ill, will reveal the Azzies rather insidious anti-kidnapping plan, which the J suspected and that the team has verified.

The Azzies have infected the scientist with a nasty little virus. He is given drugs that suppress the virus on a daily basis, but if he ever goes 24 hours without his meds the virus goes into overdrive. The scientist only gets a cold, but when the virus spreads to anyone else they get a godawful disease that leads to severe flu-like symptoms, insensibility and, if not treated, death. The disease is not seriously contagious, and it generally only infects those that remain in fairly close quarters with the scientist (i.e. whomever stole him) The Azzies keep watch through DocWagon and local hospitals for people getting sick and home in on him that way.

The Johnson will then offer them a 2nd job, for substantially less money. He wants the team to break back into the facilty (which is now on alert) and get a sample of the drugs for the doctor and for the medicine the Azzies use to treat the disease in others (they naturally keep some around in case the doc accidentally misses a dose.) In exchange they will get a nominal paycheck, but the Johnson promises to treat their disease so they won't die. He admits that they could probably get a better deal somewhere but probably not in time.

In this second part they get to break back in to the facility in a dirty, violent, balls to the wall sort of scenario. Even worse, the Leopard Guard agent is still there, and is really torqued off that the team managed to snatch the target right from under his nose. I hope for a fast paced, brutal hit and run. The ideal end will be for them to get the drugs, but be pretty beaten up, have made an enemy of the Leopard Guard member (who will escape I hope) and will have impressed the hell out of the Johnson (although admittedly, the Johnson is a dick, and they may not want to take anymore jobs from him. Of course he does pay very well. biggrin.gif

That's the run, please answer with any questions you have and especially any advice, comments, or additions!
That's pretty evil. Contingency plan for if they decide to break in and get the serum on their own, then take down the Johnson and come up with alternate arrangement for treatment? How about if the players decide to double cross the Johnson and sell him out to the Azzies in exchange for the antidote (after the Johnsons's stunt many teams might consider that entirely reasonable). Also how combat ready will a team suffering from severe flu like symptoms be?
Sounds rad.

Is the Azzie Compound in town?

How badly are you gonna ding them in pt 2 for being on the job and having the flu?

Is the virus magical in nature, or something cooked up in a lab. What are the long term effects on your team if they botch part 2?

Who's the J working for? Independent Contractor? Another Corp?
The Aztechs are big fish, and I'm sure they have alot of feet on street and ears to the ground, assuming they have an office in town, and will be on the hunt for the missing geek. Is J offering any aid in keeping the geek stashed?

Whys the J want the Doc? I'm assuming to get the virus.

Ritual Magic. Do the Azzies have anything onhand that could be used?
Good points.

I'll have the Johnson point out that it's unlikely that anyone else will make a deal and provide a treatment fast enough to save the characters. However, if the characters have any sneaky way of arranging treatment faster, more power to them, will go from there.

Selling to the Azzies is unlikely. My group is scared shitless of the Azzies. They will be WAY to scared of the Azzies screwing them to try to make a deal with them. However, if they have the cojones to bluff the Johnson, and can pull off the bluff (good Cha+Con roll) I'll let them use the threat as a bonus on any negotiations with the Johnson.

I have not decided about flu symptoms. So far they were going to be cosmetic, but I may apply a penalty if I am worried that the 2nd run will be too easy (unlikely.) Of course, I will definately start slapping penalties on if the group dawdles. I want to really play up that time is of the essence.

Yes, the compound will be in town, in a building with several other Aztechnology subsidiarys. It will occupy the top three or so floors of a large building in Seattle.

I hadn't thought about the virus being magical. That's deliciously nasty. Hmmm. Maybe I'll just drop hints about that. Really make them sweat. As for long term effects, I was planning on hinting that there may be problems, but probably not actually do anything unless I need a hook later. Nothing like making players sweat!

The J actually doesn't really care about the virus, but needs the antidote to make the scientist useful. The main reason he is concerned is that he had an inkling that Aztechnology might be using this kind of system, and was using the team as guinea pigs. The virus isn't even the focus of the facilities research, just an extra evil method to prevent such extractions.

Keep these coming! It's really giving me a lot to think about!
QUOTE (Waltermandias)
the Johnson is a dick

somebody had to say it, and it may as well have been you, LOL

if they're doing all this legwork in preparation for the run, wouldn't they at least hear a rumour about the virus?
your players might cry this when you break it to them.
I was wondering how you might handle it if the runners found out about the 'kidnapping countermeasure' before they extract the target? I'm not sure how much of this is a metagame response, but even before I finished reading the whole post and focused on the words, "less than forthcoming", "Aztechnology" and "bio-research", I was thinking "biological trap on the target". So i'd probably be push for exhaustive research/legwork on that during my month of planning.
Very good point. I certainly had not thought of that. How about this:

Aztechnology has obviously tried to keep it's countermeasure secret, and thus finding out about it ought to be very hard, so it is possible that the team will simply fail to discover it. However, runners being what they are they certainly might, and I definately don't want to make it impossible just because of my plot. Thus, perhaps they only discover half of it. That Aztechnology has been giving this guy a disease, and if he doesn't get his meds, he will sicken and die. They can give the J the heads up and maybe even grab the meds when they go in. This makes them look VERY impressive (as it should) but they still won't know that they are getting sick, and will still need to go in for the antidote. I'll make it very hard to get that info and such before the fact, but if they do it they will definately nab extra karma/reputation.
Big D
Any chance of a tie between this and Ares' old bug spray?

Could be an extra angle to exploit, and paydata/samples might be worth something to Ares (or anybody else) on the market after the run.
Perhaps in actuality it's a Aztech bio-research lab, but Azzies went through a huge effort to hide that fact, and Mr. Johnson does what he can to avoid identifying it as the azzie bio facility. I think it might be possible, even with a month of prep, it might be possible to hide that the location is actually the bio lab. Even something like misleading them to think its an Azzie CYBER lab, is decent enough. I'd be thinking, ok some sorta cyber cranial nukes or something, but not thinking hidden bioweapon.
You know, I would have the daily dose for the virus simply be fed into the compound's airducts. Everyone there is actually infected, but no one even knows it cause they simply breathe in the antidote every day! It'll be hell for the runners to figure this out, cause there won't be any records of the disease or the cure, since it's hidden from employees... but if they go onsite, boom, they breathe in the antidote and start feeling better... for now...

And to cover the angles, the virus needs to be slow enough so that the antidote can be skipped for a day or two. I assume in a facility like this, people don't take vacations. They work their 4 month shift, no weekends or breaks. But you know, should an employee, for a reason or another, not be able to breathe the air, he needs to not die!

As for those that leave the coumpound, after their shift or whatever, well, the permanent antidote is discreetely injected during their "checkout physical exam". You know, cause Aztechnology cares about your health, citizen.
Big D
That frags the Leper and anyone else the Azzies might conceivably want to deploy elsewhere, though.

One more thought... despite not being contagious, this is pretty close to being a WMD with few (current) countermeasures, somewhere between anthrax and ricin.

So, it's entirely possible that other groups will be after the runners (less risk than hitting the Azzies) for a little biopsy... or more likely autopsy.

It's probably very much in their best interest to keep extra samples and data, sell them to anybody buying, and maybe even toss the paydata on a data haven after they milk it to keep anyone from looking for non-Azzie lab rats.
Crusher Bob
Hmm, possible bumps:

The teams uses astral perception on the target and notices the sickness, causing them to freak out/quarrantine him. Consider the following hostage keeping procedure:
The extractee is in a sealed room, a popular matrix based 'radio show' is played constantly to drown out any street/ambient noise. The extractee interacts solely with a drone, not with any actual (meta)humans. so, the extracee will have great difficulty identifying where he was kept (no windows, no ambient noise, etc), cannot identify his kidnappers (he just talked to a drone), and can't overpower someone as use them as a hostage. By accident, this also protects the team from infection/

Alternatively , team team uses astral recon and notices that everyone who works there is sick. Leading them to try the run in MOPP gear.

The team mind-probes/rubber-hoses the boss of the facility, does a really good matrix run, or some other legwork and finds out about the sickness before hand.

The team has access to magical/technological disease treatmentprevention options (finally someone gets a use for their nephritic screen/pathogen defense).

The some/all team does not keep in 'close contact' with the extractee, thus making it much less likely for them to contract the disease.

But don't be afraid to let the team sidestep some complications of your adventure due to good planning/procedures, good legwork, or other creative thinking. Afterall, you want to encourage this in your players, don't you? smile.gif
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Waltermandias)
The Azzies keep watch through DocWagon and local hospitals for people getting sick and home in on him that way.

DocWagon is an Ares subsidary - using them would require quite some hacking.
Nonesense. It's not because a company is a subsiduary of megacorp A that megacorp B can't touch it! The azzies can bribe the right people in DocWagon, plant agents, or whatever, same as anywhere else.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Backgammon)

No buzzwords here, so no reason to play bullshit-bingo. wink.gif

QUOTE (Backgammon)
It's not because a company is a subsiduary of megacorp A that megacorp B can't touch it!

That's why I mentioned hacking. wink.gif
It's still different from simply owning the source of information, thus having free reign.

QUOTE (Backgammon)
The azzies can bribe the right people in DocWagon, plant agents, or whatever, same as anywhere else.

Sure they can, as can every other Megacorp (most of them will do just in case).
Requires a lot more effort, though, and is much more prone to failure:
Keep in mind that the sympotoms look like the flu in early stages, and given there necessity of a need-to-know basis for those agents, it will result most likely in a huge number of false alarms.
I like the run concept very much, and I'm jealous that I didn't think of it first.

There are some things that could throw a spanner in your plan.

My current character for example would on reseving eth call from the J and being questioned about his health respond ďhas fine now, looked like he was getting a cold but we didnít want to deal with that so I patched him upĒ this is of cause true as he has a cure disease spell, a high medicine skill and a contact that can get powerful broad spectrum antivirals (any street dock doing more than implantation) would have a similar effect.

As to finding out about the vires, the J knows about it so its not totally secret, assuming its relatively new I would put hints of a new extraction counter at 4 successes and that it is biological at 5, infectious at 6 on the basic legwork test, if they chase it down they will come up with a way to protect themselves, and the J will have to pay more for his vaccine run because the team isnít infected. No great loss to you as GM,

Waltermandias I've got a great location for you for this. The present day Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center. iT's a multi building compound at 1100 Fairview Avenue North. Red Brick facade green tinted windows, about five stories and sprawls across about two blocks. Across Fairview is a Marina and some Restaurants (part of the Chandler's Cove commercial development). Behind it is the steep west slope of Capital Hill with I-5 perched on a raised freeway about halfway up separating it from the neighborhood. It is only a mile or so from the Aztechnology Pyramid on top of Capital Hill, Reinforcements could reach it by road in about 5 minutes or by helicopter almost instantaneously.
1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle WA, for those interested.
get more contengency plans.

best case, they find out about the disease beforehand, get the antivirus on the FIRST run. or have a seperate way of dealing with the problem with minimum trouble.

worst case, someone with low body critical glitches every last roll against disease. does he die? how fast? you need to know the minimum number of dice your weakest runner has against infection. also, did anyone take weak immune system? how are you working the threshold for the germs?
So you hit this point, where the human weakling (technomancer or mage, probably) is gonna have an ultra-major problem, and the orc/dwarf/troll is gonna just shrug it off with relative ease. does it hit metatypes diferently? what about reacting to bioware defenses?

its not difficult to get a good character who is unable to deal with a disease plotline and live. set up a backup plan for not letting half the team die from infection alone. If you kill characters often enough with plot, you can lose players.
Looks rad via Google Earth.
Unless Aztechnology is just leasing research space, chances are Security is gonna be heavier, at least manpower wise, in comparison to the 55th floor of some building downtown.
QUOTE (bustedkarma @ Apr 13 2006, 08:16 AM)
Looks rad via Google Earth.
Unless Aztechnology is just leasing research space, chances are Security is gonna be heavier, at least manpower wise, in comparison to the 55th floor of some building downtown.

Given Aztechnology's interest in Biotech research it's entirely likely that they would have purchased or partnered with and ultimately absorbed the Hutch. It's a working research cancer treatment center, though by 2070 it copuld have branched out a bit in it's research. The proximity to the Pyramid makes the snap inspection scenario very plausible and a wholly owned multibuilding campus with a few controlled public access points gives you lots more security options then leased space in a downtown tower (which isn't where the Biotech facilities in present day seattle are located anyway, the downtown towers mostly host plain old offices with the Financial, travel, recruiting/placement, and insurance industries using the bul of that space). Also according to the Seattle Sourcebook this is a AA or AAA rated area adding an extra challenge in approach and legwork.

Oh and for those curious about how I came up with this location, my office is accross the lake in the 1400 block of Dexter Avenue North. I see it daily from my desk.
QUOTE (stevebugge @ Apr 13 2006, 01:29 PM)
Oh and for those curious about how I came up with this location, my office is accross the lake in the 1400 block of Dexter Avenue North.  I see it daily from my desk.

Thanks, Steve. Ninjas en route.
QUOTE (Azralon)
QUOTE (stevebugge @ Apr 13 2006, 01:29 PM)
Oh and for those curious about how I came up with this location, my office is accross the lake in the 1400 block of Dexter Avenue North.† I see it daily from my desk.

Thanks, Steve. Ninjas en route.

I have an army of pirates on standby to meet them grinbig.gif
Bravo everyone, this is helping me out quite a bit.

First thing: That map=Awesome. I just printed it off here at work and will be using that. The location and such is perfect. Plus the Google Earth pics, yay teh futures!

Next: The assensing angle. Would a disease show up if it was in remission? If so, would it only show up with a lot of successes (5+)? If that is the case, I'll just go with it, and if they get that many successes, they deserve that kind of info. They avoid another pitfall, and life is good. Of course, this presumes they assense him BEFORE they are exposed. If they wait until after he starts getting sick, they will already be infected.

Point the third: Them locking him in a room and never coming into contact with him. Tricky. If they are aware of the disease and such, through good legwork, assensing, etc. Then it will be okay. They worked their heinies off to get the info, they deserve to catch a break. The Johnson will pay them to get the antidote, but they will get more money and they won't have such a terrible time limit. If this is the case, go team! They'll have impressed the hell out of me. Plus, the Johnson will stress that he wants the target treated well. Obviously he will be kidnapped, but the J wants the target to feel a minimum of ill will towards his new employer. This means no gel rounds to the head, no tasers, and no handcuffing him to a toilet for three days. Hopefully, this means they wont accidentaly isolate him.

Point the fourth: Concerning the disease. I don't think I'm going to have body tests or anything to resist. I'll just make the team start feeling bad, starting with the lowest bodies, up to the high body dwarf last. I'm not planning on leveling penalties at first, I'll just play up how the team is starting to feel like crap. They'll get some dayquil and be functionally okay. Basically, I really like the image of this hardcore Shadowrunner team, sniffling and sneezing their way through a big dangerous combat. Glitches will be incredibly easy to adjudicate: Oh, you sneeze just as you were sneaking up on the guard. You made your Con roll, but the guard doesn't want to get too close due to your runny nose. Etc. I figure I'll only give real penalties if the team dawdles. No one took weakness to disease fortunately, although that would be the most hard earned 10 BP ever.

That's what I have so far. I'd like to say again how much I appreciate everyone weighing in with your opinions. This should really help me from being caught too offguard by my players! Keep it up!

This might work (if your team accepts the job biggrin.gif).

I don't think you can assense a dormant viral infection.

Keep us posted wink.gif.
James McMurray
At least gve a semblance of body tests to resist or you might end up with a mutiny on your hands. Just asking "what's your bodies? and then rolling dice can help with that. But IMX players tend to get peeved when bad things happen to them outside which bypass the rules.
When I first read about the virus I only though about one particularly vindictive character of mine would do. Shoot the extractee in the face untill he dies, fill a few splash grenades with his infected blood, bile, and mucus along with some DMSO for good measure, an set up a meeting with the Johnson. It the PCs have a substantially higher body than Mr. J does then they get to have the pleasure of watching him die first.
Oh, nice, Hyz. Although the runners don't need to be as coldblooded (pun intended) as that; they could just take some samples in a non-lethal manner.

A way to curb that possibility is to have the J as the type who never meets with his subcontractors in person. It was initially mentioned that he suspected the existence of the virus from the get-go, so that would track.
I actually did think of that possibility, and, like Azralon said (great minds and all) this J will most emphatically not be meeting the group in person. Remember, he has an inkling as to the disease. Also I thought it would be really funny when they went to drop the scientist off, and a holo projection of the Johnson appeared. Then he could explain what was going on whilst hazmat suited goons covered the characters. My players are unlikely to start un unneccesary fight, so I think I'm good there. Plus, it adds another level of dickery to the Johnson, so that's always good.

EDIT: Something I forgot about my philosophy of Shadowrun. All Johnson's are dicks. Even the most decent ones most likely view Shadowrunners as very distasteful, albeit necessary, evils. Thus, the behavior of this Johnson, while somewhat more unpleasant than most, is still pretty par for the course.

Oh and about the Body rolls. Good idea. I'll ask to see sheets, make some rolls and then start adding effects. Hell, maybe the people with worse rolls will get "worse" cosmetic effects.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Apr 13 2006, 11:10 PM)
When I first read about the virus I only though about one particularly vindictive character of mine would do.

Keep in mind that revenge is a dish best served cold.

Well, cold kidneys aren't that tasty, but the Johnson might consider becoming a vegetarian.
Well, duh, all the best Johnsons are elves anyway. That's covered too.
Rotbart van Dainig

The best Johnsons are those you don't really know what they are - and don't want to know... including what they like for dinner. wink.gif

BTW, what struck me is that this entire run basically builds on the willingness of the characters to play along - and give out information:
In the shadows, showing weakness isn't exactly an option, so it's possible that they simply lie to the Johnson that everything is fine.

PS: The disease should show up finally at 4 hits on assensing.
Crusher Bob
The windowless room/tent + radio playing, etc are pretty standard hostage/kidnapee holding techniques, you do them every time because they are good procedures. Notice how many probelms can siply be solved this way.
Don't like the trid stars whining?
You're not there to listen to her anyway.
Don't want to pass your cold on the the extractee?
Well, you never met them anyway.
Don't was the extractee to pass their cold on to you?
Don't want the police knocking on your door once the hostage gets loose?
make sure the hostage has no useful information about you, where they were kept, etc.
Don't want the hostage to overpower the kidnapper and escape?
don't give them access to the kidnapper.
QUOTE (Waltermandias)
Here's the set-up for the adventure I am running this Thursday,

So how did it go?
An update! We played the first session of my adventure last week and it went pretty well. We didn't get as far as I would have liked, but I blamed it on Walter's Patented Rambling Gamemaster Style!™ They have been really hitting the legwork and have found out about the target, his habits, and a lot of the security about the building. They dodged the high security rating of the location by having the mage Shapechange into a pigeon so he could keep an eye on the place. Of course this did lead to the mage "tagging" the target's car for ease of tailing, and I'm not sure that I should have encouraged poo related behavior by allowing it to work, but I'm hoping it was a fairly isolated incident.

This Thursday (the 20th) we should be running the actual grabbing of the target and the happy fun that is the disease. So far they have only been focusing on the target's actual security (spirits, guards, cameras, etc.) and not on any countermeasures that the Azzies have put in place (i.e. the disease.) So this adventure should catch them by surprise AND offer a wonderful object lesson in why Shadowrunners should be paranoid bastards.

I can't say enough how much help all of your comments and suggestions have been, so chime in again if you have anything.

I'll post the final results of the run after tomorrow, presuming I don't fall too far into WPRGS™ and have to do a third session!
emo samurai
Does the pigeon spell show up in the astral? I would think that casting really any sort of spell in an Aztechnology facility would be a bad idea.
sounds good just a couple of thoughts.

-- Don't tell them that the johnson has a bit of a bad rep. If they investigate let them have it else it sounds funny coming from the fixer

-- Don't let the doc even suspect that the azzie gave him the virus. ie he never took meds him self how ever his cute assistant did bring him coffee every day.

-- Have the doc tell them he was working on bio weapons if questioned its just fun.

-- Don't have them all get sick or get sick at the same time. Pass a note or take them aside and tell them one at a time they aren't feeling well. when they get worse just describe how they look to the other PCs. It will make them more jumpy.
@ Emo-- The spell would show up on the astral, but the facility is in downtown Seattle, not on some isolated Aztechnology research campus. He's been hanging out on a lamp-post nearby looking for the target to leave the building. I figure that no one is going to take the time to assense every pigeon in the area.

@ Egon-- Their fixer has already let the team know that the J is a little dodgey. He's a very good fixer and checks out the J's before passing jobs along. In cases like this he lets the team know that the J has a history, but pays really well, and lets them know where the meet is. He lets the teams make the final decision for themselves. Happily, they did take the job. Gotta love greed!

I do agree that the scientist should be basically unaware of the disease though.
Update: We are not playing tonight since one of my players needs to go to some "wedding" with his "family" and somehow this is more important than my Shadowrun game. Clearly his priorities are confused. Hopefully we will play over the weekend and I will update y'all after that.
Wow. You shouldn't let his Edge refresh next game. That'll learn 'em.
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