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The following are a collection of short, semi-in-character essays outlining my current view of certain unaddressed or little-addressed aspects of the Shadowrun world. While I try to stay consistent with canon and work in the direction it indicates, ultimately unless you're in my game all of this is arguable. I hope to post a section every few days.

On Johnsons

A number of people from many walks of life will, over the course of a lifetime, find themselves in the position of hiring a Shadowrunner. By custom these are all referred to as Johnsons, in much the same way that a ganger hired to set fire to a building may be called a Shadowrunner, but distinct from the crowd is that small group of individuals who make a profession of acquiring and managing short-term deniable assets. These men and women are responsible for the overwhelming majority of Shadowrun activity in every meaningful metric (total runs, total runners hired, total property damage/theft including intellectual property and personnel, total expenditures), but their roles are frequently forgotten.

The history of the Johnson

Industrial espionage is older than the Awakening, and the use of deniable assets older still. However, the increase in quantity and boldness of espionage, coupled with the beginnings of true corporate warfare following the Shiawase and Seretech decisions, quickly turned the hiring of such assets into a career path—where before a particularly active proto-Johnson might arrange a dozen such operations in his career, it was now not infrequent for that number to be performed monthly. Such individuals, chosen from the ranks of the highly charismatic, highly ambitious, and questionably principled, were assigned to Handlers who would operate within the parent organization, coordinating requests and securing funding for their stable of Johnsons.

This arrangement was not without its issues. The Handlers ended up having access to an extremely wide variety of sensitive and potentially incriminating information, an issue brought to the forefront in the late '20s by the defections of several high-level Handlers. Making it worse was the fact that one of these Handlers (working for Amkor Technology) defected not to another corporation, but to the media and government. The Pueblo Corporate Council's response was to shut down the company and nationalize its assets—those that were not absorbed were eventually sold to Mitsuhama Computer Technologies at fire-sale prices. It is during the media coverage of this defection that the phrase "Shadowrunner" is first recorded in popular use.

Corporate reactions were varied, but almost uniformly involved the elimination of Handlers—frequently in bloody purges. Ironically, the near-total lack of shadow activity during the reorganization led the majority of the population to believe that Amkor was the only serious offender. Nevertheless, Shadowrunners had entered the popular imagination, where they remain even today.

Johnsons largely escaped the violence and were reorganized into their own separate divisions with stricter separation of information, and were expected to essentially act as their own individual Handlers. Coupled with intense scrutiny born of overwhelming fear of further betrayal, the Johnsons became increasingly dissatisfied with their current working arrangements. When the Crash hit, a number of Johnsons took advantage of the opportunity to go freelance. Corporations discovered that these independent Johnsons offered several advantages in the form of additional deniability and easier intra-company shadowactivity.
SL James
Very nice. Although I would posit another route that led to the birth of the Mr. Johnson persona involving the slash & burn tactics of government reduction and privatization beginning in the 1990s and the sudden availability of a number of people who handle clandestine agents for a living who would make more working for Shiawase than trying to retire on a CIA pension.
Ecology of the Johnson

Categories of Johnsons

While a highly diverse group, Johnsons may nevertheless be categorized in a number of ways, each with its own implications. Like any highly dangerous profession, a loose fraternity has developed amongst the Johnsons—all else being equal most Johnsons are more likely to believe or act to assist another Johnson than a non-Johnson. As with everything, this varies by individual. Rumors of a Matrix Johnson community similar to Shadowland cannot be substantiated, nor can the scope of such a community be estimated.

Corporate/Independent: the Corporate Johnson is the most direct descendant of the original Johnson. Directly employed by a corporation, these Johnsons take orders from the corporation's chain of command (those portions of it aware of the Johnson, at least) and are generally expected to not act against the corporation. These Johnsons may or may not identify themselves as representing a corporation, and may or may not be truthful in such identifications—such arrangements are generally careful enough, and lies common enough, that even telling the truth carries little legal consequence. Nevertheless, most Johnsons prefer to leave such information unstated.

Originally, freelancing by a Corporate Johnson was frowned upon—indeed, usually heavily punished. Recently, however, the additional deniability and flexibility of such arrangements has made them more common—the Johnson is largely left with free reign insofar as it does not interfere with their duties to the corporation. They are generally expected to report any runs involving possible damage to the corporation or its subsidiaries or interests—the response to these runs varies widely, from orders to turn down the job to careful betrayal setups to, in the case of particularly paranoid corporations, the elimination of the Johnson and their would-be employer. Corporations who pursue this last route, or any of the various other routes that pursue the elimination of the external threat without regard to the safety or reputation of the Johnson, typically find in-house assets hard to acquire or maintain. Together with a frequently increased price on the open market, such an incautious move is most frequently pursued by smaller, less experienced corporations. The key exception is ORO/Aztechnology, who pursued this strategy extensively in the '30s and now must take exceptional measures to hide their identity from shadow assets.

The independent Johnson, while they may be retained for a period of time by an organization or individual, is typically somewhat more expensive to use than a corporate asset. This additional cost is offset by the additional deniability and security, though a small number of corporate "sleeper Johnsons" reporting the details of runs to their parent organizations but taking no direct action on their behalf provide a meaningful risk to these assets.

Johnson/Handler: though the original Handlers are long dead, the term has made a reappearance in the mid-'40s to refer to a particular kind of Johnson whose job it is to find other Johnsons rather than Shadowrunners (Decker slang refers to these individuals as "Metajohnsons"). Existing in both corporate and independent varieties, these individuals are used to increase and extend deniability and secrecy—frequently arrangements are made to conceal the details of a job from these intermediaries. While "vanilla" or "street" Johnsons may act as Handlers under some circumstances, the term is generally reserved for those who make a career of dealing exclusively with other Johnsons. Arranging procurement of Shadowrunners from a Fixer is generally considered an activity of Johnsons rather than Handlers, even if all details of the run are relayed by the Fixer and the Johnson never meets the Runners face-to-face.

The Wetwork Johnson: while most Johnsons will at some time arrange wetwork, a few Johnsons deal almost exclusively with these runs. This is done for several reasons, including the existence of more Shadowrunners and Shadowrunner teams who will decline wetwork (and conversely, who specialize in it), as well as the perception (based in reality) that wetwork runs carry the greatest risk of setups in the post-completion phase of a run. These Johnsons typically pay better than average and cost their employers significantly more than average, but have dramatically better timeliness and success rates than the use of general-purpose Johnsons for such tasks. The additional cost covers such details as additional protection from the Johnson to prevent revenge-based attacks and additional funding for surveillance and reconnaissance, both to provide run intelligence and to ensure the demise of the target. Due to advances in medical and life-support technology the degree of proof required for a wetwork run has increased dramatically, and is now typically measured in percentage of central nervous system recovered—for the sake of practicality, the head is typically recovered. Response to a "failure to retrieve" varies based on Johnson, importance of the run, and relationship with Shadowrunner—trusted Shadowrunners may receive full payment regardless, while untrusted or new Shadowrunners may be assumed to have turned and are killed. The most frequent response is declined or partial payment followed by surveillance of the Shadowrunners—if they act suspiciously (try to skip town, etc.) or the target surfaces, they are typically killed.

As a group, Wetwork Johnsons have a mortality rate surpassed only by the Traitor Johnson (below). Disagreements about the prevalence of Sleeper Johnsons make estimating their mortality rate impossible.

The Traitor Johnson: these individuals specialize in procuring Shadowrunners for runs that, for whatever reason, they are not intended to return from. Whether it be a distraction, a security test, or an ordinary run of sufficient secrecy that the elimination of the actors is required, these Johnsons are unique in standing entirely outside of Johnson culture—while other Johnsons live by their reputation, these individuals live by their near-total lack of it. Despite whispered tales of Johnsons who have never left a Shadowrunner in their employ alive, the average mortality rate of Shadowrunners in their employ is a mere 78%.

It should be noted that many Johnsons will, over their careers, arrange one or more suicide missions. What makes Traitor Johnsons exceptional is that they overwhelmingly arrange this kind of run, and are willing to arrange it with experienced and well-known Shadowrunners—most Johnsons hiring for a suicide mission will look exclusively for Shadowrunners with little to no reputation and experience. Traitor Johnsons are overwhelmingly Corporate Johnsons—the kind of social network an independent relies on is anathema to the Traitor Johnson. While Shadowrunners seeking revenge certainly cause a number of Traitor Johnson deaths, the leading cause is elimination by their employer—if it becomes known that a corporation employs a Traitor Johnson, the consequences can be dire (ranging from independent retribution to a decreased cost to run against that corporation to dramatically increased cost/difficulty of procuring experienced shadow assets) and can last for years. Nevertheless, the advantages these Johsons offer make them widely employed, if infrequently used.

These individuals can usually command a dramatically higher payscale than other Johnsons.

Power Scale: Johnsons appear at nearly all levels of the Shadowrunner food chain, but they largely eschew the low end—runs with economic significance under ¥200,000 (to the actor) and no personal significance are typically passed off to a Fixer to arrange. While some individuals calling themselves Johnsons will work at that low end, general Johnson consensus is that these individuals are not true Johnsons, and in the Johnson culture they are not accorded the status associated with Johnsonhood.
Johnson Culture

While the solitary nature of Johnson work leads to much less of the community spirit developed amongst Shadowrunners (loose though it may be), it nevertheless exists—as much as any individual Johnson may be their own individual, the reality is that the actions of individual Johnsons affect the reputation of the whole. As a result, Johnsons may sponsor runs out of their own pocket to avenge other Johnsons, or to discourage or eliminate Johnsons who violate the unwritten protocols of the business (though they will attempt to secure funding from other sources if possible). Johnsons are expected to dress well in public spaces, avoid carrying visible weaponry (though having bodyguards with obvious weaponry is not frowned upon), and maintain proper standards of speech and etiquette. Johnsons frequently wear gloves, even during the Summer, though the growing popularity of the shock hand and cybertaser for personal defense have made this less common (in the case of the Shock Hand gloves are sometimes outfitted with areas of conductive mesh, though this removes many of the advantages of such a system over a less-expensive shock glove). It is considered an extreme breach of etiquette to offer to shake hands or to accept such an offer—this is a practical consideration, as doing so leaves both sides vulnerable to a Mindprobe should the other be a mage.

Johnson status is shown in various ways, ranging from bodyguards to meet locations to the manner in which communications are handled. While high-security initial meets and payment meets typically occur in isolated areas, it is customary to meet a team at a public gathering-place—most frequently a bar, club, or restaurant of some sort. The class and expense of said restaurant reflects the status of the Johnson, as does the weapons policy—though it is considered bad form to use one of the few zero-weapons-allowed restaurants. A hierarchy of well-known meet locations occupies the upper echelons of the prestige tree; the exact order is subject to some debate, but the list itself is not. These include the Eye of the Needle at the very top, followed by such favourites as Dante's Inferno, Club Penumbra, and an ever-shifting list beneath the big names. Though such terms have become less common, in the late '40s it was common to refer to Johnsons and Runners who met at the Eye of the Needle as "Primes", at the Inferno as "Seconds", at Club Penumbra as "Thirds" or "Terts", and those who did not frequent any of these establishments as "Fourths", "Quats", or "Larva". This last term has seen a resurgence since news of the true reason for the Chicago Containment Zone broke to the shadowcommunity at large, though it has largely lost its association with the specific venues above.

When a meet occurs in a location that serves food or drinks, it is customary for the Johnson to pay for whatever refreshment or nourishment the Shadowrunners may desire (though, obviously, taking undue advantage of this is frowned upon). In the past it was a rule that business was never to be discussed until after all food had been eaten or, in the case of a drinks-only meet, until all parties were in possession of a beverage of their choice. Over time, however, these rules have been relaxed and, in some cases, largely abandoned—it is now customary to begin discussion over dinner, after ordering, or even (in some cases) as soon as the Runners arrive. Waiting until after food or drinks arrive is common, as it minimizes necessary halts in the conversation. In general, the longer a Johnson has been in the business or the higher up the food chain he or she is, the more likely he or she is to observe full formalities.

Nearly every Johnson of note maintains backup. This ranges from a carful of muscle on standby with a radio progressing up through unobtrusive (to varying degrees) muscle within the meet location itself and on up into elaborate setups with multiple Rigger-equipped offsite teams, subversion of the meet location's security systems, and the stocking of the restaurant with bodyguards acting as other patrons, staff, bartenders, etc. etc. etc. Some smaller locations are maintained by an organization for exactly this reason, particularly those involved with organized crime. Unless the Runners are known for being loose cannons, any obvious backup is a loss of face for the Johnson. Many Johnsons, however, also have one or more escorts. These escorts are obviously with the Johnson and range from pure bodyguards to personal assistants to Computers (a term which has been restored to its original meaning—these are flesh-and-blood humans equipped with an array of cyber- and bioware to allow them to perform an array of tasks that might otherwise be done with a cyberterminal, but with unobtrusive direct human control. Headware memory, math SPUs, encephalons, and datajacks in unusual locations to provide covert access to external devices are all common features of Computers.), frequently in constant encrypted short-range radio communication via transducers. No matter the range of capability, some level of bodyguarding function is almost always present—whether it be personal combat capabilities or threat-recognition ability. It is considered gauche to have more than three escorts, and even that number is high—one is the most common number, frequently an attractive individual of the sex opposite the Johnson or compatible with the expected opposing negotiator's interest. At the higher levels of the Johnson food chain, having an overtly dangerous-looking escort is frowned upon.

The rules change for payment meets. It is at this time that betrayal is most likely (as in theory the run should be completed and the payment should be present at the meet), and as a result while bringing out the big guns may not increase one's reputation, it is generally considered to not harm it. Of course, causing a shootout by making a team of Shadowrunners feel overly threatened is highly frowned upon.
On the Job

Shadowrunning involves a wide variety of illegal activities, as well as many points at which it might be advantageous (in the immediate term, at minimum) to kill off the other party. For the protection of all, some rules of etiquette have developed over the years.

Before the Meet

Generally, meets take one of two general forms—specific appointments (where the Runners and Johnson are to meet at a given location at a given time) and general appointments (where the Johnson reports that he or she will be at a given location during a given timeframe and instructs the Shadowrunners to meet him during that time). The first is most common, as it minimizes exposure and Johnson idle time, but a Johnson meeting with many individuals in a short timespan may choose the latter approach. One who does so will usually have some arrangement to shuffle Shadowrunners and clients around without significant risk of one group seeing another—back rooms with secondary exits are particularly common. The Johnson will usually choose a meet location that they are familiar with and that has been pre-cleared, while Shadowrunners will frequently inspect a meet location prior to the actual meet if they are not familiar with it. This is expected. Being early to a specific appointment meets neither approval nor disapproval, though specific Johnsons may view it as a sign of professionalism (or of inability to find other work, in the case of extreme earliness). Johnsons will typically begin infiltrating their backup about half an hour prior to the arranged meet, though this varies based on individual Johnson and the reasonable amount of time that an ordinary person might be able to spend in the meet location without arousing suspicion—backup spending an hour and a half eating dinner and talking at the Space Needle would not be remarked on, while spending more than half an hour in a McHughes without a pack of children in tow would immediately mark one as unusual.

Arriving later than fifteen minutes late is always considered poor form, though depending on the relationship of the Runners and Johnson and any extenuating circumstances (such as widely-reported traffic backups) the degree of offense will vary widely. Shorter-term lateness meets with a variety of response as wide as the variety of Johnson personalities, and is highly situational—a new team walking in five minutes late may find their offered pay cut dramatically, while Prime Runners arriving fifteen minutes late for a non-Prime Johnson may discover that the Johnson has decided to place his opening offer closer to what he will actually pay out of fear that the Runners may decide him not worth their time.

The most frequent behaviour is for Johnsons to arrive fifteen minutes before schedule time and for Shadowrunners to arrive within one minute of the scheduled time. This practice was started in the early days of Shadowrunning to remind employers of their cybernetically-augmented status, but is now largely followed out of familiarity.

The Meet

Unfortunately, two prevailing philosophies of negotiation are still active amongst Johnsons and Shadowrunners—the historic haggling method, where neither the Johnson's nor the Shadowrunners' first bid is expected to be close to what the other party will accept, and the more modern method where a Johnson's first offer is expected to be a value that they expect will be accepted (if a low value on that spectrum) and counteroffers far outside of the range they are prepared to offer are more likely to be flatly rejected than responded to with a counter-counteroffer. When both parties follow the same philosophy, negotiations typically go smoothly—friction may be introduced when differing philosophies come to the negotiating table. In general, more experienced Johnsons typically follow the haggling method (allowing them to better conceal the true worth of the run to them, as well as providing Shadowrunners more chances to leave money on the table) while newer blood eschews this for the direct approach.

In the Johnson community, paying significantly less than a run is worth is only considered a slight to the 'runners if the haggling method was not used. Much to their dismay, such a view is rarely shared by the Shadowrunners.

The use of bonuses for certain subobjectives is a matter of personal preference and run requirements. Some Johnsons may offer additional bonuses for non-critical activities, others may roll them into the primary objective (increasing chance of mission abandonment if a subobjective should fail), and still others will take advantage of the nature of humans as more risk-averse than reward-seeking and roll the bonuses in, but provide enumerated penalties for certain noncritical failures.


Failure of a run carries a range of possible consequences. In case of failure, it is generally expected that a team will refund any and all up-front payment, including gear (or calculated value in case of expenditure/destruction). Alternately, a damage-control run may be offered at significantly less than normal pay. In some cases, particularly involving high-value targets, a failure penalty is specified during the original negotiations—this ranges from future discount employment (rarely seen, as Shadowrunners typically refuse it due to the risk of being set up for a failure in order to lock in cheap employment) to monetary penalties to other, stranger penalties. Monetary penalties are by far the most common. In some cases, particularly those in which it is believed that treachery or incompetence caused the failure, the runners will be eliminated. Some Johnsons will arrange for elimination out of vengeance, though this is comparatively rare unless great personal insult is involved. If some meaningful portion of the objective was completed, Johnsons may waive the refund or even provide partial payment—in the case where the true objective was completed, they may even offer full payment. This is rare as it is both unnecessary and provides indications of the hidden objective of the run (and that there was a hidden objective). It is typically not considered unless the Johnson has an unusually strong desire to maintain good relations with the team for whatever reason.
The ubbergeek
Good stuff, man. Well thought. I like it. cool.gif
It's giving me run ideas, actually.

Hell, it's giving me CAMPAIGN ideas. Wonder what running a bunch of guys playing small-corp Johnson-division would be like. You've got the actual Johnson or two, some of his backup people, the ones who do legwork... get a team together that, because the corp is so small, can cross-operate and occasionally do some "runs" of their own when the op is too big (or too small) to be done out-of-house...
SL James
Yeah, they're almost shadowrunners!

One of the great mysteries of our modern Awakened era, nature spirits and elementals (hereafter referred to collectively as "spirits") have been the focus of a considerable amount of research over the years. While the question of whether or not spirits have an independent existence before being summoned (and after being dismissed) is still a matter of great debate, it is widely acknowledged that spirits display an apparent personality that may change significantly from one spirit to the next. This personality appears to change based on summoner and on summoning location. Elemental personalities tend towards variations on a theme of "stoic", leading casual observers to mistake them for simple automata, while nature spirits are frequently described as willful and flighty. Elementals in service for a sustained period of time may form an attachment with their summoner if well-treated, even going so far as to protect him or her if incapacitation leads the elemental's freedom. It should be noted that even this bond will generally not hold the elemental in this world for longer than necessary to ensure its immediate goals, and (depending on the theory subscribed to) departure or dissolution occurs in short order. A relationship with this degree of positive feeling is uncommon, however—the most common response from a freed elemental is aggression against its summoner, with even the well-treated elementals choosing immediate departure. Nature spirits, on the other hand, do not remain in service long enough to form a bond (and, perhaps knowing their short length of service, will generally depart upon gaining freedom rather than attempting to exact revenge—some types of nature spirits are known for their vengefulness, however.)—some Shamans report that the spirit they call in certain locations is the same one they called previously, but such claims are unproven and uncommon.

Spirits exhibit a number of powers and capabilities, many of which have been categorized and enumerated by magical researchers. In the case of elementals, these lists appear to be highly reliable--it is very uncommon for an elemental to be outside the normal range for its class or power categorization on the Hughes-Schwartzkopf Force Scale. Nature spirits, while typically representative of their class, will occasionally have powers not usually expressed by their class (and, conversely, may lack powers typically expressed)—the incident at the University of Washington, where a careless graduate student appears to have been engulfed by a rogue City Spirit taking the form of a pile of garbage, highlights the possible dangers of this variability. Though the student was rescued, he required extensive treatment for the infections that had taken root in his wounds from the ordeal. Likewise, an experiment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Thaumaturgy had to be delayed after the Spirit of the Mist summoned for the purpose demonstrated an inability to materialize. It should be noted that this is one of only three confirmed incidents on record where a power this basic has been absent from a summoned nature spirit—more frequently, traits like the physical strength or apparent intelligence of the spirit are sub-typical or powers such as local polyscience or kinetic alteration are absent.

Nature spirits have been known to appear apparently spontaneously in a domain. They exhibit a wide variety of behaviours and may be helpful or hostile to beings within their domain. All such specimens observed to date have vanished at sunrise or sunset. Due to their greater mobility, it is difficult to determine if elementals exhibit the same spontaneous appearance.
On Sellouts

The true Shadowrunner fights two enemies.
  • Whoever the highest bidder doesn't like
  • The Man

Those who forget this and become tame corporate hounds are the scum of the earth. Never forget this.
I'm working on an essay on the philosophical underpinnings of Shadowrun, but I want to make sure I've got all of my ducks in a row. What books have information on the Neo-Anarchist philosophy?

The one book that got right into it was NAG to North America which had a few pages of essays/manifesto, IIRC.
Awakened Childhood

A small percentage of Awakened individuals express between the ages of 6 and 12 years of age. These individuals face certain special, if rare, hazards that caregivers must be aware of.

Spontaneous spellcasting/conjuring:

Though magical abilities are overwhelmingly learned and trained skills, children who expressed before puberty have occasionally shown the ability to cast a limited number of spells or summon a limited variety of spirits. The most varied display of innate spontaneous ability is Philip G., who demonstrated weak versions of Gecko Crawl, Powerbolt, and Oxygenate, as well as the ability to summon weak River Spirits. Spontaneous Summoning is extremely rare, and of limited risk—the most common spontaneous summoning is of Watcher spirits, and no cases of serious injury or property damage by weak Nature spirits have been reported. Three separate cases have been reported of a child conducting a complicated ritual that summoned a spirit apparently similar to an Elemental, but such spirits fail to display even the power of Materialization.

Spontaneous Spellcasting is a much greater risk, as demonstrated to the world in the cases of Alice R., who killed three other children and injured five in a spontaneous Powerball, or the case of Steven O., who caused a serious fire at an elementary school with several spontaneous Firebolts. Spontaneously-expressed spells are, almost without exception, very weak—nevertheless, the vulnerability of young children allows even weak spells to cause serious harm. In nearly all cases, spontaneous spellcasting appears to be a response to environmental or emotional stress. Repeated castings are usually not an issue, as spontaneous spellcasting appears to cause greater draining effects than usual—whether this is the result of an untrained caster or whether spontaneous spellcasting is fundamentally more taxing is uncertain.

In a very small number of cases, spontaneous spellcasting has occurred during REM sleep. This has never been recorded in an individual who expressed after age 12, or in any individual above the age of 16.

Spontaneous astral perception:

Awakened children will occasionally spontaneously astrally perceive, again typically in response to environmental or emotional stressors. While far less dangerous than spontaneous spellcasting, a child suddenly observing Astral Space for the first time may panic and react violently or unpredictably. It is critical to remain calm when dealing with a suspected spontaneous astral perception, as some children find the pattern of an alarmed Aura terrifying when unfamiliar.

Spontaneous astral perception occurs rarely during REM sleep, but is typically far less hazardous in such a condition. A child woken suddenly during spontaneous astral perception may react unpredictably, as astral perception does not always cease when REM sleep transitions directly into wakefulness. It too has never been recorded in children who expressed after age 12, or in any individual over the age of 16.

Spontaneous astral projection:

Theorized, but not clearly proven to exist. Suspected in several otherwise-unexplained deaths of young Awakened during sleep.
On the Practicalities of Magical Crime

Magical Forensics
Lone Star resources do not patrol Astral Space (see Lone Star sourcebook), but they maintain response capabilities for Astral response; between this and the relatively long lifespan of Magical Signatures, coupled with the uniquely identifiable and difficult-to-change nature of such a signature, the Awakened Criminal faces many challenges. Not even DNA evidence is so difficult to dissociate oneself from.

The news is not all bad, however; because magical signatures cannot be reproduced or shared by the observing Mage, its presence at a trial is far from insurmountable. Even more convenient, this makes such evidence exceptionally destructible; members of the Lone Star D.P.I. are periodically assassinated in essentially every jurisdiction, despite numerous efforts to stem the loss. A lucrative, if risky (due to exposure during client-finding), business exists in periodically drumming up a collection of sponsors who will all pay to have the same DPI officer killed.

Apart from general forms of assassination, particular techniques used by specialists include the commission of magical crime around a Lone Star patrol in such a manner as to draw Projecting response through an inward-facing polarized ward typically containing a killing zone of elementals or astral combat experts.

Fortunately, the DPI's high-handed wielding of its authority over all Lone Star magical assets cuts down on the number of mages dispatched to non-magical crime sites or included with HTR teams (since the appropriate subdivision is billed for the use of the mage, and surcharged for exceptional circumstances or injury). If magic is concealed long enough for the first response to be dispatched, this response may simply not have magical support.

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