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Im a new Gm to sr 4 and im looking at gming it very soon, I have a basic taster plot ready just wanted to swing it past you guys for some ideas J

The PC’s are a renraku Controlled Cleanup and recon team, they have just finished a job and are on the way back for a debrief, when a top secret order message appears on the sarges commlink.

“a Renraku Convoy has ceased communications with HQ and they are being sent to investigate”

Retrieve package VX-2341

Terminate any witnesses (renraku personnel also).

Ascertain what happened.

Now, they get there the package is empty, and then they are hit with the same fate as the convoy, renraku Security appear from nowhere, WTF! Mayhem insues!

The PC’s will not win this fight…

Basically this is renraku tying up loose ends, What they forgot is they gave these PCS doc wagon contracts (plat). As the fight is about to end im thinking of having a doc wagon “Abulance” fly in ….. and pick them all up.

Then we have flashes of them in hospital being reconstructed

Stuff like … “WE NEED A CRASH CART HERE!!!” or a doctor with a cyber arm comes up to one of the pcs and “hmmm, shave a bit more of the side here so it fits just right”.

Whadda ya think?

Ideas? Comments?
Thanks biggrin.gif
Don't underestimate the ingenuity of PCs. Or, for that matter, sheer dumb luck on their parts. Give them a fair chance at killing of the CorpSec.
oh yes i had every intention of giving them a chance smile.gif

all i need them to see really was that it is renraku attacking them. smile.gif

Thorn Black
Why? What are Renraku up to?

I would also be surprised if a big corp would make the first mistake of sending in a perfectly useful recon team, to wipe them out. Would it not be better to just keep them at home so they don't find out about this package. And would Renraku forget about the medical cover that their employees have?

As a first run to prove to your players that Corps frag runners over, it is a good start.
Renraku have seen the team as a liability, they have been asking the wrong questions, when infact tehy should be following orders blindly

Also the DECKER PC has about 2 hours worth of footage of unclean parts of the "Arcology", which he thourght would be neat to keep "just in case"

any ideas to make it more interesting ?? biggrin.gif
I've learned from experience that PC's can get very frustrated with "forced failure". Players fight desperately to keep their characters alive and will often feel that they have "lost" if they are killed. Proceed with this kind of plot hook very carefully.

Unless you want this to be some sort of "prologue" to their adventures. Maybe your groups Street Sam got most of his cyber because he got chewed up in this fight.
yeah prologue thats the word smile.gif

couldnt think of it when typing up the first bit smile.gif

Is there anything cool i can throw at them that renraku might have up theyre sleeves (from a cannon point of view?)

You could make the attackers Red Samurai, which they probably would be anyway. Emphasize that the attackers have deep red, old Samurai-looking armour.

Red Sams operate in squads of 4, which always contains 1 Magician. The other 3 can all be cybered "gun guys", often the team will contain 1 Adept.

IMO, the stats given for Red Samurai in the SR4 BBB are way too low, especially since the listed price for Cyberware in SR4 is so much lower. I think the average Red Sam "gunner" should be as good as any starting character Street Sam (optimized for combat).
If anything, I'd offer this advice:

Anytime you're writing or planning, and you reach a point where your first idea is that the PCs will fail, you should always plan for them winning.

This isn't to say that they will, and I'm not condemning scenes in which the PCs' chances are...slim..., it's just that you don't want to get caught with your pants down when the characters pull off an upset.

You may not end up needing your backup plan, but it's better to have and not use it, than need it and not have it.

As far as the plot goes, one thing jumps out at me. Why is Renraku so ready to let the PCs kill some of their own employees, just to rush in and try to kill the PCs? Even if they're just "corp employees", they still take time to train them, pay them salaries, etc. If one of them gets injured but doesn't die, there will be medical bills and insurance claims, etc.

If I were a player in that situation, I would be wondering why they didn't just send an inquisition/hit team after us.
James McMurray
Also, most players hate situations where they've been forced into a setting just to force them into another one. Railroading sucks.
This is what I would suggest:

-The team's superior officer wants them eliminated. Perhaps they have learned something unsavory or perhaps they have been asking too many questions...

-He then frames them for some crime. When the PCs are out on their mission, he informs Renraku that they have "gone rogue".

-Have the ambush like you planned.

-Give one of the players a high level Doc Wagon buddy and a Doc Wagon contract which he had purchased as personal insurance.

-Win or lose, the players will be hurt and you can have them call in Doc Wagon after the fight.

QUOTE (James McMurray)
Also, I've found that most some players hate situations where they've been forced into a setting just to force them into another one. I think R railroading sucks.

Fixed in the hope that it will stave off the pointless "railroading: good, bad, neutral" debate. wink.gif
It also helps to let the PCs discover the shady undertakings of the CO on their own. Throwing them into a mission saying:

"You think your commanding officer is up to no good. On an entirely unrelated note, your CO has called a secret team building meeting in an abandoned warehouse on the dock and told you to come unarmed for a 'team building exercise'."

Will be a dead giveaway that something is up. I would recommed one standard run (actually doing recon or cleanup) where the PCs have a good chance of finding out what's going on with their officer. After that he has a good reason to try and paste them and they don't feel like they've been dumped into the story out of the blue.

Also, DocWagon's unexpected arrival could be explained if the PCs bought DocWagon contracts on their own without using thier Renraku SINs, scrip or accounts. Not likely, but a possible explanation.
James McMurray
That's why I said most. smile.gif
Point taken James, just throwing my hat into the ring. smile.gif

That said, I'd argue that the issue at hand isn't so much railroading as it is logical plot development. The GM could still have a perfectly scripted sequence for the players to run through or a wide open world for them to explore before they complete the mission. I think the benefit of giving the players an opportunity to discover bits of the plot isn't in giving them more freedom but in making the world around them more consistent. I've been known to be wrong in the past though.
James McMurray
A linear plot can be a good thing, so long as it allows for multiple paths from point A to point B.

But back to the topic at hand: it sounds like a good start for a run to me. Kindof a change from the stereotypical "Johnson screws you in the end" to "Johnson screws you in the start." smile.gif
So far so good

so don't railroad them, and try and get them to find out stuff for themselves.

ok what i have i so far is this

-- Theyre called in for a job
-- The "sarge" knows that the decker(PC) has certain information about inside the arcology.
-- The "ambush" sequence
-- Rescue

Start of the Shadowrunning biggrin.gif

but i need to think of a back up plan
James McMurray
You might want to think of 50 backup plans if your players are as "creative" as mine can be sometimes. smile.gif
Back up plan, schmack up plan.

I had a run devised, knew all the details of how it was going to go and how to keep them on track. Worked in bits of their backgrounds/flaws to keep it challenging, made a new 'big bad" to use as a recurring villain...

They went to the meet, and said "thanks,but no" devil.gif

I didn't talk to them for a week
James McMurray
I agree that they should pull a few jobs for the corp first. Develop some of the personalities. Maybe get them a bit friednly with someone on the other team that will eventaully be sent to kill them, or have them like one of their higher-ups. That way the betrayal is that much more pignant. This also gives them more time to dig their own grave so to speak.

You said that the decker had some files and pictures. Did the character decide this, or you the GM? Are the other characters aware of this fact? Temp them with a few more chances to get some dirty laundry on their corp. The whole 'fatal temptation'. Let them be the ones to blame for their down fall instead of you. But make sure that they don't see it coming, or see it as justified (although really, who would see a hit squad against them as justified?).

At least this way they won't be blaming GM fiat for their fortunes.
Note: SR4 we call them hackers again, not deckers. wink.gif

From GMing experience, games that lead - particularly new players - down a hopeless road in which they will probably die.... typically end up discouraging them, and they may never play Shadowrun again.

Now dropping a plot hook or two that this mission might be a suicide run, could be an opportunity for your team to get wind that there may be an ambush and come in guns blasting... making for an really intense firefight, and maybe even the possibility of barely squeeking out alive.

Like it was said before, if they're a crack team with Platinum Doc Waggon insurance, Renraku won't just 'forget' they have it... they'll probalby cancel the plans and any backup resources your PC have made would have to do.
Divine Virus
I tend to find players very suprising. In fact, when I GM now adays all I do for a plot is have a point A, and a flexable point B, and let the players figure out how to get their themselves, improvising everything in between.
QUOTE (Divine Virus)
I tend to find players very suprising. In fact, when I GM now adays all I do for a plot is have a point A, and a flexable point B, and let the players figure out how to get their themselves, improvising everything in between.

Structured games have some advantages.

1.) It is often easy to see where the PCs are at most points of time within your game.
2.) You've a good idea how most NPCs will react based on PC actions to the situations.
3.) There is a definite goal in sight. Including rewards and punishments.

That said, free-flow games also have their own advantages.

1.) PCs tend to go way off the charted adventure. (Once I ran a game set in Seattle, the PCs started following a clue that was supposed to be a dead end in the Denver matrix. For some strange reason they thought that the dead end was part of the plot. They smuggled themselves into Denver and started doing physical insertions to find the "trail". Needless to say, I had to wing it about two hours into the session.)
2.) A flexible termination point is sometimes a lot easier to achieve than a fixed and definite one.
3.) If for some strange reason, the PCs torque off Mr. Johnson (or vice versa), then often you have to either railroad them back to the adventure or just wing a new one.

Personally, I just go with a few fixed points (and probable results) and have a huge stack of index cards with scribbled ideas and notes available ... just in case.
The idea is good, but I would make plans to allow the fight to go either way depending on situation.

possibilities for both directions.
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