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I recently had the idea of providing my players with a weekly (well, every game week) rundown of popular news stories, as a way of increasing game world immersion, but also as a way of 'hinting' at directions they could start pursuing for runs. So for example, if they hear in the news that a celebrity is coming to town, they could visit their fixer(s) and inquire about any runs related to the situation.

With that in mind, I made a list of 10 news stories, based loosely on stories that piqued my interest from Google news, then a brief idea of a run that could go with them.

1. Horizon's stock has plummeted in the past two days due to investor skittishness about unexpected losses in the past quarter.

Suggested run: To salvage their PR image, a Johnson from Horizon's marketing dept. hires runners to create a more interesting news story, preferably one that would adversely affect the stock price of their closest competitor in the short run. Delivering a new virus/worm that targets, say, Mitsuhama products specifically might do the trick.

2. Mitsuhama introduced a trendy new commlink this week. It requires DNI to use. It takes the form of a stylish body piercing, allowing customers to have their commlink always on-hand, without having to opt for surgery to get an implanted version...thus making it much easier to upgrade.

Suggested run: Demand for the new product is surging, and anyone who can get their hands on a shipment of them could make a killing. Perhaps a retailer, or even the players, if they're larcenous in nature, could boost a truck of them for resale?

3. Portland defeats Seattle in a controversial Urban Brawl match.

Suggested run: Can you say "riot"? Travel around the city becomes difficult due to diverted traffic, police cordons, and rioters just going nuts and smashing things. This could be a background issue the players have to deal with during another run, or a company like LoneStar could start offering cash for volunteers to swell their ranks temporarily to deal with the problem. Likewise, a rival, like Knight Errant, could hire the runners to sabotage LoneStar's attempts to quell the riots.

4. Sim Star Heath Hurley is announced to be the star of a new, high-profile project. [insert film here] is a project that has been on the tip of everyone's tongue for the past month, but the cast has been hush-hush.

Suggested run: Rival studio wishes some form of non-permanent (hey, they might want to hire him someday) damage to be done to Mr. Hurley, in the hopes of sinking the production. Runners could be saboteurs, or hired to intercept them.

5. Reports of new HMVV outbreak in Vancouver. Everybody panic.

Suggested run: Ghoul hunting is the most obvious, but lacks panache. With Vancouver under quarantine, there are ripe opportunities for smuggling goods into the city, or desperate refugees out.

6. Japan's Reserve Bank increases interest rates by 1/4%.

Suggested run: Search me. I just thought this sounded like a good item to have on a news list.

7. Seattle Metro Transit workers preparing to strike in two weeks.

Suggested run: Union breaking, of course. Or being hired by the union to deal with scabs.

8. First-generation commlinks to be charged extra fee for matrix connectivity.

Suggested run: Demand for new commlinks shoots skyward, making theft of consumer electronics a rather viable business venture. Also, there's a slight chance of poorer people rioting in protest (chipheads of Seattle unite!)

9. Renraku's new OS more popular than expected; marketshare rises sharply.

Suggesteed run: Runners are hired to steal sourcecode related to this new OS for corporate espionage purposes.

10. Evo announces new progress in metahuman longevity research.

Suggested run: Evo's labs basically have a giant bullseye painted on them now. And what does that do for the players? Well, if it were me, I'd have them hired by Evo to help fend off the moutain of other Shadowrunners looking to ransack Evo's labs for paydata. Kind of a nice reversal on the usual Shadowrun...I'm picturing an experienced Runner group shaking their heads in disbelief as every old trick in the book they wrote gets tossed at them at once.
These are all cool ideas....if I was a player, I would probably enjoy the whole "trideo newsflash" thing.

Nice work.
Very awesome
Very cool. I like the hooks between the stories and the runs.

Might be worth putting in a Sports section or maybe a sports scores section along with the weather.

Another idea is to have a weekly lottery with the numbers listed in the screamsheet, and the runners able to buy lotto tickets each week. If they win will they finish the run?

Thanks for the kind words. Anyone who wants to contribute their own news bits, adapted from Google or otherwise, is welcome to. Likewise, run ideas for the raising interest rates in Japan would be more than welcome. smile.gif
Tiger Eyes
Heh, rising interest rates in Japan... runner's credit line's interest rates go up. If your runners are living on the edge, or decided to blow all their nuyen.gif on [new toys, expensive shoes, horse races], make 'em sweat since their cost of living just went up. Ok, ok, so 1/4 point is measly. Their creditors could still jump on the rate increase and pump up their interest charges by 10% over prime. "Japanese banks increase interest rates 1/4 point; local Mafia responds by increasing interest rates 5 points." wink.gif

Maybe the mafia's accountants need some help encouraging their 'customers' to pay for the new interest charges? (If one of your runners owes the Mafia, this may be a good nudge to convince them to find a way to permanently pay off their debt) Maybe a 'customer' would like help "paying" off a loan now that interest is jumping up? Maybe someone would like help to facilitate having their debts erased... faking his/her death and establishing a new identity, rather than going through bankruptcy (which, considering all things, that out was probably abolished by the corporations long ago). nyahnyah.gif
IRL, a county in China recently had 50,000 dogs beaten to death in the streets, because three whole people got rabies from dog bites. I mean, people were walking their dog, and another dude would just run up with a club and beat the dog to death, then run off. 50,000 times.

If that can't be turned into a job, I dunno what can. Even if it's just a matter of the Adept getting handed a baseball bat, and the Decker a stopwatch -- there's a way to turn that into a Shadowrun.
From what I understand, these weren't random people clubbing other people's dogs, this was a government order that every dog be killed, including those with proof of rabies vaccination. They set up blockades to make sure none escaped, and it took them five days to kill them all. Owners were paid ~$0.60 compensation per dog.
PETA, in a effort to stop the needless slaughter steps in with a trio of oddly colored hellhounds.

Today aquariums across Europe offered rewards for an amazingly rare two toned Abrams lobster. The lobster, said to be "one in one hundred million", has been spotted several times by local fishermen but was disregarded as a probable hoax until an image of it was accidently captured by a remote drone collecting sea bottom erosion data along the coast of Wales in the Cardigan Bay. The largest rewards so far have been posted by the recently expanded L’Aquarium de Barcelona in Spain, the largest aquarium in Europe, as well as L'Acquario di Genova in Italy, the second largest aquarium in Europe. There is much controversy over which aquarium should recieve the lobster if it is captured due largely to the fact that L'Acquario di Genova already possesses a blue Abrams lobster nearly as rare as the two toned one. Many smaller aquariums and animal rights groups are protesting these bounties claiming that they place the animal, as well as hapless money seekers, in extreme danger. Many aquariums have responded to these protests stating that the reward is only being offered for the animal intact and unharmed, some going as far as to threaten legal action against individuals who might inadvertantly harm the animal.

My inspiration.

Maybe a private collector even offers the party a reward for intercepting the lobster en route or stealing it from an aquarium.
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