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MadDogMaddux
I recently posted the possibility of giving my characters an assassination assignment because it fit the party (2 gunslinger types) and received a lot of negative responses.

Today I picked up the SR4 GM Screen and in the contacts and runs section it lists an example of an assassination job - so now I'm intrigued and slightly confused.


If Assassinations are viewed so poorly, why provide resources for them?

And where does it SAY in SR4 that such jobs are looked on as being in poor taste? Why NOT give an assassination contract?
Fortune
I personally also don't buy into the seemingly overwhelming prejudice against wetwork. Seems to be a perfectly viable type of job that normal shadowrunners would take. Now, there are always exceptions that are unwilling for whatever reason to kill, but that is more of a case-by-case, in-character thing.

I chalk it up to the ingrained set of morals that most of us possess on an unconscious level. It can be somewhat difficult to divorce ourselves from it, even when playing a fantasy-type game. This same kind of thinking is what makes PC rape incidents a rare thing, and what gives people pause when discussing topics like organlegging.
mfb
it depends on the character. personally, i don't see many characters having strong compunctions against wetwork jobs, though those who specialize in them probably get a certain reputation--not a bad reputation, per se, but a reputation as someone you kinda want to avoid. after all, there are lots of jobs available; the fact that someone would specialize in killing people when there's other work to be had says something about them.

was it the players who had a problem with the job, or was it their characters?
ElFenrir
Yeah, I mean, i know some characters who would frown on it. Depends on the personal views, of course. Some of mine have had a problem, some haven't, some never did it but don't know where they would stand.

Now,if you players are playing in character...you have a blessedly rare group there. grinbig.gif Most groups ive seen froth at the mouth for their characters chance to shoot someone in the head.
Blade
QUOTE ("SR4 p21")
Wetwork is assassination, pure and simple. Many runners refuse to take these jobs and view dirtying their hands for money in this way as vile.


It doesn't say that no runner will ever do any wetwork, just that many of them prefer not to. But let's face it : shadowrunners are criminals, mercenary, they kill and blow up things for a living... So I think that some runner won't have any problem with this provided the pay is right (if there are fewer people willing to do it, it will raise the price).

I think it's just that some people like to see shadowrunners as heroes or good people against the evil corps... I prefer to consider them as criminals who do what they can to survive in a desperate and violent world.
Fortune
I think he's more referring to a perceived preponderance of posts on Dumpshock (and possibly elsewhere) condemning players who's characters take wetwork assignments. Not quite as loud a voice as those who preach that only stun damage should be done to security guards, but almost.
ElFenrir
Yeah, it does seem that people get looked down on for taking the jobs....that i dont do. if characters do it, characters do it. People dont seem to always look down on the killing of some black ops goons in a firefight usually, but they do tend to take the view on wetwork...
Faelan
I have never had a problem with handing my players the opportunity to do some wetwork. The way I see it the world of Shadowrun is about survival in a world where all the laws are designed to insure you are a cog in the machine or you will be doing illegal shit by dint of breathing. So ultimately it is about making money, because that is what increases your survivability. If you are down the foodchain, sometimes you have to take what falls off the table, and often it is something disagreeable. Wetwork is simply the final answer in failed negotiations. People don't generally get whacked for shits and giggles. They did something to bring down the hammer.

Anyway they are just one more type of dirty little job for Shadowrunners to perform, not a morality play. If you are running the shadows chances are you left those behind you a long time ago.
Triggerz
Not every runner sees himself as some kind of awakened/cybered Robin Hood. If your runners' contacts don't have any reason to believe that the characters would look down on wetwork, I see no reason not to offer them such jobs if they pop up (i.e. if you feel like it). My group has done a lot of wetwork and they haven't had any moral objections to it. My own character was a Yakuza hitman before his relationship to the Yak changed and he became a shadowrunner in the usual sense of the term (taking jobs from a variety of employers and working with other runners most of the time). Now that he has more resources and connections, it is easier for him to be more picky about the kind of jobs he will take and he has moved away from wetwork that doesn't suit his own moral/political agenda.

What I am trying to say here is that, in SR's world, morality is often a luxury that not everyone can afford. It's also one that not everyone with money wants to buy. wink.gif If you feel like it'd be interesting to offer wetwork to your players, then go for it. If their characters don't want to do it for any reason, then their contacts will know and the next time, they'll offer those jobs to someone else. But, you know, there's a lot of wetwork going on in SR's world (just like in ours) and somebody somewhere is pulling that trigger. It could be (or not be) the PCs. Nothing wrong with it one way or the other, as far as I'm concerned.

One last thing... Wetwork comes in all shades of gray, all the way from the rather good - "That tyran must be stopped at all costs!" - to the really bad - "That baby just happens to be worth a lot of money to me if he turns up dead sometime soon." Some runners might be ok with wetwork at one end of that spectrum but not the other. Nothing wrong with that either. ("Well, that would be, like... morally good!!! Find yourself another guy!" nyahnyah.gif wink.gif )
blakkie
QUOTE (MadDogMaddux @ Nov 18 2006, 04:38 AM)
I recently posted the possibility of giving my characters an assassination assignment because it fit the party (2 gunslinger types) and received a lot of negative responses.

From where? Your players or DSF? Because you should expect lots of negative responses from DSF. Even if it is a stellar idea. frown.gif Apparently you've been labouring under the misunderstanding that the "dump" in "Dumpshock" refered to getting dropped from a VR connection? twirl.gif

Ain't nothing wrong with wetwork....if it works for your players and their characters. Hell even if it doesn't work for the characters but you don't railroad them into it. Instead let them turn it down or flip to the other side and thwart the Johnson or something.
yesman
I've never seen the prejudice against wetwork as particularly moral. Rather it always seemed to me that folks were percieving wetwork to require less thought than for example extraction, or corp espionage; and therefore the territory of novice runners.
blakkie
QUOTE (yesman @ Nov 18 2006, 10:49 AM)
I've never seen the prejudice against wetwork as particularly moral. Rather it always seemed to me that folks were percieving wetwork to require less thought than for example extraction, or corp espionage; and therefore the territory of novice runners.

Such people lack imagination. All you need to do is toss in a "frame this person" or "it has to be mistaken for an accident" or a time crisis or really tough target and the skill and 'thought' requirements ramp up really quickly. Bring in a double-cross or use it as a leadin and it's all good and seriously tough.

Or they are just a member of the "that's not Shadowrun, that's ____" purist ohplease.gif crowd. I still remember when I first posted about a the fun I had in my first SR session and some wet blanket dumped on it as "the GM doesn't know how to play SR"....without even posting details as to what their objection was. Even after I asked what exactly the problem was. wobble.gif
PlatonicPimp
Oftentimes the compuncion against wetwork is that difference between murder and self defense. The players perceive shooting the guards as self defense, but assassination as being unfair or unappealing somehow. I personally don't get it: in real life and in SR I'd prefer to kill someone from a great distance away with little chance of retaliation. The Idea of killing in self defense is distasteful to me: it means you victim got to fight back, which is bad.

If you really want to run a wetwork mission, tailor the target to the players. I think few people will have any moral compunction about assassinating a Blood mage before he completes the ritual to bind a great form blood spirit.
IvanTank
But remember the first rule in assassination. Kill the assassin. If you take out someone important, they are going do some serious investigating, and your employer might want to eliminate any possible way of bringing that investigation back to him. It's not so much a double-cross as it is the correct procedure for eliminating high-profile targets.
PlatonicPimp
You know, THAT might be why wetwork is avioded in the runner community.
ShadowDragon
The last mission I sent my PCs on was wetwork. I made sure there was an in game context for offering the job first though. On previous missions, the team had been quite bloodthirsty. They never even bothered with gel rounds, and usually finished off guards rather than running when it probably would've been a better option (I blame this on DnDs XP for killing everything). The only reason the Johnson offered the job to the team was because they're somewhat notorious for murder. If they had been using nothing but stealth, I would offer more of those missions. If they had been using more social solutions, I would offer more of those missions. It's my way of trying to make the world react to the PCs as if it were real.
eidolon
IME, it has always just depended on the character. If they personally had a problem with it (IC), then that would just be part of the role playing, however it ended up playing out.

I've never had a player that had any kind of OC problems with stuff like that in games.
MadDogMaddux
Yeah, the question was in reference to responses here on Dumpshock. I'm pretty sure the characters will be fine with it.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (IvanTank @ Nov 18 2006, 01:05 PM)
But remember the first rule in assassination.  Kill the assassin.  If you take out someone important, they are going do some serious investigating, and your employer might want to eliminate any possible way of bringing that investigation back to him.  It's not so much a double-cross as it is the correct procedure for eliminating high-profile targets.

Which is why the victim and the triggerman should always be the same person. The best wetwork agent is a pornomancer adept who uses his extreme Con pool to convince people that suicide is the only possible solution to their problems. Give him a mage for Control Emotions support in case the target is too happy with his life.

Of course, this rule only applies to obvious violence. It doesn't apply to "natural causes" or "perfect accidents", which will not suffer from scrutiny. It can also be avoided by putting as much of a buffer between the freelancer and the employer as is possible. If the employer just puts the target's info in a dead drop and transfers the payment to a numbered bank account without ever meeting the employee and then the target has a heart attack a week later then even he won't be sure if he got his money's worth or if it was just a coincidence.
Penta
Quick thoughts:

1. While both killing the guard and wetwork are murder 1, most people know that wetwork would be more certain to get you the needle than killing the guard.
2. You can ascribe having to kill the guard as something you simply happened to have to do, regrettable but necessary; There's always the possibility he might survive, after all. (Something I think players and GMs neglect; It would not be stupid to shoot a guard, then cast the lightest of heal spells on him so that he doesn't in fact die, but won't wake up before you're gone) Straight wetwork, the entire point is that the target is dead.
Slump
Most of my characters havn't minded wetwork, but they always killed through 'accident' unless the Johnson specified that it needed to look like a hit.

In one hit, the target was killed in the crossfire of a gang war, and one hit somehow got infested with an insect spirit and had to be purged. Our best hit, however, had to be the one where we found out one of his co-workers had a BTL habit, so we cooked up some modified BTLs that caused a total freakout at the sound of the targets voice. Nobody is quite sure how the gun got past security.
MadDogMaddux
Sweet creative solutions, indeed.
Konsaki
I hope you guys got mad Karma for those unorthidox ways of doing thing. I know I would have if I was your GM.

As for people the people who dont like wetworks, you can always have a run where the objective is to keep the target from being somewhere or doing something. (Keep the star quarterback from playing in the slaughterball championships to make the mob alot of cash, and the PCs too if they are smart enough to bet correctly)
This opens up the posibility of either doing an allout frag job where you just kill the guy, or other options to incapacitate him. (stun damage, kidnaping, infecting him with a virus, dope him up before the game to get him kicked out or whatever)
Paul
This may or may not help.

I work in a super maximum security prison. Several of the individuals we deal with are men who have killed with a frequency. Men who would meet the loose definition of hit men, for their respective organizations. (And in once case a guy who just likes killing people.)

Amongst other convicts these individuals are feared, and fairly well known. They receive names, much like street names in Shadowrun, that are descriptive of something they've done.

We have 666 convicts, yes I know the magic number-but that is seriously our count, and out of those maybe 45 or 60 are seriously dangerous. Most of these men are quiet, and generally they are no trouble for staff. Most of them are polite, well read, and used to the enforced isolation that has been deemed the only way to house them.

I've seen some of these guys in action, and a few of them are really truly heartless-but most of them have some sort of morality, even if it seems flawed by societies standards. For instance I know of one guy who would likely beat, even kill someone over card games and debts, but would never imagine hurting a child, and has a reputation for seriously injuring pedophiles.

Another guy we have is the epitome of ruthless. He'd kill anyone for any reason, even no reason. when we move him, for any reason, he has to be placed in high security escort restraints, and we have four cops, a supervisor, and a camera man present at all times. In order to move him, even to the shower, we have to have permission from the Shift Commander.

Shrugs.
fistandantilus4.0
Damn Paul, you get hazard pay or what?

Gave me a great idea for a game BTW. Thanks for the POV.
Mistwalker
Most of my players, and me when I am a player, prefer not to kill.

That has a lot to do with murder investigations vs robbery investigations.

Also has to do with getting captured vs killed while resisting arrest. If you haven't killed any of the guards on scene, when you finally get cornered, you are more likely to have the cops/sec men try and capture you rather than kill you.

As someone suggested, when on one run, when two guards were going into terminal shock, the mages "healed" them, just enough to keep them alive, but needing a fair bit of hospital time.

In my current campaign, the players took three wetwork jobs, one after another. The first one, was an add-on during the run, an offer of more nuyen to kill a blood mage. The second was to take out a small terrorist group that had corp sponsorship. The third was to take out a high ranking corp guy (runners told not married, no children).

After that third run, they passed word to their fixers that they would prefer not to do wetwork for a bit, as they didn't want to get the reputation of only being wetwork specialists.

MadDog,
Not all of us were opposed to wetwork per see, just pointing out some of the consequences of having a high body count attached to your rep.
Digital Heroin
I handle this on a character by character basis as I do most anything. I've got characters that run the gamut from hardcase killers to pacifists in the grandest sense and then a slew in the middle, including some who don't think they're good for anything but killing.

Open mindedness leads to truly good roleplay.

Or half assed play if you're me, eh.
FlakJacket
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Damn Paul, you get hazard pay or what?

Gave me a great idea for a game BTW. Thanks for the POV.

You should get him talking some time. His stories can be rather amusing, in a rather twisted kind of way. smile.gif
hyzmarca
One problem with wetwork in Shadowrun is presented in Threats 2 as a piece of fiction written from the perspective of a hitwoman was was re-cooperating on a tropical island after a failed mission.

This is why many of my characters have a very specific policy towards wetwork. Only one murder per target, no exceptions. If the target gets unmurdered call someone else. There will be no refunds for resurrections.
Paul
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Damn Paul, you get hazard pay or what?

Gave me a great idea for a game BTW. Thanks for the POV.

We actually do get a sort of hazard pay, and we also get some other things a lot of other staff in the state don't get: a lot more staff per convicts (We have almost 300 officers (With 100 on each active shift, 60 per day on duty, and 60 on midnights with like 35 or so on duty), well we rate that many but we're about 50 short right now), which means we basically have a ratio of 1 cop on duty for every 6 convicts. At most places it's more like 1 cop for every 60 or so convicts, or more. We also get a lions share of the states training money for Corrections Officers-we have far more hand gun qualified cops (It's actually a decent program too, I've been a transportation officer for the last year or so now, and I was actually surprised at how much better the hand gun training was here than it was in the Marine Corps.), etc...

Jaid
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
One problem with wetwork in Shadowrun is presented in Threats 2 as a piece of fiction written from the perspective of a hitwoman was was re-cooperating on a tropical island after a failed mission.

This is why many of my characters have a very specific policy towards wetwork. Only one murder per target, no exceptions. If the target gets unmurdered call someone else. There will be no refunds for resurrections.

lol... i hope you warn people about that up front nyahnyah.gif
MadDogMaddux
Well, I think I can confirm that my players have no qualms about it.


In Contacts and Missions the Assassination example also includes a Private Eye who needs to be taken out. They arranged to meet him in an abandoned warehouse in Redmond. He insisted that there only be one of them there, and he showed up with a body guard, who stepped in and scanned the area first. Too bad he missed the other PC hiding in the shadows with a heavy Crossbow.

They were actually just hoping to hire him to scope out the people who hired him prevously. When I tried to get them to negotiate on price, they started shooting. Bodyguard took a heavy narcojet crossbow bolt in the surprise round, then a predator round in the next. P.I. took a round to the chest, and a round to the ankle before they got him to drop his weapon.



So they handcuffed him and interviewed him. And when they got their information out of the poor terrified man?

Yep, they executed him.


THEN searched his cranial cavity for cyberware. *sigh*

I'm definitely planning on throwing some sort of addiction or something on Nikita the Elf, as she's now executed two captured opponents after interrogating them.
Konsaki
Hmm... MadDog, if that was just a one time thing, I dont think that constitutes an addiction. Maybe if she does that sort of thing again, but do you really want her to have an addiction to killing people executioner style?
Faelan
I mean her name is Nikita. Sounds to me like she is destined to be a contract killer, either that or she can go to work for a government agency that does not exist.
MadDogMaddux
She's done it twice now, and in the same situation both times. Captured bad guy, tied up and resucitated, questioned, then executed.


I don't think I'll give her an addiction to executing people - but there's GOTTA be some personality quirk that comes along with that sort of thing.
Konsaki
Noteriety, or just giver her a custom negative quality, "Cold-blooded Eyes" 10BP
Character has that look in their eyes that normal people just cant look into without seeing their own death. Player gets +1 die to intimidation checks but -2 on all other social checks. Character must also make social checks for normal situations where a check might not be required. (I.E. talking with people face to face needs an ettiqute test)
SL James
QUOTE (MadDogMaddux @ Nov 19 2006, 03:12 AM)
She's done it twice now, and in the same situation both times. Captured bad guy, tied up and resucitated, questioned, then executed.


I don't think I'll give her an addiction to executing people - but there's GOTTA be some personality quirk that comes along with that sort of thing.

Yeah. She has an addiction to "Why leave a living witness?"
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Fortune)
I chalk it up to the ingrained set of morals that most of us possess on an unconscious level. It can be somewhat difficult to divorce ourselves from it, even when playing a fantasy-type game. This same kind of thinking is what makes PC rape incidents a rare thing, and what gives people pause when discussing topics like organlegging.

I'm going to disagree. PC rape and wetwork are two completely different issues.

Wetwork and orgenlegging are related to the moral tone of the game, which is usually set by the GM and IC synergy as much as it is by OOC group consensus.
PC rape, however, is a purely OOC social boundary. If Shadowrun were a single player game then it would be rather easy for players to throw caution to the wind and play some very sick people in great detail. However, since Shadowrun is a cooperative multiplayer game there must be boundaries. While most groups (and most individual in general) and happy with the most brutal, grotesque, and excessive acts of violence, sex is often a no-no and sex combined with violence is far worse. While most groups would be happy to help you unleash your inner psycho, few would enjoy being subjected to your sexual fantasies, violent or not. When you're sitting around a table with people who you don't intend to swing with, lisitening to how someone is getting a blowjob from a hot bisexual elf is just creepy, even when it is a consensual blowjob. Cutting a screaming toddler's eyes out because the local restaurants serve subpar human eyeballs and you want a nice dinner for a change, is fun for the whole family.
Fortune
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
PC rape and wetwork are two completely different issues.

I didn't say it was the same thing. I said (or at least meant) that to those that disapprove of wetwork, the thinking behind hating it is the same kind of thing as the revulsion they feel toward PC rape ... ie. they can't get past their own personal moral code.
Ryu
Some players in my group have all their characters reject wetwork. I consider that bad roleplaying in all cases where the random guard is killed without remorse. While most guards do not deserve to die, the people who get wetworked on usually do. Not all of them die for being a hindrance to the bad guys due to being good.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Fortune @ Nov 19 2006, 05:35 AM)
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Nov 19 2006, 09:19 PM)
PC rape and wetwork are two completely different issues.

I didn't say it was the same thing. I said (or at least meant) that to those that disapprove of wetwork, the thinking behind hating it is the same kind of thing as the revulsion they feel toward PC rape ... ie. they can't get past their own personal moral code.

But in the case of PC rape it is less about moral code and more about social boundries. It is rather easy to throw away a moral code about wetwork and have all of the other players, even those who can't get past their own moral codes, laugh about it. However, making players comfortable with rape is about as easy as making players comfortable with any other depiction of sex in game. The comfort level of the group has a lot to do with it.

In particular, when dealing with player-vs-player rape one must consider the issue of going to far and really violating inter-player boundaries (and crossing the line between IC rape and OOC rape in the process) far more than one would have to worry about offending an OOC moral code.

I can state "my character shoots Player X's character in the face" without killing anyone or putting anyone in fear of being killed. If I play a hitman in game no one is going to assume that I am also a hitman in real life (except maybe my uncle but he has a reputation for stepping into murder-for-hire stings). If I say "my character rapes Player X's character", well that's a whole different ballgame. If I say that I risk eliciting a very bad emotional response from Player X, probably fear and anger and maybe a PTS flashback, and an equally bad emotional response from everyone else, mostly anger. Everyone at the table will assume that I'm a sick pervert who actually rapes people and in the unlikely event that I can avoid physical violence, I'll at least be asked to leave and never return. Unless, of course, I'm playing Shadowrun with a hardcore BDSM group, in which case Player X will probably be disappointed if I don't actually do it.

It isn't about morality. Even the most amoral of groups would recommend against IC rape. No, the issue in the case of IC rape is of subjecting the other players to your own sexual fantasies in violation of explicit or implied boundaries and the turmoil that this may cause.
In particular, I am reminded of another topic in which someone related the story of a player who did have a PTSD reaction to the IC rape of an NPC.
It isn't a delicate subject because of moral codes. It is a delicate subject because it can provoke a real emotional reaction in the players, particulary those who have been victims of rape in reality.
Konsaki
Build a hundred walls and you're a bricklayer, but just one goat...
Fortune
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Nov 19 2006, 10:47 PM)
If I say "my character rapes Player X's character", well that's a whole different ballgame.

Oh damn! I definitely need to catch up on my sleep, because obviously I'm really having trouble explaining myself clearly. I am not now, nor was I ever talking about one PC raping another. Just one (or more) PCs committing in-game rape on other NPCs.
mfb
where's Kage? someone needs to speak up for the murderers.
SL James
Murder speaks for itself pretty loudly.
mfb
the man's got a point.
blakkie
QUOTE (MadDogMaddux @ Nov 19 2006, 03:12 AM)
She's done it twice now, and in the same situation both times. Captured bad guy, tied up and resucitated, questioned, then executed.

Did she wait for the guy to answer? If she did then I don't really see much of a problem.

P.S. Did she dispose of the body well? Did she leave any really obvious evidence to incriminate herself? No and no? Then carry on.... smokin.gif
MadDogMaddux
Well, they were in Redomond Barrens.....had found evidence of chewed bones in the warehouse.....so they left the bodies there.
Fortune
Doesn't sound like she's done anything worthy of being penalized with an arbitrary 'flaw' to me.
crash2029
The thing about wetwork is that you are taking a job to specifically kill someone. That might not seem like a big difference but it is. In the course of a normal run the PC's probably kill somebody. Most likley corpsec. But there is a difference. When engaging corpsec, or gangers, or mobsters, or whatever, the killing involved is generally self-defense. As in the guard sees you and calls for backup or unholsters his weapon or whatever. He is going to attempt bodily harm on you in some way. He is not only an impediment to your objectives, he is actively derailing them. Wetwork, on the other hand, is killing somebody on purpose. You receive money for the express purpose of ending their life. They are not in the way of accomplishing the objective, they are the objective. In addition, those actively impeding your objectives, on some level, accept the responsibility of their possible death. When you assassinate someone, no matter how twisted and depraved they are, they are in a sense innocent. They did not seek to thwart you as you logically plan their death. Yes, it's all semantics, but entire wars have been fought over semantics. Having a personal code is extremely important, especially in the shadows. In living with necessary violence one must know where to draw the line. Otherwise you have gone from a nobody trying to make a way for himself, to...well you'll have to figure that out for yourself. I'm not speaking for or against wetwork, I'm just trying to illuminate the distinction. Anyways thats my 0.02.
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