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Wounded Ronin
Since I've been unable to do any gaming at all for over a year at this point in time I decided it would be a good idea to write a SR3 scenario which can be played by only 2 people (a player and a GM). It would be useful for those times at the gaming table when the full group doesn't show up. I suppose it would also be useful if two people are together and bored, like if you went on a honeymoon with someone but you were inexplicably impotent. No, wait...

I remember how much I enjoyed playing the GURPS Conan the Barbarian solo modules when I had nothing better to do, so my planned project is something in the same vein. Maybe later I'll sit down and figure out if it's possible to make a good SR3 solo adventure or not.

My planned scenario is actually set in the United States in the 80s but the ruleset is the SR3 ruleset. The player character is a physad but there are no magicians, elementals, spirits, and so on. The planned scenario is based on the most excellent American Ninja series of movies. When I've written up the statistics and found good maps I plan to post the full thing here on DSF.

The action of this scenario is set in the time between American Ninja 2 and American Ninja 3.

This scenario uses statistics and information from the American Ninja SR3 Project:

American Ninja 2.5: Ninjas Prey On Midwestern Auto Workers


An American auto manufacturing plant has been bought out by a Japanese car maker. The stoned and ineffective Midwestern auto workers were about to be laid off in large numbers and replaced by efficient and cost-effective robots. Furthermore, the workers were going to be forced to stand out in the parking lot in the morning and do karate punches as a group. Faced with such a horrifying prospect, the auto worker's union began to organize a strike. During the planning stages of the strike, however, five union leaders were abducted by ninjas and taken to a secret ninja fortress nestled in an especially inaccessible spot in the Rocky Mountains. The secret ninja fortress is very difficult to find because it's totally off the grid; there's no electricity or running water being used there and instead the fortress subsists in an entirely medieval manner.

As demonstrated in American Ninja 2, the US federal government realizes that onry a ninja can stop a ninja. It would be too risky to find and assault the fortress using the FBI or the National Guard. Besides for the fact that the opposition force would be comprised of ninjas a single mistake could easily lead to the hostages being slaughtered since ninjas think nothing of dying for their cause. The federal government has only once choice: to send in Army Ranger Sgt. Joe Armstrong, WHO IS ALSO A NINJA. The player gets to control Joe Armstrong for the purpose of this scenario.

Here are Joe's stats:

Body 6
Strength 6
Willpower 6
Quickness 6
Intelligence 6
Charisma 2 (bland, bland, bland...)
Magic 9
Essence 6
Combat Pool 9
Karma Pool 15
Init 6 + 1d6 (10 + 3d6)

Unarmed Combat 8 (14)
Edged Weapons (ninjato) 7 (9) (13 (15))
Thrown Weapons (shuriken) 7 (9)
Clubs 8
Flails/Whips 8
Pole Arms 8
Assault Rifles 6
Assault Rifles (B/R) 6
Pistol 3
Rifle 6
Shotgun 6
Stealth 8
Launch Weapons 6
Heavy Weapons 6
Athletics 6

Improved Reflexes II
Improved Ability: Edged Weapons +6
Improved Ability: Unarmed Combat +6

Initiate Powers
Centering, applicable to Athletics, Unarmed Combat, and Edged Weapons

Knowledge Skills
Zazen 6 (used for centering)
Ninjas 8
Special forces tactics 5
US military 4
Organized crime 2
Medieval Japanese special forces tactics 8

Full suite of ninja equipment

Since Joe never shoots anyone in the movies I'm planning the scenario to be one which revolves around melee combat and stealth kills. He probably won't bring any firearms.

The Action:

Careful analysis of satellite photographs have located the ninja fortress and Joe is to be sent in alone with his ninja gear. His mission objectives are as follows:

1.) Infiltrate the ninja fortress
2.) Find the 5 hostages and secure their safety
3.) Radio base after the hostages are secure and call for helicopter evac

Once the federal government doesn't need to worry about the hostages being killed the ninja fortress can be reduced to a smoking crater by airstrikes.

The purpose of this scenario would essentially be for the player to work out a stealthy route into the fortress so that he can find the hostages without being detected. Next, he'd need to somehow disable all the ninjas who would be in the position to start executing the hostages before calling for evac. I see the main challenge as being one dealing with direction of approach and order of completion.

The helicopter evac would be with a national guard helicopter since the issue is within the borders of the US. The US federal government's only other ninja expert, Ranger Sgt. Curtis Jackson, would be coming along in the helicopter as an advisor for the national guardsmen who would be in charge of extracting Joe Armstrong.

Sgt. Curtis Jackson's statistics:
Body 10 (14) (exceptional attribute)
Strength 9 (13)
Willpower 6

Intelligence 4
Quickness 5
Charisma 8
Magic 6
Essence 6
Combat Pool 7
Karma Pool 12
Init 4 + 1d6 (6 + 2d6)

Okinawan karate and kobudo (unarmed combat 6, clubs 6, flails 6, pole arms 6)
Edged weapons (butterfly swords) 5 (7)
Thrown weapons (grenades) 2 (4)
Assault Rifles 6
Assault Rifles (B/R) 6
Pistol 3
Rifle 6
Shotgun 6
Stealth 4
Athletics 9
Launch Weapons 6
Heavy Weapons 6

Improved Reflexes I
Improved Attribute: Strength +4
Improved Attribute: Body +2

Knowledge Skills:
t3h str33t 4
US military 4
Special forces tactics 4
Ninjas 3
Organized Crime 2

Butterfly swords
Anything the Army would reasonably issue

Jackson would definitely be the most capable character coming in to extract the player. Unlike Joe Armstrong he actually prioritizes the use of firearms over martial arts.

Does anyone have suggestions as to what statistics the national guardsmen should have and how many of them there should be? The way I see it, there would be 1 guardsman with a M16A2 and 203, 1 manning a M60 machinegun on the helicopter, and 8 more with MP5 submachineguns. Everyone would have flashbangs and hand grenades. Is this gear loadout appropriate for the mid 80s? Also, was the military still using those mk2 pineapples in the mid 80s? (Forgive me if these questions make you gnash your teeth at my lack of knowledge. My military-history fu is weak.)

These are the statistics for the enemy ninjas:
Body 6
Strength 6
Willpower 5
Quickness 6
Intelligence 4
Charisma 2
Essence 6
Combat Pool 7
Karma Pool 1
Init: 5 + 1d6

Unarmed Combat 6
Edged Weapons 6
Thrown Weapons 6
Clubs 6
Flails/Whips 6
Pole Arms 6
Projectile Weapons 6
Stealth 6

Black shinobi shozoku (gives camo armor bonus to Stealth checks when worn at night)
Random martial arts weapon

As stated above, all these statistics are taken from:

The conclusion:

The mission is considered a success if at least 3 of the 5 hostages, Jackson, the player character, and 7 out of 10 guardsmen survive and escape from the fortress.

As soon as everyone escapes from the fortress the fortress is bombed into oblivion with airstrikes.

Each hostage with survives is worth a karma point, as is Jackson. Every two guardsmen who come out alive is worth a karma point as well, for a total of 11 possible karma for success; this is okay because the scenario should be extremely challenging. In essence, the mission is blown if stealth is compromised before the player character secures the hostages.

Since this scenario is a one shot in every sense of the word the karma earned in this scenario may be applied to any other player character which the victorious player controls.

Comments or suggestions?

I'm usually the first guy to pick up a new system/game and will generally have a hard time getting two or three more people to join without some serious salesmanship (which I'm not so good at), or a decent demo.

Any ideas for an introductory scenario for two people (GM+1PC) for SR?
WR - Not what I'd use to introduce Shadowrun, but it looks like it would be enjoyable nonetheless. I don't know that it's totally relevant what the guardsman fire with, since they'll never even spot the ninjas in the first place (their being ninjas and all). Secondly, my wife demanded role-playing time (of both sorts) on our honeymoon. If you don't take breaks, you can really hurt yourself. Breaks from the role-playing, I mean.

ErrosCallidus - Speaking for myself, I've never had a problem getting players. But then, I run games online, where there are 15 players to every GM. I've considered running a 1-1 game, but it would be a waste of GMing skills that would go better towards making more GMs.

However, I HAVE considered a game which would also serve as a reasonable introduction to SR. I would basically take the Planescape: Torment route. Character wakes up, practically naked in the barrens, no memories, although perhaps a pocket secretary or an amusing totem spirit, and starts from there. The character has cyber, but doesn't know what it is. He may activate it by accident. Until he gets money, no street doc will scan him (and even if they did, it won't pick up the deltaware), and unless he wants to go to jail, he doesn't want a cop to scan him. He likely is magically inclined, although due to a mental block, he will only unlock his powers as he works through his psychological issues. Of course, what the guy is at the end and what his cyber/magic mix is is completely up to the GM and needs to be balanced against what the player would think is coolest. I was going to go cyber because my player would enjoy it more, however a character which, for whatever reason, has broken his totem and had his power revoked, and now has to prove his worth and unlock powers through role-playing could still be quite interesting (and a totem spirit gives the GM a good way to dish out little bits of information at a time).

Regardless, he would have some little clues that would lead to something later. As he goes through, he'll deal with gangers, hopefully pick up some clothes (or maybe not, they do slow you down after all). Eventually he'll seek employment and get sent on some minor run (find so-and-so, scout out this facility, kill ghouls, etc.) Eventually he'll have the information and gear to pursue bigger fellows better areas, and finally he'll have at his command a wide variety of cyber and/or magic as well as NPC allies, allowing him to experience every level of Seattle.
That's a good idea actually! I may not go quite as far as completely out of it... but the whole "who am I? why am i here, and why do they want to kill ME?" slant is great. You could even start with one guy and work any others into the story the same way he showed up. Might even have 2 or 3 solo games going before it meshes into a single large group. Hmmm... insidious, I like it.

I've only just started out online, but enjoying it so far. I'll definately start GMing in a couple months. Getting the hang of the online thing first.

It's the RL players that I seem to have trouble finding. But then again, I'm from the SouthWest US. And my current location is actually accurate, so not a whole lot of gamers here. (though working in Kabul is sometimes like running the shadows: keeping track of where all the police checkpoints are, only rolling 2 dice for Language:Farsi, Constant Perception checks...) Those few that might be interested will need something to go with rather than just, hey this would be cool!

I'm also guessing pacing and flow would be significantly different in a two player game... how has anyone handled that?

QUOTE (nezumi)
I would basically take the Planescape: Torment route. Character wakes up, practically naked in the barrens, no memories, although perhaps a pocket secretary or an amusing totem spirit, and starts from there...

Would his name be Jake Armitage, by any chance? biggrin.gif
i'm actually running a single-player game on shadowland right now. the feel i'm going for is basically high-octane Max Payne-style action. the player is an elven mage who rides a motorcycle and wields a katana. it sounds cheesy, but the guy plays the character really well--simultaneously fulfilling the stereotype and exceeding it.
Wounded Ronin
It would be flippant but not entirely incorrect to say that for a single player introductory game it might be a good idea to give someone the Genesis Shadowrun game.

Nezumi's suggestion was quite good.

Video games aside, I suppose that the key of having a good introductory 1 on 1 adventure for Shadowrun would be to have a way of simultaneously introducing the game world while keeping the deadliness low enough that a newbie wouldn't utterly choke.

Perhaps a solution would be to have a scenario where the player character works for a security firm such as Knight Errant or Lone Star? That way the player character gets his or her gear issued and doesn't have to spend a lot of time wading through the equipment lists while not really having an idea of what's good to take and what isn't. Furthermore, the player can call for backup and if the player goes down with a Deadly wound it's quite plausible for the GM to just say that the player wakes up in the hospital with the medical bill being taken care of by the company; it would be a way to introduce the deadliness of the combat system and the injury tables without also hitting the new player with medical costs, the need for contacts, and so forth.

The best part about it all is that you can still introduce the gritty and dystopian nature of the Shadowrun world in a cop or security scenario. The player character could interact with prostitutes, gang members, bums, BTL addicts, and so forth on the street, which could be very atmospheric but not necessarily super deadly. You could have the PC participate in a tactical raid on a bunraku parlor if you wanted to have a little bit of tactical play but it would still be relatively easy due to backup, supporting NPCs, and prompt medical attention.

Later on in a different campaign when the newbie player is a Shadowrunner who can't get medical attention without a street doc contact he'll also understand more how he is playing the role of a desperate mercenary, since it will contrast with the relatively high level of safety in the cop game.
Wounded Ronin
RL background question:

I've been doing some research, and I have to ask: would national guardsmen even use submachineguns in the first place? Some things I've read on the internet said that only special forces and the navy still uses MP5s, but that the national guard, even in an indoors setting, would just use 5.56 carbines.

If that's the case, what would the carbine have been in the 80s? The CAR-15?
The cop scenario sounds a little more doable for the folks I have in mind. They haven't quite gotten the merc streak in them that I've got (at least not yet).

i guess the biggest problem I've got is more that at the same time I'm introducing
SR I'm introducing RPGs in general. The most experience any of the "prospects" have is Everquest or PS2.

WR_ for your RL question. A couple combat shotguns would work fine. Though I don't know the exact model used in the Guard during the 80s. adn LOTs of frag greneades dead.gif
QUOTE (ErrosCallidus)
I'm also guessing pacing and flow would be significantly different in a two player game... how has anyone handled that?

I've been involved with both group and 1-1 players in pbp and in person settings.

In pbp settings, I don't have to wait for the entire group to post, which means I can reply as soon as my one player posts. I've had threads where we're both online and we've actually overlapped posts. The result is the game moves very fast and can go into a lot more detail, basically becoming like a play by chat game.

Both in person and online, another advantage is that in a group game you have to maintain balance and fairness with all the GM/player and player/player relationships (as appropriate). With only one player that's no longer the case. You can twist the dice a little more to do what you want without concern for making a GM's pet. You can also, of course, guide the story a lot more personally, bringing in more character elements, customizing the game more to this one person's expectations and preferences, making it very rewarding for the player.

In person the game is far less distracting. When the player is goofing off, there's no game. No one is ever waiting on 'the rest of the group' or the decker or the mage or whatever. No PS2 breaks. With fewer distractions, again, the game moves at a very brisk pace. Expect to either need a lot of pre-written stuff or to be able to make stuff up quickly. Combat is generally faster as well (since it's almost always between smaller groups or oriented around quickly running away). There's a lot less stress on the player's part because there's no feeling of competition, but on the flip side, it can feel more boring because of limited social interaction.

My primary problem was my major player got too into the game, and so would ask me what happens next while I was at work, as soon as I got home, at 11:30 at night, etc. If you do a 1-1 game, I recommend either making sure it's someone who doesn't have easy access to your bedroom, or charging sex for it.
Good stuff...

Where else do you learn about GMing for sex? Would it be an hourly rate or per scenario? I'll have to keep that one in mind...
I would tell you, but my wife would probably kill me. Suffice to say, oftentimes sex comes up "naturally" in the story and, because it is so difficult to explain certain actions verbally compared to physically showing them, a demonstration is required.
Some inspiration could be taken from the Ghost Dog RPG (based on the movie of the same name).
It was specifically designed for 1 GM + 1 player games.
Wounded Ronin
Some inspiration could be taken from the Ghost Dog RPG (based on the movie of the same name).
It was specifically designed for 1 GM + 1 player games.

How does Ghost Dog play?
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