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imperialus
I've been toying with the idea of running a high powered campaign for some time now but rather than the players simply being normal runners with cooler toys I wanted to try something different. I started thinking of having the PC's as members of a corporate strike team. Now for this to work the unit they are with would have to be recognizable from the SR cannon, I don't feel like doing a backstory for an entirely new unit. First 4 obvious choices are Renraku Red Samurai, CATco seraphim, Ares Firewatch, and Azzie Jaguars.

seraphim are out right off the bat since Cross is no longer a AAA. It might be an interesting campaign to run but it's not quite what I'm going for.

Red Sam's would be a pretty boring choice. Lets face it, they arn't terribly pro-active serving as more of a goon squad/bodyguard unit than anything else. Not only that but by my understanding they are almost all street sams and I want more variety than that.

Jaguar Warriors might be interesting but I don't know enough about Aztechnology to really portray them well and I'd have to sit through hours of terrible Mexican accents and Scarface quotes.

That leaves Firewatch. I'll have to restructure them somewhat from being simple bug hunters to being a more general anti-terrorism unit sorta structured around Section 9 from Ghost in the Shell. The individual teams will be largely independent and capable of acting under their own inititive at least insofar as how they go about accoplishing their jobs. There will be a reasonable amount of investigative work as well as they try and follow the trail of runner teams and recover or otherwise deal with whatever the runners poked their nose into. They'll also have to be politically savvy and capable of keeping a low profile so as not to draw unwanted attention to their actions. They won't be black ops per say but they will oftentimes have to overstep their jurisdiction and occasionally take more direct action against other corps.

That said though they'll have considerable authority in areas where Ares or KE has jurisdiction. They'll be able to requisition just about anything within reason, their badges will get them a long way, they'll be able to issue press blackouts, commandeer Ares troops and KE security, take over crime scenes, and they'll have an extensive support network that can supply them with anything from transport to a team of professional corp hackers to help them carry out their missions. Minimum rank within Ares' military/security apparatus would be at least O3 and they'd all have a high lifestyle without needing to actually make a payment.

I have a few ideas for adventures that I'll post later tonight but would like to hear any input that people might have about this concept. If anyone has any ideas on how exactly I should go about structuring the Firewatch teams that would be nice too. Right now I'm thinking of naming them after letters in the Greek alphabet but that's as far as I've gotten.

Anyhow I'll post more on this as it comes to me once I get home tonight. Like I said I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions that people may have.
Jack Kain
Remember you can easily make up a "Section 9" or "Division 6" or what ever for what corp you want.

You could easily make say a special Covert Ops group in Renraku called Ronin 5 or what ever.
SL James
QUOTE (imperialus @ Jan 2 2007, 10:56 PM)
That leaves Firewatch.  I'll have to restructure them somewhat from being simple bug hunters to being a more general anti-terrorism unit sorta structured around Section 9 from Ghost in the Shell.  The individual teams will be largely independent and capable of acting under their own inititive at least insofar as how they go about accoplishing their jobs.

God, I so wish they remained the same as in Burning Bright because they were pretty much exactly the way you describe them. Now they're just Thugs With Guns.

That said, I spit on the idea of a Section 9 PC team in SR, because their equivalent would be the 300-karma (each) Ghost team from the Double Take scenario in Corporate Punishment.
imperialus
so what's wrong with high powered PCs? As long as the challange is scaled to match them I don't see an issue. This puts them in a position to actually affect the metaplot of SR and lets face it what player doesn't take a look at some of the crazy gear found in the SR supplements and want to try it out?

The idea is that dispite the fact that they have all this power on paper they will still be limited by different circumstances than runners will ever have. Political fallout, PR issues, dealing with threats on the scale of Bug City and stuff like that all has potential. It'll be a different Shadowrun but still recognizable.

That said though your fun isn't my fun, I've been GMing and playing street level campaigns since second ed. I'd just like to give somthing different a try.
fistandantilus4.0
Personally I'm with you imperialus. Variety is good, and sometimes it's great to play a group that's just plain bad ass. Like you said, run a game that requires it, and make it require more than just stats, and you're good to go.

I like that Ghost team, loved kicking my pc's asses with 'em, because it reminded them of the old adage :"there's always someone better." Sometimes you just want to up the ante and not play someone's whipping boy, but be the whipper.

Besides, how often do you normally get to buy Delta Move-By-Wire?
Kesslan
Aye, I'm certainly all for the out of the run of the mill type group too. I mean with D&D for example you were allways the 'good guys'. Something I started playing back in public school. We promptly got bored of the norm and had a great time playing in an 'evil' game.

WHere instead of a standard getup of a mage, paladin, theif and cleric we instead had a human Anti-Paladin, a Human Assassin, a goblin fighter and a draconian wizard.

It for example lead to great fun when I, playing the Draconinan Wizard (And the only one who knew how to cook) wound up making Elf stew. Much to the distress of our human companions (The goblin however was overjoyed and asked for seconds). Thats not exactly something you'd run into in a 'good guys' game.

Shadowrun has much the same, and infact in SR Companion I belive it is they even go so far as suggesting all sorts of alternatives. From playing members of a Doc Wagon HTR team to corporate security to mercs and all sorts of other things.

I mean instead of being hunted by corp sec they can instead this time play the corp sec having to hunt down the runners in retaliation. Or have to fight off an extraction team to save a VIP. Or hunt down that assassin and deal with them before they can kill a VIP or some such.

And if you (or the players) want to then sort of return it to yoru more run of the mill shadowrun at some point? Screw the party over!

Have them take the fall for a job gone bad and have to go into the shadows to survive. You can even later on reinstate them back into the corp by giving them a chance to expose the antics of their one time boss to some other exec competing for the job. Afterall it could be their previous boss was crooked and this new shark while ruthless is honest enough that he'd want people as resourceful as the players working for him. And since it would just be a matter of clearing their names with the company and exposing his competitor to the corp in some sort of intercorp powerplay it would all be good.

I mean there are all sorts of angles you can play with that kinda scenario alone.
fistandantilus4.0
imperialus, like Knasser said, the SR Comp might help a bit. Another one that I'm a big fan of is the Missions book. Basically all non-shadowrunner games. You can play a special forces unit, Doc Wagon, LoneStar, and even .... *drum roll* a group of Ares Company Men.

Even better, when I ran the games, they were actually good runs, IMO at least. I acutally adapted a few of them to just one charater doign the "Special Agent" bit, which required the charcter be quite the toughy. Worked out really well.
Lord Ben
I've always been a fan of a DocWagon campaign for some reason. Not sure about many plot ideas but the idea of not having more than 30 seconds of prep time before some combats would be good.

That said sometimes high powered can be fun. But one key I've found in various games of that style (Exalted, Legend of the Five Rings) is that sometimes the best challenges are of a RP variety. Knowing you can march into the Kings throne room and kill him and his castle full of guards is one thing, but if you do it then your social reputation will suffer and your followers will think you're a monster... etc.

In a high powered game with corporate connections the worst enemy might be a blogger with lots of connections and allies who seeks to expose the true inner workings of Renraku (or whatever). Killing him outright means his friends will assume it's Renraku and post all kinds of theories and the media will generally believe it (like the dead russian spy) even if there is no proof. He'd be a tireless adversary with no easy way of dealing with him.
knasser
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
imperialus, like Knasser said, the SR Comp might help a bit.


I get everywhere. You're starting to see me posting even where I haven't now. biggrin.gif
SL James
QUOTE (imperialus)
so what's wrong with high powered PCs? As long as the challange is scaled to match them I don't see an issue.

300 karma PCs break SR4 is why.
imperialus
Thanks for the suggestion of the SR companion. I still have that buried in my gaming stuff somewhere. I'll have to dig it out. I really like the blogger idea too, it definatly deserves some more development that's for sure. As far as plot goes I'll post my initial thoughts in spoiler tags since people I game with read the boards.

[ Spoiler ]
imperialus
SL James: How do high Karma characters break SR 4? I've had some high karma characters in SR 2 and 3 but never gotten up to the more elite levels in SR 4. Anything you figure I should be aware of would be helpful.
Kesslan
I'm not so sure SR4 chars do necessarily break when they get 200 karma or so. I mean unlike SR3 you have hard caps on both skills and attributes.

Allthough that 200 karma skillwise at least goes -alot- further, since you have more generalized skills than SR3 (Like how SMGs, and assault rifles are under 'automatics' now instead of SMG and Assault Rifles)

Charon
  • You can't refuse a mission. Not without losing your job anyway.
  • Better support
The main beef I have with starting above 400 BP is that standard PC are already fairly tough and increasing their power will cause problem when they earn even more through karma. I mean, if you are already a member of the Ghosts, what's left to do? Mind you, it's the nature of most RPG to have their character learns too fast.

That's no problem for a short campaign, though.

---

I think the best when playing corp is to play as close to standard runner team facing standard runner jobs but with a different perpective.

You should play 'men in black', troubleshooters, cleaners...

You essentially do the same thing runners do for a corp but with the difference that when you are called in loyalty is more an issue than deniability.

Still, many differences give it a different flavor.

Better support.
Less autonomy (you ain't refusing a mission!)
Less Extractions, sabotage and theft because failure could have catstrophic consequence .
More assassinations, intimidations, blackmails and other missions designed to clean up a corporate problem.
More immediate negative consequences if the PCs attract attention, even if the mission was successful.
Brahm
QUOTE (imperialus @ Jan 3 2007, 01:50 AM)
SL James:† How do high Karma characters break SR 4?

Since you generally a character won't even finish off specialize in an area to the exclusion of developing other character aspects till at least 300+ karma, the karma by itself isn't really a problem. The chief problem is if your players are min/max twinks with no self control and you let them screw themselves because they got all this karma at once and don't spread it around. They'll end up with characters that are brutally weak in nearly all ways except one way, and challenging the character in that way is very tough because they are throwing so many dice. So you either end just ignoring the character/player or rolling out some mirror image monstrosity of an NPC or trap or something matched to the player and then you both dig into a big bucket of dice.

It isn't even really a SR4 thing. It is a getting too much, too fast thing. The same thing as starting out at higher levels in any RPG, like D&D with freshly minted 15th level PCs. The unrepentant min/maxers roll out some grotesque caricature that likely wouldn't have survived if they had to earn the XP through play to reach that point, you realize that the worst thing that you could do to them is plunk down a Mirror Of Opposition in front of them, and it all goes downhill from there.
Butterblume
We played an online campaign, where the chars were members of Saeder-Krupps Special Security Group.

I played a soldier/face (ech of us had 500BP), the officer of our small unit. One of the most fun part for me was the lack of moral issues, since we were totally loyal and did as we were told. Like my char put it, Corp is mother, Lofwyr is father.
toturi
QUOTE (Brahm)
Since you generally a character won't even finish off specialize in an area to the exclusion of developing other character aspects till at least 300+ karma, the karma by itself isn't really a problem. The chief problem is if your players are min/max twinks with no self control and you let them screw themselves because they got all this karma at once and don't spread it around. They'll end up with characters that are brutally weak in nearly all ways except one way, and challenging the character in that way is very tough because they are throwing so many dice. So you either end just ignoring the character/player or rolling out some mirror image monstrosity of an NPC or trap or something matched to the player and then you both dig into a big bucket of dice.

It isn't even really a SR4 thing. It is a getting too much, too fast thing. The same thing as starting out at higher levels in any RPG, like D&D with freshly minted 15th level PCs. The unrepentant min/maxers roll out some grotesque caricature that likely wouldn't have survived if they had to earn the XP through play to reach that point, you realize that the worst thing that you could do to them is plunk down a Mirror Of Opposition in front of them, and it all goes downhill from there.

How can they be min-maxed twinks and be brutally weak in all areas except one? If they min-maxed well, they'd be coldly efficient in all areas and brutally powerful in 1. Then you got a problem.

If they are weak in any area, simply force them to split into smaller teams. Need to complete all 5 scenario legwork objectives and you have only 1 face and the rest of you suck at social? Awww, shucks...
ornot
QUOTE (Brahm)
QUOTE (imperialus @ Jan 3 2007, 01:50 AM)
SL James:  How do high Karma characters break SR 4?

Since you generally a character won't even finish off specialize in an area to the exclusion of developing other character aspects till at least 300+ karma, the karma by itself isn't really a problem. The chief problem is if your players are min/max twinks with no self control and you let them screw themselves because they got all this karma at once and don't spread it around. They'll end up with characters that are brutally weak in nearly all ways except one way, and challenging the character in that way is very tough because they are throwing so many dice. So you either end just ignoring the character/player or rolling out some mirror image monstrosity of an NPC or trap or something matched to the player and then you both dig into a big bucket of dice.

It isn't even really a SR4 thing. It is a getting too much, too fast thing. The same thing as starting out at higher levels in any RPG, like D&D with freshly minted 15th level PCs. The unrepentant min/maxers roll out some grotesque caricature that likely wouldn't have survived if they had to earn the XP through play to reach that point, you realize that the worst thing that you could do to them is plunk down a Mirror Of Opposition in front of them, and it all goes downhill from there.

I agree that this is the problem with making high power characters. You wind up having to beef the opposition to such ridiculous levels it's insane! After all, Great Dragons don't move about in packs!

I would, however, question the need to make the characters so very tough. Sure you can start them out as an elite team, but alternatively they might be somewhat less elite and still have something to work toward. You still get the whole corp politics thing, and even have a better excuse for having some highly intrusive 'ware than "my uncle gave it to me as a present" (I actually had a player claiming that as a legitimate reason for wired 2. I can't say I was terribly convinced).

Of course this is getting a little off-topic, since it was SL James that brought the whole 300+ Karma characters issue up, rather than the OP.
ChicagosFinest
Fire Watch is a good Idea Ares has a lot of Angles besides bugs to play off of. For instance they could be fireing up a robo cop program and need the team to watch lower management to make sure that their robotic monstrosities dont go haywire.

As far as the BP arguement goes I would have to agree with SL on this. Allow them to build as a unit and loose sometimes to. It will make for an interesting game to be apart of Firewatch but not be so Kick ass. In fact it might be interesting to see them start off lower that the average BP, let them gain quick Karma until they balance out to 300 bp and then let them earn 450 moderately slow. That way your characters grow as a unit and learn what they are weak in before they get to powerful.

Good Idea though good luck and dont just make one long term plot make 3 to throw the PC's off. That way they would have to connect the dots at the end to acomplish their overall goal.
Thane36425
QUOTE (Kesslan)
I'm not so sure SR4 chars do necessarily break when they get 200 karma or so. I mean unlike SR3 you have hard caps on both skills and attributes.

Allthough that 200 karma skillwise at least goes -alot- further, since you have more generalized skills than SR3 (Like how SMGs, and assault rifles are under 'automatics' now instead of SMG and Assault Rifles)

You could always drop the cap on skills. It never made much sense to me that the max was 6 or 7. Those levels aren't that hard to achieve, particularly if you focus on certain skills. From the older versions, there were plenty of NPCs with skills in the 7 to 9 range with very few anything beyond that.

It also didn't make much sense that the big names and such would only have skills such low skills.

I don't see it as being any more problematic than it was in the previous SR's, high skills that is, except that future material will have to be adjusted if you take this option.
Thane36425
A mercenary campaign is also an option. They function like corps because most of them are and there is a lot of fighting. There might not be as many moral problems, but that depends the GM could take care of that. Suppose you are in a merc groups providing security to a corporate facility somewhere in the Gold Coast of Africa. That facility is getting raided by the locals and you are ordered out to teach them a lesson. You could also be sent against the Ghoul Nation. Ghouls seem to have a higher standing in 2070 than they did in the 2050's when they were walking bounties, so perhaps the character or players will have a problem with that. Lots of work for mercs in SR, and lots of chances to be made to do things they don't like.

imperialus
One thing that I know beyond a doubt they'll have to do is at some point raid the home of some twinked out street sam who has taken over an apartment block in redmond with a panther as a security blanket.

As for twinking, I trust my players... I think. I have one that I know would want to create a dedicated combat monster but we'd need one of them anyhow. The rest will branch out as much as necessary and I'd actually require that we do a team building session so that they can make sure they complement each other.

Also if it turns out everyone wants to play combat monkeys, this give me the opportunity to let them do so while still having a support structure to fill in the gaps. No hacker? No problem, Ares has a team of dedicated security hackers and you get to recruit the best. Rigger? Heck use a different one for every job who specializes in whatever vehicle you happen to be using.

No social skills is the only thing that I could see causing problems though I'd require that they design their characters in a way that they could pass a fairly stringent psych exam so no lone wolf, cleaning my gun and mumbling to myself, shoot him in the head cause he keyed my car, shoot him in the knee cause he looked at me crosseyed types.
cetiah
I love the idea of a no-Lone Wolf rule for this kind of game. Psych tests. Awesome. Might as well have mind-probing loyalty checks while you're at it. smile.gif

You probably might want to treat the corp as a contact, that way you can use the "favor" rules whenever the group needs something, like a specialist hacker to join them on a run or they want to "borrow" a fancy new citymaster.

Borrowing some things from Armegeddon 2089 (which I do frequently for Shadowrun games), here's some other considerations:

(Note: All references to Street Cred are treated as a general reputation, and reduce the Notoriety from Street Cred before using your Street Cred value.)

Mercenary (standard) Shadowrunners
-Earn more money for jobs, but jobs come less often
-Pay for all their own stuff
-Have freedom to take what jobs they want
-No real restrictions on behavior, who to work with, what to buy, where to live, etc.

Corporate Team
-All members of the corporate team are required to purchase a Connection-4 contact, representing their higher-ups in the company. The character with the highest Loyalty for this contact is considered the team leader.
-You must keep track of how much BP worth of resources you purchased for your character. All equipment purchased is considered corporate property. If corporate needs your gear, they can take it at anytime, although your "budget" remains the same and you can purchase different items.
-Occasionally, corporate may require the team leader to field-test a new piece of experimental equipment.
-Players may add their corporate Connection and Loyalty ratings to 12 to determine the maximum Availability of items during character generation. To purchase a Forbidden item, however, requires a Swag check to get authorization from the accounting dept.
-Players needing vehicles, special gear, or specialist runners temporarily (for 1 mission) can roll a Favor check for their corporate contact.
-Players must take all jobs the company tells them to. They do not get paid per job (but still earn Karma), but rather get paid a salary each month equal to 5,000 times their Street Cred.
-The group will not usually know who the target is or why the corporation wants the job done. Legwork (snooping in on corporate's affairs) is frowned upon.

Government Squad
-All members of the corporate team are required to purchase a Connection-4 contact, representing their employer. The Loyalty for this contact is a measurement of your character's rank. The character with the highest Loyalty for this contact is considered the team leader.
-The PCs are free to spend BP on resources, but never see this cash directly. Instead, the government issues them equipment based on their resource budgets.
-The squad must take all jobs assigned to it. PCs do not earn money per run, but earn a monthly salary of 1,000 times their Street Cred, plus their 1,000 for each point of Loyalty with the Government contact. In addition, their resource budget is automatically increased by 2,000 for each Street Cred increase (and reduced by 2,000 for each Notoriety increase).
-Requisitioning heavy weapons, high-availability gear, specialists, and vehicles is rather common for Government squads. This requires a favor check with your Government contact. You get two extra dice for rolling favors for any kind of combat support, such as additional personnel, air support, artillery bombardment, etc.



imperialus
well I think my first big project will be to bust out Rigger 3 and develop a large military transport version of the Ares T 55 series and then convert it to 4th edition. I want them to have a large tilt wing as their primary means of getting about while on a mission. It'll allow them to operate more independantly than if they were forced to rely on short range helecopters, ground transport, and civilian airliners. This should be fun indifferent.gif.
cetiah
Are you sure? I kind of like the idea of them having the corporate offices as their main base, and having to return there after every excursion and greet the secretary, report to Mr Black (or Mr Green or Mr White or Mr Brown, depending on who's top dog this week) and attend endless meetings and efficiency overviews. When the alarm bells go off, those PCs will be running out the doors and onto the helicopters so fast, Mr Black's head will go spinning. smile.gif

Having them able to operate independently, away from corporate management feels a little more like standard shodowrunners again. Of course, in a wireless world, you are never far from corporate management...
Butterblume
Personally, I like the idea of using several different kinds of insertion to much to offer the runners an easy alternative. Helicopters, parachuting (both high and low altitude), submarines, on foot, or with a cab...
imperialus
They would still operate out of a corporate facility, and mostly deal with local issues, having the longer ranged transport however gives them the capability of leaving the immediate vicinity to accomplish their goals. The fact that it's a tilt wing also allows them to use it for more local missions as well since it will be able to land pretty much anywhere that a helicopter can touch down. I'm trying to write in as much versatility as I can so that I can allow the campaign to progress as organically as possible depending on what my players want. This means that if they want to keep things local they can since they'll also have a citymaster dedicated to their use but if they want to go gallivanting off into NAN to chase after a target they can do that too.

If need be they can also use other methods of transportation that Ares has access to. They'll all likely have a car through their lifestyle but they could borrow anything within reason from the company garages. Say they need to infiltrate a high profile shindig they can always borrow a limo, if they want to remain low key then cabs or public transportation are always an option.

The Citymaster and the Tilt-wing are just their "default" transportation if you will. If a call goes out their T 55 will be sitting nearby with its engines warmed up ready to go. If they feel like driving the citymaster will be ready too. If they need to get to Europe then plane tickets will be waiting for them and they'll be driven to the airport in company cars ect. Submarine deployments and HALO drops are most defiantly mission specific so I see them as more plot devices than anything else. That said though the Tilt-wing will be designed not only to be capable of deploying them via parachute but it'll also have a dedicated matrix node with a satellite uplink so that they can stay in communication with each other and their boss no matter how remote their deployment is. Their personal vehicles will also be equipped with emergency lights and sirens so if they are separated and need to get to an emergency they'll be able to do so quickly.

Having a "default" method of getting from point A-B is pretty useful in Shadowrun. I don't know how many runs I've seen derailed because one PC drives his car, another takes his bike, while the street sam who blew all his money on cyber and can't afford a vehicle takes the bus. It's silly and not terribly practical.

One important thing I want to emphasize is that the PC's won't be just be men in black or a shadow team with one Johnson. They'll be legitimate members of an elite paramilitary force, they'll wear a uniform, carry a badge, act with the authority of the police in areas that Knight Errant or Ares has jurisdiction, and for the most part operate in the open. They may not tell the press what exactly they are up to but people will for the most part know that they are dealing with a given situation. They'll muck about in the shadows and dark corners of the world when they have to but they should first try and get permission before crossing jurisdictional boundaries and work with other law enforcement units. Yes I expect this will lead to some interesting situations with Lone Star.
ChicagosFinest
LOl thats what PR is for. Would your firewatch team shakedown company men and johnsons who hired runners for their own selfish gains only to have it blow up in their face?

Would they counter extraction teams of runners?

Investigate Magicall anomolies?

Ect. Ect.
imperialus
QUOTE (ChicagosFinest)
LOl thats what PR is for. Would your firewatch team shakedown company men and johnsons who hired runners for their own selfish gains only to have it blow up in their face?

Would they counter extraction teams of runners?

Investigate Magicall anomolies?

Ect. Ect.

That's basically the idea. I want the players to be walking a tightrope between getting their jobs done and stepping on someone elses toes and giving the PR department in Ares a headache.

Basically what I'm shooting for as far as street level knowledge of them would be is that people know they are out there, know that they are an elite unit within Knight Errant, and know that they will not necessarily let red tape get in the way of getting their man.

They are the boogiemen in the closet for most runners, when the Star doesn't care enough or just plain doesn't have the training to track down good teams of runners these guys show up. They deal with high profile cases, terrorist bombings, assassinations, major thefts ect. They are the Grail Knights within Knight Errant, and they are a loud and clear message that if you hit a company that KE provides security for you better spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder since there is a good chance that they are coming after you.
ShadowDragon8685
Interesting idea, I like it... As for who the players could be, if it hasen't already been decided, I had some more ideas...

I didn't see Lone Star High-Threat Response mentioned here. Or, for that matter, if you want some guys who routinely get into Bad Situations... a DocWagon High-Threat Extraction team.

Or you could go with the UCAS CIA, or the 2070s version of Seal Team SIX (which has been replaced with something with a ridiculously long name in modern times).

Ares Firewatch is a good idea, naturally and I can certainly see them having lots of non-Bug related work to keep busy.
Thane36425
Playing a Lone Star or Knight Errant "SWAT" team can be interesting. There would be the normal work like hostage situations, runners and so on, but also things that usually wouldn't make it into the media. That would be things like toxic shamans, twisted adepts, bugs, etc.

Things get too routine, sending them against a factory that turns out to be full of bug spirits will be a nice surprise. If you want to be cruel, send them on a hostage recovery mission into what turn out to be hidden ghoul enclave. When they have to kill a lot of ghouls just to survive, all the pressure groups will come down on the company, landing the players in a bad spot (that's assuming 2070, before then most people wouldn't really care).

Can't forget the Sheddim and other new nasty things out there.
imperialus
<<This is from a flyer that went out to companies that employed KE security trying to get them to upgrade their contracts. I edited the file down since most of it was your typical corporate chest thumping but this bit seemed pertinent. Itís always worth while to keep tabs on who weíre up against and if Firewatch really is out there trying to catch us itíll at least help to know that they are out there.
Fast-Jack>>

Knight Errant Firewatch:

Forget what you thought you knew about elite corporate security! The heroes of Knight Errant Firewatch are here to protect you and your business from all the threats that the modern world has to offer. By enrolling in our super platinum security package the power of FIREWATCH Knight Errantís super elite unit, will be at your disposal. When all else fails our elite Firewatch teams will undertake whatever steps are nessesary to recover your property and ensure that criminals or industrial spies will think twice before targeting you again. After reciving their trial by fire during the crisis in Chicago where they single handedly stopped the spread of the inscet spirit infestation Knight Errant Firewatch has expanded their portfolio and transformed into an ELITE crime fighting force! [23.6 mp deleted]

<<This may seem like your typical crime fighting propaganda but let me assure you itís deadly serious. After Chicago settled down KE found themselves with a whole boatload of damn good soldiers. They couldnít justify keeping them on their payroll but didn't want to see them poached by rival corps either, so they collected some of their best detectives, cross trained them with the goon squads and morphed firewatch into a more general purpose anti-terrorism force. Scary bastards, try not to get in their way.
Sec-Watcher>>>

<<Tell me about it. A buddy of mine told me about run against a midsized R&D cybernetics firm that had KE security. Managed to get in and out without causing too much of a stink, sold the goods hid out for a week and figured he was off scott free. Day after he told me the story he disappeared. Turned up on the news a few days later being escorted into court. Serving 5 life sentences plus 20 years for theft and murder. I know it was Firewatch that nabbed him, they busted into my squat 2 days after I last saw my buddy and asked some very pointed questions about the nature of my relationship with my him. Didn't arrest me or anything so I guess I didn't know anything too important but it's sure as hell not an experince I want to repeat.
Cyberbaby>>

<<Nevermind that, this corp sec drek is just what they do in public to keep their rep up and their skills shiny. These bastards live eat and breath the shadows, I'd be willing to bet that 90% of what they do never gets mentioned in the press.
PAR1N01D>>
ChicagosFinest
I think you got a winner
fistandantilus4.0
QUOTE (knasser)
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0 @ Jan 3 2007, 05:58 AM)
imperialus, like Knasser said, the SR Comp might help a bit.


I get everywhere. You're starting to see me posting even where I haven't now. biggrin.gif

*head slap* wobble.gif
SL James
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Jan 3 2007, 03:15 PM)
or the 2070s version of Seal Team SIX (which has been replaced with something with a ridiculously long name in modern times).

NAVSPECWARDEVGRU.

QUOTE
Or you could go with the UCAS CIA,


The Special Activities Division. Yeah, because every starting PC should be the equivalent of a Delta operator. You know, it's funny. Valerie Plame was reportedly quite proficient with an AK-47 during her training at The Farm. However, I can almost guarantee that in twenty years of service, that skill was needed never. But that's your basic CSO. The CIA's paramilitary hitters are something else.

That's all that annoys me about trying to play commandos in SR (aside from the fact that even LS SWAT and FRT cops are woefully understatted) is not playing 300-karma PCs. It's playing them as starting PCs.
mfb
i hope that you're not suggesting that Plame's effectiveness as an operator was due more to her fine ass and blonde hair than her skill with weapons. that's just sexist!
fistandantilus4.0
Not everyone wants to take the time to build up to that. I think it's usually pretty hard anyway, because most players I see start out with high powered characters are like kids in candy stores. They jsut don't know what to do with them selves. They get all stoked about their stats, and then get screwed up because they stopped thinking. I've seen it be a lot of fun, and a total mess. really depends one the players I think.
mfb
i don't think i've ever seen a game system where characters built at higher power levels are the same as characters who grow to higher power levels. the difference tends to be diversity: if you build a character with a high level of power, it will tend to be specialized, with high skills and stats in one area. if you grow a character to that level, they tend to have lower-rated skills, but a larger array of secondary skills and stats.

and, yeah. high-power games are something you wanna be careful with. like fist says, some people just flip out and go power-crazy.
fistandantilus4.0
QUOTE (mfb)
i don't think i've ever seen a game system where characters built at higher power levels are the same as characters who grow to higher power levels.

Agreed on both. Most people just don't know the character that well, don't have a feel for it. I've seen more people lose characters in a first run with a high powered character than an average or even a lower. They're usually just not as careful.
ChicagosFinest
Agreed they need to build into it
imperialus
QUOTE (SL James @ Jan 4 2007, 01:52 AM)
That's all that annoys me about trying to play commandos in SR (aside from the fact that even LS SWAT and FRT cops are woefully understatted) is not playing 300-karma PCs. It's playing them as starting PCs.

The thing is, is the only way to play them is starting PC's. If you can suggest a remotely plausable storyline that would take the PC's from 400 BP rookies to an elite team of special forces operatives without being broken up, restructured, doing repetative adventures to get the karma they need to become something better, and spending months in training please tell me. My players would murder me if every other session as a beat cop was spent dealing with a domestic violence situation or taking down the discription of a mugger, if they were military then they could spend session after session on patrol hoping that they don't step on a landmine. There is a reason that cops are oftentimes so bored and disillusioned, 90% of the time their jobs are pretty boring. While in real life this is a Good Thing, it doesn't make for a great game.

Not only that but with all the learning process stuff out of the way the players would be free to have come in from numerous service branches. One character could be ex military, another a guy who worked his way up from beat cop to detective and beyond, a third who came from SWAT.

I do intend to work closely with everyone as they develop their characters and everyone is pretty experinced when it comes to SR. They may go a little nuts and create a dumb character but as long as they don't get the entire team wiped out there are always replacements.
imperialus
OH! Brainwave... Not sure if my players will go for it but what if I had them create 400 BP rookies and then create the 600 BP characters that they become? I could then run a short 1-1 adventure set in 2064 or something like that for each that would vary according to their chosen profession before the campaign proper begins.

That would give them a chance to rethink the concept tweak as nessesary and get a feel for how their character would act in different situations.

Might be a bit of an issue for hackers fitting in with the timeline but I could just handwave that.
fistandantilus4.0
Hey, you could try it. I'd suggest giving them karma rather than recreating the characters and have them do 3 or more runs if you want to go that route. And make sure they don't do like mfb said and just top load their primary skills. Might be a good way to let them feel out the characater though. Worst case scenario, it doesn't work and you make starting high BP characters anyways.
ChicagosFinest
Let the adventures grow in difficulty as they gain experiance. There are a tons of plots that you can do. Extractions, on locale, secutiry, prototype testing (robo cops, weapons, magic, matrix, people), magical investigation, matrix investigation, corp wars, liqidation (of company assets items, or people), sabotage, espionage, human resources, smoozing, and the list goes on.

They are firewatch. When Damien Knight says get my coffee they go get it. When Seraphim knocks on the door Firewatch answers. When the Azzies Piss ares off Firewatch bombs the jaguars. Thats just off the top of my head you have time to plan these exciting adventures.

Enough said
imperialus
Well I have one player interested already and suggesting a former intelligence officer in the Ares military wing so that's one step in the right direction, wee! He likes the idea of doing the two characters though it will take some tweaking to figure out what method works best and would allow sams and the like to buy their toys without spending too many resources on lower end gear.
Thane36425
QUOTE (ChicagosFinest)
Let the adventures grow in difficulty as they gain experiance. There are a tons of plots that you can do. Extractions, on locale, secutiry, prototype testing (robo cops, weapons, magic, matrix, people), magical investigation, matrix investigation, corp wars, liqidation (of company assets items, or people), sabotage, espionage, human resources, smoozing, and the list goes on.

They are firewatch. When Damien Knight says get my coffee they go get it. When Seraphim knocks on the door Firewatch answers. When the Azzies Piss ares off Firewatch bombs the jaguars. Thats just off the top of my head you have time to plan these exciting adventures.

Enough said

I agree. Novice runners would probably start with jobs like couriers for low level stuff, low level bodyguard or survelliance or doing a distraction run (without them knowing it) while a better team hits the important objective, missing person search, etc.

As they prove themselves, they will get more job offers. They'll follow many of the same lines, but will be higher risk and higher value.

In a corp it would be the same. Assuming they are a bit above the average corp sec goon, they would be guarding more important facilities, get set out to hassel gangs that have made themselves a nuisance, and roughing up newbie shadowrunners that have hit to corp (most veteran players should have had that happen a few times). As they advance, they get the more sensitive locations and tougher runner groups to go after.

My question about Firewatch is if Knight Errant still has the manditory cortex bomb implant for all employees like they did in SR1 and SR2.
imperialus
Ares MR 55 SO.

In the mid 2060's Ares saw a need for a long-range medium lift transport that could insert troops into areas normally only accessible by helicopter. A military version of the popular TR 55 series was the result; the MR 55 is larger, boasts 4 high torque Merlin XXI engines feeding two props, which allow greater speed and lift than the civilian version. It is also armored against ground fire and carries a chin mounted Ares Vengeance machine gun and can be equipped with under wing rocket or missile launchers allowing it to serve as a gunship in support of the infantry. In addition the SO version carries a secure dedicated matrix node with a satellite uplink and a 10 KM range. The MR 55 was designed to carry a platoon of fully equipped infantry or a single squad of mechanized infantry while still maintaining a small landing footprint. With a skilled pilot the MR 55 can land in an area as small as an average urban intersection.

Ares MR 55 SO (Special Operations)
Handling, -2
Accel, 20/90
Speed, 400
Pilot, 4
Body, 25
Armor, 20
Sensor, 3
Avail, 30R
Cost, 950,000

PS does anyone else miss the more detailed vehical stats from 3rd ed? I guess most of them didn't have too huge an effect on the average campaign but still it was nice to know what kind of entry ports a vehical had and what its fuel economy was.
imperialus
What a Firewatch Officer Looks Like:

Firewatch officers are immediately distinguishable from their average counterparts by their uniforms. Forgoing the blue that has been ubiquitous among police officers since the 19th century, Firewatch officers wear dark red fatigues with black bulletproof vests, epaulettes, piping, and belts. They wear photo reactive sunglasses that can have AR displays piped into them if necessary. Rather than a hat they wear black berets or helmets with their unit insignia on them. The uniform is completed with silver accents and unlike most police they wear jackboots with their cuffs tucked into them in the style of parachute infantry.

Unit badges are black triangles with red piping and the unit logo, which is a stylized rendition of the unit name in the center. Each side of the triangle represents one of the specialties of Firewatch. Protecting civilization from unknown magical threats such as insect spirits and blood magic, serving the population as police, and combating direct threats to Ares and Knight Errant.

When combat is expected or inevitable Firewatch teams will go into battle wearing full suits of military grade combat armour. The armour is painted with black paint that serves to confuse most sensor systems and it is edged and detailed in red. When wearing armour full gas masks are always worn providing those without cybernetic enhancement with a link to the units tactical net as well as vision and hearing enhancement, this also gives the team members a degree of anonymity and facelessness that can be very intimidating to those who come up against them. The armour is also environmentally sealed to provide protection from most chemical and biological weapons and carries an onboard air supply, good for 30 minutes in the event that the air filters prove insufficient or the individual is required to operate underwater.

Firewatch officers carry the ubiquitous Ares Predator IV as a standard sidearm and also oftentimes are seen with Ares Alpha combat rifles. They are trained with a wide variety of weapons however and will oftentimes change their load as the situation demands. Particularly in the case of sidearms many officers prefer to use their own personal weapons rather than the Predators. Even if a Firewatch officer carries a Predator it is quite likely personally owned and modified to suit the individual. The Captain of Wasp for example, who is one of the last active veterans who served during the Chicago incident carries an original Ares Predator mk I with a pearl handle and a hand made frame that shows bugs being consumed by fire worked in gold over a matte black background.

Individual Firewatch units are named after the insects that they were initially created to combat. The Seattle unit for example is called Mantis, while Detroit is named Wasp. Spider, Scorpion, Ant, and Hornet are the names of several other units scattered across the world. New recruits are called maggots, finally making official something that Drill Sergeants have already known for centuries.

Firewatch is arguably one of the most demanding units to gain entry too. Not only are itÔŅĹs members expected to perform as special operations soldiers on a par with elite units such as the Seals, Red Samurai, Jaguar Warriors and Rangers, they must have substantial investigative skills and know police procedure and the law like the bible. It is entirely possible for a Firewatch team to spend one week investigating a high profile murder before being shuttled off and airdropped into a remote location in the Andes mountains the next week to investigate a possible bug spirit infestation.
Butterblume
http://www.geocities.com/flanker562/index.htm

Just to mention a link to a shadowrun military site, that resided in my bookmarks for a long time. They have stuff about firewatch, too...
imperialus
ooo shiny, thank you. Might not use 100% of that but I'll definatly poach from it.
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