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So over New Years I took some vacation to spend a little over a week at my best friend's place along with a few other gamers and I got to do what I'd always wanted which is run the Arcology Shutdown from day one. I've run the Arcology Shutdown before, both as a GM and player, but never having the runners inside the thing when it shutdown. Of course though that wasn't good enough for me I had to have a compelling reason for them to be inside, one which I found in Mob War.

See all my players have organized crime contacts, some Mafia, some Yakuza, even a couple with Triad and Seopla Ring contacts. I'd been building up to doing the Mob War when the storyline got side tracked (they went to Europe for awhile). So I decided to just have the mob war events get delayed and to alter then somewhat. One of the PCs is actually pretty heavily involved with the Mafia, specifically the Bigio and Finnigan families. That was a happy coincidence I couldn't help but exploit.

The alterations I made to Mob War was just to push the events back to happening at the same time as the Arc shutdown and have the assassination take place in the evening while Rowena is visiting friend in the Arc. When word of the killing hit the streets the players were pretty well torn, one smelled the opertunity for nuyen, others wanted to stay the hell out of the mess, two others wanted to help their contacts out seeing as their life expectancies probably just dropped and finally the poor bastard who's indebted to the mob had all his markers called in.

Two tense days of gaming with a couple of gun battles erupting led the team to decide to take the job to get Rowena out of the Arc and make sure no one pasted her on the way out. I was quite impressed with myself that I actually got a player to say that as hard as it'd be to get into the Arc it'd be safer then being out on the streets during a mob war. That player of course had never heard of the Arc shutdown and the two that were familiar with it were able to hide their smirks.

They were actually pretty ingenious getting into the Arc and had a very solid plan, I'd planned on having them having the run get blown and actually getting 'saved' by the shutdown, but things were executed so well and critical rolls were made that I couldn't really without just doing some GM's Fiat which I dislike doing. Long story short they were on their way to the 220th floor helipads when the Arc shutdown.

I'd planned pretty well for the whole deal, writing out a complete timeline of what would happen when, what was already in place by Deus, what battles would take place when and so on. One thing I hadn't accounted for was a surprizing lack of haste on the part of the PCs (which was bigger then normal with 10 people). Only two players really had any sense of urgency which surprized me as usually when things go horrifically wrong the team goes hell bent for leather to get out immediately. By and large though the team wanted to hunker down and figure out what the hell was going on.

Except for that it was everything I could have hoped for and more, running gun battles, the PCs having to beat people to death with bare hands or whatever was nearby so they could take their guns, incredibly difficult decisions to make, and even some self sacrifice. It ended up being heavier on the kill count then I'd hoped it would be but a few players actually wanted their chars to get geeked in an appropriately epic fashion and the late gaming sessions led to some pretty stupid decisions. Like the way of the power gamer adept deciding that they had plenty of time to strip and search the bodies of the former red sams now banded they'd just killed and the rigger saying "screw it, I'm landing on that helipad"

By the time they got out the team had been reduced to 4 though they did manage to keep Rowena alive. In addition to the adept and rigger, the tech specialist/sam got taken out in a running gun battle with blues on their way back up from the basement while looking for an exit, the cybered troll of doom sacrificed himself on floor 61 to buy time for everyone else climbing down an elevator shaft. The dwarf sam got killed by medusas on floor 6. The decker got left behind on floor 121 and it's somewhat in the air whether he survived or not.

Anyways it was a hell of a good time and a great way to blow a week. The one thing I'd really change if I had it to do all over again would be to work up some more floor plans and basic layouts. While I'm normally really good on the fly and had a half dozen all set up as big as the Arc is and as late as we gamed it became a bit of a chore.

Sad to say I've still never run the arc myself. Would dearly love to some day.
Same here, but it's near impossible in the small (ergo: 1 on 1) games that I play.
Kyoto Kid
...nice hook to the Arc module and nice way of making contacts a part of the game.

I actually worked up fun a holiday themed run, however some of the key players ended up going out of town. Of course that left me plenty of time to plot & scheme so I will be "backing up the timeline" this weekend to run it.

[belated]...Happy Fraggin Holidays all[/belated].
I've generally had good fun with the Arc, though I've found if you just play it as is all your PCs will die very very very quickly. It's a little hyper lethal, or geared for a powerlevel I never let my PCs get to. Anyways it's good times and I recommend it for everyone though anouther thing to keep in mind is the Arc Shutdown only gives overviews specifics are as dependant on the GM as if you were just flat out making up your own run.
Well the Arc is really MENT to be Ultra Mega Super #1! Lethal. I mean just look at the computer system. It goes into UV. Far as I know that tops the difficulty/lethality raiting period for Decking by a good margin. Afterall there's a good reason its taken what? 9 years or somethign to clear out only HALF the arcology in the first place? And this is the military going at it here. Heavy combat armor, rocketlaunchers, and big guns and other toys galore.

Any setup that chews up that many well equipped and trained grunts in big groups is obviously a super nasty setup.

Ideally as a runner going in there, you wouldnt want anything less than dikoted heavy combat armor with all the mods and an r12 ruth coating, loaded for bare with APDS and AV ammo. And even then your likely to have a hard time.

In the end of course it's only as lethal as the GM makes it. In a 1 on 1 gaming scenario its still doable however, the GM just really needs to make sure to give the sole PC some friendly NPCs to help is all.
I'm probably off, but I almost see it similar to the scene in the movie Aliens where the marines are hamstrung by having their ammo removed removed since they were inside a reactor. I know, it's not as drastic as the Arcology but since the Arcology has valuable information/materials in there and it's in the middle of the city. Some of the heavier ordinances the military could use aren't because of it.
Runners on the other hand... they aren't as constricted, they just need to get their hands on the stuff. wink.gif
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