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ChronoGib
I seem to have a different impression of what the SR world is like then my players and I was wondering how other groups run. I know I'm posing a no-right-answers question, but I'm curious how others play.

I've noticed my players have tendencies like;
1) Take anything not bolted down and assume the consequences can be dealt with. (Like taking comlinks for the sole purpose of selling them later.)
2) Be excessively violent. Example A, if they get attacked while in a gang's territory the players slaughter the gangers then chase down anyone trying to flee (then do #1 with the bodies, luckily organs count as bolted down). Example B, the guy's already hiding under his desk, but they decide to kick him in the head for no reason.
3) Disrespect Johnsons by being rude and acting like they call all the shots. (I'd have the Johnson just walk out if I wasn't trying to establish certain characters and events for the plot)

I'm a new GM and I own and have read the 4th edition core book, Mr. Johnson's Black Book and played a couple of sessions of SR 3 years ago. I have a distinctively different view of how things go in the SR universe and was wondering if I just have the wrong expectations. I was reading this thread and got the impression my players are just being grossly unprofessional. I obviously need to talk to my players, but I want to figure out what reasonable expectations are first.

Thanks to anyone who can spare some advice.
Jrayjoker
Oh my God, you could be describing my players a couple years ago. I bought "Fields of Fire" and asked them to read through it. It helped.
Kagetenshi
There is no room for decency whatsoever. The line for "decency" was somewhere back before becoming a Shadowrunner.

That said, my advice is to let the chips fall where they mayŚ1 and 2 aren't inherently bad ideas, but if they perform them too frequently without thought they'll probably get bitten. 3 is just a bad idea until the Johnsons need them more than they need the Johnsons (which generally happens during the runup to Prime Runnerhood). Screw the plot, if the character you made would walk out have him/her/it walk out.

~J
Moirdryd
Not to mention the excess of killing will get them noticedand Corpsec will be after them for Blood and Unless they are upto Prime Runner abilities (heavens forbid) enough gangers will gank them easily for killing their chummers. Dotn forget it's not just Runners who have `ware, guns and magic. Several gangs also have such things and indeed there are those sponsored by the syndicates...
nezumi
It sounds like they're a crew of overpaid thugs, not a group of professionals.

Looting is fine, but only with stuff that won't get them tracked down (example, might a commlink have a GPS module in it?) and won't put the mission at risk. This may be the time to enforce encumbrance rules, by the by. If they're walking out with two dozen assault rifles, they will not be able to fight properly. Similarly, if they are taking the time to strip men of their armor (and worse still, their cyber) during a run, they greatly increase the odds of security finding them. Again, enforce this. My players have only done this once and they learned their lesson well (since then, they've learned how to loot bodies AFTER the job, and how to do a very complete job on it).

Excessive violence can be bad because it slows them down and also because it increases the odds of their leaving evidence. You just booted a guy in the head? Now there's blood on your boot, dummy. Plus, a true sociopath (who isn't in management) gets increased attention and therefore fewer job offers. If the Johnson needs a kneebreaker, that's one thing. But if he's sending in a crew to pick up a weapons prototype and they keep trying it out on every Joe on the way home, the J has good cause for withholding some or all of their payment. As Moirdryd pointed out also, many non-runners are very, very tough. I was reading up on the stats for SR gangs. Most gang leaders of most established gangs sport betaware, three to five levels of initiation, and serious military hardware. Sure, Bob watching the keg doesn't have anything special, but the guy he reports to does, and that guy is now pissed off with your team. Toss a few beta wired-3 gangers at the crew. When they complain, show them where in the book that ganger is written up.

I'm with Kage on the last one as well. The Johnson isn't there to take abuse, plus it sounds like they don't have a great track record. They're violent and arrogant, who would want to hire them? They don't look like pros to me.

What I'd recommend:
1) Their fixer calls them up and chews them out. The Johnson was displeased. These guys can't watch their tongue and they brought a lot of attention to the wrong people on the last run. What don't they understand about the words "shadow" and "run"? He's had enough of these pompous gangers, he isn't putting his rep on the line sending quality jobs down to them. He doesn't actually have to do that, I can certainly imagine the fixer threatening to make sure the runners realize they need to fix things up, but it wouldn't hurt to send a few very poorly paying 'rough up this fellow' type jobs to drive the point home. They need to act like pros or no one else will treat them like one.

2) Set them up on a job unrelated to the campaign (maybe one from a pre-written mission book). When the crew inevitably badmouths the Johnson, he simply stands up, collects his stuff and leaves. Make sure you pick a job where the J can suffer a week or so setback. Then refer back to #1.

3) If your pre-designed campaign is only a few games away from completion or if there's very good reason why the J is willing to kiss the runners' bottoms, let him continue to suffer abuse. Otherwise, like Kage said, screw the campaign. They sunk a good relationship, they'll need to work it back. The Johnson calls them, says he's tired of them making such a loud mess of everything, and says he's found the relationship unfulfilling. He's going elsewhere for his business. IF they work up a reputation for being able to behave themselves, he may call them back (if). Thank you, goodbye.


The reason your players are running amok is because you're letting them. Enforce consequences and they will learn very quickly (although they may ask you OOC to go back to how things were before).
eidolon
I actively discourage 1, 2, and 3 in games that I run. When I play, I generally try and avoid doing any of them, because if the GM is like me I'll pay for it. wink.gif
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (nezumi)
Plus, a true sociopath (who isn't in management) gets increased attention and therefore fewer job offers.

A true sociopath is unlikely to balk at the job. That's a gigantic risk for many shadowruns, so sociopaths would be eminently desirable IMO.

~J
KarmaInferno
Everything has a consequence. Everything.

Act like a thug, get treated like one. Lone Star will get increasingly hardcore on you, you will only ever get the low-paying thug jobs, nobody will ever trust you for anything important.

Karma's more than just a game mechanic.


-karma
mfb
personally, i have no problem with any of the above. there are all kinds of approaches to the shadows, and all kinds of pluses and minuses to each. for instance, their approach has the advantage of getting them a don't-fuck-with-us reputation. they can intimidate people just by showing up; when they roll into gang territory, there will be many gangs who just slink away and don't even poke their heads out for fear of getting it blown off. more professional, reserved runners would find themselves mobbed by those same gangs, simply because they don't have a reputation for wild-eyed violence.

on the other hand, professional, reserved runners get tapped for less dangerous, more lucrative jobs--the quiet ones, the ones no one is supposed to know about.

if you want your crew to be more professional and reserved, here is my suggestion: give them quiet jobs that stipulate a minimum of collateral damage. when the team goes in with guns blazing and grabs everything they can get their hands on, they simply won't get paid the rest of their fee. the johnson won't even show up or try to contact them--they won't be able to find him at all. and the next quiet job they get hired for, the johnson will pay them less.

i don't know if that will help the players understand. them, you'll probably have to actually talk to and explain.
2bit
After having been burned by crazy looting PC's in the past, I try to take that into account when designing opposition. If I want the PC's to face off against an emeny toting an assault cannon, but don't want them to have it when the battle's over, I'll design it so the cannon is unrecoverable, or useless, or stopping to loot would jeaporadize the mission.

I haven't really gotten the hang of discouraging excessive violence yet. Violence is a very effective tool in this game, and I think it would be a desirable trait in a shadowrunner. Sociopaths who worship god money are probably the most successful runners.

I mean, theyre soulless, but that doesn't really matter to a player whose first priority is getting the job done so he can get paid.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (KarmaInferno)
Act like a thug, get treated like one. Lone Star will

Try to slap a badge on you.

~J
Kyoto Kid
...not too much issue with #1. Usually its weapons and street armour which if the team already has sufficient quality of their own gets sold. That basically covers a night or two at a club and bribes. The big thing is Foci. Even as a player of mundanes, foci ar nice because they usually net good nuyen.gif (especially when the Johnson is a cheapskate & sends you on a highly deadly mission which should be worth a lot more).

#2, usually not, either as a player or GM. That gets you noticed by the Star (or other law enforcement, an gangs) as well in my campaigns.

#3, If the Johnson was being yanked around I would say, "That was fun, well, who has a deck of cards?" This also includes is magical abuse of the Johnson, e.g, pumping up Charisma temporarily or using other spells to the point Mr. or Mrs J wouldn't have a wage slave's chance in the Barrens at succeeding in a Negotiation test. I also carefully set up the initial meets to make sure the Johnson has at least a chance at countering the PCs attempt to barter up the price.

I have used the "keep it on the sly" method with varying degrees of success. I set up a formula for final Karma awards based on how close they follow the Johnson's instruction. If they leave high body counts and go blasting off guns, spells and generally pissing people off when discreetness was stressed, most likely the final award is lower. This really tends to hit the awakened types more since Karma is more valuable (particularly in SR4) than nuyen.gif. Also I note such behavior in their overall reputation on the streets.
mfb
here's another possible option for driving home the consequences of #3:

at the start of the next session, open with, "it's been a while since your last job. for some reason, after you threatened that last Johnson, no other Johnson wants to deal with you. deduct three months' lifestyle from your cash. what's that? you don't have enough money? well, looks like it's time to talk to the mob about a loan!"
SirBedevere
Concerning the gang attack, I've always thought that there is a great dichotomy between the way gangers think and react, and the way shadowrunners do. Gangers go in for intimidation and threat display. That way most people will leave them alone and/or do what the gangers wish. IMO shadowrunners tend to react to immediate threats with rapid and devastating violence. Many have cranked up reflexes and if they perceve a personal threat eliminate it instantly.

If a ganger pulled a gun in a bar for intimidation purposes and waved it in the direction of a shadowrunner I'd expect the runner to geek the ganger without hesitation.

As far as killing all the gangers is concerned 'never leave a live enemy behind you' seems good policy. Otherwise the survivors might plot revenge. Looting the bodies? Well, cred is cred ya'know. Taking the organs might well drive the point home that it's better to leave these people alone. Depends what the group's relationship is to Tamanous/ghouls.

On an actual 'run, taking time with unecessessary diversions is not good biz. Killing without good reason is also bad biz.
Skeptical Clown
#1 is more of an annoyance than a problem. If they're getting too much money from looting, just dock the amount of money they get paid for jobs, or send them on missions where looting everything would actually cause them problems--nothing so direct as "Don't loot or I don't pay you," but rather "We don't want this to look too obvious..."

On the other hand, if they're stealing sensitive info, just stealing everything might make a certain amount of sense--it makes it look more like burglarly than targetted theft.

#2 is again, more a nuisance than a problem, but it could cause real complications. Gangs are mostly interested in throwing their weight around, and most aren't going to stick around if there's clearly someone tougher on the block. It shouldn't be necessary to track them all down. Engaging in running firefights through the city is going to eventually catch SOMEBODY's attention, and there's always going to be somebody out there with more firepower. Sometimes, it just takes someone getting killed or arrested to drive home the point though.

#3 is the only one I see as being a real problem. It's not one I ever dealt with--most of my players were so anal about appearing professional that they didn't even bargain effectively, or get as much information as they sometimes needed. To a certain extent, Johnsons are probably going to expect runners to be unprofessional, so they might be willing to take it to a point. Excessive rudeness or unreasonable demands are going to damage the resume though, and maybe they'll have to relocate.

Ultimately, the real issue seems to be that the players are bored or are using Seattle (or wherever you game) as their personal playground. You need to get on the same page as them and determine what everyone wants from the game. These things are only problems if they are derailing the stories.
cetiah
QUOTE (ChronoGib)
I seem to have a different impression of what the SR world is like then my players and I was wondering how other groups run. I know I'm posing a no-right-answers question, but I'm curious how others play.


I feel for you.
This was my first experience when playing Shadowrun, a couple years ago. It was enough to get me to say "I'm never playing that again" and walking away. I've agreed to GM again this time, but I'm being very clear this time about what I expect from the game and ask my players to do so as well, BEFORE the game begins.

However, I don't like it when GMs arbitrarily decide to enforce corrective measures such as "making the Johnson get even" or "putting more heat on them from Lone Star" and such. In my view, role-playing deserves choices and players shouldn't be punished for those choices. However, if they know about the consequences ahead of time, then it's all fair game. If anything, that makes their choices EVEN MORE important, which I think it a better experience for players.

For example, if they will do something I don't like, I would tell them "okay, but then Lone Star will be putting more heat on you." If they're still okay, I'd even go into specifics, "Okay, but next scene will have three extra Lone Star agents gunning for you, and the professional rating of the group will be 1 higher." So long as I give them fair warning, I can do ANYTHING I feel is necessary, and it's all fair (and fun) as far as I'm concerned. But if I had a whole gang of Lone Star officers waiting to gun them down when they got home just because I felt "it would make sense as a consequence of your actions", I'm pretty sure the players would cry fowl if they lost.


QUOTE (ChronoGib)

I've noticed my players have tendencies like;
1) Take anything not bolted down and assume the consequences can be dealt with. (Like taking comlinks for the sole purpose of selling them later.)

Yeah, I remember when I was in a group and a bunch of cybered gangers ambushed my team in a public place. Immediately after my battle, the mage and the street sam got to work removing the ganger's cyberarm. The GM was absolutely shocked and horrified, but the street sam's player just kept saying "Do you know how much this thing's worth?"

It's important to remember that you control the "demand" of any products the players steal. It's perfectly reasonable to assume players won't want to touch lifted comlinks that have other people's identities programmed into them. Of course, the right fixer might pay extra for that. It's really up to you and your game, but in general I try to do everything possible to encourage the view that the PCs are Professional [fill in the blank]s, not hired thugs.

QUOTE (ChronoGib)

2) Be excessively violent. Example A, if they get attacked while in a gang's territory the players slaughter the gangers then chase down anyone trying to flee (then do #1 with the bodies, luckily organs count as bolted down). Example B, the guy's already hiding under his desk, but they decide to kick him in the head for no reason.

Yeah, that sucks. But its pretty universal in any RPG.

QUOTE (ChronoGib)

3) Disrespect Johnsons by being rude and acting like they call all the shots. (I'd have the Johnson just walk out if I wasn't trying to establish certain characters and events for the plot)

I hate this. I really do. To be honest, if my players did this, I might stop playing. It seems very immature to me. Or maybe its just immature of me to not be able to handle it, but I've told my players that I have a strict idea of what my Shadowrun universe is like and if we're not going to play in that universe by its rules and order, I might not be capable of running the game.

QUOTE
I'm a new GM and I own and have read the 4th edition core book, Mr. Johnson's Black Book and played a couple of sessions of SR 3 years ago. I have a distinctively different view of how things go in the SR universe and was wondering if I just have the wrong expectations. I was reading this thread and got the impression my players are just being grossly unprofessional. I obviously need to talk to my players, but I want to figure out what reasonable expectations are first.

Yeah, I prefer to think of Shadowrun as a system in which the traditional view of morality has been reversed. Governments, militaries, churches, corporations - pretty much every organization has risen to power and become some form of monolithic evil, whereas individuality has been stripped away and the shadowrunners represent the heroic avatars of Individuality, and the biggest threat to the Powers That Be that exist. They fight oppression where they can, but its usually targeted against them, and often the very people they try to help (when they can) are people that hate and oppress them. We all have different tastes and flavors. Some people play Shadowrun because they feel its a system where they don't have to be heroes; where they can roleplay not having morality and write everything off as "the world is a gritty place", but I for one think that in such a world, doggedly sticking to morality and senses of heroism become even more important. The sad fact is that shadowrunners may be the best force there is for heroic change in the world - a cruel irony of fate.

I also tend to support a view where shadowrunners are relatively rare and unknown. It is my understanding that most people don't.
Thane36425
Lots of players tend to forget that actions have consequences. Being brutes will get them brute jobs and hassel from Lone Star.

Looting is sort of touchy, though I find it usually comes up mostly with beginning characters who are scrambling for cash. Looting gangers that cross you might get away with, but picking that R&D lab clean is really going to tick off the corp in question.

As characters get further one, especially if they have managed to purchase a lifestyle, then looting should be less of a concern. Payment from the runs should be enough to keep them happy, and their discipline at not looting or causing unnecessary damage would probably see them paid more than usual.

If this is a problem though, here is something I once did. The team was raiding a not so big firm to steal some R&D material. In the process, they stole a lot of other material. What they didn't know was that the firm was a subsidiary of Aztechnology and some of the extra material they stole was part of a compartmentalized, and thus very important and secret, program. They ended up in a world of shit and had to high tail it out of Seattle, with a bad rep for some time, being too hot for most Johnsons to bother with.
Thain
"When your run is ending. Some elses is just beginning."
James McMurray
QUOTE
1) Take anything not bolted down and assume the consequences can be dealt with. (Like taking comlinks for the sole purpose of selling them later.)


I see this follow the same general trend in D&D as it does in SR. Early on, when you're scrabbling for pennies, you take everything you can find. Later, whent he jobs are better and the price you demand is higher, you can ignore the random bits laying around and focus on the larger prizes.

QUOTE
2) Be excessively violent. Example A, if they get attacked while in a gang's territory the players slaughter the gangers then chase down anyone trying to flee (then do #1 with the bodies, luckily organs count as bolted down). Example B, the guy's already hiding under his desk, but they decide to kick him in the head for no reason.


This type of behavior almost invariably leads to an eventual hammer dropping situation. Eventually someone you brutalize is going to have a friend ro friends capable of brutalizing you.

QUOTE
3) Disrespect Johnsons by being rude and acting like they call all the shots. (I'd have the Johnson just walk out if I wasn't trying to establish certain characters and events for the plot)


Screw the plot. If you give the J no respect, he finds another group of runners that will. Some Johnsons (the desperate ones short on time) will let you treat them like crap, but most won't. Despite what a lot of runners like to say, they're working a job. If you piss off the boss you don't get hired or you get summarily fired, just like with every other job.
Bashfull
I'm pleased to say my new campaign has some sensible runners. They pack gel rounds alongside the copperheads. They will probably buy squirts and tasers when they can afford them. Why? Because they have a conscience. That mook corp guard has a family to go home to. Also, the less damage you do to someone, the less pissed they're going to be. You stole their data. Damn, they're furious. You stole their data and blew up their research lab? Someone is going to get Medieval on you, omae.

My suggestions: if your team want brutality, give it to them. If they're going to be rude to Johnsons, don't have the Johnson walk out. Have them evicted by the bouncers, then. They kill guards and kick clerks? Have someone hunt one of them down and torture him to death, just because. As characters, they can't beat the whole system. You never run out of resources to throw at them. After all, one great dragon...
Thane36425
QUOTE (James McMurray)


I see this follow the same general trend in D&D as it does in SR. Early on, when you're scrabbling for pennies, you take everything you can find. Later, whent he jobs are better and the price you demand is higher, you can ignore the random bits laying around and focus on the larger prizes.


This has been my opinion too. Lots of low level D&D campaigns saw characters renting wagons to haul away all the servicable weapons and armor and even some furniture. By mid level, there wasn't any call for that anymore.

SR is sort of the same way. You start out doing low end jobs and scrambling for money and karma, but if they prove themselves, the bigger paying jobs come along. You also find higher value goodie, like expensive decks and programs from enemy hackers and enchanted items from mages. Nothing quite like taking a force 3 power focus off an enemy mage but having nowhere near the karma to bond with it. Hard choice, but all the money you get for it makes selling easier to bear.
Thane36425
QUOTE (Bashfull)

My suggestions: if your team want brutality, give it to them. If they're going to be rude to Johnsons, don't have the Johnson walk out. Have them evicted by the bouncers, then. They kill guards and kick clerks? Have someone hunt one of them down and torture him to death, just because. As characters, they can't beat the whole system. You never run out of resources to throw at them. After all, one great dragon...

If a team wants brutality, run a merc campaign in the Yucatan or Africa. Plenty of opportunity for slaughter with little recrimination there, until the opposition catches you that is.

Wounded Ronin
Well, there's nothing wrong per se with exterminating the gang, if they've got the ammo and doing so doesn't endanger the mission. If they make a habit of it perhaps the other gangs will get spooked and form alliances against that particular runner team, which could be amusing. "You busily hack your way through about three rows of unaugmented light-pistol wielding gangers when you realize that you are completely surrounded by Halloweeners with grenade launchers."

That was kind of the comical thing about Deus Ex. Paul Denton was like, "Please sneak in and do the objective with a quiet minimum of bloodshed, not because it's actually more practical to do it that way, but because it's more ethical in the abstract. Um, even though you're putting your life on the line." If you consider it "bad" that the PCs go and exterminate the gang there probably should be a practical reason why doing so would be bad. If nothing else, maybe the ammo cost isn't worth it, if they were pumping APDS rounds into those leather jacket wearing gangers.


If they're rude to the Johnson, Kage called it right first, have the Johnson walk out. He's not going to pay lots of money so that he can risk his "deniable assets" bringing the house down on him due to boasting and inappropriate lack of discretion. Screw the story. Really. Me, I don't even have stories when I GM.


Lastly, going around and exterminating the opposition only works when you have the firepower to do so. Realistically, the corporate opposition should at least on some occasion have more resources to bring to bear on the PCs so that no matter how tough an individual PC is he'll still get crushed if he waits around for too long.

It's like being part of an elite recon squad. Yes, you're tough and motivated compared to the average mook on the other side. However, it would still be retarded for you to do anything but get in and get out since you'll still lose if you get sandwiched between several platoons.

So it's very simple. Let the dice fall where they may. If the PCs spend too much time grandstanding and killing every last security guard this gives the rest of the opposition time to set up snipers, send in air support (yes, chopper support, why not), send in 7 rating 6 air elementals, send in a citymaster filled with guys wearing hardened security armor, and so on.

Yeah, that's the solution to everything. Screw the story and let the dice fall where they may.
cristomeyers
If you're concerned about keeping the story (I would be, but I guess I'm wierd like that), here's a trick: The next time they piss of Mr. J, go ahead and have him walk out. Fast forward about a week, the runners hear through the grapevine that a run was pulled off against X megacorp and that corp is after blood. The clincher? Mr. J was so pissed, he hired another group to not only do the run, but frame the players for it as well.

It de-rails the story some, but at least this way you have something to build off of. Flexibility, friend, it's a GM's best attribute (a mean streak a mile wide doesn't hurt either wink.gif)
toturi
I'd let the dice fall as they may.

If the runners are looting everything in sight, well, I hope they got high Strength because they'd need it to carry all that stuff. If they are only looting the high value(but light weight) items, then perhaps the loot is a little "hot" and apply the penalties accordingly when they fence it.

Excessively violent can work. But there will be consequences, both good and bad consequences. A rep for being brutal will work when Intimidating someone, but not so good when working on a discrete assignment(if you could land the job in the first place).

Disrespecting Johnsons are generally a bad idea. But if the person doing the disrespecting is better at Social skills than the Johnson is, then it sucks to be the Johnson. If the PC has a wider Social network than the Johnson and have better Social skills, he might just be able to ruin the Johnson's rep if the J walks when they are rude.

The reason that pissing off a Johnson being bad is that he should have more and deeper contacts than you and have better Social Skills as well. But if you are playing a Fixer/Face PC you just might be able to match or outdo the J!
Tiger Eyes
My team looted... once. Many, many years ago. The boxes of drugs we picked up had something else hidden in them, a cutting edge deck that was being smuggled... well, hell, I don't even remember all the particulars. I do remember the three different corporate swat teams that came after us, the two different apartments we had blown up, the injuries & death (almost lost our street sam, lost a mage) and having to leave Seattle for awhile.

We finally sold the damn thing for a huge loss, considering the cost of losing almost all our gear, the cost of healing several members of our team, and the cost of pulling in a lot of favors from our contacts. We actually lost one of our fixers who refused to deal with us ever again, due to the 30 people who lost their lives in the fire when one of our apartments was blown up & the whole building burned to the ground.

Multiple games and characters later, we still don't loot. Ever.

As for being polite to Johnsons and fixers... well, we've had to re-build our contact network from the ground up. Actually, we've had to do that several times (due to stupidity and rapid relocations) so once we've made a contact, we tend to treat them very, very well. If you make your characters work hard for something, they'll appreciate it even more.
Moirdryd
No survivors doesnt build a rep.. any rep... because, well, there are no survivors to tell anyone who whacked those ganger kids. If no-one knows you've done something you cant get any glory for it. Now when the gangers get nasty and the Sam pulls a pred and off him in one motion, perhaps capping two of his friends as they leg it... then you gte a rep. Sure that gang will try and hit you and when that doesnt work then they clear out when you check in!
Ravor
(1) Looting

Well personally I don't see a problem with mild looting, but as others have said, remember that every second you spend looting during the Run is another second that security has to find/kill you. Plus, somethings are simply too hot to handle, as Tiger Eyes' story demostrates. (I don't think it makes sense for the hammer to fall as hard as it did in his case, but it does get the point across nicely.)

(2) MDK

You know, I never understood why so many people get so uptight about their Runner's packing Gel Rounds/Tasers and eating cold dinners because lighting a fire would kill some bugs or something. Remember that Shadowrun isn't about being a good-guy or some rebel hero fighting the good fight against the forces of evil, it is about playing someone who gets paid money to shoot people in the face! Besides, exactly why would an exec at aMega care more about the fate of some nameless security guards who couldn't even do the simple job they were paid perfectly good money to do over that of the fancy 'do-dad' that cost more to research and produce a security guard can ever hope to make in his entire pitiful life?

No if he decides it is worth the bottom line to hunt you down, it will be based off of one of two things, (1) is spending money to track down the Runners and 'do-dad' likey to pay off or is it simply throwing good money after bad, and (2) how pissed is he over the yearly bonus that the Runners just cost him.

Now that isn't saying that there shouldn't be a chance that killing some grunt might come back to haunt them, but think about this for a moment, how many of us could track someone down who had killed/maimed a loved one and extract revenge? How many of us could even manage to pay someone else to do so? I'd wager dollars to donuts that the answer is not very damn many of us and the same will still hold true in 2070.

Now to bring it back to the example about killing every last gang member, although I'm not sure that shooting fleeing gang members is really a very good idea anywhere except possibly in a Z Zone (And I'm not sure it really pays even there.) I really don't see the gangs well 'ganging up' agaisnt the Runners, but lets just hope that they don't ever find themselves in a situation where they might need some help from the gangs...

(3) Mr J's social graces

Well I have to agree that this can be a problem if taken too far by the Runners, although any Johnson worth his salt understands that he is dealing with very dangerous people who for whatever reason can't or won't either live like decent wage-slave or even sign up as a corp/government thug, so he'll most likely live with and even expect some level of abuse from the cromed psychos sitting across the table from him. But yeah, if they cross the line that the Johnson has set, then have him walk.


Glyph
Looting and extra violence have their place - shadowrunners should be scrounging for all of the cred they can get, unless the run is of a type that specifically forbids it (leave no trace, etc.). And there's nothing wrong with killing a bunch of gangers and sending a message that the PCs shouldn't be messed with. That might inspire vengeance if done against, say, one of the syndicates. But street punks are likelier to leave the characters alone after that (but woe to the runners if any of them catch them when they are wounded or otherwise vulnerable - but that goes even if they haven't geeked a lot of them).

But remember that as soon as the runners hit a target, the clock starts ticking for reinforcements to show up, so taking too much time snagging all of the commlinks or hunting for the clerk who hid behind the desk can wind up costing them big time. The initial opposition should be balanced more or less to the PCs, but the reinforcements should be something they need to run from.


As far as rudeness to the Johnson, it should cost them if they do it excessively, as runners live and die by their contacts. But the Johnson won't be expecting a lot of polish from 'runners (at least, not from typical ones). Runners tend to consist of guys with tie-dyed shirts and green mohawks, people who sharpen their cyberspurs at the table, and in general, street trash. Hell, look at SR1, when the archetypes introduced themselves. Notice how lots of them make some kind of threat to the Johnson? So don't give your Johnson expectations that are too high. But if the group is rude enough, have the Johnson walk. Then do like another poster said - have the fixer chew them out, then tell them to mark off three months of living expenses that they incurred waiting for another job.
Kagetenshi
Also, a suggestion: every time you start wondering who would give high-paying jobs to Runners with a reputation for significant amounts of violence, go look at the cover of Blood in the Boardroom until you stop wondering.

~J
Thane36425
QUOTE (Glyph)

But remember that as soon as the runners hit a target, the clock starts ticking for reinforcements to show up, so taking too much time snagging all of the commlinks or hunting for the clerk who hid behind the desk can wind up costing them big time. The initial opposition should be balanced more or less to the PCs, but the reinforcements should be something they need to run from.



That's a good point. As soon as the runners set off any kind of alarm, more of the enemy is going to be coming for them. Fool around long enough in a facility and they could get trapped. Same with gangers. They might not be as dangerous as corp security but they could still make a nuisance of themselves. Reinforcements should indeed be something the runners should, well, run from.

The material does seem to imply that runners look like punk rockers or raggedy street people. I never really thought that Johnsons would really trust people that looked like that to handle delicate missions. My personal characters usually dressed "business casual" or "civilian casual" rather than looking like punk or something like that so that they would blend in better with the typical crowds. He did have his "slumming suits" for when he was in places where such dress would stand out, but meeting Mr. J was a more formal affair than that and a professional presentation is useful.
Sir_Psycho
Keep in mind that Johnsons are generally slightly afraid of shadowrunners, dressing up all crazy with the Muscles showing, Cyber-limb's shining, visible weapons, wearing combat gear and with steely looks and an impersonal demeanour can work in one's favour.

Also, Shadowrun is cyberpunk, and while corp affiliated criminals will often dress down, Shadowrunners are in a rare position in the sixth world of not being tied to any particular corporate beast, and as SINless, can live free of some of the strictures and trappings of society. The shadowrunners aren't your standard criminal, they're often also the epitome of eccentric individualists.

Of course this doesn't apply to all shadowrunners, but even stealthy characters can get away with it. I have a covert ops specialist shadowrunner from europe who has all the usual subtle surveillance gear/wear, but also has Kid Stealth legs and a Cybertail. Shadowrunners are often grade A freaks, and don't fit into the rest of society easily.
Vaevictis
1. Get used to looting. It's going to happen. If you put something valuable enough out there, they'd be foolish if they didn't at least consider taking it. The correct way to deal with this is to equip their opposition with "level" appropriate gear, and to recognize that there are certain costs associated with disposing of the gear -- fences charge an awful lot to move contraband, and they will charge whichever end of the deal (seller or buyer) that will bear it, if not both.

That 100k nuyen.gif cyber arm is worth a lot less used (about 50%), and is worth a lot less than that if you're selling it to a fence who will probably only pay 25 cents on the dollar because he's taking a lot of risks in moving it -- it might need repairs, it might need to be "scrubbed" so it's not tracable, it's stolen goods so he has to be careful when moving it, etc.

2. These are shadowrunners. Get used to violence. If you really have a problem with it, you need to talk to them out of character, and you need to ask yourself if Shadowrun is the right game for you.

3. Johnsons are businessmen. They need to get a job done. Most will accept a certain amount of abuse in order to get that job done. All of them have a line, and all of them react differently when that line is crossed. Some will walk out. Some will arrange for you to be disposed of after the run, justifying it as "tying up loose ends." Some will refused to do business with you in the future. Some will do business with you, but consider you to be an extremely expendable asset, and send you on a suicide mission without telling you. A few Johnsons (with scales) will just eat you. biggrin.gif
ShadowDragon
I have a bit of experience with these issues as a GM.

1) Take anything not bolted down and assume the consequences can be dealt with. (Like taking comlinks for the sole purpose of selling them later.)

They used to. Then I gave them a rude awakening through tracking devices, AKA RFIDs. When they try to sell little things like cheap commlinks or street line specials, their contacts laugh at them and their reputation takes a hit.

2) Be excessively violent. Example A, if they get attacked while in a gang's territory the players slaughter the gangers then chase down anyone trying to flee (then do #1 with the bodies, luckily organs count as bolted down). Example B, the guy's already hiding under his desk, but they decide to kick him in the head for no reason.

I thought I discouraged this by subtly informing them that their reputation is influenced by such behavior. Then they slaughtered a group of gangers, leaving a bloody stack of body parts in the road, right where the tow truck was meeting them. Naturally I hit them with a point of notoriety, which did the trick. I hope lol

3) Disrespect Johnsons by being rude and acting like they call all the shots. (I'd have the Johnson just walk out if I wasn't trying to establish certain characters and events for the plot)

I've stressed that shadowrunners are supposed to be professionals, and they've mostly taken this to heart for negotiations. There have been a few instances of social blunders, but they've been in character, so instead of the Johnson walking out he'll react somewhere between ignoring it and giving a stern warning, as appropriate. Then I'll tell the face to make an etiquette roll to smooth things over and/or subtract a couple dice from the face's negotiation test. That way they know that acting like an ass will lead to less money, but the session isn't ruined.
Sir_Psycho
I just played a game with a first time SR player. I made a traditional two gangers mugging woman in alley scenario, to whet the players appetite, and refamiliarize myself with GM'ing combat.

He walked into the alley where he heard the sound, a combat involved two turns, one was the player blowing the Ork's brains all over the alley with his manhunter, and the woman having her throat slit, the second involved the other ganger having his brain fried by 7 net successes on a Deadly damage Manabolt. (The woman's slit throat was healed with spell, for those of you who cared [i didn't])

But that's neither here nor there. After escorting the woman out into the street, to wait with her for her boyfriend to pick her up in his car, he went back to the alley to get her bag, and decided to loot the bodies. I didn't even let him take the bloodied knife, saying he would get blood on his clothes (he was off to meet a girl). However he took 25 nuyen.gif, some BTL's and the brain-fried thug's leather jacket. So he walks out from the alley holding the girl's purse and the Ganger who slit her throat's leather jacket over his shoulder. Well he didn't need it, I suppose.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Jan 30 2007, 04:53 AM)
He walked into the alley where he heard the sound, a combat involved two turns, one was the player blowing the Ork's brains all over the alley with his manhunter, and the woman having her throat slit,

When I first read this, I just assumed that the PC knew how important it was to not leave witnesses. No one understands irony these days.

Excessive violence and excessive looting are styles. Everybody has their own style, and these styles are no less acceptable than any other. If the runner's style is not compatible with the Johnson's goals then he won't hire them. If it is then he will. Simple.

There are some big information obfuscation advantages to excessive violence and looting. If the runners kill one target then everyone knows it was wetwork. If they steal one prototype then everybody knows that it was a prototype theft run. If they kidnap one guy then everyone knows that it was an extraction.

But, if they kill dozens, steal several prototypes and thousands of nuyen worth of regular stuff, and kidnap multiple people to use as human shields, no one will be able to sort out what the actual objective of the run was.
Pendaric
I have mature players so they don't try to carry away the kitchen sink because they know unless they can use it for cover they will probably get shot by being slow.
The AD&D rip the nails out style falls down in a high paced run, they simply don't have time. Other than that expect reasonable looting, where if they see a chance the players will take it.
I had the team hijack a smugglers GMC Banshee to cross borders after a double cross, one player was desperate to sell it but having run out of fuel in the desert and doing things on the fly he was hitting brickwalls, eventually walked away.
I always try to plan ahead to create realistic reasons to stop full scale looting.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho)
After escorting the woman out into the street, to wait with her for her boyfriend to pick her up in his car

This right here is a perfect example of the behaviour that gets you killed.

~J
cetiah
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Jan 30 2007, 08:26 AM)
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Jan 30 2007, 04:53 AM)
After escorting the woman out into the street, to wait with her for her boyfriend to pick her up in his car

This right here is a perfect example of the behaviour that gets you killed.

~J

Aww, I thought it was sweet. smile.gif
Moirdryd
I fail to see how saving the woman's life gets you killed. She doesnt know your name. Where you crash. That you're a Shadowrunner. Or indeed anything about you. On the other hand after a quick go through her bag while retrieving it, you have possibley her number, a look at her Corp ID telling you who she is and what she does (if you dont get that in the idle chat waiting, just dont give anything away yourself) and BAM! You've just earned yourself a Rating 1 Corperate Secretry Contact!
Snow_Fox
QUOTE (nezumi @ Jan 29 2007, 09:24 AM)
It sounds like they're a crew of overpaid thugs, not a group of professionals. 

Looting is fine, but only with stuff that won't get them tracked down

right, there can be campaigns for it but the trouble is you're trying to set a tone. Unfortunely your doing "Domino" and they want "Mad Max."

In the barrens there's little risk of being caught for exessive violece but there's always the risk of their reps going into the dumpster. Maybe have Johnson walk out, maybe he'll come back later after the fixer bawls them out, or maybe after the run have the fixer explain "you idiots" lost nuyen because the Johnson would have paid more but wanted professionals, not punks.

As for looting, if they have time, and encumberance ok, but usually we don't have time for that. in/out done. it's professional. if you are plundering the place someone else might turn up.-imagine in Mercurial if you go back to strip the place- do you want to be there when, not if WHEN, the AZT clean up crew arrives, with a couple of gun ships?

Organ legging? I'd have a couple of contacts bail on them. "Geez man you are one twisted fragger. I never knew, see ya."

heck that could be even worse, suppose they grab organs from the worng person. Sure she looked like just another go ganger in the pile but she was the run away daughter of a Wuxing exec and he'd like her liver back. Unless the burn the bodies they don't take there are neough material links for a spell.
Kagetenshi
She knows your face, that you have a gun, and that you just left several bodies in the alley. If you wait for her boyfriend, he also knows those same things and is in a better position to remember details about you.

If she was a corporate secretary at a meaningful corp, she wouldn't have been off-territory for you to save her anyway.

~J
Thane36425
QUOTE (Moirdryd)
I fail to see how saving the woman's life gets you killed. She doesnt know your name. Where you crash. That you're a Shadowrunner. Or indeed anything about you. On the other hand after a quick go through her bag while retrieving it, you have possibley her number, a look at her Corp ID telling you who she is and what she does (if you dont get that in the idle chat waiting, just dont give anything away yourself) and BAM! You've just earned yourself a Rating 1 Corperate Secretry Contact!

I don't think saving another person would get you killed. On the other hand, the rescue was botched to the extent that she got her throat cut. That would be very unpleasant whether or not she was healed. She might carry a grudge for that.
Kagetenshi
There's a difference between "saving someone" and "saving someone and then waiting around with them for someone else to show up".

~J
hyzmarca
The solution is simple. Rescue her because it is the right thing to do and then kill her because it is the safe thing to do.

QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
right, there can be campaigns for it but the trouble is you're trying to set a tone. Unfortunely your doing "Domino" and they want "Mad Max."


Domino died of a drug overdose. Mad Max drove off into the sunset.
The latter is always better than the former.
warrior_allanon
1) Looting: Everyone does it to some extent, especially if the character is just getting started and in 3ed went with the lowest amount of money on the priority system. You keep the better weapons and ammo that your able to scrounge and sell what you already had.

2) Excessive Violence: I cant really say anything to much about this, the team i ran with for the last 6 years was nicknamed "The Mighty Ducks" because no matter the situation we were always WILLING to lay down massive mayhem in the effort to get out. We would lay plans and eventually got so good at silent entry that we didnt necesarily have to have the heavy weapons, but whenever things dropped in the pot, we were ready willing and able to put down a base of fire that has taken out attack helos.

3) Organ legging: we had a street doc that we would go through for that, got us some pretty fair deals and then we would sit on the rooftops in the barrens where the bodies were usually dumped taking ghouls out for bounty.

As others have said remember encumbrance, and i'll say also remember their flaws. use their flaws against them and get them to where they are particularly paranoid and enter the game saying to themselves "Ok whats the GM gonna do to screw us over today."
cetiah
By the way, I wrote this thread for this exact situation, so that I clear up misunderstandings in the "tone" of the game based on Mr Johnson's personality, allow different tones (with different assumptions) for different missions, and be sure to reward the players when I set assumptions (like no looting) that, from their perspective, just makes things harder.

This was a system I wrote up to vary the runs a bit, with certain Johnsons that won't allow theft ("It's unprofessional and distracting to the mission objectives"), won't allow murder ("I need expert thieves, not hired thugs."), or that won't allow excessive publicity ("If I wanted big explosions, I could have used my own guys.").

Maybe it will help. Maybe not. Either way, I suggest checking it out.
ShadowDragon8685
Here's the way I look at it:

There are two kinds of looting. There is reasonable and unreasonable looting. "Reasonable" is defined as risk versus reward. There is always some opportunity for reasonable looting, even if you're literally being shot at by the sec team and on your way out the door. It's a free action (generally) to grab the expensive vase next to the door on your way out.

A ganger tries to shoot you and gets geeked? And he has a cyberarm?

Unless an HTR is about to drop straight down on you, it's worth the time to have the sammie step on his chest and have the troll rip the cyberarm off. That's a whole frigging boatload of nuyen.gif

Same with comlinks and streetline specials. If the group is new, or desperate for nuyen.gif , they have all the reason to take the risks - they're judging their Risk Vs. Reward ratio, and judging it nessessary, or at least worth it.

If they're hungry for money, chances are that it's the DM's fault - pay them more, and they may stop taking so many risks on looting. However, the following will always apply:

1: A free comlink is a free comlink. It's expensive, portable, and can be turned off to shut down it's homing device.
2: A free gun is a free gun. These are always worth taking, especially if it's like an Ares Alpha or something. If you want to give your sec guards SMGs that aren't really worth looting, pick the worst SMG, not the best. (Likewise, don't give any NPC that will come into the player's line of sight ANYTHING that you aren't willing to see in the player's hands. If you give an NPC a Panther XXL, they will drop everything they have on him to get it.)
3: Paydata. Unless (and sometimes if) Mr. Johnson specifies "Nothing extra", the Hacker is always going to take the time to run at least a cursory look for extra paydata. And unless Mr. Johnson set up a run on his own corp (very rare), he won't have any way of knowing.
4: Anytime you describe an inviting doorway, ie, "Prototype Lab", "Armory" "Drone Hangar", or whatever, in the player's line of sight, that's practically like saying "Dragon's Horde Here! No dragon attached!" If you don't want them going there, don't put it there, it's that easy, folks.

Of course, again, it's risk Vs. Reward. If they're being paid 100,000 nuyen.gif for the job, the temptation to loot the armory or prototype lab will be greatly decreased. If they're only being paid 10 grand.. Shit, I'd screw Mr. Johnson completely and go for the bigger prize! 10 grand won't pay the bills - a juicy prototype, the haul from selling off an armory's worth of weapons, or the grab of expensive drones (or dare I even hope: Vehicles?) from the hangar? Hells fucking YES!


The second type of looting is compulsive looting. That's where players compulsively strip a place down to it's parts, rip out people's cyber, and organleg the bodies. If it could concievably bring in a single nuyen.gif , they take a ridiculous risk to have it.

Compulsive looting is a self-correcting problem, but don't be asinine about trying to correct it. Yes, a security team will show up. Eventually.

Even an urban SWAT team responding to a terrorist crisis can take up to an hour or two to get their asses in gear, pull down the relavent maps, formulate a plan and go. Even in 2070, I can't see a response time being shorter than thirty minutes on anything.

Nothing (except automated systems) can be 100% at any time. Even a sec-rigger or hacker will need to be kicked out of bed/out of the break room, drop into the system, review the situation (or lack of information thereon), get airborne drones into position, get the drone van with the Steel Lynxes into position, etcetera.

Rememeber, most corp buildings have radio-blocking wallpaper. This works against outside security as well. If the Runners hit a place, cut off their outside access and kill everyone, it'll take awhile for the response to get there.

But if they spend the time to strip the place completely bare, someone will show up.


As far as psychopathic response to Gangs - that's to be expected. If a Gang tries to mess with you, you waste them all save one - and tell him he needs to run, very, very fast.

They won't bother you again, and if they do, you do the legwork, find out who they are, where they live, and hit them with about 12 kilos of C-12.

Urban renewal on the cheap. Nobody's going to care if a gang from the barrens gets fragged.


Now, as for other forms of psychopathy, it's not good. You kick someone just to be bad, it'll get you a reputation for being mean as a rattler. That's Notoriety there, and it works against you in many situations.


Oh, and bad-mouthing Mr. Johnson is a no-no unless you're going to kill him anyway because he double-crossed you. It means you'll probably be double-crossed, and possibly your fixer will either hang you out to dry or he'll wind up dead. Don't ever, ever do that.
lorechaser
Stealth RFID tags are very cheap, and very small.

It's perfectly reasonable that the corps put RFID tags on almost everything important they have, which triggers alarms when you exit. Either silent "Track this person" type alarms, or something more immediate and lethal.
Kagetenshi
It's also perfectly reasonable that Shadowrunners carry around some foil thick enough to block RFID tags, which is a really not very large amount of the stuff.

~J
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