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Hello every one, It's been a bit too long since my group has delved into the Shadowrun world, and I'm starting to get the itch for some cyberware, hackers and magic.

It seems that if I'm to get my SR fix that I'll need to put down the character sheet and take up the GM screen on this time around, which is fine by me, if just a little intimidating as this game is rather rules intensive (especially regarding rigging and the matrix), but I think I can figure it out What I'm mostly here for is I was hoping I could get some help fleshing out a story idea I had for the Campaign I intend to run.

Our group tends to play heavily in the Seattle urban sprawl setting, and I want to shake things up, and get us out of the city and into some more gritty terrain. The idea I have for my game is based loosely on a few films, such as V for Vendetta, Dawn of the Dead, and mostly Children of Men.

I am thinking I will assemble a team (my player characters) for what will initially be a "Simple" job to pick up a package, and help escort it across a boarder, ensure it's safety until it's handed over to their designated drop point. I want this scenario to take place in a war-torn area of the world, I was thinking Europe (i like the idea of clashing cultures, and multiple languages). I am thinking that along the way a rival group of runners or other unknown combatants assaults the caravan and devastates the escort and will only be repelled by the force of my PCs. I want it to become quickly apparent that the package is sensitive material, which not only do the corps want but various governments would want as well.

I want to play up the closed boarders feel of the world, force checkpoints on people, make boarder crossing very dangerous, throw them into intense urban warfare, and surround them with death, suffering and disease.

I am really drawing on the feel of Children of Men, a dystopian society, over controlling "Big Brother" style government, hundreds of thousands of people suffering, ready to rise up, and the only hope in which this bleak world has seems to be what ever the "package" my PCs will be carrying is.

I'm not sure exactly what the "Package" is, but I want it to become a moral dilemma as to who they should give it over to... their Johnson who hired them (who'll most likely use it for evil ends or self-serving ends), a group of freedom fighters who are criminals but want what's best for their people and their country, or a third party who'll offer the highest amount of money. My first thought processes is that the "Package" is a new cure for some type of horrible disease, like VTAS or some thing along the line that has been plaguing people, and creating such Strife.

So how's this sounding? Decent starting point? Any tips or advice on what to do next? Does any one want to assist me in fleshing this out a little more? I'm most appreciative, Thanks in advance.
Solomon Greene
I like it - a different spin on a normal starting point. As long as your players bite on the themes you want to present, you'll have a lot of fun.

Add "Tears of the Sun" to your movies to watch.

Along the way, maybe give the PC's the chance to "go native", getting involved with the local population. They could decide that their original course of action was too immoral and end up trying to right the wrongs their employer is attempting to cause. If you want it to feel really dystopian, all their work should come to naught or, at the most, a Pyhrric victory that costs them too much for too little gained. That kind of hard experience could set the tone for the next setup, when they have to decide between what is moral and impossible or immoral and profitable.

As for what is in the case? It could be anything - proof of some horrible wrongdoing, permission for a wrongdoing, plans for a wrongdoing. The tools for said wrongdoing. A miracle of some sort - a new water-making plant that runs on air or something.

Whisk them away from their happy homes to a land of blowing grit and no running water quickly. emphasize the lack of showers, proper facilities, indoor sleeping. Make them suffer - while reminding them that all the things they left behind can be had if they just say "I quit." Hell, they can turn a profit. It's deciding to stay and tough it out that will make them or break them.

Oh, add "the Matrix" to your list of movies, I guess. That's a big theme in that movie.

random thoughts.
Well you should feel out the characters first. Basically, my team would probably just do the job and the devil take the corps evil ends. They're here to get paid and act professionally - they're not into charity.

Your game seems to suit characters with more ethical.. inflexibility wink.gif
I would also figure out what the package is. The first thing my group would do after someone tried beat them up and take their cargo is open it up if they didn't know what it was.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Punkxronin)
My first thought processes is that the "Package" is a new cure for some type of horrible disease, like VTAS or some thing along the line that has been plaguing people, and creating such Strife.

It doesn't even need to bee a new disease and a new cure - medicine isn't cheap, so it could be even something that the runners would, in normal doses, buy without second thought as they make enough money... but in the location, money is scarce and thus, no-one could really afford it. Especially since it's a dose quantity enough for a whole country. (Which initially ordered it, couldn't pay, thus the corp wanted it back, but organized crime took it for their own profit, etc.)

The poorer areas of (south-)east Europe, including Russia are a classic location for such settings.
QUOTE (Kingmaker)
I would also figure out what the package is. The first thing my group would do after someone tried beat them up and take their cargo is open it up if they didn't know what it was.

Innocuous package contents with a possible horrible power are always great, then even if they do open it they're still mystified.

1. A single syringe, unmarked in a briefcase obviously designed specifically to protect it. (a virus? an antidote? a new recreational drug? nanobots?)

2. A piece of paper with three words. (codexes? passwords?)

3. An oblique black disc of onyx. (a foci? a talisman? part of some data storage device?)
Rotbart van Dainig
Only if you want your players to drop everything else and focus entirely on finding out what it is. wink.gif

Otherwise, they will get bored and just deliver it.
Crusher Bob
A place worth looking for some pretty good sample adventures is the ISG web page.

Questions you'll need to address:

Why is the package being transported by ground rather than by air? If the package is small, just stick it on a tilt rotor and fly it over all the brown stuff. If the package is too big, the team will have a very hard time moving around. Several tons (basically a couple of trucks full) is probably the maximum amount a team of PCs could be expected to transport and secure by themselves and that amount of cargo is pretty easy to move by air.

Why is the team being hired instead of more 'regular' assets? Assuming the team is a regular team of runners based in the US, dragging them all the way to to wherever the adventure is needs some justification.

If everybody and their brother wants whatever the package is, how did they find out about it? As all the players will each want the package for themselves, why tell all these other bozos?

Lastly, it's a bit too preachy for me. I'd prefer something with a little bit less overt whitehats and blackhats.
Gothic Rose
For your scenario, I would -honestly- recommend the Middle East. It's heavily segmented, and in some places EXTREMELY wartorn. Heck, Afghanistan is segmented into a bunch of really small warlord-run zones, each of which could have checkpoints. The Middle East also breaks out of the mold, since there are metropolitan sprawls (Tel Aviv, for example, or Jerusalem) mixed with long stretches of desert/barren lands/rural areas... What could be cool is if the Johnson ordered it shipped via land, and they had to take it from Europe all the way to, say, Hong Kong - but for -some- reason it cannot be taken via air or water. You could have a Eurasian Road Trip.
Well, there are all kinds of directions you could go here. One thing that I would say though, is if you plan to center your campaign is a relatively "backward" region and more specifically a non-traditional setting, you should definitely tell your players before hand. You don't need to tell them what they'll be doing, just where they'll be doing it since it might affect their char gen choices.

If you're worried that the players won't accept that they are being called in to simply escort the package (which does seem somewhat odd). You can instead have them hired by the Johnson to intercept the convoy and steal the package. Of course, once they have the package, word somehow gets out and suddenly the PC's are besieged with offers (and threats) to deliver the package to different buyers. This could be the way to get the PC's into the moral dilemma.

As for what's in the package? Well, again, there are all sorts of options (and everything already said is a good choice). For my 2 nuyen.gif I'll shamelessly steal from another thread in here. You could make the package a biological speciman of some sort. In the other thread, it was mentioned that the speciman was a manufactured dragon egg that just happened to have been created from DNA from Dunklezhan himself. Obviously this would be a very appealing package to all sorts of potential buyers.
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