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Run idea:

Runners are hired on a courier/escort job by Mr. Johnson in Seattle. Mr. Johnson will be having Mr. Larson (for a lack of a better name) carry the package which will be secured to his person. Said package needs to be delivered (via plane) to another city (haven’t decided where yet). A corp learns of this and does not want it to reach its destination, so they have the pilots poisoned prior to take off in an effort to make the crash seem like an accident.

30 or so minutes after take off the pilots start puking blood and will die. The plane will start to go down and the runners will need to find the parachutes aboard and make the jump of their lives. They will land near a town which has been overrun with the HMHVV. The town will be dangerous , but will have abandon vehicles, a static wireless signal (or maybe dead zone), and maybe some food. From here, they can chose to go into town to find transportation, or venture on the road and try another method of reaching their destination.

A few questions that I thought of.

Can any wireless activity occur in a dead zone, even if two devices are within each others signal range?
I haven’t used to many para-critters and would like to throw a few in. Any suggestions? I’m thinking of using devil rats, spirits, ghouls, goblins and Dzoo-Noo-Qua.
Also, how do ghouls fight if they are blind? I know they have enhanced senses for hearing and smell, so do these negate the -6 penalty for “target hidden??

Does this sound like a good run? This will be my first time running something I created. I’ve ran “On the Run? and two Shadowrun Missions, and that is the extent of me GMing Shadowrun.

Ghouls see on the astral, all living things show up there. Thus they get round blindness (which is purely physical).

Some general comments the run sounds a little over the top for a team of starting characters. Try an escort across the city, possibly on foot/small vehicles through the Ork underground, where the runners can meet a deadzone, and ghouls etc. You can have another corp send a second group of runners after the team.

My take on Deadzones is that there are no outside signals, comms can talk to each other if in signal range, but can't communicate outside the area.
I don't know about your group - what kind of characters they play and what kind of players they are - but you should also keep in mind that they might come up with something that could possibly spoil your plot, e.g. try to hack the planes pilot to keep it flying or stuff like that. At which point you'd have to either railroad them ("no, you can't do anything, that plane is going down!") or try to come up wth a differrent outcome.
Players can be the nastiest deterrent to an otherwise perfectly laid out story... ; )
What if one of the characters is a hot shot techie rigger pilot?

Other then that, dropping a bunch of city runners in the wild is always fun.
Just make sure you flowchart it some. What if they avoid the town? What if they never even see the stuff you're planning. Must have backups. Also, must have a way for them to get out.

Nothing wrong with a little railroading up front. God knows there's precedent in canon. Just make sure they can actually complete their mission. Maybe there's an old plymouth in a barn... make sure there's a hook to get them there. Etc.
Oh, I agree. Absolutely nothing wrong with railroading. If it's done elegantly enough, most players won't know the difference.
Just, you know, pointing it out.
Now get this thing back on track.
Heh. See what I did there?
QUOTE (Ophis)
My take on Deadzones is that there are no outside signals, comms can talk to each other if in signal range, but can't communicate outside the area.

It's not so much a "take" as it is the rules as written. =) You've hit the nail on the head.
I think this is a great intro to a pulpy "night of the living dead" type game. Kudos on that. wink.gif

Make sure the plane is a standard turbo prop or something they can realistically jump out of. This scenario on a suborbital or semiballistic would basically = death. vegm.gif
Thanks for the help and tips. I totally forgot out the ghouls being dual natured and view astral. I’ve been gaming with these guys for 5+ years, but mostly D&D. We just started Shadowrun not too long ago. Shadowrun has been a great change of pace and a nice breath of fresh air from d20.

So over the course of those 5 years, I am quite familiar with PC’s spoiling the GM’s plot and have learned to roll with it and I have a tentative a flow chart for this run. If someone can fly the plane, then they make it too the drop off just fine, with maybe a few questions asked about the pilots. Also that character can have the “I saved the day? good feeling.

I was thinking the town might be a little cliché, but I think my players are needing to let some aggression out and unleash their automatics, and thought this could possibly work as an idea.
QUOTE (coolgrafix)
QUOTE (Ophis @ Jul 10 2007, 04:24 PM)
My take on Deadzones is that there are no outside signals, comms can talk to each other if in signal range, but can't communicate outside the area.

It's not so much a "take" as it is the rules as written. =) You've hit the nail on the head.

Crap, now I'm getting rules right...

Good to know.
Well something to think about is if you have the destination be a small rural town somewhere, even if the runners manage to save the plane you can still spring the zombies on them. vegm.gif
Gothic Rose
Alright, it sounds good, but there are flaws as have been mentioned. Now, I have a suggestion for you... If the corp wants to make it look like an accident, why would they use a poison? Poisons are easily detected in the bloodstream.

Instead, what if the corp sent some of its deniable assets to set up a hidden bomb - but not an exploding one, a gas bomb. When it goes off, bam, knockout gas is released, pilots go unconcious, and possibly, the PCs too. Have the plane be set up so that the cargo/passenger compartment has extra crash protection, and when the plane crashes, they escape relatively unscathed (Have them soak a large chunk of stun damage, or something)

You could call it railroading, but it's a lot less obvious. Plus, it's possible that the team, if they're smart, may go over the plane with a detector that could detect the bomb.
I would also add that you may consider altering your method of taking out the plane. The poison idea is a little over the top, and poison historically is an unreliable vector. It may be simpler to sabotage the fuel or some other key component. That way, even if there is a trained pilot on board it makes no difference... the plane is going down.

Edit: Doh! Just saw Gothic Rose's post above. Great minds think alike I guess. =)
QUOTE (Method)
This scenario on a suborbital or semiballistic would basically = death.  vegm.gif

I'd expect they would be on full autopilot and would complete the trip just fine with a dead crew and a bunch of passengers who had absolutely no idea anything was wrong. Until they were sitting on the runway and the horde of vehicles with flashing lights was rolling towards them.
Sounds really over the top and too complicated. Keep it simple.

If you want them to have "encounters" in that village, why not just start them out there? The characters wake up and find themselves in that village. Their clothes smell of an odd chemical.

One character has a new tattoo on his arm that reads:

* deliver package to Mr. Jackson -- dead or alive

Yes, I think I will rethink the poison theory. With that, as you mentioned kzt, the autopilot would get them there just fine (and I’m assuming 2070’s autopilot programs can land too).

I like your ideas, Gothic Rose and coolgra fix. It gives them the option to not be railroaded if they think of giving the plane a really good look over. With that idea, I won’t have to figure out how the parachuting rules (or the lack there of) work, and have an explanation as to why there were x number a parachutes. Although it would be a test of their character if I had less parachutes than people and there was a fight over the last one.

As for the package, as mentioned previous, I was going to have it being carried by a “Mr. Larson.? I was thinking it would be contained within a synthetic torso (or other cyberlimb).
If you go with the "gas bomb planted by runners" idea, it would be pretty easy to believably knock out the auto-pilot as well. Any good runner group is going to have a hacker, and that hacker should be able to plant a databomb which will kill the computer systems on the plane.

Auto-pilot problem solved.
Actually, no. Because if they can attack the flight-control software they can just crash the plane in any of a number of ways. And there are no backup controls in a Fly-by-wire system. And it's a lot easier plan,as it doesn't require smuggling weapons onto an airplane.
Gothic Rose
QUOTE (Kerris)
If you go with the "gas bomb planted by runners" idea, it would be pretty easy to believably knock out the auto-pilot as well. Any good runner group is going to have a hacker, and that hacker should be able to plant a databomb which will kill the computer systems on the plane.

Auto-pilot problem solved.

The bomb could actually be snugly fit right next to the autopilot. The plane could have some very nasty Black IC guarding it on the matrix, so instead, the npc runners could have put the gas bomb next to the autopilot, having a very small charge used to set off the gas - just enough to destroy the autopilot control mechanisms - possibly also the piloting mechanisms, with the gas just being insurance.
Let us not forget the "Tell It To Them Straight" method that you're sort of avoiding.
Well why not have the pilots be in on the plot to destroy the plane? A great scene in a certain Indiana Jones movie comes to mind... cool.gif
My suggestion for downing a plane would be something hard to detect but mechanical. For example adding nanites to the oil to cause catastrophic engine failure.

For placement you might want to cosider dropping the plane somewhere in the native american nations. Anywhere in the UCAS and authorities would probably know about the town already, and deadzones would probably be hard to find. However the NAN is pretty sparse in places, there is good reason to be flying over it, and some tribes are presumably isolated and "back to the way our ancestors did it" leaving them very open to a Wendigo attack or a ghoul infestation.

My general advice would be to allow for a range of outcomes. For example if a hotshot rigger is in the plane let them try to land it. They might be able to come down intact, avoiding the parachute thing, and giving them access to more equipment. Maybe even give them a chance to fix the plane....if they can find the right parts.

Also maybe have some people still be alive in the town. Maybe attractive survivors who will cling onto the PCs. That can be fun.

Also think about what there is availible in the town. Unlike in computer games PCs are known for even taking things that ARE bolted to the ground. I think the option for loot will be plenty of a hook to get your team up to their eyeballs in ghouls.

Can they keep the pilots/stewardess alive? Some team members won't care. But if they go out of their way to keep them alive consider the team to have a couple extra higher loyalty contacts.

As for critters devil rats are more urban. You might enjoy your chance to spring more rural critters on them. Like the Juggernaut. Oh you probably want 4th ed ones. In that case I would suggest thunderbirds and barghests. Have the barghests work in a medium sized pack. First they'll try to use their fear power to break up the PCs and NPCs. Throw in a single paralyzing howl to try and freeze some people (but the howl also affects the rest of the pack so they wouldn't use it multiple times). Then move in for a quick kill on, they hope, a lone paralyzed victim. Or at least a lone target. Start the pack off kind of spread out and their initial fear and howl attacks can be done from good concealment such as by just peeking over a hill or looking out from a cluster of trees.

Sunnyside, that is a wealth of good information, especially on the dropping the plane in the NAN. Wouldn’t have thought of that. Since the “package? won’t be visible, I’m hoping the runners will do their best to keep Mr. Larson alive. I’ll have him somewhat protected (Actioneer Business Clothes), and proficient in some combat skills, but nothing too great. If so, that can provide them with a good loyalty and possibly high contacts contact. One thing I’m still working on is the who’s who, and what is being delivered. I know it doesn’t matter right away to the runners, since they are hired just to deliver it, but it would be nice to know a back story. I was leaning towards the Mob needed the package delivered, and one of the corps out to stop the delivery.

Any suggestions on the loot options besides the obvious cred sticks and comlinks that the everyday person might have?

As for the critters, I have looked to the 3e Critters book and thought of converting something from there, but had too many options and wasn’t sure what would be a good fit, besides the obvious HMHVV infected critters.
If the package is for the mob it's more likely that it would be another mob that tries to take them out.
QUOTE (Jimson @ Jul 12 2007, 02:30 PM)
Any suggestions on the loot options besides the obvious cred sticks and comlinks that the everyday person might have?

These things (especially commlinks) aren't going to be too useful in a dead zone...

- hunting rifles
- magical goods
- survival gear
- medical supplies
- industrial chemicals (fuel, explosives, etc)
- food
- vehicles
- parts for the airplane (I like sunnyside's idea)
Theres really a lot you could do here.

Also, this is a really good opportunity to try a type of GMing thats a little different than a decission tree format, or linked event format, or what have you.

What I mean is that if you set this adventure in a relatively small, self-contained town you can spend most of your time fleshing out the *setting* (with distinct areas, NPCs, opposition and resources) and not worry about what the team does or a driving plot (other than "get out alive"). If you know your little town inside and out you won't have to plan for every possible player action (which is impossible anyway). You can let the players have free reign and anywhere they go you will know what there is to find.

EDIT: Heres another idea: drop a secured corporate compound in the middle of this mess. Nothing big, but maybe a small B corp. Maybe the same corp they were supposed to deliver Larson to, or the rival corp that sabotaged the plane or maybe even a totally neutral 3rd party that will trade plane parts or other goods for the package (insert moral delema here). Maybe this third party will hire the runners to secure something they need but don't have the man power to get (all the guards are needed to hold their facility). Or maybe they will compete with the runners for resources, or the plane...
One of the things you could do if the runners parachute out or just black out in the crash and wake up in town is have a mission where they go to the downed aircraft to salvage things. It would be reasonable to assume medical supplies and some tools. Maybe they need engine part or fuel to fix an old abandoned vehicle in the town to air their escape…

Alright the elements you have are kinda odd. (corp hitting mob for example).

How about this.

A corporate CEO leading a small biotech subsidiary was close, so CLOSE to getting his enhanced superthyroid gland. He believed that by carefully managing body chemistry you could create a superthyroid gland that provided twice the bonuses. Much like the pioners who developed the better Muscle Toners. He'd be famous. He even got some prototypes to work. Leading to so awsome before/after demonstrations.

Unfortunitly the devil is in the detail and the failure rate of the organs are high. They just sort of wreck themselves. For every one that works twenty fail. And sometimes they fail after implanting. But these are just problems to overcome.

Unfortunitly he has vastly overrun his budget. Massivly. And he's run out of sponsers willing to give him money.

And then he remembers a made man once indicating that he could get cash if a couple implants would ever "fall off the back of the wagon". So he contacted the mobsters. He said that the federal restrictions on superthyroids are super tight. The military is worried about soldiers being to violent, and he can't sell them otherwise.

In the end the mobsters cut him a deal. And now a courier has a dozen of the little things in his cybertorso in a "dormant" state.

Due to his assurances that too much mobster involvement would get them both caught the mob is moving the implants to their new york delta clinic (or beta whatever) using shadowrunners instead of their own people.

Unfortunitly they aren't dormant. They're failed samples. And after implanting them the mob will figure that out.

So that can't happen.

The CEO then hired some runners to add "cutter" nanites to the planes fuel before it was loaded into the plane. They also swapped all of the emergency chutes with backpacks that look like them hoping the people checking them would just look at them with a cursory glance. (they did) They worried that sabatoge would cause the flight to not take off if detected, otherwise they would have done that.

At a certain distance, while the plane is over the NAN the cutters will heat up and start swiming. The plane should explode in the air and the mobsters should blame the Yakuzza or something. The CEO doesn't care.

However the effect of the cutters isn't as impressive as desired. Only one wing blows (seperating where the engine is), and the other engine just loses a carborator.

The plane is still going down pretty darn fast and the pilots aren't skilled enough to stop it.

So options.

-A drek hot rigger should have a chance to bring the flaming wreck down. But it shouldn't be easy.

-Runners may have brought their own chutes

-mage probably has the levetate spell or can bring down some flying spirits.

-Runners may have checked on the chutes, at which point the staff will be very embarrased and quickly bring in additional chutes. Claiming that this isn't out of the ordinary as they never really need chutes. It's common not to have them (they don't want the runners to think the line is unsafe and leave. So have them be convincing).

-Runners could quickly put together makeshift chutes.

Really they should be able to get out of this somehow. If they can't than they all lose a point of edge and the plane miraculously lands on the side of a slope that slows them down enough that when they hit the lake at the bottom of the slope they just take a little stun damage and have to escape the flooding plane.

Also do this if a team rigger takes over but doesn't roll so hot.

Once down they have the village to play with as well as paracritters.

ways out.

If they saved the plane they could try to get the parts to get the remaining engine going. with a good run the plane can fly with half a wing if they rip out enough stuff to make it light and have a good pilot.

They could get the towns only sat uplink working again.

They could send spirits out to somehow request help.

They could trek it to a village miles away and steal a passenger plane or some land vehicles. Whatever.

If they hunker down long enough the mob will use ritual magic to find their courier (two days). They won't be pleased, and will pay less the more they have to do for the runners to get them out.

I'd work in the barghest encounter if it was me. That encounter sounds fun, though toss in the thunderbirds if you have tiem. They'll also probably reach the village to steal a plane (village being back to basics doesn't have one) or parts or whatever. Have some of the aformentioned attractive members of the opposite sex call out to the runners from the tops of some trees that they've been able to hide in towards the center of town. The ghouls/vampire spawn/ whatever are drawn to that and so it'll be a party if they want to get them. While to this point the people in the trees stayed masked by hiding and using deer musk (used in hunting) to hide themselves once they yell to the runners it won't be long before they're overwhelemed.

Note that if the curiour guy dies the superthyroid organs will also die. So no payment then. (this courier method is easy to hide and sneak across boarders, but it's also hard to steel as you can kill the courier, and he should have some kinda kill switch so he can will his cargo to die.)

So if the courier lives they get paid. And the CEO will be in deep drek.

If the pilots/stewardess live they'll have some contact who can help with things like arranging for fake air traffic scheduling. Etc.

If the attractive native americans survive they may want to stick with the PCs if the PCs have been nice. They've had enough of being isolated in the woods.

Village doesn't have much tech. But maybe have some low level sustaining foci on some ghouls and some other magical goods. Along with a free spirits true name/formula in the hut of a shaman. They might not realize what that is though.

IF they stole stuff from the distance more tech inclined village they, unlike most corps, take it personally. If the runners leave so much as something that can be used as a sympathetic link behind expect ritual tracking/magic. IF they start a firefight likely some will be assenced and you'll notice that detection magic/spirit power in SR4 is very very potent.

That's actually probably too much detail. Ah well I like writing this stuff.

EDIT: I am totally running this myself regardless. Thanks for the inspiritation.
You’re welcome for the inspiration! I’m excited to learn that someone else will run this. Unfortunately, my group meets at most, once a month due to busy family schedules. So if you run this before I do, let me know how it turns out.

I love the several different outcomes of the plane crash, as well as the multiple ways the runners can get out. It gives several different types of players the option to help. Also, I was quite curious as to how the mechanic skill can come into play during a run, and coincidently it has.

I also like Method’s idea of fleshing out the town. I think I might do some data searching and find a small town around here, or another state, to which I could download a town map and adjust it. Then I won’t have to come up street names, buildings, scale, etc. Make my life a little easier.

Question: Say the town began with around 500+ people pre-HMHVV outbreak, how many ghouls, goblins, and/or Dzoo-Noo-Qua would be hanging around? This would be handy to know in an effort to “flesh? out the city, and in the case the runners spent a good deal of time there looking for parts, fixing a sat uplink, saving a few citizens, or just plain old looting.
In my old neck of the woods (Wyoming) there are plenty of small towns at about 500 people. Most are rural, isolated and (by 2070) part of the Souix Nation (not too friendly to whites).

I wouldn't worry too much about the exact numbers of ghouls, etc. Just assume you have as many as you need in one place to challenge the runners and enough in the town that they couldn't possibly exterminate them all (unless you want that to be an option... personally, I think this would remove a lot of the despiration that makes this scenario so horrific). Either way, I doubt your players will be taking an accurate count anyway...

BTW, I like the way this is developing and would use it as well. All I need is a steady gaming group.... ohplease.gif
I too require a steady gaming group. Someday my ship will come in, until then I will think of a variety of runs. Then, when it does come, I'll be ready.

Thanks for the Wyoming tip. I'll check that out.

If I come up with other runs, should I post them, much as I have done with this one? To DSers like these types of posts?
Personally, I love threads like this. I'd like to see a forum dedicated to working out plots and stuff if only to make it easier to find inspiration when you need it: you just go to that forum.
That's good to know. I have another idea that I'll post once I work out a few more ideas. Than with the help of fellow DSers, we can make it all the better.
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