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ludomastro
I am working on an OOC History of Shadowrun for some potential new players. Honestly, I think that I may side on getting them to read the History Lesson at the beginning of the BBB; however, I was think of something short. I am at 1-1/2 pages in Word.

One more thing. The group knows DnD very well - I am DM'ing for them at the moment - but aren't familiar with the SR world. One member of the group played a one-shot (Food Fight!) in SR3rd but didn't care for it much. Please help.


When you enter the world of Shadowrun, leave the world you know behind. Do not attempt to take common sense or modern logic with you. Shadowrun isn’t upside down or insane it simply is different from other RPGs as well as the reality that we know. A quick example: You are walking down the street and see a 12 year old girl standing on the corner. In Shadowrun, she could be anything from a hooker to a drug dealer. Thing is, in that world you wouldn’t think it was odd for her to be either of those. Shop lift in Wal-Mart? How does 72 hours in the in-store jail along with a $10,000 fine strike you? It could happen in Shadowrun. So how did our world get to be the Shadowrun world? Let me tell you the story.

Around the turn of the century, several US Supreme Court Decisions granted corporation extraterritoriality – in other words, the corporations are essentially countries unto themselves complete with their own laws on their property. This gives them the right to basically do as they please; although it will be a few years before they make the most of this new power.

Nine years later, the Native Americans launched a military style takeover of a US Nuclear Missile Silo and launch a weapon at Russia. It never detonated and no one knows why. The US rounded up all Native Americans and put them in Detention Centers that were little better than concentration camps.

Ten years later, a new virus – VITAS – hits the world. It made AIDS look friendly by comparison. A few years later 25% of the world population was dead.

Around the same time the International Corporate Court came into being. Remember that as there is more to come later.

2011: Several note worry things happened this year.
• Human parent give birth to children that appear be afflicted with a new disease given abbreviation UGE (Unexplained Genetic Expression). The children are informally called Elves and Dwarves.
• The Great Dragon Ryumyo appears on Mt. Fuji.
• Daniel “Howling Coyote? Coleman leads a group of Native Americans out of the Abilene Detention Center. Guards say that despite being hit with multiple rounds he doesn’t die.
• The traditional ley-lines in Britain become active. Stone Circles a la Stonehenge pop out of the ground.

2014: “Howling Coyote? declare independence from the US and forms the NAN – Native American Nations.

Two years later he declares war on the US and a year later in a massive ritual that can only be described as magic, the Native Americans cause four volcanoes to erupt at exactly the same time. The US agrees to come to the negotiating table. The Treaty of Denver carved up what used to be the United States and Canada and gave large chunks of land to the NAN.

Near the close of the second decade of the 21st Century medical technology created the first cyberlimb for a famous concert violinist. Remember that too.

2021: Otherwise normal people transformed into “monsters? and were given the names Orcs and Trolls. This transformation was named Goblinization.

The beginning of the third decade brought a second round of VITAS and killed another 10% of the world’s population.

By mid decade:
• The Pope declared the meta-humans (Elves, Orcs, Trolls and Dwarves) to have human souls and to be capable of Salvation. Magic was declared to be a natural ability and thus not evil.
• Cyberware made entries in professional sports
• Lone Star was founded
• Universities across the country started offering programs of study in magic.

2029: The World Wide Web collapses under the weight of a new seemingly truly intelligent virus.

2030: The remnants of Canada and the US merge to form the UCAS – United Canadian and American States.

Four years later the Southern States secede from the UCAS and form the CAS – Confederation of American States. Just don’t call them Conferates.

2030’s: The world pretty much goes to hell in a hand-basket. The balkanization of the world might be a good title to this decade. The Night of Rage (February 7, 2039) goes down in history as an infamous date when meta-humans all over the world die in riots.

The 40’s and 50’s saw a Great Dragon – Dunkelzahn – host a talk show and then run for president. He was shortly assassinated. We also got our first look at something truly alien. Insect spirits from somewhere on the other side of the Astral took up residence in Chicago and the city was walled up and then nuked to kill them. No one really knows if they are all dead.

I know that I need to keep going but I have to go to bed now as my eyes are closing without my permission.
Mercer
QUOTE (Alex)
A quick example: You are walking down the street and see a 12 year old girl standing on the corner.  In Shadowrun, she could be anything from a hooker to a drug dealer. 

Those don't seem all that different, drug dealers and prostitutes. You could say she could be anything from a street urchin to an otaku to a spirit. (Or you could say, Shadowrun, where Man meets Magic and Underage Prostitutes.)

It looks like a pretty good rundown of the SR history, but I have to ask, how much a of a role do you see history playing in the game, particularly in the first few sessions? New players, even sometimes old players, aren't really drawn into a setting by reading a list of dates and events. (Which is not to say I haven't started games by handing the players 3 pages of timeline, because I have, it's just that in my experience only about 1 in 5 players will actually read it.)
Backgammon
My changes in bold:

[ Spoiler ]


Like Mercer says, though, it may be better to just wrap everything up as a few paragraph of what players need to know, rather than a date-by-date account. If the players like history, they can read SR4. If they don't, they won't like a short version either. Just going over that there are metas, they are so-so accepted, the couuntries are all redrawn, etc, may prove more succinct and to the point.
bjorn
I have read the history a couple times in the SR4 book and I have got to say I like your summing up of it so far; I enjoyed reading it.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Alex)
A quick example: You are walking down the street and see a 12 year old girl standing on the corner. In Shadowrun, she could be anything from a hooker to a drug dealer. Thing is, in that world you wouldn’t think it was odd for her to be either of those.

That isn't Shadowrun. That's now.
ludomastro
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
QUOTE (Alex @ Jan 3 2008, 03:13 AM)
A quick example: You are walking down the street and see a 12 year old girl standing on the corner.  In Shadowrun, she could be anything from a hooker to a drug dealer.  Thing is, in that world you wouldn’t think it was odd for her to be either of those.

That isn't Shadowrun. That's now.

True; however, I live in Utah which is a bit more insulated than the rest of the country. My wife - one of the D&D players - would have trouble thinking like that.
Karaden
QUOTE (alex)
A quick example: You are walking down the street and see a 12 year old girl standing on the corner. In Shadowrun, she could be anything from a hooker to a drug dealer. Thing is, in that world you wouldn’t think it was odd for her to be either of those.


The thing is, 'from a hooker to a drug dealer' isn't a very wide range, it really only includs hooker and drug dealer. It is like saying 'this letter could be any letter from a to b'

I suggest putting it something more like this: You are walking down the street and see a 12 year old girl standing on the corner. In Shadowrun she could be just about anything; The innocent child you may first think of, a hooker, an arms dealer, a spy, a street urchin, or just about anything else.

Of course I personally don't think 12 year old hookers are particularly common in SR, but that is just me. I also don't think she would be a drug dealer or arms dealer, a 12 year old isn't going to have the connections or pull on other people that would be required to hold a job like that. And of course while prostitution may be overlooked by the law, I think they still keep an eye out for pediaphiles.

Honestly I don't think the 12 year old girl of 2070 isn't going to be much different the the 12 year old girl of 2008. Maybe a higher chance that she is living on the streets or some such, but I think it is a stretch to say there is a high chance of her being a hooker, and possably more likely that she is a hooker then anything else.

Of course if that is how your SR world is, then that is how it is.
ludomastro
@Karaden

I understand your point. Truthfully, I play SR a little cleaner and less dysutopic than most. However, I am trying to give them something that breaks down the a) we're the good guys and b) the world is OK as is mindset that they bring to the table. Throw in some social conservatism and an amoral game like SR can give them fits.
Karaden
QUOTE (Alex)
@Karaden

I understand your point. Truthfully, I play SR a little cleaner and less dysutopic than most. However, I am trying to give them something that breaks down the a) we're the good guys and b) the world is OK as is mindset that they bring to the table. Throw in some social conservatism and an amoral game like SR can give them fits.

a) I'm confused, I though you generally played the bad guy (shadowrunner) in SR. Sure, good and bad is a bit scewed, but you are non the less usually breaking the law.

b) Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, your s

Ah, nevermind, your trying to take away those two things, I got you now.

Still, I think the 12 year old hooker/drug dealer is a bit overboard. Don't be suprised if they become overly paranoid and start shooting random children because they think they could be a big threat.
Karaden
Honestly I think making your own history page is a bit much. Try having them read the first 22 pages of the SR book. This includes Buzzkill (a good look at the different runner types, also shows how runners are on the wrong side of the law, but not necissarily evil) A basic backstory and idea of what the SR world is like and two more little short story things. I also suggest having them read the italic stories at the start of every single chapter to help them get the feel of the game.

Oh, and first 22 pages sounds like alot, but there are a few pages worth of pictures, and some of those pages are the TOC. Really, wouldn't take too long to read.
ludomastro
@ Karaden,

I think that you may be right. I still think that I will write up a one page on the general changes to the world - less history, more, what is the world like.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Karaden @ Jan 5 2008, 02:10 PM)

Of course I personally don't think 12 year old hookers are particularly common in SR, but that is just me.  I also don't think she would be a drug dealer or arms dealer, a 12 year old isn't going to have the connections or pull on other people that would be required to hold a job like that.  And of course while prostitution may be overlooked by the law, I think they still keep an eye out for pediaphiles.

Honestly I don't think the 12 year old girl of 2070 isn't going to be much different the the 12 year old girl of 2008.  Maybe a higher chance that she is living on the streets or some such, but I think it is a stretch to say there is a high chance of her being a hooker, and possably more likely that she is a hooker then anything else.

Of course if that is how your SR world is, then that is how it is.

QUOTE

Brantley developed an intervention program at the Scotlan Center that pairs underage prostitutes with young women from similar family backgrounds.

She said about 60 percent of the girls are from severely dysfunctional families, if they have families at all. They are the children of drug addicts and have been raising themselves and younger siblings for years.About 70 percent of those girls have a relative or close family member who works as a prostitute or has previously.

But nearly 30 percent are from stable, two-parent families and are following the lead of friends in the neighborhood. She made a startling observation.

"It's normal for young girls in the city," she said. "They're not embarrassed to tell their friends they've worked as a prostitute. To them it is part of normal culture. It is so rampant. The models are everywhere."

The girls see family members, friends and relatives of friends working as prostitutes, she said.


http://www.genderberg.com/phpNuke/modules....article&sid=125

So, yeah. Certainly, most 12-year-olds are not prostitutes. But, there are enough that it wouldn't be abnormal to consider the possibility if she's standing on a street corner. It isn't really all that surprising. It's fast easy money, and potentially fun, at first, for adolescents with healthy sex drives. With friends and family members to show them the ropes and encourage them, it shouldn't be surprising when they do take up the profession part time.

This is exacerbated by Sinlessness. There are many girls and boys born into a situation where criminal enterprise is their only means of making money and their parents aren't equipped to provide for them. Many would create their own violent street gangs or join existing gangs. They'd get guns and knives and chains and broken lead pipes and kill people for their money and comlinks. Others would hook up with pimps or freelance, renting out their only marketable assets.

QUOTE
And of course while prostitution may be overlooked by the law, I think they still keep an eye out for pediaphiles.

Old enough to bleed is old enough to breed. Getting it on with 12-year-olds doesn't qualify as pedophillia, particularly not when they have peaks that would make the Himalayas jealous, as many modern American 12-year-olds do. I imagine that police would be more concerned with people who hook up with humans (and possibly elfs and dwarfs) of single-digit ages. Orks mature so fast that 9 is fair game, possibly younger.

The proliferation of soy foods would almost certainly increase the mean age of puberty onset on the North American continent and the average bust size, as well. But orks would offset that increase and then some which their rapid sexual maturation. With their tendency towards multiple births, shorter gestational period, and conditions amongst the Sinless in the barrens, It shouldn't be surprising to see 12-year-old ork single mothers with as many children as they have years.

Edit: Also, anoth good reason for the police to ignore 12-year-old prostitutes, they rarely have enough money to warrant extortion.

QUOTE
The police by and large ignore street children begging or prostituting themselves, because they rarely have any cash worth extorting. Unless they get involved in violence or theft, they are left alone.
QUOTE
Ani Sarkisian first gave birth when she was 14. Out on the street and almost six months pregnant, she found out that clients preferred her to other prostitutes.

She abandoned her child at the maternity home, and then tried to get pregnant again as soon as possible since she had discovered that pregnancy pays. Now Ani's neighbours call her "the one with the belly".

"I make five or six times as much money when I'm pregnant," she said. She says she doesn't care what happens to the babies, and has not run into problems with the law. "Why should they care? I'm not the only one who leaves babies behind at the maternity ward."
Ravor
Something to mention to your new players is how far society has actually fallen, remember that we are talking about a world where "illegal" to-the-death blood-sports are said to be one of the most popular shows on the Trid, where it's not considered uncommon for commuting wageslaves to see several muggings, a murder, and a rape on the way into work.

And while we are on the subject, yes, they are basically slaves, they can't legally quit their job without buying their remaining contract from their employer, have no union to keep the corps from using the old-time "company store policies", and the government either has no power, doesn't care, or is actively bribed to look the other way. And don't expect them to provide any mandatory equipment that you might need either, especially cyber.

And don't count on the cops being bastions of law and order either, unless I'm misremembering something Lonestar doesn't pay enough to actually live for a full year on salery, so as a matter of course the pigs are going to be corrupt bottom-feeders more akin to a gang then a police force.


And the real kicker is this, the masses don't think any of this is out of place, hell, only the real dinosaurs even have a chance of remembering the "good ol' days" before everything went to hell, and the people in power have a vested interest in keeping things that way so they shove crap out on the Trid and 'Trix that in some cases really will rot your brain.
ludomastro
@ Ravor

Please consider most of your post officially stolen.

biggrin.gif
Ryu
Indeed. A view on the world I had lost a bit. notworthy.gif
Ravor
I pay alot of homage to the alter of Pink Mohawks. cyber.gif
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