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mike_the_fish
Hey folks. I am a veteran SR gamemaster, and I am just about to start up a new gaming group/campaign - first time playing 4th edition. One of the things I am hoping to avoid is to have all my characters degrade into evil psychotics. Here's what I mean:

Shadowrunners are not "good" people. Not by a long shot - basically the players are pretending to be criminals for hire. Obviously not your average "shining knight saving the princess" type fare, and that's fine. BUT, one of the elements of Shadowrun (or at least my own take on Shadowrun) is that the characters are - in a way - better or more honorable than the corporations that they work for. Sort of an irony thing; the PC's Shadowrunners, even though they are criminals and are villified in the media, are more "human" than the megacorporations who have a benevolent and positive reputation with the populace.

Don't get me wrong - I have no desire to run with a bunch of Robin Hood goody two shoes (this IS Shadowrun after all). But, at the same time I also don't want my party to be made up of a bunch of psychopathic scumbags who have absolutely no moral compass at all. I don't like "evil" campaigns personally - not that they are bad or whatever, just not my cup of tea.

Most of the time, my groups from earlier SR editions have been just fine, but invariably there crops up some sort of circumstance where they have captured the sec guard, pumped him for information, and then decide to ventilate his head because leaving him behind alive is "inconvenient". Now killing in a fight when the opponent is trying to kill you right back is cool - happens all the time on runs. But I would really like to foster an environment where other alternatives besides cold-blooded murder of helpless prisoners are considered. Know what I mean?

Anyways, I am planning on talking to my players about it, and that should probably be ok (they are a good bunch of guys), but I am wondering - anybody have any other ideas? Bear in mind that I don't want to be all heavy-handed, but I also don't want my campaign to degrade into an "evil" campaign.
deek
Well, I'd make the morality a function of nuyen. Meaning, the Johnson or whatever that is picking up the tab, puts those objectives into the job...s/he says that if you have zero body count, you get X nuyen as a bonus. This can be explained a variety of ways...maybe another Johnson doesn't ask for zero body count, but he requests that stealth is important and s/he wants no traces the team was there.

I mean, to me, this is the easiest way to do it...you don't end up needing to talk to your players on the side, but you are rewarding them, in-game, for following behavior that you want them to have.

Also, by making the groups opposition "evil", that portrays the runners (which normally are a group of criminals) as being good, mainly because they are less evil. And honestly, don't make it convenient to kill the helpless prisoners...if you don't put your group in those situations, then you don't have to worry about it.
mfb
the most important thing is to tell your players what you're trying to do. changing the tone of the game is a big thing, and it's not something that you generally want to spring on your players unannounced--they'll just end up confused and possibly angry, because they types of responses that worked very well in their previous games will suddenly no longer be viable. you've gotta let them know what's up.

one thing that might help nip the problem in the bud is to prevent them from playing archtypical loners with no friends or family. that's the type of character that easily devolves into an unthinking murder-machine, so don't let them hand you a character sheet until they've told you about who their parents are, who their spouse or SO is, what their kids' names are, who their friends in the neighborhood are.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (mike_the_fish @ Feb 29 2008, 02:03 PM) *
Anyways, I am planning on talking to my players about it, and that should probably be ok (they are a good bunch of guys)

You've already got the best approach. If this doesn't work, nothing will.
clangedinn
Aye talk to your players. I am in the same mindset as you. I talked to mine and most of them agreed on the subject.

Normally i attempt to remind players that NPC gaurds and what not are people to. Who is to say the gunshot surgery victims mother is not vengeful enough to hire someone for the sole purpose of finding who killed her little johnny and exact revenge.

They are ultimatly criminals yes but they ahve to be smart one and leaving a pile of corpses is generally not very smart. thats what narcojet pistols are for.
Stahlseele
well . . i can't resist . . every time this comes up i somehow have to mention that shadowrunners are usually professional criminals, so technically it's allways an "evil" campaign O.o
Raven Bloodeyes
You could always use Laesel or a spell to mess up his memories and all too, instead of killing him....

But yeah, just nicely talking to them is probably the way to go, if they know you won't use every guard they let live to try and kill the whole party, then they lose their incentive to be so "utilitarian" about killing them all...
Particle_Beam
On the other hand, the captured guard will tell the authorities all he knows about the Shadowrunners, like behaviour, gender, equipment, size, metatype, characteristical cyberware, and any other peculiarities he managed to lay his eyes upon. Even codenames and faces. And with cybereyes, who do have the possibility to record everything that has happened perfectly for later, it is quite a liability to let the captives go. That is indeed one problem that the Shadowrunners will face in the world of 2070.
sungun
part of what makes shadowrun so great is that morals can be so ambiguous. putting some more vexing moral choices than whether or not to kill a corp gaurd will get the players thinking more seriously about all the moral choices their characters make. and making characters make obvious moral choices will force them to see themselves as evil if they make the evil choice.

example of an obvious choice: the runners are hired to steal a crate. during the course of the run, the players find out that the crate is full of medicine needed to combat an outbreak of some illness in the barrens. the runners find out that the barrens community will be in a real hard way without the medicine.

example of ambiguous: someone the runners knows gets killed. they find out that the guy was an active humanis policlub member and subsequently find out that humanis policlub members, particularly politically active ones have been getting geeked. they find out that it's a (vampire/ork gang of runners/something/one meta) specifically targeting these guys. and something like this is nice because it's not a binary choice. they could not get involved. they could report it. they could kill the killer. they could lend the killer a hand. they could mediate (probably the most moral, if perhaps most futile move.)

you might try asking a particular player to play a particularly moral character... pick someone that you think would enjoy the role. that person will be a moral compass for the party, and it could cause some intraparty conflict. i think intraparty is often one of the more interesting aspects of role playing.

also, if the players somehow get a reputation for being brutal, they should expect to be treated brutally when they're the ones who need a little mercy.
cx2
Think someone might have already mentioned the drug in Arsenal which screws up memory, that would be a good way to go too. Still talk to the players, but make sure they know such a drug exists and can keep a little on hand just in case. While runners are criminals they don't all have to be murderers, especially not cold blooded. Doing wetwork even gets you notoriety, which implies even in the shadows there is only a certain type of person who does wetwork. Killing a guard like that isn't really any better than wetwork morally, it just won't result in word spreading around.

Hmm alternative idea to create trouble - perhaps a boss in the security division is doing one of these morale things where he spends a day or two working as a grunt. He's naturally in what should be a quiet area, and very secure, but something causes a run to be targetted there. Perhaps the Johnson has bad intel and thinks something valuable is there instead of where it is or something. Thus the guard might actually be someone quite valuable, which the runners don't find out until someone comes after them.
Cardul
Well, I don't know..how human are your players? Are they naturally psychopaths? If so..then there is not much we can help you with. However, I like this:

I name my security guards. I give them hopes, dreams, some I give families. And, like all good family men, they carry pictures of their family with them. I still remember the time some runners I was GMing for were decided not to kill aa guard..not because he pleaded for himself or anything like that, but because they had heard him talking to his buddy before the team jumped the sec, about the guy being so glad he was finally going to retire next week, and was looking forward to finally getting to spend time with his grand kids. When the sam was going to shoot the guy in the forehead, he just couldn't bring himself to blow the brains out of an old grandfather who was crying...

Remember, guards are people to..many players will actually stop and not kill someone if they really realize that person is not a threat to them. More, though, I like the Public Awareness and stuff..if a team gets known for using non-lethal force most of the time, then security are less likely to immediately escalate to lethal force, either. If, however, they, like one Samurai I saw ina group, use an assault cannon on a RECEPTIONIST! Then...well...that is what they make Banshees and light security tanks for. Escalate response in direct proportion to the visciousness of the PCs..that's how I always do it..Or..you could run in Neo-tokyo, where, pretty much, using guns is frowned upon, and let them try and figure out how to do runs using firearms and such as a last resort..
Critias
QUOTE (Cardul @ Mar 1 2008, 02:25 AM) *
More, though, I like the Public Awareness and stuff..if a team gets known for using non-lethal force most of the time, then security are less likely to immediately escalate to lethal force, either.

A ridiculous statement repeated often enough does not stop being ridiculous.

If you're waving a gun around, no one magically knows or cares if you're packing gel rounds, stick and shock, or explosive ammo. You're waving a gun around. Even if you fire that gun, your average security guard is going to hear a bang and see his buddy fall down. While the pee's running down his leg and his adrenaline's up, he's not going to go "Oh, hey, I just noticed, Frank isn't bleeding. Aww, these guys aren't that bad! I don't need my gun for this!"

Remember, stun damage is still the sort you get from beating someone with a bat or a tire iron (which are both certainly lethal weapons, legally). Stun damage is not friendly damage. Stun damage does not tickle. Stun damage does not mean the guards will immediately become aware of the fact that your 'runner team is just a bunch of scrappy underdogs, out to right society's wrongs and do so with as little force as necessary.

You're still criminals in the middle of an armed invasion of the workplace that it's their job to protect, and you just shot someone.

Yes, the radio traffic for something obnoxious like a missile launcher or machinegun will be more frantic than for a pistol (which is why "a weapon is a weapon" isn't quite the phrase I'm looking for)... but the simple fact is an armed intruder is still bad news, and certainly not something corporate security is going to train to take lightly. If someone's got a gun, I promise you the security/police assumption is going to be that lethal force is the correct response. When the shit hits the fan and bullets are flying, no one's going to stop and swap over to gel rounds even if they happen to notice that the shotgun that just downed Charlie was a beanbag round instead of a slug.
Riley37
This topic comes up a lot; see also the Power and Lethality thread, and the Organlegging thread, both recent.

I see a difference between "we avoid killing because it sometimes has inconvenient consequences" and "we avoid killing because we sometimes have empathy for the helpless guard as a human being". If what you really want is the latter, then ask for it as such.

Although Critias has some strong points, at a certain level of reputation, it *would* matter. If someone's passing through Sherwood Forest, and they run into Robin Hood's Merry Men, they know that if they surrender, they're likely to get out alive; whereas in the case of unknown bandits anywhere else, they might well fight to the death, on the theory that generic honorless bandits are likely to abuse then kill anyone who surrenders. Closer to reality, I'd bet that a substantial percentage of bank workers in the time and place of Jesse James, knew that he tended not to kill. One could argue that no shadowrunner ever should get recognized in the first place; and if your story *only* includes missions of infiltrating guarded facilities to secretly steal McGuffins, then that's true. On another hand, I'm playing in a Resistance to Occupation themed campaign, and it might indeed be useful to develop a Robin Hood rep such that certain kinds of bystanders are more likely to turn a blind eye, rather than calling for the HTRT.
Critias
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that in the long(er) run, knocking folks out instead of killing them might do you some good (just like it might do you some harm, because just like in real life any GM worth their salt runs all this stuff as situationally dependent). There's a difference between corp security coming after you and corp security coming after you. Just take a look at the reaction today that your average police department will show, between just another murder case being reported, and a crime scene full of dead cops. When something is made personal, it is generally very bad for the person that has pissed off the security forces involved, as opposed to simply disrupted their normal workaday routine.

But that's a little longer term sort of thing. It was the phrase "immediately escalate to lethal force" that bugged me out of the text I quoted (which was why I quoted only it). Reputation or no reputation, the middle of a firefight isn't the time to bank on someone recognizing you as a cheerful ne'er-do-well instead of a stone cold killer. Corporate security will react (in the "immediately escalate") sense the way they've been trained to react. If you flash a gun, they'll go for their own slice of the corporate defense budget. They won't get a gun pointed at them (much less fired) and go "Hey, hear that distinct ricochet? I'm pretty sure these are gel rounds. Rather than return fire and dive for cover, I'll go for my nightstick since it deals Stun damage, too, and I don't want to escalate this encounter to one full of lethal force."

They'll react like, well, like a criminal just pointed a gun at them. If they react at all, it will be with a level of violence appropriate to the appearance of the weapon being levelled at them (and, because it's a dystopian future and authority figures are the ever-present bad guys, they'll often overreact to that level of violence, one-upping whoever it is they're reacting to if they're capable of it).
cx2
Word might spread from the Johnson too, giving a team more notoriety (at least in the shadows if nowhere else) for often creating high body counts. This will influence the types of people who hire the team too, since not all Johnsons are cold hearted either... as well as the ones who just don't want to leave a mess behind.
Whitelaughter
You've already got the most important thing - communication with your players.

Another option though - professional courtesy? The security guard is also just a goon for hire. If there's an attitude of "you're hired to get in, I'm hired to keep you out, nothing personal, why make life difficult for each other", why not be friendly? If you see one of the guards at a gig, and he buys you a drink and warns you that he'll have to let his boss know you were here...*tomorrow morning when he goes back to work*...the comraderie should make viciousness unlikely.

Also, with the more rascist Japanocorps, both guards and Shadowrunners may feel they have more in common with each other than with their bosses/Johnsons.

Finally, with huge amounts of crime, you can point out that Lone Star etc can't be bothered with 'the little stuff' - it takes cold blooded murder (or bribes) to get them to care. Dark and gritty, but still encourages avoiding the worst crimes.
Mx
Critias: I can see were you're coming from with the quards not donwgrading the lethality of their response just becouse the runners are using less-than lethal methods of taking then down.
Put i don't understand why you insist that the quards first response is lethal, it is after all very hard to interrogate dead runners wink.gif grinbig.gif
I would say it's more probable that the quards respond with lethal worse if the team has a reputation of killing everybody in their way.
Critias
QUOTE (Mäx @ Mar 1 2008, 06:24 AM) *
Critias: I can see were you're coming from with the quards not donwgrading the lethality of their response just becouse the runners are using less-than lethal methods of taking then down.
Put i don't understand why you insist that the quards first response is lethal, it is after all very hard to interrogate dead runners wink.gif grinbig.gif
I would say it's more probable that the quards respond with lethal worse if the team has a reputation of killing everybody in their way.

Do you know any cops?

I know more than my share, and am quite friendly with more than most people. I've done citizen's police academies, done volunteer work to assist with law enforcement training, I've gone shooting with them, I've applied to be a cop a few times. Just as much, though, I've talked guns with them (since they're a hobby of mine). You know how every single one of them said he'd respond upon interacting with me, once I identify myself as a concealed carry permit holder? Say, during a traffic stop? With gun drawn and pointed at me. Period.

That's how they're trained to respond to weapons. They want to go home at the end of their shift, period. They don't take any chances, even with a law-abiding citizen who's politely telling the cop he has his legally registered concealed carry weapon on him.

Now look at your average Shadowrunner. Corp security runs into him (a) where he's not supposed to be, (b) normally in the middle of the night, © and look at the sort of gear your average 'runner team carries around with them. How do you think the even more militarized, paranoid, trigger happy, brutish, stereotypically evil authoritarian security forces of the future are going to respond not to being politely informed during a routine traffic stop about a single person's legally registered handgun...but upon responding to alarm systems to find a half-dozen street scum, mohawks and cyberarms all around, dripping with submachineguns?

They're not going to respond to an alarm, sprint there, and go "Hey! You! Hold on a second! I'm afraid we have to ask you to leave, buddy!" They're not going to run at them with a stun baton, or go hand-to-hand, or something.

They're paid, paramilitary, security that are responding to armed intruders, of the sort who are generally positively dripping with very obviously military-grade hardware. Corp security is going to respond appropriately. They're going to cover the Shadowrunners with the biggest guns they've got on them, and if someone twitches wrong when a member of the security detail approaches to start cuffing people, bullets will start flying.
Whitelaughter
Sure RW cops will shoot - and then they have to put up with a mile of paperwork if they do fire. Making it much easier to persuade them not to (which is kinda the point).

A consideration that hasn't come up yet - megacorps are huge - independent nation states. The 'rules' will change from place to place. You're crossing into an arcology from a slum district? Expect to be welcomed with open machine guns. You're sneaking through a corp residential area where the teens are famed for opening up the guards with paintball guns...a wildly different response is likely. At least, until you blow one away.

Also, your decker can force the guards to switch to non-lethal by hacking their comms and giving an order to take prisoners; or even that this is a live exercise, and their next pay rise is dependant on how well they do against the elite team that's about to take them down - but only if you're using non-lethal rounds. If there is life fire coming their way, they won't *care* about the fake orders you've sent through, or even the mind muddling of your mage.
suppenhuhn
I'd say that if the group has a habit of killing their prisoners they should get a notoriety increase as an execution is pretty easy to distinguish from a gunfight and at least your own mr johnson knows you were there.
also after a while the security forces will be less willing to take prisoners themselves if they suspect the group to be murdering their colleagues and since they can't really say who the murderers are they might already have shot members of other runnerteams which will draw the attention of those to the chars as well.
Snow_Fox
QUOTE (mfb @ Feb 29 2008, 02:22 PM) *
the most important thing is to tell your players what you're trying to do. changing the tone of the game is a big thing, and it's not something that you generally want to spring on your players unannounced--they'll just end up confused and possibly angry, .

right, we've never gone that way so you have to consider how you're presenting the world where the players degrade to whack jobs.

film examples of runners who are not pschotic killers are Brandon Fraser in the "Mummy" movies. Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Damn near anything by Bogart (go head try to explain how Maltese Falcon or big Sleep don't look like shadowruns gone bad.)Heck you could argue that Sherlock Holmes is a good example, in The Blue Carbuncle he lets the criminal go free, so long as he recovers the loot. most James Bond movie plots could be shadowruns is the agent is hired by the government instead of being assigned to it etc.


kzt
Due to the wackyness of various reporting structures I've had campus police showing up to investigate just what I'm doing at 3am working in a closed building fiddling a half million dollars worth of gear. They don't just just saunter up and say "Hey Jack, what's up!". They come in in pairs moving very quietly and carefully with guns drawn. They haven't ever pointed guns at me, but at the floor a few feet in front of me, which doesn't really slow them very much at all, it just makes me feel better. And these are campus police, who are typically willing to take more crap than the city cops.

If you popped out aggressively with something that looked vaguely like a weapon under those circumstances I think things would tend to get very loud.

However in NM the cops just assume that everyone has a gun in their car. It's fully legal. So they don't get bent out of shape unless you look like you are thinking about getting it. You can't keep doing felony stops on every minivan with mom and the kids. The other cops laugh at you.
Snow_Fox
I don't think you're posting in the right htread
kzt
No, right thread. I'm agreeing with Critias's message 18. mostly.
hyzmarca
If you're worried about eye cameras, don't want to guard to identify you, and want a little extra money on the side, is scooping out the prisoners eyeballs, dosing him with Laes, P-Fixing him, and tricking him out as a 10 nuyen.gif blind gay whore more or less immoral than just shooting him in the head and selling his organs? This is a very important question that must be answered in order to get a campaign that is more moral.

On the reputation for using non-lethal force, I'd recommend keeping two guns on you at all times, one loaded with gel rounds and one with ex-ex; color code them. Then, pick a cool name for your team and a cool logo. Make up some badges and patches with the team name and logo on them, as well as some uniform jackets and nametags for all of your teammates clearly displaying their streetnames. Then, find a character of the old trideo reporter archetype and offer an exclusive interview. During this interview explain that your team always uses non-lethal weapons against guards unless attacked with lethal force and explain your gun color coding system so that the people watching can tell which level of force you are using if they see you shooting at someone. Also, show off your uniform jacket with the badges and patches give the street names and faces of all of your teammates and carefully explain the many ways how the public can identify members of your team and tell them apart from other shadowrunner teams who might kill indiscriminately. Post this same information on the matrix later.
Jhaiisiin
If I were a guard watching that, I'd shoot you on prinicple with lethal ammo just because you're too damned prissy and flashy to be a proper criminal.

devil.gif
Riley37
Hyzmarca asks a very important question: "is scooping out the prisoners eyeballs, dosing him with Laes, P-Fixing him, and tricking him out as a 10-yen blind gay whore more or less immoral than just shooting him in the head and selling his organs?" One way to answer that is with the age-old Golden Rule: which would you rather have happen to you? I think I'll take the clean death for 200.

I believe Critias, and not just because of his credentials, that any cop or guard is gonna draw a lethal-ammo gun when they have any reason to do so; training may help them be judicious about actually firing it, but a guy in camo running towards them at night inside the secured area, lethal-armed or not, should qualify for an immediate double-tap to the chest. On another hand, say that instead of the runners suddenly stumbling across a guard, the security spider picks them up on sensors, scans them, and notices that they only carry lockpicks and traq patches; she takes a moment to track biomonitors and sees that Charlie the gate guard is Stunballed but uninjured. The spider isn't in an under-pressure, fight-or-flight situation, and therefore she might start her response with Neurostun rather than Seven-7.

I've also seen the "to kill or not" question come up IN CIRCUMSTANCES OTHER THAN GUARDS AT FACILITIES, so Hyzmarca is being obtuse with his color-coding suggestion. Then again, he's amusing enough that it's OK with me.

My group's first mission involved retreiving a McGuffin Briefcase. Turns out the courier had been ambushed - and converted - by a ghoul gang. Turns out that multiple corps were sending retrieval teams, and we showed up in time to see Firewatch in a pitched fight with the ghouls. We let them wipe each other out, then took the briefcase... and at no point did anyone on our team shoot at anyone on the Firewatch team, which could well become a plot point, since one of them survived and escaped.
Chrysalis
Two things brought up in this thread, but I would reiterate:

1. Corp extraterritoriality. The corp asnwers to its own legal system to what to do with people who walk in their compound. A security guard who shoots and kills a perp in the comission of a crime does not stand trial under UCAS law, but is under the scrutiny of corp law.

2. Trained responses. A guard will follow trained responses. A well trained guard will have it in his muscle memory that he is doing it before he realises it. If there are armed people he may trip the fire alarm, run away or activate a panic button. Shooting may actually be low on the list of things he may do.
sungun
keep in mind when discussing this reputation business that whatever they do has to connect to them for it to affect their rep. if the runners are being real wiz at covering their tracks, then whatever they do, brutal or humane, won't matter to their future treatment. ofcourse they can always miss cameras. and chances are there's atleast a couple of people that can put two and two together. runners should consider the opinions of mr. j, their fixer, and the corp that likely hired them before taking certain actions.

really, i don't see guards pulling punches against shadowrunners during a fight for any reason besides very explicit orders. i think the question is what happens to the runners after the smoke clears. the guards might've dropped the team with bullets, but the runners have a good chance of waking up strapped to a hospital bed. but if the guards recognizes a runner as someone that murders a lot of guards, the runner isn't likely to be taken prisoner. and over all rep can be important here too. the corp might be willing to deal with the right runners.
martindv
QUOTE (Critias @ Mar 1 2008, 02:50 AM) *
Remember, stun damage is still the sort you get from beating someone with a bat or a tire iron (which are both certainly lethal weapons, legally). Stun damage is not friendly damage. Stun damage does not tickle. Stun damage does not mean the guards will immediately become aware of the fact that your 'runner team is just a bunch of scrappy underdogs, out to right society's wrongs and do so with as little force as necessary.

Planned damage isn't soaked damage. Two shots instead of one, or a lucky hit, or a glitch... They're dead. Or bleeding/dying. And all that hope for using less-lethal rounds means nothing.

Of course, this also relies on Public Awareness--a score the PCs should have that is as close to zero as possible. Corpsec shouldn't get to know that, "Oh, it's Mike's Team." Ever. Besides, PA can easily work against you. If your PCs have a public rep and are treated with kid gloves for it, then sooner or later someone else is going to take advantage of that. Someone less queasy about murder. And when that someone kills everyone in the building, then what? Then your PCs and their less-lethal toys are screwed. That's what.

Irrespective of this, many books have gone out of their way to state that shadowrunning falls under the crime of Espionage to almost every corporation big enough to have its own law (i.e., AAA and AA corps). Since espionage is a capital crime in virtually every nation and is without a doubt a capital crime on corp property, then what difference does it make? The guards are going to be trying to kill the PCs. If they capture the PCs then their bosses will (or will cut them a deal that generally involves a cranial bomb and suicide missions to pay for their treachery, which is the same thing). So why bother?

QUOTE (Whitelaughter @ Mar 1 2008, 05:55 AM) *
Another option though - professional courtesy? The security guard is also just a goon for hire. If there's an attitude of "you're hired to get in, I'm hired to keep you out, nothing personal, why make life difficult for each other", why not be friendly? If you see one of the guards at a gig, and he buys you a drink and warns you that he'll have to let his boss know you were here...*tomorrow morning when he goes back to work*...the comraderie should make viciousness unlikely.

Shadowrun is not Heat. While it is a useful reference movie, in SR they'd have shot it out on the side of the 101 instead of having a cup of coffee. That means they've already made it their job to go off onto foreign (non-corp) jurisdiction. Sure they can drag a live perp back, but this is SR. A dead corpse will do just fine as well.

Because they're not goons. They are, or think they are and are treated as, corpcops. And a cop is a very different beast mentally than a security guard.
Earlydawn
All I have to contribute is "Think less rent-a-cop and more corporate SWAT team". There won't be much of a fear of criminal prosecution. Even the day-shifters are going to have a locker with Colt Cobras and body armor in the primary security center..
martindv
QUOTE (Earlydawn @ Mar 3 2008, 01:19 PM) *
All I have to contribute is "Think less rent-a-cop and more corporate SWAT team".

Absolutely. Treat them like the corpcops they are, and not just some mall security guard.
Chrome Tiger
To state the obvious, not all criminals are murderers. People do whatever they must to survive.

However, most guards and security types will think of this while watching a small group of armed criminals transgress into their workspace. Guards, patrol officers, armed response teams, etc are trained to treat any armed criminal as a deadly threat. They do not care if the criminals are only carrying guns 'just in case'. Hell, a lot of guards will not even care if they see weapons on the intruders, they will fire anyway.

The team will fire back. People will die. This will draw huge attention, especially if they get ID'd. If the team kills for the joy of killing, then it becomes even worse. Media attention, police manhunts, etc. They will get portrayed as serial killers and/or mass murderers. I would imagine that living with such notoriety would be difficult. Jobs will start to be hard to come by because Johnsons will not want to be linked to such high-level wanted individuals. Trying not to be seen will become your full time job. Eventually the grid will fall down on the team members as they get spotted in unlikely situations or someone rats them out.
martindv
Consider this. There are thousands of people in Los Angeles who are one misdemeanor away from going to prison for the rest of their lives, and plenty of people who are one outright felony from the same. Consider that most police fatalities are in the course of traffic stops. There is a reason why LAPD patrols in twos: They know the odds of someone trying to murder them is rather high, and as a result you get a lot of situations like Critias described. While not all criminals are murderers, but that doesn't mean cops treat them like they aren't--especially when they are unknown. That kind of thinking, and starting off with your guard down will get you shot in the head on the side of the freeway.
Spike
To get back to the OP... and assuming the intent is to avoid runners who think nothing of mass murder every other day:

While talking it out can, obviously, be a great approach, you can always feel them out before hand.

Consider offering two runs at the same time, possibly from different fixer contacts (never the same johnson, that's just blatent...)

One of which pays very very good money, but should make the PLAYERS think twice. I'm talking about spreading expiremental diseases into the slums of Rio or something so the corp can A: test their new bioweapon, and B: milk the residents for life for the cure. I'm talking VITAS-4 (or if you want to name it something players might think twice about: Virally induced cancer...)

The second pays more ordinary money and is a more or less normal run with a low potential casualty rating, possibly even a 'Good Guys' mission (you know, Ork Underground hires them to steal medicine from a hospital so they can take care of themselves...).

The idea is that the runners should have a very clear choice between being good guys and being bad guys, with the obvious incentive to be bad putting a point on the choice.


I like mixing it up with an unspoken punishment for being the bad guy too: Someone is going to do that run, be it the players or some NPCs. Whomever does it will be hunted men, pariahs in the shadow community. You can't hide a Run like that.


Shape your campaign from there. Obviously, if they want to be evil bastards on the run from just about everyone (possibly even the Johnson/corp who'd really like to silence them to prevent them from testifying in Corporate Court about this genocidal act...), then that's what they want to do for now. Talk to them afterwards.

If they chose to be good guys, then reinforce that 'good guy' rep they get, eventually their own 'self image' as Good Guys will inform their choices later on... ideally anyway. If they start having a rep to maintain they'll wince when something damages it.

Whitelaughter
QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Mar 4 2008, 04:28 AM) *
Trying not to be seen will become your full time job.

My first thought was 'well, obviously' then I remembered how many people I've played with who *didn't* stealth through.

Stealth is a runner's best friend.
astn
QUOTE (Critias @ Mar 1 2008, 07:04 AM) *
Do you know any cops? I know more than my share, and am quite friendly with more than most people. I've done citizen's police academies, done volunteer work to assist with law enforcement training, I've gone shooting with them, I've applied to be a cop a few times. Just as much, though, I've talked guns with them (since they're a hobby of mine). You know how every single one of them said he'd respond upon interacting with me, once I identify myself as a concealed carry permit holder? Say, during a traffic stop? With gun drawn and pointed at me. Period.
That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. If they actually did that in 95% of the country, you would quickly have an mall security guard-friend rather then a cop-friend. Pointing a weapon at a taxpayer with no cause other then them identifying themselves as having a CCW is going to end up as a large reprimand on their file should you pursue that in channels--if they are lucky. The only time any police officer aims his weapon at anyone is because they believe they are likely to shoot that person in the very near future. A police officer aiming a gun at someone simply because they state they have a weapon (especially a legal permit holder) is a CRIME--it is aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon (phrase-ology varies depending on state.) They are unlikely to be charged with that crime, but if you were to file a complaint with their department and state's attorneys general office, it would be VERY uncomfortable for that officer. If they had other problems in the past, they would likely lose their job. If they did not, they would need to be on their best behavior in the future, because you don't go around aiming guns at taxpayers..

There are exceptions, like in every rule, usually on the basis of officer safety. If you were in "the wrong place at the wrong time" (a high crime area during a 'historically active' time, nearby a recent shooting, etc). If you have a warrant, warrant for protection, or are one of those infrequent people with a criminal history who managed to get a CCW. If you have a hooker in the car that the cop just watched you pick up. AKA, if you are acting STUPID. It could also be a departmental policy (the policy would not be "aim a gun at everyone who has a gun" but something along the lines of being proactive in cases of a suspected or known weapon.) That departmental policy is borderline unlawful however would be for departments and areas with exceptionally high crime rates or violence on public servants. Most of the time though, something along those lines in a non-threatening situation will be conducted with a high amount of decorum (it doesn't pay to piss off a taxpayer.)

If you are stopped in your vehicle, act calmly, have your hands at 10 and 2 and clearly visible, and identify yourself appropriately (my preferred method is to hand over my concealed weapons permit along with my license, and make no sudden moves. You should be the picture of calm and stillness while the officer's mind spins around the fact that you are carrying a weapon and doing so legally. Once that small fact sinks into his brain he will decide what he feels is appropriate for his own level of comfort. He may ask you to hand over the weapon, may ask where you keep it so that he may take it from you, or may ignore it altogether. The outcome isn't going to be the sudden onset of a felony stop. In fact, in some states you are not even required to inform the officer that you are armed (which is sometimes the best move, unless you think he is going to find out on his own which would lead to the "gun aiming at me" without the possibility of a departmental complaint.)

This has very little to do with Shadowrun and more with real world interaction, however I thought it important to correct the poster so that misinformation about concealed carry not be perpetuated. Don't take this as legal advice, but it is first-hand, having been experienced both from the CCW and the LE sides.

BRodda
QUOTE (mike_the_fish @ Feb 29 2008, 02:03 PM) *
Anyways, I am planning on talking to my players about it, and that should probably be ok (they are a good bunch of guys), but I am wondering - anybody have any other ideas? Bear in mind that I don't want to be all heavy-handed, but I also don't want my campaign to degrade into an "evil" campaign.


I have yet to understand why so many people here make it sounds like all they do is data steals against fortified targets paid by Johnson's. I'm the last game I played most of it was either us acting on a tip from one of our contacts (I heard that there is a big BTL shipment coming in from Denver), trying to get something we wanted (I can do that mod to you Alpha, but I need an electronic firing mechanism and it will be a 3 month wait. Some dreckers raided the last convoy and everyone needs them) or some other type of get rich quick scheme (Bounty just went up to 300 nuyen.gif per ghoul. Hey the SoS put out a 50,000 nuyen.gif contract on some corp that just put mandatory hight restrictions on employees.)

The only real time we had a fixer involved was when we were low on cash and desperate. Those jobs were never worth the price we charged and almost always had blowback.


As a side note; we turned the BTLs into Lone Star for 1/4th the street value. Gave us a good rep with the local cops. So much so that when prices skyrocketed on BTLs after our little job they hired us to retrieve them after they got stolen from an impound yard and they had no idea where they went.
martindv
QUOTE (astn @ Mar 4 2008, 04:11 PM) *
That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. If they actually did that in 95% of the country, you would quickly have an mall security guard-friend rather then a cop-friend.

Then why does it happen all of the time? You know, in the real world.

I've known many people on the opposite side of the gun. They didn't get their panties in a bunch. They have their hands in plain view, preferably before the officer is even done approaching the vehicle, and then proceed with the dance. No one gets sued. Not in ten years has the thought even crossed anyone's mind to do so.
Kyoto Kid
...well in the last session brought the Short One in. She pretty much piled up a bit of a count for one mission: one guy cleaved in half from the shoulder, the other decapitated, and five more going down with really big holes in them. I thought about it afterwards and wondered if I was playing her too hardcore (had a rough week at work in RL & needed a little R&R [Rock & Roll] therapy). Then I thought about her background, she is a trained killer who honed her abilities at a small but respected dojo in Kyoto Japan. In some ways, she is like the "bride" from Kill Bill - Forsaken and left to die. She remembers that and remembers who did it to her (hence the quote in the signature below). She is more than SINless, she is dead according to official TT records and therefore does not exist.

"Never leave someone to tell a story. Like the great cat, strike quick, clean, and final and slip back into the darkness when done."

These were the teachings of her sensei.

With this in mind, her violent approach was appropriate. She did not and does not do things premeditated, but she does things thoroughly.

...just a few related thoughts.
Fortune
QUOTE (astn @ Mar 5 2008, 08:11 AM) *
That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. If they actually did that in 95% of the country, you would quickly have an mall security guard-friend rather then a cop-friend.


I don't know where you live, but this happens all the time, and not just in America.
Sir_Psycho
"look bob! The armed shadowrunners are good role-players, switch to stick and shock!"

But in all serious, I've always found it amusing that these discussions degenerate into a dichotomy between lethal and less-than-lethal. If you walk into a corporate facility and open fire on some seccies with your stick and shock loaded assault rifle, who cares if they know or not, or if they'll be grateful or angry in the morning. You're a maniac, and you clearly don't have much of a comprehensionStealth first, people.

Apart from open Assaults, if your team has a collectively high stealth skill, the right equipment, and the right plan for the job, the weapons they carry are in case of discovery or emergency. Ideally, you don't want to fire a shot. Personally, if I have to engage a guard in combat, I'll probably knock him out with a shock glove and drag him into a closet. There's no way he's going to wake up a few hours later and go "jeeze, that was a good nap", he'll sound an alert, but by then you will be gone. There's no reason you want to engage or alert any guards to your presence if you odn't have to. stealth first, guns? maybe later.

Also, some of you are so unimaginitive with your justifications of less-than-lethal force. Trying to make the corp less angry is not the primary concern, it's whether you can succesfully complete the shadowrun, and whether they can find you afterwards. Yes, not making Shiawase angry enough to sic the whole MFID onto tracking you down is part of that. But there is other reasons. The OP title is "MURDER in shadowrun". What happens in the fifth world when some-one gets knocked out in a drunken punch-up and maybe his car is stolen? The cops will probably track down the car, but if it's burned out, and there's no witnesses, they'll tell the guy, sorry, and advise he contacts his insurer. If some-one gets a double-tap of hollow-point rounds to the back of their chest, there's a little more fuss. It's not that his corpsec buddies are ANGRY, it's that autopsy's are something you don't want to have to be involved in. The measures taken to track down a MURDERER are performed with more dilligence than a car-jacking, or vandalism.

Of course, this changes from national to extraterritorial property, which is what protects us shadowrunners, as long as we don't get caught in the wrong place. Maybe you murder a perimeter guard when you're breaching their facility. Oops. They really do care more about the prototype you've got now. But if you kill some-one in his Seattle residence, in Lone Star jurisdiction, then that's Murder one and you better lay pretty low while they pick through the scene, taking your bullets and their ballistic markings, and combing for hairs and fibers (Hello ritual sorcery.)
Spike
Am I the only one that thinks its funny that a guy called 'Sir_Psycho' is advocating stealth over violence?
Kingmaker
I don't know about any of you guys, but I've yet to hear of anyone who could identify the ammo load of a gun by looking at it. And frankly, if someone comes into a corporate facility wielding an assault rifle or smg the guards aren't going to wait for them to open fire.
astn
QUOTE (martindv @ Mar 4 2008, 04:54 PM) *
Then why does it happen all of the time? You know, in the real world.

I've known many people on the opposite side of the gun. They didn't get their panties in a bunch. They have their hands in plain view, preferably before the officer is even done approaching the vehicle, and then proceed with the dance. No one gets sued. Not in ten years has the thought even crossed anyone's mind to do so.
I said nothing about a lawsuit. I said a departmental complaint and a complaint to the state AG--a completely different thing entirely. Excessive force (of which drawing your weapon on a taxpayer with no cause other then them stating they have a legal concealed carry weapon) is taken very seriously. I can't speak specific to your location, but if you doubt me, contact a local handgun owners advocacy group or similar, or if you want to go to the source itself and have a lot of time to sit on hold, call your state AG directly.

QUOTE (Fortune @ Mar 4 2008, 06:04 PM) *
I don't know where you live, but this happens all the time, and not just in America.
A valid point. Outside the U.S. all bets are off, however the United States is one of the few countries (only?) that has relatively unrestricted access to firearms and with a majority of the country allowing some form of legal carry by their citizens.

Fortune
You misunderstand me. I have personally experienced being on the business end of a cop's gun numerous times (usually with no cause for such action), both in America and elsewhere. AFAIK, in places like Georgia (among other States) it is standard policy (but maybe not official policy) for a cop to have his gun either in hand or the next best thing even when making routine traffic stops.
Wounded Ronin
If someone suddenly pointed a shotgun at you in a public place and shot you a bunch of times I'm not sure it would immediately register on anyone's mind that those were beanbag rounds and not 00 shot.

And even if they were beanbag rounds you could still die from that treatment.
Sir_Psycho
I think a lot of GM's forget that if you stage your stick and shock, gel rounds, shock glove, or various paralytic toxins up enough, then it can overflow to deadly physical. Teach those pacifist runners not to just assume they're good guys because they fry some-one with a capacitance charge rather than blunt force trauma.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Mar 4 2008, 09:47 PM) *
I think a lot of GM's forget that if you stage your stick and shock, gel rounds, shock glove, or various paralytic toxins up enough, then it can overflow to deadly physical. Teach those pacifist runners not to just assume they're good guys because they fry some-one with a capacitance charge rather than blunt force trauma.


No kidding. In one of the first games I ever GMed (SR 2 possibly, can't remember) I had a player carry out an assasination by shooting the target with a taser. Twice.

It surprised me as the GM since normally you don't think of tasers as lethal weapons but of course if you follow the rules once that stun track is filled up everything just goes to physical.
Critias
QUOTE (astn @ Mar 4 2008, 04:11 PM) *
This has very little to do with Shadowrun and more with real world interaction, however I thought it important to correct the poster so that misinformation about concealed carry not be perpetuated. Don't take this as legal advice, but it is first-hand, having been experienced both from the CCW and the LE sides.

I'm not spreading misinformation, thank you. I can get you an email address for the chief of one of the departments in question, if you like (and, yes, he agreed with his officers when I asked them, the one time he was present for such a conversation). I'm eight for eight, so far, with cops that have said that's how they'd respond to learning I was armed during any sort of encounter with them. No, I'm not in a high crime area. We're talking generic small town/suburbia, here. The exact scenario I put to them was "I'm out driving with my wife, and..." Eight for eight, I got the answer of "Because I want to go home at the end of my shift, I'd have you..."

I'm not glad about it, mind you, I'm just saying -- this is what they told me. This is what happened during FoF exercises, this is how they answered my question when I asked, this is what they said was standard operating procedure. It is not misinformation.
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