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Full Version: Prefer games set in the Shadowrun "storyline" or not?
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I just wondered if you guys liked running or playing games where you just sort of use the Shadowrun setting to make up a game, or do you involve actual specific plot events into your game, such as wrapping your runners up in something like The Renraku Arcology Shutdown (I know I'm harkening back to earlier days, there) or like when Matrix Crash 2.0 happens? Or do you just like "go steal X from Y company" or "go kill gang Z" or "extract said person"? I like a little of both. I usually run more games that are more standalone, and then every now and again I'll ground the game in the current Shadowrun timeline when an event comes up that I think is interesting or would add a good portion to the story.

How do you guys feel? I'm sorry if I'm being vague on what I'm asking, here...
I have run nearly all of my Shadowruns using "plot events" as their basis. The bulk of my SR3 GM'ing days were doing runs that came out of the Blood in the Boardroom events. However, those are just events that "cause" Shadowruns to happen. For example, in BitB it talks about the internal strife at Fuchi which tore the company apart while Richard Villiers stashed away whole hoards of the company. So I took those events and used them to create run ideas where different divisions of Fuchi sponsored runs against each other etc. I also did all of the Brainscan adventures (which dealt with the Renraku Arcology) and my players had a lot of fun with those, but I wouldn't call them "everday wear."
I like to do both. Currently i am running three plot lines at once, one of which is a major plot line that happens during 2055.
I usually make up my own stories that take place in the Shadowrun world, it makes me feel like I have a little more freedom.
A little of both here, also. While most of my stories are in the general timeline, and I reference things that may have gone on/been going on, I do inject a large portion of my own bits into it. Sometimes I'll run something a bit more tied to a story, but many times, I'll invent a corp or the like to tie into the world. I do like the freedom of doing so.
pfft. double post. nyahnyah.gif
I prefer the DM made stories myself. For example, my group just finished an extraction of a 9 meter long naga programmer from a company that didn't recognize his sapience. They did it flawlessly, by the way.

Also, the next few runs are going to be them collecting bounties on Blood Magus and Toxic Shaman from Dunkie's will. 1 million per head (alive) is extremely tempting, and makes for interesting (and powerful) foes for a run.
I generally run my own stuff, but try to stick to "canon" as much as possible. The only major departure in my world involved the UB. When I ran the adventure for my first group near the end of their campaign (after they'd racked up a few epic favors, made plenty of contacts all over the world, and were considering retiring anyway), they got lucky during the legwork section and got the full "Missing Blood" printout. I actually stopped the game and let the player take it home and read it before we continued. It freaked him out so much that he convinced the entire party to abandon the job and instead cash in all their favors, tap all their contacts (coincidentally including some high-placed people at Ares), and plan and execute a mostly shadow war to wipe out the UB nealy completely before exposing them for what they really were. Since this happenned in 2050-51 (IIRC), I needed to find another explanation for the Bug City incident. Thankfully, the writers gave me Crashcart (which for many years outcompeted DocWagon, until the Cermak Blast incident exposed the hidden secret IT had been hiding instead). I also loved Winternight and frequently used them as the spooky boogymen behind the scenes of a lot of my 2nd and 3rd ed. campaigns, I loved it that the writers decided to make them the ones responsible for Crash 2.0 (even though it kinda killed my 3rd ed game, which was just starting to learn of their existance and take up the fight against them- but not long after we switched to 4th ed and moved those characters to NPC status).
I like to keep things low key and avoid the world changing plots. The events that change the world are the backdrop and inspiration but are not attributial to the PC's directly. Their personal worlds are challenges they can face and though they have worked for the mega's and dragons, often unknowingly, their victories are personal not global in scope.
QUOTE (Neraph @ Dec 7 2008, 01:33 PM) *
Also, the next few runs are going to be them collecting bounties on Blood Magus and Toxic Shaman from Dunkie's will. 1 million per head (alive) is extremely tempting, and makes for interesting (and powerful) foes for a run.

Yeah you plan the runs but the core idea behind the run comes from a canon publication. So, in my mind, that counts as "using canon." However, I think that is exactly how the designers/authors expected the material to be used. Books like Portfolio of a Dragon throw a bunch of ideas out there and they expect that GM's will pick up what they need.
we're mostly out of the story, because most of the story is too far out there for our tastes . .
and if we're actually doing something that is inside the canon stuff, we're pretty likely to change it to our liking anyways . .
for example, i came up with another version of the crash 2.0 without the whole terrorism shtick . . well, okay, no, not really,
but without a suddenly inter national terrorist organisation of religious fanatics utilizing chemical, biological, nuclear and
technological weapons of mass destruction to attack several big cities in america . .
[ Spoiler ]

that and most of us know the big fubar happening with things like bugcity that just scream TPK at Disaster Area levels of Sound . .
so we all more or less bank at the first moment something smells fishy to us anyway . . and at other times, when there's clearly no HIDDEN Danger but only obviously an over the top enemy waiting for us to come and take a whoopinjg, we generally figure out how to hurt whatever is in the way the most and get out so we can come back and do it again ^^
[ Spoiler ]
We also like a mixture of both. In fact, one of the things I don't like about the constantly progressing shadowrun timeline is it leaves interesting events in the past. So if we are playing in 2070, taking a trip to Bug City or the Renraku Arcology is out of the question. Which is a bummer because both of those events were quite a hoot when we ran them the first time.

Happily lots of the other major events in the Shadowrun Timeline (like Super Tuesday or Mob War) can be pretty easily adapted to playing in other locations and time periods.

But I mess sending the runners into the Arc or Chicago. Oh well. Dead Space has inspired me to maybe dream up an Arcology 2.0 shutdown... this time.. IN SPACE!!!
I use my own material. I have gotten to the point where I need the freedom especially since I have been non-normal campaigns as of lately....

The canon timeline is my bitch. I use and/or abuse it as needed to fit the story I want to tell. Generally though I use world events as a backdrop, so its pretty rare that the story I am interested in telling is in direct conflict with the canon material.
Use it or not, doesn't matter except insofar as not throwing a bunch of new characters into a fight they're not ready for, unless I think they're smart enough to RUN AWAY!!!! The more experienced the characters are, the bigger role they can play in the world.

[ Spoiler ]
I use some canon events, but I more often make up my own events - if needed at all. Usually, the scope of the runs is not big enough to be influenced by any world events other than those that shake up the whole world - and I got a bit tired of "realm shaking events" years ago, thank to D&D's Forgotten Realms campaign.
Our group likes a mix of both where stuff like Dunkies Will or Blood in the Boardroom, or Crash 2 helps kick off runs but are not the only reason for it.

As a GM I have re-cycled several old adventures to the 2070's e.g. DNADOA cos they are SR classics and world plot specific.

One thing we do use is players turn on the Box or pick up a 'paper' and ask for the headlines so I can use Dunkies Assassination, Bug City or the Renaku Shutdown as the news without them having to be there. Several side-runs have come of this too- loss of contacts for example.
Wesley Street
I play to official Shadowrun canon as closely as possible. I use 1st ed. adventures quite often as they were developed for street level characters. Nothing changes in the setting's time line if the PCs succeed or fail. However I give the modules such a heavy re-write that the names and locations change and the tech gets an upgrade to match the 2070s.
As a GM, I'm no good at writing stories, but I know how to design runs and make the game environment act in an appropriate and entertaining manner. The problem is, if the plots are disconnected missions with no story, I get bored by them and I quit GMing within a few runs. If there's some kind of overarching plot (say, from a plot book) I have more fun as the GM since I've got secrets to slowly reveal, and fun world-altering surprises under my hat, etc. It's also hard to mix things up by pulling out some kind of magical anomaly or technological prototype that's going to endanger the runners if I just made it up, because then I feel like a jerk abusing my power as GM. But if it's part of a canon-based plot, then I feel more like I'm playing fair wink.gif
One of the more global things I'm thinking about is a severe outbreak of HMHVV (not Resident Evil-esque, at least not whole globe. Maybe like the Barrens or a Chicago suburb). In fact, I'm playing a Nosferatu (Carrier [Dzoo-noo-qua], Carrier [Banshee], Carrier [Ghoul]) that's planning on making an Infected nation (and taking a number of Orks for cattle), based either in International Waters (on carriers and possibly an Aqualogy) or in one of the Arctic/Antarctic rings. And the point would be to have a semi-Lich King event not too far from this campaign's end where the rest of the group has to stop the Nosferatu and the players they're playing now who are Infected.
I usually take something I find interesting, such as the section in Dunkelzahn's Will about a Mr. Lars J. Matthews, and then construct a story to have my runners hunt him down (sometime after the deadline, I pretend that he made it out alive and to the current day). I have also found some creative and inventive ways to drag the Renraku Arcology Shutdown storyline out to present day Shadowrun (though Arcology visits are pretty much off limits, but there are still things that can be traced story-wise back to there and make significant Shadowrun missions with, IMO).
QUOTE (TheOOB @ Dec 7 2008, 05:33 AM) *
I usually make up my own stories that take place in the Shadowrun world, it makes me feel like I have a little more freedom.

Agree, similarly so with all of you who also agree. Most often, the major events in the SR timeline occur as news events or background in my games just to set a timetable that places the characters properly. Every so often (when I run a published adventure) I will make them a part of those events, but this is uncommon.
QUOTE (Neraph @ Dec 8 2008, 05:58 PM) *
or in one of the Arctic/Antarctic rings.

on the up side: 3 months of night . .
on the down side, 3 months of sunlight . .
I would also like to point that infected are not undead and DO have to eat, breath, drink, etc., they can die and are susceptible of assideration. It might not be impossible to have a polar infected nation, but it's still extremely hard; and of course it will never be an undead army.
By the way what unit would Dzoo-noo-qua represent?
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