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Hello. I hope this thread can be answered quickly so that it can fade into obscurity, leaving the front page for the quality threads this board usually hosts.

I'm playing SR with a good GM who is now keen to play a little himself. He's not bought Ghost Cartels, specifically so that I can run it instead. The question is, should we use the characters that survive the current campaign, or start afresh? I'm a little reluctant to take over GMing the same PCs, partly because mine would then be out of synch and partly because his would be. That said, it seems as though (from my reading of reviews) Ghost Cartels is written for characters with some street experience already under the belt. Should I just suck it up and run their characters, or should they start new ones?

New characters would be easiest to deal with as a new GM.

I see no problems with using new characters. The entire campaign can start with all the characters meeting for the first time, as they are hired by the first Mr J in the first mission. It works just fine.
I might be slightly concurned about the power level of the campaign, which strikes me as slightly more advanced then average. However since these are simply new characters, and not new players to the game it might not be that big an issue.

You might also decide on a case-by-cases basis weather or not to allow old characters into the new campaign, depending upon how they will fit with your new setup. Though this might cause some hard-feelings on the players not allowed to bring old characters. I could do it with my players, YMMV.
Couldn't you just have your players make new characters with 100-150 more BP to represent the street Xp they will need to survive GC?
That's an option. My current GM has never run Foodfight with us, and I know the others have never read it, so I might run that for them to introduce them to each other. Hey, if other adventures can start with, "You're all sitting in a bar..."

I might run something short for them before getting into Ghost Cartels, just to get them used to things with their new characters. Has anyone seen the old Shadowrun start-up mission rejigged for 4th Ed; if not, I'd consider rewriting it myself (loved the idea of Hans Brackhaus hiring start-up runners - and then disappearing into the ether again).
If you used 400 BP before, this might be a good time to make the change to 750 karma.
Ok. Why?
Because it increases the power level, while removing all karma/BP differences.
Ghost Cartels can be run with starting characters, but I would recommend interjecting some of your own runs in between the runs from the book, especially near the beginning. Hand out some fairly "generous" Karma awards to pump up their power level a bit. The book cranks up the opposition at a pretty good rate so you'll need to give your players a boost.
I'd go with Malachi. Insert filler runs or be generous with karma. I frequently give out 12+ karma for a run (a run being made up of usually two sessions), though, so my ideas of generous are apparently exorbitantly generous compared to other GMs.
Agree with Malachi and Dashifen. I'd recommend seeding some SRMs before diving into Ghost Cartels. Unless your group is min-maxed up the power level.
The first story arc shouldn't be particularly difficult for beginner shadowrunners to handle though as has been stated you may want to introduce some runs of your own (the campaign is designed with just that in mind) to round out the story arc. The later story arcs involve some pretty stiff opposition.
Thanks for the massively helpful answers, everyone. Really appreciate you taking the time to help me out.

As I've said, I'll probably run food fight as a starter, to get them into the action straight away. Does anyone have any other suggestions about filler stuff I could do? I work a pretty hectic week (usually about 60 hours) so don't always have time to devise new stuff. It's hard enough work prepping the pre-printed material sometimes.

Is this a good juncture to mention that my lovely wife has just been awesome enough to give birth to Bashfull Jnr? He's 6 weeks today, which is why I'm finally thinking about gaming again. I know I'm not a prolific poster, so I hadn't really mentioned it on here before.
You could also pick up a copy of On the Run and run that for your players. I wouldn't call it a great adventure, but it is entertaining. It also has a bunch of great advice for GM's running SR4.

You could also pick up the old Shadowrun Missions adventures and convert them to your setting (probably Seattle?). However, that might end up being as much work as writing your own adventures.

PS Congrats on the new baby!
Thanks, Malachi.

We ran On the Run before Emergence. I've got the Missions stuff, up until it moved to NY. I agree that adapting it is hard: it's actually got a nice Denver flavour with the moving between zones. How hard would it be to convert the old SR3 start-up (the Saeder Krupp/Hans Brackhaud mission) to 4th Ed?
The Jake
QUOTE (Bashfull @ Dec 16 2008, 12:09 AM) *
Thanks, Malachi.

We ran On the Run before Emergence. I've got the Missions stuff, up until it moved to NY. I agree that adapting it is hard: it's actually got a nice Denver flavour with the moving between zones. How hard would it be to convert the old SR3 start-up (the Saeder Krupp/Hans Brackhaud mission) to 4th Ed?

I'm in a similar boat. My campaign begins 2064 during the height of the Second Crash. Using the chaos as cover, the PCs need to slip over the border and establish a base to survive the culling from with CATCo (PCs are ex-Seraphim).

The PCs are moving from Montreal to Seattle but they need to establish their street rep. I'm fudging the timelines a bit but their first major run will involve stopping the Mayan Cutter (I've decided the Cutter is actually a master shedim). This run will take them all over Seattle to get a feel for the city as well as travel to the Deep Metaplanes for the final showdown. It is also designed to allow them to make some powerful contacts in Seattle and help establish a solid street rep, wasting a perp that won't be missed and also keeping it at the street level.

Some contacts include:
- a powerful Mr. Johnson who winds up indebted to them (CFO of Brackhaven Investments, with ties to Alamos20k/Humanis/Human Nation - its his son that gets possessed by the shedim),
- a female ork Lone Star magical forensic investigator (D.P.I.) who also winds up indebted to them (for aiding her in the investigation and saving her rep with the Star),
- a retired shadowrunner elven combat mage (acts as a magical instructor and talismonger with ties to elven organisations in Puyallup - a friend of one of the Cutter's victims),
- a ghoul cybersurgeon/street doc,
- a free spirit (formerly bound to one of the Cutter's victims).

I also bought On The Run with the intention of running that as the intro to SR for my group. However, with the backstory I've established and the fact some are former SR2-3 players with no grasp of whats happened since the Renraku Arcology, I feel that doing this sort of transitionary period is the best way to acclimatise them. I can only do that if I build my own adventures. I'm drawing heavy influence from Emergence, Unwired and many other books I've never used but always wanted to (e.g. Super Tuesday, Loose Alliances and Harlequin's Back off the top of my head, etc). I've just finished this adventure and I'm really quite proud of it.

I like On The Run for a one off adventure but I also have my eye on running Ghost Cartels asap but they are not ready yet. I need to get my PCs comfortable with the setting, familiar with the mechanics and beef them to a suitable power level. Food Fight is great for a 2 hr adventure after you've completed chargen, but I would suggest you are better served by contuining doing what you have been doing - creating your own adventures and incrementally upping heir power level until you're ready to rock and roll.

- J.
I've got a couple home made runs. I'll have to wait to post them, as they are not on the computer I'm using now.

One is an idea I got from a fellow dumpshocker. It's a beer run in the Barrens. It doesn't pay much, but there was plenty of situations for some looting of dead gangers. I used this run as a way to hand out a bunch of karma, and it shouldn't take too long to run.
Here you go Bashfull. Hope this isn't too late:

The runners all meet up at Rock Bottom, a crummy bar in the Barrens. This is a bar one of the runners frequents almost often. Around 11:00, the bar tender approaches the one of the runners he’s friends with and has a very concerned look on his face.

“Hey ______.? <looks around and leans in the say something in his ear> “Keep this quiet, but we are almost out of beer. Our delivery didn’t come in today. I’m worried if we run out the patrons will start tearing the place apart. I’ll pay you and your friends 200 nuyen, plus free drinks for a ______ if you can make a Beer Run for me.?

If they agree:

“Here’s the nuyen for the beer. I need 2 kegs. I’d say you got about an hour before we are out.?

They need a vehicle large enough for two kegs.
The Barrens is a static zone so using the matrix to locate a liquor store can be iffy.
The bar needs a specific type of beer. They may need to try a few liquor stores to find 2 kegs.


1. Robbery: A group of gangers (probably at least 2 per runner), hold up the runners at gun point and attempt to steal their car, coat, money, etc. (See Shakedown). In the case of the car, the runners get boxed in by two ganger cars.
2. Gang fight: As the runners show up (or when they are leaving) the liquor store, a gang fight erupts between two groups of gangs and the runners are caught in the middle. (See Turf War). Sons of Sauron and the Night Hunters (SR p.50 and Runners Haven p.92)
3. Hell Hound pack looking for their next meal
4. Toxic Sprit - Sludge (Toxic Spirit of Earth or Water) – Street Magic p. 146 (Runners Haven, p. 106)

The Toxic Sprit uses its accident power to cause the vehicle to crash (or blow a tire). When the runners are changing the tire, the Sprit will attack.

5. Ghoul pack, or the 162s (Runners Haven p.93) also looking for their next meal
6. Undercover cop’s cover is blown: An undercover Lone Star agent has his cover blown and is being shot at by several gang members (The Cutters, Runners Haven p. 89-90). They see him running out in the street asking for help. If the runners help, the can gain a contact within Lone Star. (See The Rescue)
7. Hate Crime (if there are non-humans in the party)– The Humanis Policlub is rolling around Redmond looking for a fight. What better way then to attack some meta-humans. They will be driving around in a van.
QUOTE (Bashfull @ Dec 15 2008, 07:09 PM) *
How hard would it be to convert the old SR3 start-up (the Saeder Krupp/Hans Brackhaud mission) to 4th Ed?

I'm not sure if I'm familiar with that one. Are you referring to First Run? I have always thought that First Run was actually a poor first run. The opposition includes a team of well-built Red Samurai (4 of them) plus a cyberzombie! Even though the text says that the Red Sams are "trainees" with lower stats than usual, they are (by SR3 terms) equivalent to a well-built Street Sam starting character. The Cyberzombie is... frightening. His stats are accurate for what a Cyberzombie should be, which means he can take on/take out a whole party by himself. If you use the SR4 BBB stats for a Red Samurai, then the run is much more manageable, and you'll have to do something to "hand wave" the Cyberzombie a little bit. Perhaps give the players some way to break the Red Sam's control of the zombie and have him turn on them, then they can escape in confusion.

The second run in that book, Site of Desecration is a much better run as far as structure and opposition goes. However, it is a "rural" setting run so it has a very different feel than the urban ones.

Other adventures that could easily be "upconverted" include:
Corporate Punishment - this includes 3 adventures. One of which is pretty manageable, the other two border on masochistic. You'll have to tone down the opposition, but they are runnable.
Survival of the Fittest - this is an excellent 5 adventure (or is it more?) mini-campaign that focuses on the machinations of Dragons which is a cool change of pace. The only time dependency on the campaign is that it happens sometime after Ghostwalkers appearance during Year of the Comet. Again, you'll have to do some conversion but it's definitely doable. I highly recommend you get and read Dragons of the Sixth World as a supplement to this campaign, plus it's just one of the best sourcebooks that came out for SR3, and I doubt it'll be updated anytime soon

Have fun!
Thanks very much, Malachi.

The mission I mentioned was a quickstart adventure. The idea was to extract information from (if I recall correctly) Silver Technologies. I think it was a free download at some point. Why is my memory so bad? In any event, the memory of the poor sap the team ends up extracting is worse: he's had a memory device implanted that allows him to recall everything since, but nothing before, the operation. There are no cyberzombies or Red Samurai in it.

Edit: Jimson! Thanks! I nearly missed that. Much obliged.
Edit: Found it. Which one, Malachi? I have no idea which watermarked one you mean. smile.gif

Oh, it's from the SR Quick Start rules. Yeah, I never got that book because I was already well into my GMing "career."

Edit: Nevermind, I didn't see anything... *walks away* wink.gif
See what I did there? wink.gif
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