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Prime Mover
A staple of our 1st edition Shadowrun games were stealing,observing or destroying secret corporate projects. One in particular stands out. The R.O.C. 13 project a Fuchi program that was getting mothballed out in the desert. The Rigger.Operated.Cyborg with a mini gun made for a great surprise and something that now more or less exists in cannon all these years later. Used lots of other things in a similar vein as well. Experimental foci,programs and ammo.

Be nice to have resource full of "secret" cutting edge ideas to fill this role.

What sort of things have you used to represent "secret" cutting edge projects as the targets of runs?
A drug that enabled anyone to experience the astral plane which triggered a war between corps, various crime syndicates, a strange Voodoo cult and a few other people... Three years before Ghost Cartel came out.

For my current campaign (MY PLAYERS KEEP OUT!):
[ Spoiler ]

Oh and I've also had some scientist (and his team) trying to mess with elf-DNA to replicate their longevity in other races. But in that case, the project was more used for the shocking factor than for the "secret cutting edge" (it couldn't succeed anyway): the scientist experimented on orphan street-childs, and sold them to prostitution rings, Tamanous or ghouls when they weren't useful to him anymore (for example when the experiment failed and gave them cancer) so that he could fund his research.
Hmmm, did have one of my 1st Ed groups nick a prototype helicopter (a la Blue Thunder). A few years later I had a player get his mits on the specs for a new heavy pistol with burst firs capability intended for use by the 'Raku Red Samurai (before Fields of fire) but he didn't last long after that 'cos he screwed the rest of the team over. Oh, and then there was the time another group waylaid an ancestral katana focus that could cause damage to targets at range. Nothing really earth-shattering though.
The Jake
Stuff I have used or seen first hand (I'm not to blame for all of these btw):
- Genetic experimentation to activate the immortality genome in elven DNA strands,
- Allow AIs to cast spells through an enchanted, orichalcum based neural network - bridging the gap between the astral and matrix (a macguffin - one off item which was destroyed)
- Cyborgs/drones about ten years before they were cannon (ala. full body conversions from Cyberpunk basically),
- A time machine (yes, a time machine... don't ask...).

I'm sure there's more but that's off the top of my head.

- J.
Prime Mover
A time machine would make for a fun one shot. Team of Prime Runners go back to save the world and become there own grandpa. lol
I've done a lot with viral or bacterial weapons. A few things taken out of Dunkie's will, too.
Birds genetically engineered to bring out there prehistoric DNA, the DinoChicken was destined to be the Tickle me Elmo of 2072, the EmuRaptor though the corp did not want information on that to get out. Inspired by something seen on the History channel.
A fighter mini sub design, that flew through the water and was more mauverable that tac sub. A metal storm rifle. nano hive with t cells (we play sr3). super solider DNA manipulation that lead to an Urik hi creature. I have a few more but they have yet to come out in play.
Ice Hammer
Secret projects don't always have to revolve around something brand new. They could just be a better way to produce an established item like a cyberlimb. It could be a process to make a cyberlimb, for example, cheaper to produce, faster to assemble, more durable, with less maintainence required. A megacorporation getting a hold of that type of information would greatly reduce costs, and increase their profit margins. Drugs or nanites could be improved simply by improving how long they work/last, or how efficient they are. In the case of nanites, there could be a revolutionary break through with improving their rate of degredation. Instead of losing nanites at a rate of one rating point per week, you now have naintes that degrade at a rate of one rating point every two weeks. Things like that could present a lot more opportunites for runs.

A secret project I have wanted to work into a game session for my group would be a bio implant that produces a dual-natured enzyme that prevents a magically active individual from being able to astrally project, and they couldn't astrally project until after the implant was removed. It would make a significant impact on the need for other, more expense magical security to try to detain an individual.
The Jake
QUOTE (Prime Mover @ Jan 16 2009, 05:17 PM) *
A time machine would make for a fun one shot. Team of Prime Runners go back to save the world and become there own grandpa. lol

I don't recall much about the game. All I remember is that it was a guest GM who ran it as a one shot to destroy the lab and all associated research, prototype, all scientists, etc.

I don't know if it was planned but it rapidly degenerated into a gratuitious gunfest - a lot of automatic weapons fire and explosions.

- J.
i was kicking around some ideas of a corp capturing a baroque and using them to cheaply mass produce biodrones and weapons.
So far the only secret project I've brought into a campaign has been a mapping program for the new wireless matrix, intending to identify vital nodes and underlying backbone architecture. Though I have been toying with the idea of hard nanites that can be reprogrammed nearly on the fly or extremely non-invasive implantation methods for cyber- and bioware costing less essence than even delta grade.
QUOTE (Dexim @ Jan 18 2009, 11:15 PM) *
So far the only secret project I've brought into a campaign has been a mapping program for the new wireless matrix, intending to identify vital nodes and underlying backbone architecture.

That's a secret project? I'd think that would be something every hacker had. Like this map of the internet. Not that that's the greatest, but it was easily found.
QUOTE (kzt @ Jan 18 2009, 11:21 PM) *
That's a secret project? I'd think that would be something every hacker had. Like this map of the internet. Not that that's the greatest, but it was easily found.

The map in question was in much greater detail, involving things such as usage statistics, signal strength, access points, &c. The data gathered by the program (being uploaded by the runners) was only a bonus and cover for the dormant program being left in the mapped nodes.
hi hi

I haven't had many big ones in the past, though I played in a campaign where scales from a great dragon were being studied and their method of acquisition was in question. Since my crew tends to gravitate towards the magical side of things, I'm trying to line up some out on the fringe things. I find that I have to go the extra mile since magic is already really out there.

The first one is a strain of VITAS with segments of HMHVV that have been spliced into it by the corp in question. It was part of their bioweapons division, but was only supposed to be a stepping stone on the way towards a more stable product. Its theft and later use by Mr. Johnson creates repercussions in the campaign for many sessions to come.

Another one is a sample of something from Mars that hints that the red planet may at one point have hosted its own biosphere as far as magic use is concerned. The trouble is that the corp that has it doesn't want to risk bringing it within the gaia-sphere for fear of contaminating the sample, an eco-terrorist group doesn't want it to even exist for fear of contaminating the gaia-sphere, and nobody can really study it's astral properties in space. It is sort of a catch-22 (in space) that the players will have to decide what to do with it once/if they ever get their hands on it.

A related invention might also be the preliminary work (nowhere near prototype phase) on a mana-bubble so that magical research can be done outside the gaiasphere.

The final one that I'm just starting to dream up is a new metamagic form that some company mage has invented who is trying to keep the knowledge a company secret (I guess the pay is really good)

P.S. Here's another Map of the Internet
In my Search for Atlantis third edition campaign I strayed a bit from the fluff to make the items my team was supposed to get. In the end we jumped to the end of the campaign before they could see the large majority of them, but they were all designed to, in some way, be a perfect blend of technology and magic that therefore defied both the physical and magical physics known by the SR world. A small capsule that can contain an object of any size, for example. Floating balls that rapidly cast dispell in every direction and absurdly high forces were another rare tech. A platform that, when stood on, instantly tries to bombard you with as many binding and anti magic spells as possible.

If I would have had time to finish my Atlantic concepts before we rushed the end as well when they actually found the lost city I was going to throw in some modern inventions for shits and giggles. Microwaves and lasers and what not, to fit Atlantis' fantasy counterpart.

What I'm saying is it depends on how far out your going to try to go. I had one run in which they came across a room that attempted to resurrect people, but in the end only made...fake people. The human brain functioning with barely stable emotions and fucked up memories, sort of like zombies but more like uber stoned humans. It was a good find for the team, and although it was kind of ruined with how easily it was handled it shocked them at first.
Nanotechnological Nightmare that, if it makes it into the body of a person, moves to the brain and starts implanting control-interfaces.
Later on build more extensive cyber from scratch by first improving the digestive system and mouth/throat so the poor sod can EAT anything the nannies need to build more stuff into him . . all the while the person will be perfectly aware of all that is going on, but it will be impossible for him to stop it or tell anybody about it . .
mind you, this was in SR3 . . when i saw SR4 and nano-forges and the stuff i thought about doing the whole Star Trek Borg stuff and maybe have it extend into a grey goo scenario . .

Other thing was a complete plot to bring about the transition from SR3 to SR4 without winternight and magical nukes <.< . .
ACPA a'la CP2020. Cutting edge military hardware for the modern battlefield. This was in SR3, so though I don't have current rules I can update them. (If I find the originals)

Test tube Ninjas. Something else I did in SR3 before there was any options for it like in SR4. The players stumbled upon a lab doing a little PC driven side-bar around a NPC mascot they had picked up. The mascot was a college exchange student, father a powerful man in a Jap Corp (brain fart on which right now). After they had seen the lab, they had to die. So they had several of the products of the lab sent after them.

One of the PCs reactions was priceless when they were shopping and he thought his attendant looks familiar. One really good "Memory" roll, followed by the comment "You could have sworn you've seen his face wet and through glass... "
A captured horror kept in containment.

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