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Hey Dumpshockers, I'll be starting a campaign on Sunday (Feb. 22).

I've got a smuggler/transporter (styled after 'The' Transporter), a gunslinger adept and a Norse Magician. NPC runners available to them, should they wish to include them in their group, are a street doctor and an all-defense magician. There's also a hacker available to them remotely.

During a future session (probably the 2nd one) a Dryad Drake Shaman (yeah, that guy!) will be joining in.

I want to start with a few homebrew runs and then move into Ghost Cartels.

My Q's:

1) How do you guys put together a smuggling run? A transporting run? What kinds of obstacles are there - besides car chases with the police and the inevitable checkpoint? How do you make a smuggling run exciting for -all- involved?

2) Would you say there are checkpoints at different parts of larger metroplexes? Would there be a need to smuggle from one district to another, or just from city to city / country to country?

3) Would Ghost Cartels and Emergence mesh well together, or should they be kept seperate?

4) How do you add all of the awesome fluff from Emergence / Ghost Cartels into a game? It would seem lame to keep pausing to read flavor text to the players as they check their in-character email.
Kanada Ten
Have you picked a city?
Well you don't need 4 high-end shadowrunners to smuggle stuff - i.e, drive for hours then evade the checkpoint. A couple of discreet gangers can do that.

So the question is, what else can the jobs involve?

I'd suggest having runs where there is one leg of long range transportation between point A and B. However, once they reach point B, I'd have numerous sublt complications. Maybe they need to find the person they have to give the item to - meaning asking questions in shady places in a town they don't know well, meeting people, avoiding opportunists and rivals trying to steal their stuff while finalizing the delivery.

You can also have smuggling of difficult to handle merchandise, such as people (willing or not).

Basically, I'd have a "typical" smuggling op, followed by a more traditional "shadowrun" at the end in order to complete the delivery. Or maybe they have to acquire the item first, then deliver it - i.e, requiring B&E.
In the past I've tried not to use the published cities because they're so well detailed, which would be great - except I don't *know* the detail. It's terrible when your players are like "so, what's near the prison?" and you answer "uh... well.... there's a road... let me look it up."

Also, i Only have Corporate Enclaves (Runner Havens went out of stock before i grabbed it up).

I usually use the area in which we live, heavily modified to account for 20+ years of shadowrun-awesomeness.

For this campaign I was going to do the same, except I know the best smuggling happens in Seattle / Denver etc. My only problem is I don't have enough time between now and Sunday to both develop an adventure -and- read and memorize everything I can about a city.

So, likey it will take place in our homebrew "Essex Metroplex", which has completely swallowed the entire Essex County (I live in Ontario, across the border from Detroit. I suppose there's already some published info on my area but I haven't seen it). We might move it later on, if this area gets too "hot" for the characters.

So anything goes, I suppose.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (JeffSz @ Feb 19 2009, 03:07 PM) *
1) How do you guys put together a smuggling run? A transporting run? What kinds of obstacles are there - besides car chases with the police and the inevitable checkpoint? How do you make a smuggling run exciting for -all- involved?

First: The McGuffin. The suitcase. The girl, the goods, the drugs. A maltese falcon or a real one. A data chip. It doesn't matter (unless it does), just that everyone wants it. It's worth stealing, worth dealing, worth killing for. So what is it? Anything.

Take Black Label, for example: Ares brand cigarettes, illegal everywhere outside of Ares extraterritorality for their addictive novatine levels. Forbidden American cigarettes happen to sell very well to Wuxing employees. Smugglers 'hold up' (wink-wink-nod-nod) an Ares transport travelling between the cigarette factories and Detroit, take the 990 master cases (sixty cartons to a case), and 'wholesale' them to the Triads, who pay 20% their street value. That's between 1,188,000 and 2,970,000 nuyen street value. Ten percent goes back to Ares through the smgglers' fixer. Leaving the smugglers with 11,880 nuyen for a day's work. Wait a tic, you say, that's too easy! Well, most of the time it is.*

Second: Point A. The pick-up, the snatch and grab, the hand-off. A person, place and time. Getting there and getting in, and then getting out again. The truck's a no-show, the warehouse is a sting, the package isn't what you agreed upon, the person isn't what you thought, it's a bloodbath - and you're late. Nothing worse than showing up to find your contact dead, the goods gone, and your only lead is a sneaker print in the blood. Clearing your name is the first step to collecting your pay...

Third: The Space Between. There's a fence, a wall, a lake, a war, a pit-stop between here and there. There's family to see, dates to keep, and overhead to skim. Appearences to keep up, Knight Errant raids your place again, and your wife wants to know why you can't pay them off. How do you tell her that you already have, but they have appearences to keep up, too? That wall around Point B, obsentintly built for sound reduction, topped with razorwire to discourage paracritters. That prison at the bottom of a lake, biodrone barracuda prowling the depths. Pirates, thieves and enemies.

Fourth: Point B. The corporate nation, the rebel camp, the quiet bar: a dive in the shadow of military base. A backalley, a rooftop. An exchange. Goods for money, money for goods. A black suitcase for a silver suitcase. Click and check the contents. Part ways. You arrive on time, the Johnson is pleased to see you. He shakes your hand, looks at his watch and says the payment should be here any second, have a seat. The sounds of a gun fight are faint at first: they grow louder. The Johnson checks his watch again and smiles as a car drops in through a window. People jump out, paying no attention to the smugglers or the J; they run to the doors and windows, slinging magic and bullets at the oncoming police force. A motorcycle follows the car moments later, it's driver steps off, takes off his helmet, walks over to the Johnson and has an exchange of words. The two calmly discuss payment and details, while the world goes mad with explosions and helicopters and bullets. The Johnson waves you over at last, and asks you to give the package to the runner; the runner gives you a small container and takes the package. Then the Johnson bids you return to Point A, where payment will be made, before depixelating.

And, I'm out of time...
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