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I know that Renraku has the Crimson Samurai and Aztechnology has the Golden Jaguars. Do any other companies have named elite security teams?
Cross Applied Technologies use to have the Seraphim.
Ares Firewatch?
While S-K doesn't have any SecForce mentioned, Big L has his own personal Watchers (like most other Dragons).
Most of those aren't "elite security teams" as much as paramilitary (or even fully military) HTR-teams, though. They don't usually walk the beat in some R&D-lab, but instead get called if the semiliquid brown excrement hits the mobile air agitator.
Mostly. No one can afford more than rent-a-cops for most security work, even the megas. But when the corp is doing delta-grade research into the SECRETS MAN WAS NOT MEANT TO KNOW, they probably put their best on the case.

I don't think Firewatch is quite that, though. Knight Errant itself is something of an elite security force. Firewatch is more like the Ares equivalent to the Marine Corps. They don't respond to threats, they strike preemptively.
And then there's Horizon which unleashes it's army of reporters on you, to publicly dig up every aspect of your life on live tv from interviewing your first grade teacher to condemning your position on UCAS social security.
QUOTE (Dikotana @ Sep 22 2009, 11:12 PM) *
I don't think Firewatch is quite that, though. Knight Errant itself is something of an elite security force. Firewatch is more like the Ares equivalent to the Marine Corps. They don't respond to threats, they strike preemptively.

No, Firewatch is the equivalent of Delta. Quite small, very highly trained, extravagantly equipped, extremely deadly.
QUOTE (kzt @ Sep 23 2009, 01:20 PM) *
No, Firewatch is the equivalent of Delta. Quite small, very highly trained, extravagantly equipped, extremely deadly.

Yeah, I'm thinking if they want a larger force, it may be more cost effective to hire mercs or shadowrunners to do their deeds (hence this game, heh). Or pull in some strings with the government (politicians). No need to maintain a large amount of money on something when you can concentrate the fundings to a small group and splurge on a large force only once in a while.
Renraku - Crimson Samurai
Aztechnology - Golden Jaguars.
Cross Applied Technologies - Seraphim
Ares - Ares Firewatch.

Going to keep editing this list as the thread continues.
I would imagine that every AAA and most of the AA corps have their own elite forces that they use for company-sanctioned dirty work, threat response at critical facilities, and as personal security for high-ranking corporate employees. For a lot of things, if a corp needs some skilled muscle, they'll hire Shadowrunners because it's a deniable asset. But there's lots of things that these companies just won't trust to outsiders.

And as far as Aztechnology goes, they've got access to any Aztlan troops as well, so you can count the Aztlan Jaguar and Leopard guards in with their elite security forces as well.
MK Ultra
Actually the Leopard and Jaguar Guard are Aztech Corporate Security. The Aztlan Military has the four(?) magical warrior orders (Otontin, Puma, Eagle & Quachic, IIRC). Of course they also have those lovely blood mages.

As far as I recollect the special para-military/military* & intelligence** forces of the big ten used to be:

Ares: Knight Errant Firewatch* & The Unseen** (Shamanic Spooks)

Aztech: Leopard & Jaguar Guard* plus some lovely Blood Mages

CATCo (now mostly part of Ares, though the Seraphim didn´t convert afaik): Seraphim**

MCT made heavy use of armed security robots back in the day

Novatch (now Neonet): Schrödinger´s Cats** (Deckers)

Renraku: Red Samurai

Shiawase: Kami no Bushi*

SK: don´t remember any special name, but they have a lot of bad fraggers in regular security units.

Wuxing: Can´t remember anything special.

Yamatetsu (now Evo): Special Security Detail**

All the Megas (except one, but I forgot which) also had some standing military units of variying size, which where organized separatly from regular security, but the line was pretty blured at times. There is practically no difference between sec & mil at SK, i.e., as people get transfered back and forth on a regular basis.

A question I've wondered about in the past:

"Company Men" are effectively Corp Shadowrunners. Because of this, there must be the Corp equivelant of Street Sams (aka not yet a cyberzombie), though I expect there will be more covert oops amonst company men (but you never know when you might need a Vindicare or Eversor).

(I just finished Neuromancer; mmm cloned bio-ninjas.)

Anyway, I've always been curious what differences people see between combat oriented Company Men/Company Sams and the elite combat units such as Firewatch, besides that Firewatch (for the most part) is on the books.
QUOTE (AngelisStorm @ Sep 24 2009, 12:45 PM) *
A question I've wondered about in the past:

"Company Men" are effectively Corp Shadowrunners. Because of this, there must be the Corp equivelant of Street Sams (aka not yet a cyberzombie), though I expect there will be more covert oops amonst company men (but you never know when you might need a Vindicare or Eversor).

(I just finished Neuromancer; mmm cloned bio-ninjas.)

Anyway, I've always been curious what differences people see between combat oriented Company Men/Company Sams and the elite combat units such as Firewatch, besides that Firewatch (for the most part) is on the books.

IMHO, even an Ares FW squad is, at their core, still a bunch of mooks, albeit high-powered mooks with above starting-character level dice-pools, big guns, some cyber and the explicit IC permission to bring down an entire wiki of SWAT-tactics on the PC's asses. But, still mooks, with group edge and all that.

A "corp-sam" is exactly that. A group-level appropriate samurai with the street-theme filed off and refitted with corp-fluff. That should include MOAR alpha/betaware, MOAR bioware, MOAR ressources and MOAR etc.: the corps version of a 00-agent, a guy wades through a bunch of mooks and competently, mercilessly ties up any "loose end" with the same ease as a halfway decently built street-sam.
Thematically, such a guy can be awesome.
Or dastardly dumb.
It really depends on the type of campaign you enjoy.
Because, if you get down with it, even a badass "corp-sam" lacks the versatility of a FW squad: no (relevant) hacking, no magic, no drones, no ability to set up crossfire... Then there's the fact that, sending such a guy to do stuff that he could "realistically" solo is probably overkill, while stuff that would be a challenge would also mean an disproportionate risk to everything the corp has invested in the guy. In the same vein, most every group that is not the Occult Investigator and his buddy the Technomancer will probably find a way to put one single enemy out of business very fast and very anti-climactically.

In short, personally, I find the idea of a corp-sanctioned cyber-ninja singlehandedly daniel-craig-ing his way through the PC's periphery awesome and fitting.
However, IF I were a Shiawase accountant and found out that we just sent several million nuyen with basically our company logo on them out into the sprawl to do a job that could be done by a spirit on remote service, a C4-rigged mini-drone or, you know, 5 grand and a sleazy handshake from the "Special Operations Budget" to hire an actual street-samurai, I'd totally cancel casual Friday. Forever.

[nerdrage]Oh, and people, PLEASE! It the RED friggin' Samurai!!![/nerdrage] grinbig.gif
Depending on just what version of Firewatch you use. The fluff and supporting crunch is mutually contradictory. Firewatch has mages who cast heavy duty spells in deep space. Firewatch has guys who routinely go to metaplanes, fight their way into hives and blow things up with nukes, killing everything that tries to stop them.
QUOTE (Naysayer @ Sep 24 2009, 06:54 AM) *
[nerdrage]Oh, and people, PLEASE! It is the RED fragging' Samurai!!![/nerdrage] grinbig.gif

Corrected for proper grammer.... nyahnyah.gif

SK doesn't have any special forces because, all his troops are of special forces quality. They are 100% percent successful in their missions, and if not, they are wyrmfood. smile.gif

QUOTE (Naysayer @ Sep 24 2009, 01:54 PM) *
[nerdrage]Oh, and people, PLEASE! It's the RED fucking Samurai!!![/nerdrage] grinbig.gif

QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Sep 24 2009, 06:29 PM) *
Corrected for proper grammer.... nyahnyah.gif

If you wanna go down that road... corrected for proper edition... grinbig.gif
QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Sep 24 2009, 12:29 PM) *
Corrected for proper grammar.... nyahnyah.gif

Corrected because Kelsey has nothing to do with this discussion.
The Tir had the Moonlight Thorns. Are they still in business?
They all got laid off.
They're all bouncers at goth-clubs, now.

edit: I have no idea. Actually, I think I've never even heard of these guys. The Tir DO have the Ghosts, who are apparently super-bitchin' awesome. Isn't one deadly awesome specil force per major player enough?
QUOTE (Thanos007 @ Sep 25 2009, 10:01 AM) *
The Tir had the Moonlight Thorns. Are they still in business?
QUOTE (Naysayer @ Sep 25 2009, 11:23 AM) *
They all got laid off.
They're all bouncers at goth-clubs, now.

I thought the Moonlight thorns had gotten their act together and even use ghosts as backup these days?
They always put on one hell of a show.
My two cents on 'combat-oriented-company-men' vs. elite forces: different job entirely. A combat oriented company man IS more like a street sam, and has an entirely different skill set from a military dude.

The company man will be a badass with very light weapons (assault-rifle-and-below). He will have the various concealable thingies. He will have tricked out armor that looks like clothes and assorted infiltration stuff.

The mil dude will have heavy body armor, heavier weaponry (assault-rifle-is-the-smallest-thing-for-a-primary-weapon), won't much care how much his ware is visible, and will travel in packs, probably with vehicles and drones.

The company man will do shadowrunner stuff and probably work directly with runners to make sure jobs meet intent. The mil-dudes will be quick response for big facilities and action targets in things like rural areas where there's no particular danger of being exposed if you go weapons-free.

The company man wouldn't survive for five seconds versus a mil dude in a no-holds-barred, screw the visibility, screw the collateral damage fight. The mil dude wouldn't survive five seconds against the company man in a bar fight with an ulterior motive.
I think you're close, Rob, but my analysis is a little bit different.

Corps may, on bad days, be lumbering, inefficiant titans that can be stung by shadowrunner gadflies, but they're not stupid. They know that shadowrunners are very effective, and they are a risk? The answer? Company men are essentially indistinguishable from shadowrunners with loyalties, probably to the extent of having extensive underworld contacts. You don't get one man in a posh uniform sporting extensive 'ware, you have one or two of them backed up by a mage and a rigger. They're elite teams. They aren't quite special ops, because they aren't really military. They are more accurately espionage and counter-espionage with exceptionally high combat ability. 007 is pretty much spot-on. Or in other terms, it wouldn't be outrageous to view them as SEALs who also happen to maybe be CIA spooks.

So what happens in a fight? Well, in an open field, a platoon of well-equipped and well-trained soldiers can take down any small group. But drop them both into a combat zone without clear lines of sight, and the platoon is likely to start shrinking rapidly by drone sniping, spirit attacks, traps, and ambushes.

Why both? Cyberware is expensive. These "company men" are expensive. But compared to special forces? Well, special forces have expensive gear, and training isn't cheap. In both cases, people are a limiting resource as well. It takes a high caliber of metahuman to become the kind of combatant these guys have to be.

So which do you hope to face? If you burst into a corridor and find yourself facing an enemy, you'd better hope it's not elite security, because they will be launching an impossible hail of fire at you and you will die. If you're crawling in the ventilation system, you can go around, distract, or otherwise deal with even high-grade security. It's the corprunners who will know your tricks, hunt you down, follow you into the sprawl, kill off your fixer and your favorite black clinic docs, and bring you to ground and take you out.

Put in game terms, security should be a location threat. They are guarding a place (or thing), or they are sent in to bust down doors somewhere. They won't be sent after you. They fall narratively more into the player vs. environment area. In that, they're still faceless mooks. Corprunners can be anywhere, and they're task-oriented. They can be pursuing you (or what you took, or what you know), and they will keep coming. They are people. They are player versus man, and they should be scary in a dread way as well as a cybered-up monster way. A group of shadowrunners with corporate runners after them should be peering around corners with fiber optic cables and changing SINs and commlinks on an hourly basis.
It's time to grab your bug out bags, leave town and go to ground somewhere a long way away. And not tell anyone where you went.
Turning off all electronic devices and surrounding yourself with FAB can't hurt while you're being somewhere else for a while. Alternately, if you can become a shedim and be someone else for a while, that'd be good to.

(Has anyone ever had a shedim as a player character?)
As far as heavily cybered people being "expensive", keep in mind that while they do represent a significant investment, companies also have economies of scale - most of the expense of 'ware is from the surgery by highly trained doctors, and the high tech equipment they need. If you have a facility and doctors who are on call, then turning someone into the equivalent of a street sam is not as expensive of a proposition.

These facilities are still used for other things, and have finite time that can be dedicated to this, though, so they won't be turning all of their forces into cyberzombies by any means. Individuals tapped for such positions will be ones who are the most loyal and well trained of their personnel. Still, Naysayer is right that a shadowrunning team can nearly always make quick work of a single individual. I concur with the consensus that such company men would either hire a team of runners to work with, or be part of another group (either a runner-like team, or leading a group of more standard grunts).
I do disagree a bit with Dikotana's point that 'even the heavily armed secuirty' still become faceless goons, or, in this case goon ++.

Basically, it depends on how you're structuring the game. If you do a run on the corp facility and kill a bunch of guards, the individual security guys will take offense to that, if just because they have fewer players on poker night. The corp will probably take offense at this as well, but at some level up the chain some executive will go "this isn't part of the big picture, handle it."

And then he will either say: "<insert name of subordinate executive>, get a bunch of your security guys together, put a good guy in charge of it, and get rid of these fucks." Or, he will say: "I'm lending you a man from our internal security division. Give him all the support he needs, and he'll handle this for you."

And then, entre act either the military team leader villain, or the corped-out-ninja-dude. The military team leader villain will approach the problem differently - talk to his friends in the star, the JTF-Seattle, etc. Drill a squad-or-platoon-sized hit team. Step up agressive patrols around the facility and put a couple guys on outreach projects; ID a potential location for the runners, and then either negotiate a joint sting with the star or plan a solo hit. Runner's safehouse/bar/whatever will be levelled, corp guys will scoot.

The ninja will do stuff the "normal for shadowrunners" way.

My point with this is that the corps are aggressive, full of people who are good at their jobs, and resourceful. Even a well played security rigger can be a very interesting 'opponent with a face.'
There is Mitsuhamas Unit 13
(being an elite Group of magical Specialists and Troubleshooter )

with an elite Dance
plain clothes for when the job needs to be done on the hush hush, uniforms for when a message needs to be delivered loud and clear...
Sometimes the best messengers to deliver your message have terminal guidance systems.....
I see no reason why a multitrillion dollar corporation couldn't field several teams of highly specialized paramilitary types, whether they be "mooks" or Richard Marcenko clones. I see no reason why varying degrees of quality and quantity couldn't exist side by side depending on a Game Master's needs.
It's nice to see other folk's takes on the matter.

When I originally went through the SR4 basebook, looking at the physical (unmodified) stats for the high end "mooks" made me go "hur?" You would think that once your getting people who have maxed out or nearly so stats (fairly across the board), they would pull him out for extra modification, and throw him in the extra-extra elite division. Training is expensive, and cyberware for corps really isn't (you made the stuff, your doctor is on payrole). It's not triffling, but it's probably well below 50% of what we're paying at startup. I run my high end special forces mooks as good stats (but not maxed out), and with alot more cyber (and a touche of bio, depending).

I've always thought of company men as individuals, and special forces mooks as collectives. We all know SWAT, the SEALS, Army Rangers, Delta Force, etc etc and so on. They come busting in as a group. Company men are more likely to be "That clone ninja from Neuromancer, the dudes from Smokin Aces" and so forth. And I can also see them operating singly and as groups. Really depends on the situation. (Sometimes you need a team, sometimes you need your "head Yakuza enforcer" to send a message.) Same with if they have their own contacts or not. While I'm sure alot of company men are deep undercover, so that they blend in and can get the word easier on who did the run that pissed off their parent corp, I'm sure alot (if not most) of comany men are just names in payrolls of the corp, and their "boss" knows better than to ask why Smith never shows up to work. They are just so expensive that alot of corps probably don't want them on the streets (unless their on a job), where they could get killed by a random drive by on accident.

Besides, if your doing a dangerous job like company man, you probably are doing it for the perks. And living the street life of an average Shadowrunner probably isn't (most of the time) their idea of a glamorous homelife.

(Black Lagoon examples:
Black Lagoon crew - Shadowrunner team
The Maid - Company "man"
Mr. Chan - Ex-compnay man, now in charge
The "special" Russians - super high end mooks)
Think of it another way. The megacorps may not be exactly cuddly and they may bend the laws until they break, but they are basically sovereign territories playing by their own rules. They're paying salaries, producing goods, and generally everyone is okay with this. Shadowrunners are dangerous deviants. People who want to be cops today might not feel like Lone Star is their calling. Maybe becoming a top-flight security expert for a megacorp would be. And if not, there's always getting a few articulated arms implanted and going into the Barrens to hunt down the guy who just gunned down hard-working security stiffs and explain to him exactly why this kind of antisocial behavior is unacceptable. Remember, the best explanations come from at least three assault rifles full of APDS rounds.
Orcus Blackweather
QUOTE (Dikotana @ Sep 25 2009, 11:38 PM) *
(Has anyone ever had a shedim as a player character?)

Hehe not intentionally wink.gif

We had one of our PC's die and get possessed. That was quite amusing for everyone involved survivors and possession objects equally.

I am really enjoying this thread.

my 2 nuyen.gif :

AAA Corps are at least as capable as a nation in the here and now. Think the France as an example. France is not known as a first line military power. If you piss off France, they have extremely effective anti-terrorist units that they can call upon. If you piss them off in their own territory they have much more to call upon. Proponents of US forces will likely argue that <insert favorite US forces here > are better than the DGI or Legion Etranger, but it is all relative, and differences are not that great. In game terms skills would be within a die of one another. The biggest difference would be budgetary. If you are the guy being hunted by the full might of France, life is not going to be pleasant.

So in game terms, the GM needs to decide how capable corporate forces are. I would say, that no matter how good the PCs become, there is sufficient resources to rent or purchase a force capable of finding, running to ground, and killing them. This is true for even single A corps. The only decision by the GM is whether this is what the corp in question will do.
The big difference between shadowrunners and the corporate equivalent is the type of jobs that they do. Shadowrunners are mainly hired for corporate espionage, including theft and sabotage, as well as other jobs where the corporations don't want to get their hands dirty (silencing vocal critics, etc.). Security elites will be more involved in either counter-terrorism, or jobs so vital to the security of the corporation that using someone absolutely trustworthy trumps deniability.

But remember, shadowrunners, while they might be loose cannons, are still part of how the whole system works. The corporations all hire runners against each other - it's how the game is played.
Shadowrunners are contractors, or sometimes subcontractors. There's probably some interesting material to ponder in when and why a megacorp would farm out contract work versus keeping it in-house. Smaller corps don't have the resources for a full-time shadowrun team, but it's not like S-K can't find something for them to do. Maybe Lofwyr just loves screwing with runners too much?
With a megacorp it really doesn't make any sense to use freelancers. And for deniable operations they have lots of much more reliable options. You are talking about a company that does maybe the equivalent of $5 trillion a year in sales.

Think the Soviet KGB/GRU. The AAA megas can put together a capability similar to the international covert capability they had for just about pocket change. For a bit more they can go create their own PLO/Red Brigades/National Liberation Fronts which can then reliably carry out missions that need to be done deniably through 3rd parties.
Keep in mind the KGB and the GRU served separate functions, one was concerned with internal security the other wasn't. Like either however, a MegaCorporation could certainly get a considerable amount of things done. However just like today a considerable amount of resources go into keeping track of what these organizations are spending on, and where, and how, and when-so f course the scramble for deniable assets is on!

Obviously some are more deniable than others. Your team of "Shadowrunners" may be a little less connected to the GRU in this case than say Yuri, the former GRU company man who still works pretty exclusively for the GRU, even when they're not specifically paying him.

Yes I agree that sometimes this is all window dressing but that's how the game is played.
Could somebody provide me with a standard load out for a Firewatch team? i think i can figure out the stats myself, but gear wise i cant really think of what their capabilities might be.
Assault rifles or shotguns (depending on the enviroment) with different kinds of ammo clips, smoke grenade, gas grenades, stun grenades. Full body armor and gas mask to protect against said gas grenades. Ideally there would be a rigger or hacker running a tac-soft.
At least one member of the team would be gearing up a LMG or heavier for supressive fire.
That covers the basic, can anyone think of something else?
I can think of 100 things, dependent on what they're gonna do. I'm thinking of a firewatch team as organized something like a direct action team. So, let's assume 12 members, and they'll work with 5 or so other teams (share stuff, train together, etc.). They'll have a big room with a lot of stuff that they can use for special situations.

If they're on the offensive, they're gonna have 2 big guys with light machineguns and a drone-or-smart-weapon-mounted heavy machinegun each. One or both of these guys will also have an articulated weapon arm with a MRL. They'll have a sniper with a sniper rifle and SMG; he'll have a spotter with an assault rifle/GL combo. Their boss and his second-in-command will be in medium armor with assault rifle/GL combo and look exactly like the rest of them. They'll have a hacker and a mage, or two hackers and backup spirits, in light military armor. They will have two riggers, one who backs up the boss, the other who backs up the second in command. Finally, they will have a medic, and another guy to back him up.

Each will also have a sidearm and a knife. When in doubt, every one of them will have something akin to an Ares Alpha at minimum. Two or three of them (probably the sniper back up guy, the medic's back up guy, the hacker, and the second-in command) will each have a shortened shotgun modified to full auto for breaching doors and close-in work, in addition to their primary gun.

They probably will leave some of this stuff in their vehicles, or they'll have one or two Ares Auxilias. If they're rural, or don't give a damn, these will have mortars on them. The sniper will have both a regular sniper rifle and either a panther cannon or a gauss cannon for anti-materiel work. All of the missile launchers will have at least two Heimdall drone missiles. One of the backup guys will be a demolitions dude, and he'll probably have toys in the auxilia as well.

Every one of them will be running a lot of software in the commlink on their helmets. They might have more drones, and they'll have a LOT of spirits on backup.
It depends on the mission. They should have all the gear that should rationally be needed to accomplish the mission in an optimal fashion.

I'd add vehicle fire support, very good recon and surveillance drones, full up combat drones, spirits summoned by multiple mages and sent along to provide concealment, counterspelling and firepower, armor up to full milspec, etc.

If your players can expect to fight them and win the firewatch team isn't built correctly.
Does any sourcebook have stats for the Corp Elite??
I'm hoping it's in a 3rd Edition book somewhere, but I can't locate any at the moment.
QUOTE (lordnth @ Oct 16 2009, 08:48 AM) *
Does any sourcebook have stats for the Corp Elite??
I'm hoping it's in a 3rd Edition book somewhere, but I can't locate any at the moment.

The thing is that in 3rd Ed, most of the time, there are usually no direct stats, but certain guidelines like Equal/Superior/Superhuman. There are such guidelines in Corp Download. IIRC, Ares/KE Firewatch Teams are the elite force that can run the gamut. All the rest are pretty uniform.

This is one of the areas where I was not happy with the SR3 system. Since the Red Samurai are rated Superhuman, they are always that much better than a shadowrunner team by RAW even when the shadowrunners have gotten 100+ karma after meeting the previous Red Sam team. The next Red Sam team they meet is just as likely to own their asses, no matter how much better they have improved.

Going by the rules however, Ares is the only AAA that you might not need to stat their elite, because in theory, those guys can be Ultimate (most Ultimate characters are people like the GDs, IEs, etc).
Prime Mover
QUOTE (Thanos007 @ Sep 25 2009, 09:01 AM) *
The Tir had the Moonlight Thorns. Are they still in business?

An adept group serving the High Prince, assassins and specialists. IIRC they did some work in Seattle. I don't remember which book but the group was introduced in though. Tir book or one of magic cores.

Edit: Grimore 2nd edition (I remember using these guys against my runners once now. It ended in a grenade tossing contest in the woods outside of Seattle.)

A group composed of physical adepts, the Moonlight
Thorns are the private bodyguards of a high Tir Tairngire
nobleman. They are also rumored to be his elite assassins.
Name: Moonlight Thorns
Type: Conspiratorial
Members: 5
Limitations: Elves only. Physical adepts only.
Strictures: Exclusive membership. Link. Oath. Obedience (
to lord as well as group superiors). Secrecy.
Resources/Dues: Luxury level. No dues. Members are
luxuriously housed in their patron's estate, where they
maintain a well-stocked dojo and armory. The group
maintains safe houses as needed on missions.
Patron: Tir Tairngire nobleman.
Customs: Members are fanatically loyal to their patron, and
some have sacrificed their lives to save his. According to
rumors about the Thorns as assassins, none will return alive
from an unsuccessful mission: they either kill their target or
die trying.
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