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My first few meetings with Johnsons had me freaking out - I spent the first half of the meeting being cagey as hell, and then I lost my mind trying to pump him for info, knowing that I was forgetting something important. Eventually I sat down and made a list of everything I was worried about going wrong, so I would remember to check it out ahead of time. I consider this my 'homework' prior to a mission. I'd be interested in what the Dumpshock community thinks about it - what did I miss?

1) They call me Mister Johnson.

a) Is this a bust?
The first concern of any crook when meeting someone new is making sure he's not the Law.

b) Is this a setup?
If the job exists, it might be a suicide mission. Is Johnson connected to my enemies? Does he have a rep for getting teams killed?

c) Is this worth what we're being paid?
If Johnson is negotiating fees, we need to know if he's going to try and lowball us. Complicated question.

d) May I speak freely?
Some Johnsons or Clients are uncomfortable discussing Shadowruns in plain language. If they're not, we can speed things up considerably.

2) It's a simple job. No complications.

a) What exactly is the objective? Are there secondary objectives? Conditions or requirements?
Establishing scope of work is vital. If collateral damage is bad, that needs to be established up front.

b) Why are you hiring a Shadow Team for this?
At some point, this job looked like it needed a swat team with ninjas and wizards. What sort of opposition are the clients expecting that justify our involvement?

c) How do you think this will play out?
The client probably has an expectation of how it will be handled. We will probably do something else, but knowing what they expect will give us a starting point and insight into what the opposition will be expecting.

d) What aren't they telling us, and why?
Nobody gives you all the information. Are they trying to hide the real threat level to get us to work cheaper? Are they hoping we achieve our objective and then get wiped out, for financial or security reasons? Do they have a personal involvement that they're trying to hide?

3) Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance

a) What do we know about the physical layout?
If we can find maps before we go in, we can plan an assault that doesn't waste time and resources.

b) What do we know about the security systems?
If the alarm system can be bypassed, our odds improve.

c) Can we gain an advantage via the Matrix?
With enough lead time, a hacker can get privilaged access to the network. Is their security vulnerable to tampering? Will that require a dedicated Matrix Overwatch?

d) What is the nature of the target's Armed Response capability?
When they come for us, what will they be packing? Will we need armor piercing, anti-spirit, or anti-vehicle weaponry? Will there be a second wave of Heavy Responders, and how soon after the alarm should we expect them?

e) How long are we on-site?
If we know how soon the Heavy Responders can arrive, do we have time to accomplish our objectives using our current plan? If we have extra time, can we do the job with less risk, or more personal gain?

f) What is our exit strategy?
At each stage of the mission, we should have a plan to get out if needed. We need to locate chokepoints and ambush locations. If a section of the facility is likely to get cut off, can we breach windows or walls to get clear?

g) Where is the fallback point?
If the team gets seperated, we need to have an established meeting place where we can get patched up and swept for tracers. This gets critical when running against corps.

4) You have something that belongs to me.

a) What will be required to transport the objective?
Are we after a briefcase, a prototype, a metahuman? Will they be cooperative? Are they sensitive to conditions we will need to avoid? Will it fit in the transport?

b) Is the objective safe to transport?
Is the Objective booby-trapped? Does it have RFID tags, or other tracers? Is there tissue samples on file for ritual magic?

c) Is the objective time sensitive?
Does the objective require special support that will need to be provided prior to delivery? Will the objective lose value if not delivered within a timeframe?, what's the verdict?
on point 2 you might as well scrap any point after A, knowing anything beyond that just clouds a runners mind with things he/she don´t really need to know to do there job

also section 1 can be just replaced with bringing a gun and a keen sence to the meeting
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (MikeKozar @ Oct 19 2009, 09:55 AM) *, what's the verdict?

Good SoP.

Extend 4b with the little detail that the object might be inherently dangerous to you.
b) Why are you hiring a Shadow Team for this?

I'd add: "Did you call the Law? Why not call the Law?" for a private Mr. Johnson and "Why us and not your own guys?" for a corp Johnson. Except, of course, if the reason is clear.

Are we after a briefcase [...]

If it's a briefcase (or something similar): "Can we look inside the briefcase. If we can, what's supposed to be in there. If we can't, we'll have to be payed even if you don't find what you expect inside."

Your list looks good, I'd add:
* Do you have enemies/Do you suspect any opposition?
* Can we call you during the operation?
* What if... (the briefcase isn't there, the target is already dead, we get no news from you)?
* Do you expect us to just stick to the objectives or to take initiatives? (For example, if we are hired to kill Mr. Target, do you expect us to make sure that the official Mr Target is the real one and not a decoy or to just follow the orders blindly and kill the official Mr Target?)
QUOTE (Blade @ Oct 19 2009, 07:43 AM) *
I'd add: "Did you call the Law? Why not call the Law?" for a private Mr. Johnson and "Why us and not your own guys?" for a corp Johnson. Except, of course, if the reason is clear.

Kinda simple to answer:

- The law ??
- I need it done fast
- I need to keep this out of the public eye
- What I'm asking you to do goes against the law !!!

- My own guys ??
- I don't have that kind of people (not every corp can afford this kind of 'protection')
- You're a deniable and expendable resources (that's the basic definition of what a shadowrunner is)
- My guys don't have jurisdiction over there, and doing so will start a corporate war

- Why you ?? (some shadowrunners may wonder why their names were picked and not others)
- I did some research and your names came with good recommendations
- You were available
- Just plain luck
- (for a team's first mission) I'm looking for people wanting to make a name for themselves (this also gives a reason to forget negotiations)
I would say, absolutely and without question, the answer to 1c is always going to be yes. Mr. Johnson is always going to lowball you. And if you have a good negotiator, you are always negotiating.

The real question is, how much do you think you deserve to be paid, given what (little) you know about the job before you start talking price.

Once you think you know what the job is worth, then the question is, how much more than what it's worth are you going to ask for? Thus begins the haggling process.
Honestly it depends on how your DM has painted the world, is the Shadows a buyer's or seller's market?
Wow, some great comments already. Thanks guys!

Blade, I'm adding your stuff to my list. Good thinking, omae.
I've worked out a list (a lot of these have been found on these forums, some are from the Rules of Acquisition [Star Trek] and some are just good sense). Since I haven't actually had the first session with my new GM, this is very much a work-in-progress, but I hope it'll serve me well.

Likewise, I'm looking for critique, suggestions and improvements.

[ Spoiler ]
great stuff. smile.gif although I have a few thoughts.....

8. Violence is the last resort of the incompetent (and the first resort of the psychopath)

I would say it would be the second resort of the incompetent, last resort of the professional. Nobody wants violence, but if it is between me and him/her/it. I'd rather it be me walking out of the room.

2. It is always better to double cross than to be double crossed.

Maybe true in the short-term, but what are you setting up for yourself in the future? The long-term ramifications may negate the short-term gains. Think carefully.

1. If a team member dies, don't forget to loot all his stuff back at his house. He won't need it anymore. There's a good chance you will.

Significant other may have an issue with this.

2. It's a known fact that whoever was smart enough to set up snipers ahead of time always wins. Always, check.

Or whomever realizes first that there are snipers and takes care of them (reference the first Firefly episode "Pilot"). btw. this is in the list twice. smile.gif
Saint Sithney
Never hurts to keep an eye on Mr. J while you're neck deep in his errands.
Hopefully someone's got a contact who's a private eye or a button man. Someone who can keep an eye on J and, if things get really twisted, can maybe pump him one in the chest on your behalf.
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