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Hello! First post and all, I'd post in an introduction thread, but I couldn't find one.

I'd like you to offer some advice for my weekly TT 4th ed. game:

So for the tabletop game we're running I want to create a chronicle focusing on the power struggle in the city, between corps and government. What could be good runs, and how do I get the players entangled with a faction?

Currently we have them stealing the senate's presidential chain for Saeder-Krupp, in order to postpone the opening ceremony and give the corp time to beat down a series of teamster strikes that the senate and connected rad-groups would support. How can I let the players know they work for Saeder-krupp, and what are good ways to get them to feel involved in the conflict? (only two PCs are native to the city it happens in).

They know their fixer is affiliated with S-K, but for some reason haven't made the intuitive leap and at least guessed at the corp being the employer. Crude intervention works I guess, but I am aiming for subtler hints.

The game is set in Hamburg, Germany. It's a corp-sceptic free city rulled by a senate, but in reality controlled by an "old men's council" of powerful movers and shakers. The senate is afilliated with rad-groups of all sorts (mainly extremist left wing and a few racist ones too), and the council is afiliated with shadowrunners.

I'm trying to get the players to eventually decide if they are pro-govt or pro-corp, but am stumped for good ideas as to how to do it.

Personally I wouldn't worry about it too much, but if you really want them to make a choice then introduce a rival Fixer, if the team doesn't have more then one fixer as a contact than one of their existing contacts calls in a favor for a friend of a friend.
QUOTE (Tias @ Oct 31 2009, 06:33 PM) *
How can I let the players know they work for Saeder-krupp, and what are good ways to get them to feel involved in the conflict? (only two PCs are native to the city it happens in).

Let them know (by knowledge skills, data mining, contacts) that corps which benefits from runs is in fact S-K subsidiary. Or give them some help or payment, with datatrail leading to S-K.
One thing I would suggest looking at is using the 'Had you turned on the TV' article by Blackjack in his Rules of Bitter Gamemastering entries.

Using real world resources allows the GM to create a more complex tapestry of information. The runners might have been hired for a run by Alice Cobb, during which they were supposed to steal a prototype weapon from a Global Tech lab. The runners have a few days before then, so one decides to watch some trid and two others go to the Seahawks game. The singer of the anthem at the game turns out to be Day Summers who is sponsored by Digiweap Industries, The runner at home sees a news story about a controversy involving the CEO of Global Tech, Erving Gray, who has been running a spawn corporation, Robinson Publishing, off the books. The group meets up later and decides to go to a bar. On the way there they hear over the radio that Day Summers will be representing Robinson Publishing at a fancy dinner that evening. Then, after the inebriated runners file into their dwelling later that evening, one of them sits drunkenly in front of the trid and decides to watch Seattle People because they’re too drunk to change the channel to something decent. Then, what appears on the screen: Day Summers, Alice Cobb, and Erving Gray performing a toast at the dinner earlier that evening.

It allows the players to get a view of the world, see the people as more than just their job posts and then people can decide for themselves of their leanings.
The clue is personal relationships. The easy ticket is use a contact they have, especially family contacts (this is why I let my PCs have a bunch of 0/0 contacts - they're family, but not connected and useless at anything the PC might want done, and serve only to flesh out the character's background or for 'friend of a friend' bonuses - but let me tie them into the world more). The better method is make sure the PCs meet characters in the world; the Johnson, the senator, families, researchers - real people who have a stake in this competition. Let them see that, while they are doing it for money, other people are doing it for ideals, family, or even to preserve their very lives. Players develop emotional attachments to factions which will guide their decisions, even when everything else is equal (or even directly contrary to the 'rational' choice of working for the highest bidder).
I'd let them do the run to steal the chain. Afterwards, the trid news analyzes who gained from the theft, and what this will do to the senate. Maybe the PCs care, maybe they don't - can be hard in a new campaign to feel strongly for some NPC faction.

Keep showing them the effects of what they do, and what kind of people profit and suffer because of them. They might care, and start investigating Johnsons.

I like the idea of runners who'll do a lot of things for money, but who can still be shocked and disgusted from time to time, and actually use their power altruistically now and then. Or sell their services to the underdog smile.gif
Agreed, even heartless bastards who shoot people in the face for money have to do something to allow them to sleep at night from time to time.
QUOTE (Ravor @ Nov 3 2009, 02:38 AM) *
Agreed, even heartless bastards who shoot people in the face for money have to do something to allow them to sleep at night from time to time.

For some that's drugs. grinbig.gif
Lot of good stuff, thanks!

The thing is that we're two gamemasters, and the guy who took over from me let us steal the chain, but had it stolen from our pre-designated drop off point. I'll need to coordinate these things with him better, but when I take up the mantle again I'll try to keep them closer to the heat. I'm thinking of pre-writing a few trid casts to read up whenever they're just relaxing between or during runs, try and key it all into the action itself.

I'm still a bit stumped on how to make the characters CARE about the various factions, but perhaps a possibility will present itself. For now I'll try to entangle their friends and family into the consequences of the runs they do, perhaps that will do the trick.
It depends on your players; try to figure out when you've hit a nerve.

Trying to make people care by harassing their family/contacts/neighbours is risky. If you do it too much, they'll just tell you their parents are dead, they don't talk to the neighbours etc.

I'm also co-GMing (going to, anyway) a campaign with a friend, but we've decided to not interfere with the other's story stuff; if I call dibs on something, he won't use it. It allows us to play from time to time without knowing more OOC than neccessary.

I plan on doing screamsheets every session too; just some headlines in the news (crime, politics, sports, bussiness, arts, advertisements) that give people an idea of what the world is coming to.

You can also sprinkle the issued through every other scene; when they meet a contact, he's discussing the elections with a friend. Allows you to show some more viewpoints.

Also: do the issues really matter to the players/characters? Maybe you can come up with some issues that affect the PCs, that'll make them check up the movers and shakers to see who's on their side.

This could be any number of things; crackdown on SINless people stealing utilities, increased police powers, rampant invasion of privacy by corporate marketing research, (anti-)gang policies, arresting fences the PCs rely on...
Cool, thanks. The next session I GM will be next week, I'll let you know how it went, and please keep posting if you have any more ideas biggrin.gif
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