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So I just recently picked up the Shadowrun 4e rule book, and I'm starting to get some ideas together so I can start running a campaign for some friends.

I've already got some ideas as to the first mission, just a simple smash and grab and run like hell ( B&E with the possibility of a vehicle chase ). Not too many mooks, something nice and easy to ease the players ( and me ) into the Shadowrun rules ( they're used to d20 style rules, from what I know ). What I'd like to do is create a campaign that's set in the same area that me and my players are ( Vancouver, BC ) so that when describing locations and whatnot, I can use physical landmarks that they're familiar with ( mountains, etc, not buildings ).

So what I'm wondering is this: besides the fact that Vancouver is located within the Salish-Shidhe Council territory/province/state/thing, is there anything else that I need to know? Prominent characters, special locations/haunts, various things I need to know?

I know that as gamemaster, I have pretty much total control over the story and setting, but anything that can help tie my setting in with the larger Shadowrun universe would be nice.

Also, I was wondering how other gm's out there portray arcologies. How do other gm's out there portray them? Giant cities in a bottle, with a several km footprint? Or Judge Dredd style megacities? Something in between? If Judge Dredd-style megacities is your answer, what's the distance between the outskirts of Bellingham and Vancouver ( or is there even a noticible distance, or do you just have a small suburb or a wall or something to show the border )?

Cheers, and thanks for any suggestions!
I would suggest finding a copy of the old NAN source book, it won't be up to date with 4th ed but it would give a basic idea of the history of the area since the awakening (I'd give more info but I've never actually owned the book).
the more recent shadows of north america may also be interesting:

there is also the upcoming sixth world almanac that will cover the game world from first edition til today.
I was finally able to get a SR novel called Tails You Lose by Lisa Smedman, which featured the story in SR's Vancouver (I assume you mean BC, not Washington's Vancouver).

Found this in the Sixth World Wiki:

The info in that is pretty much from the novel as I recall it. Not included in the wiki is that Stanley Park got domed to protect it from pollution, there is a monument to the dead from a battle with the now non-existent-because-we-are-part-of-SSC-in-2067 Tsimshian Nation in downtown, and IIRC Delta (Edit: Oops, it was Richmond) was turned into barrens by a unnatural earthquake - plus the bridge leading there is falling apart something fierce.

If you need more info, seems that this article in the Sixth World Wiki might help:

IMHO, I think you could pretty much get away doing up the SSC and Vancouver how you like, how you think it would turn out and thus levels of dystopian or utopian futures and fantasy you want to go for.

Oh, and I think there was a thread I asked about the SSC somewhere around here, some of the posts in it might help ya out:
Well for those that are interested I'm trying to create a cyberpunk setting for Victoria and Vancouver BC, to my understanding that Victorua would become a enclave of the ultra rich while Vancouver would become a mega city of corp factories and urban crime. Victoria would be the crown jewel home to high priced company men and headquarters and fine dining, you have to live here to understand that last point. One think that I do have are the Urban tribes, that I got from the Underground RPG setting. Since is this cyberpunk Robocop version of the future Native Americans and Canadians have suffered under sall called inlightement laws to help them, in my setting there aren't very many of them left.

As I recall, Vancouver rated a mention in the Seattle section of Runner Havens. It's listed as having an underworld dominated by the Red Lotus Triad, and it's the headquarters of the AA corp Universal Omnitech. A neighborhood called Richmond (Is that right? I don't have my book with me) apparently is the primary Z-zone, having got hit hard by an earthquake and never cleaned up.
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