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Enlightened
It's been about 15 years since I last played Shadowrun, but I have recently started to get re-interested. I think I need a refresher course on how players prep for, execute and wrap up a typical shadowrun.

I know there are many different kinds of shadowruns, so let's keep it to a generic "get in, get what you came for, get out" scenerio.


To facilitate quoting the questions for your answers I have already surrounded the questions with almost completed quote brackets. Just add the "/" into the rear quote bracket to complete.

Questions:

[QUOTE]How do runners typically get their jobs? Direct phone call? [QUOTE]

[QUOTE]How much time do they typically get to prepare? Are most runs like "Can you pull it off tonight?" kind of deals?[QUOTE]

[QUOTE]How do the runners prepare? (This is the part I'm most interested in hearing about)[QUOTE]

[QUOTE]What do you find that runners typically buy before a run? Anything?[QUOTE]

[QUOTE]How do they find out about what is in store for them in the compound? [QUOTE]

[QUOTE]How much info about the compound and its security can they typically get before the run? [QUOTE]

[QUOTE]Spell out for me everyone's role in the caper: Samurai, Decker, Mage, Rigger, etc. [QUOTE]

[QUOTE]How do they make their get-away? In a car that was hidden?[QUOTE]

[QUOTE]How do they get paid?[QUOTE]


I would appreciate any info or experiences you have. smile.gif

Basically just tells us how these things typically go down in your game.
Brazilian_Shinobi
QUOTE
How do runners typically get their jobs? Direct phone call?


Usually by phone call, or maybe at their local "shadowy" bar. Usually it is their fixers who arrange their meetings, however the fixers like to contact them.
This is just to know about the job, most Mr Johnsons like to meet face to face during the job proposal.

QUOTE
How much time do they typically get to prepare? Are most runs like "Can you pull it off tonight?" kind of deals?


It depends, a lot. Most of the runs on Denver Missions Campaign (25 missions set on denver for free at shadowrun4.com) have little time to prepare. mostly one day or two, some are meant to be right now.

QUOTE
How do the runners prepare? (This is the part I'm most interested in hearing about)


They must do the legwork. Discover about the target, about the security, even about their contractor. This legwork might be using the Matrix to find information or calling their contacts.

QUOTE
What do you find that runners typically buy before a run? Anything?


Depending on the run, they might not have the time to buy specialized equipment for the run (for instance, high rating explosives to create a hole through a wall), unless the Johnson gives them anything most of the time they will only be able to use the equipment they have already and worst case scenario, the equipment they are carrying right now

QUOTE
How do they find out about what is in store for them in the compound?


Either they hack the security system to take a look at the cameras or they use a mage watching through the astral plane (both with their own risks and troubles)

QUOTE
How much info about the compound and its security can they typically get before the run?


Depends on how good they did the legwork.

QUOTE
Spell out for me everyone's role in the caper: Samurai, Decker, Mage, Rigger, etc.


Urban Samurai: most of the time they are meant for fire support or even close-quarter combats.
If you are using the 4th edition, deckers don't exist anymore, they are just hackers again.
Rigger can do some surveillance with drons and be the get-away driver.
Mages do fire support too and take care of spirits and other mages.

QUOTE
How do they make their get-away? In a car that was hidden?


Or chopper, or boat. Depends a lot on the location they are hitting

QUOTE
How do they get paid?


Usually they receive money upfront to sweeten their contacts, after the job is done the johson makes another meeting and pay the rest.



Take a look at the denver missions, they are very useful for beginers and even experienced GM's
Karoline
Shinobi did a good job answering most of these, but I'll add my own thoughts as well.

QUOTE
How do runners typically get their jobs? Direct phone call?

They know a guy who knows a guy, rather literally. Mr J contacts a fixer, and that fixer contacts people he thinks will be appropriate for the job (you and your group mates) and tells you to meet Mr. J at X time and Y place to discuss the pay and specifics of the mission.

QUOTE
How much time do they typically get to prepare? Are most runs like "Can you pull it off tonight?" kind of deals?

In generally the meeting is going to take place the same day or the next day (The J needs to know if you'll do it or not quickly so he can look for another team). How much time you have after that... well, that of course varies. Sometimes you'll only have a very short amount of time to prepare, but generally you'll have a week or maybe more to prep properly (After all, if the J needs it done now he is going to be fairly desperate to get you to work for him as it'll take hours to get another team put together). The longer ones are often "We need the latest plans for X's new Y so we can copy them." It really doesn't matter if they get them now or in a couple weeks, because if you get them in a couple weeks the plans will just be that much more complete/advanced and give J's company less work to do.

QUOTE
How do the runners prepare? (This is the part I'm most interested in hearing about)

Besides the legwork, searching for run specific gear is common. Explosives are a big one, specialized ammo might be important (Silver bullets for those nasty critters guarding the place maybe), perhaps a cheap throw-away car for the getaway that they can ditch somewhere. Depending on how long it's been since the last mission, some runners may be using the time to restock their supplies that they used last time (Bullets, drugs, stealth rope, grenades).

QUOTE
What do you find that runners typically buy before a run? Anything?

Specialized gear is going to be the biggest thing, and perhaps extra ammo/drugs if the run is going to be a long/big one. Other than that there aren't many purchases required for a run as most runners should already have everything they need.

QUOTE
How do they find out about what is in store for them in the compound?

Hacking and Astrally Projecting as Shinobi mentioned are both good methods, but don't forget the value of a real eye. A rigger with spy drones can be useful. An infiltration specilist going in and mapping out parts of the compound can be great. The face getting someone that works there to spill the beans on the inner workings. All are potential methods of gathering info. Also, for your most basic, just sit on an adjacent building with a pair of binoculars.

QUOTE
How much info about the compound and its security can they typically get before the run?

Whatever their legwork turns up as Shinobi said. Occasionally the J will have info to hand out, but be wary of the accuracy of that kind of intel.

QUOTE
Spell out for me everyone's role in the caper: Samurai, Decker, Mage, Rigger, etc.

Samurai: Shoot things, prevent things shooting friends.
Decker: Now a Hacker again, open doors, disable cameras and alarms, and otherwise support via weakening the enemy's tech.
Mage: Can be many things depending on the specialty, but is generally your big gun. Great at picking off heavily armored targets.
Rigger: Fire support. Provide numbers.
Face: Interact with people. Great for talking up guards/J/merchants. Will generally have another roll as well.
Adept: See Samurai
Infiltrator: Get in quietly, possibly to take out guards, possibly to take out security, possibly just to scout.

So to think of it like an MMO:
Samurai - Fighter
Decker - Affliction guy
Rigger - Pet class
Face - More like a skill than a class
Adept - Different kind of Fighter
Mage - ...Mage...
Infiltrator - Thief/Rogue/whatever stealthy character.

QUOTE
How do they make their get-away? In a car that was hidden?

Come on, they're called Runners for a reason spin.gif
But seriously, it depends. Generally a fast (And well armored) vehicle is the way to go, though depending on the surroundings, getting away on foot may be better.

QUOTE
How do they get paid?

J hands them a blank check and says "Put down whatever you think you earned."
Basically the same as you would get paid for babysitting someone's kids. They give you the money directly sometime after the fact (Usually when you see them to give back the kid/data). Often times a J will provide an advance to sweeten the deal, but it still works out the same. The J just transfers the money to you and you automatically route it to whatever account you use.
Exocet
I think this is all extremely variable depending on GM, players, characters and the actual mission, but I'll give it a try...
You should check "Mr.Johnson's Little Black Book", a book completely centered around those questions.

QUOTE
How do runners typically get their jobs? Direct phone call?

Usually with a direct phone call/e-mail if they're well-established runners. Other options are the bars where they hang out in their spare time, or even personal visits from the Johnson/fixer himself.

QUOTE
How much time do they typically get to prepare? Are most runs like "Can you pull it off tonight?" kind of deals?

I usually give my players 2 days~1 week, but all my missions are made to need lots of information... There are usually some key pieces of information that are needed to successfully complete the mission, or to avoid getting the entire party killed because of a minuscule detail.

QUOTE
How do the runners prepare? (This is the part I'm most interested in hearing about)

They gather LOTS of information... First they need all the information they can get about the target (no matter if it's a person or an object), the place where the target is (unless the place is in itself the target), all the people involved, and sometimes even their Johnson.

QUOTE
What do you find that runners typically buy before a run? Anything?

Ammo, expendable foci, specialised material

QUOTE
How do they find out about what is in store for them in the compound?

Astral, infiltration (either personal or drones), using social skills with people who know what's inside, matrix searches, contacts, espionage (microphones and such).

QUOTE
How much info about the compound and its security can they typically get before the run?

Depends on the difficulty... For your average corporative base this would be partial maps, who's in charge of security, a rough idea about defenses (physical/magic/matrix), approximate location of target inside the compound... Be sure to always add a ton of useless facts.

QUOTE
Spell out for me everyone's role in the caper: Samurai, Decker, Mage, Rigger, etc.

Street sam: Combat
Decker (3rd Ed): Information gathering (both personal and physical), disabling technological security.
Mage: Variable... Combat, healing, information gathering? Depends on the exact mage. Usually includes defeating other mages and their critters.
Rigger (3rd Ed): Combat ("plan B": obvious but brutal force as a last resort), transportation, information gathering (mainly physical), toying with enemy communications, team coordination in complex missions.
Face: Information gathering (mainly personal), item/contact/service acquisition.

QUOTE
How do they make their get-away? In a car that was hidden?

Depends on the place and available resources... A car, a helicopter, the sewers...

QUOTE
How do they get paid?

They receive a little part when they accept the mission and the big bucks when they're back. The usual payment is certified credsticks, but you can use any kind of items or services (being introduced to a particularly good contact might be a good payment, after all...)
kzt
As someone said upthread, being handed a complete target folder along with access cards and system passwords certainly should suggest something to the characters. What it would suggest to me depends on whether the characters are well established as successful or starting out/screwups.
KarmaInferno
Ya'll left out the part where the runners find out the Johnson screwed them over and all hell breaks loose, usually at the most difficult and delicate part of the run.



-karma
kzt
Or, when the Johnson doesn't screw them over, the dohicky they swiped is busy transmitting or being astrally traced and 3 different teams are coming for them.....
KarmaInferno
Or, when the doohickey the runners have stolen turns out to be a sentient nuclear bomb, and it decides it likes them and doesn't want to leave.


Um. Okay, that was probably just me and my players.




-karma
Crusher Bob

QUOTE
How do runners typically get their jobs? Direct phone call?

Depends on where the job comes from.
Option 1:
The team's Fixer contacts the teams face to say he has a job. Anything substansive (and illegal) will only be discussed face to face.
Option 2:
One of the team members contacts calls them up with something they need done. That team member ropes the rest of the team in.
Option 3:
The team finds out something in the course of their 'ordinary' lives and decides to do something about it.
Option 4:
Someone who they have worked for before contacts them directly.
Option 5:
An immortal elf hijacks the teams dreams for a night of surprise buttsecks astral adventure. (still bitter after all these years)
Not really an option
Some unknown random person walks up to them in a bar and says "I herd u liek runnin!"

QUOTE
How much time do they typically get to prepare? Are most runs like "Can you pull it off tonight?" kind of deals?

If you get a run that has to happen tonight, it better include time for you to secure the truck load of cash you are being paid upfront to take the job. Or you you have to go and rescue your contacts kids from the C.H.U.D.s or something.

Remember that the guy paying to the job to be done almost always wants to job to actually succeed. And putting silly conditions on the run is just asking for it to fail. And if things are really that pressued, then it's time to pay and pay.

QUOTE
How do the runners prepare? (This is the part I'm most interested in hearing about)

Step 1:
Determine if the meet is legit. Even if you are going to meet someone you trust, you can never be sure if they had a gun to their head or something. That's why meets tend to take place in public places, ideally with their own security.

Step 2 (may not occur in all runs)
Determine if the job is legit or not. This is why personal introductions and face to face contacts are so important. If your fixer sets you up with a Johnson that stabs you in the back, it's the Fixer's word and reputation that are on the line too. Same things goes if, heaven forfend, the team screws over the Johnson.

QUOTE
How do they find out about what is in store for them in the compound?

Investigate lower securityplaces that might have info: power company, company that built the place, utility plans, etc.
Use low signature ariel drones to take pictures of the exterior.
If it looks possible, send in some small crawler drones for a closer look.
Try to hack HR to see if anyone was fired from the place, how you could bribe into answering.



Aerospider
QUOTE (Enlightened @ Jan 9 2010, 10:35 PM) *
How do they get paid?

Almost always in certified cred, since few employers want their bank details appearing on a deniable asset's financial history. Other common pay-offs are gear and info, provided the J has access to what the PCs are interested in.

Something to consider - runners are often at the disadvantage of relying on the J's honour to pay them after they've served their purpose. Shadow banks and similar sources offer escrow services a middleman procedure that requires both parties to commit their side of the trade (money, data, gear, proof of job completion, etc.) before releasing the commodities to the recipients. Should either side fail to commit their end of the bargain by a given deadline, the deal falls through. This is still not treachery-proof, since the Johnson could find out through other means that you've done the job as required and then tell the escrow service you've let him down (thus being refunded his money), but it can still be useful.
kzt
Typically an escrow service requires both parties to agree to money being disbursed. What it assures is that the money exists and that the party offering to pay can't get the money back without your agreement. He can not pay you, but he doesn't get the money back without a lot of additional effort.
frostPDP
QUOTE
How do runners typically get their jobs? Direct phone call?


It depends. Usually it'll be as was stated earlier; an in-person meetup that's offered by one's fixer. Depending on one's specialty, though, you might get contacted by someone you already know. Lets not forget that contacts often have their own agendas, and if you owe them a favor you'll get called for a job. Or maybe, say for a hacker, you'll get a job over the Matrix or just stumble into something.


QUOTE
How much time do they typically get to prepare? Are most runs like "Can you pull it off tonight?" kind of deals?


"Do it tonight" gigs are usually rare. If you're hiring elite disposable assets, you're doing it to get a very specific job done. Those jobs often require specific tools, and unless you tell the guy up front what he's doing, before even meeting him, he's not going to have them. More often than not, he'll need to acquire something unique - an ID card to get into a building, for example. These things take time, and moreover saying "I need you to bring a gun and plenty of ammo to hose down a group" is gonna get you busted by the cops.

More frequently, if a job needs to be done quickly, it will either be relatively simple with any and all necessary items proved (here a gun, go here, kill that guy with such and such problems you'll encounter), or will be handled in-house (I.E. the company's own private forces will take care of it, such as retrieving a document that some runners stole.)

For jobs with longer time-frames, it'll be expected that the runners get their own intel and do their own research. That'd be called "legwork."


QUOTE
How do the runners prepare? (This is the part I'm most interested in hearing about)


Legwork is usually a vague part of storytelling, and is more like a game of 20-questions than anything. "What kind of security do they have" is a pretty formal question to ask the Johnson, but actually getting the information is pretty tricky. If you're hitting a corporate structure, you can probably hack in to get a schedule of when various people are on duty, and who has what access. Mages can astrally scout places out, but if there's an opposing mage that'll tip the enemy off. You can hit up your contacts and see what they know - that's usually helpful.


QUOTE
What do you find that runners typically buy before a run? Anything?


Usually, they've stockpiled ammo. Sometimes the procurement of fake IDs is necessary. Sometimes a small safehouse is nice. Characters will often have emergency bags - a first aid kit, a gun, some ammo, a fake ID, some cash, maybe a flashlight and some other survival gear like a knife and clean clothes - stashed through the city in various places. If they need something specific, they'll get hold of it.

QUOTE
How do they find out about what is in store for them in the compound?


Legwork, legwork, kegwork and legwork.


QUOTE
How much info about the compound and its security can they typically get before the run?


It depends. As I said earlier, skilled hackers can get personnel files. Mages can do recon. A physical casing of the joint can yield a knowledge of where the exits are and what physical barriers are in the way. No matter what, though, unless something actively disrupts the system, its pretty static - Bob shows up to work on time, while James is pretty bad at that. So if you know James isn't so useful, maybe you can buy him off...


QUOTE
Spell out for me everyone's role in the caper: Samurai, Decker, Mage, Rigger, etc.


Streetsam: These guys are usually quick on inits, and quick on the trigger. They mow down low-grade security, but keep 'em away from Mages. Someone used the MMO/D&D ideal to compare them to fighters? That's pretty accurate.

Decker/Hacker: Get intel, open locked doors, and hopefully know how to handle a gun to stay alive.

Rigger: Meh, I've never been a fan of drone-swarms. But yeah, these guys will drive your vehicles, often playing taxi, and often keeping you alive in any kind of chase. I've once seen what happens when Riggers get hold of helicopters. smile.gif

PhysAd: Adepts are usually your melee guys; they can get in close and chop dudes up. But sometimes they'll be gunners, just as sometimes Street Sams'll be swordsmen. It all depends. They usually fare better against magic, and less well against bullets.

Mages: Anti-Street-Sam, but otherwise they're jack-of-all-trades. Its rare to see a mage without at least one combat spell, while others are decked out with 'em.

Faces: They socialize, but they also often double as stealth guys who can infiltrate. Think James Bond.

Overall: Each team is unique. Each mission has its own things. Don't necessarily re-write charsheets or spend massive amounts of GK to deal with any one mission, but do be prepared to procure individual, specific goodies to get by a problem.


QUOTE
How do they make their get-away? In a car that was hidden?


Typically, yes. Ideally you want to get in and out unnoticed. Ideally, this involves some kind of distraction or effort to avoid detection. If you are busted, however, you can either shoot your way out or drive as fast as you can. In theory, this is pretty hard - there's lots of ways to track crooks today, let alone in 2060.


QUOTE
How do they get paid?


Half up front, half up later; or some variant thereof. The upfront is a show of good faith as well as a down payment on any goods that are needed to get the job done, the after is the real payday. And that's not a bad system. Oftentimes the bigger question is the actual how they get paid. Do they have a group account that the Johnson can deposit nuyen in? Or do they get certified credsticks? Does the Johnson pay the group as a whole, or does he pay each one individually?

It can be very interesting to watch the Mage want to buy the formulas for Spell XYZ, while the Rigger wants to buy a new vehicle, and both need a little extra cash from the Adept who has all the gear he needs and wants to keep his half-up-front.


Hope this helps!
MYST1C
QUOTE (Enlightened @ Jan 9 2010, 11:35 PM) *
Spell out for me everyone's role in the caper: Samurai, Decker, Mage, Rigger, etc.

There's an in-depth discussion about the various positions in a runner team and how different character types can fill them in Runner's Companion.
Cardul
Well, I think I should just give my "Anatomy of a Standard Run" for this guy:

Step 1: You get contacted. This is usually going to be by your fixer. You are told
you have a job, that Mr. Johnson will meet at such and such a place, at such
and such a time.

Step 2: You arrive at the meet early. Your Decker(they are deckers, not hackers..
because decker sounds cooler!) hijacks the cameras, your Rigger releases a
fly-spy drone. Your Face goes in at the correct time, with your Street Sam in
tow. At the Meet, your mage stays SAFE. Way too valuable an asset to risk
to an "At the meet double Cross." Of course, you do bring some stuff so they
can all be there virtually.

Step 3: the face negotiates the best payment possible for the team. Make sure
the Samurai and rigger or decker can get the information on the deal being
struck by the Face. You always want to make sure he/she is not skimming off
the top. You get your Up Front payment.

Step 4: Leg work. You mage astrally recons, while the Rigger uses spy drones,
or if he has them, biodrone to get info on the layout of the building and guard
patrols. Decker hacks nearby resources for exact floorplans(if possible), utility
arrangements, delivery routine.

Step 5: You use the info to come up with a Plan. The plan usually involved the face smooth talking
his/her way in where you need to be, and the decker hacking what you need open, closed,
etc, the Samurai and Mage create diversions, the Rigger then hot extracts the Face with the Package,
and extracts the Mage and Samurai. I recommend, though, lots of explosive and high caliber weapons
for both the rigger and the Samurai...

Step 6: Samurai pull gun and tries to tell the Rigger how to do get away...rigger eject samurai and
detonates ejection seat..Oh..wait..no..sorry..that is just what happens when I am the Rigger for
some reason...

Step 7: After escaping pursuit, meet with johnson for the drop-off, rest of your payment, and the
johnson trying to kill you because you know too much..

Step 8: Profit!
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