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dannyortiz
my ST asked me to run one, i said ok. i have two weeks to plan, and here's where i am.

the group:
troll street sam.
rigger/hacker human.
elf technomancer/face.
elf B&E specialist.
human mage.

their gonna get a call from a johnson, they wont know who he's with, only that the groups fixer, acid, send him to them. he needs an extraction, there's a scientist he wants on his payroll. get her, unharmed, and bring her to him. i haven't decided who she works for since i don't know inside-out what those implications might be. payout:100.000 nuyen (i figure 20K each is fair). less if she's harmed physically, or mentally (PTS or something).

if they inquire into her location, on her employers computer network they'll find an e-mail asking for money in exchange for her safe return. they'll find that she's been hijacked by a troll gang, who's asking a 20K ransom.

the gangers will hole up in a junkyard in a bad up neighborhood. they'll be lookouts and other physical security, but nothing technical to speak of. not even a drone to hack into.

problems that I'm having? how do i "create" the junkyard? i can just template the trolls, so no problem there, same for the NPC scientist.

any other help i can get would be HIGHLY appreciated. this is my second time DMing ANYTHING, the only other thing I've DMed is D&D version 3.0, and that game went HORRIBLY!!

EDIT: this game is run using the rules from the 20th anniversary 4th edition handbook.
Mantis
Google some aerial maps of junkyards and then design from there. Typically you can surround the place with a fence of some sort, chain link or plank being common now but plascrete and other things can be used in 2070s. Add some dogs for security as it is a junkyard wink.gif . Have look outs at the gates and piles of cars, etc to navigate through. It's basically a dungeon crawl with option of going over the walls. That's place to start anyway.

http://maps.google.ca/maps?client=firefox-...sa=N&tab=il

Zoom in on the map in satellite view to see some overhead junkyard shots. I used metro spring ltd.
The stats for fences are just based on what ever barrier rating you want to give them and there are examples in SR4a. Anything else?
LurkerOutThere
Well i guess it becomes a question of how detailed do you feel you need to be. If your not getting down to the figs level then i would draw a surrounding chain link fence and then draw in general terms where paths are and major junk piles. For your own benefit you could also draw where the gang might have place srvelance gear, wired or wired amongst the junk piles.

Are you prepared for your players being willing to just spend 20K to get her back? 80K split for no shooting is good! Not saying it's a bad thing if they choose to go through with this but you may want to have something in mind if it does happen just so the session doesn't run short, maybe some way they have to ge about getting a meeting witht he leadership.
knasser
QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 18 2010, 09:13 PM) *
my ST asked me to run one, i said ok. i have two weeks to plan, and here's where i am.

the group:
troll street sam.
rigger/hacker human.
elf technomancer/face.
elf B&E specialist.
human mage.

their gonna get a call from a johnson, they wont know who he's with, only that the groups fixer, acid, send him to them. he needs an extraction, there's a scientist he wants on his payroll. get her, unharmed, and bring her to him. i haven't decided who she works for since i don't know inside-out what those implications might be. payout:100.000 nuyen (i figure 20K each is fair). less if she's harmed physically, or mentally (PTS or something).

if they inquire into her location, on her employers computer network they'll find an e-mail asking for money in exchange for her safe return. they'll find that she's been hijacked by a troll gang, who's asking a 20K ransom.

the gangers will hole up in a junkyard in a bad up neighborhood. they'll be lookouts and other physical security, but nothing technical to speak of. not even a drone to hack into.

problems that I'm having? how do i "create" the junkyard? i can just template the trolls, so no problem there, same for the NPC scientist.

any other help i can get would be HIGHLY appreciated. this is my second time DMing ANYTHING, the only other thing I've DMed is D&D version 3.0, and that game went HORRIBLY!!

EDIT: this game is run using the rules from the 20th anniversary 4th edition handbook.


If you're a horrible D&D GM, then you might be a brilliant Shadowrun GM. wink.gif Anyway, welcome to Dumpshock.

I'd say the money you're planning to offer is too high. Of course it depends on what sort of game you want, the characters and how long you expect the campaign to last. I don't want to kick off a big pay debate though. Everyone has their own level and other GMs will disagree with me. You're basically giving them enough to live comfortably off for the next four months. If they do runs like this more often than that in game time, they'll be saving decent amounts for equipment, etc. But I run a slightly harsher game in that regard so reallly it's up to you.

I can see a potential problem with having both the hacker and the technomancer in the game. I banned TMs from my own campaign instantly and irrevocably. Can't say without seeing the builds, but there's a good chance that the TM will make the hacker feel useless if the hacker is competing on the same turf. TM's even make better riggers if built right, so watch out for that.

As regards the Matrix generally, have a look at some of the locations on my site (link in my sig). They'll show you what I consider a reasonable network. Try and integrate the hacking into the rest of the run as much as possible - e.g. liberal scatterings of security cameras, alarm systems, etc.

One tactic for creating the junk yard is to find plans for such things in Google and then just draw over them in a paint program. The might not be so interesting as one you create for yourself. I'd list a few things that you know are going to be in the junkyard (car compactor, drivable crane, security office and main building, devil rat nest, etc) and then start laying them out accordingly. Invent some nice environmental encounters / effects. E.g. falling or push-overable pile of cars, agent possessed cars (keep in mind that in 2070, cars can drive themselves) or teen hackers playing stock car racing with real cars, a runaway or a ghoul or a harvester (Running Wild) or a whatever, with a series of little tunnels and escape routes through the junk. Bonus points if the PCs get shot at from within a giant junk fortress. You say there'll be nothing technological as such - that's fine, but you have three hackery types in the group, so make sure they have other things to do or change your position on this issue.

From a plot point of view, how do you ensure that the PCs go to the junkyard. The natural response is to offer to pay the ransom and just get her. The players can then either actually pay the cost (and make an easy 80,000) or just set up an ambush. Either is better than meeting a troll gang on its home turf. The PCs may also ask why the Johnson is willing to pay them 100,000 when he could just buy her from the trolls for a 20% of that. Better make sure the Johnson doesn't find out about their offer.

Keep in mind that SHadowrun is very different to D&D. It's a lot more fluid and variable. It doesn't tend to follow Fight A, Fight B, Fight C, very well. One of the best bits of advice is to flesh out some NPCs a bit more than you usually do and really try to convey to the PCs that things can go anywhere. On that note, keep an eye out for player tactics you might not be prepared for. For example, if you've created a big maze of junk, the magician is just going to go astral, fly up and have a look around for enemies, etc, so prepare a few surprises. Maybe there's a Free spirit living in the junk yard that both the gang AND the PCs have to avoid annoying.

Don't be afraid to low-power the opposition slightly if it's your first Shadowrun game. Shadowrun is very dangerous and even if the opposition were perfectly equal to the team (not that there is such a thing in Shadowrun), it would only take one group setting up an ambush for the other to turn everything around. My advice is to set up something you're fairly confident they can handle and then have some reserves you can roll in subtly as needed. If no-one is used to the combat system, then fights will take a while with five players, so don't prepare too many.

I don't know how much use any of this advice is. Hopefully some. If you just want to know how to plan out a junkyard, my advice is to make it large because PCs can cover *a lot* of distance. Particularly by car. wink.gif And cover the surroundings as well, because there's every chance they'll end up racing away from the place. So when you do your map, check out how far the PCs can move in a minute and make sure you're comfortable with the scale of everything.

K.


Kyrel
Given that you appear to have two tech focused players in the team, I'd be tempted to say "throw them a bone" of some sort. It doesn't have to be much, but something they can use their expertise at. Gun targeting systems. Enemy comlinks (maybe they need to take out a sentry or two, without waking up the entire camp, and to do that, it would be a good idea to shut down the sentry's means of communicating with the camp...). Maybe an old basic CCTV system. Maybe there's some sort of trash compactor system or a big electromagnet on a crane arm that can be used, if the players can gain access to the crane's driver's cabin. Maybe one of the trolls have a cyberware arm that can be shut down.

A couple of big dogs would probably be a good idea to throw in as security.

I'd considder leaving a possible option for the gang to either fight their way in, or stealth in and quietly try to extract the scientist.

As suggested, try and find a junkyard on Google, and then modify from there as needed. A wire fence would be a logical thing. Maybe there is some razorwire on top of it. Or maybe the fence is made from corrugated sheetmetal. Or maybe something else.

Good luck. Hope you can use this for something.

Don't overplan, and don't get too surprised when the players do something you didn't anticipate. Create the site, know the NPC's, and then react logically to the player's actions. Try not to let success depend on the players following a particular "road", in order for them to succeed.

Malachi
I go through a little process when designing a run. First I start off with what I call a "hook." Call the "theme" or maybe the "high point" of the run. For your adventure, visualize what you want the "high point" to be, what is the coolest part of your story? From what you have, the image good be the players fleeing with their target through a maze of junk piles, with vicious troll gangers chancing them, barely (or perhaps not all) restraining heavily muscled junkyard dogs.

Second, I find it helps a lot for realism as well as consistency to work out what is going on "behind the scenes" of your adventure. As I said, this gives your adventure realism and consistency, but it also gives you a pool of information to fall back on if (more likely when) your players do something unexpected. You have a basic plot structure: gangers are holding an employee hostage. Now, who does the scientist work for? Why are they hiring runners for this instead of using their own security forces? Are the gangers "backed" by anyone? Why is the corp paying 100k for runners to get her back when they could just pay the 20k ransom? What is the gang's plan is they don't get the ransom? What's the deadline for paying?

So, keeping your run structure let's fill out some potential "behind the scenes" details. Your runners are being hired by Universal Omnitech, a biomed company, to get their researcher back from the gang. UniOmni is developing a new gene therapy and they are trying to rush it to market ahead of their competitor Shiawase. They don't want to take the time to go through the proper government channels to test their product, so they have secretly been abducting squatters from the Barrens in order to test their new gene therapy. The local troll gang has been noticing the people going missing (or perhaps their bodies being dumped), as well as the "non-locals" hanging around and decide that "enough is enough." They take the research hostage (who was out in the Barrens doing "field observations") by overwhelming her discreet security force. They are now blackmailing UniOmni, threatening to kill the researcher and go public with the proof of the experiments (on her commlink) unless they pay up. UniOmni thus hires the runners to solve the situation. Further hooks/goodies from this plotline: maybe Shiawase tipped off the gang, backing them with information/weapons/equipment. Also, maybe the runners quickly overpower the outclassed gang, but they are presented with the reality of what their employer is doing to people, and now have to make a moral decision of some sort.

See, by fleshing out the background you have lots to go on if your players head off in an unexpected direction, or do more background research than you were expecting. For some examples as I walk through this process, see the links in my signature. They contain a kind of blog "narration" of a couple of runs that I developed and ran for my group.
tagz
I'd mostly just echo what the others have said so far.

I'd lower the payout a little, but that's me. I try to keep the pay high enough to let the players advance but not so high that they can buy months and months of high lifestyle after just a few runs. It sort of ruins the believability to me, as in, if they have so much money and plan so carefully what keeps them running and not just buying a small apartment and retiring? I like to keep my players always looking to the next big score but not cause they want it, but because they need it.

Also, if you have two techies then you should give them a little tech to play with. Shadowrun is a game that specializes and if that specialty doesn't come up much that session then that person mostly sits, eats chips, and maybe plays on a laptop or gameboy (which can be a distraction to the game)... and you can't really blame them as the GM since you didn't give them anything to help involve them.
Maybe the troll gang boosted a drone or set up a small perimeter camera system. Maybe they have a few members with cyber slaved to their comms and the IC is weak, or strong if you really want to involve them but I figured this is a learning run and that can slow things down if the matrix gets REAL heavy while the combat is going on.

Consider other possible things your group might do. Your plan needs to be flexible if they go a way you weren't expecting. Think outside the box. If you really want the combat and they decide to just pay the ransom out of their earnings that doesn't mean you can't provoke the fight. Just have one of the troll "toadies" say to the troll boss, "Hey Boss! If 'dey came up with so much easy like this then I bet they is loaded! Lets clean 'em out!", or something like that.

And I'd suggest not worrying too much about keeping strictly in line with the world set up. So what if you use the wrong megacorp at first? No biggie. Just make up some hidden plot reason to explain why a corp would be involved in something they supposedly have no interest in.

And good NPCs are vital to the game. Have fun and make up some eccentric characters. One of my personal favorites is my take on the Scatterbrain's leader, Giggles. I don't know what his personality is really supposed to be like but I decided he'd have multiple personalities. Except, both personalities are the same person and are aware and talk to each-other, and both speak only in the third person and call the other by name. So he's constantly agreeing and complementing himself on his ideas and the players have to wonder which one is talking... til they realized it didn't really matter.
One time he did get into an argument with himself though because one Giggles stole the other Giggles's great prank idea before he could tell the gang. The two Giggles didn't talk to each other for weeks.
nemafow
QUOTE (tagz @ Mar 19 2010, 12:20 PM) *
One time he did get into an argument with himself though because one Giggles stole the other Giggles's great prank idea before he could tell the gang. The two Giggles didn't talk to each other for weeks.


Thats awesome man biggrin.gif
Red-ROM
most of the points i would make have been coverd, but i would like to add;

Theres a lot of talk about letting the characters do what they will, which is how I GM. THis, however takes serious planning. You design one junkyard and a) they never go there. or b) the mage summons a spirit and kills the whole gang while the rigger is still getting gas. I'd have some suprises on tap. things you can drop on them when and where you need to. Maybe the cops are investigating the kidnapping or gang activity and are now following the team. maybe the Mafia shows up to dump a body while the team is sneaking around in the garbage.

Secondly, I think there should be a doublecross to really welcome the players to shadowrun. Did they really think someone would hand them 100,000 cred for one nights work? the ransom note is fake and the team is walking into a secret magic cult in the middle of some serious mojo.
Wandering One
I'd agree with the others that the ransom should at least be more then the players could expect to earn otherwise. 200k seems reasonable, with the Johnson going on some variation of "I'll give you half what they're asking if she comes out completely unharmed." That seems *really* high pay to me but I don't know the xp level of the chars involved. If they're elite runners that's reasonable. Fresh meat are getting a heck of a payday. Think of it this way: Any time you're paid enough in a single run to buy a minty fresh piece of nice cyberware or outfit a brand new lodge, AND pay rent, they need to earn it.

I tend to play really loose with the rules, because I let my characters de-railroad at whim. I *would* sketch up a place for your own reference, just so you don't cross your own wires. The ideas the others have are fun and worth looking at. However, as Red mentioned, the team taking some time beforehand and getting three bound elementals (and a very tired mage) rampaging through the place can throw all your intentions out the window, especially with a drone overwatch.

QUOTE ("Kyrel")
Don't overplan, and don't get too surprised when the players do something you didn't anticipate. Create the site, know the NPC's, and then react logically to the player's actions. Try not to let success depend on the players following a particular "road", in order for them to succeed.


QFT.

Staying with your 'techless' scenario, the TM/face is going to be *very* bored. Now, lets say these folks are doing what they can for the specific purpose of avoiding hacker issues, there's still possible problems. The TM could find out about a camera sat that can do some pinpoint surveillance during the run as overwatch. He can play in the local powergrid and kill the juice to the place so they're all running around with flashlights. A junkyard isn't small so it MIGHT be big enough to actually carry its own circuit. The cars in the place itself might be hackable as well, working with the rigger to bring in relays to be near the vehicles. Etc etc. Just because there isn't tech onsite doesn't mean your matrix boys need to be bored.

And... of course... there will be a doublecross. For 100k even Lone Star might be interested in sending a HRT, after a bit of research, this would be nothing but good press, and no territorial issues. smile.gif
Mantis
Really? I'd wait on the double cross until the second run. If they've read any of the stories in the rule books or hang out here, they are going to expect a double cross. Let them and when it doesn't show, it heightens the paranoia or relaxes their guard. Either is good so when you drop the hammer later its that much more fun. Lower the payout though, this I do agree with. Should have put it in my original posting.
kzt
I'd wonder if the players would even think to just pay the ransom. I would. I'll take 80K for 4 hours of safe work any time, vs 100K after a shootout in a nightmare with a good chance of no money.
KnightIII
My first question is ... why didnt the Johnson pay the randsome to begin with? PCs who discover such a low randsom will wonder the same thing? If you decide the J works for a Mafia/Yakuza type then its a simple matter of honor. but then again, they typically dont have scientists in house to begin with. You could lower they pay. A mere street gang? 20k is suffciant. Then the J is out no extra money and a Runner team should have little trouble getting the job done.

Once you figure out the logistics of the pay scale, you can get to the design phase. As other have suggested, a google map is good. Get one, overlay a square or hex grid and off you go. Barring that, I design my maps of any type the way I have since D&D (no bloody A, no bloody 3, and no bloody 4. wink.gif ) Grab my graph paper, put in the rooms I want, and fill in the empty space. In this case your walls would be garbage and stacked cars. Your doors could be sheets strung across em or mobile cars. Secure rooms could be bus hulks or vans. I love junkyards. Easy to make and easier to make sound impressive.

My two nuyan.
arthurfallz
I would agree that 10,000 might be a tad too much for this mission, or more to the point for a group of low/no-Rep Shadowrunners. The plot needs some thickening.

As for the junkyard, open up today's newspaper and grab the crossword. You have your junkyard map, just add in a connector to the rows (but don't make it too flowing or anything). Don't show the players a map at all, and don't make one available. Make them work to figure out how the place is laid out. If they're getting paid this much, make them earn it.

A second nice thing about a junkyard is fragging it is tough; you have no idea where the gang is, and they might be spread out, and the towers of steel and plastic will abosrb explosions decently.
Malachi
QUOTE (arthurfallz @ Mar 19 2010, 09:57 AM) *
A second nice thing about a junkyard is fragging it is tough; you have no idea where the gang is, and they might be spread out, and the towers of steel and plastic will abosrb explosions decently.

Definitely: ambushes abound. Even not-very-cybered gangers can be tough if they ambush you from cover with shotguns. Don't be afraid to give the gangers the "home ground" Quality (+2 to all actions), since they probably picked this site because they know it well.
xsansara
Most important advice for new GM: Don't panic!

The plot seems solid, if your players are as inexperienced as you are. 20k pp will ensure fast character growth and more money to waste. If you ever get the feeling they get too much, there are a lot of ways to take things back later, e.g. jobs that don't pay at all. As a twist I would suggest that the con the scientist works for has already hired an extraction team as well, so it is a run against time.

My first advice: practice fights. Take the gangers and the other team as you have built them and pitch them against each other, just to get a feeling of the options they have and which are offered by the junkyard. That way you also learn pretty fast which are the interesting dice rolls. Also I would advice preparing some cars or maybe halfway broken drones, the techies will definitely ask for something like that.

Anything else: do what is coolest. If you can have the players have a freak meeting with one of the trolls at a Shuffer Shack, do it. If the face wants to exchange the scientist for a six-pack of beer. Let him have her. But maybe they will insist on giving him the gang tattoo first. Don't worry about making things too easy, this is the first run, it should be fun. Play the trolls dumb and fun-loving, the player have to notice, that this is not a computer RPG in which they fight & loot & fight & ...

Maybe you can have a chart like for the food fight, what happens when you shoot into a junk pile (explosion, green sparkles, car starts honking, drunken squatter complains about the noise, ...).

BTW, so the chart doesn't go to waste should you could have the extraction team arrive just in time to mess up the deal with the trolls. Or even after the fight, if that was easy. If the whole thing goes south, just forget the other team and reuse them in another job. I usually decide such things after a look on the real clock.

Have fun!
knasser
QUOTE (tagz @ Mar 19 2010, 01:20 AM) *
And good NPCs are vital to the game. Have fun and make up some eccentric characters. One of my personal favorites is my take on the Scatterbrain's leader, Giggles. I don't know what his personality is really supposed to be like but I decided he'd have multiple personalities. Except, both personalities are the same person and are aware and talk to each-other, and both speak only in the third person and call the other by name. So he's constantly agreeing and complementing himself on his ideas and the players have to wonder which one is talking... til they realized it didn't really matter.
One time he did get into an argument with himself though because one Giggles stole the other Giggles's great prank idea before he could tell the gang. The two Giggles didn't talk to each other for weeks.


Giggles was a huge success in my game also, though I suspect he was quite different to yours. They met him after a run went badly wrong and they were trying to get home with their wounded and with equipment lost so when they suddenly found themselves surrounded by the Scatterbrains and their very physically imposing leader, it was actually quite threatening. biggrin.gif Anyway, Giggles quite unnerved them with his sudden swings from zany humour to checked violence. One of them asked if he knew any jokes and without missing a beat, Giggles leant down and asked the PC "What's harder than nailing a dead baby to a tree?" The PC said "don't know" and Giggle replied with great relish: "My dick when I'm doing it." That kind of set the humour-scary feel for the Scatterbrains nicely. Clowns with guns - nothing could be worse?

Anyway, just to stay on topic, if you need any blank grunt / vehicle sheets that keep everything compact, there are some on my site (link in sig).

K.
dannyortiz
ok, time for an update.

the group:
troll street sam.
rigger/hacker human.
elf technomancer/face (charisma 9 for gods sake!)
elf B&E specialist.
human mage.

their gonna get a call from a johnson,he's with UniOmni though he wont tell them that. the groups fixer, acid, sent him to them. he needs an extraction, there's a scientist thats being held by a troll gang in this junkyard.they stole her. get her back. payout is 20K, 30K if she's unharmed. if they dont like those terms, i'd go higher.

if they inquire into her location, they find, the junkyard in the barrens (have to look up what the barrens are). there's virtually no tech around, though its not a dead zone. the only things hackable will be junkyard drones, cars, heavy equipment (crane, that big magnet thing thats always in a junkyard, crusher) and the gangers comm's. physical security? plascrete walls, 20ft high. monowire across the top. junkyard dogs. a few minor sentry drones and the trolls.


behind the scenes info. UniOmni is developing a new gene therapy. They don't want to take the time to go through the proper government channels to test their product, so they have secretly been abducting squatters from the Barrens in order to conduct tests. The local troll gang has been noticing the people going missing, as well as the "non-locals" hanging around and decide that "enough is enough." They take the research hostage (who was out in the Barrens doing "field observations") by overwhelming her discreet security force. They are now blackmailing UniOmni, threatening to kill the researcher and go public with the proof of the experiments (on her commlink) unless they pay up. UniOmni thus hires the runners to solve the situation. also, the scientist wasn't doing field research, she was trying to escape. she's fallen in love with one of the test subjects and tried to escape. the subject managed to get away, he is a weapon after all. she wasnt so lucky.

i wanna thank you all for all your help thus far. you've all really helped me flesh this out. also, i blatantly used a lot of malachi's "behind the scenes" idea. i had a few general ideas, but i didn't know enough about hte universe to really say "this is whats happeniung in the world".

regarding the "bio-weapon" idea i've been toying with. i plan on the escaped test subject being insane. he hears music in his head, akin to the master from Dr. who with the drums. when i say weapon, i mean that their trying to create a supersoldier whos' obedient. who needs captian america when you cant tell him what to do and he doesnt say "yes, sir!"' so, he hears varied music, dependent on his mood, and his implants react accordingly, a result of a combination of the therapy, and him being off his rocker. he's not volatile as such, you just have to treat him with kid gloves or he might fly off the handle. the scientist has developed a form of control over him that keeps him from hearing fast paced techno (the music that makes him go into combat mode). haven't really fleshed that out yet. i was thinking of awakening her and saying its a spell she created herself.

let me know if i'm taking this too far into left field. aiming too high. what have you.

the group consists of two veteran runners, three rookies and me. i feel i'm above rookie, but below vet. or else he wouldnt have approached ne about runnig a single mission here and there. also i plan on my missions being tied together, eventually bringing them to a climax and end.
knasser
QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 19 2010, 08:29 PM) *
if they inquire into her location, they find, the junkyard in the barrens (have to look up what the barrens are). there's virtually no tech


The barrens came up in another thread recently. This was my answer back then.

Puyallup and Redmond Barrens

There's actually a junkyard in Puyallup called "Blacks Junkyard". It's in Seattle 2072. Not that you need to use this one, but if you want to connect to some of the source material, that's there.

tagz
QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 19 2010, 08:29 PM) *
ok, time for an update.

the group:
troll street sam.
rigger/hacker human.
elf technomancer/face (charisma 9 for gods sake!)
elf B&E specialist.
human mage.

their gonna get a call from a johnson,he's with UniOmni though he wont tell them that. the groups fixer, acid, sent him to them. he needs an extraction, there's a scientist thats being held by a troll gang in this junkyard.they stole her. get her back. payout is 20K, 30K if she's unharmed. if they dont like those terms, i'd go higher.

if they inquire into her location, they find, the junkyard in the barrens (have to look up what the barrens are). there's virtually no tech around, though its not a dead zone. the only things hackable will be junkyard drones, cars, heavy equipment (crane, that big magnet thing thats always in a junkyard, crusher) and the gangers comm's. physical security? plascrete walls, 20ft high. monowire across the top. junkyard dogs. a few minor sentry drones and the trolls.


behind the scenes info. UniOmni is developing a new gene therapy. They don't want to take the time to go through the proper government channels to test their product, so they have secretly been abducting squatters from the Barrens in order to conduct tests. The local troll gang has been noticing the people going missing, as well as the "non-locals" hanging around and decide that "enough is enough." They take the research hostage (who was out in the Barrens doing "field observations") by overwhelming her discreet security force. They are now blackmailing UniOmni, threatening to kill the researcher and go public with the proof of the experiments (on her commlink) unless they pay up. UniOmni thus hires the runners to solve the situation. also, the scientist wasn't doing field research, she was trying to escape. she's fallen in love with one of the test subjects and tried to escape. the subject managed to get away, he is a weapon after all. she wasnt so lucky.

i wanna thank you all for all your help thus far. you've all really helped me flesh this out. also, i blatantly used a lot of malachi's "behind the scenes" idea. i had a few general ideas, but i didn't know enough about hte universe to really say "this is whats happeniung in the world".

regarding the "bio-weapon" idea i've been toying with. i plan on the escaped test subject being insane. he hears music in his head, akin to the master from Dr. who with the drums. when i say weapon, i mean that their trying to create a supersoldier whos' obedient. who needs captian america when you cant tell him what to do and he doesnt say "yes, sir!"' so, he hears varied music, dependent on his mood, and his implants react accordingly, a result of a combination of the therapy, and him being off his rocker. he's not volatile as such, you just have to treat him with kid gloves or he might fly off the handle. the scientist has developed a form of control over him that keeps him from hearing fast paced techno (the music that makes him go into combat mode). haven't really fleshed that out yet. i was thinking of awakening her and saying its a spell she created herself.

let me know if i'm taking this too far into left field. aiming too high. what have you.

the group consists of two veteran runners, three rookies and me. i feel i'm above rookie, but below vet. or else he wouldn't have approached ne about runnig a single mission here and there. also i plan on my missions being tied together, eventually bringing them to a climax and end.

Now thats starting to look pretty good. About the techno music, just use a select sound filter. It's designed to filter out background noise to allow a person to hear a specific type of sound pattern. It should be fairly easy to just tell the programming to filter out music styles instead. Could be cyber or just headphones that the scientist has told the subject to never take off (which could make for interesting events if they DID get knocked off or taken off).

@ knasser
Oh, I think they were a bit scared of Giggles too, till they got on his good side. They met him cause the group's troll stole one of their motorcycles and didn't remember to remove the tags... sigh... anyhow he woke up to scatterbrains bursting into his apartment building wielding chainsaws. He knocked a bunch out but then Giggles showed up and the troll abruptly took a three hour cement nap. He woke up later to the two Giggles debating about the funnest way to kill him. They decide to drive down to the army base, strip him naked and chain his hands behind his back. Then they kick him out onto a minefield, tell him if he makes it to the other side he can live and start shooting at him. Course, he's also a glow in the dark surge so the soldiers spot him quickly. The captain on duty decides it's a great opportunity to let the new recruits practice mortar fire. But when he makes it about halfway accross Giggles and the gang stop firing, swing their van around to the other side of minefield and start cheering and waving the troll to get to the van. He barely survives the ordeal but they make him an honorary member of the Scatterbrains.
Oh, also when they captured him they stole HIS bike. They gave it back after he became a member but not before they AR graffiti'ed it with a dozen hard to find RFID tags to make the bike took like a giant penis so it would look like he's riding said penis... he got several citations and tickets on his various fake SINs before he got rid of them all... ahh... Pink Mohawk....
Malachi
QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 19 2010, 02:29 PM) *
behind the scenes info. UniOmni is developing a new gene therapy. They don't want to take the time to go through the proper government channels to test their product, so they have secretly been abducting squatters from the Barrens in order to conduct tests. The local troll gang has been noticing the people going missing, as well as the "non-locals" hanging around and decide that "enough is enough." They take the research hostage (who was out in the Barrens doing "field observations") by overwhelming her discreet security force. They are now blackmailing UniOmni, threatening to kill the researcher and go public with the proof of the experiments (on her commlink) unless they pay up. UniOmni thus hires the runners to solve the situation. also, the scientist wasn't doing field research, she was trying to escape. she's fallen in love with one of the test subjects and tried to escape. the subject managed to get away, he is a weapon after all. she wasnt so lucky.

Ah, a two different sub-plots/moral choices, I love it! If the troll gang looks like they're being overwhelmed, have them stop fighting and appeal to the runners showing them the evidence of what their employer has been doing to people in the Barrens. Once the runners have the researcher, have her plead with them not to return her to the corp, but let her go instead so she can find her lover (or at least, help her find him and make sure he's okay). Subplots and layers, I think that's a hallmark of a good SR adventure: nothing should be exactly as simple as it seems.
Draco18s
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Mar 18 2010, 04:28 PM) *
Are you prepared for your players being willing to just spend 20K to get her back? 80K split for no shooting is good!


That's exactly what I'd do. In fact, my group once spent a good 60-70% of our payout paying a cabal of mages to cast a Suggestion on our target so he'd be on the level of an archology we could get to with ease (*cough* the mall), then a Control Thoughts spell, a distraction, and voila. We had the target willingly follow us out (the biggest issue with the extraction was that we couldn't cause mental harm to him,* so we couldn't have gone in guns blazing even if we'd wanted to).

*Actually, we were told we had to get him out with his cooperation. Mr. J didn't say "no mental harm because the data we need is in his head and any sudden shock might wipe portions of it from memory."
Saint Sithney
My biggest tip for a starting GM without a waiting stable of NPC enemies is to not worry about stats or skills.
Just decide what kind of dice pool you want each guy to have and roll. As the GM you don't really have to justify a damn thing unless you've got the time and the inclination.

As to offering 20k to buyback the target, I don't think kidnapping exchanges usually go very well...
KnightRunner
QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 19 2010, 03:29 PM) *
if they inquire into her location, they find, the junkyard in the barrens (have to look up what the barrens are). there's virtually no tech around, though its not a dead zone.



Ok just a couple of quick comments about this.

1. If they inquire? What if they do not? Obvious answer is that will have a hard time finding her if they do not look.

2. I am hoping that while your statement is simple that you do not intend for that section of the run to be. Coming from D&D I can understand why you are not used to the differences, but in Shadowrun the "finding/figuring stuff out phase" or legwork is often the biggest and most important part of the game.The planning and prep stage of an extraction (or insertion) is a crucial and enjoyable part of the game. Most of the runs I have been involved in have been 40% planning + 20% execution + 40% figuring out what to do when the execution goes nothing like the planning.

Point worth making: I play D&D and enjoy doing so

Reason for making that point: You will find that Shadowrun is (typically) a far more player driven game than Shadowrun. As a freind of mine once pointed out.....If you ask a group of D&Ders "what are you doing?" They will sit around and wait for something to happen, but ask a group of Shadowrun players the same question and they will all try to talk at once before you get the question out. Now I know there are exceptions to this, but it is all too often true.

My advise: Start fresh and try not to let any past experience tint your game. Make sure that your players know that they have the reigns and try your best to be prepared to react to their ideas.
Saint Sithney
I like the new plot draft. I would definitely go for the awakened researcher angle.

Hows about the experimental subject is involved with the researcher, not in some sort of star-crossed lovers sort of way, but more like they are mentally linked by a custom created spell which has resulted in unintended infatuation due to the extended period of linkage. The effect is unknown within the facility because the link is generally not sustained so long, but, since the subject escaped back into the Barrens, they've kept the link open to try and sniff him out. Meanwhile, while the researcher was out with the recovery team, they were jumped by the locals who then pulled the story out of her. Well, likely she told them the story to prove her value as a living, breathing type person after the sec forces were chumped. Meanwhile, she's cooled out with Fat Albert and the Junkyard Gang and getting more and more attached to Mr. Bioweapon. Gives you an additional ticking clock to add to the original kidnapper demands.
kzt
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Mar 19 2010, 03:34 PM) *
My biggest tip for a starting GM without a waiting stable of NPC enemies is to not worry about stats or skills.
Just decide what kind of dice pool you want each guy to have and roll. As the GM you don't really have to justify a damn thing unless you've got the time and the inclination.

As to offering 20k to buyback the target, I don't think kidnapping exchanges usually go very well...

Well, plan b is "commence firing".

Street gangs that don't collect payoffs and return their victims more or less unhurt won't be very successful for long.
Saint Sithney
QUOTE (kzt @ Mar 19 2010, 04:00 PM) *
Well, plan b is "commence firing".

Street gangs that don't collect payoffs and return their victims more or less unhurt won't be very successful for long.

Well, Street Gangs are the epitome of amateur, and few things are as dangerous as amateur kidnappers.

Though I expect their price would be a bit higher that 20k to begin with. Who kidnaps someone for the price of an entry-level sedan?
kzt
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Mar 19 2010, 06:47 PM) *
Well, Street Gangs are the epitome of amateur, and few things are as dangerous as amateur kidnappers.

Though I expect their price would be a bit higher that 20k to begin with. Who kidnaps someone for the price of an entry-level sedan?

That's their opening bid. You can probably negotiate it down to the cost of a used motorcyle.
dannyortiz
when i say the subject , lets call him weapon X, is insane i mean he has schizophrenia. the music isn't real, its all "in his head". i don't think that a select sound filter would help filtering out something that isn't really there, which is way i wanted a mage.

i decided on him being insane cause i wanted a trigger for his supersoldier stuff, which i haven't really decided yet. whenever i get a good idea it usually comes from music. this time it was madonna. the song she did from "die another day" where one of the lines is "i'm gonna close my body now."

i have the "finished product" of the weapon in my head as a genetically optimized, ware'd out monster who has different levels of threat neutralization, if thats even possible. i mean do you really wanna swat a fly with a cruise missile? the scientist chose our current dupe BECAUSE of his schitsophrenia. it would give them soemthing to work off regarding the trigger, instead of inventing ANOTHER something new. they just play off of his mental problems and see what they can turn up with.

also, i'm thinking of maybe adding in multiple personality disorder, trigger being hte music in his head. like i said, i haven't really fleshed out weapon x yet, i don't plan on him being a player in the game YET, not this game anyway. i wanna see what happens in this run before i decide the future. will the scientist, the only one who can controll him ,get out alive? will they need to kill him? will they let her go and try to extract UniOmni's weapon x project (not likely for half the group, but still a maybe)?

and 20K is the opener. i'm willingto go as high as 50. the technomancer/face LOVES to haggle (curse his uncouth elven heart). as does teh mage and the troll. the rigger is a new character, but he's one of the vets. so i expect him to haggle too. think i should go with 30K, 4o if shes unharmed?
Saint Sithney
QUOTE (kzt @ Mar 19 2010, 10:49 PM) *
That's their opening bid. You can probably negotiate it down to the cost of a used motorcyle.



"We have kidnapped your head researcher. We would like four cup noodles, two Cokes, a root beer and an orange Slice. If payment is not made in 12 hours, she is dead. Involve the police, she is dead. If you try to substitute Pepsi for Coke, she is dead. We will call you in 10 hours with further instructions."
kzt
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Mar 20 2010, 05:09 AM) *
"We have kidnapped your head researcher. We would like four cup noodles, two Cokes, a root beer and an orange Slice. If payment is not made in 12 hours, she is dead. Involve the police, she is dead. If you try to substitute Pepsi for Coke, she is dead. We will call you in 10 hours with further instructions."

"We have your little blond. She's kind of obnoxious, so if you want he back unhurt pay us 20 grand in the next 24 hours. Or we'll trade her for 4 high-school chicks, no fatties."
dannyortiz
ok, gameday is tomorrow. nothing much changed, i've decided to go with hte templates in the SR4th edition book for the troll goon squad and their leader. i'll put them at a three difficulty. hopefully that'll be a good challenge for my guys, ifthey want to get physical without my character (the weapons specialist, SMG's) there. they havethe rigger and their troll, the rest of them are useless when it comes to combat (one thing that pisses me off). one of them is worthy of the clue files, wherever they may be. her character is desiugned to be our B&E...but she lacks the thought processes for B&E!

i mean, at least i did my research before deciding on a role! that and i play airsoft IRL, and a couple of those guys are REAL gun nuts. i've shot a couple of handguns that i care not to remember their acronym. i feel i have enogh of a basic grasp on combat tactics to my tables gun guy.
Crusher Bob
A handy source for tactics and how-tos is army field manuals. For example, here's FM 7-8 INFANTRY RIFLE PLATOON AND SQUAD. Which should let you just pull simple tactics set-ups and drills out of the book. Of course, things like gangs aren't professional forces, so probably won't do as well.

Another thing, remember that the guy paying to get the job done almost always want the job to actually get done. So it'll help to prepare by thinking of what he already knows; and, of what he knows, what he is willing to tell the team. So once the team agrees to do the job, the guy paying for the job should tell them what he knows. Also, what part of what the guys knows will be incorrect? Will he tell them any lies? If so, what? and why?

Next, the team is going to try to find stuff out, if you are lucky enough to have their character sheets already, take a look at their skills and contacts. What sort of related stuff are their contacts likely to know? What sort of stuff can they find out from their common recon tactics? (Astral recon, low signature flying drones, matrix runs, whatever). Remember that the contacts or different methods of info gathering may present different pictures or provide different amounts of good or bad data.

Another thing to watch out for, especially with non-professional guys is how long they take to get rolling. For example, if the team just walks up to front gate of the junkyard and starts shooting, it'll several combat turns for the other side to even figure out what is going on. As long as combat turn in SR seems to take, it is only a couple of seconds long. Which means that is can take a very large amount of combat time for everyone else to figure out what is going on and get moving. Get one of your pals, and time one of you saying "What's going on?" and your pal replying "My god! they are shooting at us!" and I bet it'll take more than three seconds. And in that time a well coordinated team of runners can have shot half a dozen people in the face, and moved 20 meters through your security perimeter. Of course, plenty of things can go wrong with that sort of speedy improvised assault, but the shock factor can carry you pretty far if the GM doesn't have the other side operating on a hive mind.

Of course, note that some of your enemies in SR will be operating in a hive mind, either because they are insects, or are just running a good tactical network, with machine telepathy and all the bells and whistles; but regular gang members aren't.
wargear
QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 19 2010, 08:13 AM) *
my ST asked me to run one, i said ok. i have two weeks to plan, and here's where i am.

the group:
troll street sam.
rigger/hacker human.
elf technomancer/face.
elf B&E specialist.
human mage.


Not bad. Unfortunately, previous posters are correct...too many deckers...unless you are focusing on the matrix as a major part of the story, your excess decker is going to be overshadowed and bored. Shadowrun rewards specialisation and tends to penalise generalists and jack-of-all-trade types.

QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 19 2010, 08:13 AM) *
their gonna get a call from a johnson, they wont know who he's with, only that the groups fixer, acid, send him to them. he needs an extraction, there's a scientist he wants on his payroll. get her, unharmed, and bring her to him. i haven't decided who she works for since i don't know inside-out what those implications might be. payout:100.000 nuyen (i figure 20K each is fair). less if she's harmed physically, or mentally (PTS or something).


There are heaps of "mom 'n pop" corps tinkering around in the background. This early in their careers their rep is insufficient to draw the attention of a B rated corp, much less one of the A+ corps.
I'd say make it Tinycorp A and Tinycorp B are competitors. A has had a breakthrough, B wants it. Set the payout lower...20K total. 5 up front, 15 on delivery of scientist, an extra 10 for all the research notes, an extra 5 for the prototype. Failing to bring in the scientist, the bounties on the notes and prototype equate to a partial success. Johnson refuses to pay expenses, or ammo costs since they want it kept quiet...(paying for ammo means ammo will be used.)
35k (7k apiece) is good money for a norep team.

QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 19 2010, 08:13 AM) *
if they inquire into her location, on her employers computer network they'll find an e-mail asking for money in exchange for her safe return. they'll find that she's been hijacked by a troll gang, who's asking a 20K ransom.


For the Johnson. Hiring the runners to acquire the scientist is equivalent to just paying the trolls off. Same cost. If the runners fail, he can always just arrange a meet and pay for the scientist. Net cost an additional 5k. If the runners actually acquire the notes and prototype, he is way ahead.

QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 19 2010, 08:13 AM) *
the gangers will hole up in a junkyard in a bad up neighborhood. they'll be lookouts and other physical security, but nothing technical to speak of. not even a drone to hack into.


An ideal complication for this run is to have the scientists home corp hire it's own team of runners to reacquire the scientist. Paying only 10k for the return of their scientist, this team is not as good as the PCs, but can definately make a 3-way battle a messy messy thing.

QUOTE (dannyortiz @ Mar 19 2010, 08:13 AM) *
problems that I'm having? how do i "create" the junkyard? i can just template the trolls, so no problem there, same for the NPC scientist.

any other help i can get would be HIGHLY appreciated. this is my second time DMing ANYTHING, the only other thing I've DMed is D&D version 3.0, and that game went HORRIBLY!!

EDIT: this game is run using the rules from the 20th anniversary 4th edition handbook.


Good luck.
Crusher Bob
QUOTE (wargear @ Mar 29 2010, 10:52 AM) *
(7k apiece) is good money for a norep team.


Remember that the characters didn't just spring up from nowhere. Saying the team doesn't have any rep is can be a bit like saying that a company formed by Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet wouldn't have any rep because the company hasn't actaully put out any products yet.

Standard 400 BP PCs are all very highly skilled at what they do, and they didn't get those skills sitting in the basement. So plenty of other people out in the world will have some idea of what the PCs are capable of; the GM doesn't have to start off with them going on runs that are the equivalent of going to the grocery store to begin with.
nemafow
I let my PCs decide on what level they are at, whether or not they have a rep, or just some bozo's with some skills, being put into a new team for their o loyal fixer.
wargear
QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Mar 29 2010, 04:28 PM) *
Remember that the characters didn't just spring up from nowhere. Saying the team doesn't have any rep is can be a bit like saying that a company formed by Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet wouldn't have any rep because the company hasn't actaully put out any products yet.

Standard 400 BP PCs are all very highly skilled at what they do, and they didn't get those skills sitting in the basement. So plenty of other people out in the world will have some idea of what the PCs are capable of; the GM doesn't have to start off with them going on runs that are the equivalent of going to the grocery store to begin with.


Fair enough.

We dealt with this issue by 'grading' runners as a metagame mechanic. E through to A. A being Prime Runners, the big guns like Argent, Fastjack and Cap. Chaos. E being little more than Gangers with body armour. If you have newly generated characters with skill specs coming in at 7 or 8, and enough cyber or spell foci to sink the QE2, then it's fine to start them out at C or even low-B...but only if the players can roleplay that level of professionalism. As for setting a newly formed team at that level...there had better be zero clash of personality or the team will fall over quicker than a San Andreas card tower. It's easy to pull together 4 or 5 B-A rated runners, but you wont get a A rated team out of them unless they can act like a smoothly oiled machine.
The average group of players I've seen usually has at least one egomaniac and one troublemaker. Not condusive to good team building.

If the Fixer really thought the team was viable, he wouldn't have them doing a grocery run like the one described.
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