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I am currently a little new to GMing Shadowrun and I notice that it is a lethal system... how do I take off the kid gloves toward my players without making OMG PARTY WIPE!

We are all invested into our characters so I want to turn up the heat but not make something that wipes them...

The group as follows.

Human Adept Luck Bunny
Ork Cyber Ganger
Human Gunslinger Adept
Human Mage [Utility + Stun Bolt]
Human Street Sam [Think Brain and Stomach are the only things left]
Elf Smuggler [sharp-shooter]
Dwarf Bounty Hunter [City hunter]
Human Technomancer (My GMPC) [born and trained specifically to be a security spider][Large Bounty if captured alive]

Right now they crossed the boarder at I-90 and encountered a small ghoul trap (2 ghouls, more in tunnels but never came out), a go-gang Scare squad (just 3 guys to shake down people)...

Any Advice to throw more enemies without making it overwhelming...
Looks like you've got a solid team there, even without your gmpc. A hit squad of five[about 400 bp or 600 karma each should do] should challenge them without taking them out. I stuck three players against a squad of six people and three drones. They played their way carefully, and are now no longer welcome on Azzie property. smile.gif YMMV
The sweet spot is being able to bring at least 1/4 of your players (in this case, 2) to near-unconsciousness (for the hard fights--the ones that take all session and leaves your players going "WOW!! That was amazing! I thought we were boned there for a minute!"). Odds are they'll be able to heal back up to almost full in a matter of minutes anyway (depending on how twinked your healers are--one with magic, one with the medkit, remember, medkits heal stun and drain too!).

You don't even need to have particularly powerful NPCs, either (especially if the players are tactically incompetent--our GM nearly took down the cybersam (who was traveling to the meet alone, through the barrens, on his motorcycle) with two shotgun wielding mundanes). Though I doubt your players are this stupid, but it shows a point: if you can utilize tactics, you can hurt your players. And being the GM, you can make shit up. Players hunkered down behind a barricade taking potshots at some guards (and coming out for the better)? Drop reinforcements behind their position: its rare that a building has only one exit or that the players have performed genocide on everything behind them.

The players won't even think you're being cheap if you do it right, it just turns into a "we have to plan better next time" moment. They'll never be able to plan to the point at which you can't do anything to them, it just means you need to be more creative (unless they're inching along as a mile and a half tall limpet with a sheel 10 feet thick--it should be pretty much immune to everything except a direct meteor impact*). If you inadvertently turn the difficulty knob too far, take stock of your NPCs and figure out if they'd be running away (because they're almost dead!)

NPCs should almost never fight to the death (sure, some will die on occasion, even so, but a cop who's got 8 of his 10 physical boxes filled is going to bug out, especially if it looks like his side is winning: one less man won't be a big deal). That'll reduce the NPC firepower somewhat, and as more take debilitating wounds and bug out (and when it looks like the guards are losing some will bug out earlier seeing as they'd rather live and face the consequences of "letting them escape" than die: dying sucks), the players will end up in a more and more advantageous position.

On the downside for the players it means there are some loose ends, which they may or may not wish to clean up, but as a GM you need not exploit it (especially if the guards ran because you felt you'd dumped too many on your players).

*Bonus points for reference (exact title).
QUOTE (Androcomputus @ Mar 22 2010, 03:03 PM) *
Any Advice to throw more enemies without making it overwhelming...

It's not numbers, it's not the BP of the opposition. It's Tactics Tactics Tactics.

The exact same group of 5 Corp Sec flunkies can be a pushover in one scene, and in another wipe out a group of hardened Runners.

This gives you the GM an incredible amount of flexibility in calibrating "encounters". But it also means the responsibility for how effective the "encounter" is up to you as well.
I concur, its all tactics. The group I GM features the God Troll. You know the one... The guy that has to stay in the van because his 'ware triggers MAD detectors from the end of the line. The one with 25 soak dice against ballistic attacks.

So the question is, do I field 10 enemies equiped with panther assault cannons just so they can take down the troll? No, because those same cannons would decimate the other 4 players. I can and do field some enemies who are capable of physically hurting the troll (or masses who can at least hit him and stun him into sleepies). But the bad guys have the same options the good guys do. Mages can stun typical street sammies with near impunity.

If you want to challenge your players, try paper-rock-scissors:
Street Sammies- Mages, or scare with essence drainers (Vamps and such). Occasionally artillary is called for.
Mages- Dont like getting shot at. At all. Counterspelling mages help too.
Hackers/TMs- Dont like getting shot at either. And directional jammers can ruin a persons day.

Well made runners expect to dominate the opposition. My PCs are paving their way through the Denver campain leaving a bloody mess behind them. After their 4th mission, however, ZDF, Knight Errant, and Lonestar collabarated to make a Joint Task Force to hunt down the murderous team. Any encounter where law enforcement would be called gets subbed with the JTF which is desgned to be a 'high threat' encounter. Rep can be killer. Those loyalty 1 contacts see a 25k reward for the PCs against a 100 nuyen info bribe... Next thing ya know the players are being much more careful and reigned in.

And dont forget to enforce seemingly trivial rules. Runs in high security areas are a whole new challenge. You typically dont stroll into a heavily patrolled area wearing your riot armor, carrying a Ares Alpha, and flaunting your excessive cyberware.
Saint Sithney
Double Down.
Saint Sithney
Seems like your GMPC is the only tech guy on the scene. That's a good place to be if the guys need training wheels to figure out not getting killed.
If opposition is tearing them up too much, have your TM hack the most threatening enemies and shut down their eyes for -6 dice penalties.

You could also probably thread together a Tacnet to provide your team with AR overwatch assistance in the form of Dice Pool bonuses.
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