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Ancient History

Totally unrelated note, I found some more cutting-room-floor stuff:


The spirit formula is a touchstone that allows a free spirit to interact with this world. If every copy of a free spirit’s formula is destroyed, the free spirit is disrupted and cannot return until a new copy of the spirit formula is created. This is not quite the same as “death” or permanent banishment, although it is severely inconvenient for the free spirit as they have little or no way of influencing this world from the metaplanes.

For a new copy of the spirit formula to be made requires the intervention of a magician—something the spirit has little or no control over. Most often, this involves the discovery of the spirit’s true name, which is discreetly imprinted somewhere near where the spirit was born free, or its astral signature—though the latter fades fairly quickly. Clues and records to the spirit’s existence, such as an astral photograph of the free spirit’s aura or astral signature, can serve as the impetus for an astral quest to recall the spirit’s true name.

A spirit knows instantly when and where a new instance of its spirit formula is created, and can return to the world immediately. Player character free spirits (p.91, Runners Companion) may spend a permanent point of Edge to avoid losing the last copy of their spirit formula.


While many free spirits are highly limited in the pacts they can make, they have somewhat more leeway in what they can demand and offer—possibly the origin of the Faustian bargain. In this case, the spirit and character who decide to enter into a pact must negotiate. This negotiation must be roleplayed between the player character and the gamemaster (if the free spirit is an NPC) or another player character (if the free spirit is a PC) with no roll of any kind. Both sides must agree to the terms of the agreement of their own free will.

Assets that either side offers or asks for must be quantifiable and something that the other can deliver. Spirits are generally limited in what they can offer—see Spirit Pacts (p.108, Street Magic) for guidelines—but a negotiable pact allows them to ask for Karma, personal property, services, etc. in exchange, or apply stipulations and limitations. For their part, the player character can counteroffer and add their own stipulations to the pact.

Neither side can offer something they patently cannot deliver—for example, a player cannot offer their character’s soul, nor could a gamemaster playing the part of a spirit offer something as open-ended as “three wishes,” though they could offer a specific number of spirit services.

Either side can attempt to threaten or intimidate the other by physical or psychological means, and negotiations may be made while one or both parties are under duress, ill, inebriated, or otherwise not at their full faculties. As there is no roll, these states do not offer any real penalties to the negotiations (though roleplaying is encouraged). No form of magical persuasion can force an individual into a spirit pact, however, which includes possession, critter and spirit powers, spells, adept abilities, and magical compounds.

Characters and spirits cannot agree to a spirit pact on behalf of another character or spirit.

When both parties are agreed, the pact immediately goes into place. Because of the magic of the pact, both parties are under a compulsion to fulfill the agreed-upon-terms to the best of their ability. A player character that deliberately shirks their side of the bargain becomes a non-player character under the gamemaster’s control until the conditions of the pact are fulfilled.

Bobby’s character Sticks needs an edge, and calls on one of his most obscure contacts: the free fire spirit known as Ludgate. After arranging a meeting, Sticks and the spirit begin to negotiate a spirit pact.

At this point, Bobby and Jennifer, his gamemaster, work out the details of the pact. Bobby (playing Sticks) asks for the use of Ludgate’s Elemental Attack (Fire) for three days; that is within Ludgate’s powers so Jennifer (playing Ludgate) counters by demanding 30 Karma for this use of her power.

After some haggling, the two agree that Sticks will give Ludgate 2 Karma up front and additional 2 Karma each time he uses her power over the next three days.

The Spirit Pact Power
Negotiable Pact is an option available to player-character free spirits when they buy the Spirit Pact power; the Negotiable Pact applies to one other specific pact and allows the player character to negotiate the conditions of the pact somewhat, by offering additional spirit services or asking for additional Karma or resources on the part of the other character in the pact.

Graham is building a new free spirit player character named Ocsaleb, and he wants to start the game with the Spirit Pact (Friendship Pact, Negotiable Friendship Pact) powers. Before the game starts, Graham talks with his friends Gilly and Mike about their characters entering into a Negotiable Friendship Pact with Ocsaleb, who wants his friends to support him as a guest in their shared apartment/headquarters. After some discussion, Gilly and Mike (through their characters) agree—but only if Ocsaleb agrees to give them a free service (each) every week he stays a guest.
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Apr 28 2010, 04:51 PM) *
Totally unrelated note, I found some more cutting-room-floor stuff:

This is great! I'm all about more spirit stuff, I feel like there's a massive amount of fluff and mechanics that get overshadowed by how ruff and tuff they are. The details of how all these different spirits and types work together is the kind of thing I love about a big game like shadowrun.

While you're giving up the goods, did your magic proposal get into Universal Magic Theory at all? The tradition seems to have been dropped since SR3 a bit, but I found it fascinating.

Also, this is such a stupid thing to worry about, but one of the SR3 books had an espionage section where a shadowtalker claims that spy mages have been using beefed up Watcher spirits to do cool stuff, but in SR4 Invoking specifically excludes watchers. Was the shadowtalker full of it? Or were they using a metamagical technique not available to runners using RAW + Street Magic?
Ancient History
While you're giving up the goods, did your magic proposal get into Universal Magic Theory at all? The tradition seems to have been dropped since SR3 a bit, but I found it fascinating.

It wasn't a proposal as such. Once Jennifer and I had finished [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] with Stephen McQuillian, we were going to do the advanced magic sourcebook. That's why I started putting notes and ideas together for it, like the modular enchanting system.

And yes, there was going to be some material on the UMT, and postmodern magick in general.
Ancient History
Okay, this one is interesting. Back at the tail end of SR3, when I was actually trying to be a freelancer, I played with the idea for a series of stories based around a female mage-detective in New Orleans, to be submitted as webfiction. It didn't amount to a great deal by the time I abandoned it for other projects, but 'round about Christmas time a couple years back I got this desperate e-mail asking for two stories to go in SR4A - one of them was Happy Trails, and the other one I put together based on what I remembered of my mage-detective, since at the time I didn't have access to the actual files. It's pretty rough, but might be interesting to some of y'all for comparison purposes.


Case File 01: You've gotta start somewhere.

It's wrong to visit the French Quarter at seven on a Monday morning. Beignet, café and the smell of vomit. There's no life before the gloaming hours, when the crowds come and the bars are at their prettiest. My left hand stays on my satchel though - crime never sleeps. I stroll down old streets to meet my client. The astral buzzes with the tickling flow of wild magic. In New Orleans, you can almost navigate the streets by smelling the tang of, a corner is marked indelibly by a dozen murders. There, happy tourists and partygoers have left their mark on the statue of St. Joan d'Arc. I could almost mark the passage of hours by the slow evaporation of last nights revels and bloody deeds. With a final taste of powdered sugar, I arrive at my destination: 724 Rue Dumaine - Le Musee Du Voudou.

Le Musee is an old attraction, predating the Awakening by nearly forty years. It holds the scraps left by Marie Laveau as a reliquary might keep the bones of some poor hermit who had to be slaughtered to become a saint. It's an open secret that this new, expanded tourist-hall has the sponsorship of the Voice of Ogoun. It might have begun as a screen to weed out the pretentious and the covetous, but rumors claim the museum has become a clearing-house for historical artifacts the Voice doesn't want to be caught buying...or selling.

Msr. St. Croix meets me at the door. An older ork, he plays the part of a gentleman, peppering his speech with the quaint inflections of both French and Spanish. "Mademoiselle Dee, I am so glad that you could come. We are in a most extraordinary predicament, and one in need of your special skills to solve." With double vision, I see his sad tusked smile and the clear colors of his aura. Worried, with a touch of anger and a touch of fear, but not lying outright. Half-truths are only common courtesy in these circles. The mild glow of a fetish graces his neck: a St. Christopher amulet. It would be hard for one to run this place and not be a believer. The old wood floors creak a greeting to my sneakers, while I say my own blessings to the frigid indoor air. You can practically swim through New Orleans, no matter the time of day.

St. Croix guides me through the gallery. Like all such places, the emphasis is on the displays of gris-gris and govi, old books of dead paper beneath glass cases, the walls adorned with African masks and instruments, darkened swords and archaic pistols. More telling is the lack of more modern displays: no holograms or trideo sets, no 'trode-nets or jackplugs for virtual guided tours. Here and there are set elaborately-decorated shrines to the Loa, the dull painted eyes of saints hiding whatever fearsome image they might otherwise present. These displays, both garish and humble, draw the eye from the security cameras, from the reinforced windows beset with alarms, and from the unobtrusive Knight Errant guardians who lurk about. The astral shows no wards, no guardian spirits. A certain greasy presence indicates the altars are more than mere tourist dressing; the apparent corpse of a zombie appeared to be a clever mannequin.

The case is laid out as we approach the back rooms, passing through offices to a crowded workshop, where finds are inspected and displays refinished or repaired. A central work table is prominent: unlike every other surface it has been swept clean, save for the blood dripping down from it. The sight in the astral is less pleasant, the table is amidst a cloud of violent astral energy. I ignore it and take in the room. Faint traces here and there suggest it was warded not long ago. With a polite throat-clearing that turns into the cough of the habitual smoker, St. Croix draws my attention again.

"A Yoruba double-headed drum in remarkable condition." He rumbled. "We have sent samples of the drum skin and the wood to the for dating. A prize of our collection, should the tests confirm its authenticity." St. Croix played with a holoprojector until it produced the eighteen-centimeter-high image of an hourglass-shape, rotating on an invisible axis. "At 4:15 this morning, the ward surrounding this room was destroyed. The cameras monitoring the room saw nothing, the doors appear to have remained locked. No night staff were present at that hour. A security team has swept the building. Nothing." St. Croix was agitated, and took a moment to regain his composure. "We are loathe to involve the police in this matter. I am in need of both your powers and your discretion - the drum must be recovered as quickly and quietly as possible."

"Down to business then, Monsieur. One thousand per diem, plus expenses, and one thousand in advance. Nuyen." It was a very modest price, but I really didn't have a reputation to speak of yet. The only reason I'd even been considered for this job was because I knew a hounsis at a honfour dedicated to Ćhango in old Algiers. St. Croix nodded. "Please start your operations, I shall return in a few moments." So saying, the ork left the room, shutting the door behind him. Showtime.

A greater part of my training has been in forensic thaumaturgy, and I surveyed the room with senses physical and metaphysical. I broke out part of my kit: UV flashlight, infrared goggles with magnification, latex gloves, measuring tape, sprinklers of Luminal, a fingerprint duster, a sheet of e-paper and little plastic sample bags. The three security cameras were on the ceiling; I noted them by the small, dull glow of heat they gave off - they really should upgrade, someone with cyberears could probably hear them whine. No recent scrapes or scratches on either of the doors or the locks. Just for the hell of it, I checked the hinges, but they were both on the inside and looked not to have been tampered with. I emptied the trashcans: some packing material, food wrappers, an empty can of tobacco-colored varnish, and scribbled notes in English and French concerning refinishing various fetishes, garde and masks. Nothing concerning a drum. I dusted for prints on and around the door handles, and on the edges of the workbench. Twenty-four usable prints altogether. I taped them and stuck them in my kit for later.

Latex gloves on, now. It's funny to think that they used to be used to prevent corrupting the scene of the crime. Nowadays, I just don't want to leave any prints in case the police come looking after me. I wasn't looking forward to working with the blood puddle. The stories you hear about people catching HMHVV by falling on a dirty spoon or something is mostly myth. They said the same thing about AIDS, once. Scientists scoffed and said "Highly unlikely." Forensics people smiled grimly and pulled on their latex gloves then, and still do today. Better safe than infected with some horrible, nasty disease that - at best - would kill you.

It looked like drying blood, and it smelled like drying blood. I picked an area at the edge of the puddle and dosed it with Luminal, hit the overheads off and went over it with my UV flashlight. The little corner glowed. I swept the flashlight around the rest of the room, but nothing else of interest showed up. St. Croix turned on the lights as he came in. "Pardon moi, I didn't mean to interrupt your investigations." He held a an unlit brownie-brown cigar in one hand. After a moment for my eyes to adjust, I answered. "Not at all, Msr. I'm just about to begin the thaumaturgical analyses." St. Croix nodded, and brought the cigar up to his mouth to chew on it. His other brought forth a tightly-wound wad of plastic-weave notes. "I trust cash is acceptable?" A nodded assent and an accepting palm signaled my affirmative.

St. Croix watched as I studied the astral. The most obvious thing, of course, was the background count covering the worktable with the blood. So I studied the where the ward was instead. Magical operations leave an astral signature behind, a signature that I can detect and derive information from. Only there wasn't any. I hadn't really expected one from the ward's creator - his or her signature faded a few hours after the ward was renewed - but if the thief had used a spell or spirit, it should have left something. That left meant the barrier had either been defeated in astral combat, or the thief had erased the astral signature afterwards. "Msr. St. Croix, when were your wards last renewed?"

"Saturday, mademoiselle. Our wards are always renewed on Saturday." He was looking constipated, but his aura seemed to indicate he was cogitating. Back to work. It was harder to see anything within the cloud, but I couldn't pick up an astral signature. Damn. I didn't like the look of that blood. It was just sitting in one puddle, no droplet to either side, no splashes or wiping apparent anywhere. Too purposeful. Well, there were one thing left to try before I was reduced to psychometry. I moved my mind through a familiar spell, designed to analyze blood samples. Ideal for lab work. In the field, it was a bit more difficult: the background count would be working against me. I opened myself up to the mana, let it flow through the complex pattern I had created, centered it on the pointer finger of my left hand, dipped into the blood. The information fed back to me: chicken blood. A slight hint of some poultry disease. That was it.

St. Croix was silent throughout my deliberations and actions. His aura betrayed a surprisingly lack of curiosity. I took a moment to record my current findings on the sheet of e-paper. Steeling myself for what was to come, I let my right hand dip into the blood, closing my physical eyes. I could still see in the astral, and the cloud of dark energy, the edges slowly evaporating into the ether. There was a pattern etched into the astral landscape here, where the blood was spilled. Like an optical illusion, the dark cloud seemed to separate into different aspects. Unknowing fear. A dim awareness. A life bled out with cold purpose.

There was a psychic imprint connecting these, holding the dour cloud together, unraveling slowly. I pushed my perceptions there - it was an image of a black cockerel, held upside down, the blood dripping from a the half-obscured hole where the head had been cut off - it fixed itself in my mind and I shuddered against the minor psychic backlash. Like an ice cream headache, but worse. I stripped off the soiled gloves and threw them away. Whatever clever bastard had done this, they'd used the death of the chicken to mask the scene. Still, I wasn't done yet. I turned back to St. Croix.

"Has anyone opened this door?" I pointed to the one that ran to the alley behind the museum, rather than the one that led back to the museum itself. "No, mademoiselle. Not since a delivery yesterday morning." With a nod, I touch the door handle with my right hand and opened myself to the astral. The door was dull, but something had touched it. It felt cold. A card went into the lock, and the lock opened. The hand that opened the door was cold and had no pulse, then the door shut. There was a short vertigo as I felt the light brushing of myself dusting the door for fingerprints, then nothing. I opened my eyes. It was easier this time. I felt a tired and a little hungry, but no more headache. Once more, I scrawled my notes on the sheet of e-paper, then took another look around the room. One last check for missing pieces. Finding nothing, I took a few moments to erase my own astral signature from the room.

“I believe I’m about done here.” I addressed St. Croix “But I’ll need copies of the recordings from the security cameras. I have enough information to start looking for the thief, but I suggest you get those drum samples back from the lab.” St. Croix gave a questioning glance, so I explained. “If I can’t find the thief, I’ll need to use ritual magic to locate the drum itself.” The ork gnawed on his cigar. “Very well. I’ll see what I can do. The monitor room is this way.” So saying we took one more tour through the museum. A few early tourists were filtering in. I restrained myself from waving at the Knight Errant officers. They'd be sweltering in that light body armor if they were outside. St. Croix disapeared inside, and returned in a few minutes with an optical chip and an old-fashioned paper business card. "Farewell, mam'zelle. Please contact me as soon as you locate the drum." I stashed chip and card in my satchel, and shook the ork's hand before taking my leave.

The early morning promise had become a sauna. Steam rose from the street and the sun shown too damn bright. I took refuge in a bookshop and stared at the prints on the wall, thinking on the case. Cameras can be fooled and cyberhands don't leave prints, but any act of magic leaves a trace. A clever mundane might have killed the chicken, but a mundane couldn't have brought down that ward without destroying the walls, too. Why cover your tracks after you've erased them?


Morning comes to me with the gurlging hiss of the coffee machine and the soft purr of the cleaning 'bot. About a million miles away I catch the aroma, and some primeval part of my brain twitches and comes to attention. I spare a fraction of attention and the ghostly image of my retinal clock floats amid my vision of the Matrix. Oh-eight-hundred hours. Damn. Time to get up.

The logoff isn't as graceful as I'd like. I let my eyes adjust to the light as I unplug the cyberterminal cord from the datajack at the base of my skull. My hands move down to massage pins-and-needles into numb feet, my eyes watch a plastic and chrome horseshoe crab spray insecticide along the wall. Preventative maintenance. Termites are bitch in Louisiana.

I know the coffee isn’t ready yet, so I move into some simple yoga stretches, then push-ups and crunches. Some old habits die easy. That’s why you have to work to maintain them. I finish my set just as the coffee gets done, and pad barefoot across the hardwood floor of my condo to the kitchen.

I measure out my coffee with as much care and attention as I do when playing alchemist. A dash of cardamom, a spoonful of falernum. Stir. Taste. Black as sin and nowhere near as sweet. It flows a warm, black river down my throat, pooling in my belly. I crane my head to get the last bittersweet drops. One cup of real coffee in the morning is an expensive vice, but at least you can look forward to a day of soy, krill and mycoprotein without killing yourself.

My Matrix searches hadn’t paid off much. The museum, as I had surmised, wasn’t quite on the up-and-up. They dealt with talisleggers, rogue archaeologists and antiquities dealers, purchasing artifacts and journals from Africa, the Caribbean and the South. Small-time compared to larger museums and foundations, but they made up for it with a narrow focus. Despite the tourist drek I’d seen yesterday, le Musee had a collection of Voudoun artifacts rivaling the Voice of Ogoun itself - which is probably why the choice pieces ended up going to the museum’s anonymous sponsor in “private sales” and “extended loans.”

So much for that. I needed a real technomancer - not just a mage who knows how to balance her electronic checkbook program. Which meant I needed to see Le Fousteu first.

Le Fousteu is a small-time dealer that worked out of some decrepit house the last three generations, at least. He had some weird connections - small time miracle workers and wannabes, hangers-on and the grubbiest sort of talismongers. Oh, and me. I had the cab drop me off two blocks away and walked the rest of the way, ork grandmothers and rude boys staring all the way.

I banged three times on the door before coming in. Unlocked. If I've told him once, I've told him a thousand times that'll be the death of him one of these days.

You can spend worse minutes than strolling around the sitting room of a dingy house in old Algiers run by a mad drug dealer who's in with the mojo crowd. I was reading a wall covered with pages from a copy of Cannabis Alchemy when I heard him coming in.

Dee Notes:


A rainbow-striped snake with intelligent eyes, its fangs dripping strands of mana rather than venom.

Falernum Notes: This is a Caribbean cane syrup that's delicately flavored and slightly alcoholic. It's sometimes used in rum-based cocktails.

00. Demon Drum, ancient slave ship tattoo, Pietro possessed, intro to Pietro, Dee hired to find Pietro

01. The Old Man. Know When to Die. 30 when the Awakening hit. Dying. My life.

02. Book authentication (4th Mauvais Manual), meets up with Loremonger, Wordeaters-oral tradition, hate written word

03. Oracle (shedim) Meets up with "Ghostbuster" Mannix, mundane, silver-bullet type

04. City Adept - "All the heroes are dead." Hired by Mob to stop him

05. Hired to bury a book (Dead Man's Book), first encounter with Kay

06. Duelling, two blades: one gold-handled iron, other silver-handled silver, both blade inscribed w/charcters

07. Ritual Healing hampered by demon rat, "Ghostbuster" guest-stars

08. Voodoo gangs in New Orleans, Zombie brothel, Dee, Kay, possessed python, Pietro does Rada rite

09. Hobgoblin & Goblin care facility, cyclopean ghoul on the loose with Eye of Horus

10. Bone Merchant-backstory of Dead Man's Book

11. Initiation - Wordeaters, Kay backstory, drink wine/ink, eat ashes

12. Waiting. Ritual summoning coming down, Pietro drums to protect

13. Witch's Compass, throwdown with Kay

14. Haunting. Pietro and Dee confront spooks with drumming

"Magic is not occultism. The dogma and trappings of the occult remain, but there is no need of the lore itself. For millenia, magi have hungered for the gnosis, the secret knowledge that would unlock the world. Now that they have it, what need of the dross?"


Essence: 5.36
Magic: 8

Cyberware: (all alpha)
Datajack (0.16) <legal>
Fingertip Compartment (0.08) <legal> (feed for autoinjector)
Image link (0.16) <legal>
Knowsoft link (0.08) <legal>
Retinal Clock (0.08) <legal>
Reusable Autoinjector (0.08) <permit> (two doses)
<typically psyche or zen, with antidote>

Active Skills:

Knowledge Skills:

Initiate Grade: 3
Metamagics: Absorbing, Psychometry, Sensing

Area: Middle (3)
Comforts: Middle (3)
Entertainment: Low (2)
Furnishings: Middle (3)
Security: High (4)
Space: High (4)

Edges: Insurance, Reliable Utilities
Flaws: Bad Reputation, Intolerant Neighbors


Pietro (serviteur of Shango)

Magic: 10

Initiate Grade: 4
Metamagics: Centering (athletics, stealth, musical skills), Limited Astral Projection, Virtuoso
Geasa: Must drum to center, astrally project, or perform a virtuoso piece

Powers: 0.0/10
Aid Spell (2) (Geas: Only while drumming)
Astral Perception (Geas: Only while drumming)
Elemental Strike (Fire, Lightning) (Geas: Only when possessed by spirit of Shango)
Enthralling Performance (drumming)
Improved Ability (Drumming) (10) (Geas: Only when performing magic)
Killing Hands (Deadly) (Geas: Only when possessed by spirit of Shango)
Living Focus (Geas: Only when drumming)
Voice Control


Shoulder rig

Wendigo skull
hand of glory (buried)
small wood chest of gold Roman coins

Nice little story, and of course, as we know about you, including crunch for the important character ^^
But do yourself a favour, read the story over again. I found some minor mistakes in there, which detracts a bit from the fun of reading your stuff.
Both times spelling/grammar. So nothing in the story wrong. And maybe i have missed some things too, seeing how english ain't my native language.
Prime Mover
Hmmm everything mentioned for Dogs of War is what I really expected out of "War". I hope its more then just a setting book (letdown after a long wait).
Two redacted titles and advanced magic......tease doesn't seem to do those mentions justice.
Ancient History
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Apr 29 2010, 04:00 PM) *
Nice little story, and of course, as we know about you, including crunch for the important character ^^
But do yourself a favour, read the story over again. I found some minor mistakes in there, which detracts a bit from the fun of reading your stuff.
Both times spelling/grammar. So nothing in the story wrong. And maybe i have missed some things too, seeing how english ain't my native language.

It's an incomplete first draft, warts and all.
Ah, okay, then it's pretty much superb.
For that kind of stuff, there's a remarkably small number of mistakes in there ^^
AH you don't write for the SCP wiki do you. Just I recall you linking to it and your use of [RETRACTED] reeks of it nyahnyah.gif
Ancient History
Nah. But I am an aficionado, and stop by the IRC chat every now and again.
Same here got a few SCPs in the pipes but nothing iut there yet.
Wow man, i love this stuff. smile.gif
I´m not so crunchy that i dont listen to nice ideas just because they rnt "official". cyber.gif

I totally second that we need UR "Dogs of War"! It sounds aweseome and i just want to see it, buy it and hold it in my own hands... and start planning wars. spin.gif
Is there no way to make an unofficial series of pdf´files which we can support u for or anything.
Maybe u wouldnt make big bucks, but it´d be something for the trouble of satisfying a community that would love u for doing it! grinbig.gif
Ancient History
Bloody double-posts...<rummage, rummage>.


By Bobby Derie

I’d like to suggest two alternate build systems: Karma-based and QuickCraft; the former is more detailed than build points (for detail minded players), while the latter would be very fast and easier to use for new players. QuickCraft could also be used by GMs to quickly assemble NPCs as needed.

Karma-based Character Generation
Rather than use Build Points (BPs) characters would be given Karma and allowed to build their characters using the rules for Character Improvement on p.264 of SR4. This section would include rules to smooth the character process (including a Karma-for-nuyen rule only to be used at chargen, 1 Karma = 2,500 nuyen). Beginning characters would receive 800 Karma. Due to differences in chargen and post-chargen development costs, the advantage can be slightly on the side of Karma chargen. The major advantage of a Karma-based Chargen is for players that want more control over their character generation and are willing to take the time and effort to do so. Also, it would help familiarize the players with the Karma character development system.

This system is a four step mix-and-match of different “suites.” Players or gamemaster can quickly create PCs and NPCs by selecting the relevant suites and adding the results together; this system can easily be used to quickly create PCs comparable to those of the standard BP system, or stronger or weaker as needs may be.
Each “suite” would contain skills, attributes, and equipment suitable to that type of character. The suites would be balanced to prevent mixmatch (a character could not take both the Adept and Technomancer qualities, for example) and death at chargen (from excessive implants). The cost of each suite would be balanced with other suites of the same class, but may not be empirically equal (i.e. if two Background suites were converted to BPs, they would not necessarily be about the same, but the resulting character would be). Some chargen taboos (maximum BP of qualities) might also be violated, but this would not be unduly imbalanced as QuickCraft characters are not going to be as precisely-honed as standard BP or Karma chargen characters—no maxing out attributes or the like.
What follows is a short overview of the four step process and two examples for each suite. Please note these are all very rough at the moment, but enough to give you an idea.

Step 1. Background

More than metatype, a character’s lifestyle growing up determines their educational, economic, and sometimes health background; how they grew up, what schooling they’ve had, what skills they brought with them. The background also determine the character’s starting equipment and lifestyle.

High Background
You grew up in relative luxury to the rest of the Sixth World; you attended better schools, ate well, received regular medical care and probably had some minor cosmetic surgery done before you got out of your private high school. On the other hand, your affluence also means you’re in the system.
Attributes: Body 2, Strength 1, Agility 1, Reaction 1, Logic 1, Willpower 1
Skills: Computer 3, Data Search 3, Economics 3, Influence 3, Japanese 2
Qualities: SINner
Gear: Commlink (Transys Metalink with Novatech Navi), Datajack (Betaware), High Lifestyle (2 months), Platinum DocWagon Contract (1 year)
Contacts: Corporate Lawyer, University Dean

Street Background
You grew up on the streets of a major metroplex. There are things you’ve done to survive that you’re not proud of, but at least you have survived—that’s more than some can say. Self-educated, self-made—you don’t owe anybody a damn thing, and they don’t owe anything to you.
Attributes: Body 1, Agility 1, Reaction 2, Intuition 2, Willpower 1
Skills: Cityspeak 3, Close Combat 2, Outdoors 2, Stealth 1, Street Drugs 2
Qualities: Guts
Gear: Knife, Commlink (MetaLink with Vector Xvim) w/trodes, Street Lifestyle
Contacts: Drug Dealer, Fence, Fixer

Step 2. Archetype
An archetype covers the most basic spectrum of shadowrunner careers: Combat Specialist, Face, Hacker, Magician, Technomancer. These characters can be further defined in Step 3. Each archetype brings with it certain traits and gear common to that career.

Combat Specialist Archetype
More than just some rabid street punk that likes to get her hands dirty, the combat specialist is trained in the arts of combat. While not a world-class martial artist, the Combat Specialist can more than hold her own in a fight, and has the scars to prove it.
Attributes: Body 1, Agility 1, Reaction 1, Willpower 1
Skills: Close Combat 2, Firearms 4, Gunnery 1, Military Jargon 3, Throwing Weapons 2
Qualities: Martial Arts (2), Toughness
Gear: Ares Predator IV w/2 clips, Armor Jacket, Contact Lenses with Smartlink and Image Link, Extendable Baton, Lone Star SWAT cyberware suite (Watchman version), Throwing Knives (2)
Contacts: Desert Wars Veteran, Mercenary

Magician Archetype
Magic suffuses the Sixth World, and the magicians act to channel and direct those mystic forces to her whims. No matter what her background, magicians of all stripes tend to cultivate formidable personalities and an air of the arcane.
Attributes: Charisma 2, Intuition 2, Logic 2, Willpower 3, Magic 3
Skills: Arcana 3, Conjuring 3, Enchanting 2, Magic Background 3, Sorcery 3, Wiz 2
Qualities: Magician, Mentor Spirit, Nano Intolerance
Gear: Fake licenses for all spells, Spells (Analyze Magic, Bugs, Crank, Firewater, Heal, Hearing Removal, Ignite, Knockout, Sterilize, Thought Recognition), Binding Materials (Force 3), 3 doses of psyche
Contacts: Lone Star Forensic Thaumaturgist, Talismonger
Note: Characters with the Magician Archetype cannot also take the Technomancer Archetype.

Step 3. Specialty
Beyond basic archetypes, players can further define (and specialize) their characters either by taking a second archetype, a speciality, including metahuman-specific suites. For example, a player who wants a Combat Hacker could take both the Hacker and Combat Specialist archetypes, while a player who wants a Rigger could take the Hacker archetype and the Rigger specialty. Players that want to get the most out of their metahumanity can forgo a specialty by taking a metahuman-specific suite.

Combat Adept
A combat adept approaches warfare like an artform, magic fuelling her deadly dance through her battlefield canvas. Where others use implants to push themselves beyond metahuman limits, the combat adept relies on her own inner magic.
Attributes: Body 1, Agility 1, Strength 1, Reaction 1, Willpower 1, Magic 2
Skills: Arcana 1, Close Combat 1, Firearms 1, Magic Background 1, Meditation 2
Qualities: Adept, Focus Addiction (Mild), Martial Arts (2)
Gear: Adept Powers [Astral Perception, Counterstrike, Elemental Strike (Electricity)], Weapon Focus (Rating 2, bonded, brass knuckles—treat as hardliner glove), Leather Jacket
Contacts: Martial Arts Instructor
Note: Characters with the Technomancer Archetype cannot take the Combat Adept specialty; if a player chooses to take both the Magician Archetype and the Combat Adept speciality, she gains the Mystic Adept quality instead of the Magician or Adept qualities.

Bigger and stronger than most metahumans, orks have emerged as a very vocal and active subculture in the 2070s, helped in part by the emergence of a unique racial language—Or’zet—and the Orxploitation and Goblin Rock phenomena led by Ork artists like CrimeTime and rock-poet Bobby Page. The Seattle Metroplex, particularly the Ork Underground and the local trog slang studded with or’zet loanwords, is especially prominent in Ork culture.
Attributes: Body 1, Charisma 1
Skills: First Aid (Poisons) 3, Or’zet 3, Ork Underground 3, Trog 3
Qualities: Allergy (Silver, Mild)
Gear: A six-pack of Orkstaff’s XXX (6 doses of hurlg), glasses w/flare compensation and image link, Chrysler-Nissan  Patrol 1 (modified for an ork)
Contacts: Goblin Rocker, Ork Rights Committee member
Note: Characters with the Ork speciality are of the Ork metatype.

Step 4. Putting It All Together and Finishing Touches
At the end, the players have 50 BP to spend on extra touches—picking a metatype (if they haven’t already), upping skills or attributes, buying extra qualities or equipment, etc. Then they add it all together, with a few final decisions—tradition (if a magician), native language, etc.—and then calculate damage tracks and final Essence.
For example, if I wanted to make a combat-savvy ork mystic adept using the suites above, I would use the Street Background, Magician archetype, Combat Adept specialty, and then spend 20 BP for the Ork metatype, their attributes and skills would be base (for metatype) + mods (for background, archetype, and speciality), which would appear as follows (keep in mind there would be 30 BP left for min/maxing et al.):

BOD    AGI    REA    STR    CHA    INT    LOG    WIL    INI    MAG    ESS
6    3    4    4    3    5    3    6    2    5    6

Active Skills: Arcana 4, Close Combat 3, Conjuring 3, Enchanting 2, Firearms 1, Outdoors 2, Sorcery 3, Stealth 1
Knowledge Skills: Magic Background 4, Meditation 2, Street Drugs 2
Language Skills: Cityspeak 3, Wiz 2
Qualities: Guts, Mystic Adept

The following are more notes than an outright proposal; I’d enjoy doing part of this section but I’m probably in the minority for my takes on some of this.

Infected, Drakes, Shapeshifters, and Other Sentient Critters
I’d recommend leaving these guys out for Running Wild; mainly because there’s a lot of weirdness we simply haven’t worked out all of the kinks in the current system. Every paracritter (which includes practically every sentient critter) has an inherent Magic Attribute which will have to be dealt with, for example. This is fairly easy at chargen: simply set the minimum attribute and incorporate it into the base BP cost.

With respect to the Infected, transformation after chargen is where it gets tricky: say an adept with Magic 5 becomes a ghoul (innate Magic 1), or a character with astral sight (Magic 1) becomes a vampire (innate Magic 3). My personal rule of thumb with ghouls is that the higher magic prevails; this would give a former mundane a Magic of 1 but not lower the Magic of an established Awakened character. With vampires (banshees, goblins, etc.) that require the Essence Drain and “death” before transformation, I would suggest replacing the character’s Magic attribute with the innate Magic attribute for the critter, under the logic that the character’s Magic was lowered commensurately with her Essence.

Another wrinkle on Infection is, of course, Essence Loss. The simple solution, at least in the case of bioware and Essence-costing geneware, is that the organic implants/genetweaks are absorbed/overwritten during the transformation, with the Essence “hole” repaired as the aura/body adjusts to its new template. Cyberware is harder; it could, as in the past, be ruled that critters with Regeneration (like vampires) simply reject cyberware/nanoware during the transformation, and the same Essence-repair takes place; it only becomes an issue with Infected without regeneration when the Essence Loss from the still-extant cyberware would drop their Essence below 1, as any Infected would need at least Essence 1 to maintain an innate Magic 1 and survive.

An odd tweak to consider for the Infected: instead of a couple of principle virus strains (HMHVV 1, HMHVV 2, Krieger Strain), have each “expression” be a separate strain that only causes its transformation in a subject of a suitable metahuman species. For example, the strain the causes Dzoo-noo-qua would not cause vampirism in humans or turn an elf into a banshee. This can be worked into the fluff pretty easily and might solve some headaches mechanics-wise.
A large part of drakes is the transformation process, which doesn’t always occur at chargen. I would suggest a Latent Dracomorphosis Quality or somesuch along the lines of the Latent Awakening Quality.

One possibility for sentient non-paracritters would be dolphins, chimpanzees, or great apes with a form of intelligence enhancer to bring them up to metahuman intelligence levels (or at least let them communicate as such). This is pretty out there as an idea, but would probably be equivalent to a specialized cerebral booster bioware implant, which would be reflected in beginning Essence and BP costs.

Ghosts In the Machine and Free Spirits
Personally, I think it would be much more balanced to address these character options as displaced (i.e. surviving without a body) virtual/astral forms (and using the rules for those forms) than full-fledged AIs and Free Spirits. The main problem with PC Free Spirits and AIs is that they are very powerful in comparison to normal metahumans (being effectively immortal in some respects), and there are few ways to effectively balance them without crippling them as characters, such as ruling a Free Spirit PC does not earn its own Karma and must negotiate with PCs and NPCs instead.

If the displaced virtual/astral form idea is a worthwhile alternative to consider, then character generation would follow the standard guidelines with some slight changes; tighter BP restrictions on attributes (as there are less attributes to spend it on) and the ability to purchase certain AI/free spirit powers for set BP costs. I’d probably make it equivalent to an echo/metamagic, but a more straightforward 20 BP or something would probably be more attractive to players.

The QuickCraft system can be used to easily flesh out NPCs, and could easily work for fleshing out contacts as well. Alternately, I would suggest a list of modifiers based on the contact’s affiliations, similar to the table that appeared in Corporate Download which reflected a greater knowledge in certain areas of interest pertaining to that corporation, but expanded to reflect other group affiliations (Organized Crime, Initiate Groups, Foundations, Government Bodies, Tribes or other ethnic groups). For example, a member of the Sinsearach Tribe might be well informed with regards to Tir Tairngire (+2 dice), but poorly informed about Tir na nOg (-1 die).

Groups as Contacts
Hermetic study circles, gangs, rotary clubs, corporate and political committees, theatre troops, Mardi gras krewes, the neighborhood watch, MoSoSos, swingers clubs, online forums, shadowrunner P2.0 fan clubs, and a thousand other organizations and social agglutinations can be contacts for the enterprising runner. Groups are very useful as the many members can have a diverse range of interests and areas of expertise, but at the same time the shadowrunner has to trust that many more people with her inquiries. Getting in touch with most groups is easier in the Sixth World with the ubiquitous wireless interface, though some secretive groups (like shamanic lodges and the corporate old boy’s club that meets informally to play poker and go to strip clubs) might be harder to get in touch with all at once. This is generally reflected in the group’s Availability rating, which is generally equal to its Connection rating.
Ever group has a particular focus, which is related to the purpose of the group, and which it will be much easier to ask them questions and favors about. Even if none of the group members know the answer to the shadowrunner’s question, they can often point out who does. To reflect this, groups receive a +2 dice modifier on Connection Tests.

When dealing with a group, the player character often acts with a point-of-contact; a group member who speaks for the other group members. Often (but not always) this is the formal or informal leader of the group, or at least the one with the highest Charisma and Negotiation. When forced to make any test, it is this character that makes the test. If a character is an actual member of a group when making a request for a favor (or to move swag), they receive a +2 dice modifier on the Negotiation + Charisma Opposed Test.

An example group contact is given below.

Seattle Police Benevolent Society
The Seattle Police Department may be long gone, but some people have very long memories. The SPBS is made up of former and retired members of the SPD and some of their spouses and children; many of whom went to work for Lone Star after they took over policing the city; others went into private security or became private detectives. From its humble beginnings, the SPBS has become a social network connecting disparate elements of law enforcement in Seattle (and occasionally abroad). Many runners connected with the members have secured certain favors with a donation to the Widows and Orphans Fund.
Group Focus: Lone Star in Seattle (+3), Anything Outside of Seattle (-2)

Databases as Contacts
In the Sixth World, you entire life is in a database somewhere, but so is everyone else’s. From medical records to tax databases, online highschool yearbook archives to the most wanted files of Interpol, practically everybody has something online if you can find it. Having a database as a contact either means you subscribe to a private database-searching service (whether legal or not), you have an account on a private database (corporate, government, criminal, or other) through a hidden exploit or some other means, you spend hours and hours searching through a public database, or you have a friend that allows you access to a database—for some form of consideration, probably. This might require a regular upkeep cost for the service or a periodic Hacking + Exploit (Loyalty) Extended Test.

Unlike regular contacts, you can’t negotiate with a database (no matter what technomancers claim). The only thing that matters is whether the data is on the database, whether you can find it (Data Search + Browse Extended Test), and whether the data is available for your account privileges. If you are searching for restricted information, this might require Hacking the system for a higher access rating first. For example, a good university library probably has material on programming viruses and trojans, but it will be restricted to certain users that need that information, not everyone that can use a search engine.
To speed things up (and roleplay a little), characters can use a library scientist managing the database (if there is one) as a point-of-contact—the library scientist can be bribed and negotiated with, and often has a much better Browse program than the average character, or at least searchbots that she can unleash in the right area. Database loyalty depends on account privileges; public accounts have loyalty 1, security accounts loyalty 2-4, and admin accounts 5-6. Like other contacts, a database usually has a specialty.

An example database is given below.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF) – Le Scriptorium
The pre-eminent public library in France, the BnF contains thousands of French works, including many rare pre-Awakening manuscripts on alchemy, daemonology, cryptography, philosophy, and magic. So much interest has been shown in this area that the administration has created a special database containing scans and holographic representations of these documents, known as the Scriptorium.
Database Focus: Enchanting (+1), Pre-Awakening Magical Texts (+2), French Philosophy (+3), Anything Not In French (-4)

Allies and Enemies
Sometimes, through extensive efforts on the part of a shadowrunner, a contact can exceed Loyalty Rating 6 and become an ally. These are the guys and gals that will avenge your death, visit you every day in prison, and clean up the dead prostitutes without a word. They are loyal to the death (and occasionally, beyond). To make a character into an ally almost requires a campaign in and of itself; the character has to do more than just save the contact’s life (or wife, or kid, or people), she has to do so repeatedly and with no thought of remuneration. Allies should not be treated as regular contacts; they will proactively seek out ways to help the character, even to the point of finding them jobs or hiding their drugs in an act of “tough love.” It’s a complex relationship.
On the other hand, a contact that has been treated very badly by the character will have a much lower Loyalty rating—if the rating ever drops to 0 or below, the character has made an enemy that will actively seek to hamper them—and knows enough about them to have a good idea of how to do so.


The Street Samurai Codes in Arsenal weren't everybody's cup of tea, so I suggested a possible alternative: instead of the proposed advantages/disadvantages, a code is a list of specific "virtues"—living up to the virtues adds to the character's Street Rep (or grants Edge refill, or earns extra Karma), while flagrantly violating them adds to the character's Notoriety—at least when working with other people that have a code (or at least respect those that do). I’ve includes a couple examples below. It’s all GM fiat as to when they’re awarded, so a couple examples of outstanding play will have to be given.

Assassin’s Creed
The assassin is a harbinger of death, it is her purpose and her function. To make a living off of death for any period of time requires either severe mental discipline or a callousness bordering on the psychopathic. Many professional hitmen and contract killers retain a set of professional values, even if their moral values are lacking (or missing entirely).
Virtues: Carefulness, Determination, Meticulousness, Perceptive, Remorseless, Thorough, Unemotional

Street samurais are known not only for their skill, but their adherence to a code of values, emulating the stoic and contemplative warrior. Few adherents of Bushido manage to obtain a full understanding of the philosophy in their lifetime, balancing the necessities of the moment and survival on the streets with their spiritual ideals.
Virtues: Courage, Detachment, Determination, Honesty, Honor, Loyalty, Respect
Ancient History
Another nail in this particular outline or proposal of sorts based on one of the tricks that appeared in Vice, the "Paper Lotus."

Confidence tricks never completely disappear, but adapt to reflect the times and the needs of the men and women that use them. Take, for example, a trick called the Paper Lotus. In this trick, an expert enchanter, often in concert with a collector or the curator of a museum, discreetly obtains or studies a pre-Awakening magical artifact. The enchanter, using a combination of the Flexible Signature and Masking met magic techniques, can then create new enchantments using the astral signature of the magician who crafted the artifact, often enchanting a pre-existing artifact of the same culture and period, which becomes the eponymous Paper Lotus of the trick. In this way, the collector can sell the Paper Lotus for much more than the actual value of the focus because of its perceived historical value.

There are many plots and variations that can include a Paper Lotus. The collector or curator might purchase or obtain a loan of the item-or even be asked to authenticate it as an authority in such finds-and then switch the original with the Paper Lotus (a staged robbery can then allow the con artists to claim insurance on the stolen goods while selling the Paper Lots and the original on the black market.) If the con artists have created a trove of such artifacts, they might salt a prospective archaeological dig with one or two of their finds so that their later “excavations” at a nearby site appear to be legitimate and can be sold openly.

No matter what the details of the scam, however, the Paper Lotus trick relies on the forgery being accepted as genuine by the buyer, and hopefully other experts, and it has rather high requirements for success. To fool arcanarchaeologists, the Paper Lotus has to match the style and materials of previous period artifacts as well as possess an astral signature associated with a known pre-Awakening enchantment-or, at the very least, appear to be of the same school and tradition (if two artifacts are dated four hundred years apart but have the same astral signature, it is almost certain one is a forgery).

The best way to assure the right style and materials is to obtain some genuine non-magical relics of the correct age, culture, and location and enchant them, but even this must be performed in such a way as to leave no residue of Sixth World techniques. Further, almost every artifact is logged and tagged, making it easy to track their sales and to authenticate them. The con artist would either have to find their own, purchase them from the black market, or attempt to disguise legitimate artifacts as their own. Even if the con artist does succeed in making the Paper Lotus, selling it can be a tricky business-many museums, collectors, and organizations would be highly suspicious of a regular supply of “pre-Awakening enchantments” from a single source, particularly if all of the astral signatures appear to be similar to existing magicians or if all the enchantments are of known types.

The difficulty and cost of finding proper materials and a suitable puissant enchanter versus the proceeds obtained from such sales combine to make the Paper Lotus a rarity in the Sixth World.

The early years of the Awakening were times of great stress in China. Even if the sudden and public appearance of magic confirmed the traditional beliefs of millions, thousands of those with Talent were not properly educated in the use of their gifts and had to stumble blindly and instinctively down their paths, finding their traditions and honing their skills as they went. Those who did have an inkling of what they were doing, or at least gave consistent results from the ancient Chinese magical systems, quickly gathered public acclaim and followers, and became the modern inheritors of the Wuxing tradition.

One of these first masters was Wei Xan Zexu of Hong Kong, who specialized in the conjuring of ancestral spirits. In 2020, after several years of study, he successfully summoned an ally spirit, Henshou, and bound it to inhabit his faithful servant Li Kwong, A major and well-publicized achievement at the time, this act embittered Zexu’s rivals, one of whom made a deal with an unknown free spirit to assassinate the wujen. The free spirit used its Vessel Trading power to trap the ally spirit in an oracle bone, while the free spirit itself possessed Li Kwong’s body and used it to murder Wei Xan Zexu.

Henshou, on the death of its master, became a free spirit in its own turn, but remained weak and within the oracle bone, and its True Name manifested on the back of an ancient bronze mirror said to have belonged to a Han period magician-one of many relics Zexu studied. Mirror and oracle bone were both packed up with the rest of Zexu’s possessions by his relatives, some of which were sold and others which were kept in storage.

It was nearly forty years after the death of Zexu, in 2058, that Xi’an Xiaoping began his career as a forger of magical artifacts. A very minor collector in the bustling Hong Kong antiquities market, Xiaoping had neither the capital nor the connections to make a name for himself. What he lacked in contacts and cash, however, he made up for in skill and knowledge: Xiaoping is a true artisan with exceptional magical skills and a thorough background in antiquities, particularly those of ancient China. To this end, Xiaoping, through some considerable effort, obtained an introduction to the Incense Master of the Red Dragon Association, and together they perfected a scheme where Xiaoping would create Paper Lotuses and fence them through the Triad, who could sell the artifacts on the international black market in exchange for helping Xiaoping obtain the materials he required to make the forgeries and help him make the proper connections so that his own business would begin to thrive.

For nearly eleven years, Xiaoping prospered under this arrangement, enjoying his wealth, reputation, and the craftsman’s pride when his own enchantments were held up as equal to those of past masters. Then he made his first mistake.

The bronze mirror of Wei Xan Zexu was part of a small lot of items that a Red Dragon fence purchased from a strung-out drug addict named Lin Che in Kowloon, and from there it made its way to Xiaoping’s shop. As an experienced initiate, Xi’an Xiaoping quickly identified the True Name engraved on the back of the mirror, but falsely assumed that it dated to the mirror’s construction around the first century B.C.E. Unwilling to anger a free spirit (if it was still around), but sniffing an opportunity, the enchanter set out to incorporate the spirit’s formula into a unique enchantment.

Many would-be counterfeiters are restricted to working in “common” focus types, as most metamagic enchantments are too new to have historical precedents, while modern enchanters are generally ignorant of the ancient magic used in pre-Awakening artifacts-lumping all such items under the catch-all category of unique enchantments. Xiaoping saw the opportunity to avoid the pitfall of relying on typical enchantments by transforming the bronze mirror into a True Vessel-which, because the item already contained a copy of the spirit formula, would not alert the spirit (if it was still extant), but which would validate the artifact.

Lin Che is the grand nephew of Wei Xan Zexu, and his sole descendant. He’s also an art student with a serious Awakened drug habit who has been fencing his family heirlooms to fuel his habit. Around three A.M. he was rooting around in the old family house when he came across the oracle bone, and was promptly possessed by Henshou (Lin Che’s astral form was displaced into the oracle bone). Henshou took a few hours to acclimate himself to the current day before returning Lin Che’s astral form to his body.

Henshou’s first priority was locating the sole copy of his spirit formula, which wasn’t very difficult: the Hong Kong Museum of History had it on display. What he saw, however, made him very unhappy. Not only was his True Name on public display, but some rat bastard enchanted the damn thing as a trap. Needless to say, Henshou was not amused-but he also wasn’t stupid. He might have been trapped in a box for fifty years, but the free spirits sees that it has enemies it must smoke out. This is a situation requiring subtlety-and pawns.%
Double-Post and i think i read something like that before somewhere O.o
Probably on your site though ^^#
QUOTE (Synner @ Apr 24 2010, 12:09 PM) *
There is a not-insignificant group of Shadowrun fans out there that would love to see a book that portrayed the military and merc organizations (large and small) of 207x in greater detail. There is also a large group of Shadowrun fans out there who would like a book with the high-end military gear, vehicles and weapons that you don't normally see on the streets (and hence weren't included in Arsenal). Additionally there is a portion of the fan-base who would like to see more hardcore Special Ops play as opposed to lowly deniable assets. There are also GMs out there that would like some ready made stats (Ghost Cartels style) for Contacts, vehicles and grunts. Finally, there are fans who would like a look at other aspects of the Sixth World and more content that transcends the perspective of those who live in the shadows/edge of society.

I originally concieved Dogs of War (working title) to answer to all those desires and then some. Think equal parts: Fields of Fire, SOTA63, Cyberpirates (the format rather than the content), Runners' Companion, and the Target... books, in sum, a non-core supplemental/companion book covering all things military (national and corporate) and mercenary. I can honestly say I had quite a complete vision of the "modern" battlefield and the consequences of bringing technology and magic to the mix both in terms of combat and simple military organization - a vision I might add that should please the military enthusiasts outthere who dislike the two-dimensional and ineffective portrayal the military have been saddled with in SR (though both those portrayals have their reasons for being).

Additionally, in line with my integrated approach to Shadowrun product development this release would have tied into the next big plot development, a storyline that would be playable (Ghost Cartels-style) as a traditional shadowrunner campaign or as military/merc campaign and would bring conflict to parts of South and North America (hence bringing into play all the nice toys and content from Dogs of War). The aftermath of this story arc would also set up/plug directly into the next such supplemental/companion book Spy Games (doing for the intelligence world what Dogs of War did for the military/mercs).

Unfortunately, from what last I saw of the product schedule, Catalyst (not, I hasten to add, Jason Hardy) had tranformed Dogs of War into a backup chapter of War!, transformed that into a location/storyline book and shifted the plot from the original idea. Spy Games has apparently been equally transformed and bears little resemblance to my original concept...

Now, I have some point where I disagree with your work, but

DO WANT!!!!!

I have wanted those two books since ever. That sounds incredibly awesome.
QUOTE (hermit @ Jul 11 2010, 04:43 PM) *
Now, I have some point where I disagree with your work, but

DO WANT!!!!!

I have wanted those two books since ever. That sounds incredibly awesome.

Wrong thread? O.o
Okay, and now for comments on all the stuff ...

1) Desert wars
This sounds like a fun campaign, was this supposed to be a part of a support book for Dogs of War? Shadowrun really needs some merc style stuff; the narrow focus on street level running hasn't done the setting well, in my opinion. Pity it never made it. I'd even have a character ready for this.

2) Tehran
Would really have liked to see this. It seems a bit like what the Berlin setting wanted to be, but uses a location that has been far more thoroughly and believably wasted. Also, SR lacks a prominent location in an islamic state, which, for it's unique atmosphere, might make for an interesting change. I also like the feel of Land of the Dead, what with the shedim 'nation' - LotD with lovecraftian architecture. Very weird, but sounds like in a good way. A bit more on arab-persian Jinn beliefs would have been nice, though. Did you know that some schools of islamic law permit man-spirit marriages?

Anyway, I really like this setting. I hope some of this eventually sees some development into a pdf document or something, somehow. This is giving me a number of ideas right off the bat.

3) Tôla
Oooh, Madagascar! Been some time that setting gets another visit. Shame it never made it into a book.

Karlsruhe ... well, it has already done in great length in the second Germany book. City of Freemansons ...

4) Runner payment
Hm. I dunno, those numbers seem very low to me. An assassination for 5K? Well, for bare minimums, I guess ... the rest of the article is well done (I'll keep it and may hand it to new players, actually, if you don't mind me doing that), but those numbers are too low for my style of games at least.

5) Spirit stuff
I love these pacts. Especially the negotiation part. I'll copy this and see if I can use it eventually.

6) Voodoo Mojo
Heh. Neat. I especially like the stats of the characters given (that would be nice in novels. I wonder what Stryper's stats would look like ...). Also, cannabis alchemy. I just gotta use that on one of my players sometime. Like the story. Too bad it's unfinished.

7) Wuxing Mojo
Now, that is a nice campaign. May I build on it and use it? Could try and integrate spirit pacts while i'm at it.

So anyway, comments.
Ancient History
QUOTE (hermit @ Jul 11 2010, 04:53 PM) *
Okay, and now for comments on all the stuff ...

1) Desert wars
This sounds like a fun campaign, was this supposed to be a part of a support book for Dogs of War? Shadowrun really needs some merc style stuff; the narrow focus on street level running hasn't done the setting well, in my opinion. Pity it never made it. I'd even have a character ready for this.

No, this was years before DoW. It was meant to be a huge Missions campaign.

6) Voodoo Mojo
Heh. Neat. I especially like the stats of the characters given (that would be nice in novels. I wonder what Stryper's stats would look like ...). Also, cannabis alchemy. I just gotta use that on one of my players sometime. Like the story. Too bad it's unfinished.

Well, the finished version is in SR4A.

7) Wuxing Mojo
Now, that is a nice campaign. May I build on it and use it? Could try and integrate spirit pacts while i'm at it.

Sure, go for it.

So anyway, comments.


Nicht dafür. smile.gif

Well, the finished version is in SR4A.

Time to lose the staring contest and buy the LE I have been staring at at my FLGS, I guess. I'm tired of waiting for the winged horses to get their reprint out.
That Runners Companion write up had some Eclipse Phase overtones in it. I approve wholeheartedly. After reading through EP and then helping a player make a golem character it just makes sense.
Ancient History
The uplifted critters bit was something I'd played with in the final chapter of Emergence.
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Apr 22 2010, 02:10 AM) *

I have wanted this for a very long time. I get tired of playing terrorists on occasion, and want to play another grey-morality group. Also, I've made the argument before (to much booing, I admit) that a Stirrup-implanted Fury clone would be a way for soldiers to have an UnrealTournament style fight where no one dies and you can get wicked cool trideo out of.

QUOTE (Ancient History @ Apr 22 2010, 02:10 AM) *

I like the idea of this, but I've got one little bitch to get out, and a possible solution:

The Middle East in SR is written from a very Western point of view but is somewhat painful to anyone with some knowledge of the region. I have a friend who is just got his doctorate, and thus is unemployed. His doctorate is in Communications Theory with special regard to the American view of the Islamic world. He also has a Masters in Religious studies, also focused on Islam.
He rather explicitly isn't a crypto-Muslim, or preachy about the "correct" way to speak of Islam or the Middle East, and his thesis was a study of hate speech. What he's really very good for is helping you see what your biases are when you write so you can choose to keep them in or not, as there can be some very good reasons to keep them when writing to the SR crowd. I could possibly get him in contact with you as an expert-on-tap if you want.

QUOTE (Synner @ Apr 24 2010, 10:09 AM) *
There is a not-insignificant group of Shadowrun fans out there that would love to see a book that portrayed the military and merc organizations (large and small) of 207x in greater detail.

Land, Sea, Air, and Space please (I've got linkeys).

QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Apr 24 2010, 11:32 AM) *
All these sideline things would make perfect PDF releases! Embrace the new paradigm and make some monthly content happen!

This. Very much this.
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jul 11 2010, 01:54 PM) *
The uplifted critters bit was something I'd played with in the final chapter of Emergence.

I've never really thought of that until I read your post above, and it makes perfect sense. If we're already trying to figure out how to issue a drivers license to Bigfoot we might as well tackle whether or not an uplifted dolphin is property or not. It still feels like Shadowrun to me as long as some organization is telling me how to think about sapience and my character has to decide for himself.

Dealing with intelligence without a body is something Shadowrun has skirted since the onset and needs to handle better. Both technology and magic have avenues, but both only go so far. I don't want to see the backup egos and disposable body aspect of EP necessarily, but it would be fun to live on it's doorstep.

Shadowrun has always been interesting to me for being on the cusp of so many different genres, 5 years away from anywhere so to speak. Space exploration, transhuman themes, high fantasy adventure or exploring another dimension; if you know who to ask and where to go you can do it right now in game. It's the street level game that leads anywhere.
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