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FenrisWolf
I have a relatively new group and was thinking of running them through this adventure to cut their teeth on. I understand that the adventure as written assumes that the characters will crack the encryption on the disk to take a peek at the payload. I'm not sure if my group of fledgling runners are going to be inclined to open it after being advised by the Johnson not to. If they don't, then the second half of the adventure probably won't take place. For those of you that have ran or played through this prefab adventure, what do you recommend I do regarding this issue?

I apologize in advance for posting this as a new thread as I'm sure that it has been discussed in the past. I was unable to search for this topic using the dumpshock search tool due to the short key words "on the run" though.
Warlordtheft
If your comfortable, play it by ear and let the chips fall where they may. Another option is to have the johnson look atthem and say "Yeah, I told you not to peak at the payload, but dammit I can't either. So I am hiring you again to break it."
Runner Smurf
I've run this adventure twice with new groups, and both times, they have turned the disc over to the Johnson as soon as they got it. One of them didn't even look at the disc long enough to work out that reading it was going to be tricky.

My advice: let them do so, and don't worry about the rest of the adventure. Save the encounters, NPCs and locations for some other run when you need them.

You certainly don't want to force the player's hands on this one. Turning over the disc is the "right" thing to do, and the last thing you want to do is punish the players for not screwing over their Johnson. Heck, I've given them an extra karma or two as a reward, and to prevent them from missing out on the rest of the adventure.

Unfortunately, it's a fairly common problem in Shadowrun for the players to take the plot of a run completely off the rails. While I'd be tempted to fault the published adventures for this (I've had Supernova go off the rails twice as well...in different places each time), it happens often enough on runs that I come up with myself that I've just come to expect it. Now I embrace it. It's now what I enjoy most about GMing Shadowrun games - even I have no idea what is going to happen next.

My 2 cents.
Hand-E-Food
Agreed.

I ran a mission recently. It involved the team transporting goods interstate by road. At one point, they encountered a mana storm. I was expecting the team to retreat to the previous town and spend the night there, where a plot hook to quell the storm would present itself. I also expected they might chicken out and circumnavigate the storm.

They didn't even stop at the town. They put as much distance between themselves and the storm as possible. Circumnavigating the storm became a short series of random encounters awarding the team 1 karma each and no other rewards (beyond survival.) There was more karma and rewards to be earned dealing with the storm.

However, I didn't dump the mission branch. The team still had to drive home. On the way back, the town on the other side of the storm was desperate for assistance. The persistent storm blocked their main trading route. They offered the team 25,000 and an escort to take the mission. That encouraged the team to take a chance.

As for your disc, have someone close to the team hand them the disc, then be killed or something like that. That'll encourage them to check out the disc and complete the mission, for fear that they'll be targeted next.
Summerstorm
Ah yes... as all those before me: Don't railroad the plot too much. If you REALLY want them to do something specific you may have the ability to nudge them onto the path: Have the people just ASSUME they read the data (thus forcing them to read it for real to know WHY the hell the Johnson is pissed or people are after them, even after the run) or something.

But i myself just like to set goals, timelines, etc. for my runs... and see how the players change the events and screw with the plans of the bad guys. Just like the "In the flow" games.

For example i had them doing a bodyguard-job with a twist for an old man: He wanted them to fake his death and than do some surveillance on his sons and friends to see who should inherit his money if he REALLY dies (He was changing his will). BUT the one son with much money to lose and a "dear friend" planed to murder him before that fake death (they didn't know about): The Run should have been some detective work after i destroyed the plans of the runners, but they (With the help of that damn guidance spirit and unholy perception and initiative rolls) saved the man and defeated the team of assassins and uncovered the plot in like a hour. I was totally pissed of crumbling up the rest of my notes. But also happy that they REALLY did well. So the old man payed them extra and i gave them extra karma. (Also i have great NPC's for future use - the one assassin who could flee and the imprisoned son plotting revenge)

Just go with the flow, and let them play in a living world - mutable by their actions and decisions. Feels much better in my opinion... not so "dungeon-crawly".
Redcrow
On The Run is a fairly decent beginner adventure, but unfortunately there just isn't much incentive for the runners to do more than half the adventure. They are explicitly being paid to return the disk and its data, in case the one no longer resides on the other. Other than curiosity there isn't much reason for them to do anything other than return the disk once they have it and get paid.

You could probably try and nudge them a bit if you have the NPC that turns it over to them mention that its not worth much as is because its encrypted and that he thinks what is written on the cover might have something to do with it, but that he was never able to figure out what it meant. That would at least clue them in that there might be more, but still leaves the decision up to them on whether or not to pursue it. They may just decide that its the Johnsons problem and they aren't being paid any extra for the trouble so why bother.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (FenrisWolf @ Jun 3 2010, 08:07 PM) *
I have a relatively new group and was thinking of running them through this adventure to cut their teeth on. I understand that the adventure as written assumes that the characters will crack the encryption on the disk to take a peek at the payload. I'm not sure if my group of fledgling runners are going to be inclined to open it after being advised by the Johnson not to. If they don't, then the second half of the adventure probably won't take place. For those of you that have ran or played through this prefab adventure, what do you recommend I do regarding this issue?

I apologize in advance for posting this as a new thread as I'm sure that it has been discussed in the past. I was unable to search for this topic using the dumpshock search tool due to the short key words "on the run" though.


I'm running this as well. To nudge them on the "right" path, I've decided that:

1. Mr. Johnson wants them to make sure it's the correct disk, or at least that it's not a fake.

2. A third (fourth?) party that the runners are already working for wants to know what's on the disk, and some intel about the Johnson. Players are naturally more curious if they get payed for it smile.gif
PaulK
When I ran this for my group, they simply made a quick copy of the data, broke the encryption just enough to verify the goods. After that, they called the Johnson and settled up. They had no interest in either screwing over their Johnson with side quests nor holding onto hot data. Personally, for their "work ethic" I gave them the Karma for the part they skipped. Of course it's an all awakened/technomancer group, so I'm really heavy on the Karma anyways since the entire group is made up of karma-whores. The bottom line is do what's right for your group.

/Paul
Wesley Street
Railroading has unfairly received a bad rap. Gamers, more often than not, are a lazy bunch. If you're determined to see On the Run through to the end, there's nothing wrong with "nudging" your group onto the correct story path. As the GM, all I had to say was, "Are you sure you have the right disk?" It didn't break the tone of the game and the hacker proceeded to crack the disc and that spurred them to keep going.

An inelegant solution but whatever. I actually run into this kind of thing whenever I run any prepackaged adventure. YMMV.
cndblank
You have to prep this one a little because naturally a new group of runners are going to be looking to make a name for themselves so are much more likely wanting to end a run clean with no complications.

But with a new group of players, you have some good options.


Talk one player in to being a major fan and then clue him in to what they have. You don't have to get the player to agree to be a fan of Blackwing. Just a fan of last gen rock Music.

Or if you have an NPC hacker, then the hacker is a major fan and can not help keeping a copy for personal use only. Works even better if you can do both. Then they can chortle about it to each other.

Or maybe someone finds a backup copy that was made and the whole chase starts again. Until it is released and the proper paperwork is hacked together to show ownership it is all up for grabs.


I like the Johnson not being able to read it and having them dig in as a fall back. And you can always find a way to re use a good scene so they are not really going to waste.

Perhaps have the Johnson be a good contact to one of the players so of course he goes back to them if he can not open it.



The sellout of the Johnson playing it straight is a hard one.

A good fix for this one, is that you could always go with maybe there is something personal on the disk the Blackwing wants suppressed besides his songs so that you have more chances for the PCs to deal rather than a straight sellout of their Johnson. Some thing that would matter a lot to Blackwing and not so much to the Johnson. Then it is less of a betrayal of the Johnson and more of showing some kindness to a world class artist by letting him keep what is his.

Perhaps a short conversation between takes of a very personal nature or maybe just one special one song that he is planning to release under his new persona. If the chip come out he can not release this special song as his and it means a lot to him.

They start out trying to buy the whole chip then if that doesn't work they cut to "He would be ever so grateful if just three minutes of the chip was not recoverable. Can we deal?"

Course Blackwing never shows up and shouldn't but perhaps a personal appeal over a vid phone with the picture blacked out.

Is it really Blackwing on the vid phone? Sure sounded like it, but he never said he was. And they can make any one sound like who ever they want.

Then the question is would a fan really want to find out if he was really talked to Blackwing or not...

And you get "But he answered my question like only Blackwing could." and so on. Then the group can can have the thrill of hearing the song they made disappear released and go do think that she is really....

That is gray enough that you might get a new group interested in dealing especially if you made sure you have a fan in the group. And hopefully it would get some good cross party role playing without blood shed.
PatB
Change the twist of the adventure. Warloadtheft suggested having the Johnson re-hire the runners to crack the disk - an excellent idea.

Another one is to have Jet Black's people hire the team to get the disk from the original Johnson. Keep the cemetery to bring the disk back.
FenrisWolf
All great ideas. I will tweak it a little for my group and see where they take it. Thanks again for all of the advice guys. Looking forward to next session to start off the adventure.
Saint Sithney
Heh, cnd, I think you're mixing up Blacks.

Blackwing is an old-school Elf assassin/terrorist. Jet Black is the rocker turned vamp.

The real problem with On the Run is that a lot of the meat which makes it memorable happens in the 2nd half.
If my players tried to get the info straight to Johnson, I'd be very tempted to have J warn them away at the last minute with a message that it wasn't safe since Horizon guys were all over him. Then, while they're sitting on the data, a 3rd party contacts them asking for a meet.
cndblank
Goth Rocker/Elf Assassin, they all wear black and that makes them hard to tell apart. wink.gif

I like the being waved off. Maybe on the way to the meet the Johnson spots the Horizon team and figures out he has been hacked.
So he warns the team to stay low until he can set up a new meet through their fixer.

Works great If if you pre-arranged for the Johnson to be a contact to one of the PC.
Then he uses a back channel and tells his contact that he will be in touch early tomorrow once he is sure he is clear.





QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Jun 4 2010, 02:24 PM) *
Heh, cnd, I think you're mixing up Blacks.

Blackwing is an old-school Elf assassin/terrorist. Jet Black is the rocker turned vamp.

The real problem with On the Run is that a lot of the meat which makes it memorable happens in the 2nd half.
If my players tried to get the info straight to Johnson, I'd be very tempted to have J warn them away at the last minute with a message that it wasn't safe since Horizon guys were all over him. Then, while they're sitting on the data, a 3rd party contacts them asking for a meet.

cndblank
You already pulled the smartest move by checking here at Dumpshock.

Doing so will save you from so many pitfalls and take your game to the next level.

I'm doing it the hard way by rerunning a lot of the earlier material that I ran in first SR campaign in an old school SR4 campaign that is in 2055 now.



I can not find the author's name but his list of fixes in his review of Harlequin are pure gold.

http://www.chibu.net/shadowland/files/misc...kthrough%29.pdf

One of the best reasons to run your SR4 campaign in 2050.
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