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Evil Aardvark
Hey everybody,

I'm going to be running my first Shadowrun game tonight - an unmodified play-through of the On The Run module. I'm trying to predict the questions that my players are going to ask me related to Matrix and Technomancy, and I'd like you to get your ideas on what the right answers should be. These questions will, by necessity, include spoilers so look away now if you expect to play through it in the future.

OK, I assume that those of you still with me are not going to be playing OTR and I can speak freely.

The early scenes seem pretty straight-forward, I expect questions to start up when they get to the concert at the warehouse:

1. There are Rating 2 anomaly detectors on the doors. There's a good chance the technomancer will want to mess them if they decide to go in the front door. Is the fact that they are rating 2 all I need to know and account for? Should he be able to just hack straight into them?

2. There are three MCT Fly-Spy Drones controlled remotely by a rigger just outside the venue. Will the technomancer be able to determine that they're there? If so, how? I assume that every concert attendee has a commlink so there's bound to be a lot of wireless chatter to cut through.

3. After detecting the drones are there, I assume that the character will want to do something about them - either disable them or follow them back to their source and take care of the Rigger. How should I resolve these actions?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Evil Aardvark.
Welcome to Dumpshock.

As far knowing what's where, the hacker/TM has a couple options.

1) Make visual contact. "Oh! I see a drone! I know it's there!" After a hacker is aware of the location of a node they can use the Scan program to get it's Access ID, and continue hacking from there. If the node is in hidden mode they will need 4 hits on their Scan test to detect it. If they fail the first time they can continue to make tests as they KNOW it's there but they are subject to the -2 penalty to retry each retry.

2) Use the Scan program to get an ENTIRE list of Access IDs in the vicinity. This is done with an Extended Scan test with a 20 threshold. Once they have the list they will need to find it on it (Browse). This can be as easy or hard as you like, depending on how you decide the list is formatted and how much info comes with the Access ID.

3) If the drone is part of a security network it could have a parent node of some sort (like a rigger's commlink, the building's security subnode, etc). If the hacker finds this they can find child nodes, though the child nodes can be stealthed if you like.

After knowing it's Access ID, the hacker can use the sniffer program to "Capture Wireless Signals" (p229 SR4A) from the drone to it's rigger if they want to find the rigger.

There are other options too, but these are the ones I'm coming up with right away. My suggestion with your first run is to keep the Matrix fairly easy to work with and not the biggest hurdle for the runners, unless you have a Matrix heavy group.

Also, expect your players to come up with something very different then you were expecting. Shadowrun is far less linear then many table top RPGs and lets people think outside the box more. Be ready to have the players do something you didn't plan for and run with it.
Saint Sithney
A few tips towards getting the most out of On the Run.
1) If you want your Players to unravel the story, make sure to seed clues in more than one place. The module relies a bit too much on runners spotting relevant info in the legwork phase, or just the GM pointing out relevant info in a ham-handed fashion. The latter option is going to usually result in less interested players.

2) If you want to make sure that the Players don't just hand off the paydata without even scoping it out, thereby bypassing the entire 2nd half, have their Johnson postpone the meet on account of whatever heat is going around. Then have other interested parties approach the Characters via an appropriate contact. "Heya, chum. Word is somebody wants to talk to a guy of your general description bout the contents of some disk. Wave this # if you're up to it, and tell them a friend said they were looking for you."
Brand new teams are usually too interested making their reps to take the bait.

I'd suggest an offer for the chip and then if they refuse to betray their Johnson, have a blacked out vid phone handed to them.

Then someone who sounds who just like the famous singer makes them a counter offer to just eliminate 5 minutes and 14 seconds off the chip.

Five minutes and 14 seconds were not recoverable out of a two hour set.

They have special meaning to him and he is willing to make it worth your while.
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