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Hey Dumpshock

With my game fast approaching I have been frantically designing Grunts (as well as a few prime runners)

So far what I have is some gangers (of the go and nogo variety), corpsec, Syndicate soldiers (with some variety between the syndicates), and some Elite CorpSec (once again differing depending on the Corp).

So far as far as Prime Runners are concerned I've made a sniper (one of the groups ex-partners) and I have plans to make 3-5 more that come from the groups backstories.

So Dumpshock the questions are these...

1. How many types of generic enemies do you make/use?
2. Any tips for making fun encounters that are both unique and challenging?
3. Tips on building Prime runners?


P.s. I have been considering making a really short back story for every grunt in my game (ie. his name is john and he is running with this gang to make enough money to help raise his baby) In hopes of making myself more attatched to them and thereby making me run them more intelligently...Thoughts?
I'm running a low powered ganger game myself. As of right now, i've got 3 other gangs, plus lonestar, as enemies. for the gangs, i'm I'm mostly winging the dicepools, as i've got 2 different weapons available (right now, just a pistol and an smg) so that amounts to 2 different "types" of grunts, per gang, plus i'll add some magical support in there, as a different "grunt", plus the lonestar, who will mostly be the same stats, aproximately, maybe a bit higher...
Yeah for my gangers I have them diversified by metatype and they all have a weapon I simply list as "Melee Weapon" (1 reach str/2+2 0AP) and then I choose between an smg or a pistol. The lietenents just get upped stats, skills and there melee weapon gets +1 dmg -1ap.
One good use of the archetypes is that some of them can be ready-made types such as street samurai, hackers, etc. They are relatively generic, and tend to be tougher than the average mook while weaker than the average PC.
If you can come up with mini-back stories and tidbits before a run, you can probably do it on the fly, too. Give yourself the freedom to try by accepting that you ARE the script whether you wrote it a week ago or this second.

Don't use snipers or bombers as enemies. "Your head explodes as you stop to punch in your front door code" or "There is a bright flash as you turn the key to your Americar and you take 40 points of damage" both tend to not really work out well.
I like enemy snipers, but I run a pretty deadly game and even I use them in moderation.
ver the years I've developed an entire catalog of npc's ranging from gangers to other runners to corporate super ninjas. It has taken a looooong time but currently the count for statted out npc's is at 81 (some still need translating to SR4), other than that I use the archetypes and pregenerated contacts from the various books. I'll even admit that some of those 81 npc's are grabbed from old published runs and my group did not want them to exit the stage so to speak and so the character became a part of my file. Some are old PC's. What I'm trying to get at here is if you keep your world active enough the npc issue takes care of itself pretty thoroughly.

Also, I agree, use enemy snipers sparingly.
To be honest the sniper thing is a players fault...the character is a gun expert, sniper rifles being one of them. It was the players word that his ex-partner was good with guns, so I went with it. That said I do not plan to be using sniping capabilities on my players very often (unless they do something very stupid and deserve it [ie. dancing in front of the Saeder Krupp compound chanting nyahnyah come and get me!])
Instead of statting out hordes of goons, I've found it easiest to stat out 3 of each basic template (i.e. Street Sam, Hacker, Mage, etc.). The first one of each is your basic street level gutter-punk, the second your pro-grade corporate lackey, and the third is your world class PITA type adversary. Then I simply write up a few lists of details that I can use to randomly change the outward appearance (clothing, tattoos, hair-style, meta-type, etc.). After that I just slap on a name (you can even make a list for this as well), and *poof* I'm all done. I've used the same basic goon stats many many times and by just making a few cosmetic changes here and there my players are none the wiser. YMMV.
The published adventures have all kind of ready made NPC.
Ghost Cartels campaign book has all kinds of nice NPC:s, like the extremely nasty sounding Troll Adept Bodyguard and FBI ERT team.
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