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This campaign I'll be running with some friends of mine is still in its planning stages though it is probably going to be played on the Street side by players who want to be part of one of the street gangs (though I’ve included plenty of stuff if you want to run it on the Law side instead). It’s loosely based on The Wire (particularly seasons one and three), especially the major NPCs most of whom are based on characters from the series. It is set in southern Renton focusing on Thomas, Meredith and Christopher.
The intent here is to concentrate less on the big time stuff that most Shadowrun campaigns deal with and more on the localized events that can be just as rich for roleplaying as jet setting across the country or hitting Megacorporate facilities.

The campaign takes place after the Tempo debacle leaving a void in southern Renton and the replacement of Lone Star by Knight Errant as Seattle’s police force. The area has been sliding downhill since Crash 2.0 most of it is now stuck with C and D ratings (and a few blocks effectively at an unofficial E rating). The events of the Ghost Cartel campaign brought an immense amount of Tempo along with numerous other drugs, BTLs, and other illegal “goodies” that only hastened the area’s fall. The Night Hunters and Blood Mountain Boys clashed heavily and Lone Star came in and crushed much of what was left. The Blood Mountain Boys were particularly bloodied and withdrew to a small chunk of Renton though internal politics has prevented them to rebuild beyond a shadow of their former selves. The Night Hunters have also moved north to regroup but with many of its major players either dead or behind bars it has been all they can do just to hold on to their territory let alone make major incursions into the metahuman filled south.

The Law
In late September 2072, three children from Martin Sortun Elementary school in Kent, a suburban town in Renton, were rushed to the hospital for severe overdoses of eX and Aisa while they were on school property. Two of them died and the third suffered from permanent brain damage. People throughout Renton (and a lesser extent Seattle as a whole) were furious and although, the Seattle PD was still going through a significant amount of confusion due to the changing of the guard from Lone Star to Knight Errant, KE investigated the deaths with a vengeance. They traced the drugs back to a low level dealer of a small gang operating out of Thomas known as the “B Street Mafia” that was dealing to very young children. Despite the fact that the “gang” consisted of only about a dozen people and the dealer in question was only a pledge, the media got a hold of the “gang” angle of the deaths and, before you know it, Renton was seen as suffering from The Gang Plague.

Eager to portray itself as a new positive force for the Seattle community, the Powers That Be in KE publically announced that the “elimination of the gang threat” in Renton was one of its highest priorities. That task eventually fell on Colonel Brian Doman, commander of the Criminal Investigative Division-West (CID-W) who created the Renton Anti-Gang Unit (often sarcastically called The RAG Unit or The RAG). Doman selected Lieutenant Jake Reddick to lead up the unit and allowed him to hand pick virtually anyone he wanted from both the Renton Patrol Command and CID-W. Reddick’s mandate was clear: Find out what is going on with the gangs in southern Renton and rip them out root and branch.

The biggest problem for Reddick is the fact that a combination of a rapid change in the power structure of south Renton and what little information that Lone Star had got “lost” in the handover to KE has lead to an almost complete dearth of solid intelligence on the area. Because of this Reddick’s first steps will be to gather as much information as he can get and, thanks to pressure from Doman, to make a public impact with aggressive policing in the rougher areas to let the gangs “know who’s boss.”

The Street
The chaos in south Renton after the Night Hunters won its Pyrrhic victory against The Blood Mountain Boys brought several of the smaller metahuman filled gangs of the area to prominence. It wasn’t long before a group of these gangs decided to take the low income residential areas as their turf. These gangs, three large ones the Green River Mafia led by Liam Harris, the Black Bullet Soldiers led by “Sweetheart” Rob Chew, and the Lea Hill Boys led by "Chromed" Chris Strickland, and four other smaller ones combined to form the “Thomas-Meredith-Christopher Alliance” (but usually called simply The Alliance). Together, the group was strong enough to push the remnants of the Night Hunters out of south Renton and consolidate its own grip on the area.

The TMC Alliance is not without its problems, however. The leaders of the Big Three, as the top three gangs of the Alliance are known, are dealing with the sudden expansion from low tiered turf gangs to a large for-profit alliance controlling a vast territory. This includes dealing with unaffiliated smaller gangs either trying to defy the Alliance’s authority or trying to join, handling their own members when they act more territorial and less profit oriented, and, now, with a much more aggressive police presence.

One thing they don’t have to worry about is the flow of goods or with the larger syndicates and gangs swallowing up the Alliance. This is all thanks to Sweetheart Rob’s deal with the mysterious Tannhauser, a drug smuggler that supplies the vast majority of the Alliance’s drugs for a bulk rate. Despite his importance to the Alliance, Tannhauser deals exclusively with Sweetheart Rob, and occasionally with the other Big Three, and only through intermediary Paul Drescher. Also, since the deal with Tannhauser south Renton seems to have fallen off the radar from any of the major players in Seattle, leading more than a few people to suspect something bigger going on in the background.

Major NPCs to come
Oh my lord, keep this coming. I've sadly never seen the Wire but this is fantastic stuff - I'm running Ghost Cartels now, and once that's done there oughta be plenty of opportunity for my drugtrade-involved characters to sink into this. Making Seattle's gangs into more than just caricatures is always a fun venture.
Go and watch it. Now. All of it.
5 seasons 1 disc at a time will take a while on my Netflix... and I'm not even finished with the Prisoner yet... curse Instant Watch non-availability of HBO shows!
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