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Ok so here's what's going on...
I initiated my girlfriend to RPG a little before last year's christmas holidays and she's been hooked ever since. And she only tried Marvel Super Heroes and SR3. She also played a lot of World of Warcraft and reaaaally liked it...
After I had her meet some of my old high school buddies (whit whom I used to play for a major part of a decade) we ended up starting two SR games. She took the ball and started running with it like a pro. Couldn't be happier. Only problem is... I started playing RPGs back in '92... and never GMed anything besides super-hero stuff... and now, some of my friends are asking me to GM a SR3 campaign.
It scares the drek outta me. As soon as I have more than one NPC to run at the same time, they end up loosing a whole lot of.... substance... ie, instead of RPing my NPCs, I'll start saying that "the guy tells you that and that"...

Of course, if I'm to GM, I'll go with something I like... SR has been my favorite for the last 20 years so...
My setting is rather a "light" version of Shadowrun though... When I GM it, Lone Star ain't THAT present around town, control points between zones in Seattle, we barely ever see them, heck, I usually don't even use the different zones (Redmond, Barrens, etc...), TBH, I usually only use the old downtown Seattle map from the SR1 core rulebook.

So, yeah, I want to build some sort of setting but, so far, I seriously doubt I'm going the right way...
I kinda adapted a variant race of the Night Ones (since my GF likes WoW that much) and incorporated the Blood Elves. Someone told me about the blood elves from Earthdawn and I'm thinking about mixing the 2 concepts together maybe.
as far as adjustments, I'm going with a +2Quick, +2 Char, -2 Wis (because of their constant craving for magic energy) and the Distinctive Style flaw since they're such big douches nyahnyah.gif

So I'm adding this Sin'dorei Corporation. they only hire Blood Elves. I don't know exactly where to put their main office yet.
Ultimately I want them to have to face this f'n huge, great great dragon, "Bloodwing". Size-wise, I was thinking something like Dunkelzhan times 3... f'n huge...Stuck in some sort of cavern, 1 or 2 miles under the surface, which would somewhat justify why they never found it before.

As far as sourcebooks and whatnot, I got the Core Rulebook, SR companion, Cannon Companion, Man&Machine, Rigger 3, Mr.Johnson little black book, Matrix, Brainscan, Target:Matrix, Renraku Archologyhutdown, Corporate Download,Target:Wastelands, Sota 2063

So yeah, tell me what you think, good or bad, ideas, suggestions... It can only be helpful.
Sounds cool. Your story seems to have a lot of neat elements. The ambient mana to make Blood Elves would have to be an enormous spike which most of the players of the Sixth World would want to strike down so it doesn't draw too much attention. Maybe the players need to defeat the dragon in order to quell the mana spike?
Make sure your story has a hook for the players and a definitive pay off at the end. Sounds like a fun campaign.

As far as playing NPCs rather than describing them, make sure you set your tone early. Describe a scene, in a bar or something, and stay in character from there. If a player says "I ask the bartender for information."; answer in the first person, the bartender's voice "What do you want?"
Don't answer in the third person "the bartender asks what you want." Then make the player answer in first person as well. Don't let him describe what his character is doing, make him actually do it. Show me, don't tell me.
Once you set this precedent at the beginning of the game, it will go much smoother for the rest. Even the other players will help you enforce the first person voice of the characters, because most find it more fun.

Video gamers, and to a lesser extent board and miniature gamers, play all actions in the third person. They view their character with a God's eye, which creates a degree of separation. When they see their character, it is a different person they control, rather than viewing themselves as the character. So avoid maps and miniatures. With maps, the character views the situation externally and decides what "that person" does. When describing actions, the player becomes the character, seeing it in the first person and describes what they do, not what anonymous avatar does.
I think to create the kind of game you want, you're going to have to fight some of that World of Warcraft programming, but it can be done, as long as you set the tone and nature of your narrative and stick with it.
Very valuable tips there, Fortinbras, thank you smile.gif

Now, what I need to know is... How do I go about building the campaign itself from there?
Off the top of my head...

Prelude: Set the mood. For example, if you wanted something spooky; your characters having weird nightmares of evil beasts building a bridge and a great monster coming from under their bed. Have black cats cross their paths, hobos scream "The End is Nigh!" at them. The mage gets weird spirits harassing him in the astral. The hacker gets e-mails from non-existent com codes. That sort of thing.
Just a few sentences at the beginning to set our mood.

Act 1: Introduce your characters and the setting. They meet a Johnson in a bar, he gives them the mission and motivation to complete it. Money is always a good motivation, but specific stuff the characters want but seems out of reach is neat too. You nkow your players, so you know what they like. They research the mission, make a plan and begin execution.
For example, a Mr. Johnson hires the runners to break into Sin'dorei Corporation and find files about their "mining" operation in the Cascades, or kidnap a researcher with a mysterious past from inside the corp. They research the mysterious corp, find out they are full of blood elves and have weird ties to blood magic. They discover the place they need to break into and make a plan.
This will be the place where most role playing will occur. Keep it light because your players will be chomping at the bit to shoot some things soon.

Act 2: Shoot some things. They break into the corp, only to find their challenge is much bigger than they thought. The place is crawling with weird spirits and does not look like a research lab at all. The documents/researcher's confessions reveal Sin'dorei Corporation is trying to resurrect a sleeping dragon.
Mr. Johnson reveal he is part of a consortium(Draco Foundation) trying to stop this. Any plot points about mana count and what not need to be revealed here. The runners now need to slay the dragon before it awakens and eat half of Seattle. They can't go to any authorities or mega-corps for fear Sin'dorei has infiltrated them or will try to use the dragon for their own resources. They are the only thing that can save Seattle.
This should be the lowest point for your characters. All seems lost and destruction imminent. Time to storm the castle.

Act 3: Players enter the cave, fight off a boat load of Blood Elves and slay a dragon. The Draco Foundation gives them tons of weapons and vehicles to fight off the scourge(but won't let them keep them). The dragon is slain, the day is saved and our heroes find resourcefulness and heroism before undreamed of.

That's just a suggestion. It's no Othello or anything, but there it is. For your first few games, stick to the 3 Act structure, make sure there are plenty of action points for your characters, hook them with stuff they want and resolve the conflict. Sprinkle in your personal setting, make sure your meta plot has playable actions and specific reveals(if your audience doesn't see it, it doesn't exist) and have fun.
Zack S. has a great blog about incorporating folks who don't fall into the gamer stereo type, but love to play.

That's all my advice. Nothing pity to end with. Haiku ends the post.
Dude, That is soooo helpfull !!!!! biggrin.gif
I couldn't have hoped for even half of all that you put there biggrin.gif
Thank you so much Fortinbras!!!
Also it helps to have some background on your PCs what are their motivations, why are they running the shadows?...Nuyen, fame, do they want to save the world from oppressive (insert name here)? That can also assist in creating a storyline to work with what the characters are doing. If they are all corporate hating conspiracy theorists they might not want to help the corps retrieve their stolen whatever or obtain the top researcher from competing corp.

I'll have to disagree to some degree about using maps although I'd say keep them to a minimum but in combat they can be very helpful. They give spatial perspective to the environment and setting. Especially when people start lobbing grenades and other area of effect weapons. Are team members in the blast zone??? Hard to know when you're just stroytelling. It also become important for you melee types who need to close the distance to the bad guy to lop his head off Can you even do that how many passes will you have to run to get there without distance and space there's no way of knowing and if you say who cares then I say why not just tell your battle story don't roll dice and say the characters win in a spetacular fashion as PCs do. There is something to be said about tactics and team work, and there are rules to cover this. Just because you use maps and figures doesn't mean you have to drop into third person if you keep the RP dynamic in play with you you describe the NPC action. "Lone star Guard runs and jumps into a tuck and roll over a small table in the corner of the room to take cover behind a bookcase", move figure. Character. I fall back to door at entrance fo room take cover behind door jam and fire short burst from my Ingram SmartX at Lonestar guard" Move figure. As long as you remember to dialoge the action, it should still be enjoyable and tense from a RP standpoint and not just, "move figure and roll dice." JMHO.
QUOTE (K1ll5w1tch @ Mar 19 2011, 06:29 PM) *
Just because you use maps and figures doesn't mean you have to drop into third person if you keep the RP dynamic in play with you you describe the NPC action.

It doesn't mean you have to, but it often means one does. By using a map and miniature system, you are providing perspective to the player. That perspective is from a third person dynamic. They are now viewing their character, rather than being their character. They now see the scene from the God's eye, rather than from an individual's perspective. A skilled role player can switch between one and the other, but often if one is trying to create a game in which one wants the players to immerse themselves in character, rather than describe their actions as a narrative, as Veynom suggested he would like to, providing a third person viewing dynamic can be counter productive.

I have found that tactics and teamwork are just as dynamic and engaging in storytelling as they are in miniatures. Mores so if one is striving more towards realism. It demands that each player pay attention to what other players are doing and calculating that into their actions. This prevents players from goofing around on their phones and looking up stats, rather than pay attention to the scene. It is hard to tell if you are in a grenade's blast area if you weren't paying attention.
A first person perspective of combat also provides for the fog of war. Each player sees what their character sees, and not the entire scenario. Storytelling forces them to use their imaginations to put themselves into that environment and act as the player would in combat. A map and miniature system allows the players to see all angles and view combat like a general, rather than as a soldier. He takes into account what he cannot see and cannot know. But when the player doesn't have that crutch, the player is free to makes mistake, like lobbing a grenade near a comrade; something that happens in the fog of war.

The simple fact of the matter is that maps are easier. They allow for one to become distracted, take a phone call, read up on your gun stats, and come back when it's your turn knowing every detail of the board. That is what the game becomes. Not people in a gunfight, but pieces on a board. You know which bad guy has taken the most damage, which ally has been hurt, who is hiding around which corner, etc. That is their appeal. Ease of use. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if that is not what you want to accomplish with your game; if you want to turn your characters away from the safety and ease of video games into a more immersive and personal style of play; if you want to avoid a focal disconnect; if what you want is to accomplish a sense of inhabiting a character and living in a setting; then maps may countermand your efforts.
If you just want to run a gun battle, then it's fine.

It has been my experience that when a player is killed in a game using maps and miniatures, he says "My guy died." When he is killed in a storytelling setting, he says "I die."
I find even paying exteme close attention it's near impossible to keep track of all the action when you have 5 players and 10 npc or more all doing different things. Then maybe throw in some innocent bystanders for fun. Either way is valid just depends on style and what you and your group will like. In the end it's about having a good time.
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