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I plan to begin GMing a SR game soon and am looking for some creative input for general adventure/campaign arcs. Everyone in the group is basically new to SR (I've played before but not GM'd), so this will at first be a low level, low tech, minimal to no magic type of game. Too, players will begin with very minimal gear. The players will start in a town that is an almost-middle-of-no-where kind of place put on the map only because of a corporate mining operation nearby. A sort of borderlands company mining town somewhere in the western foothills. We will call it Dust Canyon. Lone Star is there, like your usual town sheriff to keep a general lid on things, as well as your drug running gangs to peddle the usual vices of the 2070's. As implied, Dust Canyon will be a sort of cyber/western/badlands kind of setting a bit removed from the big city glamour you see on the matrix.

While I work the players into the core game mechanics and myself into the role of GM, we'll run the basic common jobs/runs. Currently, we are approaching the game in a 'sandbox' style where the players will largely set their own story, however in the near future I would like to begin weaving into their story my own adventure arc. I am thinking of maybe tossing in some odd and inexplicable events that appear to benefit the team at just the right moment, but also complicates matters for them. These would be rare but certainly noticable and would be setup in a way as to be confusing for the team, a mystery. As an example, say the team is running from some corp sec guards when suddenly a door seals behind them. It stops the chasing guards but now the team can not double back to their planned exit. Where I take it from there, I am not sure yet. This might be someone keeping an eye out for the players, maybe just toying with them, perhaps grooming them for something.

For reference, the players include a socially quiet B&E type (likes to power game), a mechanic who might be on the path to becoming a rigger (will start with a large industrial wrench 'club'), and a face who negotiates with his fists at times (possible Bruce Lee type, in a suit, but he can't afford a suit currently).

From these beginnings, I am curious where you would take the adventure related to the odd events either from a GM's perspective or from a player's perspective.

My first thought: If you are going to start with them setting up their story, what is each character's motivation for being in the mining town?

For example: I am GM'ing a rural game, where the PC's are generally there because it is rural. They are trying to sta out of sight of someone: The mage is an Aztechnology experiment; The Phys ad pissed off a ninja clan; the face/rigger ran away from S-K during crash 2.0. The hacker was born and raised in the area, and had been working for Horizon before he got fired.
Wasn't there a movie about a resort where they recreated a thematic western town until the robot actors went crazy. Westworld? They had other themed areas too. Could be a neat concept to expand on and bring to shadowrun.
I'd start, like any good Five Paragraph Order with Orientation:

Where is this place? What is there? That will determine why the company is there, and what they're doing. With the fracturing of nation states in the world of Shadowrun it's possible for vast swaths of land have been restored, or allowed to return to nature. Maybe even some places that are remote enough and inaccessible enough to give the feeling of a proper 1870's style Midwest town. I'd start with major geographic features. Rugged mountainous terrain is great for mining, and a bitch for mountain warfare. Terrain obstacles a plenty, maybe throw in some rivers and what you can end up with a small town-just how big do you want this town to be?-that feels remote.

Situation: If you want a classic Midwest power struggle the company controls something important-jobs, territory, and materials. But even though they are the primary employer maybe they're not the only game in town? Anytime a division makes money obviously someone else will want that money right? Add in some clannish family's, maybe some drug/ runners up in the hills, who maybe have a channel into some hitech gear, mainly weaponry right?

To be honest you end up with a Justified feel with my notes!

To this I'd add some paranormal activities, and maybe some natural disasters-"What's that Billy Bob? Company X damned the river, and now water is in short supply? Crap i drink water! We need to blow the dam!" "What's that Billy Bob? Awakened Grizzlies in the Grade School? That's fragged up mano! No one should kill kids! We need to hunt the awakened dangerous critter!"

Mission: Obviously, dependent on the players. But workable! I tend to require my PC's to have at least one hook in their background relevant to my story arc. It can be as minor as a friend of a friend, or as major as a direct stake in things.

Command and Signal: The fun part about a remote city is limited access in some ways to the wireless matrix, and other hitech stuff. Fun little twists like maybe having the company control the local nodes-"Gee we've noticed that you've been sending a lot of encrypted stuff over our net homeboy. Wanna talk turkey?" To this maybe even add company spin to the matrixGee sorry Google is down, but hey have you tried our new Company search engine! It's the bee's knees! Sorry if it doesn't give you access to this stuff it's restricted don'cha know!"

Add in the difficulties communicating through the terrain obstacles, maybe even while under ground, etc...And this could be fun.

Admin and Logistics: Having the company control a lot of the supplies can be a fun thing. Small black market farms try to compete, but the company wants them out of business; underground schools try to teach the truth but the company wants your kids in their schools and programs; getting guns means either stealing them or dealing with the local syndicates.

Lone Star is the law, but they are paid by the company. Maybe the Sheriff is a local,but the pay check comes from the company. "I'd love to help but gee I also need to eat and pay bills."

Well hopefully some of that helps!
Two Ideas that crossed my Mind:
1) Check out for Rifts the RPG from Palladium ,they have a Western/Magic/Cyber/Shadowrun Crossover Theme (Rifts # 14 New West to be precise)
2) why don't you start your Campaign in Australia ?

with a Brainstorming Dance
It's Steampunk, but Deadlands is pretty close. Just replace the steam elements with Shadowrun tech, and you could probably use some of the adventures from that.
Seriously Mike
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Sep 16 2011, 08:38 AM) *
2) why don't you start your Campaign in Australia ?

Because killing players with rabid drop bears on the first session is unfair.
You don't hit them with drop bears in the first run you just have lots of cuddly koala's and then once their guard is down.......

p.s Don't forget the hybrid daddy long legs/redback under the dunny seat

p.p.s Also giant feral cats

p.p.p.s and snakes

p.p.p.p.s and rabbits

well to be honest pretty much everything
Galaxy Rangers?
Maybe Saber Rider?
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Sep 16 2011, 05:33 AM) *
Galaxy Rangers?
Maybe Saber Rider?

Wild Wild West?

TV series was much better.
Thanks for the advice so far.

To Paul, I like your approach. Looking at the setting in that way certainly helps. I like the idea of the players running into the company's greedy fingers whereever they look.

I am not familiar with the other games/references that were suggested, but I'll hunt them down and do some reading.

Hmm, waking up to a rattlesnake. Could be a fun way to start the game. First order of business? Know where Doc lives.
QUOTE (CanRay @ Sep 16 2011, 08:46 AM) *
TV series was much better.

It couldn't be any worse.

Love that theme song though.
QUOTE (Polt @ Sep 16 2011, 10:21 AM) *
To Paul, I like your approach. Looking at the setting in that way certainly helps. I like the idea of the players running into the company's greedy fingers whereever they look.

Thanks. I tend to break things down into manageable groups. It helps you keep an eye on the small details as well. I like to add weather events, random political and economic events-it adds realism and relevance. The players learn quickly they need to juggle it all, because ignoring anything for too long can be like watching a can of gas next to a fire. You never know when it flare up and explode.

In long running arcs I also set up market fluctuations-six or seven things you know the players will purchase (Ammo, weapons, cyber, vehicles, etc...) and some months it will be cheaper, and others more expensive. I'm actually pretty excited by your concept.
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