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snowRaven
I think I'm going crazy, so I decided to turn here for assistance...

I'm looking for info on Belial - former Crown Prince of the Ancients.

He's mentioned in Way of the Adept and in Artifacts Unbound, but I could've sworn I saw mention of him somewhere else. I've done word searches in pretty much all my pdf's, and searched through all books I though likely, but I can't find anything anywhere else.

Does anyone know of another place he appears?
squee_nabob
I'm probably totally wrong, but I think I got him as a contact in CMP2011, Ancients Pawn.
Paul
Doesn't he make a brief appearance in one of the Steve Kenson pulp fiction novels concerning Kellan Cot?
snowRaven
QUOTE (squee_nabob @ Dec 28 2011, 10:52 PM) *
I'm probably totally wrong, but I think I got him as a contact in CMP2011, Ancients Pawn.


That is probably very likely...sadly I don't have access to the CMPs =(

...you wouldn't have the contact sheet for him by any chance?
Paul
What is CMP2011?
Bull
CMP stands for "Convention Mission Pack". They're Missions adventures available exclusively at Gaming Conventions for the year tehy're published.

then, in theory, they're made available the following year. We've had some production snags, and the 2010 adventures keep getting set on the backburner. We're trying to push through and get those out finally, and the 2012 ones will follow shortly after.

CMP 2011-03: Ancient Pawns is a sequel of sorts to the old FASA adventure Elven Fire, and was written by Rusty "Critias" Zimmerman.

Bull
Critias
QUOTE (squee_nabob @ Dec 28 2011, 05:52 PM) *
I'm probably totally wrong, but I think I got him as a contact in CMP2011, Ancients Pawn.

You are, in fact, totally right. Belial was the "Mr. Johnson" in Ancient Pawns, who gave the team their job, and then met with them later, at the Daisy Chain. He was also, of course, the chief benefactor of their night's work, and if you did exceptionally well, a potential contact.


QUOTE (Paul @ Dec 28 2011, 05:53 PM) *
Doesn't he make a brief appearance in one of the Steve Kenson pulp fiction novels concerning Kellan Cot?

You're likely thinking of Green Lucifer, the former co-leader of the Ancients. In the first of those novels, he has a duel with Orion, Kellan's boyfriend/teammate/whatever, and kicks him out of the gang. Green Lucifer's stepped up to run the Ancients go-gang on a regional scale instead of just one city, and heads up their whole west coast operation, now. Sting, his long-time grudging, antagonistic, co-leader (dating way back to Elven Fire, same as Green Lucifer, which was about the tenth Shadowrun adventure ever), was left in charge of Seattle when GL moved up the corporate ladder.

Belial is actual Green Lucifer's son, though, so you're closer than you knew. wink.gif

QUOTE (Bull @ Dec 28 2011, 08:07 PM) *
CMP stands for "Convention Mission Pack". They're Missions adventures available exclusively at Gaming Conventions for the year tehy're published.

then, in theory, they're made available the following year. We've had some production snags, and the 2010 adventures keep getting set on the backburner. We're trying to push through and get those out finally, and the 2012 ones will follow shortly after.

Get a move on! Rassin' frassin' production snags, grumble grumble grumble.

QUOTE
CMP 2011-03: Ancient Pawns is a sequel of sorts to the old FASA adventure Elven Fire, and was written by Rusty "Critias" Zimmerman.

I prefer to go by Russell when I publish stuff, partially to cut down on confusion with Mr. Childers, but also so that I sound less like someone's dog.

But, yeah. It was my adventure. I'd be glad to give a quick rundown of the adventure and of Belial, but I'd like to dip into spoiler tag territory before I do, so I don't wreck the adventure for the many folks who didn't make it out to Origins or GenCon (or a few local cons I was able to hit, with my rough copy). I don't wanna give away the plot for folks who might be holding out until they can buy their own copy and play through it.

[ Spoiler ]
snowRaven
Thank you very much for the info Critias!

A player in my group has Belial as a contact, and I needed some extra info on him for an upcoming run.

I was sure I had seen him mentioned somewhere besides the brief shadowtalk posts...

Now I'm quite looking forward to running Ancient Pawns with them, once the current series of CMPs are out. (luckily we're a bit behind the timeline at the moment, running through parts of Ghost Cartels from a different perspective and coming up on DoTA)
Bull
To be fair, 2011 isn;t quite up yet, so the adventure isn't due to be released publicly till 2012 sometime anyway. So nyah. smile.gif

Bull
snowRaven
QUOTE (Bull @ Dec 29 2011, 02:42 AM) *
To be fair, 2011 isn;t quite up yet, so the adventure isn't due to be released publicly till 2012 sometime anyway. So nyah. smile.gif

Bull


nyahnyah.gif

Heh, considering we usually only meet up once a month, I'm hoping to have runs to last until they come out...only question is if they'll still be alive by then grinbig.gif
Bull
gee, thanks wink.gif

We're making a little headway. For instance, CMP 2010-02 was released bundled with the most recent SRM, since it was a follow up to events from that adventure. if the 2010 CMPs aren't out by then, we'll likely do something similar with SRM 04-07 as well, as it follows up on events from CMP 2010-03: Ashes.

Bull
snowRaven
QUOTE (Bull @ Dec 29 2011, 03:05 AM) *
gee, thanks wink.gif

We're making a little headway. For instance, CMP 2010-02 was released bundled with the most recent SRM, since it was a follow up to events from that adventure. if the 2010 CMPs aren't out by then, we'll likely do something similar with SRM 04-07 as well, as it follows up on events from CMP 2010-03: Ashes.

Bull


Hehe - I have a solid time-line of runs laid out for them, stretching from 2071 through the entirety of 2073, and there's plenty of filler to dip into if the publishing schedule doesn't meet my hopes wink.gif

That sounds good - 'Ashes' is another one that I am looking forward to smile.gif
squee_nabob
QUOTE (snowRaven @ Dec 28 2011, 05:48 PM) *
That is probably very likely...sadly I don't have access to the CMPs =(

...you wouldn't have the contact sheet for him by any chance?


I don't think I have the contact card for him. I have it recorded on my log sheet but IIRC I did not get a card for either him or Perrianderwier at Origins this year. I'll have to wait till the CMPs are relased so I can add it then.
snowRaven
QUOTE (squee_nabob @ Dec 29 2011, 04:12 PM) *
I don't think I have the contact card for him. I have it recorded on my log sheet but IIRC I did not get a card for either him or Perrianderwier at Origins this year. I'll have to wait till the CMPs are relased so I can add it then.


Too bad - but the write-up Critias so kindly supplied was pretty much exactly what I needed =)
Bull
The CMPs don't have Contact sheets like the regular SRM's. One thing we waned to do this year was reduce "Contact Clutter". I only got to play a few SRM 03 adventures (The first 4 or so?) and had almost a dozen contacts just from those. And looking through the later Missions, many of them never showed up again. So we wanted to avoid characters collecting this huge pile of contact sheets, and more importantly we wanted to make the contacts matter more.

The Convention Missions are designed as One-Shot adventures... There's not usually a big overarching plot, you can play them in any order, and you don't need to play one to enjoy another. They also don;t have a set location, so your runner may be globetrotting a fair bit. As such, most contacts you might normally earn as Contact Sheets in a regular SRM adventure we opted not to do sheets for in the CMPs, because chances were you wouldn't see that contact again. So instead you treat them like a "normal" contact that you would buy or earn in a regular home game.

If taht character comes up again in a later Mission and/or becomes a reoccuring character, we'll be sure to include contact sheets for them at that time.

Bull

snowRaven
That makes a lot of sense, Bull - I've wondered how extensive a mission character's 'portfolio' could get after a year or two worth of Missions, with all the necessary paperwork etc.
squee_nabob
Because you can use Contacts in SRM4 to modify gear for you, it would be useful if CMP contacts noted if they had useful modification skills (Mechanic or Armorer). That's about the only thing that I would care about.

Although, being able to call up Perrianderweir would have been very cool in SRM02 (which is where I was when I took a break for the CMPs).
Bull
QUOTE (snowRaven @ Dec 29 2011, 01:10 PM) *
That makes a lot of sense, Bull - I've wondered how extensive a mission character's 'portfolio' could get after a year or two worth of Missions, with all the necessary paperwork etc.


I'm not certain exactly how Season 2 was structured, I never really played Missions back then and I wasn't involved at all at the time, but with 26 or so adventures I imagine you gathered quite the collection.

Season 3 had a very loose structure to it as well. Other than being set in Manhattan and having a general theme that revolved around the Corps and Neo-A's, there didn't seem to be a whole lot of main plot behind it. Part of this, I suspect, was the situation with the Missions Develoeprs... John Dunn started it off, but was involved heavily with the main SR Line as a Co-Dev for a while, then Stephen McQuillan and Aaron Pavao picked it for a short time before having to step back due to real life or other jobs taking priority, and finally it fell into my lap. So tehre wasn't a real cohesive guiding hand behind the Season.

I know a couple Season 3 writers wrote Missions that were linked, either direct continuations of their stories or simply involving the same players. But many were "one-Off" adventures. I think Peace Man was the only NPC that ended up used by multiple authors, everyone else had their own NPC contacts. So almost every Mission you had the chance to pick up 2-3 new contacts, and you end up with quite teh stack of them pretty quickly.

With Season 4, it was decided to make the season a bit more cohesive and create a core stable of NPC Contacts that would show up regularly throughout the Season, and even when we do add in a contact that isn't planned to be active in a future Mission they are in a position to be directly useful later on.

QUOTE (squee_nabob)
Because you can use Contacts in SRM4 to modify gear for you, it would be useful if CMP contacts noted if they had useful modification skills (Mechanic or Armorer). That's about the only thing that I would care about.


I'll be honest, this is a multi-layered issue taht basically stems from doing a LOT of stuff at once. The FAQ was updated around the same time we were planning Season 4, so some stuff, like having pre-gen contacts that can do that stuff for you, wasn't something we even thought about at the time. Missions was behind schedule when I took over last March, and the whole kerfluffle with CGL happened at the same time (I got offered the position the same day the news broke about everything. Jason literally said "I have good news, and I have bad news."). We had the conventions to prep for, and less than 3 months to do so, Season 4 to create, things to update, and all while a bunch of us were still trying to figure out what the hell we were doing. It was chaotic. smile.gif

So the NPCs we ended up using for Missions were mainly a result of the two main plotlines, so we needed characters taht could fulfill certain roles. The political nature of the Buried Underground plotline and the magical nature of the Artifact Rush plot meant we ended up with a lot of overlap with the NPCs. We managed to provide a wide variety of characters overall (It wasn't completely intentional, but we ended up with at least one of every major race, plus a Changeling smile.gif), but as far as their Jobs and abilities, yeah, they're limited.

However, something I've seen commented on is the idea that Mission characters don't need to spend Build Points on contacts, because you gt so many essentially for free. While true, you don;t have much control over what types of Contacts you get. So this is an area where buying contacts at character creation is important (And one reason why we tried to make the major Contacts available prior to the season launching).

Also, something many players (And unfortunately some GMs) fail to realize is taht you CAN earn non-Missions contacts in play. Part of the Boilerplate text that is in every single Mission in the Contacts section of "Picking up the Pieces" reads:

QUOTE (Missions Contact Boilerplate)
Characters might interact with NPCs not specified by the Mission and may earn these NPCs as a contact at Loyalty 1. They may also work with non-Mission-specific contacts that they have already earned or that they bought at character creation and gain a +1 Loyalty to these contacts, with a maximum Loyalty of 4. Gamemasters should not grant these lightly, and players should have to work to earn these contacts by going the extra mile to impress the NPC, offering up favors, or paying them well above the standard rates for information or services.


Ask Tosh or MacCallister or Moreau to introduce you to an Armorer or Mechanic, and then go out of your way to make friends. Talk to teh GM and let him know you're working to earn a new contact. they may make you work for it, but most GMs should be willing to work with you. smile.gif

QUOTE
Although, being able to call up Perrianderweir would have been very cool in SRM02 (which is where I was when I took a break for the CMPs).


It's Perianwyr. Misspelling a dragon's name is a good way to get eaten. smile.gif

Bull
CanRay
When it comes to Fixers and New Contacts, I gave my group two rates. A lesser rate for the Fixer to transfer the info to the Contact, and a larger rate to have the Fixer introduce the contact.

That way, he makes a percentage either way, and the group has a choice in how they want to work the budget.

I only had Fixers work that way, other contacts worked depending on their personality. Paddy, their IRA (in Exile) Contact, was more than happy to introduce them to other folks.

They were willing to use his bus. vegm.gif
squee_nabob
I appreciate the stresses you are under Bull and I think the FAQ and SRM04 contacts were both huge steps in the right direction. Thank you for the tip on meeting Armorers and Mechanics, that makes perfect sense and is in line with their background.

I wish there was a discount for buying mission contacts at char creation. One issue for me is if I spend 5 BP to get a C4/L1 contact at character creation, and then they show up in the mission and get +1 Loyalty, odds are the player next to me who didnít spend any BP gets a C4/L1 contact for free and is just down the 1 Loyalty I have (i.e. I paid 5 BP for +1 Loyalty).

Also, thank you for the spelling of Perianwyr.
snowRaven
QUOTE (squee_nabob @ Dec 30 2011, 03:05 PM) *
I wish there was a discount for buying mission contacts at char creation. One issue for me is if I spend 5 BP to get a C4/L1 contact at character creation, and then they show up in the mission and get +1 Loyalty, odds are the player next to me who didnít spend any BP gets a C4/L1 contact for free and is just down the 1 Loyalty I have (i.e. I paid 5 BP for +1 Loyalty).


...which is why you spend a few extra BPs and max-out the starting Loyalty wink.gif
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