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Thal'aen
Hey there, Dumpshock! I haven't been on here in a bit, but I'd like to ask for your help with something.

Background Info:
I've been running a Pathfinder game for my gaming group, but I'm about to put that on hold and run a short Shadowrun arc for them. There's a couple members of my gaming group that are intrigued with Shadowrun but haven't ever had the chance to play. So, I'm working on ideas for a couple of runs to put together for them as an introduction to the sixth world.

The Question:
What, in the opinion of the community, would be the most valuable spaceborne substance in the Sixth World? Something that would be valuable enough to motivate one or several Megacorps to squabble over acquiring it? I'd considered Orichalcum - an obvious choice - but most "natural" Orichalcum isn't as pure, potent or valuable as what can be created through Alchemy. So, is there something else that might have more perceived or actual value to it?

Further Information:
The way I have it in my mind, a large meteoroid containing [INSERT SUBSTANCE OF VALUE HERE] is on impact course for Earth. It's not big enough in size to cause large scale damage. The scientific community has already determined (via statistical analysis or projected debris patterns or whatever scientific method would be appropriate for the situation) where the impact points are going to be across the world and the Corps have mobilized to secure these sites (and, therefore, the material once it impacts).

The PCs are contacted by an already-established contact or a potential new Johnson who has an in - there's a mole inside one of the corps. The inside man has supplied our Johnson with the location for one of the debris fields, and modified the database to reflect an alternate destination for that particular meteorite. This should, conceivably enough, give a small team enough time to get in, acquire the material, and get out before the Corp's assets / local authorities arrive.

So, all in all... I've got the major details locked down, but I haven't finalized the specifics of WHAT exactly they're all working to acquire. If any of you could help me with some insight as to what that might possibly be, I'd appreciate the help. Thanks in advance!
Stahlseele
Helium≥ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3
StealthSigma
QUOTE (Thal'aen @ Sep 25 2012, 03:51 PM) *
So, all in all... I've got the major details locked down, but I haven't finalized the specifics of WHAT exactly they're all working to acquire. If any of you could help me with some insight as to what that might possibly be, I'd appreciate the help. Thanks in advance!


The material in question has an atomic symbol of Mcg. It is commonly known as MacGuffinium.

No seriously. Don't tell them what it is then bust it out on them at the last moment and see if anyone notices.
Manunancy
If the Halley comet is anything to rely on, by 2070 several of the AAA have enough assets up there to have a chance of snatching the asteroid before it meets the Earth (and a lot of it's mass of valauble undefined substance gets burned at reentry)
Thal'aen
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Sep 25 2012, 02:55 PM) *


That's an interesting thought. I'll do some research into it, but what's the sixth-world buy-in for it? What makes it special to the Megacorps?

QUOTE (StealthSigma @ Sep 25 2012, 02:55 PM) *
The material in question has an atomic symbol of Mcg. It is commonly known as MacGuffinium.

No seriously. Don't tell them what it is then bust it out on them at the last moment and see if anyone notices.

Haha, that's classy brother. I don't think I'll use it, but I like it all the same.
Stahlseele
Because the 6th world has working Fusion Technology and Helium-3 is good in Fusion-Tech and thus provides a huge Profit-Margin in the Energy-Market.
StealthSigma
QUOTE (Thal'aen @ Sep 25 2012, 04:18 PM) *
Haha, that's classy brother. I don't think I'll use it, but I like it all the same.


I would like to play a game where everything, and I do mean everything, is a trope and is called by its trope name, and then up it to eleven. Then you can make genre savviness a superpower.

And rescuing Mary Sue MacGuffin.
Halinn
It could also simply be refined orichalcum (i.e. on the level with the alchemied stuff). It's from space, you can say it gets refined by passing through the manasphere or something like that (which conveniently also explains why it won't just get caught out in space beforehand).
Stahlseele
@Thal'aen:
Helium-3 was the Moon Nazis Energy-Source in Iron Sky.
ShadowDragon8685
The substance?

Extra-terrestrial life.

No, seriously; the Megas think that the rock is full of the stuff, or at least, evidence of it - fossilized microbes or whatever, because the rock is of extra-solar origin. To prevent the expected space war from breaking out over it, the Corporate Court filed a pre-emptive Omega Order against anyone who interferes with the rock's natural flight plan, knowing that once it landed, everyone would have a chance to grab a slice of the pie.


It doesn't even have to be true. smile.gif
Thal'aen
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Sep 25 2012, 04:22 PM) *
The substance?

Extra-terrestrial life.

etc
It doesn't even have to be true. smile.gif

Wow, I REALLY like the way that that particular concept circumvents the corps trying to intercept it mid-flight, as well as being something worth fighting over. That's a great thought!

To anybody else out there: keep 'em coming. I'm loving the ideas so far, but still have a couple of weeks before I'll be kicking off this mini-game for my group. Thanks for all of your input!
Abstruse
Helium 3 is also used in equipment like MRIs and particle accelerators. And we're going to run out of it sometime in the 2030s or 2040s in the real world at the rate we're going.

There's also evidence that pretty much all the titanium on earth has come from meteorites as well. Diamonds can also form in space, so they may think that the meteorites are very large diamonds (though artificial diamonds might make that less valuable than you'd think).

For the record, you may want to do some research on meteorite damage and mass. It doesn't take a very large meteorite to do a LOT of damage. So if you don't want mass scale destruction, you may want to do something else because there won't be enough of whatever material there is to be effective.

No matter what, you may want to track down the 3rd Edition adventure track Wake of the Comet. Lots of space-based stuff in there you can adapt to a 2070s game.
Thal'aen
QUOTE (Abstruse @ Sep 25 2012, 05:48 PM) *
Helium 3 is also used in equipment like MRIs and particle accelerators. And we're going to run out of it sometime in the 2030s or 2040s in the real world at the rate we're going.

There's also evidence that pretty much all the titanium on earth has come from meteorites as well. Diamonds can also form in space, so they may think that the meteorites are very large diamonds (though artificial diamonds might make that less valuable than you'd think).

For the record, you may want to do some research on meteorite damage and mass. It doesn't take a very large meteorite to do a LOT of damage. So if you don't want mass scale destruction, you may want to do something else because there won't be enough of whatever material there is to be effective.

No matter what, you may want to track down the 3rd Edition adventure track Wake of the Comet. Lots of space-based stuff in there you can adapt to a 2070s game.

Very cool information, sir. And I'll definitely look into that module you referenced - so thanks for the heads up!

As for the destruction, I was envisioning it being a meteoroid that - upon hitting earths atmosphere - will fragment into meteorites approximately the size of an american football or smaller once they reach the ground. That's why I'm looking for a material that'd still be extremely valuable in very small quantities.

However, I make no claims to be a scientist.. so if what I'm envisioning is COMPLETELY off the mark, let me know. If I have to, I can use GM fiat to make it so; but I'd like to make this happen in a way that's not entirely outside of the realm of possibility.
Abstruse
QUOTE (Thal'aen @ Sep 25 2012, 06:04 PM) *
Very cool information, sir. And I'll definitely look into that module you referenced - so thanks for the heads up!

As for the destruction, I was envisioning it being a meteoroid that - upon hitting earths atmosphere - will fragment into meteorites approximately the size of an american football or smaller once they reach the ground. That's why I'm looking for a material that'd still be extremely valuable in very small quantities.

However, I make no claims to be a scientist.. so if what I'm envisioning is COMPLETELY off the mark, let me know. If I have to, I can use GM fiat to make it so; but I'd like to make this happen in a way that's not entirely outside of the realm of possibility.

There's a few good meteorite simulators out there if you Google a bit. Overlays on Google Maps based on size, density, mass, trajectory, etc. Might help out with finding your magic number. It's not completely out of the realm of possibility, especially if you go with something like Helium 3 (which isn't very dense and would most likely fall to earth as part of an ice meteorite thus causing less damage). But even a single meteorite made of ice falling to earth that's the size of a car would have an impact measured in kiltotons and would be comparable to a subtactical nuke or very large fuel-air bomb.

However, we are talking about a world where a human can sprint at around 60 MPH with the right cyberware...the laws of physics go a bit out the window at that point. One idea you could go with is having the meteorite be large enough to cause extensive global environmental damage (remember Krakatoa lowered the global temperatures by a couple of degrees and caused famine). The various megacorps all fight over contracts to try to alleviate the damage in exchange for Element MacGuffin. Thus they're all making runs against one another to sabotage the projects because that's what megacorps do...chase profit even if it means the slow, torturous death of billions. If you want to add some metaphysics to your game, have the solution be a ritual on the scale of the Great Ghost Dance which causes another mana spike and gives the Horrors a chance to come over (if you don't remember those, think Lovecraft). Aztechnology is the best bet to go that route, while Tir Tairngire, Saeder-Krupp, Tir nA nOg, and pretty much anything else headed by a dragon or immortal elf would push against it since they know the consequences.

Feel free to ignore all that if you like...just me attempting to help in the collective brainstorming.
Manunancy
The problem with He3 is that at the temperature usually found on earth Helium is a gaz - you'd beter check what sort of compounf he might be trapped in (if I remember right, it's fairly inert chemically speaking, so i'm not dure there's something here). Lunar He3 is (from my cloudy recollection) a leftover from the solar wind sending the atoms fast enough to bury themselves aomgnst the lunar rock.

I checked and Helium is about the most chemicaly inert substance you can find.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Manunancy @ Sep 25 2012, 02:15 PM) *
If the Halley comet is anything to rely on, by 2070 several of the AAA have enough assets up there to have a chance of snatching the asteroid before it meets the Earth (and a lot of it's mass of valauble undefined substance gets burned at reentry)


Long-range astronomy has revealed that this incoming comet has similiar characteristics, properties, and flight paths to Haley's Comet! All the scientists think its a breakaway fragment of the real comet, but of WAY less size and maybe SHOULDN'T be as devesating as the big one!

And holy shit its gonna land on the planet! Who the frag cares if that's true or just more corporate bullshit, cuz EVERYONE is in a race to secure the damn thing and ship it off to the big corporate mana labs first, because whether its true or not they can't afford to pass up this chance!
Midas
I would prpbably go with some magical element that, say, let mundanes awaken if it is implanted next to their cerebellum or something like that. What the corps don't know is that this magical substance is calcified sweat of (insert name of relevant Lovecraftian horror), and that people thus awakened start having nightmares, sleepwalking and doing said horror's bidding against their knowledge.
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