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This is a followup thread to the whole "Shadowrunning in 2009" topic.

After returning to 2064 and a milk run or two, my mad scientist NPC has a new job for the runner team.

The device she has created is apparently not just for time travel only, but can also send the runner team to different dimensions as well.

At this point let me explain the mad scientist 'Johnson' as much of her backstory has to do with this part of the run; I shall refer to her as 'Aseri' for simplicity.

In backstory "stuff", Aseri has been using a device known as an alethiometer to help another NPC character whose not really worth mentioning more about in conetxt of the run. Essentially what the device does is answer questions asked by the user through the use of symbols and clockwork needles which point to the symbols to produce a certain meaning. Aseri has gained the books used to translate the device in her various adventures. The problem is, the NPC in question also gave her the alethiometer and wants it back. Aseri is the kind of person that really wants to have one of her own, but also knows that screwing the NPC in question would be a bad, bad, BAD idea. Her solution, use the alethiomenter before she gives it back to find out where she can get another. The answer she gets provides the hook for the run.

For those familiar with the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, you will recall that there were three alethiometers still functioning. One belongs to the main character named Lyra (who is special), another belongs to a dude named Lord Asriel, and the final one belongs to the "Church". The NPC has Lord Asriel's alethiometer, and using that one, Aseri learns about the one belonging to the Church. That will be the runners target.

Also Aseri will be going along personally with the runners, to ensure that she gets the Alethiometer for herself. She has also managed to construct a device that will allow her to remotely work the time/space doo-hicky...thing.

Here are the things I need some help with:

1)In the world they are travelling to, most people have something called a Daemon that accompanies them wherever they go. It is likened to the soul of the person and usually takes the shape of some sort of small animal, like a bird or dog. EVERY person has one from the moment they are born and until they die, and to see someone without their daemon usually freaks people out. Question though: would the runners gain a daemon immediately upon arrival, or should some sort of check be made once they arrive? In the storyline of this world, some people have arrived from other worlds and gained their own daemon, though some others have not.

2) Magic. Unlike the run to the past, in this world, magic does exist, although it is different than how magic works in Shadowrun. What game effects would this have on awakened characters? (i.e. mana warp, background count, etc.) Note, the run will still be taking place on "Earth" just a different version of Earth than as the runners know it.

3) Something else to note, on the tech level of the world the runners are being sent to. It's roughly 1900's in most regards. Most air travel is done by blimps, but cars are still rare. Electric power is also common. Also there is some evidence that nuclear energy is known at a theoretic level, if not at a practical level. Firearms are primitive but still fairly common. My question is, what possible problems could this pose to the runners? Also, there are some mild language differences, (i.e. electric is refered to as 'anbaric', kerosene is called 'nalptha'.) This will mainly depend on how the runners decide to do things: whether they make a straight bee-line for the alethiometer, or if they decide to stake out in the other world for awhile.

Also, for clarification, we're trying to avoid altering the plot from the "His Dark Materials" as much as possible, though keeping true to the timeline is not as essential here as in the last run. It's just kind of a courteousy thing. wink.gif

Those were the major issues I could think of. If anyone can think of any others, I would love to know about them. Thank you again for your help and input with this whacked-up adventure. grinbig.gif

Digital Heroin
1. I'd reccomend a test similar to the SURGE test from YoTC. It gives a chance, but not an overwhelming one. That way it becomes something special when a player gets their own Daemon. Of course, in order to keep things fair, you'll need to come up with suitable rewards for the people who don't get them, and introduce them throughout the time they are there.

2. I would recommend possibly implementing a tamed down wild magic, but only until they are aclimated with the dimension. You could have their magic work as is, and this might actually prove fun. Mainly, this is because they would have to limit their magic use, or risk having people see them as different.

3. If the runners aren't careful about it, they'll draw attention using superior tech. If they are smart, and hold their gear in reserve somehow, and obtain local tech, then they should be ok. Again, this presents a challenge to them.
For conflicting realities, why not use a system similar to the way the RPG Torg handled it. IE: Differing axion levels for magic, tech etc... with the characters bringing a bubble of thier own reality with them, but always running a risk of disconnecting from their own reality when they are"elsewhere". They would spend karma pool to maintain their reality, and other related things. question.gif

Can't quite remember how this worked, maybe somebody else could help?
QUOTE (Rokangus)
Also, for clarification, we're trying to avoid altering the plot from the "His Dark Materials" as much as possible, though keeping true to the timeline is not as essential here as in the last run. It's just kind of a courteousy thing.

Courtesy? Courtesy? You bastard! Shadowrun doesn't even deserve to lay foot in the same universe as His Dark Materials! Bastard!
Digital Heroin
Someone needs to lay off the coke...
Arethusa, you've obviously read the books in that case, which I'm not sure can be said for others on this board. Aside from your dislike of a crossover, can you offer any usefull advice about this? I've already talked with Rok about everything we can think of for it.
Well, if you are going to go and throw Mr. Pulman's Daemons into SR, you might as well throw in the Wraiths. I forget what they were called in His Dark Materials, but they acted similarly to Wraiths. You could send them out to deal with all this Wraith activity as I'm pretty sure that a eight fingered adept wielding a force 9 weapon focus knife might count as a subtle knife.
I know the writh's you're talking about, and yes, Rok will be having the party go against a few of them (what he plans for us to do against them, I have no idea.) We won't have many to deal with though, since they were mainly concentrated in Citigaze, and we plan to only go to Lyra's world.

As to the knife, we talked about including it in our venture, but decided to avoid directly dealing with the main characters of the books. Rok's planned it to take place concurently with the third book, and stay in europe unless the team comes up with something strange. But I like the idea having a weapon focus of some kind needed to disrupt the wraiths.
Fine, fine. Then I should point out that Will never grew a daemon after popping into Lyra's world, so any mention of SURGE-esque test goes right out the window. Doesn't work like that.

Anyway, you'll have more luck asking specific questions or for comments on specific ideas than general advice.

You bastards.
Will got his daemon when they went to hell. Because everyone had a daemon and his had to be left behind.
That's different from just crossing into Lyra's world and, poof, daemons.
Right. That is why I did not mention any dimensional crossing.
True, Will did not get a Daemon in Lyra's world. But his father did. That was the reason for the question. What do you think they would have to go through to get them, if any of them decide they need them. Trepanning? (I don't remember, but I think that's how Gruman got his.) Course a few party members have datajacks, which could be mistaken for trepaning marks. They will be wearing appropriate headware to cover such jacks (I hope).
I think that Grumman just tried hard. I seem to remember a comment to that effect in The Subtle Knife.
Actually, I'm kinda liking the whole surge-esque test thing.

From my dealings with surge, aisde from straightout giving a character surge characteristics at creation, hardly any PC's have ever gotten surge. That and the rules are directly slanted to give humans with minimal cyberware (i.e. mostly human adepts and mages) the biggest chance at surge. In the runners party there are only two people who would be likely to surge, and even then they'd be looking to roll 14's if I remember right. That to me seems about how likely it would be for any of the party to gain a daemon right off the bat.

Recall also that Mary Malone was able to see her daemon as well through careful concentration, and that requireed no trepanning. Though I do agree that runner with datajacks ought to try and hide those to avoid confusion. In the past the runners were able to pass the jacks off as a sort of body decoration. I doubt that same excuse would swing in Lyra's world.

As for the "Spectres", yes, I am going to have the party deal with a few of those, just to give them something of a challenge (as most of them are street samurai) while at the same time possibly giving the mages and adepts a chance to shine. ^_~

Also, as far as adversaries go, they'll mainly be facing a mix of the tartar "stormtroopers" that were the main church forces through the books, as well as some special church fighters, such as similar to Father Gomez, who would likely be on site at Geneva, where I'm arbitrating to be the location of the alethiometer.
On top of that, I'm also going to throw in a few of the witches, since it seemed from the books that a few of them were in league with the Church.

I'm NOT however going to make the party deal with panzerbjorne. Firstly, the books make it clear that after Iofur is overthrown by Iorek, that the bears sever all ties with the church. But from a GM would be just plain mean to make them deal with a panzerbjorne. Yeah, if the party used called shots with some fully-automatic weapons they may eventually take one down...but by that time it'd probably have munched up a good number of the runners. I have nothing against challenging the runners, but a panzerbjorne'd just be cruel. nyahnyah.gif

As for the subtle knife...eeesh...personally I'd rather not have to deal with it. This goes back to the motivation behind the Johnson for the campaign, Aseri. Her basic drive is to gain as much knowledge and power as possible, hence why she wants to get her hands on the alethiometer. IF she learned about the existence of the subtle knife and what it could do, even her healthy sense of paranoia probably wouldn't be enough to stop her from trying to go after it. (I know that the knife has to choose its user, but that wouldn't stop my NPC from trying her hardest...most likely at the expense of the runners. She's kinda not nice like that. frown.gif ) Therefore rather than deal with the trouble that'd cause, I'd rather avoid all dealings with the knife.

I do like the idea, though, that a weapon focus of appropriate power could in effect be used to fight against the Specters. I've actually come up with a few ways in which the runners could deal with them, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what the team comes up with. So far thay've managed to surprise me a few times, so who knows?

BTW, when it comes to the game effects of the Spectres, how do you think I should handle them? So far I was planning to have them engage in success contests against the players essense ratings (also I was planning to have the spectres go after the players with the most essence first, as they'd be the most tempting targets) Everytime the players fail in the contests, they lose a point of essence. When their essence reaches zero...well, if you read the stories you know what happens. Does that sound reasonable, or what do you guys think would be better?

Also, if you guys have ideas for how to fight the spectres I'd love to hear them too.
I love how you take the canon description that magic can't do things like time-travel or teleportation, so just up and decide that "science" can do it. Never mind that the scientist doing all this whiz-bang was first shown working for a fringe policlub, not the kind of top-notch superlab she'd probably be able to command. I'd be far more likely to buy that while standard mana-manipulation couldn't break the laws of physics, this character uses some form of metaplane-warping, possibly being a plane-warping outsider using Shadowrun earth as a base of operations.

I haven't read the book(s) you're talking about, so I can't say anything useful that's on topic, but for the love of pete PLEASE keep in mind that science has even more restriction on it than magic does.
You think so. I'd like to point out that magic doesn't fucking exist, and any limitations stated in the books are the result of current knowledge as it is at the that time in the fictional future. Given that we don't know everything about science and magic is fictional and can go in either direction, there is room for interpretation.

But Rokangus is a bastard.
QUOTE (Anymage)
I love how you take the canon description that magic can't do things like time-travel or teleportation, so just up and decide that "science" can do it. Never mind that the scientist doing all this whiz-bang was first shown working for a fringe policlub, not the kind of top-notch superlab she'd probably be able to command. I'd be far more likely to buy that while standard mana-manipulation couldn't break the laws of physics, this character uses some form of metaplane-warping, possibly being a plane-warping outsider using Shadowrun earth as a base of operations.

If you were talking about the other NPC Rok mentioned, you be pretty much on the money for how the warping goes. As to Aseri, she is originally from another world, where she got into some major trouble, and used their developing portal technology to get to Shadowrun Earth (after a stopover elsewhere). Thus she wasn't exactly starting from scratch with the fringe policlub.
Well, we just finished running the run in question tonight...and for the most part it went off without a for the part where the crazy rigger purposefully tried to kill not one but two of his chummers...(grumble, grumble, don't care if it was in character, grumble, grumble...)

I ended up using the surge test for the daemon thingie...and two of the least likely people got it...our medic/demolitons guy and a full hermetic mage. O_o <shrug> Oh well...there were ten people I guess it's not that least they were able to go into town for supplies without the villagers recoiling in horror.

They ended up causing a distraction by blowing up a blimp hanger; that got enough authorities away from the area where the main run was taking place. The party did rather well against the Swiss guard and witches that I pitted them up against. (I also used the crossbow rules mentioned in one of the other threads here for the Swiss Guards' weapons...I'm pleased with how they worked out.

I also had the party use a few spectres. The physad in the party was so glad he spent the extra money and karma on a weapon focus earlier in the campaign! He alone was probably the most successful person in the fight as the street sams found that their bullets did practically nothing.

Not much else to I said the run was a success from a GM's for the runners the campaign still goes on, but not in a direction that they might have hoped. Thanks again to everyone who provided ideas and input.

...even you, Arethusa. ^_~

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