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Lionhearted
Been a very long time since I last came here, but you never truly leave the shadows do you?

So here's the rundown.
I play biweekly in a mostly D&D centric group but lately they've showed an increased interest in giving SR another shot.
Most of us are quite enamoured in the universe but thus far every attempt at starting a campaign have devolved into BTL fuelled killing sprees, Players constantly trying to backstab eachother, Pimping schemes trying to sell other PCs and the like.

Personally I think these breakdowns are caused by giving to much creative freedom to a group conditioned by linear dungeon crawling.
That and an unfamiliarity with the rules which inherently limits the group.

So Im currently trying to come up with ideas on how to step-by-step introduce my players to the system without completely overloading them.

Here's the current idea Im working with, Im open to any and all suggestions on how to improve and elaborate on it.

Im thinking of starting them off with very basic characters with little combat capability and mostly mundane abilities
- Little to no chrome or magic
- Most likely greatly inflated karma gain. Partly to get used to the system, partly to let people grow into their characters rather then start out with toys they don't know how to use.
- Would appreciate feedback on how to do this in a sensible manner

Structure the first few runs around introducing the players
to specific concepts like hacking, legwork, negotiations and the like... Im fairly confident they already get the jist of wetwork
- Hacking in particular is something we handwaved alot in the past, but its a major part of the game and one of the biggest steps in moving away from D&D with guns.
- again with the intentionally low combat capacity to force them to think their way out of the situation
- Possibly a run that introduces magic and the option to become awakened.
- Any ideas welcome! I have very little experience making my own missions and tend to improvise alot rather then keeping alot of notes.

So... how can you make clearly unsuitable runners like these plausible?

My thinking is that the characters grew up on one of the orbital/extraterrestial colonies, that don't exist... This alleviate alot of the inconsistentencies with the characters, like why they know so little about the world (outside of corp propaganda), why they have no combat training, chrome or magical experience (I hear the background count of deep space is quite hindering), why they're effectively SINless (Officially they don't exist).
But most of all it gives a way better justification for fish out of the water elements then group amnesia...
Only thing that stumps me is how and why they left the cosy comfort of the colony, and how they ended up in the sprawls of wherever.

Finally as a small towner from Sweden I usually have a hard time picturing the structure or layout of a metroplex like Seattle... any tips on how to deal with that?

Sorry for the wall of text, atleast tried to section it.
Medicineman
Do they have to be Runners ?
Why don't You start a Cop Campaign or a Doc Wagon Campaign ? Maybe in the NAN or in the CAS, outside of the big Metroplexes in the Rural Areas .
The Chars (and the Players too) would have a controlled, regular environment, a Clear structure.
They could start with little or no Chrome and work their Way up. You could create a Campagne where they start as norrmal Citizens than something happens and they have to survive as Runner (I hope I made myself clear ? )

with a different Dance
Medicineman
Lionhearted
The last one was a bit like what Im already aiming for... cop campaign is an interesting idea although, gives opportunity for more investigation oriented missions and you can lay it thick with Noir smile.gif
Medicineman
You could also get the Ghost Cartell Campaign and play it from "the other Side" the Cop Side.
Let them Start as Lone Star Cops outside of Seattle in the Suburbs or in the NAN.After a couple of Sessions, when the Players get the Hang of the Rules and the SR World start with the Ghostcartell campaign and at the End They'll all loose their Jobs because Knight Errant takes over and the Chars end up as (Full Fledged)Shadowrunners.....

JahtaHow
Medicineman
Lionhearted
The more I think of the more I like the idea.
Blue eyed rookies still convinced that they can make a difference slowly realising the cold harsh reality of it all.
Especially if you lead them to believe that the Stars are generally good guys, heck you might even take them in other directions after that PI, Vigilanting or straight up corp sec until they get hung out dry.
Cabral
Since I'll likely get stuck with GMing, for my next game, I was thinking of requiring all PCs have at least one contact in common with at least one other PC and suggesting that NPC-related flaws (ie, dependent) are shared (ie, joint custody of a child). I'm hoping that creating connections like that will help the players bond to the other PCs and it might help you avoid the pimping scenario.
KarmaInferno
Getting them in a SR mood?

Have them watch movies and TV of the appropriate genres.

Heist movies, Ronin, Leverage, Burn Notice, etc.




-k
Glyph
Lowering the power level is a solution that doesn't have a lot to do with any of the problems. The problem with trying to lower the power level now is that the players have already played decent characters who have augmentations and magic. They won't be enthusiastic about starting out with sucky characters.

If the players are backstabbing and pimping each other, then tell them that their characters all have to be friends, with shared backstories and contacts in common (maybe you could reward them for this by giving them a high connection/loyalty fixer contact that they all know, for free).

If the players are going on killing sprees, then explain to them, either IC or OOC, how shadowrunning is supposed to work - negotiation, legwork, planning, stealthy infiltration, quick and often violent exfiltration. Give them plenty of information presented to them as things that the character would know, even if the player is ignorant. Things like - "You know that the cops will probably show up armed for bear in five minutes or so now that the alarms are blaring." "If you shoot the mayor, the cops will just put the heat on everyone in the shadows until someone narcs you out to them." "Stealing the prototype is just biz, but if you blow up the place, the corporation will have to send a strike team after you to save face."

Let them know that as tough as they are, there are equally tough people out there, and that numbers and tactics can also make even mooks dangerous. Let them know that there are unwritten rules out there, that they violate at their own peril. Let them know that they depend on other underworld types for the fake IDs, safehouses, illegal weapons, and everything else that lets them work under the table and then fade into the shadows after the job is done.

Once you have let them know this, start punishing blatant stupidity. Don't be vindictive, just have logical consequences happen to them when they shoot too much or think too little.


Also - while Shadowrun lends itself to open sandbox play, it can actually be fairly linear. After all, the group basically gets hired to do specific jobs, which can involve plenty of constraints (no witnesses, make it look like a certain other company/group sabotaged them, infiltrate a party where the most they can get through the door will be small arms, bring back a certain party unharmed, etc.). If the group is running amok because they don't have a lot of direction, you might make the Johnsons a bit more stringent in what they want.
All4BigGuns
Do nothing. If that's what they're doing, then that's what they enjoy doing in games. Making all those arbitrary changes just because they aren't doing things how YOU think they should be done is getting dangerously close to railroading.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 14 2012, 12:02 PM) *
The last one was a bit like what Im already aiming for... cop campaign is an interesting idea although, gives opportunity for more investigation oriented missions and you can lay it thick with Noir smile.gif


One of my friends ran a Docwagon campaign. The team were all HRT specialists.

So they alternated between being really really bored, trying to make extra cash on the side and doing paperwork and drek, and going HOLY SHIT WE GOT A CALL WOOP WOOP.

a docwagon game is kind of like a cop game, except you have an excuse to take part in all facets of the setting - fuggen everyone uses docwagon, wheras a cop game puts you firmly on one side of the shadows. I also bet they have a crime/forensic division for high profile gold/platinum subscribers, because, hey, sometimes figuring out who's gunning for your subscriber so you can press charges is cheaper than free/heavily discounted surgery.


QUOTE (Glyph @ Oct 14 2012, 06:21 PM) *
If the players are backstabbing and pimping each other, then tell them that their characters all have to be friends, with shared backstories and contacts in common (maybe you could reward them for this by giving them a high connection/loyalty fixer contact that they all know, for free).


one of the pick up games I played in had an excellent starting premise, though the game itself was shortlived.
The idea was that all the players had just got fuggen LUCKY on their first run and hit gold grade a paydirt. The rules were pretty simple: everyone just got max cash, but a slightly reduced BP total to compensate. (a little leeway was talked in by our groups mage, if they didn't want *quite* near 50 bp in nuyen.)

It worked really well for setting the atmosphere in having a team of newbie runners who didn't know each other very well(yet), but had already bonded somewhat and established/implied teamwork, and were less likely to frag each other for dumb shit. At the same time, they didn't really know what they were doing in the shadows yet. There was also nice improv going on, and playing off each other as the players figured out the details and views of the other characters that their character knew, but the player didn't quite.

You may want to steal the idea. Though I would probably not go MAX CASH, and tone it slightly down.
EKBT81
QUOTE (All4BigGuns @ Oct 15 2012, 02:26 AM) *
Do nothing. If that's what they're doing, then that's what they enjoy doing in games. Making all those arbitrary changes just because they aren't doing things how YOU think they should be done is getting dangerously close to railroading.

I'll disagree here. It seems to me that the OP isn't enjoying the group's current style of playing much. IMO the GM should have just as much fun GMing as the players have playing the game. Especially since in my experience the GM generally invests much more time and work into a campaign than the players do. The GM's fun shouldn't come at the expense of the players' fun, but neither should it be the other way around.

I'm not a fan of the low-power approach, but I believe a discussion about what they expect from the game is in order. Great if they manage to work out something that's fun for all people involved. But if there's no common ground at all, as GM I wouldn't bother to spend considerable time and effort preparing a game that turns out to be no fun at all for me.
Dolanar
I think the discussion idea is a good one, since your group is primarily of the dungeon smash variety, they very well could expect something of a similar nature, hence the mass slaughter you mentioned. If this is something they expect, perhaps turning them into a hit squad for hire is the best idea until they settle in. Introduce Legwork by having them research the target they are hired to kill & slowly add new concepts in as they adjust.
Raiden
could always convert them to a merc group with a tie to a corp CEO or son of the CEO, doing big boy missions with some heavy fire. WOOHOO!. this way, they get the BOOM BOOM, but if they dont spend time planning and the like, gaining intel, maybe sabotaging, stuff like that, they wont do well for long, perhaps wont live to long, this way they start to gain the shadowrun mentality of, maybe we shouldnt just go in guns blazing O.o
sk8bcn
I don't like a low level approach neither. Ironically, not for a group unfamiliar to the game.

You want them to be interested in playing Shadowrun, so they need to be shadowrunners.

If they are unfamiliar and find the options too complex, the better option is to keep it simple at the start and introduce aspects slowly with lighter rules.

Like for exemple, start only with spellcasting for mages, for samourais, create sets of cyberware.


They're about dungeon crawling and ply SR like DD with guns? Ok just please them.

Start with straigths gunfightings adventures.
For exemple: invest a research complex and find something.
Dirty work at eliminating a Mafia boss.

With those steps they should be rounded with combat.

Then introduce slowly new aspects. Like investigating. Like magic.


IMO, trying to enforce hard a new code of conduct to the players isn't likely to get them satisfied with the game.
Medicineman
QUOTE (EKBT81 @ Oct 15 2012, 05:54 AM) *
I'll disagree here. It seems to me that the OP isn't enjoying the group's current style of playing much. IMO the GM should have just as much fun GMing as the players have playing the game. Especially since in my experience the GM generally invests much more time and work into a campaign than the players do. The GM's fun shouldn't come at the expense of the players' fun, but neither should it be the other way around.

I totally agree with Your disagreeing grinbig.gif
QUOTE
I'm not a fan of the low-power approach, but I believe a discussion about what they expect from the game is in order. Great if they manage to work out something that's fun for all people involved. But if there's no common ground at all, as GM I wouldn't bother to spend considerable time and effort preparing a game that turns out to be no fun at all for me.

Low Power Approach ?
I didn't notice that !
I'm against a Low Power approach too !
That (ImO) could lead to min/maxed Chars and or dissapointed Players .
A normal 400 GP Char with fewer Points in Resources ( for lesser Chrome) would Result in a Char with more Contacts or Skills which is preferably better than a "Bonzaied" Char with less Points than Normal

with a Normal Powered Dance
Medicineman
Lionhearted
Working hours tend to limit response ratio, alot of excellent stuff here.
I think I didn't explain myself very clearly. The total chaos was often sparked by a lack of direction when faced with legwork, I wasn't the GM at the time... in hindsight not the best situation since I was the only one that had played SR with an experienced group before.
neither me or the players enjoyed the derailing and we probably matured alot since then.

Im mostly trying to find a way to introduce them to the open approach of legworking without completely railroading the process and without leaving them stumped on what to do.
Having a talk about is a great idea, not sure how to give them a runners mindset although..

The low power was mostly to avoid minmax streetsam bobs with negative stupid essence, you think it will have the opposite effect?

Lionhearted
Well it seem I can't get five minutes without interruption.

Anyhow while the group is mostly of the dungeon crawling variety they have expressed a desire to try something completely different.
As a sidenote I did GM a oneshot of On the run, but put the campaign on ice due to lack of time to be able to GM.
It was fairly railroaded and lighthearted, but didn't collapse on itself to much.
After the trainwrecks there was no one left to GM and I didn't have the time to properly prepare, so we stuck to D&D for the most part (where people got over their PK, campaign crashing ways... for the most part). People have been asking for a long time for someone to start a new campaign, but no one wanted to take the lead.

Now I know the players enjoys a more involved playstyle, it worked out (with some coaxing) in the past, however I want to give them the right tools and a good foundation to blossom into beautiful paranoid runners...

If I seem a bit rambly, it's because I am
Medicineman
QUOTE
The low power was mostly to avoid minmax streetsam bobs with negative stupid essence, you think it will have the opposite effect?

YES
Wellll It can happen...
a better aproach would be to talk with them and modify the existing Rules for a normal 400 BP Char
and only crank down the "Resource-Screw"
Maybe max 20 or 30 BP for Resources ,or 1 Pt in Resources is only 2000-3000 ....

He who dances with lesser Resources
Medicineman
Lionhearted
I've been playing around with the idea of having predetermined characters so the players can try out a face, mage, hacker or rigger without the daunting task of building one.
It seems to me that you end up with a 90% brute population everytime you try something new since they're generally the easiest to build and learn.
EKBT81
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 15 2012, 05:12 PM) *
The low power was mostly to avoid minmax streetsam bobs with negative stupid essence, you think it will have the opposite effect?

Like Medicineman, I'd say it's not a certainty but quite possible. If you reduce BP, some players may be inclined to put it all into a narrow selection of skills/qualities/gear that they perceive as important (probably combat-related) and let "flavor" stuff fall by the wayside.

If you want to avoid minmaxing I'd rather keep the standard amount of BP and clearly state what characters you want to see in your campaign. For example, if you want them to be socially capable, you could require all characters to get the Etiquette skill at least at rating 1. The Karmagen rules might also be worth a look for building more broadly skilled, less specialized characters.

QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 15 2012, 05:57 PM) *
I've been playing around with the idea of having predetermined characters so the players can try out a face, mage, hacker or rigger without the daunting task of building one.
It seems to me that you end up with a 90% brute population everytime you try something new since they're generally the easiest to build and learn.

That seems like a very reasonable idea to me, though I'd leave some BP available for customizing stuff like hobbies and knowledge skills.

QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 14 2012, 07:01 PM) *
Finally as a small towner from Sweden I usually have a hard time picturing the structure or layout of a metroplex like Seattle... any tips on how to deal with that?

When running a Seattle campaign I actually found Wikipedia and Google Maps quite helpful.
Lionhearted
Karma gen rules are in RC are they not?
Definetly need to get my hands on some more books, currently we only have Core, Arsenal, Augmentation and Street magic.

Recommendations?
Currently thinking of Unwired and RC

Excuse my lack of quoting, editing on a DS is rough
Medicineman
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 15 2012, 12:30 PM) *
Karma gen rules are in RC are they not?
Definetly need to get my hands on some more books, currently we only have Core, Arsenal, Augmentation and Street magic.

Recommendations?
Currently thinking of Unwired and RC

Runners Compendium !
Definitely !
But be carefull and read it first.
There's plenty of really good Stuff in it (more Qualities, Surge,Metavariants, extended Lifestyle and Connections)
but there's also a ....Dark Side. Options that are (ImO) not suited for Beginners or certain Playstile (like Free Spirits and HMMVV or Sentient Critters as Player Char options
If you allready have Player that prefer Powermonger Chars they'll love this Book too
I consider the Runners Compendium as the second most important SR Book
But Yo have to...Handle it with care

With a carefull Dance
Medicineman
Lionhearted
Aye I found the lack of qualities in the corebook disturbing especially after playing SR3 with 25 pages of homebrew qualities, With everything from Immortal elf to Weirdness magnet
Dolanar
ok with this new information about the group.

Mindset, take a game night & turn it into TV/Movie night, tell them its a "prep" night so to speak to get the feel of Shadowrun, so they know a little more about what to expect, get a couple movies, TV shows on Netflix (if available) or the like & let the players watch a few things that have very Shadowrun-esque concepts.

for the legwork & Role responsibilities, Look into Leverage. you have Elliot the streetsam, Parker the B&E stealther, Hardison the hacker/rigger, Sophie & Nate the Faces.

for some of the ingenuity & SHHTF moments, watch Burn Notice, there are a lot of options, but this will be something fun for your group also gives them something to compare things to.
Raiden
I still throw my vote in for the Corp merc group. after they get used to it, you can have the Corp leave them hung out to dry, so they could get "thrown into" the shadows when they feel they are more prepared (or you feel they are, they do not have to know they are getting hung out to dry :3) either way, it would be a good process to set some foundations for the legwork and BnE stuff they will be doing as runners the firsts merc mission maybe give them some hints on what to do/ find out about the target(s). give some slack in the 2nd mission but start to punish stupid mistakes around the 3rd session.
Lionhearted
Corporate background is a nice and clean way to have people fresh to the shadows.
However I'm trying struggling to find a good reason for the corp in question to leave them in the cold...
Here's my thinking, a in-house merc group are essentially runners on a pay roll, freelance would just be runners by another name. So what you got is runners with a potential papertrail and dirty laundry traceable to the corp, a rather big risk and thus an investment worth safeguarding.
So they either have to A) Botch it hard B) Get set up or C) Get in on data over their paygrade.
In all situations it's more reasonable to just axe them off and cut the losses, rather then defaming them and having new loose variables in the shadows to worry bout...
Am I overthinking it or underthinking it?

Edit: Forgot that hanging out dry can involve trying to put a cap in their neck, which opens up whole 'nother can of worms.
Like do we really want a corp with enough funds to run private shadow operations have a price on our rookies heads?
Information is power afterall and Im sure the rival corps would love to know where their R&D went, again risks not worth leaving to chance.
or why did the first attempt fail? are the corp forces incompetent or did our heroes have far to much luck for their own good? Sending a message to the players that they can get away with shit.
Dolanar
Mission went wrong, the Corp drops them & has plausible deniability that the Corp did anything or had any knowledge of the mission that was bungled. the Plausible Deniability angle works wonders for a Corp based double cross.
Raiden
Say the runners start to know "to much" for the Corps exes to like, they decide that its easier for them to test the defenses of a rival AA corp they are looking to take down via force, (since diplomacies IE buying out did not work) this of course would be a suicide mission, its then up the the PCs to get out of it.

Or you could just have the corp set them up, wanting to take them out in the least pubic/costly way as possible and wanting no ties to the cut out, since it would be bad for buisness.
Krishach
QUOTE (All4BigGuns @ Oct 15 2012, 01:26 AM) *
Do nothing. If that's what they're doing, then that's what they enjoy doing in games. Making all those arbitrary changes just because they aren't doing things how YOU think they should be done is getting dangerously close to railroading.

This is true. Actually, we have players in our group who have done the same (not ALL of them, unfortunately: half seem to be respectable shadowrunners) so we changed the game a bit.

While I am a HUGE advocate of "thou shalt not dictate thy PC's actions" as a GM, I am equally part of the "actions have consequences" GM crowd. Newbie armor SHOULD be given to those new to shadowrun from D&D imo: it is a vastly different mindset. When that expires, however, the characters reap what they sow. If they have embarked on illegal enterprises (like pimping PCs), the cartel/yakuza/triad/vory/etc. may take exception. So might LoneStar/KnightErrant.

BTL fuelled killing sprees? Should catch some serious heat for this, whether it be the gang who adopted the territory, or the law. Players constantly trying to backstab each other? Reputation should suffer massively: maybe they can't get another job easy. Pimping schemes trying to sell other PCs? That's just awesome: but there are plenty of competing fleshmarkets who tend to kill competition. Not to mention that players themselves will take significant umbrage to this.



Couple of things I thought helped for our crew, 1/2 of which suffered from the problems you named:

Who does what. In our group, the most unruly jackasses were the most bored, mostly because of a combat focus, and we avoid open combat like the plague (the pro runners planning shit, anyway). We changed it up by giving the unrulies new roles: one of the chief people of getting distracted is now playing the hacker/rigger. This worked VERY well, since there is rarely a point this guy is not involved now. The other? He wound up being the group leader, and has to watch his P's and Q's.

The type of runs. Not sure what runs you have done, but the best run hooks we ever did were not a straight run for pay. They were favors; either for our contacts, our neighbors, our fellow shadowrunners, or because someone got leverage on us. Almost all character hi-jinks can be turned into a run: usually a run by blackmail.

You are not your power level. We originally did shadowrun as a game when some people were missing for some reason (happens quite a lot to us, so shadowrun is probably played the most of our 3 games). As a result, we eventually did 500 pt builds because we might be playing with 2 or 3 people tops. However, this changed as some people who are not regulars would stop by to play. So we would have upwards of 6 runners with 500 pts. OP, anyone? We found out quick, though, that this was not always in our favor. The GM doesn't have to pull punches, and no matter your power level, you CANNOT beat an army head on. Our runs are much harder on the players than when we were 400 pt newly-mades. Simply put: the GM (GODLIKE) can always outscale a player.

Because of that last, I do not believe that scaling down your game will help your issue. We tried 300 pt, and upgrades came way too slow. Glitches happen more often. Any power gamer D&D player will hate this.



TL:DR version - I'd suggest starting consequences that hinder, but not cripple or kill, a runner who is doing deviant things. If they have to work to get out of the mess they are in, but don't give up on the character. Give them something for solving it right, too: contacts and karma can be better than nuyen.
sk8bcn
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 15 2012, 05:39 PM) *
Well it seem I can't get five minutes without interruption.

Anyhow while the group is mostly of the dungeon crawling variety they have expressed a desire to try something completely different.
As a sidenote I did GM a oneshot of On the run, but put the campaign on ice due to lack of time to be able to GM.
It was fairly railroaded and lighthearted, but didn't collapse on itself to much.
After the trainwrecks there was no one left to GM and I didn't have the time to properly prepare, so we stuck to D&D for the most part (where people got over their PK, campaign crashing ways... for the most part). People have been asking for a long time for someone to start a new campaign, but no one wanted to take the lead.

Now I know the players enjoys a more involved playstyle, it worked out (with some coaxing) in the past, however I want to give them the right tools and a good foundation to blossom into beautiful paranoid runners...

If I seem a bit rambly, it's because I am


Then, IMO, just start SR normally. Explain legwork through an expample. And just play.

If you aren't trying to change dungeon crawlers into something else, but if they want to play differently, just go for it. Adapting to the game's feeling is easy.

When I ran for the first time Deadlands, Ars Magica and so on, it never was hard to get the players into the game's feeling naturally.
Lionhearted
QUOTE (Dolanar @ Oct 16 2012, 02:47 AM) *
Mission went wrong, the Corp drops them & has plausible deniability that the Corp did anything or had any knowledge of the mission that was bungled. the Plausible Deniability angle works wonders for a Corp based double cross.


QUOTE (Raiden @ Oct 16 2012, 03:41 AM) *
Say the runners start to know "to much" for the Corps exes to like, they decide that its easier for them to test the defenses of a rival AA corp they are looking to take down via force, (since diplomacies IE buying out did not work) this of course would be a suicide mission, its then up the the PCs to get out of it.

Or you could just have the corp set them up, wanting to take them out in the least pubic/costly way as possible and wanting no ties to the cut out, since it would be bad for buisness.


Ah yes, let someone else do the killing for you!
I like that gives the opportunity for future conflict when the corp discovers they're not as dead as they seem

QUOTE (Krishach @ Oct 16 2012, 08:32 AM) *
While I am a HUGE advocate of "thou shalt not dictate thy PC's actions" as a GM, I am equally part of the "actions have consequences" GM crowd..


Totally subscribe to this, it's much better to motivate and gently coax then to downright railroad. Never say no, say yes but... That said it's not so much about making them play a certain way as it is about opening their eyes to all the possibilities before them, make them realise that the rulebooks aren't the end all be all of what they can achieve, we on the same page?

QUOTE (sk8bcn @ Oct 16 2012, 09:33 AM) *
Then, IMO, just start SR normally. Explain legwork through an expample. And just play.

If you aren't trying to change dungeon crawlers into something else, but if they want to play differently, just go for it. Adapting to the game's feeling is easy...


The hard part is making them realise that the sky is the limit and not be left dumbfounded by the possibilities, A bit to used to being confined by what they can do according to the rulebook, although the experiment I had with cinematic D&D did work out quite nicely the premise was "Tell me what you're trying to do and i'll tell you what to roll" had some great swashbuckling combat in that
All4BigGuns
QUOTE (EKBT81 @ Oct 15 2012, 04:54 AM) *
I'll disagree here. It seems to me that the OP isn't enjoying the group's current style of playing much. IMO the GM should have just as much fun GMing as the players have playing the game. Especially since in my experience the GM generally invests much more time and work into a campaign than the players do. The GM's fun shouldn't come at the expense of the players' fun, but neither should it be the other way around.

I'm not a fan of the low-power approach, but I believe a discussion about what they expect from the game is in order. Great if they manage to work out something that's fun for all people involved. But if there's no common ground at all, as GM I wouldn't bother to spend considerable time and effort preparing a game that turns out to be no fun at all for me.


But neither does the GM have the right to force a specific style onto the players. He's chosen to be the GM for the game, so if the other players prefer a different style, then he can "suck it up" and provide the players what they want or he can let someone else do the running. Just because it's not his preference does NOT mean he can't have fun with it, but for players if the preference is for a more combative game, then it DOES mean it's less likely they'll enjoy a less combative one.

To be clear, I'm more saying that a more combative style of play is far easier to have fun in and appeals to more players, whereas the style where "if combat happens then you've effed up" is rather niche and appeals to a much smaller subset of players. As such, instead of trying to "mold" the players into the latter, the GM should be trying to enjoy the former--which is far easier to accomplish, IMO.
bannockburn
Hello, paranoia again.
Note the name of the topic: "How to ease players into a runner's mindset".
He's not trying to hammer them into new players with new likes. He wants to broaden the horizon of primarily dungeoncrawling players. You know, giving them the opportunity to experience the thing before dismissing it.

In actual reply to the topic:
Now, there have been a lot of good suggestions, including letting them work as corp men and burning them.
I say: Why burn them? A steady job gives security and you as the GM the opportunity to add different mission profiles to their portfolio. Maybe they'll find something they especially like and specialize in this, maybe even go freelance on their own, if they don't like their chain and balls smile.gif
Lionhearted
Can't fault people on DS for paranoia, that's just par du course smile.gif

On the whole molding players to your liking that people keep bringing up... Not being familiar with chinese food doesn't mean you wouldn't like it if you tried it.

I think I've stated several times my distaste for railroading and forcing, just for the record smile.gif
Raiden
I think people talk about burning them as the reason they are "runners" as it were, but yes you could totally have them go freelance mercs after they get the hang of it. it would have a slightly different feel then the "cliche" shadowrunner game as it A most likely wouldnt be as dark, ( of course, a little GM creativity and boom, can be quite dark indeed).
B: less legwork (although still open for QUITE a bit of it) and alot less face work. since most problems will be solved via bullet slinging and mojoblasting. (alot more combat oriented, "usually")
C: the team probably will not have the starved for nuyen feel that some groups have, and will most likely turn down alot of missions if they do not seem to take to it, or reward them in some way.
D: less crime, this can be good or bad. or both.
E: more renown, and more fans, jobs and the like, but lets not forget the people you screwed over because of you mission. (more enemies for the team/PC's)
F: as a runner if you screw a Johnson some people might here about it, some might not, as a merc team, if you screw someone over, most likely EVERYONE will know. so you rep takes a hell of a hit.
if I think of other things to add I shall ad them at a later point lol.
Dikotana
Something that got lost from the original post is that the point of low-power wasn't to restrict options, it was to force players to think before reaching for the guns (and drones and spells) because all opposition is likely to be tough.

I'd say go the other way. Let them chargen as normal (or keep their characters) but then make it clear that they're up against insurmountable odds. It's fine to tell them immediately that that approach will fail. Tell them, without killing them, every time they start getting itchy trigger fingers that it won't work. Reward cooperation with legwork leads, progress, and all that good stuff. Throw them some fights on the way so the killers don't get bored, but make sure everyone has to be clever, too. And reward player cleverness more than character roll cleverness; you're trying to inculcate player behavior. The characters already presumably know how to do their jobs.

They'll either hate you and fire you as GM or figure it out.
Manunancy
Expanding on someone else's mercenary camaign suggestion, a poissiblity would be and 'out in Africa' campaign : have the players on the payroll on some corporation spoking the wheels of one local warlord or another who happen to be on teh competition's payroll.

Playing in Afirca has the advantage that the opposition wil ltend to be of a lower grade and they won't have to worry too much about the Matrix - and as a GM you won't have to worry about all the high-tech bells and whistles. It's also an environment that's more tolerant og high profile ops. but it doesn't means it willeb a cakewlak - the place is such a mess that just about anything can go - from a bunch fd domesticated paracritters to the odd piece of heavy odnance - and of course some very nasty mojo and spirits to spice things up.

And once they get the feel of things, drop the hammer while they're on their way to nail mr President, they have produced enough pressure for their parent corp to bring me President on their side and they throw their catspaws to the wolves . At that point, give them an opportunity to help someone with enough clout to bring them back int ocivilized areas and start something closer to the regular Shadowrun (say a negociator or the like from the competitor's staff, now on the run with a pruice on his a head, a good pile of cash and some phone numbers)
sk8bcn
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Oct 16 2012, 06:14 PM) *
The hard part is making them realise that the sky is the limit and not be left dumbfounded by the possibilities, A bit to used to being confined by what they can do according to the rulebook, although the experiment I had with cinematic D&D did work out quite nicely the premise was "Tell me what you're trying to do and i'll tell you what to roll" had some great swashbuckling combat in that


IMO, you make it look harder than it really is. I play in a club and hence, I've seen several gamemasters and you just understand your GM playstyle quick enough.

I've seen for exemple one who really loved wushu-style gamemastering (he ran Warhammer but we could jump over people, run on walls and so on - which IMO doesn't fit at all to the dark style of this game).
I've had this same GM run DD4 and he dungeon crawled with miniatures following every rule raw.

I've seen a Vampire gamemaster who made every investigation he did a "press A to talk to the NPC and get info". It didn't felt rewarding to me to "investigate" in such an unlikely environment.


These are extreme exemples. I've got many mores. But adapting doesn't requiere efforts. It comes very quickly. Roleplaying games are just simply intuitive.
Midas
I would agree with most posters that some kind of "theme" such as a merc unit in a war zone, a small gang trying to survive and grow, a corp black ops unit, a "special" cop unit with a specific directive, a detective agency, a bunch of mafia enforcers, a DocWagon team etc etc. Coming from a linear dungeon crawl mindset, such themes can help give the group "direction".

I don't understand the lack of love for a DitG (Down in the Gutter) campaign, they can actually be a lot of fun. You can tweak as appropriate, but traditionally DitG would be 320 BP (with half of those BP available for std attributes), max starting resources of 100 or 150K (with max Availability cool.gif, max skill 5 or 2 4's, max group skills 3, max starting Magic/Resonance 3. This should lead to characters that are competent but have room to grow, and who are not so powerful that a hack'n'slay approach will work all the time.

Magic and chrome are kinda woven into SR's DNA, so I don't know if you necessarily want to restrict them too much, but if you do you might want to look into the SR2050 sourcebook which takes the SR4 rules back to the SR1 days.

Talk with your players and see what kind of theme they might be interested in, and then decide if you want to use standard 400BP CharGen or would rather go with a 320BP DitG game. Good luck!
Medicineman
QUOTE
I don't understand the lack of love for a DitG (Down in the Gutter) campaign, they can actually be a lot of fun. You can tweak as appropriate, but traditionally DitG would be 320 BP (with half of those BP available for std attributes),


Thats Why
If You Bonzai Chars they develop a Tendency to Min/Max and Concentrate on only 1 Aspect of The Char . (Especially if the Players come from the "D&D- Action Corner" )
The Players tend to create Combat Monster and because they lack BP they may cut the Corner in the Social department
and instead of Chars that can Grow they have only 1-Trick-Ponies with only a Small Pool so the GM has to tone down the enemies, has to rearrange the Campaign, etc.
A much better way for a DitG Style is to Talk to the Players and Create the Chars together without only Bonzaiing them
Condescending
Avail 8 means Fake SIN lvl 2 only = Bad Idea
Avail 8 means also AK98,Ares Antioch gren Launcher,FN HAr Assault Rifle,Explo Ammomost of the Grenades,most of the Armor,Etc even a Worse Idea
I was once in a "Down The Gutter Campaign "but with normal (IIRC +50 Karma) Chars. We started as Gang Members and Worked (Ie killed & Threatened and Bullied) our Way Up. after (IIRC) 50 or 100 Karma we were all Gangleaders of 1 of the Top Cycle Gangs on our Way to Clash with the Halloweeners. Sadly we never finished the Campaign.But it was lots of Fun partially because our Chars where capable enough

With a Headshakin' Dance
Medicineman
All4BigGuns
QUOTE (Midas @ Oct 17 2012, 02:23 AM) *
I don't understand the lack of love for a DitG (Down in the Gutter) campaign, they can actually be a lot of fun. You can tweak as appropriate, but traditionally DitG would be 320 BP (with half of those BP available for std attributes), max starting resources of 100 or 150K (with max Availability cool.gif, max skill 5 or 2 4's, max group skills 3, max starting Magic/Resonance 3. This should lead to characters that are competent but have room to grow, and who are not so powerful that a hack'n'slay approach will work all the time.


Come on, enough people have to deal with being average or below and scraping by financially in their own life. Why game when your character has to deal with the same exact bulldrek you do? Might as well just stick with your own life entirely instead. So no, it isn't that fun to play the "in the gutter" style games; it's just a reminder of how much one's own life sucks because they have to deal with it in-game as well.
sk8bcn
QUOTE (Midas @ Oct 17 2012, 10:23 AM) *
I don't understand the lack of love for a DitG (Down in the Gutter) campaign, they can actually be a lot of fun. You can tweak as appropriate, but traditionally DitG would be 320 BP (with half of those BP available for std attributes), max starting resources of 100 or 150K (with max Availability cool.gif, max skill 5 or 2 4's, max group skills 3, max starting Magic/Resonance 3. This should lead to characters that are competent but have room to grow, and who are not so powerful that a hack'n'slay approach will work all the time.


I don't agree to Medecineman's opinion. Yes a lower pool of points favorize minmaxing. Tough IMO, this doen't make the game bad tough (power level discrepancy does).


However, I wouldn't play SR in a DiTG campaign with:
-players new to the game
-who played essentially DD.

Even with 400BP+50 Karma, I wouldn't play with such a group a "gang members" campaign.


Making the game narrower than it originaly is won't increase the chances that they'll fall in love with the game.

What SR has, is the fact that cyberpunk fans can opt for samourais, people loving fights but not checking equipment can pick an adept, those who prefer mystical aspect can have fun with mages, those wishing to try something different from their standart characters can pick a rigger, and so on...

If you limit the players choices, you increase the risks that the players won't find their fun.



And this is totally different from a GM and players knowing SR, and the GM says: "I wanna run a DocWagon centered campaign, what do you think?"

(ps I'd answer : "no thanks to your campaign, I don't feel like it...he he")
Bull
QUOTE
How to ease players into a runner's mindset?


You don't. You run it straight and deadly, watch them frag up, kill them, and let them start new characters. smile.gif

The first run should be filled with every "screwed over" trope in the book. Better to let them experience it before they've gotten attached to their character... smile.gif

Bull
Medicineman
Sniff,Sniff
Can it be ?
I seem to smell...some....Irony in this Board....Grumpy and Old but ....Yes ,the Stench is there....


Hough !
Medicineman
Lionhearted
I left the low BP idea back on page 1, However I think there will still be limitations...
Especially on cash, Im thinking more, using corp resources instead of owning their own guns, drones and vehicles.
Reason I wanna keep chrome low from the start is to allow the players to turn around and say "Hey I wanna be a mage/TM/other proffession low essence screws you out from"
a few missions in, while not quite RAW I feel like leaving that door open is better for the overall enjoyment, that and Im allergic to Bob's with essence below 1 at chargen.
Probably limiting contacts to, making sure they know reasonable people (like 3/3 max)

Still feeling in favor of a rather high karma reward since we play so seldom (biweekly with rotating GM) how much is reasonable for a session?

Current idea Im working with is that the runners are handpicked mid level employees at a reasonable big corp probably a subsidiary of one of the AAA's.
They all come from different parts of the company with different expertise and all agreed to "work extra" off the record.
They maintain their dayjob for the most part and convene at a safehouse when they called to a new assignment via an dropbox with the objective, everyone got cover stories for their leave of absence.
They've been at it for a little while (like 5-10 assignments) which is why they've aquired some more unsavory skills and the ones without security background knows what end of the gun to point where, aswell as being reasonably familiar as a team.

I'm thinking of injecting/requiring the players to have atleast one quality/feature that cements them as a real character... Something that they care about that can be used to motivate them or pull their strings with... Aswell as making them more attached to their characters.

Their first assignment
A scientist from a rival corp have offered to sell R&D but wants insurance that his ass aint gonna get fried for it, their objective
A) Find out if he got someone on his heels
B) Make sure he's not double dipping/ trying to set us up
C) Find leverage to sweeten the deal in our favor

Where it goes from there I haven't quite decided but there's plenty of paths to pursue depending on how well or poorly they do their legwork.

And Bull, nice to see you haven't changed a bit nyahnyah.gif
Iduno
I'm not sure that restricting the amount or kinds of ware they can have will improve things much. Who wants to play the samuri without all of the fun toys? Plus you'll either have to rebalance the magic side of the game to match (frustrating the awakened just as much as the chromed), or end up with extra-frustrated mundanes. It might work if the problem is they players being confused by too many options for what they can do, but will sour a player on the game if they want the options.

Giving them direction by having them a team working for an organization sounds like a reasonable suggestion for players who keep going off the rails. Maybe give them the option of choosing what kind of organization they work for. Have them make their characters together to form better bonds.

The idea of having them have qualities they care about is probably also a good way to get characters who are people instead of killing machines.
Lionhearted
I was planning on having a dedicated chargen session, where I explain their surroundings (oh so you're an native american, well the NAN is just around the corner and...) important basic assumptions, what kind of knowledge skills they can expect to have (I kinda doubt Minecraft is still around in 2070...) Actually it sounds like a lot of fun thinking about, although I'll let them find out about the deep end on their own... Gotta find a way to have a Harl run at some point biggrin.gif

I might restrict cyberware in a way that they must have a reason to have it, which is reasonable for magi to...
Raiden
I wouldnt limit the chrome they can get, but maybe limit the money. the thing abot chrome is, yea your at .01 essence out of chargen, gratz, now you cant really get more goodies. or its more difficult to at the very least. limiting money can put a lock on this. (though it seems people find ways after playing a few times >.>) otherwise sounds good. in the end magic is always more broken then chrome.
Lionhearted
Oh yea... if they only got like 5 or less BPs with cash they cant really end up with alot of ware can they ^^
All4BigGuns
Don't forget, the more limits you put on your players in character generation, the less fun they'll have once the game starts. The limits you're speaking of, tell me that they'll probably be bored and want to drop the game in a week--probably to get into a game where their characters can actually do something enjoyable.
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