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Full Version: My players kinda fragged the pooch...
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Howdy Dumpshock. Got a fun mess I've gotten myself into as a GM, and I'm looking for ideas to deal with it.

A bit of background. One of my characters started off with a family and a 40 hr/week job. He found this to be limiting, and spoke with me about wanting to get rid of them in some fashion. I gave it some thought, and decided I'd be willing to let him trade those negative qualities out for a different set of my choosing. He agreed *evilgrin*.

Fast forward to a couple of months later, I have my players running the mission from Ghost Cartels where they need to take out the Yaks at the casino. For some reason, despite not having a demo expert (the one character with demolitions had a pool of 5) they decided to try and take them out with explosives. Once they'd pulled plans and prints up of the local area, they decided on the sewer route and managed to get their shaped charges in place. The only problem being, the demo "expert" who procured the explosives needed to take out the room critically glitched his demo check and obtained many/much/more explosive than he needed. This had the result, in the end, of cratering the casino and creating McConaughey's Hole, as the team refers to it. Once the Seattle rains get to it, it'll be a nice lil' lake for some lake front development.

The results then are as follows. I decided that the casino in question was property of the Vory (one of the other characters has a vendetta with them) who were hosting members of the other major organized crime folks (Mafia, Yaks, Seoul-pa, etc.) for the high stakes poker game mentioned in the book.

Twelve hours after the hit, the characters received retaliation. Four lost their homes, and the demo man who is outspokenly anti-augmentation, had several foundations that he had established (don't ask) diverted to augmentation charities. They're all rather ticked at whoever did it, and this is where I'm tempted to really start playing with them. So far, they have, in no particular order: blackmailed a high level Ares Johnson into being their slitch, killed the mayor of Seattle's son (not exactly their fault), killed the son of a high level Wuxing exec. (also not exactly their fault), killed the son of a fairly connected fixer (absolutely their fault), killed off high, if not top level, members of Seattle's organized crime (the casino job), and gotten the attention of a rather twisted dissonant technomancer named Marbles. Oh, a few members have also been in the media spotlight due to one run, which their employer (think Artie from WH13) is rather peeved at them about.

We haven't played again yet, however the group's TM has started accessing surveillance of surrounding sites and what not and has pieced together that folks wearing Halloweener colors were at each location shortly before the buildings went up.

At this point, I'm thinking I want to have the Artie like employer be the man behind the curtain, ie he provided the organized crime folks with names, addresses, and other pertinent information to track them down. This can be further obfuscated by the employer for their casino job being found broken and battered with a recording of him spilling his guts on what he knows about the runners in a datachip stuck in his pocket, having it known in the shadows that the fixer has a contract out on them, etc.

My player who wanted to lose the family and job is essentially looking at going the Punisher route, and has told me that he plans on provided his fairly high level Lone Star contact with a list of names and the request for proof that they had nothing to do with his family dying within twenty-four hours, anyone not eliminated from the list is fair game.

So...I don't want to exactly kill them all off, but there's a lot of fun and pink mohawk to be had, and since my players have been running mirrorshades for the most part, I think it's time to let them cut loose if they so choose. So, any suggestions for resolving all this? I have glimmerings of ideas, but nothing definite in mind yet.
I'd suggest my "Bus Solution", but I don't think your group would be insane enough to go for it.
They need to pull up stakes and either get out of the biz entirely, or at least, move their operations somewhere very, very far away. I would suggest "on a different continent", even.


Time to pick up some location-based sourcebooks.
Montreal is nice this time of year. biggrin.gif
*grins* I agree, but they seem rather dead set on revenge. I get the feeling that I'm going to end up with some re-rolls at the end of their revenge plot, but that's on them. I've strongly suggested that they get out of town, but they seem intent on ignoring me, so I'm trying to do my best to at least have them go out in a blaze of "glory". biggrin.gif
Realistically they won't though . .
They will probably be cought, tortured to death slowly with parts of them distributed around the city and the rest of them hung out in a very public place to tell other people to not try the same shit . .
If you don't want them to die, maybe try a close call with some literal big guns that they don't even have access to. Like having one of them get a good look at someone they know that knows with an Ares Thunderstruck, and a demonstration of what a shot of that can do to the engine block of their vehicle. If one of the characters has a cyberlimb, maybe a near death encounter that leaves them with torn metal and wires where said limb used to be. smokin.gif

And oh the possibilities of a technomancer antagonist. Sprites and data trails going off into the resonance, a general mucking about with their electronics, and fake IDs and licenses all of a sudden becoming worthless (or worse). That's assuming Marbles doesn't side with them. vegm.gif

I'd also suggest a slow drying up (or killing off) of a few of their contacts, with calling cards directed at the players. That's assuming they're smart enough to get the hint to try leaving the country instead of actively going against a group that'll sooner make 'em into ghoul food. "When your quarry goes to ground, make sure there's no ground to go to." ninja.gif
They've tee'd off enough people with enough money to use Ritual magic against them with symbolic links. That's not including the vast personal wealths of certain particular individuals who would possibly be hiring out shadowrunner teams to neutralize the PCs.
Wow. They've managed to tick off every major organized crime syndicate, multiple AAA megacorp high-ups, a person who's entire job is knowing people, and the head of the local government? And they're still breathing? You're quite possibly the nicest Shadowrun GM I've ever seen. After the casino job went tits up I'd have just told the players to make new sheets, and the new characters get the screamsheet info of their previous characters' horrible, horrible demise. Disposable assets stay alive by not making it profitable to be made examples of.
Heh. I'll admit, I've been having fun with a more cinematic, Die Hard style of game that they do attempt to cover their tracks and mirrorshade through. And a few of the things are, honestly, not their fault. The two deaths were more for narrative effect than anything else, they just happened to be within close vicinity (chasing a piece of the stake that Joan of Arc was burnt on, which caused people to spontaneously combust a while after they touched it) when bad things happened. The johnson was another artifact related incident (think Warehouse 13) who was under the influence of a piece of Judas' silver and was setting his various contacts up to die. They know that, and have set up failsafes to have the information get out if they expire. The organized crime thing happened last run, and for cinematic effect, they lived through the first retaliatory strike. A lot of collateral folks (contacts, their families, etc) didn't. As for the Wuxing guy...haven't gotten around to playing with him yet. smile.gif

But, the next session or two is probably gonna result in characters getting wiped out and new ones on the horizon. So...we'll see. And thanks for the ideas Spellbinder and Neraph, I think ritual magic and the demonstrations of big power are right on the money...who knows, maybe they'll get coerced into doing jobs for the folks they teed off to try and make amends biggrin.gif
You could spin this into a new plot direction.

After all, SOMEONE should see the team as potential tools to be exploited.

Waking up with a throbbing headache and an empty vial of cutter nanites next to them, with a message waiting in their commlinks...

QUOTE (Neraph @ Dec 19 2012, 06:37 PM) *
They've tee'd off enough people with enough money to use Ritual magic against them with symbolic links. That's not including the vast personal wealths of certain particular individuals who would possibly be hiring out shadowrunner teams to neutralize the PCs.

I was explaining this to my brother and saying that three multi-cast Force 7-ish Stunbolts would be manageable enough for drain (3 Tests against Drain 4) and deal enough damage (7S[21] base, up to 14S[42] each) to outright kill just about anyone and his response was "It'd be like the MAC blast from Halo 4." Yes, your 'runner team has pissed off enough people to get a magical MAC blast sent at them.
My suggestion would be to make sure that if one of the PCs die, they all die. If players are having to re-roll then it makes no logical sense for any new characters to want to join this bunch of hunted criminals.

I'd present them with an opportunity for the revenge they want, make it clear that there is no real way back or escape from this plan, and if they still go for it then everyone is happy. They get their revenge, you get to tie up your loose ends and start fresh with something else, and no-one could say they weren't expecting it smile.gif
Perfect, you've got everything set for a "Man with nothing to lose" adventure. Think Punisher, think Max Payne. It's a common theme in Noir, and it can make great stories.

It doesn't necessarily have to end with the PCs' death, but it can't end too well in any case since they're already past the point of no return.

Your PCs aren't really doomed. Big people in the Shadows play a game with each other. Some play poker, other play chess, or mah-jong or go, but in the end they all play a game. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. People with nothing to lose are done playing. They go for the only way they can get out of a game they have no chance to win: flipping the table and killing the other players.
The other player's interests are to keep that player in the game. They don't want someone flipping the table and killing them, but they don't want to be the one to flip the table and kill another player, because it's turning a safe game into a potentially dangerous one. They'll want to talk to the player, tell him that he should stop playing for a while, that he should head home and have a good night rest and come back when he feels better.

That's why most NPCs won't try to directly kill the PCs. They'll tell them they should get out of town, handing them the keys to a nice safehouse on the other side of the country and so on. Or they'll scare them, make them understand that they could kill them, but won't do it if it can be solved any other way. Some NPCs might try to get another player to get rid of that threat: getting the cops to arrest them, for example.

So the PC have a chance of having the time to carry out their plans. They can get help for that too. From:
- Pawns: pawns are the one to risk their lives in the game the players play. They're on the board, they can't do anything. But if a player can go their way, they can help them.
- Friends: Good friends will turn the table with you, no matter the cost.
- Enemy of your enemies: Some players might like to have another player out of the game, but that's not something you do. But if someone else is willing to flip the table and kill some of the players, these players might be willing to help. Of course, they won't let anyone figure it out. To the rebel player he'll tell that he will flip the table with him, and to the other he'll tell that he'll take the player home and take care of him.

Once the player starts flipping the table, everything changes. Other players will do anything to kill them, but the player has the advantage of choosing the time, the situation and maybe his allies. Once the table is flipped and some of the players are dead, the game is over, and nobody will win that game. The player who flipped the table if banned from the game (if one of his fake ally doesn't shoot him) and has no willingness to play it again anyway. He leaves, and the players left alive start picking the pieces and preparing for a new round.
Yeah, I read this and it made me think of the set-up for Shadow Of A Dark Queen - have them arrested/captured by [insert whoever you want the Big Bad to be], have their deaths faked (thus maybe relocation), be implanted with a cortex bomb/cutter nanites/carcerands, and forced to do jobs they'd otherwise refuse. If they're smart, they'll try to break free of the clutches of their evil boss and that's a whole lot of game in itself.

Personally, I vote Marbles and Winternight wink.gif
@Blade: The problem in Shadowrun is, that according to the setting, the PCs are the pawns in the game. The players are megacorps, dragons and nations, not some lowly shadowrunners no one knows or misses when they are dead.
@NiL_FisK_Urd: Depends on the scale. In the world, yes. In the Shadows of a single Sprawl, veteran shadowrunners can fall off the board and become players.
Sounds like they don't care about consequences. I would make them care. Casually snuff one of them, I would probably go with Mr. Vengeance, rathe Mr. Stillborn Vengeance.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (raggedhalo @ Dec 20 2012, 04:49 AM) *
Yeah, I read this and it made me think of the set-up for Shadow Of A Dark Queen - have them arrested/captured by [insert whoever you want the Big Bad to be], have their deaths faked (thus maybe relocation), be implanted with a cortex bomb/cutter nanites/carcerands, and forced to do jobs they'd otherwise refuse. If they're smart, they'll try to break free of the clutches of their evil boss and that's a whole lot of game in itself.

Personally, I vote Marbles and Winternight wink.gif

Shadow of a Dark Queen is an Awesome Story. As is the entire series.
There's also the option of using this mess as an opportunity to explore different cities. Have a courier come to their current safehouse (this should achieve the "we know where you live" aspect) and deliver a letter saying that if the group stays in the country, they will have to kill them, but that they can have a chance to pull a job in, say, Hong Kong. For the corporation/syndicate who makes the offer, it's a cheaper alternative to sending teams after the group, that achieves the goal of getting pesky runners far away from their interests, and if there's no trail to follow for the other players involved, they'll have to table their own revenge.
Get out of town. Pull out some of SR's canned adventures and explore the world.

The first of the Artifacts adventures get's them well out of the way for a few weeks smile.gif
I used a screwed run and a couple of irritated mega-corps as a great way to play in the Chicago CZ for a few weeks.
Or, the New York missions campaign is also pretty good.
Kill them all and let fate sort out the rest.
The greatest stories always arise when you don't compromise and bring things to their natural conclusion. Having a good story a clear ending is so much more memorable then a story that goes on until people stop caring.
Needed to get that out of my system.

Allow their vendetta, but make them realise the costs. Set it to hardcore mode!
They have nothing left to lose but eachother, tell them that no one want to associate with the most wanted men in town. If or when they die, they can't reroll until the vendetta has ended. Proper ended! as in all ties are closed. Either because they gave up, died or emerged victorious. Let the dead PCs take control of other players, contacts or other people that have their life come crashing down on them, they're all in the same boat and the ship is sinking.
Have them know that this is a deadend, make it possible but very challenging to pull it off (you should make a list of the guys on the hit list and start to plan each one) When they arise from the ashes as the last one standing, or sleeps in a shallow grave.

That's when you tell them.
"Thus ended the story of the casino blowout, what happened after... Is anyones guess"
Presto new campaign!
One of my friends, back in 3rd Ed, had a memorable story where his team tried to take down a mega corp in Seattle. They were a veteran team and pulled out all the stops. TPK, massive collateral damage, and a satisfyingly complete feel from all involved.
Their story brought this to mind.
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