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toturi
I was toying with the idea of a PC from the Kennedy or Bush clans, but I was at a lost about how to go about it... I wanted someone (a Face perhaps?) who was used to the corridors of power, now using the power and influence he has in the shadows.

Has anyone tried creating such a character before?
Siege
Basically a wheeler/dealer with political "Connections."

And a "Dark Secret" because if he ever got caught, he'd be so, so screwed. From both sides of the fence.

I'd say Face with some small but high end cyber or even bioware. As a person of power, he (or she) wouldn't have a lot of enhancements, but the one or two pieces he did have would be expensive.

-Siege
Abstruse
Also, get your GM to allow "Friends in High Places" edge from 2nd Ed. It allows you to have more powerful contacts (IE Fastjack's your Decker contact, the head of the Shasta Lodge is your Shaman contact, Sean Laverty is your Politician contact in Tir Tairngire). I think it only works for one contact, and your access to that contact is much more limited. The reason why it was taken out of 3rd Ed is probably because...well, frankly, do you REALLY want a PC to have Dunkelzahn as a contact?

The Abstruse One
Crimsondude 2.0
Well, that presumes the idea that current American dynasties like the Bush, Kennedy/ Shriver, Bayh, Gore, Roosevelt, Taft, Rockerfeller or any other minor families with members in national politics (I think each of us could think of any number of local or regional dynasties) would still be around in 2060 (the Murkowskis are starting a 21st century dynasty out of Alaska) anymore than the Adams dynasty was in the 20th century. Look at the Roosevelt clan--they've all but disappeared from politics since FDR was President, and they had been one of the most prominent families in America in the early 20th century. There were so many Roosevelts appointed to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy that it was once called the Roosevelt Chair.

[EDIT]

I do temper that with the fact that since Senator Arnold Scwarzenegger is a part of SR canon (and held his seat into at least the early 50s), that specific line of the Kennedy-Shriver-Schwarzenegger dynasty is a given. What remains of the rest is unknown. JFK's daughter has shown little interest in politics (but in other venues), Ted's kids, well... RFK's children are active in politics and one of them (probably RFK Jr.) will almost assuredly take his seat when he's gone, and hold it just as long.

OTOH, given the canon of SR and the events of the timeline affecting their financial base, I do not see the Bush dynasty making it to 2060. AFAIK they do not even hold the imprimature of the G. H. W. Bush (being the product of two major families, the Walkers and the Bushes) presidency to serve as the family patriarch in SR given Lynch's win in 1992 and the fact that the timeline began to diverge as early as 1986 (based on when C.J. Burger retired in SR vs. when he retired IRL).

HOWEVER

The situation here is hwo to crete, basically, a Face. You assume that politics and the shadows are distinct, which is... wrong. It is especially wrong given the context of the two specific families in which you mention. When the CorpSec HB writes about the proto-runners of the late 19th/early 20th century, those families would have been (and were) dealing with the same elements. That was how they began--the Walker and Bush families began in oil in the Ohio Valley just like Rockerfeller. Joe Kennedy is regarded as a crook and a bootlegger and a friend of La Cosa Nostra. Politics only came naturally to something else in their blood--the realization that Power doesn't always follow the rules. And in politics it comes from various backroom deals which range from ehtically questionable to the exchange of envelopes full of cash, the willingness to break the law to provide(and gather) dirt on your opponents to the media. The only question is a matter of degree. And I find it hard to believe that someone who was actually exposed to this in their upbringing would be anything less than a Fixer or Johnson.

Which is why it would be more reasonable to approach the idea of a PC from the ranks of dynasties which have fallen from power by the 2060s, either over time or in a spectacular tragedy worthy of the Greeks (or Shakespeare). Someone who had an idea of the loose belief in and adherence to the law, but who also recognized that there is also a certain code that is followed. Some things are not said, or done. Even if that means toppling someone from power, there is an expectation of stability that governs the way they play the Game. It's very much like the corporate setting of SR with the big ten, but there are many factions in the parties, the families, the community, and their associates who all have to be Dealt With.

But making them part of a very powerful existing family is harmful unless you factor that into their life because they will have to have Dark Secret and Day Job and live a dual life because there are people in the media and the rest of the world who would be willing to expose them.

For instance, it is (from what I gathered) an open secret that Richard and Samantha Villiers' daughter is a shadowrunner in the community. It is probably (well, assrueedly) also known in the upper echelons of every RAD and boardroom of the Big Ten. All have files on this, MIFD and the Seraphim probably have whole datastores on her (esp. given Shiawase's and CATCo's interest compared to Novatech's). But it is Not Spoken Of in public. 99.9% of the world wouldn't know, in part because Villiers would Destroy them if they tried.

The same thing applies IRL, and would apply with this person. But with a political family there is a much greater threat because they cannot retaliate with that much force unless it happened to, say, Haeffner (which brings to mind his family situation), who does have the ability. There is a greater possibility that people would know, try to know, and definitely to use against their family because it would be politically beneficial to do so, especially in the UCAS and CAS.

So tread lightly because, and this is why I am so desperate to run a campaign in DeeCee, the potential for disaster if he was caught, killed, exposed or in any way found to be a liability is huge. The only thing that could offset that is to either preven it, or to mitigate it against their opponent by doing something sufficiently damaging to make it a zero-sum situation to ever let anyone know.

[/EDIT]
Xirces
In contrast, the Kennedy's still have influence.

Also, isn't Senator Schwarzenegger married to a Kennedy? If so, there's a continuation of a dynasty...
Crimsondude 2.0
See the above edit.
CircuitBoyBlue
It's Governor Schwartzenegger, not senator, and he's married to a Shriver, which yes, is part of the Kennedy clan (not entirely sure how, I think her mother was JFK's sister, but I'm probably wrong).

I'd say the political clans could very well be around in 2060. You're absolutely right that the Roosevelts were around for a long, long time before dropping off the political face of the world, but they didn't die out. It's entirely possible that they could re-emerge. Now, that particular case isn't a great example because they've been out so long, but if the Kennedys or Bushes were to drop out of politics altogether in the next 10 years (almost impossible for the Kennedys, seeing as how there's so many of them in political office at the moment), and one of their descendants were to take office in 2060, there'd still be plenty of family political connections to take advantage of, and since those connections would all be VERY old, they'd be VERY useful as connections. If you're in politics, by the time you get to be 70 or 80, you get to know a LOT of people, especially people with money and influence.

I, for one, think it's a good idea, if the GM is ok with it. I can see how as a GM it would be a little troublesome to have a character in the group with lots of political connections ("The Aztechnology security guards kick you out of the arcology" "I call all my friends and arrange for the CAS to invade Aztlan"), but if the GM plans a campaign where it would work, and the player isn't a douchebag, it could be pretty cool. Let us know how it turns out.
Connor
Arnold is a Governor now, but in SR Canon he's a Senator as Crimsondude said above.
CircuitBoyBlue
Yeah, he got that edit in while I was writing my reply. I didn't realize that canon said that. I do remember the Ares Street Sam Catalog saying something about Governor Schwarzenegger, though, now that i think about it (or was it President? Scary).

Another thing to consider is the political stripe of the character in question. In real life, dynasties tend to only have connections on one side of the aisle (I'm sure Arnold doesn't get to tap into his wife's family connections very much). This could be really important in a lot of cases. If you're a conservative, you ESPECIALLY don't want to get caught running for a group like GreenWar. On the other hand, if a conservative gets caught running against a group like that, his or her political contacts will look more kindly on the situation.

Also, where is the dynasty from, and where is the character running? If a Taft got caught pretty much anywhere outside Ohio, anyone other than the most politically savvy probably would not know to make a big deal out of it.
Xirces
Actually, looking back through BBB I can't find any reference to Arnie - in one of the earlier editions was he (or one of his kids) mentioned as President? I certainly remember the name from SR somewhere.

I'm possibly getting confused by a combination of RL, SR and Demolition Man...



Fresno Bob
Well, if the Kennedys keep dying off, they sure as hell won't be around in the 2060's.

*Starts whistling Holiday in Cambodia*
Backgammon
You're thinking too american. In SR, Japan has the strongest economical strenght and is strongly clan centered, and you can bet your ass family/clan politics are a huge deal. Family shadowrunners and faces would no doubt be a very important people, especially since embarrasement for the japanse is so much worst that it is for americans. And punishment for failure probably comes in the form of a tatooed Yakuza hard-man.

So a political campaign could be easily done in Japan, or anywhere where Japanacorps have a foothold. An interesting idea to keep an american setting:

A face working for a young member of a japanacorp sent to america to expand the corp empire. This can be more forgiving, since screw ups can be somewhat mitigated by the fact that the familiy doesn't have as many enemies in the New World than it does in Japan, and the young family son may be feel the runner is more his equal since their both in the same boat.
Panzergeist
Make it two dark secrets. The first being that he is a Bush/Kennedy, and the second that he killed his girlfriend by driving drunk when he was a kid.
CircuitBoyBlue
I wouldn't call that a dark secret, so much. For it to qualify for the dark secret flaw, I imagine it would have to be harmful if it got out. Good old Ted will probably be in the Senate until he retires or dies. Granted, he lost his bid for the presidency, but I think "dark secret" material has to hurt you more than limiting you to "just the senate."

And yes, I realize you were probably joking.
FlakJacket
Could be wrong, but didn't the Boston section from Target: UCAS mentions something about the Kennedy's still being fairly powerful in the area and having some sort of feud with another long established fmily from around there?
Nath
QUOTE (FlakJacket @ May 23 2004, 02:00 AM)
Could be wrong, but didn't the Boston section from Target: UCAS mentions something about the Kennedy's still being fairly powerful in the area and having some sort of feud with another long established fmily from around there?

Don't remember seeing such thing, but I could simply have missed it. Or it could have been in NAGEE issue n9.
Crimsondude 2.0
Could have been. I'd assume so.

There was also another online SR mag (which has gone dark) which also mentioned them.

I'm not sure which family they'd be feuding with, but then I can only think of Villiers or Haeffner.

QUOTE (Xirces)
Actually, looking back through BBB I can't find any reference to Arnie - in one of the earlier editions was he (or one of his kids) mentioned as President? I certainly remember the name from SR somewhere.

I'm possibly getting confused by a combination of RL, SR and Demolition Man...

Paranormal Animals of North America, in the Bandersnatch entry. It's in at least one other book as well, but I can't recall which one. And it's not exactly spelled out that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor, is the Senator Schwarzenegger mentioned in PAoNA, but it'd be one hell of a coincidence if it wasn't. The other thing is that even way back in PAoNA he'd have been 104.

However, while he was never President (they are all listed in the DS timeline from Lynch to Haeffner), there's nothing stopping him under the UCAS Constitution (which is how Daviar, who is supposed to be from Estonia, became VP).
Siege
QUOTE (Backgammon)
You're thinking too american. In SR, Japan has the strongest economical strenght and is strongly clan centered, and you can bet your ass family/clan politics are a huge deal. Family shadowrunners and faces would no doubt be a very important people, especially since embarrasement for the japanse is so much worst that it is for americans. And punishment for failure probably comes in the form of a tatooed Yakuza hard-man.

So a political campaign could be easily done in Japan, or anywhere where Japanacorps have a foothold. An interesting idea to keep an american setting:

A face working for a young member of a japanacorp sent to america to expand the corp empire. This can be more forgiving, since screw ups can be somewhat mitigated by the fact that the familiy doesn't have as many enemies in the New World than it does in Japan, and the young family son may be feel the runner is more his equal since their both in the same boat.

Well, he did cite Kennedy as a reference. I don't know if the Bushes necessarily qualify as a political clan quite yet.

Otherwise, you are quite correct -- Asian cultures have a strong emphasis on family and tradition and it is quite conceivable that a wayward young child of a Japanese (or other) socio-political-economic group could stray into illegal and illicit activities.

The penalties for that straying, however, can be quite severe.

-Siege
Crimsondude 2.0
QUOTE (Siege @ May 23 2004, 01:24 AM)
QUOTE (Backgammon @ May 22 2004, 10:11 PM)
A face working for a young member of a japanacorp sent to america to expand the corp empire. This can be more forgiving, since screw ups can be somewhat mitigated by the fact that the familiy doesn't have as many enemies in the New World than it does in Japan, and the young family son may be feel the runner is more his equal since their both in the same boat.

Well, he did cite Kennedy as a reference. I don't know if the Bushes necessarily qualify as a political clan quite yet.

In three generations the Kennedy family became the American Dynasty, and only two generations of them had elected officials (JFK and his brothers, and RFK's children).

The Bushes have been in elected office for three generations (Prescott Bush, Sen. from CT who stayed in the hotel Al Gore's family owned when he was in D.C.; G.H.W. Bush, congressman, VP and President; G.W. Bush, Gov of Texas, President, and Jeb Bush, Gov. of FL). Herbert Walker Bush's children represent the culmination of two business and political dynasties (the Bush and Walker families) which happened to begin about the same time as Joe Kennedy was creating his own family legacy. From my understanding, they even have ties between them (not blood, but business/political) going back to before WW2. Really, the best thing to do is read Kevin Phillips' book, American Dynasty.

But I think that it is a disservice to the legacy of the family to not consider them a dynasty.

QUOTE (CircuitBoyBlue)
I, for one, think it's a good idea, if the GM is ok with it. I can see how as a GM it would be a little troublesome to have a character in the group with lots of political connections ("The Aztechnology security guards kick you out of the arcology" "I call all my friends and arrange for the CAS to invade Aztlan"), but if the GM plans a campaign where it would work, and the player isn't a douchebag, it could be pretty cool. Let us know how it turns out.

Indeed. In that example I'd start deducting karma because the PC (and player) should know better.

QUOTE (Backgammon)
You're thinking too american.


Well... yeah. This way I can speak from experience and knowledge, which is kind of the point IMO.

QUOTE (CircuitBoyBlue)

Another thing to consider is the political stripe of the character in question. In real life, dynasties tend to only have connections on one side of the aisle (I'm sure Arnold doesn't get to tap into his wife's family connections very much).

So I can assume that you didn't see Ted Kennedy stumping for him then.

They weren't frequently overt, of course, but they weren't hostile. Besides, he's not exactly the polar opposite of them (Ted and RFK's kids). I almost say he's about as conservative as JFK was--politically of course.

QUOTE (CircuitBoyBlue)

Also, where is the dynasty from, and where is the character running? If a Taft got caught pretty much anywhere outside Ohio, anyone other than the most politically savvy probably would not know to make a big deal out of it.


I agree. It's a big deal because their power base is going to be a lot more protective of them, and suceptible to their influences.

Another thing is that this is also reflected in lesser dynasties and clans. And there are different types of these families. I can think of one family which is important because they have members in pretty much every government office from the state government down to city clerks, and the sheer number of people who they know and the favors they can perform makes them very useful even though most people don't know their names. If they like you, you're set. If you piss off even one family member though, you're fucked. On the opposite side is a family which has a patriarch who has an enormous amount of inlfuence and wields it through his family, who in turn have their own political influence.

And then there are the fools who think that because they have someone powerful in the family, they can do whatever they want. They are dangerous because they're stupid. They are generally part of the extended family and thus were never groomed for it, or were done so poorly. They don't actually know anything, least of all about how to use power or the relative scale of power, and they make fools of themselves, if they're lucky. If they aren't, they are persona non grata; they will never hold office (or if they did, they never will again) and will never command respect or influence.

On the other hand, I have seen people move heaven and earth to protect their families and legacies. And that is ultimately the context of these groups--to create and protect a legacy that will exist long after they're gone. It's not enough to accumulate power and influence, but the successful families have been such because they took specific measures to put their children in as good positions as possible to succeed for the good of the family. It's not, interestingly, unlike certain criminal organizations, because even within the family itself, there must also be a group of people willing to help that family further their interests and reap the benefits. And the successful political families also have to get their constituents to love them, which is a lot harder to gain and keep than if they tried to intimidate them such as in a criminal context.

And so, the PC who grew up and learned those lessons would have to be very well-versed in how to use social skills, to appreciate the context of their circumstances and plan accordingly, and be very perceptive of what people want, and what they are afraid of.
toturi
A scion of any political dynasty has a tremendous advantage, given that even if he was caught, whole legions of lawyers would be defending him. If he is caught but never convicted, he could come down like a ton of lawyered bricks on anyone who "libels" him.
CircuitBoyBlue
Actually, JFK's family was politically active before JFK. His grandfather was "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, who I believe was the first Catholic congressman from Massachussetts and held the seat that JFK later held. The guy was in his late 80s when JFK won it, and he got up on a table and did a jig when he found out.

Speaking of Massachussetts, you don't even have to be in office for multiple generations to get the general idea of a legacy. James Michael Curley was governor of Boston off and on for almost 40 years, and even though his children were never politcally active, they knew every important democrat in the country, and all the important business leaders in the state. When you talk about coming down like a ton of bricks on people for libel, that was exactly what Curley liked to do. And when he WAS convicted, it didn't always keep him out of office. When it comes to local or even state politics, people don't always give a crap about criminal records. Hell, Curley was convicted of election fraud before he even ran for office, and he was able to turn it into a positive on the campaign trail. Or look at Louisiana, and the election won by Edwin Edwards AFTER a conviction for taking bribes while in office. Hell, they loved him so much that they let him write the current election system down there.

For a really good book about when people are and are not willing to put up with crime coming out of a political office, check out "The Last Hurrah" by Edwin O'Connor. It's a thinly veiled allegory about Curley, and yes, he did sue O'Connor for libel.
FlakJacket
QUOTE (Nath)
Don't remember seeing such thing, but I could simply have missed it. Or it could have been in NAGEE issue n9.

Ah, yeah that's where it's from.
Siege
QUOTE (toturi)
A scion of any political dynasty has a tremendous advantage, given that even if he was caught, whole legions of lawyers would be defending him. If he is caught but never convicted, he could come down like a ton of lawyered bricks on anyone who "libels" him.

Tough call -- depending on the family, the child might be silenced to prevent embarassment to the family and minimize the potential of leaks being spread to outsiders.

Not every parent is willing to indulge a child's recklessness.

-Siege
Crimsondude 2.0
And sometimes not saying anything makes things disappear faster than making a federal case out of it. That's what fixers are for (and why they are called "fixers") *ahem*

BTW, I believe you meant slander.
CircuitBoyBlue
Probably meant libel. These things tend to come out in newspapers, or electronic print, which would make it libel. Plus, the old cliche is the politician suing his enemies for libel, they usually see slander suits as throwing stones from glass houses.
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