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I've been making a new character, a Mouse Shaman with an affinity for collecting. However, my entire concept focuses on him being a bit dirty, a bit shady, and living in the Puyallup barrens. I took a Low Lifestyle and from my aproximation that amounts to a few balsa wood doors between myself and whatever street scum decides that they didn't like my jacket and want to follow me up to my apartment. How do normal runners, not to mention my less than combat oriented shaman, deal with this like of lifestyle? Or am I misjudging the security of a low lifestyle apartment?
Off the top of my head, slip some extra cash to the buildings super and the local gang that controls the area. Makes sure the super watches your place a bit more and the gang act as the local security company as it were. smile.gif
I agree with flack. Pay off the local gang. Do them favors if ya can't afford the cash. Second of all being low lifestyle don't own anything you cant pickup and carry with you on a dead run. Or simply dont get anything you dont mind leaving behind.
Or like I heard once: "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."

Good rule.
Kanada Ten
Other then Concealing valuables one way or another, or simply not owning anything, summoning a Hearth spirit to Guard you before bed is a reasonable precaution. Along with living in groups, earning a reputation as cursed for all the burglars that have had Accidents robbing you never hurt. Paying the local gang and using Illusions in clever ways rounds out the list for a shaman quite nice.

When we speak of mundanes, they travel in gangs. People band together for protection and earn the respect or fear of the other inhabitants. Yet, crime happens to them, and often. Even rumors of riches will cause trouble for them. But most of these poor souls have nothing of value including their organs and are essentially invisible (that's why no one noticed the Insects at first - "nothing" was missing).
Necro Tech
Or make your doss the equivalent of a nuclear slag heap. If the person who lives there is more terrifying than a Star HRT people will generally leave you alone. Ex military types who squat the top floor and rig claymores and gas mines will definitely get left alone. Sadly, this only works for the homicidal set and is not recomended for those who can't wipe out a small gang by them selves.

As a different twist for the subtle ninja types, start disapearing local undesirables. When word gets out that every ganger who wanders into a 1 block radius of your doss vanishes......., bang, instant privacy and security.
Person 404
Well, or instant firebombing, but either way works, I guess.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (Person 404 @ Aug 11 2004, 11:22 PM)
Well, or instant firebombing, but either way works, I guess.

Especially when you walk from the blaze smiling!
Mouse or not, some showy magical display might earn you some cred - couple that with some healing and you have a good barter system.

Not to mention, instant run ideas.

"You hear squealing tires, followed by banging on the door. Looking through the peep-hole, you see some of the local gangers you've been helping. Two are carrying a very bloodied up ganger between them..."
QUOTE (Jerob)
I took a Low Lifestyle and from my aproximation that amounts to a few balsa wood doors between myself and whatever street scum decides that they didn't like my jacket and want to follow me up to my apartment.

Your description sounds more like Squatter lifestyle than Low lifestyle. With Squatter, you got your place by pushing out someone else or moving in after disease kill off the previous occupants. With a Low lifesyle, you can have a lock on the door and live in Renton instead of Puyallup.

If you want to live in Puyallup, it will be as the people have described above. In my game, paying Low lifestyle while in Puyallup would cover both your rent payment and your protection money to the local gang.

If you use Treat or Heal on local gang members, they'll guard your place better than they would their grandmother's.
Not to mention the information network of eyes-and-ears you'll acquire.

Of course, you're going to start building a rep, whether you like it or not.

Black Isis
If you were playing in my game, and you were a Rat shaman, I'd probably be more than happy to let you have a bunch of "friendly" rats, mice, and other furry creatures scampering around your place that would proabbly do a good job of deterring most normal people, especially if you make a habit of answering the door with a rat cozyed up on your shoulder, and a couple running out between your legs. Granted, this doesn't say much for the cleanliness of your place, and most of your friends will probably not want to come over and hang out, and it might be a little hard to get a date....but then, you weren't planning to entertain much either, I'm guessing. smile.gif

That said, paying off the local gang and helping out around the neighborhood isn't a bad idea either. Mot people won't really want to hang out with you, but they'll probably tolerate you as the local eccentric. wink.gif
Rory Blackhand
A low lifestyle apartment is going to probably be a thin walled, badly kept place, maybe infested by roaches and mice or rats (nice for you) in a crowded neighborhood that is probably somewhat segregated along racial (metahuman) lines from the rest of middle class society. The low class neighborhood is the last buffer from total abject misery of the street. From living a low lifestyle most of my own real life I am leaning away from some of the advice I have seen given. I'm not saying to not have gang contacts built into your background or anything, I just think being secretive would be more in keeping with a Rat shaman.

Low living is not going to really give you any security. In my opinion, you should use numbers to your advantage to blend in. You don't want to draw attention to yourself in any way, shape, or form. You are just one of thousands of other plex residents trying to scrape by with one foot on the street and the other foot stubbornly clinging to a place out of the rain and elements. Your apartment is decorated in urban ghetto contemporary, you have a bare mattress on the floor to sleep on, you have cement blocks and lumber for shelves, milk crates take the place of dressers to store your cloths in, sheets cover your windows instead of curtains. Art for your apartment is a pyramid of beer cans, or a whisky bottle collection, or fold outs of Orc Girls of the month. In short, you don't have anything anybody would want. And since you are such a slob there are pizza boxes, beer cans, half eaten food scraps, candy wrappers, and junk food boxes lying around everywhere. When you open the door your neighbors catch a glimpse of what you have, or don't have, and pay you no mind at all.

What you can't do though is flash. If I am your neighbor's teenage kid I may or may not be in the local gang, but I am always looking for a score and I am hanging around out on the sidewalk with nothing better to do than dream an opportunity like you falls in my lap. You ever get dressed up in fine cloths to meet Mr Johnson and I see you step out, I am going to have a look in your apartment while you are gone. You buy some wiz new toy, walk out to the dumpster with the boxes and the wrapping it came with, I am reading the label and logo to see what it is in case I don't have one myself. Your team's rigger picks you up all the time in an urban tank, I might just get curious and start talking and keeping a closer eye on you. You walk out the door packing a gun or a sword, wearing armor, covered in fetishes, or carrying mysterious bags, boxes, and pouches I am going to really get curious. Random break ins just don't happen that often in the low class areas, you start flashing you are not really walking the talk and you will get hit though. Same goes for your team, you got flashy friends packing all kinds of weapons, clothing, and gear coming over all the time your cover will be blown. If you are careful though there should be no reason at all why you need to worry about security. Being sloppy though will bring attention down on you like a ton of plascrete.

You say you want to be smelly and unkept? That is cool, but a get a cover for why. If you live on the street or are a squatter with no access to running water you don't need a reason. If you have a low lifestyle it does. Neighbors are nosey. Maybe you work as a garbage man, but why are you home all day? Maybe you are a plumber? Why don't you wash your nasty cloths while you aren't working? Maybe you go thru garbage looking for recyclable cans, better make it a part of your daily routine. You need to be able to explain why you are such a smelly filthy person. Maybe you are just such a slob you never shower and your apartment is filled with garbage like a pack rat? That will draw attention, because it is weird. Make a believable cover.

This brings us to another type of security. The kind you need because you got burned on a run or attracted attention from something else you did outside of your home. If you are concerned about being attacked in the middle of the night by agents of enemies you may have made there is little you can do about it with a low lifestyle. Summoning a hearth spirit each night, setting wards, throwing the couch in front of the door, putting squealers on the windows, etc.. are all soft methods of improving security. If you go modifying the walls, windows, and doors the sound of construction will draw attention, a silence spell could help, but what about the prying eyes of the land lord, building inspectors, exterminators, door to door salesmen, etc.. And who will do the work? If you do it yourself it requires a skill roll. If you hire someone to do it there is a record of it.

If you are just trying to hide gear you don't need to be walking around with all the time you should be able to find somewhere to put it without too much problems as long as it is just small items. Even prisoners are able to outwit prison guards with clever ideas. A bag filled with contraband flushed down the toilet with a string preventing it from being carried out to the sewer, I bet it would take a pretty strong willpower roll to stick your hand into the toilet of a Rat shaman to fish around for a string. If you are trying to hide an assault cannon that is another story, not to mention there are dogs that can smell explosives or gun oil. Plus there are spells that can find certain items if they know you are likely to have it. You might use your stealth skill to hide items when you are gone, small compartments with trap doors hidden by rugs if you live on the ground floor and can spend the time to do it, better hope you don't jackhammer into underground electrical cables when you do. Or the walls maybe, hidden by a cheap tapestry. Be creative, use your imagination and let the GM decide how it goes.
QUOTE (BitBasher)
Or like I heard once: "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."

Good rule.

Some watched to much Heat.
QUOTE (Mr.Platinum)
QUOTE (BitBasher @ Aug 12 2004, 01:07 AM)
Or like I heard once:  "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."

Good rule.

Some watched to much Heat.

No. Such. Thing. biggrin.gif
Rory Blackhand
Sorry I said Rat shaman, I meant Mouse Shaman. And I missed the part you already said you were going to be a collector, sorry. Sort of a "pack rat" type. Depending what you are collecting, you could be the sort that picks up seemingly random junk out of dumpsters, or can't throw anything away, even wrappers and boxes, so that your place is just literaly packed with useless junk from the floor to the ceiling. Hiding gear from random theft attempts, or recon type intrusions just to check you out shouldn't be that hard. It still does nothing to prevent a dedicated search or strike team from getting in and finding nearly everything you have if they are really looking. It would absolutely lengthen the search time though increasing the chances you come back and find them in the middle of going thru all your stuff!

You want to be a bit dirty and shady. This fits in better with just trying to mind your own business and not draw attention to yourself. Be secretive coming and going. Exactly what I am suggesting. Be careful not to flash. Don't go killing anyone near your apartment and avoid the gangers if you can unless you built it into your background. Paying bribes will increase your cost of living and you won't be able to trust them to screw you over anyway.

I do think that maintaining an unusual "collection" can draw attention too. Anything you do that is abnormal has the potential to leave you exposed to scrutiny. Not having alot of valuable stuff there is good advice. If you get alot of "gear" where you keep it will have to be worked out.
Depending on how vigilant the landlords, maintenance guys and inspectors happen to be for your low lifestyle.

And you can always tweak your own soft security - a maglock that looks cheap but has the inner workings of a much higher model?

Affiliations can work both ways - if someone shows up to collect your mark in an urban tank, do you really want to risk upsetting them? S'why if you're not affiliated with a major gang or an organized crime outfit, you don't mess with other gangs and organized crime syndicates.

Of course, if you're a known yak and someone wants to make his bones with the Seoulpa or Triads...

One of my runners has a variety of safehouses, took some doing, but it gives him a decent place to rest his head, at least in the seattle area. One on council island (great place to sortie from), a small place in the ork underground, a fortified garage in tacoma, and a nice little bunker in the barrens.

For the barrens, my recommendation is make friends and do whatever you can to get the support of your neighbors. In my character's case, it was supplying gangers with weapons "free of charge" taken from salvage from runs or the like, helping out to pay/support medical aid in the community, help with a little matchmaking. Kinda a side-quest, you help hook someone up with their significant other, you do a little free work or consultation for them from time to time, etc.

Its not fool proof, depending on your GM, and just how seriously you've called down the thunder with your actions, even friendly neighbors may turn you in.

I tend to find it preferable to not making any contact, and being all secretive, because trying to be all secret, can often lead to you making a bigger impression and attracting attention.

Course you could also try the, "I'm crazygonuts!" approach. The public personae you show you play the crazy bag lady/man. You make it seem like you're harmless, and a minor bit part that doesn't deserve notice. It may work.
Depends on the barrens.

In Redmond, you pay the local gangs and get a big gun.

In Puyallup, you get a few Trolls and stake some heads, then when anyone messes with you you rip them to pieces while desperately thinking about anything but what you're doing to avoid throwing up.

Skeptical Clown
I'd assume a Low lifestyle is one of the nicer areas of the Barrens, relatively speaking. The facilities usually work; there's not a lot of space, but there is some semblance of privacy and security. You still probably need a lot of locks and maybe some payoffs for the local gang, but you're not living in squalor. Don't keep anything at home you're really attached to, though.
Of course, you have to be careful you don't give away too many nifty goodies - you'll draw unwanted attention from other gangers.

I'm more of a rigger than a magic user, but I've always been a huge fan of the physical mask spell. Why not find a way to permanently mask your front door to look like a brick wall? You could summon spirits every sun up and sun down, or get an ally spirit, or something, I'm sure. Burglars will have a much harder time burgling your apartment if they can't find a way into it.
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