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Botch
My latest mini-plot got a bit derailed, OK, very derailed.

Background.

6 runners (4 newbies and all ex-corp, all magical to some extent) all had to flee their previous lives for the shadows. They where all helped by their lvl 2/3 contacts to hook-up with Ar Bugeila (a fomorian fixer) who a for a large fee would help acclimatise the runner with their new SINless lives. The deal included a new life and neferious training in exchange for 2 runs and a future favour.

The first run was supposed to be a bit of a cakewalk to introduce the SR-style of RPG. The task was to swap a transport container at the docks (partially mob controlled) within the next 72hours, in a subtle manner.

Hooks included - potentially set-up mob contact, infiltrate the dock's matrix presense, find information about the container, find information about Ar Bugeila, and set-up local contacts.

What happened was - infiltrate dock record systems, find out that someone is watching the relevant files and the system as a whole has been placed in "diagnostics" mode, setup the paperwork to bring in the ringer trailer, infiltrate the docks to scope physical security, scout astral defenses, sneak in two containers, park the "getaway" truck in plain sight, start a full-blown automatic gunfire battle with the mob after leaping out of the second container, hang about long enough for the law to be real close by and have to RPG the lead response vehicle.

They didn't even open the container or scan it in anyway. After leaving the job they went and holed up in another city instead of the provided safe-house. After 3 days of discussing whether to backstab the fixer on the comms gear provided by the fixer the session thank-fully ended with the fixer and crew about to burst into the hotel room.

I need someway to get the players back into the fold. The best way would be to link in a mini-run that references action films, as this would probably be a way to emphasis the problems associated with exploding the mob and the law in one afternoon to the 2 RPG newbies. So far I have thought of "Things to do in Denver when you're Dead". Do you have any suggestions?
Zenmaxer
start with reminding them that this is NOT D&D (though it is possible to pull runs off this way, no n00b is gonna build a sufficiently broken char).

Second, how sick a brutalization is required?
Botch
Oh I have reminded them it isn't D&D, I especially pointed this out to Number Nine who is has been our D&D DM for 12 years. Four of the group I have been RPGing with for 12 years now, but only 2 of those have experience with SR/C2020/SLA, the other 2 are completely new to pen'n'paper RPGs (IMHO Baldur's Gate on a console doesn't count).

If this was a run of the mill adventure, I would have hosed them 3hrs into the session, but unfortunately we have all invested too much time in character creation/backplot to throw the characters in the bin after the first session. What I am looking for is a little mini-quest that starts off with some good 'ole fighting, but tightens up to a subtle-ish non-combat conclusion. I do not want to kill the runners, but loss of friends/relative/equipment/contacts is fine as long as the runners shit themselves back into line.

Game-time - The runners will be back at HQ with a few weeks of "down-time" before a group initiation. The time is needed for Ar Bugeila to setup the ritual area. During this time the group need to deal with the consequences of completely eradicating a local mob group, destroying a HTR APV and impersonating a level 12 elven ranger/wizard.
BitBasher
Approprately have them suffer the consequences of their actions. Coddle them in the beginning and they will just expect that that is how things work later. Make an exception for them now and you just set the standard for how they will expect these things to work in the future.

What being said, it can take a while for them to get away from that mindset.
Jason Farlander
Eh, you should have hosed them anyway. You still can, when the fixer's goons break in. Then, when the start complaining, tell them "now you know how much easier it is to die in this game" and "if you want to survive in the shadows you're going to need to learn to use more restraint." Then, since they did put a lot of time into their characters and you dont want them to quit outright, let them try the run again - just change a few details so they cant rely on what happened last time. Let them know you are changing some things, but dont tell them what you will be changing.

Alternately, if you want to go the blackmail route, you can have the fixer's goons be packing capsule rounds with DMSO/Gamma-Scopolamine, then have them all wake up in a white room without their gear - at which time the fixer gives them a little speech about "learning their place" and how, since they werent going to live up to their end of the bargain willingly, they will do so unwillingly - motivated by the carcerands currently floating around in their systems and the blood samples he gave to a mage friend of his who owes him a favor. At this point he explains their next mission and returns their gear to them.

Maybe Overwatch is even merciful and *only* makes them fulfill their end of the bargain before giving them the antidotes and returning the samples, perhaps he adds in another run or two. Then he cuts them loose, wishing them "good luck" and refusing to deal with them further.
Botch
QUOTE
Alternately, if you want to go the blackmail route, you can have the fixer's goons be packing capsule rounds with DMSO/Gamma-Scopolamine, then have them all wake up in a white room without their gear - at which time the fixer gives them a little speech about "learning their place" and how, since they werent going to live up to their end of the bargain willingly, they will do so unwillingly - motivated by the carcerands currently floating around in their systems and the blood samples he gave to a mage friend of his who owes him a favor. At this point he explains their next mission and returns their gear to them.


Unfortunately this is likely to kill the campaign. I need some more subtly than this, I hashed this line out with Number Nine in car on the way back from the session and we are agreed that it would put the players backs out too much. I am looking for an escalating threat that can be tackled with violence at the start, but must be solved with intelligence before death ensues. This group is the proverbial herd of cats.

Of course, if they do it again after all the work I'm putting in they will watch their runners die in a manner each player finds the most gruesome.
Spookymonster
Have the Fixer's cyber-zombie hit team burst in through the door just as a flight of Lone Star attack helicopters appear outside the safehouse windows. Meanwhile, what's left of the mob's henchmen fire a handful HEAT rockets into the room from 2 buildings away. Just then, an unearthly portal opens up in the ceiling. Slimy black tentacles crawl forth from the Hellgate and begin wrapping themselves around the character's heads; Cthulu wants to know why shipment wasn't delivered on time...

... and then all of them wake up, safe in their beds/sewer drains, sweating profusely. They've all had a pre-cognitive vision of how badly things can go in the 6th world. Burn any karma they may have had, change the details of the mission, and restart.

[edit]
Or, instead of restarting the whole thing, just reset the clock to the moment where (in your opinion) everything started to go south.
[/edit]
Botch
I think you might have it, :sigh:

Rewind time, remove wine, press play.

Its just a bit of a let down, thats all, it would be nice to be able to fix it without writing it all off.
Nikoli
Okay, they are backstabbing the Troll (fomorian) fixer who knows a good deal about, if not all about their previous civilian lives. After all, he did set up their new personas, etc.

He doesn't even need to touch them to send the right message.

Rather, let them stew in the "safehouse" as package after package of objects, gruesome and otherwise from their loved ones, their parents, their friends and whoever they took to the prom is delivered every day.
Each time staple a a contact number to each object until they call (or run out of people they love).

Eventually an accord can be met, after all, if you kill them, they won't learn nothin.
mmu1
I think a rewind might be necessary if your players can't deal with the consequences of screwing up as badly as this...

But if that's the case, you should really ask yourself if you can run SR with these guys - make sure they understand that not every RPG is meant to be played the same way.

I remember trying to run SR with some former D&D players, and one guy nearly having a meltdown when I warned the team a few times what the unavoidable consequences of some of their actions would be (since this was all stuff any runner, no matter how new, would know - even if the players didn't - and I didn't want to kill off everyone on the first run and have them get frustrated with the game).

"You know that if you drive this Roadmaster into the swarm of nearly 20 gangers on bikes, you guys can probably kill most of them and drive the rest off, but your ride will likely get shot completely to shit, and even if it runs, it'll have so much cosmetic damage no cop will let you go by without stopping?" or,

"You have an armored jacket and almost no combat pool left... I just want to make sure you realize what'll happen if you go charging the guy with the AK standing twenty meters away."

He decided that was railroading and dictating the way I wanted him to role-play his character (even though in each case the situation was open-ended enough that there were dozens of ways of dealing with them aside from suicidal stupidity) and the group came apart amid much bitching and moaning, because people couldn't handle the fact that, unlike in the D&D game they played in before, things tend to have consequences you can only fudge so much and still maintain the SR feel...
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (Botch)
Its just a bit of a let down, thats all, it would be nice to be able to fix it without writing it all off.

Well, I mean, the logical consequences of their actions are that either they will be killed or they will be blackmailed. There's no way that fixer would just let this slide - they botched their repayment for his services and openly discussed backstabbing him. Blackmail would actually be the kind thing for him to do, as he could certainly find other people to do the job.

Since in your estimation the players would be unable to deal with either of those two possible consequences, it would be best to explain that these are what would have happened, explain why, rewind, and let them try again. Unless you have confidence in their ability to keep IC and OOC knowledge separate, I do still strongly recommend that you change some of the details around.

BUT

I agree with mmu1 - you need to be clear with the players that you intend to enforce what you consider to be reasonable consequences for their actions, and that they need to think things through a bit more than they would in D&D. If you feel that they will be able to handle those consequences, then you either need to loosen your own restrictions and let them play the game as they want to play it, play a different game, or find a new group.
twofalls
My suggestion would be that rather than rewinding you should move forward with what you have now. Dish the players out thier lumps (I personally like Jason's subdual concept). But first, have a sit down group conversation about the session before you start the new one. Have a round table discussion and air your concerns, how you felt the last session went, and what to expect from a Shadowrun game. Then let them know that some serious repercussions are in the pipeline from the failed run.

The players need to understand the premise behind the game, and they need to understand it BEFORE they start playing. The reasons for this are many, but the ultimate factor is that if you and the players aren't on the same page about what you want out of a particular rpg the game has a high chance of failing leaving everyone with morning breath. I assume everyone involved is an adult, and is capable of being reasonable... so appeal to them from that standpoint. If they are truely a group of "cats" who can't agree or get along, then the game is doomed anyhow. Shadowrun requires more teamwork and cooperation than any other RPG I've ever run.

Hope you work it out.

Botch
I think I will take the rewind route with a few minor changes after explaining a few things about consequences and that I didn't kill/torture them the first time round. The blackmail will be used on the first re-occurence. IC/OOC knowledge isn't a problem with these guys, so that shouldn't matter.

Its just a shame that this happened, the fixer has beautifully warped "favour" up his sleeve, there's pages and pages of character background (from the players), the preparation for the run was almost perfect, and the planning was good. 80% of the execution was inspired, then the last 20% happened.

This time around whilst they wait in their isolated safehouses for the dock foray to begin I shall give them a list of old C20/C21 2D films that the runners can find on the shelf. Any suggestions? I know at least one of the players will go and watch them, I'm starting with,

Things to do in Denver when you're Dead, (Andy Garcia, Steve Buscemi)
Zenmaxer
one issue I have with stepping things back and pretending it never happened is that this isn't fun for the players... if they want to run a crazed and explosive campaign, maybe you should let them, just don't go easy on them.
Wounded Ronin
You know what? Honestly, I think that one of the better ways to teach newbies how Shadowrun combat works is to have them play a Rainbow 6 series video game.

"Tango down!", heh heh heh.
twofalls
QUOTE (Zenmaxer)
one issue I have with stepping things back and pretending it never happened is that this isn't fun for the players... if they want to run a crazed and explosive campaign, maybe you should let them, just don't go easy on them.

Which is exactly why I don't like to rewind either. It also leaves two versions of one event in everyones mind which effects the story.
Arethusa
They spent three days arguing over whether or not it was a good idea to backstab the fixer over some communications gear?

Kill 'em all.

Seriously, kill everyone and then have a long chat about how everything they did was wrong. Be constructive, but don't be too nice about it. Spend a couple hours debating, offering constructive criticism, and/or beating them senseless, and then help them build new characters and completely start over. This is the sort of game that is entirely irreparably fucked, and there's no way to patch it up.

QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
You know what? Honestly, I think that one of the better ways to teach newbies how Shadowrun combat works is to have them play a Rainbow 6 series video game.

"Tango down!", heh heh heh.

After so many people complain about how unrealistically forgiving and generally insane SR combat can be, you want to teach them how to fight by having them play a game that chronicles the adventures of the world's most ridiculously incompetent paramilitary unit? That seems counter intuitive.
Bigity
You mean people play D&D this way?

I wouldn't categorize this problem as related to the D&D system, but rather, to the players smile.gif Plenty of D&Ders use subtlety and other SR-esque tones.
Namer18
Make them all take common sense as an edge and let them choose a flaw to balance out the points. Try giving them a run that starts with fixing another runner groups mistake where the other group used violence at an inappropriate time. At this point I would either tell them that the first run was a trial to get used to the mechanics they can edit their characters as they see fit and you will start a new adventure with this (might even make the first run clearing up the damage from another runner group that is uncannily similar to their characters sarcastic.gif ), let them run begging back to their fixer, or let them flee the country leaving all their gear behind.
Zenmaxer
errr, no D&Der I've ever met...?

more seriously, killing them all is silly too, and will only discourage them from playing with you. And rightly so. You're the GM, you have to make fun and elegantly logical scenarios out of minced lunacy.
Herald of Verjigorm
Let something save them from the lethal retribution they deserve and offer them an option: "kill stuff where I point you and get some cash, or die."

They can try to kill this too, but shouldn't stand a chance.

These characters will only get slaughter and wetwork jobs. Occasionally toss in an even quality group who try to prevent them from succeeding in the wetworks.

Details are up to you. The benefactor can be anything. The jobs can be tailored to either make them hate their characters or make them want to expand their usefulness. Toss in some cranial bombs or ritual samples as insurance, and you have realistic non-lethal (for now) consequences.
Arethusa
QUOTE (Zenmaxer)
errr, no D&Der I've ever met...?

more seriously, killing them all is silly too, and will only discourage them from playing with you. And rightly so. You're the GM, you have to make fun and elegantly logical scenarios out of minced lunacy.

Are you suggesting that the players bear no responsibility for the game?

I advocate killing them all not only because they really (really) deserve it, but because it's a reset button. Killing them all and telling them to make new characters is bad. Killing them all and having a debriefing on why they died and why they so eminantly deserved it (and this has nothing to do with not knowing Shadowrun; this is simple stupidity) is good, as it is, assuming executed correctly, constructive.
twofalls
I must respectfully disagree with killing them all, plus, if you would care to reread the opening entries of the thread the GM is concerned about the players loosing interest in the game. Every group is different, and fun is the number one ingredient for success.

It sounds that the group has done a lot of work, planned this all quite well, and that the run went to pot at the end of a carefully orchestrated scenario. It can happen to ANY TEAM. Talking about knifing the Fixer is a bit extreme, but only goes to show that after the lead hit the fan and the runners made it back home they were scared. At least they have the SENSE to be scared.

I further disagree with rewinding the scenario, but I'm not running the game and if the GM feels that its best for his campaign to rewind then its not my business to try to talk him out of it.

Good luck with the group.
Edward
The fixer walks in wearing hardened armour they canít penetrate and blows them away with jell rounds.

They come to restrained in the fixers city of residence and he explains to them that if blowing things away was what was needed he would have recommended equipment of that type and explain to them that he has invested a significant sum of money in them and that they can repay him for this farce with a couple more runs (witch they will do right this time) or they will be introduced to an organ leger ghoul friend (which my or may not actually exist). For this negotiation they are on 7-9 boxes of stun. Now use any run you want preferably one where the security has milspec of similar design to the fixers.

Upsides you show them just how uneven combat can be in this game and how easy it is to loos. You donít have to redo character creation, you maintain the plot without making there employer look to week.

Downside. D&D players consider fights they cannot win unfair and May wine a bit.

Under no circumstances should the fixer allow this to pass without response. Otherwise the PCs will just get the idea they can ignore mission parameters all the time. However the runs he assigns to them will likely be the ones where subtly is not a requirement. Just like you donít use a 20 pound sledge to do up the screws in your cyber deck you donít hire blast radius for a delicate run.

Edward

Ps at no point should the fixer point out that he monitors there communications.

Actually I like the dream idea. Make shore you kill them good before they wake up. If you do this make it clear OC that it is a one of event. And even if you donít change anything tell them you will be.

Before you start the next session (or after the repercussions) tell your players about the repercussions and give them options. Rewind, play on. Let them make an informed choice. Tel them the type of rep repeats of this kind of balls up creates and ask them what kind of game they want to play.

Edward



Mr. Woodchuck
Never rewind. It does not work and will not teach them anything anyway. Firs swipe the shipment back from the parking lot. Then have all of the electronics the Johnson gave them fail, with the exception of one pocket secratary. The Johnson then calls and tells them to look out the window, where the shipment is no longer at. He tells them that to make up for the serious problems they have caused they have one week to make it back to seatle and complete a suiside mission or their locations will be auctioned off to the corps looking for them. This will give you a chance to fully explaine their stupidity to them and teach them a few SR lessons in trust, professionalism, and lethality.
Joker9125
Im dreading this happening in one of my games.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Arethusa)

QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
You know what? Honestly, I think that one of the better ways to teach newbies how Shadowrun combat works is to have them play a Rainbow 6 series video game.

"Tango down!", heh heh heh.

After so many people complain about how unrealistically forgiving and generally insane SR combat can be, you want to teach them how to fight by having them play a game that chronicles the adventures of the world's most ridiculously incompetent paramilitary unit? That seems counter intuitive.

Rainbow 6 teaches you that the guy who was lying in wait behind cover gets to shoot you dead first. It discourages a Rambo approach to combat since the whole point of the game is to try and set things up like strategic clockwork. Combat in SR would work better if you tried the clockwork approach than if you tried the Rambo approach.
Joker9125
They really need a Rambo viedo game.
Little Bill
Move the campaign to Europe.

Then they're fairly beyond the reach of all the people they upset and they can start their career over again.
Sandoval Smith
QUOTE (Edward @ Oct 4 2004, 07:11 PM)
Downside. D&D players consider fights they cannot win unfair and May wine a bit.

Any player considers a fight they can't win unfair and will whine about it. Unless you're playing Legend of the Five Rings (in that great module where the best ending for your group was after killing (again) Iuchiban you reset all the traps and have to seal the entrance to his tomb, with your party on the inside).

It looks like everything went pretty well, right up until the fire fight. Is this D&D's fault? Phhht, you're kidding, right? The fact that four are new to the system and it seems like this is their first time playing Shadowrun seems more of a factor. If you really want to blame previous game experince, blame the video gamers, since almost all situations in games are resolved either through combat or a conversation tree, which probably does not build up those SR problem solving skills.

Do they know that the fixer and co are about to bust in? Start of by explaining what went wrong, discuss how you think this shoulg go, and that in the spirit of the effort they have put into their characters, you're giving them a second chance. Somone glances out a window, sees the fixer and buds arriving, and they've got thirty seconds to bail before all hell comes crashing down on them.

Unless everything turns into the bloodbath from heck, the fixer can contact them a little bit later and speaking from his position of power over them, tell them that he understands that they panicked when everything came apart, and he's willing to let it more or less slide this once, but things in the Shadows work a certain way, and it was definetly NOT the way they did things. This would let you get the plot more or less back on track to the point where you can use your preplanned material again.

I know that during my first few sessions of Shadowrun I made a few stupid mistakes, not because *gasp!* I bore the taint of the evil D&D, but simply because I, like four of your players wasn't familar with the nuances of the system. My GM went easy on me because nothing will turn off players more than a learning curve that is a vertical line straight up. I know if that each of my intial screw ups was followed by the messy death of my character, I would've given up on the game pretty fast.
Edward
I find that D&D players are less likely to accept a no win but you can probably avoid a fight scenario than in SR. this comes partly from the relatively low lethality of D&D combat and the D&D XP system that suggests that such should not happen and the fact that sneaking past an opponent that could wipe the floor with you 8 ways to Sunday is usually very difficult as spot and listen usually scale directly with power level. SR perception tests donít scale very much.

I do however concur that the CRPG industry has much to answer for in terms of hack and slash gaming. However I cant think of a way to put true role-playing into a CRPG

Edward
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Edward)
The fixer walks in wearing hardened armour they canít penetrate and blows them away with jell rounds.

Which will encourage them to make sure that next time they can penetrate the hardened armor. Arms race!

~J
Zenmaxer
QUOTE (Arethusa)
Are you suggesting that the players bear no responsibility for the game?

I advocate killing them all not only because they really (really) deserve it, but because it's a reset button. Killing them all and telling them to make new characters is bad. Killing them all and having a debriefing on why they died and why they so eminantly deserved it (and this has nothing to do with not knowing Shadowrun; this is simple stupidity) is good, as it is, assuming executed correctly, constructive.

I am suggesting that a game is just a game, and that the players are in it to have fun. Gms are there to help them have fun. This is not high drama unless you make it high drama, nor is it the end of the world to run a cinematic campaign.

I have never appreciated the instant game overs present in so many campaigns and C-rpgs when you flub one of your objectives. They strike me as cope-outs on the part of the respective designers, a signature lack of imagination. Think of it as being a fixer, if you will. You cater to the clients, not the other way around. What you call "simple stupidity" is just another playstyle.
hyzmarca
If the fixer feels that they've broken their contract with him, then he doesn't have to uphold his end of the brargain either, specificly the part of which implies that he won't tell the corps they're running from where they are.

Running from the corps could be a fun road trip, depending on how it is played. Have their former employeers send various shadowrunning teams after them, forcing them to continually move and keep a low profile. Have some weak opposition catch up to them a few times, but scale up the strength of the opposition each time. Make it clear to them that, if they don't dissappear completly they will eventually face a team that they have no chance against and that they'll be overwhealmed if they stay in one place for too long.
Kagetenshi
That doesn't work because logically the best-equipped teams will find them first.

~J
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
That doesn't work because logically the best-equipped teams will find them first.

~J

You are assuming that they hire a dozen teams of varying levels of competence at the same time. It is not unreasonable that the corps would hire cheap (inexperienced) runners first, then scale it up when those runners fail. Just make sure that they (the corps) don't end up spending more money on disposing of the runners than they lost, but those losses should include things like death compensation for sec guards and the like.
Kagetenshi
If they really want it done, they'll hire a good team. Lowest-bidder assassinations are not a good idea.

~J
Botch
Ah, more replies, good. We have had a mini-session to test the waters of resolution. Currently the PCs have been gassed/narqed, returned to Ar Bugeila's base of operations and have had a stormy debriefing over the fiasco at the docks. The debriefing ended with Ar Bugeila glancing at his wristcomm, opening his briefcase and spilling a pile of thick A4 envelopes on the table each addressed to one of the team. Glancing quickly at his wristcomm, Ar Bugeila strides quickly from the room and closes the doors with a resolute click. The runners have yet to open the envelopes.

I do have to blame D&D and SSI/Black Isle in particular for the fiasco. Unbeknownst to me the D&D'ers and SSI players hatched a plot to maximise experience points by eradicating the maximum amount of enemy possible. To make sure that I didn't get wind of this they kept their revised plan to themselves until the last minute. Can you see the flaw in their plan? They didn't at the time, no experience points for killing monsters in SR and PC fatalities are much, much easier.

Cries of "kill 'em all" are not beneficial as we have spent more time developing the character backgrounds than on any previous game. The rewind option has gone out of the window as a democratic desision. There has been an OOC discussion with the experienced players about how this fiasco has tempered the playing environment. The verdict is that the fiasco was caused by a slight oversight and far too much wine comsumption for a new (to them) RPG system. In regards to slapping the runners about until they behave, this would have a major downer on fun at this point and would definately result in the loss of at least one player (a driver). The general feedback was positive, but unless this fiasco is fixed in a positive way in the next session or two we'll probably have to shelve the campaign for a couple of years as we/they have other campaigns in different systems to try.

What I need to do to demonstrate the joy of stealth/sublty and the lethality/gritty realism of SR by using a mini-scenario. The runners are based in a converted abandoned waste reclamation plant in the middle of a sludgy swamp somewhere in continental europe. The runners do not know where exactly they are yet. Overwatch has big plans for them and commitments to their L2/3 contacts. I looking for something the results in them reducing their "kill enemy" mentality and 1 or 2 having to be stablized after a near death scare. I really don't want to lose them, but certainly they can suffer a little magic loss.

The players are mechanic/rigger/physad, rigger/physad/decker/chauffeur, shaman/decker/tracker, wrestler/ex-athelete/physad, hermetic/cyber-surgeon, and physad/cybered sex-assasin. None of the runners have equipment worth mentioning as equipment was "on-loan" for the first run, but general run-of-the mill shadow equipment can be aquired from local resources. 2 NPCs are about, a troll merc (basically the one from BBB) and a minotaur hermetic/engineer/decker.

ps.

QUOTE
They spent three days arguing over whether or not it was a good idea to backstab the fixer over some communications gear?† Kill 'em all


They spent 3 days discussing whether/how to steal and liquidate the transport container by using the comms gear provided by the fixer to communicate between the team.
Wounded Ronin
Pschah! When I first started playing shadowrun, I had a character die *every* session. Sometimes in the first 15 minutes. But *I* kept playing. It's been over 8 years of playing now but I never once whined about in the beginning having to design a whole new character every session.
Kagetenshi
What is Overwatch doing in Europe?

~J
Botch
This Overwatch was a character from our games in 1991 and so they might another Overwatch, but if he isn't in Europe what's the prob?

Oh, his name is really Ar Bugeila.
Botch
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
Pschah! When I first started playing shadowrun, I had a character die *every* session. Sometimes in the first 15 minutes. But *I* kept playing. It's been over 8 years of playing now but I never once whined about in the beginning having to design a whole new character every session.

Did you spend 3 months developing the character?
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (Botch)
This Overwatch was a character from our games in 1991 and so they might another Overwatch, but if he isn't in Europe what's the prob?

Have you read R:AS, Brainscan, or Threats2?
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Botch)
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Oct 5 2004, 05:31 PM)
Pschah!  When I first started playing shadowrun, I had a character die *every* session.  Sometimes in the first 15 minutes.  But *I* kept playing.  It's been over 8 years of playing now but I never once whined about in the beginning having to design a whole new character every session.

Did you spend 3 months developing the character?

No, not 3 months. Maybe like 3 days in the beginning, especially since I wasn't familiar with the rules.

That's pretty hardcore, though. Did the people in question spend 3 months making characters?
Botch
QUOTE
Have you read R:AS, Brainscan, or Threats2?


Good point, but my players haven't. I'll put his name back to the non-english version.

QUOTE
No, not 3 months. Maybe like 3 days in the beginning, especially since I wasn't familiar with the rules.

That's pretty hardcore, though. Did the people in question spend 3 months making characters?


Yep, each with its own background story from childhood to extraction. Shame to kill them all after 5 hours of game time, no?
Kagetenshi
Ah, misinterpretation. I thought youíd said that it was a fixer for Overwatch.

~J
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Botch @ Oct 5 2004, 11:49 AM)

Yep, each with its own background story from childhood to extraction.† Shame to kill them all after 5 hours of game time, no?

Well, yes, but on the other hand, why spend 3 months making a character before the players even really understand how the game works? That seems to me like it would be asking for trouble because someone might make a whole elaborate character and then realize that's not even what they wanted to play with in the context of the game world and/or the rule set.

In fact, that's sort of what happened now. The players made these enormously elaborate characters but because of their inexperience with the game world they could not make the characters behave appropriately. But instead of simply having the "realistic" thing happen to them, you're in this jam precisely because of the enormous amount of time that they spent on the characters.

Come to think of it, I would say that as a rule of thumb, newcomers to Shadowrun should *not* make elaborate characters precisely because it's very easy to die suddenly if you are not familiar with the system. In fact, based on how you described the characters they sound much more complicated even in terms of game mechanics and rules balancing (i.e. "rigger/physad/decker/chauffeur") than anything I would ever seriously consider making. I mean, just running that character requires knowledge of decking, vehicle combat, and basic combat. That's 3 times as much rules that you need to be good at to play reasonably efficiently than you would need under "normal" circumstances with a one-specialty archetype. It seems like that would be very difficult for a new player to handle. *I* don't think I could personally handle that even though I've been playing for years.

Well, no sense in worrying about things that have already happened. I wish you good luck in resolving it. I personally would have no idea how to solve this problem. It's a very difficult and delicate situation and I hope it turns out well for all involved.
Edward
What you need is a slap upside the head to the characters that is enjoyable to the players. I assume you have explained to them the problem with there kill karma strategy. Perhaps an information gathering run where you take 2 minutes to describe the clamped legs and freeing conditions as there characters stake out a building for 36 hours. The fixer will feal the need to punish the characters, this need not carry over to the players. Also did you mention that theyíre working for a magical organisation that will help them initiate. If so said organisation will likely delay such plans until they prove themselves.

If I take less than a week developing a character then the personality doesnít jell properly. 3 months is a long time but I have done it. This applies to D&D as well as SR (part of why I donít like low level D&D campaigns, the characters donít take as long to build and thus donít get s much personality.)

As for complexity of characters starting characters should be relatively simple in eth mechanics. I did consider playing a physmage/decker/riger/reporter at some point but I intended to take months learning the mechanical interactions and building a personality. Also being a bit of a sadist. In general first characters should be single archetype, dual on the outside.

Edward
Botch
The apparent complexity of the characters is because I listed their full roles/jobs. The more experienced players have the more complex characters, but in the case of the rigger/physad/decker/chauffeur, she has a VCR, enhanced atrib/senses, some computer skills and [I]used to be a chauffeur. The 3 months did include practising the basic rule set for each runner, but training doesn't really cover a combat situation.

The stake out is good idea Edward and I will send in a couple of incompetent bounty hunters who got lucky because of the dock fiasco.

Thanks to most for their input.
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