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Do you think lone star should be played somewhat middle of the road, as a sign that when you hear the sirens in the distance it is time to quit shooting or looting and make your getaway?

Or is killing a cop (Lonestar corporation law enforcement employee) as good as ripping up your character sheet and making another PC?

Or is it more Robocop-esque, where killing the contracted law enforcement officers was just another part of the average work day?
Somewhere between option 1 and option 2. cool.gif
In my games, killing a cop is a very bad idea. Shadowrunners are realistally something cops fear. Well armed, skilled, and willing to do a lot. most wouldn't think a shadowrunner would have a family to go back home to, where a cop is a lot more likely. So they'd rather not go toe to toe. If they show up in force, they'll go for it. Other wise, delay, and wait for back up. And ofr the most part, as all corps know, shadowrunning is a cost of doing business. Once the runners are gone, they've usually done thier job, or delivered whatever, and there's little reason to go after the runers them selves, since the runners rarely know who they're really working for.

However, you kill a cop, it's a different story. They have something to prove, to the runner, them selves, the public, and other criminals. And now they have a good reason to some looking for Mr. Runner, which is never good. So now all those annying traffic drones are looking for you. Snithces are collecting on you. Forensics is working on you, and drawing up a profile. Not a good time to hang around the same city, or even country for quite a while.
I've always played Lone Star as the people you don't mess with unless necessary. After all, their reflexes are immense, their weaponry can be quite advanced, and very few people take on more than 1 and live.

It's time to run, really, with the added incentive of not being very wounded.
Lone Star are the cops, and from this reaction table in the .pdfs that have been circulated now, it's clear that they are fairly swift on the uptake.

But I wonder, at what point do they stop sending Citymasters and VTOLs? What do you have to do to convince them to retreat, if only to regroup and find heavier artilliary to send your way? A T-Bird strafing up and down the street with autocannon chattering ammo into their cute citymasters and air-air missiles bringing their VTOLS down? RPGs firing from all the rooftops?

What, exactly, will convince a Lone Star Response Team to back off, if only for a short while?

I think that Lone Star Patrols (cops in cars) will back off if they come under concentrated automatic weapons fire. Not just one guy with an auto rifle, but three or more training their weapons on the patrol, or one LMG. Uniformed cops in cars aren't paid, trained, or equipped to handle an attack like that, and they'll beat it while calling for backup.

A response 1, that is a team in a Citymaster, obviously is trained, equipped, and paid for just such an emergency. It takes some truely heroic feats of automatic fire to push them back - you'd need to open up on them with no less than twelve HMGs. Far more likely is if you open up on them with antivehicular rockets, or prove that you have multiple people with antivehicular rifles or assualt cannons who can hit them repeatedly. They'll scram-say and request a heavier team be sent.

Response 2, of course, the airial response, is simpler to repel. Just paint them with enough anti-aircraft radars, and they'll get the hell out of dodge. (Up to you if you actually have missiles to go with the radars, but it's best to have them. Never make a bluff you can't back up.)

So what happens if you push back their Citymasters and repel/shoot down their airborne response team? It gets nastier. You gave them a black eye, bloody nose, and threw poo in their face. Now is the hardest part, because they will come down on you like a lead zepplin. Expect a small armada of Citymasters, backed up with heavier IFVs and possibly with some serious airborne response.

But, take heart. If you can repel this force - and you'll need nothing less than a few heavy antivehicular weapons in hidden emplacements and tanks with lasers, as well as either major ak-ak or an air-to-air airstrike (About 6 GMC Banshees with anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles streeak in and blow their response out of the sky,) then you've won. For now. You've thrown the Star back, and probably gotten yourself a lot of media attention. Now you get to deal with heavier stuff than Lone Star.
The I portray Lone Star in my game is kind of two fold.

On one hand, their PR portrays them as the good guys; valiant peace officers in shining armor standing between the criminal filth and the average man.

On the other hand, in the streets they're ass kickers. They're there to take the runners down one way or another should they get sloppy.

I don't make tangling with the Star an instant death warrant for a character, but I do make it a last resort that most of the players/characters realize is simply not worth the potential hassle to butt heads with them.
The most defining characteristic of Lone Star corporation is that it is BIG. In my games that means that the reaction you get depends not only on what you've done but also on what part of Lone Star you're facing.

Typical reaction of typical cops faced with the fact that runners are nearby is to run to their cars, call for advice and/or backup, pull out their shotguns, and behave very, very cautiously. They almost NEVER attack, they move into advantageous positions and hope they won't have to fire. Not only many have families, they are *paid* for not behaving stupidly.
FRT units are a real threat but not equal. Most shooters have smartlinks, boosted reflexes 1, a few more pieces of cheap cyberware (Datajack, dampener,... Never more than 1.5 Essence total.) and good equipment. They are professionals, they have good stats, but they *know* most runners are better, so they rely on information, numbers, tactics, equipment,... Runners tend to avoid them if possible, and the FRT members are quite cautious too, because *both* sides respect the other.
HRT or other top-of-the-line units are feared, because they are just as good as the runners.

As for killing cops, well, nobody does that. Maybe I don't have enough psychotic characters in my games, but *nobody* kills cops "just because" and hardly anybody dares to fire lethal ammo in their direction. Sometimes the do, if it becomes a matter of their own survival, but they try to avoid that.

BTW, any team trying to use strong-arm tactics would have to create new characters in my world, regardless of whether they'd survive. They'd *never* find job again. Never. Nine out of ten times, any contact of theirs would sell them to the cops. Their fixers would never speak to them again. Because, you know, making The Star *this* mad is really bad for business.
Generally if my PCs kill off a cop working his beat, they can get away with it, but they better get moving fast. Sure, you can hurt a few cops, maybe even a squad if you're smart, but when the Star turns to the defensive, they WILL roll you over if you're still sitting in your clock tower.

So yeah, you're robbing a bank and you shoot a cop on your way out, they'll be after you, but they'd be after you already, and adding a dead cop on the list really isn't going to significantly change their response to a bank robbery (except your threat rating might be upgraded a notch). Get gone.

If you shoot some guy who happens to be an off duty cop, it's a toss up as to how soon he'd be noticed. Once he's noticed, you'd better be gone, because they'll come in force. They will 'encourage' you to camp out until they can bring in more forces to properly deal with you, and they'll willingly sacrifice drones to keep you down (but not cops if they can help it).

If you shoot a cop while in the barrens, well what the heck was he doing in the barrens anyway? If he's just some random dummy, the star will have to write it off. It's not worth the risk to pursue. If he's part of a larger group, for instance the van guard of a convoy, they'll lay down cover fire and run you off. Some might pursue you longer.

Of course, if cops encounter you in the future and they KNOW you killed another cop, they'll be more vindictive and skip the whole 'put your hands up' thing and start shooting (and calling for backup). They're not dumb, but they're not going to throw themselves on their spears in a desperate attempt to make up for the loss of one of their buddies. When it comes down to it, they like their buddies, but they LOVE being alive.
I am reminded of a couple more points...

How fast does Lone Star Respond? Anything close to the times in New Seattle (counted in Combat Turns if iirc)? Minutes to fractions of hours? Make an appointment?

Also, how powerful is Lone Star? All knowing, fabulous forensics, who put Sherlock Holmes to shame? Guys that are not even payed enough to maintain a medium lifestyle? Guys that can't keep gangers from taking over the major highways after dark?

What parts of canon back up how you play them and what parts do you have to ignore to play them that way? In other words, on what basis do you decide how to play them? (Besides the good story.)
The response times in some cases are INSANE. However, I haven't read the LS book as of late.

If memory serves, the strato-9's should be pretty ubiquitous, so in my game, they are. You can expect one or more of those things on you within half a minute in an AAA zone, within a few minutes in a C zone. In a B+ zone, that'll be followed up by one or more patrols if nothing of import is noted. If something IS noticed, the patrols will be dispatched immediately. Time depends on the zone and story, but it'll take 1-15 minutes (AAA-D zone).

If it's something minor, like vandalism, or something that requires absolute immediate response, like someone actively shooting people, the cops will call back up immediately (as appropriate) and move on in. If people are not actively dying, the cops on the scene judge if back up is needed, and if so, try to keep the problem from moving until backup arrives. They do not engage the target themselves until they know they have overwhelming odds. This is from my knowledge of police procedure.

Once they have backup and the place is cordoned off, they can use whatever high-level tactic that's appropriate; break in with guns blazing, break in with tazers shooting, magical attack, negotations, etc.

For reinforcements, the second car should only take a little longer than the first. Same with the second (and third and fourth) drones. The paddy wagon should take about 15-45 minutes, depending on the area, the choppers 15-60 minutes, the tanks and everything else, 30-120 minutes. Those are numbers I think are logical.

If a runner gets into a situation in which the cops have been alerted, their best bet is to destroy the drone/go where it can't follow and get out of there. It's hard for one car to keep them in check (it will give chase, but in most cases, won't engage), but really, if they're doing a car chase with the cops, the star will have time to set up a roadblock, so they'd better be fast or smart. Once there are two or three cars on you, really, unless you made some good plans, you're pretty much trapped. Bigger guns are already on their way, you won't be able to outrun them. It's time to think of a way to either avoid getting arrested when they come to see you, or get out of the clink when they do arrest you.

It's at the bottom of the second page of these lookup sheets. And yes it can be insane quick in high security zones. Damn mages/spirits and remote cameras are on you like stink.
I have lonestar respond according to the zone you are in and the amount of money the reporting victim has. I. E. if you are trying to kidnap someone that will have an upgraded security package in an A class neighbourhood, you can explect a vector thrust vehicle with a few repelling HRT's dangling.

If you are trying to knock over the local stuffer shack in the Barrens, you might get an officer show up 10 minutes later.

The depending how the entrie scenario plays out, determines the response level. If you gack a few lone star officers for the run of it, and are made ... then you are going to have to deal with a few astral detectives sniffing your trail, and lie low for a few weeks.

If you finish off an HRT team, I recommend you relocate for a while. I would at the very least make them spend alot of money on new safe houses and id's, some cosmetic surgury also would go into play.

Every 30 seconds they are dealing with LS- more units and higher level units will arrive on the scene. This includes chases. I am a nasty GM as well that would have optical cameras mounted into each cruiser with an optical system so that they are safe but can still snap a few pictures. (hopefully one or two get your aura.)

In my games:

A single Lonestar officer (or patrol car) is very easy to kill
Fully deployed Lonestar (helis, swat, etc) is impossible to kill and nigh impossible to shake off
You NEVER kill an officer, however, because then you will be hunted down until they get you, and they eventually will
The Star hardly ever shows up, unless directly summoned by a non-extraterritorial alarm.

I know it isn't "realistic", but in my games, if you're not caught while doing the run, you won't be caught later (evidence left behind and such), though that is somehting I wanted to change.
Talia Invierno
I'm going to respond from the pov of an ex-cop PC of mine, from during his Lone Star days. When his off-duty partner was killed, trying to intervene during a variety store hold-up, he tracked down the person responsible and hauled them before a judge.

The guy got off on a technicality.

The PC tracked him down again, this time ensuring the evidence of kiddie torture BTLs on the guy was absolutely solid -- after all, the PC had planted it -- and making sure the word spread through the prisons.

I'm guessing he gained an enemy out of that, if the guy is still alive. He doesn't know, or really care.
I play somewhere between option 1 and 3. I will elaborate when I can, as I need to leave town quickly.

Capt. Dave
When players hear L.S. sirens, they know it is time to run. Unless they are in a Z-Zone, they could probably deal with the first wave and maybe the first set of reinforcements, but they know fighting L.S. is a losing battle, as L.S. just has a lot more personnel and equipment to bring to bear.

Killing a L.S. offcier is something to be avoided, but it is not a character death warrant by any means. L.S. will pursue investigations where there is an officer death more rigorously than others, but this does not mean they will always find the runners

In my game, L.S. is played as an overall well-trained police force, with access to light military hardware and vehicles. They have a pretty solid magical force, and are a force to be respected, if only for their weaponry. Of course, the further down the totem pole they are from the elite units, the less training and equipment the L.S. officer has access to.
Talia Invierno
Laugh -- getting a kick as to how your explanation of absence comes across in this thread, Kagetenshi grinbig.gif
I have two modes:

Scummy, corrupt beat-cop and partner. I will never forget the disbelief on one my players' faces when the Lone Star "missing persons investigations unit" tried to shake down his character's family to get the investigation into the character's missing sister on a "higher priority list."

Runner response team. These are the bring-the-hammer-down guys who are reacting to someone purporting to be more dangerous than they are. There are always approximately 1 "catfood" of these guys.
Remember, Lone Star has an Irregular Assets division just like many other corps. Irregular Assets translates to Shadowrunners, either freelance or on contract.

If they don't have the manpower to a warrent because the suspect is in a Z-zone they'll send in runners after him.

If you kill a cop there is a good chance that they'll have feelers out for you in the shadow community, if not a runner team or two. What would be really funny, after killing a cop on a run the team's fixer offers to hook them up with a Lone Star Johnson who wants to have some cop killers taken down.
QUOTE (blakkie)
It's at the bottom of the second page of these lookup sheets.

If it is the recently re-discovered, 2 page, cheat sheet, it is not canon and is off by a fcator of about 60.

In New Seattle, page 111, the times are given in Combat Phases. [I](errata may have changed these times.)
I see loan star in 3 parts.

Beet cops, they are at risk from a heavy pistol an know it, if they re out numbered, out gunned or out positioned they will retreat every time ad call for backup. They are not a threat to a runner beyond that they will raise an alarm.

Management. When will they act, not often, sending droops into a Z zone is going to get a lot killed, that is going to be a real problem especially when you look at death benefits and the possibility of wrongful death suites (your own information sais that the aria you sent him into was to dangerous) only when somebody starts targeting lobster (not just a single run but a continuing action) will they take drastic measures due to a combination of pressure from below (cops want to kill cop killers) and finance (death benefits again). And hear even the response may be to hire runners to take out those that are targeting the star

SWAT and other high threat response. These are a true threat to a runner, they have magical backup and scouting and weapons that will go threw any armour runners will have, your only chance is to run or fool them, and that should not be easy. However even these teems donít go into z zones where they would be grossly out numbered. They are a threat when you accidentally set of an alarm on a job, they wonít be coming to your safe house in Redmond.

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