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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    I am interested in picking the brains of those of you who play shadowrun. I am currently GMing a bastardized version of the game for players who are fairly new to table top gaming. I have a fairly good storyline in my mind that I intend to put down onto paper in the next 36 hours, but would like some input on my idea so far, and how I could spice my adventure up and make it more fun for my players.

    The players will first meet up with a "Mr. Johnson" at a local club where he will inform them that a nearby communications tower has been taken over by a group of deckers. The deckers have been employed to convert the tower into a powerful cannon. Once converted the cannon will be used to destroy several warehouses owned by the groups employer.

    The group cant simply take the tower over guns blazing though as the cannon is strapped down with explosives and none of them have enough knowledge to disarm the weapon. Therefor they are forced to search a series of buildings for an explosives expert that is being held hostage by the decker group.

    I like the idea of the main story line, but I would like some ideas on how I can spice up the movement of the party from building to building. Ideas on what the party may encounter in each building, traps, mobs, etc. I am open to any ideas that you can give me.

    The party will consists of a decker, rigger, street samurai, spellcaster, and face. I would like to involve everyone, so class oriented event ideas would be great.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    A quick read through of your broad strokes got my eyes narrowed.

    So, some deckers have taken over one of these and are somehow turning it into a cannon to blow up some warehouses? What? How are they turning a communications tower into a cannon?

    Ok, so this tower is also somehow capable of being turned into a weapon. That hurdle out of the way, if the employer is worried about his warehouses then attacking the tower directly is still the best option: its rigged with explosives - so what, if they're set off then the tower can't be weaponized and the contract is fulfilled.

    Why do they need to talk to this explosives expert again? To disarm a bomb on the tower? Do none of them also have the capability to defuse a bomb? Or are you going to handwave that their knowledge and expertise isn't enough?

    Sorry, I know I didn't answer your questions about how to make the search better, but I saw so many holes in the basic foundations of the story that I couldn't make it that far.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidmen View Post
    So, some deckers have taken over one of these and are somehow turning it into a cannon to blow up some warehouses? What? How are they turning a communications tower into a cannon?
    Well, a sufficiently powerful microwave antenna (and the ones on communication towers tend to have quite a bit of power) could do some damage if properly focused. I don't see it destroying a warehouse, though (unless the warehouse is filled to the brim with fuel, explosives, munitions or other very sensitive stuff, and someone ignored all common sense and safety procedures).

    A classic for Shadowrun encounters is probably an ambush. But you need to be careful with the balance. Even a single well-placed sniper can be a TPK waiting to happen.
    Since their enemies are Deckers, they probably won't fight themselves, and hire some thugs to rough the players up instead. So a biker gang intercepting them on the road feels kinda natural.
    Also, never underestimate the effect of beginning a fight by throwing a live grenade or five into the middle of the players (it's a great way to start a semi-close-quarters ambush, btw).
    It's also conceivable that the Deckers put the players on LoneStar's (and Knight Errant's and the Red Samurai's) most wanted lists, plus a few infos on where to find them. Our Decker pulled that one quite regularly, and SWATting is a common prank among Hackers (well, more like Crackers/Script Kiddies) even today.

    EDIT: In general, I think you should have the Deckers hire a gang to do the fighting for them (maybe in exchange for pirated BTLs). They make good low-tech enemies for early game characters, and if they are well-entrenched in an abandoned building, they can be a serious pain to dig out. Go for low-tech traps and obstacles. A few off the top of my head:
    - Remove the lighting in a room and fill it with hot steam (from the heating system). Then release a few critters (like giant rats).
    - Simply barricade a few doors. That alone can be hard to get through without making a noise.
    - The old "grenade in a can with a wire tied to it"-trick. Impromptu mine and alarm system.
    - Use lighting to your advantage. Dazzle them with a bright searchlight in front of them, and attack from a dark room to their side.
    - Get them in close quarters with melee weapons. Most non-combat PCs can hold their own in a firefight, but suck hard in melee.
    - Do strange and unexpected stuff that looks like a trap (and may or may not be one). Like spilling lots of gasoline in a room, or stringing some (razor/mono-)wire at foot height, etc. Even if the players can avoid it, it will slow them down and may cause them to make noise. And it will screw with their mobility in a fight.
    - I don't expect a low-tech gang to have a shaman, but if they do, conjuring the Hearth Spirit of the building plus a bunch of Watchers can be a great way to mess with astral recon by the players and pull some creative traps/ambushes. Just reading the description of the powers should give you some ideas.
    TL;DR: Have a streetgang go Tucker's Kobolds on them.
    Last edited by Autolykos; 2013-09-14 at 11:38 AM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    I fear I gotta agree with Sidmen, some deckers turning a communication tower into a cannon able to blow up building doesn't sound too plausible (what kind of communication tower is this supposed to be?), especially since they seem to have access to explosives, why don't they just use those to blow up the buildings?

    Now I of course don't know about the people you plan to run this adventure for, but in most of my SR groups this kind of plot would've been met with quite some disbelief.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    Moving past the plausibility issues...
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
    I am open to any ideas that you can give me.
    If you'll take a suggestion; set up the situation, add a few complications, give them the goal (and probably a time limit), and let them figure out how to solve the problem. No need to plan out the PCs' actions. Large portions of that type of planning will end up null and void in any case.

    As for challenges, look at it from the villains' point of view. What defenses do they need for each archetype? ICE or another decker can help hide or obscure a PC decker's search for plans. They'll need muscle and some decent stationary defenses against the rigger and street sam. The face is probably helping the decker find info or convince people to give up info / help the attackers. What have they done to keep talkers quiet? Bribes? Hostages? Meanwhile the mage / shaman is on overwatch - get an awakened animal or two to keep him busy.

    Of course this takes an awful lot of resources for some terrorist deckers. It's far easier to justify corps putting that stuff together. So why not simply make this an entry into the real adventure? Keep it fairly straitforward but seed it with clues about who hired them to create this com-cannon and why. That will really bring the face and decker PCs to the fore. Then you can make the nefarious corp behind the plot a much harder target.
    Last edited by Raum; 2013-09-14 at 01:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    ignoringPossible solutions the meta-plot issues

    I always enjoy giving the players options.

    So you have a main objective with a time limit and that cannot be just brute forced?

    So how did they get such an unassailable position?(Maybe some hostages that would also blow up with the tower?)

    A group of deckers fighting for freedom form corporate greed have taking control of an integrated communications tower/matrix secure host node. Intelligence indicates they could be installing a recently stolen prototype weapon and have threatened destruction on select corporate warehouses/secured facilities nearby.

    They bought off the biggest local street gang to protect the surrounding surface streets. and nearby buildings are being occupied with revolutionary protesters sympathetic to their cause. Rumor has it that their own team of shadowrunners (who stole the prototype) have safe-houses in the surrounding warehouses. (Maybe 3 themed to each runner, spirit lodge, garage, lab etc.)

    Party options:
    Break into one of the safe houses and get the information/MacGuffin/shadowrunner to help bypass security, shut down prototype.

    Fight/face the street gang to regain control of the area.

    Extract/rescue hostages.

    Cut power or strategically cut the tower out from the grid so they cannot use the weapon or stop the threat of explosion so they can go in guns blazing.

    Really it needs to be tailored to your party, are they more black sunglasses or pink Mohawk?

    If you give them lots of options then let them pick what they think they can do or what will help them accomplish the overall goal.
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    You don't see the gnomes running around fighting wars with each other, do you? No, because they're civilized.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    I didn't realized how hard my story line was going to be picked apart on these forums. No offense people but this is a futuristic fantasy game. I wasn't asking for input on my story line but rather some help with some additional content to the game. I'm sorry that some of you feel that my story line was not on par to standard shadowrun rules, but please read through my previous post again and realize that I clearly wrote that I played a "bastardized" version of the game. Now that all of the trolls have been addressed, thanks to those who actually gave some viable input.

    Autolykos, I will be using some of your trap suggestions in my game I really like the idea of them walking into a room where the floor is covered in gasoline. I can see my players having fun with that scenario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
    I didn't realized how hard my story line was going to be picked apart on these forums. No offense people but this is a futuristic fantasy game. I wasn't asking for input on my story line but rather some help with some additional content to the game. I'm sorry that some of you feel that my story line was not on par to standard shadowrun rules, but please read through my previous post again and realize that I clearly wrote that I played a "bastardized" version of the game. Now that all of the trolls have been addressed, thanks to those who actually gave some viable input.
    Anything you put in your post is up for discussion, if you don't like that fact, it's probably best not to include it in the first place. Also, it's pretty cheeky to accuse people of "trolling" when they provide useful feedback on the more dubious elements of your plot. Given your players are as likely to see those flaws as posters on this site, maybe thinking about what they said in order to lift your game and saying "thank you" would be a more appropriate response.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2013-09-15 at 01:35 AM.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Beer View Post
    Anything you put in your post is up for discussion, if you don't like that fact, it's probably best not to include it in the first place. Also, it's pretty cheeky to accuse people of "trolling" when they provide useful feedback on the more dubious elements of your plot. Given your players are as likely to see those flaws as posters on this site, maybe thinking about what they said in order to lift your game and saying "thank you" would be a more appropriate response.
    I'm really glad that you put that "maybe" in there, and don't get me wrong, I am thankful for some of the replies I have received so don't put words in my mouth Mr Beer. I apologize to the esteemed members of this forum that I had a plot hole or two, but I doubt if my players will care much, we play for fun and try not to take ourselves too seriously. Had I know I would be posting among people who set themselves so highly upon a pedestal I would not have bothered to post my plot line at all. I will keep that in mind in the future. Once again, thank you all for everything, you were all so gracious and amazing, your posts made me a better GM and at the end of the day a better person. I will be able to sleep well after these exchanges knowing that you guys are out there, just waiting to help bad plot writers like myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
    I'm really glad that you put that "maybe" in there, and don't get me wrong, I am thankful for some of the replies I have received so don't put words in my mouth Mr Beer. I apologize to the esteemed members of this forum that I had a plot hole or two, but I doubt if my players will care much, we play for fun and try not to take ourselves too seriously. Had I know I would be posting among people who set themselves so highly upon a pedestal I would not have bothered to post my plot line at all. I will keep that in mind in the future. Once again, thank you all for everything, you were all so gracious and amazing, your posts made me a better GM and at the end of the day a better person. I will be able to sleep well after these exchanges knowing that you guys are out there, just waiting to help bad plot writers like myself.
    Any decent gamer is going to ask 'if they have so much explosive, why didn't they just blow the warehouses up with it, instead of making a Death Star out of a cell phone tower?' It's important to have a strong idea foundation before you start building on it, hence people pointing this out.

    Give a good REASON why they can't use the explosives on the warehouses, and then build from there. Maybe they want to destroy what's IN the warehouses, but not the real estate itself. Maybe the warehouse is filled with genetically bred cattle, and they are making a special beam that will drive the cattle into a murderous rampage, causing them to break out of the warehouse and start attacking traffic?

    I'd play any game where I got to headshot a slavering cow-beast with an assault rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alejandro View Post
    I'd play any game where I got to headshot a slavering cow-beast with an assault rifle.
    I could totally see a Shadowrun game run in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Basically Fallout, only with more playable races. Hell, you could even justify those races (and the Awakened) as coming about as a result of all the nuclear radiation going around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
    so don't put words in my mouth Mr Beer.
    I directly quoted you...that's the opposite of "putting words in your mouth". Maybe you meant to say "don't tell me when I'm wrong, I don't like that"?
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2013-09-15 at 05:36 PM.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    Just thinking on the plausibility of the story side for a bit;

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    A slightly altered version;

    The warehouses are owned by Corp X. They are the logistics and shipping center for Corp X's electronics department. Corp X is just about to release its brand new model comlink to the market, lets call its "Superlink2.0". They have been hammering the advertising, the blogosphere is going crazy for the Superlink2.0, all the kids want want, the Corp X big wigs are rubbing their hands together. Mega profits on the horizon.
    The first big shipment of the Superlinks2.0 are currently sitting in the warehouse's, only a "?" hours away from being shipped out to the retailers, just in time for the official release date.

    Corp Y however are a direct rival to Corp X and their electronics department is just about to release a comlink of their own, the "Mediocrelink0.003". The predicted sales for their unit are low due to all the hype about the Superlink2.0.

    So one of their "Marketing agents" comes up with an idea. He hires a group of freelancers (see deckers) to take control of the "3" coms towers located around Corp X's shipping warehouses. Corp Y has already secured some of the original firmware for the "Superlink2.0" and their plan is to use hijacked towers to broadcast a corrupted version of the stolen firmware. While Corp Y hasn't had time to reverse engineer the firmware completely, the version they are planing to transmit will make all the Superlink2.0's stored in the shipping warehouse unusable and it will also disable the remote connectivity function of the units CPU's, requiring them to be reformatted manually via direct connection. This will cause all kinds of issues for Corp X if the units are shipped as is, or if Corp X discovers the issue it's shipping timetable will be set back months while the units are repaired.

    This set back will allow Corp Y to get its Mediocrelink0.003 out into the market for months with out any major competition which puts its estimated profits up for the unit by eleventy seven percent!

    Corp Y has made use of the coms towers to strong arm its signal past the RF shielding installed in the warehouses. the "Decker" team could have carried out the plan by accessing the warehouses directly but they chose this route as it had a much lower possibility of coming into contact with armed security teams.

    Corp X does not want the towers damaged or destroyed for two major reasons;

    A) It uses these towers for a lot of its major day to day opperations so there destruction will have a significant impact on their expected profits.

    B) it will draw unwanted attention from the Telco corp who operate the towers and Lonestar.

    Corp Y doesn't want to destroy the towers because the attention it will draw will outweigh the expected benefits from this operation being completed successfully.

    Rather then having to track down the captured explosives experts your players may need to capture Corp Y's hired deckers (who have had to come into the local meatspace to perform the job) and force them to undo the alterations they have made to the coms towers. If you want to put a time limit on things to add a sense of tension, the players have to do this before an offsite Decker manages to circumvent the Telco's IC, allowing the onsite Deckers to commence transmitting the signal.

    anyway, while it may not be what you were asking for, hopefully it might be some food for thought.
    Last edited by Kaun; 2013-09-16 at 08:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    Thinking about a communications tower being converted into a weapon brought to mind one of several "Death Ray" ideas that Nikola Tesla had come up with. The cannon could be an energy weapon. Very plausable with Shadowrun's tech.


    As far as encounters, I like to throw in some "red herrings" for my players. For example, maybe there's a drug deal going on in one warehouse that isn't aware of the takeover and just wants to make their transaction and go home to get wasted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    Thinking about a communications tower being converted into a weapon brought to mind one of several "Death Ray" ideas that Nikola Tesla had come up with. The cannon could be an energy weapon. Very plausable with Shadowrun's tech.
    Yup, maxim #24: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a really big gun."
    Basically, if it has enough power output that can be concentrated in a small-ish area, it can be weaponized. Microwave antennas can do it in theory, and one in the megawatt range (which is at least somewhat plausible on a comm tower) could probably fry electronics or create sparks on metal that light flammable material on fire, even from quite a distance away. But to actually level a warehouse, you'd need to get into the gigawatt range at least (i.e. it'll eat the power output of an average nuclear reactor), and there's no conceivable reason to put such a beast on a comm tower.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    But to actually level a warehouse, you'd need to get into the gigawatt range at least
    No argument here. I suppose what could be done is to loosely define "leveling" the warehouse as it being destroyed in a large fire. If the roof collapses and takes down a wall or two, that's close enough for insurance purposes.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    Thanks for all the replies, save Mr. Beers of course who did nothing but troll my posts, but no harm no foul, you will always have "those people". The game went very well and the players loved the plot (holes and all). I implemented many of the suggestions that were given and look forward to posting in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
    Thanks for all the replies, save Mr. Beers of course who did nothing but troll my posts, but no harm no foul, you will always have "those people". The game went very well and the players loved the plot (holes and all). I implemented many of the suggestions that were given and look forward to posting in the future.
    Mr. Beer did ntohing wrong. All he stated is that whatever you post on here is up for discussion. If you didn't want something discussed, you shouldn't have put it in your post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramyth View Post
    Mr. Beer did ntohing wrong. All he stated is that whatever you post on here is up for discussion. If you didn't want something discussed, you shouldn't have put it in your post.
    Seconding. I don't think Beer is a troll.

    If you only want to discuss one subject (i.e. hazards to include in buildings occupied by Deckers), try to keep your posts focused on that. If including sensitive elements (like parts of the storyline) is crucial to our understanding, just mention that you don't want any advice on it.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun Looking For Ideas

    No one has mentioned Kaun's reinterpretation of the mission, which is totally awesome. I really think that it does a great job of retaining the general concept of the mission, but making it more plausible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
    save Mr. Beers of course who did nothing but troll my posts
    Pointing out when you're wrong =/= trolling, sorry that you need to have that explained to you. You must have found school very traumatic, you know those people that kept correcting you were called "teachers" not "trolls", right?
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgarion View Post
    No one has mentioned Kaun's reinterpretation of the mission, which is totally awesome. I really think that it does a great job of retaining the general concept of the mission, but making it more plausible.
    Cheers man! I am glad you liked it.

    Also +1 to MR Beer not trolling, at least untill that last comment maybe
    Last edited by Kaun; 2013-09-29 at 10:04 PM.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
    The players will first meet up with a "Mr. Johnson" at a local club where he will inform them that a nearby communications tower has been taken over by a group of deckers. The deckers have been employed to convert the tower into a powerful cannon. Once converted the cannon will be used to destroy several warehouses owned by the groups employer.
    Sounds weird, but okay so far.

    The group cant simply take the tower over guns blazing though as the cannon is strapped down with explosives and none of them have enough knowledge to disarm the weapon. Therefor they are forced to search a series of buildings for an explosives expert that is being held hostage by the decker group.
    This is where it gets weird. They're keeping the explosive expert hostage... why? Let's say they needed him to do the explosives work, right... why did they not kill him once he was done doing the work? Moreover, why would these deckers trust their plan to the hands of a coerced demolitions expert they're keeping hostage in the next building? If he wired it up wrong--intentionally or just due to the stress of the situation--it could fail quite tragically.

    Moreover, you need to establish a clear reason why the shadowrunners shouldn't just trigger the explosives and leave--quite soundly rationalizing that it is better to destroy the cannon then let it be used to take out the Johnson's warehouses. You need to give some compelling reason why the Johnson insists that the tower not be damaged. Personally, if I were running such a game, I would make the Johnson interested in letting the deckers finish the conversion but preventing them from actually firing--thereby letting his own employers claim the weapon for themselves to use against their own enemies. Interestingly, you might even have him interested in capturing the deckers alive for use in future projects for his employers. A nonlethal takedown requirement can make otherwise straightforward jobs very complicated in a hurry.

    I like the idea of the main story line, but I would like some ideas on how I can spice up the movement of the party from building to building. Ideas on what the party may encounter in each building, traps, mobs, etc. I am open to any ideas that you can give me.
    They're deckers, so lots of drones and a security rigger controlling security devices himself. Let the party come up against some Body 4 heavily armored bipedal security drone with dual vindicators. Depending on what edition you're using, the deckers might also be assaulting the team's equipment and cybernetics over wireless. If you want to give the street samurai something to do, let the deckers hire a few chromed-up bodyguards of their own.

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