Welcome to Denver – Making the Scene

PREVIOUS: Shadowrun: Denver – Who’s Who
NEXT: Character Bio – Marius

As mentioned in the Character Creation post, the following is reprinted from the January 2006 issue of Commando Quarterly made freely available by Catalyst Games when these campaign missions were written. As such, everything written below is a simple copy/paste of what they wrote (aside from a few formatting changes) and is the sole creation of and owned by Catalyst Games.

This was handed to my players prior to game to familiarize them with the setting somewhat prior to character generation and our first round of play. It also formed my own basis of knowledge for myself as the GM.


The Hardpan
By the time the sun sets, the Hardpan is in full swing. Outside the beat of heavy bass reverberates through the ground beneath your feet. Most ofthe cars in the parking lot are four by four jeeps which have obviously seen a lot of use on back hill roads common in the outer extremities of the Sioux sector where the border patrol is thinner. Looking into the wind, you see the Riverside Cemetery’s well-kept lawns and silently thank any greater power you believe in that you are upwind from the sewage treatment plant. One odd thing you do notice is, despite the obvious popularity ofthe bar, there is no bouncer.

Entering the bar, the reason for the lack of bouncer becomes quite apparent. With the exception of your team, every single person in the bar is a Sioux Amerindian. Wildcats rub elbows with faces and reputations that you’ve heard whispered through the shadows. The bartender is an imposing woman who looks like she has probably seen it all and bought the t-shirt. Her cyber-eyes focus tightly on all the non-Sioux in your team, even as her lip takes on a heavy curl of discontent. Behind the bar, a large “No Smoking” sign hangs clearly.

Rachel Sands, Hardpan’s owner, does a solid, regular trade despite the rundown neighborhood. Seated between the Riverside Cemetery, a sewage treatment plant, and the algae tanks, it’s a Locals-Only watering hole for the most part. Sandy, as her friends and colleagues call her, has obvious cyber-eyes and occasionally works as a fixer. For that reason the Hardpan is a common hangout for many of the Sioux Sector’s Amerindian runners. The bar is particularly popular with Sioux warriors. (Note:Rachel Sands has a strong bias against Non-Amerindians.)


The Splatter Bar
It’s been said that the Splatter Bar is a nice place for appetizers and entertainment. What’s less known is that security at the door hands you a firearm when entering. Rumors might also fail to mention that you should duck as that virtual devil rat isn’t a friendly hostess.

On the corner of 20th street and Arapahoe, across from the greyhound terminal, the Splatter Bar is part of a small chain of bars throughout CAS and UCAS. The Bar is 3 stories of grey concrete with tall narrow windows on the outside. Inside are multiple levels of balconies and catwalks with colored lights and steaming pipes for that faux urban jungle feel.

The original Splatter Bar offered paint ball rounds with games of “Shoot the DJ” and had sprinklers to hose down the patrons, but times change. The new Splatter bar hosts a node with a full spectrum augmented environment and offers modified firearms with the cover charge. The Dance floor is more of a gauntlet to the bar or restrooms as virtual beasties roam the joint.

The price of drinks and fillers varies based on your gunplay. Having a buddy to hold your booth is helpful as you have to pickup your order from the bar below.“Dead men walking pay up to twice the usual price.

The owner; Alex, a.k.a. Jitters; has kept the Splatter Bar chain going for more than 10 years. Semi-retired from a career in the shadows, he has never had to pay more than halfprice at his Bar and he doesn’t have to cheat.


Little D’s Gourmet Emporium
Needing a little grocery shopping to cook (or at least have your appliances cook) for that special someone, you drive to the Gourmet Emporium for some last minute foodstuffs. Inside you find a bonanza of soy processing units: Genetically modified, Unmodified, Imitation, and unique treats. You spot your favorite, the Three Runner chokolate bar: The SIN-fully delicious chokolate energy bars shaped like credsticks (Packs of 3). Inside each pack are Ebony (30% Real Chocolate mixed with Rich dark Chokolate),Platinum (Chokolate with powered sugar coating) and Gold (Layered with caramel).

Little D’s Gourmet Emporium is located on E. Ellesworth Ave off of N Potomac St. They carry an extensive line of Soy Processing units and general foodstuffs. Because of their extensive network of legitimate shipping sites, they have been known to bring in the occasional eccentric item for clients. The shop has worked hard to maintain neutrality with the Mafia, Triad, and Yakuza through diplomacy and delicacies. The Koshari have not been as understanding, and Little D’s has been known to hire from the shadows to protect their assets.


It’s late and you need something to eat now. Deciding against the stuffer-shack,you head on down to Marcel’s. There’s no door-man and the woman behind the counter finishes showing off her new tattoo that seems to crawl of its own volition up and down her spine, before seating you. Groups of sararimen in the corner, their food untouched, have done everything but pull out a camera and start taking pictures as mod-boys and chrome girls move about their business, tails swishing between the tables.

Locals come here because it’s open late. The food’s not gourmet and the prices are high enough to make you think about it, but there’s always eye-candy. That is, if you like your candy perforated by piercings, covered in tattoos, or touched by the unknowing grace of a Comet. For you, it’s all about the troll-sized portions and the spicy fries.

Espousing “All the Street You can Eat,” the restaurant gets by a lot on the shock value of their wait staff who are all heavily tattooed and pierced or have undergone body mod surgery. Changelings who underwent serious changes are also hired. The food is decent but higher priced than most diners. Primarily the patrons are corporate wage-slaves who want to add a little spice to their life by “slumming” it and teenagers who desperately strive for whichever type of youthful rebellion will upset their parents the most.

All of the wait staff will gladly recommend their favorite body artists and give guests business cards to some of the best tattoo and piercing parlors in town. What most patrons don’t realize is that Marcel’s is run by the Casquilho Family of the Mafia as a money-laundering scheme and front for many of their soldiers to blend in.


Happy Canyon Shopping Center
Driving through Chinatown, you pull into, at first glance, a shopping center, to find a stuffer shack. Stepping out of the Car, you find yourself not only back in time but also in the wrong country. It’s like someone took a piece of China and plopped it in Cherry Hills.

Happy Canyon Shopping Center was transformed from the standard mall strip, to a small Chinese city with buildings having the traditional four-sloped, double-caved, glazed roofs, all-around verandas and colored and carved dougong brackets supporting the overhanging eaves. Nine stores operate in the Center. These include a laundry, a grocery, a clothing store, an office rental space, a health store, two restaurants (Golden Dawn, and Lotus Pond), an electronics store, and the postal annex. A miniature wall and nine, 2m faux guard towers border the center along Happy Canyon Road. An addition to this shopping center is a five-story temple for various celebrations in the Chinese community. Five wooden pavilions located in the parking area are used for various functions from street market vendors, to weddings, to just getting out of the heat of the day.

It’s all nice and innocent for the tourist, but underneath the veneer, the Golden Triangle Triad has been pushing non-Chinese out ofthe area, allowing for others to start their businesses. The Golden Triangle operates the electronics store as a front in the sale of illegal chips as well as awarding loyal families, opportunities in the Center.

The White Lotus Triad has been impartial to Golden Triangle’s work at the Center since an agreement to allow White Lotus use of the Temple.


Rocky Mountain Dynamics
Rocky Mountain Dynamics (RMD) has a small manufacturing plant located in the PCC sector. Their facility is a prime example of one of the smaller shops that supplies components systems for other corporations throughout the region. Their contracts include dealings with corps in all 4 of the Denver sectors and beyond. Most ofthe employees live near the plant, in corporate sponsored housing.

RMD is a small corporation. In fact, it’s not capable of qualifying for extraterritoriality. However, their international contracts require that they have regular dealings with many of the larger firms. As with many such companies, rumors circulate about how RMD has avoided a takeover action. Some suggest they have government support. Others mention ties to organized crime.There’s even been word that they’re actually already a owned by one ofthe big ten, through a series of shell corporations.


The Meat Market
The rundown husk of the old Aurora Mall stands in the northwest corner ofthe Warrens. Most ofthe companies pulled out as soon as the area started to take a dive. Soon after that, the property management group tanked as well. It stood abandoned for almost a week before some of us started moving in. We slept in stores that used to sell commlinks and clothing. It was better than some ofthe high rises where you have to climb fifty sets of stairs to bed down. Then they came. Moving in the night, able to see in the darkness the way I would in the noon-time sun. Only a handful ofus escaped cleanly-others were killed for fear ofwhat they might become.

Shove off mate, no one believes those ghost stories any more…

The Aurora Mall was hit hard by the decline on the Aurora area. When the property management company filed for bankruptcy, all the stores fled and the doors were boarded over. Now the mall is home to Denver’s ghoul community. The ghouls have a symbiotic relationship with the squatters out-side, by providing protection against some of the gangs that roll through the area and disposing of bodies that no one wants to think about. More than one Humanis member has met their end in the belly of a ghoul.

They also patrol their own, keeping most ofthe ravenous mindless hunters off the street. The feral ones are kept in the underground parking garage, where they feed off each other. Stories are whispered about the possibility that the leader of the pack will one day let his people swarm across the Warrens in a vast hunt for flesh, but it has not happened… yet.

    There are a number of both in print and out of print Shadowrun books that reveal a great deal about Denver. If you’re interested in learning more about the background story and the relevant legal and criminal organizations, please consider the following:In Print and e-Book:
    Loose Alliances (Especially the DIY Crime section)In Print as a hardcopy:
    Shadows of North America (Denver section)
Dragons of the Sixth World (Ghostwalker and Denver sections)

Hardcopy out of print,e-Book available:
    Underworld Sourcebook

Out of print:
Denver: City of Shadows (Note that by 2071,this is roughly 16 years outdated.)

PREVIOUS: Shadowrun: Denver – Who’s Who
NEXT: Character Bio – Marius

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