Archive for the 'Shadowrun: Denver' Category

07
May
11

Shadowrun: Denver – Campaign Conclusion

SHADOWRUN: DENVER – CAMPAIGN CONCLUSION
PREVIOUS: Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 2
NEXT: Shadowrun: Denver – Home

Looking back on the last nearly two years we spent playing through this campaign, it has been a blast! This was my first time running a tabletop campaign and I certainly started with lofty goals (go big or go home, right?), but it all worked out well. Not only was I a virgin GM, but I also had very little experience even being a player in a tabletop game to draw on (one session, to be precise).

When I finally consented to GMing a campaign, I figured I was an anomaly, that most GMs only began running their own games after they had experienced a number of games as players and found they had that “bug” to run a game of their own. Since then I’ve discovered that’s probably not wholly true. Certainly many GMs come in as players first, but in the ’70s when D&D first landed, there were many who had to learn to GM by taking the dive with no real experience and there are just as many these days who are doing the same to explore a hobby that pulls their interest. In truth, most players are just happy to have someone to run a game regardless of how new you are to the role.

Getting to meet every few weeks to hang out and play was a considerable amount of fun, but it also gave me an in to what I really wanted (when I started at least), which was to get involved in other gaming groups as a player. Since then, I’ve gotten to partake in a few other groups as a player in several different systems. I’ve also discovered that while my initial interest in tabletop was because I wanted to be a player, I’ve found just as much fun in crafting stories, challenging scenarios and leading my friends through games as a GM. Being a GM has forced me to develop a multitude of skills and even changed my perspectives and practices as a player.

I highly recommend it to anyone interested in tabletop gaming give it a whirl whether you’ve played years but never taken the plunge as a GM or if you’ve never even dabbled in the hobby at all but have some interested friends. Worse case scenario, you discover its not for you. Best case scenario, you find something you really enjoy that leads to weeks, months and years of enjoyment.

Speaking to this campaign, over the two years of playing we completed thirty one sessions. Twenty five of those were pre-written adventures while the other six were written by me and custom tailored to my players. As a starting GM, using pre-written adventures was a definite help. They prevented me from having to create and run plots while simultaneously learning the rules of the system and the methods of GMing. They also gave me ideas on how to balance encounters, provided examples of how to build open ended and interesting roleplaying encounters, to create “optional” scenes which could be used to control the pacing of the session and overall instructed as much as they picked up many of the time consuming burdens of being a GM (not that there weren’t still plenty left).

Still, after I got through the first ten sessions or so, I found more and more I wanted to get to telling my own stories, or telling stories that more closely involved my players. Getting to write and create my own adventures as fill in sessions was a great way to ease into the process without having to worry too much about overarching plots across the length of the campaign. As the campaign came to a close (and as I was writing more adventures), using the pre-written adventures allowed me to spend more time planning for how this campaign would end and lead into the next (which will be completely written and designed by me).

Starting with a campaign as long as this was a challenge. Many players and GMs want to take part in “that epic campaign” that runs for years with their heroes running the breadth of the kingdom and saving the world from many threats, but making it happen is a lot more difficult than that. Even with our small group, we’ve had to face changing schedules, all the duties and responsibilities of being adults and even my moving to another city two hours away from the group. There have been many difficulties but we’ve found ways to be flexible and work through them, which is the only way a game this long can work (outside of your teen years).

Of the problems we struggled with, communication between games was the biggest. My primary method of communicating group discussions was by email, though I quickly found that not everyone is as obsessive of an email checker as I am. I tried to alleviate this by communicating simple questions through text messaging or, in the case of longer discussions, let them know through text that an email had been sent for them to check out. Even then, getting timely feedback from many of my players proved challenging. Many of the players were either too busy or simply not interested in discussing or handling game matters outside of our “gaming evening” time.

Other aspects handled outside of game were also difficult. As part of the campaign, I asked for quick write-ups of the characters personalties and backgrounds, for the players to take turns writing session logs, and for the players to answer session reviews after each game. The character write ups eventually all came in, but around half weren’t there when we kicked off and the last didn’t come in until almost six months into the game. The logs were a little more consistent, but even then (and primarily amongst a few players) some either took beyond the average two to three weeks between sessions to be finished and sent to me. Some never got done by the player assigned the log and eventually other players filled in for them and wrote the log way after the fact. The session reviews were intended to be a quick and easy way to get feedback on the games to improve my GMing skills and were short forms on Google Docs asking the players to rate how they thought the session went and asked for three positive things I should continue doing and three negative things I could improve. Rarely did I have more than two players provide feedback on any one session.

Going forward, this is still something I’m going to be struggling with. Getting consistent responses from my group can be difficult, which impacts everything from scheduling to session planning. I’ll need to try a variety of tactics to improve that, but I’m not sure there’s one cure all. While I like having players write the logs (and its certainly more manageable than trying to do so myself) player participation in that portion of the activity might need to be adjusted either to encourage more involvement or to limit it only to those who are actually interested in writing them.

Besides the few issues the group had, I am very much looking forward to our next Shadowrun campaign. We took a short break to play the small D&D: The Eighth One campaign as an alternative for awhile. This was both to give me some time to prep things for the coming campaign and to build anticipation for it. For our “break” I offered the group the opportunity to choose what kind of game they wanted to play. We could have played a long running D&D campaign if they had wanted or even another system. As much as it offered a break for them, it also gave me the opportunity to try some other systems and learn from them. In the end, most players either wanted to go directly on to the next campaign or to make the “break campaign” a short one (so we could get back to Shadowrun sooner). I take that to mean they must have enjoyed Shadowrun: Denver!

Next up, Shadowrun: Seattle!

– Geoff

PREVIOUS: Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 2
NEXT: Shadowrun: Denver – Home
14
Dec
10

Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 2

MISSION 25 – DONE DEAL – PART 2
Written by: ???          Played on: 11 Dec 2010
PREVIOUS: Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 1
NEXT: Shadowrun: Denver – Campaign Conclusion

The doctor, prodded by his contact, began sending out feelers to determine who might be interested in such an artifact. We could have told him exactly who it should be delivered to, but he was determined to be too unstable to be trusted with that information. It was equally likely he could have acted out to ensure the Dragon Stone was never delivered to its intended target.

Those feelers brought a lot of attention down on the team very quickly. To ensure no one team got the upper hand, we sent out a few “anonymous tips” to organizations we knew would have an active interest in aquiring the stone.

The team made a round of calls to several of their contacts asking inocuous questions about “Draconic Memory Stones which of course they’ve never heard of before or seen and most certainly don’t have in their possession even though word on the street is that Lin Yao recently had one and the team may have been unnaturally close to her death… but they haven’t seen one.”

Besides Dean Costello, who they eventually decided to sell the stone to, they called Zhang Wong, whom they met in Mission 08 – Chasing the Dragon, and is a representative of the Yakuza. They also recieved a call from Tabby, their sometimes fixer who had heard rumor they were the last ones near Lin Yao when she died.

I suspected that either Tabby or Dean would be the ones they eventually decided to sell the stone to, so I placed the both of them in two very familiar locations. Dean wanted to meet them in the Hub at the Tower of Babel, a place the team had been to in Mission 18 – A Very Bad Day. Tabby wanted to meet them in the 5×5, one of their favorite hang out spots which they first encountered in Mission 06 – The Flip Side.

Both places were ones the players had enjoyed going to in the past. It was also highly likely that whichever place they chose would be uterly destroyed in the next few hours. If you can’t destroy something the player’s love, then what’s the fun? The contacts chosen were also the ones most likely to split their loyaltis and force them to make difficult decisions, which is also plenty of fun.

Evenutally, the team decided to sell the stone to Dean Costello of the Casquilho Mafia Family in exchange for 20,000¥ a piece, new identities and a free ride out of Denver. This was probably the best deal they could get on such short notice, but it was a fraction of what the stone was worth to those who could appreciate its value.

The team agreed to meet their contact at the Tower of Babel in the Hub, only a few blocks from the ZDF Headquarters. Before the deal could conclude, the other factions began arriving. Zhang Wong arrived with a small army of Yakuza thugs at his back to attempt to return the Dragon Stone to Yakuza control. The local fixer Tabby arrived with a heavily armed contingent from Saeder-Krupp. Even the Vory arrived, led by the psycho Irina Klavikova who eventually tipped the stand off into a four way, all out gunfight.

The team met Irina Klavikova only briefly as their Johnson in Mission 13 – Take-Out Service.

The security footage from the Tower of Babel is truely a sight to behold. It is unfortunate that so few people will ever get to see it. Gunfire raged across the entirety of the floor with the team, Dean and his enforcers caught in the middle. The team tried desperately to find a way out or to side with one of the heavier armed groups but the chaos of battle complicated matters.

Given the massive scale of the combat at hand, 44 individuals counting the team and important NPCs as well as the filler characters, I ran this combat much different than typical rules. Considering the amount of gunfire being traded in the confined spaces, I stopped letting rolls be made for dodging.

The player characters were only allowed to take one combat action each turn. Unless they were specifically involved with a particular individual or targeting a specific lead NPC, they simply chose to target a group and rolled. Any hits they got were placed on one of the NPC’s hit point tracker.

Each NPC team got a single turn, where I rolled a bulk of dice to represent their combined damage output. That damage was then applied across members of the other groups and the player characters who did get to roll to resist the damage.

My intent, and I believe I made a good call in this matter, was to drastically speed up the combat scenario. Pressuring the players to quickly make decision and act, along with speeding up each turn, drasticly increased the pace of combat and made it feel much more chaotic (which it was, with 44 individuals and five different groups shooting it out in a confined space).

My players never actually took much damage, but they did play like they were in great danger. When one player later admitted he was no longer taking notes on the scene because he was too caught up in the story and the tension, I took that as a sign of success.

Dean arranged for helicopter pickup on the roof just as the first ZDF patrols arrived on the ground floor. Blasting their way out, they hit the stairs and headed up to the roof as the first small squad of ZDF entered the gunfight. The Yakuza was knocked out of the fight early; they made the mistake of bringing small caliber weapons to the fight.

The helicoptor on the roof was an on the fly, but carefully considered decision. At one point I told the team they could see at least one chopper inbound out the large front windows, but I had not decided if it would be a ZDF chopper or one called in by one of the groups there.

When most of the team members had indicated that they were attempting to escape via the ground floor with Tabby and her heavily armed troopers, I had Dean tell Marius that it was his chopper inbound and that it would pick them up on the roof. It forced them into another scenario where they had to decide between going with the heavily armed troops they had just joined, or try to rejoin the group they had just left who had an established escape route in mind.

Both choices were perfectly acceptable ones and I had plans for either decision. The group decided the ZDF was probably right outside by now, a notion which I seized on by introducing a ZDF squad to the fight right as the team entered the stairs. They ended up on the roof for the grand finale.

On the roof, the team took cover with the Casquilho enforcers and engaged the organizations as they came at them. The troll killed the Russian, Irina, with a shot through the throat. Tabby’s team was eliminated, though the team still felt enough pity for her to let her leave. Unfortunately for her, the ZDF patrol coming up right behind her was not feeling so forgiving and gunned her down from behind.

Besides the gun slingers dispatching officer after officer, the mages focused their spells on the approaching ZDF choppers. At one point, the Dwarf was nearly engulfed in lightning which he then channeled into a distant chopper which drove it out of the sky and crashing into the city below, it appears his magical ability has progressed even further than we anticipated.

I knew I had piled the pressure on high enough when Clint pulled this move. As the ZDF choppers were closing in, one of the players half jokingly mentoined burning Edge to survive this encounter. Permanently burning a point of Edge, the character’s “Luck” attribute, lets the player automatically roll a critical success on any test, but they can never get that attribute back, even by leveling up the skill.

Clint chose to burn a point to max cast his lightning bolt spell. The moment was suitably epic as he downed a single ZDF combat helecopter at great range by himself to protect their incoming rescue chopper.

The team did their best to hold off a superior force while the helicopter came in to land. It is a testement to their skill and perseverence that they held them off as long as they did. I truely believe they would have escaped off that roof alive had fate not intervened.

As the helecopter came in for landing, the Great Dragon Ghostwalker arrived on the scene, intent on securing his Draconic Memory Stone. He crashed through the chopper as it came to land, destroying it easily, then came to a stop on the building top itself. Security footage from the rooftop is not sufficient to show the full scale of the team’s prediciment and a shot that could be appreciated had to be extracted from security footage in neighboring buildings; even I was somewhat awed. The dragon dwarfed even the large building from its perch, his long tail wrapped nearly around the building and at times I wondered if the floors could even support his weight.

The team wisely surrendered then. Dean was dispatched by the ZDF along with the remainder of his enforcers. The team, our test subjects, however, was allowed to live provided they surrender. As predicted, the Dragon’s sense of honor dictated his actions and he allowed the team to not only live, but to walk free once they willingly surrendered the Dragon Stone.

Prior to releasing the players, they were forced to undergo a grueling interrogation on the building top, surrounded by ZDF troopers and a Great Western Dragon.

Col. Benjamin, the ZDF commander and father of a ZDF officer the team had killed in Mission 22 – Backlash, was at the forefront of the negotiation with the team and very hostile to the idea that they should be allowed to leave the building alive. At the very least he would rather have seen them in ZDF custody with long prison terms ahead of them.

After several minutes of the team stating their case, they were begrudgingly allowed to leave. Col. Benjamin did give the stipulation that they were required to vacate Denver in four days time or be shot on sight by ZDF. Of course, the situation would see to it that they were removed forcibly before hand, but the players didn’t know that then.

After years invested in aquiring the Dragon Stone and millions of nuyen in research to understand and make our modifications to it, Ghostwalker is once agin in posession of his memory stone. The subjects are worth what we have paid to get to them simply for the service of delivering the stone into the great dragon’s claws with deniability as to its origins.

I am told the explosion that vaporized most of the council tower eliminated nearly every member of the ruling government body and could be seen from any place in Denver. As occurred with the death of Dunkelzahn, a great rift opened up in its place.

With the threat of Ghostwalker eliminated, the project can move forward with our subjects.

Their service to our cause is about to be elevated from greatness into legend. If only they could appreciate their importance.

PREVIOUS: Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 1
NEXT: Shadowrun: Denver – Campaign Conclusion
14
Dec
10

Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 1

MISSION 25 – DONE DEAL – PART 1
Written by: ???          Played on: 11 Dec 2010
PREVIOUS: Mission 24 – Hubris and Humility
NEXT: Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 2
Personal Record for 16 Dec 2072
 

WARNING: This entry has not been marked for retention. All unmarked entries will be erased after 14 days. This entry may be marked for retention in the File/Options/ menu

I have just recieved word that the next test subjects have been aquired. Due to the importance of this next step, I have personally selected these individuals out of a group of candidates proposed to me by my partners. I know some will not like my decisions, but the results should prove me correct. The Project is too important to leave up to chance and petty grievances.

Their files and personal histories are as disparate as their apparrent loyalty to eachother is strong. They are as equally unimpressive as they are unique and distinct from one another. The failed experiment who has proven more resilient than anticipated. The sadist doctor who would leave his life of comfort for the chance to live outside moral bounds. The whore brute with a taste for pain.

Our agent was able to turn the doctor as easily as he predicted. His apathy for the common good was why I deemed him unfit for the program. Following their latest “success”, he contacted our retrieval teams to alert them to the target locations.

Leading up to the conclusion of the campaign, I asked if any of the players had a particularly strong desire to begin a new character as oppossed to continuing with their current one. Given Levi’s checkered past with the group, his player decided it might be better to retire him and create a new character for the second campaign.

I agreed on the grounds that his “retiring” character at that point became mine to use an NPC. He was given a few in character goals to persue that were designed to line up with and assist the team until the end of the session finale.

At the end of the session, he was given his final character task; report on the location, activities and, if possible, assist in subduing all the members of his team.

The finale saw the team members being told to vacate Denver in a few days time, but for this first night, I let a few NPCs pressure them into a goodbye celebration party (also an opportunity for the players to celebrate the end of the campaign). As they indicated what their characters were doing for the night, I described the unfolding of each of their evenings, taking turns for each.

Each scene ended with the character being subdued via some drug administered in a variety of different scenarios or means. It was a stark transition from “celebration” to “oh shit”, but it also built up palpable tension at the end of the evening and intentionally ended the campaign on a cliff hanger for the next “season”.

The failed experiment has proven more resilient than anticipated. His magical training has grown since his procedures. We must be careful not to dampen those skills. He was retrieved at Denim, a Koshari club in Denver along with the corporate tool who thought he could change the status quo and fled Seattle.

The doctor’s tools, sedatives concealed by the flavor of strong liquor and fire, were simple but elegently delivered. Flowing alcohol and the sexual advances of a few beautiful faces only further served to conceal the ruse. The simple effectiveness of the lowest human drives should never be overlooked.

They have friends; friends who will search for him. The dwarf’s druggy friend will be no problem to mislead. The hacker brother, on the other hand, will be more difficult, though we have prepared for this eventuality. It will keep him busy and out of trouble for the time being.

They found the whore brute in her place of carnal lust, cycling through men like candy. It was not difficult to slip a new patron into her line up. The fool hung around too close after administering the horse tranquelizer. Before it froze up her nervous system, she crushed part of his face. He is fortunate to have access to our medical facilities to have it reconstructed. Her strength makes her an asset, if somewhat of a liability. Care will need to be taken, but it is important to see the effects of our tests on one like her.

The broken soldier, more machine than man, will be tricky to work with but just as important to ensure our procedures can be used on a wide variety of subjects. He and the violent asian girl were tracked to the Splatter Bar along with a local Coyote contact.

When the two women left to the restroom, one of our agents drugged the soldier with a dart. The consumption of alcohol and the nature of the VR shootout game was the perfect cover for delivering the silent tranquilizer shot. It was a simple matter to remove him as just another patron who had one drink too many.

Our agent tailed the women to the bathroom; the asian was the only target. The coyote turned out not to be a problem when she was found dead in a bathroom stall, slumped over a toilet with her neck snapped. It appears that both girls had an interest in the Soldier; only one was willing to eliminate the competition. Our agent administered a knockout spray as the target attempted to play the situation off.

The sadist doctor is an intersting one; leaving his life of comfort just to live a life outside of moral bounds in persuit of his own grand experiment. Were he not a sociopath, he of all people would most appreciate what we are doing. It is the same sociopathic tendencies that renders him unfit for the program. Per the deal made to enlist his aide, he is being relocated from Denver to a situation that better interests him.

Several other test subjects have been selected and retrieved for this program as well as the follow up variations, though none hold as much hope for me as these five do. Each will be evaluated on an individual basis by our researchers and fielded appropriately.

The subjects are sedated and even now cleansed and in transit to Seattle. It is encouraging to see the operation moving forward after waiting so long, but we had to be sure. We have spent over a year collecting information on these and other subjects, looking for specific traits and evaluating and discarding individuals as we went.

This team of Shadowrunners have proven themselves most capable. In their short time in Denver they made major inroads with several criminal and government organizations while nearly eliminating others single handedly. They responded to a variety of situations from the mundane to the bizarre with equal amounts of composure; surviving even a trip to another plane which few unawakened can claim.

Specifically, the unamed author is referencing Mission 18 – A Very Bad Day.

In our own direct employment of their services, we were able to evaluate their skills directly and they performed better than expected. It is as subtle irony that they should soon be sent to the same lab as the equipment they safeguarded through Denver.

They even managed to create minor disruptions in our operations, though they would never know it. The death of the Triad shamen An-Peng, another of our potential candidates, was a nuisance though it told us much about them. Our researchers eventually concluded that the AI sprite, Taske, was too unstable to be manipulated or his base design adapted as an effective platform; at the time however, his destruction by the team was considered a great waste of a unique resource.

The capture and death of the Yakuza handler, Kazuya Hotomi, by the team was a potential disaster to our operation. However, the Triad syndicate leader, Lin Yao, proved an acceptable and easily manipulated pawn. As I suspected, placing the team near her at the right time was more than enough to get the Dragon Stone into their hands. Providing information on its wherabouts to the right people was then all it took to motivate events into action.

The death of An-Peng occurred in Mission 13 – Take-Out Service. Taske was encountered first in Mission 05 – Through a Rose Colored Display Link and was later defeated in Mission 17 – Patient Zero.

Kazuya Hotomi was the former Yakuza member known as the Dragon, whose daughter the team kidnapped and whom Hotomi subsequently murdered in Mission 03 – The Grab. They later tracked him down for Lady Jade at Club Kharma, owened by the Triad underboss Lin Yao, in Mission 08 – Chasing the Dragon.

The team spent nearly a week attempting to decipher the nature of the artifact, eventually determining that it must be a Draconic Memory Crystal. They eventually sought the aide of Raven, the Koshari Johnson they worked with on so many occassions, who examined the object and gave them exactly the answer we were hoping they would get: Give it to the ZDF. I am sure Raven did not fully understand what it was he saw in the Dragon Stone, but he pointed the team in the correct direction.

PREVIOUS: Mission 24 – Hubris and Humility
NEXT: Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 2
13
Dec
10

Mission 24 – Hubris and Humility

MISSION 24 – HUBRIS AND HUMILITY
Written by: Clint          Played on: 11 Dec 2010
PREVIOUS: Mission 23 – Prodigal Son
NEXT: Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 1

Today is one of the first day’s I’ve woken up feeling good. No nightmares, the sun is bright and my mind is clear. What’s wrong? This is too placid! Am I still sleeping?

*Bzz*

Nope not sleeping, time to work. The mission is important and our fixer is Zhang Wong. Wasn’t expecting to hear from him.

Time to meet-up with the team and head to the CAS.

A familiar Triad locations puts us on edge as we get out of Boomer to meet our Johnson. One Ms. Johnson; she is well guarded and looks less than happy to see us.

The job seems simple and pays well. Eliminate a target, no worries about collateral, exactly our style. One stipulation, as she hands us a box, place a single ravens feather on anybody killed along the way. Our target: Sottocapo Chavez, the local leader of the Chavez Mafia family. We’re offered a safe-house, access to a coyote (well known Eliza) and 96K¥ for finishing the job with 9K¥ upfront.

Unbeknownst to Ms. Johnson (whose profile and stature leads us to believe is Lin Yao, a high ranking Triad leader), we have a very close relationship with Raven and don’t want to frame him for a high-scale murder that may lead to all out war.

After accepting we decide to call Raven to talk to him about this situation. He’s interested and we agree to meet him right away at Denim. Denim seems quiet as opposed to our usual (albeit) later visits. We head back to meet Raven and (for the first time) are patted down by guards. They give me an off glace when they come across my arms but nothing happens. In our meeting with Raven we tell him about the Triad plan to frame him, info for which he pays 3K¥ a piece and offers a counter job.

The best laid plans of mice, men and GMs… I was interested in seeing how this job was going to go down for the team. The mission, as written, was for more “railroading” than usual.

As I suspected, the team didn’t particularly want to do anything for the Triad and definately not anything to do with framing their aqauintance, however, I expected them to refuse outright. There was an alternative plot line wherin the Vory contact the team and pay for the info they recieved when they refused the job and offer another job to eliminate some Koshari soldiers who would be used by the Vory to frame a failed assassinatoin attempt on the Koshari.

Though the team was much more likely to take a job from the Vory, taking a job that would still frame Raven and / or the Koshari seemed like a bit of a stretch. When the team decided to contact Raven immediately, I decided to alter those scenes to fit the new Johnson, which I think ended up going over much better with the players.

Based on recent events between the Vory and Triads (of which we are responsible) the Vory essentially have control over Lin Yao. Our objective, intercept a package of Triad goods being moved by the Vory. Raven will ask about Lin Yao but wouldn’t mind her being dead.

The events in question are none other than those that ended in the death of An Peng and the kidnapping of a particular Triad girl in Mission 13: Take-Out Service.

With that meeting a success, we go to meet Eliza. The address she offers leads to parking garage and leads us the garages basement. She meets us and leads us through a tunnel system. Knowing who/ what we’re dealing with, we fully arm our selves before heading into the tunnels.

These tunnels are putrid and give an unfriendly feeling of lurking horror. The deeper we go the more familiar the tunnels begin to look. Oh Gods! We’ve been here before! Back when we took out that effing bloodmage. I wonder…yep we’re being led to that freaks old hideout. Weird.

The safehouse was Trebol’s old hideout, where the runners tracked an exploration team that went missing in Mission 09: Tunnel Vision. After killing Trebol and looting some of his blood mage items, the sewers were blocked off from the building and construction resumed. Eliza spent time unblocking several key tunnels, making repairs and turning the now abandoned hide out into an extremely hard to find and Matrix-dead safehouse.

As we settle in it becomes apparent that our comms have gone out. Eliza tells us that she is on-call if we need anything and that Ms. Johnson is planning on stopping by to check-in on our plans at some point. After she leaves, we plan.

We message out to Raven telling him communication might be a bit sketchy for the next day or so but we will check messages as regularly as possible. After waiting for 12 hours we decide to head-out to take on the Vory.

We make it to the Vory warehouse and wait some more. The plan: Wait for the shipment to leave head-out in front lay down spike strips to kill the escort (two Sedans with two men apiece) and take the goods. What actually happened went a bit differently.

Cho starts things off by sniping the cargo vans driver.

The combined efforts of Jade and myself take-out the front cars driver and it swerves right as it hits the spike strip Wheeler released. The front car flips into the air and rolls; unfortunately the passenger in the cargo van acts quickly and dips off on a side street. Not to be out-done, Wheeler expertly steers done another side street and catches back up with our target. Now we’re behind them.

As we all blast at the rear sedan, we see the original driver of the van flop past us after being pushed out the door. Unable to get a good view, I open the side door to electrocute the car. In doing so, I make myself a target. Fortunately Jade had a good grip on me and pulled me back in away from the gunfire.

Cho neutralizes that Vory as we close on the Van and once we’re along side the sedan, Jade fires her hand cannon and that support car swerves and crashes. Now its just us and the van. Cho takes out that driver and as quick as we can we load up the contents into Boomer. The contents appear to be used-up magical components, various roots, bones, etc.

Raven was pleased by our success and pays us 7K each. Raven follows with the news about Lin Yao. The Koshari deem Lin Yao as dangerous and needs to be eliminated. The Koashari are offering 30K for our team, due to the set-up Raven is offering an additional 15K from his own pocket.

Lin Yao was considered dangerous due to the Vory’s control over her. Originally, the mission was specced to have another lead member of the Triad, who had become aware of Lin’s involvement with the Vory, contact the team to eliminate her at the end of the mission.

The team’s negotiations with Raven earlier had them practically offering to remove her for free, so it felt only natural that Raven and the Koshari be the ones to have her removed so the Vory could no longer use her to control parts of the Triad.

With our “extra-curriculars” done with. Its time to get back to the safe-house, and wouldn’t you know it, Eliza calls us. Says that while we were out Ms. Johnson had come and gone so we told Eliza to schedule a meeting. The Agenda, death.

On the way, we discuss how much of a bad idea this is. We are planning a trap for people we are sure have already planned a trap for us. I decide to go invisible to make our trap more trap-like.

So the plan is this. Open the door, kill everyone. But that gets complicated, as the door opens, I first thing I see is a whimpering Eliza then the three guards with guns one right next to her. When a shotgun blast hits Jade behind me and the guards raise their weapons I sprint forward to cut down the one that is pulling his gun on Eliza and spill his intestines on the floor. The next minute is filled with gunfire and extreme bloodshed. The highlights I saw or can remember:

Merciless shooting by Jade.

Wheeler tactically shooting through intense injuries and multiple shots.

Cho gracefully striking her targets.

Marius with almost unerring aim.

My magic helping where it could.

Oh and there was something involving a grenade…hmm.

This scene was a toss up. At the time, the team hadn’t done anything completely outragous to tip their hand to Lin Yao, other than the standard “rumors in the shadows say…” method of intelligence inquiring and the fact that they hadn’t been there when she had come calling.

When it came time to run the scene though, we were still pretty early in the afternoon for our session with plenty of time remaining. Plus, the team already assumed it was a trap they were walking into. Why should I be the one to dissappoint them?

All in all we left certainly looking worse for wear, but we saved Eliza and are less dead than our opponents. Lin Yao just made it even more personal. After Eliza gets Jade and Wheeler fixed-up by a street-doc, we drop her off with Raven and go in search of Lin.

Using data Eliza gave us involving Lin’s Comm, Detrius (Marius’ brother) locates where she made her last call almost an hour ago. It seemed like she called the airport, we have to do this fast! The address takes us to an up-scale condo complex. As our luck would have it, we see who we expect to be our target being escorted into a very nice car. It’s on!

In an instant I petrify the bitch as Cho lights-up one of the guards. As the remaining guard shoots back, Jade and Cho finish him off. Wheeler stops Boomer and Marius gets out to take care of miss Yoa. Just as 6 Yakuza roll-up calmly each on their own bike. They slowly dismount looking non-threatening. They don’t react as Marius blasts the statue of Lin Yao (which Cho took a video of) as I drop petrify that bits of dust and rock turn to blood and bone. They ask if they can take her remains and say thank you. Just as we get ready to back away they go full-auto!

This was a strange scene. As written, the Yakuza were way underarmed (I upped their equipment and they were still very underequipped to deal with the team). I expected the team to take issue with them taking charge of the scene so unexpectedly, especialy since Marius hadn’t had a chance to loot corpses yet, but they shrugged and turned to walk away.

As written, the Yakuza also were always meant to betray the team after they left. Again this felt odd since the team was leaving without knowing why the Yakuza were interested in her and given how out of their league they were. Still, it made sure the team got their hands on a particular item…

Fuck! Marius took a full blast, but took no damage and Cho and I literally dodge the gunfire!

What happened over the next 20 seconds could barely be considered battle. It was a massacre where the victims had a “chance”. Marius, rounds still falling off of his armor, returns fire killing the bastard that shot him. Wheeler whipping around, shooting over the hood, opens the skull of the Yakuza leader. Jades deafening hand cannon misses, however I think I saw more than one of them piss themselves. Her next shot lands square not only killing but knocking the target back a good 5 feet. I lightening and mana bolt my target taking him out. Marius stoically continues shooting leaving only one left standing, which Cho made short work of.

The street now silent, Maruis loots the bodies and Cho moves the Yakuza’s bikes and calls Loco. As we leave I ask if Marius found anything. Not much, but Lin had this, Marius held-up a large stone, it was beautiful. As I held it, it seemed to pulse with life, and felt as if it didn’t want to be let go….weird.

Raven was happy with what he heard. We get paid. Gods what a weekend.

I’m now loaded with enough nuyen to not worry about Bliss. Now about this stone…

PREVIOUS: Mission 23 – Prodigal Son
NEXT: Mission 25 – Done Deal – Part 1
12
Dec
10

Mission 23 – Prodigal Son

MISSION 23 – PRODIGAL SON
Written by: Cho          Played on: 27 Nov 2010
PREVIOUS: Mission 22 – Backlash – Part 2
NEXT: Mission 24 – Hubris and Humility
 
I was walking back from getting coffee, thinking how my mundane job sucks lately, just the same old same old. Late night drunks coming in for unicorn tattoos… Sigh. God damn retards. 
 
So I was walking down a side street when a large black bird landed a few feet from me. It appeared to be holding a cred stick in its beak. Immediately I thought of Raven. And funny enough, it was from him. He had a job for us. Thank god! If I had to tattoo one more tramp stamp I might explode… Fucking whores.

So the gang all met up at the Denim bar in the CAS sector. Upon meeting with Raven, he said he had a long… But somewhat simple task for us. With Raven, it rarely is simple. But what the hell… So he was going to keep us on the clock for a week, so we could hijack a bunch of shipments from the XCR.

The team was aware of XCR as they had previously done some work for its current CEO, Alesandro Ibanez in Mission 14: Wetwork, Pure and Simple.

We could do things the easy way and destroy the shipments… But what’s the fun in that? Unlike some other wannabe runners, we pride ourselves in taking the hard route. So we wanted to deliver each shipment to Raven, for some extra yen of course. 🙂 Luckily we had a inside contact, a business fellow that went by PiP, to help us.

I guess the rest of the team didn’t notice but it was Samuel Halbert. We had met for a run a while ago, and we may have been a little harsh when it came to interrogating him. Hmmm. Come to think of it, he did seem rather nervous to see us again. Oh well, maybe the troll just made him uncomfortable. 

When running this scene, I completely spaced that PiP and Samuel Halbert, from Mission 21: Happenstance,  were the same person and that they had encountered him before. Typically the missions I was running do a good job of calling out prior NPC’s who the team might recognize from a past job, but not this time!

It wasn’t until after game I was reading a few of the old logs and recognized Samuel’s name. Hoping to salvage what insight that might give them into the plot of the game, I retconned the mission slightly by telling the player writing the log that she at least recognized him though no one else seemed to. In Samuel’s case, he was to nervous to say or do anything about it.

Raven set us up in a safe house for the week, which I must say wasn’t to shabby. Then we got a call from PiP after 2 days. He let us know that in 36 hours the first case was to be shipped from the Lehow facility. They had hired the Blood and Mayhem troop to deliver it. To put it simply… I ROFL’ed.
Blood and Mayhem were also nearly obliterated in Mission 21: Happenstance. Frankly, I had forgotten about this to by the time it came to run the mission, but my players hadn’t. I rolled with it and played them up as much more paranoid. The few original members of the troop that survived had recieved some cyberware replacements to keep them alive.
On our way there, Pip was kind enough to tell us there should only be one guard at the storage facility. A rigger. Huzza drones! It went simple enough, Levi and Bear went invisible girl style and broke into the place.
 
Bear petrified the rigger while Levi deactivated the drones and cameras via commlink. We found the crate with ease, and loaded it. We called up Raven later, dropped off the case and went back to the safe house. Easy money.
 
Two days later Pip calls again, yada yada yada… Blood and Mayhem are on the move with a crate. Now I like to make sure we get the job done. So I make these things I like to call “Panic Buttons”. AKA: High explosives in the path of the enemy. Just as a fail safe device. You know… “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.” And that ladies and gents is what I have tattooed on my ass.
 
After following them we have ourselves a good old fashion shoot out. We blow out their tires… Damn it! Did I just get shot? Oh no they didn’t. Oh and they have drones? Hell no.
 
Marius ends up dispatching the driver with some fancy shooting, which causes them to crash. Tee hee. Jade blows up a drone with a shotgun blast. At this point I jump out and head for their vehicle, oooo Levi just messed up the other drone…. Wait a second… Whoa whoa whoa! Hold the phone! A grenade launcher is our calling card. And damn, it fucked up our paint job.
You have no idea how happy am I to have dove out of the blast. Marius downs the bitch with G-launcher… Wench. Jade takes care of the mage, I get the dumbass standing on top of his car. I mean come on… Annnnnnnnd, I think he’s dead. Another crate secured. Booya. And just for shits and giggles, we pile the dead bodies into their van and move it directly over my panic button. BOOM! And that one is so going on Youtube tonight.
 
Another 2 days later, we are out to intecept another shipment. This time I’m gonna blow up an overpass. Hehe. We watch as their truck passes over the panic button. Oh! OHHHHHH It just misses. Oh well… Spike strip away!!! I love giving flat tires.
 
I saw that they had bulked up on security. They had 3 large vans following them. I finished loading my gun in time to watch Bear lightning bolt one van. It looked really cool, but didn’t seem to stop it. Jade hurled a grenade their way, but it missed. That’s when the side doors to the vans slid open and and SWAT looking guys leaned out on ropes. To which I commented “Oh look more targets!”
 
So making things easy for us… We killed them all, got the last crate, and got out of there just as police were arriving. We dropped off the crate to Raven and headed back to safe house. I suppose at that point Jade, Levi, and Bear got a little bored. Or tired… Or both. Cause they headed home, leaving Myself, Wheeler and Marius alone at the safe house. I ended up calling one of our mechanical friends, Duke, to help us patch up Booomer. Bullet holes arent very descrete. We had a nice dinner and went to bed….
At this point we hit the end of our regularly scheduled sessions. Techincally, the team had hit the minimum requirements to complete the mission and I could have called it there. However, there was a number of fun scenes to follow. Several players had to go home, but I still had a few that wanted to keep playing. Due to our play schedule, once every two weeks if we’re lucky, I’m typically loath to split up a run into multiple parts as it becomes difficult for the players to remember what they were in the middle of doing so long ago.
 
In retrospect, I probably should have divided this run into two parts if I wanted to do all the scenes. It did end up running into the wee hours of the morning which was fine for us, but the other players also missed out on some fun times.
Now, I always thought that safe houses were supposed to be… Well, SAFE! No one gave me the memo cause in the middle of the night SWAT bust in on ropes through the windows and started shooting up the place.
There were way more than we could handle, I yelled at the two boys to get the hell out as I jumped out the window, grabbed the rope and slid down. I was hoping within a few moments they would follow… But it took a bit longer than expected. And when they did finally make it partially down… They were fucked up!
I attempted to provide cover fire, it didn’t even faze the SWAT guys! I mean, I am shooting at them and they decide to climb down the ropes too. Eventually I made a break for Boomer. When I got back Marius and Wheeler were not doing so grand.
There was a man standing over Marius getting ready to finish him off. I gunned the engine and hit the man right as Marius rolled out of the way. He flew several feet and hit they wall hard in a lovely splatter of blood. The boys jumped in and we got the hell out of there.
Apparently they traced the commlink that Pip had given us.  So we got rid of it. Raven sent us to another safe house where everyone got healed up. I thought we might be done for the evening, but no. There was one last crate we had to get. And we had no time. They were about to fly it out on a helicopter. We made it just in time. To make the long story short… We had to destroy the last crate… With a rocket launcher. Bwahahahaha…Now are we done?
Raven calls us and says we have one last errand to run. Alesandro Ibanez, the CEO of XCR, was kidnapped by the Vory. With a small group of men Raven sent to help us and and a combat mage I hired named, Fluffy, we head out to rescue him.
While the second team creates a distraction at the front, we break in through the back and manage to avoid any guards. After searching around we find a secret door in the basement. It needed a eye scan… Guess what the means? I need a guards head… Trusty sword, away!
I felt like the team was a little outmatched tackeling this scene without six players. Yet another reason I likely should have split this run in half.  To compensate, I allowed the Koshari to assist in distracting many of the mooks that made up security at the Vory compound. This let the team focus on securing Alesandro.
And dun dun dun!!! The secret door leads into a ritual chamber where we find Alesandro… With Tahja!? She’s the bitch that helped us wipe out some Triad that one day.
The team encountered Tahja on a few occassions, most notably in Mission 20: Career Path.
We pretty much get into a epic battle with her and a large fire elemental. Thank god I hired that mage! Fluffly must have saved our ass more than a couple of times… Now why can’t Levi be that useful? Eventually we kill everything… Except Alesandro of course. And just like we snuck in… We sneak out. Huzza! 
 
We get Alesandro to Raven, and we are paid! Very, very well. And, we don’t have to share the extra yen we made with the three that were too lazy to help. Oh! And thanks Fluffy!
PREVIOUS: Mission 22 – Backlash – Part 2
NEXT: Mission 24 – Hubris and Humility
29
Nov
10

Mission 22 – Backlash – Part 2

MISSION 22 – BACKLASH – PART 2
Written by: Marius          Played on: 16 OCT 2010
PREVIOUS: Mission 22 – Backlash – Part 1
NEXT: Mission 23 – Prodigal Son

We utilize one of our contacts, Eliza, to get us across the boarder without any government entanglements. We see on the news that a 100,000¥ bounty is out for “information leading to the capture of” us. Nice. Now wondering if we can trust Eliza we hide the van and steal a passenger car. We arrive at Eliza’s in that.

On the way there we crack into this data. Levi plays an audio file about a shipment, there are Triad bosses on the recording. We decide to head to Clints. On the way there we get a call from Tabby offering us sanctuary, which we accept. Levi refuses to enter, citing that someone should watch the outside bla bla bla… he is in one of his cowardly moods again. Cho agrees to stay outside and babysit him, they go for a walk. 

Once inside Tabby seems a little offended that we are not all there. She sees right through our “they went for a walk” excuse and is not buying it, she knows we don’t trust her… at least that is what I gathered.

Tabby tells us that if we can rescue the bodyguard she might be able to clear our names. We show her the gun fragment and she recognizes its engraving; it belongs to “DP” a Chavez Family thug. She says she needs the data. I radio Levi and Cho make their way toward the house. Levi makes a copy of the data first. 

It wasn’t until after the session was over that I realized the mission obviously intended for the team to only have one copy of the data. Later, it would force them to choose who they wanted to give the data to.

I didn’t think about it during prep and so, when they asked if they could, I saw no reason to tell them they couldn’t. It wasn’t until I realized they could “make nice with everyone” that way and that it reduced the power of the “barganning chip” that I realized my mistake.

In retrospect, I would have put a limiting factor on distributing the data. Perhaps the hard drive was encrypted which prevented making a copy of it. Perhaps the data was hardware locked, it could be easily read from the drive but actualy copying it to another device was prohibited. Whatever the reason, it would take several weeks to decode the data so it could be copied to multiple devices.

We hand over the data and she gives us 3000¥. She also gives us the keys to a GMC Bulldog. The same type Detrius and I used to drive from Seattle to Denver. The team even used one of these for our first few runs until it was destroyed by heavy weapons fire. Tabby is also nice enough to furnish us with some arms, as we left most of the big stuff in Thumper. We are all real anxious to get back into the safety of our own van. 

We head to the address she gave us of where the Chavez guys hang out. We arive and find a warehouse with two entrances. We storm the place with tactical precision. Levi, Wheeler and Jade take one entrance, while Clint, Cho and Myself take the other.

After we are about half done killing mother fuckers a wall bursts in and in pour more dudes with guns, also shooting at the Chavez. As Sun-Tsu says, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. We both team up killing the Chavez. At one point I lay down arms and throw my body onto the bodyguard who is tied to a chair, taking him down and laying on top of him to protect him from stray bullets. 

As we are explaining the situation to the “bodyguard”, who is in fact Matt Greyfox, the leader of the Koshari who burst through the door tells Greyfox to come with him to safety. We tell him we were sent by Tabby and he decides he is safer with us. I loot several corpses on the way out and end up with a handful of weapons. 

Back at Tabby’s we debrief, Matt Greyfox attempts to hug Tabby, but she pushes him away. She say that Raven has made contact. Matt says we need to go to the ZDF Headquarters, and there he can help us clear our names. He says the guy he was protecting was the one who called in the ZDF, and that they know our identities. 

Tabby tells us she can clear us with the ZDF without us turning ourselves in first. Matt continues to insist that we go into the Hub with him. The team decides to go into the hub. Once that decision has been made, Levi, who had seemed to have no opinion up until now suddenly refuses to go citing this as the worst idea ever. So after further debate we decide to go with Tabby’s plan. 

The drama of this scene was somewhat mitigated as I mentioned above. Since the team had already and could continue making copies of the data, nothing was preventing them from “making peace with everyone.”

The choice here would have been much more pivotal if the option was to deal with an individual they know and deliver the data to the Koshari but leave the ZDF on their asses or to walk directly into ZDF headquarters (a questionable decision) in hopes of clearing their names but leaving the Koshari without the data they hired the team to recover.

Ultimately there was still plenty of drama and discussion in determining if they wanted to try to clear their names with the ZDF directly or not.

Matt Greyfox understands our decision, and states he will still do what he can. He says if he has the data that we acquired that will go a long way. Even though we freely handed it over to Tabby only hours before, Levi now refuses to hand over the data, stating that we were to be paid for it and he is not going to give it away for free.

The whole team tries to convince him and finally I agree to give him 6000¥ if he will hand over the data and stop being a stupid prick. This is one of several occasions when I have strongly considered killing him. 

This was an akward player situation that I should have handled better. One player felt that, in character if nothing else, Levi would want to withhold the data from his employers for the payout they were promised which ran counter to everyone else’s preservation instincts.

Rather than mediating the conversation to a compromise that the group was happy with, I trusted the conversation and the players to run their course and reach a satisfactory ending. The result was a heated discussion between players and real life anger including several strong opinions on the character and the player and desires for retaliation that were expressed to me after the session. It did not blossom into full on character vs character violence, but it wasn’t more than a few steps away and was in danger of occuring in future sessions.

A lot of this I fault myself for never laying out a social contract of some type prior to our fist session discussing our expectations for, among many other things, player cooperation and handling conflict. A lot of that evolved naturally over our play sessions, but in this case lacking it directly led to an akward clash of player styles and interests.

While I trust my players to be mature and work it out moving forward, I am still dealing with the after effects of this conflict. In the days immediately following the session, I was forced to take a much more hands on approach than I wanted to head off any future instances of similar conflict and to prevent fallout from spiraling out of control.

It was a good lesson for me, if nothing else, in anticipating and heading off problems like this in advance. Moving forward, I explained to the conflicting player that the game was a colaborative excercise in fun and that he needed to be willing to compromise in persuit of fun for the group, regardless of “what my character would do.” I also explained to the other players that their own reactions to the player and retaliatory plans were disrespectful to the player and not welcome in the game.

I explicitely explained to all players that unrestricted Player vs Player interactions were not something I was interested in running in the game. That further disputes between characters that reached an impass had to be resolved between players in some form of a compromise.

Some scenarios, like pre-agreed upon scenes between players or certain planned scenes that result in interesting story telling (as we did in Side Mission 01 – The Curious Conch) are considered exceptions to the rule, but all require passing through my approval and consideration first and must benefit enjoyment of the game. Its way more heavy handed than I would have liked and I would have preferred to have never had to draw that line in the first place.

That night we all crash at Clint’s place. The next morning we head to a meeting with Matt Greyfox, Tabby, and Mark Longfeather Raven. Raven asks for our story and we tell him of the events. He says he is still ok with us and that he will use us for work in the future. 

Tabby says she was unable to fully clear us with the ZDF, they know we did not kill that guy, but we DID kill a few of their people. Tabby says she can get us a discount on facial reconstructive surgery. I take her up on it, eager to get a new face, to avoid the ZDF, as well as several other.. issues.. from my past. 

We get a lift back to our parking spot to find Thumper… GONE. Presumably confiscated by the ZDF. Fuck.
PREVIOUS: Mission 22 – Backlash – Part 1
NEXT: Mission 23 – Prodigal Son
29
Nov
10

Mission 22 – Backlash – Part 1

MISSION 22 – BACKLASH – PART 1
Written by: Marius          Played on: 16 OCT 2010
PREVIOUS: Mission 21 – Happenstance
NEXT: Mission 22 – Backlash – Part 2
It was a night like any other, I was getting my ass handed to me in a VR game by my brother Detrius. He and I had both lived in Denver almost a year now. We were playing with one of the other few people in Denver I could trust, Clint.
I first met Clint, a Native American Dwarf from the Broken Arrow tribe when our team was assembled. We took an immediate liking to each other as we were both non-human Native Americans. I got along with the rest well enough I suppose, but Clint was the only one I would consider a true friend. We were playing some Player vs Player inside a familiar world that Detrius had designed. He has been working on a full length interactive game about the “Pending Zombie Apocalypse” and in the mean time has created a number of small side games within the same world, mostly as a way of debugging the world itself and the physics and the like. 

But today our session was cut short when the world went dark and my comlink buzzed. On the other end is a man who declines to give us his name, he has called the teams party line, and he waits as we all connect over the course of about a minute. He tells us that Raven said we are “cool” and that he may have work for us. We are to meet Sloan Lake Park in the PCC, This is the same park the team once had to shoot it’s way out of after killing An Peng. The shootout was a little nerve wracking, but all in all that was a good day. 

Once at the park, we notice two individuals step out of a limo, a suit and a bodyguard. He walks to a bench and we all form a sort of semi-circle around him as he explains the job to us. Data theft from a Triad run data storage facility in the Inglewood neighborhood of the PCC. He’ll pay 36,000¥ for the team if we can pull it off. He gives us 9,000¥ up front. As a side not we think Mr. Johnson might be Koshari. 

I call Detrius and speak to him about the job, he agrees to come with us for 4,000¥ to help identify and steal the data. He also hooks us up with one of his contacts who gets us information on where in the data center the server is located, this costs an additional 500¥. We decide caution is needed and stealth our way in. 

After breaking in we are able to extract the data in just a few minutes with no opposition so far. On the way out we run into some Triad. Gunfire ensues. Thumper busts in with Wheeler at the helm, and Jade manning the cannons. We grease a few more Triad then are probably needed to make good our escape, load into Thumper and pimp on out, raining down heavy weapons fire and grenades on the way out; making way more of a ruckus than is needed. 

The adventure I was running called for having the session begin at this point, without any of the other leadup to the mission. The introduction included a brief rundown of what they were doing when they showed up at the park.

This felt like an odd and arbitrary way of introducing the team to the mission, and thought it would be more fun and impactful if they roleplayed through the begginning scene and had at least some hand in determining how the mission went down.

I ended up “hand waving” most of the break in down to a few rolls and general questions for how they wanted to go about doing it. This drastically decreased the time it took to include that bit of the job in the mission, which helped to fit it in our typical four hour session.

I had originally intended to, and would have preferred to, play this job as a seperate session written by me. The job would have ended that evening with them picking up the data at the end of the run, then heading back to meet Mr Johnson. From there, I would have launched directly into this session as written.

By the time we got around to actually playing this session, though, I got busy with work and, frankly, completely forgot about that plan until the night before the session. Our play sessions tend to be a bit sporadic at times, especially during the fall season, so it probably worked out better in the long run that we did it all in one session, but it was always my intention to devote a full run to this introductory scene.

We drop off Dee, who has never been this close to the action before, and would not stop talking about it for the next several weeks. From there we head back to the park to meet Mr. Johnson, thinking this probably our easiest run ever. As we swing into the lot Cho is the first to notice that the limousines door is ajar.  

After doning my full combat armor, I approach with caution. Jade is walking along next to me as if this happens every day.  We notice signs of a struggle, blood, bullet dents in the limo. Mr. Johnson is dead. I loot his corpse (because that is what I do) noticing that all of his effects have been taken. I see a few fingers and part of a gun under the car, Cho comes over and grabs these… I don’t know why. 

As we hear sirens approaching we load back into Thumper just as several Zone Defense Force (ZDF, these are like Denver’s National Guard in this crazy world-gone-mad) vehicles roll onto the scene. This is B A D. They demand our surrender. We comply by throwing a flashbang out of the car and legging it. I jump into the turret right as they open fire. Cho throws a grenade at one vehicle, striking it and causing it to collide with a tree; it breaks off pursuit. Clint ignites the driver of another vehicle, it also breaks off pursuit.

To me, the scenario here was pretty hilarious. Since the ZDF came in through the front gates, the team was forced to try and escape by off roading through a public park. Mentally, it played out to me like a rediculous Dukes of Hazard or A-Team car chase.

To them I’m sure it was much less amusing. The ZDF is practically a military organization and a good step up from the standard Lone Star police forces. Many of the team’s standard tactics were nullified by dealing with an opposing force that was nearly their equals in skill and equipped with high end gear that were trained to deal with well armed Shadowrunners.

Wheeler dodges a car and I take a round through the vehicles armor but I am ok. I depress the trigger on the gun; hell belches fourth aimed at the drivers seat of a third ZDF rig but a bump in the overland route causes me to miss. After Clint, Levi, Cho, and Jade all strike the last large rig it breaks off pursuit, leaving only two sedans.
I riddle the hood of one sedan full of holes, putting it out of the fight. The last one holds distance. Wheeler swings around and Cho uses his Panther assault cannon to disable the vehicle. Striking the left rear quarter and exiting the front right, the round dissects the vehicle diagonally.
All I could see from the turret was the sudden change in interior color from tan to red. 
PREVIOUS: Mission 21 – Happenstance
NEXT: Mission 22 – Backlash – Part 2



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