View Full Version : Running the Shadows

2008-05-19, 05:16 PM
a.k.a. The most cliched Femme Fatale character possible. Only not.

a.k.a. Help a newbie with shadowrun.

My gaming group has recently decided to get into Shadowrun. Seeing as how we've actually been accused of "Playing D&D as if it were shadowrun", we figured we'd give the system a looksie, and liked what we saw.
Our last two gaming sessions involved "Training Missions". Essentially us players going on a GTA style rampage through a major city in order to learn the system (the phrase 'crash course' comes to mind...). We've got the jist of it, but we're certainly not versed in the details yet. Our training missions were nothing but unaugmented humans with a major cache of weapons and vehicles going on a mass-murder spree whlie our DM toyed with us.
But now it's time to get to some real gaming, and we're chomping at the bit to play with the stuff Shadowrun presents. Not knowing the excruciating details of the system yet, I could use some advice from more experienced shadowrunners.

I know what to expect from our DM (which is essentially we player characters being watched over by a generally kind and loving deity with one hell of a mean streak and a sick sense of humor). I don't fully know what to expect from the system itself.

My character for our first gaming run is going to be a bit of a cliche (where better to start?) with a twist. She's a spoiled rich girl whos high-up-in-the-corps father basically let her get away with whatever she want as long as she stayed out of his hair. That includes mjaor cosmetic surgery to make her more like an elf, and when she was a teenager who fancied herself some mysterious badass, she got cybered out to the gills, but only with consumer grade (standard and alphaware) miscellaneous stuff. Stuff anyone with a little cash COULD get installed, but didn't because it serves no purpose (like the spidersilk glands in the wrist that let you produce 20 meters of high strength spidersilk rope each day). In the end my character was a would-be assassain who didn't fully appreciate the fact that she was just a spoiled kid with vat-grown toys.
Then daddy got demoted. And dissapeared. And the corporation that hired him came for my character to 'reposess' all that expensive gear I got installed (like... my eyes).

And suddenly I'm dissapearing into the streets, winging survival one day at a time while corporate mercs hunt me down to strip me into my various component peices.
And suddenly I'm forced into the position of trying to seriously convince fixers and other shadowrunners that I AM some super-badass-assassain, why the hell else would I be able to spit venom and hold my breath for 2 hours and stick to the ceilings upside down all night? I mean really, who would get that stuff installed for no reason?

Since my schtick is "rich kid with toys she shouldn't have", I'm spending the maximum number of build points on cash, and spending the vast majority of my cash on various grades of syber and bioware.
The topic I need more information on is Essence. I know how essence works (start with 6, work down from there on augmentations, stay above 0 at all costs). What I don't fully know is how much essence my (non spellcasting) character needs to have as a buffer. Are there monsters that drain my essence, and if it hits 0, do I instantly flatline? Do I need to keep 1 essence for saftey? 0.5?
My DM won't try to just devestate my character outright, but I want to know what danding to be an elf, pretending to be a killer, pretending she's not completely in over her head).

Also, any general advice for shadowrun newbs? I think we've got the basics of healing, mageing, killing, hacking, ect down. I know my group does social-interaction gaming extremly well. I just want to know what to stay on my toes for.

Any advice?

2008-05-19, 06:15 PM
Stay out of combat. 4th Edition is more forgiving (and sucks), but it's still good advice.

2008-05-19, 06:54 PM
I haven't played 4th ed but, unless it's changed from second and third, the biggest affect a low essence has is healing. Specifically magical healing, it simply doesn't work well on those with lots of cyber. That applies to other spells as well, but healing is the one you'll miss most. :)

A general comment on SR: There are two basic methods of playing - shoot everything before it shoots you and avoid combat at all costs. The first is important because of the death spiral. Taking damage hurts! The second is closer to the genre's ideal. Combat is deadly and there's no chance of coming back from the grave as anything you'd want to be. Unless you have a fascination with brains in a jar...

General advice:
- get lots of contacts. Take notes in play of anyone you think may be able to help you later. Especially if they owe you!
- do your legwork. Show me a shadowrunner burned by a Johnson and I'll show you a shadowrunner who didn't do her legwork!
- use your contacts. For legwork, for jobs, for finding items, for repair, to fill out a weak spot, etc.

Have fun!

2008-05-19, 07:05 PM
Advice, hmm

Always have a fake I.D. ready ( if you can afford it have another one ready as back-up in case that one gets blown)

Never carry a gun in the corporate sector unless you have a licence for it ( see previous comments about fake I.D.s). The place is packed with corp. Sec. and you're in much more danger from them then other random violence.

Tasers and other non-licence requiring weapons are your friends.

Non-lethal weaponry is ALWAYS better than lethal. Less dead people mean less profile, less reasons for the cops to hunt you and happier fixers. ( And if they absolutley have to be dead shoot 'em unconcious then stand on their throat).

NEVER turn down a chance to make any contact. You never know when the most unlikely person will help.

On a run somebody should carry at least one incendiary grenade. This is to be used to scorch your blood if you're wounded. You DO NOT want to give the corp. mages access to your blood for ritual magic.

No matter how annoying other 'runners might be on the run they're your brother. Deal with them after the Run if you have to don't screw up the Run fighting with them, that kind of reputation is really hard to shift