View Full Version : [SR4] Drek Runs - Mission Ideas Needed

Gorbash Kazdar
2008-10-05, 10:21 PM
I'm currently working on a Shadowrun game, and I need some help coming up with interesting ideas for runs. It's a little difficult in this case because it's not quite the normal situation.

Normally, the way I've always understood it, new characters in Shadowrun have some experience 'running - outside of the campaign city, perhaps, or on low end jobs. They are, however, at least known to be competent 'runners, who can be relied upon to be professional and skilled.

That's not this group. The players themselves are fairly new to Shadowrun, so they're playing total noob 'runners. These will be their first jobs. The party members have some experience in the Shadows, but not as 'runners - former gangers, Mafia bagmen, runaways, former saririmen from the 'grey' divisions, that sort of thing. Because they're inexperienced and unknown, they're getting the 'runs no one else wants - the Drek Runs.

Here's what I have in mind:

Small time jobs, stuff that has low pay or normal 'runners are overqualified for.
Missions with out-of-whack risk/reward ratios - too much risk for too little reward for 'runners who can afford to be picky, or have enough experience to know to avoid them.*
Gigs with abbreviated time frames - where no one respectable will take it because there's no time to plan, or where the original 'runners can't do the job anymore.
Weird stuff - anything experienced 'runners would avoid just because it's unusual. If you really think about it, experienced 'runners should be pretty conservative, so anything that's out of the ordinary is probably going to get passed on unless it pays a LOT or there's no other work.

The game is taking place in Seattle. It is SR4, but really that shouldn't make a huge difference. As a note, the characters are also lower powered than normal (fewer build points, tougher purchase restrictions, lower money cap), so they are really not equipped to handle anything too heavy.

Lastly, I really want to use the game in part as a teaching game - showing the players the ropes for Shadowrunning. The importance of planning, of being quiet, the way to deal with Johnsons, that sort of thing.

Hope to see some great suggestions!

* EDIT: Doesn't mean really high risk runs, like taking out a dragon. The sort of thing a new team can handle still, but where the pay isn't what it should be. Taking out a troll go-gang leader in exchange for grabbing some stuff out of a corp warehouse that doesn't include weaponry or 'ware, for example. For this party, just getting the work to improve their rep is a benefit, plus it'll teach 'em how to negotiate :smallwink:

2008-10-05, 10:29 PM
Escort missions. :smallamused: No experienced runner will touch them, due to the obvious idiocy, but pulling it off will boost their reps a lot.

2008-10-05, 10:45 PM
A great way to have the novice 'runners build contacts is to take part in "chaff runs" - runs that are planned to provide cover for a more experienced team operating at the same time.

These can be things like "raid the BTL chip warehouse" while the experienced Runners sneak into the back office to figure out who's supplying the gang so that the 'corp can take care of the competition. The PCs won't know about the real runner team - they think they're going to steal some BTL, or to take out the gang. The 'corp gives these out to newbies because all you need is for someone to make a lot of noise. Still, if the PCs do well, the corp might recommend them for real jobs later on.

Better still, if the PCs turn out to be really competent, they may have an opportunity to save members of the real 'runners who get caught out in their run. This means the PCs can get real shadow contacts, and maybe even find some friends who are willing to go to bat for 'em.

Other example chaff runs
- Provide security for a deal which is designed to lure another faction into the open so that they can be wiped out by the Second Team
- Find out who stole the paydata, so that the Second Team can ask questions in peace while the jackers keep an eye on the PCs
- Raid a gang's favorite drug lab, which will draw out the gang's top enforcer, so that the Second Team can easily pick him up for questioning regarding a recent break-in at the corp's pharma R&D facility.

These missions also teach the PCs how runs are rarely what they seem, and to keep an eye out for what the 'corp's not telling them :smallbiggrin:

2008-10-05, 11:01 PM
Buy the DM screen, it comes with a useful tool.

2008-10-05, 11:10 PM
Another, more specific, option is to run a Starter Campaign, centered around a particular Johnson that no one else in the Shadows will work for. He gives quality runs, but there's something about him that means the rest of the 'runners avoid him like the plague.

Ideas include:
- A former corp R&D type who's brain was fried by an experiment. The corp wrote him off as a harmless and turned him out without so much as a paycheck. Turns out that, while he's terribly unstable, he's still capable of some pretty wild tech, and he's been trying to gather materials for his Great Plan. Originally lots of folks took his runs - the money was good - but over time he got a reputation for being erratic, and occasionally sending runners out on wild goose chases or, worse, without giving them the full score for no good reason.

- A fallen mob boss who lost out on a succession struggle, but managed to escape with his life. Mainly, this was because he was a loser and a bungler - never serious enough to hurt anyone but himself, but he was definitely born under a bad star. The current mob boss and all his contacts have dropped him as a bungler, and decided to let him live because "what harm could he do." Well, he has this plan, see... but experienced runners know his rep and won't touch anything he's connected to with a 10 foot pole. Fortunately for him, these chummers haven't heard of his story :smallamused:

2008-10-05, 11:31 PM
You could always have them work for a Fixer aquiring items for more experienced runners. When Johnny Hardcore, the infamous street samurai calls up Fixer Jack looking to buy an assault cannon, Jack hires out the newbs to go get one for him.

2008-10-06, 01:28 PM
Whack-a-Rat. SR actually has the metaplot to back up runners being used as vermin stompers, awakened or otherwise amped up critters can provide a very easy starter than can lead into dicy ethical considerations of sentience and challenging runs with smuggling and Insect/Toxic shennanigens.

"Never work with children or animals" is an aphorism for a reason.:smallfrown:

Have a nest of things that go bump in the night based below an afluent neighbourhood, have your team take the contract to clean them out but they can't be seen by the "Pretty People" up top, and so you get crawling through sewers and jimmy runs in moist small stinky holes. Sounds about right for your lot. Get a rep as a reliable verminator and there's plenty of jobs further up the ladder that get more challenging and lucrative.

2008-10-06, 01:36 PM
Bad **** going down in their neighborhood.

If the characters are all Low, Squatter, or Street lifestyle (or live in these neighborhoods, if you use the extra lifestyle rules), this is much easier to pull off: the neighborhood is probably close, with people looking after each other in some fashion, and any threat to the area is a threat to the PCs, too.

So if you toss a wendigo, a ghoul pack, or other paranormal critters in the area, the PCs have a motivation to do something. The risk/reward ratio is a divide by zero error - there's no nuyen in it. You can also use street gangs, violent BTL dealers, or organized crime invading the neighborhood, or just go with a serial killer or rapist.

It's dangerous, probably very unprofitable... but it's experience, street cred, and favor among the locals.

2008-10-06, 01:58 PM
Rent-A-Cop duty, with a twist. Concert in a place you can't get a respectable sec-team to go in, shipment of valuable but not TOO valuable stuff that needs someone to ride shotgun, almost any kind of low-key "find my long lost brother/real parents/little dog too" sort of private eye work.

Essentially, the kind of jobs that consist of a lot of grunt work, slogging through unpleasant places, dealing with unusual restrictions on use of force, negotiating difficult red-tape and organizational politics, working for less glamourous organizations (the City of Seattle sanitation department, for example, as opposed to the Dungeness Crab Yakuza family).

If you are a literary type, take a look at some Raymond Chandler stories. They are good models for taking a seemingly run-of-the-mill type of job and tying it into something bigger and more interesting. They are also good at not really reaching a complete, neatly tied up resolution. Sure, the material is a bit dated now, but if you want story ideas for some guys on the low end of the totem pole, I think they are good sources.